March 14, 2014

Ballad of a WiFi Hero (McSweeney's)


H. Jon Benjamin stars in this exclusive animated adaptation of the famed McSweeney's Internet Tendency piece, "In Which I Fix My Girlfriend's Grandparents' WiFi and Am Hailed as a Conquering Hero," by Mike Lacher. Rejoice!

Animation by Jesse Benjamin

(via the atlantic

January 20, 2014

Design in a Nutshell: 6 short animated videos on the major creative movements

From Open University comes Design in a Nutshell, a lovely six-part series of their signature animated primers on six major design movements.

Gothic Revival:

Arts & Crafts Movement:


January 9, 2014

Meet Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind Humans of New York (HONY)

You’d be hard pressed to find Brandon Stanton, the brain behind storytelling blog turned New York Times bestseller, “Humans of New York,” without a camera in his hands. He needs it for the 5 to 6 portraits he takes each day and posts for his thousands of social media fans and website visitors to see.

He took a chance on an idea he had to take 10,000 portraits of people around New York City and plot them on a map like a census of the metropolitan area. The resulting project has turned into something larger than he ever could have expected.

To see the rest of TIME’s 30 Under 30 World Changers, click here

(via ideas.time)

December 20, 2013

Stone Is Not Cold by Czech illustrator Miroslav Šašek

Stone Is Not Cold, a book from Czech illustrator Miroslav Šašek, brings to life famous sculptures from London, Rome and the Vatican City in irreverent vignettes from everyday life.

(via brainpickings)

December 16, 2013

December 6, 2013

Like Knows Like: Jessica Walsh (Sagmeister & Walsh)

Short and personal documentary about Jessica Walsh who is a designer, art director, and illustrator working in New York City. She is a partner at design studio, Sagmeister & Walsh and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. Her work has won numerous design awards. Recently, Warner Bros. has acquired the film rights of her viral side-project called “40 Days Of Dating”.

​Like Knows Like is an ongoing documentary project by photographer Marije Kuiper and filmmaker Bas Berkhout. They profile creatives and artists all over the world, and most recently released a short documentary on Jessica Walsh.

(via adc young guns)

December 1, 2013

Site of the day: Killing Kennedy

Follow the divergent parallel lives of President John F. Kennedy and his assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in an interactive documentary by the National Geographic.

(via georgakopoulos)

November 27, 2013

Finding Vivian Maier: 50s street photographer finally gets discovered

For decades Vivian Maier’s work hid in the shadows until decades later (in 2007), historical hobbyist John Maloof bought a box full of never developed negatives at a local auction for $380.

John began to develop the negatives and it didn’t take long before he realised that these were no ordinary street snapshots from the 50′s and 60′s — these pictures were a lot more than that.

Before he could find her, John discovered  her obituary in the newspaper of 2009. She slipped on ice, suffered a head injury and never fully recovered. She was 83 years old when she passed away.

Since then, the work of this mysterious and incredibly talented woman has turned the art world upside down. The pictures gained international media attention with exhibitions in London, New York , Los Angeles , Oslo and Hamburg.

John has also made ​​a documentary about Vivian and her work  – you can check out the trailer at the bottom of the page.

(via webburgr)

November 24, 2013

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. 

November 20, 2013

Blade Runner animated in water colour paintings

The work of Swedish artist Anders Ramsell, who painted each frame as a 1.5 x 3cm work of art. It's taken him a while to complete the epic job; Pesco wrote about the first three minutes last year. The end result runs about 30 minutes, which is exactly how long Blade Runner should be.

(via boing boing)

November 13, 2013

Site of the day: Before They Pass Away

Jimmy Nelson spent three-and-a-half years photographing indigenous tribes across the world and the result is a series entitled Before They Pass Away, which is not only accessible but also reveals the photographer’s privileged contact with the 35 tribes he spent time with. Above all, Nelson’s work is a reminder of our profound humanity: ''In 2009, I planned to become a guest of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes. I wanted to witness their time-honoured traditions, join in their rituals and discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. Most importantly, I wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time,'' reads a quote on

But Nelson does a lot more than that. ‘Before They’ is an ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world, and lifts the veil over communities where reality is at the opposite end of the spectrum - to our urbanised world. For his elegant and evocative portraits, Nelson used a 4x5 camera, a 50-year-old plate camera. ''The detail that is attained by using such large negatives would provide an extraordinary view into the emotional and spiritual lives of the last indigenous peoples of the world.''

