When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.

from Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

I heart culture jamming: Sniggle Net has lots of good stuff, including a bit on one of my favorite culture hacks ever, the Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO).

So, the “first feature-length film shot on a mobile phone” looks about how you’d imagine a feature film shot on a mobile to look. But it doesn’t do so gratuitously (well, ok, no way am I going to watch the whole thing, but you quickly get the aesthetic point: voyeuristic, degraded, subjective, paranoid). I always like these moments of low-res injected into the endless march to higher definition, when the first people use the limitations of a transitional medium for art. (thanks, Tina)

Just wanted to give a shout out to June Cohen and the entire TED.com team on the launch of the new TED site. It’s a beautiful, exciting site (designed by Method and June’s team) and the content is as good as it gets. Do yourself a favor and check out some of the amazing talks from the past 5 years of conferences. (Oh, and Giant Ant played a minor, but we think valuable role in the project).

I just saw Serenity and it’s damn good and I just wanted to point out that to really understand what Joss Whedon is up to there, you probably ought to read Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth-Century America by Richard Slotkin. I took a couple classes with Prof. Slotkin at Wesleyan and Whedon undoubtedly did as well. It’s a trim 850 pages of mythopoetic cultural analysis that’ll help you go beyond “oh, the Reivers are like Indians” to the significance of the fact that they are settlers become indians. Slotkin is all about the cultural mechanism of genre narrative, and his approach feels more grounded to me, if perhaps less neat, than the psychological academic read (you know: the Reivers are the Id and the Alliance is the Superego, or whatever). Anyhow, thanks Joss for putting the western back in sci-fi and the funk back in the western.

These Marcel Wanders components are a welcome ornate antidote to the relentless flaccid placid futurism of the Apple ID group. And the TV/microwave is a lovely bit of design art: now you can watch TV while you wait for your TV dinner to cook (so you can eat while you watch TV). Brilliant.

Jet Set Ruins is Todd’s amazing flickr photoset of aircraft scrapyards.

Dale Chihuly makes amazing glass sculptures. When I was last in Atlanta I was able to see his installation at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, where he managed to create sculptures that transformed the gardens into a bizarre, otherworldly landscape and simultaneously fit into their botanical surroundings so well that you would miss them unless you looked really carefully. I’ll take this over “The Gates” any day.

Ourmedia: “We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever.”

RETROFUTURO is a nice collection of past visions of the future shiny and eerie. (via)

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