Tuesday, November 24th

Things that never cease to amaze: Demoni by Theodore Ushev, in which vynil records are turned into Zoopraxinoscope discs through the syncing of the camera shutter with the record player’s rotation.

Ushev is the author of the incredible Sleepwalker (trailer) I watched at this year’s Cinanima animation film festival (where Demoni had won an award a few years back): as if Oskar Fishinger’s classic films had art by Joan Miró, but in an effortlessly undated way. Nice.

Wednesday, November 18th

Douglas Trumbull’s Entertainment Effects Group team filming a close-up of Sean Young’s eye for Blade Runner.

Despite being yet another much-unneeded sequel, now that it is confirmed that Blade Runner II is happening, I am hoping Denis Villeneuve will be able to pull it off. Sicario was one of the best films I’ve watched all year, but somehow I can’t see the director making that leap, and it’s worrying to see Ridley Scott announcing the opening scene of Blade Runner II will be something that was deleted from the original Blade Runner script — but on the other hand, I’d love to watch a film including some of the things that the original movie didn’t take from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, like mood control, the synthetic animals thing (including Deckard’s envy of his neighbour with the organic horse) or that scene where he is taken to a police station staffed by replicants.

So, while we wait to see if II will be any good, enjoy this awesome article full of neat tidbits about the original Blade Runner at Cinephilia and Beyond.

September 18th

September 8th

August 24th

August 18th

Every August, the Assembly demoparty reminds us the scene is still around, and perhaps reaching larger numbers of people than ever as one can just go and watch demanding demos such as this years’ winner, Monolith by ASD, as streaming YouTube videos captured from the authors’ very high-end rigs, rather than downloading and having a hard time running an executable on an underpowered four-year old laptop such as your humble narrator’s.

Still, there is something that is lost in that ‘video-ization’ of demos: the notion that what one is watching is not pre-rendered CG, but realtime code — mathematics manifesting as audiovisual aesthetics as one watches. So take also a look at the winner of the 1KB Intro competion, BLCK4777* by p01/ribbon: that is one kilobyte of code - that is, 1024 bytes or roughly a quarter of a page of purely unformatted text — making all that stuff happen in your browser. Just wow.

August 7th

July 25th

Very funny and very gross, here’s How to Make a Ferrero Rocher (hat tip to Heitor Alvelos). Looking at the HowToBasic YouTube channel’s millions of views, I don’t know how I could have missed this before. 

Like the best jokes, their videos are very unconfortable to watch and I could feel nausea creeping up underneath my laughter (perhaps I am becoming like some of these older gentlemen?). There is something very uncanny about these videos, beyond the wanton waste of what seems like pretty good foodstuffs: even though GoPro videos are nothing new, the POV footage in these reminded me of Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, and for all the kitchen dada antics I could really start to understand that film’s portrail of first-person recordings as a very addictive drug. Is that the most unnerving thing about these videos, that feeling it is us who made all that mess, like an implanted memory presenting evidence we had no control over what we did?

July 19th

120 Years of Electronic Music is a very good history of electronic music and sonic art for the past two centuries. That’s Karlheinz Stockhausen at the WDR studios in the 1970s (wearing a robe?).

It’s also worth noting that the site was started in 1996; thus showing the perils of using relative timespans when naming things. The authors admit those 120 years are now closer to 140, plus another century of electronic music pre-history. Yes, the Web is now old enough for such embarrasments.