Date Archives April 2010


In internet years, this video is basically surfing with the help of a rascal scooter. But, knowing how much you guys love useful videos and poetry, here it is: an animated poem! The author is Billy Collins, and that’s his voice in the video, which could be described as wonderfully monotone.

More wonderful, is the accessibility of his prose. However nervous you are about understanding the work of poets, your anxiety will dissipate when you realize you, too have forgotten the quadratic equation, South American geography and the entire existence of particular books (or people for that matter).

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Portugal. The Man

Portugal. The Man

As a part of the continued fun of Los Angeles, I’m Yours we’ve got the band Portugal. The Man hooking us up with all kinds of goodies. Biggest and best is that their performing at Space15Twenty this Saturday night from 7 to 10pm and it’s totally free. Not content to end their they’ve also decided to create a totally weird and amazing desktop wallpaper.

The wallpaper is a collaboration between Portugal. The Man frontman John Gourley and his buddy and partner in art crimes Austin Sellers. This is definitely one of the oddest and coolest wallpapers that’s been featured in a while. Part dinosaur part lady face part crystal hide equals… well I don’t know exactly, what do you think? I’m totally in love with the color palette they used though it potentially could melt your eyeballs if you stare at it too long.

A big thanks to Portugal. The Man and Austin Sellers for hooking us up with such rad artwork. For more details on the show this Saturday as well as a cool new music video click here.


‘Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life’ by Micah Lidberg

My buddy Micah Lidberg just released a new book called Rise and Fall: A Concertina of Life which could possible be better described as a fold out picture book of epic proportion. The whole thing is one long image printed on a folded piece of heavy card that measures over 53 inches. The illustrations inside are filled with hundreds of little critters that have now gone extinct, from dinosaurs to giant sloths to all kinds of unknowable beasties.

It’s now on sale over at Nobrow (who also published it) for only $16.


FOX Sports Statistics Get An Update

I can’t say I’m a huge sports fan, though it’s always fun to watch in groups and live. That said, trying to decipher what the hell all the stats on the screen are can be quite a task, even with those familiar. FOX Sports decided to change that and enlisted the help of Michael Cina and Michael Young to rethink their onscreen statistics, refreshing them and making them ultimately more user friendly.

I think what they’ve done here is completely refreshing and a much needed improvement. The graphics are now bold and clear, combining a multitude of colors, fonts and shapes while somehow keeping it all looking consistent. I think my two favorite elements are the gradient on the penalty alert and the huge Touchdown pop-up. It’s funny though, as I wrote that last sentence it made sense to use web design terms to describe what the objects were. Perhaps the web is starting to bleed over to television or the two are really finally starting to merge?


‘Los Angeles, I’m Yours’ Video Walkthrough

Right before the opening of Los Angeles, I’m Yours on Saturday Anh of Space15Twenty filmed me doing a little walkthrough of the space, explaining the different parts of the show. I thought I’d post this for a couple reasons, like the fact that a majority of you have actually never seen what me moving and talking, thus making me a real life person. It’s also a really great way to see what the show looks like if say, you live in Copenhagen. I’ll be working with another friend of mine to get a little more in depth coverage of the space as well, but I think this is a nice little preview.


Karl-Martin Holzhäuser

My friend Kyle is a huge fan of Pocahontas, I know because he showed me these pictures. At first, I thought they looked like pictures taken by someone after dropping their digital camera, but this is not glitch art. It’s the work of Karl-Martin Holzhäuser, an artist and photography professor in Germany. “The reproduction of the external physical world with the aid of a camera” seems so obvious… it’s just what photographers do: they take pictures of things you can see. False. Karl-Martin clearly doesn’t rely on images of tee-pees, dream catchers, Native American subjugation, et cetera in his work; even my assumption that he used a camera was just wrong.

The “photo-graphs” are just that… trails of light recorded on sensitive paper which is otherwise in total darkness. As cheesy as it sounds to call anything a painting made with light, this might be what they are, because each line and stripe in the above pictures was made by a very controlled brush of light across the paper. (Religious Paintings of Light made with the Colors of the Wind are my favorite kind of Paintings of Light.) So what do we call them: Photographs? Paintings of Light? Pictures? Photo-graphs about photography?

