In human ageing 61-70 are the years in which everyone you know who’s younger decides that you’ve peaked physically and mentally, meaning they speak slowly and loudly whenever they address you, ensure you’ve got a cushion at all times lest your brittle bones fracture from sitting on any hard surfaces and dismiss everything you say due to your imminent senility. So let’s hear it for these ageing has-beens. We still think they’re terrific, just remember to speak up and try to indulge their stories about the war.
70 – Bob Mazzer: 40 Years of the London Underground (July 25)
Everyone knows that travelling on London’s Underground service is one of the least pleasant ways imaginable to get around town, packed as it is with people you don’t want to look at, let alone have your face buried in the armpit of. Still, this year Bob Mazzer made us thankful that it’s not the 1980s anymore when the threat of violence, terrible punk bands and old dears necking pints of cider 100 metres beneath street level was much greater. Phew!
69 – Chris Godfrey: The Great Gatsby VFX (July 9)
Before the arrival of VFX there was a time when you had to use your actual imagination when visiting the pictures, working hard to suspend disbelief at the shoddy plasticine marionettes on screen standing in for giant lizards (Godzilla_), irate apes (King Kong_) and the inhabitants of a purgatorial waiting room (Beetlejuice). Still, who wants to use their imagination when VFX look as good at they did in this year’s Baz Luhrmann epic? Not me. Let’s see those green-screens transformed one more time!
68 – Chris Keegan: Celestial Artworks (June 20, 2012)
This one’s been up on the site for well over a year now but somehow piqued the interest of our readers a second time long after it had first been posted. And no wonder. Chris Keegan spends his time searching for accidental artworks in the nebulous forms of the night sky, finding winged beasts and wild stallions in the limitless cosmos.
67 – Japanese Manhole Covers (February 7)
If you’re as antisocial as we can be on a Monday morning you’ll probably spend a good deal of your time walking about with your eyes on the floor, weaving your way through the city with a bowed head, effecting a speedy march. In Japan this would be a much more rewarding way to get around as they’ve taken to decorating their manhole covers with intricate patterns and illustrations, meaning you can pass off your antisocial behaviour as artistic curiosity. Ideal!
66 – Alisdair Mclellan: Edi Campbell for 032c (January 24)
Take one of the best fashion photographers currently working, add the model of the moment (this was pre-Cara Delevigne remember), stir in a couple of London’s finest galleries and what do you get? A flipping brilliant bit of editorial for 032c.
65 – The Barbarian Group: The Great Gatsby for NES (March 13)
It seems absurd that the combination of jazz-age literature and late 1980s platform gaming would produce fruits that anyone would want to enjoy, but The Barbarian Group’s Great Gatsby For NES delivers with style. We bloody loved this ridiculous piece of time-wasting genius and we couldn’t really explain why. But then we didn’t have to because you all thought it was the dog’s nuts too!
64 – Trend List: Design Generator (March 5)
Trend List went out of their way this year to prove that graphic design was a load of old guff that could be successfully generated by even the most basic of algorithms. We scoffed at the idea, and then were horrified to find out that they’d managed to produce (almost) professional standard poster designs with a few simple clicks of a button. We presume that since then they’ve just been sitting back and watching the cash roll in. Look out Pentagram!
63 – Light Show at the Hayward Gallery (February 14)
I don’t care what anybody else says, Light Show was the defining London show of 2013 in the same way that Rain Room defined 2012. Naysayers would suggest that the art on display was pure aesthetic spectacle, lacking the conceptual punch of other heavyweight shows, but stuff that, I would’ve stayed in The Hayward for the entire day had the invigilators not shuffled me out after my allotted hour of press time. Light as artistic medium in this instance was utterly mind-blowing.
62 – Duncan Cowles: The Lady With The Lamp (July 23)
Why was this video of an impromptu conversation between a mother and son so brilliant? It pretty much exemplified every parent/child relationship since the dawn of time. Unspeakably funny.
61 – Humans Since 1982: A Million Times (February 26)
Here’s what the patron of A Million Times said about his commissioned work: “Locked in its functionality to show the time, the natural character inherent to an analogue clock – with its two arms constantly dancing in slow motion around the centre – unveils hidden figurative qualities without denying its primary purpose.” Maybe so. But we decided to go for: “A Million Times uses 288 analogue clocks programmed via an iPad to create a series of swooping, swirling visual patterns, a digital clock face and lettering.” Still not good enough. At the end of the year I’d just like to add “Ooooh!”, “Ahhhhh” and “Wow!” to our analysis of this exceptional piece of work.