Can We Change our Behavior to Make Us Happier?

This is a fun and creative title sequence for “The Happy Film” (scheduled to be released in 2012). It was directed by reknown designers Stefan Sagmeister and Hillman Curtis, produced by Ben Nabors, and cinematography by Ben Wolf.

Notes about the movie (from official website):

The Happy Film takes a look at the strategies serious psychologists ‘recommend to improve one’s personal well-being and overall happiness. Questions such as ‘Is it possible to train our mind in the same way’ that we train our bodies?’ and ‘Can we change our behavior to make’us happier?’ will be put to the test in this highly visual documentary.

Designer Stefan Sagmeister will attempt a long list of various strategies – ‘from the sublime to the ridiculous – and report back on the results. ‘The documentary’s experiments and explorations are loosely based on Stefan’s book Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far. Though the focus will be on the ability of meditation, cognitive therapy, and pharmaceuticals to significantly alter well-being – the maxims from his book will ‘serve as access points to a larger exploration of happiness, it’s cultural’ significance, our constant pursuit of it, and its uniquely ephemeral nature. Throughout these experiments, our team will work closely with a group’ of health professionals to properly define and assess Stefan’s happiness.

Links via: Film stills © The Happy Film Link via Boooooom  &  

Illusion.com

Augmented Reality Cinema App Brings Movies to Real Life

via (Gajitz)

True movie lovers know that there aren’t many things more thrilling than visiting the very locations where your favorite movies were shot. Call it cinematic tourism or just giving your movie experiences a brand new layer; either way, it can be a fun and interesting way to enhance both your movie experiences and your vacation. A new smartphone app called AR Cinema will use the power of GPS along with augmented reality to actually bring you into your favorite films.

Visit a street corner or landmark where a movie was filmed, hold up your smartphone and the app will show you the scene(s) shot there. The demo video shows films set in London, but the developers want to add additional cities. Of course, the people who live in those cities might not be thrilled with the cinema tourists holding up their phones in the middle of the street to watch movie clips, but this awesome idea could add a whole new layer to the tourism trade in cities like London, New York, Toronto and other frequently-used shooting locations.

via read more here: http://gajitz.com/augmented-reality-cinema-app-brings-movies-to-real-life/

Stelarc: Pushing the body’s boundaries

Stelarc.jpg

(Image: Newspix/Rex Features)

(Image: Newspix/Rex Features)

The Australian performance artist with an ear on his arm discusses his work challenging what it is to be human

As an artist, what is your role in shaping technology?
It’s a very modest one. Each new technology generates novel information and unexpected images of the body and the world, which often destabilises our paradigms of what a body is and how it operates. Technology generates uncertainty, it constructs the unexpected. That’s what makes it exciting to incorporate as part of artistic expression.

What is it about the boundaries of the body that fascinates you?
All of my projects explore alternate anatomical architectures – a body with a third hand, or an extra ear, or an artwork inside a bodily space instead of a public space.

We are biological bodies, but we are often accelerated, augmented and enhanced by technology. There may be a time soon when bodies become portals of sensory experience. I might be able to see with your eyes when you are in New York, for example, or listen with someone’s ears from London. We can no longer think of the body as simplistically bound by its skin and containing a single self.

Will it become harder to tell where we end and technology begins?
That’s beginning to be the case. In 1000 years’ time, perhaps technology will be invisible because it will be inside our bodies. We will be able to recolonise the human body with micromachines, nanosensors and nanobots that augment our bacterial and viral population.

Will the body become obsolete?
I think that the body is obsolete. From the standpoint that it’s increasingly inadequate to cope with the technological terrain it inhabits. That doesn’t mean we can do without a body; there has to be some kind of embodiment. But I think the possibilities are there for unexpected hybrids of biology, technology and computer code. We are very much a meat, metal and software system now.

Do you worry that your work combining technology and the body might jeopardise your health?
There’s been no deliberate attempt to endanger the body, but to do anything physically difficult or technically complicated, yes, those actions might be risky. You do things with a positive attitude and a sense that you need to do this if you are to achieve anything.

Is physical discomfort part of exploring the body’s boundaries?
Only in a very general sense. If you are going to suspend your body with 18 hooks in the skin, and you are going to be hoisted 60 metres high by a large crane, there may be all sorts of possible problems. You anticipate those and try to take appropriate precautions. Those performances were not done to have a painful experience.

