1. Mind Over Water
In "Eunoia," NYC-based artist Lisa Park wears an EEG sensor to measure her brain activity and translates that into soundwaves that vibrate five dishes of water (each representing a different emotion)—thus allowing her to visually express her state of consciousness. The performance is an introspective challenge as Park quietly meditates to control her feelings and gain enlightenment. One of countless cases in which artists and scientists have translated brainwave activity into other tangible forms (from Alvin Lucier's 1965 music for Solo Performer to NeuroKnitting), there is something strikingly beautiful and poignant about "Eunoia."
2. The PS4 Revealed
Totally eclipsing the release of the new Xbox, Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal was a highly anticipated success. The machine will feature a bevy of independently-produced titles as well as super beefed-up hardware. The controller's new share button is particularly interesting, allowing players to share games and clips on the fly, and even letting friends take over the controller remotely. Featuring insanely real graphics and numerous features that go well beyond gaming. For $399, expect the PS4 to be a hot commodity when it hits shelves this holiday season.
3. Apple: This Is What Matters
In the midst of several product and software launches this week, Apple released a charmingly captivating video about why they do what they do. Many are asking, why launch something so sensation-driven when the products should speak for themselves? But Apple's new ad serves as a pleasant reminder that their products are about more than just a hip aesthetic and instead are the upshot of years of consideration, research and design. In a reminder that perfection takes focus, the Johnny Ive-led team gives us insight into the root of their signature, "Designed by Apple in California."
4. Civil War-Style Surf Photos
There's no Instagram filter to get the timeless, dreamy look of the photos by NYC-based photographer Joni Sternbach in her "SurfLand" series. Sternbach uses the collodion process (which was first used during the American Civil War) during which the wet plates have to be exposed and developed within about 10 minutes, requiring a portable darkroom. Sternbach captures portraits of surfers from New York to Australia, revealing a striking juxtaposition between modern surf style and a photographic aesthetic only capable of centuries-old technology.
5. + Pool Float Lab
On Kickstarter for a second time, the futuristic + Pool is now raising funds to conduct real river testing this summer in NYC. The Float Lab will test all proposed filtration methods for their pool that would allow urbanites to swim in clean river water, and subsequently produce one of the most comprehensive assessments of the East River's current state to date. If this step succeeds, the + Pool could potentially open in NYC in 2016.
6. Reinventing the Wheel
It's finally been done. Los Angeles-based startup Shark Wheel recently released footage of their cube-shaped skateboard wheel to much fanfare. In spite of their unconventional shape, the Shark Wheels actually perform better than traditional cylindrical designs. The helix pattern of the cube wheels reduces surface contact, resulting in less friction and higher speeds. While arguably best-suited for a skateboard, Shark Wheels plans to apply their revolutionary wheels to everything from bikes to military vehicles.
7. Ginkgo Umbrella
Fully aware of the abundance of broken, abandoned umbrellas that litter city streets after each storm, a forward-thinking group of Italian designers created a fully recyclable, compact umbrella called the Ginkgo. Available in a range of customizable colors, the sturdy umbrella is capable of enduring heavy winds and clumsy commuters without breaking.
8. Return of the Beast
Boston native DJ BC is the brainchild behind The Beastles, a project in which he mashes up music from the Beastie Boys and The Beatles. His newest mash-up album is in memory of Beastie Boys member MCA (Adam Yauch) who passed away in 2012. The first single, "Ill Submarine," combines the break-dancing beats and raging lyrics of "Alive" over the mellow chords of "Yellow Submarine," and is accompanied by a colorful video art mash-up. Hurry and have a listen—BC's music has a history of being removed due to copyright infringements.