(via yatzer)

November 8, 2013

China's ethnic diversity depicted through pop up photographs

Photographer Colette Fu has created 3-D images of people, costumes, and landscapes that define minority life in Yunnan Province.

Each of China’s 1.3 billion people are members of one—and only one—of 56 ethnic groups; those of mixed blood are not legally permitted to claim two. Over 91 percent of the population are Han Chinese, while the rest—numbering 105 million people—are referred to as "ethnic minorities." While some ethnic minority groups have well-publicized clashes with the majority Han (most famously the Tibetans and Uighurs), the vast majority of the others are little known—even within China.

(via the atlantic)

October 24, 2013

Justin Boyd: Sound and Time

Justin Boyd, Department Chair of Sculpture and Integrated Media at Southwest School of Art, shares his connection with sound and how he uses it to create original works of art. Inspired by his sensitivity to sound at a very young age, Boyd has been recording and working with sound and music since the mid 90s. Boyd actively captures field recordings for integration of sound with found objects.

October 18, 2013

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg: Illustrated Children’s Adaptation of Thoreau’s Philosophy

Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, by author and artist D. B. Johnson, based on a famous passage from Walden, contrasts two different approaches to life — one prioritizing productivity and one worshiping wonder. It tells the tale of Henry David Thoreau and his unnamed friend, both cast as lovable bears, who decide to meet in the town of Fitchburg one summer evening, thirty miles away. Henry’s friend insists that the train is the most efficient way to get there and resolves to work until he has enough money to buy the 90-cent ticket, doing chores for neighbors — including some of Thoreau’s equally esteemed contemporaries, like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne. But Henry decides that walking, while less “efficient,” is the better way to get to Fitchburg — more present, more transcendent, more full of wonder.

View a synopsis of the book and illustrations at brain pickings.

October 14, 2013

Fact of the day: Soylent, a food substitute intended to supply all daily nutriotional needs

Soylent is a food substitute intended to supply all of a human body's daily nutritional needs, made from powdered starch, rice protein, olive oil, and raw chemical powders.

Soylent was designed by software engineer Rob Rhinehart to be a low cost alternative to traditional food that can be prepared and consumed with less time and activity. Lacking background in chemistry or nutrition, Rhinehart developed the formula through research and self-experimentation.He named it after a fictional food from the novel Make Room! Make Room! on which the 1973 film Soylent Green was loosely based.

Soylent is currently undergoing on-going testing and modification. A crowdfunding campaign has provided roughly US$1,500,000 to produce and market a commercial version of Soylent. The funding has paid for additional research and formula modification, which has also affected its launch date. While initial orders were expected to be fulfilled in August, 2013,[9] Soylent has yet to ship commercially following multiple delays. Current estimates for launch cite January 2014 for US-based orders, and "mid 2014" for international orders.

On October 22, 2013, Soylent announced its first round of venture capital funding totaling "over $1.5 million", provided by Andreessen Horowitz, Lerer Ventures, Hydrazine Capital, and Initialized Capital.

(via wikipedia)

October 11, 2013

The Happy Show by Stefan Sagmeister

Currently touring several cities in the U.S., The Happy Show by graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, blurs the boundaries between art and graphic design with a great mix of installations, imaginative typographical displays, and interactive artworks. The large exhibition is punctuated with social data gathered from Harvard psychologists Daniel Gilbert and Steven Pinker, anthropologist Donald Symons, psychologist Jonathan Haidt, as well as several prominent historians. There’s also free gum! And candy! And giant inflatable monkeys! 

