So, it was our birthday last week, and let’s just say: there is no better way to recover from an extended weekend of birthday festivities than by spending a day checking out all the awesome, newly launched projects. Check out some of our favorites, below, then make sure to head on over to the Discover Projects page for more. You know you want to!
I’m a sucker for thoughtful music projects. And musicians in matching T-shirts. And magically appearing tater-tots (4:35). This seven-piece brass band hails from New Orleans and has a wicked sound and a wonderfully unpronounceable name (lagniappe means “a little something extra” in French). Their video gives you a taste of the live concerts you wish you were at right now, a little background about the band members, and some charming outtakes. Made with love, pure and simple. — Daniella J.
These affable architects can and will do push ups for cash. That’s an inside joke between Design Workshop and me, but you can avoid outsider nerdbot status if you watch this vid. A group of Parsons graduate architecture students who design and build voluntarily for non-profits, Design Workshop has teamed up with NYC Parks & Rec and the City Parks Foundation to create Splash House — a new changing and storage facility for Washington Heights’ Highbridge Park Pool. To accommodate the bathing masses, the pool’s indoor recreation center is converted into a locker room every summer, so rather than continue lose a community hub, Design Workshop is constructing a new pavilion adjacent to the pool. There is a water curtain! And lime green lockers! And you can get a temporary tattoo if you pledge! Hey, you know what’s good for putting on — and taking off — temp tatts? A POOOOOL. — Elisabeth H.
Jordan Wayne Long has a history of putting himself in uncomfortable places. His project video opens with footage of him escaping out of a cramped cardboard labyrinth, being dragged through mud behind a truck, and taking a baseball bat to a precariously perched television. His performance art focuses on exploring ideas of trauma and escapism, and “box shipment #2” takes these ideas to their logical extreme. On July 1st, Jordan will physically ship himself inside of a sealed museum crate from Detroit, MI to Portland, OR. During the four-day journey, his only communication with the outside world will be via an online video game. Jordan’s already conducted a practice run by spending four days living inside of a (stationary) crate outfitted with a computer, water, food, and waste disposal. It’s like camping, only completely terrifying. While such an experiment would have turned me into pathetic ball of human despair, Jordan describes the experience as “informative.” Amazing! — Cindy A.
It’s hard not to love a group of people like Colonel Mustard, especially when they have such charming video editing and hooded sweatshirts. Their previous musicals include”Jurassic Park,” complete with paper-mache dinosaur heads and passionate RAWRing, and Dr. Quinn, the musical, which needs no justification. These musicals are backyard musicals, like the kind the most enterprising kid in the neighborhood would orchestrate, except in this case 400 people are there, instead of just like, your mom and the neighbor kid you didn’t really like anyway. This time Colonal Mustard is bringing Mulder and Scully and their hand-wringing sexual tension to the stage, or to errr, the big patch of grass, and also to the next level. They’re gonna need a bigger backyard. And an orchestra. And aliens. Like they say in their video, let’s make something happen, together, for the fun of it. DO YOU BELIEVE? — Meaghan O.
Beto’s Burritos is the simple story, beautifully illustrated, of a young boy who does not wish to wake up from his extraordinary dreams. There are flying popsicles, skateboarding dogs, and all the other things that tend to occupy the minds of little ones. It’s a picture book that is big at heart. Cassie never knew her father growing up, so when they rekindled their relationship a few years ago, she was surprised to learn that he had written a children’s book. She illustrated a single page as a Christmas gift, and then kept going. It took her a year to complete the fourteen illustrations that appear in the finished book, and she now talks to her father every weekend. She’ll publish the book because “I know it’s important to him, so that makes it important to me.” I love everything about this project, from the amazing drawings, to the dreamy tale of a kid with a big imagination, to the seriously heartfelt backstory. I might just be feeling corny this morning, but: Here’s to you, Dad. — Cassie M.
For years I’ve walked around the streets of New York endlessly gazing at the wonder of neon signs. Signs for dentists offices, strip clubs, hot dog vendors, pharmacies. In NYC, where diversity reigns, it often seems like one of the most unifying symbols in the city is a Neon Sign. I’ve often found myself snapping pics of these luminesce signs, and always felt that they were never truly shown the spotlight they deserved. I guess Kirsten Hively felt the same way, and after year of documenting neon signs on Flickr and Tumblr, Hively is ready to archive her work around the city in an iPhone app that acts as a one stop database for all things neon in New York. — Mike M.