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kottke.org posts about remix

Animals, Remixed

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 23, 2023

sheep made from cauliflower

a mouse with a feather for a body

strawberry bird

tomato owl

Photoshop wizard Ingo Lindmeier makes these delightful mashups of animals and objects (fruits, vegetables, technology) which you can find on his Instagram account. Some of them are a little over-the-top, but the conceptually simpler ones are great. (via moss and fog)

Sgt. Pepper’s Tribute to Celebs Who Died in 2022

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 17, 2023

At the end of each year, art director Chris Barker collects celebrities who have died in the past 12 months into a Sgt. Pepper’s album cover collage — here’s 2022’s edition.

a collection of celebrities who died in 2022, arranged like the cover of the Beatles Sgt Peppers album

There doesn’t appear to be a complete listing of everyone pictured, but you can easily pick out Coolio, Gilbert Gottfried, Sidney Poitier, Angela Lansbury, Meatloaf, Nichelle Nichols, Pele, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Twitter.

Fueled by television, advertising, cable TV, and the internet, the post-war era saw an explosion of celebrity in America and the world. The average person today “knows of” so many more people than someone living in 1945 did, probably by a couple orders of magnitude. As Boomers and Gen X continue to age, annual displays like this of well-known people who have died will get larger and larger.

Update: An incomplete key to the image is available here. (via @matsimpsk)

The Original Legend of Zelda as a VR First-Person Shooter

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 12, 2023

This is such a trip to see the familiar original version of Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda being played as a VR first-person shooter. You only get one screen at a time with the top-down 2D view, but in this version, you get as much of the map as you can see - it looks like it stretches off into the distance for miles.

I just went to Wikipedia to look at the release date for Zelda and it came out February 21, 1986. I remember getting Zelda for my birthday that year, which means I somehow waited seven whole months to play that game and, boy was it worth it. I have a Switch now and still fire up the original Zelda sometimes, just to make sure the ol’ reflexes still work. (via digg)

The McDonald’s Macbeth Sandwich

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 22, 2022

I ran across this video this morning on Instagram and I haven’t stopped laughing about it, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s an improv by Ross Bryant from a show called Game Changer in which he makes up a commercial for a new McDonald’s product: the Macbeth sandwich.

It’s perhaps a liiiittle bit of a softball prompt for Bryant, who is a member of The Improvised Shakespeare Company, but to pull it off, he needs to be fluent in both fast food advertising and Shakespeare. The accent, timing, and delivery are perfect — somehow in the space of a minute, he does two or three highbrow/lowbrow shifts and oh, just watch the damn thing. (via rachel lopez)

Genetic Portraits: Split Multi-Generational Portraits of Family Members

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 13, 2022

Genetic Portraits

Genetic Portraits

Genetic Portraits

I’m not going to actually look, but I’ve probably featured Ulric Collette’s series Genetic Portraits here before. Collette photographed family members in the same pose and then digitally stitched them together. The resemblances and differences between family members are fascinating. (via jenni leder)

Update: A similar series by Bobby Neel Adams. (via @geedix)

Update: See also these similar paintings by Daevid Anderson.

The New York City Sub-Culinary Map

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 09, 2022

The New York City Sub-Culinary Map

In the early 2000s, Rick Meyerowitz and Maira Kalman made a version of the NYC subway map where names of all the stations and landmarks were replaced with food. Here’s a detailed view of lower Manhattan and part of Brooklyn:

detail of The New York City Sub-Culinary Map

See also Simon Patterson’s The Great Bear and the City of Women NYC subway map.

The Case of the Missing Scorsese Film

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 01, 2022

Movie poster for Goncharov

In 1973, Martin Scorsese made a film called Goncharov starring Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Gene Hackman, Al Pacino, and Cybill Shepherd. But no one has actually seen it. Because it doesn’t actually exist…a bunch of scamps on Tumblr made it up.

So a few years ago, a Tumblr user posted a photo of some “knockoff boots” they had ordered online that had a very strange tag on the tongue: “The greatest mafia movie ever made. Martin Scorsese presents GONCHAROV. Domenico Proccacci production. A film by Matteo JWHJ0715. About the Naples Mafia.”

This mostly went ignored until 2020, when another Tumblr user reblogged a comment made on the original post, reading: “this idiot hasn’t seen goncharov.” Like the good lord himself and the Guardian’s coffee machine, the internet works in mysterious ways; earlier this month, Tumblr user beelzeebub made a fake poster for the film, tens of thousands of people were suddenly sharing it and lo: a new Scorsese film was born.

You can find the poster here. In a text to his daughter Francesca, Scorsese acknowledged, “Yes. I made that film years ago.” The way movies and memes work these days, it’s a solid chance this gets made in the next two years, as a “remake” with Scorsese executive producing.

