Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘PBS Off Book’

23 MARCH, 2012

PBS Off Book: Art in the Age of the Internet


How the digital age is changing the rhetoric and regimes of creative expression.

Over the past few months, the fine folks at PBS Arts have been exploring various facets of creative culture — including typography, product design, generative art, papercraft, and more — and their evolution in the digital age as part of the ongoing Off Book series. The latest installment explores art in the era of the Internet, and features Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler, Creative Commons mastermind Lawrence Lessig, and my dear friend Julia Kaganskiy, editor of Creators Project, along with her colleague and creative director Ciel Hunter.

When extend the life of a physical project on the web, and give people the ability to remix that media, they’ll do some really inventive stuff with it.” ~ Julia Kaganskiy, Creators Project

The Internet’s incredible ability to align people with similar interests makes it very possible for normal people to make big things happen, and that’s something that wasn’t possible at any other time.” ~ Yancey Strickler, Kickstarter

We had a regime of copyright and the Internet completely flipped the technical foundation upon which that regime had been built. […] My creative utopia is that we have a huge proportion of all of us creating all the time.” ~ Lawrence Lessig, Creative Commons

As Edward Gorey might remind you, PBS is public media supported by “viewers like you” — show them some love here.


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30 DECEMBER, 2011

PBS Off Book: The Magic of Book Art and Papercraft in 5 Minutes


The architecture of whimsy, or what the progression of time has to do with embracing the possible.

After their fantastic micro-documentaries on typography and generative art, the fine folks at PBS Off Book turn their lens to book art and papercraft — something I’m quite fond of myself. The film features artists Carole Kunstadt, Matthew Reinhart (of Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy fame), and Andrea Dezso (whose forthcoming Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses is looking wicked delicious.)

Books in general are really good at showing time and progression, a ton of books are very good at showing something happening right here, right now. They are depicting these worlds that are almost like a dream, and everything seems very real and very possible… I like to create scenes that want to be explained, because I think about them almost as these springboards for the imagination — you long to go there, you long to be there.” ~ Andrea Dezso

For more book art and papercraft magic, see Spike Jonze’s terrific recent stop-motion love story for book lovers, David Carter’s whimsical pop-up books, the beautiful trailer for Going West, and Gestalten’s excellent fond of Papercraft 2 compendium.

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13 DECEMBER, 2011

Product Design: A PBS Off Book Documentary


What safe sex has to do with 3-D printing, robotics, and education in the developing world.

From the fine folks at PBS Arts comes another fantastic micro-documentary, part of their Off Book series, which previously explored typography, steampunk, visual culture online, and generative art. On the heels of this morning’s Eames documentary, it takes a look at the world of product design, from its aesthetic and pizzaz to its ethic and values, featuring fuseproject’s Yves Behar, Peter Schmitt of MIT’s Personal Robotics Group, and Dr. Harvey Moscot of Mocost Eyewear. Though limited in both scope and “cast,” the film squeezes an impressive amount in its measly 6 minutes and offers a welcome prompt to think a little more deeply about the myriad products with which we interact daily.

What design does at its best is to accelerate the adoption of new ideas.” ~ Yves Behar

For a more in-depth look at the complex and cross-disciplinary facets of product design, from engineering to art history to cultural anthropology, see BBC’s excellent The Genius of Design and, of course, Gary Hustwit’s Objectified. Then, revisit Dieter Rams’ 10 timeless principles of good design.

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