Date Archives June 2011

Radiohead – ‘Staircase’ (Live From the Basement)

Radiohead - 'Staircase' (Live From the Basement)

Radiohead - 'Staircase' (Live From the Basement)

Radiohead - 'Staircase' (Live From the Basement)

Four days ago, Radiohead released a brand new video performing a brand new song that’s never been heard before. I mean, these guys are just unstoppable, it’s like they never stop making music. The song is called Staircase, and it’s from their upcoming Live From the Basement album, though it’s not quite clear when the album is actually coming out. And of course, it’s actually a really great track. It’s a bit better than the songs off the last album, maybe more in the vain of In Rainbows. I can’t wait to hear what else they record.

Bobby

The Nokia N9

The Nokia N9

The Nokia N9

The Nokia N9

I feel like, as an Apple lover, I need to share other ideas that are out there as well when it comes to electronics. There are a lot of potential competitors out there, but I wholeheartedly believe that no one has been able to match able in both hardware and software. But when I saw the new Nokia N9, I have to admit I was bit intrigued.

Physically, it looks really on brand for Nokia. It reminds me a lot of the old candy bar phones from the 90’s, which is totally a compliment. The form seems like it would be comfortable in your hand, and the back of the camera looks really clean and simple. Though one thing I noticed is the position of the camera, which may become covered by your hand easily.

The software seems to be pretty smooth, but not perfect in my mind. The field of icons on the home screen seems a bit overwhelming, though the icons themselves are rather well-crafted. I also like that there’s a screen that aggregates all your social networks and messages and notes and all that jazz. That said, it’s not very pretty, it’s quite mundane looking in fact.

Mundane is kind of how I’d describe the entire UI experience, sadly. The idea of swiping to get to other screens, and the lack of one physical button, is an interesting feature, but it certainly doesn’t make me giddy. It’s also interesting that they don’t seem to be showing the keyboard, which I think is a bit odd. Perhaps it’s not ready? There’s also a noticeable absence of phone calls or text messages, but yet again, this may be because it’s still early in production, I don’t know.

I’m highly doubtful that this will end up making a big splash, but I appreciate the effort at the very least. Between this and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 (Microsoft innovating much more, in my opinion), hopefully we continue to see more explorations like this.

Bobby

Yuki 7 in ‘Looks That Kill’

Yuki 7 in 'Looks That Kill'

Yuki 7 in 'Looks That Kill'

Yuki 7 in 'Looks That Kill'

Illustrator Kevin Dart has teamed up with Stéphane Coëdel to animate a new adventure of Yuki 7, “a fashionista and spy girl” who kicks ass and looks good doing it. The short was made to promote the upcoming Yuki 7 book of the same name which Kevin illustrated and was written by Elizabeth Ito.

The short is super fun, playing off of all the classic spy stereotypes, like the deadly blonde on the beach and jet planes galore. And the animation itself is really well done, I feel like Stéphane was really able to capture the essence of Kevin’s and perfectly translate it into it’s moving counterpart. If you’re unfamiliar with Kevin Dart I highly suggest diving into his work and seeing all the amazing stuff he’s worked on, the guy is legit.

Found through ISO50

Bobby

Behind The Scenes at United Visual Artists

Behind The Scenes at United Visual Artists

Behind The Scenes at United Visual Artists

Behind The Scenes at United Visual Artists

I guess today is kind of a behind-the-scenes kind of day, which is always fun to me. The Creators Project went and visited United Visual Artists in London, one of my favorite art groups doing the most brilliant things with dynamic lighting in environments. I’ve written about them and their projects multiple times, they always continue to impress, and seeing a look at how they do what they do is pretty rad. I also like this quote from the end of the video:

“It’s not really the newness that interests us, it’s more the unfamiliarity.”

Bobby

Want to Know about the Barcelona Chair?

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair

Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Chair

You may or may not know about the super famous Barcelona chair, which was designed by Mies van der Rohe for the German Pavilion in 1929, but after watching this video you will definitely know more about it than most folks. You’ll also be able to point out the fake ones you see across town, which may very well outnumber the real ones considering the price. It’s a beautiful chair, and although I can’t imagine myself dropping five thousand hard-earned dollars for a modernist chair anytime soon, I’ve wanted one for most of my adult life. The ottoman is two thousand dollars.

Alex

Hand-stitched Portraits by Daniel Kornrumpf

Daniel Kornrumpf

Daniel Kornrumpf

Daniel Kornrumpf

Daniel Kornrumpf

Click images to enlarge

These amazing, hand-stitched portrait by Daniel Kornrumpf are blowing my mind. I was showing a co-worker these yesterday and we were sitting there analyzing each of these, combing over the minor details. I particularly love the subtlety of the lips and how the threads follow the the contours and cracks. It’s almost like he’s painting with thread. The other detail I enjoyed was in the second photo, the tiny bit of red eye thread in the inner corners of the guys eyes, it really emphasizes the look of being beaten down or tired. Daniel has received a ton of press already for these images, hopefully all the positive write-ups have inspired him to do more. I would love to send him my photo and get one of these of myself.

Found through Design Aside

Bobby

The Desktop Wallpaper Project featuring Jon Contino

Jon Contino

Since the 4th of July is less than two weeks away, I figured it was only fitting that there should be a rad wallpaper celebrating the date. Oddly enough, this is the first time I’ve actually done an Independence Day wallpaper, probably because 50% of you readers are from the U.S. and the other half is everywhere else in the world. Nonetheless, I had written the extremely talented Jon Contino to see if he’d like to do a wallpaper, and the idea of him doing something around the concept was too good to be true. I wrote about Jon’s work not too long ago, but in case you missed it he’s a New York based illustrator and designer who’s style is reminiscent of days gone by. He’s so damn talented, and it comes across in his handmade type and his eye for crafting unique compositions. He also co-owns CXXVI, one of the best lifestyle brands around right now.

