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kottke.org posts about remix

Colorful DIY Lego Millennium Falcon

a Lego Millennium Falcon made out of all sorts of different color bricks

Using the official instructions and bricks from their own collection, a father & son team built a colorful DIY version of Lego’s massive Millennium Falcon (7541 pieces, $830 MSRP, kitty for scale).

I love this — much better than that dingy gray. I know it’s not quite the same, but the colorful Falcon harkens back to when Lego was more about throwing together whatever kaleidoscopic Franken-creations you could from your pile of bricks instead of completing just-so kits. (via @migurski)

Reply · 6

Bubble Wrap Impressionist Paintings

Bradley Hart creates pointillist paintings by painstakingly injecting acrylic paint into the individual bubbles in bubble wrap. The paint leaks out of the bubbles and onto a canvas backing, which also becomes part of the creative output (which he calls the “impression”). Here’s Hart’s version of Picasso’s Le Rêve, bubble wrap and impression:

A pair of artworks after Picasso's Le Rêve

And here’s Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte:

a bubble wrap version of Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

And the impression:

an impression of the bubble wrap version of Georges Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte

From Hart’s artist’s statement:

The bare bubbles in the bubble wrap reference dots or pixels, echoing various movements in art history and other media, including pointillism, screen-printing, TVs and LCD monitors. In today’s world people do not print their pictures for an album. Their albums are on Facebook, Flickr and Instagram, all exotic rote, yet combinations of 1’s and 0’s. The process of injecting paint into bubble wrap directly references pixilation (and those 1’s and 0’s) and at the same time harkens back to the time of family portrait painting, when a family’s personal “photo” album consisted of paintings hanging on its walls.

It’s such a genius idea to use the backing canvas as a separate artwork — I love that. (via clive thompson)

Reply · 0

The Talking Piano

Ok, this is super freaky: this is a regular analog piano being played by a computer-controlled mechanical machine and it sounds like a person speaking. If you hadn’t seen this before, (it’s from 2009) take a listen:

Deus Cantando is the work of artist Peter Ablinger. He recorded a German school student reciting some text and then composed a tune for the mechanical player to sound like the recitation. I cannot improve upon Jason Noble’s description of the work:

This is not digital manipulation, nor a digitally programmed piano like a Disklavier. This is a normal, acoustic piano, any old piano. The mechanism performing it consists of 88 electronically controlled, mechanical “fingers,” synchronized with superhuman speed and accuracy to replicate the spectral content of a child’s voice. Watching the above-linked video, it may seem that the speech is completely intelligible, but this is partially an illusion. The visual prompt of the words on the screen are an essential cue: take them away, and it becomes much harder to understand the words. But it is still remarkable that the auditory system is able to group discrete notes from a piano into such a close approximation of a continuous human voice, and that Ablinger was able to do this so convincingly using a conventional instrument (albeit, played robotically).

This is so cool, I can’t believe I’d never seen it before. (via @roberthodgin)

Reply · 3

The Lost Mixtape From The Hood Internet

This weekend I was doing some programming work (comments, another small project) and listening to some old-school electronica (DJ-Kicks by Kruder & Dorfmeister anyone?). When I write, I tend to listen to chill stuff so I can concentrate — classical, vaporwave, soundtracks, Jon Hopkins, Sigur Rós, Tycho, Boards of Canada, things like that — but when designing or programming, I need something faster with a beat to spur me onwards.

So anyway, I was about to switch from electronica to something by kottke.org favorites The Hood Internet when I thought to check their website to see if they’d released any new mixtapes. And lo — they had (sorta). The Lost Mixtape is a 45-minute mix of music from circa 2005-2009, discovered on some dusty old hard drive and recently finished up & released for our listening pleasure.

The bit at around 16:00 where they mix Milkshake and So Electric is just superb. You can find streaming options and a downloadable MP3 on their website.

Reply · 14

Total Eclipse of the Heart, Literal Video Version

This video is more than 10 years old, but I hadn’t seen it before: a version of Bonnie Tyler’s music video for Total Eclipse of the Heart where the lyrics describe what we literally see.

Pan the room

Random use of candles, empty bottles, and cloth,

and can you see me through this fan?

Slo-mo dove

Creepy doll, a window, and what looks like a bathrobe.

Then, a dim-lit shot of dangling balls.

Metaphooor?

(via aaron)

Reply · 1

1600-Person Pub Choir Sings Radiohead’s Creep

Pub Choir is an Australia-based organization that gets large crowds singing popular tunes, in three-part harmony no less.

Everybody can sing. Like, not well, but literally. Why should being average at something stop you from doing it!? It hasn’t yet… Singing is good for you, it’s EASY, and Pub Choir is here to show you how.

