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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SoundCloud = Innovative Social Network for Musicians

2 comments:

SoundCloud is a social network startup for musicians based in Berlin. Originally from Stockholm, the founders created the site after they have grown "tired of getting emails with YouSentIt links or FTP log-ins just to be able to check out [their] friends latest soon-to-be released tracks."

Just a couple of years ago, when you mention music and social networks, the first site that came to mind is MySpace. Yes, MySpace is a social network and they do put much weight on music and musicians, but MySpace fails to innovate beyond implementing comments + music player, and that is barely social. In this blog post I will go through the many innovations SoundCloud brought to the music scene and explain why I like it so much.

Innovation 1: Time-based comments

SoundCloud Innovation: Time-based Comments / 2009-12-29 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Commenting is the backbone of every social network, but what SoundCloud provides which no one else did was time-based commenting. Each track on SoundCloud is displayed as a waveform, so you can visually see how the music looks like. You can leave a comment to the entire track, but most useful is to get feedback on a specific time segment on the track. Best of all, the UI automatically displays those comments when the playhead hits the time code, which is uber cool.

Innovation 2: Continuous playback of recent tracks from people you follow

SoundCloud Innovation: Continuous playback of recent tracks from people you follow / 2009-12-29 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


A really useful feature on SoundCloud is the ability to play all the tracks from people you follow. Most social networks for musicians tend to treat the musician as a social media object, and if you want to hear what's new, you need to browse the musician's page to hear his/her new songs. SoundCloud, on the other hand, treats each track as a social media object, and places all the tracks on the same page. Best of all, whenever you are on a page with multiple tracks, hitting the play button will play all the tracks on the same page one after another. Want to be forever entertained by great original music? Sign up an account, follow a bunch of people you like and voila!

Innovation 3: Push to other social networks

SoundCloud Innovation: Push to other social networks / 2009-12-29 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


SoundCloud has tight integration with other social networks. It currently supports integration with Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. You can independently customize the message you want to send to push to the different networks, with the option to select whether or not to publish your own tracks and favorites. I push new tracks to Twitter + Facebook but to lower the noise level on my very active Twitter feed, I do not publish favorites to it. The customizable message is sweet as it allows me to hashtag my tweets more easily for data indexing and searching (which I now use extensively on Friendfeed).

Here's an official demo video so you can see this action:

Innovation 4: DropBox

SoundCloud Innovation: DropBox / 2009-12-29 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


One of the most frustrating experience working with musicians and sound designers is sending large audio files back and forth. Do you put it on the FTP? Do you RapidShare? Host your own extranet? Creating custom and secured solutions are often costly, but SoundCloud made it easy with their DropBox. The DropBox enables everybody, even people who are not on SoundCloud, to share their tracks with you. The DropBox supports a versatile range of audio formats: AIFF, WAVE, FLAC, OGG, MP3 and AAC. Best of all, there is no file size limit to your uploads!

The embeddable widgets is written completely in html + css, which means that you can style it anyway you want, but the minimally designed stock widgets in both white and black fits in perfectly on any graphic design you already have.

See this in action:

Conclusion

All in all I have had a very good experience on SoundCloud, and I have been recommending it to all my musician + sound designer friends. While SoundCloud intends to be a tool for musicians, it is also a really great way for music lovers who wish to discover indie music not found any where else. Because of the very active community and group participation, I am grateful to have met many great artists in Brooklyn as well as people around the world who are passionate about symphonic electronca.

If you are on SoundCloud, add me at http://soundcloud.com/seeminglee! :)

SoundCloud on the Web

+ http://soundcloud.com
+ Facebook: http://facebook.com/soundcloud
+ Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=17862154200
+ Flickr: http://flickr.com/soundcloud
+ MySpace: http://myspace.com/soundcloudcom
+ Twitter: http://twitter.com/soundcloud

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Go Creative Commons: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra publishes photo by SML in their 229th Season Catalog

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Happiness is... seeing your photography published inside the season catalog of a world-class symphony orchestra in Germany:

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra: 2009-2010: 229th Season Catalog / 2009-12-22 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Page 66-67:

Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra: 2009-2010: 229th Season Catalog: pp. 66-67 / 2009-12-22 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Original photo published on Flickr in 2006:

