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Max Rubenacker
Works at somethingformed.com
Lives in New York
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Max Rubenacker

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sky nyc variant converted gif

returning to these day-night cycle animations, looking for a more subtle effect.

also playing with some CSS text clipping at codepen.io/somethingformed/full/PwReOo
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Erin Joiner's profile photoSuzanne Levine's profile photoBen Piché's profile photoJoshua Loyd's profile photo
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Did you create the whole thing dude? This is awesome. Great gif art.

Max Rubenacker

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eight fifty-three AM. just at the edge between Working Day Responsible Grown-Up Regular Job Upstanding Citizen o'clock and the barren indecipherable dreamscape of morning. between the haves and the have-nots, something something something.

<reset>

THE IDEA

was always to have a sketchbook, a place where everything lived. not something that i set up, something public. "*SOCIAL*" is the word these days, i believe. but it turned into something else.

//
in my internal view of the world, it was more like setting up and doing my work where people would come by and see it. rather than hiding out in the woods i could ply my trade on a street corner where people could walk by, and just see what happens.
//

remember though, i'm talking about the internet. blogs and personal websites and even email newsletters are not enough. too walled, too hokey, too prescriptive even. there has to be some kind of active engagement. humans have conversations. we will converse wherever we find each other, the trick is in the finding. so my mission was to do the work, and talk, and do it in a public place. that's it. leave it where someone can find it. contribute to the wealth of human stories. 


BUT

that's not how it went. things change. evolution is a word. instead of just sitting in a shared place and hanging up my art, other forces are at work. going to the internet does not escape human institutions, nor does it exclude you from cultural influence. capitalism is also a word, as is money. there's an exchange of goods and services going on, and in many cases the Internet is this thing we talk about like the california hills in 1849. there's gold in those hills..." "how can we mine our users' data?

so here we are. in 2015 in a social and connected world. or part of the world, really. at least the one that speaks the language set called "english" and is connected to a service called "Google" using some agreed-upon set of technologies and financial transactions. connecting to the internet means connecting to a very specific set of humans, and it leaves a lot of the humans of the planet earth out of the equation. (maybe more on this thought later.)


AND THEN

the question: how to survive as an artist (an adventure in any time period). my way of solving problems is to spend a lot of time thinking about things before developing a carefully calibrated set of tests to measure my perceptions. so i jumped onto a street corner of the internet as a way to see what would happen if i put my work out in a way that people would see it.


later, like two years ago, i found myself gaining many followers on here. there was a lot going on. i was pulling myself out of a long period of financial hardship, sacrifices and weird experiences and heartbreak and unconditional love. i was starting a job that would see me through for the foreseeable future. i was buying new clothes. i was thinking about moving to another city. i was talking to people. my street corner experiment paid off.

then the creeping greed came, along with a long inky fuzzy black void over all my creativity. i wanted more and there was enough vacuum to gobble up all the more as if it never existed. utter silence, just a resonating feeling in infinite uncertainty. i fished around in there for what "my work" had come to mean, what my art was about. i was looking for my masterpiece, like this idea that i am a journeyman and need to do something that says i have a deep understanding of my craft. so i dove into that reality.

//
and when my eyes opened in the morning i took my body to the office, wherever that was. beautiful giddy warm morning walks in sherman oaks, looking at mansions in the LA hills and brushed stickily by palm trees. or gritty frozen new york city winter nights pushing against the wind into an inky impossible night, a hushed squeezed pall on glossy streets and backlit steam. and then when i opened my eyes again i took my body to the office.
//

i never stopped thinking about what i was looking for. but somewhere in there i lost the idea about doing my work in a place where people could see it. i put my finger up, like someone talking on a cell phone, and demanded that you wait.

wait.

wait.

eventually if you stop coming to the street corner, the people who were hanging out disperse. things get quiet. connections fade. some bad things, silly or stupid things happen. words are said, decisions made. the show goes on. some characters stay, some leave. my simulacra sat like stone, watching from the margins. seeing what people were up to. watching the world change. wars and plagues came and went. some scientists unlocked god's door expecting to find Him and found He'd left a message instead: something quirky and frustrating like, "the princess is in another castle." the simulacra made notes and passed them on to me.

my street corner still has people passing by, but my work is faded like graffiti or some pasted shapes glued to a wall. it's still there, now far away and degraded. like a concert poster for a date long passed, vague echoes of sounds unheard or reconstructed. the story moved on. the denizens who passed that corner moved on. i moved on. 

AND NOW
i find myself coming up for air. a snapping popping kind of feeling. that job i was starting back in those busy days a couple years ago, that contract is concluded. and with it gone i open my eyes and am not dragging my body somewhere. i'm letting my eyes and my body and my mind stay together for a while and reconnect.

and again, forever and ever, i'm unable to let the art thing go. i don't want to call myself an artist right now or maybe ever again, but i've spent two years fishing in the deep void and i've found many treasures. i think you will be interested to see them. i don't know how i'm going to share them with you just yet, but i'm working on it right now.

i'll let you know.
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<3

Max Rubenacker

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contemplating the road ahead.

from poirot, 1991
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Poirot! The nastiest little Belgian!

