Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

04 FEBRUARY, 2011

Everything is a Remix, Part 2

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We’re big believers in remix culture and the idea that creativity is combinatorial. Last fall, we featured the first installment in filmmaker Kirby Ferguson’s Everything is a Remix — a four-part documentary about the history of sampling and collaborative creation. This week, he’s back with the second episode, this time squaring in on movies to demonstrate that even the most critically acclaimed films, those hailed as masterpieces of originality, borrow heavily from other creative products — an idea we’ve already seen to be true in art, music, graphic design and animation.

We’ve got stories that have been told, retold, transformed, referenced, and subverted since the dawn of cinema.

To illustrate his point, Ferguson goes after the monolith of modern cult cinema, Star Wars, and traces its many surprisingly direct influences across everything from mythology to the Flash Gordon series of the 1930s to the work of iconic Japanese director Akira Kurosawa.

Even now, Star Wars endures as a work of impressive imagination. But many of its individual components are as recognizable as the samples in a remix.”

And in true meta fashion, Ferguson collaborated with Robert Grigsby Wilson on a visual “case study” dissecting Kill Bill and exploring the many other films that influenced Tarantino’s blockbuster.

Ferguson’s work is incredibly important in making sense of today’s ever-evolving ecosystem of creativity, originality and derivative work, and perhaps a step towards inspiring and informing new, attuned legislation that fosters remix culture and collaborative creation rather than hindering it, so please consider supporting him with a modest donation — we did.

via Daring Fireball

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03 FEBRUARY, 2011

The Museum of Possibilities

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What balloons have to do with civic engagement and open-source cities.

We love public space, that priceless petri dish of human interaction. It’s the lifeblood of any city, and the reason we left LA for New York. Unfortunately, much of it remains un- or underutilized, with cities failing to engage people in interacting with and in public space.

To prevent this disconnect when inaugurating its Quartier des Spectacles, the city of Montréal came up with an exceptionally inspired solution: The Museum of Possibilities — a wonderful daylong pop-up installation inviting visitors to share their dreams and visions for the future of the space by jotting down their ideas on pieces of paper and attaching them to colorful balloons.

Others could then vote on the ideas with stickers, collectively choosing the best visions for their shared space.

More than a mere art installation, The Museum of Possibilities became a playful yet actionable poll of public opinion, turning the possibilities into probabilities as the people of Montréal told their city, directly and tangibly, what they’d like to do with the space — a sort of physical, life-sized version of Give a Minute.

UPDATE: Per the comment below, the team behind the project has kindly stepped up: Melissa Mogiat, Mouna Andraos and Kelsey Snook. Find them and more of their fantastic work at Living With Our Time.

via Jake Barton of Local Projects

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02 FEBRUARY, 2011

PICKED: A Documentary About Street Artist Ben Eine

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We have a soft spot for street art and love the work of London’s Ben Eine, so this new microdocumentary about his work by filmmaker Abbie Brandon, following Eine as his paints two murals in East London, made us swoon.

The first mural, Pro Pro Pro, was a play on Eine’s Anti Anti Anti, painted a week earlier on the opposite wall, upon iconic graphic designer Neville Brody‘s suggestion as part of the Anti Design Festival.

The second, Calculate, is a rework of Eine’s famous Vandalism piece and was commissioned by Moniker Art Fair, where Eine exhibited the following week.

More of Eine’s exceptional work can be found in Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art — the must-have street art bible we featured last year.

via Reaction!

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01 FEBRUARY, 2011

Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers: “Playing” Your Abode

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Last year, we looked at some fantastic experimental music projects sampling sound from the environment. This week, Sampled Room has been making the rounds. So we’ve decided to spotlight what’s easily the most ambitious, elaborate and creative manifestation of this environmental percussion genre: Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers — a brilliant Swedish short film about a group of six crazy percussionists, who invade an apartment and make astounding music with simple household objects.

The film originally premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and has won over 30 international awards.

So seminal was the short film and so brilliant the concept that it inspired a feature-length film based on the sextet, 2010’s French-Swedish comedy-crime Sound of Noise, written and directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson.

The title of the film is based on Italian futurist Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto, The Art of Noises — a work of tremendous historical significance which, while we’re at it, we couldn’t recommend more.

Thanks, Marine

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