The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'video'
We Need You Now (More Than Ever), a video by Danish artists Wooloo, in the style of We Are The World-style celebrity charity ensemble records, sardonically imploring the Catholic Church to dip into its vast wealth and bail Europe's economies out:
This video is being screened until 17 November at the Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art at Röda Sten in Gothenburg, along with Chilean artist Fernando Sanchez Castillo's Pegasus Dance, an amorous ballet for two riot-control water-cannon trucks set to a languid waltz:
Charles Bronson in "Killing Hipsters"; or, if you saw someone today who looked like a mugger or back-alley lowlife from 1970s New York, they'd probably be a trust fund kid who runs a DJ night and makes video projections for bands.
Also killing hipsters: Jhonen Vasquez, the author of the 1990s comic Johnny The Homicidal Maniac (the one underground comic broadly associated with the goth subculture which wasn't cringeworthy). Now he has turned his murderous attention from the darklings to those of the American Apparel persuasion, in this music video for a band named The Left Rights. It starts off pretty stereotypically, but keep watching.
A team in Germany has developed software which can edit objects out of live video in real time. Termed, catchily, "Diminished Reality", the software works a bit like Photoshop's content-aware fill, but is able to track, and eliminate, objects in moving video. The team from the Technische Universität Ilmenau are planning to release an Android port, so you too can be Stalin.
Perhaps even more interesting is software from the Max Planck Institute which can alter the body shapes of actors in video. The software contains data obtained from 3D scans of 120 naked people of different body types, apparently using a machine-learning algorithm, to form a 3D body model with a number of controllable attributes, such as height, muscularity and waist girth. The system can pick out human figures in video (in some conditions, anyway), map them to the model, adjust it, and then rerender the video with the adjusted model. The team have demonstrated this with a clip from the old TV series Baywatch, in which the male lead is given Conan The Barbarian-style musculature.
The article gives a number of potential applications for such technologies:
The technology has obvious applications in films like Raging Bull, for which Robert de Niro put on 27 kilograms in two months to portray his character. "The actor wouldn't need to go to all that trouble," says Theobalt. It could also be a cost-saver for advertising companies. Because standards of beauty vary across cultures, it is the norm to shoot several adverts for a single product. With the new software, firms could make one film and tweak the model's dimensions to suit different countries.The possibilities don't, of course, stop there. In the market-driven entertainment ecosystem, film and TV companies are competing for the attention (and money and/or eyeballs to sell to advertisers) of a public, a large segment of which is captivated by spectacle. With improved special-effects technology comes "awesomeness inflation", where yesterday's blockbusters look boring compared to the latest; so anything that can capture the eyeballs of the sensation-hungry, compulsively channel-surfing consumer (whom William Gibson memorably described as "something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth... no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote") could give a film studio or TV network the edge; that extra average five seconds before the viewer changes the channel which, aggregated over an audience of hundreds of millions, means a lot of ad revenue.
It's perhaps obvious that film studios will use the software as another computer effect, making their actors more cartoonishly exaggerated, more punchily extreme, with taller, more ruggedly muscular action heroes, more exaggerated comic short/fat/skinny guys, leading ladies/love interests whose waists could not physically support their breasts, and so on. Eventually the public will get used to this, and the old films with realistically physiqued (by Hollywood standards) actors will look as shabbily unattractive as those films from the 70s they're always remaking because the pace's too slow, the scenes look crappy (didn't the ancients even know about orange and teal colour grading?) and there aren't enough awesome explosions and sex scenes. If the software's cheap enough (as it will eventually be), though, they won't even need to remake things: imagine, for example, a channel that shows reruns of popular old series, "digitally remastered for extra awesomeness". And so, every year, the stars in yesteryear's classic serials become that bit more like animated action figures and/or anime schoolgirls, culminating in a 8-foot, musclebound Jack Bauer who can shoot laser beams from his eyes. (The remastering process would also quicken the pace, by speeding up scenes and cutting out pauses, which would both hold the audience's attention for longer and leave more time for ad breaks.) Meanwhile, Criterion sell box sets of the original, unretouched versions in tasteful packaging; these become a highbrow affectation, a signifier of refined taste, and end up featured on Stuff White People Like.
