<p>The holidays are fast approaching and last minute panic buying is no fun at all.</p>
As the holiday season looms before us like a glittering dream of over-indulgence, the only way to tackle it is by embracing it head on. And part of that embracement means buying gifts for friends, family, colleagues, strangers (if you’re really feeling that holiday cheer) and that person you share your life with. But gift buying can be problematic to negotiate—those DVD boxsets just don’t cut it in the download age. While giving is a pleasure, finding what to give is a stressful chore, and it’s all gotten so much more complicated. And boohoo.
But there’s a few rules to remember like suitability is key, as is not being a total cheapskate. So we thought we’d help you get in everyone’s good books with a handy list of stuff we’d like to see in our stockings. Have a peruse of this lot—from handcrafted wool MacBook covers to 3D printed Minecraft avatars—and you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your list. You’re welcome.
No matter what they may say, your partner doesn’t really want that iPad. Sure, maybe they’ve been going on about it all year, but pay no mind, it’s just the ubiquitous commercials casting a spell. What they really want is a mix of old and new media: a journal they can write in—you know, with a pen, like in the olden days—that also houses a 4GB USB stick on the silicon strap. They’ll still be able to cart around all their digital files while penning down their thoughts (in real ink) about the death of old media.
This could be a gift for the OWS-er in your life, toting around their MacBook Air in a beaten old backpack while reporting the latest from the front line. That poor computer’s fragile exterior can only take so much weather-wear and cold before it decides to call it quits and stage its own protest in opposition of the inhumane working conditions. This Southwestern-inspired case will help protect it, and even comes with hippy-approved flourishes like virgin Pendleton® wool and ethnic designs.
Everyone’s watching everyone in the digital age, but who watches the watchmen? You do, with this 007-worthy digital camera shaped like a lighter. It’ll make sure you’re guaranteed not to miss out on the voyeuristic fun that governments and corporations enjoy on a daily basis. You can shoot stills or video has a USB plug embedded, so you can upload the footage of pepper spraying cops quicker then you can say “photoshop justice.”
Derek Zoolander wishes he could look as good as this range of ocular jewelry from British designer Lianna Sheppard. But alas, he can only stand aside and worship them. The geometric designs are laser cut and then handcrafted into earrings and angular necklaces. But it’s not all for the ladies—gents, she does cufflinks too.
If you know someone who likes their dinner plates to have a more “earthy” feel, perhaps this set featuring designs based on the mathematical model that organisms use to create patterns will strike their fancy. These gorgeous housewares from Nervous System offer a range of cups, plates, and lamps with designs “grown” using a computer program that mimics the natural system of reaction-diffusion.
The thing about net art is it only exists in cyberspace. Sure you could hang an LCD display screen on a wall and have some net art in your home, but who’s got the extra dough to drop on a spare screen? Plus, what if you wanted a net art breastpin or bracelet or badge or postcard? Exactly. Well Sylvia—Dutch net artist Mouchette‘s No.1 fan—has set up shop selling products with Mouchette’s designs. So now you can buy them for the YIBA (Young Internet Based Artist) in your life to show them there is scope for their work beyond the web.
And this is why Etsy is awesome—because it allows people to come up with brilliance like this. Etsy user Supervelma takes the digital utterings of Mr. Kanye and immortalizes them in yarn. If your younger sibling has already illegally downloaded all of Kanye’s music, then it’s only right that they have some of his Twitter-wisdom hanging on their wall.
Here, you have the holy geek trinity of pixels, 3D printing, and toys which will surely quicken the heart of many a Minecraft devotee. You give Minetoys the recipient’s Minecraft nickname and they’ll 3D print the avatar into a real toy. Then, come Christmas morning, you’ll be full of seasonal cheer as you see their little 37-year-old face light up with unbounded joy as they tear off the wrapping.
If your partner already owns an iPad, and they’re an old-school gamer, then this April Fool’s joke turned actual product will help them recall a lost youth in arcades. Little did they know when they were battling those digital opponents back in the 80s that in a not-too-distant future they’d be able to replicate that experience on a touchscreen handheld device housed in a makeshift arcade cabinet. Reality certainly is strange.
Donate to Rhizome, a site that has been exploring new media and digital arts since the 90s. Not only will you get the warm fuzzies by supporting the arts, you’ll also receive a limited edition artwork to give to someone. The works available are well-curated and are sure to blow minds… and potentially wallets, depending on what you’re after. The small fee of $25.00 gets you some chiptune ringtones from Anamanaguchi, whereas $3,000.00 gets you a digital Jon Rafman print. But remember, you can’t put a price on helping others.