Friday Videos - Nov 21st, 2014

Listen, I know there's a playlist of videos here that is just begging for your enjoyment and distraction but have you been paying attention to the changes over at Giphy? They launched Giphy TV and now I'll basically never get anything done ever again. But I digress... Don't forget to watch that Mount Sharp video and have a damn fine weekend.

Jon Contino 2014

By now, you are undoubtedly well aware of the works of Jon Contino. His empire of brands - Contino Brand, CXXVI, Past Lives - all manage to be compelling and different in their own right. And, somehow, beyond creating all those things he's also a ridiculous craftsman with lettering, illustration and layout.

So, that's the broad primer but the real nitty gritty is his recent official site relaunch. He shares a whole lot of new work and process pieces to go along with each. Be sure to check out his major campaign for The Book of Life, his end titling for Boardwalk Empire and his restaurant branding for Home of the Brave.

Rattling on about his aesthetic and his ability to execute it so well is old news. Just dive into it.

Universal Media Keys

I will admit, when I first encountered Sway FM's Universal Media Keys extension I was skeptical. My pessimism got the best of me and I assumed it was buggy as my previous experiences with keyboard remapping have rarely been pleasant. Fortunately, as usual, I was wrong. The software does just what it claims - allows you to use your built-in keyboard audio controls for playback of all sorts of web destinations - primary Soundcloud, Mixcloud and Bandcamp for me.

Maybe I'm getting a little too niche here but as an avid OSX / Chrome user, I really appreciate the ability to not have to find whatever tab is making noise and quickly try to mute it. Get it.

Crazy Eyes (Live-ish)

Mount Sharp recently released a new video for "Crazy Eyes" that cuts together performances from TT the Bear's in MA, Cake Shop in NY, Asbury Lanes in NJ and Casablanca Cruise Lines in ME. Yea, that's right, they played a boat. It's a solid representation of the goodness that is a Mount Sharp show and, of course, it's a nice way to showcase their EP Weird Fears, which you can get here.

Will Bruno

It's difficult to encapsulate the work of Will Bruno into a single representative image. It's best to dive into a full series of work - Comics with Still Life: Finding the Inevitable Place is a good spot to start with as it gives you an idea of the kind of variety he's offering. There are bits of sculpture, more traditional leaning still life paintings and pieces that seem to straddle the line between visual journal entries and comic book.

He's also got some more straightforward illustration offerings like these MOCAD pieces that should be suitable to appreciate the man's skill. Go follow his blog and maybe even his inspiration blog.

Tomy Toy Robots

Josh recently clued me in to this massive archive of Old Robots. I can't even begin to describe the ridiculous amount of documentation here covering industrial robots to movie robots to toys - it's rather unbelievable. However, I will suggest taking some time to browse the Tomy Toy Robot collection from the 1980's. Designs like Mr. Money and Robie Jr are quite familiar but there are other delights like Kitbot or Hootbot in there that I was unfamiliar with.

As rudimentary as some of these may seem there doesn't seem to be a huge progression between designs of the 80's and something like a Furby or even Asimo - one could argue they have similar foundations. Even if you disagree, you can enjoy in their designs and ability to make something cute out of something so seemingly cold on paper.

The Art Is Not Yours

I'm a big fan of Austin Kleon. Period. His art is interesting, his books are fascinating and his insight into art is both simple and worthy of note. This hand scrawled note about the preciousness of art may seem obvious on the surface but it's often hard to remember when you're working on something and feeling quite precious about it.

Being inspired is one thing but actually acting on that inspiration is another. It's good to remember that the process of loving the creation is every bit as important - if not moreso - as putting it out into the world.

Also be sure to read this Steve Albini quote that's right along the same lines.

Amie Siegel - The Sleepers

Similar in theme to the Gail Albert Halaban series I posted last week, this series of voyeuristic images from Amie Siegel - The Sleepers - is right up my alley. Unlike the Halaban series, these images are culled from a 16mm film documenting the observations and are certainly not art directed or setup beforehand.

Is it somewhat creepy? Is it a violation of private space even if your windows are wide open to the world? These are the questions being posed! And the answers are certainly an interesting discussion to have.

Venture

I know zilch about Alvin Risk beyond the fact that he's an EDM artist. And, moreso, one that seems to understand the power of a good community powered art project to augment his audible releases. I know a similar small amount about Venture, a collection of five songs and five artist redentions of variations on the same theme. This piece from Andrew Archer is my favorite among the group. I recommend checking out the other variations but diving deep into the Archer portfolio is the real gem to be found here.

Geoffrey Farmer

I found myself browsing some galleries this weekend thanks to a visitation from Mr Jeremy Okai Davis and encountered a massive installation by Geoffrey Farmer at the Casey Kaplan gallery - preview that show here.

Farmer dabbles in a lot of different media - photography, video, even a little audio but he's definitely found his niche with the series of paper cutouts. He's done previous shows that featured LIFE magazine images in an equally grandiose and more chaotic way. It's some form of collage sculpture installation hybrid that I'm quite entranced by.

Magnum Archive Unearthed

Magnum Photos is a lot of things but, at the core, it's a collective of passionate and talented photographers - founded by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour - that's been documenting our planet beautifully since 1947. The recently asked several of their members to dive into their archives and release a new photo - something from the contact sheet that they'd just not published - and share it with the world.

You can see many of the results from this 'Archive Dive' here (and more here and here). I can't seem to find the official collection anymore but I highly suggest jumping around to see these beautiful images and their backstories.

