Studio Cult is a space for people who would rather be online, and Yuliya and I would perhaps like to be online most of all. We take it upon ourselves to traverse this vast digital landscape to mine only the most precious gems truly worthy of gracing your screen. Every month, we'll be compiling a list of all the best videos, articles, art, games, and miscellaneous stuff we found online. Welcome to Internet, Explored.
In other words: Shut up Mom! All that time I spent staring at the computer DID amount to something!!! (Just kidding Mother - I know you're reading this and I appreciate you.)
Researching our highly factual horoscope article in order to cast the signs as Windows 95 icons has made me really consider the Graphic User Interface. This article on Tuts Plus is a great breakdown of the evolution of the GUI over the past 40+ years. It's fascinating to see the trends in computer iconography, from the proto-icons of the commercially available GUI (Xero's 1981 "8010 Star") to the familiar "soft and reflective" icons of Windows 7.
If you want to take your icon studies super seriously, then the cleverly titled GUIdebook should be your primary resource. This entire database is dedicated to meticulously cataloging the graphic user interfaces of operating systems and applications. Entries like this timeline of Photoshop splash images are eye-catching, but the icon timelines personally appeal to my spreadsheet kink.
There's nothing more embarrassing then when you're chilling in an abandoned mall, drinking Crystal Pepsi, and complaining about capitalism when your friend confuses the Future Funk groove playing over the waterlogged speakers with a City Pop ballad. 🙄
Thankfully, Vaporwave enthusiast PINKAS has created a comprehensive curriculum explaining the evolution of Vaporwave and its many sub-genres. Obviously, as a fellow Vaporwave expert, you're already intimately familiar with the minute differences between VHS Pop and Late Night Lo-Fi, just like I am. But maybe that friend of yours could learn a thing or two.
On Trend: Face Filter Round Up
This month the personality test face filter was everywhere. It was so popular, that annoying guy with the cardboard sign even complained about it. Well, we thought it was fun. Here are a few of our favorites around the studio:
YouTuber Shesez's Boundary Break series is addictive. Using computer trickery that I assume is akin to magic, he takes the camera anywhere within the virtual world of a video game to reveal secrets, see details, and find new discoveries. For example, did you know that in virtually all first person shooters, your playable character doesn't have a body - you just render as the weapon? I didn't, and now that I do, I don't think I can face my family.
It's fascinating to see the detritus left behind by developers and gain insight into how game development works. I can't stop thinking about his video on Portal 2 because I just finished playing it, but I'd recommend any of the videos on his channel. This compilation of 50 Out of Bound Discoveries from Nintendo Games is a good place to start.
We already posted this insane sculpture to our Instagram by but we can't stop thinking about it. Designers Lars Marcus Vedeler and Theo Zamudio-Tveterås of Skrekkøgle created this real life Solitaire win animation out of more than 1,000 custom foam core backed playing cards. 🤤
ContraPoints (AKA Natalie Wynn) creates long-form philosophical video essays about politics, gender, and race (you know, the good stuff). I don't know about you, but I'm pretty dumb. Hearing someone smarter than me explain the nuances of these complicated subjects is good, but watching a video with a high production value and costume changes is better. ContraPoints always delivers on both. At the end of 2019 she was even named YouTuber of the year by Paper Mag, if those are the kind of credentials you're interested in.
Her first video of 2020 is an inquiry into the internet phenomena of Cancelling. After almost 2 hours of consideration, she determines that it might (?) not (?) be (?) the best (?) practice (?). In-depth as always, ContraPoints offers a thoughtful analysis of the subject. Even if you don't agree with her thesis, this is a fantastic watch.
Meme Mom herself owns one of SPandEX's super sweet CMYK Mini Figures. But, as a life time Bob Ross devotee, I'm drawn to this plastic homage to the master painter himself. The Joy of Painting style canvas backer card places this art toy onto the top shelf, imho.
We're in love with Julian Glander's work, so we were ecstatic when he announced this "short EP composed and calibrated just for Ants. No human listeners please!" Obviously as a non-ant I haven't heard it yet, but I recommended it to some of my ant friends and they confirmed that it slaps.
While you're listening to this incredibly wholesale record that may or may not have made my cry, check out our interview with the ant-oriented composer himself!
Let us know what you enjoyed. If you'd like to suggest something for next month's Internet, Explored, join the Studio Cult Chatroom on Facebook.