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Multimedia Spotlight: Vocal Improvisation Animated

How a laptop and a highway play together, or what geometry has to do with music.

Today’s short-and-sweet is Improvisation 2 — an audiovisual experiment by multimedia artist/singer Fredo Viola, who explores the environment solely with his voice and what he sees around him.

The vocal improvisation was recorded on a laptop mic, then stunningly animated using footage from New York’s West Side Highway arranged into a mesmerizing swirl of circles and hexagons.

The video is intended to be experienced in a more interactive way that allows you to drag, drop and play with the various spinning shapes — give it a spin.


The Consequences of… Jacob Livengood

The colors of existential truth, or what an apple has to do with the culture of collaboration.

Everything has consequences. And artist Jacob Livengood is out to dissect them in his series The Consequences Of… — a beautiful play on the human condition.

The Consequences of… Friendship

From friendship to pride to possession, the series is a wonderful creative exploration of existential truths through a flurry of pattern and color.

The Consequences of... Possession
The Consequences of… Possession
The Consequences of... Pride
The Consequences of… Pride

There’s a peculiar recurring apple element in a number of the illustrations, the symbolism is somewhere in the limbo between the artist’s vision and your own interpretation.

The Consequences of... Sight
The Consequences of… Sight
The Consequences of... Evol
The Consequences of… Evol

We’re particularly taken with this visual ode to the emerging culture of collaboration — a wonderful badge of a movement going stronger by the second of the digital clock.

The Consequences of... Sharing
The Consequences of… Sharing

Explore The Consequences Of… in its entirety — it’s well worth it. You can support Jacob’s work on Society6, the brilliant new social platform for empowering artists by matching them with grants from art supporters, and follow him on Twitter.


Pick One: Hipsters Take on Culture, By Way of Helvetica

Start Trek vs. Russia, the 1970’s vs. Christmas, or why death is better than Uggs.

If there ever were a formula for cool, it wouldn’t be far from simplicity + social statement + Helvetica. And Pick One is just that. Part social experiment, part art project, part brilliant head-scratcher, it’s artist Ben Nyberg‘s clever stab at getting your priorities straight — and it’s as playful or as serious as you want it to be.

All you do is go through pairs of cultural items — from Google to guns to God, and everything in between — and pick the one you prefer within each pair, which gives it a score of 1 point.

After a couple of hundred clicks, we lost patience in trying to reach some sort of end — we suspect it’s an infinite loop that randomly pairs each item with every other, then starts all over again — and voyeured over to the Top 10 and the Bottom 10, based on the crowdsourced cumulative score of each item.

It’s a sign of the times when The Internet ends up amidst the most fundamental of human needs. Then again, if it were up to us, it would even rank four positions higher.

And a note to all the budding social psychologists and ethicists out there — you may want to rethink your career path: Morality, which appears in the pick-pairs, didn’t even make a cameo on the Top 10. Neither did art — ironic, in the context of an art project.

Pick One is also a testament to its own hipsterness — there’s no question about the psychographic composition of a crowd that hates Uggs more than hate itself, George W, or death.



Heart of a City: BioMapping

Why skin is the new heart and how your neighbors can change the way your feel about your street.

On the trails of yesterday’s fascinating exploration of cities as living organisms, today we look at another piece of high-concept urban portraiture that harnesses the power of art, sociology and technology to a brilliant end.

Since 2004, Christian Nold has been orchestrating Bio Mapping — a crowdsourced community mapping project, which wires people up to Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) devices, detecting their emotional arousal, and sends them on their merry way around the neighborhood. These states are then mapped onto people’s geographic location, creating a visualization of communal emotion.

Participants — over 1,500 of them to date — also annotate the data with personal observations, memories and thoughts they associate with each location, painting a rich emotional portrait of the social space of a community.

Perhaps most fascinating about the project isn’t the mere documentation of collective emotion, but how that awareness would change our perception of our community and environment.

Those who have been with Brain Pickings for some time may find Bio Mapping reminiscent of Swedish artist Erik Krikortz’s Emotional Cities project. But, as researchers, we love the idea of measuring emotional states via biofeedback rather than self-reporting.

After all, there’s often a gaping disconnect between how we publicly broadcast emotion and how we privately experience it.

via Very Short List


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