Projection mapping has been around for a while, and is now popping up all over the shop (remember the celebration of last years' Tour de France projected onto the Arc du Triomphe as Mr Froome looked on).
I really enjoyed the way this beautiful bit of video, a collaboration between the Creators Project and Bot & Dolly, has been put together. Couple of simple moving surfaces, couple of great big robotic arms, and some very nicely considered executions. Good form all round.
Hiut began making their jeans in Cardigan, Wales, a few years ago, in the process revitalising both the town and it's traditional industry (until recently, 10% of Cardigan's population were employed in the jean-making industry). Currently, Hiut's small team makes only 100 pairs each week, an output they seem in no hurry to expand upon (as founder Dave Hieatt says 'Our job is to make the best jeans we can, not the most jeans we can').
The thing I like most about Hiut is that we share a mantra — Do One Thing Well. It seems like a fairly modest mantra, but one which more businessfolk would do well to adopt, I think.
Hiut have produced a Yearbook the past couple of years — I missed the first, but the second arrived the other day. It smells grand, is very nicely put together, and is stuffed full of other mantra-sharers who collectively prove it's validity. You can buy it on the Hiut site.
The news that Kanye West is collaborating with our very own Peter Saville has already been widely circulated this week. They'll be working on a new visual identity for Mr West, exploring, as Saville explains "What does 'Kanye' and 'Kanye West' look like written down?"
Anyway — I looked back through Dezeen's archive and noticed by and by that Mr West has recently commissioned minimalist architect Claudio Silvestrin to design his Manhattan home, and subsequently furnished it with commissioned pieces by the Campana Brothers, Yves Behar and Maarten Baas.
Mr West is editing and curating his own life to increasingly refined degrees in a way which most of us I think would approve — a post-millennial Patron of the Arts in the classic sense.
Moment of genius here from Arnau Estudi d'Arquitectura. A concrete cube, everyone's favourite starting point, is simply and confidently 'bitten' at fours corners. The cube is still there, but now half of the space is transitional, creating access points, terraces, balconies, and giving us a glimpse of the softer, more human interior.
There's a very poetic peach analogy in it's Architizer feature, but I'm not going there. Suffice to say I couldn't ever see myself tiring of this.
Phonebloks, by Dave Hakkens, is one of those products that comes along once in a while, prompting a universal 'why has nobody thought of this before' response. The answer is, of course, that this has most likely been thought of several times before, but has had cold water chucked over it at the 'how much is it worth' stage.
Assuming it's possible, which it probably is, it's greatest achievement is that it elegantly solves a given problem or two, and then stops. Perfect. Besides which, it's like grown up nerdy electrified Lego. Perfecter.
My other favourite thing about it is that it's asking our permission to exist via Thunderclap. Good form all round.
The cover of Bowie's 'The Next Day', his first album for a decade, received almost almost as much commentary as the music itself on it's recent release.
Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed the cover art for 'Heathen' and 'Reality', took the Heroes cover, crossed out the title, and plonked a great big white square over Bowie's face. This mechanical and detached treatment is...
Actually, Barnbrook has taken all the fun out of it by explaining, in detail, the reasoning and process behind the cover art. You might as well go and read about it there. Bloody killjoy.
Goliath of Gath is, apparently, not that into fighting. Told from the perspective of a reluctant biblical behemoth, Tom Gauld's graphic novel 'Goliath' is available now, beautifully presented in hardback by Drawn & Quarterly.
Paula Scher's team at Pentagram NYC have just published the identity for the launch of Microsoft's latest incarnation of the Windows OS. Removing any possible interpretation of the logo as a flag rather than a window, and realising that all previous versions of the logo have been employed as a shop window (sorry) for its graphic capabilities (hardly necessary these days), Scher and her team have taken the identity right back to the quick.
The simple, geometric shapes and single-point perspective exude the confidence you'd expect from Pentagram — a deliberately neutral execution, justified in the write-up by Scher, who says "The perspective analogy is apt because the whole point of Microsoft products is that they are tools for someone to achieve their goals from their own perspective. The window here is a neutral tool for a user to achieve whatever they can, based on their own initiative."
Slim Aarons (1916-2006) was a combat photographer during WWII, after which he quite understandably decided that the only beach worth landing on would be "decorated with beautiful, seminude girls tanning in a tranquil sun."
Most of his post-war career was dedicated to photographing the decadence and opulence of the unabashedly well-off.
I guess during this trifling global economic crisis it's worth remembering that it is , and always has been, alright for some.