Jodorowsky’s Tron

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 01, 2022

imagined film still from Jodorowsky's Tron

imagined film still from Jodorowsky's Tron

imagined film still from Jodorowsky's Tron

imagined film still from Jodorowsky's Tron

imagined film still from Jodorowsky's Tron

Cult avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky famously did not make his ambitious adaptation of Dune but what if he had brought his unique brand of surrealist psychedelia to the screen with a version of Tron in the 70s? Using the AI platform Midjourney, Johnny Darrell imagined what Jodorowsky’s Tron might have looked like. I love these — I would like to see this movie please.

See also Jodorowsky’s Frasier.

Update: Frank Pavich, director of Jodorowsky’s Dune, ruminates on these AI images of Jodorowsky’s Tron.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it all. There seems to be a correlation between how Alejandro’s work was absorbed and referred to by subsequent filmmakers and how his work was ingested and metabolized by computer programming. But these two things are not the same. I want to say that influence is not the same thing as algorithm. But looking at these images, how can I be sure?

It’s hard to find many shortcomings in the software. It can’t render text. And like many painters and sculptors throughout history, it has trouble getting hands right. I’m nitpicking here. The model contains multitudes. It has scanned the collected works of thousands upon thousands of photographers, painters and cinematographers. It has a deep library of styles and a facility with all kinds of image-making techniques at its digital fingertips. The technology is jaw-dropping. And it concerns me greatly.

Delia Derbyshire Demonstrates How Electronic Music Was Made at BBC Radiophonic Workshop

posted by Jason Kottke   May 05, 2022

In this video from 1965, electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, who arranged the original theme music for Doctor Who, demonstrates how electronic music was made at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It’s such a treat watching her construct songs from electronic sound generators and sampled sounds played at different speeds and pitches; you can even see her layering sounds on different tape machines and beat matching, just like DJs would years later.

Amazingly, you can try your hand at layering and looping this music yourself with this Tape Loops demo from the BBC. You can also make Dalek and Cybermen noises with the Ring Modulator, create Gunfire Effects, or use the Wobbulator (my favorite).

See also The Definitive Guide to Doctor Who Theme Music, the trailer for Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, and this incredible proto-techno track Derbyshire made in the 60s. (via @austinkleon)

Contra Chrome

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 21, 2022

Back in 2008, Google commissioned comic artist Scott McCloud to create a comic book to celebrate/explain the launch of their Chrome web browser. Since then, Chrome has become a vital part of Google’s core business, an advertising juggernaut that works by tracking users and their interests across the entire web. To better reflect the reality that “Google’s browser has become a threat to user privacy and the democratic process itself”, comic artist and activist Leah Elliott has cheekily created an updated comic book in the style of the original. She calls it Contra Chrome.

a page from Leah Elliott's comic about the Chrome web browser

a page from Leah Elliott's comic about the Chrome web browser

Severance Intro with The Office Theme Song

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 11, 2022

When you think about TV shows about the workplace, The Office is likely top of mind. So, cutting an intro to new workplace darling Severance to match the visual style of The Office intro with The Office theme song was going to happen eventually…and here it is. Nicely done.

See also The Unskippable Opening Credits for Severance.

Impeccable Digital Recreations of TV Game Show Sets

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 30, 2022

digital recreation of the set of Jeopardy!

digital recreation of the set of The Price Is Right

digital recreation of the set of Match Game

If you, like me, grew up semi-obsessively watching game shows from the 70s and 80s, you will get a big kick out of this. Photographer Steven Rosenow makes incredibly accurate digital renderings of the sets of old game shows like Jeopardy!, The Price Is Right, Wheel of Fortune, Match Game, and Family Feud, which he shares with a Facebook group called Eyes of a Generation. David Friedman shared some of these recreations in his newsletter. Here’s Rosenow’s notes on the Price Is Right set:

This was a fairly difficult set to model in 3D even though I had blueprints of the set to work with, as well as blueprints of CBS Studio 33… Assistance in this project was provided by the current owner of Door No. 2, who bought it from CBS when it was auctioned off.

I might have a new aspiration in life: to be “the current owner of Door No. 2”. (via waxy)

Succession But It’s Arrested Development

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2022

You might have noticed that the two families in Succession and Arrested Development share some similarities — business-focused, rich, dysfunctional, sibling rivalry. Luís Azevedo explored the likeness with this video of scenes from Succession with music & Ron Howard’s voiceover from Arrested Development. So good. Also worth a look: scenes from Arrested Development with the music from Succession.

See also The Simpsons Parody of Succession and The Succession Theme Works Over Any TV Show Title Sequence.

Better Names for Food

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 17, 2022

several foods illustrated with proposed 'better' names for each

Nathan Pyle has come up with some alternate names for everyday foods: wheat wands for breadsticks, leafbucket for salad, fried beans 2.0 for refried beans, guac cartridge for avocado, and breadcocoon meatapillar for corn dogs. Click through for more.

