Miscellaneous Archive

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    Anyone that ever had the good fortune to attend art college will tell you that the worst thing about having to leave and enter the real world (apart from the crippling debt and self-doubt) is that all of a sudden you don’t have access to any facilities. The CAD suites, ceramic studios, woodwork equipment and print studios all just disappear overnight and you’re reduced to finally using that WACOM you bought years before to make a little bit of cash from your patchy software skills.

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    Just when you thought they’d gone quiet, Bompas and Parr have returned with what looks to be their most gloriously gruesome food-related project yet. On Friday 14 March, tattooed and talented celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine will be swallowing a SynMed pill-cam live, aided by Bompas and Parr themselves and a team of scientists. The pill will stream a film live from Gizzi’s gut in what hopes to be one of the most revealing, exciting food experiments the duo have performed so far, the results of which will be used to illustrate a volume of Memoirs of a Stomach – an obscure 1853 diet book told from the perspective of a stomach.

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    Not much to say here apart from WATCH THIS IMMEDIATELY. Between Two Ferns is the series that has been running on Funny or Die for a long time now, in which Zach Galifianakis takes on the role of arrogant, lazy interviewer and hosts a fictional chat show with some of the world’s biggest celebrities. World’s biggest indeed, you don’t get much bigger than Barack really, do you? Watch as the funny, beardy man charmingly takes the piss out of Barack Obama and Obama just SLAMS hilarious comebacks right back at him. My favourite bit is when Obama starts talking about the US’ healthcare plan and Zach keeps surreptitiously glancing at his watch. So good.

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    The reality of metropolitan living is that you’re faced with an abundance of choice. That’s why all sorts of city guides spring up – where to find the best mojito, the best free toilets or the best pork pie (there’s a dispiriting insight into my priorities right there). However I’ve never come across a blog quite like this – a run-down of some of the best and worst places to cry in New York.

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    So here’s the issue; kids find learning boring but love violent computer games, right? Well maybe here’s the solution – Sesame Street Fighter. A terrific find by our pals over at Wired, this is a beat-em-up fight-fest with a difference; you inflict damage on your opponent by typing out words that drop from the sky. The more difficult the word, the more powerful the impact (and the touch typing tests range from animals to Russian cities). It’s a really fun idea, executed with aplomb but maybe there’s a serious point to be made about rethinking traditional educational tools? Maybe not though – wave goodbye to your productivity this afternoon!

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    I know what you’re thinking. “Well now you come to mention it, Elizabeth Taylor does look a little bit like Ariel in The Little Mermaid, doesn’t she?” She does! And Michael Jackson looks a bit like Simba! And Brigitte Bardot like Snow White! We can’t take the credit for this revolutionary realisation – Portuguese artist Rui Pinho is the one responsible for bringing the matter to our attention with this funny series of portraits aligning icons with their animated lookalikes. Rui might not be the first person in the creative stratosphere to come to such a conclusion, but it’s Friday! And if Buzz Lightyear doesn’t coax a titter from you today then, frankly, nothing will.

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    We first started to sing the praises of Barcelona’s creative scene in the very first issue of Printed Pages, when we interviewed Folch, Hey and Two Points about the burgeoning design consciousness in the city. That being a year ago, it seemed high time we take a trip back to Spain’s nicest city, where the sky is blue and the people are chatty and the weather’s actually alright even in January, to check up on what’s been happening.

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    This year’s D&AD New Blood briefs are already attracting a lot of attention among young creatives and the deadline for entries across the 16 industry-set challenges is now less than six weeks away. But as much as us, D&AD itself or the brands involved can argue for the scheme’s significance, who better to explain what winning means than one of last year’s victors? Josh Ogden was part of a team from Arts University Bournemouth which scooped both a Yellow Pencil and a Student of The Year award for its BBC Suitcase response to the digital brief.

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    Have you ever thought about how often we are exposed to pretty violent imagery as we go about our day-to-day lives? Not in a tubthumpingly moralistic “won’t-someone-think-of-the-children” type way; rather it’s a simple observation about our visual environment. Jon Burgerman has explored this idea in a nicely leftfield way with his new series Head Shots. It follows on from a project he undertook on the Korean subway last summer when he used simple sketches to transform his fellow passengers into something surreal and silly.

