Animated GIFs, From Ancient Internet History to Modern Digital Fashion

It’s more than nostalgia or retro charm. Somehow, as we reflect on early digital creations through modern filters, we see something oddly new. And so it is with the animated GIF. In an unusually-frenetic video from the USA’s viewer-supported public broadcaster, PBS, you can trace the animated GIF from its early history through some surprisingly-fresh experiments with the medium today. In those short, flickering images, a new kind of stuttering movement emerges. It’s informed, too, by VJ culture and club visuals, by rapid-fire experimental editing, by the interplay in digital realms between the still photograph and the video. I watched …

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Sound With a Dose of Mysticism: Upcoming Sufi Plugs Explore Tonality, Call to Prayer, Drones

Could a piece of software make you think differently about sound? Could it reflect ideas, the culture of listening? The developers of the SUFI series of plug-ins seem to think so. In place of screencasts showing which knob to turn which way, they head with a video crew to Morocco. The “instruction” might be about the value of reflection or call to prayer, about living as much as how to use a tool. You can see the first two examples: a meditation on the idea of daily interruptions in the soundscape coming from God, and a collection of electronic drones …

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Sculpting Sound with Maja Ratkje [Film]

The worlds of sound open to us as musicians seem limitless, endlessly unfolding in variety and possibility. So, even in a series of impressionistic moments from an upcoming film, it’s a delight to see composer Maja Ratkje play with sound. The Norwegian musician and vocalist, an improviser frequent collaborator with artists like Jaap Blonk, is seen making wild sounds with her voice, experimenting with found sounds from field recordings and music boxes, and playing, too, with electronics and technology. There’s perhaps not much more to say about this other than to let the experience of exploring sound in music wash …

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Network Awesome Electronic Music Week: Way More Electronic Music Videos Than You Can Handle

Quit your job, leave your loved ones, stock up on food, and get ready to destroy your life with videos from YouTube. Network Awesome, a kind of curatorial “TV” network full of free online videos, has been assembling the best documentaries dealing with electronic music online, with hours and hours and hours of things that could basically keep you from, ironically, reading this site for the rest of the week if you like. This isn’t just some random assortment, either. There are thoughtful assortments and surprise discoveries, including a celebrity-chosen set of some pretty far-out live shows pulled by Jan …

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Music Making, and Living, with The Books’ Nick Zammuto, in a Touching Short Film

When we say “handmade music,” we really mean this sense of crafting something , of touching something – not so much the technique or the technology as the intention behind what you do. In a striking film portrait of Nick Zammuto for nakedmusicians.com, the craft of living is spotlighted as much as the craft of music making. Nick, is known for his role in duo The Books (with Dutch-born Paul de Jong), and their distinctive, rhythmic, homebrewed-original sound. Here, he covers his manipulations of everything physical and temporal. Sound sampling is a tangible process, the poetry of things put together …

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Feeling Sound, Physically: ‘Touch the Sound’ Documents Deaf Percussionist

What is sound? What does it mean, and why does it matter? It’s never too fundamental, too basic a question to ask ourselves again when we make music. So, I’ll leave this trailer otherwise largely without comment, except to say, it’s well worth watching (or re-watching). Touch the Sound, produced by German director Thomas Riedelsheimer in 2004, focuses on the work and world of nearly-deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie. See a trailer, below, and excerpt, above. Thanks to Morgan Hendry for the tip. IMDB link On this topic, and the inspiration for this link: For a Deaf Artist, The Process of …

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Urbanized to Join Objectified, Helvetica, as Design Nerds Get Their Ultimate Trilogy Box Set

Filmmaker Gary Hustwit has become the Francis Ford Coppola of design documentaries (I expect a vineyard soon). His documentaries on type (Helvetica) and industrial design (Objectified) are glorious, intimate sources of visual inspiration. Now, he’s taking his quest to release a third film on cities to Kickstarter. And while Kickstarter seems to be the “it” site of this bootstrapping economic dip, the pitch is pretty good. First, Hustwit on exactly where he came from: In 2005 I began work on my first documentary, Helvetica, which looked at the worlds of typography and graphic design through the eyes of one loved/hated/ubiquitous …

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Beyond the Screen: Teaser from Mapping Festival Documentary, Good Visualist Times

a story of light from Jerome Monnot on Vimeo. Just two minutes in length, a teaser from a new documentary on the Mapping Festival encapsulates the growing range today’s visualist can cover. Far from look-alike video loops projected on narrow rectangles, that gamut extends to mapping and human performance that explodes the screen, from advanced, special-effects-laden cinema to abstract visual design. The video is appropriately titled: these are, simply, artists working in light, exploring with that light the concepts of rhythm and space long exploited by music and sound. Description: cam op / editing : jerome monnot extra cams : …

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A New Documentary Examines the Electro Scene in the Age of the Internet

The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. The Electro Wars Final Trailer from Stephen Alex Vasquez on Vimeo. Can a documentary finally tell the story of the electronic music scene? Primus Luta has become a scholar of electronic sounds himself, and joins us in a guest post to examine a film that, like the music itself, is a work in progress. Electro Wars premieres in its current form in New York Friday, but you can get a first glimpse at the movie and the state of music in the Internet – whether wishful thinking might imagine …

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3D VJ: Video Features Audiovisuals in Three Dimensions at Thunderdome

VIMBY – Thunderdome 3D There is a dimension beyond that which is known to VJs. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge, between that semester when he was totally doing great at math and the one where he started to fail Calculus. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an dimension we call … the z axis. Yes, three-dimensional visuals are here. And people look super cute and mod in those 3D glasses. We covered the possibilities of the …

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