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December 17, 2004 6:35 AM   Subscribe

The Floating Logos Project.'Floating Logos' is a working title for this project. The images are inspired by signs perched high atop very tall poles in order for people to view them from a very long distance. The poles are digitally removed from the image in order to give the illusion that the signs are disconnected from the ground as they ominously float above us.
posted by Hands of Manos (61 comments total)

 
Kinda like FARK's photoshop contests, but without the funny.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:38 AM on December 17, 2004


I always knew Jesus would descend from heaven in my lifetime, but as a billboard? C'mon God, I know you're more creative that THAT!
posted by mic stand at 6:43 AM on December 17, 2004


he made Athiests...that's pretty creative
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:48 AM on December 17, 2004


I think these are cool--sure, there's nothing technically complicated about it, but it does make for a really striking set of images.
posted by LairBob at 6:49 AM on December 17, 2004


I'll admit I don't get it.

Why/how is a disembodied sign a symbol of pervasive consumerism?
posted by dong_resin at 6:53 AM on December 17, 2004


More so than the pole-supported version, I mean.
posted by dong_resin at 6:54 AM on December 17, 2004


"there's nothing technically complicated about it"

This kind of thinking has always annoyed me. Something isn't impressive if it wasn't hard to do. Why? Why can't we be impressed by a simple good idea?
posted by Mwongozi at 6:56 AM on December 17, 2004


It mostly just looks creepy in an uncanny valley kind of way. There's something familiar, yet something different and strange about it.

What Civil said.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:58 AM on December 17, 2004


Reminds me of the amazing title sequence to the not so amazing (but fun anyway) film Panic Room. Those titles were the greatest. They didn't really fit with panic room, and when I saw Spiderman in the theatre, I was so disappointed by the title sequence, mostly because I had recently seen panic room and thought those titles would have been totally perfect for Spiderman. Oh well, anyway, signs without poles.. yeah...
posted by JBennett at 6:59 AM on December 17, 2004


Some quite pleasant images that must have taken up to 5 minutes to produce, but a project?
posted by Cancergiggles at 7:00 AM on December 17, 2004


The floating effect is intended to give the signs a supernatural quality that is meant to call attention to the hegemonic role consumerism and advertising play in our society.

Oh. I thought they were just s'posed to look neat. I didn't know there was a hegemony to look at.
posted by papercake at 7:04 AM on December 17, 2004


There was a similar project posted here a year or two ago where they removed all of the logos from the signs in photos of suburban sprawl. Anyone remember that?
posted by shoepal at 7:05 AM on December 17, 2004


Here are the P Room titles

http://spotlight.iridas.com/200303/computercafe/howard.0101.jpg

http://spotlight.iridas.com/200303/computercafe/forest.0093.jpg

http://spotlight.iridas.com/200303/computercafe/panic.0228.jpg

http://spotlight.iridas.com/200303/computercafe/jodie.0220.jpg

Those being heavily influenced by North By Northwest.
posted by JBennett at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2004


There was a similar project posted here a year or two ago where they removed all of the logos from the signs in photos of suburban sprawl. Anyone remember that?

I was more impressed by those images than I was with these.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:11 AM on December 17, 2004


it's interesting to see people's reactions to things.

This is not a pot-shot at anyone, but I remember my mom taking me to see a Picasso when I was a kid. She looked at it, looked at me, looked at it again and said "Well sugar booger, you could draw that..."

I've tried to replicate a picasso on a few occassions...there is nothing easy about it.

Anyway. I think these are delightful and deceptively hard to do. I personally think it adds a much needed evil overtone to consumer signs.

