Posts tagged culture

Too Many Friends
Via Web Urbanist:

In a world of mobile devices, share icons and popup alerts, fine art is interrupted by signs and symbols of our times, adding a jarring layer of technology to recognizably classic works.
Nastya Nudnik is the Kiev-based Ukrainian artist behind this project that pairs emoticons and other digital features with familiar images by renowned artists, from Michelangelo to Edward Hopper.

Nudnik’s work can be viewed on Behance.

Too Many Friends

Via Web Urbanist:

In a world of mobile devices, share icons and popup alerts, fine art is interrupted by signs and symbols of our times, adding a jarring layer of technology to recognizably classic works.

Nastya Nudnik is the Kiev-based Ukrainian artist behind this project that pairs emoticons and other digital features with familiar images by renowned artists, from Michelangelo to Edward Hopper.

Nudnik’s work can be viewed on Behance.

Why We Follow Porn

Because in the New York Times, an “adult film actor” named Stoya writes about pornography, stage names and identity:

Along with desires to differentiate themselves from performers in similar fields, increase ease of spelling and pronunciation or convey a certain image, some performers do take a stage name for the purpose of making themselves more difficult to recognize. This might possibly have worked in the ’70s, but with easy access to enormous amounts of adult content on the Internet and the ease with which we can all find juicy tidbits of information about one another’s pasts online, I can’t see it having much effect anymore…

…[But] my stage name is less about withholding parts of myself or maintaining privacy than it is a symbol of the idea that I am more than just my job or any other isolated slice of my identity.

Stoya talks about the inherent paradoxes in the pseudo-anonymity her stage name affords, but equates it with what she sees as part and parcel of a fragmentation many — notwithstanding those who disagree with the notion of digital dualism — experience between their online and offline selves.

Because in PandoDaily, we read about PornHub’s innovative marketing campaigns to get their NSFW “product” into SFW spaces.

As a result, Pornhub must rely (for now) on social advertising, digital advertising, and organic promotion, which makes them as interesting case study for other startups that, while not restricted by social mores, may have financial roadblocks in getting on TV.

The latest untraditional marketing strategy came this week when Pornhub launched a call for “Safe-For-Work” Pornhub ads. Aspiring ad men and women can submit their entries to this Tumblr (SFW). The person behind the winning entrant has a shot at becoming the company’s next creative director, the site promises.

A campaign like this not only grabs headlines (which is its own kind of free advertising). It also allows Pornhub to set the terms of its own brand identity before even launching a national campaign.

Because while reading the above we read some more and came across a study by the Urban Institute on underground economies and learn that Atlanta is the sex trade capital of the United States, a “sex act” runs anywhere from $5 to over $1000 in Dallas and pimps don’t like being called pimps. It’s too seventies. Business Manager will do.

And because so long as we’re reading about fragmentary identity, online marketing and job descriptions, we might as well read how sea slugs mate: The hermaphrodites “penis fence” in an attempt “to penis-stab the other. An inflicted wound inoculates the recipient with sperm.”

Penis stabbing? It’s not just the sea slug. Enter the bedbug, just penis stabbing its way through life:

Males will often jump on and penis-stab anything that comes their way, even females of other species, often killing them in the process — a phenomenon that has driven some species to evolve apart. Male bedbugs regularly jump other males by mistake—which is such a problem that males in one species have evolved their own damage-control spermaleges.

And that’s what we learned this week by following porn. Now off to watch Isabella Rossellini demonstrate the erotic lives of snails. Spoiler alert: “love darts.”

How Teens Actually Use the Internet

danah boyd, superstar researcher of media, culture and teens, has just published It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked teens, which you can learn about and purchase here, or download (for free!) here.
We’ve yet to read it ourselves, but in this excellent round-up of questions and answers from Ethan Zuckerman, you can get a good sense of the content she covers and the myths about teen habits online that she busts. For example: the fact that teens want to gather in physical space rather than rely on connecting through the web, but we’ve restricted their ability to participate in public life and so they must rely on the web.