Why do you have an ear on your left arm?
At the moment this is only a relief of an ear. It’s partly surgically constructed and partly cell grown. We need to surgically lift the helix to create an ear flap, and then we will grow a soft earlobe using my adult stem cells. When the ear is more of a three dimensional structure we will reinsert the microphone and connect it to a wireless transmitter. Then any Wi-Fi hotspot will internet-enable the ear.

We are replicating a bodily structure, relocating and then rewiring it for additional capabilities.

Read More over here: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2011/07/stelarc-pushing-the-bodys-boundaries.html

Blindfolded dolphin mimics its mates

 

click image to go see the video.

 

Dolphins keep amazing people with their clever tricks. Now it seems they can even copy the moves of others without needing to see them (see video above). A team at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida, conducted the first experiment with blindfolded dolphins to investigate how they imitate others. Although they are known to mimic sounds and actions, it’s unclear exactly what senses they use to do this.        (?!<—EchoLocation–red.)

A dolphin called Tanner that had previously been trained to imitate other dolphins visually was chosen for the task. When his trainer gives a hand signal, Tanner knows to copy the moves of the dolphin next to him. To see how he performed without sight, his eyes were covered with plastic eye cups after he was given the cue. Then a second dolphin performed an action, or produced a sound Tanner was familiar with, and the researchers observed his ability to replicate it.

Unsurprisingly, the team found that he had no problem reproducing sounds blindfolded. But he also reproduced a lot of actions with his eyes covered up, and even when he made mistakes the move wasn’t too far off.

“Since we know he wasn’t using sight, he had to be using sound,” says Kelly Jaakkola, a member of the team. “Either by recognising the characteristic sound that the behaviour makes, like you or I may recognise the sound of hands clapping, or by using echolocation.”

READ MORE over here: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/nstv/2011/01/blindfolded-dolphin-mimics-its-mates.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

If I may add to this article: A very insightfull documentary about Echolocation:(Red. ArtAfFactory.)

Daniel Kish and Juan Ruiz using and explaining Echolocation

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 Derren Brown : On Echolocation. (s.v.p.: Click inside video to see it on youtube)

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Speaking about Dolphins:

Here is a Lovely Art Book about these truely amazing creatures:

click image to see more of this book

Everyone loves a dolphin: the forehead that bulges sweetly like an overinflated Lilo; the smooth beak around which the mouth curves into a permanent grin; the high-pitched chirrup, like laughter in Morse code. Happily, dolphins seem to like us too – a result, according to A School of Dolphins, “not only of a shared biological descent, but also of a roughly equivalent size of brain in proportion to body mass”.

 

This book bears many of the hallmarks of Thames & Hudson, its highly regarded publisher, which this year celebrates its 60th anniversary. A “survey of the dolphin in Western art”, it is elegantly designed, handsomely bound and full of lavishly reproduced pictures.

It is also staggeringly niche, a big (and rather odd) fish in an exceedingly small pond; again, no great surprise from a publisher that has never been afraid to delve into the neglected corners of art history, an approach that has paid off in the past with such feather-ruffling titles as Robert Hughes’s Shock of the New and David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge.

A School of Dolphins, to its detriment, has the feel of a project commissioned on a whim (after a couple of glasses of bubbly at the company’s birthday party, perhaps?) predicated on the fact that Thames & Hudson – which takes its name from the rivers of London and New York – happens to have two dolphins in its logo. The company’s founder, Walter Neurath, apparently thought dolphins to be intelligent and friendly, qualities he hoped both his books and employees would share.

Charles Avery, a former deputy keeper of sculpture at the V&A Museum, somehow manages to spin out his esoteric subject over more than 250 pages, arguing a case for the dolphin to be acknowledged as a sort of Zelig-like figure of Western art: a most adaptable creature that has been cropping up for millennia, in slightly different guises, in mosaics, paintings, sculpture and pottery.

The book’s glut of images – a triumph of picture research – lends some weight to this thesis. Here, in a Greek fresco from 1500BC, a pod of multicoloured dolphins frolic around a couple of crowded galleys. There, on a Renaissance fountain, a particularly obliging specimen serves as a sort of cetacean love seat for Peleus and Thetis, while elsewhere, two more dolphins form the arms of Henri Matisse’s favourite chair.

