Date Archives July 2012

Erin Burrell Highlights History Through Art

Highlighting History Through Art

Highlighting History Through Art

Highlighting History Through Art

Highlighting History Through Art

Artist Erin Burrell is recently out of school. He just finished up at Pasadena’s Art Center and is quickly carving into the art landscape in an unexpected way: through history. The former TBWA/Chiat/Day designer turned fine artist has become infatuated with Los Angeles’ concealed history and is now focusing his artistic gaze toward uncovering these things the young city has covered up in order to seem more progressive or cooler or sexier.

Erin has an interesting look at Los Angeles and is incredibly knowledgable about what is quite literally under the surface, from Victorian houses that once stood where Dodger Stadium is to a trolley system whose skeletal system can be spotted at various points in the city. He is unfolding his own story and hopefully will unfold a narrative that will educate and inform many in our city.

You can check out our conversation with Erin here.

Summer in the Southern Hemisphere

Island Retreat by Fearon Hay Architects and Penny Hay

Island Retreat by Fearon Hay Architects and Penny Hay

Island Retreat by Fearon Hay Architects and Penny Hay

I’m over the scorching heat, so while I spend the remainder of the summer cursing the sun and looking forward to sweater weather, residents of the southern hemisphere are looking forward to the warm summer months ahead. Undoubtedly, the folks that own this private residence on the island of Waiheke in New Zealand are looking forward to spending their summer in their new retreat. While looking up a little bit more info on the island, I came across a surprising tidbit about the island’s name: “Waiheke translates as ‘the descending waters’ or ‘ebbing water’. This refers to an event when Maori explorer Kahumatamomoe landed on the island and urinated.” That can’t be right.

The so-called Island Retreat was designed by Fearon Hay Architects with Penny Hay as interior designer. The result of their work is a modern and clean residence that is warmed up by the natural materials found inside. Well, warmed up by that and the scorching sun.

Beautiful photographs of spaces by Jennilee Marigomen

'Spaces' by Jennilee Marigomen

'Spaces' by Jennilee Marigomen

'Spaces' by Jennilee Marigomen

'Spaces' by Jennilee Marigomen

Canadian photographer Jennilee Marigomen has a wonderful way of capturing intimate spaces with her camera. Mainly taking photographs of everyday and mundane things, her images still manage to find an incredible beauty in these often simple moments. The images above come from a series of commissioned photographs called ‘Spaces’. See more of Jannilee’s work online here.

A look back at Outfest 2012

Outfest Turns 30

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Outfest, the most renowned and celebrated LGBT film festival in the world. The festival opened a couple weeks ago with VITO, the brilliant and devastating documentary on the life of LGBT activist and film historian Vito Russo.

Over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours, we’ve had the privilege of being able to share interviews with many of the filmmakers who are sharing very important work at the festival. The works range from documentary to shorts to features and cover topics from large age gaps in relationships to immigration and marriage to trans narratives. All of the works are fantastic and we are proud to share them with you. After the jump, take a peek at a few interviews with filmmakers and be on the look out for their films as many are going to be coming your way and taking film culture by storm.

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D.C. gets a double dose of Adjaye: The Francis Gregory & William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Libraries

A Neighborhood Library designed by Adjaye Associates in Washington DC

A Neighborhood Library designed by Adjaye Associates in Washington DC

A Neighborhood Library designed by Adjaye Associates in Washington DC

William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library designed by Adjaye Associates

These are the Francis Gregory Library (top three photos) and the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library (bottom photo) designed by Adjaye Associates. Both are neighborhood libraries in the Washington DC area and have been completed while the architect continues to oversee construction of the Smithsonian National Museum of African America History and Culture located on the National Mall. The libraries are quite different from each another, but both are great examples of Adjaye’s work and contribute to the architectural diversity of the DC area. The diagonal checkerboard pattern that dominates the design of the Francis Gregory Library facade has a surprising effect on the interior, where the design is finished in wood.

Photos by Edmund Sumner

Solar: A perfect weather app for visually oriented people

Solar: A perfect weather app for visually oriented people

Solar: A perfect weather app for visually oriented people

For the last couple weeks I’ve been using this new weather app called Solar from Hollr, Inc. As weather apps go, I have to say that this might be the perfect weather app for me.

Solar is a hyper-sensorial, interactive display of the day’s weather, rendered in dazzling, Rothko-esque colorscapes. A graphicist’s dream. No vector polygons, no dew point calibration and it won’t remind you to wear a jacket. It is, very simply, an exquisitely designed weather forecast app – a modern accessory for the aesthetically-inspired, new-fashioned adventurer.

Ok, that’s kind of a fluffy, hype-driven PR snippet, but it’s mostly true. What you get with Solar is what I’m guessing most people really are looking for in a weather app. You’ve got the time, the date, the conditions, your temperature and location, just so you know it’s accurate. All of this info is laid out in white over a beautiful gradient which does different things. Today in Los Angeles it’s really sun, so the gradient is pulsing sun rays. For rain and other weather conditions the app responds appropriately, rain drops and lightning flashes in full effect.

