Friday, January 30, 2009

The Pope on Facebook

To Friend or Not to Friend the Pope on Facebook?

Thursday January 29, 2009

Well, it's official: the Pope (that's PBXVI) is getting all tech savvy and into virtual profiles. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "The Pope Embraces YouTube, Facebook," reporter Marisa Taylor explains:

"The Vatican announced last Friday that it launched its own channel on YouTube to keep viewers up to date with the activities of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as to celebrate "the capacity of the new technologies to foster and support good and healthy relationships and various forms of solidarity."

Um, does that mean soon we can "friend" the Pope? Well, not quite yet. Though he does have a fan page there. His YouTube hits aren't as high as the Vatican had hoped either--not yet, at least:

"So far, the Pope isn't getting a whole lot of hits on his YouTube channel--the videos he has posted so far have hits numbering in the hundreds to the tens of thousands. But he does have nearly 28,000 "fans" on the Facebook page made in his honor (he doesn't appear to have an official Facebook profile that users can befriend)."

As for Facebook and MySpace in general, apparently PBXVI thinks they are a "gift" to community building--though we should use them thoughtfully and cautiously:

"Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, the Vatican says, "are bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships....These technologies are truly a gift to humanity and we must endeavour to ensure that the benefits they offer are put at the service of all human individuals and communities, especially those who are most disadvantaged and vulnerable."

Will you join the Pope's Facebook Fanpage? He's got over 28,000 fans at the time of this post, and counting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Delete 10 Facebook Friends, Get a Free BK Whopper

For my money, this is pure brilliance. It's "art", and better than art, it really is the production (an instigation, a revelation, a motivation) for behavioral action that will show just how many people are ready and willing to delete 10 fb friends for a 2 dollar burger. On the one hand it means very little, but in a symbolic way it means 10 weak fb friends can be traded in for a greasy fleeting BK treat. That's right, and we will do it I'm quite sure. How many do you think? Now, actually, someone needs to do a project on top of this where they try to make more hoardes of random friends simply so they can delete tham and get more free whoppers. This could actually be a way to sustain oneself during the upcoming great depression. That and recycling beer cans! Wild. Go BK.

Facebook's developer platform has been used for a zillion marketing campaigns so far, but this one is actually dead-on hilarious.

Fast-food chain Burger King has created "Whopper Sacrifice," a Facebook app that will give you a coupon for a free hamburger if you delete 10 people from your friends list.

Burger King has put out some interesting campaigns as of late ("Whopper Virgin," "Subservient Chicken"), but this one piques our interest because of how gleefully it pokes fun at our social-networking obsessions. "Now is the time to put your fair-weather Web friendships to the test," the Whopper Sacrifice site explains. "Install Whopper Sacrifice on your Facebook profile, and we'll reward you with a free flame-broiled Whopper when you sacrifice ten of your friends.

The funniest part: The "sacrifices" show up in your activity feed. So it'll say, for example, "Caroline sacrificed Josh Lowensohn for a free Whopper." Unfortunately, you can't delete your whole friends list and eat free (however unhealthily) for a week. The promotion is limited to one coupon per Facebook account.

My Facebook friends had better appreciate the fact that I made a New Year's resolution to cut out red meat. Hint, hint.

MUTO- a graffiti/animation by blu

This is an amazing graffiti/animation that blows my mind because it must have taken so long to complete. I think that this is a really creative idea and the fact that it was done by hand rather than by a computer makes it seem really impressive for me.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Trailer of Disney's Earth

It's incredible how HD has revolutionized film and television. And it's beautiful.

Baby throwing.

Who needs dead baby jokes when we have the BBC?


I recently came across Butoh dance.  I find this man's movements completely captivating, extraordinary, and surreal.  

F-22 Raptors

What a beautiful photograph, what a wonderfully designed plane!


A little out-dated, I happened across this video last year while abroad. Part social commentary, part explicit violence, 100% French, this piece has got something for everyone. I really like how director Romain Gavras plays with subjectivity/objectivity in the epic slow-motion finale. Enjoy.

