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Surreal Google Earth images break the illusion of digital mapping

Postcards from Google Earth, a project by Brooklyn-based artist, Clement Valla, which started in 2010, is a collection of warped Google Earth screenshots. As eerie and uncanny as they appear it can be easy to dismiss the images as nothing more than odd screenshots, but by touching on these visual mishaps, Valla wants to pull back the curtain on Google’s processes for us to consider. With the photorealism of Google Earth its easy to take its visual representations as accurate. Postcards from Google Earth is a reminder that all representations are approximates, no matter how convincing they may seem. It is…

Return of the Obra Dinn
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Return Of The Obra Dinn’s historical fiction gets even eerier in new demo

Lucas Pope, of Papers Please (2013) fame, has been working on his new project, Return of the Obra Dinn, for nearly two years now. Back in October 2014, he released the first build of the game, which ran for 10 minutes in length and showed off its stylistic 1-bit rendering. Updates on the game’s progress since then have all arrived in the form of a devlog, except the latest, which comes with a new demo to play. It features a host of improvements, such as a new intro sequence with fully voiced dialogue, a remodeled top deck, a new flashback, a small…

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Making games on a boat to get back that feeling of being lost

Rekka Bellum and Devine Lu Linvega (otherwise known as Hundred Rabbits), the creators of Oquonie (2014), a surreal textless puzzle game, and Grimgrains, a blog about being artistically creative with food and color, are pursuing something new—and it involves sailing. Rather than another singular project, the duo’s new venture is a complete lifestyle change, which will inform all the work they do for its duration. They have decided to create a floating, travelling studio. Yes, on their boat home, they will seek to create games, experiment with food, and adapt to living at sea. Support for the project went live on Patreon at the end of last year to…

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New website celebrates stories inspired by pre-broadband internet

Described as “a literary/graphic project…built by three artists with strong interests in screens”, websafe2k16 seeks to provide a platform for memories of a pre-broadband Internet. Using the Web Safe color palette, and its 216 colors, as a point of reference, the project consists of 216 authors who write 216 words each, inspired by a specific color in the web safe range. Beginning 2/16/16, one piece is published daily. The swatches and text of the site provide a homogeneous backdrop for the varied experiences of the authors. The site is a sparse visual landscape filled with odd and unexpected artefacts Old internet pages are…

Generations
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Degraded portraits of royals reflect their obsessive inbreeding

It is commonly known that the in-marrying of families was an aristocratic trait used to ensure the purity of a monarchy or empire’s bloodline. Unlike the infamous incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister in Game of Thrones, these relationships held significant political power, and weren’t considered subversive, but rather the norm. Michelle Vaughan explores this idea through the Spanish-Austrian Habsburg royal family in the exhibition Generations. the idea of degradation through the pursuit of improvement In these works, Vaughan works conceptually with the idea of degradation through the pursuit of improvement. Hyperallergic likens this, aesthetically, to our modern pursuit of perfecting digital images,…

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Cat++ turns our feline obsession into a coding language

Cat++ is a code developed by Nora O’ Murchú, an Irish new media art curator, designer, and academic. Oh, and a cat lover, of course. Created during a residency at Access Space in the UK, Cat++ is thought of as a one-of-a-kind “cat simulator.” The coding alternates cat interactions with random and uncontrollable events that are translated through a series of 8-bit-esque animations. The code is based on real cat characteristics and assigns different dynamic visuals to user input. What’s even more wonderful is that O’ Murchú invites others to expand on the code with more cats and behaviors for new and unexpected…

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Web code lets you simulate the jarring experience of dyslexia

Victor Widell, a Swedish web developer, released a piece of web code called dsxyliea a couple of weeks ago via GitHub. The code sets out to emulate an experience with dyslexia by keeping the first and last letter in each word the same, but mixing up the letters in the middle, to give the appearance of letters shifting and jumping in and out of place. Widell shows the code being applied to a Wikipedia article to illustrate how it can adapt to different pieces of text the user might be interested in. As much as the internet is known for its memes, gifs,…

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Graphic novel tackles issues of contemporary Iranian identity

In an international context, Iran is often thought of as a news headline, or a generalized and vague region in the “Middle East.” When the youth in Iran make statements about pop culture and their relationship to it, like the video of Iranian youth dancing to Pharrell’s hit Happy, it immediately becomes an item of politicized news. However, with recent movies like A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), described by director Ana Lily Amirpour as the first “Iranian vampire spaghetti western,” Iran gets a chance at an international identity without the typical assumptions or politics. That said, Amirpour is American-Iranian, rather than a…

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Japanese horror game has an air of Studio Ghibli about it

“At night every town…changes” the new trailer for Yomawari tells us. The idea in this upcoming PlayStation Vita-exclusive, from Japanese studio Nippon Ichi, is to take on the role of a young girl whose sister and dog have gone missing. Despite her fears, the girl is determined to find her loved ones, even if it means traversing her town while it’s warped into a different place by the cover of darkness. With the company of only a flashlight, the girl must overcome multiple obstacles; monsters and darkness are scattered throughout her journey. The horror and stealth of the game are made immediate…