‘Cirrus’, A Trippy New Video for Bonobo – Directed by Cyriak

'Cirrus', A Trippy New Video for Bonobo - Directed by Cyriak

'Cirrus', A Trippy New Video for Bonobo - Directed by Cyriak

We featured some pretty rad videos on the site yesterday, so I figured I’d keep the trend alive with this new video for the song Cirrus by Uk musician, Bonobo. The song itself is an evolution of Bonobo’s sound, with a bit more of an upbeat rhythm to the track and less violins this time around. It’s certainly a winner in the sound department.

As for the video it was directed by Brighton-ish based director Cyriak who’s known for his somewhat mind-bending videos. The video for Cirrus is no different. What starts out as a few simple repeating elements soon becomes a chaotic collage of video snippets that take on a life of their own. He says that he uses Photoshop and After Effects for most of his animations, which I find totally astonishing. I’d suggest watching this video several times so that you can fully appreciate the amount of work he had to put into this incredible music video.

Thanks to Matthew Gore for the tip.

January 28, 2013 / By

Re-Covered Books Contest: ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami

Re-Covered Books Contest: 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by John Gall

I’m pretty sure some of our readers might be crazy. I haven’t done a Re-Covered Books contests in a little while, at least not since our failed attempt at trying to re-cover The Hobbit (we only received about 6 entries). This time around I decided to take a vote and let you the readers choose which book we re-covered, and and of the four choices you decided to take on Haruki Murikami’s, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

The novel is about a low-key unemployed man, Toru Okada, whose cat runs away. A chain of events follow that prove that his seemingly mundane life is much more complicated than it appears.

This is not only a bold choice, this book is really weird, but it’s also had the honor of having two spectacular covers by two amazing designers: Chip Kidd and John Gall. They’ve set the bar incredibly high, so I’m expecting some really great entries. For a bit of reference check out this collection of covers from around the world. Some are good, some are meh.

'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' by Haruki Murakami, Cover Design by Chip Kidd

For your cover I want you to take the weirdness and originality of the book and channel that into the design. I think some contemporary with a slight bit of weirdness is an interesting take, which is also so different from what both Kidd and Gall have done. No bird toys either, that’s already been done. I think the idea of contemporary psychedelia could be an interesting route to try as well, for those of you who are brave.

Princeton Architectural Press Prizes

UPDATE: I’ve partnered up with the Princeton Architectural Press to give away the pretty awesome prizes you see above. How cool is that?


• Save your images as JPGs at 800px wide, 72 DPI, RGB mode – this is super important! There are no height restrictions (within reason) but be sure to send images as separate JPGs. Feel free to play with the dimensions and have fun with what you make. Submitting a front and back cover will certainly help your chances, but is not required. You can enter up to 3 times.

The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Amazon, and perhaps some more fun goodies that I’m digging up.

• Label your files “Firstname-Lastname-Wind-Up-Bird.jpg”

• Send all entries to contest@thefoxisblack.com with the subject “Re-Covered Books: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle“. Cut and paste what I wrote there, it’s super easy and it helps me keep track of your entry.

• All entries are due Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Midnight PST.

If there are any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments. I look forward to seeing what you come up with and be sure to tell your friends/classmates/pets to participate as well. Good luck and have fun!

Continue reading this post…

January 28, 2013 / By

Essays on Reality by Greg Barth

Greg Barth

Greg Barth

Greg Barth

These short animated pieces by Swiss artist/director Greg Barth are a brilliant exploration of clever, minimalist 3D aesthetics all done without the use of CGI. There are camera tricks and green screen elements, but all of the sets and objects were physically filmed. Barth uses these scenes to tell an abstract, surreal tale with some heavy conceptual framework including commentary on American consumerism and the Arab Spring. This sobering subject matter contrasts surprisingly well with the clean, dimensional imagery and adds to its surreal effect. I particularly enjoy the final piece of chapter 2 with gravity-defying cans dressed in world flags. I still can’t quite figure out how it was shot. Barth is an accomplished designer/director working in the commercial realm as well; you can browse some of his other work and read more about the process behind Essays on Reality on his site.

January 28, 2013 / By

2,000 plastic shapes come to life for Shugo Tokumaru’s ‘Katachi’

Shugo Tokumaru - Katachi 1

Shugo Tokumaru - Katachi

Poland-based creative duo Kijek/Adamski have done some amazing work in this new video for Katachi by the Japanese multi-instrumentalist Shugo Tokumaru. For anyone who knows the painstaking process of stop-motion animation then you’ll know exactly how impressive this video is. Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.

Tokumaru’s track itself is pretty wonderful too. Taken from his latest album In Focus?, the album was released late last year in Japan and came out in the US last week through Polyvinyl. There’s a free stream of it currently on Under The Radar which I recommend you go check out. It’s a wonderful album!

