Category Archives: Other-Links-Etc.

Family Feud, Google Style

This morning, sitting around the breakfast table sucking down homemade blueberry-strawberry-banana-cranberry all fruit smoothies (is there anything better?) my family discovered a fun new pastime. It is a version of family feud, reincarnated as a lens into contemporary culture and its uses of search engines.

Most web browsers come with a built-in search bar that defaults to Google. Not only does it send your query to Google, but Google feeds you a list of suggestions as you type:

While inhaling our frozen berry gorgeousness (made with my all new ALL-Metal drive blender!) we decided to use Google’s search suggestions to play our own version of Family Feud. Here were some of our generic yet surprisingly hilarious and culturally insightful examples:

Natzke: Music to My Eyes

One of the first artists I discovered when I ventured into the realm of computational and generational art was Erik Natzke. I have since been following his blog and eagerly awaiting the arrival of some recent work. Summer dreams do come true.

SolarIn his recent post about Color Mining he also pointed to a flickr gallery titled Colors of Nature, which is a series leading up to a gallery show this September. I have always found his past work stunning, and have even considered purchasing a print or two of his images (which says a lot considering that, as a graduate student, I hardly have the money to cover the costs of groceries). These latest images give me butterflies in my stomach. Good ones. I find myself literally gasping and moaning with sheer aesthetic pleasure as I click through the album. Be sure to look at the large versions of each.

PitMy response is intensely visceral—extraordinary enough that what I feel verges on synaesthesia. I want these images to rain on me, pour out of pipes onto my living room floor so that I can bathe in and wrap myself up in a swaddle of colorful indulgence. While previous sets have made my synapses hum sympathetically, these ones seem to resonate within my mind inducing pleasure like some sort of cerebral vibrator. My heartstrings have been pulled, massaged, then melted. Remarkable work.

Congratulations, Erik. You’ve officially surpassed my own vivid experience with Rothko. I’m still writhing in awe . . . It will take me months to dissect this experience. Thank you.

Civilization — Marco Brambilla

I’m usually not too keen on simply referencing work posted on other sites and linking to it from my own blog, but a recent installation I’ve come across is just too good to pass up.

Meet Marco Brambilla: a video artist and filmmaker who was noticed by the owner of the Standard Hotel in New York City. His work, which was recently featured on Motionographer is an epic collage of footage pulled from over 400 sources that will be viewable as you step into one of the hotel’s elevators when it opens later in 2009. Depending on whether you are moving up or down on the elevator, you will be presented with an ascent or descent into heaven or hell à la Dante’s Divine Comedy.

I have never seen anything like this. My horizons are now broadened. Watch it. Then watch it again, and again. I must have watched it fifteen times already and I’m still plucking new details out of the filmographic fabric with each viewing. Bravo Marco! I applaud your expansive vision. Enjoy.

UPDATE: It seems that there are an extraordinary number of people lurking around the internet trying to figure out what music is used in this clip. I’ll offer a helping hand here: it’s Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), of course! Everyone should recognize it from their middle school Music Appreciation class, and if you don’t, then take a Music Appreciation class! Good ol’ Stravinksy. Always a force to be reckoned with.


Scrabble — Kickin' it when it comes to advertising

Mattel has gone all out on their new commercials for Scrabble. It seems they’ve made a departure from the layman’s opinion of Scrabble being an outdated, esoteric board-game for middle-aged frumps, to be played post America’s Funniest Home Videos. Considering I’m such a sucker for good advertising (my wife makes fun of me for having a tendency to buy gas from stations with the best logo), I must admit, that, in the facing years of resistance to word games, . . . these adverts make we want to buckle down and do some lexicographic damage to prove how hip and modern I am. Good job, Mattel.