Today’s Obsession: Kind of Screwed

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Maisel's original art for Kind of Blue

Maisel's original art for Kind of Blue (left) and the reimagined art for Kind of Bloop (right)

Basically all of Twitter is talking about this piece from Andy Baio, who is better known to all y’all as “one the guys who started Kickstarter.”

Last year, he put out a cute lil’ one-off album called Kind of Bloop, which is a tribute to Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blue, dressed in High Nerd drag: all the tracks on Kind of Bloop are rearranged in 8-bit music. If you’re not a nerd, this means “it sounds like it came right out of an Atari 2600.”

To match the mood of the album, Baio reinterpreted the original cover photography, which righteously peeved the original artist, photographer Jay Maisel. Baio got sued, but Maisel settled out of court for about $32,000. Andy’s publicly telling the story.

There are times that I think the net goes too far and actually does a disservice to artists by using machines to re-interpret genuine works of art. This is one of those times, although it chagrins me to think that about any of Andy’s work. As you can see from the artwork, it’s not literally “just filtered” (look at the tie), but a lot of that could be achieved quickly with Photoshop’s Mosaic filter.

At the bottom of the entry is something really cool: a series of images based on the original photo, each filtered further. Baio’s asking which one his readers thinks image begins to be a fair reinterpretation of the original work.