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100 Days of Something: 100


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Rounding off these 100 days with a Monodraw ASCII banner using the FIGlet isometric1 font.

Ever since I started playing around with the ASCII stuff a few weeks ago I’ve been noticing what seems to be a little renaissance of plain text diagrams. Some examples:

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100 Days of Something: 99

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100 Days of Something: 98

Shortly after posting yesterday’s entry, a tweet by Kai Brach1 got me bookmarking a link:

😩 “Based on history we are due another period of destruction, and based on history all the indicators are that we are entering one.”

The quote is from History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump, an essay by Tobias Stone.2 He’s also followed up that essay with an in-depth response to some of the comments on it.


  1. The upcoming issue of his Offscreen magazine is themed around “taking a closer look at what’s ahead and how we can think meaningfully about the future.” 

  2. The essay has also since been published by the Huffington Post, only there “…what may happen next…” in the title, has been changed to “…What Will Happen Next…” 

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100 Days of Something: 97

Amid all the political reporting and commentary that I’ve been reading in the major newspapers, something that Dave Winer wrote on his blog has stuck with me: That he hoped Trump would “fail and fail big,” in order to “Get this fascist thing out of the American system.”

It seems that humans still have some way to go before they’ve burnt through their base instincts. Hopefully we won’t need to sink too low before we learn.

It’s puzzling that so many seem so willing to allow themselves to be blindly swept along by dramatic claims for easy fixes to complex problems.

The current situations in both Turkey and America have prompted comparisons with Hitler. Jason Kottke, with a nod to Mike Godwin, posted a succinct TED video that takes a look at the processes by which fascism might arise in a democratic society.

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100 Days of Something: 96

On the 30th of July 2000 I took a walk through Alexandra township with one of its residents – the artist Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa. From recordings made over a 24 hour period I put together a 60 minute soundscape documenting a day in the life of the township.

At the time I made a small hand-drawn map of the various locations at which the sound recordings had been made. That was in an era before the advent of Google Maps, and since then I’ve often thought of how our awareness of our surroundings has changed along with the ubiquity of those maps and the satellite imagery they’re based on.

The satellite images, as impressive as they are in their detail, are still taken from some distance, and drones have recently opened up for a birds eye view that’s a little closer to our homes. The photographer Johnny Miller has put together Unequal Scenes – a collection of photographs capturing drones eye views that highlight the stark inequalities of adjacent South African neighbourhoods.1

The contrast between Alexandra and Sandton makes for one of the sets of photographs, and it is precisely that contrast that Bongi set out to draw attention to with an installation at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown back in the year 2000. It was there that I first met her and it was the installation that provided the impetus for the soundscape project.

I’ve been meaning to update the page for A Walk with Bongi through Alex on my site, partly with the addition of some up to date satellite imagery – which is one of the reasons I’ve been taking a closer look at Mapbox. Here’s a satellite view covering the area of my original hand-drawn map.


  1. Unequal Scenes has also been covered by the BoingBoing, The Guardian, and CNN

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100 Days of Something: 95

I’ve been taking a closer look at Mapbox. Although I was able to set up the Spyo BIRD locations fairly easily, taking a look at how to generate static maps, for example, has taken a little more time. Mapbox is a sophisticated platform with incredible possibilities – the downside is that there are many paths to get lost on, especially with the added complexity that comes with distinguishing between the new and classic versions of Mapbox Studio.

The main thing to clarify for myself has been the difference between the ‘Styles’ one can edit in the new web-based Mapbox Studio and the locations and image pop-ups that can be added using the online Mapbox Editor. While the data for those markers can be downloaded as a geoJSON file and then uploaded and added to the ‘Style’ one is working on in Mapbox Studio, that isn’t the place to add pop-ups with text, sound, and images, for example. The edited ‘Style’ forms a base map on top of which interactions such as markers and pop-ups can be added using the Mapbox GL JS or ‘classic’ Mapbox.js JavaScript libraries, when implemented on the web.

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100 Days of Something: 94

An afternoon in Kongens Have, with shadows that reminded me of Seurat’s La Grande Jatte.

We’d gone there to watch a show at the open air Puppet Theatre, currently celebrating their 50th Anniversary, and it was The Wild West that we got to see. The puppet show starts off as a visit to the cinema with the two main characters suddenly finding themselves in the film they are watching. Conceptually a nice idea, but not very engaging as puppet theatre – it struck me how deeply screens have come to dominate our culture. Perhaps I was expecting some kind Punch and Judy interaction with the children, with screams and shouted comments, but each remained on their side of the curtain.

We sauntered off amongst the beautiful trees.

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100 Days of Something: 93

I had the idea to put together a little map of the various locations at which I’ve taken photographs of the Spyo BIRDS on my routes through the city. I’ve used OpenStreetMap before, but it isn’t possible to add multiple locations or images to markers using their web interface. Mapbox, a platform that builds on OpenStreetMaps, turned out to be a wonderful solution. With a little help from one of their tutorials, I’ve easily been able to set up what I had in mind.

Click on a marker to see the photograph for that location, and follow the link to the relevant 100 Days of Something post.

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100 Days of Something: 92

This one seems fairly new.
Painted background fill and sprayed outlines.
On concrete.

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100 Days of Something: 91

As a counterpart to the recreation of analogue electronics using Web Audio, here’s a video demonstrating Acoustic Amplitude Modulation, or rather Electromagnetically Actuated Acoustic Amplitude Modulation Synthesis to be precise. That’s the title of a paper by Herbert Chang and Spencer Topel, both of Bregman Media Labs at Dartmouth College, in which they discuss a “new approach to acoustic amplitude modulation that builds on prior work with electromagnetic augmentation of acoustic instruments.” Details of the paper are summed up in this video.

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