Tweenbots by Kacie Kinzer:
Given their extreme vulnerability, the vastness of city space, the dangers posed by traffic, suspicion of terrorism, and the possibility that no one would be interested in helping a lost little robot, I initially conceived the Tweenbots as disposable creatures which were more likely to struggle and die in the city than to reach their destination. Because I built them with minimal technology, I had no way of tracking the Tweenbot’s progress, and so I set out on the first test with a video camera hidden in my purse. I placed the Tweenbot down on the sidewalk, and walked far enough away that I would not be observed as the Tweenbot––a smiling 10-inch tall cardboard missionary––bumped along towards his inevitable fate.
The results were unexpected. Over the course of the following months, throughout numerous missions, the Tweenbots were successful in rolling from their start point to their far-away destination assisted only by strangers. Every time the robot got caught under a park bench, ground futilely against a curb, or became trapped in a pothole, some passerby would always rescue it and send it toward its goal. Never once was a Tweenbot lost or damaged. Often, people would ignore the instructions to aim the Tweenbot in the “right” direction, if that direction meant sending the robot into a perilous situation. One man turned the robot back in the direction from which it had just come, saying out loud to the Tweenbot, “You can’t go that way, it’s toward the road.”
The Tweenbot’s unexpected presence in the city created an unfolding narrative that spoke not simply to the vastness of city space and to the journey of a human-assisted robot, but also to the power of a simple technological object to create a complex network powered by human intelligence and asynchronous interactions. But of more interest to me, was the fact that this ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object. The journey the Tweenbots take each time they are released in the city becomes a story of people’s willingness to engage with a creature that mirrors human characteristics of vulnerability, of being lost, and of having intention without the means of achieving its goal alone. As each encounter with a helpful pedestrian takes the robot one step closer to attaining it’s destination, the significance of our random discoveries and individual actions accumulates into a story about a vast space made small by an even smaller robot.
These are my favorite kind of stories.
Makeshift Convenience of the Day: With a few plastic crates, some cardboard, a small table, and the assistance of friends and family, 7-Eleven store owner Takashi Watanabe was able to re-open for business in the heart of hard-hit Miyagi prefecture two months after his establishment was destroyed by the earthquake and washed away by the subsequent tsunami.
At the heart of this collection of portraits is my desire to remind us that we were all equal, until our environment, circumstances or fate molded and weathered us into whom we have become.
Los Angeles- and New York-based photographer Mark Laita completed Created Equal over the course of eight years; his poignant words reflect the striking polarizations found in his photographs. Presented as diptychs, the images explore social, economic and gender difference and similarity within the United States, emulating and updating the portraiture of Edward Curtis, August Sander and Richard Avedon.
20-year-old Angelina Barnes was headed out to a Lady Gaga concert earlier this week, and selected a rather unusual method of accessorizing.
Instead of a bubble hat or meat dress, Barnes actually drowned her family’s 15-year-old pet cat as part of a gruesome ensemble. She then cut into the animal’s corpse, removing its liver and eyes and painting her face with the cat’s blood.
A relative discovered Barnes covered in the tabby’s blood, and said Barnes had also at some time disabled light switches with electrical tape. The person then contacted police to say she was “very afraid that the suspect was going to try to do harm to her.”
Police who responded to the call described a pretty unsettling scene at Barnes’ home:
Back at home, investigators found purple hair dye and blood all over the bathroom along with the cat that had been drowned; sliced down the belly, eyes mutilated, the cat’s liver was found in a makeup case on counter.
Barnes has been brought up on charges of animal cruelty and was treated at a local hospital.
These are the men you called a suicide cult
top left :)
Call It A Comeback of the Day: Mr. Chi City was minding his damn business like he do and someone accidented onto him.
Oh, and also, Mr. Chi City’s back.
(sNSFW, Mr. Chi City.)