Date Archives November 2010

Gregor Calendar

At this time of year the online design community is inundated with holiday gift guides in which the calendar is a prominent feature. Before you start groaning and rolling your eyes I am not getting swept away with festive season mania (well not yet – I’m not making any promises for the future); however, I couldn’t resist sharing Patrick Frey’s calendar scarf for German design manufacturer Details products + ideas. Delightfully named Gregor, the scarf is designed to diminish with the days of the year. Although I am not sure I would have the heart to unravel the scarf, I do appreciate the concept behind the design:

Times are over where passed days and month were deleted or pulled down, because now there is Gregor the calendar scarf for the wall. Unpicking is the new thing to do. Gregor is a knitted Calendar, where you can do all day long what was forbidden for a long time, to unpick stitch by stitch until the year is over!

More details on Gregor can be found here.



The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Ed Nacional: Thanksgiving Edition

Ed Nacional

The other day my buddy Ed Nacional posted a festive Thanksgiving image on his Dribbble so I thought, hey, why not release it as a Thanksgiving wallpaper? Sure, it’s Thanksgiving today, probably should have released something like this weeks ago, but what hell, you can still give thanks any time of the year, right? A big thanks to Ed for busting out these wallpapers for us. We’re definitely going to do another wallpaper with Ed some time next year so keep a lookout.


Chefs Look for Wild Ingredients Nobody Else Has

I’m a big fan of interesting foods so this article on NY Times about ‘wildcrafters” people who forage for food in a specific manner, was a gem to read. These people don’t search primarily on private and (with permission) for feral plants that you would never think of eating. Crazy plants like toothwort, cornelian cherries, brown jug, creasy greens, sweet cicely, pineapple weed and licorice fern. Chefs in New York and around the world are taking these plants as a sort of challenge such as Momofuku Ssam who serves a fruit leather made of tart, floral Russian olive berries with a roasted porcini and duck liver mousse. “It gives you a creative boost,” Mr. Miller said. “For me it was like rediscovering the first time I cooked a piece of fish.” Definitely an inspiring article for people who love to try new things.

Increasingly, in an era when truffles are farmed and Whole Foods sells fresh porcini, the ingredients that chefs seek are not the ones anyone can order; they’re the ones that few have ever heard of. They are the most unusual, not the most expensive. And even if they’re plentiful, they’re exclusive: you need either to know where to go and what to gather, or who to call.

You can also see a really nice photo gallery as well by clicking here.

Looking at these photos again I wish there was a video that accompanied the article and photos that looked just like the photos. It would be great if NY Times dabbled more into premium video, that’s something I would pay a regular subscription fee for.


One Hundred and Eight by Nils Volker

One Hundred and Eight is an interactive installation by Nils Volker which features a grid of garbage bags continuously inflated and deflated by small cooling fans. The interactive bit of One Hundred and Eight is achieved through a camera, a computer and a microcontroller… all working to animate garbage bags.  Volker: “Although each plastic bag is mounted stationary the sequences of inflation and deflation create the impression of lively and moving creatures which waft slowly around like a shoal. But as soon a viewer comes close it instantly reacts by drawing back and tentatively following the movements of the observer.”


‘La Double Vie de Véronique’

Film is more often than not principally concerned with vision and sound. What we see and hear are the architectural foundations for the cinematic experience. The other senses are certainly evoked through characterisation and setting; however, I have yet to come across a filmmaker who manages to convey sensuality in such a heighten fashion as Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski. His films possess the ability to distil sensory fragments and present them in such a way that they are almost tangible. As Kieslowski commented in an interview, “The realm of superstitions, fortune-telling, presentiments, intuition, dreams, all this is the inner life of a human being, and all this is the hardest thing to film.” For me, the film that best exemplifies Kieslowski’s filmic exploration of introspection and private worlds is The Double Life of Véronique (1991).

Of course I’d like to get beyond the concrete. But it’s really difficult. Very difficult.
– Krzysztof Kieslowski

The film concentrates on two female characters, Weronika and Véronique (both played by Irène Jacob). One is a soloist living in Poland and the other is a music teacher in France. Although they are physically identical, they have never met. The film romanticises the uncanny connection between Weronika and Véronique; however, it is never entirely explained to the viewer and this relationship raises far more questions than it answers. The film depends on the viewer to suspend any notion of logic and to simply take in Slawomir Idziak’s breathtakingly hypnotic cinematography, which filters the film imagery through the subjective impressions of Weronika and Véronique.

