Last year, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie created Ifemelu, the protagonist and blogger in her novel “Americanah,” one of the smartest and sharpest chronicles of contemporary life on three continents. Now, readers can catch up with Ifemelu through “The Small Redemptions of Lagos,” at AmericanahBlog.com. This new blog focuses on Ifemelu’s life in Nigeria, a kind of younger sibling to the novel’s incendiary and anonymous blog, “Raceteenth or Various Observations about American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negros) by a Non-American Black.” The new installment is no less expressive. Ifemelu’s observations are piercing, even on such subjects as a leaky roof at a Lagos airport or a friend who needs to take better care of herself: “Don’t expect water to taste like Coke. It is not Coke. It is water. And it is better for you.” VIA
Stop and Seize: Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes. A multimedia investigation by the Washington Post.
Harvard University and XVIVO have come together again (Previouslyw/ a commercial focus, Previouslierw/an Academic focus) to add to the growing series of scientific animations for BioVisions -- Harvard's multimedia lab in the department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. 'Protein Packing' strives to more accurately depict the molecular chaos in each and every cell, with proteins jittering around in what may seem like random motion. Proteins occupy roughly 40% of the cytoplasm, creating an environment that risks unintentional interaction and aggregation. Via diffusion and motor protein transport, these molecules are directed to sites where they are needed.
Much of this is no doubt inspired by the beautiful art and explained illustrations of David Goodsell, a biologist at Scripps who has been accurately portraying the crowdedness of the cellular landscape for a long time now.[more inside]
Over the course of nearly 20 centuries, millions of East Africans crossed the Indian Ocean and its several seas and adjoining bodies of water in their journey to distant lands, from Arabia and Iraq to India and Sri Lanka. Called Kaffir, Siddi, Habshi, or Zanji, these men, women and children from Sudan in the north to Mozambique in the south Africanized the Indian Ocean world and helped shape the societies they entered and made their own. Free or enslaved, soldiers, servants, sailors, merchants, mystics, musicians, commanders, nurses, or founders of dynasties, they contributed their cultures, talents, skills and labor to their new world, as millions of their descendants continue to do. Yet, their heroic odyssey remains little known. The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World traces a truly unique and fascinating story of struggles and achievements across a variety of societies, cultures, religions, languages and times.
"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
Life Without Lights Energy Poverty Photography.
There's no place like home. It's where we live, work and dream. It's our sanctuary and our refuge. We can love them or hate them. It can be just for the night or for the rest of our lives. But whoever we may be, we all have a place we call home. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE is a series of short films that explore the idea of home; what makes them, how they represent us, why we need them. [more inside]
A Year at War: One Battalion's Wrenching Deployment to Afghanistan: "Some 30,000 American soldiers are taking part in the Afghanistan surge. Here are the stories of the men and women of First Battalion, 87th Infantry of the 10th Mountain Division" out of Fort Drum, NY., based in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Over the next year, The New York Times will follow their journey, chronicling the battalion’s part in the surge in northern Afghanistan and the impact of war on individual soldiers and their families back home. (First link is an interactive feature containing images and autoplaying video, and requires flash. Second link is a standard-style article.) [more inside]
The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping). The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
Dreaming Methods — Atmospheric digital fiction projects designed to be experienced on a computer with the lights down and your sound turned up. Use the mouse to pan around and interact. [more inside]
Music For Real Airports is a multimedia art project collaboration between interactive artists Human and musicians The Black Dog. With the project set to launch April 24, 2010 at the Sensoria festival of music and film, the project recalls Brian Eno's 1978 work, Ambient 1: Music for Airports. [more inside]
Hear the Bible come alive in Dramatic Audio Theater! Jim Caviezel as Jesus (again). Lou Diamond Phillips as Mark. Malcolm McDowell as Solomon. Luke Perry as Judas. Max von Sydow as Noah. (warning: auto-playing video) The Word of Promise Audio Bible features over 1000 voice actors, a 150-piece orchestra, an iPhone app, 98 hours of recorded audio, and more. Meet the cast. Hear samples.
Brenda Kenneally documents the effects of illegal drugs in her Brooklyn, New York neighborhood. Money Power Respect and Big Trigg. NSFW [previous comment]
Lens is the new photojournalism blog of The New York Times, presenting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it will draw on The Times' own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century. Features in their first week include: Essay: Slow Photography in an Instantaneous Age, about what it means to shoot on large-format film in the digital age; Showcase: A Prom Divided, a multimedia feature about a segregated prom in 2009 south-central Georgia.
Mortal Engine (highlights; interview) and Glow (interview) combine dancing and projected video to stunning effect. The secret? The dancers aren't following the light — the light is following the dancers. [more inside]
Man fell from the garden of Eden, and he planted the Garden of Herbal Evil, to justify Brutal Myths against women. Fortunately women have the Blissful Garden of Herbal Good to bind the evil herbs. (possibly NSFW, contains line drawings of genitals.) [more inside]
Newspaper says goodbye via Vimeo. The Rocky Mountain News published its final edition today, after 149 years, 311 days in circulation.