Justice - Stress
Dir. Romain Gavras

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

give the insects the credit

Steven Kutcher's work is kinda like Chalmers', but with a dose of Yves Klein.  And maybe Pollock.  Think of it what you will.

Catherine Chalmers

Catherine Chalmers makes some pretty awesome art videos and photographs using insects and small animals that she grows/raises herself.  She respects and cares about the animals she uses, but understands the laws of nature, and sometimes subjects her "actors" to death.  The above is a link to a video of hers.  I would also suggest looking at her "foodchain" photo series.  Some of the roach photos are pretty hokey, but largely I enjoy her work.

Amazing Home Theater

This is probably the most dedicated home theater I've ever seen. If I ever win the lottery, I will make something similar, without question. Here's a link to some more photos and information about why and how Phil Trubey created such an elaborate basement escape.


Iran So Far Away

Adam Sandberg of Saturday Night Live is from my home town of Berkeley, California. I think he does some of the best humorous music video spoofs I've ever seen. This one - Iran So Far Away - is brilliant and hilarious. Enjoy!

OK Go- Here it Goes Again

OK Go, try this! I think synchronized treadmills should be added as a new SSRA.

Aphex Twin - Windowlicker

Very funny, sexual and uncomfortable all at once. I think the limo joke in this video is hilarious! This band is all about shock and awe with their music videos and fans are very aware as is apparent with this fan made video. Very disturbing but the element of humor is hard to ignore.

Neistat Brothers - Goldfish

Hard to watch but equally hard to look away at the same time. I like these guys, if you haven't checked out Neistat Brothers then you should right now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eat a pig, make a deer

In beginning, the 'redneck' bbq sauce artist uses great negative space to create form. I can't believe how detailed this picture gets by the end! The checkered table cloth background is fitting as well.  I am hungry. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tron Guy

I find this video very interesting, from the humorous aesthetic appeal of the video itself, to the apparent purpose of the video, which is simply to explain what you are looking at.  It got even more interesting to hear him talk of his fame, when I had no idea this man even existed.

Claymation Duchamp

My house is obsessed with this video. I hope you all enjoy it, too. It is definitely an important part of internet culture and should not be missed.

Ant'cha wish you lived here?

Pretty phenomenal, if I do say so myself. It's also noteworthy that the humans had little hesitation of pouring 10 tons of cement into the earth, let alone wiping out the entire colony of ants. BUT, makes a great YouTube!

Sick Film

This is the first part of "Sick Film" by Martin Creed, a London-based artist. He showed this in one of my classes and people literally ran out of the room. As much as it disgusts me, I love it. Enjoy.

Learning to Love You More

For those of you who do not know the work of Harrell Fletcher, or did not see his talk when he came to Whitman, he is a quite amazing artist.  Learning to love you more is a website that he co-created, which posts assignments for anyone to complete and upload.  They range from reenacting a scene from a movie or an argument, to "feeling the news."  The instructions range from specific to vague, and many of the reports have a compellingly genuine feel.  In a way, its sort of like a more thought-provoking, socially connected form of youtube.

Readymade on Christmas

 "Wrong Holiday"

Soccer with Binoculars

This video cracks me up. I cannot stop laughing every time i see it. To me it appears that this game is completely spontaneous and is not rigged in anyway. I am sure that if it were to continue to go on for a full game, there would be many injuries assuming players were actually competing for something.
It would be interesting to see this video from the perspective of the players too... Another aspect of the video that i enjoy is their soccer uniform. The random coloured stripes seem to add to the humour of such an activity. I would love to try something like this myself, or set up an event where contestants or athletes have to play a sport or game with binoculars on. Enjoy! 


Touching on the theme of minimalism present in "Clapping Music" and "It's Gonna Rain," the final scene of Koyaanisqatsi, a 1983 film directed by Godfrey Reggio, uses footage of an unmanned Atlas rocket (not the Challenger as I had previously thought)exploding only moments after lift off. Reggio worked intensively with Philip Glass, who composed the film's score, to edit and sync his footage with Glass' music.

