Anamorphic Illusions By Felice Varini

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Take a look at the pub­lic art of Paris-based Swiss artist Felice Varini. The paint­ings have one van­tage point where its form can be viewed. From any other angle, the illu­sion fades into abstract lines and frag­mented pieces. His anamor­phic illu­sions can be found on a vari­ety of urban set­tings both indoor and outdoors.

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Varini has been cre­at­ing illu­sions of flat graph­ics super­im­posed on three dimen­sional spaces since 1979 using the same eye-deceiving tech­nique called anamor­pho­sis. The com­plete shapes can only be seen when viewed at cer­tain angles, oth­er­wise the viewer will only see some ran­dom bro­ken pieces.

Over the course of 30+ years, Varini has cre­ated many great opti­cal illu­sions, how­ever the most remark­able work is prob­a­bly “Cer­cle et suite d’éclats” where the artist took on the chal­lenge of work­ing at the scale of the vil­lage, super­im­pos­ing per­fect cir­cles on the town of Ver­corin in the Swiss Alps.

"Cercle et suite d'éclats"
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Sam Buttery Plays Leigh Bowery In Taboo

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In Jan­u­ary 1985 Leigh Bow­ery started the now infa­mous poly-sexual Thurs­day disco club night “Taboo”. Orig­i­nally an under­ground ven­ture, it quickly became London’s Stu­dio 54, only much wilder, extremely more fash­ion­able, and with­out the masses of celebri­ties – although these came flock­ing in later. For every­one step­ping through the doors it was a truly unfor­get­table experience.

Mark Davies wrote a book which later became a stage musi­cal with lyrics by Boy George, and music by George and Kevan Frost.

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Set in an aban­doned Lon­don ware­house, the partly imag­ined story takes place in the loca­tion of what was the city’s most fash­ion­able night­club, the now-legendary Taboo (1985–87) of the title. Boy George is fea­tured as one of the club’s reg­u­lars. The show also focuses on George’s life prior to and after achiev­ing fame.

The show pre­miered in London’s West End at the Venue The­atre on Jan­u­ary 29, 2002. Now in Sep­tem­ber 2012, Direc­tor Christo­pher Ren­shaw revived the show in a “site spe­cific” form in Brix­ton Club­house in South Lon­don. The pro­duc­tion was based on the orig­i­nal show with book by Mark Davies, but included sev­eral changes to the orig­i­nal soryline.

In this revival, Sam But­tery plays iconic 80s per­for­mance artist Leigh Bow­ery in Taboo, the story of bill-topping per­form­ers who defined a gen­er­a­tion, includ­ing Steve Strange from Vis­age, the inde­fin­able phe­nom­e­non that was Leigh Bow­ery, the one-man entre­pre­neur extra­or­di­naire Philip Sal­lon. And then of course, there’s Boy George, trav­el­ling from squat to super-stardom  from rock to rock bot­tom. The show inter­weaves some fan­tas­ti­cal facts of the 80s with a clas­sic love story of ambi­tion, pas­sion and betrayal.

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Watch below a doc­u­men­tary about the FABULOUS Leigh Bow­ery and the orig­i­nal Taboo for your enjoy­ment. Shown dur­ing the spring of 1986 while Leigh Bow­ery was run­ning his infa­mous night­club Taboo, this doc­u­men­tary put Leigh on the map. A witty, provoca­tive and inspir­ing film that includes a Bodymap fash­ion show, rare footage of Taboo, and inter­views with Michael Clark and Lana Pil­lay, this doc­u­men­tary also reminds us what Leigh was like before he met Lucian Freud.


Europe In 8 Bits

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A film about reusing out­dated tech­nol­ogy in cre­ative ways to revamp the music scene.

Europe in 8 bits is a doc­u­men­tary that explores the world of chip music, a  musi­cal trend that is grow­ing expo­nen­tially through­out Europe. The stars of this musi­cal move­ment reveal to us how to reuse old videogames hard­ware like Nintendo’s Game­Boy, NES, Atari ST, Amiga and the Com­modore 64 to turn them into a tool capa­ble of cre­at­ing a new sound, a mod­ern tempo and an inno­v­a­tive musi­cal style.

This is a new way of inter­pret­ing music per­formed by a great many artists who show their skills in turn­ing these “lim­ited” machines designed for leisure in the 80’s into sur­pris­ing musi­cal instru­ments and graph­i­cal tools.


