Pop singer and pop culture icon Boy George (formerly of Culture Club) credits a passage from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as the inspiration for the song “Any Road” from his new album, This is What I Do. There is alas no video yet for this track, but apparently George uses a Wonderland theme to address the various paths one can choose in life, and his own choice to step away from the various forms of addiction that have dogged him in the past.
Imagine the scene in the gallery: on a giant screen, you watch Alice leap off a book and lead you into Wonderland. Slowly you realize that the animation you are watching is somehow watching you—and copying your every move. As the artist, Ruth Sergel, describes it: “In front of the looking glass, fantasy and reality merge as Alice fluidly mirrors the viewer’s every move.” The interactive work is currently being exhibited at Multimedier Schlachthof in Berlin, Germany.
Ruth Sergel is an American artist, activist, and “interactive technology designer” whose film and performance work has appeared at MOMA in New York, and in galleries around Europe. More information about “Alice in Berlin” can be found on Sergel’s website, Street Pictures, where there is also a video showing visitors interacting with Alice.
Long before the world knew anything of tablet PCs and iPads, David Neal had an idea for an animated audiobook that children could watch on a screen. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was the inspiration, more specifically the many talented illustrators who had brought the story to life. Fast forward twenty years and Neal has brought the story to life in his own way. As he puts it, “to make a long story short, twenty voices, three animators, an investor and various other help and ten or so months later, we have created Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The 150th Anniversary Edition for Tablet Computers.”
In the audiobook, classic illustrations are animated and sometimes merge into each other. Watching the preview, it is quite strange to see Bessie Pease Gutmann’s white rabbit metamorphose into Margaret Tarrant’s white rabbit and from there into Alice B. Woodward’s white rabbit—hopping all the way. Illustration afficionados might like to take the opportunity to test their knowledge as the scenes unfold!
The audiobook can be purchased via the website Alice Winks for $9.95.
Do you remember, as a child, the first time you encountered Lewis Carroll’s book? We may have all had a few embarrassing thoughts, comparing it to more famous later adaptations. Or perhaps you fudged a few facts in a grade school book report after having half-read a book. This young Singaporean girl puts her heart on her sleeve, and presents an innocent first impression to anyone out there watching on the internet:
Extracted from her review, here are a few reasons to read the classic version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
“Pretty cheap, I just grabbed it and go,” because it looks “really classic.” The book is “really, really cheap.”
The book cover has Alice, The Mad Hatter, the Bunny, and perhaps a Lion? According to her, this book is one exception to the rule that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
The way it’s written is “way different” from the way “the movie is based.”
“The book is similar to the movies, actually though like the same, but the author wrote it in such a brilliant way, it makes everything different than the movie, and I know I’m doing like a lot of like hand gestures.”
“At first I was like, oh, this is another Alice in Wonderland book, and the Mad Hatter looks weird … I flipped through it, and I don’t even see a single dragon. … But maybe it’s a Caucus [cactus?] race. No.” (Perhaps she’s wondering where the movie’s Jabberwock is?)
“I really like this book a lot, you should get this. It was actually on sale. … I’m not sure you can get this anywhere else.”
In conclusion: pending its availability, it comes highly recommended due to its economical pricing, attractive cover, and the clever ways it departs from the film. One caveat: no dragon. She’s very charming though, and I hope she finishes reading it.
There is a new children’s book about Tony Sarg, master puppeteer and inventor of the first balloons for New York’s Macy Day Parade. Sarg was also the creator of Tony Sarg’s Treasure Book – an early “mechanical book” with sliding illustrations and removable pieces. The Alice in Wonderland chapter, demonstrated in the video below, is clearly an important ancestor of last year’s interactive e-book for iPad.
You know how it is. You read an email alert which leads to a blog, which leads to a YouTube clip, which leads to you spending 6:31 minutes watching a 1987 spoof of Madonna’s “Material Girl” starring Alice and six men in Tweedle suits, shot entirely on location and out of hours in Disney World, Florida.
It’s brilliantly awful, but if for any reason you can’t quite watch it all, at least skip to the end to read the extensive credits. Prominent thanks are given to the Walt Disney World Character Wardrobe, on the principal that sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, I assume.
Has your Monday been too mimsy? Not mimsy enough? Never fear, here is a recording of Jabberwocky read by Sir Christopher Lee, famous for playing Count Dracula, Saruman, Scaramanga and countless other tall and sinister men. According to the host site Metacafe, the recording was made at the British Library sometime last year and uploaded by a user called “poetictouch”. Enjoy.
Monday morning off to a dull start? Transform it with this Vocaloid musical created by the Japanese artist known as Oster Project.
The part of Alice (and possibly all the other parts as well – I’m shaky on the technology here) was “sung” by Hatsune Miku, a singing synthesizer application which was created using vocal samples from Japanese actress Saki Fujita. Hatsume Miku, one of many singing personas created using the Vocaloid software, has become a virtual idol: her album topped a Japanese weekly album chart and she even performed “live” in Tokyo in last year.