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    One of the great things about having niche interests in Japanese comics that nobody else in the office cares about is that sometimes I stumble across a piece of historic gold. This time round I came across an archive of behind-the-scenes stills from various Godzilla films, shot between the mid-1950s and early 1960s, while on the hunt for some god-awful Manga. And because it’s Friday, how could I not share these gems with you. Look at that shirtless man tramping around a tiny Tokyo with his lizard legs! Thank me later.

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    Ding ding ding! It’s procrastination time! Join me in a spot of time travel back to when you first played on a computer, when the internet didn’t exist and all you had to entertain your unpolluted mind was MacPaint! (Or Microsoft Paint, whatever). This “painting tool” program has been coded by Martin Braun as a homage to the original MacPaint creators Bill Atkinson and Susan Kare, and is incredibly enjoyable. Sit back and have the pleasure of getting reacquainted with some of your long lost paint tools such as the simple shape tools and bucket fill. Am I getting old or is PhotoShop just getting too complicated these days? Gimme Cloud Paint any day.

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    There are many types of people I’m glad exist in this world. Those who have the dedication and strong stomachs to be doctors. Those selfless enough to look after the elderly. And those willing to scour computer games for paintings that exist in the likes of Super Mario and Final Fantasy and collate them together on a blog like the Video Game Art Archive.

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    It’s that time of year again; late nights in the studio amid feverish attempts to win one of the most prestigious young creatives’ awards around. That’s right D&AD’s New Blood Awards are back for 2014 with 16 exciting and engaging briefs for entrants to get their teeth stuck into.

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    I’ll give you a minute to compose yourself and scroll around this webpage like it’s the best day of your life. Once you’re done losing your shit about how cool this is (it’s SAND) we can then tell you that this is the work of scientist Dr Gary Greenberg whose work has led him to being a world expert on all things tiny and beautiful.

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    Now before I get started here I feel I need to get two things straight. The first is that beauty really and truly is in the eye of the beholder. The second is if one of these is your house, I’m really sorry. Please refer back to point number one.

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    I may well spend my days gazing fixedly into the cyberwebs with my eyes as wide as saucers, but sometimes even I am surprised with the sheer brilliance of the stuff that the internet throws up in my face. Such is the case with this; a series of photographs of disconcertingly realistic seeming spaceships parked outside garages, zooming past trees and abandoned in the snow. Because they weren’t taken by an off-duty astronaut wandering around the car park at NASA, no sir, but by a bored dad playing with his kids’ Star Wars toys.

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    If – as has been repeatedly claimed over recent years – science is the new rock n’ roll, then this website is like unfettered access to John Peel’s record collection. In 2009 an initiative called the Oral History of British Science was launched, part of which was a project called Voices of Science which aims to “tell the stories of some of the most remarkable scientific and engineering discoveries of the past century using oral history interviews with prominent British scientists and engineers.”

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    Syracuse University graduate Derek Brahney is a man of multidisciplinary leanings; an illustrator of pictures, designer of objects and ceator of one-off items of fashion. His practise sits somewhere between fine art and product design but sees him applying great ideas to every facet of these different disciplines. But we want to celebrate Derek for the less conceptual side of his oeuvre; his daft but brilliant series of abstract images that pay homage to Mark Rothko, created on his iPhone. Why has he created them? Presumably to demonstrate the fast-decreasing level of skill required to create visual material in the digital age (depressing), or perhaps his motivations are less sinister. Either way we’re enjoying them very much.

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    Five years ago a few Californian guys set up a cyclocross racing team called Mudfoot with the intention of riding together on the weekends, executing hundred-mile mid-week cycles and competing when the time was right. These days they’re a much bigger group than they were back then and have some pretty impressive riders in their ranks. Why do you care? Because one of their founding members is the legendary Geoff McFetridge, who also happened to design their logo and kit.

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    Did anyone catch that BBC Ladybird Book documentary that was on just before Christmas? It was a fascinating look into the creation and the artists behind the books most of us grew up with. Whether you wanted to read about how to tie knots, the difference between villages and towns, or just animals that hibernate, Ladybird Books had a publication dedicated to nearly every subject on the earth and beyond.

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    Well this is just all kinds of tremendous. New York based studio Dark Igloo have created this parody advert for “the greatest game never made” and they have absolutely smashed it. Billed as “a little holiday homage to the must-have toys of our childhood” it purports to be a commercial for Bored Game a frankly baffling coming together of various toys and games you’ll recognise and many you won’t.

