Websockets and LEDs, controlling from my laptop and iPad browsers

Hacking Journalism covered in the Guardian

Hacking Journalism, an event I threw at the Media Lab, was covered in the Guardian Developer blog.

Guardian Developer Blog: Hacking Journalism at the Media Lab

Excited to see that it is gaining momentum and notice from one of the leading news companies.  They’re certainly setting an example of exceptional journalism exploring new technologies. 

Hacking Journalism was a great success in bringing coders and writers together to formulate hopeful, original and sometimes funny visions of what tomorrow’s journalism could be.”

They also refer to me as “the ever exceptionally groomed Kawandeep Virdee”. ^_^

enabling automatic updates for wordpress on digital ocean

I’ve spent the last few days migrating my site which was down for a bit.  I set it up on Digital Ocean, which has tons of tutorials to guide you through the ops process.  The hardest part so far was getting the updates to work automatically on wordpress. This tutorial is very helpful:

wordpress secure updates on ubuntu - digital ocean

 I was still getting the error ‘Public and Private keys incorrect for user’, and I kept trying different things around permissions.  I tail’d auth.log and saw that my user was not allowed to ssh in, even though I added it to AllowUsers in the ssh config.  I came across this question:

ssh allow users - stack exchange

There I saw the option to restart the ssh server. After doing that and refreshing the update page on my wordpress everything worked great.

opening up Hack the Art World

Hack the Art World is an initiative that is a response to Google’s DevArt and the Barbican show Digital Revolution. I’m really excited about the Barbican show, if I could I would certainly visit London to check out the show.  See a preview here: 

Digital Revolution Trailer

Hack the Art World features works by several artists whose medium is the web or code, but the works can only be seen in the vicinity of the Barbican. It is hacking into the gallery show virtually, and contains an open letter to the Google founders and to the wider art world. 

Open Letter from Hack The Art World

Art made with code and computers has been around since the 1950s. There is no need to define it as DevArt, and market it as something shiny and new.



However, we can’t afford to work on a piece of art for two months, only not to get the commission in the end. We have to pay the rent, and eat once in a while too. That’s why we didn’t enter the DevArt competition.



Even though digital art has been around for some time now, the art world still treats it like something irrelevant. Some even say it doesn’t have a place in galleries or museums. The art world is still stuck in an era of paintings and sculptures. It’s time to disrupt.

The site is geofenced, so if you’re not by the Barbican, you can’t see the work. Introducing work into the virtual space of the Barbican to critique Google and the art world is a compelling statement, but it is the audience that loses out.  Finally there is work that is ‘part of the show’ and on a medium accessible to the wider public- the internet- yet it is being limited to make a statement, at the loss of that wider public. 

You could go on twitter and easily find people script injecting the site or simulating coordinates to see the art- but that’s inaccessible to a non-technical art public. So in response I mirror the exhibit and opened it up, making sure to link back to the original site and be respectful.

Exhibition | Hack the Art World

In the process I thought about creating a form submission to allow other artists to submit works, to allow the show to become something growing and showcasing a whole community of digital artists. Perhaps in the future- a virtual gallery showcasing works of the open web. 

Digital Revolution