The Creators Project, a collaboration between Intel and Vice Magazine, produces behind-the-scenes short films with contemporary artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Calling itself “a global celebration of art and technology,” the three-year-old project offers perhaps the best way to keep up with incredible advances in visual and audio technology in the arts. The project also sponsors new work (from, for example, visual artists Mick Rock and Barney Clay and musicians J. Spaceman and Karen O) and hosts global events and meet-ups.
I personally check in with the project’s YouTube channel on a semi-daily basis, and I never fail to find something captivating, whether an introduction to a new artist or new work from an old favorite (if you prefer Vimeo, they’ve got you covered there too). Most recently I’ve discovered the astonishing work of a performance artist/photographer from Beijing, Li Wei, whose work involves Buster Keaton-style stunts—or, more precisely, Kung Fu-film high-wire action—captured on camera in vertigo-inducing images of impossibility. In the short film above, Li Wei walks us through his process and his philosophy, which begins with the unsettling notion, “We are all controlled by someone else. Our thoughts and actions are controlled by unseen forces.” His work is a high-tech attempt to outwit one of those forces for brief moments, rendered timeless by photography and the magic of Photoshop.
In the video below, a former aerospace engineer for NASA, James Powderly, now occupies strange territory between design and engineering. Inspired by another corporate engineering dropout, Powderley left aerospace engineering for a residency at New York art and technology center Eyebeam to refine his visual aesthetic, which he’s taken all over the world.
Finally, in the short video below, The Creators Project visited MinSuk Cho, founder of futuristic Seoul architecture firm Mass Studies. Cho describes the vision and purpose of Mass Studies over a mind-blowing series of images of architectural designs from worlds you’ve never seen before but (if you’re like me) always hoped existed somewhere.
Josh Jones is a doctoral candidate in English at Fordham University and a co-founder and former managing editor of Guernica / A Magazine of Arts and Politics.