Sweet animation in ‘Let’s Make some Great Fingerprint Art’

Let's Make some Great Fingerprint Art

This is a very short and sweet video made by the London-based animation studio Animade to promote a new book by Marion Deuchars called Let’s Make some Great Fingerprint Art. It is a constantly inventive and entertaining piece and I think the sound effects are just terrific!

What I like most about it is how effortlessly the piece is animated. They really make the morphing look so simple and easy but in truth it’s a pretty challenging thing to do. It also does a wonderful job of capturing the fun and playfulness of Deuchars’ new book. Go check it out on her website here.

Philip Kennedy

September 28, 2012 / By

A house for humans, a house for eels: What’s the difference?

Urban Reef sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Urban Reef sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Miles away from the repetitive and monochromatic houses that line suburban streets are the colorful clusters of coral that folks who live in the suburbs might visit when they’re on vacation away from their repetitive and monochromatic houses. Surprisingly, in the shallow, warm waters off the coast of Cancun you can find familiar outline of a suburban house.

The house is the work of sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor, who has worked with the Cancun Underwater Museum to install these houses which act as a sanctuary and a substrate. To act as a sanctuary, the houses are located in open areas of the gulf, providing protection to marine wildlive from roving predators. And to act like a substrate, the concrete house provides an attachment point for new coral. The sculptor worked with marine biologists to develop the houses with various openings designed for specific marine species. As it turns out, both humans and our aquatic friends are going through a housing crisis. So many folks are “underwater” in their mortgages while so many species of fish and coral just need a home under water.

Alex Dent

September 28, 2012 / By

The Lost Tapes of Can: A fresh dose of psychedelic music

Can: The Lost Tapes

1968-1969: 4 Germans and a New Yorker meet in Cologne, put down their avant-garde classical influences, and start an “avant-garde” improvisational band based off Zappa, Hendrix, and James Brown. The New Yorker, smug and disappointed at the rock influences, leaves the band. An American vocalist joins the 4 Germans and Can is formed. They start recording. Said American vocalist leaves and is replaced by a nomadic Japanese dude with some serious pipes.

1969 – 1974: Can records their most well known work, including classic records Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days. “Krautrock” as a genre is born, a blend of psychadelic rock, jazz, fusion, and insanity. Everyone from the Sex Pistols to Sonic Youth to Spoon claim them as an influence.

2012: When the German Rock Museum wants to enshrine Can’s studio, they take everything from the studio and put in the museum. Master tapes are found. Mute records finds them. Record collectors everywhere have nervous break downs, more than just my omission/dismissal of every Can record after 1974. That rare B-Side they paid 40 bucks for 10 years ago becomes worthless. But new tracks, like Millionenspiel and Dead Pigeon Suite (above), emerge, and everyone is stoked – it’s a new Can record, funky, fresh, and worthy of your next psychedelic freak out.

Alec Rojas

September 27, 2012 / By

Awkwardly Erotic – A Film Review of ‘Turn Me On, Dammit!’

Turn Me On Dammit Poster

Turn Me On, Dammit! is an exploration of female, teenage, sexual expression – a perspective that is rarely awarded equal billing on the big screen. There are plenty of coming of age stories that deal with first loves and the romantic feelings associated with this right of passage, yet Jannicke Systad Jacobsen’s film is clearly a breed apart, due to its definitive main character.

Alma (Helene Bergsholm) is a gangly, yet attractive 15 year-old who refuses to suppress, ignore or plain control any sexual feelings she has towards anyone, no matter how uncomfortable things may get. Whether it is witnessing a kiss, watching her friend sensually apply lip gloss or catching a glimpse of her classmate crush Arthur, Alma is so sexually wound that she pounces on every possibility which allows her to descend into deep erotic fantasy, without actually having to touch anyone.

Embracing a sexual sensitivity that pushes her slightly past her teenage years, Alma becomes caught between Arthur’s sophomoric sexual advances and her excitement over the potential of being touched one night at a party. When word of Arthur’s unconventional “move” starts to circle amongst her classmates, Alma is given an embarrassing new moniker which she must endure as the rumour mill churns out her new name across the community of her small Norwegian town.

Based on the novel Få Meg På, For Faen by Olaug Nilssen, which originally tells the story of three women of varying ages who all experience a period of sexual exploration, the film is fiercely honest in its approach to narrate female desire. Jacobsen’s choice to focus on the teenage years of sexual angst are a refreshing reminder that there is an innocent side to lust, and as carnal as can get, there is always room for quirky in the bedroom.

