How did we watch films at home before Netflix and DVD? And before VHS? Denny Daniel will show you at his Museum of Interesting Things. This “speakeasy museum” pops up weekly at various locations in the city to show how our current-day technology is based on earlier inventions, often going all the way back to the late 19th century. From 1960s solar-powered walkie-talkies to carousel animations and parts of the original World War II Enigma machine, Daniel has collected a wide array of antiques and curiosa.
Last Saturday, several groups of artists, scholars, entrepreneurs, writers, and more gathered in the basement of the New Museum for the second annual Open Score symposium, where they delved into topics like artificial intelligence, how memes relate to blackness, and ways the internet can create social infrastructures. The afternoon was co-presented by Rhizome, a contemporary arts organization centered on intersections of art and technology.
This election cycle has been louder than most, with red-faced screaming, epic shout-downs, and showers of insults pummeling over political decorum. The Choice Is Yours, a new art show grown out of the clunky mechanical levers of cumbersome voting machines, feels unusually quiet by comparison, almost to the point of being meditative.
“I thought it would be fun to turn them into these choice machines,” the artist, R. Luke DuBois explained. “Maybe it makes you think twice when you get into an actual voting booth on Tuesday.”
As he rang in 2015, Fabrice Grinda, a 41-year-old tech entrepreneur from France, took stock of his life. He’d been living out of suitcases for the past four years, globetrotting and swinging between upscale hotels and top-notch Airbnbs. He decided it was time to “partially re-materialize.” Not settle down with a white picket fence (horrors!) — nothing drastic — but simply find a simple New York landing pad he could call his own.
When Williamsburg app developer Alex Kane released the beta version of his app Sympler last September, he expected about 3,000 downloads. What he got was more than 80,000 downloads and a nod from Apple Japan as one of the best apps of 2013, alongside Vine and Instagram. Not bad for beta. Today, Sympler version 1.0 launches in the Apple Store.
If the nightmare-ish appearance of Soylent in the real world (as opposed to in dystopian cannibal-populated literature) terrified you into thinking Silicon Valley had declared a war on food, please rest assured—our tech overlords have not yet given up on the fuel of the humble peasant (that’s us). In fact, several West Coast dudes are actually trying to make it easier for you to get access to fresh food. One such specimen is Benzi Ronen, who just expanded his company Farmigo into an attractive new office space in Gowanus.