Jason Safir and Justin Shenkarow Win 2014 Communicator Award

October 7th, 2014

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

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 (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

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

Vaughn Murphy’s PowerBooks!

March 30th, 2011
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!


10 Interactive Video Art Projects that Get Physical with Screens

February 8th, 2010

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


Rusty Business Documentation

December 21st, 2009

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.


The Joy of Technology

December 23rd, 2008

The Joy of Technology is a playful video installation that uses both humor and drama to emphasize our intimate relationship with technology. The satirical character inside the cardboard television set responds to the user’s operation of technology. An electronic razor grows hairs on his face, a pencil sharpener rotates him and tears his shirt, a stapler pokes staples onto his forehead and leaves shatters all over the television glass, and a blow-dryer rotates the screen. All these actions affect the character’s overall appearance once all the technologies are shut off. In addition, the character can also be placed into different settings by turning the television’s rotating knob. Some of the programming that the character is placed into includes a news broadcast, a courtroom and outdoor settings.


Modern Living

November 29th, 2008

Modern Living is a series of fifteen television parodies that mock various perspectives of television culture

The five-minute compilation pokes fun at our TV-addicted age by presenting a variety of imitated television programming and advertisements. These segments center around issues and themes that is relevant in our modern times including mass-consumption, obsession with stardom and ubiquitous technology. Each parody is presented with the same recognizable character throughout, who is placed in different mediated contexts. The performer also acts as the viewer of his own programming, revealing a perspective of television we don’t see when sitting on our couch.

Modern Living advances on my continuous interest in mocking television culture. These parodies are meaningful to me because they reveal the deceptiveness behind media corporations in a fun and creative way. The work also illustrates the damaging effects television can place on a viewer’s impression of the world.

Boiling Particles

November 3rd, 2008

There are many meaningful ways to project interactive particles than on a flat surface screen. Many web art sites depict intricate and well-designed algorithms, but I feel there are more appropriate contexts to present these animations. A futuristic antique could add a whole new dimension to algorithm animations.

Boiling Particles is a virtual cooking pot. The knobs positioned on the stove top adjust the patterns and behaviors of the digital particles that are virtually boiling inside the pot. When the temperature of the water is adjusted with the knobs, the intensity and color scheme of the particles in the animation slowly respond and changes with a randomized effect. The inclusion of accentuated boiling sounds may also be implemented into this new media device.

– projector positioned underneath pot
– laptop for serial communication with Arduino and Flash
– Particles application developed in AS3
– Wooden stove top with knobs connected to Arduino micro-controller
– Stove pot with hole underneath
– A sheet of transparency paper to cover the pot’s empty base
The production process has three stages:
1) Programming the particles algorithm
2) Building wooden stove-top prototype with three knobs/potentiometers
3) Hardware and projector setup

Boiling water is fun … but I am an amateur when it comes to cooking. A virtual cooking device is what I need to learn how to better manage myself in the kitchen. If I screw up, there are no consequences and no food wasted. By projecting boiling water through a digital projection, the process of cooking can be more magical, colorful and visually intriguing. My idea is a scary one too. The way our digital age is progressing, we are losing our conception of reality. Computers are increasingly framing our notion of realism. There is an infinite amount of ways to improve all aspects of our lives with technologies – many of which reduce our ability to understand the reality we live in today. This scary transition, that the digital age is encouraging, is what I seek to express in my futurist antique.

Light Sculpture

September 15th, 2008

For this week’s assignment my challenge was to use candles to convey a message. I first thought it would be interesting to compose the candles in letters that would reflect a word involving light, in this case “Lit”.

For my light sculpture, I chose to center an object around candles. I arranged the candles into a male symbol and placed a black formal shoe at the center. The shoe is iconic for materiality. Also, the shoe is glossy and is thus reflective from the light. The color black was the perfect choice.

Similar to the figure above, in this example I arranged a candles into a women’s symbol and depicted a high heel as the main subject. I feel this juxtaposition between the two example convey a strong message about the objectives of capitalism cultural hegemony. The use of candles and light projects made this interesting concept possible.

Response to the Futurist’s Manifesto: “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting”

September 15th, 2008

The objectives of new media differ considerably than to the ideas expressed in the Futurist’s manifesto “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting”. While both of their perspectives share a desire to modernize art by adapting it to the changing world, the Futurist’s greatly opposed two things that new media now embraces: the use of technology in art and the notion of mechanical reproduction. Coming from a new media background, the Futurist’s outlined declarations stated in their manifesto feels harsh and stubborn; however, I feel a great deal of respect for what they stood for at the same time.

A painting is more than just its subject. The Futurists believed that every detail in a painting has an effect on the context of the overall picture. The Futurist’s ultimate argument was that pictures are absolute: they have the spiritual power to give off a dynamic sensation onto its viewer if they are interpreted in intellectually. Coming back to today, this argument is very relevant in how we interpret multimedia experiences. Many details and aspects are usually ignored by the viewer, yet they play a great significance in the output of their experiences. The Futurist’s declared that innate complementariness is an absolute necessity in painting. Our psyche has a habit of blocking things out, yet elements that are ignored sub-consciously affect how we see things. If we make a conscious effort to become familiar with the inter-disciplinary elements involved in all art forms, our eyes will become trained to see more. I believe that an application of the Futurist’s approach of dynamism would help us become more engaged to art pieces, enhancing our overall experiences to them in a new light.

Any artist working in new media has to oppose many of the ideas aggressively expressed by the Futurists. However, it is important to recognize that their ideas have had an immense impact in the way we understand and produce art today, in other words, postmodernism.