Avery maps the changing role assumed by the dolphin in the cultural consciousness – as lucky mascot, aquatic steed for Cupid and Venus, French heraldic symbol, and even, in Greek myth, as psychopompos, carrying across the River Styx the souls of men too grand to cadge a ride on Charon’s creaky ferryboat.

He also explores the curious case of Venice, a city surrounded by water whose outline bears an uncanny resemblance to a dolphin. Avery argues that this similarity has been deliberately exaggerated over time, first by 16th-century mapmakers, and later by town planners whose “major extension along the northern fringes of the city served to enhance the streamlined profile of the dolphin’s back”.

There’s fun to be had here looking at the images of painted or sculpted dolphins and trying to work out whether or not the artist responsible had ever clapped eyes on the real thing. There are some impressively lifelike specimens from nearly four millennia ago, but, as late as the Renaissance, many artists were still getting it spectacularly wrong. In Giovanni della Robbia’s gaudy sculpture of Cupid on a dolphin’s back from around 1520 the dolphin has scales, creepy yellow eyes, a pig’s snout and a set of pointy gnashers the envy of any alligator.

The prose Avery stumps up to accompany these pictures is too often dry, academic stodge. “A dolphin carried for Renaissance man a weight of symbolism to us surprising, mostly derived from ancient sources,” he intones in one tortuous introduction typical of the book.

Far more engaging writing comes at the end, in a short anthology of cetacean cameos from literature – ranging from Aesop’s tragic fable of the monkey and the dolphin to Douglas Adams’s insistence that dolphins are brilliantly brainy mammals “that had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man”. By the time I had trawled through to this point, though, my affection for dolphins had begun to wear rather thin. I felt close to drowning in this bottlenose bottleneck, and couldn’t wait to resurface into the wider world.

A School of Dolphins

by Charles Avery

(via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/bookreviews/5323526/A-School-of-Dolphins-by-Charles-Avery-review.html )

A School Of Dolphins

 

The Book: A School Of Dolphins: http://www.thamesandhudson.com/9780500238615.html

Passionate & Inspiring Photographs From Artist: Elizaveta Porodina

 “”Inspiration is energy that never ceases to stun me , to amaze me, to make me move on in the right direction, this “Woah,i can’t believe someone has created something so great and powerful – I want to achieve this, too!” –feeling.””

She is young, she is passionate about her work- and you can just tell by looking at her Photographs that she has the Art X-Factor …..and it is exactly that what i am looking for in artists who i like to know more about.

Eliza, or Elizaveta Porodina to be exact, is a Photographic Artist who i happened to ‘meet’  :)…I saw her work and was immediately touched by her way of translating her passion into Photographs so refined that i had to find out more about her and her background and her mindset….usually she works with  Fashion-designers or  Musicians who contact her about their project and if it is something she can identify with a collaboration comes into existance.  (Contact-Info for Eliza can be found under this article)

So here: do read -and enjoy this quite in depth and open-interview with Eliza.

 

 

 

1. Please tell us a few words about yourself.

Well, my name is Elizaveta , but my friends call me Eliza. I am 23 years old, I live in Munich, though my hometown is Moscow. I came from Moscow to Germany when I was 13 years old – which definitely has formed me as a person.

I am also  a fashion and people photographer and a student of psychology in Munich. I am passionately in love with movies, fine art and  experimental music (and talking about these). I like cats, dark chololate with coffee in the morning, the night life (and I don’t mean clubbing, just how the city looks and feels at night), winter and snow and all kind of celebrations which demand disguise.  

 

2. How would you name your photography style?

I guess it is a mix of art photography, fashion photography and sometimes surrealism or even comic art. I really don’t know.I guess this is a question that should be answered by someone who has a lot of experience and knowledge about different styles.

 

3. What is the oddest-nicest- and most hideous description of your work you’ve ever  heard?

 The oddest one came from a boy who said that my photographs calm his cat. (Which is not really a description, but is definitely odd enough).

 The nicest was the one that came from a photographer from Rome  – he wrote a very long critique about a serie of mine  in Italian (a language i don’t speak, unfortunately) – it sounded so beautifully  in the original language that after all, I did not really want to translate it.