Deciding what to call the images he produces depends on how you see his work. In the artist’s own words: “My pictures don’t show anything apart from themselves.” It sounds straightforward, but gets murky.


Whenever I am considering making a purchase on Etsy I always have a browse through the seller’s feedback – after all, this is the internet and it’s best to get a sense of whom you’re dealing with. If you read the comments left for New York designers LAYERxlayer, the word “impeccable” is mentioned more than a few times and, looking at the canvas totes and backpacks in their shop, it is easy to see why.

Founded by Patrick, an architect, and Leah, an industrial designer, their individual backgrounds shine through in their streamlined approach to craftsmanship, creating bags which are structured and functional without being solely utilitarian. You only need to look at the gorgeous photography that showcases their goods to see how committed they are to producing accessories that are aesthetically pleasing. Predominantly utilising durable, unbleached cotton canvas, each design is made to order and follows a concept of sustainability. Given the choice between the latest It bag and a gracefully crafted and bespoke tote, I know which one I would pick.

The beauties pictured are the Summer Tote, the Fall Backpack and the BLK Spring Tote.

‘Untitled’ by Wendy Tai

The vast majority of Wendy Tai’s artworks are concerned with questioning and subverting the viewer’s perceptions of the space of the art gallery. Included in the brief for her most recent installation, Untitled, Tai commented that gallery visitors “are socially conditioned to treat artwork[s] as precious and sacred – we speak softly in museums, we maintain respectable distance, we are never to touch the work.” However, this is not the case with Tai’s interactive art.

In a move to disrupt the boundaries between the gallery and the self, as well as the distinctions between viewer and artist, the viewers of Untitled were invited to walk over the charcoal portraits on the floor of the gallery. The images included in this post display the progression from the originally defined and detailed drawings, which ironically picture gallery goers contemplating non-existent artworks, to the smears and footprints that have re-imaged the surface of the gallery floor.

The blurred palimpsest shows traces of what was initially there, but what I find particularly exciting about Tai’s piece is that the viewer is made an active participant in the art-making process. By literally walking on and effacing the illustrated gallery visitors, the viewer asserts his or her presence in the gallery and within the artwork itself.

Tai’s work can be viewed on her online portfolio and on her artist page for Hong Kong gallery MobArt.

Travel Views

As much as I love an old movie poster, I’m usually a little suspicious of things Photoshopped to look similarly old. Not so much because I don’t have a capacity for nostalgia, but because I think it’s kind of cheap, no matter how lovely or well-executed. For instance: if someone you worked with complemented the way you dress, you’d probably be flattered. But, if the same person started spray painting their clothing to match you every day… you’d probably be a little nauseated. And now you have to agree with me: it’s okay to like something without trying to clone it.

The images above would be really hard to clone. For starters, they’re much older than Dolly, anywhere from 110-120 years. The character they have is a direct result of the technology gap that produced them: a process invented in the 1880’s by a Swiss Chemist named Hans Jakob Schmid. They aren’t color photographs, but rather are photochroms, which involve transferring glass negatives onto lithographic plates and then printing these with colored inks. Although color photography was around at the time, it was only around the labs of researchers; it wasn’t until 1907, almost 20 years after some of these photochroms were probably taken, that color photographic plates became commercially available. In the meantime, demand for approximations of color photographs was high.

Maybe that’s why the colors in these images are so stunning. I ran across them while perusing the Library of Congress’ flickr site. All three of the moody landscapes above are from around Scandinavia… although folks who have spent time there will wonder why it isn’t raining in any of them (hint: they photoshopped it out). Imagine the skill and concentration it took just to color these images… and then imagine Carol Channing clumsily tinkering with hue and saturation in Photoshop while belting songs from Hello, Dolly!

This is what happens when nostalgia gets the best of you.

The Original Hipster

Last night on the bus this magnificent woman climbed into the seat across the way from me. I had to take a photo of her, she was just too amazing. I love how her outfit is like urban camouflage and she can blend into the fabric of the seat as well as the grey pattern below it. Taking her photo makes me want to start documenting the weirdos of Los Angeles public transit.