Friday Inspiration. Pretty Cool People Interviews – Martha Cooper

“It was this shock of the new that led to many a trespassing adventure and a lifelong fascination for graffiti. “One day a young boy said to me: ‘why don’t you photograph graffiti?’ He opened his note book and showed me his drawings. The minute I understood that there was a systematic designing and painting on the wall I became fascinated.”

Submarine Channel, the folks that give you websites like “Forget the Film, Watch the Titles” have a website and a Vimeo channel that is dedicated to interviewing artist, filmographers, designers, illustrators, musicians etc. I try to check it out on a regular basis but time tends to get in the way, so unfortunately I don’t. This morning however, I stopped by and found this great interview with photographer Martha Cooper, the Grande Dame of Hip Hop Documentation who has over the last 30 plus years documented some of the greatest graffiti artist in the world. This short film shows not only her passion for the work, but her deep fascination with the culture, and creativity that goes into so much street art. Even though there were some issues with the way the film is shot and edited for me, the five minute short is worth a watch.

Future Lions 2012: Absolut Inspire. A Better Augmented Experience.

This is one of the best concepts for augmented reality I have seen in quite a while. Rather than using 3 models to create a rather limited experience, Iris Gavric & Daniel Otterbein, students at the Academy of Visual Arts in Frankfurt, Germany, are proposing that you to be more involved.

Gavric, and Otterbein have created a concept film about an app for Absolute Vodka that would allow you the user to paint virtual graffiti on any surface, and share it with your friends on Facebook. As a secondary incentive to download and use the app, they built in a hook where Absolute will create a custom bottle with your artwork on it.

I love the fact that the idea behind this app is asking you to become involved and interact with the augmented surfaces. I love the fact that they have hooked this back into a social network helping to expand the reach of the Absolute brand.

What I wish they had done, was create a way to leave your virtual tags for others. It would have been great if you were scanning the street and it revealed other peoples graffiti and messages. They hint at it in the beginning of the film, but I don’t think it is part of their actual app proposal. I’m not sure at how difficult it would be to implement, since you would have to create unique marker ID’s for thousands of buildings, but it would create an even deeper experience for everyone involved.

Animae Dementia

Street Artists Ro and l’Homme Pendu have been creating a series of paper paste up monsters in Berlin and Paris over the last few months. The works entitled Animae Dementia (roughly “soul madness” or “animal madness”, feature giant mythical creatures that appear in the photos to be preparing to devour their creators as they are being constructed. The images are great, and the photos from the website are pretty impressive, showing not only how they are made, but the scale of many of the final pieces.

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Skateboard + Spray Paint + Swimming Pool = Awesome!

back in the day, when I was younger and didn’t care if I broke my arm (note that I now have a mortgage, and broken arm + designer = not working) I was a pretty hardcore skater. I spent countless hours at the skatepark, on ramps, in abandoned swimming pools, and carving the asphalt around my neighborhood. This is the kind of thing that makes me wish I had kept up with it.

Not only is this a fun as hell video, some of the shots in it are pretty amazing, and the end result is some killer abstract graffiti.

More 3D Graffiti, This Time With Rapid Prototyping.

3D graffiti is nothing new. I have a couple of posts from the last year that show off some interesting examples of 3D graffiti work, and current trends leaning in that direction. What I found interesting in Graffiti Technica’s work was that fact that they openly state on their website

“Graffiti Technica is dedicated to the progression of hardcore electronic art and 3D graffiti. The graffiti designs and lettering on this site are completely digital as I want to explore new ways of creating pieces.”

There is a nod to traditional graffiti artists, and a realization that they can push the medium in a whole new direction by forgoing real world materials and working exclusively in a digital space. I know that this is the kind of thinking that gets a lot of people up in arms, and spawns all those arguments about how that isn’t real, it’s fake, it’s a bastardization of the real art form etc. That isn’t the point of this post. I frankly don’t give a rip about how something is created and displayed. If this guy wants to use software to create graffiti, that’s cool. What he is making is unique and really well executed. More importantly, he has discovered rapid prototyping, which allows him to output his 3D graffiti as a real object, and this is where it gets fun Imagine these works as real sculptures, instead of 3D renderings.

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3D Graffiti.

GML is a new open source piece of software that was developed by Jamie Wilkinson, Evan Roth, Theodore Watson and Chris Sugrue. The software which is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and the iPad imports a .gml file which is created with “Graffiti Analysis”, and then converts it to 3D geometry based on the data. The file is then exported as a .stl file (a common file format compatible with most 3D software packages including Blender, Maya and 3DS Max) which can be printed using a rapid prototyping machine. The software extrudes time in the Z space and pen speed is represented by the thickness of the model at any given point.

Originally created for the Street and Studio exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wein, Evan Roth collaborated with an anonymous Viennese graffiti artist and had the sculpture printed in ABS plastic. Graffiti motion data of these tags were captured on the streets at various points around Vienna. This is a great example of how outsider art manages to take emerging technology like motion tracking, and rapid prototyping and elevate the experience.

A version of Graffiti Analysis 2.0 is available here for Linux, Windows, and OSX . It comes with data files collected from Vienna graffiti artists. The GA 3D software and source code will be available at shortly, and of course there is already an iPhone slash iPad app called DustTag that you can download from the app store.

Click Image For Video.