Friday Videos - Nov 14th, 2014

It's a weird one this week. I don't know what happened but the offerings that came my way this week were either strange or adorable but quite entertaining. Enjoy! Have a great weekend!

Suzanne Ciani: A Life In Waves

Take a moment to watch this trailer for Suzanne Ciani: A Life in Waves - a, hopefully, forthcoming documentary about a pioneer in electronic music that often gets overlooked. She's responsible for the "Pop and Pour" Coke sound effects as well as this rad theme song for Atari's "Liberator." Seriously, listen to that song now.

She did a ton more than that but that should be enough to convince you to give the Kickstarter a fair shake. Her career story in a world of music that was almost entirely unknown to the world at large through an industry largely dominated by men is nothing short of fascinating.

TMBG Instant Fan Club 2015

I haven't consistently listened to TMBG for a few cycles now. They will always hold a fond place for me but the recent music hasn't grabbed me in the same way (self-titled through John Henry is unflappable). Despite that, I am absolutely floored by this Instant Fan Club that they recently announced. For $98 you get 52 new songs, two tickets to a show, three CD's, a DVD, a t-shirt and two basal wood airplanes. There's another, slightly more expensive, tier that includes vinyl of the new music, an autographed copy of Flood on vinyl and a pretty badass commemorative coin.* It's a very smart move on their part - fully leveraging their audience to set them up for success for an entire year before said year has even begun. Granted, this works best for a band with a fervent fanbase that's been doing their thing for 20+ years but that doesn't make it any less interesting of a thing.

I'm continuously impressed by the flux of the music industry and how artists find their a way to traverse themselves to a solvent monetary solution. Good on you TMBG.

* There's also a cheaper tier of just digital downloads but that's slightly less compelling to talk about

Out My Window

The conceit of Out My Window from Gail Albert Halaban is simple - a voyeuristic peep into the surrounding buildings. A glimpse of others lives as seen through their window panes. I am, admittedly, somewhat attracted to this because my living room windows have zero shade and the neighbors often look in on us watching TV or eating popcorn. If these photos are staged, I don't want to know. I guess it could be a privacy concern if they aren't but I prefer the idea that they're natural, legitimate, glimpses. Ignorance really can be bliss.

Darkangel0ne

I'm not entirely clear on his process but DarkAngel0ne has some rather entrancing GIF creations. I believe they are based off of existing photographic works and then morphed and manipulated into what you see on his site. They don't all do it for me but pieces like this or this are what I'd call Undeniable.

Toiletwolf

I won't lie, I gave some serious pause when initially starting to browse the offerings of Toiletwolf. Sure, the name is amusing but the potential for undesired visual horrors seemed high.

Fortunately, that is not the case. It is, simply put, an engaging visual photolog of sites and scenes from around New York - with a particular emphasis on the "unseen." I love the captures of various abandoned graffiti and the small moments of people - butchers in a deli, a couple on the train, etc. Lots to see, I highly recommend.

Harmontown

I wanted to take a moment to point out that Harmontown - the documentary on Community creator / writer / showrunner Dan Harmon is now available for sale. This is notable because they've created a Deluxe Edition that not only includes Commentary, an Extended Cut of the film and bonus clips but also fully edited live performances from the 22 stops on the original tour. It's an insane amount of material and not something that I see too often on the web - real fan service. You can also just get the feature but I am fairly confident that seeing all the events really gives some context to the whole film.

I'm happy to say this amount of material is exclusively for sale through VHX. Love seeing people use the platform for the most gain from their audience.

Friday Videos - Nov 7th, 2014

Did you know Bob's Burgers has returned to airing new episodes? Hopefully you did, it's such a fine show. Anyway, here's a bunch of distracting videos to help you get through your day. You deserve it, you worked hard for it.
  • Player Hater - loved this little death animation. All my favorite things.
  • Infomercials - Too Many Cooks - this is eleven minutes long. That's an incredibly long time for an Internet video but it gives this absolutely absurd video a long time to go some quite insane places. It only gets weirder and darker as it goes.
  • What News Anchors Do During Commercial Breaks - this is a helluva handclap choreography. How many times do you think they've done this?
  • Klaus Nomi - Lightning Strikes - My friend John went as Klaus Nomi for Halloween and I've been diving into his catalog of works ever since. What a fascinating character.
  • Shooby Taylor - Stout-Hearted Men - new life goal, memorize this and everything else in Shooby Taylor's catalog.
  • CHAPPIE Movie Trailer - I'll be real, I didn't love the last Blomkamp movie but seeing this Chappie trailer gives me hope that he'll continue to live up to my highest expectations.
  • AMBITION - this is a full-on sci-fi trailer for an actual space mission. I could get used to this sort of PSA.
  • My cousin Oskaar - you know how annoying Daylight savings is to people who live in Iceland? You will after seeing this.
  • Boom Boom Boom Way Ho - I am sure I have seen this and I am sure this has made the rounds in your office email pool before but it's absolutely worth a rewatch. I predict you will be singing it all day today.
I've also got Bee & PuppyCat on my queue for the weekend.

Yorokobu Numbers

I'm going to dive further into their portolio later on but these Yorokobu Numbers from Tata & Friends are great! The simple illustration style has an oddly medical feel to it. Maybe that's just me but I feel like I'm looking at a simplified dissection of arteries. Be sure to check out the animated versions of each number courtesy of Cuadra Post.

via Rudy.