Monthly Archives: November 2012

Central Park in infrared panorama

Please put your art on my wall

So I just put these eight white frames up over my dining table.

8 white frames over my dining table


I’ve been making art for a while to put up there – but I’d like something from you.  Everyone’s phone takes great big panorama photos. You probably go somewhere cool and take them. Can you pretty please send me some of your best panorama photos?  I’d love to print it out and put it up there.  I’ll send you back a pic of your photo up there and I’ll be really grateful!

I think I’ll start off with Chris Restrepo’s gorgeous infrared shot of Central Park

Central Park in infrared panorama


Make a new thing from that old thing

Here’s the big argument why copyright should be off by default: the world makes more interesting things when sharing is on by default.

First up is Kutiman, who took the little demos that folks upload to youtube and turned it into a whole album, called Thru You.

PLEASE go check out the rest of that album.

The opposite side of that is fans love doing remixes and covers of the musicians they love. Then they share those covers. That is how culture is supposed to work. Sometimes the artists freak out and try to stop that sharing. Some artists say thank you. Some artists do even better and actually make a transformative work out what their fans did. I don’t know of anyone who has done this better than Gotye with Somebodies:

For more, watch Everything is a Remix.Here’s episode one.

Everything is a Remix Part 1 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.


— Whoops! I’ve been trying to do a music video Monday thing – looks like I scheduled this post for the wrong day.

Glenn Beck and the new reality of video distribution

My man Jamie Dubs did a great talk at the XOXO fest on how Glenn Beck is the unloved rockstar of the new media landscape. Jamie did the amazing VHX.TV, worked on Add-Art, started Know Your Meme, led the Internet Famo Class… He’s the Kevin Bacon of my internet, but everyone has a max Jamie number of 3.

Anyway, get your learn on:

All you need to know about the David Petraeus affair

David Simon, creator of The Wire, breaks it down:

Hypocrisy will never go out of style in American journalism or American life. But sitting there and watching the rewrite and sports desk mobilize to surround the sexual wanderings of a sportscaster, I remember making a decision: Enough. This is just sex. This is nothing more than the odd, notable penis or the odd, notable vagina staggering off the marked path and rubbing against the wrong tree. This is just people.

David keeps responding in the commens, where I found this gem of a story about Churchill and the World Trade Center tragedy.

Even better is this Tumblr of David Petraeus Affair Photos.

My two cents – if you are searching for any way to react to this that isn’t based around gossip, look for the best of human emotions.
Look to bind yourselves to those in trouble, exercise your empathy and compassion.

Why aren’t all music videos this good?

New media is different than old media. Books are great, and I love them – but hypertext is way way better. I love music videos – they are great, but why aren’t more of them using the amazing new tools available to us.

I want more music videos like this:

Johnny Cash – Ain’t No Grave.
This is the king I think. The song is worth it. The artist Johnny Cash – nuff said. This is a crowd-sourced participatory art music video that you can swim through in multiple dimensions.
They took a music video and gave everyone who loves Johnny Cash a way to pay tribute. Go on there and you can draw a frame from the music video. You can rate the frames of others. And then you can push your way through the dimensional space of all this and watch the video with highest rated frames or most abstract frames or any of the other dimensions they’ve carved up. It’s a beauty and executed perfectly. I hope everyone clicks through to this.

Arcade Fire – The Wilderness Downtown
This was the first new media music video I heard about. Couldn’t get a browser to run it for the longest time. It pushed the limits so far and does so many things.

Watch the video. Birds fly through all the different frames. You run along the streets where you grow up, you write a letter to yourself and watch it grow like trees. A dream.

Yung Jake –
I’m not as much of a fan of this one because the music isn’t as good, the rhymes are sloppy. This perfectly marries the content to the form though. It’s about being shared, being embedded, the new narrative of music distribution. And it shows as it tells.

RO.ME – 3 Dreams of Black
Can’t watch it – don’t have WebGL. Supposed to be good.

Ellie Goulding – Lights

Chris Bathgate – Big Ghost
This is the counterpoint. See, this doesn’t feel like a new video. This feels like it’s just a new trick on an old concept. 3D is so hyped and so pointless most of the time. I mean seriously, BOOKS tell stories. We don’t need 3D unless it adds something.

The computer you don’t see

That’s the best computer.  The best interface is no interface.

See the router that guides you as you make the cut.

See how the person makes the design and the router follows that design. See how the router is assisting.

See the laser cutter that observes the lines you draw.

See how the cutter follows the lines she meant to draw, and interpolates the proper line to cut.

But you don’t see a computer that you have to interact with.
The more you get back to the computer guiding you, assisting you, the easier and better it is. See auto-tuning guitars. See backup warning radar in cars. See Nest thermostats. See tiny little adjustments made for you without you noticing, enabling what you intend instead of what you did.