Frank Chu stopped by the San Francisco Apple Store for the iPhone launch. Here’s what he had to say about the current state of events.
Tonight, there is an event at The Lab celebrating SRL‘s 25th year of freaking people out with mechanized mayhem for the fuck of it. I remember 1999 like it was tomorrow. Tokyo was an amazing experience I’ll never forget. 17 days of setup, working like 16-18 hours a day, all for a show that lasted not even an hour. Fuck, it was all worth it! That was the year we had machines hooked up to wifi and controlled them over the Internet in real-time (minus a few seconds). V.Vale & RE/Search is hosting this, Matt Gonzalez is gonna say nice things about radical SF art and Mark Pauline will tell funny stories about things you’re really not supposed to do. Karen, Eric Paulos & I get to be mini-interviewed about SRL hi-tech weirdness. There will be tons of amazingly blown up photos of SRL shows over the years. Come check out the mayhem! The Lab @ 7pm. 16th & Mission, SF.
I’m not a big baseball fan, but my friend Jay got a handful of free tix to tonight’s Giants game against the Padres. The advantage of a having a friend who is gainfully employed by a corporate advertising whore is the free shit he occasionally is constantly peppered with. I hadn’t been to a game in PacBell park in quite awhile, and was a little surprised by the $5 hotdogs and $8 beers. Word to the wise, you can get Guiness now and it’s the same $8 as domestic pisswater. I guess gouging the populance is about as American as an institution can get. So is sneeking beers into the stadium. I digress, the worthy moment of the evening was when Barry Bonds hit his 666th homerun. Wow. I’m not big on numerology, but I know more than a few friends who will find special significance in this. I only wish I was armed with my camera to capture the moment the giant 666 flashed on the scoreboard. I was half-expecting Beelzebub himself to come crawling out of the bay and hurl fireballs everywhere. Instead, we just got rain.
Music for America is a rad community site that is aiming to get over 1 million new progressive voters into the mix this year. They recognize a simple truth, music is political. Music for America makes it easier for bands to organize tours, get volunteers for shows, promote positive social change and energize new people into owning a stake in their future. There’s tons of shows coming up and many opportunities to see free shows for volunteering to work shows. Most likely there’s stuff in your town.
This town rawks! I take it for granted some times, but San Francisco really is the center of the universe. Those who don’t live here, just don’t realize it. Friday night, Marc tipped me off to a VIP reception shmoozie thing for Wired magazine’s NextFest event. Jedi mind tricked my way in and immediately was greeted with a martini. Wandered around amongst the futurist tech, taking in the shiny sites and think to myself how this all reminded me of dot-com irrational exuberance. I remember fondly the days of weekly launch parties greased with free flowing alcohol and endless hype. Thanks for the memories, Wired!
The next day, I returned to NextFest to take in most of what I had missed the night before. Unfortunately, the mass of humanity flooding the hall made it next to impossible to get a good look at anything clearly. The demo for ASIMO was impossible as everyone and their kids wanted in to see the humanoid robot walk up and down stairs. I queued up for the robotics panel discussion after, which was moderately interesting despite the obvious shilling for robotic products made by the moderator Colin Angle’s company. Stories of war profiteering by this same moderator by his same company elicited several boos from the audience. The most interesting points were brought up by Rodney Brooks director of MIT’s CS and AI lab and Ken Goldberg, professor and researcher at UC Berkeley. Brooks said that the Jetsonian dream of Rosie the robot is still at least 20-25 years off. Goldberg was the only panelist to give props to robotics as an art form, rather than pure market commodification as others seemed pre-occupied with.
Other highlights of NextFest were this 3D printer which I witnessed creating skulls, the K-bot which is a robotic head that emulates human facial expressions, the Moller Skycar and the directed sound of HyperSonic Sound technology.
Later that night was the Cloud Factory Design Collective’s 6th annual fashion show. Fucking amazing! Ravers can make hella cool threads and show them off in the most creative of ways. More on this once some pix become available. Like I said, this town rawks!