But then again, if it was my mother looking at this, she'd say "looks like a floating sign to me...big deal."
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:13 AM on December 17, 2004


The Untitled Project (that similar project from before). It's the same site!
posted by shoepal at 7:16 AM on December 17, 2004


Sounds to me like Mother of Hands of Manos was a pretty smart lady.
posted by Cancergiggles at 7:17 AM on December 17, 2004


shoepal - doh! I did a search on it, but didn't see any urls or I'd been hesitant to post.
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:20 AM on December 17, 2004


Hey Shoepal at least there's been major progress. Somewhere between March and December they've come up with the name Floating Logos.
posted by Cancergiggles at 7:20 AM on December 17, 2004


a look to the future perhaps....or maybe just a jetsons flashback.
posted by garfield at 7:20 AM on December 17, 2004


It mostly just looks creepy in an uncanny valley kind of way. There's something familiar, yet something different and strange about it.

What Civil said [which was, fark photoshop minus funny].


I'm confused by your two responses... fwiw I tend to agree with the first one.

When I saw "floating logos", I thought logos as in the Greek for 'word' or 'reason', (as in John, 'the Word was god... ', etc,) which is rather fitting.
posted by mdn at 7:26 AM on December 17, 2004


Cancergiggles.

I maybe reading your responses in the wrong light, but it appears (to me) that you are making some sarcastic overtones towards my direction. I'm just trying to clarify with this information.

Am I right, is there something you need to tell me that is being masked through sarcasm?

If not, pay no attention to this.

thanks!
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:38 AM on December 17, 2004


I love these photos. And thanks shoepal for finding that link-- I'd unsuccessfully tried to dig that one up again recently.
posted by gwint at 7:49 AM on December 17, 2004


Simple, easy, cool looking, says something about consumerism. I like it. Next!
posted by fungible at 7:56 AM on December 17, 2004


I thought these were taken in and around Chicago and the untitled project site proves it. Both are very cool.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:59 AM on December 17, 2004


Some of the best art is deceptively simple. If you think this is easy I urge you to get a camera, wait for the right part of the day so your lighting is best, compose a shot with consideration for traffic/people movement around you, foreground and background elements, and perspective in relation to your position under the sign to create a surreal disembodied icon and not just a little fuzzy sign against a flat background.

This is some good shit.
posted by Jeremy at 8:10 AM on December 17, 2004


SUGAR BOOGER?
posted by naomi at 8:14 AM on December 17, 2004


Looks like the pictures were taken thirty years from now.

Great Link Manos! Thanks!
posted by hughbot at 8:17 AM on December 17, 2004


SUGAR BOOGER?

mom has a weird sense of humor with "terms of endearment"

she called our dog "passion puddles" and "pumpkin butt" as a t.o.e.

that's what you get when you are raised in the deep south
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:18 AM on December 17, 2004


Nice. I remember driving deep into Michigan for the first time, and being really creeped out by the super-high signs that were put up so you could see the McDonald's from the highway, twenty kilometres away.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:19 AM on December 17, 2004


McDonald's from the highway, twenty kilometres away.

what do you figure...10, 20 years before we see the "M" displayed on the moon via satellite?
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:24 AM on December 17, 2004


Now I just have to try "pumpkin butt" on my SO and see how long I last in the dog house.
posted by cavalier at 8:27 AM on December 17, 2004


Is anyone willing to both claim this is easy to do while at the same time opening up photoshop and actually doing it, then posting what took them "around 5 minutes..." to do?

I'm just curious. I'm not a photoshop god or anything, and maybe I'm just in the presence of greatness, but that's a lot of talk without much to show, if you know what I mean.
posted by odinsdream at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2004


Creepy, but doesn't teach me anything. It mostly makes me hate poles.

Thanks for the link, jbennett. Nice to see someone else was impressed by these when they came out.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:34 AM on December 17, 2004


Really stunning work. As others have said, it's not about the 'technical difficulty' but about the power of the work itself. Why does everyone dismiss it as '5 minutes in Photoshop'? (Digital) photography is a one-second point-and-click. Does that make it not art?

