「バズったので宣伝させていただきます」 – A Path Towards Contingency Web

There has recently been this phenomenon, “Let me advertise something since it went viral (バズったので宣伝させていただきます)” on Japanese Twitter.

Simply put, this is the act of riding on the wave of large traffic that had almost accidentally been caused. There should be some kind of algorithms running behind the logic of going viral on Twitter, but it’s very often the case that it doesn’t matter how many followers they have; how much money they make; whether they are a business man or not, in order for something to go viral on Twitter.

It’s often a simple image with a short text, sometimes a small gif movie, sometimes a plain text.

The ways things go viral on Twitter already suggest a new mode of attention distribution, but giving credit to the person who made a viral tweet and allowing them to advertise something that they truly recommend implies something totally different.

It is Contingency Web that could be obversed extensively on the pre-2006 Internet. For example, for the viral tweet above, the author (only took a photograph of this page of a comic) is a student from a college of technology (高専 [kōsen]) and s/he decided to advertise a platform suitable for code learning. Presumably, s/he doesn’t even own this website, just merely and purely saying it is a good place to go.

My question is, when algorithms on the web are becoming ever more sophisticated, what kind of interaction are we eager for? Are dating apps (including the ones using Facebook profiles) the ultimate form of human facilitation?

I don’t think so, in my opinion dating apps take away all the space for contingency to happen; there is no such thing as a contingent dating app.

The instance of “バズったので宣伝させていただきます” shows the possibility for overcoming traffic control by a relatively simple cultural protocol. We need to keep looking for opportunities like this and at some moment bind them all together to establish it as a movement.

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Matterhorn.com

Matterhorn.com operates in the exact opposite manner to Amazon.com, featuring the name of a famous river in South America, which in fact only means cardboard boxes with smiles to milennials.

Matterhorn.com, as it sounds, produces mountain-shaped cardboard boxes but they carry nothing inside, maximizing space occupancy in delivery vans. The sacred but awkward form of the box makes it unable to be stacked up among other parcels.

On Matterhorn.com, three different sizes of mountain-shaped cardboard boxes are purchasable, each of which performs distinct “delay” functions. The “small” delay is 5 euros inclusive of postage, equivalent to 1 day delay for up to 10 other hypothetical parcels. The “middle” is 10 euros inclusive of postage, equivalent to 3 days delay for up to 50 other hypothetical parcels. The “large” is 15 euros inclusive of postage, equivalent to 5 days delay for up to 100 other hypothetical parcels.

Mountain-shaped cardboard boxes can be mass-produced, once the ideal form is determined and unfolded into a single sheet of cardboard.

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Image source: Zacharie Grossen/wikimedia

Augmented Tea Ceremony@Nara Park – Using AR markers as a form of aesthetics

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In Augmented Tea Ceremony, everything is augmented except for Matcha. It features four different types of AR markers: 1. ARToolKit markers for Wagashi; 2. ARToolKit multimarkers for Chawan; 3. Vuforia (proprietary) markers for the walls; 4. retro-reflective markers (made out of hi-viz material) on T-shirts for Kimono.

These are the most commonly used AR makers for marker-based Augmented Reality, together disseminating the technology to the public. Unmodified blunt markers exhibit the technicality of Augmented Reality, which may have some strange aesthetic appeal to the people passing by.

Ideally all the markers should be processed in a single application on a smartphone in an AR headset, but for the retro-reflective markers on clothing, the use of Kinect Fusion seems inevitable.

Ingredients:

  • Kian (Bamboo-made mobile tea house) x 1
  • Smartphone x 3
  • AR headset x 3
  • Kinect Fusion x 1
  • White Chawan x 3
  • Tray (for Wagashi) x 3
  • White T-shirt x 3
  • Printed AR Markers

Free Boat Available in Japan

In Japan you hear a lot of stories about lost personal belongings being returned to the owners without any damage. For example if you lose your wallet/purse you will most likely get it back with every single penny inside. This is not an urban myth; it was reported that last January a women in Tokyo forgot to pick up ¥100,000 (app. 716 pounds/840 euros) withdrawn at an ATM and someone kindly delivered all the paper notes to the nearest police station. This kind person stayed anonymous so didn’t even receive any sort of compensation.

Now this time, a boat was found on a beach and again kindly brought to the nearest police station. This boat will most likely be anonymous so with any identification you could receive this for free.

All you need to do is to get to the following location on the map. The boat will be available until 14th June 2017.

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Secret gig: Construction Site 工事現場

They seem to be secretly having fun inside a barricaded construction site. I could see a specially made standing ashtray with a folding chair, and even some sort of kitchen facility.

It would be good if there was a gig going on inside. With some special speaker system the beats sound like construction noise from afar but when you get closer you hear “ultra-modern, trance-inducing compositions” (TCF TodaysArt 2016).

Open Wetlab and Open Wet Market Lab

I finally visited the Open Wetlab of the Waag Society in Amsterdam. The building itself was very easy to find, yet I was quite surprised by the way the organisation appears to the public, it’s almost completely hidden!

The reason why I went there was to have a meeting with the initiator of the laboratory to talk about my project idea which was inspired by the Open Wetlab. It was an experimental vending project that was to be done while taking advantage of the Taiwanese culture of “you can put whatever you want on the street without permission”. I heard there are roughly four types of “Wet Market” in Taichung: Hipster market, Hybrid-art market, Very wet market, and Women’s market. The idea was to test what sort of weird things could be sold in the those different types of contexts and traffic of people. For some strange reason the guy did not show up and it was good because the plan got stranded somehow.

To me the most important thing there was to find out in what sort of process the VAGHURT project was granted a residency in the lab for 3 weeks. And I did manage to get informed of this, I will not mention it here though!

Cyclists Stay Back and Pick Up!

While cycling I very often find Beginner Driver tags on the road with their black-brown magnetic surfaces on top. These are apparently dropped by cars for various reasons, but once they are placed on the tarmac upside down, they become indistinguishable from the road.

The only agent that can potentially find these is the one looking at the road carefully enough to be able to notice this slight colour difference between the back of the sign and the road surface.

Cyclists, stay back and pick up these signs and sell them back to the drivers! Get them to eat their droppings infinitely!

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