Tag Archives: iphone

Let’s clarify “art”

Warning: If you’re a gypsy artist who practices sculpture with empty toilet paper rolls, listen to the complete discography of The Decemberists and your look is somewhat related to this guy, you should think twice before reading this post. Otherwise, enjoy.

Allright, on a standard blogging day, it would be normal for me on this Monday night to post and give my thoughts about last Sunday’s Superbowl ads. But hey, there must be hundreds of thousands of articles on the World Wide Web that will provide you with much more in-depth information than my patience will ever let me achieve, so instead of wasting my time, I decided to write about a very huge problem our society has been facing lately: art. Now before you stop reading this and label me as a corporate asshole who has no knowledge of what art is, let me put you in context.

Last Saturday I went to see a show called 4-Hands iPhone, by Atau Tanaka and Adam Parkinson. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t feel ignorant, it’s VERY normal. I wish I had a Youtube video or something to show you what pain I felt for the 40 minutes the show lasted, but I can’t find one, so you’ll have to let my words recreate the feeling for you.

The “concept” was to have two “performers” handle an iPhone in each hand, and move them around to create “music” through the reaction of sensors and apps from their phones.

Let me rephrase this.

The show presented two guys standing on a cheaply-lit white stage, holding two iPhones, making slow and incoherent movements that produced what could be labeled as the most annoying sound the world has ever heard, next to my neighbour’s lawn-mower on a Saturday morning. Sometimes, this eardrum killer was accompanied by sounds that resembled the scream of dying birds or violins burning in a bonfire. This auditive torture lasted for more or less 40 minutes, accompanied by sighs and whispers of people in the audience that went like: “How long is this going to last ??”

So the “show” finished, and I left with an unordinary feeling of frustration inside me that felt closely like if someone had laughed straight to my face for close to an hour. And then something struck me. Where is art going nowadays ?

Let’s be honest, contemporary art has given the right and possibility to any clueless idiot with a very poor sense of creativity to build, compose or paint the worst piece of shit in recent history and call it “art”. I think it’s time to put things back in perspective and classify what is art and what is not. This will be a daunting task, but it has to be done, for the sake of art itself.

First and foremost, the fact that what you do is “different” doesn’t mean that it’s art. Stop finding meanings to things that have none, and especially, stop pretentiously saying that the audience is not intelligent enough to understand your “masterpiece”, because it is not the case. The audience doesn’t understand your work because of the fact that it’s a total useless piece of crap that has nothing to do with art. Things can be different and understandable, and APPEALING. Pink Floyd made music that was different, and they sold out stadiums for years in a row, and people liked their “different” music. Picasso painted differently, and his work gets sold for millions nowadays, and people hang it on their walls. Tarsem Singh makes movies that are considered different, and he hits big numbers at the box office.

Then, a piece of art needs to have something artistic to it. Perhaps the hardest factor to define, I can’t provide a straight answer for that, but I can tell you what IS NOT art. A packaging of irritating noises that sounds like a semi-functional steel factory IS NOT art. An out-of-focus, badly-lit picture of your girlfriend sitting sexily on a plastic chair in your backyard IS NOT art. 7 rusty screws glued together that are supposed to illustrate the rebirth of Christ when looked at through a telescope IS NOT art.

Also, the mean to create your piece doesn’t justify its cheapness. I don’t care if you spent years creating a system where your movements are detected by an alien device to create music, if it sounds like shit, then it was a total waste of time. I don’t care if you painted Barack Obama’s portrait using a shovel stuck in your nose, if the painting looks like Chuck Norris, then you failed.

Finally, if your “art” is appreciated by a small circle composed of your brother, your sister’s friends, your parents and 3 ultimate-hipsters who you’re friends with on Facebook but you’ve never met, then chances are your art maybe just a goddamn hobby. And that’s FINE. Do whatever you want in your spare time, it’s your right and I’m good with people doing something they like in their free time. But I mean, it’s pretty easy to see when you have no talent, and if it’s the case, then keep your so-called “art” to yourself, get better, try hard, and maybe someday it will pay off.

