Date Archives February 2011

‘Gills’ by Spacemonster

Gills by SpacemonsterI thought a good way to start out Wednesday would be some wonderful music by a guy you’ve probably never heard about, Spacemonster, who might also go by the name Kenny Hamilton. He recently released a new 5 song EP called Gills on Bandcamp and I’ve really been enjoying it lately. It’s a really lo-fi album filled with some slow, kinda’ melancholy songs that remind me of Elliot Smith, Sparklehorse and the vocals of Animal Collective. It’s a really nice mix, actually, which works out well either early in the morning as you’re getting ready or maybe as you’re trying to go to sleep. If you like what you hear please visit Kenny’s Bandcamp and by his album, it’s only $1.

On a side note, I asked Kenny for some facts about himself, so he made me a nice list which I wanted to share:

1. I should be majoring in international studies in by next year but i might have to end up doing a victory lap.
2. really jazzed about my new living space. since moving into my new apt ive gotten rid of my bed and made a nest in the corner with quilts, fart sacks(sleeping bags), head pillows and some bullshit yoga mat thing. it’s something that i recommend for everyone.
3. ive been recording my bedroom since high school but now i’m starting to make an legitamate effort. (ie going into a studio, contacting pressing and distribution companies, etc.)
4. the last thing i recorded can be downloaded for free at http://www.mediafire.com/?gyxjonyjzzt
5. the last thing i recorded was complete fucking nonsense. (i believed i was the reincarnation of jesus christ. lulzzz)
6. Spacemonster comes from an old middle school cover band with two friends (originally “American Spacemonster Gill”) We all forgot about the name and moved to our individual music projects. Recently I started using my contribution to the name, spacemonster.

Bobby

The Intricate Lives of Snowflakes

A snowflake under a microscope

A snowflake under a microscope

A snowflake under a microscope

I’ve found as I get older that the details in life have become more important and more interesting. Little things that I may have wondered about as a child that I can fully grasp now as an adult. Such as, what does a snowflake really look like? Sure, I bet most people can imagine what the idea of a snowflake looks like. A tiny, perfect crystal with a shape so intricate it looks like it was shaped by hand. Funny enough, that’s exactly what they look like. I don’t think many people stop to think about how banks of snow are made up fo these tiny, amazing little structures. To see more of these great microscopic images click here.

Found through Akira The Don

Bobby

Infographics In Context by Peter Orntoft

Infographics In Context by Peter Orntoft

Infographics In Context by Peter Orntoft

Infographics In Context by Peter Orntoft

It seems like the cool thing these days is to shit on infographics, despite how useful they are to really convey information easily to a broad audience. I don’t see what the problem is, especially when they’re done as well as these by Peter Orntoft. He calls them Infographics In Context and they’re exactly that. The top image for example, shows gang related crime and whether the Danes have changed behaviour because of it. So he literally wrapped people in caution tape to get the point across. In the second image he visualizes whether or not the Danes thinks its ethical to wear religious symbols in public professions. Context is important when it comes to graphics like these and I love that these get the point across at a glance. Not to mention how well done these are, the photography looks great and the punch of colors help illustrate the point even more clearly. We need more infographics like these everywhere.

Bobby

Yardmasters Building

exterior of the yardmasters building

interior of yardmasters house

Thanks to the contrast between the Yardmasters Building  (designed by architects McBride Charles Ryan) and its surroundings, the Yardmasters Building reads a bit more tedious and fragile than it might otherwise. It’s not lacy, but describing the exterior as “jewel-like” agrees with the faceted geometries and the subtle sheen of the brighter bits, but disagrees with the darker palette of the exterior. The color is dirty and gives some grit the jewelbox sitting alongside the tracks in Melbourne. 

When a building’s skin has a pattern this intricate, it is hard to understand the scale without some kind of reference. Anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting Jean Nouvell’s L’Institut Du Monde Arabe may have been as shocked as I was at the scale of the mechanical aperatures that cover the south face of the building. They’re huge. Back in Melbourne, you can see from the interior photo that the windows are larger than they appear from the exterior. The rich geometries that wrap the building are somewhere between optical illusion and disguise: a mechanism for creating mystery. The designers liken the project to a “jewel in a junk-heap” which seems like fitting place to begin a mystery.