(As an aside, as odinsdream alluded, the Photoshopping he did is quite well done anyway. I consider myself quite skilled in the craft, but each of those would have taken me much more than a couple minutes.)
posted by rafter at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2004


I'm an Adobe Illustrator God, not a pShop God...however I can give you an estimate on how long it'd take for me:

5-10 minutes to download picture (I'm on a 3600kb modem...I'm kidding)

I'd say the entire job, to do it right, would be 30-45 minutes.

20 minutes: to erase pole, clone background (to make it look seamless)
10-15 minutes: to color correct and clean up.

I probably could get it done faster, but I have to keep alt/tabbing back to mefi to see if anyone has responded to my post to make me feel important

It probably is easy...

But then again, it took Hirschfield (sp?) to draw his nina-tistic Caricatures like...what, 5 minutes? maybe 10? they turned out pretty fantastic.
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:36 AM on December 17, 2004


4 minutes, 34 seconds.

Of course, It's not the greatest job and I did pick a pretty easy photo to play with. The kids at Fark or Worth1000 could do some amazing things with this concept, I'm sure.

As several people have said, it is often The Idea or The Concept not the execution that is what gets the artist recognition.
posted by shoepal at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2004


SUGAR BOOGER?

way off topic but I call my 20 month old son "Pork Chop". And I'm not sure why...
posted by birdsong at 9:18 AM on December 17, 2004


if/when I have a child, I'm going to use

"000111001001010" if it's a boy

and

"000111010101011000110" if it's a girl

for terms of endearment
posted by Hands of Manos at 9:25 AM on December 17, 2004


Jimmy Neutron's dad calls Jimmy Neutron's mom, "Sugar Booger", in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.

...and by the way, it's a good movie.
posted by mic stand at 9:46 AM on December 17, 2004


The one that took shoepal 4 minutes and 34 seconds, I could've done in 4 minutes and 23 seconds. But that was, as shoepal said, an easy one.

Anyway, this is a clever concept, and well executed in most cases. About half of them do absolutely nothing for me (mostly the ones that are closer up to shorter signs), but others deserve to be called by the A-word.


(art, that is)
posted by soyjoy at 9:47 AM on December 17, 2004


o.t. (again on my own damn topic!)

yes. Jimmy Neutron: BG was great. so was Teacher's Pet (the movie). It had a great musical track.

"Sugar Booger" was used in the multi-award winning movie "Reality Bites." Winonna Ryder's mom called her Sugar Booger

on.t.

yes. that jesus one is great!
posted by Hands of Manos at 9:50 AM on December 17, 2004


It's odd how calming those Untitled Project images are. All the physical stuff is still there, but none of it is screaming at you. Reminds me of the sci-fi plot element of the telepath who can't get all the others' thoughts out of her head, or the one who feels lonely without them...
posted by Tubes at 10:07 AM on December 17, 2004


I've tried to replicate a picasso on a few occassions...there is nothing easy about it.
[...]
Is anyone willing to both claim this is easy to do while at the same time opening up photoshop and actually doing it, then posting what took them "around 5 minutes..." to do?


I'm starting my clock now. It's 1:16 p.m.

Got my pic: Thanks, photo.net.

Ok, 8 minutes later. Here's your hegemony, b1tch3s.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:10 AM on December 17, 2004


This is, at best, a mildly interesting display of Photoshop ability. Lasso, cut, paste, blend. Rinse, repeat.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2004


I too thought Logos was the Greek word for language/knowledge/reason.

The interesting thing about this project is the way it fails. There's something weak and broken in the way you have these slick, artificial images somehow "revealing" these slick, artificial logos. It's not that the project collapses in on itself... it's just slightly jarring, like Bush's 'evil doers' statement. There's something wrong, something that doesn't quite fit--it's not natural or intuitive and while it's there it doesn't make sense.

Oh and large signs that say 'JESUS' are creepy the way 'WWJD' stickers are creepy.
posted by nixerman at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, all that proves is that you're good at imitating others. Congrats.
posted by nixerman at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, all that proves is that you're good at imitating others.

