The next time you're in the badlands of Sunshine, you simply must go check out this doozy of a sign. Don't drive by like we did. Park the car, feel the winds of industry rushing by and give it a proper look. It's worth it.
I like psychedelia as much as the next guy, but usually it's steeped in neo-hippie mythology with a high emphasis on symmetrical fractals. It's all very nice and charming, and gee whizz aren't you proud of using photoshop filters, and yes, the Mayans were a charming bunch and no I don't like dolphins as much as you. In fact, I hate them.
But this process called Datamoshing is so many levels of 21st century cool that seems way ahead of its time (that, or time is moving faster). I thought I could be clever and embed the two music videos in here, but seems like the copyright layers have prevented youtube from allowing that to happen. You'll just have to leave this page (gasp) and go watch them over at you tube. The first one, Evident Utensil by Chairlift is a somewhat sweet/somewhat grating neo-folk song that cuts in and out using glitchy compression artefacts to transition to the next cut. As soon as you figure out what's going on, you've lost it. Welcome to Heartbreak by Kanye kicks it up quite a few notches with the spit, polish and awesomeness that one expects from the man. While the Evident Utensil skilfully references 60s psychedelia with music, motion and imagery, Kanye bleeds, drips and flows from one element to the next and never stops flowing.
It took the advent of the CD for people to fall in love with the hiss and clicks of vinyl. So I'm surprised that it took only a few years for video compression to be turned into an art form and an aesthetic. These two videos came out at roughly the same time, so there's no point in arguing over who came first.
The irony here, is that they work best at high definition. Which takes away from the self referential charm of watching it on youtube. The interesting part here isn't on the visuals, but on highlighting the nature of decay and compression. The process is generative, but only to arrive at it's final form. I can't imagine the man hours spent in making sure each transition was just so, allowing each scene to hold and shift into the next one. Other examples I've found online don't have the same flow as these two.But it's to be expected when the big labels step in and need some form of polish.
Ima let you finish, but David O'Reilly had the first video to use compression artefacts. But it's by no means the best. But he does make the good point (apart from having a bit of a whinge) in comparing the idea of Compression Artefacts of software in the same way that Bacon didn't hide brush strokes. It doesn't saturate the video with dripping transitions, but uses it sparingly and at the appropriate time. In saying that aesthetics should always serve the content he misses the point of transferring the glitchy techno fetishistic aspects of the technique and letting it be embraced by the two videos above. Sure, Kanye is master of the game and is quite able to hunt cool and novelty better than most, but the neo-folk music of Chairlift make a fitting tribute to psychedelia. So, if you're in the mood for some Venetian Snares play through; the compression occurs at about the 1.30 mark.
Without wanting to get into the complete and utter fail that was iSnack 2.0, ABC's By Design has a fascinating segment on the nature of Crowd sourcing. Despite the objectively horrible name, one thing I hadn't realised was the lack of consumer consultation with the final choice. That the backlash wasn't just a result of a poor name, but a lack of continuing conversation with the audience. Meanwhile, Kraft have realised the error of their way, and fielded 6 other names which were taken to a vote. The final choice has ended up being Cheesybite; a relatively uninspired name but at least the audience has spoken.
Having just played Passage for the first time, I can safely say that it's a beautiful piece of software; I'm hesitant to call it a game. It plays as a memento mori (latin for remember you will die), in which you navigate across a simple scrolling level. When you start, your whole life is in front of you, albeit mostly blurry. By the end of the game, which takes five minutes, you reach the end of the screen, and your whole life is behind you, blurry once again with nothing except memories of your passage.
Early on in the game, you find a wife and a pixelated heart indicated that I was married. Cute. I slowly began to realise that I was ageing, noticing my baldness and how slow I moved. Not long after, my wife died. I was aware of the game before, and that this would happen. I wasn't expecting to feel sorrow at her death though. Not long after, I died. And that was it. It's also harder to move around with your wife, but finding treasures with her gives you more bonus points. But all those bonus points don't seem that important when you know, that in the blurry distance, death awaits. A truly beautiful poetic piece of software that drips in simple profundity.
The last time I saw Daniel Kitson I came across a box of free lemons in my street and the heartstrings filled with neighbourly pride. It seemed to be no different yesterday (having seen him on Tuesday night); the wonderful thing about his comedy is the cerebral yet not abstract mood he puts you in the next day. I'd noticed the free kindling in the morning on my way to get some coffee from the milk bar. When I realised I didn't have any lemons for dinner I ran back to see if he had any lemons left to sell, which he didn't. Instead, he went to his house out the back and gave me some of his own for free. Refusing payment, he went back to counting the till with his peculiar blend of awkward rudeness. On the way back home the kindling was being loaded up into a wheelbarrow by a young couple.
Continuing with the neighbourly conversation, this was up some time ago. I never noticed any newspapers in the box and I ashamedly forgot to put ours in there. Although I will add that I saved up quite a few with the intention of putting it in there. I wonder if their perceptions changed about the street regarding the amount they received. If they intended to create a conversation with the street which ended up on (partially) deaf ears.