05 Sputniko! Joins to MIT Media Lab and then Makes a Visit to London (Part 1)

Sputniko!


Hi everyone! It's me, Sputniko!
As some of you may already know, I've joined the MIT Media Lab as an assistant professor since this fall. Up until now I'd been working freelance since graduating from college, so this is going to be a big change. I'm very excited to start here - it is kind of a dream job.

Anyhow, this time I'll write about the graduate show at the Royal College of Art (RCA) London which I visited the other day.

I really liked The Big Atlas of LA Pools by Benedikt Groß, which was shown at the graduate exhibition.

This is a processed-based work, and the idea began with a view of the Los Angeles landscape seen from an airplane. Many houses in LA have pools, and Benedikt suddenly wondered how many pools there were in the city.
He first got hold of aerial photos disclosed as open source, and designed a program that automatically counted the blue objects in the photos that looked like pools. But the program would register anything blue, so it mistakenly recognized blue roofs too, and this attempt soon failed. Next, he contacted an IT company in India that neatly clips product photos for display on online shops, and asked them to clip all the pools in the aerial photos. Amazingly, a total of over 40,000 pools were found!
All this was made into data at an incredibly low price.

To be continued in Part 2

* Original text in Japanese, translated to English by the Japan Foundation

sputniko05_01.jpg
From the graduate exhibition in 2010. Sushiborg Yukari and I

sputniko05_02.jpg
A snapshot from our graduation ceremony



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