Taken from British troubadour Passenger’s (aka Mike Rosenburg) forthcoming album, Flight of the Crow, “Golden Thread” is just one sample of Rosenburg’s diverse collaborations with a selection of Australian musicians during his musical travels. Featuring vocals by Matt Corby and lovely animation by Mark Charlton, the concept of the video ties in perfectly with the subtext of the song, weaving stories onto the surface of a t-shirt. It is simple, beautiful and rather nice for a Monday morning.
Learn more about Flight of the Crow via Rosenburg’s video introduction. I must say, he has a very charming British accent.
The above illustration (by Ed Emshwiller) is from the 1958 novel Have Space Suit – Will Travel by Robert Heinlein. The storycenters around Kip, a young lad eager to get to the moon, but plagued by a mediocre public school system that fails to launch him into an academic trajectory likely to lead to Mare Tranquilllitatis. With a heapin’ helpin’ of hard work, and a dash of luck, Kip teaches himself Calculus, wins a space suit from a soap company and is abducted by aliens while wearing his space suit in his back yard. You might say “Gee whiz, thanks aliens!” but Kip ends up being sequestered to Pluto where he blows his captors up.
Yesterday, real-life retired astronaut, Dr. Sally Ride answered questions from the White House about the importance of Mathematics and Sciences to high school students. When asked what single class most helped to prepare her for NASA and the Space Shuttle, Sally cited “Calculus.” So maybe Kip was onto something. But Dr. Ride also talked about the importance of communication and how refreshing it was for her to take language and literature classes in college while feeling buried in labcoats, calculators and other scientific paraphernalia. “I was surprised at how relevant these classes were.”
In fact, without writers priming the imagination of the public, it’s unlikely that public would have supported the astronomical spending it took to leave earth. Science fiction frequently featured trips to the moon as early as the 19th century and Jules Verne calculated the velocity required to escape terrestrial gravity in 1870. How did Verne’s book, From the Earth to the Moon, suggest that we would accomplish the velocity to get to the moon? By being fired out of giant cannons. While these books captured the public’s imagination, they were not able to make space travel seem any more feasible.
Willy Ley helped change that. A German-born scientific writer who fled Nazi Germany, Ley was a powerful advocate for space exploration. He published several books that popularized the idea of space exploration, in part, by bridging the gap between science fiction and scientific fact. Sadly, Ley died less than a month before Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon, a surface that features a crater named in his honor.
As soon as I spotted this new collaboration between Missoni and Converse I was immediately smitten and knew I would need these. There are quite a lot of useless collabs these days but I feel like this is a great blend of a classic shoe with a company known for their brilliant patterns. My personal favorites are the top pair, there’s something about that pattern that I feel is surreal and amazing. Thankfully there’s a Missoni down the street from myspace in Beverly Hills so I can snag myself a pair! They should be out in stores now and retail fo $200.
Did you know that today, Friday September 17 2010, is PARK(ing) Day? “What on earth is PARK(ing) Day?” I hear you ask. Well it’s an annual event designed to inspire and encourage “city dwellers everywhere to transform metered parking spots into temporary parks for the public good.” Established in 2005 by San Francisco art and design studio Rebar, the 2009 event involved 700 makeshift parks in 140 cities across 21 countries in six continents. Very impressive, you must admit.
So what are you waiting for? Pack a picnic, repave the urban asphalt with fake grass, artfully arrange some pot plants, settle down with some fine company and flip the bird to passing motorists looking for a parking spot in your own purpose built public space.
Discover more on the official site. Quick sticks, you don’t have much time.
I honestly can’t get enough of the work of Matt W. Moore, also known as MWM Graphics, the man does ungodly things with shapes and colors. In the video above he invades the streets of Marseille, Lyon and Paris and starts painting up a storm. This is a part of the Let’s Colour Project, which I think is about bringing the arts into the public. I love that instead of going with a traditional watching him paint/interview structure they decided to do a stop-motion video of him painting, then animate it to make it way more fun.
I think Matt should do a series of desktop wallpapers, don’t you?
If you read this blog chances are you’re familiar with Herman Miller. Founded in 1923, they’ve been making beautiful furniture and office systems, most of which is at a point of being fetishized because it’s so well done. That said, Dwell magazine with the help of Gary Nadeua visited the Herman Miller headquarters in Zeeland, Michigan for a tour of their factory and to talk colors. As with the other Full Spectrum videos they’ve made this one doesn’t fail to give a great insight into the history and culture of a classic American company.
It’s so great to see more quality short form videos like these and I think Mr. Nadeau needs a huge pat on the back. This might sound dumb but it kind of feels like a grassroots/DIY movement of making quality shorts. Now that the technology is becoming so cheap it’s potentially possible for anyone to make quality interviews like these. I think Gary’s team also should get a shout as well, as you always need some help from your friends.
