What You See Is More Than What You Get
This book and accompanying interactive DVD will definately mess up your head. It’s art posing as commerical advertising. The surreal images explode on the videos as well as the printed page and create an unnerving, visceral display. They are incredibly intense, beautiful, haunting, cerebral, stimulating . . . vivid, eerie, intimate, existential, unrivaled, inimitable, disconcerting . . . go and get me the thesaurus, Mildred, I’m running out of words.
Far-out German publishing company Die Gestalten Verlag has created an unprecedented collection of revolutionary multi-media graphic artists. 72 dpi-Anime is a web design exposition, a virtual art fair. In their words:
72 dpi-Anime explores the dynamic world of moving images. Showcasing and analysing the surprising variety and promise of animation in its broadest sense—from traditional camera work via Flash animations to modern source code manipulation—the book displays remarkable variety in more than 150 projects between design and art, experiment and commerce, eccentricity and narration, video clip and web site, San Francisco and Tokyo in picture, text and on DVD 9.
Innovators such as Matt Anderson, Hi-Res and Büro Destruct play with linearity and combine all sorts of media, techniques and disciplines into new formats that previously had found no adequate outlet.
Instead of dry theoretical treatises the print section of 72 dpi-Anime does not focus on the re-narration of scenic incidents, but draws out poignant project details and stylistic features as an introduction and supplement to the videos and applications featured on the DVD, divided into the sections Camera, Vector, Interactive, Linear and Motion Graphics.
72 dpiAnime, in its fusion of progressive approaches, aesthetics and attitudes, is therefore both a comprehensive locator and catalyst for creative processes in motion graphics, internet and analogue design.
Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, they just say it better than I can. The book and interactive DVD are not just for geeks, graphic artists and web designers. This is a coffee table book that goes beyond the pale; it takes the reader to new continents of quality. The sublime reproductions take this beyond an art book and into a new standard of publishing excellence. Made in Europe, the book is printed using Hexachrome technology, a process resulting in rich colors, brilliant tones the likes of which we rarely see. The accompanying DVD will leave you winded.
Using the landscape format of the monitor to display the graphics as well as the text, 72dpi-Anime offers a detailed perspective of creative visions conceived by revolutionary web site designers. International designers from Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, United States, England, Denmark, Canada, Sweden, Australia, Austria and more submitted work done either for commercial clients or individual projects. The book’s graphics enhance and compliment the DVD and can be cross-referenced to the videos.
Project descriptions for both the DVD and book contain information about the creator as well as the presentation. Personal information, company details, development platform and sofware utilized, CV’s, historical background are all included. The project is also available as the book (sans DVD) form 72dpi. Die Gestalten Verlag describes it as a “. . . collection of revolutionary web designs in book form. It can also be seen as an experimental playground for web site designers—who always have to develop new, fresh graphic solutions to transport the most diverse contents. What they come up with is then transported via the WWW and appears in 72 dots per inch resolution (72 dpi) on a computer monitor. This book shows a selection of the most successful solutions from all parts of the world - appropriately in the same landscape format as a monitor. For the first time, nearly perfect colour reproduction of web designs in book format.”
The book contains interesting info bytes about the contributors. Toshi Endo, London, uses flash format for his project “safeplaces”. The description of the project: “digital playground” and the client: “people looking for a safeplace.” [commercial website design company, gcom. projects include www.fabelmusic.com and www.zillwood.co.nz]
Endo on philosophy, inspirations, aims, dreams:
. . . to instill the idea that the internet has more potential than it currently demonstrates. We give the internet conceptual limits and fault to realize its true worth. The internet is like a fancy telephone, a means of communication. There are no rules of what can be said over the phone line, yet we have managed to standardize the way we create websites . . . sigh. Gcom wishes to keep on creating safeplaces within the web. A place where people can escape all the rules and have some fun.
Chris T. Do, Santa Monica, created “Fashion Forward,” a digital presentation included on the interactive DVD. The description of the project: “The sleek, modern aesthetic that informs this sequences a playful reworking of the forms and iconography of the jet-setting 60s. It’s strong graphic bias is given fresh inflection by treating space three-dimensionally. This integration creates a subtle tension that enhances the considerable visual interested already generated by the piece.” Do uses After Effects development platform.
Now, if the above descriptions lead you to believe this is a book reserved for those schooled in graphic art only, I’ve led you astray. This book will blow anyone away. Seriously. The DVD, well, it’s got to be seen to be believed. We had a small party a few weeks ago and played the DVD in the background, testing to see if anyone would notice it. Within about 30 seconds, all conversation stopped. Everyone turned to the TV and stared, mouth open, slackjawed, like trailerpark trash watching championship wrestling on pay-for-view. I’m telling you, I’ve never seen a more stupified bunch.
You protest. “How could a video do that? Is it full of naked people?” you ask. No, no. Let me give you a couple project descriptions.
Love Machine Erik Saks and Michael Goedecke’s project:
Love Machine is a taped, edited version of a 2-hour meditation performance of a subject chanting while sitting in a car under the hypnotic influence of a 1K strobe light that triggers on the pitch of his own voice. The strobe is seated with him in the car that he meditates in. Audio frequencies from each of the words “I love you,” the phrase chanted on screen, were then translated into algorithmic instructions for compositing layers of imagery of water splashes that fuse the imagery of the man in the car.
It’s a 48 minute continuous loop.
Saks and Goedecke also created Dust:
“Dust” is a 27 minute and 30 second video installation composed of a collage of recorded cell phone conversations orchestrated to filmed dust particles. The dust appears to be moving in sync with the voices, creating a hypnotic visual sonic environment. The dust was filmed in a ten foot high field of blue-black space, with swirling particles of dust creating floating whirlpool patterns in front of the viewer.
Tanja Hoffman, a Dusseldorf, Germany designer, created the Interactive Video titled Pixelsymphonie.ak.5
The pixelsymphonie is an audiovisual digital instrument, where you can develop (your) own colours and soundpatterns-compositions. The project is about dealing with basic elements and design, colour, form, motion and sound in the new media. The main topic is the audiovisual perception of digital attraction, the link between loooking and hearing the effect on the user.
A reference guide to the DVD allows viewers to select award winning videos according to type or title. Videos come in many styles ranging from “Linear Storytelling” to “Interactive.” It’s hard to describe precisely what you’ll see. One of my friends remarked, as he watched Pixelsymphonie.AK.5, “It’s like the Matrix on crack.” Many of the videos made me think my mind threw up. Acid flashbacks anyone? And that’s the video portion, the music is a roller coaster ride.
72-dpi website available here and prepare to be astounded. If I can’t convince you, through this review to buy this book and DVD, the online graphics and videos might.
Die Gestalten Verlag publishes the unexpected and the surreal. Their latest offering, the world’s smallest book, a leather-bound volume about the size of match head. I kid you not. Trained as an industrial designer, Robert Klanten founded the small German publishing company seven years ago. Their books, known for shiny vinyl covers, true RGB colors brought about by six-color printing, see-through binders [72dpi-Anime comes in one], all of them amaze and astound. Klanten will “try anything” and I, for one, can’t wait to see what they come up with next.