And as for his wallpaper, this has to be one of my favorites yet. It features a super muscle-y version of Uncle Sam with a body full of tats, proudly displaying the foundations of America. I think it’s a really lighthearted adaption of Independence, not trying to take itself too seriously but still showing respect. I also have to give props to Jon, who stayed up till 4:41 this morning working on the wallpaper because he was so excited by how it turned out. Like I said earlier, this is one of my favorite ones yet.

Enjoy the wallpaper, have a happy and safe 4th of July, and check back next Wednesday for another amazing desktop wallpaper.

An Innovative Public Pool

+Pool a public pool in the Hudson River

+Pool a public pool in the Hudson River

+Pool a public pool in the Hudson River

This is a pretty sweet kickstarter project that has been getting some attention: +Pool. The project is a public swimming pool floating around the rivers of New York City. It’s a great idea that has worked in Copenhagen quite well and probably other places that I don’t even know about. Even though the project is “fully funded” really only the first phase of testing the water-filtering membranes is funded. Additional funding will allow for more extensive testing of the water filtration system and add momentum behind the project as it prepares to slog through grueling development and approval processes. Of course you get swag for giving your dollars to help make +Pool a reality for everyone, but at $500 bucks, the tote bag might not be for everyone.

And the axonometric illustrations are dope/rad/whateverkidsaresayingthesedays.

Alex

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

Who are you, where are you and what do you do?
We are Jamie Atherton and Jeremy Lin, and as a codependent couple we make stationery and paper goods and art things under the name of Atherton Lin. We are in London.

What are you currently working on?
The 2012 wall calendar, which is all about taking walks in Britain. And wedding invitations; we seem to be getting asked to do these more, both for straight weddings and gay partnership ceremonies.

When did you come out and what was the story?
Jeremy came out at 18 while he was at UCLA, because he can’t keep his mouth shut. Jamie was very British about it and never really said anything; his family just sort of met Jeremy and everything was fine. We’re very lucky to have such good folks.

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

How does being queer affect your work, if at all?
Well, each of us has created stuff in the past, writing and drawing and photography, that is more explicitly queer. But together we just naturally tend to focus on other stuff: Landscape, music, all kinds of things. There’s a theme of coming-of-age in our work so illustrating that from a gay perspective surely casts a certain tone. We use a set of recurring characters, like the Peanuts gang, and two of those characters are the hoodie boys: A gay couple who are always kissing with their hoods up. We’ve had requests to create a lesbian couple but it hasn’t happened yet. Things need to evolve naturally in order to feel truthful. We’ve been in talks about putting the hoodie boys on a skateboard deck. That feels sort of subversive, because the skateboarding industry is dominated by straights and the gay side of it seems to be pretty closeted.

The LGBT Creatives Series: Interview with Atherton Lin

In your mind, what should gay pride be and how would you celebrate it?
Being proud is a challenge on different levels. There is the public level, in which we still need to fight for basic civil rights. And that’s why you still need parades and petitions and everything. And then there is a personal level, which involves the question: To what extent is my identity informed by my sexuality? For a lot of our peers and friends, there was a process of coming to terms with sexuality, and then trying to figure out whether you fit into gay culture. When we were featured by Attitude magazine, a gay publication, the angle was: These guys are drawing pictures for gays who are into Belle and Sebastian, not the typical homo imagery. In terms of celebrating gay pride, we’re all for people going out and having parades and street parties. But that’s not really our style these days. Gays celebrate pride all the time, just by hanging out with other gay friends. You indulge a sense of humour that’s informed by shared experiences, which incorporates a lot of bullying and pain and stuff, but also good sex and funny stories, too. And we’re always really happy to meet people who are in touch with queer art and literary history. It’s a long tradition of rigorous, challenging, sensitive work that comes from the perspective of men and women outside the social norm. And that’s a kind of gay pride, to feel invested in that legacy. We try to pay homage to some of our forefathers. Derek Jarman and Bruce Chatwin, for example, are referenced in our next calendar.

Quality Peoples T-shirts – The Waves Will Wash It All Away

Quality Peoples T-shirts

Quality Peoples T-shirts

Quality Peoples T-shirts

Quality Peoples T-shirts

Who needs to work for someone when you can try to to change the world? Ed Fladung and John Esguerra both had the same thought last year. Quitting their jobs and moving to new locales, they both decided to take life by the horns. Ed migrated to Nayarit, Mexico and John to Hawaii, finding solace and inspiration on the Pacific Ocean. Out of this love of the ocean, fashion, and foreign locales, Quality Peoples was born.

This brand strikes me as a 21st century company from the ground up, with modern touches of an eco/cultural friendly business model. Sticking to a pastiche of surf graphics and street art, the clothing is both barrio-cool and surf oriented. It is equally at home on the beach or on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Alameda. Proceeds from each sale go to P.E.A.C.E., an organization that bring sustainability and community pride to rural, coastal Mexico. The organization’s multi-faceted approach to sustaining local indigenous culture and the environment is needed in these regions of Mexico, some of which are some of the most beautiful areas on the planet. Quality Peoples lives up to their name, and you can find their apparel at Ron Herman or Bows & Arrows. ¡¡¡Órale!!!

Alec