Brilliant Slowed Down 80s Pop Hits by Alvin & the Chipmunks

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 17, 2022

This is an oldie but a goodie: Brian Borcherdt took an album of 80s covers sung by Alvin & the Chipmunks (Walk Like an Egyptian, My Sharona, Always On My Mind) and played them at 16 RPM on a record player. The effect “revealed what was secretly the most important postpunk/goth album ever recorded”.

Every time I hear the version of “You Keep Me Hanging On” on this video I just collapse laughing because it sounds exactly like what would happen if The Afghan Whigs were given the sound of Peter Gabriel’s 1982 SECURITY. That opening! That’s f**king “San Jacinto” right there!

See also the same treatment given to a 1998 album of Chipmunks dance mixes.

Minimalist Wordle Grid Art

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 10, 2022

The Twitter account 5x6 Art is posting extremely abstract versions of notable artworks using the constraint of fitting them into Wordle’s familiar 5x6 pixel grid.

Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring rendered in a 5x6 pixel grid

Banksy's Girl with Balloon rendered in a 5x6 pixel grid

Gentileschi's Judith Beheading Holofernes rendered in a 5x6 pixel grid

Goya's Saturn Devouring His Son rendered in a 5x6 pixel grid

Obviously when you’re reducing artworks down to only 30 pixels of information, some of these are going to work better than others (e.g. Rothko and Mondrian). Still, some of the more detailed ones are just recognizable if you squint.

Did Dua Lipa Plagiarize Levitating?

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 07, 2022

One of the biggest hits of the past two years has been Dua Lipa’s Levitating — this catchy disco-inflected tune didn’t hit #1 in the US but has set quite a few records for Billboard chart longevity (e.g. 41 weeks in the top 10). Lipa, her label, and her co-writers were recently hit with a lawsuit 1
by a band called Artikal Sound System alleging that Levitating was ripped off from their song, Live Your Life. At first glance, Artikal Sound System seems to have a point — take a listen to Levitating and then to Live Your Life.

But! As Adam Neely explains in this video, if you listen to it with an expert ear and with the history of music in mind, their case doesn’t seem so ironclad. For starters, Rosa Parks by Outkast (1998) and Blame It on the Boogie from The Jacksons (1978) contain very similar rhythms.

  1. And just today brings news of a second lawsuit: “songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer allege that Lipa ‘duplicate[d]’ the ‘signature’ opening melody for ‘Levitating’ from their 1979 song ‘Wiggle and a Giggle All Night’ and 1980 song ‘Don Diablo’, performed by Cory Daye and Miguel Bosé respectively.”

Tarantino’s Fan Fiction: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2022

From Kirby Ferguson (Everything is a Remix), a short video essay about how Quentin Tarantino remixed reality in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Quentin Tarantino is well-known for mashing up different movies into his own. The peak of this method is Kill Bill, which is loading with bits taken from other films. Since then, Tarantino seems to have changed — there hasn’t been nearly so much obvious copying in his movies. But actually he’s still doing the same thing. He’s just copying in a different way, and the sources he copies from are less often movies and more often reality.

Alien in 60 Seconds

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 21, 2022

In just one minute and with what seems like a budget of only $60, these folks made their own version of Alien. The effects, they are certainly special. Remember sweded films? (via digg)

“OK Computer but Everything Is My Voice”

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 15, 2022

YouTuber shonkywonkydonkey takes songs and reworks them using only his voice — all the original instruments, vocals, sound effects, etc. are replaced by his vocals. The results are waaay better than you would expect. His magnum opus is probably the entire album of Radiohead’s OK Computer (yes, all 53 minutes, 26 seconds of it):

I am also partial to Everything In Its Right Place:

Hard to Explain by The Strokes is great too:

You can check out the rest of his efforts here. (via @aaroncoleman0)

Titanic with a Cat

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 15, 2022

What if Titanic, but with a cat in a leading role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio? This is pitch-perfect, right down to the post-credits scene.

See also Paddington in Film. (via waxy)

The Seinfeld Theme Mixed With A Hit Song From Every Year Seinfeld Was On TV

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 03, 2022

Seinfeld2000 and kottke.org favorites The Hood Internet teamed up to make this video of the Seinfeld theme song mixed with a song from every year the show was on the air. So: Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, Poison by Bell Biv DeVoe, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine, and Around the World by Daft Punk. Genius. I could not love this anymore than I do.

