• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Last year the Swedish Social Ministry launched a web, print and video campaign called Flicka (girl) that attacks the moral of mass media.
A survey shows that every 4th girl feel under pressure by the media's beauty ideals, and the aim of the public campaign is to educate young girls about the techniques and effects of advertising and thus help them to think critically.
One of the campaign's video ads is shaped as a sexist music video featuring semi-nude women washing a car. Suddenly, one of them confronts the camera and asks "what is this, why do most videos look this way?". The viewers are then invited to pick up the phone and call the CEO of Universal Music in Sweden and ask him the question. His name and phone numer is shown on the screen. The local commercial broadcast stations TV3 and TV4 have refused to air this and another similar video.
Additionally, a recent interactive web ad illustrates the other (real) side of magazine-covers. The front side of a Metropolitan cover shows a typical photo of a young girl but by clicking the image it gradually reveals how it has been retouched and manipulated in order to meet the standard media beauty ideal. One of the headlines read: 69 clicks from sexbomb to normal.
The videos can be seen by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
Posted by Sebastian on Mar 10, 2005
In case you run out of LSD, or just want a real-time experience of how TV-graphics looked like in the 80's, you can now equip yourself with a virtually reality set that transforms the boring looking world into something more abstract.
The Super-i® goggles, designed by ViewStation™ changes the real world around us into a virtual one by applying different effects to the video input in real-time. The wearable system is assembled inside lightweight goggles that fit any head.
Algorithms, similar to those used in professional systems of image processing (such as Adobe Photoshop) are embedded into Super-i® and the quality of the camera and micro-displays is so great, that not only you'll be able to explore the wonderfully altered reality, but also to get around easily.
The standard effects available for Super-i® are : Invert color, Psychedelic colors, Emboss, Inverted emboss and Line-through and - the more contemporary - Matrix.
Posted by Sebastian on Feb 27, 2005
With the advent of digital media the act of taking, storing and displaying photographs has become a lot easier and thus more appealing to more people. Several web sites are specifically devoted to systematic diary-like photo projects, such as Ten Years of my Life and The Daily Photo Project that both are following the basic rule of taking and publishing a photograph everyday.
Although, this documentation-meme has flourished with digital cameras and web publishing software, it is something that has also fascinated people before the digital age.
A classic example is On Kawara's date paintings, which is a conceptual art project following other principles than just the engine of time. Another example, that in many ways anticipated the self-publishing trait of the web, is Arrow of Time, which is a family project that began in 1976 and has continued online. Every year, on June 17th, the Golberg family goes through a private ritual: They photograph themselves to stop a fleeting moment, the arrow of time passing by.
Arrow of time does not explain whether June 17th is a random date or loaded with personal emotion or meaning.
Grafedia is text, written by hand onto a physical surface, that links to rich media content via SMS.
A Grafedia hyperlink is characterized by being blue with an underscore, possibly a tribute to the classic defualt HTML hyperlink. When recognizing such a link on a surface people can *click* on it via their cellphones by sending a message addressed to the word + "@grafedia.net" and they will get the content behind the link delivered to their phone.
Grafedia authors can make hyperlinked text in three easy steps: 1. Choose a word. 2. Send a media file from your cell phone to that chosen word + '@grafedia.net'. 3. Write that word anywhere in the real world in blue with an underline. That word will then be linked to the media file the author sent to grafedia.net, and viewers will be able to retrieve the file. Files can be uploaded from a computer directly to the grafedia.net server.
Grafedia was created by John Geraci at the Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU.
It's hardly a secret that Email (the killer-app of the 90's) and SMS (the killer app of the 00's) has reduced the need for standard postal services such as letters and postcards (the killer-apps before the late 90's).
But now, a Swiss initiative is trying to take advantage of the synergy between the digital and physical communication technologies rather than viewing them as separate entities.
The Swiss post office, Swisscom mobile and the museum for communication has introduced the world's first MMS self-service stamp. Users are encouraged to MMS their own pictures to a website where people can vote for their favorites by SMS. The 4 most popular motifs will be produced as genuine stamps.
The motto of the initiative is 'Swiss mobil - Ein Land unterwegs' / 'Swiss Mobile - A Country on the Go'.
SeeFree is a Visual Spam Blocking System™ that removes unwanted elements from your sight.
The system is designed for those who are fed up with the commercialization and visual pollution of public spaces.
The special high-tech glasses from SeeFree provides users with the ability to see the world without billboards, signs and other commercial visual spam.
Posted by Sebastian on Jan 14, 2005
Living up to its motto 'product over image', the apparel company G-STAR has released an atypical product catalogue in which the models have been photoshoppically removed from the photos.
The range is designed by all-over-the-place designer Marc Newson and if you pay their website a visit, you might as well take a look at the video documentation of last years' show at the German Bread & Butter fair, which contains some interesting motion-features.
Behind the website www.symbollix.com is a one-man company, offering to do legit graffiti for advertising purposes.
Despite looking like 'real' graffiti, the commercial graffiti done by Symbollix is non-permanent and envionmentally friendly. The artwork is simply done by cleaning dirt from sidewalks and tunnels.
"Moose", who is the artist behind Symbollix, got the idea when he saw that people had written their names with their fingers on dirty tunnel walls in his hometown of Leeds.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 27, 2004
The Floating Logos project by Matt Siber is inspired by signs perched high atop very tall poles so that they may be viewed from a long distance away.
Siber has been taking photographs of these specific signs and then digitally removed their poles, to make it look like the signs are floating in the air by themselves.
The floating effect is intended to give the signs a supernatural quality that is meant to call attention to the hegemonic role consumerism and advertising play in our society.
Posted by Sebastian on Dec 25, 2004
Erik Blankinship at the MIT media lab believes that screen snapshots fit into the category of photography.
"It's awful hard to take a good screen snapshot, especially with the complex screen grabbing options you have today.
File format? Size reduction? Framing rectangle? I find it strange that sometimes you can grab the screen, but no file is written. Or else you get an area on the screen that doesn't get written to the screen grab file. I know the reason why this happens, in a technical sense. But that doesn't make me feel any better."