Jason Safir and Justin Shenkarow Win 2014 Communicator Award

October 7th, 2014 | BY JASON SAFIR

Jason Safir Wins 2014 Communicator Award in the ‘Movie and Film Website’ category

I am honored that, from over 6000 entries, I have recently won a prestigious interactive design award at the 20th Annual Communicator Awards in the ‘Movie and Film Website’ category for my interactive design work on He Dont Got Game.

I would like to thank Justin Shenkarow and Veronica Alicino for helping make the series a success, as well as a really fun experience to create.

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded by communication professionals over a decade ago, The Communicator Awards is an annual competition honoring the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio. This year’s Communicator Awards received over six thousand entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. Judges include executives from organizations such as Conde Nast, Disney, Estee Lauder, MTV Networks, Time, Wired and Yahoo!

I am also honored to have received recognition for both my video and design work on the series from the CSSA Awards, One Page Mania, CSSREEL, The Web Show Show and PageCrush.

vimeoEmbedder.js: Embed and extend the customization of the Vimeo player using jQuery

August 12th, 2013 | BY JASON SAFIR

vimeoEmbedder is a jQuery plugin that helps artists and designers present their Vimeo videos on websites the way they want them to.

vimeoEmbedder.js is a lightweight jQuery plugin designed to help give artists and designers creative control over how their Vimeo videos are presented on the web. In addition to simplifying the process of embedding and styling the presentation of Vimeo videos, vimeoEmbedder.js has a host of configuration options that can be extended beyond the Vimeo player’s native abilities:


Changes the color scheme of the Vimeo player (including play button, progress bar and volume levels).


URL to a JPG/PNG poster image to display before the Vimeo video is loaded and playback is started.


Sets the background color of the poster image play button.


Assign a background color for the Vimeo player.


Input the Video ID that is assigned to your video file at Vimeo.com. (copy the URL or ID from your web browser’s address bar while viewing the video on Vimeo.)


Width of the player in pixels (defaults to 480 pixels).


Height of the player in pixels (defaults to 270 pixels).

I plan to expand the jQuery video plugin’s functionality and flexibility as new ideas arise. Please feel free to contribute to the plugins at it’s github destination. I am also open for feedback and ideas for future iterations of the plugin at jason@jasonsafir.com.

Click here to view documentation for the vimeoEmbedder.js plugin
Download the vimeoEmbedder.js plugin (ZIP)

Vaughn Murphy’s PowerBooks!

March 30th, 2011 | BY JASON SAFIR
Join Vaughn Murphy in a journey of self-discovery

Join Vaughn Murphy in a journey of self-discovery

A collection of powerful interactive self-help artifacts designed to take immediate control of your mental, emotional, physical and financial destiny!

Let the unlimited power that lies sleeping within you slumber no more. Vaughn Murphy can inspire YOU to help you make the decisions that you ultimately desire most! Vaughn Murphy’s PowerBooks® technology is really simple to use which is why they have helped so many people! The moment you interact with one of Vaughn Murphy’s interactive books, you will immediately be joining him in a journey of discovery. You may navigate your journey with Vaughn by selecting a chapter from the menu system that you are particular interested in soaking in.

Each of Vaughn Murphy PowerBook® is fully-equipped with powerful multimedia chapters covering an array of topics in decision making, money-making, faith healing, spiritual therapy and modern medicine. You can conveniently carry any one of Vaughn Murphy’s PowerBooks®, anywhere with you, whenever you need a quick dose of inspiration. So make the most important decision in your life today by making a powerful investment toward one of Vaughn Murphy’s interactive self-help compilations!

Watch a Demo of Vaughn Murphy’s PowerBooks® in Action!

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Serial Communication Between Max/MSP and Arduino Using the ‘Serial’ Object

July 13th, 2010 | BY JASON SAFIR

I needed a script to send multiple values from Max/MSP to an Arduino to control a few components. After researching for a viable solution for my application, I had discovered that it is really easy to interface Max/MSP with an Arduino microcontroller by simply using the ‘serial‘ object built-in into Max/MSP’s objects library.

Screenshot of Arduino to Max/MSP patch

Screenshot of Arduino to Max/MSP patch

arduino-to-max.maxpat (Save Link As…)

I put together a clean serial Max patch which simply uses the ‘serial‘ and ‘unpack‘ objects to get analog and/or digital values coming from Arduino into Max/MSP. This solutions makes it really easy to get serial values from your Arduino into Max/MSP by splitting up the different readings and outputting them into number-boxes.