BigDog Robot Parody

I think that this parody of the BigDog robot video is effective and humorous from the point of realization until the end of the video.

BigDog Robot

I think someone posted this earlier, but I would like to post it in the context of the BigDog parody that I am posting above. This is a robot developed by Boston Dynamics for military purposes; I think this video is effective and engaging because it demonstrates the narrowing gap between real & simulacra, and the legs are so human looking that it is difficult to look away from them. I think the scenes where the robot slips on ice are simultaneously hilarious and disconcerting.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Gonna Rain

That previous post was A) super cool and B) a visual accompaniment to Clapping Music, a piece by Steve Reich.  Steve Reich is an American composer, typically categorized as a minimalist, who began exploring with tape loops to create musical ideas from acoustic recordings.  Here is an excerpt from his most famous piece, "It's Gonna Rain." The source material was recorded in Union Square in San Francisco in 1965.

Clapping Music.

I stumbled upon this video earlier today and have not been able to stop playing it.

I'm in constant awe of how much can be achieved with so little. Watching/listening to this definitely gives me the sense I'm being forced to use parts of my brain I didn't know existed. What can possibly be better than that?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rammstein - Keine Lust

I posted this video on culturelovesus a long time ago, but I just saw it again and had to put it up anew. It is so strong - humorous, yet deep and to watch and entertaining, brilliant idea and execution. For those of you that don't know German, below is a translation of the lyrics.

I don't feel like it
I don't feel like it
I don't feel like it
I don't feel like it

I don't feel like not hating myself
Don't feel like touching myself
I would feel like masturbating
Don't feel like trying it
I would feel like getting undressed
Don't feel like seeing myself naked

I would feel like it with big animals
Don't feel like risking it
Don't feel like going from the snow
Don't feel like freezing

I don't feel like it
I don't feel like it
I don't feel like it
No I don't feel like it

I don't feel like chewing anything
because I don't feel like digesting it
Don't feel like weighing myself
Don't feel like lying in fat

I would feel like it with big animals
Don't feel like risking it
Don't feel like going from the snow
Don't feel like freezing
I'll just keep lying here
and I'll count the flies again
I listlessly touch myself
and notice I've been frigid for a long time already
So frigid, I'm cold . . .

I don't feel like it.

Reh Dogg

Reh Dogg is a curious viral video phenomenon. His songs are definitely unusual, and many people may find them awful, yet there is is something honest, original and ultimately catchy about them. I give him the thumbs up for his purity and I enjoy the weird scenes he cuts together in his vids (washing the dishes, in the woods, in the shower etc...) I was talking to a friend back in Michigan who had the feeling that he is autistic, or at least mildly so, which may be true. In any case, here are a couple of his most popular pieces (out of many) and a strange little interview he did for a homegrown online show called "Viral Videocy." Enjoy.


This is weird, anarchic, artistic, high energy. Unlike anything I have seen before. It has something for sure. There are lots of other videos by this I-BE AREA group too. Check it out. What do you think?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bathtub II

This is really neat. This guys films scenes of Sydney Harbor, and then blurs out the foreground and background. The effect is that you feel as if you're watching a scene of miniature models, a lot like the I Spy books we read when we were little.

Bathtub II from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Internet Humor's Utlimate Source

If you follow this link here,, you will be whisked away into the Internet's largest image posting site, and the place that brought you LOLcats, Rick Rolling, and many other phenomena. You'll also see a lot of crap that isn't funny, and may run into a porn post every now again, but that's how it goes on the world wide web.

Also, if this 4chan thing seems a little confusing, you can check out the Encyclopedia Dramatica at This is the Encyclopedia of the Internet, and a great place to read up about web humor and how it's all related.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

YouTube Social Commentary

"Yo Comments Are Whack!"

A rap parody discussing grammar and etiquette, i.e. the "mispelling," flames/spamming inevitably found in YouTube comments.

