Etsy’s New AR Tool Makes It Easier to Shop for Art From Home

Etsy introduced a new augmented reality tool aimed at visualizing wall art in your space before you purchase. The functionality is built within the Etsy ios app, and at launch works for all prints, photographs, and portraits. handmade and vintage goods

The feature works by moving your phone or tablet around your space, and tapping to place on the wall. In cases where different sizes are available, simply zooming in or out will showcase the various options and help you determine which dimensions fit best.

Etsy is using the launch as a beta test to gather feedback before rolling out to other product categories.

Why It’s Hot

At a time when people are online shopping for their home, from their home more than ever, this tool helps make the process easier and more personalized. As a marketplace that supports independent artists, Etsy is providing a significant advantage by helping bring their art to life and allowing potential buyers to experience how the art fits within their existing aesthetic.


Live Entertainment Adapts To The New Normal

Live entertainment is going digital. This weeks SNL took home cut video from cast members and made a #StayAtHome version. Check out the intro:

NYC theaters are also putting new content online. This week Playwrights Horizons launched a new podcast, Soundstage, putting new playwrights plays straight into your ear. This one is from one of my favorite playwrights, Robert O’Hara (Tufts Alumni for the strategy Jumbos).

And The National Theatre in London through their NT Live program (usually shown in movie theaters) is now releasing a live play on video every week. Actually their newest feature is making its world premiere RIGHT NOW. DURING HOT SAUCE.

Why it’s hot?

Art has a way of surviving. Even live art. There has been some twitter criticism that stage work is not translating well to the digital form, but this is opening a brand new way of staging live art and it’s still in its nascent stage. Looking forward to lots of new brilliant work in these new times.

Apple and New Museum launch AR art tours

A new way for people to experience the city!

A new way for artists to engage the public!

A new way to think about experiencing space!

Brought to you by Apple! Apple’s brand and value proposition permeates this entire experience.

Why it’s hot

Apple is positioning itself as a brand that can bring a new magical realm to life. As we work out the ways in which AR will play a role in our lives, this project sells AR in a surprising and fun way, perhaps warming people up to the idea that a life lived with a layer of AR mapped over the physical world would be desirable.

Source: Dezeen

Creepy Crawly

The optical illusion stands at 3.5 meters high, running right to you. The artist, Sergio, painted it in an abandoned building after creating the 3D render in his studio. Though he wouldn’t spill his secrets on the web, he still has people in awe at the quality of his work. But no worries, it won’t actually start crawling right towards you.

Why it’s hot:
Rather than being hot, I think it’s super cool.



New, cutting-edge technology lets you… call a website on your phone.

Ok, so maybe it is not on the forefront of new technology, but artist Marc Horowitz’s new website makes wonderful use of existing and familiar technology to bring the experience of a guided museum tour into a new light.

A conceptual artist, Horowitz felt his work needed additional context to be fully appreciated, but did not want to go the traditional route of adding lots of text or creating a video for his portfolio. Instead, created an experience that is part audio tour, part podcast, and part interactive website.

At first glance, HAWRAF’s design looks like a pretty standard portfolio. There are tabs at the top, with images below that represent 32 projects dating all the way back to 2001. But the designers, inspired by the audio tours you’ve probably experienced at a museum or gallery, added another element of interaction. In big block text at the top of the website, it says, “Call 1-833-MAR-CIVE.” When you do, you can hear the artist himself tell you stories about each project by simply dialing the reference number below each image.

As an added bonus, users can choose to read the descriptions rather than dial in, making the experience not only unique, but also accessible for the hearing-impaired.

Why it’s hot

As brands and agencies scramble to adopt bleeding edge technology and embrace the latest trends, it’s worth remembering that existing tools and technology can still be harnessed in interesting and new ways. Fitting the experience to the needs of the brand and the user will always result in a more useful and lasting experience than something ill-suited but fashionable

Learn more at or on

Animation Created with the Use of Virtual Reality

Despite having no prior knowledge of VR coding, artist James Paterson has invented ‘Norman’ – an open-source 3D illustration tool created using Google’s WebVR, Google’s JavaScript API, which enables artists to experiment with their own VR tools. His animations resemble a flipbook made up of stick characters darting between planes, created in three-dimensions using VR controllers and a headset.

