Blog Archives

OK Go’s Upside Down and Inside Out Latest Music Video

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Fun fact for my new friends! A company I cofounded in 2009 with a few of my buddies (which we later sold in 2012) was called Syyn Labs​ . Our claim to fame was that we made the Rube Goldberg Machine music video for OK Go 6 years ago. How time flies 🙂 The video is now at 50m+ views on YouTube! Now the band has released their latest video called “Upside Down and Inside Out” and it’s yet another masterpiece of lunacy! Good job guys. And if you’re one of the few people who HASN’T seen the RGM machine video, here’s the link to that one.  STILL A CLASSIC!

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Rather Ingenious Art: A Tool to Deceive and Slaughter (2009) – Caleb Larsen

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My cousin Gilles brought this to my attention when he asked: How can a static sculpture be dynamic?

“You can buy it (right now) on eBay. This (unique) gloss black cube is designed to be plugged in and given an internet connection by its new owner. Upon being plugged in, it will immediately attempt to resell itself on ebay… and IF the artwork succeeds in selling itself, the collector must ship it to the next purchaser… AND pay the artist 15% of the appreciated value. The buyer’s agreement is long but amusing.”
From the FAQ…
Q: If I were to buy this, how long could I expect to own it before it sells itself again?

A: It is hard to say. Like any commodity it is subject to demand. It could be moments or years. The perpetual state of uncertainty and the instability of ownership are primary components of the work.

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Can Langton Labs Host a Memorable Halloween Party? When Pigs Fly!

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What do you get what you cross Halloween and a house full of creative (and wonderfully eccentric) scientists. The most bizarrely memorable Halloween ever at Langton Labs in SOMA, SF. First of all the kitchen table had been transformed into a dissection station and microscope viewing area. There was something truly magical about watching a zombified doctor dissect a heart and describe all of the roles each part plays. There was also of course also frogs, eyeballs and fetal pigs – if the heart wasn’t entertaining enough.

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Various animals stood in jars of formaldehyde, whose bodies and even bones, had been made transparent by a special technique. There were also drawing pads on the table in case you got a sudden impulse to be creative.

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But the real piece de resistance was a young pig, with attached wings, realized by the impossibly unique and talented Jane Partensky (with the surgical assistance of Will Oberlin). The final incarnation of this mythological beast hung from the ceiling, above the dancing crowd, lit from below with an eery yellow lamp.

So can Langton Labs host a memorable Halloween party? You can almost see the pig mouthing: “You’re god damn right they can!”

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Mixing Up Bizarre Binaries at Syyn Labs

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A home made glowing liquid. Not safe to drink. At all.

So people often cock their heads and ask “So, what exactly is Syyn Labs?”. Besides the odd spelling the entire organization is odd, and by ‘odd’, I mean quite unprecedented. Hence it is often challenging for outsiders to categorize. In fact, it’s even hard for insiders to categorize, but as the as the Founder and Cruise Director it’s my job to define our mission and to lead us to prosperous new territory. So let me give it a shot:

Syyn Labs is a magical place, full of strange beings who seemed to have been extruded through a character mash-up machine. It’s a land where scientists believe they’re artists, where artists suddenly have the skills or programming and where engineers debate on design philosophy. But this was no random manifestation. Years prior to moving to LA, back in 2002 at Rhode Island School of Design, with impotent foam models of supposed high tech products, I had seen my own short comings clearly. “I wish I had my own R&D group” was my lame retort, as my glued-on buttons fell off in the middle of my project review.

And so, born in the abundant serendiptity of the monthly Mindshare LA, Syyn Labs (ne: Mindshare Labs), began as an informal gathering of creative, but technically gifted characters. Each area of expertise began to be filled, coding, hacking, construction, engineering, applied physics – the team’s technical skills far surpassed anything I could have ever dreamt up and as I led the group in design style brainstorming sessions, the excitement was palpable. Soon I even brought an old RISD friend into the mix, to help me balance things out.

Again, while I’m aware of what I’m good at, I’m also keenly aware of what I’m not good at. In fact, knowing what I’m not good at is one of the things I’m best at. And so, in mid 2009, seeing the limitations of both my time and business experience, I brought in the venerable Adam Sadowsky to lead the charge in turning Syyn Labs into a real business. After officially incorporating Syyn Labs, LLC, and proving his logistical might during early 2010’s OK Go RGM success, Adam has lead the team into profitability and helped attract and win projects that ultimately have allowed us to move into an exciting new home 🙂

And as we define our path, we all know that this is just the start of the fun, and a preview of what we’re capable of. As for defining our mission: Are we educating the public, or playing with them? Are we creating art, or showcasing science? Are we a bunch of friends having fun, or employees in a profitable business? Well, who’s to say that we can’t be doing all of them at the same time?

Read more about the team here…

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A big day of shooting for a client at the new Syyn Labs HQ.

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