Dynamicland and the Whimsical Digital Object

Olivia Kan-Sperling at Cabinet Magazine:

Six hours’ drive north of Disneyland, a building in downtown Oakland houses a kind of computer scientist’s version of the storied children’s amusement park. Its digital magic is of a less spectacular flavor, though; while Hollywood dreams of technofuturia in the style of vapory holograms, and Elon Musk promises to launch us skyward in machines of the old-school brushed-steel-and-silver variety, “Dynamicland” is composed of more modest materials. It’s neither VR, nor AR—just R. Like the early computers of the 1940s, Dynamicland is a computer the size of a room, but without the typical trappings of digital hi-tech. Post-its, magic markers, scissors, and staplers are the primary technologies programmers work with here, augmented by projections cast onto paper and tables. The room looks like a typical co-working space: bright couches, Ikea-hued tables, whiteboards. But the computer, here, is the room; its “smart” ceilings are embedded with cameras that process the visual data that constitute Dynamicland’s computer programs.

more here.