To make the Max/MSP and Arduino serial patch work, you will also need to copy and paste a really simple Arduino syntax into a new Arduino sketch I put together below. You may alternatively download the Max/MSP and Arduino sketch.

int val1 = 0;
int val2 = 0;
int val3 = 0;

void setup()
  // start serial port at 9600 bps:

void loop()
  // read analog input, divide by 4 to make the range 0-255:
  val1 = analogRead(0);
  val2 = analogRead(1);
  val3 = digitalRead(2); 

  Serial.print(val1, DEC);
  Serial.print(" ");
  Serial.print(val2, DEC);
  Serial.print(" ");
  Serial.print(val3, DEC);
  // pause for 10 milliseconds:

Like any Arduino interface you build, you will need to identify the pin numbers you are using from your Arduino, and determine whether the inputs you are using are sending digital or analog values. The below example is setup to read an analog value from pin ’1′ and a digital value from pin ’2′.

 val2 = analogRead(1);
 val3 = digitalRead(2);

The Arduino sketch and Max/MSP patch I put together is setup to recognize three inputs, two analog input values on pins ’0′ and ’1′, and one digital input value on pin ’2′. There is no limit in how many values you can send to Max/MSP from Arduino, on the software side, so feel free to add additional pin recognition lines into the Arduino sketch if your interface requires additional inputs. If you are adding additional inputs, it is important to make sure that the Serial.print(“\r”); line always appears at the end of the loop function, directly before the delay function. This line of code simply let’s Arduino know that we are at the end of the loop.

Max/MSP Unpack Object

For every additional serial value you arrange to send to Max from Arduino, you will also need to add an additional ’0′ symbol into the unpack object’s input list inside the Max patch. When you input a new symbol into the ‘unpack’ object, a new outlet will appear beneath the object, which outputs your inputs serial value corresponding to the pin you identified it with in your Arduino sketch. Once you are done tweaking your Arduino sketch, don’t forget to upload it onto your Arduino board!

That’s it! I connected a toggle switch onto the ‘serial’ object. Press the switch to either turn serial communication on or off between Max/MSP and Arduino.

For instructions on getting started with using an Arduino and a breadboard, I recommend visiting ITP’s Physical Computing resource page, which has many descriptive and illustrative tutorials on getting set up with an Arduino.

The Funny Side of Technology

March 25th, 2010 | BY JASON SAFIR
Image courtesy of Bekathwia

Image courtesy of Bekathwia

I think it is safe to say that for most of us, our relationship with technology is a love-hate affair. Tech gadgets that start out as luxuries quickly become must-have necessities. I have become hooked on invention, ingenuity, and innovative products over the past few weeks while doing research for my thesis at ITP. The question I keep asking myself is whether these problem-solving products actually make the world a better place?

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10 Interactive Video Art Projects that Get Physical with Screens

February 8th, 2010 | BY JASON SAFIR

People have always loved watching screens. The video screen has surged where people love this window onto a whole new world of possibility and opportunity. We are increasingly feeling this attraction with screens. Over the past decade we have seen the emergence of more and more screens with serious multimedia capabilities. Today, we use screens for informing, communicating, entertaining, and connecting. The following are ten of my favorite interactive video art projects that I believe make strong emotional connections with people using screens.

1. Potent Objects
Potent Objects playfully examines the way we ascribe emotion to inanimate technologies. The work parallels current research in ‘affective computing,’ in which the capability of sensing and conveying emotion is built into computing devices. (Work by Camille Utterback)

Potent Objects by Camille Utterback

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Mood Board

February 4th, 2010 | BY JASON SAFIR

A collection of images that will help inspire the design of my thesis project at ITP. Gathered from a wide array of sources, some of the artists’ and designers’ works assembled into my thesis mood board include Han Hoogerbrugge, Rafaeal Rozendall, Morgan Guegan, paperad, Redman, Slick Rick, and Craig Robinson.

You can view each individual image from my mood board on Jason Safir’s Flickr page.

Rusty Business Documentation

December 21st, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

Presented at the ITP Winter Show 2009 and NIME 2009, Rusty Business is a video sequencer that produces electronically controlled cartoon antics using large inflatable hammers.

[flickr album=72157623072000888 num=18 size=Square]

A database of slapstick comedy gags are executed when inflatable hammers hit push button switches. The interactions performed by the users handling of the hammer produces a unique visual and auditory experience onto the projected montage displays. Every hit from the inflatable hammer triggers a different, unexpected and shocking reaction from the character, conveying his struggles with work, sickness and modern day insanities.

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Rusty Business @ NIME 2009

December 14th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

This week I performed my new interactive comedy project “Rusty Business” at the ITP New Interfaces for Musical Expression Concert 2009 in Brooklyn at Southpaw. My project is a video sequencer that produces electronically controlled cartoon antics when large inflatable hammers hit jumbo push button switches. My performance also featured a guest appearance by Elie Zananiri who played the role as my character’s boss.

Click here to view more photos from the show. (Courtesy of LEESEAN)

Pacer Times

October 28th, 2009 | BY JASON SAFIR

The web site I designed for the University of South Carolina Aiken’s online student magazine was recently launched. The site’s overall purpose is to provide a news resource for student’s studying at the University. My focus on their redesign was to create a more youthful and fun look to help students become more interested to engage in on campus social life, take a look.