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urban myth; it was reported that last January a women in Tokyo forgot to pick up ¥100,000 (app. 716 pounds/840 euros) withdrawn at an ATM and someone kindly delivered all the paper notes to the nearest police station.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!

Screenshot from 2016-05-03 17-35-05

Chinese restaurant chef grows ingredients right next to his shop

myojyo

The title is how traditional media would describe it but that is not quite what I saw.

On my cycling commute route there is a Chinese restaurant which stands in the middle of nowhere. It is located along a busy highway like road, with an open field at the back (real mountain view).

I have been there a couple of times before and I like the shop since it seems to stick to the line of conventional Chinese food proper without adding any fanciness to it. They are dedicated to Sichuan cuisine.

The owner is in his seventies but he cooks all the dishes by himself. He only hires young girls as his assistants and keeps calling them “cute” at all times…

One morning, when I cycled past the shop, I noticed an elderly looking guy in black sportswear talking to someone who looked familiar.

It was the chef standing in a farm land right next to his restaurant. Not in a gardening costume, but in his pure white usual uniform.

The co-location of a farm land and a cooking uniform visually clicked my brain in a nanosecond, making me intuitively understand his radical practice.

Extreme local production and local consumption in absolute secret!!!

The way his dishes are cooked makes you think as if they were made by following the formal procedure (sourced via processional farmers, logistics, and agricultural cooperatives), but in fact the chef cuts off all the intermediaries and directly puts the ingredients on his plates.

I may try to develop this kind of visual language that transmits essential information much more quickly than the conventional headline based media.

The best way to find a cheap good vintage bike in Japan

1. Try to find old bike shops by typing “自転車屋” (meaning bicycle shop in Japanese) on Google Map.

2. Look at the shops you found in more details using Google Street View and try to find vintage bikes inside them.

3. If you find any good looking vintage bikes, they should still probably be there since it is likely that they were stocked over decades ago and have not been sold yet.

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