ghost in the shell
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An exhibit for admiring the labyrinthian cityscapes of anime architecture

When I visited Tokyo, Japan earlier this year for the first time, I was struck by its block-by-block awe-inspiring architecture. From the woven-like walls of the Daikanyama T-Site bookstore, or the mirrored, cave-like entrance to the Tokyu Plaza Building on the cusp of Omotesando and Harajuku, Japan takes its architecture to highly modernized, nearly impossible heights. And it makes sense, for a country whose animation has been setting the standard for fictional architecture since the early 1980s. Animated architecture that looks to both the present and the old, and twists it into something new for the future. Luckily, there’s a…

speculo
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The future of electronic interaction can be found in the middle of Kentucky

The reason higher education combines “arts” and “sciences” is because all art is, in essence, an emotional and psychological experiment. People want to experience joy, fear, ennui, etc., but aren’t always able (or willing) to experience the events that would normally create such intense feelings. In this regard, the artist is the mad scientist and the audience members are all rats in her maze. “I’m usually more interested in what’s happening outside the screen than inside the screen,” says Matt Hudgins, videogame developer and creator of Speculo, an art installation that uses a digital camera to record the viewer and…

collection2
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Download a virtual art exhibit that features original games from around the world

La Triennale di Milano is an Italian modern art and design museum, focused on the relationship facilitated through art and industry. The La Triennial di Milano regularly displays exhibitions of design, architecture, art, fashion, film, and essentially anything contemporary. After a 20-year absence, the Triennale International Exhibition has made its triumphant return. With events and exhibits widespread across Milan, and now even an app-bound virtual exhibit by game designers from around the world, the Triennale International Exhibition has truly been ushered into the modern era. And after two decades away, that’s much to be revered. The chance to see art from the…

unnamed
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New VR game lets you walk around inside a Van Gogh painting

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. THE NIGHT CAFE (PC) BY BORROWED LIGHT STUDIOS The point of going to a museum is to gain a more tactile understanding of a piece of art. Being in front of a picture allows you to see the minute details of creation—the brush strokes and oil drips. Yet, museums keep you at a literal arms length from the art. But a VR Van Gogh experience titled The Night Café hopes to correct this discontinuity. Inviting viewers to step inside the swirling vibrancy of Van Gogh’s Le Café de…

gtav_ollie ma
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Photo series shows how GTA V’s bleakness mirrors everyday life

As technology advances and our lives grow more and more digital, the barrier between our physical world and the virtual one grows increasingly blurred. As videogame graphics venture further into the dark lands of the uncanny valley, it seems only consequential that a photographer would eventually utilize in-game screenshots to juxtapose them against our physical world. Pairing our world with one of the most illustrious and life-like of open world games That’s what photographer Ollie Ma’ of Buckinghamshire, England has done, having captured the thematic emotions of disconnect in his photography. In his latest project, “Open World,” Ma’ couples in-game…

Mirrors edge art
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Mirror’s Edge and the politics of parkour

As world design in games nowadays trends towards visions of vast, sprawling overworlds, intricately layered and impeccably nuanced, questions of mobility have risen to the forefront: how does the player get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible? Questions of speed are of paramount concern, of course; no one likes to be held up unnecessarily in pursuit of some arbitrary objective. But, as in any art, games too must also be concerned with not just raw efficiency, but beauty as well: it’s not enough to just get there, but to get there in style, preferably…

The Sprawl by Metahaven screen capture
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Online art installation examines propaganda in the Internet age

The first few moments in the online version of The Sprawl can best be described as overwhelming. Videos with bizarre eye-catching graphics shift around for just a second, there’s a moving shape in the background. The text that appears would seem to be an explanation, but explains very little, saying, in part, “pixelated illusions replace our faith in information, ideologies collide in chasms of uncertainty and hope.” This is Dutch design collective Metahaven’s latest project, The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda), a film/installation examining propaganda, its usage, its prevalence, and how it affects our view of information and truth. simulates the…

The Quiet Gardens of the Internet
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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
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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…