Working at the Pera Museum, the Japan Media Arts Festival and Maywa Denki’s Otamatone

Remember my post about the Pera Museum? Well guess what, I have been working there under the Japan Media Arts Festival for two weeks now, therefore I haven’t had much free time to update here, but it has been wonderful. You should definitely drop by if you are in Istanbul because it will definitely be worth it. I work at the fifth floor, where all the interactive media art works are, to guide some people who have a hard time understanding what’s going on, and are reluctant to touch some of the works. I still have one week left (or three days, which makes today – oopsie, it’s already 2 A.M.!, wednesday and friday, I’m there from 3 P.M. to 7 P.M.) so drop by if you want to see me AND the exhibitions. I figured I would have seen more familiar faces, but so far, apart from the friends I dragged along, I only saw one of the assistants from college and some celebrities that I didn’t recognize but was told later on who they were (why am I so bad with faces? WHY?)

Ahem. So I’ll tell you my favorite work at the exhibition which is the Otamatone by the Maywa Denki corporation. Before I started working in the museum, I attended the seminars (because I wanted to, I hadn’t even seen the job posting at the time) where the artists introduced their works so that helped a lot while answering questions. I saw the guy who invented the otamatone and he was an adorable person. So basically the otamatone is a music-note shaped cute toy/musical instrument where the stem of the note is the handle of the instrument, the head of the note is actually… a head, and the flag of the note is a rotatable piece. This all sounds really confusing, but to sum it up:

Behold, the otamatone! To play this very cute instrument, you have to use two hands. While pressing on the touchpad on the handle, you have to squeeze the cheeks of the head so that the mouth will open and a high pitched or bass sound will be played through the small speaker inside the head. The notes start with Do from the top. You do have to press on the cheeks or there will  be no sound at all. I find this ingenious and adorable at the same time. And today for the first time, I have looked at the price through amazon.com, and the price of this black otamatone is *drumroll please* – only 35.95$! I was expecting it to be over 70$ so I guess this is pretty decent. There are a lot of different versions of the otamatone, the black one being my favorite. There is also a white version, and another version with a face consisting of teeth (the black one has a silver colored handle while the white one has a gold colored one). You could purchase one from this link.

Anyway, you could play with them for free (once you pay for the museum ticket) as long as you want on the fifth floor of the museum. The exhibition will continue until the 3rd of October, so be sure to pay a visit before it’s over.

More updates soon!

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Shoes!

Inspired from toxel’s post and designboom. Seeing all these shoes make me want to go shopping!

First pair designed by Chau Her Lee.

Shoe designed by Chau Har Lee, this shoe doesn't have an ordinary heel if you haven't noticed.

Sandals by Yarel Yair Design Studio.

A wooden summer sandal, inspired by the Japanese sandal, with an innovative fresh look , made from natural materials, lightweight and airy. Made from wood, steel and leather. By Yarel Yair Design Studio.

And now, the hoof shoe craze, started by Iris Shieferstein!

'vegas girl' by german artist iris schieferstein, 2009 toy pistol, cow hooves, zipper

Taken from Shieferstein’s website: “For many years, Iris Schieferstein has worked with dead animals as raw material for her pieces of art. She joins the fragments together to new creatures and thus gives a new face to death. No matter, if her arrangements follow paintings of the great masters of art or if the joined objects turn out to be whole words – her work always gives evidence of aesthetic intutition and her inclination to subtle enterntainment.The earlier you die – the longer you are dead.”

Interesting point of view, and I don’t like how dead animals are used, but if you think about it, we all wear shoes made from leather all the time – taken from dead animals brutally. So I guess this isn’t that bad after all.

iris schieferstein, 2005

girl wearing martin margiela hoof shoes

By the way, Martin Margiela’s website is awesome and it’s NOT under construction!

other hoof shoes by martin margiela, apparently, he has them for all seasons.

And skeletal stilettos by dsquared2! I loved the entire series.

Aand, one of my favorites of all time, Liam Fahy‘s Stormtrooper stilettos, that won him the Fashion Fringe Shoe competition, bagging him a paid internship with Rupert Sanderson.

Last but not least, an interesting interactive shoe that works through an iPhone app, “SHORT ++” (or robotic elevator shoes), created by Adi Marom.

Toy Story 3 Character Spoilers

Here are 10 of the 14 adorable new characters designed for Toy Story 3 by Pixar. We have yet to see the remaining 4 characters, but it’s exciting to see all the textures and squishiness of the new characters already. My favorites so far is are Mr Picklepants the hedgehog plushie, and Stretch the octopus. Watch the trailer of Toy Story 3 here on one of my previous posts.

