19 Feb 2015

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Commons was a project by web-based artist/avatar LaTurbo Avedon, shown at Transmediale 2015. It consists of a virtual environment, in which all the material is sourced from users who contributed documentation of home environments and neighbors to the project. Clips that ranged from 20 to 40 seconds in duration were mapped onto 3D models then piled on top of each other to create what looks like a mountain of debris. During the exhibition, one could download the 3D models, as well as high resolution images of the project. Most pages of the project site are offline, so it’s difficult to know exactly what the experience of it was like, although there are images on Flickr that show people viewing the work on a screen. Since the lack of documentation seems like an intentional aspect of the work (along with the theme of transmediale this year, “Capture All”), it is hard to criticize it on this point. is a site by artist Vince McKelvie that allows users to draw with emoji. When you go to the site, you see a fullscreen grid of emoji, and are prompted to select one. Doing so redirects you to a blank page on which you can draw using the emoji. There is a button to save your work as a .png, and a slider to control the size of the emoji. Pressing any key brings up a semi-transparent overlay of the emoji to choose from. I appreciate the simplicity of this site. The code is all client-side, and the main JavaScript is visible in the source of the website. Already, artists like Yung Jake have used to make elaborate drawings (Yung Jake posts celebrity portraits made with on Instagram). I think the strength of this project lies in its accessibility and the overall popularity of emoji. Drawing with symbols that typically appear in grids and rows is very relaxing.