Seriously- I guess I like when people say that they are touched by my photography, that a picture influences their emotions somehow.  

The most hideous – hmm, that’s hard because I tend to forget bad critiques. J There was a guy in a russian forum about photography who commented on the gold project in a very dirty, sexual way – it did not only offend my idea, but also my friends who were models for the project.

 

4. What are your most favourite works of yourself,  and why?

 I like the King Volcano and the Prayers for Rain series very much;

 

 

      

 

     

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

Prayers for Rain

 I guess I see some weird ambivalent emotions in the facial and body expressions that make me truly believe in the existence of the stardust civilization I’ve created in the GOLD PROJECT.

 

 

 

 

 5. What does inspiration mean to you? And where do you get it from?

 Inspiration is everything. Inspiration is energy that never ceases to stun me , to amaze me, to make me move on in the right direction, this “Woah,i can’t believe someone has created something so great and powerful – I want to achieve this, too!” –feeling.

I get my inspiration from everything and everyone,but mostly from people. I walk through the streets with a manic “Is this place a possible location? Is this girl a good model” way of looking at things. I try to think in many different directions , get to know different ways of producing art. I watch a lot of movies, I analyze pctures, I read books, I talk to people about my ideas.

 

6. Who are your influences?  What Artists inspire you? Can you show example of…?

Modigliani:

 

 

 

Alberto Giacometti:

Avedon:

 

The Cure &  David Bowie

 

 

 

 

7. Are there any Art-Photography-styles you would like to try where you have not yet tried?

Of course – for example, architecture of landscape photography is something I’m just nor really interested in. (yet).

 

8. Do you have any tips for other Artists and Photographers in general or specifically?

Trial and error, practice, practice, practice. Trying to become a more open person. Being open for everything, every kind of contact, every kind of idea, posing. Don’t call anything crazy – it could make a good photo. 🙂

 

9. Is there one Photograph which holds a very special memory for you, could you show and tell why?

There is a picture I made of a friend of mine. She is an actress and definitely the bravest person nI have ever met. Some people would probably call her completely nuts, but that’s what I love her for. J One day we decided to take some pictures spontaneously on the roof of the house she lives in. When we started, I recognized that I did not really like the landscape – it was too “normal”, too boring somehow. That was the moment when Simone said “would it help if I climbed on the chimney and posed there?” It was a stunning, but also an extremely dangerous idea as the roof (or the chimney) were absolutely NOT safe. There she was, standing on the small narrow chimney, throwing herself in amazing poses- a demonstration of the total lack of fear. It is definitely one of the most beautiful memories I hold from a shooting.

 

Eliza, I want to thank you veryvery much for sharing your inspiring insight into your live and fcourse for the interview…I am sure you’ll continue with succes and passion and i wish you all the Inspiration in the world 🙂

XO  Hester

Oh, and here are some more photo’s of Eliza which i find personally very Arty:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact info:

lisa.porodina@gmail.com

Websites etc :

www.flickr.com/photos/elizavetap

http://designerscouch.org/in/Elizaveta/

http://www.facebook.com/#!/elizaveta

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 



Sintel: Stunning ShortMovie created with Free OpenSource Software From Blender Community.

“Sintel” is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.

This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.www.sintel.org.

If You haven’t already seen this beautifully created ShortMovie : Sintel, created by artists from the Blender OpenSource Community, You should go watch it immediately. 

A ShortMovie, Brilliantly created and possibly with the most emotions displayed in just under 14 minutes.

The end soundtrack (oh, sigh)Soundtrack from “Sintel” Short Movie, by the Durian Open Movie Project.
Composed by Jan Morgenstern, Lyrics by Esther Wouda, performed by Helena Fix.
All Credits go to the Composer/Writer/Performer(s) and the Durian Team.

Blender is an OpenSource 3D Software programme, you just have to try:

Go Over here to download it or just satisfy your curiosity first: http://www.blender.org/

http://blenderartists.org/cms/content/view/12/30/

A few of the best, Must-See, short Animations around

(for info about the Artists, click the titles)

 

THE PASSENGER

Sebastian’s Voodoo

The Monk and The Monkey by Francesco Giroldini

francesco giroldini

THE PEARCE SISTERS

pearce sisters

http://www.atom.com/funny_videos/the_pearce_sisters/