The book is organized around myths associated with youth and online media: the idea that youth are digital natives, that online spaces are heavily sexualized, and that online spaces are dangerous to youth.
Her overall takeaway from this research: we have spent thirty years restricting the ability of youth to get together face to face in the physical world. These technologies give youth access to public life once again and to make meaning of the world around them. Youth want to gather and socialize with their friends and become part of public life. Many youth would rather get together in real life, but turn to online spaces because those are the only spaces where young people can interact with one another in public life.
“There’s so much learning, so much opportunity through being part of public life”, says danah. We need to accept the idea that these online spaces are the key public spaces for young people.

Image: A prezi visualizing danah’s talk to the Berkman Center luncheon.

How Teens Actually Use the Internet

danah boyd, superstar researcher of media, culture and teens, has just published It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked teens, which you can learn about and purchase here, or download (for free!) here.

We’ve yet to read it ourselves, but in this excellent round-up of questions and answers from Ethan Zuckerman, you can get a good sense of the content she covers and the myths about teen habits online that she busts. For example: the fact that teens want to gather in physical space rather than rely on connecting through the web, but we’ve restricted their ability to participate in public life and so they must rely on the web.

The book is organized around myths associated with youth and online media: the idea that youth are digital natives, that online spaces are heavily sexualized, and that online spaces are dangerous to youth.

Her overall takeaway from this research: we have spent thirty years restricting the ability of youth to get together face to face in the physical world. These technologies give youth access to public life once again and to make meaning of the world around them. Youth want to gather and socialize with their friends and become part of public life. Many youth would rather get together in real life, but turn to online spaces because those are the only spaces where young people can interact with one another in public life.

“There’s so much learning, so much opportunity through being part of public life”, says danah. We need to accept the idea that these online spaces are the key public spaces for young people.

Image: A prezi visualizing danah’s talk to the Berkman Center luncheon.

Eastern vs. Western Perspectives on Daily Life
via Drama Fever:

Yang Liu is an artist who was born in China but lived in Germany from the time she was 14. She designed this series of infographics to represent her observations about Chinese culture and German culture. She covers a broad variety of subjects, from what a typical party looks like to attitudes towards waiting in line.

They’re all pretty great and true.  Above: Moods & Weather.

Eastern vs. Western Perspectives on Daily Life

via Drama Fever:

Yang Liu is an artist who was born in China but lived in Germany from the time she was 14. She designed this series of infographics to represent her observations about Chinese culture and German culture. She covers a broad variety of subjects, from what a typical party looks like to attitudes towards waiting in line.

They’re all pretty great and true.  Above: Moods & Weather.

How to Morph Forrest Gump into Daft Punk

When ad agency Grey London and design studio Us (Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor) came together, they created this stunning ad for The Sunday Times. In total, there are six iconic scenes from art, music, and film, fit into one single steadicam shot.  

From the creators:

This is all about those iconic cultural images that we pin to our walls and stick in our minds. We all have our favourites. Heisenberg, Kraftwerk, and Banksy’s kissing coppers all featured in early scripts, but we wanted to take a snapshot of what’s making the headlines in 2014. Daft Punk winning big at the Grammy’s, The final series of Mad Men, and Tarantino are all over the media right now. These people and their work have left an indelible mark and we’ll probably still be talking about them in ten, twenty maybe even a hundred years years time. The TV spot is a respectful nod to it all.

If you’ve ever seen a steadicam in action, you know how difficult getting everything perfect in one take truly is. If not, see the making of Icons here

Beethoven, Original Punk
Via The Atlantic:

The popular image of [Beethoven] is one of heroism, severity, and backs aching for the lash as musical commandments are delivered from on high. Few works in the history of art are as bracingly intense as a goodly chunk of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, for instance, to say nothing of the late-period string quartets, music that, frankly, the 19th century wasn’t ready for. The opening four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might as well be a stand-in for the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, such is their uncompromising primacy. Beethoven’s work, as people tend to think of it, is music that just keeps coming at you, an ever-advancing sea that no coast can withstand.
Most of the time, that is. But there was also the occasion when Beethoven, in the midst of a personal—and odd—life crisis, opted to create a work to please madcaps, jesters, and wiseasses alike.
I’m talking about the Eighth Symphony. It’s arguably Beethoven’s most overlooked, coming as it does before the world-beating Ninth, and clocking in at a rapid 26 minutes. It was the last symphony from Beethoven’s middle period, receiving its premiere 200 years ago on February 24, 1814, in Vienna. And it is absolutely bonkers, mad, brave, cheekily pugnacious, punchy, and akin to what Lear’s Fool, Samuel Beckett, and a young Mozart might have come up with if those three ever got together to have a musical bash.

