It looks a little bit like a traditional record player and I am sure french new media production company Avoka used them as inspiration for creating their interactive sound installation, Dyskograf.
The device has a camera that monitors the turntable and detects marks drawn on paper records. Depending on the location and how they are drawn, the marks tell the custom software to make a different sound.
As soon as it was announced we wanted to get our hands on it, so Iain pre-ordered it, waited, waited a bit more, saw other people lucky enough to get it before us play around with it, got jealous, waited a little more and then it finally arrived.
So you are probably asking yourself, what is it. When you look at their website here, the explanation is quick:
MaKey MaKey is an invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet.
Basically you can take any objects (as long as they are conductive), clamp them to the MaKey MaKey board and make them do things. It was invented for anybody who loves tinkering around, wants to create anything in between art and engineering.
So what else is in the box?
not much, but definitely enough to get started on a little project
And within minutes the idea was born, a few old coins were found under the couch cushions and in the back of drawers and an orange was “stolen” from the fruit box.
All of it stuffed into a cardboard box and we had our first project – the interactive Orange
When you touch a coin and hold the orange, you make a connection, and MaKey MaKey sends the computer a keyboard message. The computer just thinks MaKey MaKey is a regular keyboard (or mouse). We just build a little flash movie that makes a sound and changes the picture when a certain key is pressed.
see it in action:
There are already plenty of pretty cool projects out there, so check them out and we make sure we keep you updated with ours as well.
Have you ever heard someone say ‘The future of music lies in mobile?” Yeah, we heard that too. So we took on the challenge of helping mobile music sales with this project. Especially since it was a using a mobile media placement a.k.a. a bus poster.
In collaboration with Starcom and Radio Nova and their talent ‘Smallzy’ we developed a concept that tapped into the insight that everyone on the bus just wants to ‘zone out’. It is called ‘Trak in Transit – tune in and zone out’.This series of music acts, featured within the bus, offer every track ready for download on PopMob.
This bus poster is a template, ready to be changed with different acts. Design Director Toby Caves chose an art direction that allowed him to flex his illustration muscles along the way. Have a look at the various stages of visual transportation:
And as you are coming to the end of the line, listen to this: Can you resist the simple charm of the Bom, Bom ?
Kirby also appeared as a TED speaker on the subject with his talk ‘Embrace the Remix‘.
Kirby talked about his analysis of creative work, which falls into three categories of either copying, transforming or recombining existing elements. Many legends of music like Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin more or less admit to using existing songs and melodies in their work. It’s how they learned to find their own style. Stand up comedian Richard Pryor taxed the time it took him to find his own voice to about 30 years. Similarly scientific break throughs aren’t leaps of imagination but often a transformation or recombination of previous knowledge and tools. Kirby took Henry Ford as the example of combining conveyor belt and other elements of mass production and deployed it for the automobile (which he didn’t invent).
What resonated with me was that seemingly original ideas often reveal their influences, and that it is ok to work like that. If we can admit that we are standing on the shoulders of giants, we can relax and keep inventing by transforming and recombining. And preferably avoid the pure copying. I think too often discussions in advertising are about the copying and plagiarism and used as a sledgehammer to cristicise and put down any transformative idea.
Kirby’s talk was organised by the resourceful guys from Portable as part of their Portable Talk series. I have already signed up for their next event with one of the makers behind ‘LookBook.nu’, Yuri Lee.
In case you haven’t noticed this site yet, it must be one of the most influential in terms of online fashion and (what they call) ‘Collective Fashion Consciousness’. Think of it as a ‘Sartorialist’ times 1,000. Book your front row seat here.
At Amnesia, we like to think we’re pretty in the know when it comes to things digital. In walks in a 15-year-old who couldn’t imagine images without hashtags and scoffs at our ignorance to the meaning of tbh.
“To be honest…cheh”
Rachel doesn’t remember a time before the Internet, or for that matter before social media, and admits that her generation’s relationship to it borders addiction and displays the traits of narcissism.
Take ‘Likes for Likes’ as an example. These are Facebook posts which bait ‘likes’ in return for words of praise (or sometimes less kind words) in the form of wall posts from the post’s publisher.
Or albums dedicated to self portraits, more often than not girls pouting or posing in their bikinis, all with the hope of attracting that all important ‘like’.
But is it addiction or narcissism if it’s the norm?
Sure, for us Gen-Y’s (we’re getting old now people) posting ‘selfies’ with the expectation of attracting thousands of likes and accumulating friends like they were going out of fashion, is behaviour that is not only foreign but fanatical.
Yet can we truly label this up and coming generation narcissistic without performing some due introspection?