The Turn is the latest creation from multi-media singer/artist Fredo Viola. Using multi-track recordings of his voice in rich harmony, coupled with unusual video vignettes, The Turn [flash] offers a dozen performances of Viola's interesting integration of voice and visual artistry. His first album was just released this week on iTunes and includes works like The Sad Song.
Max/MSP is a graphical programming environment primarily used for music, video and multimedia. Max/MSP has sometimes been described as a digital erector set. David Tinapple describes Max in this way: "it's like you're drawing a diagram of what you want the program to do, and then when you're done drawing the diagram you've also sort of accidentally programmed it". [more inside]
Gravityland. Interactive Web TV series. Watch weekly episodes, respond, contribute. Read blog. Add moves to music video. Play Where in the world is Gravityland? Read comic book. Build FAQ. Somehow, it's all related, and all possibility. [more inside]
The Daniel Dennett interview with Bill Moyers [GoogleVid now with free viewing]. Dennett's talks at TED. Dennett with Robert Wright [GVid]. And additional AV at Daniel Dennett Multimedia -- his presentation at the Center for Naturalism (on "Breaking the Spell") is excellent. [Previously 1, 2, 3, 4]
The Sancho Plan "create live audiovisual performances and installations for your listening and viewing pleasure." Spacequatica, recently performed at Martyn Ware's Future of Sound event, is an intriguing mix of live sound and animations triggered by electronic drums -- worth a few minutes on a Friday.
Photosynth. Blaise Aguera y Arcas (second one down) does a live demo (with some subtle humor) of the product we've discussed previously. Via the wonderful Ted (mentioned a few times).
Ubuntu Studio is a Linux distribution focused on creative audiovisual pursuits.
Back in the mid-nineties, before broadband took hold, the CD ROM was drawing considerable interest from publishers, musicians and other artists. Notable (for contrasting reasons): Laurie Anderson's Puppet Motel, The Residents' Freak Show, Peter Gabriel's Xplora, The Voyager Company. Launch, Media Band, Headcandy.
The mobile content market is big but the mobile service companies control the bottleneck of data to your phone and may well be holding the industry back. A NZ site has launched offering a platform for mobile content producers to sell direct to mobile content consumers globally: Voeveo.
The Luce Foundation Center in the recently renovated and reopened National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, is more like a smörgåsbord-cum-antique store, packed in an overflowing archive rather than a more traditional museum layout. The collection is comprised of varying American art styles and genres in intimate display cases, with little in the way of context or reference. (Though the same site in this link is available on computers scattered throughout the gallery for further detail.)
Lustfaust, an expiremental noise band from West Berlin has been steadily building an online retrospective archive of band photos, memorabilia from past gigs, and collected submissions of artwork that fans created for their own mix tapes. They can also be found (of course) on MySpace. For those of you in the NYC area, tomorrow is the final day of a show at The Volume Gallery that features artwork created by fans of the underground group . What they've pieced together is a pretty loyal and diverse following for a band that doesn't really exist.
Nighthaunts www.nighthaunts.org.uk I have come across “London website of the week” on TimeOut magazine. I really like the idea of writer Sukhdev Sandhu hanging out with London nightworkers and writing up a journal. I’ve always felt fascinated about what is going on in the city at night, whilst (almost) everybody is sleeping. We should be able to find out as journal unfolds … Great recognition to people who work at night in order to keep the city going, and we often forget about …
Soft Cinema is a software+video project by media-theorist Lev Manovich, which 'mines the creative possibilities at the intersection of software culture, cinema, and architecture.' While perhaps more intriguing in prospect than in practice, it seems at least a noteworthy attempt at making something new. A DVD version of the project was released earlier this year.
Driving down the street in my Panzer tank,
sittin’ drinkin’ Cris’ with my bitch Anne Frank.
And when I step into the club’s you know I’m steppin with style!
Raise my left hand, party people say “Heil!”
sittin’ drinkin’ Cris’ with my bitch Anne Frank.
And when I step into the club’s you know I’m steppin with style!
Raise my left hand, party people say “Heil!”
If you liked the Craigslist/Google Maps combo, you'll be happy to hear that the boys and girls over at Engadget have a tutorial on how to make your own annotated multimedia Google map. Pretty sweet!
Myron Krueger began his pioneering work in interactive art in 1969. He was one of the first to explore the aesthetics of interactivity with his "responsive environments." While preparing a talk that included a reminiscence of Krueger demoing Videoplace in the 80s, I was surprised he'd not yet merited even a stub in the Wikipedia. While that may eventually motivate me to register and start the page, for now, I will just share some links. [more inside, including videos]
PIANOGRAPHIQUE the graphics piano is a multimedia instrument,each letter on the keyboard sets off a sound and an animation. audio-visual-collage (flash)
Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. Grey has been around for a long time but hasn't been linked here before. He has a new DVD out called World Spirit, which you can watch clips from online. [Via Future Hi.]