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    Good news this morning for all those who find themselves glancing idly over the text in library books, as they flick through the pages to look at the photographs and illustrations instead. Those jammy folk over at the British Library have got a fair few drawings and illustrations from historical books stashed away in their archive, and the digital world was delighted to find that they had kindly popped one million of them up on Flickr for the rest of the world to share.

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    Christmas has different associations for people – some positive, some negative – and Cliff Richard, like sprouts, has the power to polarise festive opinion. But like it or not Sir Cliff has become a part of our collective Christmas consciousness and so what better time to celebrate the croon-meister general? Only maybe we all need to give Sir Cliff a break? As this excellently silly Tumblr Cliff Richard Dying Inside makes clear, it appears that from dolphins to Formula 1, we’ve forced him into some utterly surreal photoshoot situations. As ever the truth is in the eyes, which seem to give away the baffled, bemused and befuddled reality of being a national treasure. Come for the images, stay for the write-offs…

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    We don’t drink that much eggnog here in the UK as the sheer idea of whiskey and eggs makes the majority of the population gag. Something tells me however that if the packaging was as enticing as this it’d be flying off the shelves faster than a One Direction advent calendar. This project is the heartfelt collection of graphic designer Madeleine Eiche, whose enthusiasm for the packaging of this festive bevvy has led her to amassing as many variations as she can find. She’s totally on to a winner – something about the Tetra Pak as a blank canvas is truly enticing, and absolutely joyous when the results are as beautiful as all these. Eggnog for all! Mewwy Kwissmiss!

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    Interesting how adding an imminent UFO attack to a picture can ramp up the excitement and cool factor up to 11. These images by Paula Lopez Vallejo (or Paulova) we found on Art Nau are her take on vintage rug designs and are a window into an apocalyptic future where aliens sweep the skies as wild horses gallop across the earth. This project is a continuation from her 2011 Damas de Primavera where she used the same technique focusing only on women throughout the ages. We don’t know exactly how Paulova makes these images, but we appreciate their kitsch charm immensely on this cold morning.

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    This woman goes under so many pseudonyms that it’s incredibly hard to keep up with her mysterious online presence. What we can gauge from it however is that she has impeccable taste and an incredible knack for hoarding. Patricia (if that is her real name) spends her time collating designs and illustrations from the good old days and tidying them into categories on separate blogs.

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    Kids are funny, so are old people. The best way to make a project everyone’s going to enjoy is somehow combine the two, especially if you throw in some kind of artistic merit at the same time. Dutch artist Yoni Lefevre has been spending her time asking children to draw their grandparents and then setting to work building costumes out of the weird images they come up with. This is where the magic really happens, funny kids plus old people in costumes? That’s just a recipe for the best project we could ever have wished for. Check out the rest of this funny artist’s work over on her site.

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    Another Wes Anderson Tumblr? Go on then. Only because this one features some of the best Bible illustrations we’ve seen since Bible camp. Lane Severson and Al Cedeno together form The Guilty Conscience – a duo that create blogs for the entertainment of the general public. In this particular work of genius they have matched up quotes from Wes movies to things that happen in the books of the Bible. Simple! (Weird, yes, but simple.) I think there’s a lesson to be learned here and that is anything you notice that has a faint whiff of similarity to anything else – make a Tumblr out of it immediately.

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    We’ve all been there; two Hollywood superstars lounging around on set waiting for the next shot. It’s hot, you’re bored. Lunch isn’t for another hour. Talk idly turns to the new Kanye West/Kim Kardashian video directed by Nick Knight (below); an idea takes shape. What recreate the whole thing? Shot for shot? We couldn’t James… could we? They only ruddy did…

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    When arguing in favour of the unbeatable experience of print, many point to the manifestations of human interaction which leave their marks on books in a way that will never be possible on e-Readers. While Google Books has often been cited as a key threat in the digital divide, Krissy Wilson’s magnificent blog celebrates and showcases the weird and wonderful ways the “mark of the hand” can be seen on the scanned titles.

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    Changing your music in your car whilst driving can cause accidents, so why not hand over the decks to the car to dictate what’s pumping through the speakers? In this innovative new project from Volkswagen, they have teamed up with electronic music group Underworld to create an app that generates music as you drive. Depending on your steering, your speed and the gear you are in, the music plays along with your journey giving you a unique listening experience. After months of collaboration with sound designers, composers, coders and stunt drivers, Play the Road is ready and raring to go.