October 7, 2013

The book that can't wait

“Books are very patient objects. We buy them, and then they wait for us to read them. Days, months, even years. That’s OK for books, but not for new authors. If people don’t read their first books. They’ll never make it to a second,” the publishers said. The book, dubbed as “The Book That Can’t Wait”, hopes to provide a solution for half-read and unfinished books on your shelf. Moreover, it’s also aimed at helping first-time authors getting their stuff read more often. Eterna Cadencia has partnered with DRAFTFCB Buenos Aires to promote the innovation.

October 4, 2013

Arcade Fire interactive video: Just a reflektor

One more interactive video for Arcade Fire by Vincent Morisset.
Remember the older ones here.

September 25, 2013

Thomas Pyncheon's "Bleeding Edge" book trailer

"It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire. There may not be quite as much money around as there was at the height of the tech bubble, but there’s no shortage of swindlers looking to grab a piece of what’s left..."

September 22, 2013

Invisible graffiti appears only when it rains

Atlanta-based artist Nathan Sharratt had been exploring the idea of rain drawings ever since he saw a video about superhydrophobic coatings over a year ago. Sharratt first tried a single-layer coating spray that repelled water but wasn't strong enough to create a noticeable difference between dry and wet for more than a few minutes in the rain.

When Sharratt heard of the new NeverWet two-layer waterproofing spray system, he revived the rain drawings project and submitted the following artworks, which ended up making top 10 in the contest.

(via the atlantic cities)

September 18, 2013

September 13, 2013

Site of the day: Moviegalaxies

Moviegalaxies is a place to discover the social graph in movies. By building a technology to visualize movies through smart algorithms and data processing, they create a new way to experience motion pictures. 

September 9, 2013

Fact of the day: A small dose of POWER changes how a person's brain operates and diminishes empathy

Even the smallest dose of power can change a person. You've probably seen it. Someone gets a promotion or a bit of fame and then, suddenly, they're a little less friendly to the people beneath them.

So here's a question that may seem too simple: Why?

If you ask a psychologist, he or she may tell you that the powerful are simply too busy. They don't have the time to fully attend to their less powerful counterparts.

But if you ask Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada, he might give you another explanation: Power fundamentally changes how the brain operates.

Obhi and his colleagues, Jeremy Hogeveen and Michael Inzlicht, have a new study showing evidence to support that claim.

Obhi and his fellow researchers randomly put participants in the mindset of feeling either powerful or powerless. They asked the powerless group to write a diary entry about a time they depended on others for help. The powerful group wrote entries about times they were calling the shots.

Then, everybody watched a simple video. In it, an anonymous hand squeezes a rubber ball a handful of times — sort of monotonously. While the video ran, Obhi's team tracked the participants' brains, looking at a special region called the mirror system.

Where Empathy Begins

The mirror system is important because it contains neurons that become active both when you squeeze a rubber ball and when you watch someone else squeeze a rubber ball. It is the same thing with picking up a cup of coffee, hitting a baseball, or flying a kite. Whether you do it or someone else does, your mirror system activates. In this small way, the mirror system places you inside a stranger's head.

Furthermore, because our actions are linked to deeper thoughts — like beliefs and intentions — you may also begin to empathize with what motivates another person's actions.

"When I watch somebody picking up a cup of coffee, the mirror system activates the representations in my brain that would be active if I was picking up a cup of coffee," Obhi explains. "And because those representations are connected in my brain to the intentions that would normally activate them, you can get activation of the intention. So you can figure out, 'Hey, this person wants to drink coffee.' "

Obhi's team wanted to see if bestowing a person with a feeling of power or powerlessness would change how the mirror system responds to someone else performing a simple action.

Feeling Power Over Others

It turns out, feeling powerless boosted the mirror system — people empathized highly. But, Obhi says, "when people were feeling powerful, the signal wasn't very high at all."

So when people felt power, they really did have more trouble getting inside another person's head.

TED Radio Hour
Can Hacking The Brain Make You Healthier?
"What we're finding is power diminishes all varieties of empathy," says Dacher Keltner, a social psychologist at University of California, Berkeley, not involved in the new study. He says these results fit a trend within psychological research.

