There’s more to tech stock photography than hokey gold bitcoins


A few weeks ago, I was snarky about stock imagery on the internet.

I was looking for photos of “people coding,” and the options were decidedly bad — think word clouds and whiteboards. But how would I go about translating such an ephemeral idea into visual form? Honestly, I had no idea.

Stock imagery has played a significant role in developing the visual language of technology. If you imagine all hackers wear black and hunch over green screens in dark rooms, that’s thanks to film and television to be sure, but also because of the creative images that accompany stories on websites like this one. Read more…

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Rick and Morty’s Surprise Episode Inspired a Petition Aimed at McDonald’s

Adult Swim made April Fools Day great again on Saturday when they pulled a reverse Rick Roll—call it a Sanchez roll—releasing the aggressively anticipated season premiere of hit show Rick and Morty online out of nowhere. 

Fans thought creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon were taunting them when official Rick and Morty social media channels tweeted and Instagrammed the message, “Come watch TV.” It would have been an appropriate punishment for the incessant barrage of nerds constantly asking about Season 3’s premiere date if Adult Swim linked to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Instead they provided an adrenaline-pumping three-hour block of the Season 3 premiere on repeat, revealing the long-awaited mystery of how Rick would escape from galactic prison.

While there was a veritable … Read the rest

Our Smallness and the Cosmic Scale: How Big the Universe Is Relative to Us, Animated

A humbling celestial reflection on what enlarges the minuteness of human life with meaning against the vast backdrop of the universe.

At the end of the nineteenth century, well before women could vote, a team of female astronomers at the Harvard College Observatory known as the Harvard Computers made calculations and discoveries that became the basis for Edwin Hubble’s eponymous law demonstrating that the universe is expanding — one of the most revolutionary scientific breakthroughs in human history.

But this begot the inevitable questions of what the universe is expanding into, how big it really is, and whether it is infinite or finite.

More than half a century after Hubble formulated his law, NASA named an enormous, ambitious telescope after him and launched it … Read the rest

A Sensitive Animated Music Video Tells Women in Abusive Relationships They’re Not Alone

The feeling that things have gone off the rails and cutting off airflow contributes to the concept behind an animated music video that follows the life of a domestic abuse victim. The short film is a music video for the song “Grow” by Frances. With silky colorations and slow panning shots, the piece draws upon the loss of identity and bleak helplessness that can come from suffering mental and emotional abuse from someone you care about and from an individual you had believed cared about you.

Day in and day out, the behind-closed-door influences of the protagonist’s life seem to overtake her presence, smudging her out into an inconsequential state. She waits at the bus stop, goes to the market completely unseen under the gaze … Read the rest

Stop What You’re Doing and Let This Little Clay Person Overwhelm You with Feelings

No one on the internet is sure how to react to Hi Stranger, a scary-soothing short film by Kirsten Lepore that somehow blends nudity, innocence, ASMRleeriness, and positive affirmation into a single hairless, genderless, polymer clay fellow with no name. Throughout the film, the character, voiced by previous Lepore collaborator Garrett Davis, speaks lovingly and intimately directly into the camera. If you imagine the stranger as a friend, confidant, or lover, it comes off as soothing, but otherwise can feel intrusive and assuming—an ambiguity the LA-based CalArts alum seems to delight in.

Hi Stranger was produced for an anthology of work by animation collective Late Night Working Club, on the theme of “Strangers.” It recently premiered to the … Read the rest

This Animated Music Video Feels Like Watching an Edgar Allen Poe Poem

A haunting animation of expressionist illustrations fill out the somber sound of American ambient recording artist, Eluvium, a.k.a., Matthew Cooper. The new music video for his single, “Regenerative Being,” is a seven-minute display of morbid looping vignettes directed and illustrated by Ukrainian animator and comic book artist Stas Santimov. Together, Cooper and Santimov fleshed out a concept for a video wherein a curious man finds himself in a strange place where everything is pre-planned for him by someone awaiting his arrival. Santimov tells Creators that the music video, like many of his previous animated comics, explores “strange people’s behaviors” through a linear narrative that consists mainly of looped scenes.

The story began to take on a more specific shape when Santimov … Read the rest

Meriem Bennani’s Surreal Life

In this episode of Like Art, Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani takes us on one of her inspiration walks in New York City. Bennani creates short, absurdist videos based on appropriated and manipulated footage, which playfully undermine our assumptions about reality. She is also known for creating Fardaous Funjab, avant-garde hijab designer, a character who challenges Western views on Islamic culture. Bennani introduces host Oz Woloshyn to her world, revealing the way pleasure and humor inspire her work.… Read the rest

Dancer Takes Zero-Gravity Flight to Create 3D Dance Performance

Dance, like almost everything in life, is possible precisely because of gravity. French artists Paul Marlier and Jeanne Morel, however, wondered what would happen to a dancer in the weightless space created during a zero-gravity flight. With the help of the French space agency CNES, Marlier and Morel’s Vulpes Vulpes studio went up in Novespace’s parabolic flight, Air Zero G, above French territory. The plan was to, as Morel tells Creators, materialize a dance while weightless. Then, the pair added another dimension to the multimedia dance project, appropriately titled _Synesthesia, by using a Microsoft Kinect and Fastmocap software to create what is essentially an animated 3D sculpture of Morel’s dancing across time and space.

“I wondered about the imprint left by dance and … Read the rest

[NSFW] In the Future, Humans Mate with Jellyfish and It’s Hard to Describe What Happens Next (Without Vomiting)

The cost of immortality is a tendency toward brutal sex á la the Japanese tradition of Guro in French animator Jeanne Boukraa’s newly-released animation, With Joy and Merriness. In fact, all everyday activities have devolved into depravity and violence, from Mom chopping vegetables and kids playing jump rope to some of the most savage bedroom scenes we’ve seen since the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The film’s premise is that humanity spliced our genes with those of an undying jellyfish. Once we couldn’t die, we became completely desensitized to the value of human life. Boukraa bills the film as an “experimental documentary where we observe, through every day scenes, the degeneration of a society where the rise of technology leeds the population … Read the rest

8-Minute Video Boils Down the Essence of Animation Legend Ralph Bakshi

Few animators have busted down as many doors for indie animation as Ralph Bakshi. In 1968 he left a position in Paramount’s animation department to found Bakshi Productions, and has pumped out gritty, rude, and iconic films ever since. The average viewer will likely remember his take on The Lord of the Rings, but a new video essay from The Royal Ocean Film Society unpacks the rough bounty of his entire filmography, asking the question, “What’s the essence of a Ralph Bakshi film?”

Through a series of vignettes and mashups, narrator Andy Saladino ties together the sights and sounds that appear in all of Bakshi’s films. Stories about troubled creatives in even more troubled cities line up with tales of fantastical barbarians or … Read the rest