Brooklyn Bridge Sunset HDR / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Reprocessed for Gewandhaus in 2008:

Brooklyn Bridge HDR (40087-40092) for gewandhaus / 2006-2008 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

About the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra):

The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; sometimes simply referred to as Gewandhausorchester) is a famous German orchestra based in Leipzig, Germany. It is named after the concert hall in which it is based, the Gewandhaus ("Textiles Hall" - originally, a hall in the building that housed Leipzig's thriving textile trading floor).
Wikipedia


SML Thank You!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / Art in New York City

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Eyebeam (http://eyebeam.org) is the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States. Founded in 1996 and incorporated in 1997, Eyebeam was conceived as a non-profit art and technology center dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre of cultural production. Since its founding, Eyebeam has supported more than 130 fellowships and residencies for artists and creative technologists.


Eyebeam organizes open studios twice a year, and I had the pleasure to visit one of them by invitation of Matthew Borgatti, a designer + technologist I met on Flickr a few weeks before the opening. Here are some highlights from my collection of photographs and video interviews conducted during the show.


Because of this very long post, I have created jump links here:
+1 Sculpture: OMG LOL
+2 Electronics on Canvas: Les Années Lumière by Ayah Bdeir
+3 Fairytale Fashion
+4 Spaceman Lamp by Matthew Borgatti
+5 Deadly Sins (Snowglobes) by Ligorano / Reese
+6 Window Farms by Britta Riley
+7 Collaborative Interactive Video Remix
+8 See also
+9 Related SML Universe



1. Sculpture: OMG LOL (artist unknown. SML RFI?)


Sculpture: OMG LOL / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55420.P1.L1. / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)



2. Electronics on Canvas: Les Années Lumière by Ayah Bdeir



SML 720p HD Simulcast: Current / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

The spokesperson of littleBits, a friend of the artist, talks to See-ming Lee about the sculpture / mixed media painting: a birds eye view of a little over 3 years of violence, strife, and very bright lights rocking Lebanon, remembered and replayed in 45 minutes of proportionally timed light display.


Electronics on Canvas: Les Années Lumière by Ayah Bdeir, 2008 / Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55585.P1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Ayah Bdeir
Les Années Lumière
22 x 30 inches
Electronics on Canvas
produced June 2008
in collaboration with Rouba Khalil



3. Fairytale Fashion


Fairytale Fashion (http://fairytalefashion) is a project created by Diana Eng (LinkedIn / Twitter / dianaeng.com), a fashion designer who works with science and technology. She is the co-founder of the NYC Resistor hacker group, and is popularly known as one of the designers in the Bravo TV series hit Project Runway.


Diana Eng, Fairytale Fashion / Eyebeam Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55465.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Fairytale Fashion uses technology to create a collection of magical clothing in real life, and share their work in weekly research and development web videos. Here are some video interviews shot during the event:


3.1 Fairytale Fashion: Part 1: Overview (Diana Eng)



SML Simulcast: Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

3.2 Fairytale Fashion: Part 2: Projects (Diana Eng)



SML Simulcast: Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

3.3 Fairytale Fashion: Part 3: Public Collaboration (Matthew Borgatti)



SML Simulcast: Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube


4. Spaceman Lamp by Matthew Borgatti


Matthew Borgatti (Facebook / Flickr / Friendfeed / LinkedIn / Twitter / Vimeo / sinbox.org) is a designer + technologist in New York. I met him originally on Flickr when I stumbled upon his Spaceman Lamp (Flickr set).



Matthew Borgatti / Eyebeam Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55532.P1.L1.C23.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)



In the following video, Matthew talks to me about his concept, idea and inspiration behind his Spaceman Lamp project:



SML 720p HD Simulcast: Current / Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube


5. Deadly Sins (Snowglobes) by Ligorano / Reese


Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes), Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55572.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, two artists who have been collaborating on work together for over a decade in New York, chat with me regarding their new collectible sculptures limited-edition series Deadly Sins. The set of snowglobes are available individually, each of which contain one word from the seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride - and represented by a unique color.




