gaga over polaroid

When in 2008 Polaroid announced that it will discontinue its production of instant film, it was an end of an era. Loyal fans feverishly stocked up on precious film; and when it ran out, had to settle on using phone camera apps that emulated the vintage look and feel of a Polaroid.

Luckily, in an effort to revive and spring the brand into the digital age, Polaroid hired Lady Gaga as its artistic director. And she definitely did not disappoint.

Art and technology collide in these GL20s sunglasses/camera, where a wearer can take pictures or video and instantly display on the glasses. Available this summer, the price has not yet been announced.

But I’m more excited about Polaroid’s another new product–GL30 (also Lady Gaga’s contribution), which is an instant-print digital camera. Users can take multiple digital images and choose the one they want to print via a pop up LCD screen. To learn more and watch the announcement video click here.

genius procrastination

This fall marks my last (if all goes well) semester at grad school. But before my classmates and I rejoice, we’re tasked to write and defend a monster of a final project. Which of course, in my anxiety-driven mind, has given me numerous reasons to procrastinate and focus on something trivial.

Apart from reading people’s status updates on Facebook (Monica is crossing her fingers for tomorrow!!; Nicole is breathless…; Ellen is chillin; Naomi is going to vote and get a free vibrator, etc), I’ve been obsessed with iTunes’ Genius. 

When I had an intense need to find THE album that would help me concentrate on my paper, Genius never failed and introduced me to pretty awesome artists. I’ve been banging out my paper page by page while grooving to Quantic, Little People, Tosca, and Urbs, all thanks to Genius. I love it how with this type of technology it’s so much easier to shape your own music taste and expand your music horizons. Now, where was I with my project….

looking at music

MoMA’s current exhibit, Looking at Music, explores the work of pioneering multidisciplinary artists who combined their craft with music and new media/technology. Parallel to the exhibit, there are screenings of art films which center around music and music videos directed by artists.

One of the featured pieces is this video directed by Andy Warhol for some ’80s band. It’s quite raunchy and totally awesome:

knit flick

I have to confess, I am a sucker for bad reality TV and domestic arts. And yes, the two go together hand in hand: I crocheted this trippy doily while watching A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, season 1. 

Imagine my astonishment, when I saw this marvelous music video created with 723 individually KNITTED (!) frames. The band is a Canadian duo named Tricot Machine (which stands for “knitting machine,” for those linguistically challenged).

Though a knitting machine was involved (it would have been even more badass if they were actually hand-knit), the creation process still sounds arduous. According to David Valiquette who produced the video: 

“We actually shot our characters on green screen to start with. Then we edited, keyed and composited in AE to add the other elements like snow and stadium. We then outputed 723 jpeg of the clip to our knitter that used them as templates for the knits. The knitting technique is actually called in french “Tricot machine”, hence the band’s name!” [source]

Love it!

 

yamaha me crazy

When I was 12 years old, I saw a performance by Japanese wunderkinds who were students at the Yamaha Music School and were on a tour in Ulaanbaatar. I watched the show with an open-mouthed awe; I had nothing on these kids with my one-fingered rendition of “Chopsticks.” Since then, I never dared to touch a piano, but developed a deep respect for Yamaha’s commitment to foster musical creativity. (If you think I’m exaggerating these kids’ abilities, let this 3-year old put your musical skills to shame.)

Which brings me to the point of this post. Yamaha’s new digital musical instrument, TENORI-ON, was launched this spring, and it’s totally awesome. Designed by media artist Toshio Iwai, this touch screen instrument has 16×16 matrix of LED switches, which visualize musical gestures. “Intuitive design” may be an overused phrase these days; but in this case, TENORI-ON is totally on to something with its visual and intutive interpretation of music-making. 

Read PingMag’s interview with TENORI-ON’s developer Yu Nishibori here.

music vision

Thanks to Create Digital Music (a forum for musicians using technology), I stumbled upon something called “audio responsive visual” where music is interpreted through programming language, or what is also known Processing. In this video, artist/designer/programmer Robert Hodgin’s (Flight404) visualizes “Lovely Head” a song by British group Goldfrapp. You’ll see that his interpretive code not only accentuates the song’s beat, pitch and loudness but also incorporates its lyrics–apparently, a challenging task to achieve in Processing. Don’t know about you, but I couldn’t stop watching this mesmerizing piece…

absolut machines

What do you get when you mix vodka, music, technology, and a dash of creativity? An awesome interactive music machine dubbed “ABSOLUT Quartet” commissioned by Absolut Vodka and envisioned by artists/technological sculptors/musicians Jeff Lieberman and Dan Paluska. This project is not only a genius combination of creative thought and technological knowledge, but is also a successful expansion on the “In an ABSOLUT World” ad campaign.

Go to the site to submit your song and listen how the ABSOLUT Quartet improvises your melody.

musical glasses

Machine close up and personal.

absolut machines

“in an absolut world, would machines be creative?”

source

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