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Category: Art+Design

Technology as art

Technology as art

Feippo is an Etsy shop that has a clever little product. They have disassembled some of the most popular cell phones and mounted them in display cases:

They have various iPhones, iPads, Nokias, Blackberry’s, Huawei, etc. The framed versions run about $150-250, while they also have do-it-yourself kits where you can dissassemble your own phones and mount them for about $60.

Considering these are coming from China, I’m thinking someone came up with a clever way to sell our own e-waste back to ourselves.

In a Landscape

In a Landscape

Founded in 2016 by classical pianist Hunter Noack, IN A LANDSCAPE: Classical Music in the Wild is an outdoor concert series where America’s most stunning landscapes replace the traditional concert hall. He takes a 9-foot Steinway grand piano on a flatbed trailer to National Parks, urban greenspaces, working ranches, farms, and historical sites for classical music concerts that connect people with each landscape of Oregon.

To meet the acoustical challenges of performing in the wild, music is transmitted to concert-goers via wireless headphones. No longer confined to seats, you can explore the landscape, wander through secret glens, lie in sunny meadows, and roam old growth forests.

It’s a fantastic experience – so give it a shot if you have an opportunity to catch one of the remaining shows of the year.

Sleep No More

Sleep No More

Sleep No More isn’t a standard theatrical play. Instead, it’s a 3 hour immersive theatre experience by the punchdrunk theater group. The show is an adaptation of Macbeth re-set in a dimly-lit, 1930s-era establishment called the McKittrick Hotel. The hotel is actually a 5-story block of warehouses in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, transformed into the hotel-like performance space. The different rooms and floors have wild and unique themes, set designs, props, and music. The audience are given masks, told they cannot speak, and may freely move through the settings interacting with the props or observing the actors at their own pace. There is no program and actors move from room to room and floor to floor interacting with other actors and the sets on a repeating 1 hour loop cycle. They often run from room to room and may even push their way through audience members.

The action is deprived of nearly all spoken dialog and performed via interpretive dance, dialogless acting, yelling, and utilizing the set pieces in the different rooms. There’s lots of sensuality, mock fights that have actors acrobatically running up the sides of walls, actors are more than occasionally nude, bathed in fake blood, wearing strange costumes, or performing strange rituals and bizarre scenes. There are lots of hidden secrets and even 1-on-1 scenes in which an actor might select you and will perform a scene with you – often away from everyone else.

Most people say that it takes multiple visits before you can get a grip on everything that’s going on – and there are even guides on how to get the best experience. They encourage attendees that “Fortune favors the bold”; and encourage you to become participants in a way by placing yourself in the midst of the actors performing a scene. Some of the actors will acknowledge you being close to them and perform something with you like singing a song, giving you an item, or leading you to a private scene. Sadly, however, anonymity, pre-event drinking, and people taking the advice to be bold too far, have led to some problems with guests.

Still, if you’re interested in some experimental experiential theatre, this might be up your alley. It’s only in New York and books up far in advance – so reserve your spot well before your plans to go.

Haunted Mansion Cocktail Lounge

Haunted Mansion Cocktail Lounge

I love spooky things and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Imagine my joy when Raven’s Manor, a cocktail lounge designed to look like a haunted mansion, just opened this last month in downtown Portland. I gave it a visit and really enjoyed it.

The partners, Vega and Jared Bradley, have concocted a backstory for the Manor. As the tale goes, namesake Dr. Raven was a prominent elite known for his lavish parties, which were actually a ruse. “All the while,” Vega explains, “he was secretly kidnapping victims and taking them down to his laboratory for human experimentation.”

While the bartenders at Raven’s won’t be in the business of abducting humans, there will be an opportunity to take part in some experiments if you so choose. In a month or two, the bar is scheduled to start accepting reservations for an “Elixir Experience,” where guests are asked to solve clues throughout the property and then use everything from chemistry equipment to cauldrons to create custom drinks.

Cardboard Sculptures by Greg Olijnyk

Cardboard Sculptures by Greg Olijnyk

Greg Olijnyk creates amazingly detailed cardboard creations. Often fully articulate and outfitted with LED lights and glass where necessary, the extraordinarily works are futuristic, slightly dystopic, and part of larger world-building.

Olijnyk is based in Melbourne and shares works-in-progress and more photos of the machine-like sculptures shown here on his Instagram.

The musicians behind our best hits

The musicians behind our best hits

Everyone should check out the 2008 documentary film called The Wrecking Crew – because it astounding this story has gone untold for so long.

Popular music of the 1960s was dominated by young bands like The Beach Boys, The Mamas & the Papas, The Monkees, Simon & Garfunkel, Dean Martin, Cher, Elvis, Tina Turner, Frank Sinatra, and many more. Turns out, these bands sometimes didn’t even play their own records. At times, the only members of the band on a song was the vocalists. The Wrecking Crew were the Los Angeles studio musicians that played for almost all of them. They played and shaped hundreds of now-classic records and are likely among the most recorded musicians in history. The movie shows just how influential these musicians were in creating the songs we now know and love.

To give you a taste, check out how many classics of rock they were the ones that performed and created.