“A lighthearted essay on contextualized characters.
Reconstruction follows deconstruction.”
*Dusts off keyboard*
Whoa. Hey, what’s going in? It’s been a while.
The short story: I’ve been busy.
The long story:
I’m a dad and my daughter is at the age where she notices (and gets upset) when I’ve got my face stuck in a phone or laptop whilst spending time with her. I was lucky enough to have parents who paid attention to me and know how important that shit is so, quite out of the blue, my not-at-work screen time is now at a premium.
I’ve started open sourcing some of the software I’ve been writing over the last year and that’s been sucking up a lot of my time. “Sucking up” in a good way, in a “get lost in what you’re doing and end up feeling accomplished” sort of way. It’s really fun to hone in on, refine and document things I’ve been building with the express purpose of helping other people solve challenges similar to ones I’ve had to tackle. I learned how to program by using (and studying) code that was written by others and if those folks hadn’t open-sourced what they wrote I honestly wouldn’t have the skills necessary to do what I do for a living. I am seizing an opportunity to be useful to others; a state of being and action that, for me at least, yields the maximum about of bliss. If you’re curious:
I’ve been working on a project that I can’t talk a lot about right now but let me put it this way: if it happens I would post in on this web zone (even if I didn’t have a hand in making it).
Watching rad videos and talking about why I love them is one of my favorite things to do but sometimes even THAT has to take a backseat to other pursuits. Everything interesting on this website I found freely available to watch online and as compelling as it is to continually consume what others create, I also want to contribute my own drops to the internet’s vast ocean of interesting things.
All the above can be summed up with one of Ms. Tripatorium’s favorite phrases: “You can do anything but you can’t do everything.”
Over the past month or so I started to receive messages from many of you inquiring about the status of the site. Most of them included a little note of appreciation and none of them were mean or rude which was super-cool. To know that so many of you were missing these little posts I like to write in my spare time late at night or on the train to-and-from the city was tremendously gratifying.
Speaking of posts: attached above is a bizarre little treat Carl Burton introduced me to on twitter. It’s essentially improvisational animation; a minute-and-a-half riff on what gives birds their birdness. The ‘worm sequence’ is just mental and easily my favorite. Anyone have like $50,000 so we can hire ZEITGUISED (or, at least, lead animator Matt Frodsham) to make a whole bunch more of these?
Thanks, as always, for reading. Cheers!
“I was still surprised,
When I caught your eye after all this time.
And it took me back to the times we had.
Even though that we’re far apart,
We’ve come so close and it feels so right;
Don’t give up…”
A big thanks is due to William Doran for sending this one our way. Cheers!
If you enjoyed the attached and would like to see more videos like it, I’d suggesting visiting our time lapse feed next.
“But there’s that sweet grass, it’s dancing in the high bluffs and the sea breeze;
It’s where the elk sleep, dreaming simple dreams of luscious green grass and peace.”
Loving this gorgeous, atmospheric-and-mellow music video Awesome and Modest directed/animated for Pete Van Leeuwen. The tune sounds like it could have been on Beck’s Sea Change – my go-to album for the drive home after a long, hot day at the beach – and the complimentary connected-with-nature visuals further amplify its already laid-back, lazy vibe.
Tetsuka Niiyama dropped a note in the suggestion bin with a link to some animation he created, “that depicts saltation and growth of life in the sea using jewelry as the motif for illustrating the theme ‘Jewels of Sea’”. It’s expertly done and über-chill...ENJOY!
“Where do all these melodies come from?
Where do all these melodies run from
to then find solace in sun, son?
Honestly? I’m stumped.
All I know is somehow when I’m stuck,
Maybe it’s dumb luck, I give up;
I’m just as dumbstruck.”
Steve first sent us this video in the spring but, truth be told, I didn’t take the time to really dive in and pay attention to what was going on until a few days ago. Don’t make the same mistake.
I never really caught on to what the song was about because I was too fixated on the visuals. For whatever dumb reason I tend to not like when shot footage and animation are combined unless they’re seamlessly mixed together. That’s certainly not a rule, just a general prejudice rooted in the sticky cellar of my psyche. When I was a child I used to separate my food into neat little piles; the stuff I liked least was eaten first and, when it was finished, the next mound in the hierarchy of flavor was tackled until my favorite was last on the plate. It sounds dumb now that I’m typing it out but, at the time, this behavior seemed perfectly logical. I was a little obsessed by the process to the point that I’d have a mini freak-out if different foods touched each other.