With a show that is equal parts music, comedy, and beer, Pub Choir is a euphoric sensation that transforms a crowd of tipsy strangers into a legendary choir.

By the end of the show the YOU will be belting out a popular song in three-part harmony.

In the video above, they get a crowd of 1600 people signing Creep by Radiohead. Beautiful.

You can find more of their performances on their YouTube channel, including Tina Turner’s The Best, Africa by Toto, and Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty.

See also Choir! Choir! Choir! and their performances of Sinéad O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U and David Byrne singing David Bowie’s Heroes. (thx, matthew)

Reply · 7

At the Intersection of Eggs and Omelet

a fake Google Maps screenshot showing an 'eggs' road being scrambled up into an interchange and coming out the other side as an 'omelet' road

Always a good day to highlight the creative work of designer/illustrator Christoph Niemann: a collection of map-based work, including a cheeky metaphorical recipe for an omelet. That intersection isn’t actually that outlandish: see A Bonkers Highway Interchange and Crazy Whirlpool Traffic Interchange in Dubai.

Reply · 0

Cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit Sung in Classical Latin

This is so highbrow that it’s looped back around to being lowbrow: a cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit sung in classical Latin.

Sine lúce, angor minus

Oblectáte, nunc híc sumus

Mé sentió aeger, stultus

Oblectáte, nunc híc sumus

Barbarus, albínus, culex et, mea libídó

Hei! Hae, ha ha ha ha!

See also Bardcore: Medieval-Style Covers of Pop Songs. (via open culture)

Reply · 2

Finnish Bluegrass Band Covers AC/DC’s Thunderstruck

This video is 9 years old and has 169 million views so I’m possibly the last person on Earth to see it,1 but I ran across a clip of it on Instagram the other day and just had to share. Steve ‘n’ Seagulls is a country band from Finland that went viral for their covers of classic rock tunes, including AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”:

I love the way this starts off — and it seems to have become somewhat of a bit in subsequent videos. Open Culture has more in a post from August 2014. Kottke.org: only the freshest viral content for you!

See also AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on the bagpipes, ukelele cover of Thunderstruck, and Thunderstruck accompanied by a washing machine. (Does the internet get any better than this?)

  1. The Earth’s present population being, of course, 169,000,001.
Reply · 12

Mr. Bean, to the Tune of Bush’s Glycerine

Ok, this video is targeted at a pretty small audience and is super goofy, but it hit me square in the forehead and so I can’t help but post it here: it’s footage from Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean with Bush’s 1994 alternative rock hit Glycerine playing over it. And yes, there is a change of lyrics at a critical point. 100/100, no notes. (via @jamesjm)

Reply · 3

The Age of Realistic AI-Generated Video Is Here

OpenAI unveiled their prototype video generator called Sora. It does text-to-video and a ton more. Just check out the videos here and here — I literally cannot believe what I’m seeing.

For reference, this is what AI-generated video looked like a year ago. For more context and analysis, check out Marques Brownlee video about Sora:

(via waxy)

Reply · 6

Doom Runs on E. Coli Bacteria Now

Yeah, you heard me: the 1993 video game Doom, which has been ported to every platform imaginable (an Apple Pippin, a jailbroken John Deere tractor, a Peloton), can now run on a display made of phosphorescent E. coli bacteria.

Ramlan’s paper doesn’t go to the enormous trouble of actually encoding all of Doom to run in bacterial DNA, which the author describes as “a behemoth feat that I cannot even imagine approaching.” Instead, the game runs on a standard computer, with isolated E. coli cells in a standard 32x48 microwell grid serving as a crude low-res display.

After shrinking each game frame down to a 32x48 black-and-white bitmap, Ramlan describes a system whereby a display controller uses a well-known chemical repressor-operator pair to induce each individual cell in the grid to either express a fluorescent protein or not. The resulting grid of glowing bacteria (which is only simulated in Ramlan’s project) can technically be considered a display of Doom gameplay, though the lack of even grayscale shading makes the resulting image pretty indecipherable, to be honest.

Technicalities aside, that’s still pretty cool.

Reply · 1

What Would a Car-Optimized Hellscape Look Like in the UK?

Kyle Branchesi has created some fanciful “urban oddities” that imagine different locales in the UK being fully optimized for cars. For instance, here are Buckingham Palace and Westminster:

Buckingham Palace in the midst of a huge parking lot

The Palace of Westminster with massive expressways running through it

Writes Branchesi:

Amidst a political landscape where the ‘war on motorists’ is wielded as a populist tool, this series captures a future where this rhetoric has prevailed. The transformation of UK landmarks like Stonehenge into vast vehicular realms underscores the absurdity and danger of prioritizing short-term political gains over sustainable urban planning. These images mirror the contentious debates in the UK, challenging the narrative that prioritizes car ownership at the expense of public health and environmental sustainability.