SML 720p HD Simulcast: Current / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube


+ http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=633434761

+ http://ligoranoreese.net


Nora Ligorano


Nora Ligorano, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55582.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Marshall Reese


Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55575.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Seven Deadly Sins Snowglobes


Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes), Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55556.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Greed
Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Greed, Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55558.P1.L1.SQ / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Pride
Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Pride, Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55559.P1.L1.SQ / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Lust
Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Lust, Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55561.P1.L1.C45 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Evil
Sculpture: Deadly Sins (Snowglobes): Evil, Pure Products USA, by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55563.P1.L1.C45 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

6. Window Farms by Britta Riley


Window Farms (Flickr / windowfarms.org) are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials.


Window Farms by Britta Riley / Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55550.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

In February 2009, through a residency at Eyebeam, Britta Riley and Rebecca Bray began to build and test the first Window Farms prototype. Growing food inside NY apartments is a challenge, but within reach. The foundational knowledge base is emerging through working with agricultural, architectural and other specialists, collecting sensor data, and reinterpreting hydroponics research conducted by NASA scientists and marijuana farmers. They have been researching and developing hydroponic designs that are inexpensive and made from relatively inexpensive materials. The working prototype is a drip system made from recycled water bottles, holding 25 plants. Beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula, basil, lettuce and kale are thriving.



I had to pleasure of talking to Maya Nayak, who explained to me how it works:




SML Simulcast: Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube


7. Collaborative Interactive Video Remix by (artist unknown - SML RFI!)


Collaborative Interactive Video Remix / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55453-56.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Here's a video of it in action — I can tell you one thing, the kids love it!




See also


+ Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 (Flickr set)




+ Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 (YouTube playlist)

+ Eyebeam Open Studios Fall 2009 (Vimeo album)






Related SML Universe


Related SML
+ SML Pro Blog: Art

Related SML Flickr
+ Collections: Art + Artists
+ Sets: Art
+ Sets: Art (Most Interesting)
+ Tags: Art

Related SML Flickr Galleries
+ Fine Art 1
+ Fine Art 2

Related SML Universe
+ SML Fine Art
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr Group)
+ SML Fine Art (FriendFeed)
+ SML Fine Art (Twitter)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Facebook + Flickr + Vimeo + YouTube: Simulcasting videos on multiple social networks

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I usually simulcast my videos on multiple video social networks: Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube. Many people ask me why I do this, so I thought that I would give give an analysis of these video networks, the pros + cons of posting to them, and the audience that they tend to attract.

Facebook

Video Social Networks: SML Facebook Videos / 2009-11-22 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Facebook is a closed network, so your Facebook friends will see your videos but if you intend your videos to be viewed by people who are not in your network, you are out of luck. While Facebook allow you to share the video with people outside of the network, it will never get indexed by search engines, so you will never get search traffic from it. This is good for personal videos, but for the sake of journalism / photojournalism it is possibly useless unless you have a very large following.

One benefit of posting to Facebook though is the people tagging feature. If your video is about a particular person, tagging them will auto-alert them so you don't have to let them know via emails. Additionally, if you tag the person who is also on Facebook, it will then get posted to that person's wall, which can potentially reach the friends of the person's Facebook friends, reaching an even larger audience.

Further, since your Facebook network is likely composed of people you actually know (compared to your Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube contacts who may likely be people you have never met in person, the likelihood of them checking it out is higher even if the video subject matter does not immediately interest them.

Flickr

Video Social Networks: SML Channel on Flickr / 2009-11-22 / SML Sceenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Most of my videos feature still photography, and since Flickr has traditionally been my social network stronghold (I have 3,000,000+ views on my stream), so it makes sense for me to post to Flickr. I could also link the still photography references in the description area so if someone sees something in the video that video that they would like to use per Creative Commons, they can find the source within the network.

Groups on Flickr are diverse and plentiful. This means that you can post your video to a very targeted audience, often outside of your existing social networks (aka contacts).

One annoying aspect of Flickr videos is that there is no way for you to set a thumbnail, so even if the thumbnail selected by the system is not the a good representation of your video, you are pretty much stuck with it.

There is a video duration posting limit on Flickr. Videos can be up to 1 minute and 30 seconds. If you post videos that are longer than that, they will be 'cropped' automatically. If your video is longer than 1:30, what you can do is post a 90-sec clip teaser / trailer on Flickr and then refer to your video posted on other network. I usually try to keep them all at the same length unless it is impossible to do it in a single go. This limitation has in fact got me to be a better video editor — constraints tend to drive better creativity. Sometimes the videos (mostly interviews) can be broken down into multiple parts anyway, and I post these clips separately. You might get a higher view anyhow as it's a lot to ask someone to sit through a 10-min video, but if someone like your first 1:30 clip, chances are they are more likely to check out the other video parts.