Max Rubenacker

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messenger bag wire clip prototype

something i'm sending off for 3D printing and testing. i've been pondering this design for a couple weeks now, and obsessing about it over the last few hours while i iron out the model. i'm getting two made on shapeways.com, we'll see how it turns out.

so, since coming to live in new york i spend much of my time on public transit. while moving through this universe something i find continually irking me is earbud cable management. buses and subways are places where portable audio and bags frequently mingle but almost always lead to annoyances. i hate dangling wires and earbuds/headphones getting yanked of of or out of my head. arranging everything neatly usually lasts until it's time to actually walk somewhere. 

moving through the city it's rarely adequate to rely on pockets. our devices are small but they're not that small. i see even minimalistic totes and handbags leading to unfortunate wire management situations. there's always a look of embarrassment or anger when earbuds get ripped out. the ever present part of this story is always a bag. backpacks, messenger bags, something. so i started thinking about using my bag as an anchor.

wires should be easy to capture, without looking. the entire process of donning audio augmentations should remain unencumbered. after that wires need to be easy to release. sometimes things get tugged or hooked and it's better to fail quickly than damage wires or get pulled along for the ride. then there's arrangement. the wire clip should be easy to position but generally stay put. then as an object it needs to be a quiet fashion accessory that doesn't compete.

ideally it should just be a clip on a strap that gives you some flexibility when it comes to running a wire from your head to your bag or pocket.
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You're a genius. I always said so. 

Max Rubenacker

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klaxon, love bunny.

the entire irreverent quirky collection at 365revolution.tumblr.com is fantastic. it was really hard to select just two to share.

gifs 144, 179
from 365revolution.tumblr.com/post/112686189305 and http://365revolution.tumblr.com/post/109405606760
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james kalin's profile photo
 
holy crap. so much goodness.

Max Rubenacker

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the anchorites.

by Axentowicz and Ejsmond, via commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Anchorites
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Max Rubenacker

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simulation notification.

via lord-aardvark.tumblr.com/post/72272416781
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Have them in circles
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Max Rubenacker

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latest web design obsession: harp.io

key words: node.js based preprocessor and web server.

i'm playing with the paid "platform" plan. it creates a shared folder in your dropbox and you just throw code in there. a local server lets you preview your work, then when you want to go live with an update you just smack a nice magenta "publish" button on harp's site. 

i was fishing around for a node/javascripty jekyll replacement with robust templating. ruby on rails is annoying to debug and jekyll is a pain in the ass to set up and troubleshoot. i like to write my own code and i didn't want to muss about with PHP (wordpress) anymore. today i'm thinking about migrating my jekyll site (that i originally built for m.oxru.in) over to harp.

what makes me so happy is that this bridges the way i love working at codepen.io/somethingformed where i can use my arcane syntaxes like LESS for styling and JADE for markup and not worry about turning those back into CSS/HTML. and JSON is supremely human-readable. the big caveat is if you go with the free/self-hosted version (as opposed to the paid one-button platform version), you need more than ye olde shared hosting SFTP access web hosting we've been buying since the 90s. you need to set up on a different kind of service that requires some typing in a terminal. personally i like that because in my heart i'm still a kid poking around in DOS, but i know that's not for everyone.

or if none of those words mean anything to you, it's still a fun simple way to host a website and keep files on dropbox for easy editing and backup. i'm going to keep playing with it and see if it holds up over long-term use.
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Max Rubenacker

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generative generation.
 
Data set toilet, (generative art is the shit) 20"x20" oil on board. #wip #generative #theshit
I've since filled the white gaps with lines.

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Max Rubenacker

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clip wip

some process shots along the way, from playing with a sketch to first test version.
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Nice. Thinking about where the strap is going to exert the most force (right at that opening), I wouldn't center-slit the end - either leave a J-shaped overhang on one side so it grips the strap with back/forth action typical of crowd movement, or use diagonal separation at the end, or consider a simple snap on one side.

Cool concept.

Max Rubenacker

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aerial view of queensboro bridge spanning east river looking toward midtown manhattan in 1991.

sometimes when i go over the 59th street bridge i try to imagine the view from this era.

by jet lowe loc.gov/pictures/item/ny0326.photos.348968p
via the lovely collection at nycpast.tumblr.com/post/40027312156
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Max Rubenacker

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then one day i looked up and my inbox was empty.
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Hi Gilliom. Dead link
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Have them in circles
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artist, designer
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  • somethingformed.com
    mad scientist art guy, 2010 - present
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New York
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Denver - Los Angeles - Amsterdam
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mad scientist art guy
Introduction
hello friend. i'm max, nice to meet you.

living in art, forever a student of design. i love all things digital. 3D, photography, graphics, web and print, plus any media i can get my hands on. currently obsessed with user experience and glitch fairytales. as a mad scientist i construct universes, populating them with my creations.

my personal site is over at m.oxru.in, formerly somethingformed.com

graphic & web designer since 1995. playing in ultra minimalistic HTML/CSS  sandboxes, former tech guy fixing gadgets, presently UX wizard. something formed is my publishing brand, google plus is my artist's notebook where i collect sketches and ideas, research, ponderings. some keywords: texture, language, music, infographics, sci-fi, things that end in -punk, game theory, glitch, noir, zen. history nerd and tabletop gamer.

previously on google+ i assembled weekly Friday Art Critique digests powered by the Art Nucleus community, cohosted the Art+Talk series of discussions, and served as keeper of the grounds in ARTlandea.
Bragging rights
found enlightenment, did laundry.
Education
  • Bachelor of Art, Studio Art, 2010
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