One of my first introductions to the practice of expressing culture through the medium of technology was through Deeplocal. Though I've been interested in their work for a little while now (and curious about how the idea factory over there really works), a project that struck a variety of cords with me is their "Old Navy Selfiebration Machine". The questions this project indirectly asks about the homogeneity of screens in contemporary culture and the projections it makes about new mediums of interactions with technology make this project stand out for me. Beyond that, it does all of this while still maintaining a certain punchiness that's attention-grabbing in a rather ludicrous fashion.
As someone who's trained as an architect, any new medium of interfacing with computation that is physical in nature is always interesting to me. Which is what makes this radical questioning of what a "pixel" means for computation, executed in such a non-conventional method is deeply fascinating.
To briefly describe this project, it is a grid of inflatable balloons connected to Twitter, where people can post their selfies, which then get rasterized and displayed through this inflatable balloon grid. (The video below explains it in a little more depth) . Knowing Deeplocal's project cycle, it's most likely that this was done in a timeframe between 2 weeks and a month, with a team of 5-10 engineers and designers working on it.
From my knowledge of how they work, I'd say Deeplocal probably developed custom hardware (pneumatic systems, circuit boards etc) for this installation, and used some form of either C or C++ to program this system (though I am unsure how they linked it to Twitter).
The potential something like this holds in my mind is enormous. I hate the homogeneity of the screen-based interface of technology, and I envision a world where technology operates around us in a very real and physical manner. This project for me is both a provocation and a beginning of that idea(again, this also just might be because of my architecture background). I yearn to experiment and play in that place where the material world interfaces with technology.