Jim Leonard’s (aka Trixter) 8088 Domination, a PC demo that makes use of some neat tricks to display fullscreen color video on a 1981 IBM PC. Keeping in mind that these thirty-three year old machines are orders of magnitude less powerful than today’s electronics, you can see how today’s software is incredibly bloated stuff built atop piles upon piles of abstraction.

If three decades later someone can figure out how to display video using a modest early model PC, what kind of applications will someone build, three decades hence, extracting every bit of capability from today’s computers bare metal?

The curtains are drawn. Some light comes through, casting a small glow on the top left of the air conditioner. It’s daytime. The wall is an undecorated slab of beige. That is the American room.

The American Room is a terrific article in which Paul Ford presents an analysis of US homes and suburbs starting from a study of the rooms found in the background of so many YouTube videos.

I can’t quite place it but I once heard someone claiming that one of the world’s biggest libraries of pornographic film belonged to this US university’s Furniture Design department, allegedly because porn would be a reliable historical record of cheap furniture — a bit like this blog [probably sued out of existence by IKEA’s lawyers hence the Buzzfeed link]. (I tried to search for the library but I found it ungoogleable.)

Reading The American Room also reminds me of Dutch artist Martijn Hendricks' works, such as the This is Where We’ll Do It series in which he removes elements from the foreground of YouTube videos.

Wallpeople is an ephemeral collaborative art project that takes place simultaneously on a number of cities worldwide. Here in Porto the June 7th event happened downtown at Rua das Flores, and I was there to film it.

A small important tweak

I've been rather neglectful of my website lately, to the point where its homepage consisted only of automated backups of my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Which would be okay if all I cared about was that the site somehow got updated, but instead I actually started to find it grating, as if I just came home and found the living room machine-efficiently reorganized by a swarm of those vaccuum cleaner robots: sofa propped up tall in order to minimize its footprint, my record collection used as floor tiling, books as a huge Christmas tree-like pile for easier retrieval or burning. 

The thing is, when you aggregate (or, euphemistically, 'machine curate') too much, your voice is lost. I came to check on my site and realized how 'spammy' it looked. Ugh. So I made one important tweak: this site now defaults to a Weblog (remember those?) page stripped of all automation, so I actually had something of a more active role in getting it there ('active' meaning that I run a script that syncs my latest Tumblr post, but still). The ugly automated but useful (at least for me) Aggregator of Nearly Everything Worth Saving to My Own Server still lives at the Stream, where the Weblog may drown under a — well, a stream of stuff I write, share or photograph on my phone while unaware of the aesthetic consequences for my own website.

Reza Farazmand’s Poorly Drawn Lines is my absolute favourite webcomic at the moment. Here’s a very tiny sample of its brilliance.

My friend and videography partner Joana Vieira da Costa recently spent a few weeks in Beijing. Here’s a video she shot while there, using exclusively a ‘nifty fifty’ 50mm portrait lens.

I had no idea the Chinese (or at least the citizens of Beijing) had a sense of public space similar to the Spaniards. Just look at how they make themselves at home in the streets a night: we Portuguese could learn a thing or two.