• May

    Review of the Year 2011: May


Review of the Year 2011: May

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

The best thing about May is four days in when you can scream in peoples faces: “May the fourth be with you” – like saddos with imaginary light-sabers before returning to a less pathetic existence a full 24 hours later. Three days earlier, if you’re of a Pagan persuasion, you can get your Morris dance on around the maypole and celebrate May Day. In the US it’s Labour Day which sounds less fun but also involves not going to work.

May started with the reeling news of Osama Bin Laden’s mortal exit followed by a cryptic epitaph/conspiracy theorists’ fix from Barack Obama and the White House, a vote for an alternative vote in UK elections was… baffling and ultimately disappointing, no one I know watched the Eurovision Song Contest and Oprah had her televisual swan song.

On the site things were a little brighter (normally are, really). There was a sterling example of a bad situation made aesthetically good in the nice arrangements of precious bits saved from the hypothetical flames on The Burning House blog, a delightful skin vs. design collaboration between David David and Glass Hill and finally, the ambitious and triumphant re-landscaping of a Dagenham swimming pool thanks to Nike.

My 2011 – CANADA

Providing insight into their year and the month of May are directorial trio, CANADA. Former guest posters on the site, Luis Cervero, Nicolás Méndez and Lope Serrano are the worthy recipients of the best music video award at the UK Music Video Awards this year for their video for Oh Land’s White Nights, but it was their May release of Battles’ Ice Cream video that really won us over…

What was the best thing you saw in 2011?

Lope: The sea, in the south of Italy, in July, with my ex-girlfriend, going from Ischia island to Naples one sunny afternoon.
Luis:  If you mean artistic stuff probably Zurbaran’s Saint Francis paintings at the National Gallery, there are two of them real close in the same room. If you mean real life, my wife’s face when she doesn’t realise I’m watching her. I love to do that.
Nico: Bambi. And the DVD extras. 

Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 award to?

Lope: The real hero is not aware of its condition. I don’t know.  
Luis: To someone you don’t know at all.
Nico: He’d be soooo embarrassed if I write his name here.

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?

Lope: Nothing in particular. Just these moments that look like being part of a love stream.  
Luis: Making love is always the most memorable thing that can happen to you.
Nico: I found this guy selling original cover illustrations in a flea market. And he didn’t really know what he had. Written down it does not sound too thrilling, but believe me, it really was. 

Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?

Lope: I’ve been not involved in a real, not metaphorical fight. But the other one, the metaphorical one, it’s always present. I mean, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but each day it’s a little piece of a loooooong fight.
Luis: Yes of course. It’s sad anyway, whether you win or loose.
Nico: I’m fighting all the time for the tiniest stupid things and the general feeling is that I never win. Whether it’s true or not, it’s awful.

What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?

Lope: All the people that surround me and love me, all the people I really love.  
Luis: All the laughing. If I ever lose that, I will be totally doomed.
Nico: I’m taking my girlfriend and my dog. And also my computer, I’m afraid.

What were you doing in May?

Lope: I was at the final process of a music video for The Vaccines, beginning to edit a long music documentary, pitching for one commercial we finally won and enjoying Barcelona’s Champions League final victory at Wembley stadium.
Luis: Just checked my mail: delivering Battles’ Ice Cream, pitching for Oh Land’s White Nights, shooting a commercial for the French Air Force and putting out the second LP from CANADA record label.
Nico: I was shooting landscapes for a music video in the Pyrenees. Beautiful.

(Top image by Tom Darracott)


Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Miscellaneous View Archive

  1. Main1

    People seem to have a real problem with “life hacks” – and you can see why. Some nerd being overly smug about how he’s Sellotaped all his channel changers together isn’t exactly appealing. These guys have taken the whole “hack” craze and made a spoof website of hilarious, often disgusting hacks of their own. One entitled Raw Meat Circuitry sees a pack of mince get stuffed with LEDs and lit up, another entitled The Collaborative Fuck Bike is an easy way to exercise and pleasure your partner. As for the future, the guys behind Stupid Hackathon are plotting “3D printed masks of your own face, a Cute Poop app that makes pictures of your poop look cute and an Edible Unmanned Drone: an unmanned drone that you can eat.” Can’t wait.

  2. Main

    I’ve never wanted to applaud anyone more than the guys behind this project. Tech-wizards Jankenpopp & Zombectro have created a very special website that transports you back to your childhood and the days when you were just about getting to grips with a computer. Entitled Windows 93 the simulator is actually inspired by Windows 95 with its trademark grey, moveable boxes and somewhat threatening pixelated icons. The duo have thought of everything and have left no stone unturned when it comes to recreating how computers used to look and feel, which subsequently makes it totally hilarious.

  3. Main

    Haven’t you always wished you were a flippy-flappy ol’ slice of bread, flopping all over a perilous kitchen and collecting grime whilst simultaneously completing complicated missions? I have, which is why this new game I Am Bread is so exciting. It was developed in London by Bossa Studios who create Bafta-winning games such as Monstermind, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and Deep Dungeons of Doom.