To enjoy something on it’s own terms is, to me at least, fundamentally satisfying. I find that both sobriety and intoxication are agreeable in their own way but to be either one or the other for too long a span of time spurs a vague discomfort as each plays an integral role in calibrating the poles of my consciousness.
Yin and yang, bruh.
So, separate and tackle in turn. If shot footage and hand-drawn animation are fused into one film, why wouldn’t you want to make the finished product look as homogeneous as possible? You know, invest the necessary time and attention to do a proper blend; apply some craft ‘n shit. This is probably why I glossed over the attached when I first saw it. But I didn’t dismiss it...how could I? Mr. Steven Smith himself made it for goddamn Stones Throw and, seeing as I’m a big fan of both, decided to tuck it away and return later. On a recent trip to the Midwest I did just that and, away from the pressures of work, had time to properly marinate in what was going on.
Anyways, the song is about the creative process and – even though Homeboy Sandman is specifically referring to his methodology for writing rhymes – the themes he covers are pretty universal to anyone who makes things. At it’s core, creating something is a frustrating mix of volition and luck. You’ve got to do what you can to get the ball rolling but ultimately, what’s going on isn’t completely within your control. It’s haphazard and messy and inexact and – for beings whose evolutionary success depended primarily on an ability to exert dominance over the surrounding environment – supremely frustrating.
“I think ‘What is this melody meaning to me?’
The answer might come in a week.
The answer might come immediately.
What is the recipe?”
Lyrically, it’s a tightly-packed, mad, stream-of-consciousness tumble and the accompanying grab-bag of colorful, whacked-out visuals heighten the sense of anticipation for what he’ll say next. It took me until the ninth or tenth viewing to finally notice that the only shot footage is of Sandman’s head, the physical case for an internal universe of grey matter that simultaneously contains both the hindering, fickle spontaneity of his creative muse and the honed mastery of language that eventually liberates and externalizes it.
At that moment everything shifted; the heterogeneous, sharp-edged contrast of the visuals morphed from the thing I didn’t like to my absolute favorite part. Maybe you’ll like it, too?
it’s multi-versal; pages and journals.
My journey here is ended soon –
we blow eternal.
My mind expands
with widening strands
of indigo and purple.
This music’s not commericial,
We’ve been watching Ori Toor make shit since first discovering the ‘unofficial’ music video he created for Animal Collective’s Lion in a Coma. Since then he’s made a few more and each exhibit his distinct ‘stream of consciousness’ style of staggered-and-repeating organic, undulating shapes. Ori’s approach has subtely shifted in each of them but they’ve all, for the most part, remained abstract studies in colorful form. The attached, his latest, veers into new territory and I’m absolutely loving how he’s mixed in some representational imagery to compliment the usual assortment of evolving, fluid structures.
It’s my favorite Ori-joint yet and easily an ‘instant classic’ of the site…it’d be a crime to watch this in anything but full-screen HD. Oh and a nice pair of bass-friendly headphones is a must, too; Kingdom Crumbs knows how to properly fatten-up the bottom end of their kicks and basslines and you’ll want to rattle-and-bathe in each one.
Speaking of which, I picked up their eponymous album this morning and have been listening to it while I cobble together this post. It’s thoughtful, positive, mellow, rambling-in-a-good-way hip-hop undergirded by some spacey, out-there synthesizers and easily worth the ten bucks in iTunes. If you’re strapped for cash, head over to Bandcamp and name-your-price; even the most frugal of budgets can accommdate a few cents, right?
“Archibald lived in harmony with the surrounding world. Sometimes, after lunch, he would stroll along with a herd of mushrooms…”
I have a distinct memory of watching The Red Balloon in kindergarten. My overall recollection of the event is warped and faded but certain moments are forever burned into my mind. Strangely enough, all of them have nothing to do with the film itself: watching the reel-to-reel projector as it was wheeled in, perched heavily atop a sturdy steel cart with squeaking castors, its bottom shelf empty save for a large metal disc of tightly wound 8mm; the flurry of satisfying clicks and snaps each part on the projector made as my teacher deftly manipulated them into place; the lazy way the bulb brightened and the gentle warmth it radiated, the steady hum of the cooling fan and the slotted shadows its vents cast on the ceiling.
