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TEDxTalks


What if It's That Simple?: Jen Croneberger at TEDxGettysburgCollege

Jen Croneberger Croneberger was the CEO/Founder of Excellence Training Camps, Inc. and is currently the president of JLynne Consulting Group, LLC. She has he...
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In January of 2010, Kesha Sebert, known as ‘Ke$ha’ debuted at number one on Billboard with her album, Animal. Her style is electro pop-y dance music: she alternates between rapping and singing, the choruses of her songs are typically melodic party hooks that bore deep into your brain: “Your love, your love, your love, is my drug!” And at times, her voice is so heavily processed that it sounds like a cross between a girl and a synthesizer. Much of her sound is due to the pitch correction software, Auto-Tune.

Sebert, whose label did not respond to a request for an interview, has built a persona as a badass wastoid, who told Rolling Stone that all male visitors to her tour bus had to submit to being photographed with their pants...

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GuideThere are times when it’s inconvenient to read — for instance while cooking or working out at the gym — so you might find yourself tuning into a TV newscast. But perhaps instead of facile local news or the jabbering heads of cable news, it could be a personalized newscast.

That’s the goal of a Miami-based startup called Guide, backed by investors including the Knight Foundation, which is making an app where users can choose from a variety of avatars to present stories from their favorite news sites.

It is totally wacky. An alpha version of the product had me fixating on the “uncanny valley” of a near-human lady with shiny lipgloss reading me a story in a halting voice with her mouth barely moving. (See below.)

But the more smooth part of the demo was when the robot newscaster transitioned to a video segment included in the news report, and then back to the text.

Guide founder and CEO Freddie Laker said in an interview that he feels this interpretation of multimedia content will be key — separating out videos and photos and pull quotes, and turning them into an engaging presentation. A long, text-heavy story won’t be ideal for Guide.

The company is working on a plugin for WordPress that would help bloggers record their posts so they can be automatically converted into Guide segments, with avatars lip-syncing them.

Guide’s first app will be for iOS, with a focus on tablets, Laker said. It’s supposed to be released to the public next month. Later this year, the company wants to build for the television and browsers. The Guide avatar treatment will work for any site with an RSS feed, Laker said.

Laker, who is a former SapientNitro VP, said he expects Guide’s business model to be charging for celebrity avatars and voices. To that end, actor Omar Epps is an adviser to the company.

Because stories are presented within a clickable app where viewers can interact with the original content and ads as they would in a browser, Laker said he believes that publishers will be fine with Guide reinterpreting their content. Laker said he licensed the avatar technology from Sony.

Other startups doing similar things include Qwiki (which started out hyped, but now is very quiet) and an upcoming app called Winston, from a startup called Reactor Labs, that reads social news updates in a British accent.

Guide has raised $1 million from Knight Foundation, Sapient Corporation, MTV founder Bob Pittman, early Google employee Steve Schimmel and others.

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The Power of Seduction in Our Everyday Lives: Chen Lizra at TEDxVancouver

With nearly a decade of experience in the animation industry, working on projects for MTV, TVA, Alliance Atlantis, Mainframe Entertainment and Radical Entertainment, Chen Lizra's intellect, imagination and creative thinking evolved her into a branding expert. In 2009 & 2012 Chen was nominated as one of the "YWCA Women of Distinction in Vancouver," and was recently honored by the Australian government with a Distinguished Talent Permanent Visa for her international achievements in the arts. As the international author of "My Seductive Cuba, a unique travel guide", Chen has won two awards in the US, including the prestigious IPPY Book Award. With a passion for dance and creative movement, Lizra offers students seduction workshops and focused lectures and seminars about the art of seduction in our everyday lives. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Another year has come and gone so it’s time for my year-end photo post (I guess it’s tradition now). Thank you, each and every one of you, for your continued support of Booooooom! I am thankful everyday that this is my job and I hope I can keep doing it for a long time. There are now more than 57,000 of you connected to Booooooom on Twitter, and another 114,000 on Facebook. That is insane. Hello also to the thousands of you that joined the Secret Email Club this year, I’ve really enjoyed putting together those extra little bits of weekly inspiration for your inboxes. Okay, maybe not always weekly but I think less is more when it comes to email.

This was a milestone year for Booooooom, developing a project for MTV, producing videos with artists like The Sheepdogs and Little Scream. Now we’re kicking off the new year working on The First-Ever Booooooom Book which will be published by Chronicle Books! I’ve never made a book before and that’s why I wanna do it. At this point I could keep running Booooooom the same way I have for the past five years with my eyes closed, but where’s the fun in that?

