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The body eclectic on NewHive

If you’re a soul with an artistic bent, and if Facebook’s never-ending stream of political rants, selfies, and desperate clickbait leaves you longing for an alternative outlet for your social media needs, you might check out NewHive.

Self-identified simply as a “multimedia publishing platform,” NewHive allows users to create rich multimedia pages (called “newhives”) through an easy drag-and-drop interface. And through this easy, open, tabula rasa approach to multimedia publishing, NewHive has emerged as a vibrant hub for all sorts of forward-leaning artwork. Animations, videos, poetry, and digital sculpture all flourish on the site, and its social-media-inspired structure encourages sharing, connection, and collaboration (or “remixing”) between artists (and amateurs).

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NewHive also regularly commissions multimedia works from artists, runs weekly interviews with creative types on the rise, and holds exhibitions, events, and art festivals in meatspace (a.k.a. the real world).

Some of the most interesting work on NewHive is also the most interactive. A recent piece from artist Miles Peyton (a student at Carnegie Mellon) is “Parts Parts Parts,” a project that spans three pages and allows users to record, sculpt, and submit short video snippets of whatever body parts they please (and yes, that means whatever parts they please) to an interactive field of submitted parts.

This array of blinking eyes, twitching noses, grasping hands, wiggling moustaches (that one’s mine), and whatever else (it’s occasionally NSFW) can then be assembled into any number of fantastic beasts, and you can watch in real time as others assemble their own oddly human forms. It’s an engagingly hands-on experiment — part conceptual organ donation center, part Frankenstein’s lab, and part avant-collage playset (with a splash of ChatRoulette). It’s also a fitting ambassador for NewHive’s increasingly eclectic body of work: They may have created a monster.

Michael Andor Brodeur can be reached at mbrodeur@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.
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