Alex

Brad Phillips: “An Artist’s Artist”

phillips 1phillips 2

phillips 4

phillips 5

Although the work of Canadian artist Brad Phillips traverses a number of genres – including watercolour, drawing and photography – it is his oil paintings that leave the biggest impression. Dark and shadowy with Gothic undertones, his paintings gesture towards hidden secrets and psychological complexity. Quiet and abandoned spaces, unnerving portraits and still life images that juxtapose knives with flowers all feature in his diverse portfolio.

However, Phillips also has a cheekily subversive sense of humour that permeates his pieces: from proclaiming that he is an “artist’s artist” to what I suspect is a satirical recreation of Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World (1866), his paintings successfully tread the fine line between artist gravitas and having a little bit of fun.

Danica

RRR.002 – Review and Giveaway

RRR.02

RRR.02

RRR.02

Back in Novemeber of 2009 I reviewed a little zine called RRR, it was a collection of images from all kinda of artists and photographers and I was really impressed with it. Well now the second edition has been released and it happens to be even better than the first. Clocking in at 100 pages this 6 x 9″ zine is filled with all kinds of great artists like Mike Perry, Will Bryant, Andrew Holder, Ed Fladung, Gary Benzel and Keith Scharwath.

What’s great about a zine like this is that it’s filled with so much inspiration. Every page is different. There’s photos, then illustrations, then design, each one bursting with imagination. I know when I got my issue I totally poured over it, amazed by all the talented people and their beautiful work.

Lucky for you I’ve got 5 copies to give away thanks to the man behind RRR, Scott Massey. So how do you get your hands on one? Leave me a comment with your favorite place to get inspiration. My five favorite comments will win a copy, simple as that. Good luck!

Bobby

Re-Covered Books: ‘Lord of the Flies’ Update – Win A Copy of Sam Weber’s Version of the Book

Sam Weber's 'Lord of the Flies' Giveaway

I just updated the Lord of the Flies Re-Covered Contest with a bunch of amazing entries and I have to say there’s a lot of great contenders so far. That said, I want to up the ante a bit by making the deal a little sweeter. Thanks to the awesome folks over at Folio Society I have 5 copies of Sam Weber’s version of Lord of the Flies to give away to the winner and 4 runners up. These books aren’t cheap, they run for $50 a pop, so these are some pretty great prizes.

That said, all entries are due this Friday by Midnight PST so you’d better hurry if you want a chance to win $100 or one of Sam’s amazing books. For entry details and rules click here. A huge thanks to Folio Society for hooking us up.

Bobby

Todd Mclellan Disassembles Things to Find The Beauty In Ordinary Objects

Todd Mclellan's Disassembly

Todd Mclellan's Disassembly

Since I posted up those awesome photos by Moa Karlberg earlier I thought I’d follow up with this series by Todd Mclellan called Disassembled. Todd takes apart random but mechanically complex items, lays out every bit and bob and photographs them. You can see in the video below how laborious the process is, how he picks out all the right pieces and then slowly lays them out. But after he disassembles these objects I think he throws them in the air and photographs the resulting chaos. Not sure how many takes he does with those but they look awesome either way.

Bobby

The Viewing Chairs

tall chairs

The good news is that it was warm enough to wear shorts the weekend. This is especially good news considering that sad patches of snow still littered the ground last weekend. We are approaching that annoying time of year where cold fronts seem cosmically unjust; we’re sick of the layers we were so excited about wearing last fall. The longer days ahead are literally the promise of a warmer and brighter future.

The bad news is that I do not speak Russian, so information on The Viewing Chairs above is scant. Luckily, there’s not much to explain. Designed by Megabudka, the high chairs that make up the project are installed on Vido Island in Greece, where folks can climb up the chairs for a better view. There’s something a quirky and precarious about about the height of the chairs that’s alluring, but I’m not sure that an infant roosting a few meters above the ground in something quirky and precarious is an omen of good news at all. At least the chairs provide a different perspective, and warmer weather is just over the horizon.

Alex

Drawing Nature: Jamie Mills

mills 1

mills 2

mills 3

British illustrator Jamie Mills certainly knows the way to a girl’s heart: bears and mountains. Creating intricately detailed landscapes and wildlife creatures with small bursts of primary colour, his work is inspired by L.S Lowry and Brooks Salzwedel. I love the juxtaposition of monochromatic representations of nature with bright geometric shapes. If only the woods looked this good.

Mills is also the co-creator of collaborative project, A Tale to Tell, which fuses storytelling and illustration to produce a multilayered and ever-evolving narrative that uses Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book as its genesis.

Check out more of Mills’ work on his blog, flickr and shop.

Danica