Tag Archives: technology

TECHNOLOGY: STREET ARTWORK LITERALLY “PHONY”

An electric utility box along Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, in Los Angeles, has been painted as an old-school public pay telephone. See pic below.

From a distance you might be fooled into thinking you were spying a real pay phone, albeit a questionably larger-than-life-size one. But, of course, it’s fake, a phony — literally a “phony” in the original sense of the word.

The painting is cartoon-like, but accurate in its rendering of the design and details of the phone. The real public pay phones were once common in cities around the United States, but have all but completely disappeared from American life.

The artwork is a cute and clever reminder of how quickly technology has changed and how physically pervasive and visible it can be in our lives.

As by-product of the explosive growth and adoption of cellphones, and later smartphones, over the past two decades is the erasure of pay phones from the urban landscape.

PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE: STENCIL STREET ART ATTEMPTS WRY SOCIAL COMMENTARY ON SMARTPHONE USE

 

We were were recently walking down the street in the Arts District near Downtown Los Angeles (a.k.a., DTLA).

We were upbeat, bright-eyed, walking with a spring in our step, as one might say, practically skipping along the pavement and doing this all while scrolling through the email inbox on our battered iPhone, firmly en-gripped in our right hand. (BTW, we just made up that word “en-gripped,” which we think perfectly captures the idea of holding a phone while walking.)

That’s when we almost didn’t notice the nearly life-size stenciled silhouette of a lean, badly-postured man on the sidewalk ahead of us. See pic above.

This figure was staring down at his smartphone (sure, probably an iPhone, but, you never know, it could be a Droid — you’d be surprised sometimes that there are actually some non-iPhone smartphone users out there — Yes, even in the Arts District! Amazing, we know).

He seemed so engaged with his smartphone that he was missing out on all the stuff going on around him on the street. He was missing out on life, on living, and stuff that didn’t involve touch-screens and apps icons and likes and getting things done and working remotely and sending important work-related messages and viewing urgent texts about deadlines and budgets.

He was missing out on important non-important stuff, like missing out on all the awesome street art all around.

We took a pic of this.

Then we went back to scrolling through the email inbox on our battered iPhone and went on our merry way.

Heyyyyyyyy … It’s Been Awhile

Hey, Everybody! Regular readers of GlobalGraphica (GG) will have noticed that we haven’t posted to this site in a few weeks. And if you sent us an email recently, you probably haven’t heard from us (as it was, we were already way behind on replying to readers’ emails — we suck at responding to email, and apologize for that).

So where have we been?

In mid-June, we got brought onto a cool new commercial project at the last minute for the Japanese car brand Acura. Working with the brand’s ad agency, Mullen Lowe and a couple of production companies, we helped produce the world first-ever live augmented reality (AR) race, as well as some commercial spots for it. You can see the live-event video below or read more about it on CNET or AdWeek or in a bunch of other publications.

The project required a ton of work to pull off and kept us ridiculously busy for the better part of a month. Finally, now that the project is wrapped up, we can catch our breath, relax and get back to our passion that is GG.

 

 

“Skull Phone” Street Art by Spazmat

For years we would see the wheat-pasted artwork of artist Spazmat posted around downtown New York City. His posters were unmissable. His street art was comprised of an iconic image: An illustrated portrait of a skeleton with a cell phone in its bony hand held up to the skull as if talking on the phone. The posters were usually rendered in a stark white on black. Informally dubbed as “Skull Phone,” the image suggested many things, among these the dangers of technology.  We hadn’t seen Spazmat’s artwork in many years until we recently spotted one of his skull phone wheaties on a utility box along Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles. This one was printed in blue and white with a striped design, almost nautical in style and fitting for its location a few meters across the road from the ocean. 

Video … Pepsi Max Bus Stop Billboard in London is Prolly the Best Use of Augmented Reality

So many uses of augmented reality (AR) in media and advertising have been too lame or to gimmicky or both, the novelty having worn off quickly and long ago. This Pesi Max bus stop billboard ad in London, however, is an example of the technology being used in a cool, fun, and effective way, as seen in this short video below. Maybe there’s hope for AR yet.

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The Apple Mac is 30 Years Old

The Apple Macintosh computer turned 30-years old this past week. Apple has produced a website and short video that looks at some famous Mac users and talks with them about their first Macs and how the machines have changed the way they work. Check it.

Mac 30th Anniversary Video from Joseph Cohen on Vimeo.

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Our Mobile HQ

We travel often here at Global Graphica, and even when we’re in New York City we’re often on the move and often carrying several devices with us. Having small, lightweight, portable gear is important, as we need to be prepared to work wherever we are, whether at a cafe in Tokyo, a shared office in Amsterdam, or in an airplane seat at 35,000 feet in the air. Here’s what our mobile set-up looks like at our HQ in the Lower East Side.

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The “Ctrl Alt Del” Project

Israeli artist Yossi Wallner’s viral street art project “Ctrl Alt Del” is one of the coolest projects and cleverer ideas we’ve seen in a while. Wallner has taken the common keys used in laptops and computer keyboards and installed these as buttons on walls, columns, and public infrastructure in his home city of Tel Aviv, in Israel. See photos below.

The re-contextualization of these familiar keyboard components, with their abbreviated function labels (Del, Esc, Wake, Power, etc.), imbue these objects with multiple meanings when in the public space, whether on a telephone pole, next to a security camera, in a leafy park or on a busy street.

What’s more, in these settings the buttons suggest some new kind of functionality whereby we can shape parts of the real world outside by pressing the same keys we use to change the words in an email or re-touch an image in Photoshop. Wallner poses the questions “What if the keyboards that we are buried in blindly all day could change your reality? If you could escape something by a push of an “Esc” button? Delete anything by a flick of a finger?”

The Tel Aviv installations are the first for this project, and Wallner is planning to create a website and a community of collaborators to put up keyboard buttons in cities around the world and submit photos of their installations to his site. We’d love nothing more that to walk down a street in Tokyo or New York a year from now and find one of his “Esc” keys on a wall.

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Yossi Wallner Images. All rights reserved.

Super Awesome “Adhocracy” Design Exhibition at the New Museum

Last weekend Global Graphica  paid a visit to a new design exhibition at the New Museum’s Studio 231. The show is titled “Adhocracy” and we can’t recommend it enough. It’s a fascinating survey of the work of designers, architects, hackers, makers, artists, technologists and programmers around the globe who are redefining design and how things are made and used. These practitioners are working either independently or collaboratively, in academia or within commercial or corporate organizations, and sometimes illegally, as part of a DIY underground of people who fix public infrastructure that local governments neglect. It’s also a look at how sustainability, re-use and recycling, open-source systems, life-hacking and the economics of design are being addressed. Among the highlights is a working 3D body scanner called “Be Your Own Souvenir” that feeds data to a 3D printer to make a resin model of a person, and a short film documenting a group who secretly broke into the Pantheon in Paris at night, where they staged film events, built their own secret members lounge, and fixed the broken clock atop the historic building, which hadn’t chimed in four decades.

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Photo credit: New Museum