Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Recalling the ghosts of Ouija, OK Go's drone dance, 3D-printed tattoos and more in our look at the web this week


1. Party Fails in Western Art History

We’ve all experienced it: being accosted by creepers (or worse, being overcome by boredom) at a get-together, resulting in some cringeworthy scenarios that require plenty of drinks on hand. A hilarious piece from The Toast assures you, however, that this is no new phenomenon. Women have been having terrible times at parties for centuries—as evidenced by these historic Western art paintings, accompanied by editor Mallory Ortberg’s re-imagined conversations. And these poor partygoers didn’t even have cellphones to strategically save them from the death grips of a tyrannical host or earnest party bro.

2. The History of the Ouija Board

In his latest weekly podcast on design, Roman Mars tackles the spooky, eccentric history of the much loved, and often feared, Ouija Board. And while the game itself isn’t as old as some may think, the iconography does date back to the 1800s and three sisters claiming to be mediums by way of talking boards. After the Civil War, many folks sought out their dead loved ones—through communication with the afterlife. This spurned a large-scale production of the boards, which would go on to become staples in pop culture and Halloween parties.

3. Pop Culture on Coins

In his project “Tales You Lose,” artist Andre Levy takes the presidents, queens and other political leaders typically found on coins and transforms them into pop culture icons, with just a little bit of paint. Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man on the Italian euro becomes a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle; a head on a Chinese coin becomes René Magritte’s green apple-covered “The Son of Man.” Levy adds an individual touch to the faces on these mass-produced coins (or what he sees as “sculptures”), ultimately “redefining people’s emotional connection to money.”

4. 3D Printer Tattooing Machine

Combining a 3D printer with a tattoo needle, Parisian design studio
Appropriate Audiences has created possibly the first tattoo printer that works on human skin (RCA grad Jess Fügler presented an automated leather tattoo machine at LDF this year). With the
ability to insert ink by puncturing skin at up to 150 times per second, and adjust to a varied surface, the machine is actually useable and proof of exciting innovations to come within the historic art.


5. SnapJet Smartphone Film Printer

Offering another way to render digital images as physical photos, SnapJet is a new company set to soon hit Kickstarter. Without the need of WiFi, Bluetooth or cables, the impressively small printer simply scans whatever is on your phone’s screen and exposes the instant film (Fujifilm Instax Mini
or Polaroid 300PIF) inside. The resulting image is ejected from the printer, at retina-quality no less.

6. Himalayan Trail Treats from Patagonia

Keeping full in the wilderness isn’t always pretty. Sure, you might luck out and stumble upon some Cloudberries or Chanterelle mushrooms, but more often than not it’s protein bars and freeze-dried astronaut meals. Luckily the folks at Patagonia—known for their sustainable performance apparel—recently expanded their Provisions line of equally earth- and health-conscious foods to include Tsampa soup. Founder Yvon Chouinard first came to love the roasted barley staple on climbing trips to the Himalayas in the ’70s. Packed with flavor and energy, the tasty soup is a time-tested source of sustenance in high altitude locales.

7. Lagos Photo Festival

As the second fastest growing city in Africa, Lagos is teeming with creative energy—especially in the visual arts. The city is home to one of the world’s largest film industries and now Azu Nwagbogu intends to add photography to city’s character with the Lagos Photo Festival. Showing work from local, African and global artists, the exhibit focuses on work in Nigeria and the continent without ever limiting its scope. As Nwagbogu explains, “The idea was to show in Africa, in Lagos, work being done here by amazing talents, regardless of their nationality.” Along with exhibitions the festival coordinated workshops, lectures, screenings and open exhibitions to nurture local talent and interest in the medium.

8. OK Go Does Not Let Us Down

If we’ve learned one thing about music videos over the last few years, it’s that OK Go will never let us down. It’s fitting then that their latest single “I Won’t Let You Down” takes the art of video-making to brand new heights—literally. Done in one single take and shot entirely on a camera rigged to a drone, dozens (if not hundreds) of dancers join the band for a dazzling display of choreography and cinematography that oscillates from mania to majesty.

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily on Twitter and published weekly every Saturday morning.