There's a modern proverb that goes something like 'Instagram makes average photographers look good, and great photographers look average'. Whether it will stand the test of time remains to be seen, but it makes an interesting point. The sheer number of slash photographers out there (as in designer-slash-photographer, actor-slash-photographer) threaten to turn the future into a vintage-ified cacophony of mediocre moments (insert mind-blowing statistic about the number of images on Facebook here)
Then the World Press Photo comes along and reminds us of the difference between being a slash-photographer, and being capable of making an image like this. In the first instant all I saw was what the description implied, a woman holds a wounded relative in her arms. But almost immediately, my brain superimposed this image onto Michaelangelo's La Pieta, and the image suddenly becomes infused with so many more levels of meaning and relevence.
Caps doffed to a moment of genius by Samuel Aranda.
Arkitypo is a collaboration between Johnson Banks and one of their clients, Ravensbourne, with the objective of stretching the legs of their in-house 3d prototyping skills.
Fast-forward six months of research, prototyping, rendering and fancy-printing, and the resultant series of beautiful typographic sculptures looks like being a wonderful conclusion to any type-fetishists week.
On show in Arup's London exhibition space from Friday.
This year, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern will be inhabited by Indo-German artist TIno Sehgal. Sehgal makes 'living sculptures', using paid actors to create 'moments' and sometimes involve spectators in 'situations' (in his piece 'Kiss', the kissers periodiucally pause and turn their gaze on those watching the kissing).
There are several things to love (or hate) about Sehgal's work. Firstly, he uses no materials — when the actors stop acting, the piece vanishes. This, in light of the inherent commercial life of High Art, begs the question of how you might sell what isn't there?. Secondly, it does something odd to the viewer, who habitually goes to a gallery very specifically 'to watch', and not to 'be watched'. It must be unsettling to know that at any time the Art can start asking you questions (of course, you could say that this is Art's main fuction anyway, Seghal just takes it literally).
Basically, Sehgal is a puppeteer and, if you're in the room, you might find yourself sprouting strings.
Weegee (Arthur Felligg, 1899-1968) was a favourite photographer of mine for quite a while — particularly the decade he spent 'chasing ambulances', as he called it, around New York City between 1936 and 1945. Always moving and always listening, he was often first on the scene of street crime, making frank and typically lurid images of murder as it happened. Weegee's intense, on-the-spot street photography gave birth to a new genre of photo-journalism, which became known as tabloid.
There's a selection of a hundred or so of Weegee's finest and frankest shots on show at the ICP in New York, so if you're in the area, well worth a look.
Exhibition in Dresden Germany, featuring 27 individuals recreated using newfangled-forensic-anothropological-computer-aided-gubbins. From Paranthropus Boisei who lived 2 million years ago, to possibly our closest relative species, Homo Neanderthalensis, who were tearing around Europe 60,000 years ago while we were evolving in Africa.
The only source I could find is the Mail Online — just don't read the comment thread, you'll be ok. Via @Angrylush.
Welcome to 'Norwegian Public Convenience of the Week'.
This LJB designed rest stop at Aurlandsfjellet, Norway, pretty much represents everything I love about the world.
Firstly, it's beautiful because there was an opportunity, rather than a need, to make it so. Secondly, it's one of a series of individually designed rest stops commissioned to provide respite for travellers along Norway's increasing number of official Tourist Routes (there will be eighteen by 2016) — something which indicates a degree of appreciation for design and architecture that you just don't see in a national consciousness. Thirdly, I like that it seems to have been dropped there by a glacier, or carried there by a lava flow.
Splendid stuff that you simply will not see on the side of the A5 any time soon.
Mr. Hirst and Mr. Hockney go all Blur/Oasis this year with concurrent shows at Tate Modern and The Royal Academy. Mr. Hockney has already had a little pop at Mr. Hirst's use of assistants, noting on his poster that "All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally."
Interesting point I guess, although it does rather ignore the fact that the argument has been redundant for quite a long time, and that as a result HIrst's methodology of 'artist as project manager' carries with it as much historicity as Hockney's romantic notion of 'artist as maker'.
I like me a bit of Hockney, don't get me wrong, but I'm with the pickled sheep on this one.
So, a Barbara Hepworth sculpture has been stolen from Dulwich Park, where it had stood for over 40 years, by suspected metal thieves. This reminded me of the 2 tonne Henry Moore that was stolen and melted down for scrap a few years ago.
The thing that I find interesting about this is that, in exactly the same way that Marcel Duchamp elevated that urinal to the status of Art back in 1917 (the whole 'Art is what the Artist chooses to be Art' argument), a non-Artist has chosen to remove a piece of Art from Art History and make it 'not Art anymore'.
There's a certain democracy and brutal logic to that which, while I'd never condone it, I can't help but admire.
This project, by Jordi Parra and Nick Barkas, fits very nicely into the "things that do one thing well" place in my heart. Obviously, my iPhone does pretty much anything and everything in a smaller (enormously fragile) package, but I do like a piece of kit with a singular and modest ambition.
