Industrial Media


From the study Metamorphosis revealed: time-lapse three dimensional imaging inside a living chrysalis, by Tristan Lowe, Russell J. Garwood, Thomas J. Simonsen, Robert S. Bradley, Philip J. Withers, published 15 May 2013 by The Royal Society:

"Studies of model insects have greatly increased our understanding of animal development. Yet, they are limited in scope to this small pool of model species: a small number of representatives for a hyperdiverse group with highly varied developmental processes. One factor behind this narrow scope is the challenging nature of traditional methods of study, such as histology and dissection, which can preclude quantitative analysis and do not allow the development of a single individual to be followed. Here, we use high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) to overcome these issues, and three-dimensionally image numerous lepidopteran pupae throughout their development. The resulting models are presented in the electronic supplementary material, as are figures and videos, documenting a single individual throughout development. [...] In the future, this form of time-lapse CT-scanning could allow faster and more detailed developmental studies on a wider range of taxa than is presently possible."

Dark Current

I am delving into dark currents, the scientific poetry of video.  This is what mimesis seeks to screen out: the medium.  Or more specifically, the primacy of the pheno-text.  I would even call it the accountability of the image.  The video image is imagined as immaterial, and yet the material itself is expressive — literally.  As Roland Barthes put it, "The 'grain' is the body in the voice as it sings, the hand as it writes, the limb as it performs." (IMAGE/MUSIC/TEXT, p.188)

In physics and in electronic engineering, dark current is the relatively small electric current that flows through photosensitive devices such as a photomultiplier tube, photodiode, or charge-coupled device even when no photons are entering the device.  It is referred to as reverse bias leakage current in non-optical devices and is present in all diodes. Physically, dark current is due to the random generation of electrons and holes within the depletion region of the device that are then swept by the high electric field.

The charge generation rate is related to specific crystallographic defects within the depletion region. Dark-current spectroscopy can be used to determine the defects present by monitoring the peaks in the dark current histogram's evolution with temperature.

Dark current is one of the main sources for noise in image sensors such as charge-coupled devices. The pattern of different dark currents can result in a fixed-pattern noise; dark frame subtraction can remove an estimate of the mean fixed pattern, but there still remains a temporal noise, because the dark current itself has a shot noise. (WIKIPEDIA)


General Electric: Extremely Bad Liars




While cautiously perusing the Huffington Post the other day, my morbid curiosity bested me: I clicked on a GE ad on the right of the page which had a faux-naive drawing of a cow on it.  I proceeded to be accosted by an uber-cute, child-like animation of a day glow, up-beat, sultry-yet-approachable taking cow telling me that besides continuing to offer herself to me for food, she was now going to provide me with clean energy.  According to this every-cow, the "geniuses" at GE found a way to turn her waste into "renewable" power.

They forgot to leave a section for feedback from me, the viewer — an oversight that seems endemic in the new-media advertisement age.  Here's my response:

Dear GE,

I'd like to call your attention to a few factual errors in your advertisement.

  • You did not discover trapped methane power.  As you well kow, subsistence farmers, collectives, environmentalists and bio-engineers have been using and developing this technology for a century. 
  • Cows are not happy, or renewable.  They require immense amounts of non-renewable resources, and your cartoon personification of such an unfortunate creature is perverse considering the objectification you are violently enacting upon living beings when you label them as renewable.  
In short, I don't want your animal concentration camp energy.  Your coinage and use here of the word "ecomagination" is a crime against the English language, not to mention any semblance of advertising ethics.  You and whatever shit ad agency is responsible for this disgusting piece of work can kindly go fuck yourselves. 
Sincerely, etc., etc.


Un/fortunately, I can't find that ad online now, but a quick and nauseating perusal of the Ecomagination YouTube channel has provided me with more lovely examples of the kind of advertising employed by large corporations when they know you'd have to be an idiot to believe what they are saying.  First: treat the audience like a 5 year old. Second: create cartoon-like parodies of utopic worlds so absurd that they make even the most level-headed viewer question their grasp on reality.  Perhaps the slight cultural distance from their Chinese ad campaigns can illustrate this even more effectively:

And while the Chinese audience is presumably swayed by industrial and technological visions of paradise, we Americans require that familiar stink of nostalgia to make us so confused we give up:

I hope Donovan feels like a total ass for selling them his song "Catch the Wind".  (Is it possible that he was in fact thinking about trapped farts when he wrote it?)

We American consumers shouldn't be proud of GEs evident belief in our being more effectively stultified by saccharine pastoral landscapes, folk music and the dreams of children than our Chinese counterparts.  GE has also wisely provided Americans with sufficient amounts of the cartoon mockery of our intellect —  technique we arguably are responsible for imagineering:

This is of course just a minute bump on the landfill of big energy advertising pretending to pander to our concern for the environment while slapping us in the face with the complete absurdity of entrusting the fate of the planet to profit-seeking criminals who spend the other 98% of their time wreaking devastation.  Nevertheless, I think it is important to attempt to convert some of this waste into useful thought.

Medical Choreography, part 1

The Epley maneuver:

The Brandt-Daroff maneuver:


Vertigo is a disorder of the middle ear, caused by small crystals that have colonized in a sensitive part of the inner ear. These crystals become displaced, causing the dizziness of vertigo. Usually a physician who specializes in dizziness and balance disorders will perform The Epley or Semont maneuver to help settle the displaced crystals. The Semont maneuver is a calculated and rapid moving exercise, performed only by a doctor in the safety of a doctor's office. Brandt-Daroff exercises are similar to the Epley maneuver, but they can be done at home. These exercises can benefit anyone with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, lightheadedness or faintness. They are safe and easy to perform.

The Light Fantastic

Untitled (Girl) by Zabka Britton. White light transmission, film. 5 in x 4 in. 1980-1981.

Tigirl by Margaret Benyon. Reflection hologram, glass. 16 in x 12 in. 1985.

The Kiss by Lloyd G. Cross. 120° integral stereogram (Multiplex), film. 9 1/2 in x 30 in. 1973.

Lindow Man by Richmond Holographic Studios Ltd. Reflection hologram, glass. 12 in x 16 in. 1987. Green image showing the remains of a mummified, Iron Age man, dating to approximately 55BCE, found in a peat bog near Wilmslow, England in 1983.

Parc des Folies a la Villette by A. P. Holographie. White light transmission, film. 38 in x 40 in. Circa 1983. 3-D architect's model, produced to promote this science park in Paris; rainbow-colored image.

Selections from the MIT Museum exhibit: Holography: The Light Fantastic, "an awe-inspiring sampling of twenty-three historic holograms from the MIT Museum holography collection—the world's largest. Scientific and artistic applications of holography in diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, and retailing as well as architecture, portraiture and abstract art are represented."