Friday, September 23, 2011

Degree MotionSense

Just saw an ad on hulu for Degree MotionSense. Basically, you sign up to wear a motion sensor that you wear and it keeps track of your daily activity. Be more active and get more points. More points = more "dollars" to win various items. I'm scared. I hope this points trend doesn't take.

Also, I googled 'Degree' to find their website and the first several links sent me to their facebook page. I finally found their actual site and it just contained images that were links back to their facebook site. Yikes. Check it out.

Uniforms for the Dedicated

This song is March of No Coincidence by Uniforms for the Dedicated featuring Maria Nordström. Uniforms are a group that does a variety of work including art, music, film, clothing design, and concept design. I really enjoy their work, particularly this song and video. This song could be on repeat forever and I would never get tired of it. Ever.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grad Seminar Video Response

To me, the most interesting thing that Jesse Schell says in this presentation has to do with technology bringing us back toward "reality". Much of the world's population finds the concept of a digital world extremely intriguing, including myself. Much of the work I do, my daily activities, and communication is done through some sort of digital platform or in digital world. If I imagine what would happen if one day the internet, computers, electronics, etc... just stopped working or no longer did anything. Almost like they never really existed in the first place. All my work, my studies, my digital life/world... gone. I would be completely lost. But, the idea of technology that brings us closer to some form of "reality" can be comforting.

Although he's very right about some technologies bringing us back to reality, I really hope he's wrong about the future of point systems. I would hate living in a society where everything was based on gaining more points. Although if you think about it, we already do if points=money.

I also found it interesting about the professor who grades by giving out experience points instead of normal grades. This different way of grading somehow gets students to show up to class more, turn in more assignments, and pay closer attention. Although it appears different on the outside, in the end it's still calculated the same way and divided up into different percentages just like any other class grade. But, somehow just changing the outside appearance makes the whole concept more fun.

I also think he's right about our lives being tracked and recorded by various types of systems so that our legacy lives on. That our children and grandchildren will know what books we've read, what movies we've watched, what places we've visited, etc. In a way, this is already started happening with things like facebook, twitter, blogs, online photo albums, etc.

Overall, a very interesting presentation that makes me both excited and afraid of what the future of technology will bring.

To be completely honest, most of this went straight over my head. My understanding of algorithms and how they're used and affecting life today is so minimal that writing something and pretending to know what I'm talking about would be more embarrassing that just staying "I don't get it."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sound Design

The first week of classes, the professor for my music technologies class, Dr. Ivica Ico Bukvic, asked us a question (or brought up a topic for discussion). Of course, this isn't an exact quote and his delivery was a bit different and I apologize if I'm butchering his words, but the general question/topic is the same:

"What in life, other than music, gives you goosebumps? Has any of you ever gotten goosebumps from looking at a painting? I've never gotten goosebumps from looking at a piece of art, but I do get goosebumps from listening to music."

This really got me thinking. He's right. I've never looked at an extremely well designed poster or logo and got the same kind of feeling that I get when I listen to music. Even watching unbelievable motion design or animation with the sound on mute doesn't give me that feeling. I thought a bit more about it and realized that there are pieces of music that I listen to that were from a movie soundtrack or a live performance that at the time gave me goosebumps, but out of context was nice to listen to and that's it. Then I had an "epiphery". For me, it's the combination of audio and visual that gives me goosebumps. For example: there is a moment in the movie Requiem for a Dream where Jennifer Connelly has her head underwater and she screams at the exact moment the music picks up. The audio or the video by themselves are great, but together they send chills down my spine.

Although each one of these movies represented below has amazing visual effect, they wouldn't be nearly as effective without great sound design. Maybe, in a later post, I will reveal my obsession with Tron: Legacy, but for this post, we'll keep it general. These videos are by Michael Coleman, who is a producer and editor for Soundworks Collection and started Coleman Media Group. Amazing stuff (Seriously, click on the links and check it out).

Here's a video about the composer, Zack Hemsey. He's done several works for movie trailers and various ad campaigns. More recently, he did the music for the movie trailer of Inception.

The most interesting thing to me about Zack Hemsey and his work is that he never had formal training for music composition and that his work is done out of his own studio inside his house in NY. All of the audio samples are prerecorded and he just does all the composing, mixing, and editing to get to his final product. This relates very closely to what was discussed in our reading last week (Chapter 2 of Networked Publics by Kazys Varnelis) about blurring the lines between professional and amateur work and technology revolutionizing various industries.

Next up are two videos exploring the sound and audio work for the movies Tron: Legacy and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It's really interesting to see the differences in approach to sound and the new technologies of 7.1 Surround Sound and 3D. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Between Two Points

Music video for The Glitch Mob's song, Between Two Points. Designed by motiphe. Amazing animation. Amazing track. It's also refreshing to hear auto-tune used tastefully.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Everynone is a filmmaking team located in New York. I stumbled on one of their videos a while back while browsing through vimeo and fell in love with their work. Their videos make me see the world in a completely different way that I would have never thought of on my own.

Their video "Symmetry" does a beautiful job of combining symmetry in composition with symmetry (or balance) in life. Probably the most shocking moment of the video is the very end where birth is juxtaposed with death. The sound of a baby crying mixed with the final sound of the heart monitor is breathtaking (I know that sounds cheesy, but seriously - it makes you stop in your tracks for a few seconds).

**And I just now realized this after watching it again: The audio is also split left and right for each clip. For example, the very first clip has the audio for the countdown coming out of the left speaker and the music for the end of a movie coming out of the right speaker. Brilliant. I just fell in love with their work all over again.

This video is all about the multiple meanings of a single word. Something that we encounter everyday, but never really stop to think about. In "Words" clips are very creatively strung together that can be described by the same word. My personal favorites are the clips that have amazing transitions - particularly the series of clips with the word 'blow' and 'break'.

This last video is similar to their video "Symmetry", but focuses more on the question: "What is a moment?" I believe they do a spectacular job of illustrating exactly what a moment is. Showing a long series of 'moments' one after another brings the beauty out in the moments that we all remember as well as the moments we take for granted.

Sorry if this post was a little sappy, but I absolutely love the work by Everynone. I believe that great design about telling a story and making the viewer feel something. Everynone does just that.

Today's Technology

In response to Meg's post last week about new media: