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I have a new addiction. Oh, and it’s so delicious. I just can’t seem to get enough. Each fix is only temporary and leaves me wanting more. But thankfully this addiction is free and doesn’t harm my body in any way. And it’s so simple, you’d never guess: The Moth podcasts. See, I spend a lot of time on trains. And while I am a voracious reader, I had the misfortune of inheriting severe motion sickness from my grandmother. Just like Granny, if I try to read more than a page or two while on a moving vehicle I break out in a cold sweat and feel like I’m about to hurl. So I’m left with hours and hours on trains with nothing to do but to listen to my iPod. Well, recently a dear friend of mine recommended that I download The Moth podcasts. And this dear friend opened me up to a whole new world of awesomeness. The Moth is kind of like a drug. Storytelling crack. Yes, The Moth is storytelling crack. And I urge you to partake. Read more »
Take Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, rearrange the images, insert new captions, and what do you get? Persepolis 2.0, a prime example of transformative storytelling by 2 anonymous Iranian exiles who reimagined Satrapi’s novel in the context of the recent election and protests.
Persepolis 2.0 begins its story on voting day and continues to include the shocking results, the subsequent protests, and the use of Twitter and other social media in the dissension. The story’s final frames depicts a godlike figure cradling Neda Agha-Soltan in his arms as he croons, “Don’t cry Neda. Your death will not be in vain.” The final frame begs the reader to support Iran by forwarding the graphic novel and spreading the word.
This is by no means the first time someone has used the arts to further a political cause, nor is it even the first time someone has reinterpreted Marjane Satrapi’s art, but Persepolis 2.0 is particularly moving in that the remix so eerily resembles the original. In a recent interview with the Guardian, one of 2.0‘s editors says that “the updated cartoon was intended to show how history was repeating itself in Iran.” He continues: Read more »
Part fantasy, part word-play, the fragementary narrative comes alive when read aloud.
This collage novel follows the classic format: images culled from nineteenth century sources, painstakingly rearranged and reassembed into entirely new, seamless tableaux.
This is the first chapter from the novel, complete with Betancourt’s artwork and story. It is a riff on Ernst’s 1926 painting “Two children are menaced by a nightengale,” taking up the story years later from were Ernst left it.
The story chronicles the adventure of Rose, her sister Marcella, the insane landscapes they travel through (including a sea where mothers drown their naughty sons), and the eponymous Nightengale on their way to the Moon.
The sheer lunacy of the tale is accentuated by the strangeness of the images.
The tale features magical mops, flying fish, and mocking sea turtles. And plenty of mind-bending imagery, like the image at left. And yes, that’s a wolf’s head on that little girl’s body, trying to force her way through an elaborate gate (with fire?). Delicious!
In the documentary Before the Music Dies, a bevy of accomplished artists including Ray Charles, Erykah Badu, Elvis Costello, Dave Matthews, and more weigh in on the steadily commercialization of the music industry. I’ve had my eye on the film for a while now, mostly because of this clip:
Just be butt-naked somewhere. Butt-naked somewhere with glitter and a beeper.
Yes it’s ridiculous, and yes it makes Badu seem batty, but what she says rings true. And the rest of the film is just as eye-opening and engrossing. I’m not a music industry-type at all, or even much of a music-y person, but this doc really moved me. Maybe that’s because the core issue isn’t exclusive to the music industry. In a commercial world, how can you a) create art and b) succeed? At what point does the creative work end and the corporation begin?
Amateur animators and procrastinators alike will love DoInk, a free web tool that makes it simple and fun to spend countless hours creating sophisticated animations. Find out more about DoInk, and watch a couple of animations (including an extremely impressive one made by me, ha), after the jump. Read more »
The Free Music Archive (FMA), a project by WFMU that’s based on the idea that free music downloads are a good thing for the music industry, has just launched and is now offering up 5,000 free tracks available for download. Go get ‘em.
In an inspired example of collaborative, cross-media storytelling (or at least of creative marketing), RCRD LBL and Virgin Books have teamed together to release Tim Molloy’s debut novel How to Break Bad News—as well as its soundtrack.
The novel follows a twenty-something news producer as he goes on an undercover assignment at fast-food restaurant. The soundtrack, composed by Molloy’s friend and former roommate Eric Steuer, complements the story, much in the way a soundtrack will complement and heighten emotions in movies, television shows, and video games. Tim says: Read more »
Computer game designer Chris Crawford’s Balance of Power, which took the gaming world by storm in 1985, has been reimagined for today’s geopolitical landscape in Balance of Power: 21st Century. Crawford’s new release is built on the fundamentals of “storyplay,” a unique brand of interactive storytelling that presents players with nearly unlimited opportunities to influence the narrative. Crawford’s company Storytron also provides a system for creating and publishing your own storyworlds. Read more »