Beethoven’s 8th, 200 years old today.
Read on about his infatuation with a newly created technology called the metronome, deafness and his frustration with his brother’s love affair.

Beethoven, Original Punk

Via The Atlantic:

The popular image of [Beethoven] is one of heroism, severity, and backs aching for the lash as musical commandments are delivered from on high. Few works in the history of art are as bracingly intense as a goodly chunk of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, for instance, to say nothing of the late-period string quartets, music that, frankly, the 19th century wasn’t ready for. The opening four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony might as well be a stand-in for the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, such is their uncompromising primacy. Beethoven’s work, as people tend to think of it, is music that just keeps coming at you, an ever-advancing sea that no coast can withstand.

Most of the time, that is. But there was also the occasion when Beethoven, in the midst of a personal—and odd—life crisis, opted to create a work to please madcaps, jesters, and wiseasses alike.

I’m talking about the Eighth Symphony. It’s arguably Beethoven’s most overlooked, coming as it does before the world-beating Ninth, and clocking in at a rapid 26 minutes. It was the last symphony from Beethoven’s middle period, receiving its premiere 200 years ago on February 24, 1814, in Vienna. And it is absolutely bonkers, mad, brave, cheekily pugnacious, punchy, and akin to what Lear’s Fool, Samuel Beckett, and a young Mozart might have come up with if those three ever got together to have a musical bash.

Beethoven’s 8th, 200 years old today.

Read on about his infatuation with a newly created technology called the metronome, deafness and his frustration with his brother’s love affair.

Today’s tween is no longer a child but not yet an adolescent; too old for Barbie dolls and Disney Junior, too young for Facebook and to understand the search results that pop up when she googles “sexy.” She is old enough to text, want designer jeans and use Instagram, but too young to have her own credit card and driver’s license. Still, she is a malleable thinker, consumer and marketing target. Each day, she is exposed to eight to 12 hours of media, depending on her age, that hones her understanding of how she is supposed to act. She spends a significant portion of her day plugged in – communicating, posting photos, playing games, surfing the web, watching videos and socializing. When TV, music, social media and the Internet are used as baby-sitters – when adults don’t ask girls questions or encourage them to think critically (and sometimes even when they do) – a dangerous scenario emerges: The media start to parent.

Abigail Jones, Sex and the Single TweenNewsweek.

An important and slightly horrifying long-read on pre-teen girls and media.

Related 01, and Horrifying: The YoutTube trend in which girls ask they internet if they are pretty or ugly.

Related 02, and Awesome: It’s Girls Being Girls, a YouTube Channel and Tumblr by Tessa, a senior at ASU, featuring and supporting cool, interesting, personal, inspiring content for girls by girls. Get in touch with her if you want to contribute!

How the Internet Works, Part 867, Reddit Edition
An infectious twelve-ish-year-old boy going by the name Sir Fedora posted a video on YouTube the other day celebrating the fact that the very first video he ever posted had received a like.
Not one among many or one like from someone particularly special. Just, simply, a single like. As in that first integer between zero and two. And that one like made that 12-ish-year-old happy.
So he celebrated with a new video.
Meantime, a Redditor stumbled across Sir Fedora’s video and posted this:

Incredibly enthusiastic, weird kid makes a video celebrating getting 1 YouTube like. Would be funny to get him a few subs and see his reaction.

The Internet, as the Internet is sometimes wont to do, took over. Or, at least, Reddit did.
Introducing: Operation Through The Roof.
Sir Fedora’s video celebrating his one like is now pushing a million views. He has over 70 thousand YouTube subscribers. Over on his recently started Twitter account he has over 46 thousand followers.
All because he was enthused by one like, and someone else liked that.
We all start somewhere.
Meantime, a Giant Panda tumbles about in the snow.
Image: Operation Through The Roof, via dragonboltz.

