Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Vanitas" Virtual Memento Mori for your Iphone

VANITAS. from Tale of Tales on Vimeo.

iPhone developers Tale of Tales recently released Vanitas, an intriguingly unique app they describe as “a memento mori for your digital hands.” Named after a style of still life paintings from the 16th and 17th century that feature symbols of death and impermanence, Vanitas is designed to invite contemplation on mortality.
--Laughing Squid, "Vanitas – A Digital Memento Mori For The iPhone"
Wow! What a truly surprising and delightful direction for game and interactive design! A bit digital looking to my taste, but I love the sentiment, and the serious attempt to revive the memento mori tradition for the digital age. I will be quite curious to see what kind of popularity such a product can achieve...

From the website:
VANITAS. A memento mori for your digital hands.
To lift you up when you're feeling down. And drag you down when you're up too high.

Everything flows, nothing remains.
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!
Life is the farce we are all forced to endure.

Sometimes, when you're depressed, it's good to see something depressing.
A contemplation of the fleetingness of life. To help appreciate what you have.
A meditative experience. A spiritual toy. A reminder of the preciousness of life.

Referring to still life paintings from the 16th and 17th century, Vanitas presents you with a gorgeously rendered 3D box filled with intriguing objects. Close the box and open it again to see new objects. You can move the objects by tilting your iPhone or pushing and dragging the objects with your fingers. To create pleasant arrangements that inspire and enchant. Some objects decay. A flower blooms. A bubble pops. Life like an empty dream flits by...

Designed by Auriea Harvey & Michael Samyn. With cello music by Zoe Keating.

Made at the occasion of The Art History of Games symposium in February 2010 in Atlanta.
To see more, watch the application trailer above. You can find out more here, and can purchase the app--only $0.99!--by clicking here. Via Laughing Squid; click here to view the orignal post, which provides much more information.

Image: Vanitas Still Life (1650) by Aelbert Janszm, via Museumblogs.


kendal croix. said...

so cool. i wish i had a iphone for this.

Anonymous said...

they keep doing cooler and cooler stuff. Their Fatale game is wicked.

Heather said...

Joanna- I know these guys. they did that game The Path, i was raving about. They're VERY interesting people


The Shitty Astrologer said...

It's a little depressing, but then misery loves company, or rather, uniquely artful company...

Circulatory said...

It's nice to read your blog again, even if you did subject me to this freaky phenomenon.

trusted drugs said...

I agree that taxidermy is more an artform than the general public generally views it. I guess for some the idea of death occupying the vessel eclipses the beauty in the frozen spirit.