"Whether you're with a team at work [or] your family dinner, all of that hinges on how we adapt our behaviors to the behaviors of other people," he says. "And power takes a bite out of that ability, which is too bad."

The good news, Keltner says, is an emerging field of research that suggests powerful people who begin to forget their subordinates can be coached back to their compassionate selves.

(via npr)

July 17, 2013

Plastic ducks in the service of oceanography

Friendly Floatees are plastic bath toys made famous by the work of Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer who models ocean currents on the basis of flotsam movements including those of a consignment of Friendly Floatees, containing 29,000 plastic yellow ducks, red beavers, blue turtles and green frogs, washed into the Pacific Ocean in 1992. Some of the toys landed along Pacific Ocean shores, like Hawaii. Others traveled over 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank, and spent years frozen in Arctic ice to reach British & Irish shores 15 years later in 2007.

Read more on Wikipedia.

July 11, 2013

Animated short: "The Employment"

Direction: Santiago 'Bou' Grasso
Idea: Patricio Plaza
Animation: Santiago 'Bou' Grasso / Patricio Plaza
Titles design: Natalia Acosta
Production company: Opusbou

July 3, 2013

Olafur Eliasson: “Your Waste of Time”

An other module of the EXPO 1: New York exhibition was the sculpture “Your Waste of Time” by Olafur Eliasson. He placed several massive pieces of ice that broke off from Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, in a big room that was cooled down below 0°. The oldest ice in the glacier is estimated to have originated some 800 years ago. Of course the power needed to do this, comes from solar panels that were installed especially on the roof of the MoMA PS1.

(via today and tomorrow)

June 27, 2013

Doug Aitken's "Black Mirror" in Greece

"Commissioned by the Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art in Athens for its project space on the island of Hydra, the installation, immerses visitors in an environment lined with black mirrors that endlessly reflect various iterations of Mr. Aitken’s chilly new video.

“Black Mirror” presents its star, the actress and clothing designer Chloë Sevigny, as a nameless drifter navigating a barren landscape punctuated by satellite dishes, radio towers and droning airplanes. Stopping periodically in one anonymous hotel room or another, she makes attempts to connect, by phone or text or e-mail, to an unidentified second party, with little success."

Watch the video.

(via nyt)

June 19, 2013

Mid-Century Swiss Posters from the Internatinal Poster Gallery

The International Poster Gallery in Boston has an extended collection of vintage and modern posters from around the world available for purchase with the Swiss Poster Collection certainly sticking out.

June 9, 2013

Site of the day: "Who made that?" A history of innovations by the New York Times Magazine

The greatest inventions in human history according to the New York Times Magazine...
> visit "Who Made That"

June 4, 2013

Takashi Murakami: Healing Powers

Takashi Murakami contemplates the shifting purpose of his work and talks about ‘spirituality’ and ‘healing’. His new feature film is a more sentimental and sincere undertaking than his previous work and follows a young boy in Japan mourning the death of his father and readjusting to life while striking up an unlikely companionship with a creature that resembles a flying jellyfish.

(via nowness)

June 1, 2013

Site of the day: Everest: Rivers of Ice

Microsoft is teaming up with GlacierWorks to launch Everest: Rivers of Ice, an interactive website that lets you explore the areas around the world's tallest mountain. Built entirely in HTML5, Rivers of Ice contains gigapixel panoramas that capture life in the Himalayas, and depict the daunting task for mountaineers wishing to climb 29,000 feet.

(via the verge)

May 24, 2013

Leadership lessons from the dancing guy 

Derek Sivers takes a shaky video of a lone dancing guy at a music festival and turns it into a lesson about leadership.

May 20, 2013

The act of killing

Executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, The Act of Killing is a documentary directed by Joshua Oppenheimer about a group of Indonesian mass murderers.

(via kottke)

May 2, 2013

Christoph Niemann on combining the expected with the unexpected

"One of the most interesting things I see is when media is mixed," says Christoph Niemann (illustrator, graphic designer, writer). He believes that finding innovative ways to combine disciplines is an essential way to integrate familiarity with unexpected outcomes.