How the Internet Works, Part 867, Reddit Edition

An infectious twelve-ish-year-old boy going by the name Sir Fedora posted a video on YouTube the other day celebrating the fact that the very first video he ever posted had received a like.

Not one among many or one like from someone particularly special. Just, simply, a single like. As in that first integer between zero and two. And that one like made that 12-ish-year-old happy.

So he celebrated with a new video.

Meantime, a Redditor stumbled across Sir Fedora’s video and posted this:

Incredibly enthusiastic, weird kid makes a video celebrating getting 1 YouTube like. Would be funny to get him a few subs and see his reaction.

The Internet, as the Internet is sometimes wont to do, took over. Or, at least, Reddit did.

Introducing: Operation Through The Roof.

Sir Fedora’s video celebrating his one like is now pushing a million views. He has over 70 thousand YouTube subscribers. Over on his recently started Twitter account he has over 46 thousand followers.

All because he was enthused by one like, and someone else liked that.

We all start somewhere.

Meantime, a Giant Panda tumbles about in the snow.

Image: Operation Through The Roof, via dragonboltz.

Hip-Hop At Harvard

Ammunition Group:

When multi-platinum hiphop artist Nas was growing up in the housing projects in Queensbridge, New York, he probably wouldn’t have guessed Harvard would ask to create a hiphop fellowship in his name 30 years later. But it’s happening. So how do you design a home for hiphop at Harvard? We ventured to find out.

It’s hard to overstate absinthe’s cultural impact – or imagine a contemporary equivalent…Absinthe solidified or destroyed friendships, and created visions and dream-like states that filtered into artistic work. It shaped Symbolism, Surrealism, Modernism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and Cubism. Dozens of artists took as their subjects absinthe drinkers and the ritual paraphernalia: a glass, slotted spoon, sugar cubes – sugar softened the bitter bite of cheaper brands – and fountains dripping cold water to dilute the liquor.

How to be a Reverse Racist

All you need is a time machine.

The First Annual FJP Absolutely Arbitrary Best of Everything List: 2013 Edition

As 2013 comes to a close, we see best of lists everywhere and think we should create one of our own. As de facto head of this operation I put forth The First Annual FJP Absolutely Arbitrary Best of Everything List: 2013 Edition.

So while arbitrary, these are things we bandied about during the year.

We read/watch/listen a lot. We sit around and talk about how we consume a lot.

We talk about how to digest what we consume. We talk about healthful media diets.

Jihii leads this charge and keeps us honest and relatively sane. Meanwhile, we eat the news.

So here are things that didn’t make the Tumblr but occupies what we read, watched and talked about over the last 365 days. They’re the oddities and peculiarities that caught our interest. Obviously there’s much more but in the spirit of occupying attention for a few moments before passing it along, here’s our abbreviated – and arbitrary – hit list. – Michael

Most Important Presentations on the NSA, Surveillance, What it All Means, Why it Matters and Why You Should Order a Tinfoil Hat Now
Tie, Jacob Applebaum (video), Glenn Greenwald (video) and the Guardian (interactive).

Best Reflection on Women and the Internet
Quinn Nortan, Online and Offline Violence Towards Women.

Best Interview Where the Interviewee Takes Over and Explains Why Western Democracy is a Sham, UK Edition
Russell Brand v the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman. See also, Brand’s follow-up on his comments.

Best Explainer for Why All Language is Metaphor
The Economist, The impossibility of being literal.

Best Comic Reflecting How Social Media Influences Our Reporting
xdcd: Social Media.

Best Debate Over Punctuation Marks
The Apostrophe, Slate versus The New Republic.

Best MacGyvering by Citizens when Their Government Shuts Down the Internet During Protests
Vice, Protesters Are Dodging Sudan’s Internet Shutdown with a Phone-Powered Crowdmap.

Best Five Percent of the American Public
The Verge, Study says five percent of Americans find the internet pointless.

