Posting these a little later than usual. Ah well, let’s start with something pretty. Water Light Graffiti by Antonin Fourneau is:
a surface made of thousands of LED illuminated by the contact of water. You can use a paintbrush, a water atomizer, your fingers or anything damp to sketch a brightness message or just to draw.
Clearly, the Olympics and Paralympics have been the biggest thing happening over the past month. Hat’s off to the BBC, Google and London 2012 themselves for sharing some good stats and insights around the digital side of things. In particular:
- The BBC’s Internet Blog had a couple of posts. After the first week of the Olympics they broke down the reach they had across four types of screen (PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV). Then after the closing ceremony they posted an update, with some notable stats around tablet viewing.
- Google’s UK Product Marketing Manager showed off some search stats, giving a more international view
- Best presentation of the week comes from London 2012’s Alex Balfour. london2012.com olympic games digital round up 13 august 2012 is a detailed breakdown of the online traffic stats and facts from the official digital channels of the Olympic Games
While we’re on the subject of sports, Manchester City are giving away OPTA data for every ‘on the ball’ event for every Premier League player in every match in the entire 2011-12 Premier League season. Moneyball-tastic.
If you’re working on this kind of stuff in the arts then it really is worth looking at what your sports industry cousins are doing at the moment.
An interview with Valentina Lisitsa, who went from “just another blonde Russian pianist” (their words, not mine) to become a YouTube star with 47m views and counting. Thought: will an arts organisation ever manage to fund its video output via YouTube ad revenue?
MoMA Unadulterated is cute – an unofficial audio tour created by kids with each piece of art analysed by 3-10 yr olds.
Robert Hughes’s eight part documentary The Shock of the New is online. It apparently offers “a comprehensive view on the development of modernist art in its cultural context”. As you may be able to tell, I’ve not watched it yet but I’m told it’s a classic.
Smule make novelty-ish music apps for mobiles and apparently have 61m downloads and 15m active users, with 750m songs created so far. There’s something interesting about the way they’re effectively putting instruments in people’s pockets.
Some quick stuff:
- NBN is sort of like the Australian YouView, from what I can tell. Anyway, it apparently “offers arts a leap forward“. Australian Ballet say they’re looking at possibilities for selling subscriptions to livestreamed performances through it
- The Internet Archive is now (legally) offering over 1,000,000 torrents of downloadable books, music and movies.
- The Underground New York Public Library is a ‘visual library’ featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways.
- s[edition] sells art from leading contemporary artists in digital formats
- Merce Cunningham: 65 Years is an iPad app version of the ‘Cunningham bible’
- I enjoyed playing with Bangarang Boomerang, a web app (Chrome only) that lets you ‘drive’ a Skrillex song
Handy case-study of the month – theatre music directors using Facebook to help each other out:
Over in the Theatre Music Directors Facebook group, one of the most common questions being asked is along the lines of: “I’m doing Show X, which calls for 25 musicians, but our theatre only has a budget for six. Which ones should I use, and how can I reduce the orchestration for such a small group and still have it sound good?”
Answers invariably come flying in from all corners of the globe, as fellow MDs who have also done Show X come to the rescue with their indispensable trove of experience
Lastly, for this section, a comment from Birmingham Opera Company’s Graham Vick – a man for whom I have an awful lot of time and respect:
“There are no rights and wrongs and absolutes,” says Vick. “You take away the experience you have and you value it, or not, as much as you do. It’s up to you whether it was good or not, it’s not up to the person next to you. It’s up to you whether you make a phone call or not. We don’t make any announcements about switching phones off. We don’t forbid the taking of photographs. You know, if our performance isn’t good enough to survive a few camera clicks, then it can’t be that good a show. And besides, what are they doing with the photographs afterwards? They’re putting them on Facebook or Twitter, they’re showing them to their friends. And a whole load of people are talking about a Stockhausen opera. Well,” he smiles, “that can’t be a bad thing.” And he heads off, to help push the trombonist across the hall.
outgrow.me rounds up successfully funded Kickstarter & Indiegogo projects, all in one place and Fancy Hands gives you a virtual personal assistants at what looks like quite a reasonable price. Those are two very tempting things.
As ever, there were a few good data things. I haven’t played with Wolfram|Alpha Personal Analytics for Facebook yet (partly because I don’t use Facebook that much so I suspect my data may be patchy) but I’ll give it a go at some point. I enjoyed this article – Everywhere at Once: Chef Geoff Tracy’s Data-Driven Empire – about the owner of a chain of restaurants measuring hundreds of data points to keep his restaurants on track. Finally, you can now use Google Apps Script to automate Google Analytics Reporting – I find that exciting. Yeah, I know.
I thought it was interesting that a bunch of big US retailers are collaborating on mobile purchases. Recognition that the overall market and opportunity is too big for any one of them to dominate on their own?
What happens if you write software that generates… – What happens if you write software that generates random polygons and the software then feeds the results through facial recognition software, looping thousands of times until the generated image more and more resembles a face? Phil McCarthy’s Pareidoloop
A few other things:
- Machinima: monetising the gaming industry’s ‘lost boys’
- “a test of the effect of typefaces on truth. Or to be precise, the effect on credulity“
- The Economist ran a debate on arts funding. Another thing for me to catch up on sometime.
Apps, services, etc
- Web: Freckle, Bardowl, Transcribe, Moqups, Branch, Medium, Glassboard, Tagboard, Worth Monkey, FreeAgent, Float, GoCardless, inklewriter, Tell My Friends
- iOS: Agenda, Stilla, GRID, Burner, Quicklytics, Reflection, Prismatic, Lift, Drafts, Pocket Casts
- Game: Sinuous
Not all collaborations work out well. I like this a lot. One day an arts organisation will do a decent web series. See my point above about YouTube partner ad revenue.