The Quiet Gardens of the Internet

Turn the internet into a floral garden for a happier browsing experience

The Internet is, by and large, an ugly place. This is a reality partially informed by the choices we each make (some more than others, granted) but largely attributable to choices made upstream, before websites arrive on our screens. To beautify the Internet, then, is to wrest control away from the powers that be. Pol Clarissou’s The Quiet Gardens of the Internet lets you turn every website into your happy place. The Google Chrome extension places a flower button in your navigation bar that you can click when in need of relief. Shortly thereafter, by the magic of Unicode, it replaces…

creative coding

Celebrate International Month of Creative Coding by taking online courses

Everything we know and love virtually is the source of meticulous coding. Coding is the backbone of videogames. Coding is in the DNA of the websites we visit daily. In fact, coding can be the reason why some of our favorite creative endeavors exist at all. Coding all too often makes the impossible possible. And that’s why the for-profit online course provider Kadenze has officially dubbed May as the “International Month of Creative Coding.” But what makes coding creative? Coding makes the impossible possible Creative coding is the primary goal of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics education (STEAM). Coding’s…


FPS has something to say about videogames and guns. But what?

Hugo Arcier’s FPS is about last year’s attacks in Paris, though it is not immediately clear in precisely what way. We know this because the artist says as much on his website: “FPS is a post November 2015 Paris attacks art piece. The artist deals with blindness hijacking video game codes, in particular of first person shooter game. The only visible elements are pyrotechnic effects, gunshots, muzzles flashes, sparks, impacts, smokes.” In practice, what that means is that a black space is lit up by flares from something vaguely resembling a videogame gun. They linger in the air, like lasers at…

famicase 16

The wonderful, fake game art of Japan’s annual Famicom exhibition

There’s a special brand of nostalgia for the Family Computer, colloquially called the Famicom. The game console was released by Nintendo in 1986 but never outside of Japan, and was home to many, many cult games. It jump-started a multitude of classic Nintendo franchises, like Mother (1989) (also known as Earthbound Beginnings, when it finally saw release outside of Japan in 2015) and Fire Emblem (1990). Among many other, actual gaming-related reasons, one particular way the Famicom was notable was in its unique multi-colored cartridges—an aspect the gray-plagued Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was missing. Buried in Tokyo’s Kichijoji neighborhood is a unique…


The art of pinball

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. INKS (iOS) BY STATE OF PLAY GAMES Pinball is something of a lost art. With the glory days of arcades and The Who’s rock opera Tommy (1969) behind us, the Pinball Wizard may appear to have lost his luster. But State of Play’s INKS is breathing new life into this arcane mode of play, by making the pinball machine double up as a blank canvas for painters. From the creators of Lumino City (2014), the game brings a similarly tactile approach to design. Instead of flashing colors, your ball hits…


Tale of Tales explains why it’s bringing Christian art to virtual reality

Since being successfully funded on Kickstarter in October 2015, details on Tale of Tales’s latest project, a digital collection of animated Christian dioramas titled Cathedral in the Clouds, have been light. “We haven’t produced anything yet,” explains co-creator Michaël  Samyn, who is working on Cathedral in the Clouds along with his partner Aureia Harvey. However, during a recent presentation at France’s CFIC cultural heritage and digital media forum, Samyn finally released new information about the project, walking the audience through how he and Harvey came up with the idea for it, as well as how they’re hoping to translate the Gothic and…

Paint Bug

Paint Bug fills you with childlike joy as you create digital art

Even with the advent of adult coloring, it’s difficult to find an outlet that makes you feel like you’re creating unique art without actually having the talent to do so. Paint Bug, made in 72 hours for the Ludum Dare game jam, attempts to do just that. Paint Bug gives the player control over a series of sticker-like characters that they can draw across a canvas. Each sticker, from the water droplet to the moon, has a different effect on the canvas. Players then have the opportunity to save their works as the final piece or as a timelapse series that shows all of the frames…

Misplaced New York

Photography project kidnaps New York’s strangest architecture

You shake some cereal into a bowl and pick up a box of milk. As you’re about to pour, you see a sign on its side: Have you seen this building? Well, not exactly. Some mischief has been done here. At least it’s mischief of the architectural instead of criminal variety. (Granted, this line is occasionally blurred.) The artist Anton Repponen and writer Jon Earle have imagined what would happen if 11 New York City icons were uprooted and placed in foreign, desert-like landscapes. They have, in a sense, been kidnapped, though that backstory is not wholly necessary when examining…

motorbikes by yok and sheryo

Traditional artists try virtual reality art for the first time

We all know that art can exist in virtual reality, from games like Adr1ft, to films such as Collisions. Virtual reality has shown itself to be a unique medium for immersing audiences in a work of art. But what about creating art within virtual reality? Google’s Virtual Art Sessions set out to experiment with exactly that. Google invited six artists who all work with different mediums and material, to test out Google’s new Tilt Brush software. Tilt Brush functions as a palette and a brush that simulates painting in a 3D environment. Jeff Nusz, one of the people on the…