Best Ad About Covering Up Poo Stink
PooPourri with this ad about covering up poo stink.

Best New Google Streetview Map
Google, Large Hadron Collider

Best Example of Drinking on the Job
My Drunk Science. Honorable mention: Drunk History and My Drunk Kitchen.

Best Demonstration of Social Media in the 16th Century
The Economist, How Luther Went Viral.

Best Explainer on Whether You’re an Internet Addict
Pacific Standard, We Are All Internet Addicts Now—Just Don’t Call It That.

Best Example on the Highs and Lows of Covering the Marijuana Beat
Center for Investigative Reporting, High on the job.

Best Demonstration of Google’s Global Reach
Techspot, Five-minute Google outage reportedly caused 40% drop in global traffic.

Best Example of Moore’s Law Presented in One Image
Singularity Hub, Moore’s Law is No Joke – Pile of Electronics from 1993 Fits in your Palm Today.

Best Way to Incarcerate A Large Portion Your Population
The Register, Jail time promised for false tweets in China.

Best City in which to Shoot Ruin Porn
Detroit: See here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Best Waiver a University Makes Students Sign
TIME, Chinese University Asks Students to Sign ‘Suicide Waivers’.

Best Humblebrag about a Newsroom’s Excellent Multimedia Reporting
New York Times, The Year in Interactive Storytelling.

Best Use of Sponsored Content
NSA, as Placed on 60 Minutes. See also, On The Media, The Verge, and The Wire.

Best documentary about corporate spin, lawsuits and the media that we should have known about and finally just saw on Netflix.
Big Boys Gone Bananas.

Best representative segment of FOX News being FOX News
Spirited Debate, Reza Alslan interview.

Best Analysis of CNN Jumping the Shark
John Stewart, Good Thing Versus Bad Thing. See also, Jay Rosen on why he no longer bothers to criticize CNN.

Best Art Hack of How the Contemporary New Cycle Works
Jonathan Chomko, News Machine.

Best #Hashtag Conversations on Media, Culture and Society
#NotYourAsianSideKick. Runner Up: #NotYourNarrative.

Best Best of Lists, Journalism and Storytelling Style
Various: Check Josh Stearns on online storytelling, Nieman Storyboard on best narrative, Electronic Frontier Foundation on how MENA activists are fighting governments, Slate on crime reporting, and, of course, Longform’s Best of 2013.

#NotYourNarrative

Related: The danger of a single story, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, via TED.

Census Bureau Releases Mapping Tool
The US Census Bureau today released an updated set of statistics based on its nation-wide, 2008-2012 American Community Survey. Along with it, the Bureau’s created an interactive map to allow users to visually explore communities across the country.
Via the US Census Bureau:

The new application allows users to map out different social, economic and housing characteristics of their state, county or census tract, and to see how these areas have changed since the 1990 and 2000 censuses. The mapping tool is powered by American Community Survey statistics from the Census Bureau’s API, an application programming interface that allows developers to take data sets and reuse them to create online and mobile apps.

Site visitors can explore eight core statistics (eg, median household income, total population and education levels) via the map.
Those with coding chops can hit up the Census Bureau’s API to develop creations of their own. The API gives access to 40 social, economic and housing topics.
Image: Screenshot, Census Explorer.

Census Bureau Releases Mapping Tool

The US Census Bureau today released an updated set of statistics based on its nation-wide, 2008-2012 American Community Survey. Along with it, the Bureau’s created an interactive map to allow users to visually explore communities across the country.

Via the US Census Bureau:

The new application allows users to map out different social, economic and housing characteristics of their state, county or census tract, and to see how these areas have changed since the 1990 and 2000 censuses. The mapping tool is powered by American Community Survey statistics from the Census Bureau’s API, an application programming interface that allows developers to take data sets and reuse them to create online and mobile apps.

Site visitors can explore eight core statistics (eg, median household income, total population and education levels) via the map.

Those with coding chops can hit up the Census Bureau’s API to develop creations of their own. The API gives access to 40 social, economic and housing topics.

Image: Screenshot, Census Explorer.