Ed Hardy, the song

Have previously mentioned the hard club stylings of rapper Glass Popcorn. The man himself was in New York a couple of days ago, performing at MOMA PS1, and an edgy video outfit called CBS News was on the scene to record it. Watch here as Popcorn performs the immortal "Ed Hardy." (Unfortunately you may have to view some propaganda about "our energy future" but media doesn't just pay for itself.)



An image can just be beautiful but it's better if its beautiful and smart. Or even better, smart masquerading as dumb. Brandon Blommaert's animation above (originally from this pop-up exhibition) seduces with a novel combination of organic patterning and sleek geometry; GIFs like this are grist for "art and technology" websites but could also double as high-end corporate design. It has no narrative but simply loops delectably.

The down and dirty remix below by Seamonkey (who found the Blommaert bouncing around Tumblr, per a convo on dump.fm) gives us a story and something to think about. Through the relatively simple intervention of allowing Blommaert's frames to layer and stack rather than disappear from view, Seamonkey transforms an active mesh into a quiescent, banded solid. Where before we had a phrase ("shimmering curvy grid") we now have a sentence ("...turns into a brick"). Blommaert's version rests easily on the eyes, smoothly eliminating traces of itself as it loops; Seamonkey's uses that elegance against itself, cycling repeatedly into an obdurate, less articulated mass. Where the original took pains to hide its own manufacture, the remix confronts us with the mechanics. Let's go out on a limb here and say that the former is design but the latter is art.


Through the addition of contrast and "parts of speech" Seamonkey makes aspects of the original more apparent and palpable. Specifically, the scaly pattern seems more reptilian and the curvy parts more alive for being paired with their inert opposites. (This would be especially noticeable if you encountered the remix by itself on the net and not on the same page with its parent.) One imagines some nanoscale replication of life processes in the laboratory, for example, a slab of vat-grown lizard skin used in the mass production of handbags, or body armor for technologically augmented soldiers being sent into a radioactive zone. Such flights of fancy aren't inspired by the original, which mainly suggests a CAD building being drawn and erased in timelapse. The "algo" [algorithm --ed.] is groovy but without any transition or self-questioning the piece is all algo.

And in case this is getting too serious, there is jello salad.