Surrealist Hiptop pix!

This is the most incredibly cool thing I’ve seen in weeks. I was checking out May’s site and noticed a neat visual experiment she’s trying: Taking the tiny, postage-stamp-sized pictures from a Danger Hiptop, then using photomanipulation packages to turn them into amazingly gorgeous art.

It’s now a bona fide trend, and several photobloggers are producing some striking images. curiousLee has done a bunch of New-York related ones, including the skyline you see above. Mike Popvic, the guy who created Hiptop Nation, has done a couple of his own which you can see here — check out the second image, a manipulation of trees at dusk. It’s hauntingly pretty!

As curiousLee points out:

I think what tickles me about this trick is the transformation of these tiny iconized moments into impressionistic scenes that can be enlarged to monumental scale without additional loss of detail. It’s a refreshing reversal in an age of relentless miniaturization. I just got access to a 42” poster printer at work today, so I am itching to run off some prints.

This low-rez stuff is also a refreshing contrast to current trends in digital photography. These days, digital cameras are all super-realistic, seventy-gazillion-megapixel high-resolution shots. But as modernism originally suggested, and as these nifty Hiptop pix are proving … sometimes surrealism’s even better at capturing what’s really there.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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