Vimeo

Video Social Networks: SML Channel on Vimeo / 2009-11-22 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Vimeo provides many social features not found on other networks.

You can tag people who appear in the video, but you can also provide credits and set different roles for people who were involved in the production.

On Vimeo, you can reference still photography directly. If you provide your photo URLs, Vimeo will display those photos / stills from the video on the video page. This is helpful in cases where others wish to blog about your video or post to image sharing networks.

I wrote a bash script to facilitate this process more easily: flickr2vimeo (hosted on github). This is how it works: open up a Flickr page in your browser with all the images you wish to include. This may be a set page, photos from tags, whatever. Make a selection of of those photos and then view selection source, copy and paste those HTML in a file and run the script in your shell: it will then dishes out the comma-separated URLs that Vimeo requires. I am sure that there is a more elegant way of doing this, but it works for now. Eventually I would like to allow tag input or URL input so I won't have to do the selection source step - feel free to develop on top of it!

Vimeo requires your content to be original, and prohibits commercial postings, as such, there is a relatively large and active art / filmmaker following. So this is a network that you should definitely post to if you have contents in this area. Like Flickr, Vimeo has a diverse and committed community who participate in groups, and posting your videos to those groups will allow you to reach a larger and targeted audience more easily.

On top of your user page, it is very easy to create your own channels, albums, etc. If your videos are episodic, this is very beneficial as they get clustered nicely without additional navigation.

YouTube

Video Social Networks: SML YouTube / 2009-11-22 / SML Screenshots (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

If you wish to reach the largest audience on the Internet, YouTube is your best bet. YouTube is free and natively support HD content. Vimeo supports HD but you will have to pay extra for HD embedding. The same is true for Flickr.

YouTube is own by Google, so there is a very good chance that it will get indexed by Google servers almost instantly. If your video is time-sensitive, news-worthy or viral in any manner, it has high value as they also show up on Google web search results. Your videos will likely show up on Google video search as well. And while Google Video does index Vimeo and Flickr videos, the Google interface will not play those videos directly from the search results page. So again, if you are doing journalism / photojournalism and intend to reach the largest audience, YouTube is your friend.

One additional aspect regarding YouTube that is often overlooked is YouTube's partnership agreements with multiple mobile devices and consumer electronics. For example, Safari on the iPhone / iPod touch does not support the Flash player, so you can't really see video content on Vimeo, Flickr and Facebook natively. You can sometimes see video on Flickr and Facebook if you use their iPhone app, but on occasion they just won't play. I don't know if there are just kinks on those apps that the developers need to work out, but the YouTube app will play everything. YouTube's iPhone app also plays the highest quality video among others: the Flickr video in the Flickr app is often choppy and leaves much to be desired. YouTube on Apple TV is also top notched. HD videos is so much sexier on the 100" projector!

Monday, November 2, 2009

How to use Gmail filters to maintain sanity with social media

2 comments:
One of the unfortunate side-effects when you belong to many social networks and subscribe to many listserv is the insane amount of emails you get on a daily basis. In this tutorial, I will illustrate how you can track these activities at your own pace and keeping your inbox tidy and maintaining an overall sanity in your very active technologically sound life.

Gmail Filters, in conjunction with Gmail Labels is all you need to achieve this. And is very simple to use as illustrated below:

How to maintain a clutter-free Gmail Inbox / 2009-11-01 / SML Tutorials (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


This example illustrate how to take out those Twitter follow invites from your Inbox while allowing you to review them at your own pace.

1. Start by selecting Create a filter next to the search box.

2. In the Subject: field, enter "is now following you on Twitter!" and press Next Step > to continue.

3. Now choose the action you want to apply. You can do anything you want to it, but this is the common things that I do:

3A. Check Skip the Inbox (Archive it). This ensures that it will not show up in your inbox when it arrives.

3B. Create a new label in the Apply the label dropdown, or select an existing label that you would like to apply.

