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REALLY FAST SYNDICATION

RFS: APPROACHING THE LIMIT OF HUMAN BANDWIDTH

Really Fast Syndication (RFS) is an RSS aggregator on steroids, designed to poke fun at the information age by transforming your web browser into a vomitorium of fast-flowing, regurgitated bits. Mmmmm! MORE INFORMATION PLEASE!

sandwich The RFS Reader will retrieve digitally syndicated content like a speed-reading lesson that is too fast. This application will expose the absurdities that inherently lie with Web 2.0 hyperconnection - and try and exceed the theoretical limit for human information processing. Inevitably some users will struggle to consume the vast quantities of information despite all odds, while others may sit back and enjoy the storm.

More, Better, Faster

RSS feeds are a form of digital syndication allowing content providers to broadcast their latest web content. RSS aggregators allow a user to subscribe to and aggregate multiple RSS feeds, displaying the latest content from all of the feeds in one stream. This system, of RSS feeds pushing fresh content out to the web, and the RSS aggregators pulling in the feeds, create an efficient and user-friendly means for individuals to navigate through the infinite pile of virtual junk in cyberspace. RSS feeds are generated by news sites, bloggers, Facebook users, Twitter users, and virtually every website that produces new content on a regular basis.

However, the rate of fresh content produced on the web far exceeds the ability of any individual to consume it all. And the more relevant the content, the more the user will try and consume it all, despite the inability to do so. The inevitable result is unhappiness, because the user's thirst for fresh content will never be satiated. Twitter, a popular microblogging site, has increased from 475,000 unique visitors last year to over 7 million this year. Since the site follows the same push-pull model of RSS feeds, it provides concrete evidence of an ever increasing desire for fresh content. Additionally, more and more people are receiving stocks, news, emails, texts, and twitter updates from their cell phones, showing an increased desire to be constantly connected to a stream of up-to-the-minute information.

Give the people what they want!

We will design a new web tool called The RFS Reader. This web application will attempt to retrieve digitally syndicated content but display it all at a much more impressive rate and in an intentionally overwhelming fashion. Like a speed-reading lesson that is too fast, The RFS Reader will spout out more stimuli than the human mind is able to absorb. At very fast speeds there will be a "persistence of information," analogous to the "persistence of vision" phenomenon. This application will expose the absurdities that inherently lie with Web 2.0 hyperconnection - and try and exceed the theoretical limit for human information processing. Inevitably some users will see it as a cruel joke, while others may sit back and enjoy the storm.

The application will have a sleek and attractive design, not dissimilar to many Web 2.0 interfaces, which will provide the illusion of human accessibility. The goal is to provide the most possible information on the page per second. We will accomplish this by exhibiting the information in interesting ways such as multiple marquees moving in opposite directions, varying images that flicker on the screen, audio that plays and then stops or overlays, and scrolling bars of text. There will be a slider to control the rate of feeds displayed to the user, ranging from Pretty Darn Fast to BLAZIN'.

TIMELINE & BUDGET

TIMELINE

  1. July 1, 2009 Register domain and purchase web hosting.
  2. July 2, 2009 - October 1, 2009 Create wireframes and photoshop mockups to develop look and feel of the site.
  3. October 2, 2009 - December 1, 2009 In-person collaboration; develop backend RSS feed aggregator script to pull in multiple RSS feeds.
  4. December 2, 2009 - January 5, 2010 Front end development: HTML/CSS rendering of mockups and visuals.
  5. January 6, 2010 - February 5, 2010 Attach the backend script to the frontend visuals.
  6. February 6, 2010 - March 5, 2010 Final bug testing and site deployment.
a. Register domain and purchase web hosting.

On July 1, the initial phase of development begins. The web domain, hosting, and other necessary fundamentals will be secured and configured. Because of the high amount of data flow we anticipate as we aggregate the RSS feeds, we will invest $500 for high bandwidth webhosting and a $10 fee to register the domain address. The high bandwidth hosting will allow us to stream content at an optimal rate for web visitors, and ensure the website does not crash due to bandwidth overages.

b. Create wireframes and photoshop mockups to develop look and feel of the site.

