Journey Through Vietnam

Journey Through Vietnam

Journey Through Vietnam

Journey Through Vietnam

Seeing far off places is always fun, and when it’s shot as beautifully as the video above it’s an absolute joy. Leon Visser, a resident of Amsterdam, and his friends took their summer vacation through Vietnam and documented their journey, giving us 5 minutes of beautiful scenery and fantastic imagery. I don’t think I’ve ever had a strong urge to visit Vietnam, but after watching this video it looks like an amazing place to spend a summer. There’s not much else to say, simply sit back and enjoy it!

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

September 22, 2011 / By

Can A Simple Piece Of Graffiti Bring A Dam Down?

Matilija Dam Graffiti
Photo by Mel Melcon

Matilija Dam Graffiti

The above photos are from a cool piece of graffiti done on a dam near Ojai recently. They’ve been floating around online and, as you can see, is a really simple statement: a pair of scissors in the middle of a dotted line, placed atop of a dam suggesting cutting the dam open.

This seems simply clever and funny as if it was just a visual item to be a visual item but, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the piece is much more than a witty graphic but a statement on an obsolete dam that has somewhat plagued the area for some time. Here’s what they had to say about the situation:

    Matilija Dam was built in 1947 for flood control and water storage. But officials say it was flawed from the outset. For decades, it’s been holding back silt as much as water, depriving beaches 17 miles downstream of the sand they need to replenish themselves. It’s also been deemed a huge obstacle for steelhead trout, an endangered species that was once a trophy fish luring anglers from across the country.

    Officials say they don’t know who painted the shears, and they’re careful to note that such acts — even in the name of art — are illegal and dangerous. The dam is challenging enough that rescue squads use it for climbing practice, pounding in metal anchors that may have aided the scissors hands.

    But even if the painting is no more legal than garden-variety graffiti, some say it speaks to the takedown’s glacial pace.

    “We’ve studied this to death and talked about it forever,” said Paul Jenkin of the Matilija Coalition, an alliance of community groups pushing for the dam’s removal. “There’s very strong support from the community, and that’s part of what we’re seeing with the graffiti.”

I’m definitely intrigued to see what happens with this and, although unlikely that the art will be the drop that breaks the damn, it really has brought a small, local issue out for the world to see. If anything has been accomplished by the anonymous artist, it is that they have turned a dormant issue into a nascent cause.

Read the rest of the story here.

KYLE

KYLE FITZPATRICK

September 21, 2011 / By

The Unreality of 3D Modeling – Thesis Project by Greg Tran

The Unreality of 3D Modeling - Thesis Project by Greg Tran

The Unreality of 3D Modeling - Thesis Project by Greg Tran

The Unreality of 3D Modeling - Thesis Project by Greg Tran

This video is part of the thesis-prize-winning thesis project by Greg Tran. His thesis, and this subsequent video, focus on media used to represent architecture 3-D and 2-D; real and virtual. I’ve never thought of the deceit inherent in calling a virtual model “three dimensional” since it’s always being mediated through a two-dimensional screen (or physical printout), but it makes total sense. Greg’s video starts to resemble visions of the future where entire interfaces fan out, surrounding the user before dissolving at a single gesture. It’s trilling to imagine a future where virtual environments will become immersive but it’s strange to think that we’ll have to move that much. Technology seems to have evolved for us to move less and less. We sit hunched over our computers barely moving anything above our elbows, so why are there persistent visions of the future where we have to wave our hands around like we’re dancing backup. It’s an aside to a thought-provoking video. As someone excited about the future, I’m exciting to see what virtual visions will eventually emerge around us.

Alex

Alex Dent

September 21, 2011 / By

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Tim Lahan

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Tim Lahan

Tim Lahan

Back in July I posted about Tim Lahan, a New York based artist/designer who has this beautiful, colorful style that looks like it’s been created with a box of digital markers. When I look at his work it just feels really positive and beautiful, I mean, how can you not enjoy it? He can even make a bunch of bags of garbage look beautiful. He also just updated his portfolio site which looks great, I love the the simple grid and the random feeling of it.

So I was really excited when he told me he’d do a desktop wallpaper, and I think he’s done an awesome job. It’s so simple but it’s so clever! There’s a dude chilling in your computer! I’m going to say (though I don’t know for sure) that the guy is actually Tim, and now he lives inside your computer. I’ve had this on my computer since the weekend and I love it, it’s simple and it makes people laugh. I should also point out that the iPad and iPhone versions are custom and different from the wallpapers, so be sure to check them out as well. Thanks for the rad wallpapers Tim!

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

September 21, 2011 / By

Musikkspalten by Mari Kanstad Johnsen

Musikkspalten by Mari Kanstad Johnsen

Musikkspalten by Mari Kanstad Johnsen

Musikkspalten by Mari Kanstad Johnsen

Musikkspalten by Mari Kanstad Johnsen

Oslo based artist and illustrator Mari Kanstad Johnsen has so much good stuff in her portfolio that it seemed difficult to know what work I should post. I could have shared a number of her pieces but I decided that there was so much good stuff in just this single illustration that it deserved a whole post of its own.

This illustration is taken from the Norwegian publication Norrøna Magazine. It’s a kind of lifestyle and outdoor magazine with a focus on snow-sports. Mari’s illustration is called Musikkspalten and I just love the combination of all the different elements in this piece. It’s really fun and playful, and I love the muted-color palette which Mari uses.

