So there’s this new thing called Aviary. It’s a suite of web apps that aim to rival the Adobe suite. All together, none of it seems to converge in to a supreme replacement for the real McCoy. However, the most-used features have surfaced without too many more Adobe’s more obscure features that 99% of graphic artists never use. So far there’s a Photoshop-esque image editor complete with layer fx and masking, a node-based image filtering and compositing tool not unlike Blender’s compositor, a basic vector image illustration app that outputs to SVG and takes advantage of Flash’s unique off-center gradients, a quick photo-edit app for cropping and adding text (think Picasa), an audio mixer that comes with fairly decent looping and automation, and a color picker and swatch manager that even comes with color-blind previews. It’s a nice set of tools that offers some refreshingly different options. I’ll keep Aviary in the back of my mind for the next time I’m in a situation where I can’t install the Adobe suite on a computer (which might be never).

Most of the stuff being made with it right now isn’t all that spectacular… Then again, I was saying the same thing about Facebook Graffiti, and then it just sort of exploded.

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In case you’re living under a rock and haven’t seen a poster yet, Gene Felice is throwing a happening this Saturday at Black Mountain College. Admission is cheaper if you’re part of MAP. There are so many artists on the roster that blogging about what they all do individually would be overwhelming. But I’m in there, and so is Lorraine Walsh, and I’ve seen what Queen Mae and The Bells can do, and I’d say it’s worth going for them alone.

(click for full view)

Gallery of Black Mountain College photos

{Re}HAPPENING Artists:

NEW MEDIA:
Mark Hanf & Marnie Muller
Scott Fur
Megan McKissack
Mark Koven
Lorraine Walsh
Lei Han
Wray Bowling

Gene Felice

CULINARY ARTS:
Mark Rosenstein

DANCE / MOVEMENT:
Claire Elizabeth Barratt / Cilla Vee Life Arts
Julie Becton Gillum
Sara Baird

PERFORMANCE:
Tina Matthews & Eve Warnock (AWESOME)
http://www.evewarnock.com/
http://www.queenmaeandthebells.com/

Elisa Faires

Poetix Vanguard: Graham Hackett – Spoken Word
http://www.poetixonline.com/The-Poetix-Vanguard.html
http://www.philmechanicstudios.com/graham_hackett.html

Madison J. Cripps – Puppeteer – Strings Attached Puppet Show

SCULPTURE:
Jinx aka “Sean Pace” (link 1, link 2)

Melissa Terrezza – ceramics

SOUND:
Wayne Kirby
Greg Olson
Dave Hamilton – Moog Foundation Creative Director

Ross Gentry & Chris Ballard
http://www.myspace.com/headwaycollective
http://www.myspace.com/ventriclessounds

Salvatore D’Angio – Audio Installation

Kima Moore
http://www.last.fm/music/Kimathi+Moore
http://www.myspace.com/kimamoore

Chandra Shukla – Sound Performance
http://www.erototoxdecodings.com/xambuca.html
http://www.myspace.com/xambuca

Though the concept of circuit bending may be old hat to you, watching these interviews with Qubais Reed Ghazala, who is the the true godfather of circuit bending, puts a real backbone in to the subject. He’s calm, has a sense of humor, and just has a pleasing personality.



This T-shirt sparked my interest…


Time to acknowledge a great blog. This guy has great taste, and a great looking blog. I love the custom font for each header, the desaturated dirt-under-the-fingernails color of everything, the sidebar of all the awesome print work done over the years, and the posts about sweet Mercedes sports cars from the 70s.

As soon as I got to this point, I knew I would have to start thinking backwards. How on earth did I get here? I was laughing, and wondering how much time had passed. This man, Johan Nordberg, successes at something most internet artists miss.

From the decade of Web 1.0 yore that was the mid-90s, I’ll never forget this guy that was on the Ozone Asylum forum which, by the way, was THE hub for all the world-wide Photoshop and Javascript Gurus of the day. I’m not sure how I found out about that either, but I was there by a brute force series of clicks. Anyway, the guy’s name was “Nimraw” and he had the most bad ass signature that said

If you can’t impress, confuse.

That, coming from someone so skilled always ended with mind-blowing results. Johan Nordberg has the same effect. The guy is obviously a genius. Check out this application he made that reveals all the multitouch senses from a Macbook trackpad And then when you follow that link to his website… you get this. A banana.

This guy does on a 30-minute angry rant about technology and stuff, and it’s just pure genius. I wonder why on earth it’s on a crap site like G4. Oh well. It’s worth watching.

Sam Witherspoon is not average by any means. Perhaps it’s his upbringing. My father listened to a lot of strange musicians in his day too, and I think we revere that common ground. All this backlog is no reason for me to make attempts at over-hyping something. I’m not like that. No. This article is about Sam Witherspoon because he impressed me. He impressed me because he tried…

He’s going to kill me if I make any more bad punny write-up. To be very to-the-point: This site is about one thing and one thing only. Taking this design 101 mentality:

No symbols. Symbols are too strong. – Chris McKee

and rudely shoving it up your ass. In his “About me” section, Sam writes

∆ ≠ ‡ † 卐 ∑ ╬ ∆

And then, the art itself is just stunning. There’s everything from oddly 80’s 3D graphics be they like poster graphics or something that looks like it came straight out of Powerpoint ala Microsoft Powerpoint ’95

And what’s more, it’s a style that has persisted consistently from Sam. In many of his previous projects, the aim was to use a music group as the vehicle, but in the form of a blog it’s clear to see that the aim is to stick a tack under your visual-context.