3C. If you are creating a new label, you might want to Also apply filter to conversations below. I guess I had 5000 follows on Twitter since I started using Gmail. Now *that* would be insane if I didn't use Gmail filters!

Don't be alarm if you think that you will never see them again since you have skip the inbox, they still show up in your filter list, and unread items still show up as bold.

I use Gmail filters for pretty much everything, and auto-archive most of the stuff that goes into my inbox, leaving it clutter-free only with important stuff that I need to get to. Here's a list of examples of where you would want to auto-filter:

How to maintain a clutter-free Gmail Inbox: Examples / 2009-11-01 / SML Tutorials (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


1. Social network activites. I label all of these with a prefix soc: so they are grouped together nicely in the filter list. Aardvark, Facebook, FriendFeed, Flickr, Picasa, Twitter, or whatever. All gone. Best of all and especially for Facebook activities, I usually can just take a quick glance at the list titles to note the things that require actions, then select all and Mark as Read.

2. Listserv. Do you subscribe to a lot of listserv? Anyone of those IxDA list will turn your inbox into a nightmare!

3. Magazine subscription. I enjoy some of the publication alerts like MKQ and WSJ but they get scary very soon. I like keeping these as email items instead of just reading them in list readers so I can search for them later.

4. Google Alerts. Comes in thousands. Good to know when your stuff get blogged etc. This is especially useful if you license your content via Creative Commons.

5. Keywords. Some times come through in multiple places and does not have a particular subject / email address. Use keywords to bundle them up together.

6. Email addresses. Gmail support retrieving other external accounts. So you can use the same strategy to check your other mails, and also apply labels where necessary.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Choichun Leung / 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009: Part 10 of 10 / Art + Artists

7 comments:
Choichun Leung (Facebook / LinkedIn / SML Flickr) is a Chinese American artist living in New York. I met her towards the end of my gallery visits during the 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival in New York this year.

Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54951.P1.L1.SQ.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

When I first saw her paintings I had originally thought that she had a graphic design background because of their calligraphic and typographic nature, but it turns out that she was educated in the UK at Loughborough College in 3D Design with a concentration in Jewelry and Silversmithing. Here's a short video interview where she talks about herself and her work:


SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube


And some photographs of her paintings (detail) shot that same day:

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54927.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54932.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54929.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54933.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

You can check out her portfolio at http://choichun.com.

Biography


http://www.choichun.com/artist.html
Choichun Leung left Wales when she was seventeen to pursue a degree in metal-smithing at Loughborough college of Art and Design in the UK, afterwhich she studied Buddhist iconography in both Beijing and the Yangkung caves in China's Shanxi province. In 1988 she moved to London where she studied under the Ray Man Chinese Orchestra as a percussionist and a student of the Gu-qin - a traditional Chinese bass zither. Leung worked in Hong Kong as a background artist for animation film before returning to London in 1992 where she received a grant and Gold Award from the Prince of Wales' Youth Business Trust for the most innovative new business of the year: a line of symbolic art products using the traditional technique of Chinese paper cutting. With music and the arts always hand in hand, Leung came to New York in 1994 where she began painting seriously, worked as an assistant to artist Peter Max, and studied music composition. From that point forward, Choichun's artwork has been inextricably entwined with her interest in music and have continued to influence each other. As the single mother of a young daughter, Choichun moved to Germany in 2002 to write music, perform and collaborate on an audio/visual project based in Koln. Upon the invitation of a gallery in 2006 she returned to New York. Most recently Choichun has been featured in two solo exhibitions at JLA Baxter House in Manhattan and will take part in a group showing in Hamburg in November 2008. Choichun currently lives in Brooklyn, NYC.

Artist Statement


http://www.choichun.com/artiststatement.html
Our lives are as long as we remember. Our memories are imbedded in us like DNA. But what of lives that through trauma or age have lost memory? What of the interplay of conscious thought and the sub-conscious? Which one really drives the show? My paintings are like rorschach tests in reverse, a psychological diary of that moment in time, an investigation of the relationship between past and present, reality and illusion and in effect a blue print to the past self. Through the symbolisms revealed, and the stories or objects we project into the abstract, we expose another layer of ourselves and in turn provide clues to what may not be fully aware. My paintings are simple traces of that activity, void of any meaning, but imbedded with the years of experience that shapes us, yet also holds us hostage.