For a three month period directly following our first purchase we will begin design of the interface. This period of work will require funding for prototyping and travel. We hope to collaborate in person, one meeting in Chicago and one in New York. A total of $1200 will be aside for all travel expenses.

c. In-person collaboration; develop backend RSS feed aggregator script.

The next two month block will be for developing the backend feed aggregator script to pull in multiple RSS feeds from the web. We will experiment with different pre-existing models and new models in order to achieve this goal. The script will be written in PHP, a server-side scripting language, and will most likely utilize an XML feed parser.

d. Front end development: HTML/CSS rendering of mockups and visuals.

The following month will be devoted to the front end development of the interface. This will include translating the Photoshop mockups and wireframes into HTML and CSS. The interface will also utilize javascript for user interaction and for real-time AJAX asynchronous updates from the PHP script.

e. Attach the backend script to the frontend visuals.

January and February will be used to attach the PHP backend aggregating script to the frontend interface. This phase will integrate the javascript code to constantly request new data from the backend script. The result will be a constant stream of feeds to the website visitor. Bug testing and code optimization will also happen during this phase.

f. Final bug testing and site deployment.

Our final month working on the project will be devoted to squashing the remaining bugs and deploying the finished website. We are setting the total cost of website development at $2000. And finally, our artist fee is $1200.

BUDGET

Domain Name Reservation$10
High Bandwidth Web Hosting$500
Travel Expenses$1200
Web Development$2000
Artist Fees$1200
TOTAL$4910

CURRICULUM VITAE(s)

Eric Laska is a New York based artist working in the realms of sound and digital media. He is the co-founder of the rar record label as well as an original member of the internet collective Double Happiness. CV

Farsheed Hamidi-Toosi is a Chicago based musician and webdeveloper. He started the Art & Music group for Drupal, a popular open-source content management system. He is also co-founder of Soapbox Music, which aims to provide affordable rehearsal, recording, and performance space for musicians living in Chicago. CV

WORK SAMPLES

ERIC LASKA

://installations with Double Happiness

Images from Touch Not My Anointed installation at vertexList 09/13-10/12/08

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The scatter-orgy successfully translates the maxed-out, unrepressed, multiple-overlapping-media vibe of the group's blog. Taste and restraint are concepts they have no use for, making them the most lifelike of the surf clubs. -Tom Moody

Images from Party Tray Plus installation at Video Gallery 01/10/09

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(l-r) hummus, thousand island, ranch, sriracha, mayo, bbq, mustard, ketchup, cheez wiz, salsa verde, vinegar, italian

://independent sound work

Basilect of a Tunnel composition for 5.1 surround sound

bas·i·lect (bs-lkt) n. The variety of speech that is most remote from the prestige variety, especially in an area where a creole is spoken.

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Ruez cdr

Laska presents to us an idiosyncratic electronic music hyper-collage, three years worth of collected samples meticulously amalgamated into this 15 and a half minute offering: the oscillations of corrupted MP3 files, scrambling synthesizers, urban field recordings, chirping feedback electronics. With great sensitivity to dynamics and narrative, this disc guides the listener through five pieces that do not fit into any established subgenre as they gleefully offer a version of the electronic music world turned upside down.

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FARSHEED HAMIDI-TOOSI

://Picsounds

PICSOUND Homepage

The Picsound project is an ongoing online project attempting to combine pictures with short loops of sound and music, in order to capture a moment in time. Similar to sushi, these bite sized audio-visual postcards pack a punch and often involve collaborators.

picsound picsound picsound picsound picsound picsound picsound

://Hipshooter EP

Hipshooter EP

The Hipshooter EP is a music project that combines rawkus 8-bit sounds and John Wayne samples, lampooning the cartoonish and anti-futuristic sentiments of Bush era conservatism.

cowboy