The ‘Ori Pendant Lamp’ is designed by Swedish designer Lukas Dahlén. Made from metal, Dahlén’s design is influenced strongly by origami. According to him the sheet metal used has many of the same characteristics as paper and before designing the light Dahlén spent a lot of his time working with paper and exploring and experimenting with the Japanese technique until finally creating his own unique folded pattern. In fact, the word ‘ori’ is Japanese for ‘fold’.
The combination of metal and origami is wonderful and I particularly like the use of the bright golden brass on the inside of the lampshade. This use of color is designed to reflect light downwards, and it adds a certain golden quality of the emitted light. Make sure to check out more of Lukas Dahlén’s work on his site.
I’m sure we are all own at least a couple gold records. Generally awarded when a musician has sold half a million records, these are symbols of success for the record industry. Basically every commercially successful artist (even Tom Waits) seems to get one.
The real Gold Records, however, are on Voyager 1 and 2. A 12 inch, gold plated copper disc is carried on each of these unmanned space craft, hurtling out of our solar system. These records have a different purpose: to introduce Earth and Humanity to an unknown civilization. As NASA states:
Dr. Sagan and his associates assembled 115 images and a variety of natural sounds, such as those made by surf, wind and thunder, birds, whales, and other animals. To this they added musical selections from different cultures and eras, and spoken greetings from Earth-people in fifty-five languages, and printed messages from President Carter and U.N. Secretary General Waldheim. Each record is encased in a protective aluminum jacket, together with a cartridge and a needle. Instructions, in symbolic language, explain the origin of the spacecraft and indicate how the record is to be played. The 115 images are encoded in analog form. The remainder of the record is in audio, designed to be played at 16-2/3 revolutions per minute. It contains the spoken greetings, beginning with Akkadian, which was spoken in Sumer about six thousand years ago, and ending with Wu, a modern Chinese dialect. Following the section on the sounds of Earth, there is an eclectic 90-minute selection of music, including both Eastern and Western classics and a variety of ethnic music.
Here is a video of Steven Holl in discussion with Preston Scott Cohen. Holl received the 2012 AIA Gold Medal, which is awarded in “recognition of a significant body of work of lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.” In this video Holl talks about solar flares, some of his past work, and projects that are nearing completion. After his short overview of some of his work, he sits down for what he jokingly calls an interrogation with Preston Scott Cohen, the Chair of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The photos above are from a recently unveiled project, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Richmond Virginia.
Gold comes in the form of iridescent glitter powder and drips off the screen with baroque opulence in Velvet Goldmine, Todd Haynes cinematic ode to the late seventies British glam rock scene. Released in 1998, to limited artistic acclaim, the last 14 years have seen Velvet Goldmine gain a niche following which is now nestled between rock cult classic and sexual revolution coming of age story. Although the subtext can be seen as a more serious glimpse into the sexual politics of the time, the film indulges in a campy glam which emerges as a cross between poetic and just plain fun.
Winner at Cannes (1998) and the Academy Awards (1998), for artistic contribution and costume design, Haynes succeeds at putting forth a visually intricate and detailed film through collage storytelling. Similar to his 2007 film I’m Not There, Velvet Goldmine is composed of mockumetary and noir inspired vignettes that build a burlesquian glam fantasy mirroring the true-life movements of David Bowie and Iggy Pop through characters Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Curt Wild (Ewan McGregor). Christian Bale also makes an appearance as Arthur Stuart, a die hard fan turned journalist whose role is to guide the noir-ian component of the film in an investigation into Brain Slade’s faked death 10 years earlier. Set to a landscape of the surreal, the film which begs to be played ‘at maximum volume’ is abundant with musical and art historical references that elude to Haynes direct inspirations. If you are a fan of early sixties cinema you’ll notice the influence of Jack Smith, music aficionados will catch the Venus in Furs reference, and the ‘literati’ will understand why Oscar Wilde is the fibre that weaves the story through to its end.
Once you have abandoned the notion that Velvet Goldmine should make linear sense, engaging in its flamboyant glam nostalgia and sexual fervour is a trip worth taking. Besides, who can deny two hours of Ewan McGregor clad in sparking glitter and gold lamé?
An old favorite of mine from a few years back, ‘Solid Gold’ by The Golden Filter has the melodic charm of a disco track with a modern flare. The video for the track was done by MOOPJAW, who’s work you’ve probably seen before on videos like Animal Collective’s ‘Girls’. For this video they got pretty trippy, mirroring images of Golden Filter singer Penelope Trappes in some really interesting garb with a young man running and swimming. Not sure what the connection is, but it’s a rad video and a great song.