Directed, Produced | Gary Nadeau
Series Producer for Dwell | Amanda Dameron
Cinematography | Jason Koontz (5dmkII)
B-cam | Gary Nadeau (5dmkII)
Sound | Jason Koontz & Gary Nadeau (zoom H4N)
Edited | Jason Koontz and Gary Nadeau
Music | Wonderful
Before Jean-Luc there was Woody. The singular object of my film obsession throughout my final year of high school, I managed to overlook his annoying neuroses, his unfortunate sense of style and his taboo relationship with his adopted daughter. After all, Mr Allen likes jazz, he’s into the classics and he lives in New York! However, while others were swooning over Diane Keaton’s fashionable and androgynous attire in Annie Hall (1977), which is so often referenced in fashion spreads, I was taken with the monochromatic romanticism of Manhattan (1979). From the visually striking opening sequence – an unfolding tableaux of imagery that is reminiscent of photographs by Alfred Stieglitz and set to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” – Allen effectively seduces the viewer with his anachronistic view of New York City.
I have a pessimistic view of relationships. My view has always been that you talk about it with your friends, you scheme, you plot, and you see psychoanalysts. You see marriage counselors, get medicated, do everything they can, but in the end you have to luck out. It’s complete and total luck.
– Woody Allen
So much of the critical attention on Allen’s work tends to focus on elements divorced from the actual aesthetics of his films. For example, his screen persona, his witty writing, his recurring collaborators, the philosophical meanderings of his scripts and the heightened mood of existential angst that permeates his cinema have taken centre stage to such an extent that the sheer style and beauty of his films is sometimes overlooked. I find Manhattan, with its amazing widescreen photography by Gordon Willis, Allen’s most captivating film – although he was reportedly so unhappy with it upon completion that he offered to make United Artists another film for free.
The plot of the film, like so many in Allen’s cinema, is concerned with negotiating modern relationships: Allen (who plays 42-year-old Isaac) is dating a girl who is still in high school (Mariel Hemingway), while his best friend (Michael Murphy) is cheating on his wife with Diane Keaton. Then there is Isaac’s ex-wife (played by the luminous Meryl Streep) who has left him for another woman and has recently published a mocking and exposing study of their failed marriage. It’s a romantic comedy that sheds light on the complexities of love and desire, the self-indulgence and delusion of the upper-middle class and is awash with Allen’s characteristic realism. Romantic relationships are simultaneously portrayed through a lens of disenchantment and nostalgia – a motif that visually spills over into the shots of the city.
Indeed, every frame is perfectly composed to show shadows of emotional uncertainty and the city itself is utilised as a metaphor that tracks the changes in the narrative trajectory. The film camera is rendered a silent observer that takes in the details of the story, capturing the splendour, charm, desolation, innocence, tenderness, isolation and distance at the heart of the onscreen interactions and the scenography of Manhattan. To this end, a number of critics have claimed that Manhattan is a love letter to New York – and it most certainly is – but it’s also a nuanced study of the human condition. When Isaac begins his novel with “Chapter one. He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion…” he is, of course, talking about the subject of love itself. For me, this conflation between love and the city makes for a deeply affecting cinematic experience. Even non-Woody fans should enjoy it.
You might remember Temujin Doran and his previous film, Facts About Projection, as it was a huge hit and garnered probably hundreds of thousands of views. Well he’s got a new video out which was created for Lego called Build Anything and it’s totally cute and charming. This time he’s gone around London replacing familiar objects with Legos instead, making the face of Big Ben, a boat on the river or the all too familiar red phone booth. The idea reminds me a bit of what Christoph Niemann did with his I Lego N.Y. project but I feel like Temujin has takena more literal approach to the idea. Just a cute, simple idea for an equally cute and simple product.
Best Made Company, makers of fancy, design-y axes, are preparing to make a series of short films they’ll be releasing this fall which is directed by Finn O’Hara with music by Nico Muhly. I think I read the somewhere that the clip above was shot at like 2000 frames per second and it looks absolutely amazing. Watching these beautiful axes in slow motion is a great way to showcase that they’re nit only for looks alone, that these are made for serious business. It’ll be interesting to see what they end up releasing, but if they’re anything like the clip above I’m sure they’ll be rad.
Latey I’ve been listening to Thom Yorke’s Eraser lately for some reason, I think I’ve been in wanting something a bit more chaotic and less structured, which I think helps me be creative. I tweeted about listening to the song Cymbal Rush and how much I loved it and my friend Chris sent me a link to the video above which is a remix of the song done by The Field. I think this remix is pretty rad on it’s own but combined with this bootleg video made for it it’s a great combination.