Tech Weekly: Upgrade

They say if it's not broken, don't fix it. They don't say anything about improving it though. This week our Technology category saw a crush of new-and-improved versions of everyday items, from an internet-connected smart pot, to a totally new take on human-powered transit.

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Talking Shop: Contemporary Photography, Online and Offline

Photography is an art form that precedes the internet by nearly 150 years. So how does contemporary photography, a longstanding analog art, reconcile with a new digital age?

More than just a platform for distribution, the internet promises new ways for people to interact and engage with photography. But there are challenges, pitfalls, and complications that many photographers are just discovering. We invited some industry pros to Kickstarter HQ to share their insights on creating, sharing, and curating work in the contemporary photography landscape. The panel features Chris Boot (Aperture Foundation), Romke Hoogwaerts (Mossless), Amy Lombard (Happy Inside), and Emma Raynes (Magnum Foundation). Enjoy the full panel, including the Q&A, above.

This Week in Kickstarter

This week in Kickstarter, it rained. Almost the whole week. There was one day of beautiful sunlight though, and on that day we found a taxidermied squirrel (not pictured) out in front of our building. That was weird, but it reminded us how much crazy stuff is going on in and outside our office all the time. Like all of this stuff, for example:

If you’re able, take a trip through your own mind, back in time to 1995, when Descent, a computer game where you had to fight virus-infected robots, burst onto the scene. The game was not easy. Though it looked a fair bit like some other first person shooters, the degree of movement was much wider. Imagine trying to destroy those virus-y robots while also making sure your spacecraft doesn’t bump into a wall or corridor. Depending on your age, this could sometimes be virtually impossible, but never not fun.

Descent, like all good things, is back. All the iconic details are the same, but it looks a whole lot better. Now you can plummet directly toward very detailed hot lava and feel like you’re actually plummeting directly toward very detailed hot lava. Here’s a YouTube of the original version so you can remember what it felt like to drive a spaceship through a metal corridor.

Did someone say corridor? Kickstarter’s editorial hub, Happening, is your own personal corridor to a whole lot of great articles: In recent weeks, photographer Will Steacy talked about his family of newspapermen, and how that is all tangled up in his photo book about the decline of the Philadelphia Inquirer; Brendan Toller gave us a behind the scenes look at his documentary on influential, under-the-radar music figure Danny Fields, Michael Bilsborough guided us through his capitalist collages, Doug DuBois talked about the challenges of documenting the lives of Irish teenagers, we made your life in the great outdoors easier (assuming that's your thing), and, oh yeah it’s….

COMICS MONTH. You’ve probably already heard about this from us, and you’re going to hear about it some more before the month is over. But in addition to some fun upcoming editorial coverage on the aforementioned Happening site, we’re also hosting a number of free events that you can attend if you are in New York (or if you can get here via car or plane or bike or your own feet). Check those out right here.

That's a lot of links, we know. Let's take a break and learn how to make a burger (spoiler alert: don't put the burger outside of the bun). Then let's immediately take another break to track the development of the ice cream sandwich.

Are you tired? No way are you tired. Maybe you're inspired, which sort of sounds like the word tired if you half-think about it. Maybe you're interested in starting a Kickstarter project. Maybe you're getting ready to do another one. Maybe your project is live right now. Whatever stage of the process you might be in, even if it's no stage, check out these handy Creator Basics videos at our YouTube channel. There's a lot more to come.

A Few Tips on Getting Press for Your Project

Your project is live, but what's the best way to spread the word? You really believe in what you're making, you've been trumpeting it on all forms of social media, even real-life social media (talking to others), but you want to take it to the next step. How do you do that? Getting press certainly helps.

The video above offers tips on how to focus your efforts, how to get in touch with the right publications, and how you can expect press to work in your favor once you get it.

Director Brendan Toller on his Documentary Danny Says

Danny Fields, Iggy Pop, Lisa Robinson, David Bowie
Danny Fields, Iggy Pop, Lisa Robinson, David Bowie

You might think that you don't know Danny Fields, but if you're interested in rock music history, and more specifically, New York rock music history, then you must. Fields was a key figure, helping guide The Ramones, Iggy Pop, and others as they rose in popularity. We spoke to Brendan Toller, the director of Danny Says, about documenting the life of a crucial figure in rock music's storied past.

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Kickstarter Transparency Report 2014

Kickstarter's mission is to help bring creative projects to life. As part of that mission, we work to foster creativity and artistic expression, while always striving to be clear and transparent about our policies.

Today we’re reinforcing our commitment to those values by releasing this transparency report. It details requests and claims we received in 2014 about projects and members of our community, from people and companies with copyright or trademark complaints, and from law enforcement and government entities. Transparency around these requests can help to ensure that they are being made for the right reasons.

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The Process: Michael Bilsborough's Capitalist Collages

When New York-based artist Michael Bilsborough's project HELLO TODAY: Capitalist Collages popped up on the site, we were impressed with the way he took otherwise bland images from high-end business magazines and transformed them into sometimes unsettling, occasionally eerie, but aesthetically pleasing collages. We asked him to explain the process behind creating some of these, and learned that even the act of doing the project on Kickstarter is, in a way, part of the art.

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