Of course, in this universe, there'd be an epidemic of body-image disorders, with large numbers of deaths from anorexia, steroid overdoses and black-market plastic surgery. At least until physique augmentation ends up as a universal feature of compact cameras and/or Facebook uploading software, and gradually the survivors come to accept that it's OK to look imperfect, as long as you don't do so on film or video.
There's a documentary in production titled "My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records", giving an account of the legendary indie-pop label and including interview footage filmed at the Indie Tracks festival this year. Anyway, there's a teaser/trailer for it here:
A few quick links to things recently seen:
- A visual study guide to cognitive biases
- Sydney is considering closing George St. to traffic, building a light rail (pronounced "tram") line. Interestingly enough, this plan, like Melbourne's original laneway-driven regeneration and "Copenhagen lanes", was suggested by a Danish urban-planning consultant.
- Google have developed facial recognition technology, capable of identifying individuals in photographs. Given the privacy implications (that plus Google Goggles would be the ultimate stalker tool), they're wisely being very careful about what, if anything, they do with it.
- Spoonflower is a web-based company that will print your designs onto fabric and send it to you. Now if only we could get them talking to Blank Label (a web-based service that lets you design custom shirts, though currently only from a somewhat conservative range of fabrics), then that would be awesome.
- Some music videos: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Higher Than The Stars (warning: features furries), Rainbow Arabia, Holiday In Congo (warning: not actually filmed in Congo but Brazil; features massed Michael Jackson impersonators)
- Nifty trompe l'oeil paste-up on the sides of a fence in Berlin:
The Daily Mail Song, an exposé of the venomously right-wing, outrage-mongering British tabloid delivered in the form of a Subterranean Homesick Blues-style folk song. Brilliant and spot-on.
Plastic Bag, a poignant short film recounting the story of a discarded plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) adrift around the empty world in search of the woman who first took it from the supermarket, before settling down to an eternity in the patch of plastic garbage in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Another Wes Anderson pastiche: first there was Nicholas Gurewitch's soundtrack for the imaginary film The Cloud Photographers, and now there's an impression of a Wes Anderson Spider-Man film. Which seems to be mostly made of The Royal Tenenbaums.
For one week only, Pitchfork TV is streaming Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, a documentary about the late outsider musician.
Two excellent recent BBC4 documentaries about music have shown up on Vimeo, for those not in the UK: Synth Britannia (about the rise of synthpop in Britain in the late 1970s/early 1980s, from early Kraftwerk-influenced acts like OMD, The Human League and Gary Numan to the wave of "fire and ice" duos), and Krautrock: the Rebirth of Germany (which features interviews with a number of German experimental musicians of the 1970s, from bands like Amon Düül II, Faust, Neu! and Can, not to mention Iggy Pop rambling on about asparagus).
An electronic composer in Vienna has developed a means of reproducing the human voice on a piano. Recordings of speech are analysed and converted to frequency data, which is turned into MIDI notes. When played on a grand piano (using a system consisting of 88 pencil tops pushed by electromagnets or motors), it sounds intelligible, though otherworldly.
Cat wanders onto set of German weather forecast; the meteorologist, Joerg Kachelmann, scoops it up and resumes giving the forecast without a pause.
In the wake of the latest report of the imminent death of Morris dancing, an activity many people undoubtedly imagine to be the alpha and omega of odd English folk dances, the Graun has an article setting the record straight, by listing five even more peculiar-looking (and thus undoubtedly more imperilled) traditional folk dances, complete with YouTube video:
Despite the misleading name, longsword dancing does not involve the use of actual swords. Rather, each dancer holds a length of steel or wood by the handle in their right hand, and grips the point of their neighbour's "sword" in their left. Linked together, they form circles and dance over and under their makeshift swords, flowing through brisk and orderly figures and steps. The centrepiece of the dance is the star-shaped formation made by the circle-weaving and the locking of swords high in the air.From the video, longsword dancing resembles one of the dances in The Wicker Man, though is from Yorkshire, rather than the Scottish islands.
