Somehow a year has passed…so many thoughts I neglected to write down. But, still here. And perhaps that, in itself, is success.
One day soon I will go back through things I marked and shared over the last months and note them here for future reference. But since I am always two steps behind, for now I will just jump back in to this post.
It’s the work of Elastic, directed by Hazel Baird. I love the combination of collaged video, photos, torn paper, stop motion, and illustrations. It’s a fresh energy and I want to see more!! I am drawn to this style lately, so keeping it in mind for a future project.
In these strangest of times, where our global civilization is under siege from a virus, stories like these make me most proud to be a human.
These 3D-printed valves are pieces that need to be replaced for each patient using a ventilator. They were printed by Cristian Fracassi (@cristianfracass), a civil engineer with a Ph.D. in polymer science, and Alessandro Romaioli, a mechanical engineer, to help nearby hospitals keep up the fight against coronavirus amidst the shortage of supplies.
I have always loved poster art and the way different artists have successfully integrated their own style with the clear communication of important information.
I’ve seen a number of cool animated posters that are animated gifs – the central image is animated but the space isn’t really broken up.
This animated poster by Michael Socha seems to take it to a different level, and I’m digging how the animation moves the viewer through space to end at the information. I hope we see more works like this scrolling through posts on social media. Posting here to show the animation class – and to recommend for clients for event postings.
Check out his latest reel and look through his website…there is an interesting variety in style and pace, and some really cool experimental loops.
This piece grabbed my attention for a few reasons.
The motion design is solid, and it syncs stylistically with the music. The collage style itself works in the same way, and even better is the short write-up Director and Animator Peter Pak added:
The Godfather of Harlem main title is an homage to the contemporaneous collages created by African-American artist, Romare Bearden (1911 – 1988), during 1960s Harlem. He is best known for his photomontage compositions made from torn images of popular magazines and assembled into visually powerful statements on African-American life. We felt his art was appropriate to the show because it shared themes and portrayals of social inequality and the African-American experience that the show similarly explores. The main title INTENTIONALLY reflects many of the techniques, aesthetics, and themes of Romare Bearden, and is a purposeful design for the opening credits of the series not meant to stand separately from its cinematic purpose.
It is my hope that interest in the show and the main title will lead to a larger awareness of the artworks of Romare Bearden and other African-American artists.
I’ve also been seeing tourist shops around that offer these crystal engravings. This Thing Of Ours lifted them to a higher artistic level…I find videos like this really inspiring – take an existing method/technology and use it in a very different way, to make something new and funky.
A newfound source of inspiration: Good Moves. Run by motion design studio Breeder, it selects a top video for each day:
“Every day our algorithm scours the web to surface the videos that are turning heads all over the globe, before we select the best of that day’s bunch.”
Some familiar names sit next to others I don’t yet know – commercial work, idents, short films all feature…like this video by The Guardian Labs and O2, for In Your Pocket – a phone for visually impaired people. They have developed Be My Eyes, a free app that connects blind people with volunteers that can provide visual assistance.
I think the site has been around for years – but I’m just learning of it, so posting here to keep on the radar.
Sometimes I feel as if I might know a small window of the world of artists/drawings/animations, and then my mind is blown when I have extra time to research and explore rabbit holes on the internets.
I just discovered the art of Sougwen Chung. For the past few years she has been exploring collaborations with robots. Exquisite Corpus is an installation combining drawings, visual projections, sound, and biofeedback.
Earlier installations and works are explorations of line and form in space, engaging the audience in different ways.
I came across her work while looking at recent installations from the great Shantell Martin, who I’ve been following for a few years. Different styles but there is some intersection in how they explore line through 3D space (and as a 2D animator, I love this realm).
This image from a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar – I would have loved to see it live.
From the unexpected fortune, which brings misfortune, which allows for a fortunate twist of events…who’s to say what’s good or bad? Only time will tell.
“We deceive ourselves if we think we have the capacity to say whether something is a success or a failure. Of course we can make a call based on the available evidence at the time, but if you take the long view, the truth can turn out to be different.
May we all be given an unexpected joy this holiday season…and may we be wise enough to welcome the joy.
This article introduces the animated encaustic painting technique Theodore Ushev developed to animate his latest film, The Physics of Sorrow.
He has made a practice of using a new technique for each of his short films, a challenge which I respect greatly – pushing past the comfort zone and allowing each story its own visual language.
Based on Georgi Gospodinov’s novel The Physics of Sorrow, Ushev translates and presents the story as a time capsule of his own experiences.
Ushev writes, “The first ever time capsules were the Egyptians tombs. And they had these beautiful, realistic portraits on the cover of their sarcophagus, created with encaustic painting. Made of melted beeswax and color pigments, they stayed absolutely intact for 20 centuries. So I thought this would be the perfect technique to employ for my film.”
This meant he not only had to learn the technique, but also a way to animate the frames…using different kinds of wax to layer the paintings, he was able to add animation just to the moving figures on the top layer, a kind of stop motion approach to painting.
It’s just debuted and is making the festival rounds – I’m keeping an eye out and hope to see it soon!
Our futures are being influenced, if not developed, by artificial intelligence. Behavioural-targeting algorithms on social media, on the surface used to ‘tailor’ our feeds, but too easily abused by bad actors to manipulate our feelings, alter our beliefs, undermine democracy and keep us trapped inside filter bubbles that reinforce our biases and tell us what we want to hear.
Our society’s future – really, the global future – is being built on these big-tech influenced platforms. Chase recently signed a five-year commitment with Persado (a.i. created marketing). Ads created by machine learning were clicked on more than ads written by humans…words chosen by generative machines are now more appealing than those from humans.
Is this really because they sound better, or are we just taking the bait? To quote Roy Amara, a researcher on futurism from the 70s, “It is the decisions we make now that do more than anything else to shape the future that we end up in.”
How can we use artificial intelligence responsibly…embrace emerging technology but also help navigate the best ways to apply it?
There is a responsibility in art, but (there should be and I wish there was) also in advertising and entertainment, to keep the focus on creative…to not follow the formulas for success or consumption, but to push the boundaries of what is possible. And it should be about compassion – to keep checking the pulse of one’s own humanity. Fight the power.
Later, bots – I’m signing off…I’ll stick with reading Janelle Shane / AI Weirdness!!