Date Archives April 2010

‘And a miserable day to you too’: Darcel at Colette

The awesomely disappointing Darcel is going to be having a show at Colette in France and I’m sad I can’t see it. The show opens on May 5th and will feature paintings, prints, scultpure and animation, so it should be a really fun show. Check out the the little video above he put together which gives you a little sneak peek of the show. How long do you think it’ll be before Darcel has his own book? My money is on Gestalten or Nieves putting it out, I know I’d buy it.


Chocolate Editions by Mary & Matt

To be honest, I don’t need much coaxing to eat sweets, and when confronted with a bar of chocolate that literally invites me to take a bite, I feel it would be terribly impolite to not have a small nibble. Not that you need much convincing to eat one of the delicacies from Chocolate Editions by Mary & Matt.

Claiming that their products are “a celebration of the candy bar as a perfect pop object”, their chocolates are engraved with tongue-in-cheek statements such as “Eat Me” and “Sweet Thing.” As if that’s not enough, they transform the humble chocolate bar into an edible canvas with fields of colour that are reminiscent of Mark Rothko’s abstract paintings. Mary & Matt use quality ingredients to make chocolate bars that are miniature artworks, for both the eyes and the taste buds.

The featured chocolate bars are the Milk Bar (milk chocolate), the Chocolate Pie Chart (dark, milk and white chocolate), and the Neapolitan Bar (dark and white chocolate and natural strawberry ingredients). I discovered Mary & Matt’s chocolate bars through Third Drawer Down, but they also sell their products directly through their site.


My lasting impressions of macramé are the 1970s-era wall hangings in rather unfortunate shades of brown, yellow and orange that were lurking around the kitchens of family members during my childhood in the 1980s. Taking a refreshingly alternative approach, Sarah Parkes, the artist and jewellery designer behind Smalltown, transforms the aesthetics of the dowdy craft to make stunning and contemporary art pieces.

Using traditional macramé skills, combined with wrapping techniques, Parkes creates installations for boutiques, lampshades, hanging potholders and her own line of jewellery. The one element that I particularly admire is the manner in which her webs of rope are simultaneously delicate and robust. Knotted and woven into snowflakes, egg shapes and abstract lattices, her pieces are exquisitely tangled and ornate in construction. Put simply, Parkes’ work is a perfect example of a vintage trend refashioned for modern tastes and sensibilities.

Contemplating the Void

You may have seen images from Contemplating the Void already. The exhibit features the work of 200 architects, artists and other creative types, who all focused their attention to the central atrium space of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. My favorite entry, above, is by Neil Denari.

But what you may not know is that the Guggenheim is now having a contest open to anyone willing to agree to rather lengthy terms of use. There are more than enough details on Guggenheim’s Flickr page. The Guggenheim will pick five winners, who among other things, will win pretty impressive bragging rights. “Oh yeah, the Guggenheim picked me.” I’m looking forward to more submissions being posted to the photo pool, and if this even sounds vaguely interesting to you, you should do something and enter the contest.

It would be refreshing if other prominent museums would have competitions like this fairly regularly.

Possible Inspiration for the Apple iPhone 4G

Upon seeing the photos of the new iPhone 4G (or whatever you wanna’ call it) I was immediately curious why the shape had suddenly changed so drastically. But knowing Jonathan Ive and how his brain works, you start to realize that Dieter Rams’ design ideas are some of the most basic building blocks of all modern day Apple products. So I did a little digging and came across the two images above from a Dieter Rams Flickr pool and I have to say that the resemblance is definitely there. Having one material wrap around another like that is a nice touch and I think that it’s a nice iteration to liven up the current slab that is the iPhone.

My only real beef with this design are the two, independent volume buttons. I really like the feeling of the current volume rocker and how it’s one piece of metal. I’d guess that it’s a little less intuitive to tell which button is which by simply touching. Clearly I haven’t found one of these lying around in a bar or anything, that’s just my feeling. Otherwise I’m pretty excited to see if this shape is the real shape or if they’re still in the design process, though I think either way people are gonna be excited.