Of course, in an America engineered by Robert Moses and his acolytes, many of those images don’t even look that far-fetched.

Reply · 2

Perfect Friday Thing: Emoji Kitchen

Ok, if you haven’t seen this before (or even if you have), I need to warn you that Emoji Kitchen is just a little bit addictive. They’re mashup apps for making new emoji like these:

a variety of emojis created from exisitng emojis

Curiously, the eggplant seems to be missing from both kitchens… 🤔

Update: I switched the Emoji Kitchen link to the proper URL at Google. From Jennifer Daniel:

Sadly, the site you link to about emoji kitchen (.dev) is not mine. This developer has taken my artwork without permission 😐 and worse, hosts a repo so others can steal it too

Here’s more from Daniel about the project.

Reply · 4

The Ferris Bueller Finale With Music From Inception

One of the many reasons that Ferris Bueller’s Day Off works so well as a film is that the music kicks ass *and* it meshes so well with the action. In the heyday of MTV, this was no accident — parts of the movie function almost as elaborate music videos. No scene illustrates this more than when Ferris is hurrying across backyards and through homes to beat his parents & sister back to the house. As good as that scene is, I think Todd Vaziri improved it by re-cutting it to music from Inception. So good!

Reply · 5

The SUPERs

Bert from Sesame Street and Velma from Scooby Doo posed like Superman

Steve Zissou and Pee-wee Herman posed like Superman

a number of familiar characters posed like Superman

a number of familiar characters posed like Superman

Using an iconic Superman pose, artist Mike Mitchell has translated all sorts of familiar characters onto that pose, including C-3PO, Velma from Scooby Doo, Charlie Brown, Ned Flanders, Pee-wee Herman, Bert from Sesame Street, Steve Zissou, and Spongebob Squarepants. Here’s an animation of all them. (via moss & fog)

Reply · 1

Regulate: Warren G × Kenny G

I had no idea this existed: back in 2015, rapper Warren G and saxophonist Kenny G came together to perform Warren G’s Regulate. Now, I’m not sure the smooth jazz saxophone improves the song at all, but I love that some mad genius was like, we need to get the two Gs together and then made it happen.

Reply · 0

Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition

I listened to Ministry of Sound’s The Annual - Millennium Edition on heavy repeat in my mid 20s. What a treat it is to rediscover it on Soundcloud:

It’s an unofficial upload so who knows how long it will last. The three song mix by Judge Jules at the beginning of the first disc is still one of my all-time favorite mixes — I’m dancing in my chair to it right now.

Reply · 0

Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor × Insomnia by Faithless

The Ministry of Sound did a show back in September at the Royal Albert Hall where they re-imagined classic 90s dance music (Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers, etc.) backed by a 50-piece orchestra and vocalists. I found out about this via organist Anna Lapwood’s Instagram, where she posted a clip of her participation in the show: playing Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor as a lead-in to Insomnia by Faithless. I enjoyed the captions but the sound on her video is not great; I found this video on YouTube with much better sound (relevant part starts at the 4:15 mark):

I would love to have seen this live…I’d have lost my mind at this part. Sometimes I think I love remixes, mashups, and covers more than the original versions.

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Dolly Parton’s Cover of Purple Rain

For her new album Rockstar, Dolly Parton has covered a number of “iconic rock anthems”, including Heart of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry), Stairway to Heaven (feat. Lizzo on the flute), I Hate Myself For Loving You (feat. Joan Jett and The Blackhearts), and Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting). She also recorded a lovely rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain, embedded above. The entire Rockstar video playlist is here.

See also Prince’s cover of Radiohead’s Creep. (via anil dash)

Reply · 0

Time Lapse Video of a Massive Lego Build of The Great Wave off Kanagawa

Lego master Jumpei Mitsui spent over 400 hours building a 3D version of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa out of 50,000 Lego bricks — you can watch a time lapse of the construction in the video above. The build was included at an exhibition of Hokusai’s work at the MFA in Boston:

In order to create Hokusai’s Wave in three dimensions, he made a detailed study of rogue waves and their characteristics. He also drew on childhood memories of waves near his family home at Akashi on the Inland Sea.

