Seven Magic Mountains: Neon Bright Land Art

7 Magic Mountains Haiku

7 Magic Mountains Haiku

Seven (Photo)Magic Mountains

Seven (Photo)Magic Mountains

Nevada Museum of Art's large scale land art exhibit: Seven Magic Mountains appears in the southern Nevada desert like a mirage. Located 7 miles outside of Las Vegas this neon colored mutated Stonehenge is an expression of the dynamic of duality that its creator, Ugo Rondinone, says drives his work. The work is not Las Vegas but like a stone mirror it reflects Las Vegas: the bright day-glow paints mirror neon lights, it's stones which are piled up,constructed by men over time mirrors the story of Las Vegas rising up over time, changing the light, in middle of the desert. This is the form of the art but the message maybe in the mirage,in the symbols. The number of mountains is the symbol 7. The artist has chosen 7, a number of luck and success at the Las Vegas games and tables. Is this art of rising bright stones a charm in the desert?–a magic construction? The artist refers to hoodoos as the ‘model' for his structure. Hoodoos are naturally occurring geologic structures but hoodoo is also a type of magic. Magic, luck, gambling are a part of life, a part of art–especially in Las Vegas. But life is a series of gambles with results representing existential values: wins and losses on a local, personal level. Gambling extends the possible impact of events, it adds a meta-value to outcomes that might not have had value to a non-local observer. This art has its perceptual value to the local observer, but this land art extends and adds a perceptual value across the desert.


If you'd like to see a video of the the artist discussing this work visit UR's video. If you're in the Las Vegas area check out the exhibit, it runs through May 2018.

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Earth in Blue Shift


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Chess, Poker players–Pawns versus AI?

Ex Machina
Ex Machina: Sonoya Mizuno

The UK Gambling Commission has recently undertaken a review of regulations regarding the use of AI poker bots and poker ‘help' software (…this coming a few weeks after Pokerstars revealed that it identified players using poker bots to win over a million dollars from players on its site(  Chess, the other game of skill where money at the elite level can be substantial and where AI software far outdistances even the best players, has had its share of cheating scandals( The question is when it matters, who or what is insuring that the players of these games are not merely pawns facing juggernaut AIs? Obviously regulators and operators are interested in keeping games fair and maintaining integrity but there are many others who are not…this is becoming another spy v. spy game of white hat regulators and black hat cheaters. This will evolve and white hats will gain the upper hand or regular players will quit the game…leaving the bots to face each other.
This has implication for the trends in casino gaming where some are pushing for more skills based elements to new games. What will operators and regulators do to insure new bots and software don't spring up to “win” these games? Even without exposure to technology how will the question of payouts be dealt with. What are true odds against players who can increase their skill? What if this type of game filters out all the casual players and leaves the experts and cheaters playing? Like prop bets there appears to be an endless resource of games or potential games that could be unleashed under the skills umbrella and this is exciting but caution and careful analysis of these and other issues are warranted in light of the current issues in chess and poker.
Please let me know what you think of the current issues and future games and or experiences with games.

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Is this the future of gaming?

And if it is how long will it be before regulated gaming adopts some new interfaces? Of course movement in gambling games is slow due to regulatory approvals but with the introduction of Wii eons ago all new interfaces have come and gone and gambling games haven’t got past touch screens. Let me know if there are any jurisdictions doing anything innovative or cool.

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