Remember this incredible video above? In the new issue of BusinessWeek, I profile the brilliant minds behind it, creative robotics studio Bot & Dolly, whose astonishing technology was also instrumental in the special effects of Gravity:
Behind a small cafe in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood stands an unmarked warehouse where the future of human-machine interaction is taking shape. Inside this sprawling maze of soundstages, machine shops, and computer labs, artists collaborate with engineers, cinematographers brainstorm with coders, and everyone has a collegial relationship with the small army of industrial robots stationed here. This is Bot & Dolly, a boutique design studio that specializes in combining massive mechanical arms with custom software for movies, architecture, digital fabrication, and entertainment installations. “We’re a culture of makers, of creators with open minds,” says Tobias Kinnebrew, Bot & Dolly’s director for product strategy. “We work on things that don’t seem possible and try to make them possible.”
"Bot & Dolly and the Rise of Creative Robots
A few years ago, I posted about TuneUp, software from my pal Gabe Adiv's company that did a bang-up job cleaning up the metadata mess of my 150+ GB music archive by identifying dupes, fixing track names, and grabbing cover art. About a year ago, Adiv parted ways with the company he started, TuneUp Media. Since then, the company released an update that really bummed out serious users and last month announced they were shutting down. Well, Gabe just managed to buy back the TuneUp assets and reunite the original development team to relaunch TuneUp. Interestingly, their first "new" product is an old version of the TuneUp software. Congrats, Gabe! Above, a classic TuneUp commercial starring the great Biz Markie!
"Founder Gabe Adiv Resurrects TuneUp To Continue Tidying Up Your Music Library" (TechCrunch)
This post is brought to you by Ford.
Above, our lovely mascot Jackhammer Jill in 3D-printed ABS glory! This 9" model of Jill will get hand-painted and rigged with advanced bubble-blowing technology before being mounted in a place of honor on the hood of our Happy Mutant Mobile! As we've posted, our sponsors at Ford agreed to support the customization, modification, and transformation of a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon into what we (and you) imagine for a Boing Boing vehicle. (Original announcement here and check out all the posts here!)
Theresa Contreras and her talented team of makers at L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California are tirelessly tricking out the vehicle with a cabinet of curiosities behind the rear door, 'zine/comix library behind the side door, projection screen for viewing psychotronic films, a mobile video blogging studio, and numerous amenities like a 3D printer and cold drip coffee maker. Oh, and just wait until you see the mindbending exterior artwork from our hyper-talented friends at We Buy Your Kids. Below, rough blueprints and in-progress shots of the woodwork and the interior.
Read the rest
Well done, sir. (Thanks, Dave Gill!)
"Tiny Worlds" is a delightful trilogy of short films about imaginary miniature city services dealing with the small trash littering the streets and sidewalks of London. The series was created by Rushes, a Soho video production house. Above is "Tiny Worlds: Bulldozer." Below, "Tiny Worlds: Submarine" and "Tiny Worlds" Logging Truck." (via Laughing Squid)
Read the rest
Astrophysicist and Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson, in dire need of coffee or a nap, praises Isaac Newton. (Just kidding; it's slowed down. Here's the original clip.)
Tomorrow night, San Francisco's pioneering contemporary dance company ODC will premiere a new work inspired by famed sculptor/environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy with live music by experimental cellist and loop musician Zoë Keating, likely familiar to Boing Boing readers from previous BB posts, or her appearances on Radiolab and Who Killed Amanda Palmer. For this piece, titled "boulders and bones," ODC artistic directors Branda Way and KT Nelson took choreographic inspiration from the ever-transforming landscapes of art and nature. The visual context of the dance comes from a time-lapse film by RJ Muna shot during the seven-month installation of a Goldsworthy sculpture at private location north of San Francisco.
Performances of "boulders and bones," along with several other works, will be held through March 30. Tickets are available here. Boing Boing is delighted to share the special video below from a "boulders and bones" rehearsal, along with another stunning photograph of dancer Natasha Adorlee Johnson by RJ Muna.
Read the rest
VanVictor made a terrific image series showing historical figures played by various actors, from Aristotle to Edgar Allen Poe, Jesus to John Lennon. "Famous people in fiction" (via Laughing Squid and Reddit)
Above, watch the entirety of "There Is No Authority But Yourself," a 2006 feature documentary about seminal anarcho-punk band Crass. It was directed by Dutch filmmaker Alexander Oey.
Remember Walter Williams
, the 78-year old who last month was pronounced dead and then found to be alive and kicking, literally, inside a body bag? He died on Thursday. (The Clarion-Ledger)
A new Peanuts movie will come to the big screen on November 6, 2015, produced by Charles Schulz's son Craig Schulz with a screenplay co-written by his son Bryan Schulz.
"It's about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go," Craig Schulz told USA Today.
Dirt Road To Psychedelia is a documentary about the underground culture and music scene in Austin, Texas during the 1960s. Above is the trailer.
"With a folk-singing Janis Joplin, the 13th Floor Elevators, peyote, LSD and the first psychedelic music venue in Texas, Austin was a fertile ground for the emerging counterculture of the 1960s," says director Scott Conn.
If you're lucky enough to be in Waxahachie, Texas this Sunday (3/23), check it out live at the wunderkammer that is the Webb Gallery as part of their "Big Hair & Sparkly Pants" Texas-themed group art show. You can also buy the DVD on Amazon.
Scott Asheton, co-founder and drummer of The Stooges, died on Saturday at age 64. Iggy Pop posted the news on Facebook. The drummer's older brother, Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, died in 2009.
Do you have experience with sleep paralysis? Many scientists believe that sleep paralysis is the biological answer to such mysteries as spirit visitations, alien abductions, incubi/succubi, and out-of-body experiences. My old friend Rodney Ascher, director of the excellent film Room 237 and other movies, is making a documentary about the phenomenon and would love to hear from you. Rodney writes:
I'm working on on a new film - it's about Sleep Paralysis, a surprisingly common phenomenon where people wake-up totally frozen from the eyeballs down, unable even to make a noise, and they frequently see sinister intruders and other disturbing visions. I've been obsessed with it ever since it used to happen with me (in my case, I saw sort of a living, 3D shadow looming over in me in judgement).
The film is going to be largely built on interviews with people who've had vivid, first-person experiences with it (and have given some serious thought to what's really happening to them) - if anyone wants to share their stories, the easiest way is to contact us via the film's Facebook page.
The Nightmare: A Nonfiction Film About An Unreal Experience
Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay is a forthcoming documentary about industrial music featuring BB pals Throbbing Gristle and V Vale (RE/Search) along with Cabaret Voltaire, NON, Z'EV, Sordide Sentimental, SPK, and many more artists/thinkers. Directed by Amélie Ravalec and Travis Collins, the film is in post-production and slated for release later this year.