The video slows down to realtime in spots, so you can see how fast he’s actually building (quite fast). And you can also see the level of trial and error involved as he builds and then un-builds the waves until he’s happy with them. (via the kid should see this)


Our Frasier Remake

Over 130 animators, actors, filmmakers, and even puppeteers joined forces to remake a 1994 episode of the TV show Frasier called My Coffee With Niles. The episode was split into 185 sections, each 6-12 seconds long, and a different animator or filmmaker took charge of each section. Love this…just an incredible array of styles on display here.

You can read more about the project on their Instagram account. (via @spiritduplicator.bsky.social)

Update: Cartoon Brew has an interview with the project leader about how it all came together.


Eminem’s Lose Yourself, the Super Mario Bros Edition

There I Ruined It is fast becoming one of my favorite web delights — musician Dustin Ballard remixes and mashes beloved songs in an attempt to ruin them. The video embedded above features Eminem’s Lose Yourself sung to the tune of the Super Mario Bros theme song…and it makes me laugh every time I watch it.

You can check out more of There I Ruined It on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

P.S. My idea for a song to ruin: the Happy Days theme song, but it just keeps repeating the days of the week (“Sunday Monday happy days / Tuesday Wednesday happy days…”) in a loop, using the Shepard tone to (seemingly) keep the pitch ever-rising.


The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie Cover Depeche Mode

On their current US tour commemorating the 20th anniversaries of their two seminal albums (Give Up and Transatlanticism), The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie have been coming together to perform an encore rendition of Depeche Mode’s Enjoy the Silence. The video above is their version of it from last weekend’s show in New Haven, which I attended and very much enjoyed, but there are several other versions to choose from on YouTube: Boston, Wash DC, Portland, Rhode Island, etc.


The iPhone Alarm as a Piano Ballad

If you expand the default iPhone alarm into a piano ballad, it sounds quiet lovely actually. The sheet music is available here.

See also Steve Reich Is Calling, two iPhones ringing at slightly different tempos.


Disney+ to Air a Real-Time Toy Story Version of an NFL Game

This is pretty clever actually: Disney+ and ESPN+ will air a real-time, Toy Story-ified version of the Oct 1st Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons NFL game. From Deadline:

Using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats and on-field tracking data, every player and play will be presented in “Andy’s Room,” the familiar, brightly colored setting for the Toy Story franchise. The action will be virtually simultaneous with the main game telecast, with most plays recreated after an expected delay in the neighborhood of about 30 seconds. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and many other characters will be visible throughout, and a press release notes they will be “participating from the sidelines and in other non-gameplay elements.” Along with game action, the announcers, graphics, scoreboard, referees’ penalty announcements, celebrations and other parts of the experience will all be rendered in a Toy Story-centric fashion.

I stopped watching the NFL years ago, but I might tune in to see how this works.


Repurposed Retro Tech Portraits by Nick Gentry

portrait of a person's head made out of cassette tapes and VHS tapes

portrait of a twop people's heads made out of cassette tapes and VHS tapes

portrait of a person's head made out of floppy disks

London artist Nick Gentry takes old recording media (VHS tapes, cassette tapes, floppy disks) and turns them into portraits (Instagram). Gentry gets his materials from members of the public:

Made from floppy disks contributed by members of the public. As a social art project, the process is open to everyone. Find out how to recycle and include your obsolete materials in future artworks by getting in touch.

(via colossal)


Very Minimalist Movie Posters

movie poster for Superman featuring a red streak over a blue background

movie poster for Return of the Jedi featuring two colored lines representing light sabers

movie poster for The Hunt for Red October featuring a red circular display that looks like sonar

movie poster for Back to the Future that features two streaks that look like flaming tire tracks

There’s minimalism and then there’s these classic movie posters from Michal Krasnopolski. Each poster is based on a simple grid of a circle, a square, and four intersecting lines. It would be a challenge to come up with a poster for every movie in this style, but the ones he picked work really well. (via moss & fog)


The Most Iconic Hip-Hop Sample of Every Year (1973-2023)

This started off a little slow for me but once it hit the early-to-mid 80s, I was hooked — and bobbing my head uncontrollably throughout. The visualizations really help you see how the various samples were modified, repeated, and layered to achieve the desired sounds — geniuses at work. Man, watching stuff like this makes me want to learn how to do this. (via waxy


Radiohead x Kendrick Lamar

A NYC DJ named Dwells released this mashup of Radiohead’s Everything In Its Right Place and Kendrick Lamar’s N95 back in March and I love it:

You can also find it on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I ran across it when Radiohead shared a snippet of it on TikTok.

FWIW, Dwells seems to be the same DJ Dwells that won the NYC regional of the prestigious DMC DJ competition when he was just 13 years old. (via @jessicabrillhart)