The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED

An all-access, backstage pass to the hottest gathering in the world, (WIRED Magazine) THE FUTURE WE WILL CREATE is an exhilarating behind-the-scenes tour of this stimulating and paradigm-shifting meeting of the minds, an annual conference where theoretical physicists, 11-year-old violin prodigies, and venture capitalists present and exchange bold new ideas that will change everything. A veritable Cirque du Soleil of the psyche, TED (Technology Entertainment Design) brings the talent, energy, and collective spirit of the planet s top doers and thinkers together to plot a better future.

Directed and narrated by actress Daphne Zuniga, this intellectually-charged film captures the best of TED 2006, including mind-blowing appearances by former Vice President Al Gore, Dr. Larry Brilliant, the man who led the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox, Nicholas Negroponte, a computer scientist with plans to put a $100 laptop into the hands of students in the developing world, the founders of Google, and many more inspired and inspiring TEDsters.

The future is now in THE FUTURE WE WILL CREATE: INSIDE THE WORLD OF TED. This entertaining and thought-provoking film will change the way you look at yourself and at the world.

Get yourself a musical robotic exoskeleton

Here’s an interesting art / performance project byMaywa Denki. Based on the simple remotely-triggered servo action of “knockers” (not in the sleezy sense)–which are direct percussive controllers that can be used to pound on various things including boxes, pipes, and guitar strings. In the above video, these knocker modules are employed to make a switch-based drum-machine-like instrument that you assign a sequence of remote knockers to, and then control the playback speed manually with a crank. It has the surreal effect of being a very nerdy guitar, with the thrashing accomplished via said crank.

Seeing as performative elements are key in this particular project, the “Wings” project shown about a bit past half way is more showy than useful, with the musician sporting spreading mechanical “wings” with knocker modules that hit hollow wooden balls that can be played via controllers on the fingers.

The video is particularly amusing in its Devo-esque tongue-in-cheek humor during the actual demonstrations, as well as the inclusion of vintage educational filmstrip dings to demarcate a new instrument being showcased. While having a direct, realtime controller of percussive sounds created remotely may be interesting for its novelty / humor value, so much more can be done in the field of musical interfaces that this sort of thing just begs to be improved upon. However, the vision and sheer performative nature of these instruments is inspiring to all who focus on creating innovative interfaces for music creation.