And then there's Molly dancing, which appears to be almost like a Victorian folky version of A Clockwork Orange. Could an updated Molly dancing be the next Gypsy-punk?
This type of dance was performed mainly by agricultural labourers in East Anglia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Disguised with blackened faces and sporting women's clothing, Molly dancers roamed the streets, dancing in exchange for money to supplement their meagre wages. They were often destructive, drunk and disreputable, and social reforms led to the custom dying out in the 1940s. In the 1980s and 90s, young people from the south-east rediscovered and reinvented the tradition from the few scraps of information that had been preserved.
To commemorate the upgrade of the West Coast Main Line (that's the one that runs from London to Glasgow via Birmingham), the BBC has posted a time-lapse video of a train journey from London to Glasgow, filmed from the cab of a train and sped up to five minutes.
The upgrade of the line, to allow Virgin Train's Pendolino tilt-trains to actually do the tilting thing, has cut journey times by 30%, making the London to Glasgow journey just four hours and 30 seconds. However, compared to railways on the continent (such as France's TGV system), it is still slow; the maximum speed is 200kmh, or under two thirds of that of what they call a "fast train" across the Channel. Watching the video gives a hint to why this is so and likely to remain so for some time: the track ahead of the train curves hither and yon, still apparently following the path laid down in the 19th century to avoid powerful landowners' concerns and keep gradients low enough for the relatively feeble locomotives of the day. Whilst the aristocracy is not what it used to be, and today's trains have less of a problem with gradients, the West Coast Main Line remains too wavy to be traversed at speed.
This is pretty cool: a researcher at Adobe has developed software for manipulating moving objects in video in real time. The software works by tracking points and assigning them to objects, and as the demo shows, allows, among other things, moving objects to be automatically "graffitied" with text or annotated with automatically moving speech/thought bubbles. It also maps the degrees of freedom of a point in an object, and by clicking and dragging on it, automatically moves the video to a frame which has that point going in the desired direction, allowing video to be "scrubbed" by dragging moving objects. He even has it compositing frames of video with different objects (people, in this case) at different positions.
Melbourne new-wave/post-punk cult movie Dogs In Space has been out of print for a number of years. A DVD (with a few hours of bonus material, including a making-of documentary shot at the time) was meant to come out some four years ago, but there is still no sign of it. However, some enterprising soul has cut it into 12 fragments and posted them to YouTube. At last, you can view Dogs In Space in worse quality than the standard well-worn VHS tape.
A few interesting presentations from this year's SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference:
Firstly, a team of researchers has developed a way of enhancing video using still photographs. Consumer-grade video is notoriously poor in quality, while consumer-grade photographs are considerably better. So what they do is essentially build a map of points in the scene from the video and map detail from the photographs onto it, and, presto, instant high-quality video. What's more, if they process the photographs beforehand (i.e., by making HDR images from multiple exposures, or applying Photoshop filters), the effects are automatically propagated into the video. The technique can also be used to interpolate the background behind inconveniently located objects, removing them from the scene. Anyway, watch the video on the page; it is quite impressive.
Meanwhile, an Israeli team has developed a tool for automatically beautifying images of human faces; it does this by finding ratios between points on the faces, comparing them to ratios with higher attractiveness ratings, and warping the image to improve attractiveness (which, as one Slashdot commenter wrote, often comes down to "add symmetry and make thinner"). Interestingly, they promise a to make a demo program (presumably for Windows) available soon; I wonder whether its handiwork will soon start making its way onto dating websites and Facebook profiles.
