QR Code-Enabled Animated Tattoo

In June, 2011, Paris-based tattoo artist Karl Marc incorporated a QR code into a client’s tattoo, which when scanned revealed an animated version of the rose within the tattoo. Needles and Sins reports that the client, Marco, can change where the QR code points so he can swap new animations in whenever he pleases, and he already has a second animation ready to go.

The session was streamed live on Facebook as part of a promotion with Ballantine’s, allowing viewers to comment live and talk with Karl as he worked.

(Hat tip to Guy Burns.)

Mad TV iPad Parody (2006)

I don’t know if it’s my growing cynicism from continued exposure to Silicon Valley, or if I’m just gadgeted out, but I wasn’t at all excited waking up this morning to hear what Apple was releasing at their event today. When I caught up with the rest of the Internet and read “iPad,” I paused for a moment, then asked someone, “Am I the only one who hears that and thinks of Maxi Pads?”

The response I received came in the form of a Madtv clip that (from what I can tell) dates back to 2006:


(When I pitched this post to Scott, he emailed me back with a tweet from Merci showing I wasn’t alone in my initial impressions.)

This Is My Milwaukee – Come For The Weekend, Stay For Life!

guest post by Jason Schupp

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of alternate reality games—yet—as the almost inevitable product tie-in at the end makes me feel like everyone’s been working to arrive at a commercial, but if they continue making introductory videos like the one for This Is My Milwaukee, I might be swayed. (I might also be swayed if I happen upon a Go.D.S.E.E.D fragment and find myself without my flare gun and rebreather, you know?) The video above from the “Milwaukee Tourism Commission” starts relatively innocuous but keeps getting more and more off-kilter.

Looking into the game proceedings, I was a little amused to find out that last month, a dead drop had been hidden under a table in Café Gratitude in San Francisco’s Inner Sunset, and players were discussing how not to look weird in going about finding it. In a city frequently besieged by Santas, zombies, and other oddities, I wouldn’t think it would be a problem.

See Previously: Artists Toured 10? Headless Chicken Carcass Around Milwaukee

Rare Exports, The Brutal Story of Where Santas Really Come From

guest post by Jason Schupp

Warning: glimpses of nudity here and there, and it’s a bit brutal.

Although the Christmas season is over for this year, I think there’s room for one more Santa origin tale. From Finnish production company Woodpecker Films comes this short film on where Santas come from: “Rare Exports”, who have been delivering real Finnish Father Christmases since 1739. Warning: not for the easily squeamish. I’m never going to look at Santa the same way again.

Two years later, following a particularly bad incident, they had to shoot this reproachful safety film on the handling and care of the Father Christmas during shipping:

Hat tip to my friend Su, who pointed me towards these.

The First EqualityCamp in San Francisco

guest post by Jason Schupp

Shortly after Prop 8 passed in California, a conversation on the Heather Gold Show about its passing prompted Heather and guest Tara Hunt of Citizen Space to gather several others and start organizing EqualityCamp. A one-day event to discuss new ways of gaining support for same-sex marriage, EqualityCamp is using the BarCamp unconference format, with event planning and proposed panels being orchestrated on the BarCamp wiki.

It happens Saturday, January 3rd in San Francisco from 10am-6pm, at Citizen Space, located at 425 2nd Street @ Harrison, 3rd floor. Tickets are $21 ($20 + $.99 processing fee) and limited in number, and are available through Eventbrite. There’s a student/unemployed rate of $6 (including processing fee) as well. An explanation on where that money goes is on the site, which mentions that any funds left over will be donated to an organization decided upon by the attendees.

For more info, the organizers made the video FAQ above about the event.

Complaints Choirs Worldwide

guest post by Jason Schupp

Since 2005, people in cities worldwide have organized to complain through song (rather than Twitter, blogs or talk radio) ever since two Helsinkians plotted to make it happen:

It all got started during a winter day walk of Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen in Helsinki. Perhaps it was due to the coldness of the day that they ended up discussing the possibility of transforming the huge energy people put into complaining into something else. Perhaps not directly into heat – but into something powerful anyway.

In the Finnish vocabulary there is an expression “Valituskuoro”. It means “Complaints Choir” and it is used to describe situations where a lot of people are complaining simultaneously. Kalleinen and Kochta-Kalleinen thought: “Wouldn’t it be fantastic to take this expression literally and organise a real Complaints Choir!”

The first such Complaints Choir was organized in Birmingham, England, and since then, choirs have sprung up in North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Check out the Complaints Choir of Chicago above for a great example, or Singapore’s choir below for acronym overload at the 5:57 mark.

The Elsewhere Public Works Agency Needs Your Help

guest post by Jason Schupp

Recently, I received a strange email from a group calling themselves the Elsewhere Public Works Agency asking me to investigate another outfit known as The Jejune Institute, the website for which invokes a pastiche of 70s pseudo-science and new-agey cultism. Here’s the video from their website, with founder Octavio Coleman, Esq. inviting us to visit the cult— er, Institute:

Good thing it’s not at all real. Some digging around and help from my friend Gwen revealed a connection to the Oakland-based arts and history collective organization Oaklandish, and an older arts group called the Nonchalance Collective that was Oaklandish’s predecessor. A recent post to Oaklandish’s mailing list from Oaklandish founder Jeff “Bobby Peru” Hull repeats some of the same info in the email I received:

: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: ::
Special Transmission from:
Elsewhere Public Works Agency
: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: ::
Slight Nudges Now Offered.
Solely for the Discerning Dilettante.
Be Aware – it could be in the wrong direction.
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::
Is the Jejune Institute still spreading false
nonchalance? Or have they mended their ways?
We need you to find out.
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::
/ // / // Next steps // / // / /
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::
dial: 415.325.4014
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::
The Jejune Institute
580 California Street, Suite 1607
San Francisco, CA.
Tuesday through Saturday
Noon to 5:30pm
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::
: :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : :: : ::

I’ve since been to The Jejune Institute’s office, and went through their short “induction seminar,” which is really the first step in beginning the first chapter of a sort of interactive narrative/alternate reality game. So far it’s involved a bit of urban exploration, clue-finding, exposure to street art downtown, and the beginnings of a larger mystery to solve, and made for a fun afternoon. I’m not sure yet if and how it’ll tie in to the local arts scene or creative history of the Bay Area otherwise, but I really like that this is coming from local artists, and not from a marketing firm promoting a video game, a movie, or some such thing. I’ll be sticking with it for now to see how it plays out, ties in with local culture, and why these folks are putting this together in the first place.

Intrigued thrill-seekers who want to play through can drop in the Institute office at the address above. When you go, tell security that you’re going to Suite 1607, and then tell the receptionist on the 16th floor that you’re there for The Jejune Institute. If you’re going to go, I’d try to go within the next couple of weeks. Given the nature of these games, I can’t say how much longer it’ll be available.

Meanwhile, the Elsewhere Public Works Agency would also like to warn you against microwave harassment.

Evidence of Microwave Harassment

images and video via the Jejune Institute, photo by Michael Van Vleet