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Perihelion By Nick Cross

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Cana­dian film­maker Nick Cross (Yel­low Cake, The Pig Farmer) took a break from pro­duc­tion on his one-man fea­ture Black Sun­rise to make the ani­mated short Per­i­he­lion. Cross describes Per­i­he­lion as “a sort of ani­mated tone poem…that toes the line between nar­ra­tive and non-narrative, essen­tially hav­ing no real begin­ning, mid­dle or end.”

The film draws upon his appre­ci­a­tion of fine art, par­tic­u­larly Ger­man Expres­sion­ism and Sur­re­al­ism: Visu­ally, I was heav­ily inspired by the work of a num­ber of Ger­man painters from the early 20th cen­tury. Notably: Otto Dix, Richard Oelze, Ingrid Griebel-Zietlow, Rudolf Schlichter and Max Ernst, as well as Fran­cisco Goya. This is sort of a trib­ute to the work of these artists liv­ing in a time of Fas­cism and impend­ing war, which really informed their work in a dis­tinct way. Fans of those clas­sic artists will enjoy spot­ting the visual references.


Andrew Huang’s Glitch Music Video

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In the sum­mer of 2012, Andrew Huang teamed up with Side Pony Nation for the release of the sin­gle and accom­pany music video, “Ma Bicy­clette“. Since a good amount of time has passed, Huang decided to give the song a fresh take dubbed the “Uphill Mix”, and pushed out a warped and pur­pose­fully dis­torted glitchy style video.


Breaking the 4th Wall Movie

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The fourth wall” is an expres­sion stem­ming from the world of the­ater. In most mod­ern the­ater design, a room will con­sist of three phys­i­cal walls, as well as a an imag­i­nary fourth that serves to sep­a­rate the world of the char­ac­ters from that of the audience.In fic­tion, “break­ing the fourth wall” often means hav­ing a char­ac­ter become aware of their fic­tional nature.

Here’s a  com­pi­la­tion of scenes and moments from films that all acknowl­edge that they’re part of a movie. The mon­tage includes 54 dif­fer­ent films (some used more than once) from per­haps the very first exam­ple of break­ing the fourth wall right up to today.


The Art of Creative Coding

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Pro­gram­ming plays a huge role in the world that sur­rounds us, and though its uses are often purely func­tional, there is a grow­ing com­mu­nity of artists who use the lan­guage of code as their medium. Their work includes every­thing from com­puter gen­er­ated art to elab­o­rate inter­ac­tive instal­la­tions, all with the goal of expand­ing our sense of what is pos­si­ble with dig­i­tal tools.

To sim­plify the cod­ing process, sev­eral plat­forms and libraries have been assem­bled to allow coders to cut through the nitty-gritty of pro­gram­ming and focus on the cre­ative aspects of the project. These plat­forms all share a strong open source phi­los­o­phy that encour­ages growth and exper­i­men­ta­tion, cre­at­ing a rich com­mu­nity of artists that share their strate­gies and work with unprece­dented openness.


Dirty Girls: 1996 Teen Riot Grrrls YouTube Sensation

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In high school, Michael Lucid was an artsy, friendly kid who floated around from one cam­pus clique to the next. “I was more approach­able and kids felt com­fort­able talk­ing to me,” he says of his time at Santa Monica’s Cross­roads School, where he grad­u­ated in 1996.

Because Lucid was like­able and trust­wor­thy, his teenage peers granted him the kind of insider access into their lives that most film­mak­ers only dream about cap­tur­ing on film. Film­mak­ers like Larry Clark (Kids, Was­sup Rock­ers), Cather­ine Hard­wicke (Lords of Dog­town, Thir­teen) and Pene­lope Spheeris (Decline of West­ern Civ­i­liza­tion, Sub­ur­bia) all launched their careers by mak­ing films that depicted the harsh real­i­ties of Amer­i­can teenagers’ lives, but Lucid had an advan­tage over all of these film­mak­ers: he was him­self a high schooler when he shot his gritty, painfully inti­mate doc­u­men­tary Dirty Girls, which has now become an instant cult sen­sa­tion ever since it was uploaded to Youtube this month.

It was ini­tially shot by a 17-year-old dur­ing the course of just two school days. Maybe you’ve seen the still frame of two messy-haired young girls being inter­viewed in a high school audi­to­rium — an image that’s become ubiq­ui­tous after hav­ing been reblogged thou­sands of times by fans on Tumblr.

