WATCH OF THE WEEK
The Tribeca Film Festival has once again partnered with Snap Inc. to include a category for best Snapchat Short, a 2-minute film shot entirely on the photo and video sharing app. Judged by a slew of celebrities such as Andy Cohen, Eva Longoria, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jason Biggs, and Dillon Francis, this year’s entrants promise to be even better than 2016’s inaugural competitors thanks to new Snapchat features such as stickers, pinning, and more. The prestigious festival released the list of five finalists ahead of this week’s special screening along with reaction videos from the filmmakers, which has us even more excited to see the final films. Keep your eye out for the winners, which will be posted to Snapchat Discover soon!
Hinge, also known as the anti-Tinder, focuses on creating deeper connections and fostering long-term relationships. To help users further optimize their digital dating experience, the matchmaking app launched an online magazine this week called IRL, named after the platform’s book of the same name released around Valentine’s Day earlier this year. The online publication offers tips and tricks from the site’s diverse team of expert columnists, which include a sex writer, a dating coach, and a “corporate bro.” With article topics like “My friend and I matched with the same guy, who ‘gets’ him?” and “How Do I Ask Him To Delete His Apps?” IRL is just what commitment-seeking singles need to navigate the Wild West that is dating today.
Parisian artist Marc Lochner wants to make people’s computer desktops feel as custom and unique as their physical spaces with his ongoing “Desktop Altars” project, a collaboration with fellow artist Luna Ece Bal. Participants provide a minimum of five objects, two colors, and a type of environment or architecture, which the artists then use to generate an interactive desktop background that uniquely captures their personalities. Exploring how the brain organizes information with pictures and objects rather than words, the artists also transform some of the objects in the room so that they function as desktop folders without detracting from the beautiful design. A compelling case study of art, customization, and innovative interfaces, we could see this concept gaining serious traction.
IN OUR CARTS
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: weed is the new indulgence of choice. Projected by some to become an industry worth $50 billion by 2026, it’s no wonder that companies are taking note and developing new offerings to keep up with the growing demand. Canndescent is one such brand looking to appeal to the modern marijuana user, creating a specially cultivated cannabis collection to induce a variety of moods. For each name, there is an appropriate strain: Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect, and Charge. Perfect for toking novices looking to explore how different strains affect them and right on trend with its mood-based marketing, Canndescent is a clever way to make marijuana more accessible to the masses and will likely be coming to a dispensary near you.
Catering to our endless appetite for new filters and features, FaceApp has taken the internet by storm thanks to its ability to alter users’ gender, age, and facial expressions, with results ranging from realistic to hilarious to horrifying. Available on both Android and iOS, the app uses neural-network technology to morph any selfie or photo saved to users’ camera roll and turn them into shareable GIFs and collages. While responses to the app has been primarily positive, the app recently received criticism for its “Hot” filter, which seemed to lighten skin tones (the company quickly apologized and renamed it “Spark”). Controversy aside, expect to see ubiquitous amounts of these altered selfies in your feeds.
To commemorate late artist and LGBTQ activist Gilbert Baker, the man who stitched the iconic rainbow flag in 1978, organizations Newfest, NYC Pride, and Fontself collaborated in an initiative to create a striking downloadable typeface. Appropriately named “Gilbert,” the bold rainbow font serves as a digital equivalent to raising the flag and is featured on free downloadable art designed to be printed and used at pride events. While the flag itself will always represent diversity and the movement’s vibrancy, this colorful typeface provides another tool for people to express their values in the digital age and will become even more relevant as identity politics and protest culture intensifies.