If you want to see more of her work (and to be honest, you really should), then head on over to her portfolio. I especially encourage your to check out her beautiful degree show animation Octopus which follows scientist and nature-cinematography-pionéer Jean Painlevé in his struggle to make the perfect film about the lovelife of octopuses.

Philip

Philip Kennedy

September 21, 2011 / By

Awaiting ‘Melancholia’ – A Preview of Lars Von Trier’s New Film

Awaiting 'Melancholia' - A Preview of Lars Von Trier's New Film

Awaiting 'Melancholia' - A Preview of Lars Von Trier's New Film

Wow, I just realized that is a very depressing title of a post. But then again, almost everything director Lars Von Trier puts his hands on has emerged as an assault on our mental stability. Dancer in the Dark, his biggest hit from eleven years ago, focused on the uphill battle of hope in hopeless times. The followup, Dogville, will trash all of your optimism for the goodness of mankind in its cataclysmic ending. And Antichrist, which Danica elegantly reviewed earlier this year, emerges as a horror movie where the enemy is ones psyche. While there may not be a direct link between each film, I find Von Trier to be a director who projects his views of human nature into each of his feature releases. It is an odd juxtaposition. The cinematography is beautiful and the pace near perfect. Yet at times you cannot watch anymore as it scars your psyche with its piercing imagery and tone.

Melancholia, for better or for worse, follows in the same vein. In a year when doomsday films have reigned supreme, Von Trier has taken the risk of tying a romantic, cerebral drama with the end of the world. And I mean a romantic drama in the vein of Tristan und Isolde (referenced early on in the film), where beautiful melodic touches combined with dissonance in a story that challenges the importance of emotions against unforgiving fatality. Under that backdrop, Melancholia appears to be a film not about the end of the world or love. Maybe it is more literal: that untraceable melancholy feeling, despondence when facing the inevitable fate of our lives.

Melancholia comes out, stateside, on 11/11/11. A proper review will follow, but I urge you to get ready for one of the more thought provoking movies of 2011.

Alec

Alec Rojas

September 21, 2011 / By

Instagram Gets A Much Needed Update

Instagram Update

Instagram Update

Word just filtered through Twitter that iPhone photo share app Instagram just updated with some very exciting features. For people who don’t use the app, this is just noise and fanfare from iPhone nerds. But, for the nerds, this is huge. In a blog post revealing all of the updates, Instagram details that they have added four new filters (seen above), quicker filter switching, instant tilt shift, rotation, optional borders, higher resolution photos, more supported devices, and a new, somewhat cuter icon. To all non-Instagrammers, these are all seemingly normal things you would have thought already existed on the app but they did not. News of these things are huge! Particularly the fact that you can remove borders, rotate photos, and switch through filters and tilt shift much faster is a blessing.

I played around with the new app and it is very, very good. Let me show you some of the features that I captured, while using my dog Dottie as a model.

Instagram Update

As you can tell from these three, the whole photo editing experience is completely different. Gone is the beige backdrop and somewhat invisible tilt shift button and in are new features and clearly noted functions. On the left, you will see how the tilt shift works. Although there is no longer a way to adjust how much tilt you are getting, you can now more clearly and easily see what is being affected by the tilt shift as a white glow displays the tilt shift. The middle photo displays the new filter carousel which loops the filters into a constant stream. You’ll also see there are new icons to represent the filters, which look much cleaner and crisper than the previous version of the app. Also, the shoes are gone and trees are in! On the right, the photo is upside down which–although seemingly silly here–is very valuable when you take a photo that you want oriented in a specific way so you don’t have to use another app to get it as you like. Although you cannot crop your photos (yet!), rotating your photo is a step in the right direction for Instagram to combat other photo sharing systems like Hipstamatic and Camera+.

You’ll also notice that all three of the photos do not have a border, which you can turn on or off with the icon on the top left. Speaking of icons, the second to the left icon rotates the photo, the middle reverses camera view, the fourth icon manages tilt shift, and the fifth exits from photo editing back to your stream. The fifth icon–the X–is a bit redundant in conjunction with the lower red X, which simply takes you back a step to retake a photo. Beware of which X you employ! The eye on the bottom right also turns off/on the filter carousel, making your view of photo editing less congested.

All in all, I think the Instagram update is very great and much needed. Granted, the updates are mainly only in regards to editing the photo versus the interactivity. The update gives users the power to make their photos look better than Instagram has ever allowed, which is a very, very good thing. Now, go forth and update your Instagram, iPhone nerds…and let us know what you think in the comments!

KYLE

KYLE FITZPATRICK

September 20, 2011 / By

Brent Rollins

Brent Rollins

Brent Rollins

Brent Rollins - Back for the Future

I came across the work of Brent Rollins last week after seeing the insane poster he did for Nike’s recent release of the sneakers from Back to The Future. Which is really a shame, because I’ve seen his work for years, but I had no idea it was him. He’s done logo designs for films like Boyz N The Hood and Dead Presidents as well as album art for Spank Rock and Mos Def and Talib Kweli’s Black Star. His current portfolio is filled with some really great work, lots of colorful collages and great type design. If you dig the images above be sure to check out the rest of his work. You can also read a short interview he did with Theme that gives a little back story.

Bobby

Bobby Solomon

September 20, 2011 / By

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