In the digital age of music, Turntablism has long remained a bastion of the analogue, a smoky backroom where arguments over white labels, pick-ups and the merits of the 'S'-shaped tone arm are the order of the day. Only recently has the turntable been dragged into the digital spectrum, beginning with the CD models ten years ago and being followed now by the emergence of hard-drive based decks.
The recent Picasso & His Collection exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA ) of Brisbane, Australia, managed to take the digital deck another step further. A significant part of Pablo Picasso's genius was the posthumous influence he had on modern Europe following his death in 1973, something GoMA's curators were excited to capture in their Contemporary Media Lounge, the centrepiece being the introduction of a touch screen turntable.
Co-ordinated by GoMA's Multimedia Designer, Aidan Robertson and calling on the skills of both the gallery's exhibitions team and post production company Cutting Edge's Interactive Designer, Dan Treichel, the brilliance of the turntables lies in the linking of a platter taken from a Numark HDX deck with an intuitive touchscreen. As the platter spins, the user is able to manipulate a range of adjustable filters onscreen to build, rearrange and reinvent the MP3 songs on the drive. While relatively easy to pick up and play, the turntables also possess a steady learning curve, letting the more committed and ambitious users create works of intimidating aural dexterity.
Thus Robertson, Treichel and their collaborators managed to weave together the practicality of both old and new, keeping the tactile response of the high-torque HDX platter but matching it to the easy access of media and filters provided by a touchscreen. By doing so, they created a compelling experience and in the process made the touchscreen-turntables an unexpected star of the exhibition. By Matt Shea
The only thing worse than being trapped in a sleeping bag, is needing to go to the toilet in one. Well cast those fears aside as the new Selk'bag is here. This sleeping bag is more like a body bag ( not the corpse ones ). It's padded and shaped to the human form and allows free movement both in and out of sleep, where traditional sleeping bags don't.
The various ties and adjustment belts allow for a very snug fit which keeps the warmth in and gives you further control when moving about. Selk'bag is padded with a number of layered inserts which provide maximum comfort when lying on even the hardest surfaces. Best of all , even the ugliest camper can look positively cute once wrapped in the Selk'bag. Snug, Smart, freeing! Now selling online - Lisa Evans
Not so long ago, you didn't even know the sex of your baby until the day of birth. Today, we'll know just about everything there is to know -- especially now that expectant mommies and daddies can gaze upon their progeny with the help of Echographic images 4-D. Apparently, these are the best medical images available. Echographic imagery is not new, but it has not been widely used for this purpose. For the old-fashioned among us, who feel that emailing even ultrasound images of your baby to everyone is intrusive and somewhat disturbing, this is bad idea. And one might wonder if we shouldn't be concerned about interfering with the baby's scarce months of peace and quiet before he/she must face our noisy, over-lit world. Add to this our impulsive need to share every single moment of our rather uninteresting lives with the rest of the universe, this could become rather tiresome. However, once the Genie is out of the lamp, there's no stuffing him back. So, expect to see images and video of unborn babies all over your desktop soon. By Tuija Seipell.
From Berlin Germany, Metrofarm Studio has produced a number of stunning, custom built DJ Desks. Having released a concrete DJ table a couple of years back, the new desks, in folded stainless steel and wood painted black and neon orange demand attention. But they're not just for finely tuned vinyl slingers looking for the perfect ergonomic ratios to heighten their musical flow. They're for anybody with a musical mind and an eye for detail, looking to add spark to a lounge room, club or gallery. It's art for the DJ's sake. By Nick Christie
We don't go to the movies to admire the theatre, but would it kill theatre owners to build even one with an edge? Time and time again, we are disappointed in the new, mega multiplexes that are boring beyond belief in their sameness and recycled ideas. So, we must admit that there is not much to celebrate but are seeing little glimmers of hope and ingenuity once in a while.
One example is the AMC Pacific Place Cinema in Hong Kong refurbished by Hong Kong-based James Law. The entrance areas to the six auditoriums seating 600 in 1.2-meter wide leather seats plus the a VIP theatre for 39 offer some unusual eye candy, but we are still wanting more. If you know of a truly cool movie theatre, please let us know via the contact page on the bottom of the site. By Tuija Seipell.
Here at TCH, we love riding bikes through the city. There's something immensely pleasing about sailing past scores of traffic with little more than a push of a pedal. And at the same time, you're burning the calories, and doing your bit to stay green. But there's one thing we hate about this simple mode of transport. People like nothing more than stealing them, damaging them, or driving buses into them. While your safe at work crunching the numbers, who's looking after your ride home?
Cue the bike dispensing machine. Brought to you courtesy of bikedispenser.com, a small firm from Amsterdam, the idea is to help facilitate bike rentals in urban areas. Cyclists pay a small fee to hire a bike, and then they can take it where they please. Once they've finished, they can return it either to that machine, or another one across town. And because they've been fitted with RFID tags, they won't all have been nicked before you can get one.
Now, if only they can do something about those van driver - By Matt Hussey