In this video installation by Phil Collins, young people in Istanbul karaoke to songs by the Smiths. The re-contextualization of the music gives the lyrics a renewed political significance.
Hot Throttle is a new game on Adult Swim from indie game designers Mark Johns (Doomlaser) and Jonathan Soderstrom (Cactus) which features scantily clad men racing around, throwing knives and pretending to be cars.
Note: We mentioned some of Adult Swim's other games by Mark Essen here on the blog a few weeks ago.
Bg_img is a series of monthly PDF publications focussing on the images that form the backgrounds and fill the body tags of websites the world over. Once a staple of the web vernacular and the rhythm section of dirtstyle; the onset and proliferation of Search Engine Optimisation, Content Management Systems, page load times, a growing modernist aesthetic and the professional blogosphere has meant that the background image, when present, is an increasingly subtle and rarefied thing. Far from being a nostalgic endeavour however, Bg_img is an attempt to catalogue and celebrate an aesthetic developed independently from received wisdom of page design and order it into a vocabulary that underpins and defines the grammar of internet ornament.
The background image has been fundamental to the development of a style that is unique to the internet. It is a style of gradients, textures and tiled patterns that sit beneath, assimilate and fight for attention with the text, images and other content layered on top; a style developed by digital amateurs restricted by bandwidth and html skills and accelerated by an attention grabbing sense of the mystic and absurd. Over time its use may have become more refined in order to create the impression of an ever more smooth and precious surface, but ultimately, the purpose of the background image remains as it always was – to decorate and embellish a webpage. They are now and always have been a functionless surface modulation, an ornament.
Bg_img presents these ornaments of the internet in all their monolithic glory. Separated from the nuisance of content, they stand proud and naked before you.
Game designer and artist Mark Essen started producing games for Adult Swim, and boy, are they cool. Take Pipedreamz, which features a hungry ghost who must secretly binge on meat in order to advance to the next level, which involves surfing for condiments like ketchup and relish. Or the comically masculine Turbo Turbo Turbo, where you smash into cars, win bar fights, and drink to gain points. Or Cream Wolf, where you play an ice cream truck driver/werewolf who must collect cones, feed kids and avoid cops. Every so often the game slips into a nighttime world, where the aim is to lure customers back to your lair with dreamy music. The games are a testament to Essen's genius and unique sense of humor, so check them out!
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator