Autonomous Car Trap 001.


The Creators Project has an absolutely fascinating interview with James Bridle, whose current project involves the magical science of fucking up autonomous cars. While this is a fun and intriguing project, Bridle brings up a very good point about just how easy it would be to interfere with those wondrous self-driving cars. Pictured above is a salt trap, blending the legendary magic of yore with modern road/driving signals.

Is it a silly prank, a Pagan ritual, or a genius discovery about the next era of mass transit? In a picture posted to Flickr by artist James Bridle—known for coining the term, “New Aesthetic”—a car is sitting in the middle of a parking lot has been surrounded by a magic salt circle. In the language of road markings, the dotted white lines on the outside say, “Come On In,” but the solid white line on the inside says, “Do Not Cross.” To the car’s built-in cameras, these are indomitable laws of magic: Petrificus Totalus for autonomous automobiles.

Captioned simply, “Autonomous Trap 001,” the scene evokes a world of narratives involving the much-hyped technology of self-driving cars. It could be mischievous hackers disrupting a friend’s self-driving ride home; the police seizing a dissident’s getaway vehicle; highway robbers trapping their prey; witches exorcizing a demon from their hatchback.

Self-driving cars aren’t there yet, but the artist-philosopher-programmer’s thought-provoking photo is a reminder that we’ll have to start thinking about these things soon. If a self-driving car is designed to read the road, what happens when the language of the road is abused by those with nefarious intent?


Now Bridle is trying to build his own self-driving car, and made the sardonic artwork Autonomous Trap 001 in the process. He’s released all the code developed in pursuit of the DIY self-driving car here. We spoke to Bridle to learn more about the circumstances behind this vague photo series and better understand his apprehension and curiosity about the robot chauffeurs of the future.

Creators: What are we looking at here? Can you give me a brief explanation of Autonomous Trap 001?

James Bridle: What you’re looking at is a salt circle, a traditional form of protection—from within or without—in magical practice. In this case it’s being used to arrest an autonomous vehicle—a self-driving car, which relies on machine vision and processing to guide it. By quickly deploying the expected form of road markings—in this case, a No Entry glyph—we can confuse the car’s vision system into believing it’s surrounded by no entry points, and entrap it.

Is this actually an autonomous car, or is it conceptual?

I don’t actually have a self-driving car, unfortunately—I don’t think any have made it to Greece yet, plus the cost issue—but I do have a pretty good understanding of how the things work, having been researching them for a while. And the one in the picture is a research vehicle for building my own. As usual, I’ve got totally carried away in the research, and ended up writing a bunch of my own software, rigging up cameras and building neural networks to reproduce some of the more interesting currents in the field. Like the trap, I wouldn’t entirely trust what I’ve built, but the principles are sound.

Where did you take these pictures?

I made this Trap while training the car on the roads around Mount Parnassus in Central Greece. Parnassus feels like an appropriate location because, as well as being quite spectacular scenery and wonderful to drive and hike around, it’s the home of the Muses in mythology, as well as the site of the Delphic Oracle. The ascent of Mount Parnassus is, in esoteric terms, the journey towards knowledge, and art.

There’s much more at The Creator’s Project!

Attack of the Cyber Octopuses!

Published on Jan 7, 2017

Support it on Kickstarter!…
“Attack of the Cyber Octopuses” is a retro-futuristic cyberpunk short film. The aim is to recreate the look and feel of the Eighties Sci-fi classics, without using CGI nor chroma key.
official website:
making of blog:


Make has an interview about how the Cyber Octopuses were made, which makes for fun and interesting reading!

Oh, White People…

@beeredblackman via Instagram.

@beeredblackman via Instagram.

Really? FFS. I’ll let Michael Harriot at The Root do the talking.

In the latest case of tone-deaf whiteness, a craft-beer lover in Birmingham, Ala., posted the above picture to Instagram.


Some people believe (and by “some people” I mean me) that most white people—and people in general—have tasteless jokes and stereotypes that they are comfortable enough to perpetuate in private or around their friends. But someone went out and brewed a beer, had labels printed up and bottled a beer whose name appropriates a movement meant to save lives. Even worse, some brave retailer looked at all of this and said, “Yeah, I’ll sell it for you.”

Regardless of one’s position on the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is indicative of the reality of toxic privilege that we live in a world where people are comfortable enough to do this unchecked. Ralph Marion is the guy who shared the pic to Instagram on Feb. 15, and to his credit, he thought the name was uncalled for. He explained to Mic:

“They made a parody of a very serious issue,” Marion said, explaining that there are a lot of beers that “sometimes toe the line of being insensitive but are still funny.” …

“I just find this being clueless of the times that we are living in right now and how it could make people feel,” Marion said of the #Black Stouts Matter beer name.


OK, my beloved Caucasians, I will explain it one more time. This time, I’ll say it slowly:

You. Don’t. Get. To. Have. Everything.

I know the conquering, pillaging spirit embedded in many of you won’t allow you to hear this, but there are some things in the world that are off-limits, and this is one of them. There are dead sons and daughters in your jovial little joke. There are 400 years of tears entangled in your cute pun. If you call it anything else, it will taste the same, and if it’s good, people will still buy it. Aren’t those the “free market” principles you so proudly declare?

Or maybe you can just call it white tears, which is what you’d cry if a black person did anything equally offensive.

I’ll add that this is a callous attempt to make money off off other peoples’ grief and misery, while appealing to evil bigots. That does not make you clever, and it certainly doesn’t make you smart. Some white people (you know who you are) are a complete and utter embarrassment. Stop that shit.

