Psychedelic lights yield to Web-driven imagination
April 19, 2004
BY MICHAEL KRAUSS
Old Town's Pipers Alley
at 210 W. North, once filled with mind-expanding head shops, psychedelic
lights and black-light posters, now houses "The Imagination
Environment," an 8-by-4-foot technology performance art exhibit.
an array of nine flat-screen monitors mounted behind a plexiglas
shield. The center screen plays a continuous feed of Fox News.
Taking the news reader's words from the closed-caption feed, the
exhibit connects to Internet search engines. Pictorial search
results are visualized in real time on the remaining screens.
The display can be truly mind blowing.
it uses search engines, sometimes the images are on point. Sometimes
they are enlightening. Sometimes they are just bizarre,"
says Kris Hammond, director of Northwestern University's Intelligent
Information Laboratory, which created the exhibit along with Second
City and Northwestern's Program in Network Arts.
use technology to surprise and entertain," says Kelly Leonard,
Second City executive producer, whose new revue, "Show Title
Deemed Indecent by FCC," takes on censorship.
"The Imagination Environment" to Second City's improvisation
process: "It spits out pop culture. It is searching for the
most popular images that go with the words. That's what we do
on stage when we create our shows. The times when our scenes work
the best is when they take an unexpected turn. That's what makes
improv comedy so interesting."
"People become transfixed. When people first look, they think
it's random. Then they realize it's being guided by what the reporter
is saying. They go, 'Wow!' It's an amplifier. It takes you into
a machine's notion of the world based on what we've created on
graduate student David Shamma designed the exhibit. It's worth
riff on Chicago
founder of Oakbrook Terrace-based Jellifish Inc., a manufacturer
of high-tech guitar accessories, has his eye on the $1.5 billion
guitar-products market. Using Chicago-based high-tech manufacturing
techniques, Hendrickson hopes to transform the industry and enable
guitar players to create richer sounds.
product replaces a traditional guitar pick, issuing more melodious
tones through the welding of small metal strands that wave across
the guitar strings.
using very high-tolerance injection molding and two Nd:YAG lasers
for the welding, fusion and cutting of the sub-assembly,"
says Hendrickson. "Chicago has a unique array of advanced
manufacturing technologies available on an outsourced basis."
drew positive feedback from a standing-room-only crowd at last
week's Monday Morning Meeting, sponsored by the Illinois Coalition,
ARCH Development Partners and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial
sessions, moderated by Tom Churchwell, ARCH Development's managing
partner, offer entrepreneurs a platform for feedback. Other presenters
came from Dan Schramm, president, Topiary Communications, a local
knowledge-management software company, and Krishna Jayaraman,
CEO of Genomics USA Inc., which develops DNA and protein microarray
CEOs and CIOs coexist?
technology marriage counseling is on the agenda Wednesday at the
Mid-America Club. Longtime rental-car-industry CEO William Plamondon,
who led Budget Rent a Car, Alamo Rent a Car and National Car Rental,
joins Dick Smith, his CIO, to talk relationships.
the CIO wants is the most direct linkage to the business,"
says Plamondon, who advocates CIOs reporting to CEOs.
CIOs are major
corporate spenders who don't always deliver the results they promise.
Sparks often fly in these relationships, just like many marriages.
Gartner senior program director Henry May plays the therapist
role. The program is organized by the Society for Information
zuChem raised $500,000 in Series A financing from the Biotechnology
Research and Development Corp., ARCH Development Partners and
a number of angel investors.
created a 26-company nanotech index. It includes four Chicago
companies: Amcol International (Nanocor), Nanophase, BioSante
Pharma, and Cabot Microelectronics.
Michael Krauss is a Chicago-based tech writer and consultant.