matthew dear + morgan beringer: in the middle (i met you there).

The stable of amazing musicians on Ghostly International’s roster never fails to impress, and along with the audio they’ve also promoted their artists with consistently beautiful videos.

Their latest, directed by Morgan Beringer and promoting Matthew Dear’s Headcage EP, is a gorgeous, metallic, slithering, opalescent mess of wonderful goo.

 

The only thing that kinda bums me out is that it reminds me a bit too much of Robert Seidel’s legendary 2006 masterpiece for Zero 7’s Futures.

fla + the freaks: the loner.

I’ve been waiting for this. A short while ago I posted about the trailer for this little gem. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something about it resonated with me. I’m more than happy to report that the full-length video is just as exquisitely realized and heart-achingly simple as I’d hoped.

Directed and animated by FLA, I was blown away by the use of variety of perspectives and the amount of detail. I’ve watched again and again,  each time seeing new things and each time feeling a little more filled with a wonderful yearning.  At the end of the day, what a truly remarkable thing it would be to have someone (or some small pink monster-dog thing) fight to love you despite all your faults. To me, The Loner is about the power of realizing you need something when you want it the least and the possibility inside us all to turn around one day and decide to become, in small steps, a better version of yourself. I actually gasped at one point, which is how you know it’s damn good. When it was over I realized how much I didn’t want it to end, which I think it some of the highest praise I can give.

quick + dirty #2: red song, camouflar, we float and bad choices.

Quick + Dirty is back with a hot list of videos I think you need to see…

suuns: red song.

galaxie + mathieu cyr: camouflar.

my first earthquake + satan’s pearl horses: we float.

shout out out out out + a.j. bond + chris von szombathy: bad choices.

everynone: losers.

It’s no secret how much I love Everynone. They have an amazing knack at cutting together visceral, universally human moments into montages that almost everyone can immediately understand and identify with. Their vids are amazingly shareable (the term “viral” should be banned from the internet lexicon, btw…) because they strike a chord that’s direct and true. From the exquisite balances cast in their last vid “Symmetry” to their gorgeous type-based series “Words”, they exemplify the power of a quick, well-shot visual to tell incredibly vibrant tales.

As of this writing, their latest video “Losers” is at 7,000 views on Vimeo in only 5 hours. I guarantee you that it will be all over the internet in the upcoming days…as it should be. With the growing awareness of the true impact of bullying, I think this type of raw, insightful and connected portrayal of the slices that bullying cuts out from all of us is exactly the type of thing we need to see, and continue to see, until we do something tangible and real to stop it. I know what it feels like to be called a “faggot” in my high school highway. I also know what it feels like to call someone else a name because I was weak and want to feel stronger. As with any type of bullying – no matter which side of it you were on – it’s something you get over, but not something you forget.

I particularly love the shift in meaning from the beginning of the video to the end. Humourously unassuming at first, I laughed while not knowing where I was being lead yet. Then I realized I was slowly being shown that the losers are everyone. Each of us has the power both to bully and the responsibility to to learn we must end bullying. The true impact came at the very end when I realized that, only two minutes before at the beginning of the video, I was being the unwitting bully myself. It’s that kind of immediate emotional impact, and psychological realization just afterward, that lets you know you’ve just watched something very special.

hudson + dropbear: against the grain.

Before we continue, I need you to know something about me: I take art supplies very seriously. Always have, always will. I obsessed over markers, cried over broken crayons and openly coveted my Dad’s set of Prismacolour pencil crayons that he would sometimes let me touch, but never draw with, because they had metallics in them. I repeat, METALLIC PENCIL CRAYONS.

In Grade 3, my Mom, in some sort of  back-to-school buying haze, bought me the 20-pack of Laurentians instead of the 24-pack I’d clearly requested. Then, in her bloodlust to shut me up and get me back in school already, she acted like it was no big deal. This was unacceptable. I needed the extra four colours. One was robin’s egg blue. What was I supposed to do; draw with the ultramarine and peacock blue at the same time and hope for the best? Obviously not. So, I promptly rode my bike to the local drug store and was almost immediately caught shoving the 24-pack down the front of my pants. It seemed like the only logical thing to do at the time. I was trapped in an A Time To Kill-esque moral dilemma and the only solution that made sense was to just steal the extra four. There was simply no other way.