I’ve found that the electricity of a memory varies greatly depending on how old you are and grade school, for me at least, was a time when any new experience would surge through my brain like alternating current.
I felt so calm; so fine-with-everything as it played. It was nice; I wanted to stay there forever. The attached film, by French graphic designer/filmmaker/musician Kadavre Exquis, evoked a similar reaction; the richly textured, meandering landscapes and simple innocence of the characters made me want to melt through the screen for an aimless stroll. It’s warm and peaceful and colorful and chill and, well, lots of things really. The story is nice but it’s over too soon; I watched it four times in quick succession in a failed attempt to prolong the experience. That being said, I was happy to discover that there’s an original soundtrack to Childhood of a Circle that is orders of magnitude longer. You can listen to the entire thing gratis on Kadavre’s website or get the bits to go for a very-reasonable ten bucks.
There’s lots of strange, enigmatic intangibles in his work that I’m drawn to and it’s been fun taking time to tumble down the rabbit hole in an attempt to unravel them. Needless to say, I’m excited to see what Monsieur Exquis will make next.
Oh yeah: full-screen and headphones for this one, y’all. Enjoy!
“Isle of Wight based artist Sue Paraskeva produces exquisite thrown porcelain installation work, altered one-offs, and sublime tableware.”
“Take a sweet, gut-it-stuff-it then we puff it…”
Joey Garfield, one of the many talented directors at Ghost Robot, tapped Elliot Lim, Jason Esser, Aaron Kemnitzer and Nate Costa to create these über-dope visuals for some super-chill tunes by The Cool Kids.
“Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island…more”
Did you know that 85% of all plant and animal life on Madagascar is found nowhere else on the planet? I recently learned that little factoid (among many other fascinating things) while reading William Finnegan‘s ‘Slow and Steady’, an excellent article about the black market that has sprung up surrounding the almost-extinct ploughshare tortoise in the January 2012 issue of The New Yorker. If you can get your hands on a copy I recommend you check it out.
If anyone knows who took this picture please drop us a line so we can update the post with the proper credit attribution.
I first saw A.I. at the movies in the summer of 2001. I distinctly remember enjoying it. I haven’t watched the film since but in the past 10 years I’ve heard people talk about how they didn’t really like it. Not that it was bad, mind you, but just that it didn’t knock their socks off; overall just not especially memorable, you know?
I’m trying to remember the plot points now and, honestly, am having a difficult time. There’s that kid from Sixth Sense and he’s a robot but he’s unhappy, right? Does he want to be a ‘real boy’ or something? I feel like there’s definitely some Pinocchio similarities or some shit.
Anyways, what I do remember are the visuals. I was always into watching stuff from a young age but 2001 was towards the beginning of when I started to set aside time to appreciate culture. When I realized art isn’t just Vivaldi or Rembrandt (though they both most certainly are); that it’s anything people create that inspires them; that the things I love – movies, music videos, electronic music, video games etc. – are worth admiring and paying attention to.
Oh right, about that: the visuals! Just rich, colorful and all ‘glow-y’. Great costumes, make-up and set design too. Spielberg is a wizard at atmosphere. Speaking of which, that’s why I’m diggin’ hard on this, the latest from our good pal Pogo. He leverages all the little visually-rich moments that stand out, mining them of their audio and then reassembling it back together again, creating an entirely unique experience. It’s all mood and feeling and I fucking love it. So much so that I’m going to give the movie another go in the coming weeks and then starting disseminating my thoughts in 140-character increments over on Twitter. Do you have an account there? Wanna talk about movies or something?
Oh and just wait til 2:01 when the Jude Law melody kicks in. Nice.
