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Tycho, See, Kinect, Light

October 13, 2014

Anyone who knows me well will be familiar with my love of music and art, and my particular fondness for mediums where the two intersect. One such example is the music video. Music videos have been around for longer than I have been alive, and the ones that have lingered the longest in my memory have been those that are incredible story tellers or are stunning works of art themselves.

The use of light in Tycho’s music video for “See” is hands down the most innovative one I’ve seen in a very, very, very long time. How does it work? Director Bradley Munkowitz uses a full-spectrum camera to capture the band playing in a pitch-dark room as they are bathed in infrared light emitted from the Microsoft Kinect. The result? A stunning visual treat of dew-like movement which Munkowitz describes on his Vimeo page as “fields of bokeh and shimmering discs [revealing] multiple layers of shape and form”.

See for yourself:

Reverie Roundup: Food Edition I

October 9, 2014

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 Reverie Roundup is an ongoing series curating quality ideas in quality writing. Some are long form, some are short form, some are just pure fun!

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To take into account during y’alls’ food-filled Thanksgiving:

– Camel milk. Yes, it’s a thing. (And apparently quite tasty!)

Juice cleanses: not actually cleansing after all. (Eat whole fruits; treat juice – aka liquid sugar – as a treat.)

– Don’t remain unaware of what an apple should express. Boycott the Red (Un)Delicious! (“But as genes for beauty were favoured over those for taste, the skins grew tough and bitter around mushy, sugar-soaked flesh.” )

Red Bull is just soda. (but with taurine & B-vitamins!)

 

 

Essence of the Night Drive

September 23, 2014

There are two types of people in this world: those who love watching the world speed by, and those who don’t. I for one, was born the former. A lifelong airplane window seat-er, shameless people watcher, and eternal road trip keener, there is just something so inherently calming and mesmerizing about steady, continuous movement. Perhaps voluntary hypnotism lies at the core of all beauty.

What I love most about all of these experiences is the inescapable wonder of life that comes and goes in your field of vision. In the perpetual forward motion of both time and space, you are simultaneously an actor and a spectator. The sensation of temporary stillness and suspension, even in all its falseness, is an opportunity for reorientation and re-inspiration before stepping back into the flow.

In this video, Japanese filmmaker Hiroshi Kondo expresses the night drive at a whole other sensory level. What is usually a surface experience, Kondo distills instead to its essence of light, sound, and movement. Hypnosis it is, and a refreshing one at that.

Objects of Convenient & Inconvenient Design

July 16, 2014

 

“The Uncomfortable is a collection of deliberately inconvenient everyday objects, by Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani.”

When was the last time you thought deeply about an everyday item? If you’re like most, everyday objects are, well, everyday objects! They’re ubiquitous. They exist predominately to function. They provide utility during key moments as you go about your day, and fade smoothly into the background upon the temporary completion of their duties. They are best personified as recipients of the Best Supporting Actor award: regulars who can steal the scene when duty calls and are indispensable to others’ journeys of advancement, yet are never the focal point in the grand scheme of things.

This is why the Atlantic‘s Object Lessons is one of my favourite essay series. In it, the backstories of everyday things (either ordinary or on the quirky side) are dived into with a relish and an attention to detail they’re rarely afforded. From shower curtains, ice buckets, and brothel tokens, to light switches, shipping containers, and poems, there is much in the world to think and learn about once you get started down the rabbit hole.

What I love most about everyday objects is the sheer brilliance packaged in their unassuming design. As The Uncomfortable design series demonstrates, slight tweaks to what makes these objects work so well can wreak havoc on their basic functionality and render them utterly useless. So, the next time you reach for that doorknob, thank the brilliant inventors and tinkerers who’ve made it as far from a pain in the arse to use!

 

 

Reverie Roundup: Led Zeppelin’s Dubious Originality, Injustices Rarely Forgotten, Library Contents, and Marge Simpson

July 7, 2014

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 Reverie Roundup is an ongoing series curating quality ideas in quality writing. Some are long form, some are short form, some are just pure fun!

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Proper credit for some of LedZep's most recognizable songs, graphic c/o Bloomberg Businessweek: Innovation & Design

Proper credit for some of LedZep’s most recognizable songs, graphic c/o Bloomberg Businessweek: Innovation & Design

 

Stairway to Heaven: was Led Zeppelin influenced or did Led Zeppelin steal? Plus, this fun game to illustrate the eery similarity. (Sampling in its early form! But sampling while passing off the work as wholly original?! No! BOOOOO!)

Why every interaction matters, especially when you’re in a position of power. (Injustices of any degree are remembered for a long time by those on the receiving end, and easily forgotten by their originators)

A library’s contents as a reflection of the current librarian’s management objectives. (dilemma of: preservation vs. service for a specific community)

Marge Simpson models the most iconic fashion poses of all time. (aw yis, Magic Margie Marge, what a gal!)

Reverie Roundup: 18th-C Parisian Mistresses, Same-Sex Marriage, Bacon Fat, & Brian Williams

June 21, 2014

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 Reverie Roundup is an ongoing series curating quality ideas in quality writing. Some are long form, some are short form, some are just pure fun!

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Prolific French royal mistress Gabrielle D’Estrées, in her most popular pose!

 

French police in the 18th-century kept extensive tabs on Paris’ elite prostitutes (ie. mistresses/kept women/dames entretenues). The purpose? Loose governance of a hidden population and its commercial space, by making visible what was socially accepted yet not fully socially embraced. (Information is power. Awareness is passive yet provides the opportunity to become active. Those who can operate without detection are in the most powerful position.)

How the POTUS came to announce his position on same-sex marriage. Featuring the decisive words of Joe Biden Jr:

“I look at those two beautiful kids,” Biden began. “I wish everybody could see this. All you got to do is look in the eyes of those kids. And no one can wonder, no one can wonder whether or not they are cared for and nurtured and loved and reinforced. And folks, what’s happening is, everybody is beginning to see it.

“Things are changing so rapidly, it’s going to become a political liability in the near term for an individual to say, ‘I oppose gay marriage.’ Mark my words.”

Having started down this road, he seemed incapable of stopping. People his children’s age could not understand why gay couples should not be allowed to marry, he said. “ ‘I mean, what’s the problem, Dad?’

“And my job — our job — is to keep this momentum rolling to the inevitable.”

“A skillet of bacon grease is a little munitions factory.” The U.S. government’s call for fat salvage donations during WWII. (Bacon fat was presumably given up grudgingly – it appears our older-generation brethren were also infatuated with the delights of bacon!)

– Brian Williams, NBC anchor and rapper extraordinaire, dishing it out to Jimmy Fallon with some of the best straight-faced thug-life references out there. (“I would like some pride of authorship – what about some early, pre-hearing loss Foxy Brown?” + “I’ll do Rollout, uhh, who’s your weed man why you smoke so good?”)

Bob Mazzer: 1970s/80s London Tube Scenes

June 18, 2014

There are so many things we see on our daily commutes but don’t always have the opportunity or guts to capture. They don’t necessary have to be wild or odd – just a little out of the ordinary, just enough to catch one’s eye. Luckily for Londoners, photographer Bob Mazzer was paying attention.

Some trains were not in vain.

For more Mazzer delights, there’s this short VICE interview, this Telegraph compilation, and this profile of the exhibition opening night.