“Art” and “popular” are not opposite terms that can’t be put in the same sentence. It’s really easy for an untalented hipster to call out real artists who have success, make money out of it and are world-known. It’s easy for them to say that what these guys do is business, and that it’s not art, and that they sold-out, but here’s the fact: These “business” people have way more talent than you will ever dream of having, they’ve made a name for themselves and they’ve appealed to the masses, while you are sitting alone in you’re 500-square foot apartment, smoking marijuana and trying to put together potato-roots to recreate the Eiffel Tower.

Done.

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The iPhone 4

Yesterday, Steve Jobs held a keynote at the WWDC, and what was expected from everyone was finally unveiled in Jobs’ presentation: the iPhone 4. Once again, Apple takes its already state of the art technology, and pushes it further. With multi-tasking, the device will become closer and closer to a portable computer. The iPhone 4 will also shoot 720p HD video, and the camera will now be 5 mega-pixels. There is also a built-in LED flash to take pictures in dark areas.

Other than that, the phone also comes with a front camera, which allows video calling, which Apple calls FaceTime. With the touch of a button, users will be able to switch from the front to the back camera, enabling callers to show what they see in real time then switch back to video calling. They’ve also implemented the Retina display, which is supposed to be the best display ever created for a phone.

They’ve also put a new A4 chip in the phone, which is super powerful and they’ve also made the battery larger to make it last longer, which is something iPhone users have been complaining about in the past.

But, there’s the design. I haven’t held it in my hand yet, so it’s hard to judge, but it looks less ergonomic than the 3G and 3Gs. We’ll have to see.

Still, this looks to be an incredible machine, and again, it was marketed masterfully. I don’t know how many people followed the keynote live, but they’ve already got a quarter-million views on YouTube for the iPhone 4 video, and counting ! Never will you see such buzz around an electronic device. Apple are the best marketing company of the 2000s, hands down.

It was about time ! Vimeo for iPhone.

vimeo

Youtube has been built-in the iPhone for as long as it’s been on the market, so it was a normal thought to wonder why there was no Vimeo support on the iPhone, since it is practically the runner-up in terms of video hosting on the web. Well, today CNET announced that Vimeo has made a mobile version of its website. Not all videos are iPhone enabled yet; only the staff picks are viewable from mobile devices.

Here’s the article for more info.

Blackberry needs to stop following trends and create some.

blackberry_u2
First they released the Storm, promoting it as a “new” touch screen phone, a year after Apple released the iPhone. Now, they’re promoting themselves with U2, in an ad that is practically identical to what Logan did for iTunes and Coldplay. Come on Blackberry, you have the budget to create innovative campaigns and hire the world’s best agencies, ten of them if you want to. Why do you use your biggest competitor as your main source of inspiration ? I just don’t get it.
The ad is beautiful though, I don’t take it away from them or Partizan, the production company. It just feels like total deja vu to me.

Blackberry Loves U2

Apple Sonic

Palm Pre launches with choreography of 1000 kids

palm_pre
After the Samsung Instinct and the Blackberry Storm, now comes the next attempt to take down the iPhone. Palm launched the Palm Pre, another touchscreen cellphone that will most likely fail in trying to beat the iPhone’s sales. But (there’s a but !), product-quality aside, Palm definitely brought their marketing game to table and put together Flow, the first TV ad for the Pre.
The people at Modernista created this masterpiece, directed by aesthetic-master Tarsem Singh, and produced by m ss ng p eces. Shooting took place in China, where more than 1000 chinese kids, choreographed by Sun Yupeng, mostly known for working on the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, performed for the cameras.
The result of all this is striking. The choreography creates a zen feeling, mixed with the beautiful scenery of the landscape.
The music is “Lower your eyelids to die with the sun” by M83, which is a song featured in the already classic snowboard movie That’s it That’s all.
There is a blog post and some pictures of the shooting on Modernista’s blog that are worth taking a look.