Op-Ed

The Difference Between MIT and ITP: Les Savy Fav vs Boston

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This is a guest post from Tarikh Korula, founder of Uncommon Projects, and originally appeared at his blog, unprojects.

I’m often asked what the difference is between NYU’s ITP and MIT’s Media Lab. Sometimes from prospective students, but mostly from high-powered executives or important writers who have heard of the program or The Show. I had one friend once who left Media Lab disappointed, so I’m super-qualified to speak about it.

MIT kids are smart. Really smart. They probably have been studying violin since they were, like, two. Then they wrote software algorithms when they were 10 to approximate a symphony that could play along with them in real time while they played Bach concertos. If these kids were a rock band, they’d be Emerson, Lake and Palmer with a laser show and a 360 major label deal.

ITP kids are… resourceful. We didn’t invent hacking or email or lasers and shit. We invented QTVRPCompGurlArduino and Foursquare. Instead of beautiful John Meada visualizations, we’ve got a lot of wooden tiles that move in concert to show you a picture of yourself and we think that’s art. It’s not really, but we never studied art so we don’t really know any better. If we were a rock band, we’d be the Ramones with their shitty recording contract and Laurie Anderson playing midi controlled tambourine. Read More

Kickstart or Kill

Kickstart or Kill? Bringing Animated GIFs To Life

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Welcome to the first of a new series here at Betabeat. Each week we will highlight one Kickstarter project focused on technology and based in New York City. The idea is to discuss the merits of the project and dissect their approach to fundraising.

To kick things off we’ve got Physical GIF, a project that combines our favorite file type with the laser-based maker culture that percolates at places like NYC Resistor.

Treating GIFs like high-brow art isn’t a new concept, but it’s having a moment right now. Read More