Grayson Perry, Turner Prize winner, potter, biker & transvestite, is curating a show at the British Museum entitled "The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman", which runs until February next year.
The show features 25 new works by Perry alongside work selected by him from the British Museum's vast archive of artefacts, all unattributed. This is the draw for Perry, who feels the anonymity of the craftsmen on show is "especially resonant in an age of the celebrity artist."
Perry is all about identity and its inherent contradictions. For a start, a celebrity artist slash pillock in a doll's outfit extolling the virtues of anonymity and craft presents problems. But, he does make (not throw) a good pot.
Design Assembly has had a rather good three years, and is now retiring it's current format on a high with a momentous gesture.
The book, 3, is a comprehensive monograph of pretty much everything that has passed beneath the Design Assembly masthead, collated and compiled in a beautifully executed conjoined triumvirate of books.
100% (yes 100%) of the profits made from sales of 3 will be split equally between three cancer-fighting charities; Cancer Research in the UK, Livestrong in the US, and WCRF International everywhere else.
I urge you to head over there now and buy one — maybe two.
This is an ongoing project over at Booooooom who, with a teensy bit of help from Adobe, have students all over the world re-staging some of the greatest paintings ever made.
It had every right to be awful, but some of the results have been just splendid; Particularly these two, which seem to have utilised the Bill & Ted method, grabbing the original subject and sitting them in front of the camera.
There will be 18 new National Tourist routes open in Norway by 2016, all chosen for their spectacular and characteristic landscape, including this one in Lofoten.
The facilities for the tourists that drive along these roads such as rest stops, viewing platforms and links to local points of interest, are carried out by architects and landscape architects with the brief of offering an experience of both nature and design.
(I've used the occasional roadside convenience myself, and precisely none of them looked like this, by Manthey Kula.)
George Shaw was born in Coventry in 1966. He studied at Sheffield before later doing an MA at the Royal College of Art in London. He now lives and works in Ilfracombe, North Devon.
Shaw's work, based almost universally around the streets of Tile Hill, Coventry, is stuffed full of a kind of nostalgia, working class graft, and a simultaneous challenge to the value of either in the face of the unfaltering march of time.
It asks the big questions, but with an accompanying sense that the answers are a foregone conclusion, as in the case of The Hawthorne Tree, which Shaw painted both before and after it's demolition. The famous local pub, not only knocked down in a day, but the ground left to waste.Not replaced by something better, not a casualty of progress, just gone.
Martin Boyce was born in Hamilton, Scotland, in 1967. He studied in Glasgow, where he now lives and works.
Since 2005, Boyce's work has drawn largely from an encounter with Four Concrete Trees, a group of sculptural pieces by the Martel Brothers made in 1925. Five years on, and Boyce's work is an increasingly abstractive and virally pervasive aggregator, a lens through which everything must be seen. Like a strongly held belief or an indisputable fact, this is the world as infinite and varied as it ever was, just with one of the basic settings tweaked.
Typophiles, note the letterforms Boyce finds in his repeat patterns. Wonderful stuff.
Karla Black was born in Alexandria, Scotland, in 1972. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art and continues to live and work in Glasgow.
Black's work is a vessel for multiple aesthetic and methodological traditions, while at the same time subverting the lot by choosing many everyday household items as raw materials, from polythene to lipstick to bath bombs. Her contribution to the 2011 Turner Prize probably smells fantastic.
There's an impromptu kind of playfulness to pretty much everything she does, and a sense of immediacy that comes from seeing all her on-site decisions documented so clearly in the piece. It has a similar sense of impermanence as the work of fellow Turner Prize nominee Hilary Lloyd but, while there is a finality to the deliberate obsolescence in Lloyds installation-slash-sculptures, Black's sculpture-slash-messes feel like their physicality is important in that they constitute tangible evidence of a fleeting, instinctive moment of 'that-goes-there'. Mess with purpose.
Hilary Lloyd, one of the four nominees for the 2011 Turner Prize, was born in Halifax, Yorkshire in 1964. She studied at Newcastle Polytechnic and now lives and works in London.
Lloyd's work could best be described as video-installation-slash-sculpture, since the screening and projection equipment form an active part of the piece, rather than simply being a medium. This is an important distinction as it provides an entry-point into the work, which feels like a failed search for permanence. The equipment has an obvious, in-built technological obsolescence — I wonder would she buy a new telly if the original one were to go kaput? Did she take advantage of the extended warrantee?
The switching from figurative to abstract, and from still-life to perpetual-motion in the projections speaks of the temporal nature of not only the physical world, but also our perception of it — the world of ideas, if you like. It all feels a little bit too human, so I'm left wondering if the actual subject of the work is the stuff she isn't showing.