Battles "Tonto"

My older brother sent me this video because he loves this band...I really love the video.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Warning: Not for the Faint of Heart

Cases of Glitter Lung On The Rise Among Elementary-School Art Teachers

The K Foundation

The K foundation are a band from Britain that made a million dollars
and then burned it in an artistic gesture on the beach. They filmed it.
This is part of an interview (somewhere in Europe?) with them years later that I think is amazing. The resentment is high. People in the audience are pissed to see this kind of change go up in flames. I continue to be fascinated, disturbed, and deeply moved by this.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Southland Tales

this movie is so much better than Donnie Darko.
(they were both written and directed by Richard Kelly)

Whatever You LIke

Maybe I should stop posting my personal projects on this Web site of veritable strangers, but I spent all night in Garage Band recording this a cappella version of "Whatever You Like" (I know, I know -- I'm BIG FUN on a Saturday night!) and I am now excited to share. Whenever I make tracks with layers of sound I can't help but think of Ben Bloch.

Check it out:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This is the final scene in the silent Charlie Chaplin film "City Lights". Charlie Chaplin's character spends the movie struggling to support a blind woman he befriends and who believes that he is a rich man. In actuality he is homeless and spends his time doing odd jobs to try to pay for an operation to cure her blindness. When he finally gets her the money he is wrongly sent to prison for several months and the two lose contact. in this scene, the woman is cured but does not immediatly recognize chaplin whom she has never seen before, but then she recongnizes the feel of his hands as the scene fades out.

this scene is to me both sad and uplifting at the same time. it has great tension because although it is a happy ending it seems to be a small victory shared by people living lives of hardship. There is a very bleak desperate edge to this scene and indeed to the whole movie that i think captures something meaningful.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dogville (2003)

Written and Directed by Lars von Trier (one of those former Dogma 95 guys) from Denmark.

With Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany (Wimbledon, A Knights Tale), also James Caan, and our friend Jeremy Davies (Teknolust).

The film is set in a small town in Colorado in the 1930s. It is very didactic, and its cruety actually reminds me of old moral tales, legends, myths. There are gangsters and lots of achetypes. Timeless and firmly planted in reality. Somehow its unrealistic set design pushed it even more into realism.

I didn't know what to expect when I rented the film, Ben had recommended it and I honestly didn't even read the back cover before pushing play (not that it gives any indication of what the film is like). The prologue opens with a straight shot down on a white outline on a black floor delineating the buildings and streets of a tiny town (pictured above). The entire film takes place on this sparse set of minimal furniture, white lines on the ground, and blackness or whiteness, depending on the time of day. It immediately reminded me of a play I saw in high school, Our Town. That play takes place in the a small town called Grover's Corner and uses the same minimal style of set: imaginary doors to open, imaginary dogs that bark, etc. (interesting to note tha tthe set design that makes Our Town the play so famous was not used in the 1940s film version of the movie... it had a traditional set design.) Both Dogville and Our Town (play) show a dark side to small towns, however, Our Town gets existential about death toward the end whereas Dogville delves into blackmail and cruelty. The film was like watching an a play in the round. The lack of walls in the set makes for very interesting contrasts between actions. It is a very reveling movie. I recommend it.

I also like von Trier's Dancer in The Dark with Bjork... but I love depressing musicals; maybe thats just me.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes

This reminded me of those YouTube collages we did in class, except this is absolutely seamless and has a really interesting rhetoric on the overlap of "inspirational speeches." I think this is genius.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Chauncey Strikes

After working with such bleak imagery all semester long, i thought i would post some stuff here that i've done in the past that was a little more light hearted. This is a cartoon i created in Adobe Flash for a previous class to illustrate the concept of emphasis. There are two versions in the video, the second version has been changed to be more intense. The dog in the cartoon is based on my father's long haired dachsund Chauncey, who actually did attack UPS delivery guys on several occasions.

Louis Armstrong: Satan?

This was one of those amazing things that you probably couldn't dream up if you tried. Years ago, a friend gave me this Louis Armstrong singing doll, but now the batteries have decayed so it sounds quite a lot like it is possessed by Satan. I am thinking about transforming it into some huge video project, although I kind of like it in its raw form...

Had to share. It was too wonderful to keep to myself.