Christina Stimpson

September 27, 2012 / By

Architectural experiments at MIT

MIT School of Architecture

MIT School of Architecture

It’s embarrassing, but I spent years of college in “design lab” before realizing that these classes were supposed to be set up like laboratories. Were we quasi-scientists? Did we experiment? Maybe. We certainly built mountains of bizarre models and amassed stacks of sketches outlining our architectural conjecture.  But I think what we didn’t do very vigorously was test the ideas we came up with in lab. And how do you even go about testing an architecture model? When I came across this video about the MIT school of architecture (and the folks teaching there) it occurred to me how intensively the school is testing novel architectural ideas. From concrete foam to interactive robotic facades– the school has a plethora of fascinating projects, faculty and students. This short video introduces you to a few of the architectural experiments occurring there.

The video, itself, is also great. It was put together by Stebs at Paper Fortress. He has several other videos, and if architecture school has driven you to drink, you might enjoy a video he put together about the making of a whiskey barrel.

Alex Dent

September 27, 2012 / By

Mac Premo’s Dumpster Project

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

Mac Premo is an NYC-based collage artist. He has collected things for decades—things like paper pirate hats, baseball cards, action figures, unused ticket stubs, Whopper coupons and pagers. He collects these pieces of ephemera with the intention of eventually turning them into art.

So what did he do when he needed to move into a smaller studio and didn’t have room for more than 400 of those items? He certainly didn’t throw them away. Premo decided to meticulously photograph, document and write about each individual item. He then went out and bought a 30-yard dumpster and retrofitted it to be a traveling display for his collection. He calls it The Dumpster Project. The objects in Premo’s wandering gallery are carefully grouped into like categories, colors, textures and eras. They are then arranged, hung and displayed on the walls of the trash receptacle. Each item in the collection has a unique story, but it’s when they’re brought together that they begin to weave the story of a life.

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project: Mac Premo

The Dumpster Project migrates from place to place on the back of a flatbed truck. Once unloaded, visitors are invited to step inside and explore his creation of a world within a world. I saw it this weekend on Governor’s Island  where it’s on display as part of the 5th annual Governor’s Island Art Fair.

If you’re in the NYC area you should check out the Dumpster Project in person. It will be open for one last weekend on Governor’s Island this Saturday and Sunday.

September 27, 2012 / By

A Steel Greenhouse Inspired By Trees, Designed by Buehrer Wuest Arkitekten

Buehrer Wuest Architekten build a greenhouse in Gruningen

Buehrer Wuest Architekten build a greenhouse in Gruningen

The small Swiss village of Gruningen, at last count, boasted around 3200 villagers. Small for sure, but also the site of a clever new greenhouse that mimics the structural motif found in trees. The greenhouse is designed by Buehrer Wuest Arkitekten and you might be able to see in the pictures how the load-bearing columns of the new greenhouse resemble tree trunks.

Buehrer Wuest Architekten build a greenhouse in Gruningen

Where we would expect to find branches in nature, we find steel beams in the greenhouse. The would-be trunks and branches are connected by panes of glass to enclose the greenhouse and also to create different climate zones within. The plants inside the small greenhouse and surrounding botanical garden may very well outnumber people in the small village, but that’s fewer folks to compete with when trying to glimpse the new steel trees.

Buehrer Wuest Architekten build a greenhouse in Gruningen

Buehrer Wuest Architekten build a greenhouse in Gruningen

Alex Dent

September 26, 2012 / By

Stunning new work by Markus Åkesson

Psychopomp Club, 100x150cm by Markus Akesson

The Scientist´s Room, 46x54cm by Markus Akesson

I recently discovered the work of Swedish artist Markus Åkesson. Since last month he has had an incredible looking exhibition hanging at the VIDA Museum in the small Swedish city of Borgholm. The work on display is beautiful. For me, his paintings show moments of stillness and calm, but they also have a great sense of darkness and mystery about them.

In painting’s like Psychopomp Club (The Rat) and Psychopomp club (Chicken Skeleton) (both pictured above) we get to see girls looking at animals at a natural history museum. These images seem to be about life being confronted by death in someway yet Åkesson doesn’t make these moments brash or threatening, instead the moments feel meditative, calm and even serene. There’s beauty in these moments and Åkesson captures it perfectly. More of his work can be seen online here.

New Works by Markus Åkesson currently runs at Borgholm’s VIDA Museum in Sweden until the 30th of September.

Philip Kennedy

September 26, 2012 / By

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