Have you guys ever seen The Powers of Ten? It’s a 9 minute short Charles and Ray Eames created for IBM in 1977 that I first saw at the Boston Museum of Science with my dad sometime in the eighties. It depicts, “the relative scale of the Universe according to an order of magnitude (or logarithmic scale) based on a factor of ten, first expanding out from the Earth until the entire universe is surveyed, then reducing inward until a single atom and its quarks are observed.” (source: Wikipedia)
In the wake of that first initial viewing I was simultaneously struck with wonder by both the enormity of the universe it illustrated and the ingenuity of the filmmakers.
How do we know all this is true? And how did they DO that?
Up until that point I had never seen anything like it. The Powers of Ten was ‘educational’ but didn’t feel that way; it wasn’t stuffy or boring but exciting, the type of thing I could watch at school that wouldn’t feel like school. It turns out that learning stuff doesn’t have to be chore…in fact, it can and should be the exact opposite.
I can’t know for sure but my guess is that Takashi Ohashi has seen The Powers of Ten too and that it, in no small part, inspired the attached. It’s a music video from the same album as my previous post, Maison De Megu – so it’s no surprise that the two share a similar aesthetic – but they differ in setting, trading the former’s electrical schematic for a virtual world that ‘gels’ only when viewed from a particular viewing angle.
In fact, that point-of-view play is my favorite part. Beyond just the eye-candy thrill you get by seeing the visual plane wobble (during the wormhole-y zooms) and dramatically split (during the rotating sequences at 1:18-1:25, 1:47-2:20 and 2:52-3:11) it’s a reminder that our view of the world always ultimately depends on our perspective. In my mind that, not the zoom-in/zoom-out bits, is what provides the most significant parallel to The Powers of Ten. Is that looking into it too much? Am I extrapolating meaning where none was intended?
Maybe. Probably. But, whatever. That’s what I saw, maybe you did too?
Also: If you were diggin’ the wormhole dives through triangles you should definitely check out the super-rad music video for Slugabed’s Quantum Leap next, it’s 100% can’t-miss.
In college I was lucky enough to land a summer internship at a nuclear power plant; it paid almost double than my previous gig (at a movie theatre), gave me regular ‘office hours’ and included every-other-Friday off. I had originally been hired to do office grunt work but, after a chance conversation with someone in the simulator division, was asked to come upstairs and help them out.
All nuclear power plants are required (by the NRC) to have a simulator that is an exact replica of the control room. And I mean exact, even the color and type on the paper labels that hang from the panels must be in perfect parity with their on-site counterpart.
Our job in the simulator division was to create scenarios that would test the knowledge of each operator and team, ensuring they could handle the worst-case sequence-of-events that would, if left unchecked, result in a catastrophic total shut-down of the reactor. Safety was certainly priority one but that’s just because a meltdown would result in a non-functioning reactor and, considering a power plant’s profitability is in direct proportion to its up-time (even a one percent reduction in output could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost), it’s in everyone’s best interest to know their shit.
If left unchecked the reactor would safetly shut itself down so your typical Hollywood, everything-is-FUBAR storyline would be deftly dealt with. As a result, I learned it was far-more interesting to fail a minor, seemingly insignificant pump or circuit, watch its effect cascade rapidly through the system and observe how the operators would deal with it. How quickly could they define the source of the issue? Could they keep the plant operating at peak-capacity while enacting the fix?
One summer I was tasked with translating some on-paper schematics of an electrical sub-system into the codebase that had yet to be integrated into the simulator. For nearly two months I was left (mostly) undisturbed in my first-ever cubicle, discman strapped to my ears, bathed in light from a CRT monitor while I meticulously followed the diagrams, laying out and connecting each diode, capacitor and gate until a page of the circuit was faithfully reproduced.
Though what I was doing was exceedingly more interesting that any previous minimum wage job my fickle, easily distracted primate brain soon started to wander, embroidering elaborate scenarios to cope with the plodding tedium. I imagined electrons squealing with delight as they raced through the loops of an inductor or crowding together as they funneled into a diode.
Anything to pass the time.
So yeah, I get the attached. I’m there man; I’ve been there.
One of the cool things about my extended vacation from posting is that I get to catch-up on what some of my favorite artists have been up to in my absence. I’m happy to report that Takashi Ohashi has been continuing to use simple line and color to create thrilling, intuitively evolving music videos. This one is for Megu & Patron’s “pari pari par-ri-” (メグとパトロン - パリパリパーリー) and Takashi’s playful visuals are a perfect backing to the optimistic, joyful chiptune vibe of the tune. In fact, I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to post this or his equally-rad video for Ryusei Girl so I decided to just do both.
It’s nice to see Anamanaguchi finally make a music video and they went all out for their maiden voyage, tapping long-time Tim & Eric collaborators Daniel Gray Longino and Eric Notarnicola to direct and a whole host of talented animators/artists to pitch-in on the visuals.
The ‘Guch aesthetic isn’t easily pidgeonholed and the surface comparisons that often get drawn between them and ‘video game music’ and/or 90s-kid culture are, from my point-of-view at least, missing the point of what they’re up to. A few months back Tycho wrote about why naked nostalgia grabs are typically unfulfilling and it definitely applies here:
“That’s the trick of nostalgia, and why yoking it is such a dangerous business. It’s never ‘as good,’ because it can’t be. ‘As good’ wouldn’t satisfy you, now, because you aren’t the person who was satisfied by it anymore, partly because of the satisfaction you felt earlier, but also because of every other force and beam and ray which is always operating on your aggregated being.”
I don’t get the sense that anything Anamanaguchi does is calculated and, even though their style (both sonically and visually) might appear to be borrowed from another decade, it feels inexplicably modern and wholly their own. This is goddamn party music and that shit never goes out of style.
