The embedded video above comes from the latest project by Montreal-based media artist Jon Rafman. Kool-Aid Man in Second Life offers to give Internet users free guided tours of Second Life by Rafman’s avatar, the Kool-Aid Man. The aforementioned video is a promotional video showing scenes of the tour (by the way, apparently some of this may not be NSFW, though I watched the first minute or two and didn’t really notice anything bad). The subtlety of the video, and the entire project, is what makes it so engaging. There are all sorts of questions raised here: about the role of crafted pop culture icons in the new era of user generated content, about the nature of scenic beauty, about our interaction with kitsch. Someone take the tour and let us know how it is!
PS: Check out this essay Rafman wrote on Google Street View. Very compelling stuff.
I know virtually nothing about “Shih-Mao” except that he is from Taiwan and he is male (thank you, Flickr profile). His illustrations are fantastic, often depicting some kind of twisted alternate dimension where everything is incredibly weird and visceral.
Hailing from Houston, TX (home of the Geto Boys) and holding an MFA from Cornell, artist Mindy Kober paints scenes inspired by the images on the backs of those state commemorative quarters. Inspired is the operative word here – Kober uses a great deal of imagination in her humorous recreations of the scenes, often incorporating imagery from current American pop culture.
A graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Jeremy Pettis is an up-and-coming graphic designer specializing in a sort of 1970s American style hand-drawn typography. As his 2007 thesis project, Jeremy created a sort of logotype for 26 different animals (A-Z), attempting to evoke certain characteristics of each animal through clever visual cues and tricks.
Champagne Valentine, an Amsterdam based digital new media creative boutique, recently created this amazing interactive music video for Placebo’s “The Never-Ending Why.” The video takes viewers on a fanciful, creature-filled trip. Sort of a mix between Tibetan-mandalic psychedelia and French turn of the century daguerreotypes. Stunning! And the best part is that you can control the scenery and monsters by pointing and clicking your mouse! I am constantly amazed by the breaking of boundaries between viewer/media, and I feel like this video bridges the gap in a playful fashion….fitting for the performative aspect of a rock band. Click here to interact with the video- some stills after the jump!
Designed and authored by Richard Hefter, Martin Stephen Moskof, A Shufflebook is a nonstructured reading and storytelling “book” which is designed to offer children maximum variety and flexibility of image grouping. The 52 illustrated cards can be arranged to make an endless number of word and picture stories.
Norwegian artist Marius Watz uses Processing and other programming languages to explore the effects of different rule-based systems on virtual space. The finished product may be printed, sculpted, or a video.