An artist in Portland, Oregon bought an old Pullman rail sleeper car and converted it into a living/working space. The interesting thing here is that it's not sitting in a yard somewhere, sans wheels, but is on the North American railway network. It's stabled at a private siding, for which the owner pays $150 per month; electricity, cable TV and DSL are available. Should the occupant get bored of their locale, they can move anywhere on the railway network by getting a freight rail company to attach their wagon to a train and move it, for $1.50 a mile.
Now that it's known that one can rent private sidings with facilities, and contract freight train companies to move your home around the railroads, perhaps a new subculture of bohemian railcar dwellers (let's call them "boho hoboes") will arise, comprised of similar sorts of people that live in houseboats in Europe. And perhaps the railway revival that some are saying expensive oil will lead to will include new private, full-service sidings catering to the new hipster-hobo class.
I wonder whether something like this is possible outside of America. Could Europeans take advantage of the European railways' open-access rules to do something similar? If so, could an European rail dweller bounce around the entire EU at will for euros per kilometre? What about in Britain? (Though there, the problem arises that British rail cars, and the spaces between platforms, are quite narrow, which could make living arrangements somewhat cramped.) Could one make a railcar home compliant with British and continental standards and the Channel Tunnel's safety standards and cross the Channel with it? I'm guessing that in Australia, where the railway networks are more fragmentary and limited (and old sleeper cars are somewhat scarcer), such a thing could be more difficult.
(via Boing Boing Gadgets)
Tonight will be Eurovision 2008, that annual spectacle of kitsch, histrionics, cultural misunderstandings and political skulduggery. There are 25 entrants this year, the videos of whose entries the BBC has kindly hosted on its web site.
As a public service to those following the competition, The Null Device has provided a handy table of the salient qualities of these entrants:
How To Behave On An Internet Forum, presented in the form of a retrostyled pixel-art video:
(via Boing Boing)
Norwich-based comedian and reviewer of dubious far-eastern video game machines Dr. Ashen (he's the "sarcastic British guy") reviews the Vii, a cheap video-game console of Chinese manufacture which attempts to imitate the Nintendo Wii without having much of the technical innovation. If you ever wondered what one of those could possibly be like, here's all you need to know. (Capsule summary: don't bother importing one.)
YouTube video of the day: Jeffrey Lewis - "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror", a nice exemplar of New York hipster antifolk:
Harvey Williams was great; he first part of his set he played on an electric piano, doing mostly newer songs (i.e., from his 1990s album on Shinkansen; there wasn't a raft of new material), though he then picked up an acoustic guitar and played a bunch of older songs, including You Should All Be Murdered and I'm In Love With A Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist. It was great to see him performing these songs.
Then there was Rose Melberg's set, which was sublimely lovely. She played acoustic guitar and sang, with a friend from Vancouver (where she lives now) accompanying her on vocal harmonies (much in the way that Jen Sbragia did in the Softies). They played for about an hour, doing recent songs, a few older songs (including The Softies' It's Love, which many in the audience sang along with), and some covers. The highlight of the set by far would have to be the cover of The Field Mice's The Last Letter; Rose started it almost apologetically, concerned that she may be committing sacrilege of a sort, proceeded to play a beautiful version (imagine said song as a Softies song and you've got it) and finished to rousing applause. Anyway, there's a video here:
A few videos from this weekend's Momus gig at La Flèche d'Or in Paris:
Things I didn't know until today: there is a video to
And here is some rather distorted footage from a performance at a Sarah Records backyard party. No idea who the band are, I'm afraid.
YouTube video of the day: "Amateur", by a Scandinavian fellow named Lasse Gjertsen, who, despite not knowing how to play the drums or piano, recorded video of himself hitting drums and piano keys and assembled it into a song through the sheer power of video editing:
This blog has been quiet recently because your humble correspondent has been in bed with a cold for the past two days (a state of affairs which may or may not have had something to do with watching indie bands on chilly railway station platforms in Derbyshire on the weekend). Anyway, in lieu of new content, here are a few old links and random things:
- Here is a photo gallery of eerily empty former advertising billboards and hoardings in São Paulo, Brazil, where all outdoor advertising is now banned. Not surprisingly, the advertising industry is concerned about the human rights of those who might want to be advertised at:
"I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place," said Dalton Silvano, who cast the sole dissenting vote and is in the advertising business. "Advertising is both an art form and, when you're in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom."
