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Digital typeface 83M80 is an attempt to claw back earlier internet eras

These are great times for the weird internet, which is a little strange because it’s all so respectable. Sure, there are still genuinely weird sites like oj.com, but they are weird precisely because they are retro. It’s probably for the best that we don’t live in the era of make-your-own-Geocities and frames, but what have we lost along the way and does it have any aesthetic value independent of our nostalgia?  83M80 — Letterpress in the Digital Era, a documentary by Gonzalo Hergueta and MRKA, attempts to address what has been lost in the move towards a more professionalized internet.…

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It’s about time digital art had a place to call home

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the first time I saw something resembling a digital frame. The technological magic of his “Picture Picture” device looked like an ordinary painting in a garishly gilt frame until Mister Rogers wanted to show viewers a video. “Hello,” it would sometimes greet him, before then launching into a story about the industrialized creation of crayons or some other every day object. When the video was over Mister Rogers would bid the frame goodbye and the screen would morph back into a generic landscape painting. Decades later and digital picture frames belong to the lackluster luxury end…

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Plug & Play exposes the hopelessness of digital communication

Swiss animator Michael Frei has a strange fascination with fingers. “What I especially like about hands is their expressiveness,” he told Director’s Notes back in 2013. It makes sense: he’s an animator, he uses his hands a lot, to create, to mold, to make actual the visions inside his head. And so do we all, as the hands and their appendages are attributed with our ascendance over all of Earth’s creatures. obsessed with fitting in with each other.  With Finger Simulator, Frei had us confront our understanding of what a finger is and how it works; extending their lengths to…

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Watch a crowd of digital people cheerfully run into a giant metal propeller

Digital artist Dave Fothergill has created a cheery glimpse into hell this Monday morning. Utilizing the 3D animation software Maya, he’s created a video of what happens when a crowd breaks out into a run, the only issue being that there is an enormous metal propeller in their way. You can guess what happens from there, but perhaps not the sometimes-frightening, sometimes-slapstick sense of variety with which the video plays out.  There are a lot of questions here. What are they running from? Why don’t they run in any direction away from the giant metal propeller? Was this some sort of…