Face painting is a simple pleasure most of us gave up when we turned 7 — unless we ran off to join the circus. But singer Olga Bell is bringing it back 21st-century style in her new music video, which uses face-tracking algorithms to scan her facial movements while she sings and project interactive patterns back onto her face based on those movements. The effect feels simple and timeless, but also unavoidably futuristic at the same time.
Charles Eames is one of the rare people I can cite as a hero in all three of my careers as a science writer, design blogger, and filmmaker. His classic short film "Powers of Ten: A Rough Sketch for a Proposed Film Dealing with the Powers of Ten and The Relative Size of the Universe" fuses all three disciplines in an animated "long zoom" that goes from a human hand all the way out to the edge of the deep space, and then all the way back in to close-ups of quarks, in one take.
Remember that ridiculously awesome interactive music video for Arcade Fire, "The Wilderness Downtown"? Now the director, Chris Milk, has made a similar music-video-and-more for Danger Mouse's new project, entitled "3 Dreams of Black." It nearly crashed my browser, but it's worth the risk of a system error to see Milk's unique brand of visionary filmmaking.
Bartholomäus Traubeck has created a music video for the band Lux Repeat that takes place entirely in the glitchy landscape of Google Earth. Instead of feeling arid and boring (like minimal electronica can be), the music becomes the perfect in-flight soundtrack to a fantastic voyage over a polygonal twilight world:
Oh, hacked Microsoft Kinect: is there anything you can't do? The latest escalation in the dataviz-enhanced-music-video arms race comes from a band called Moullinex, which used Kinect, Processing, and a few other tricks to create the music video that flickers between sketchy, almost hand-drawn-looking animation and pulsating synthetic patterns.
Just three years after Radiohead used pro-level laser LIDAR scanners to craft a 3-D music video unlike anything seen before, an enterprising hacker has tweaked a Microsoft Kinect to produce a startlingly similar video.