No, that's not all it proves. It also proves that it can be done with extreme ease for those with a mere modicum of Photoshop skill. Which, I believe, was my point.

All this joker's proven is that, 1. He has a modicum of Photoshop skill, and 2. He's good at imitating others. See: FARK.

Thanks for the kudos, nixerman!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:26 AM on December 17, 2004


civil: good job on that.

I still think it's pretty damned cool and is well executed.

But, that's why I don't put in my FPP "omg! this iz tah kewlest thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!one!!!!!"

anyway, good job. my opinion differs from your's, but that's what opinions are for, right?
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:38 AM on December 17, 2004


I still think it's an interesting gimmick, but it isn't art.

It's not a bad post though. *pats Pumpkin Butt on the head*
posted by Arch Stanton at 11:43 AM on December 17, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, no, sorry, you don't have a point. Even if Rome was built in a day that wouldn't make it any less than Rome. But to make youself feel even better try googling around for other 'new media art'--it's all pretty easily reproducible.

There is an interesting difference between your bit and this project which is the presence of people. In some ways, your bit is even a bit more unsettling.
posted by nixerman at 11:47 AM on December 17, 2004


"Skill" and "talent" are tyrannical constructs and the enemies of creative expression, or something like that.

Anyway...Oh look! Cool! I work in one of these buildings.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:47 AM on December 17, 2004


If the whole project were hovering Jesus then it's be much more striking to me.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:01 PM on December 17, 2004


no, sorry, you don't have a point

Thanks for telling me that. I was confused there for a moment.

People have been doing this for ages. On FARK, for instance, helpful Photoshoppers actually edit out whole sections of photos so others can insert things into them. They're called blanks. A lot more difficult than a stray metal pole. Here's an example. Here's the original.

The difference is, they don't call their work a "piece" or a "project" or other such nonsense because they aren't a bunch of pretentious wankers.

In conclusion: 1. It's been done before. 2. It's been done better. 3. It's not hard to reproduce.

But yeah, cool floating signs.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:12 PM on December 17, 2004


In conclusion: 1. It's been done before. 2. It's been done better. 3. It's not hard to reproduce.

1. So? Is any idea really original, anyway?

2. Maybe, but just because poles are "easier" than other projects doesn't make this any less valid, IMHO.

3. That's not the point. The point (for me) is...yeah! Cool floating signs.

Isn't the point of art to be interesting? Well, right now this post has 54 (going on 55) comments. Seems people are interested, no?

And I agree with those of you who mentioned the "Jesus" image - definitely the most striking to me. Even if you don't like the others, you've gotta admit that that one makes you stop and take notice as you're furiously clicking through thinking about how you're going to talk about how this project is lame and pretentious.
posted by AlisonM at 1:47 PM on December 17, 2004


I'm late to the party, but [this is good].
posted by neckro23 at 2:30 PM on December 17, 2004


I still think it's interesting to see people's reactions to anything that has the label "art" remotely attached to it. It's always fascinating how some people can think something is soooooo cool and then others utterly hate it.
posted by Hands of Manos at 2:33 PM on December 17, 2004


I liked the site, I appreciate the concept and like the output. Its interesting and thought provoking.

But then, I think a nice motorcycle is art too so what do I know?
posted by fenriq at 2:50 PM on December 17, 2004


I feel set free! This has changed my life in some small, but pleasurable way. Thank you, H of M.
posted by No Explanation at 7:04 PM on December 17, 2004


In a Chicago art museum (I forget which one), I saw an easy chair that had been reupholstered with flank steak - a meat chair. It was fascinating and disturbing and I've never forgotten it, though I've forgotten almost everything else that was on display that day.

The fact that anyone could've duplicated it in a few hours did not detract from my appreciation of it in the least.

I like these floating logos too.
posted by zanni at 11:17 PM on December 17, 2004


Shoepal: I can see that from my terrace (well, with the bottom bit attached...)
posted by benzo8 at 7:04 AM on December 18, 2004


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