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Lucid’s short doc­u­men­tary starts out with the fol­low­ing text: “In Spring of 1996, my senior year of high school, I doc­u­mented a group of 8th grade girls who were noto­ri­ous for their crass behav­ior and allegedly bad hygiene.…” The eighth grade girls he’s refer­ring to are the film’s epony­mous dirty girls, a clique of fem­i­nist riot grrrls led by sis­ters Amber and Harper, who became cam­pus leg­ends when they put on a punk rock show at the school’s beginning-of-year “alley party” and smeared lip­stick all over their faces. Lucid remem­bers the per­for­mance being provoca­tive and angry, so much so that it sparked an ongo­ing flurry of gos­sip — and the coin­ing of the term “dirty girls” — that con­tin­ued through­out the school year of ’96.

That Dirty Girls is Lucid’s biggest Inter­net suc­cess is ironic, con­sid­er­ing his day job writ­ing, per­form­ing and upload­ing web videos for World of Won­der, the pro­duc­tion com­pany behind shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and fea­tures like The Eyes of Tammy Faye and Party Mon­ster. And, in an oddly fit­ting twist of fate, he’s returned to inter­view­ing and report­ing — but through his drag per­sona, Dami­ana Gar­cia, whom he refers to as “an intre­pid lady reporter,” appear­ing in World of Won­der videos online.


Beetlejuice Minecraft Roller Coaster

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This is a video of the Bee­tle Juice roller coaster Youtube user nuropsych1 built in Minecraft cre­ative mode on an X-Box, inspired by the 1988 com­edy hor­ror film Beetlejuice.

The five minute long Beetle­juice — A Minecraft Roller Coaster video takes the viewer on a ride full of twists, turns and unex­pected drops through key scenes and char­ac­ters from the Tim Bur­ton movie. There’s Beetleguese of course plus Lydia, Adam, Bar­bara and Otho. Even the sand­worms of Sat­urn make an appear­ance through a cre­ative use of putting blocks in motion and perspective.

The Minecraft roller coaster ride was built “off and on” for two months in the cre­ative mode of the Xbox 360 game by Rivergrl21 and Nuropsych1.


Ken Russell’s Dance of the Seven Veils

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Ken Russell’s long-suppressed Omnibus film Dance of the Seven Veils (1970), a “comic strip” biog­ra­phy of “Also Sprach Zarathus­tra” com­poser Richard Strauss, has turned up on YouTube in six parts.

If Song of Sum­mer reached for the sub­lime, Dance of the Seven Veils, aims straight for the ridicu­lous — and ridicule was Ken Russell’s inten­tion, as the programme’s sub­ti­tle ‘A comic strip in 7 episodes on the life of Richard Strauss 1864–1949′ makes clear. Com­fort­ably his most extreme tele­vi­sion film, its broad­cast was pre­ceded by a warn­ing about its vio­lent con­tent, though it still caused wide­spread outrage.

Russell’s com­poser biopics were usu­ally labours of love. This was the oppo­site: he regarded Strauss’s music as “bom­bas­tic, sham and hol­low”, and despised the com­poser for claim­ing to be apo­lit­i­cal while cosy­ing up to the Nazi regime. The film depicts Strauss in a vari­ety of grotesquely car­i­ca­tured sit­u­a­tions: attacked by nuns after adopt­ing Nietzsche’s phi­los­o­phy, he fights duels with jeal­ous hus­bands, lit­er­ally bat­ters his crit­ics into sub­mis­sion with his music and glo­ri­fies the women in his life and fantasies.

Later, his asso­ci­a­tion with Hitler leads to a graphically-depicted will­ing­ness to turn a blind eye to Nazi excesses, respond­ing to SS thugs carv­ing a Star of David in an elderly Jew­ish man’s chest by urg­ing his orches­tra to play louder, drown­ing out the screams. Unex­pect­edly, Strauss is cred­ited as co-writer, which was Russell’s way of indi­cat­ing that every word he uttered on screen was sourced directly from real-life statements.

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This faded copy with bleary sound was smug­gled on VHS from the BBC archives and illic­itly uploaded online as an AVI, because the Strauss estate took excep­tion to Russell’s comic strip, which deals, among other things, with the composer’s rela­tion­ship with the Nazi party in the 30s. When Rus­sell looked back on his career in a 1990s TV doc­u­men­tary, the only way he could even show a clip from this film is by chang­ing the music.

Here, before it dis­ap­pears, is a link to Part 1 that should also pro­vide you with links to the other five parts. The print is time­coded and has turned mostly pink, but mind you, it was shown in B&W dur­ing its only BBC broad­cast. Don’t let these minor annoy­ances deter you.