I’m pretty sure the last time I checked, within my increasingly brand dominated newsfeed, my friends were posting albums of weddings, baby pics, Eiffel Tower shots and ‘pets doing cute things’. Sure these images aren’t likely to attract thousands of likes, but if not for the sake of attention than what?
Saying we have a generation coming through that is narcissistic is not only crediting the technologies they use but is a form of shifting the blame otherwise known as technological determinism.
Technological determinism tells us that it is technology that drives social change, not the other way around. I have never been a huge fan of this theory, as I’d like to think that humans are autonomous beings that have the capacity to govern their own social change and develop technologies depending on their changing needs.
Either way, there is a stark difference in the use of social media between generations and whether this is simply a question of maturity, we would be silly to shun it or deem it deplorable without taking the opportunity to learn something new.
Like Snapchat! Woah, where did that app come from? According to Rachel, it’s what all the cool kids are using and we’re desperately behind with the times.
Snapchat taps in on the image sharing phenomenon but rather than being another image archive, this app allows a person to take and send a picture and decide how long it is visible by the person who receives it. After a maximum of 10 seconds, the picture disappears and can’t be seen again.
My natural thought process landed on the more x-rated possibilities this app affords.
A few weekends ago, there was a video that went around of Clint Eastwood opening for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Mitt Romney was being nominated as the presidential candidate of the Republican Party for the 2012 election. Clint would go on for over 10 minutes, incoherently, around how great America is and that it was time for a new president etc etc.
Don’t feel obliged to watch it; the video is only there as a reference.
What drew a lot of attention from this was the fact that during the speech Clinty started talking to an empty chair as though Barack Obama was sitting on it. A “meme” was born out of Clint’s odd behaviour called “eastwooding”, where photos of people talking to an empty chair started to pop up on the interwebz. I think it deserved a little chuckle, but that was about it. There’s so many pictures of chairs you could endure before the joke gets old really quick, i.e. 1.
Then the media suddenly got involved.
“Eastwooding makes the rounds on the web”
“Eastwooding goes viral as celebrities lampoon Hollywood icon”
“Is Eastwooding the next Planking internet meme”
“Clint Eastwood speech inspires empty chair “Eastwooding” internet meme”
I felt a bit violated.
Memes are the most democratic form of communication on the internet. It is decided solely by the citizens of the internet with their participation by sharing or creating their own. The legacy of the meme is then decided by how long it sticks around for, how many times it’s shared/ used and how many forms it takes. How much involvement can the mainstream media have until it feels kinda ‘weird’? (Unless it’s for reporting things like this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzNhaLUT520).
People decided that cats are funny and cute, therefore kajillion pieces of cat photos and videos is churned all over the internet. People decided that High Expectations Asian Father was needed to describe the unrealistic expectations of their parents . The people decided that Scumbag Steve was needed to describe the dicky things their friends did. And who doesn’t love Condescending Wonka – now there’s an outlet for that thing we always wanted to say to our friends!
Memes are decided by the internet, and if there are any outside influences trying to force it, whether it be mainstream media or commercial interests, it kinda goes against what memes ultimately stand for and the purity of its process.
Although this has left a a little sour taste in my mouth, I’m quite confident that the internet will ultimately and correctly decide whether eastwooding stands the test of time.
Sometimes you need to just let go of the mouse and grab a good old pencil or pen. And bang out out some lovely “Type by Hand“. Three of us signed up for this endeavor last weekend and had a blast. Run by Wayne Thompson (of the Australian Type Foundry) and Gemma Eaves (of For the love of type fame), it consisted of almost non-stop 4 hours of fast-paced drawing. What a nice change to all the computer work we are doing day in day out.
A lot of feedback has been around the Pinterest-esque look and how sexy the video is making it out to be, but time will tell when we finally log-in and play with it (currently invite-only). Fingers crossed there will be some interesting integrations with Spotify and Soundcloud.
Starting off the Tuesday with the best invention since sliced bread. OK, maybe not, but it is still pretty cool.
Introducing the Popinator, a popcorn distribution machine that is voice activated. Simply say Pop and it will shoot a single popped corn in your direction and you can “easily” catch it with your mouth.
A binaural microphone array on the machine’s front listens for a clear “pop” voice command, determines where the command came from and shoots.
See it in action in the video below
There is no word on if this machine will ever see the day of light for all of us to acquire, but this is what the creating company (Popcorn, Indiana) had to say:
“All we have to say is: it is a work in progress right now. We certainly hope that one day it will become a commercial project, but as of now there is no shipping date and no price tag. It is purely a fun internal project we are toying with here at Popcorn Indiana. Based on the very positive responses we are getting online, we think this is well worth looking into as a commercial product.”
I really hope it does and I will install one in the office next to my desk.