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A new phone came out today, and the world took a look and decided that it was enough. When did almost everything become collectable? I’m not talking about cars, baseball cards, and comic books — those are things that any person could collect. I’m talking about phones, and purses, and limited-edition craft beers; the likes on your post and the check-ins. Today, we collect experiences and social interactions like we once collected first issues.

My conscious effort to not touch or turn on my phone dominates vast segments of my day. I always look at the screen, then I look again. Always the same four or five apps. …

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I looked down at the bee writhing on the ground for what seemed like minutes, it was probably more like “a” minute. I don’t know if writhing is even the right word. Do bees feel pain?

The bee was dying, trapped in the space between the half-opened sliding glass doors leading to the balcony of the hotel room. I stepped away for a few minutes to pack, and when I returned to the window I saw it again. Convulsing, nearly dead, curled up, just on the room-side of the metal threshold. …

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Words, I keep looking for the right ones. The best ones. Yes, some words are better than others in certain situations. There are better words, more perfect words, words tailored to a purpose, bespoke phrases. Still, there are no perfect words.

Words often fail me. Trying to describe a perfect moment is the endless pursuit of the writer. Trying to get the right words in at the right time is everyone’s business. Often, I can’t speak the right ones at the right time. Sometimes, I find the better word hours, or days, later. I end up saying them to myself, playing back an alternate history. …

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Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus” by Salvador Dali (1933) — Oil on Canvas

Experiencing Dali’s Dreamscapes in Virtual Reality

The highlights of Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination, a special exhibit currently running at The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, include early concept sketches from Fantasia and Snow White, personal letters, and a giant hologram of a mermaid. Overall the special exhibit is a success, but the most interesting piece on display isn’t by Disney, and it isn’t really by Dali, it is a virtual creation by a design house that sounds like an accounting firm (Goodby, Silverstein, & Partners), brought to life through everyone’s favorite new black box: The Oculus Rift.

Towards the end of the real gallery space, side rooms of personal correspondence and concept art are punctuated by an occasional masterpiece from the museum’s permanent collection, like Still Life Fast Moving. Behind a curtain, visitors can watch a portion of the Disney/Dali collaboration Destino. A collaboration that the two never actually finished, but based on the initial plans and script, Disney animators realized in 2003. …

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For the two plus hours that I was able to recapture some of the wonder of my childhood, I thank you Mr. Abrams. I left the theatre and said to my friend, “I liked it, but it was a little kiddy, at the beginning especially.” I still haven’t ruined Star Wars: The Force Awakens with real spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it, and I’m not going to start here. It is a fun film, a movie that deserves to be seen. It is not the film I would have made, but nobody asked me.

Mr. Abrams and the other film-makers involved did a great job creating a popcorn flick with an engaging story, few films accomplish this seemingly requisite feat. My initial reaction to TFA says more about me than it does about the film. I’m a middle-aged man who, like most other modern-day middle-aged men, loved Star Wars more than any other entertainment from my childhood. I faced the truth that Star Wars was not really just for me the moment I walked out of the theatre and saw the smiling kids lined-up with their parents. The following week, I faced an even harder truth: that my childhood is a distant memory. …

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How do you work? How can you help someone work better?

I love the idea of experts sharing their success stories and lessons learned here on Medium, but what if we could really learn specific steps in workflow from each other? Are there any artists or designers out here in Mediumland who want to write about their process? You could write a response to this post describing your process. You could talk about the steps you took designing a specific product, or, talk about your general process on a type of project.

Here is my process for designing a new header for this post

  1. Define the problem — This post lacks visual content and it is supposed to be targeted at designers and artists. …

Three things a designer should do on every project


Design is problem solving. This is a mantra to designers of all shapes and sizes, from industries as varied as fashion, auto, and housewares. Design solves problems. Great design anticipates problems. Design helps us do something better. Great design facilitates exploration of the unknown, or previously unknowable.

Be an active listener. The designer cannot come up with the best solution to a problem until they fully grasp the issue. If you don’t understand what someone is saying, ask for clarification. The world has enough “Yes” men and women.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Isn’t that what your parents and teachers have been telling you since kindergarten? Why are you still scared to speak up? Odds are if you don’t understand something you aren’t the only confused person in the room. Don’t be afraid of sounding foolish (easily said, hardly done). The uninitiated can become the master given the proper guidance. …

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From Pink Floyd to Flying Lotus, examining the past, present and future of live music visuals

“Anyone who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind’s eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye.”

— Socrates from Plato’s Republic — Allegory of the Cave

Many cite the 2006 Coachella appearance of Daft Punk atop an LED powered pyramid as the moment when electronic music became Pop music in the USA. Today, nearly a decade later, providing a breathtaking visual element is expected from any major act — basic backdrop screen projections no longer suffice. Musicians and DJs tour with massive stage environments, created by an unheralded army of visual artists who create otherworldly experiences for the audience. The best music inherently conjures its own visual imagery through the sound. …

The producer behind The XX delivers the album of the millennium (so far)

The fall of The British Empire was the best thing for British art. Dickens, Shelly, Wilde and many others chronicled the decay. The Beatles and Stones (taking their cues from Muddy Waters, Elvis, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others) transformed the former colonies’ Blues and R’n’B into the Rock’n’Roll that took over the world. In the last three decades British visual artists, led by Damien Hirst and Banksy, produce some of the most culturally critical, provocative, and innovative works the art world has ever seen. British actors own the stage, TV, and cinema. …

From Sly Stone to DJ Premier—how synthetic rhythm transformed music

A revolution in music production ignited when machines began to produce viable sounds. Initially primitive and strange, only early adopters understood how rhythm and beat machines could change the musical landscape. Now we recognize the power of the sampler, the drum machine and the sequencer to sculpt any found sound into a modern symphony. What are the origins of these revolutionary devices?

In 1913, as the clamor of industrialization spread into the far reaches of pastoral society, an Italian painter named Luigi Russolo penned a letter to his friend, the composer Francesco Balilla Pratella. …



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