This next year I want to push way beyond what I’ve done so far, beyond what’s comfortable and easy. I want to fully pursue new challenges. Actual challenges – not things I know I can do. I want to explore new ways to engage this community. My interest in art is being eclipsed by my desire to connect with people, and connect those people to other people. I want to have a physical space for Booooooom where I can screen films for free. I want to create an event that combines Art with Bingo. I want to film a series of videos where I build paper airplanes with people while I interview them, and each one ends with us throwing our planes into the air from somewhere really high. I want to build an app, a drawing tool. If you are an artist who can code I want to collaborate with you. There are a million things I want to do and 2013 is the year I tell everyone my lofty goals so I have no choice but to do them before someone else does.

I hope you’ll stick around, it’s gonna be good.

Here are 64 photos by 64 photographers that I came across in 2012. These photos weren’t all produced this year, I just encountered them at some point in the last 12 months. Enjoy.

 

 

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64 photos by 64 photographers

(found in 2012)

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Photographer Mariko Sakaguchi

Mariko Sakaguchi

 

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How is it possible for Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger‘s Jokers to get together? When is The Wolverine opening all across the world? Which two supervillains are about to team up in the Batman comic books? What did Jack Huston have to say about his Guardians of the Galaxy screentest? Want to see some early Iron Man 3 merchandise? Did Batman have bad thoughts when he found out the truth at the end of The Dark Knight Rises? Read about all of this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.

Photographer Marv Thompson (via Movies.com) took two Hot Toys Joker figures and made for an epic photo.

Dennis Haysbert spoke to Superhero Hype about taking over Michael Clarke Duncan‘s role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For:

It’s going to be my character, but I’ve spoken extensively with Frank Miller and Robert (Rodriguez) about what they want with the character and yes, it has to have some feel of what Michael did but I have to make it my own.

Geek Alerts is selling all your favorite characters as the Just-Us-League of Stupid Heroes. Buy them there.

Don’t live in the US but want to know when you’ll see The Wolverine? Here are the international release dates.

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Movie Trailers, Movies Blog

Boardwalk Empire and Not Fade Away star Jack Huston told MTV he screentested for Guardians of the Galaxy and would love to do it.

Superhero Stuff lists their top 15 moments in comic books for 2012.

Cool Steampunk Iron Man image, right? Well click here and you can get it on a t-shirt with light up Arc Reactor. Thanks to Bleeding Cool.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits >>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over TWO pages. Click the link above to continue to the second page of Superhero Bits.

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google nexus lead

Google's campus in Mountain View is a weird place — a sprawling, flat expanse dotted with angular, gray buildings. And lots of colorful bikes. It feels like an island, a place with its own set of rules, and it's easy to feel out of joint if you don't know the handshake. In some ways it's like a corporate realization of Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones... save for, you know, the corporation. It's the kind of place where the uniquely Silicon Valley meshing of childish whimsy and a fervent, quasi-religious work ethic is in full swing. A place where coding ideas and how-tos for relaxation are printed and hung in the men's bathrooms above the urinals. It's charming and bizarre in equal parts.

The last time I had trekked across the...

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In July 2012, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) asked me to compile a playlist of videos directed by photographers for their new online series, MOCAtv. Launched last week, MOCAtv bills itself as the “Global Contemporary Art Channel,” providing a wide range of content related to the arts. Looking to see if photographers’ skills translated into music videos was one of the most enjoyable commissions I have ever had.

My personal interest in music videos is mainly autobiographical. I was a teenager in the 1980s—the heyday of the music video. Videos were crucial to bands’ identity; it was really the only way, apart from photography, that an image was disseminated to the world. MTV was the dominant force, but if you grew up in Britain, it was the quaintly titled BBC show Top of the Pops that was one of the only ways to see them.

Looking back at these videos has evoked amazing memories, but at times, I view some videos with a new perspective and appreciate them now because of who made them and how they look. For example, the mesmerizing Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer was always incredible – but now that I know it was directed by the great British fashion and portrait photographer Terence Donovan, all I can see are the similarities to his later photographs of the 1980s with their strong, almost aggressive, female glamour.  It’s interesting to note where the photographer’s hand is so apparent and successful, and elsewhere, when they lose something of their signature flair by having a moving camera instead of a still shot.