Long story short (too late!) this is all to say that pencil crayons are the undeniably awesome tools of youth and memory, and this nifty stop-mo vid for Hudson’s “Against The Grain” by animator/filmmaker Dropbear is making me feel like stealing something. Wait, I mean… drawing… with pencil crayons. Yeah. That’s it.

(I also punched my fist through my Lite Brite once because I was one peg away from completing the Clown Face and discovered that I was missing the last peg. It was an insurmountable tragedy at the time, and I resorted to violence. I was four years old. But that’s a story for another time…)

+ via Vimeo Discover

friendly fires + david lewandowski: hurting.

Friendly Fires are a reliable go-to, a steady member of a stable of cherished artists who I know will deliver how I like it each and every time. “Kiss of Life” is one of my have tracks ever, and it’s Chris Cottam-directed video makes me want to dance. While waving palm fronds around. I knew the Fires and I were on the same wavelength when they chose an image from Sølve Sundsbø’s Perroquet series as the cover for their 2011 album Pala (which, not to brag, but I totally blogged about back in 2008), so I knew we had the same taste in photography. Having the same taste in photography is like taking the carpool lane right into my heart. Click here to once again ogle its gorgeousness.

Today’s video for “Hurting” – the third single from Pala – is no visual disappointment. Sure, we’ve got a hot hipster broad/love interest with a disturbingly elastic neck, but the real draw here is lead singer Ed Macfarlane limping through his love and throwing his boogie down in an attempt (much like the mating dance of birds, which leads us back to parrots – I’m seeing a synergy here!) too woo her. And by “woo”, I mean “prove cool enough for,” because she kinda looks like a bitch. Which is really to say, if Ed Macfarlane wanted to dance with me, I wouldn’t say no.

There’s an easy urban whimsy going on here; it’s sunset-lit, street-wise and dance-y. And if you’re wondering why that cube is so next level good, look no further that director David Lewandowski, who, in case you don’t know, worked on a little piece of mind-altering, visual magnum opus/digital genius I like to call Tron: Legacy. (Say what you want about the plot, the 3D animation was without peer.) Click here to see some highly-detailed posts and videos about his work for that film.

+ via Antville

sticky monster lab: the loner teaser.

As Mrs. Peacock said during the dinner party in Clue, “I mean, I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here. Or what I’m doing here, or what this place is about, but I am determined to enjoy myself. And I’m very intrigued, and, oh my, this soup’s delicious, isn’t it?”

So, soup aside, we find ourselves watching Sticky Monster Lab’s trailer for a “new animation and compilation album” called The Loaner. Much like Mrs. Peacock (and you’d be surprised how often I find myself genuinely thinking that), I’m very intrigued.

I’ve been a fan of designer toys and monster for as long as I can remember, and here they are: animated, in a digital world, living their lives. The ultra-digitized animation style is one of my favourites, and when it’s done as well as this I get giddy. These monsters are on point.

Alright, The Longe, I’m not sure what’s happening yet, but your teaser is triumphant. Consider me teased! I anxiously await the end of November 2011, when all will be revealed.

Also, I’m not sure who the loner’s little pink animal friend is, but it reminds me of that episode of Futurama where Fry finds out the dog he thought forgot about him spent the rest of his life waiting for him to come get him. It’s called “Jurassic Bark,” and if you want to weep until all your innocence is lost, I suggest you go watch it.

everynone: symmetry.

In the middle of watching Everynone’s lovely Symmetry, the thought that overwhelmed me was “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That Newton, he was a smart cookie. I love the philosophy of science; that is, that Newton’s Law of Motion is much more than a scientific truth (though it definitely is that). It’s also karma. It’s kindness. It’s what goes around comes around. It’s how the transference of love and respect is a psychological action that, like ripples in a pond, created a tangible, physical reaction in those who experience it from you.

In a whiplash, purely visual style that reminds me a lot of one of my fave short vids, Chris Milk’s Last Day Dream, the vid starts out light-hearted, but further in I realized that was just part of its elegant ploy. Start with simplicity, entice us to watch, and then the symmetries become harder and more thought-provoking.

