Ever since I went to the launch party for Seedwell’s YouTube funded ‘channel’, American Hipster, I have been pretty smitten by their ‘Presents’ series. The intro promises ‘video portraits of American trendsetters’ and the episodes deliver. The show has already toured through many of America’s cities highlighting cool, local artisanal craftmanship. Frankly, I’m surprised that I haven’t written about this until just now. I highly recommend the series and sincerely hope that YouTube didn’t pull their funding.
The episode featured above highlights Marian Built, a furniture-maker from Seattle who creates all of his pieces from rusty reclaimed materials.
As the world around us becomes more and more interactive and we as humans can give instant feedback from our phones (note: the crazy amount of people watching through their phones), performers of all kinds have had to find ways to adapt. One way, as CDZA music has so aptly figured out, is to let the audience be a part of the show. A musical duo (plus a dinosaur) put out tip jars that gave passerby the ability to control the music being played, turning them into a ‘Human Jukebox’ of sorts. Then they let the audience determine how fast or slow the song should be performed. I think this is a pretty awesome way to busk about town. And these guys put on a good show!
This one goes out to everyone who ever wished that Bob Ross wasn’t a middle-aged, happy-go-lucky man with an impressive ‘fro, but was instead an incredibly cynical, lazy, yet still reasonably talented and hilarious lady. Welcome. Welcome to The Art of Painting with Lily Sparks. Just FYI, there are about ten episodes all told, and I further recommend episodes three (which teaches us how to create a surefire eBay success) and nine (which contains nachos).
Johnny Neon ‘Hearts’ from Dave Meinert on Vimeo.
So your friend asks you to take care of his dog for a weekend. Obviously your first thought should be to fashion a camera rig from a old shin guard and a go-pro, shoot a day’s worth of footage of your adventures around Cape Town, and then set it to a Johnny Neon soundtrack, right?
Also, and possibly related, it looks pretty awesome to be a dog.
I’m going to begin with this: what you’re about to watch is running in real-time on a Playstation 3. Normally, that statement is a fanboy signal that this demonstration features graphics impressive enough to also convey doubt at whether or not they’re pre-rendered, Hollywood-style CGI. This time, the reason I’m stating that upfront is because what you’re about to see isn’t a video game, and doesn’t mean to be, but was born from the platform.
The history of storytelling in video games is…checkered. For every Uncharted and Mass Effect series, there are a litany of plots so thinly transparent that they rival the cellophane the game came in. But as with any emerging medium, the art comes from unexpected places. Video games’ own attempts at storytelling led to the birth of Machinima, for instance. A focus on the emotions brought about by gameplay itself birthed games like REZ and Flower. It’s a cycle destined to continue repeating itself that art begets technology which further begets art.
So what you’re about to see is a short story about the future – in so many different ways; the future of storytelling, the future of gaming, the future of machines, and even – potentially – the future of humanity.
I feel I’ve made my love of mashups and remixes abundantly clear by this point, so it should come as no surprise that this week’s post remixes, art, sci-fi, movies, and a healthy dose of the surreal. But here’s another secret: I really love the movie A.I. – I know, I’m maybe the only one, but there’s something about that film that really hit he hard. The questions about the veracity of simulated and/or scripted responses to external stimuli, the inhumanity of humanity, the idea that our evolutionary successors might not be biological but technological – all of these were fascinating ideas to me, and have stuck in my mind every since.
So I’m excited that Pogo, one of the more innovative video remix musicians in the genre, decided to take on the film with a beautiful piece called Davyd. Whether or not you enjoyed the film, there’s a lot worth experiencing here. Pogo really captures a lot of the sweeter aspects of the film, preferring to utilize sounds from the first and third acts almost exclusively, while excluding the darker second act almost entirely.
This is one video best enjoyed via headphones. There’s just so much nuance and musical composition that really comes through with a more isolated soundscape. Either way, it’s a creative new spin on a familiar work of art, and I’m glad to have experienced it.
First of all, do yourself a favor and bump the quality of this video to at least 720p (you can adjust in the youtube player) and if you are feeling really fancy, enjoy in fullscreen HD.
Is your mind blown yet? Mine is. I have never seen a hand-painted music video before and I’m guessing I won’t see many more. The artist, Carine Khalifé, created this video for Young Galaxy‘s latest LP, Shapeshifting. She spent hundreds of hours painting oils onto glass over a light box, then capturing the deeply textured imagery frame by frame. The result of which is stunning, dreamlike movement that is rich in both color and aesthetic.
Personally, I’m more of a freestyle doodler. But, for those of you who like a little structure in your life, I recommend watching this introspective into the patterns and techniques behind the perfect doodle.
Parkour is impressive in a “holy shit that looks cool, why don’t I look like that when I try it?” way that will almost inevitably lead to looking like an idiot.
By complete coincidence, this is also how I feel about drawing. I never had that gift of translating mental images into anything visually cohesive or recognizable aside from “blob,” “squiggle,” and “Personal signature that my bank still calls me to verify almost every month for the past seven years.”
So combine both of those things that I find impressive (and completely impossible) with elements of papercraft, flipbooks, and a giant wall, and I find myself shaking my head, smiling, and hitting “replay.”
The Rocketeer 20th anniversary from John Banana on Vimeo.
I saw The Rocketeer at a drive-in theater with my mom and my little brother when I was ten. It was the only place in Sacramento still showing it, and even though the picture was…well, shitty, and the sound came out of a single speaker hung from the driver’s side window, I loved it. I loved every second of it not because the art design was spot-on perfect, or the costumes would go on to influence a lifetime of steampunk cosplayers, or because it was a love letter to early sci-fi – all of those appreciations came from later viewings by an older Barrett.
I loved it because he could fly. With a jetpack. And I wanted to be him.
20 years later, I don’t know how or why (and frankly don’t care) but France’s Digital Banana has reinvigotated and rekindled that joy with a fanfilm that’s equal parts Rocketeer, Looney Toons, and Pixar. It’s different from the film, but because it comes from a more reverent, more nostalgic place. The true test though, is that like all things awesome, it leaves me wanting more.
So to whomever requires my prayers/phone calls/favors/money, please give me more of this. Because I will watch every moment of it.
Because he can fly. With a jetpack.
And I want to be him.