Like many, my introduction to music came via my older brother. Always one step ahead of me, he had very sophisticated taste. My first concert was Souxsie and the Banshees when I was 14. Somehow I managed to persuade him (and more miraculously my parents) that I should go along with him and a gang of heavily hair-sprayed goths. It was not the music that I particularly remember, but the amazing beauty of this particular strand of post punk music. From that moment I was addicted to live concerts and the performance of dressing up.

I knew about New Order due to my brothers liking of Joy Division. I saw them perform that summer and their shortened remix of Blue Monday (1988) is like a backing track to those heady months, which were incredibly hot and renamed by many of my contemporaries as ‘the summer of ale.’ I was 18.

When I was asked to put this playlist together I couldn’t believe that I had never seen the video. I was so delighted that it was done by William Wegman. It is full of lovely references for me. Wegman is an artist who manages to have conceptual credibility and respect in the art world and also make calendars with puppies. I can’t think of any one else who manages such success in both commercial and art worlds with such ease and lack of compromise on either side. His ABC video Alphabet Soup featuring Fay, Batty, Chundo and Crooky is my favorite gift to all new parents; my daughter’s go-to bedtime book is Wegmonolgy and my brother has Weineramas. It’s like all good things in my life are condensed into this one video.

A year after Blue Monday, New Order released Run and asked Robert Frank to direct it. This video combines many different kinds of video techniques into one film. It has both live footage and a narrative. It also uses still photographs many times. Nothing is really explained but it has that coldness, disconnect and mystery which is so crucial to a Frank photograph. The song is not the strongest, but you are held utterly by the video. The ending is pure Frank: it stops on a still photograph where everyone is looking in different directions and the scene is chaotic but happy. In two takes he goes closer in to the black-and-white photograph with a woman clutching a book titled listen to god. About two seconds of existential anxiety almost lost as the song fades out.

Staying in the 1980s is Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, directed by Herb Ritts. This song, which came out in 1989, was reinserted into popular culture when it was used in a scene of Wild at Heart by David Lynch. The video is trademark Ritts. The female body (Helena Christensen) is Amazonian—sexy, strong and very much associated with the 1980s before the AIDS crisis (although of course the AIDS crisis had very much gripped huge swaths of society by this time). It’s crisp, clean and erotic. He shoots from many angles so the body, although always sensuous, can also become abstracted. This photographic technique, which Ritts has become so famous for, was most eloquently played out in a photograph of five of the most famous supermodels gathered together naked (Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood, 1989) their limbs lending graphic strength and dynamism to the composition of the picture.

Die Antwoord, I Fink U Freeky directed by Roger Ballen (2012) practically went viral among photography circles recently. The video starts with “Die Antwoord in Association with Roger Ballen.” This is the first time I have seen musicians and the director on equal footing, especially when the band has a much bigger global presence than the photographer.

Ballen has lived and worked in South Africa for most of his life. His work is a swirling mix of reality, fantasy, documentary and personal investigation. He photographs in the poorest white areas of South Africa, and his work is immediately recognizable for its disturbing almost nihilistic qualities, which are confusing in terms of ethics and morals of representation. This video is like a zooped up, hammy musical journey through his work and is so well suited to the band, who have a trickster element to them. They are the perfect artistic combination.

Another South African photographer, Pieter Hugo, has directed Spoek Mathambo, Control which was originally recorded by Joy Division and has again been introduced to a younger generation through the biopic of Ian Curtis in the film Control by Anton Corbijn (who has also done a large number of music videos). Again this has similar elements to the Ballen video in that reality has been pushed to appear fantastical. Of all the videos selected it is the most ‘photographic,’ and you can really see Hugo’s skill in using backdrops to create scenes. If you were to go through freeze framing it each scene could work beautifully as a photograph. It reminds me of his Nollywood series about the horror film industry in Nigeria. For this he took costumed actors and put them into the street causing a tension between reality, fantasy, horror, staging and theater. This video has all of those elements and similar references to the genre, but was filmed in a township in Cape Town. It’s the best cover of Control I have ever heard, making it absolutely belong here in South Africa and not the North of England.

Music videos act as lightening rods to memories. Headier than photographs they possess the most potent Proustain links to the past. When they are at their very best, like the ones I have mentioned here, they are like stills come to life. Photographers can offer a particular way of looking at the world. When that coincides with a similar musical vision the results can be spectacular.

Susan Bright is a New York-based writer and curator. You can see more of her work here

View more of MOCAtv’s programming on their YouTube channel.

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