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    As you read this, hundreds of very dead artists are slowly turning in their graves as their work has been adapted yet again as fodder to for a witty Tumblr. Sorry old guys, but this is 2013 and this is what goes down. The thing is, this blog isn’t just some crap, crude image bank of badly edited photos for comic value – this is the fruit of filmmaker Davide Bedoni’s spare time, and a true source of entertainment and visual pleasure. You don’t need this spelling out to you, you can pretty easily see what’s going on here: Nike swoosh + ancient paintings = epic scroll time. Happy Monday.

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    I’ve been pondering how I could add a note of artistry to this series of photographs by Xavier Soquet. If I told you they were landscapes taken from the window of a helicopter as it flew over isolated parts of the world, you might believe me. Likewise, if they were close up images of never before seen parts of the milky way, or the surface of planet Neptune, or melting glaciers in the antarctic.

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    Rutherford Chang listens to The White Album every day. As well as doing this, he also spends his time tracking down every single vinyl copy of the album he possibly can. He’s never paid more than $20 or less than $1 for a copy, and he prefers the white LP to be well-used. When his collection began to grow, what he found most exciting about it was the individual way in which each album had been decorated or annotated on by its owner. To provide the public with a blank album was The Beatles’ way of giving it to us to make of it what we wish, for us to decorate it and send it on to Rutherford Chang is precisely the kind of way that it will remain one of the most timeless albums of our time. Great project – see the whole collection in high res over on his site.

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    Three cheers for Reddit, four cheers for photography and five cheers for the olden days. You don’t get much better internet-fodder than photographs of some of the most famous people to veer have lived, re-edited in dazzling Kodachrome colour. These images that have been travelling around the internet faster than Sushi Cats, and you can see why. To see the colours on Audrey Hepburn’s dress, or to see the rosy cheeks of a young Charlie Chaplin is truly magical and incredibly clever. These photos have been “colorized” by other olden-day enthusiasts such as Sanna Dullaway, Dana Keller, Jordan Lloyd, BenAfleckIsAnOkActor and Malakon.

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    Don’t be fooled by the beguiling simplicity of their name: WE MAKE CARPETS are by no means simply weavers who want to make a pleasant rug for you to throw haphazardly over your parquet floor. Oh no.

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    I owe a debt to The Guardian for showing me these beautiful images at the weekend. Sat eating some porridge on Saturday morning I turned to a double-page spread of ghoulish faces and scrawled, bloody text and was so excited I spat oats. Ever since Cronos gave me nightmares as a nine-year-old I’ve been a tentative and latterly whole-hearted fan of Guillermo del Toro’s films, so to have the opportunity to sneak a peek into his haunted mind via the busy pages of his sketchbooks is an absolute treat.

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    When David Maisel was visiting an old, disused psychiatric hospital, he was beckoned into a small room by a prisoner who had been brought in from the local jail to clean up the building, who had gotten to know the building well. The prisoner referred to the room as The Library of Dust and David was soon to discover that it was crammed floor-to-ceiling with nearly 4000 identical copper tins containing the ashes of patients who had died in the hospital from the 1880s to the 1970s. Respectfully, David took a selection of the canisters and photographed them in turn, segregating them and focusing on the incredible, luminous patterns that had now formed on the decaying copper.

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    If you’re a big fan of It’s Nice That founder Will Hudson (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) then you’ll have enjoyed seeing him making some arts and design related predictions as part of the O2 Future Timelines project earlier this year. Will joined bloggers from the worlds of music, fashion, film and sport in selecting things they felt would come to define 2013 in their respective fields, and recently the five reassembled to see how they they got on. We don’t want to give anything away so watch away to find out who was the most prescient…

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    Lurking in the depths of the internet is a place where time has no meaning, where the very concept of progress or gentrification is null. I’m referring of course, to the official Space Jam website which lies dormant on the dark floor of the bottomless pit that is the world wide web. To internet archaeologists (that is a thing) having a play around on this site is like coming across an abandoned but fully preserved tube station with the ticket machines still working – a preserved, long forgotten nugget of history and design. What’s so interesting about the Space Jam website is the staggering difference in it’s aesthetic and the force at which it propels you back to the days when you first saw the internet, and the only thing you knew how to do was go on Hamster Dance. May it remain active for many more years to come.