It’s also cool to see that he’s a big fan of Zach’s data-destryoing processing script.

Let Me Google That For You
This site is great. It’s for when people ask you dumb questions. Oh, you don’t know what the web address is? Well, let me google that for you…

Aardvark
Recently purchased by Google this week, Aardvark is a search engine that uses other people to answer your question.

  • Wray Bowling: How long does it usually take before someone answers a question?
  • (From Karen U./33/F/Lowell,MA, Re: **meta**) It depends on the question. If aardvark can find someone who can answer it, it could be right away, if it has a harder time, it could be hours.
  • Wray Bowling: Karen: what’s the average?
  • (From Karen) In this paper: http://vark.com/aardvarkFinalWWW2010.pdf they say the median answering time was 6 minutes and 37 seconds
  • Wray Bowling: Karen: we searched the same info on google and it took… 3 seconds lol but thank you
  • (From Karen) If you read the paper on aardvark you’ll see that they say google is faster for factual questions. Aardvark is designed for subjective questions that can be harder to find an answer to using traditional search.

So when I asked

  • Wray Bowling: Is it good to try and date someone with a completely different perspective on things, or is it better to find someone like-minded?

I got a lot of real heady answers. Try it!

Ok – Im hooked.

My friend Stephanie told me about this site the other night called chatroulette.com. What this website actually does is connect you to a network of people that you can chat with via webcam, audio, or text. Essentially, youre meeting random strangers from anywhere in the globe.

WARNING!

this site is not for the weak minded

Yess, by the very nature of this website you can be sure to expect a lot of penis and other material that will be offensive to your eyeballs.  If youre one likely to be scarred from this – i wouldnt recommend visiting it.

However, if you can handle it, what this site enables you to do is amazing.  You are seeing and talking with random people all around the globe.  You can bet on getting a lot of middle fingers among other things.  But every once in awhile you will get a fairly normal person that will talk to you.  Here are some of my encounters:

me and this guy were excited to see each other

...but we never really understood eachother

these brits decided they would make fun of me till i cried, then asked to see my boobs

my new internet crush named ashley, however i was freaked out by our normal conversation and disconnected

i thought this mate was rolling a doobie - but he informed me it was a spliff

i told this fellow that he was a very ugly man - he then got his friend to moon me

One of more my more funnier experiences was with a duke fan.  Our time was spent flicking each other off and showing off our gear.  Also, sometimes you get random video – for instance, I even connected to someone who was showing avatar.. i watched it for a bit.

I ended up talking to this random french girl for a bit nicknamed “pow”.  It was really interesting to be able to talk to people around the world openly about anything.  I had to explain to her what poop meant, and she explained to me what it was like trying to find jobs on that side of the world.

It just blows my mind that we are even able to do this.  To connect to random strangers and talk to them all around the world.  What people do or say really fascinate me as I get a small glimpse of who they are and what they are like.

I’ll take Wray’s challenge to actually start posting stuff

Here’s something I’ve been pushing at people since I found out about it: Jexus/WC OLO GARB’s youtube channel. He’s a guy presumably from Poland that does a lot of great video editing/creep aesthetic and ‘underground cult’-feeling stuff for his synthesizer demonstrations. There’s a lot of attention to detail, or lack thereof, to give the video quality a mixture of digital and analog lo-fi grit. So for me it’s like two things that I flip out about, and he’s got the aesthetic that I totally search for in sound design/visual design. I’ll start it off with a few that I think that are his best:

ROLAND JX-8P

AKAI AX80

TIRACON 6V

And here’s a ‘music video’ that I guess he made using some strange source videos:

“Krew [Blood]”


There’s about ten to twenty articles I started writing in hopes that someone else would come behind me and finish them. This month I’ll be putting a lid on one per week. While we’re at it, let’s see if some of YOU can write some posts up here too! This blog was built for community link sharing, showing off your latest projects (consider the fact that there are people in the department a few years younger than you that you could potentially never even meet!), and just generally be aware of what’s going on in the multimedia industry at large. I refuse to stop blogging on here because the landscape of multimedia refuses to stop changing. An alumni has to contribute somehow, right? Right.

Anyway, hats off to all you multimedia kids.

The hip thing these days to get your creativity flowing is mystery and chaos. Maybe you’ve played that game that floated around Facebook for a while where you pick out random quotes from a quotes site and turn it in to an album cover. Well, random is old hat (especially when you consider that most forms of “randomness” is nothing but a pre-calculated perlin function and thus not random at all)

True mystery means the system literally has no way of knowing what information it’s going to deal you. Wondering what I mean? Check out Mystery Seeker a.k.a. Mystery Google: a search bar that takes you to the results for the search term that the last person typed in. This has lead me to so many weird ideas in the past five minutes, you don’t even know.

Second, is chaos. Case in point: Alchemy, which has replaced all of my paper sketch pads and much of my photoshop doodling as well, and even an amount of time with one of those japanese painting programs I paid real money for… Alchemy is weird. You’ll only make trashy artwork in it, and that’s the point. The idea is you’re supposed to just hope you find something. It’s been described as “fishing with a net” and then picking out the ideas you liked the best. Ironically, when you’re doing graphic design work, that’s exactly what clients ask for. At least for me, I had a sort of “why weren’t we doing this before?” moment. #1 chaotic feature: the filter that downloads a ‘random’ flickr image and makes your lines snap to its edges while hiding the image from you completely.

There were other things I was thinking fit in to this category, but for the time being I’ve forgotten. To be continued…

And have a good semester, everybody.