Our projects span the creative spectrum: from innovation labs to immersive experiences, pop art to web art, rhythms and algorithms.
Culture Shock’s pivotal role in the digital preservation of over 500 films by Andy Warhol –
“MoMA’s largest effort to digitize the work of a single artist in its collection.”
Warhol’s contribution to contemporary culture is immense. He is remembered for his iconic pop art images but he also made films, founded Interview Magazine, managed The Velvet Underground, directed the Exploding Plastic Inevitable events, had two series in the early days of MTV, painted Debbie Harry on an Amiga computer in 1985, ‘wrote’ a novel with a tape recorder and was in an episode of The Love Boat. His combined output across multiple media is monumental but has not been appropriately recognized.
When Hugh McGrory, Chief Innovation Officer at Culture Shock, New York, a strategy and innovation consultancy, first contacted The Andy Warhol Museum in 2011 to discuss the possibility of helping to realize the museum’s long-time goal of digitizing Warhol’s film work, he discovered the epic scale of the collection. “I knew there were many films that remained unseen by the public, films I had read about,” commented McGrory, “But I had no idea at the time that there were hundreds of films and thousands of videotapes.” Patrick Moore, The Andy Warhol Museum’s Deputy Director stated in a recent New York Times article that “the films are every bit as significant as Warhol’s paintings.”
McGrory understood that a project accessing over 1 million feet of decades-old 16mm film created by one of the most important artists of the 20th Century would require a partner with the necessary technical know-how, infrastructure and insurances, and that this meant approaching an industry leader beyond the art world. Culture Shock had curated Projection, a series of moving image digital artworks from the website Vimeo at Volta NY Art Fair in 2011 and had come to the attention of Justin Brukman, Managing Director of MPC NY, an Oscar-winning family of VFX studios and a Technicolor company.
“We’ve always believed that VFX can be presented in a fine art setting and I liked Culture Shock’s passion for work at the intersection of art and technology,” said Brukman, “After several years of joint project development we’re now on course to digitize one of the largest bodies of film work by a single artist.”
McGrory sees this as a first step in the right direction. “I’m obviously feeling a sense of accomplishment for initially helping to facilitate a project of such historic importance. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. Warhol influenced art, film, music, fashion, photography, illustration, design, advertising, publishing, technology, and television. He was the first artist to exhibit video. By looking at each of these elements as an instance of transmedia storytelling we can begin to understand how the story being told shaped the culture it represented.”
Debra Anderson, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Culture Shock, adds that “Warhol moved from idolizing celebrity to creating it. We now live in the world of the cultural producer where famous people don’t just endorse products but have enormous business empires across multiple markets built around their personal brand. Andy made this happen.”
McGrory sees this as much more than an exercise in art history. “It is very important to understand the past in order to examine the present. Warhol was a mirror to the culture of his time. By using that mirror to reflect our world fifty years later we see that we now live in Warhol’s imagined future. It can be argued that Warhol’s lasting legacy is a society painted in his own image, where everyone can be famous for fifteen minutes.”
Culture Shock is excited to launch Stereo Projects, a new virtual reality production studio.
“We need to go back to the beginning of cinema to move forward in virtual reality, to disregard the restricting conventions that were imposed due to technical constraints. Warhol’s films do this; using a fixed camera, no sound and an almost still subject. They ignore everything that happened post-Lumiere Brothers and return to a fascination with photography and an extension of portraiture. When film people sit down with coders to look at VR it’s the same thing. Everyone starts with a blank canvas.” – Hugh McGrory
For more information, visit stereoprojects.com.
Credit: Andy Warhol Museum. Left: Andy Warhol, Bob Indiana Etc., 1963. Center: Andy Warhol, Screen Test: Marcel Duchamp and Benedetta Barzini [ST 81], 1966. Right: Andy Warhol, Superboy (excerpt), 1966. All images: ©2014 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute. All rights reserved. Film stills courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.
Celebrating seven years of innovation, Culture Shock is delighted to present a special anniversary event August 7th featuring the New York debut of Canadian electronic musician Hello Moth and world premiere of Clouds inCloudless Skies, the new music video created entirely from programming code directed by Belfast-based artist Glenn Marshall, Culture Shock Interactive Director.
