Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bio-Concrete, Explained.

Here's a thought. Some brilliant engineers inoculated concrete with bacteria and organic matter which produce calcium carbonate when exposed to air. The result is a self-healing concrete. Of course, the best part of this is the hot, but geeky guy explaining the science.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eigenharp Alpha: What the Hell Is It?

I found this YouTube Video with three cats playing controllers (MIDI) that have wind, and keyed interfaces. Kind of cool. The two instruments traditionally most poorly represented by MIDI are brass and guitars; brass because there's a certain technique of expression via embouchure, and guitars because they have tactile expression. The wind mouthpiece seems more like a woodwind, which means you can control attack and velocity, but not yet pitch, like a trumpet. The keyed interface is limited in the same way as electric guitars, meaning attack and velocity are limited, compared to the tonal characteristics of a classical instrument, which are much more subtle. Still, this is an interesting display of controllers. The instruments pictured allow more intuitive playing for certain types of musicians.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Spacious Thoughts

I don't do much double posting, but I put this on facebook a few days ago. Tom Waits in a vid that showed up on Boing Boing; mad animation makes a brilliant display, and the tune is over the top. Rap and all, I loved this thing. The project is NASA, North America, South America: a collaboration. The interview with the animators on Boing Boing was a trip too! They used every technique they knew, and learned some new ones in an effort to animate the voice of Tom Waits as a dark cloud, a hollering spere!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Muto, by Blu

I started babbling about this at work: astounding animations painted on public walls like graffiti art. The artist has been traveling all over the world working on his projects. There's a groovy portfolio and flash site at his link.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alice Cohen imagines Three Girls

Electric Literature just released a new single sentence animation on YouTube. I'm a bit twisted as to where to post it: generally, book news goes on my other blog, but I just posted a trailer over there for Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and besides, these always strike me as groovy technology, more than literature. I'll link again, though, to an article in Slate critical of the rise of book trailers. The author, Troy Patterson, laments the practice as degenerate, literary commercialism. Somebody should show him the single sentence animations.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Apple Store Wasn't Very Helpful For Me Today

A discussion of the Pantheon on an architecture blog linked to this gem on YouTube. Built with 3D Studio Max, a software that only works on PC, the ending was like a punchline to me. I went into the Apple store with a minor issue after loading Windows on my laptop; I need a double boot system so I can better troubleshoot my web design. I ended up having to answer my own question online. I wish they would hire geeks instead of 'promoters'. I'm actually enjoying working on another OS; makes me feel like I have a choice.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Math Glam: 3D Mandelbrot Images

Mandelbulb: The Unravelling of the Real 3D Mandelbrot Fractal
There are some astonishing images at this link, along with a little math, and a dab of graphics know how. The discussion brings in some aesthetic issues, like focus and zoom, plus lighting and coloration to demonstrate how to express the object to its best potential. If you don't care about all that, you'll still be hooked by the pictures.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Comedy of Change, by Rambert Dance Company

The Rambert Dance Company was asked to create a work of modern dance to commemorate the ideas of Charles Darwin. They collaborated with a bird scientist to create a movement based on the tango of manekins in Argentina, and created other pieces as well. I couldn't find a video with performance in costume, but the interviews were interesting anyhow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Portraiture and Inspiration

Americans Who Tell the Truth Portraits 1
Here's a collection of paintings with quotes from artist Robert Shetterly. No doubt you'll find some of your own icons among them: I did, and discovered others. Its a pleasure to see an artist bring modern meaning to the art of portraiture. I discovered these on a blog discussing the ideas of an American thinker: the blogger linked to Shetterly's site instead of Wikipedia, for a more intimate image, and bio.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lucid Living, by Miwa Matreyek

Miwa Matreyek at the CalArts Experimental Animation Program is both the musician and the artist of this compelling video. The breakdown of traditional media is happening faster than ever before: there is little reason for a digital artist to commit to audio or visual work. The processes are all performed with software.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Eclectic Method: Live and Now

Create Digital Motion » Eclectic Method: Audiovisualists Talk Streams of Perception in Babelgum Featurette
The techniques these cats use are great! One of the reasons their stuff works so well is the underlying narrative philosophy creates obvious visual relationships. Also the echo effect of pop historical (i.e. Fraggle Rock) and cutting edge news balance each other; the juxtaposition of politics and play, for example. Put it all to a dance beat and you have an awfully cool party that's information rich. Is this the future of social studies education?