Why It’s Hot:

We’ve often seen experiences using VR as a way for people to have a more immersive experience when consuming content. In this case, Paterson is using VR as a way to create content in the form of animation. Instead of drawing on paper and then translating that work to a program that a computer can read, he has created a way to use VR to do the animation directly into the software while keeping his natural movements of drawing intact.

“Norman is the animation tool that I’ve always wanted. I built it in JavaScript, it runs in a web browser and lets me animate naturally in 3D using VR controllers,” he says, explaining its simplicity.

Pay for Art Using Your… Screenshots?

Customers gave up personal data for art pieces to take home at this London based pop-up store.

“London based street artist Ben Eine recently opened a pop-up shop for his work; instead of paying with cash, however, customers at this the Data Dollar Store have to give up their personal information. The shop, opened in collaboration with cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, is meant to make customers reevaluate the information they often freely give away by the social media channels they are using. “I’m concerned about how that information is used and why are we not rewarded for giving this information away,” Eine told Cnet. “Companies use that information and target us to sell products, to feed us information that we wouldn’t necessarily look at.”

The store was set up in a temporary space at the Old Street Underground station in London. When visitors entered the store, an employee showed them the purchasing options:

  • Giving up three photos or screenshots of your recent text or email conversations for a mug
  • Giving up the last three photos on your Camera Roll, or the last three text messages sent, for a tshirt
  • Handing your phone over to the assistant to select any five photos to keep, publicly displayed on a large TV screen in the store for the next two days (you can attempt to barter for which photos they’ll pick, but the choice is up to them).

The store is meant to raise awareness about the sometimes risky informational exchanges that are happening all the time online. According to Kaspersky Lab, while 74 percent of survey respondents were unconcerned about data security, 41 percent were unprotected from potential threats and 20 percent have been affected by cybercrime.

Source: PSFK

Recommended: “A Piece of Work”

Here’s a shameless plug for a podcast I really dig: Abbi Jacobsen’s new “A Piece of Work” podcast, a collab with WNYC and MoMA.

Read more here:

And listen to it here:


I appreciate A Piece of Work for the way it demystifies what fine art is all about. It’s incredibly accessible– even the curators she interviews are surprisingly unpretentious– which is so refreshing. Plus, her guests are great–  there is nothing not funny about Hannibal Burress talking about Duchamp’s urinal found art sculpture. As an Art History nerd I love it, but I recommend it because living in New York City it is easy to forget the incredible art all around us and A Piece of Work is not only a great podcast but a great reminder.

googler creates AI that creates video using one image…

One of the brilliant minds at Google has developed an algorithm that can (and has) create video from a single image. The AI does this by predicting what each of the next frames would be based on the previous one, and in this instance did it 100,000 times to produce the 56 minute long video you see above. Per its creator:

“I used videos recorded from trains windows, with landscapes that moves from right to left and trained a Machine Learning (ML) algorithm with it. What you see at the beginning is what the algorithm produced after very little learnings. It learns more and more during the video, that’s why there are more and more realistic details. Learnings is updated every 20s. The results are low resolution, blurry, and not realistic most of the time. But it resonates with the feeling I have when I travel in a train. It means that the algorithm learned the patterns needed to create this feeling. Unlike classical computer generated content, these patterns are not chosen or written by a software engineer.

Why it’s hot:

Creativity and imagination have been among the most inimitable human qualities since forever. And anyone who’s ever created anything remotely artistic will tell you inspiration isn’t as easy as hitting ‘go’. While this demonstration looks more like something you’d see presented as an art school video project than a timeless social commentary regaled in a museum, it made me wonder – what if bots created art? Would artists compete with them? Would they give up their pursuit because bots can create at the touch of a button? Would this spawn a whole new area of human creativity out of the emotion of having your work held up next to programmatic art? Could artificial intelligence ever create something held up against real human creativity?

Yes Good

Pre-package, flavored nut brand Emerald has taken “authenticity” to a new level. The brand’s new tag line “Yes Good” was pulled straight from a five star Amazon review, and it doesn’t end there. They are leaning in hard with favorable online reviews by creating a “Revue of Reviews” campaign in which they present artistic interpretations of some of the more exciting reviews on their product. They still don’t know who wrote their new tag line, but that hasn’t stopped them from going all-in.  (watch this)



Why It’s Hot:

  • It seems so obvious, but have yet to see anyone lean in to customer reviews to build a campaign
  • We talk often about “authenticity” and “engagement”, what a great way to get customers involved with your brand
  • The art is cool.


