Well, well, well, Monday’s morning’s rolled round again like a cheeky, weekly rolling thing and if your ears have been uncharacteristically twitchy today it can only mean one thing – the It’s Nice That podcast is BACK. Ok it’s usually Friday but there was an iTunes thing going down, but never fear it is here! This week we took on the visual collateral of the US elections, whether the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize judges got it right as well as some of our top treats from the site this past seven days. Sweet, huh? Also look out for some bullying of the host and a slightly disturbing cat anecdote. Enjoy!
Section One – Content from the site
We are constantly bombarded with warnings about how much information to give out online. Wouldn’t it be great if when someone Googled your name, all that came up were just some unbelievable, psychedelic drawings you had made in your spare time, and almost nothing else? Well, meet Waleria Petruschenko, an internet mystery who has let us into her Flickr account and given us no more information than her name.
What we can gather, though, from these meticulous acid-trip illustrations is that she is young, she is in love, and she has literally invented an entire world that is keeping her and her boyfriend (Mitchell) very amused indeed. These pictures are just so impressive, displaying such a wild imagination and understanding of fantasy — she is genuinely my new favourite illustrator, and I can’t even get in touch with her to let her know. If you see her, tell her she’s terrific.
You may be aware that we’re not exactly experts when it comes to fashion. High-end clothing to us is like fine jewellery to a child, we want to reach out and touch its shiny surfaces but would have literally no idea what to do with it were we suddenly gifted a couture wardrobe. Still, we know what we like, and what we like tends to be mad as a bag of bats – and that’s as mad as it gets.
So if, like us, it’s the bizarre end of fashion that really floats your boat, then here’s your new favourite collection; Bernhard Willhelm’s Women’s SS 2013 as directed by Geoffrey Lillemon. The clothes themselves are extraordinary enough, but Geoffrey’s visual treatment of the photographs – chromed banshees cavorting across lurid sets – takes the whole collection firmly into the land of the surreal. We still wouldn’t have a clue how to wear it, but god damn we love how it looks!
Tomas Saraceno – On Space Time Foam
However ruddy excellent your week is shaping up to be, I’d put good money on the fact that you’d change your plans if it meant a trip to Tomas Saraceno’s new creation. The ever ambitious Argentine has taken over the huge Hangar Biocca in Milan with On Space Time Foam, a series of transparent membranes suspended 24 metres in the air. It’s an extension of the Cloud Cities project which took over the roof of the Met in New York earlier this year, and once again the emphasis is very much on interaction.
You’d need a head for heights to take the leap of faith out onto the piece and you need a head for complex physics to grasp the ideas behind it, inspired as it is by “quantum and string theories that assert that the fundamental layer of existence, the subatomic Planck realm (where intriguing physical theories of wormholes and multiverses exist, where superposition, decoherence and entanglement occur) is in fact structured as a foam.”
“String theoreticians have speculated that the Big Bang, the origin of our known cosmos, emerged from two such tremendously sized membranes crashing into one another,” he goes on, “sparking the superluminal expansion of energy-matter that typifies our early inflating foamy cosmos.” Mmmmm, foamy cosmos. Ok he lost me, but it’s still brilliant. To Milan! The show runs until February.
In the second section we talked about the ubiquitous infographics that went hand in hand with the US elections, and wondered why many of the best creative work seemed rooted in a much less official social-media meme driven culture this time around. Some of these ideas are best expressed in this comprehensive article by the ever-excellent Wired.
We also talked about the Taylor Wessing and whether the judges got it right, specifically whether you had to know the background to Jordi Ruiz’ winning effort to fully appreciate it as a photograph. The link was made with “Alan Coulson’s ubiquitous BP Portrait Prize picture of his friend Richie Culver” which was everywhere on the posters and in the press but didn’t scoop the top prize.