I absolutely love the arcade/clique theme that underscores the whole video and super-dig the pixel art animation sequence that kicks off after Ary is blasted to Furblivion by the L4Z3R R4V3RZ (especially the cameos-created illustrations that run from 2:30-2:33).
Full-screen HD is a must. ENJOY!
posted by respondcreate on Jan. 08, 2013 in Videos | tags: anamanaguchi, animation, bizarre, cameos, colorful, daniel gray longino, eric notarnicola, good times, hd, horror, music video, nostalgia, paul robertson, pixel art
I’ve found it’s always worth-my-while to periodically check in on Paul Robertson. My latest visit to his tumblr yielded a heady crop of candy-colored, bizarre and dark pixel art that I’ve collected here for you to peruse at your leisure. I was also pleased to discover he recently contributed some art/animations to Wizorb, a Breakout-meets-Zelda game by Tribute that’s available on Windows, Linux, OSX and the 360. After parting with the very-reasonable three-dollar asking price I spent a handful of hours combating evil in Gorudo and am happy to report it was worth every penny. In addition to Paul’s always-excellent pixel art, Wizorb‘s wonderful, nostalgia-activating soundtrack and just-right difficulty progression keeps a firm-but-friendly grip on your attention. So yeah, pick that shit up if you’re looking for something to fun to play; you can’t beat the price.
We’re loving this rad promo PUNGA did for FOX Retro, an Italian-only network that rebroadcasts classic American television. The tight, fluid animation with its seamless transitions from 2D to 3D (and back again) are a real treat to watch and the accompanying music/sound design by Daniele Carmosino perfectly compliments the visuals. It takes lots of talented folks to pull off something this polished, click here to see a complete credit listing. Enjoy!
I stumbled on this image last week and immediately assumed it was by Uno Moralez. I headed over to his site/Tumblr/LJ to see if he had recently uploaded new work but I couldn’t find this particular image anywhere. I hit up the Googs’ next and still couldn’t track down a proper URL. So for now, I’m just gonna assume Uno made it and direct your attention to his website.
If anyone knows definitively where/who this came from drop us a line and we’ll update the post ASAP (see below). I had to do a bit of cropping to fit within the constraints of the site so click here for the full business.
Moar Uno Moralez on The Tripatorium™.
“I made a good versus evil story of smooth jazz cats versus electro fishes and, like a video game, there was a princess to rescue, sub-bosses and a final boss to defeat…more” –Mike Scott
Kiwi animator/director Mike Scott crafted a veritable pixely-video-game-pop-culture-references-packed orgy of a music video for the Goldfish tune, ‘We Come Together’. It’s good times all the way ‘round, folks.
Mike was also cool enough to post a fairly exhaustive process video that describes how he planned and executed the whole thing which you can watch here. Enjoy!
I came across this little gem last night when I was browsing around the Vimeo Staff pics (one of the mountain-born tributaries that regularly flow down into rivière de La Tripatorium™) and knew it had to be posted soon as possible. Soon after, I checked the submissions and found out that one of our readers, Dan Allen, had send it in that very same day. KISMET!
On the Mueller scale of trippiness – as I’m sure you recall from your third grade earth-science lessons – ‘No Brain’ rates at a respectable 9.2835/10 which puts it in league with such favorites as The Music Scene, Combination Spawns and The Parachute Ending. In other words: shit is dope.
Related: If you dug this then you’ll definitely enjoy Rogier van der Zwaag’s video for Grindin’ by Nobody Beats The Drum.
posted by respondcreate on May. 17, 2011 in Videos | tags: abstract, animation, colorful, division paris, electronic music, etienne de crecy, fleur & manu, fractals, french, hd, music video, pixel art, pixelate, trippy
Venessa wrote in to suggest a video by Matthias Hoegg about ants experiencing an evolutionary leap forward via the ingestion of an unnamed elicit substance left carelessly by some partiers on holiday. It’s good! You should check it out! Anyways, I got to watching some of the other stuff by Mr. Hoegg and decided to post this video – entitled ‘Thursday’ – instead. He calls it a ‘love story’ which I guess it is but it’s told in such a unique way that, in my mind at least, it defies such simplistic and broad categorization. I’m particularly fond of the film’s visual style – the best descriptor I could come up with was ‘delicious’ – it’s packed full of simple, slick animation, loads of rich colors and at times carries a very E-Boy kind of vibe (which is very good as far as vibes go). The Dope Sheet has a great interview with Mattias about his inspiration and process so definitely head on over if you’re interested in that sort of thing. It should also be mentioned that Marian Mentrup contributed some pretty fantastic sound design to the project so do yourself a favor and grab some headphones when you get around to watching it. Enjoy!
Thanks for the heads-up, Vanessa!
Back in January I posted an image I referred to as ‘Four Hands’ that I had found on fukung and asked if anyone knew who had created it. Carol-ann was cool enough to write in and inform us that it was by Uno Moralez, a super-talented pixel artist who specializes in the bizarre. While checking out his site, I found lots of great stuff (like the .gif I posted above) so we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on what he makes in the future. Thanks again, Carol-ann – CHEERS!
First off, this video is definitely NSFW so if you’re checking this out at your 9-5 you might wanna save it for later. That being said, this pixel-crafted wonder of a music video by Jérémie Périn for Flairs is a nostalgic revisit to the days when 16-bit electronic diversions reigned supreme. If you’ve got an iOS device and want to take control of the lewd trucker himself then click here to get in on the fun.
Jude Buffum paints pop-culture subjects with an 8-bit aesthetic, often times as if they existed in the 80s and had a video game tie-in. My personal favorite is his infinitely-awesome Big Lebowski series which you can order t-shirts of here. Lots more on his website, blog and Flickr.