“This was a process of discovering, creating and exploring random worlds through code and numbers, tweaking, playing, running the program, to see what is created,” said Glenn Marshall, Interactive Director, Culture Shock. “It might reveal a world or a landscape that fits with a particular part of the song with the lyrics, the pace etc, a continual journey through the randomly generated and how it connects literally, metaphorically or emotionally to the song. The world generation algorithms mainly depend on 3D perlin noise, this is a basic cloudlike random generator, but when mixed with other algorithms, complex and exciting results can happen. The visual rendering system is based on the ‘Distance Estimation / Ray Marching’ technique normally used to render 3D fractals, but here used to create cube and grid worlds. There are no wireframes or meshes involved no timelines, keyframes or fancy user interfaces; everything is expressed as math and formula in lines of code, including all the animation and distortion effects (often synced to the music’s BPM) and all the camera movement. The result is Clouds in Cloudless Skies
“We are delighted to present Hello Moth’s New York debut and release of Clouds inCloudless Skies,”
In addition to Hello Moth’s live performance and music video screening of Clouds in Cloudless Skies
“Every bit as expansive and open to possibility as the title of the track itself, Prix Ars Electronica winner and Culture Shock Interactive Director Glenn Marshall‘s new video for Hello Moth‘s “Clouds in Cloudless Skies” is a boundless, four-and-a-half minute ode to the infinitude of all things procedurally-generated. Entirely created in Processing, this one is a swan-dive into a sprawling visual soundscape, materialized without the use of video camera technology.” – The Creators Project
On April 22, 2014 History Will Not Be Silent
“Circa 1948” Artist Stan Douglas and NFB Co-Create Postwar Era Through Immersive Art Experience
We are thrilled to announce the National Film Board of Canada;has engaged Culture Shock, NY-based creative agency specializing in art and technology, as their US Agency for the third year in a row. In 2012 we crafted the launch campaign of the world premiere for Bear 71 (NFB Vancouver Digital Studio) at Sundance New Frontier, the Webby winner for best net art that was also named 2012 Site of the Year at the Favourite Website Awards, and in 2013 the breakthrough work A Journal of Insomnia (NFB Montreal Digital Studio) at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes program, both projects drawing rave reviews from national and international media.
On April 22, 2014, we will announce the premiere of the NFB Vancouver Digital Studio’s latest project, Circa 1948, an immersive interactive art experience co-created with internationally acclaimed visual artist Stan Douglas (represented by David Zwirner Gallery). This truly remarkable project is new form of art making and interactive storytelling. In the age of interactive storytelling, there is no longer the single narrative component, but rather a vast array of related strands and pieces, all of them serving to expand a story in different ways and contributing to the creation of a storyworld.
Enter the shadows of the postwar era Circa 1948, co-created by internationally renowned artist Stan Douglas (represented by David Zwirner Gallery) and produced by pioneers of artistic collaboration, the award winning National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver with Loc Dao as Executive Producer.
The Circa 1948 online portal will launch on April 22nd as an introduction to the immersive interactive 3D art app for iPad and iPhone and live event and interactive projection-mapped art installation that will debut at Tribeca Film Festival’s Storyscapes Program in collaboration with BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Gin. (On view April 23-26)
Culture Shock presents The Spectrum of Ultra Violet, our special curatorial exhibition and first in a series of new media projects honoring Ultra Violet. Volta NY is an invitational solo project fair for contemporary art. Culture Shock returns for our fourth project at Volta having curated projects since 2010 at both Volta NY and Volta during Art Basel, Switzerland.
The exhibition is a curated environment honoring the Ultra Violet’s transmedia spectrum: from film and music works, to the cultural icon’s memoir Famous for 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol and her Instagram-able baroque mirror series Self Portrait and Selfie. Her performance and film The Last Supper, conceived for the Kitchen by Ultra Violet in 1972 and performed by NY-based female artists will be will be screened. It has been shown prior at Miami Beach Cinematheque screening for Art Basel in 2007 and is included in the collection of Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Playing on themes of mirrors and mylar to celebrate Ultra Violet, Culture Shock also features two new works by represented artist Alexander Reben, including an interactive audio piece that responds to your reflection in the hall’s adjacent bathroom mirrors and an oscillating mylar balloon sculpture.
We’re also very excited to collaborate with Redu NYC who will be providing bespoke pieces of furniture for the lounge space. Items will be available for purchase and commission. Redu is a Brooklyn based design group, dedicated to using only rescued materials for their furniture and design. The intention is to reduce landfill using creativity and help make obsolescence obsolete!
Journal of Insomnia
The National Film Board of Canada’s pioneering Digital Studio(French Program) engaged Culture Shock to position the world premiere of a unique nocturnal online experience A JOURNAL OF INSOMNIA, (nfb.ca/insomnia) a new web-based interactive documentary that breaks the silence around the distressing condition of insomnia, gathering intimate stories of insomniacs from around the world. The interactive project launched online and as part of Storyscapes – a new celebration of interactive storytelling at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, created in collaboration with Bombay Sapphire Gin – on the evening of April 18, 2013.