Symmetry is filled with a deep ease, a contemplative review of questions asked but not answered. Because each of these truths – the steak-eater or the cow, the light bulb or the sunshine  – will be different for each of us. The power is not in that we agree, but that we recognize and understand what they mean to us. Are you a consumer or a creator? A destroyer or a deliverer? For everything you do, each of your action, what reactions are you sending back into the world?

+ via kateoplis

matt pyke & friends: super-computer-romantics.

Any time Matt Pyke is about to release new work feels like Christmas Eve. My favourite digital artist and motion designer ever, Matt’s simply unbeatable at creating innovative, organic and jaw-dropping work for his own studio, Universal Everything, and some of the world’s biggest brands. (You may have heard of them: Nike, Chanel, Nokia, MTV and the London 2010 Olympics. Whatever. NBD.) He’s also the mastermind behind my favourite motion design project ever, the inimitable Advanced Beauty. If you haven’t seen it, get it. Buy it. Find it. Watch it. It’ll change your life.

One of my fave facets of Matt’s work is how it never seems forced or even “created” – somehow it feels like everything he does (“organic digital” is what I like to call it) just comes into being. It flows as easily as if it washed up on a shore or floated in on a breeze. Plus I’ve emailed with Matt a few times and he’s also a really stand-up guy and a class act all around.


In his first ever solo show, Matt’s taking over Paris’ La Gaîté Lyrique with Super-Computer-Romantics. Guest-curated by Charlotte Leuozon and with sound design by Matt’s brother and frequent collaborator, Simon, the exhibition features 8 separate environments covering more than 26,000 square feet. Pyke says “The approach is one of a romantic view of technology and of really kind of being optimistic about what you can do with technology and how you can create beauty with super-computers, how you can create pieces of video work and pieces of audio-visual work.”

Reading La Gaîté Lyrique’s extensive info on the event, I started to get light-headed and giddy: “Here, a 3 meters high walking monster, endlessly transforming itself. There, a monolithic block invites viewers to peek into a singular experience – witness the birth of materials at a molecular level. On the mezzanine, stands a crowd of generative living sculptures, grown from code. Facing them, a huge projection of a never-ending procession of bodies, struggling against a hurricane of sound. Each piece can be considered a supercomputing beauty seeking emotional sensations and feelings whose magic breaks with rational functionalism. Remixing primitivism, minimalism, pop culture and 19th century landscape painting, the exhibition Matt Pyke & Friends takes us to a romantic theatricality reaching a subtle and meaningful relationship between technologies and the viewer.”

Opening this Thursday and running until May 21, 2011, the show will also feature a full-sized theatre screen with a retrospective of all of Pyke’s commercial and artistic work to date as well as a public lecture, from Matt himself, on the subject of “creation.”

Getting me all hot and bothered for the upcoming show, today Nowness debuted a stunning teaser vid for “Supreme Believers”, one of the installations from Super-Computer-Romantics. The Universal Everything Vimeo channel has also released a teaser for the exhibition. Both are classic Pyke and I want more, more more.

Here’s a video of Matt himself talking about his vision for the exhibition (and giving some visual glimpses into what he’s got planned). 

I need to see this show. I NEED IT. If anyone would like to take me to Paris to see Super-Computer-Romantics, I’m not above begging. I’m a pretty decent conversationalist, I sleep well on planes and I know some French. I’ve also never met an escargot that I didn’t like. Just putting that out there.

If you want more Matt Pyke (and why wouldn’t you), here are past posts on Forever, a video installation for the Victoria & Albert Museum; the new brand identity they created for MTV International; their gorgeous 2010 reel; and here’s one of Universal Everything’s most recent works, a series of digital installations for Chanel:

+ via @universalevery

quick + dirty #1: ian berenger, surfap, pets + ducroz.

I see many more videos that I love than I could do full blog posts on. Though I’m constantly adding vids to my Vimeo channel that aren’t on the blog, I decided to start posting some of them here even though they won’t each have a full written post. In the time-honoured programming tradition of the quick and dirty, that’s the name I’ve decided to give to this new post series of awesome vids that I think you’ll want to see…

ian berenger: our time is brief.

surfap: super mario bros.

pets + rémy m. larochelle: a good day for telling lies.

ducroz: phosphene.

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