- Stylus Magazine has an interesting guided tour of the first 50 Sarah Records singles, going beyond the usual "twee/jangly indie pop" cliché that the label is often dismissed as. As for actually hearing the records, Clare Wadd said a while ago that there were plans to release the entire Sarah back-catalogue as downloads, though nothing seems to have come of that so far.
- And a few videos from The Blow's recent gig in London: Hey Boy, a spoken-word interlude, and an acapella version of The Long List Of Girls.
During my visit to Melbourne, I videotaped a few gigs. Now (time and computer facilities permitting), I'm going through the tapes and will be putting a few choice fragments on YouTube (with permission of the performers, of course).
The first fragment: Light Music Club, "Music for the Tiny Hours", live at Spoon, Brunswick:
Apologies for the shaky camerawork/less than ideal video quality.
Scary Mary: Disney's Mary Poppins re-edited into a trailer for a hypothetical horror movie.
(via Boing Boing)
A few items from Music Thing: this account of one hip-hop head's attempt to recreate the talkbox sound à la Roger Troutman, with instructions on how to build your own talbox from an amp, a speaker, a plastic bowl and some plastic tubing.
And here is a disco-dancing lesson from a Finnish TV programme, with the instructor showing the moves and then demonstrating them to the sound of Dschingiz Khan's Moskau. Eurovision's in good hands.
(via Music Thing)
And a few video fragments from the weekend's Ninetynine gig in Reykjavík:
(They look a lot less blurry in real life. Or, indeed, in the video before it went through the YouTube process.)
Anyway, they're playing Spain this week, and in London on the 31st. More details on their web site.
And a YouTube treat for you: Swedish indiepop ensemble I'm From Barcelona performing "Treehouse" at their recent gig in Hoxton:
The rest of the gig, incidentally, was just as brilliant; it was more like a travelling party than a concert.
And here is what looks like Banksy's making-of video for his Paris Hilton project.
(via Boing Boing)
More YouTube videos: this time Stump's "Buffalo", which you may remember from the C86 compilation (it was the most dadaistic track on that one). The video, in this case, is the visual equivalent of the song. Enjoy.
Meanwhile, more Swedish indiepop: Jens Lekman's "You Are The Light"; pretty polished, involving Jens riding through a tunnel in a van surrounded by riot police, with brass sections passing in open-topped cars at key sections of the song.
And here's one for the goths: Propaganda's "Dr. Mabuse", with Anton Corbijn doing his best Fritz Lang homage.
This week, I went to see Spearmint at the Luminaire. They were excellent; incredibly tight and energetic, with lots of handclaps, harmonies and dancing around the stage. And their new material is quite impressive (particularly Psycho Magnet, which sounds like what Funny Little Frog would have been had it been recorded by early-1990s Pulp rather than Belle & Sebastian).
Anyway, a few choice video fragments from the gig:
Tonight, I went to Cargo to see Camera Obscura, the Scottish indie-pop combo. They were pretty good; slightly retroish pop music, not a world away from Belle & Sebastian, though with a black-haired girl in Stuart's place. (I.e., if you like B&S, you'll probably like them.) They played some older songs ("Teenager", "Suspended From Class" and so on), and a few from their new album, which I'll have to get a copy of.
The support band, Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains, really impressed me. They're an indieish outfit from Bristol, fronted by a French chap who moved to Bristol for the music scene, and played both well and energetically, with a lot of instrument swapping, handclaps and general jumping around; not to mention some rather leftfield choices of instruments; in addition to the usual indie kit (guitars, Casios, tambourines, melodicas), they had a huge wooden recorder and a harp; all of which worked quite well. Not to mention that one of the band members had the k3wlest T-shirt: it read "I Really Like Electric Rock Music".