Choichun never paints from sketches but instead allows the process and medium dictate. Each application is an expressive gesture evoking the emotion and inner psychology of that moment, a conflicted excavation of what may be hidden or imagined. The script like lines emerge as a non-cognitive language or what she has come to identify as 'glyphs' - a pictographic personal alphabet; where 'glyphs' document the days, weeks and months spent on a piece. The one actual reference that Choichun can identify in her work after the fact springs from her background in music and her fascination with its chaotic notes and interpretive patterns. These can be seen in the work's fine, rhythmic and frenetic lines as well as in the heavier, poured-on, black & white 'mono-glyphs' which overtake the paintings like visual representations of a sound. Choichun paints on both wood panels and canvas, using liquid acrylic, aerosol, oil bars and thread . With sticks, brushes, trowels and vessels: applying the paint and then scratching through the layers to reveal what is underneath, scripting with ‘glyphs’ throughout, painting over, sanding down and repeating this process until an image is revealed or another is hidden.

13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung
Related SML Universe
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr / FriendFeed / Twitter)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Pro Blog: Art
+ SML Vimeo Album: Dumbo Art Festival 2009
+ SML YouTube Playlist: Dumbo Art Festival 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dean Russo / 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009: Part 9 of 10 / Art + Artists

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Dean Russo (Etsy / Facebook / SML Flickr / Twitter) is an American pop-artist based in Brooklyn. I paid his studio a visit during the 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival in NYC in 2009. Here are some photographs and interview videos shot that day.


1. Process + Methodology. Dean Russo chats with See-ming Lee (SML) and Mac Farr (MMF) about the process and methodology in creating his mixed media paintings. The artist also mentioned interesting aspects of how the economy fundamentally changes the way he works.



SML 720 HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

2. Subject Matters. Dean Russo talks about how he picks his subject matters for his mixed media paintings.



SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

3. Source of Inspiration. Dean Russo chats with Mac Farr about where he gets his inspiration — graffiti in Brooklyn apparently!



SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube

4. Artist Toolbox. Touring Dean Russo's artist studio was an interesting experience, as I haven't really met any pop artists in person before. Here we find many interesting tools not commonly found in an artist toolbox: stencils, spray paints, etc. It's quite a wonder to see, but there are also the familiar tools like color pencils and pastels.


Artist Toolbox: Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54892.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Artist Toolbox: Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54862.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Artist Toolbox: Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54869.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


5. Process. Most people like to see the end result, but I prefer seeing the process. I believe that process is an important part, without it you cannot have the result. During our interview, Dean told me about his entire process in creating his mixed media paintings, as long as I don't record it nor write it down. As such, I cannot really write about it either but all I can say is that I find it very interesting — that an artist workflow is not far from that from designers (my primary profession).


Mixed Media Painting Work-in-Progress inside Dean Russo's Studio / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54887.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


6. Dean Russo's mixed media paintings include many iconic public figures, but interestingly also many cats and dogs — many of which are commissioned work. You can purchase his paintings at his Etsy site. Most items are priced around $69 depending on their sizes, which is quite a bargain for original artwork — it's not uncommon to find fine art prints asking for more than that these days so 1/1 editions at that price is a great deal!


Mixed Media Painting by Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54883.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Mixed Media Painting by Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54890.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Mixed Media Painting by Dean Russo / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54881.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung

Related SML Univese
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr / FriendFeed / Twitter)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Pro Blog: Art
+ SML Vimeo Album: Dumbo Art Festival 2009
+ SML YouTube Playlist: Dumbo Art Festival 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Agata Olek / 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009: Part 8 of 10 / Art + Artists

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The highlight of my DUMBO Art Festival tour was meeting Agata Olek (Facebook / Flickr / SML Flickr Set) and her 100% Acrylic Art Guards.

Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54812.P1.C23.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54531.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in Poland and graduated from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland with a degree in cultural studies. In New York, she rediscovered her ability to crochet and since then she has started her crocheted journey/madness.

Here's my video interview with her the day we first met:


SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / Vimeo / YouTube
"I think crochet, the way I create it, is a metaphor for the complexity and interconnectedness of our body and its systems and psychology. The connections are stronger as one fabric as opposed to separate strands, but, if you cut one, the whole thing will fall apart.

