Date Archives August 2013

Classic card game Hearts gets a modern (and minimalist) update

Hearts app by aeliox for iOS

I couldn’t tell you the last time I played the old card game Hearts. I remember having a lot of fun playing it as a kid, as it’s a simple (but quite strategic) game of avoiding certain cards which give you points The more points you have, the more you’re losing. Now San Diego designer Keiran Flanigan, who designs under the pseudonym aeliox, has recreated Hearts as a beautifully minimal iOS app.

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Polybius: James Houston Makes Old Computers Sing From A Swimming Pool


Like many, I was first introduced to the work of James Houston five years ago when he released “Big Ideas (don’t get any)”. Performed on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum, an Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer, a HP Scanjet 3c, and a Hard Drive array, the video was a strange and beautiful recreation of Radiohead’s “Nude”, where the bips, chugs and hums of the hardware chimed together in sweet unison.

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Church of the Atom – Nanostyle Brewing from Sweden

Church of the Atom Brewery

There’s a local beer and liquor store here in Los Angeles called Cap N’ Cork Junior which has one of the best beer selections in the entire city. Browsing the aisles you can easily get lost in the rows and rows of imported and local beers, and finding coming across an interesting beer (read: one with a cool label) is one of my favorite past times.

Recently I came across a line of beers called Church of the Atom, the brainchild of a creative director and a master brewer. Based out of Gothernburg, Sweden, the “nanostyle” brewery focus on five main values to steer their creations: curiosity, insanity, progression, craft and humor.

When you look at their beers they have two things really going for them: interesting flavor combinations and beautiful label designs. Running through their site you’ll see flavors like sour pineapple, coriander, chipotle pepper, blackberry smoke, and lots more. Sadly, they don’t carry Church of the Atom at my local liquor store, and if they did, I’d probably drink them all.

Found through YMFY

“Octopus”, a new track from King Krule

A couple years ago I wrote about a 16 year old named Zoo Kid who was making some rather fantastic music, despite his age. In the two years since Archy Marshall has moved on from his Zoo Kid moniker to King Krule, but he’s still making the same fantastic music as before. His first album release under King Krule is called 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, and you can take a listen to the single “Octopus” below, which is filled with haunting vocals and sparse beats.

6 Feet Beneath the Moon comes out August 26 on XL/True Panther Records.

King Krule

Icon Building with Always With Honor

Always With Honor Logo

Lord knows how many times my black fox logo has been ripped off and abused. It’s gotten to a point where, when I run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, they jokingly ask if my logo has been ripped off lately. If you didn’t know, the black fox logo was created by my friends Always With Honor, the Portland duo well-known for their iconic design work.

So I figured I should write about an upcoming workshop where they’ll be teaching about icon building as a part of Design Week Portland. The best part: it’s totally free!

In this workshop we’ll focus on the most important (and fun) part of the process of making an icon- the concepting and sketching phase. This is where the important work goes is, coming up with the best way to communicate the concept clearly by making lots of marks and exploring many directions until the right one makes itself known.

We’ll be using pencils, markers, gridded paper etc. to ultimately create an icon that will fit neatly in a 3×3” post-it note. We will not be digitizing the icons in the workshop- but participants are welcome and encouraged to do so on their own time.

Monday, October 07
12:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Portland State University Art Annex Room 160
1990 SW 5th AVE
Portland, Oregon 97201

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Nicole Duennebier, is a painter who’s found an incredible connection between the darkness and intricacy of undersea regions and the aesthetic of 16th century Dutch still-life painting. You’ll notice a familiarity to classical painting, but once you really start to look at her pieces you notice something off, that the elements seem to be decaying, that there’s no traditional objects like fresh, red apples.

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Bu there’s also a sense of life to her pieces, life that is more closely related to things like jellyfish or other gelatinous creatures. I asked Nicole to write down some thoughts on how she sees her work, and here’s what she had to say.

My interests in natural phenomenon (dermoid cysts, fungus, invasive flora/fauna) and my love of candied old-master opulence always seem to be present in my painting. Painting with attention to detail, I’ve become accustomed to the fact that nature in itself, or anything living really, never totally allows you to have a perfectly idealized experience. Everything is always spewing, dripping, rotting a little. Similarly 17th century still-life paintings with vibrant lusty fruits that show the light fuzz of decay beginning, I don’t see these paintings as needing to be allegorical, necessarily. To me it is more the realization that both the rot and the fruit are a textural attraction. Both take the same concentration and care to paint as well.

My association with the classic chiaroscuro darkness in still-life is of it being like a primordial soup. A pool of black that springs forth a decadent and sometimes horrible growth. With that I’ve always liked the obsolete idea of spontaneous generation, all that awful stuff just popping into existence for no reason. I feel as though my paintings are more spontaneous generations than firmly rooted in actual living organisms.

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Biomorphic Paintings by Nicole Duennebier

Kustaa Saksi makes ornate tapestries inspired by nature

An Ornate Tapestry by Kustaa Saksi

Amsterdam based artist Kustaa Saksi is well-known for his vibrant and intricate pieces of art which you could describe as hyper-flat. Now he’s switching things up a bit, dabbling into jacquard weaving techniques to create stunning tapestries that elevate his work to a new level.

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Top Five From LAIY: Week Of 8.12

Top Five From LAIY Week Of 8.12 1

The City Sisters: An Interview With Karen Alweil, Barbara Bestor, & Sara Stein of SoLA
SoLA is the acronym for Sisters Of Los Angeles, a high design souvenir concept that has been sweeping the nation. It’s coming from retailer Karen Alweil, renowned architect Barbara Bestor, and marketing veteran Sara Stein. They make very beautiful, very good looking glassware, totes, iPad cases, pencils, and more. They’re doing some pretty great stuff: these ladies are definitely a bunch to watch.

Top Five From LAIY Week Of 8.12 2

Inside AETHERsf
Local outdoorsman Aether have retail store—and it isn’t in Los Angeles. It’s actually up North in San Francisco, a city that has a lot more people focused on outdoor activity and in need of techy jackets. The store is located in Hayes Valley and is very unordinary: it’s made of three shipping freights stacked atop of each other and appearing as if it could fall over. It’s a remarkable, droolworthy space that is required visiting if you are in SF.

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Carl Auböck’s Little Brass Objects

Carl Auböck's Little Brass Objects 1

Carl Auböck's Little Brass Objects 2

A few years ago interior designer/fashion designer/homewares person Kelly Wearstler released a little brass bottle opener that had a lot of people drooling. It’s a long, elegant hand intended to give you a hand when a bottle needs to be popped open. We obsessed over it for some time because it’s so goofy. Little did we know that it’s actually a deeply referenced (cough *ripoff* cough) to modernist design icon Carl Auböck. He was known for his little brass objects that reflected the human form in funny ways and have been recreated for decades. His handy work (Ha!) is obviously a crowd pleaser still to this day and his influence is very much still present.

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