design, life // Sep 15
A few months ago, I attended California Extreme. Held in Santa Clara on the SF Peninsula, California Extreme is an annual event where hundreds of arcade game machines converge, are set to free play and people stand behind you, waiting for you to die so they can get their chance to play. A Pentecostal convention was taking place at the same time, so that made for entertaining people watching.
I had half a mind to write an entry called “Photoshop Disasters: California Extreme Edition.” It seemed to me, however, that I expected very, um, intense graphics, flashing lights and loud noises on arcade and pinball machines. What was unexpected was the loveliness of the vintage pinball machines.
California Extreme was fun, but exhausting. Fairly quickly, I discovered the pinball machines that remained open were also the most lovely. They seemed to be 1960s machines with simple game mechanics and straightforward themes: baseball, poker, etc. The games themselves were actually kind of boring to play but *gasp*, I loved the color schemes. Here’s a couple of shots of the pinball machines I saw.
Coming up soon is the Pacific Pinball Expo. I’ll be there one of those days, taking silly pictures of the prettiest machines I can find. I only wish I took more photos at California Extreme.
Pacific Pinball Expo
September 23 – September 25, 2011
Marin Civic Center Exhibition Hall
So I put a placeholder page in front of this site because I desperately need a new website and I still haven’t found time to do one. Here are some of the reasons I lack for time.
Rushkoff Site Launch
First up, for the past 6 or 7 months off and on, I’ve been working with Douglas Rushkoff to launch his new website at rushkoff.com. Just the barebones are up right now, but we’re fattening up as we go. There’s a ton of content from the former site that’s still waiting (on me, mostly) to be organized.
When I was a wee thing, I read Doug’s book Coercion and it blew my tiny little mind. I’ve been a fan ever since and so when he put a call out for someone to redesign his website, I hemmed and hawed and eventually brute-forced most of into a new site. Tan tan tan, until you can stand no more.
Core77 Design Awards
Last month two of my thesis projects, Bloom & Simple Memory, won Runner-Up and Notable respectively in the Core77 Design Awards. Here’s the wrap-up on Core77. That didn’t actually require me to do anything except make a video where I waved my arms around and looked at the ceiling a lot, but it was a nice thing to win.
Exploratorium Data Vis Workshop
And the month before that, I participated in a Saturday Data Vis workshop at the Exploratorium in their New Media department. It was a super fun way to spend a Saturday, I met a lot of excellent designers, scientists & researchers and they’ve posted their documentation online.
I also worked on an illustration and 5 spreads of infographics for a travel book, but those aren’t out yet (oh print), so I’ll post when they are. I am now not going to do anything else until I finish (ie., start) redoing my own website.
For all 20 of you* at my thesis talk last year–mostly my extraordinary friends & former coworkers–you might remember the re-enactment of my own horror when I realized one of my data visualizations was invoking the Unix interface in Jurassic Park.
Emailopolis V. 1 from Amy Martin on Vimeo.
Jurassic Park Unix + Silliness. Source: 8 Hollywood Cliches
Why nerds want to crawl around on bar charts I will never know. But we do. And this one–which is kind of hilarious–has nerds literally crawling around on bar charts using kinect. (via Flowing Data)
Source: Budget Climb
And now that I look at these in sequence, why didn’t I put in a horizon?
In a not-really-that-related note, I wanted to link to Josh Nimoy & his team’s work for Tron. Unfortunately the site is down. If it does come back up, check it out. It’s 100% awesome.
* Not to ignore, of course, the illustrious students and faculty of CCA.
So I share studio space with two of my former classmates, Defne Beyce and Kristin Neidlinger, and we have a website! It’s got hot pink and pictures of our studio and other things on our minds. Check out the new Quantum Janky website..
I saw Mike Kuniavsky talk briefly at Adaptive Path a couple of months or so ago. He compared advances in microprocessors (focusing on smaller size and price) to the scope of change enacted by the Industrial Revolution. I’m down with that. I want my Frodo-sword to glow when Orcs are near (thanks twitter-verse for that one). But here’s my main question… if we can look back at the Industrial Revolution, with all of our awesome hindsight and see all the positive and negative (oh, like pollution, child-labor, mass destruction of natural resources) that came out of it, is there anything we can do to prevent this processing revolution from generating similar levels of negative?
As everything is manufactured in China today, oftentimes by children, in unknown conditions, my guess is no.