Splinter: 3D Typeface

Arslan Shahid is a Canadian designer who created this really intense typeface he calls Splinter, which is “created with the notion of war, taken from the perspective of the mood and atmosphere it creates in areas of conflict.” I thought these letters were really rad but terrifying at the same time, there’s so much going on in each form.

I’m not sure what the scale of these are but I’m imagining how cool they would be if they were huge sculptures. Imagine seeing a room full of these spelling out different words or even phrases.

Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects is a japanese architecture office with an increasingly exciting portfolio of projects. Enjoy them all, but pay particular attention to the project above: the Bayside Marina Hotel in Yokohama. (You may recognize the city’s name from its famous port terminal.) The term “Pre-fabricated” is usually an indication, at least to me, that something fishy is about to be justified in terms of its manufacture.

This is not the case with the Bayside Marina Hotel. Fabricated in Thailand; assembled  in Japan, this project is a really refreshing series of boxes. I’m not sure why the emerging talent from Japan is as exciting or refreshing as it is. There are Swiss firms that have work this restrained, but not this playful; there are Dutch firms with projects this playful, but not this restrained–  I don’t think this is a very good way to frame the work of Yasutaka Yoshimura. But while I can’t articulate a basis for understanding their work, one isn’t necessary at all to enjoy it.

How’s your weekend?

Lately I have spent my weekends undertaking the most mundane and dull of activities: laying about in bed, getting through my weekly ironing and watching DVDs – not the types of endeavours that are worthy of chronicling. Fortunately, I can live vicariously through the photographs featured on How’s your weekend? where weekends are filled with, among other things, eating sushi, searching the laneways of Melbourne for interesting typography, baking, throwing projector dance parties and walking through the streets of a wintry New York. Now that is the kind of weekend I would like to have!

How’s your weekend? is a collective photography project curated by interactive producer and blogger Laura Tjitradjaja. What is particularly impressive about the project is its geographical scope, whereby photographers and bloggers from Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States have contributed to the ever-expanding blog. The effect is that the viewer is allowed views into a wide variety of existences and cultures, producing a shared intimacy that celebrates the small details in the everyday.

The photographs pictured are from Kevin Hayes, Reana Evoy, Famapa and Yuta Nakajima.

If you’re interested in submitting to the project (I naturally assume other people have far more exciting weekends that I do), further details can be found on the blog.

Video for ‘Drunk Girls’ by LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem’s new album This Is Happening is going to be another huge success, at least if his new video for Drunk Girls is any kind of indication. The video was shot by Spike Jonze and filmed just 24 hours after they came up with the idea. It was shot entirely with two cameras in one long, insane take. There are all kinds of people dressed up as evil pandas harassing the band and causing general chaos. It’s honestly the strangest most random 4:13 I’ve ever seen, but y’know, I’ve honestly seen parties like this, with girls and dudes acting like this.

I showed this to a couple of my co-workers as well and they had the song stuck in their head for the rest of the morning, so that should say something for the catchiness of the song itself. This Is Happening comes out May 17, be sure to check it out.

Kitsune Noir Mixcast / No. 032

Whoa wait it’s Monday and there’s a Mixcast, huh, what?! Yeah, I’ve decided to move the weekly Mixcast officially to Monday’s starting today. By shifting the date from Friday to Monday I get the entire weekend to put the mix together, which means I’m not stressing late on a Thursday night and you get a better mix. I promise this will be a much better deal.

For example this week I’ve put together a rock & roll Mixcast with nothing but jangling guitars, loud feedback and people screaming their lyrics. Just like the old days! If you want a kick in the head to wake yourself up this week be sure to take a listen. For the cover art I tried to make something that kinda’ looked like an old punk flyer, but you know, designed. I hope you like it and be sure to check back next Monday for another new Mixcast.

Here’s this week’s tracklist:
Embassy Row by Pavement
The Rat by The Walkmen
I’m A Wheel by WIlco
Emasculate The Masculine by The Unicorns
Something Against You by The Pixies
M.O.R. by Blur
Somebody Got Murdered by The Clash
Someday Soon by Harlem
Butt-House Blondies by Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Dukes Up by Modest Mouse
White Light White Heat by The Velvet Underground
Heart of the Country By Paul McCartney