I happened to have a digital video camera on hand, and hence I filmed parts of the gig. I've uploaded one of François & co.'s songs, "Tracey Emin" (perhaps the standout piece of the set) to YouTube (with the appropriate permission, of course):
YouTube video of the day: a kitten climbs onto a MacBook, inadvertently triggers FrontRow (the media-player application), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdXTDovB9K8 starts pouncing on the flying icons, and eventually starts iTunes.
Man memorises Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven backwards, videotapes himself singing it backwards outside St. Paul's Cathedral, London (complete with righteous air-guitar and exaggerated facial expressions), reverses the video, adds music and puts it online. The overall effect is eerie, not least of all because of the steady stream of people walking backwards behind the strange man in front of the camera.
(via Boing Boing)
This is fairly nifty; a piece of software that divides a library of music videos into segments, listens for incoming sound, and plays the segments matching the sound the most closely. It's implemented using C++, Python and Pd, and will be released soon. Until then, you can watch the video, which explains it and demonstrates, playing back beatboxing as disjointed fragments from a MC Hammer video.
(via Music Thing)
Melbourne/Brisbane twee-krautpop outfit Minimum Chips have released a video to their song Goodbye, from their most recent album, Kitchen Tea Thankyou. Filmed in oversaturated Super 8, it involves the band members packing into an old turquoise Toyota and going for a picnic in the park, and goes quite well with their music. There's a streaming Flash version on YouTube here, and Spiked Candy has put up a downloadable version here.
Apparently Minimum Chips are going on indefinite hiatus, as frontwoman Nicole is having a baby; which could mean no more Minimum Chips, or just a longer than usual wait for the next EP. However, they're not leaving fans empty-handed; they have posted (128kbps) MP3s of their entire back-catalogue, including their recent album Kitchen Tea Thankyou, on their discography page.
The Creative Prodikeys presents: how to play rock'n'roll (3.3Mb WMV file; via jwz)
This is pretty cool; NASA video of an aeroplane full of crash-test dummies crashing and burning, edited and set to what sounds like a laptop-glitch remix of Interpol's Untitled. (Of course, Sigur Rós, Merzbow or some Austrian glitchmeister would have been more l33t, but still...) (via bOING bOING)
Staplerfahrer Klaus, a German factory safety video that seems to have been inspired by Peter Jackson's early works, or possibly a comic splatter-horror film masquerading as a factory safety film. Includes forklifts, chainsaws and the sort of daggy/groovy incidental music that they seem to make only in Germany. If your browser doesn't play Windows Media inline, you can grab the WMV file here.
I should really read Largehearted Boy more often; he has recently posted a number of links to MP3s online, including a trove of tracks from Slowdive EPs (at 128kbps, though). These are really good; if you haven't heard them, go and download.
Also via LHB, Luis Buñuel's Un Chien Andalou, in a MPEG file. If you were wondering what exactly The Pixies' Debaser was about, that's it.
Video Feedback Fractals; fractal-looking shapes (resembling IFSes, for the most part) generated using purely analogue means, i.e., a video camera, two monitors and a pane of glass. Which is rather clever. (via Gimbo)
Video Toaster, the classic Amiga video-editing system, has been released to the open-source community. Mind you, since what made it so useful is dependent on the Amiga's video chipset, it's more a historical curio than anything else.
Looking at the temporary page on the Ninetynine web site; apparently there is a video for The Process, but it's in streaming Windows Media only. (The XML-like file linked to also says it's copyrighted by Festival Mushroom Records, which sounds a bit odd, given how the band like to own all their own masters, unless News Corp. commissioned the video themselves or something.) Anyway, whuffie to the first person to send me a HTTP, FTP or BitTorrent link to a file of the video. (Preferably in MPEG4 or some good-quality format. Windows Media 9 and below is OK as long as there's no DRM involved; i.e., as long as mplayer on Linux will play it.)