Cathay Pacific Airways’ Artmap Project

Cathay Pacific Airways is emailing personalized paintings as birthday gifts to its loyalty club members. Members can share their painting digitally or print a high-resolution copy.

The art piece is made by an algorithmic tool specially designed to create tailored digital paintings using each member’s travel data and flight trajectories.

Why Its Hot

The brief was for a member’s birthday greeting to drive increased loyalty amongst Marco Polo loyalty club members. But the brand understands that consumers are not loyal to programs or points: they are loyal to experiences.

Cathay Pacific is genuinely about meaningful experiences, treating travel with respect, understated elegance and being there when people need it and not when they don’t.This experience is rewarding, inspiring, and personal.


Photographer captures the eerie reality of our smartphone addiction

While working in a coffee shop one morning in upstate New York, photographer Eric Pickersgill was struck by the image of a family sitting together, but engaging separately with their own devices.

“I didn’t make that picture, but it exists in my mind as an image — a very emotionally charged image,” he wrote in a statement to Mashable.

This moment would go on to inspire Pickersgill’s latest project titled “Removed,” a series that takes the tech out of photos of people engaging with smartphones and tablets.

What’s left are eerie images of couples, families, friends and strangers staring blankly at their empty hands.

cody_and_erica debbie_kevin headon michelle_and_jimmy grant snoopys wendy_brian_kids Angie_and_Me eric-pickersgill-thumbnail


Source: Mashable

Why It’s Hot

Well, this puts some things in perspective. Technology is so ingrained into our lives at this point — and we know it well, but we hardly ever take a step back. This is a great artistic expression of the need to separate ourselves from technology from time to time.



Glorix Is Trying To Send A Message Through Art

Glorix recently launched its new message in a unusual and artistic way. This bug spray brand created an exhibition to showcase their “Blood Portraits” in the hopes of having people buy into their brand and save lives in the process.

This Russian brand is attempting to sell their brand with the idea that donating blood can help save a person’s life but in order for us to do that, we need to stop donating it to mosquitoes.Therefore, you must us Glorix to stop the mosquitoes from stealing your blood.

The exhibition that Glorix has created has nearly doubled in size since its launch recently because people are curious to see these unusual paintings. So what are the paintings and how do they relate to bug spray? Instead of using paint, Glorix teamed up with a Russian artist to create portraits using mosquito blood. Odd right? However, this weird idea helped spread the message that we as humans need to stop letting mosquitoes steal our blood and put it to more effective use.

Read More:

Why It’s Hot

This is just a great example of how brand’s should think outside of the box to not only raise awareness for their brand but help humanity out in the process. It certainly sparks attention in a different and creative way.

Museum Takes Its Collection to the Streets | Guerrilla + Social Marketing Campaign | #ArtInsideOut

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is sharing it’s art collection in neighborhoods throughout the Philadelphia region as part of the Inside Out Exhibition.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Inside Out fosters spontaneous interactions with art and adds to the beauty and vitality of local communities. Find a surprise at every turn, share on social media with dedicated hashtag, #ArtInsideOut, and come see the original artworks at your Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Philadelphia Museum of Art Twitter | @philamuseum

Philadelphia Museum of Art Twitter | @philamuseum

This summer and fall, sixty high-quality replicas of Museum masterpieces will find their way into communities around the region. Each participating neighborhood will feature about ten artworks within a short distance of each other. Walk through the park, hop on a bike, or meander down Main Street through each exciting outdoor exhibition.


Inside Out will be presented in two cycles.Art2


To see what artwork is featured in each community, explore the maps below.

Residents from participating this summer will receive free general admission to the Museum from Friday, July 17, through Sunday, July 19, 2015. To gain free entry to the Museum that weekend, go to any Visitor Services desk and present your driver’s license or an ID card that lists one of these zip codes.his

Late August–mid-November
  • Locations: Fishtown and Kensington, Philadelphia // Ambler, PA // Norristown, PA // Wayne, PA // West Chester, PA

Why It’s HOT// It nails the very core of why guerrilla marketing is so effective. The campaign is completely unexpected, rooted in goodwill, and drives people to the museum with the offer of free admission. The dedicated hashtag and social component brings the entire campaign online even offering forms for registration for 2016.