Relationships are complex and greatly vary situation to situation. They are developmental journeys of growth, and transformation. Time passes, great distances are surpassed and the fabric which individuals are composed of compiles and unravels simultaneously."

100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54776.P1.L1.SQ / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Olek's work has been presented in galleries from Brooklyn to Istanbul to Venice and Brazil, featured in "The New York Times", "Fiberarts Magazine", "The Village Voice", and "Washington Post" and drags a tail of dance performance sets and costumes too numerous to mention.

100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54773.P1.L1 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Olek received the Ruth Mellon Award for Sculpture, was selected for 2005 residency program at Sculpture Space, 2009 residency in Instituto Sacatar in Brazil, and is a winner of apex art gallery commercial competition. Olek was an artist in an independent collective exhibition, "Waterways," during the 49th Venice Biennale. She was also a featured artist in "Two Continents Beyond," at the 9th International Istanbul Biennale.

100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54798.P1.L1.C23 / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Olek herself however can be found in her Greenpoint studio with a bottle of spiced Polish vodka and a hand rolled cigarette aggressively re-weaving the world as she sees.

The Line Up / 100% Acrylic Art Guards by Agata Olek / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54790.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Check out her portfolio at agataolek.com.

13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung

Related SML Univese
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr / FriendFeed / Twitter)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Pro Blog: Art
+ SML Vimeo Album: Dumbo Art Festival 2009
+ SML YouTube Playlist: Dumbo Art Festival 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

The End of the Trail by Fernando Souto at Smack Mellon / 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009: Part 7 of 10 / Art + Artists

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Also showing at Smack Mellon right now is the series titled The End of the Trail by Fernando Souto. I thought taht it would be odd to photograph someone else's photographs so I decided to do a video of the opening reception instead — you can call this the art + art lovers remix!



SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / YouTube

Exhibition description fetched by SML Bio Bot:

“My parents emigrated from Uruguay to Australia when I was eighteen months old. With my extended family still in Uruguay, I never had the opportunity to really know my relatives, particularly my grandmother, who always seemed to be really old to me. The brief, scrambled, international phone calls throughout my childhood did little for me to understand who I was and where I had come from.

In 2002, my grandmother turned one hundred years old and I got a brief opportunity to spend some time with her. Looking at family photographs and listening to the stories of her childhood inspired me to start this photographic project titled, The End of the Trail. During my stay in Uruguay, I set out to photograph the essence of her stories and to gain a greater understanding of my heritage. My thoughts of ranch life were mostly filled with romantic ideals of freedom and independence. I had no concept of the harsh environment that the ranchers lived and worked in, and how the intense solitude defines them. At that moment, I decided to immerse myself in their day-to-day lives, pulling from these experiences to create a unique perspective of their fading culture.

From my initial trip to Uruguay in 2002, my interest in this project evolved, and I decided to expand into other countries where ranching had a significant presence in the culture and traditional working techniques still existed. Through extensive research I decided upon seven countries that had adapted the original working techniques of the Spanish Conquistadors and established a ranching heritage that spanned centuries. Those countries include Spain, Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Australia.

To date, I have covered cattle ranches in central Australia, Uruguay, Montana, Nevada and Wyoming. My plan is to complete this photographic series, which would include south Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and two additional regions in the United States. I had never intended for this documentary to be a weightless visual record, but an enduring photographic series that is told on the faces of the people that live and work in this unique global culture.”


Fernando Souto currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay in1972, Souto immigrated with his family to Sydney, Australia in 1974. Before studying photography at The Fashion Institute of Technology in 1994, he apprenticed with a Sydney-based photographer specializing in black & white printing. Originally planning on becoming a commercial photographer, he pursued assisting work with location-based portrait photographers throughout the late nineties. In 2002 Souto began his long-term project titled The End of the Trail, a humanistic story of the contemporary cowboy that spans seven countries. This series is shot on film and printed using traditional black and white gelatin papers. In 2008 Souto was chosen to attend the Review Santa Fe and exhibited his work at the Michael Mazzeo Gallery (NYC). Recently Souto was granted an emerging artists award from Photo District News for his work on The End of the Trail.

