“In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is–as it physically is… In order to use color effectively it is necessary to recognize that color deceives continually.

— Josef Albers, “the Interaction of Color”

I was recently faced with the challenge of creating a web experience that allows users to find a unique color–their color–in an interesting way. Short of reading the user’s mind or resorting to a BuzzFeed-style survey, this requires the user to provide some kind of visual input. Given the amount of visual information many people share online (one study estimates that 350…


Nomenclature in technology and the clunky “Internet of Things”

Eric Packer, the protagonist of Don DeLillo’s novel Cosmopolis, spends a lot of time thinking about the future. The fictional 28-year-old billionaire asset manager lives in perpetual anticipation of how markets will react in the coming seconds. As someone who concerns himself almost entirely with the flow of information, he is particularly rankled by the names of things he finds to be anachronistic.

“He was thinking about automated teller machines. The term was aged and burdened by its own historical memory. It worked at cross-purposes, unable to escape the inference of…


‘Her’ and the Singularity

“I am lonely and bored; please keep me company.”

If your computer displayed this message on its screen, would you be convinced that your notebook is conscious and has feelings? Ray Kurzweil poses this question in the Age of Spiritual Machines, one of his many texts on the Singularity– a speculative future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed.

In the Spike Jonze film Her, we are presented with an image of the near future in which an operating system may not only make…

Andrew Bowles

I’m a software engineer at R/GA in Los Angeles. I write about art and technology.

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