In this interview with Design Indaba, Niemann discusses the array of features his amazing picture book app Petting Zoo.

(via design indaba)

April 26, 2013

Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake

"Embracing the limitation eventually drives creativity"
In art school, Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. Hansen was devastated, floating without a sense of purpose. Until a neurologist made a simple suggestion: embrace this limitation ... and transcend it.

(via ted

April 19, 2013

Katherine Kuchenbecker: The technology of touch

Katherine Kuchenbecker works on incorporating the sense of touch directly into virtual objects. Imagine being able to feel textures on your digital screens.

(via ted)

April 12, 2013

Site of the day: Serendipitous poetry from the New York Times

New York Times launched 'Times Haiku' Tumblr that makes poetry out of front page articles. Haikus are generated from sentences on the NYT's homepage by matching words up against a dictionary that helpfully includes syllable count. Then, selections published to the blog are curated by humans.

April 6, 2013

Alpha Beauties

Alpha Beauties, by Nazareno Crea,  is a series of 45 retouched paintings from the history of western art, which in their period represented the female beauty canons, each artwork has been retouched and “updated” according to nowadays beauty standards.

View here.

March 27, 2013

Site of the day: Google explains how Google search works

Explore the art and science behind Google's search engine.

March 26, 2013

Prada ads by Wes Anderson

Ads for Prada's Candy fragrance directed by Wes Anderson.

March 21, 2013

Fatescapes: Iconic photographs without the human element

Czech photographer Pavel Maria Smejkal uses iconic photographs through the human history without the human element, leaving but empty landscape behind. Visit his website here.

March 1, 2013

7 Of The Biggest Lies In Graphic Design

"Popular Lies About Graphic Design" is a  pocket-sized book by Craig Ward where Ward's famous designer friends respond to the question: What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever been told about design?

--Craig Ward
My experience may be unique. But for my money, you rarely need more than a few weeks for most still image projects. Obviously, if you’re attempting something more ambitious, or time related, then you may need longer, but, really, three or four rounds of amends over the course of a couple of weeks is usually ample. Much more and you can end up wasting your time chasing unworkable ideas or losing focus, much less and you may feel under too much pressure to deliver and that, in itself can be equally stifling.

--Craig Ward
And that would be an opportunity for what exactly?

If you go your entire career without receiving this kind of a proposition, you’re doing either extremely well or extremely badly depending on your mindset. The idea that it’s okay for you to spend days of your time creating work for world-renowned clients who aren’t paying you a decent wage is pretty shameful--yet often unavoidable. Unless you set your stall out very early on and stick to your guns.

--David Carson
If the designer has done their job, you should absolutely be able to do this.

--Stefan Sagmeister
It is not. You are the tool.

--Willy Wong
“Stay small” was a piece of advice I heard quite often when I began my career. Smaller studios and a small circle of clients--I was told--meant more control and thus (work of a) higher quality. In fact, go solo if you could.

Nowadays, I find that nothing happens in a silo and that everything is connected. If you’ve got sharp kerning skills, good intentions, and the ingenuity to spin gold out of thin air, why not add solid management skills to your belt and be able to kill it at scale? The world seems to need designers more than ever. What’s wrong with being part of a group, playing in a team, forming a league, building a community. Not everyone has the capacity to manage process, budgets, expectations, or personalities, but if you got ‘em, why not go for it? Balls out!

--Craig Redman
It’s that whole tiresome act of the client pleading poor and screwing you down to the dollar. Then you find out later they paid a million bucks for some other component of the project.

--Craig Ward
They probably won’t. Sorry.

Remember that even these so-called lies should be taken with a grain of salt; design is subjective, and you’re entitled to your own bloody opinions. As Ward writes in his introduction, "This is not a book full of facts. Nor is it a book full of advice. It’s a book full of opinions, and confusion between those three is how a lot of these problems begin." In other words, don’t feel you need to take other people’s espoused opinions as facts.

February 26, 2013

The me bird

A free interpretation of the homonym poem by Pablo Neruda in the strata stencil technique by Brazilian multidisciplinary studio 18bis.