13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung

Related SML Universe
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr / FriendFeed / Twitter)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Pro Blog: Art
+ SML Vimeo Album: Dumbo Art Festival 2009
+ SML YouTube Playlist: Dumbo Art Festival 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / 13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009: Part 6 of 10 / Art + Artists

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Next we went to Smack Mellon for the artists' reception for two solo exhibitions. The first is Ellen Driscoll's installation FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2.


1. Installation

Installation (Detail) FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54754.P1.L1.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Composed of thousands of discarded plastic bottles collected by Ellen Driscoll, FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 takes a critical look at the environmental and human damage inflicted by the oil and water industries in the last two centuries on regions as diverse as Nigeria and the United States.

Installation (Detail) FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54747.P1.SQ.BW / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)


Artist Statement. “This installation is a continuation of a multi-year series which explores the dynamics of resource harvesting and consumption. This part of the series focuses on oil and water. Rising at 5:30 AM, I harvest #2 plastic bottles from the recycling bags put out for collection on the streets of Brooklyn. For one hour, one day at a time, I immerse myself in the tidal wave of plastic that engulfs us by collecting as many bottles as I can carry. The sculptural installation for Smack Mellon comprises 2600 bottles transformed into a 28 foot landscape. Constructed solely of harvested #2 plastic, the sculpture collapses three centuries into a ghostly translucent visual fugue in which a nineteenth century trestle bridge plays host to an eighteenth century water-powered mill which spills a twenty-first century flood from its structure. The flow contains North American, Middle Eastern, and African landmasses (sites of oil harvesting and their consumer destination) buoyed by a sea of plastic water molecules. The piece looks back to eighteenth century American industry powered by water, and forward to the oil refineries of the Niger Delta, site of prolonged guerilla warfare against oil corporations and the source of over fifty percent of crude oil for the United States—the oil that produces the plastic within which our privatized water is currently bought and sold.”

This installation is so gigantic that it was hard to photograph and examine the detail at the same time, so I created a video fly-through so you can experience the piece to approximate my own experience with the piece:


SML 720p HD Simulcast: Facebook / Flickr / YouTube

2. Drawings

Artist Statement. “The wall drawings in the exhibition are based on a close study of the inner workings of an oil refinery. By using huge shifts of scale between the macro and the micro, they depict a dystopic future based on rampant oil consumption. An oil rig shares the horizon with ocean fires and garbage scows, mega shopping malls are abandoned to spontaneous communities of slums, and a refugee camp is inundated by the waters of a melting glacier. The worlds in the drawings are drained of color, but filled with the flux and spillage of a potentially chaotic future.”

Drawings: FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54765.02.P1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Drawings: FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54767.P1.L1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Drawings: FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 2 by Ellen Driscoll at Smack Mellon / Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009 / 20090926.10D.54765.P1.CC / SML (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)
Ellen Driscoll is a sculptor whose work includes FASTFORWARDFOSSIL: Part 1 at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, Revenant and Phantom Limb for Nippon Ginko, Hiroshima, Japan, The Loophole of Retreat at the Whitney Museum, Phillip Morris, As Above, So Below for Grand Central Terminal (a suite of 20 mosaic and glass images for the tunnels at 45th, 47th, and 48th Streets), Catching the Drift, a restroom for the Smith College Museum of Art, and Wingspun for the International Arrivals Terminal at Raleigh-Durham airport. Ms. Driscoll has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the LEF Foundation, and Anonymous Was a Woman. Her work is included in major public and private collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art. She is a Professor of Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design.

You can check out her portfolio at ellendriscoll.net.

13th Annual DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival NYC 2009
+ 01: Overview
+ 02: Ruza Bagaric
+ 03: Brooklyn Art Project
+ 04: James Cospito
+ 05: J. F. Bautista
+ 06: Ellen Driscoll
+ 07: Fernando Souto
+ 08: Agata Olek
+ 09: Dean Russo
+ 10: Choichun Leung

Related SML Univese
+ SML Fine Art (Flickr / FriendFeed / Twitter)
+ SML Flickr Collections: Art + Artists
+ SML Flickr Sets: Dumbo Arts Center: Art Under the Bridge Festival 2009
+ SML Pro Blog: Art
+ SML Vimeo Album: Dumbo Art Festival 2009
+ SML YouTube Playlist: Dumbo Art Festival 2009