Dolly is a soft and sweet dress-up rag doll, and is the perfect gift for any young child! Her floppy body and sunny smile will make her an irresistible new member of your family. Dolly has purple hair, googly eyes and gently blushing cheeks. She comes with a pretty blue dress, but templates are included to create and sew your own outfits! Machine washable on gentle cycle. http://nku.me/TS3Dolly

Frolic your afternoons away on woodland adventures with Mr. Pricklepants! This charmin lederhosen-wearing hedgehog is from the Waldfreunde collection of premium imported plush toys. He may look prickly, but the plump and fuzzy Mr. Pricklepants is made strictly for cuddling! Hand wash and air dry. Restore fluffiness with fingers. Made in Germany. http://nku.me/TS3MrPicklepants

Sparks will fly – literally – during electrifying playtimes with your new robot friend Sparks! This retro-inspired toy has flashing red LED eyes and a blaster cavity that actually spits out real sparks when he’s rolled along on his sturdy rubber wheels. Sparks also sports telescoping arms with working pincers, and an elevator action that raises his entire body to new heights. Sparking action completely child-safe. Requires two AA batteries (not included). http://nku.me/TS3Sparks

Meet Twitch, the insectaloid warrior, where MAN + INSECT = AWESOME! This sturdy action figure stands over five inches tall, with more than 15 points of articulation, including ferocious chomping mandibles. Use his powerful wings and impenetrable exoskeleton to evade capture! Twitch is meticulously detailed and includes his signature magical battle staff and removable chest armor. For children ages 4 and up. Other insectaloid figures sold separately. http://nku.me/TS3Twitch

Stretch is a fun-loving under-the-sea octopus friend that shines in glittery purple. Kids can count her eight rubbery legs and dozens of sticky suckers that are sure to stand up to rough-and-tumble play and extreme stretching. Toss her high on the wall and watch her climb her way down! Clean in mild soap solution to remove dust and lint. http://nku.me/TS3Stretch

Peas-in-a-Pod will quickly become a parent’s favorite on-the-go toy. The soft, plush pod secures the happy peas inside with a durable metal zipper, making it perfect for the car or stroller. The Peas-in-a-Pod plush toy also develops fine motor skills by catering to a child’s natural grab instinct. Pulling the three peas out of the pod will provide repeated enjoyment for infants and toddlers, and soon they’ll learn to put them back in! Machine washable. Not for human consumption.

Saddle up for fun and let Buttercup lead your child away on a magical adventure! This cuddly unicorn features velvety-soft, snow-colored fur with sparkly gold and pink accents. He sports a signature mythical golden horn and a fun-to-comb mane and tail. Buttercup’s durable plastic eyes are both charming and scratch-resistant. Hypo-allergenic. Ages 3 and up. http://bit.ly/TS3buttercup

Trixie is a perfect playmate for prehistoric playtime! Visit the era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth! Made of rigid, durable plastic and in friendly shades of blue and purple, Trixie features an expressive mouth and movable legs. This gentle Triceratops will feed any child’s imagination. Also available: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Velociraptor. http://nku.me/TS3Trixie

Grab your binoculars and join Ken on a safari! A swinging bachelor who's always on the lookout for fun, Ken sports the perfect outfit for his eco-adventure: light blue shorts and a leopard-print shirt with short sleeves sure to keep him cool in the hot sun. And after his exciting expedition, Ken will be ready to hit the dance floor in style. His accessories include matching scarf, sensible loafers, and a fashion-forward gold belt. Dozens of additional Ken outfits sold separately.

Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear is a jumbo, extra-soft teddy bear with a pink and white plush body and a velvety purple nose. This lovable bear stands fuzzy heads and shoulders above other teddy bears because he smells like sweet strawberries! With a smile that will light up your child's face and a belly just asking to be hugged, Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear is sure to become a bedtime necessity. Stain-resistant. Spot clean plush surface with a damp cloth.

Final Fantasy XIII Package art released!

The highly anticipated Final Fantasy XIII by Square Enix will be released on the 9th of March, 2010 in Europe and in the U.S.

According to the announcement of Yoshinori Kitase, the producer of Final Fantasy XIII (also the producer of other games in the series), the Square Enix team has worked with high definition for the first time.

Here are the package design, both for PlayStation 3 and Xbox.