Lights down, volume up and enjoy!
posted by respondcreate on Feb. 04, 2012 in Videos | tags: a.i. artificial intelligence, ambient, chill, colorful, electronic music, future, moody, nick bertke, pogo, remix, robots, science fiction, steven spielberg, technology
Been a while since my last post here, so I wanted it to be a good one. While on Vimeo, I searched for ‘gorgeous’ and this is the first video that popped up. Not what I was looking for, but by all means a worthwhile diversion. It’s a video for the track ‘Corvette Cassette” by the band Slow Magic. Video done pretty much completely by Brendan Canty of Feel Good Lost. Hold on tight when the kaleidoscopic action kicks off about halfway through. Enjoy!
Kid Zoom/Ian Strange is an Australia-born, Brooklyn-based artist who combines a graffiti/street-art sensibility with photo-realistic draftsmanship. His work is super-ultra-dope; it’s quietly contemplative one-moment but big-and-loud the next, equally engaging from far away as a whole or up-close where you can get lost in the details. This video is comprised of footage shot between May 2010 and January 2011 in NYC and LA for his This City WIll Eat Me Alive show. The first three minutes are upbeat, showing Ian at work (both indoors and outside) but the mood shifts to chill for the second half when Boards of Canada‘s excellent Kid For Today provides the ambiance for a private stroll through the gallery and an introspective encounter with his work. Enjoy!
“How will I ever change, if I am willing to just stay the same?
And if I make a change when will it feel like I’m not just the same?”
Yes, please. Mellow dub grooves of CHLLNGR? Check. Operatic psychedelia-laced abstract sci-fi fantasy visuals (as directed by Chad Turner and Ryan Todd) that leave a pleasing 2001-esque aftertaste on one’s spiritual palette? Check. Turn down the lights, load the bits full screen, turn up the volume and get comfortable; I watched this three times in rapid succession and odds are you might, too.
“No matter gain or grim, it’s those tiny little sparks,
In daily life that makes me forget my wounded heart.”
If you’re diggin’ this one I recommend watching Eple next.
Michael Chichi, the man at the chewy center of Synaptic Stimuli, made this psychedelic kaleidoscope remix of Optimist, a film by Brian Thomson that was shot at Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple‘s annual Festival of Colors. It’s three-and-a-half minutes of floating mellow vibes buoyed by the ambient, dreamy sounds of Tycho. Enjoy the colors, y’all.
Click here to continue the chill.
“A promotional video for dublab.com - a non-profit web radio collective from L.A. for their 12th anniversary.”
Our boy Ori lent his signature undulating animation style to this video commissioned by dublab.com to celebrate their twelfth anniversary. Sit back, relax and let Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood Ferguson‘s In Space Remix of Jay Dee and Illa J‘s Sounds Like Love carry you away with the help of some fantastic, colorful visuals. Enjoy!
”The band (Darren Seltmann, Robbie Chater, Tony Diblasi and Manabu Etoh) bought all their instruments at junk shops, where they also discovered piles of old records. When Etoh was deported and Alarm 115 ended, these records became the core of a new project. Chater was a film student at RMIT, and had access to a recording studio there, which he and Seltmann used to turn said vinyl into a 30-song demo tape labeled Pan Amateurs…more on wikipedia”
Joe wrote in with a fantastic suggestion to check out a music video made for Frontier Psychiatrist, a tune by The Avalanches, an interesting electronic music project out of Melbourne Australia. I really enjoyed it and – while unsuccessfully trying to track down an HD version – came across this, the attached video, that I’d really like you to see.
My Google-fu wasn’t able to find any creative credits so if someone out there knows made this don’t hesitate to drop us a line (see below). In the meantime enjoy the sunny-side, good times vibe of the three-quarter time waltz-hop as it contrasts with some strange, monochromatic and vaguely dark but-not-quite-so-even-though-yeah-it’s-still-weird visuals. Enjoy!
Thanks for introducing me to some new music, Joe! Cheers!
UPDATE: Turns out the visuals were lifted from Quimby The Mouse, an animation created by the über-talented Chris Ware for This American Life. A big thanks goes to Hang Goon for writing in to set the record straight!
posted by respondcreate on Sep. 04, 2011 in Videos | tags: animation, australian, bizarre, chill, chris ware, good times, monochromatic, music video, samples, the avalanches, this american life, trippy, vinyl