If you're not one for leaving cameras in the back of cabs or on pub tables, you might consider the Alpa 12.
The first release from the resurgent Swiss brand takes a film or digital back, a range of lenses, and (oddly) a mount for your iPhone, with a supporting app allowing you to use your beloved 5 as the viewfinder/preview screen.
On the subject of falling — gravity, and falling in particular, formed a major part of Bas Jan Ader's subject matter. There's a wonderful contrariness running through his work — apparently he made all his drawings on the same sheet of paper at university, erasing each one immediately upon completion. His video pieces continue the theme, being a continuous denial of his own instinct for self preservation. Most of them involve his falling from, off and into various predicaments, a willful overcoming of instinct he perfected in his final (incomplete) tryptich 'In Search of The Miraculous.
Despite going missing (presumed dead) in 1975 during this 'very long sailing trip' across the Atlantic in a 12.5ft sailing boat, he has a very nice website, designed by Superfamous & friends.
Design Observer's Accidental Mysteries is, as always, a good place to start if you want to end up in odd little corners of the internet. At first, I was a little annoyed that they'd omitted the most obvious image from today's series 'Falling', but then maybe I'd have been a little more annoyed if they had included it.
Either way, the former most-famous-faller, Robert Capa's 'Falling Soldier' is present, despite being discredited in the 70's. (Mind you, it does illustrate quite an important point about the assumed historicity of photography, and always reminds me of the film Wag The Dog.)
These images are taken from the series 'La Chute' by Denis Darzacq
Fantastic Norway was founded in 2004 by Håkon Matre Aasarød and Erlend Blakstad Haffner. The primary ambition was to create an open, inclusive and socially aware architectural practice and to re-establish the role of the architect as an active participant in – and a builder of society.
They have a TV show and a bright red caravan, in spite of which they create some very nicely shaped buildings. It's Jamie Oliver does architecture, but in a good way.
"What's set upon the table sits upon the table, that one I'll go with. That stone on the table could be used to break your bones, or it could be used to build a house. It's still the same stone, on the same table — and that's where I stop as an artist."
Ah, the soothing, oak-smoked, fascinating sound of Mr Lawrence Weiner. Taken from a short film by the late Hillman Curtis. Portrait by Oskar Landi.
Felix ticks a fair few boxes — He has his own practice, is artistically and politically committed, drinks strong coffe, and lectures at the Lucerne School of Graphic Design, teaching in the fields of typography, narrative design, and poster design. Obviously, these two posters are here because they're big and shiny — the rest of his portfolio is well worth a look.
I first came across this project, undertaken by Croix Gagnon and Frank Schott, about 6 months ago on Today&Tomorrow. The thought process behind it is excellent. In 1993 the body a convicted murderer, donated to science after his execution, was cut into 1871 segments and photographed for research purposes.
Gagnon and Schott used this footage to create a series of images by playing the animated sequence while at the same time running around night-time environments with a laptop. Aside from the 'Picasso-painting-with-light' of it all, the deadpan science and tech employed to create what is essentially the ghost of a convicted murderer is just splendid.
Occupy is an independent Arts project, collaborating with and exhibiting a diverse range of works by some of the worlds leading creatives. Curated by Mr. Darren Firth, Occupy sells original works and editions by Paul Insect, Pure Evil, David Bray, Kate Gibb, Eine, Dr ME and many more. There's also a very lovely blog.
London based artist Von was asked to collaborate on a series of 10 portraits by photographer and publisher Rankin for his newest endeavour, The Hunger. Von was also interviewed for the magazine, which you can have a look at here.
There are two particular series on Nehmzow's website that really got me, Land & Sea and Cloud Collection, and both for the same reason. Theye have a massiveness to them that is deliberately a million time bigger than you are.
It's the kind of work that completely bypasses all of our clever agnosticism and cuts right to the universal fragility we all share and try to ignore. Look at how fucking big that sky is.
David is a photographer & film-maker living in London. His work sits very well commercially, as any member of his enviable client list will tell you, while at the same time retaining authentic fine art credentials. He has an unfailingly democratic approach to subject matter, in that everything he shoots walks a razor-fine line between beautiful & disgusting — so much so that's it's impossible to decide which way his sympathies lie. Good stuff.
Anish Kapoor's work is, as all great Art should be, the result of a person butting their head up against the sublime. It is the void, so immense and all-consuming that it cannot be reasoned with, rationalised or escaped.
But with an eloquence and concentration that can only be found in Kapoor's work, this void is not the cold, Godless abyss that Neitzche stared into — it is an embrace.
Oh, and he's got a new website, you should check it out.