"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Feb 14, 2011 -
I understand that MeFites don't really do American Idol
, but if you're the rare one who does, then you will probably appreciate the combination of fandom and geekery that produced What Not To Sing
. They look at reviews of AI performances from all over the web, and distill them to provide numerical and star ratings for each AI performance. Every one. EVER. They have a listing of the top and bottom 40 performances
across all 8 seasons, which makes for interesting YouTube searching. If you're curious about all performances of Michael Jackson songs on the show
or just wish to confirm that Sanjaya sucked
, they can help with that as well. The feature currently amusing me is this season's Camp Should-A-Been
, where they judge contestants solely on performance rating, with the lowest rated performer leaving.
posted by booksherpa
on Jul 7, 2009 -
Introduced to Western culture by the Beatles in their single Norwegian Wood
, the sitar
has featured prominently in North Indian classical music for centuries. Princeton-based computer scientist Ajay Kapur updates the instrument with his ESitar
, an audio and video controller that uses gesture input
(PDF) and machine learning
algorithms to facilitate joining the computer with Ajay in his sitar performance. Undergraduate engineering students at the University of Pennsylvania work from the other direction, building RAVI-bot
, an award-winning
, self-playing robotic sitar
(YouTube) programmed to generate music from classical Raga scales and melodies
all on its own. For those in the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out a live performance of RAVI-bot at the local Klein Art Gallery.
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Apr 19, 2007 -
Douglas Hofstadter says
, "What troubles me is the notion that things that touch me at my deepest core -- pieces of music most of all, which I have always taken as direct soul-to-soul messages -- might be effectively produced by mechanisms thousands if not millions of times simpler than the intricate biological machinery that gives rise to a human soul.
". That was prompted by his reception to the output
of David Cope's project Experiments in Musical Intelligence
posted by Gyan
on Apr 11, 2006 -
A search engine to help you find things you don't know about. gnod
stands for The G
reams, and is a test of artificial intelligence. Building a database from the user choices, it helps you find books, music and misc. other by having you enter in things that you like, and based on what other people like, it shows you stuff you ought to like, too (which is slightly different from what Amazon does, showing you what other people have bought
). Don't know if all the Amazon Associate links detract from it all or not
posted by crunchland
on Aug 30, 2002 -