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Which clippings match 'Mechanical Bird' keyword pg.1 of 1
13 OCTOBER 2015

Calculating Ada The Countess of Computers

"Ada Lovelace was a most unlikely computer pioneer. In this film, Dr Hannah Fry tells the story of Ada's remarkable life. Born in the early 19th century Ada was a countess of the realm, a scandalous socialite and an 'enchantress of numbers'. The film is an enthralling tale of how a life infused with brilliance, but blighted by illness and gambling addiction, helped give rise to the modern era of computing.

Hannah traces Ada's unlikely union with the father of computers, Charles Babbage. Babbage designed the world's first steam-powered computers - most famously the analytical engine - but it was Ada who realised the full potential of these new machines. During her own lifetime Ada was most famous for being the daughter of romantic poet Lord Byron ('mad, bad and dangerous to know'). It was only with the advent of modern computing that Ada's understanding of their flexibility and power (that they could be far more than mere number crunchers) was recognised as truly visionary. Hannah explores how Ada's unique inheritance - poetic imagination and rational logic - made her the ideal prophet of the digital age."

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19th century • Ada Lovelace • analytical engine • BBC Fourcalculator • Charles Babbage • computer age • computer pioneer • computing history • countess • difference engine • difference equations • differential equations • finite-difference methods (FDM) • flexibility and power • Hannah Fry • history of computation • history of computingJacquard loom • Lord Byron • mechanical bird • modern computing • number crunching • numerical methods • pioneering womenpioneers in computer science • poetic imagination • poetical science • punch cards • rational logic • scientific age • steam-powered computer • thinking machines • Victorian engineering • visionarywomen in technologywomen programmers

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 OCTOBER 2009

e. Menura Superba: interactive lyre bird

"e. Menura Supurba is an interactive artwork. It explores the paradox between our fascination with the exotic, and our potentially dystopic future devoid of many animal species. The work hybridises seventeenth to early twentieth century aesthetics with refined post consumer waste materials, to create a simulacra of a lyre bird. ...

Individual lyre bird's have been documented making sounds such as camera shutters, flute and piano melodies, even chain saws. This repertoire has value beyond mere curiosity. It is also an interesting gauge of our acoustic environment as it mimics sound pollution – an often overlooked interaction between humanity and the natural world. ...

Once e. Menura Superba has attracted an audience, it shows it's repertoire of plumage colours, recorded from previous encounters with other people. If it recognizes a face, it studies the person's clothes. If the colours are of interest, or the person pays a lot of attention to the sculpture, it will remember the clothing colours, for inclusion in his next display when new people attracted by it's call. Over time, the sculpture develops a repertoire of calls and plumage colours, derived from audience interaction."

(Gavin Sade and Priscilla Bracks, 2009)

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2009Australiaautomatabird • e. Menura Supurba • exoticGavin Sadeglowinginteraction designinteractiveinteractive artworkISEA • ISEA2009 • lyre bird • mechanical birdPriscilla Brackssculpturesimulacra

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 MARCH 2005

Al-Jazari: Ludic Interactions

"an alternative notion of automation emphasizing the oft–neglected affective dimensions of interactions with machines. Many of al–Jazari's machines were preoccupied with providing visual and highly visceral experiences that were both playful and speculative. It is suggested that the ludic dimensions and, what I call, ‘automotive pleasures', of the machinic and automated experiences elicited by al–Jazari's machines have been historically displaced by the increasing constitution of machines as labour–substitutive, instrumental and culturally neutral contraptions."

(Gunalan Nadarajan)

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African culture • Al-Jazari • Asian elephant • automation • automaton • automotive pleasures • ball • bucket • Chinese culture • clockcontraption • cuckoo clock • dragon • Egyptian culture • elephant • elephant clock • engineerengineeringGreek culture • Gunalan Nadarajan • howdah • humanoid automaton • Indian culture • interactionIslamIslamic cultureludicludic interventionmachine • mahout • mechanical birdmechanical innovationmedieval invention • multiculturalism represented in technology • passage of time • phoenix • play • see-saw mechanism • serpentsnakespeculative design • timing mechanism • tower • turban • Turkey • water clock • water-filled bucket • weight powered water clock
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