Digital Digest: 22/11/2010

The Best Of The Web
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The Independent Tech


What is talent? Is it born or made? It’s an age-old question – but now a new area of research, called “expertise studies,” is seeking to deconstruct the traditional notion of innate talent by looking for other factors which might help to explain success. Genes, as it turns out are crucial – but not everything. Their outcome is never predetermined. The Atlantic takes a look:


Spike Jonze, the acclaimed director behind Being John Malkovich, and Where The Wild Things Are has returned to his music-video roots, directing the video for Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs”. Initially innocuous, it features a group of teenagers cycling round their neighbourhood shooting toy guns – only for events to turn sinister and rather Orwellian. Eerie.


Yet another member of the Coppola clan has joined the family trade. Gia Coppola, the 23-year-old granddaughter of Francis Ford, niece of Sofia, has quietly begun her own career directing music and fashion videos. Her style owes a huge amount to her aunt’s work, but still, she makes some very pretty shorts. Watch her video for British label Orla Kiely here:


Patti Smith, the godmother of punk, won the US National Book Award last week for Just Kids, a moving memoir of life in New York in the Sixties and Seventies and her friendship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. On the night she shared the last letter she ever wrote to Mapplethorpe before his death.


Last Night, written and directed by Massy Tadjedin, stars Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington as a married couple, each of whom start striking up relationships with others. The folk that catch their eyes are Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet, making this a very intriguing, not to mention attractive, cast.


Most of us could probably explain what the internet is, but few of us could draw it. However, a new online contest is asking us to do just that. ‘Can You Draw the Internet?’ pits young people against web professionals in an attempt to create a definitive graphical representation of the net.


Artist Donn Kenn creates pen and ink illustrations with a difference: they are all drawn on Post-it notes. Despite their miniscule size, his macabre illustrations are remarkably detailed and have a strangely eerie feel to them. The long worm-like sea creatures in the fourth canvass are delightful scary.