Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

An online art project, a weird LP, and a cheap cell service alternative


Adam Ferris’ “Gush”
I got a bit of a headache when I initially experienced Adam Ferris’ art. The installation—called “Gush”—first asked for access to my computer’s camera. After granting access, a vague outline of my face appeared in hazy colors, the pixels zooming dizzily. Moving my head around, the screen highlighted different features, and clicking altered the moving quality. Today, when I went back to write about Ferriss for this Staff Picks, taking a screen grab of my image resulted in switching from the fast-paced, almost nauseating zoom to a slower, square-based moving image. Ferriss writes his own computer programs, which manipulate the images fed into them in interesting and often beautiful ways. His Tumblr showcases pieces both static and shifting, and his website hosts pieces the viewer gets to participate in, like “Gush.” I’m frequently surprised at how organic Ferriss’ pieces look—there’s something microbial about them. I consistently come away from his art both with a sense of awe and the feeling that my corneas have experienced physical trauma. It’s art like I’ve never seen or experienced before. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

Illustration for article titled An online art project, a weird LP, and a cheap cell service alternative

Ting cellular service
After the recent release of the iPhone 6 and its “plus”-sized big brother, some A.V. Club readers might be looking to upgrade. The trouble is, having the latest iPhone also means paying usurious rates for the major carriers’ data plans. Last year, I got tired of shelling out almost $150 each month to AT&T for the family plan my wife and I shared, and I found a welcome alternative in Ting. A small service provider that operates on the Sprint network, Ting offers a novel-yet-obvious proposition to its customers: You pay for what you use. Instead of confusing its customers with a tangle of plans, binding two-year contracts, and phone “subsidies” that fleece you in the long run, Ting has you buy your phone at full price and simply pay them for your total text/voice/data usage each month. The rates are low. I don’t use a lot of data-heavy apps when I’m off wi-fi, but I don’t consciously hold back, either, and still my total bill, for both my wife and me, averages about $40. There’s a handy calculator on the Ting site to figure out whether you’d see similar returns. The Sprint network isn’t quite as robust as AT&T or Verizon (although it’s still fine), and like I mentioned, you won’t always be able to use the latest phones. Top-of-the-line Android phones can take a few months to be available for use on Ting, and iPhones are reliably one generation behind: The iPhone 5s was only recently certified Ting-friendly. But with an extra $1,000-plus in my pocket each year, I’m content to stand back from the cutting edge. [John Teti]


Goat, Commune
I’ve long been a fan of listening to world music while I work, as I’ve generally found it hard to listen to lyrics in my headphones and come up with witty bon mots at the same time. I’ve spent years plowing through the Éthiopiques series, got down with everything Congotronics, and have torn through just about everything on Awesome Tapes From Africa. But I don’t stick to world music made solely in and for the country it’s from. My latest jam is Commune, the new record from weird Swedish psych band Goat, which blends elements of afrobeat, krautrock, funk, and all sorts of other weird shit into this perfect mélange of far-out tunes. (It doesn’t hurt that the band wears costumes live and in press photos, so listeners never know what they actually look like.) Goat’s other record, World Music, is equally excellent and out there, and should you get a chance to see the band live, absolutely do, as it’s a weirdly transcendent and transcendently weird experience. [Marah Eakin]

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