Have you ever thought about packing it all in and moving to the countryside? If you live in a city I’m sure that at some point in life you’ve considered leaving the fumes and smog behind and heading out in-search of fresh air and clean living. Who hasn’t reminisced about some green and fertile countryside from a half-remembered youth? Wouldn’t it be nice to return there?
This is certainly a thought that the Spanish photographer Juan Aballe has had. A few years ago he noticed that many of his close friends were moving to the countryside and so Aballe found himself confronted by the thought – what would life be like if he packed it all in and headed out to the country.
What followed was a series of photographs titled Country Fictions. Taken between 2011 and 2013, they were shot in a number scarcely populated areas on the Iberian Peninsula. But did Aballe find the rural utopia he had imagined? Not exactly. Aballe is a photographer who is more than aware of the dreams that can be captured behind a lens. Its title not withstanding, it’s hard to tell that these photographs are in fact a fiction. They’re a vision of Aballe’s imagined utopia. Like all photography, they show a fiction played out as a fact.
“In what could be called a collection of daydreams, Country Fictions reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias” says Aballe. “The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the naivety and the hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that is not mine.”
It’s a great collection of images. You can view the full set on Juan Aballe’s website.
Animals inspire love and awe in all of us, but drawing them can be a challenge. With this free illustrated primer from Craftsy, you’ll discover an array of easy-to-use techniques for sketching animals.
Explore detailed, photo-filled tutorials to create proportional outlines, render accurate features and depict textural fur and feathers. You’ll soon be drawing a range of creatures so lifelike, they look as though they could leap off the page.
Download the free guide, “Learn How to Draw Animals” by artist Antonella Avogadro, at Craftsy.com.
The pour over coffee has a kind of mythic quality to it. While it’s not the most labor intensive process it’s still time consuming, meaning a lot of people don’t have the patience to make it themselves or wait for a barista to do their magic. Enter the Poursteady, a machine that seemingly does all the work for you.
Poursteady is an automated pour-over coffee machine that brings unprecedented speed, precision, and reliability to high-end commercial coffee retailers–and better coffee to discerning customers. Combining precision motion-control, elegant design, and beautiful fabrication–our system makes up to five cups of pour-over coffee simultaneously with a single barista at the helm.
I imagine purists will balk at such a blasphemous invention but I think the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the coffee. You can see in the video below how the machine mimics the swirling motion of the pour over, seemingly giving the same care as a human. Certainly interesting seeing robotics entering the coffee industry in such a unique manner.
For a number of years the Japanese artist and cartographer Sohei Nishino has been mapping the world’s cities. From Rio to London and from New York to Tokyo, his highly detailed maps serve up a unique portrait of some of the world’s most diverse cities. Consisting of thousands of cut-out snapshots of each location, the artist meticulously pieces together these images to form highly complicated collages that include everything from people and animals to buildings and streets.
Nishino takes literally thousands upon thousands of photos before he’s ready to begin his cartographic collage. Piece by piece he edits these images down until he’s selected just the right ones. Despite the editing, his final work can still include up to 4,000 photographs; each of these he hand prints and then cuts and collages them together to create huge compositions that reflect his personal experience of each city. It’s a remarkable process and the results really do speak for themselves.
For those in London, an exhibition of Nishino’s work entitled ‘New Dioramas’ runs at Michael Hoppen Contemporary until 7 January 2015.
Kristin Capps writing for The Atlantic’s CityLab has a theory that Banksy is in fact a woman. Hadn’t really thought about it before, but perhaps Banky’s gender is the best scam that she/he has ever pulled?
During the very first interview that Banksy gave to The Guardian, another figure was present (“Steve,” Banksy’s agent). Another figure is always present, says Canadian media artist Chris Healey, who has maintained since 2010 that Banksy is a team of seven artists led by a woman—potentially the same woman with long blonde hair who appears in scenes depicting Banksy’s alleged studio in Exit Through the Gift Shop. Although Healey won’t identify the direct source for his highly specific claim, it’s at least as believable as the suggestion that Banksy is and always has been a single man.
“Since there is so much misdirection and jamming of societal norms with Banksy’s work, as well as the oft-repeated claim no one notices Banksy, then it makes sense,” Healey tells me. “No one can find Banksy because they are looking for, or rather assuming, a man is Banksy.”
As Capps also points out, much of Banksy’s work heavily features women, which if you compare to other male street artists, is something of a rarity. It’s by no means rock solid evidence, but it’s interesting as an anecdote to the mystery of it all.
Music discovery has always been an interesting problem for me. I feel like my taste is pretty eclectic though these days I listen to mostly sort of abstract electronic music, a clear influence of my partner Kyle. So while browsing through Soundcloud, my now go-to location for finding new tunes, I was re-introduced to Holly Herndon’s track “Chorus”, a clipped up, distorted jam that in my mind clearly defines where my brain is at musically.
You can hear more of her brilliant music on her Soundcloud.
If you think of Sweden I’m sure you can think of a lot of great things. Maybe it’s their fantastic contribution to the world of pop music; maybe you prefer their existential cinema or perhaps you’re simply salivating at thought of their delicious meatballs? Either way, as a country, Sweden has done pretty well for itself. For me, I like to think of two things: flat pack furniture and summer houses. For too long these icons of Swedishness have stood apart, but they’ve finally been combined thanks to this ingenues project by Jonas Wagell and Sommarnöjen.
Dubbed the Mini House 2.0, the project is a prefabricated cabin concept that can be delivered flat-packed and typically takes only two days to construct. A collaboration between the Swedish manufacture Sommarnöjen and the designer and architect Jonas Wagell, the modules comes in various layouts and can be configured to include a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living space.
Developed in a range of sizes, the first two models are 15 square meters in width and length. As I said, they come with a range of interior solutions and are constructed with high quality wood. Each cabin is fully insulated and includes electricity and interior and exterior painting.
Not only are they a great idea but they also look great. You can see more from this project on its website.