See also Darth Costanza and How the Seinfeld Theme Song Was Made. (via waxy)

Medieval Versions of Contemporary Corporate Logos

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 01, 2022

I love these medieval versions of familiar logos by Ilya Stallone, available on his Instagram account.

a medieval-style version of the Microsoft Windows logo

a medieval-style version of the Audi logo

a medieval-style version of the Instagram logo

The best ones cleverly translate the central element in the logo into something more temporally appropriate — e.g. the figurative MS windows into actual stained glass, Instagram’s camera into a colorful painting, Audi’s rings into wagon wheels. (via sidebar)

The Vega Brothers from Quentin Tarantino

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 14, 2022

One of the (I would assume) many movie ideas from Quentin Tarantino that never quite got off the ground was a prequel about the Vega brothers starring Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs’ Vic Vega) and John Travolta (Pulp Fiction’s Vincent Vega). In this imagined trailer for The Vega Brothers, Luís Azevedo cleverly uses footage from older films starring Madsen & Travolta that Tarantino synthesized into Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction as well as subsequent movies starring Madsen & Travolta that were in turn influenced by Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction and fashions it into a coherent, fun narrative.

Brik Font: Creating Type with Lego

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 05, 2022

Craig Ward has been creating letterforms using Lego bricks and posting the results to Instagram. The ones I really love are the anti-aliased letters — reminds me of zooming all the way in to do detail work in Photoshop back when I was a web designer.

the word 'ok' made out of Lego bricks

the letter 's' made out of Lego bricks

the letter 'f' made out of Lego bricks

the letter 'a' made out of Lego bricks

There is just something so satisfying about meticulously rendering digital artifacts in a physical medium like Lego.

Redesigned Book Spines by Ootje Oxenaar

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 04, 2022

some book cover spines redrawn by Ootje Oxenaar

some book cover spines redrawn by Ootje Oxenaar

some book cover spines redrawn by Ootje Oxenaar

some book cover spines redrawn by Ootje Oxenaar

Over a period of 50 years, legendary Dutch designer Ootje Oxenaar drew replacement book cover spines for the books in his library. A selection of his spine replacements are collected in a book called Ootje Oxenaar Spines.

Although renowned for his designs for Dutch banknotes and postage stamps, Oxenaar was a prolific designer of book spines. This wasn’t done for commercial publishers, but for books in his own library. When he didn’t care for what he saw poking out from a shelf (or when he needed to procrastinate) he would make his own spine for a book. The result is a fantastic and fantastical mosaic made of tall-and-skinny strips, hand-lettered and drawn with great skill and great whimsy.

Check out Steven Heller’s post at Print for more examples. (via i love typography)

Dreamy & Surreal Imagery by KangHee Kim

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 23, 2021

clouds appear to come out of the top of a gas station canopy

a transparent road sign says 'Hope 1/2 Mile'

clouds in the middle of a lamp

a cloud nestles in a tre branch above a cliff face

Loving these fanciful and playful manipulated photos by KangHee Kim, which can be found on her Instagram or her series Street Errands.

Tiny Soccer Stars

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 01, 2021

a tiny Erling Haaland celebrating a goal

a tiny Lionel Messi celebrating a goal with a normal sized Neymar

a tiny Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring a goal

a tiny Kobe Bryant dunking

I am a little bit obsessed with Phetru’s miniaturized soccer stars (along with the occasional other sports stars or celebrities, like Kobe above or Emma Raducanu) — they’re like bobbleheads come to life. It was tough picking out just 3 or 4 to feature…each successive photo was funnier than the last.

The Library of Misremembered Books

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 01, 2021

book with a cover that reads 'Looking for a Book, It's Red'

book with a cover that reads 'Ice Was in the Title'

book with a cover that reads 'The Book About the Magazine'

In her new book Library of Misremembered Books, Marina Luz creates new book covers from the vague and hilarious ways in which people can’t recall the exact names of books.

Anyone who has worked in a bookstore knows only too well that moment when a customer approaches by saying, “So I don’t remember the title, or the author, but-.” And we’ve all been on the other side of the counter, trying to pinpoint something we can’t quite describe at a bookstore (“It’s a murder mystery, but also quite funny”), or at a video store (“Could be subtitled, but then again, now that I think about it, maybe it wasn’t”), or at a mechanic (“The car is kind of going gu-chunk, gu-chunk; except on hills, when it’s more of a clickety-tickety”). We are usually left not only without an answer, but also with the overwhelming sense that we have lost some small piece of our dignity in the attempt.

See also (via this thread) a list of misremembered titles from the Fukui Prefectural Library in Japan. (via literary hub)

Star Wars Oil Paintings

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 15, 2021

oil painting of Star Wars X-Wing fighters

oil painting of Star Wars X-Wing fighters and the Millennium Falcon

oil painting of Star Wars X-Wing fighters and the Death Star

oil painting of Star Wars X-Wing fighters

Check out these expressive impressionist oil paintings of scenes from Star Wars by Naci Caba. (He also does paintings of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.) Seeing futuristic sci-fi rendered in this medium is giving me a bit of cognitive dissonance.

You can buy prints and even the original oil paintings in his shop or at Etsy. (via digg)