I first heard of Mat Collishaw and his zoetrope “Garden of Unearthly Delights” from my friend Kyle who raved about seeing this kinetic sculpture in person. When I saw his name was also part of the exhibition Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities at the Museum of Art and Design, I set out to find a video of his zoetrope. What I found was this video of Mat talking about an older exhibition of his Hysteria installed at the Freud Museum. From the tree stump record players, to the ghostly mirror portraits of women in shifting smoke, to the zoetrope that has now made it way to the Musuem of Art and Design, his work begs to be shared. Hopefully, you’ll like it as much as I do and hopefully you’ll be close enough to go and see it in person.
Yesterday, it was discovered that Samsung, in an effort to not get sued by Apple, is attempting to prove a point that Stanley Kubrick created the original form of the iPad when he made 2001: A Space Odyssey. As you can see in the images above, there’s clearly some kind of electric tablet sitting there, and Samsung claims that “two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal tablet computers.” It’s that last part that I don’t agree with.
Is that really a personal tablet computer? Or is it a personal television? As you can see there are 10 buttons on the bottom of the tablet, and what they do, we can only imagine. The scene which this was featured lasts only two minutes, and they never actually touch or interact with the devices in the scene. Looking up a timeline of the personal computer, in 1968, the same year 2001 was released, Hewlett Packard coined the phrase “personal computer”.
An advertisement in Science magazine by Hewlett-Packard introduces first programmable scientific desktop calculator, which Hewlett-Packard calls “the new Hewlett-Packard 911A personal computer”. (This is claimed as coining the term “personal computer”.)
In another example, you can see the Nova by Data General, which is basically a giant filing cabinet with a tiny monitor on top. So to say that the image is a personal computer seems just a tiny bit far fetched. What’s also funny to me is that you can clearly see a tiny IBM logo on the bottom right of the device. Interestingly enough, IBM launched the first laptop called the IBM 5100, in September of 1975, 7 years after the release of 2001.
Now, I’m not saying there isn’t similarities. Perhaps Kubrick did envision this as a personal computer, and perhaps IBM or a prop guy built something close to his idea? But is there any solid proof that says that’s what this was? Either way, I found the history lesson of personal computers rather interesting. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in the last 40 years. Imagine the computers we’ll be using 40 years from now.
More often than not the branding for a gallery or art museum tends to be minimally boring, relying upon tightly kerned Helvetica or something of the sort, which gets old fast. So I was pleased to see this identity for the Ceri Hand Gallery, the largest commercial independent gallery in the UK outside of London. It was created by Marcus McCabe, a freelance designer/art director who studied in Dublin at the National College of Art & Design. I love the practicality of the mark, that it’s simplicity lends itself to becoming something physical like a table or something smaller like a stamp. I also love how the logo works in conjunction with the printed materials, creating a beautiful grid that works on basically any content.
Marcus is going to be moving to Sydney, Australia in October, so if you’re in need of some good design work you should hit him up.
You may already be familiar with the work of EVOL, he’s the German artist who turns those power boxes you see on the side of the roads into apartment blocks, in effect creating miniature cities. Recently he was asked to create an installation in a place that’s almost the opposite of his normal environment… an open field. Instead of building something on the land, he decided to create in the earth itself.
He ended up creating an intersecting X shape that allowed him to create his own city in the land that viewers can walk amongst. As you can see from these photos (scroll down to the comments) it looks like the trenches must be about 4 or 5 feet deep, which in total took him about 8 days to unearth (you can see process photos here, scroll down again). The effect though, is amazing, like he’s unearthed some sort of secret world. I wish I would have been able to walk around in it.
Last week London-based illustrator Mat Pringle updated his website and with it he posted a collection of excellent images from a children’s story he’s working on. Inspired (I imagine) from a recent summer spent in San Francisco, The Spirit Bears of California features a series of multi-coloured bears that keep a watchful eye over the State. I love the scale of these bears and the simple color palette which Mat uses. As he says on his site, this is a project which he’s working on at the moment so I’m really looking forward to seeing how the whole thing shapes up.
Mat studied graphic design at the London College of Communication before stumbling his way into what he calls “the murky world of illustration”. His site has a great mix of illustration work on it and it’s well worth taking a look at. I’d also recommend checking out his excellent zine The Film One which I picked up earlier in the year. Not only does it feature Mat’s artwork inspired by his favorite film but also contributions from twenty five other artists, illustrators and designers. More details here.
Of all the slopes in Switzerland, the ones inside the Rolex Learning Center by SANAA are the subject of this photo series wherein architecture students marry their love of snowy sports with their devotion to the built form. When the new Rolex Learning Center opened, the school’s photo club wanted to show off how the innovative structure is used by the students. Johann Watzke, Anne-Fanny Cotting & Aurélie Mindel proposed that the white and sloping interior could host a variety of winter sports. My favorite detail in series is probably the skiers riding the skilift in the top photo because building equipement meant simply to provide accommodation is often ignored and rarely celebrated. Just remember that architecture is a very serious endeavor.
Driving to work yesterday I was super happy to hear Pollyn’s new song How Small We Are playing on KCRW, which you might remember from the video I posted about a month ago. As a B-side to How Small We Are, they’ve covered the Portishead song Mysteron, which is the first track off of their first album Dummy. The video itself is pretty streamlined, just a flashlight in a dark room, but I thought their version was pretty fantastic.
I’ve also had a chance to listen to their upcoming album, Living in Patterns, and I can tell you it’s really good. I totally get a Talking Heads vibe, which I think is from the bass and steady beats that lie at the heart of their songs. The new album comes out on October 4, so there isn’t too much longer to wait. It’s definitely worth it.
I’ve been browsing over on the School of Visual Arts / Portfolios site regularly, looking for some new exciting talents, and I came across the photos of Jenny Riffle. She has this great series profiling this guy Riley, who she describes as a modern day treasure hunter. He seems like a pretty eclectic guy, kinda’ looks like a punk, he loves to go out with his metal detector and hunting around the dirt and beaches for treasures. I love how she captured his little world, the mood is mysterious and engaging in her photos. I would totally love to check out his apartment or even follow him around to see what he finds. Be sure to check out the rest of the set by clicking here.