They’ve also created a really unique gesture, where you drag your finger up towards the top of your screen and you’ll start to get a 24 hour forecast, minute by minute, hour by hour. It’s such a brilliant way of communicating the data on a touch screen, I’m sure the feature will be copied soon enough. Trust me on this one, ditch your overly complicated weather app and grab Solar.

‘Cloud Atlas’, the new trailer from the directors of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Run Lola Run’

'Cloud Atlas', the new trailer from the directors of 'The Matrix' and 'Run Lola Run'

To describe the upcoming film Cloud Atlas as a massive, convoluted film might be the understatement of the century. Based on a book by David Mitchell, the film is an undertaking by by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, who you’ll know from their films The Matrix and Run Lola Run. I think they’ve essentially taken on the gargantuan task of filming a movie that’s quite impossible to make, which in my mind only makes it all the more interesting.

Cloud Atlas is an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.

It’s a huge, lofty concept for a film, though you could distill it to karma, perhaps. I haven’t looked up much about the film, though I did see one interesting tidbit, that the film is technically six interlocking pieces. Each piece, each story, fits into and shapes the others. My hope is that they’ve figured out how to tell this tale correctly, that it won’t be too much of an abstract effort and that the audience won’t get lost while watching. Even so, you have to give the filmmakers and actors credit for believing in such an ambitious project.

Above is an intro from the directors which gives you an idea of what it took to make the film. It sounds like even for the directors of The Matrix this was an extremely tough sell. And for those curious, the woman speaking is Lana Wachoski, who used to be Larry Wachoski. Lana has transitioned from male to female, and this is really the first time she’s put herself in front of cameras since then. A huge congrats to her.

‘Oceans’ by Sleep Thieves

To get the week started I thought I’d turn to the Dublin-based trio Sleep Thieves and serve up a tasty slice of dark-electro in the form of their wonderful track Oceans. Taken from their recent Islands EP, Oceans is a track filled with etherial vocals and moody synths. It’s a combination which recalls the likes of Austra and The Knife and it sounds absolutely fantastic!

Using the combination of the band’s male and female vocalists, Sleep Thieves have created a track which is laced with sweetness and sorrow; it’s a track filled with atmosphere and elegance. Make sure to check out the rest of their EP too and download a copy of it from their Bandcamp page here.

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

Quarterly #003, a poster collaboration with Erik Marinovich

A few weeks back I sent the third edition of my Quarterly mailing, #003, a poster collaboration with my friend in type, Erik Marinovich. Well, to be fair he did most of the work. I while back I tweeted a little something that was stuck in my head, the phrase, “Life is fluid, make waves.” I’ve spoken about my fascination with water before, and I thought this line had a poetic beauty to it. So I asked Erik to illustrate this phrase in a fluid way, bringing it to life. As always he did an amazing job, making the phrase flow and move; I couldn’t have been happier.

With the artwork done, I hit up Erik Hamline of Steady Print Co. to get it printed. Based out of Minneapolis other, Erik is a screen printing maestro who I knew would do an amazing job. We ended up running a split fountain of blue and turquoise color, giving the print a subtle gradation on a creme colored paper, which in Erik’s own words “gives it a Beach Boys sort of vibe.”

Currently my Quarterly subscription is sold out, but I’m hoping to get it open again so that more of you could subscribe to what will be my final maling. It will be another great poster collaboration, though I’m keeping the details mum for now. That said, there will be many more collaborations coming in the near future.

The design of the 2012 London Olympics medals

2012 London Olympics medal design

For whatever reason I hadn’t seen the design of the London Olympic medals, so I thought I’d look them. As you can see above they’re a nice blend of both contemporary and classic, featuring the image of Nike flying out of the Parthenon to go to London (their words, not mine). That’s pretty straightforward, and while I like the main side, the reasoning seems a bit… silly.

– The curved background implies a bowl similar to the design of an amphitheatre.
– The core emblem is an architectural expression, a metaphor for the modern city, and is deliberately jewel-like.
– The grid suggests both a pulling together and a sense of outreach – an image of radiating energy that represents the athletes’ efforts.
– The River Thames in the background is a symbol for London and also suggests a fluttering baroque ribbon, adding a sense of celebration.
– The square is the final balancing motif of the design, opposing the overall circularity of the design, emphasising its focus on the centre and reinforcing the sense of ‘place’ as in a map inset.

I really like the 2012 design, but really? It seems like there was a lot of desperate thought put into that description. Nonetheless, I think the design feels extremely contemporary and exciting. You even have to admit that the 2012 logo that everyone loves to hate looks good as extruded metal.

You can read more about the medals by clicking here.