OK, time to get serious.
One of our favourite sites, the highly-regarded, well-respected and decade-old Adland, is in trouble.
This is the new look for Imperica.
After 18(ish) months, this is the third redesign. This redesign, and the past one, have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. In this redesign, we have made a number of improvements which result in a better and more effective editorial. The design has been led by the content, not the other way around.
Raphaëlle Heaf and the team at ArtSpotter have launched their new iOS app, just in time for spotting some art over the Christmas break.
The app features a location-based search - inevitably it searches for local galleries, but looks for specific exhibitions too - and allows users to add new galleries, exhibitions, and photos to the database. It has member follow functions, and allows you to see what people have bought from art collections across the world (a nice touch for the curtain-twitching inquisitive ones among you).
As we know from mainstream Hollywood cinema, it's easy to rely on computer-generated tricks and techniques to enrapture an audience – no matter how young or old. The increasing sophistication of studios such as Pixar in developing feature-length animation has been a story of technical, as much as creative, development. However, the enduring properties of story, character, and narrative structure are omnipresent, and producing great work with beautiful, creative visuals doesn't necessarily result in the desire to create an all-out sensory extravaganza. When story and character are at the fore of the creative process, the role of the computer becomes one that supports, that realises the idea, rather than one that helps to generate the idea in the first place.
Grant Orchard is perhaps best known for his series of films, Love Sport. They featuring, as Orchard puts it, "... simple graphic shapes that bounce around a lot and do all things sporty." It is, of course, a lovely understatement; Love Sport is a frantic, energetic exploration of sport which evokes Len Lye in its kinetic colourplay.
The Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art is now open for entries. It's an annual award to a creator of a significant body of work in digital art.
This is the Little Printer. Hello, Little Printer!
Taking some fondly-remembered old technology and removing the peripheral wobble, it's a... well, it's a little printer. It's a printer, and not big.
BERG's new product is designed to print those handy little notes: the day's agenda, places where you should be going, and so on. It talks to your accounts over at Nike+, 4sq and the like. All the handy stuff you want, on neat little bits of dead tree.
As interconnected digital media increasingly gives us a lens with which to view the world, it should come as no surprise in terms of where its tentacles go next. Having taken – and shaken – the music and film industries, it's now working its way through publishing, with the lens itself moving from a chunky white box to a curved aluminium tablet. Art may be next on its list of markets to disrupt, if not conquer.
With that in mind comes s[edition], a new platform to collect digital versions of works from leading contemporary artists. It provides a means of "digital collecting" - a way to securely store artworks in digital form, and to display them through an image viewer, a video player, or through a bespoke iOS app. The collection available at launch is from nine artists, and comprises of work made especially for s[edition], as well as some re-purposed for the medium.
In the age where attention is currency, grand, epic works have to fight for everything that they can get. Where Internet-based digital media and platforms allow for the staging of expensive (or at least expensive-looking) work in a way that circumvents the costly issues of distribution, they face an issue of maintaining viewing times when the viewer paradigm for "big, interactive stuff" is largely focused on the Xbox or PS3.
Dawid Marcinkowski is up for the challenge. The director of Sufferrosa, an extraordinary piece of big interactive fiction to which the player moves through the world in the first person, aiming to discover the real story behind the disappearance of Rosa Braun. Taking elements from computer gaming, film noir, Godardian iconography and the contemporary perceptions around aging, it is a work which, in every sense, spans many levels.
Blood Relations is a film which is a culmination of The Impossible Brief, a project from Saatchi & Saatchi Israel which launched at Cannes in 2010. The objective of the Impossible Brief project was to develop and present ideas which would help to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together.
What? What's that, you say? It's been ages since you last saw an agency murder- er, produce a great music video featuring its staff?
To feed your desire for this... er... phenomenon, SapientNitro's production team, Studi-YO! (they haven't heard of Nathan Barley, have they?) have produced this spectatular piece.
Arts Council England and the BBC have announced The Space, a new digital arts/media commissioning programme. Running next summer, it's designed to be a developmental project which invites artists to collaborate in order to produce new and challenging work. £2.5m is promised from ACE, with multiplatform support and mentoring from the Beeb.
More lovely work from Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and the RIG folks. FRSTEE is the "world's first Twitter snowman":
You enter a Twitter username and we extract the data we need. Then you fill in the order form and pay us using PayPal.
Your data is turned into a 3D design file and printed on a machine called the Z-Corp. This makes individual 3D objects by applying glue to a bed of powder to make a durable solid object. Colour is applied to eyes, nose and buttons and the whole thing is cured to make it long-lasting.
Then we pop it in a box and dispatch it to you, causing a uniquely Social Media frisson around your festive tree.
London jewellery gallery Didier will be there for the first time, showing works from artists including Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, George Rickey, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Fernand Leger, Claude Lalanne, and two up-and-coming artists called Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. According to owner Didier Haspeslagh, "The pieces we are showcasing at the fair are truly miniature works of art and sculpture that can be worn. They are not pieces of jewelry in the conventional sense where the carat of the diamond and the weight of the gold is paramount. Our jewels are art and design," explains Gallery Owner .
Douglas Rushkoff talks about the Internet and economic models in his new talk, Ten Commands for a Digital Era, recently given to Etsy Berlin.
It's a good piece, made all the better when you watch it here - over on the Smithery Blog - Smithery being the business of none other than John V Willshire. John has added his commentary and some lovely photos, making it all the more thought-provoking.
Required listening tonight on BBC R3:
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales launches this year's BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking festival of ideas with a lecture on how the internet will continue to radically change our world
American internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales has created the most referenced source of knowledge on the planet. His ever-expanding invention Wikipedia has over 19 million free articles, is one of the internet's top five websites, and has revolutionised our access to information. Time magazine named him one of the world's most influential people.
There's power in the status update. That atomised, ephemeral piece of content can move markets, politics, and people. It has contributed to massive social change; it has contributed to the creation, and closure, of massive businesses; and it has fundamentally changed the relationship between the self and others.
The spontaneity of the status update does not lessen its power to create tremendous emotional impact. When brevity is the order of the day, something said in less than 200 characters can be shocking, jolting, and harsh. Whatever is written in a status update, it is part of the self, the body politic; it can possess emotional currency that has as much lasting value as the longest book.
This currency is celebrated in an exhibition recently held by Mandatory Thinking – a duo, made up of Rishi Dastidar and Matt Busher - at the Her House Gallery in Hoxton, London. Entitled Self Portrait Postcards, it displays 1000 of Dastidar's Facebook updates as colourful A5 postcards. The result is a mosaic of experiences captured in short form.
What is the the impact of connected technology on photography? If it isn't the ability to access millions of images at once and to access quality self-published work through Flickr, it's the total change in process and the relationship between brand, client, and the photographer themselves. How does all of this affect the professional photographer, and the role of the photography agency?
We asked two members of photography agency Vue - photographer Morgan Silk, and founder Cathy Bennett - for their views on how professional photography is changing through this multiplicity of impacts.