Via The Root and MIC.

Looking for Lost Cattle.

Some more of Kestrel’s amazing work: I finished off some tack for someone and got some pics with a new set-up for the background. I’ve set the doll up so he looks like he’s looking for lost cattle here. Will send a couple more of this set, of romal reins, braided headstall, pencil bosal (“bosalito”) with mecate and hanger and spade bit. I’m only showing the bosalito and mecate with hanger, here. The  saddle is totally wrong but it’s the only one finished at present.

I think the background works amazingly well, and serves to highlight such beautiful work. Click for full size!


You can see the hand made sterling silver buckle pretty good in this pic. Also you can see the tassel (the vaqueros call it “la mota”).

You can see the hand made sterling silver buckle pretty good in this pic. Also you can see the tassel (the vaqueros call it “la mota”).

aaaand here you can see all the gear that a vaquero or buckaroo would use. First the young horse is taught to respond to the bosal, then gradually taught to carry the spade bit, while the rider uses first the mecate reins and then gradually starts using the romal reins.

aaaand here you can see all the gear that a vaquero or buckaroo would use. First the young horse is taught to respond to the bosal, then gradually taught to carry the spade bit, while the rider uses first the mecate reins and then gradually starts using the romal reins.

All images © Kestrel, all rights reserved.

Load Bearing Felt.




I find all of this to be wildly attractive, it’s so Geigeresque.

A group of MAarch students from the Bartlett School of Architecture have devised a method of turning felt into load-bearing structures that they hope to build into an fabric pavilion.
The Flextiles project focused on developing a design system using a composite of felt fibres and expandable foam for reinforcement.

Students Noura Mheid, Hameda Janahi, Minzi Jin, Zoukai Huo found inspiration in the traditional craft of felt-making as well as the differential growth patterns found in nature – which is what gives their finished structures their distinctive, seaweed-like curls.

After exploring the load-bearing potential of these structures by crafting them into chairs they could sit on, they finished the project by presenting a fabric wall unit. The unit forms one side of what they hope they can one day extend into a full pavilion.

Their process stands in contrast to most current fabric architecture, which usually features soft fabric attached to a support structure. The Flextiles structures can be soft in some places and hard in others, transitioning smoothly from one to the other.

“Unlike traditional uses of fabric in construction, this technology introduces a new perspective on how to integrate structure into a soft material such as fabric and go beyond the typical disintegration between the draping of fabric onto a completely segregated support,” Mheid told Dezeen.

You can read and see more at Dezeen.

Moisés Hernández.


© Moisés Hernández.

Mexican designer Moisés Hernández’ dipped his Immersed Birds collection in dye to emulate the plumage of tropical fauna. The wooden birds are based on the form and colouring of toucans, hummingbirds and Mexican quetzals – chosen for their bright, contrasting feathers.Hernández used computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) technology to mill soft, continuous wooden shapes that replicate the structure of the birds’ bodies. Exaggerated tubes form tails, while slender spikes make for beaks.

The designer then developed an experimental painting technique that immersed sections of the wood in coloured water. This allowed Hernández to create overlapping and contrasting layers of colour, and play with transparency – leaving the grain of the wood visible beneath the dye.

“This way, the birds acquire a duality where handmade and machine-made complement each other, resulting in three decorative figures,” said the designer, who has exhibited his work around the world.


© Moisés Hernández.

Via Dezeen. Moisés Hernández’ site is full of wonders, oh, have a visit!

Oh. So. Cool.

I want one!


Made for Ikea’s Space10, this is the Growroom, specifically made for cities, it can grow a communities worth of food and herbs. I’m not urban, but I still want one. The best news? Space10 and architects Sine Lindholm and Mads-Ulrik Husum have open sourced this, so anyone can make one.

You can see the specs at two places: one, two.

Transported to Summer.


© C. Ford.

With added bonus of play time, courtesy of Marcus, who sends the best goodies ever. Hydrophilic polymer beads, orange oil, water, and really excellent glassware! I don’t know if the sun will cooperate, it’s sunny and remarkably warm today, but it’s supposed to be snowing by Odin’s day. Oh, where’s the virtue in patience? Off to play!


Posting about incense yesterday reminded me of two old Vantine Incense tins I have. They both had a bit of incense still in them, and it still smelled fine. There’s still a bit of the Wisteria left, but it’s all crumbled.



© C. Ford.

The back of the temple incense reads:

To scent the house with the fragrance of Vantine’s Temple Incense, place a burner in the reception hall. The fumes will quickly pervade the upper rooms with a delightfully soothing Oriental fragrance. Temple Incense may also be used to scent the contents of the wardrobe. To do this, place the burner in the center of the floor of the wardrobe. Do not allow the clothes in the wardrobe to come in contact with the burner.

Vantine’s Temple Incense adds greatly to the fascination and coziness of the open fire place when a handful is scattered over the glowing embers. The fragrance of the incense blends delightfully with the pungency of burning wood.

In using Temple Incense on the veranda, on the lawn, or outdoors otherwise, use several burners in order to secure the desired degree of fragrance.

Cones come in six fragrances: Pine, Wisteria, Sandalwood, Rose, Violet, and Jasmin and the three superior odors, Orange Blossom, Lilac, and Narcissus.

Very much a different time. A. A. Vantine & Co. is mostly forgotten today, except by collectors, but it was a highly successful business, and when it came to incense tins and burners, they had the best. I’d love to have a huge collection of the incense tins, but they are not easy to come by. I was lucky in finding these, the store owner didn’t seem to know or care about their value.