Due to this approach, The Double Life of Véronique will not appeal to all viewers. For one thing, the plot unfolds at an achingly slow pace and the sequence of events is based less on action than gestures and glances. Sensory moments such as the crackling sound of brittle autumn leaves, the sensation of raindrops lightly falling onto Weronika’s face and Véronique’s hand tracing the uneven texture of tree bark are magnified and become the focus of the plot. One scene in particular (featured in the clip above), in which Weronika sits on a train and views the passing landscape through a glass marble, conveys Kieslowski’s obsession with perception and sensation. His films, in general, manage to capture a distinctly palpable mode of experience, whereby the emotions of his characters take precedence over the story. By focusing on minute changes in mood and response, he constructs a truly affective cinema.

Although it is not a ghost story in the conventional sense, The Double Life of Véronique is infused with haunting. Doppelgängers, apparitions, strange repetitions and absent presences pervade the film, tying these conceits to the larger themes of identity and desire. The Double Life of Véronique is a film that exists within shadows, unfinished whispers, uncertainty and ambiguity. Watching it requires feeling, not understanding.


The TurBacon Epic

Thanksgiving is usually a time of gluttonous eating, but this may take the cake. The video features what’s called a TurBacon, which is a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig. To be specific, this is a turkey, duck, chicken, cornish hen, quail, 10 lbs of bacon and a 20lb pig, all wrapped up together into on intense meal. This is entirely disgusting but fascinating at the same time. I’ve shown this to a few people so far and they thought it was absolutely disgusting. I, on the other hand, think this would be delicious and I would try it in a heratbeat… though my heart my stop after a couple of bites.

Found through Devour


Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: ‘Being There’ by Joe Van Wetering

Sights & Sounds Presents Wilco: 'Being There' by Joe Van Wetering

Joe Van Wetering

It’s still kinda sorta’ Wednesday so it’s still wallpaper time! This week’s Sight & Sound is for the Wilco album Being There and was done by our amazing curator, Joe Van Wetering. I’ve been a fan of Joe’s work for what feels like a long time now. He’s got such a great, colorful style and makes work that always feels fun and vibrant. For Being There he took inspiration from the title itself. In his own words:

I did Being There for my wallpaper. I hadn’t listened to the album before this but I had seen the Peter Sellers movie in which the album gets its name. Luckily it was on Netflix Instant so I got to go back and re-watch it. If you haven’t seen it before you should probably check it out.

I was a bit lost on what I wanted to do exactly so I started with some shots from the movie and just kept adding on top of it. This ended up a bit crazier than some of my other work but I still enjoy the end product and hope you do too!

Check back next Wedensday for the next wallpaper, Wilco’s Summerteeth.

‘Headache’ by Girls

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

For the past few days I’ve had this Girls song stuck in my head, no rhyme or reason. Nonetheless I thought I’d share this hidden gem from Girls last album, Headache. This is almost a throwback to, well, something older. It’s got such a timeless vibe, like some kind of old fashioned crooner singing a song of longing. I love how tragic it sounds, like he’s lost everything. It’s so haunting and has definitely stuck with me in the back of my head. Definitely worth your time to revisit.


Spaces by Frankie Magazine

One of my guilty pleasures is peeking around other people’s homes. Now – don’t be too disturbed – I don’t break in and dance to “California Dreamin'” in the style of Faye Wong in Chungking Express (1994), but I am always very quick to ask for a tour when I am first invited to a friend’s place. You have to admit that you can learn quite a bit about someone’s personality by looking at the objects that are displayed in their abode. The books, CDs, artwork, and home wares scattered around may or may not be conscious choices, but they are revealing all the same.

The folk at Frankie Magazine obviously share this fetish. For their latest side project, Spaces: Where Creative People Live, Work and Play, they have teamed up with a talented gaggle of photographers and writers to produce a weighty mook (magazine/book hybrid) dedicated to capturing inspiring spaces around the world. The mook journeys all the way from Frankie’s native Australia to Germany, London, Brooklyn and everywhere in between. Covering both public and private spheres, Spaces explores cafes and shops, as well as the creative dwellings and work studios of people such as Rob Ryan and Donna Wilson. Both well-written and beautifully photographed, Spaces offers a lovely insight into the details and idiosyncrasies of diverse creative environments. A definite must for interior design junkies and lovers of photography.

If you’re keen to see more, there are a few extra images after the jump. For more information, including stockists and ordering options, pop by here.


Continue reading