January 28, 2013 / By

‘One-Sided’, A Beautiful LP by Efterklang

'One-Sided', A Beautiful LP by Efterklang

One of the reasons I switched away from iTunes and adopted a music service like Rdio is that it allows my to explore albums that I may never have had the ability to enjoy. A great example is this beautiful little LP from Danish band Efterklang titled One-Sided. I’m a huge fan of their most recent album Piramida, so I started to explore their back catalog and came across this. It might be only three songs but it’s absolutely filled with stunning tracks, though I think my favorite is Tu es mon image, which sounds like something from a fairy tale.

January 28, 2013 / By

Sunday Reading

Big Med by by Atul Gawande
Restaurant chains have managed to combine quality control, cost control, and innovation. Can health care? Makes you think about how health care still needs to progress.

We Must Build An Enormous McWorld In Times Square, A Xanadu Representing A McDonald’s From Every Nation by Jeb Boniakowski
Kind of an insane idea, but in a really sort of genius way. Times Square, and McDonald’s for that matter, would never be the same.

Why I’m writing on the iPad by Jason Snell
The singular focus of the iPad is immensely helpful when you need to focus. I do a majority of my email correspondence on my iPad, but unfortunately I still don’t blog on it. We still need better photo editing software for the iPad.

Shirley Tucker, Faber, and The Bell Jar by Mark Sinclair
When Faber & Faber picked up Silvia Plath’s novel The Bell Jar in 1966, in-house designer Shirley Tucker was given the chance to design its cover – and she came up with the perfect image. In a series of interviews filmed at the publisher’s last year, Tucker discusses this work and her time at Faber…

One Common Ancestor Behind Blue Eyes by Jeanna Bryner
People with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor, according to new research. A team of scientists has tracked down a genetic mutation that leads to blue eyes. The mutation occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Before then, there were no blue eyes.

January 27, 2013 / By

Top Five From LAIY: Week Of January 21

Top Five From LAIY: Week Of January 21

No Finish Line: An Interview With Alan Stuart of One Long House
Alan Stuart is restless. He’s a designer type who is never satisfied. Case in point? One Long House, his small-but-big-impact design agency recently based in Los Angeles. Stuart does great work with his team and has some super insightful words for anyone who wants to start their own creative agency.

Downtown’s Art District is very much an “It” neighborhood. What doesn’t it–or Downtown–have? High fashion. There is some weird gap down there. Well, that gap is gone: new store 12345 is like a small Opening Ceremony full of playful goodies and setup like a fashion wonderland. There’s even a peephole to take a look inside the store! They’re brand new and you’re going to want to dog ear them in your retail handbook.

The Los Angeles Drink Map
After over a year, we have finally released one of LAIY’s founding features: a map of cocktails and bars recommended to you by the people we have shared in our Featured Interview series. If you are visiting Los Angeles or live here or just want to hear where people drink in LA, this map is for you. We’ll be updating it every Wednesday and we expect everyone to use this as their drinking resource.

Kelly Massey’s Painted Scarves
For some reason, we got it in our heads this week that we wanted to share cool scarves. This is probably because the weather keeps flip flopping from hot to cold but we wanted to share something pretty and functional. Anyway, Kelly Massey’s scarves did just that for us because they are all made from patterns that she paints with watercolors. How pretty! And functional.

See You Later, Scott
LA filmmaker Matthew Miller sent us his film See You Later, Scott and it is the perfect thing to watch on a rainy, Wintry Southern California day. Part dreamy, part nature lust, part travel film, you get wrapped into this strange and quiet world that happens when you get lost in the wilderness. It’s very pretty and the closing credits are pretty rad, too.

January 25, 2013 / By

Space Suit of the Week

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

Space Race - Tom Clohosy Cole

The space race was the greatest competition all time: two great nations pushing technological and scientific boundaries for galactic supremacy. Rooted in the necessity to achieve what no nation had yet to accomplish, science and mankind reached new heights. Tom Clohosy Cole’s concertina, Space Race, beautifully illustrates this push to the limits. The efforts of these two great Cold War super powers are detailed on opposing sides of a paper-made Iron Curtain narrating the notable achievements of spaceflight. The highlights of the USSR include Sputnik’s star streak across the autumn sky and Yuri Gagarin’s landmark orbital waltz around the home planet. On the opposing side, the achievements of the United States showcase the Apollo rocket boys. Cole’s concertina crescendos at quite probably the greatest single achievement in the space race – the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. This event technically marks the end of the Space race between the two nations as the Soviet Soyuz and the Yankee Apollo crafts dock together–a cosmic handshake and sign of peace. From my own ethnocentric point of view, the space race narrative (as told here in the United States) ends with Armstrong & his boys’ dance on the moon. Yet in actuality the Test Project, commonly referred to statewide as Apollo 18, is truly the last dance of the great space race. Cole’s depiction in four colors boldly celebrates these adventuresome achievements. And unfurled, it paints a panorama of this time far grander than any Hasselblad shot brought back as a souvenir.

January 25, 2013 / By