And here are their Australian tour dates:
Fri 19th Sept - Annandale Hotel w/ The Devoted Few + Disaster Plan. - 8:30 Start $8
Sat 20th Sept - Pop Frenzy Presents.. @ The Taxi Club, 40 South Dowling St, Darlinghurst w/ Disaster Plan - 9pm Start
Sun 21st Sept - All Ages Show @ The Club House, Jubilee Park (under land bridge) Glebe w/ Pure Evil. 2pm - Donation
Fri 26th September - Rob Roy Hotel w/ Pink Stainless Tail (CD Launch) + Jihad Against America
Sat 27th September - Rob Roy Hotel w/ Love of Diagrams + Because of Ghosts
And apparently there's vinyl of The Process coming out too. (Which stands to reason, as labelmates Architecture In Helsinki have been doing the vinyl thing too.)
The Top 10 Outsider Videos; with Quicktime (bOING bOING):
Peace and Love the movie pitch
A brain-damaged hippie has decided to devote all his time and money into pitching a surreal cartoon/live-action musical/ Hollywood blockbuster about the powers of peace and love. He has a convoluted plot that involves love babies and sperm and magical lovemaking and the KKK and Vietnam and death and birth and its all done in this heavily marketable style that is so fucking insane you will never want to go near acid ever again.
HIGHLIGHT: He goes off on a tangent about a new chain of organic vegetarian restaurants called Peace and Love that will stem from the success of the movie and will compete with McDonalds.
Slowdive music videos online in MPEG format. It's funny to think that back in the early 90s stuff like Slowdive got played on MTV (can you imagine MTV squeezing in a Mogwai video or somesuch between Jay-Z and Jackass these days?) The visuals go quite nicely with the music, too. And wasn't Rachel pretty?
Today's video clip is a special treat: 30 seconds from the Morrissey gig on Tuesday. (AVI MJPEG file, 4Mb.) The sound is awful (due to lack of level control in my camera), but you can sort of make out that he's singing Everyday Is Like Sunday. This clip may not stay around for very long though.
As promised, the video clip from the Love of Diagrams set at the Ninetynine CD launch on Saturday is online (6.5Mb AVI format; 30 seconds). It'll stay up for at least a week. (I can only keep 1 video clip up at a time in my Alphalink account, so the Ninetynine clip I put up earlier is gone.)
Hmmm.. perhaps it's time to expand this into a proper live-gig-video-of-the-week page?
A short (30 second) video fragment I took at last night's Ninetynine performance. The bad camerawork is mine. (5.5Mb; AVI format, with somewhat dodgy sound).
The technology for electronically faking video footage is coming to fruition. And we all know how the street finds its own uses for new technologies...
A demo tape supplied by PVI bolsters the point in the prosaic setting of a suburban parking lot. The scene appears ordinary except for a disturbing feature: Amidst the SUVs and minivans are several parked tanks and one armored behemoth rolling incongruously along. Imagine a tape of virtual Pakistani tanks rolling over the border into India pitched to news outlets as authentic, and you get a feel for the kind of trouble that deceptive imagery could stir up.
Suddenly those large stretches of programming between commercials-the actual show, that is-become available for billions of dollars worth of primetime advertising. PVI's demo tape, for instance, includes a scene in which a Microsoft Windows box appears-virtually, of course-on the shelf of Frasier Crane's studio. This kind of product placement could become more and more important as new video recording technologies such as TiVo and RePlayTV give viewers more power to edit out commercials.
With just a few minutes of video of someone talking, their system captures and stores a set of video snapshots of the way that a person's mouth-area looks and moves when saying different sets of sounds. Drawing from the resulting library of "visemes" makes it possible to depict the person seeming to say anything the producers dream up-including utterances that the subject wouldn't be caught dead saying. In one test application, computer scientist Christoph Bregler, now of Stanford University, and colleagues digitized two minutes of public-domain footage of President John F. Kennedy speaking during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Using the resulting viseme library, the researchers created "animations" of Kennedy's mouth saying things he never said, among them, "I never met Forrest Gump."