A JOURNAL OF INSOMNIA is a collaborative experience where insomniacs are both spectators and actors in a large interactive fresco composed of impressions and reflections on what keeps them from sleeping. Here, we realize that this individual problem is in fact a collective experience. Since the fall of 2012, we have collected hundres of accounts of insomniacs via the webcam, keyboard and mouse confessional. This raw material has become A JOURNAL OF INSOMNIA where the public is invited to make an appointment with an insomniac of their choice. They can at the appointed time, surrender part of their night to experience insomnia by momentarily adopting the other’s point of view. Internet is insomnia; it is always night somewhere and day somewhere else; the network never sleeps. This is not an educational work, nor a therapeutic project, nor a reference tool. It is an invitation to live an intimate and powerful experience by thinking about the significance of a phenomenon that irreversibly seizes our nights.
About The National Film Board of Canada — Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada is devoted to new forms of storytelling, helping to reinvent the grammar of 21st-century media and art. The NFB’s acclaimed content can be seen at NFB.ca and on apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV. The NFB’s Digital Studios produce interactive documentaries and animation, mobile content, installations, and participatory experiences from an English-language unit based in Vancouver and a French-language unit in Montreal. The NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, includng 6 Webby’s and 12 Oscars.
BOOM! at Volta 2012
This was the second year Culture Shock partnered with Volta NY on curating special projects at the fair. We presented BOOM!:Boomboxes, iPads and Audiovisual Interfaces, a good old-fashioned celebration of technology, creativity, physicality, and art. The exhibition consisted of a series of generative animation iPad apps by Glenn Marshall, Boomboxes from the personal collection of Lyle Owerko, audio interfaces curated by Dave Hodge, and breakdancing performances by the Dynamic Rockers Crew; a huge hit at the event. VIP Debbie Harry stopped by to check out the exhibit and Ogilvy invited us to bring the exhibition to their headquarters in NYC for their Digital@Ogilvy Day. Additional coverage for the exhibition came from Atlantic Wire, Interview Magazine and Art Info. BOOM! was such a success that we moved it into our new office in May as an installation during the Dumbo Art Walk in Brooklyn.
Culture Shock was tasked with helping the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) to gain awareness for the interactive documentary Bear 71, produced by NFB’s award winning Interactive Studio and premiered at the Sundance New Frontiers program.
Through Bear 71, Culture Shock became the first ever American media agency to partner with the NFB in its 73 year history. Culture Shock represented US media relations on the project and was challenged to launch a national press campaign in just under three weeks of the world premier at Sundance’s New Frontier. Our success stemmed, in large part, from our understanding of both art and technology, allowing us the ability to craft a story around the project that was targeted to the particular expertise of the listener or to a specific publication. Building on the storyworld of Bear 71 included publicizing its microsite and Twitter feeds throughout the Sundance festival.
Culture Shock’s expertise resulted in Bear 71 being by far the most recognized and important project at Sundance New Frontier. The project attracted over 70,000 viewers to its interactive website in the first three weeks and since then has been attracting 30,000 visits a day without the help of paid advertising. Today Bear 71 has attracted over 133,330 unique visitors with a 250% increase in social media mentions related to its cause. The NFB’s goal with Bear 71 to reach mainstream art and technology media was met with recognition by Culture Shock’s secured article coverage in The Huffington Post, Turnstyle, Technorati, Creativity Online, Wired Magazine, The Creators Project, Popular Mechanics, Documentary Magazine and many more. Mashable Entertainment featured Bear 71 as one of its 4 Inspiring Examples of Digital Storytelling, claiming that the NFB is “changing the face of cinema.” Harrison Weber of The Next Web claims that Bear 71 “surpasses everything [he] previously believed was possible to do with a documentary.”
FRAME is a series of moving image artworks created by 18 video artists & curated by Vimeo and Culture Shock during Art Basel Miami Beach 2011.
PROJECTiON curated by Culture Shock, is a curated series of contemporary moving image digital artworks selected from Vimeo.com that premiered at the VOLTA NY Art Fair, from March 3-6 2011. The series featured 10 films by: Scott Pagano – Arev Manoukian – Zeitguised – Kirsten Lepore – Masaki Yokochi – Mike Winkelmann – Hugh McGrory – Glenn Marshall – Rob Seward – J.G. Zimmerman
Works selected include experimental film, computer animation and visual effects. The PROJECTiON initiative views and presents work that has undergone computer/human interaction processes in direct lineage to its cultural predecessors, showing that an expanded digital toolset can lead to an expansion of formal concerns and impulses that can be traced back throughout the canon of art history. The curated series provides an opportunity for VOLTA NY patrons to experience these moving image fine art works in different contexts and environments. Works will be screened in multiple elevators taking visitors to the show, on the exhibition floor and in shuttle buses.
Culture Shock is delighted to announce the launch of Wonder PL, the world’s first video platform for quality lifestyle content. Culture Shock is a Featured Partner and Content Provider collaborating with Wonder PL