  4. List

    Over recent weeks we’ve made a few ch-ch-changes here at It’s Nice That HQ and seeing as they’ve now all taken effect, we thought it made sense to bring y’all up to speed too. Rob Alderson, James Cartwright and Maisie Skidmore stay in their current roles as Editor-in-Chief, Print Editor and Assistant Editor respectively but elsewhere we’ve mixed things up a bit.

  5. List

    I spent the day yesterday at the Canvas Conference in Birmingham where I was blown away by a series of excellent talks, but in terms of pure wow factor organisers very much saved the best for last. UrtheCast (see what they did?) is a Vancouver-based tech start-up that installed cameras on the International Space Station, sending high res images of the earth back to its dedicated website. Founder and CEO Scott Larson gave a compelling presentation about how the team made it happen, how it works and how the imagery can be used. Through the website you can find out when the ISS will pass over your house and so can arrange something to be captured on its cameras, but what was more fascinating is the way that companies and governments might use the data; by monitoring the amount of vehicles in Chinese factories’ car parks for example, economists can make predictions about the country’s output.

  6. Main

    There is something incredibly pleasing about this odd collection of passenger-less log flumes. Without the crowds of families and awkward first dates there’s something a little bit sad, maybe even philosophical about them. The photos have been collected by Falmouth grad Zef Cherry-Kynaston whose website boasts one of the most brilliant CVs in existence. “A log flume winds its way around a watery course and slowly climbs the lift hill,” Zef says on his site. “Reaching the top, it then hurtles down the slope. A camera flashes moments before the flume plunges into the water below. Splash! The resulting image is a souvenir; a snapshot of joyous exhilaration.”

  7. Main

    People try for decades to become “good” designers, but sometimes your mate’s Dad can pull something out of the bag that trumps your every effort. Frustrated at the time it takes to build and launch paper planes, this man used cutting-edge 3D-printing technology to create a machine that does the hard work for you. Just when you think the design of the plane-wielding machine doesn’t look too exciting, he turns it upside down to reveal the intricate workings inside. How fantastic to see someone put 3D-printing to a unique and very silly use, rather than making something we’ve all seen before.

  8. Main

    Recording people when they are…ahem..not themselves, is not commendable. Footage of someone off their tits is enough to make them lose their jobs but who are we to judge? It’s nearly Friday and someone’s just released a whole blog of GIFs made from footage of people losing it to deep house at Boiler Room. I love how if you were sober you would never, ever dance near the camera at the front of this infamous travelling night – but as soon as some booze (and maybe other substances) is consumed, BAM! There you are stroking a speaker as if it’s a fluffy pillow and gyrating as if your life depended on it. Well done to whoever made this. A big well done.

  9. List

    Before stumbling across Burning Questions I have to admit I wasn’t that familiar with New York-based designer James Victore’s impressive repertoire. His talents and projects span the creative disciplines making him part designer, part activist, part curator, part motivational speaker and (in this case) part agony aunt.

  10. List

    The Google robot is an odd creature. We have Marion Balac to thank for the discovery that, in a bid to maintain the anonymity of the people caught in its shots for Google Street View, the search engine blurs out every single face it comes into contact with. This includes the likes of Las Vegas’ Sphinx monument and giant gold-covered Buddhas, resulting in a bunch of monuments who have been forced into anonymity by the tech giant’s stringent privacy measures.

  11. List

    Here’s one of those projects that turns out to be way more interesting than it originally sounds, and it comes courtesy of San Francisco studio T2D (Tomorrow Today). Metragramme takes 32 of your Instagram pictures and combines them into a single image created via pixel-comparisons across the set. The result is therefore a kind of average Instagram picture, and although on first glance many of them look similar; when you explore each a little further you tease out intriguing details, as well as drawing broader conclusions about form and colour palette. We’ve included a few examples below but this is probably one of those tools you;re going to want to try out for yourself – you can visit the site here.

  12. Main

    Sometimes the sad story of Arthur Russell’s life mixed with the whimsical howling and rousing sounds he creates is altogether too much to even bear – but we still torment ourselves, tuning in even when going through a break up or driving alone in the rain. When surreal, sad music is accompanied by something as funny as, say, The Muppets – something peculiar and unexpected can happen. In this edit by John Michael Boling we see a perfectly (and I mean perfectly) cut mash-up of Arthur Russell’s haunting That’s Us / Wild Combination and scenes from The Muppets Movie. The reason people think art is hard to make is because they don’t understand how such a simple idea or a wild combination can work so incredibly well. Thank you John Michael Boling for reminding us of this fact. Thank you.

  13. House-announcement

    Sound the conch folks, we have some exciting news from It’s Nice That HQ. We’re restructuring and expanding our team and so we have not one but two great opportunities to come and be part of our team.