This is the first presidential election where the power of personal computers have been put to use by large numbers of amateurs to create their own ads, cartoons, and multimedia political statements. Some are ridiculous, some are inventive, and some are well, amateurish, but they are all done by people trying to express their political views in a way that may seem to make more of a difference then by casting a ballot. I know that the links I've posted are anti-bush slanted, but to be honest they are easier to find...
I've been having a good time with "You and We", a project from Born Magazine that invites you to "contribute your words and images to this continuously evolving, collective experiment." Users upload art, text and photos to be collaged together in a fast-moving montage that actually turns out to be pretty nice. So far there have been over a thousand contributors. [Flash, Sound (toggles), and possibly NSFW.]
Thoughts from Within is an interesting multimedia poem from Woody Harrelson, whose work has been previously discussed on Metafilter here. [Warning: link goes directly to .swf flash file]
The Movement is a 7-member art project, conceived (somewhat) as a multimedia version of the games Telephone or Exquisite Corpse, in which each member "adds a voice to the work -- a voice which expands the work, a voice which modifies the work, a voice which contests the work" through text, image, or sound. Initiated by writer/musician/radio host Julius Nil, the brother alter-ego of Olias Nil (himself the alter-ego of Seth Cohen) of the late, lamented Fire Show and Number One Cup. Includes work from Nil's Fire Show/Number One Cup collaborator, musician/photographer M. Resplendent .
Making the Modern World brings you powerful stories about science and invention from the eighteenth century to today. It explains the development and the global spread of modern industrial society and its effects on all our lives. The site expands upon the permanent landmark gallery at the Science Museum, using the Web and dynamic multimedia techniques to go far beyond what a static exhibition can do. Terrific wrapping, excellent content.
Winamp 2 + Winamp 3 = Winamp 5 (download lite or standard) . After it's admittedly dissapointing and rushed effort with Version 3 of their popular media player, the Nullsoft team seeks to make amends with their newest release, combining the stability of 2.x with the extras of Winamp 3, adding several new features while they're at it. Though already long-considered the standard for Windows machines, Winamp 5 puts more pressure on other competing, low memory-footprint audio players that have cropped up like Foobar and QCD. More cheerleading/zealotry inside...
The Open Video Project offers nearly 2,000 videos from various sources and collections, including such gems as 34 reels from the 1930s and 40s in the Digital Himalaya Project, a series of classic television commercials, and, from the Library of Congress, some shorts from the early 1900s, including the popular 2 a.m. in the Subway and A Ballroom Tragedy ("Vaudeville" is a good search term for finding more like this). Also, especially for MeFi, Johnny Learns His Manners.
The Book of Roofs is a site to take your time with. Originally an art installation, the web site is a look at the concept of roofs - anthropological, biological, spiritual, metaphysical, social and political - in a collection of "roof tiles" consisting of short articles, personal narratives, mythological references, quotes, historic events, video and photographs, all related to the concept of shelter. If you feel so moved you can even contribute your own tile. Flash and sound
Cyberlicious: the Art and Culture Network. In a lo-brow search for "bubblicious", I happened upon the hi-brow and highly browse-friendly, ACN. Why? Because "bubblicious" is one of its in-site "keyword" searches, describing that quality "shared by champagne, soap foam, hot air balloons, and gum... lighter than air, ephemeral, in a state of creative tension, colorful, beautiful, and amusing", and returning results for movements such as "Pop/Surrealism/Anti-Design", "Miniskirts", "The Digital Era", "Smarty Arty Pop" and "Glam Rock", along with artists such as Mary Quant, The Ramones, Mariko Mori, Gene Kelly, and Mouse on Mars. (more...)
The Los Angeles Times goes multimedia. For the past few weeks, the LA Times has begun a significant push into offering video, audio, and interactive Flash on their website. One of the most interesting aspects is that the paper has moved one step beyond simply replaying AP Television clips as many sites have done; the LA Times writers are stand before the cameras and microphones themselves and report stories in a stuttering, non-hairsprayed, introverted demeanor that I find very refreshing, though so far I have gleaned very little additional information from it. When does (or can) this mode of journalism on the web rise above gimmickry or 'just because we can' and add value to a written article? Can video/tv news rise above mere spectacle?
Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle Multimedia artist Matthew Barney, 36, is almost universally fawned over by critics and is hailed as the most important artist to come along in years. In a stunning installation at NYC's Guggenheim Museum, he's made the museum into a bit player in his massive gesamtkunstwerk. And now this gorgeous website ups the ante on Flash-based sites. In addition to all this, the soundtracks from his Cremaster series by Jonathan Bepler are breaking new ground in modern composition. Oh, yeah, Matthew Barney is the dad of Bjork's child. Where does it end?
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