MySpace Lives On, Thanks in Part to #TBT

If you haven’t heard, MySpace has had a bit a comeback. And though it may not have quite the $580 million luster it did 2005, the platform has had a resurgence.

According to its owner, Specific Media, MySpace:

  • Reached 50.6MM unique visitors in Nov. 14 (up 575% YOY)
  • Still has access to over 1B emails globally, including over 465MM in the U.S.
  • Has handled $5 billion in ad transactions for a set of beta advertisers Since launching the Advertising Cloud suite of products in the last seven months

The resurgence cannot be pinned to one action alone, but has instead been created by combining a number of variables:

  • Makeover into an arts & entertainment centric social platform
  • New found receptivity among young, niche audience (17-25s)
  • Repeat visits to find old photos driven by “Throwback Thursday”

MySpace knows it can’t build a social site on #TBT nostalgia, so it has invested a lot into cultivating a new audience and building a library of unique and sponsored content for them to consume.

Intrigued, I decided to sign up and explore the new MySpace.

When you arrive at the MySpace's new landing page, it almost feels more like an entertainment news site than a social platform.

When you arrive at the MySpace’s new landing page, it almost feels more like an entertainment news site than a social platform.

If you decide to register, MySpace has created a new user segmentation framework that caters to users’ specific creative backgrounds and interests. A note to those who register, if you choose to speed up the registration process by linking a Facebook or Twitter account be prepared to consent to a whole lot of data-mining. You also consent to give MySpace posting rights to share on your behalf… something I certainly was not willing to do at this stage.

New registration flow that segments users by creative interest.

New registration flow that segments users by creative interest.

The new approach to profiles is slick and feels distinct, albeit a little sparse. Important to note, “Tom” is no longer your friend.

Profiles feel quite different than most other social platforms out there.

Profiles feel quite different than most other social platforms out there.

But a new account should be sparse right?  So I went to create my first post. After selecting that I wanted to share a song, I searched for a track that (surprisingly) could not be found in MySpace’s library.



MySpace Post


I posted my track, but my profile remained a bare snare drum. Where did the post go?  Evidently into a new “Stream” feed that takes a typical “News Feed” and flips it horizontally. This creates a weird and confusing experience. Why wouldn’t my post appear on my actual profile?

MySpace's "Stream" attempts to create a content feed of posts and activity by users, including curated content. But the experience leaves something to be desired.

MySpace’s “Stream” attempts to create a content feed of posts and activity by users, including curated content. But the experience leaves something to be desired.

Why It’s Hot

So the new is major departure from its lineage. Focused on content catered to a niche community of artists, musicians and content creators, the site doesn’t feel like it’s made for everyone. And I think that’s part of its appeal. Specific Media has the business data to show there is still life in the faded platform, and with strong focus on content MySpace might be able to retake the sought after “creative” social arena. MySpace is certainly not the first to try its hand in this space, but for advertisers their mounds of user data may distinguish the platform from the competitors. But more than ads, MySpace needs to expand the reach of its rich content to beyond the walls of MySpace if it wants to break away from the site’s still tarnished reputation.

MoMA Launches New Twitter Account to Make Art Interactive

The Museum of Modern Art has created a new Twitter account in hopes of getting more people to talk about art. Unveiled in a SXSW presentation, the museum hopes that their new Art140 project is a means to better understand how the public feels about art. The project also creates an opportunity for people to connect with living artists.

This new social intergration with art will begin with Art140 posting images to six pieces of art, along with information that will work to get people thinking. The hope is to create content streams that focus less on authors and timeline, and more on broad themes.

According to Adweek, “By summer, Possible [digital shop] will compile the chatter from the new stream into a report that will hopefully broaden MoMA’s understanding of what people love and hate about art, with the opportunity to break down opinions based on gender or geography, for example.” Read more here.

Why It’s Hot | Similar to how we use analytics to measure consumers’ opinions on advertising, MoMA is applying this same idea to their featured art and using social media to do so. This could help the museums (and museums in general + the broader art community) in three ways: (1) Increase interest in the museum and their pieces, (2) Measure engagement and general feelings around the art and experience within MoMA, and (3) Help the museum decide which pieces / styles to feature in the future.