The Big Picture, I – The Fourth Industrial Revolution

April 4, 2016 § 3 Comments

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond

By Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, for Davos 2016

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Excerpts:

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. … « Read the rest of this entry »

First Quarter in Review: The Big Picture, Ahead and Around

April 4, 2016 § 4 Comments

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Unlike most of my posts, this issue (or this series, in multiple issues) does not feature specific artworks (which, by the way, many of you have told me to be beautiful–thank you!). Instead, I will share with you news, events and readings I came across in the first quarter of 2016, which collectively form a “big picture” context, helping to demonstrate that Essinova’s exploration into the arts is not just about beauty, although that itself is a worthy cause.

Top 10 skills 2020It is a big picture of the next industrial revolution and the future that mankind is entering, in which art and culture will be of fundamental importance not only to the human race as a whole but also to private industry. Philosophically speaking, art (with feelings) might become one of our last bastions of human privilege as machines can replace us in pretty much everything else. On a more practical level, culture and humanities, alongside science and technology, will become part of the very fabric of tomorrow’s businesses, rather than an afterthought marketing flair. This is necessitated by the new demands of solution design, consumer experience and talent development. « Read the rest of this entry »

Winter to Spring. Ancient and Contemporary. Science Art for Happy Chinese New Year!

February 7, 2016 § 1 Comment

2016-Spring-Festival

The marking of season’s or year’s change is possibly the most global and ancient manifestation of human “culturetech,” or integrated science and art. Tracking the patterns of lunar, solar, and seasonal cycle was among the earliest “scientific” works of man, yet also a key prompt for cultural sense-making and expression, from monuments to festivities.

Three days ago was Lichun (立春), or Start of Spring, the first of 24 Solar Terms on the East Asian lunisolar calendars. (For those scientifically-inclined, it is when the Sun is at the celestial longitude of 315°.)

Tomorrow Spring Festival(春节)will arrive, marking the beginning of a new lunar year, this time welcoming the Monkey.

As my family and I rush to finish house cleansing and get ready for dumplings, red lanterns, New Year’s Eve TV show and WeChat greeting storms, I would like to share the festivities with you by presenting a group of unique arts, courtesy of creators around the world. « Read the rest of this entry »

Science & Technology Artisan Gifts for the Holidays

December 22, 2015 § Leave a comment

Whether you are kicking back having completed your holiday shopping, or are still in need of last-minute ideas, here is something fun you may want to do – take a survey on these science and technology-inspired artisan collections we are featuring this season, as unique, special gifts that are both delightful and educational!

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Survey-buttonHappy Holidays!

LAST Festival Art Expo Highlights

October 28, 2015 § Leave a comment

The 3rd installation of the L.A.S.T. Festival, organized by Thymos Foundation and originally conceived by Piero Scaruffi, took place over the weekend of October 16 to 18, at Stanford University.  The L.A.S.T. Festival celebrates the confluence of art with the multiplicity of new media technologies and nascent sciences that are transforming sociality and experience in the 21st century.

The Festival featured four programs:

  • Interactive multimedia art installations that break the “Do not touch!” taboo of the traditional museum and are meant to let people experience something they never experienced before
  • Inspirational talks by luminaries on cutting-edge technology and science, including Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotech, Space Exploration, and Neuroscience
  • Live performances
  • Interactive workshops or talks by artists

Click to watch video recordings of the talks.

And here are some photos of the art installations.  Click on the images to learn more about each installation. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Birthday Dreamscape | Act I: Digital Gods and A Voyage to the Edge of the Universe

July 10, 2015 § Leave a comment

Synopsis:

Amidst birthday blues, a middle-aged woman contemplates humans’ digital trajectory, the Age of Data, and her own destiny, as she samples arts reflecting artificial intelligence, quantified self, virtual reality, lifelogging and other digital advances,  in a series of reveries.

Act II – Quantified-self, lifelogs and someone else’ mindscape

Act III – The hybrid Here and Now

Epilogue – The comfort of my cake


April.  My birthday was coming.
Perhaps as a defense mechanism against the anxiety of putting on another year, my mind wandered far and wide.

Act I –  Voyage to the edge of the Universe

Sapiens bookcoverFirst it scans the entire humanity’s creation and evolution, as narrated by the brilliant Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari in his brilliant new book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind”.  Homo sapiens (of whom I am one) came to dominate the Planet through three great “Revolutions”: the Cognitive, the Agricultural, and the Scientific, he posited.  We conquered the world because of our affinity for myth-making and stories. Our fictions allow us to cooperate.    We buy into universally accepted “imagined realities” that bind us together and have given us power: Religion. Money. Nation states. Corporations…  We are now so powerful we can trump nature and be our own intelligent designers.

Harari’s framework makes perfect sense to me.  His wit, sarcasm and subversive humor are very much to my taste.  However, more than how we got here, I am on an emergency to know where we are going.  Hence, I cannot help but skip 70,000 years to jump to the last chapter: “The End of Homo Sapiens”. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Journey into the Deep. On World Oceans Day

June 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Today is World Oceans Day, a day to celebrate the “Blue Heart” of our Planet, which covers almost 71% of its surface, is the principal component of Earth’s hydrosphere, forms part of the carbon cycle, regulates climate and weather patterns, served as the impetus for the emergence of life 39 billion years ago, and continues to provide the life support system for all known species on Earth, supplying half of our oxygen. I have selected a stellar collection of ocean arts and designs, created by four multi-talented individuals and teams, to honor the occasion.

Underwater Photographs

Jim Kirklin
Oceanographer, software engineer, and nature photographer
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Purple Ring Top Snail (Calliostoma annulatum), Monterey Bay, California

With an advanced degree in geophysics and a career that has included time with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and work on research projects in 3 different oceans, as well as a number of years working with a startup developing a new class of autonomous vehicles used in the ocean, Kirklin has developed an intense interest in the ecology of the ocean and its varied marine life. He has also been photographing nature and wildlife most of his life and an avid SCUBA diver for the last 20 years. Sooner or later these three interests were bound to intersect in underwater photography, resulting in stunning images of ocean life in the waters off California, Florida, Carribean, Solomons, Micronesia and Galapagos Islands, etc.

A selection of these images can be seen in our Visual Arts gallery. Kirklin’s works give us a glimpse of the beautiful and mysterious life in the world’s oceans, only 5% of which has been explored. The ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but over two million marine species are estimated to exist.

Kirklin’s underwater photography has won awards and been featured in shows on the Central Coast and Sonoma, California. « Read the rest of this entry »

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