Miscellaneous Archive

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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.

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    Following on from It’s Nice That directors Will Hudson and Alex Bec’s recent sojourn to New York, here’s another batch of short, sharp audio interviews the guys recorded while they were out there. Posing the fundamental question “Why New York?”, these snippets give us an insight into how the city and its creative scene informs and inspires their work. So scroll down to hear wit and wisdom from the likes of Rafael Rozendaal, Timothy Saccenti, Willy Wong, Craig Ward and Ian Wright.

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    You can try and avoid it all you want, but we all know deep down that it’s important in this day and age to have a social media presence that gets across your personality as best as a screen and thousands of servers can. If you haven’t yet made some kind of online portfolio it could be worth checking out Dropr, a new platform on which you can show off your artistic sensibilities in a simple and well-designed format.

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    Our new events manager Lisa Farrell has actually been here at INT HQ for a few weeks now but she has procrastinated on answering our hilarious introductory questions for that entire time. Now I’m not saying we forced or bullied her into finally getting this done, but I will say that her reluctance has now been overcome. Make of that what you will. So without any further ado, meet Lisa in her own words…

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    DJs often live like Sultans on this earth. As well as getting flown around the world for FREE, these cap-wearing tinnitus-bearers are constantly bombarded with booze, babes and luxury suites for their sins. The thing is, this hectic lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as is illustrated by witty Twitter page DJs Complaining.

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    Earlier this month It’s Nice That directors Will Hudson and Alex Bec went Stateside for a week of art and design exploration in New York City. They gave a talk, caught up with many old friends and met a whole host of creatives whose work we’ve long admired. While out there, Will recorded a series of short audio interviews with many of those the guys met, looking at the city’s creative potential, what first drew them to New York and how it affects their work.

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    Argh Play-Doh was so much fun, smelt so good, tasted grim but made everything look brilliant and you could even bake it so your multicoloured figurines could be set in stone forever, until a limb dropped off and was eaten by the dog. Everything was a masterpiece pretty much, but I bet you never did this. The brain child of artist Eleanor Macnair, Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh sees famous photos remade in the more-fun-than-clay material and then photographed, capturing Grace Jones’s uber flexibleness in fluorescence whilst ensuring Bill Brandt’s Nude with Elbow remains just as alluring. It puts all of those miniature animals to shame really.

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    Here’s a little bit of a confession; until last week my copy of Don Quixote was sitting quite nicely on my bookshelf, sandwiched between the other classics, unread, waiting. And then Visual Editions’ new Kickstarter campaign happened, and, let’s just say Don Quixote suddenly got a lot more appealing.

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    It’s interesting to see the different ways people choose to document their lives. J. Alfred Prufrock measured out his with coffee spoons, hoarders love to read back through old diaries, this man peels the skin off his feet and keeps it in labelled jars (apologies in advance). One day, though, as Justin Bairamian was digging through the boxes and cases in his grandfather’s attic, he stumbled across a suitcase full to the brim with matchbooks; another very charming way to record a life.

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    Hipster rock anthems, what would phone adverts be without them these days, hm? It doesn’t seem that hard to make a catchy pub stereo fodder these days, perhaps because everyone can make music in their own bedroom and there are videos like this that give arguably entirely truthful advice on how to write a song. Not just any song, though, these are instructions on how to write a hipster song. Clapping? Tick. Lyrics about childhood? Tick? We have BuzzFeed to thank for a lot of things in life, but this cynical how-to video takes the biscuit. Everybody say “hey!”

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    I didn’t know exactly who Conan O’Brien was really until last night. Turns out this flame-haired funny man helped create the The Simpsons with a bunch of other super-intelligent and hilarious men back in the day. Conan’s wry humour is the magic behind countless episodes, perhaps most notably the monorail episode, which he says in this film was inspired by, well, riding on a monorail.

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    I would apologise in advance for linking you to something that may well eat up a good few hours of your afternoon, but this is too good not to share. Simple concept: an easy-to-use online app that allows the user to zoom in and out of the history of the world in order to get to grips with the scale of things. Compare the size of planets to the Grand Canyon, check out how big Japanese spider crabs are, and see just how teeny tiny us silly old humans look in comparison to the infinite, sprawling universe. Keep the sound effects on, and make sure you click on the items you don’t recognise, I’ve learnt more than I have in the last hour than I did in my entire time at school.

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    I’m a massive fan of Game Of Thrones but there’s a line that divides that devoted viewer and the true obsessive. I know I fall under the former category because, for example, I had no idea that Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons even had names, let alone that they are Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. No matter; this video from Wired’s excellent FX Guide series shows how Berlin studio Pixomondo brought these dragons to life on screen, using everything from digital wind tunnel simulations to tennis balls on sticks.

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    It’s not the first time a technology ad has been parodied brilliantly but College Humor’s latest spoof, Every Tech Commercial has got the tone of modern technology advertising down to an absolute tee. It’s scripted to perfection, timed with skill and absolutely nails the way ‘family friendly’ communications companies like to patronise us in their online and television promotions. Take note Apple, IBM and Vodafone, College Humor have got your number. Might be time to modify the template a little.

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    It’s not exactly hard to please the viewers of the internet these days, and this website is the online version of catnip. There isn’t even much point in me telling you what to do here – when you go on a website like this you know the rules. If you are stuck, move your mouse around and maybe do a few tentative clicks until you get the gist.

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    Ah the drag of sorting the recycling out! We know it all too well. But persist, you are doing the right thing because even if rinsing your yogurt pots out for those weekly green bin empties doesn’t stop the polar ice caps melting straight away, you are one of millions of people agreeing that climate change is happening.

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    Fantastic observational project here from Brighton Photography MA graduate Charles Morgan Smith. Charles’ work is almost entirely inspired by the cosmos and all it has to offer, and he has spent his wise MA years using photography to filter his enthusiasm. “To the planetarium!” He uttered one day and strode off to make one of the coolest photography projects we’ve seen in ages, in which he actually got to photograph the night sky at a planetarium. In Parallel Cosmologies, Charles’ other absolute banger of a project and the one we’ve chosen to feature, he’s combed his way through every sci-fi blockbuster and photographed the director’s vision of the cosmos, collating it all in a rather sublime set of images. More please Charles, more of the same.

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    We’ve featured Iain Graham’s work on the site a couple of times now but always in the context of collaborations with others, so it’s about ruddy time we feted the freelance chef and food stylist in his own right.

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    So many beautiful things we don’t know where to begin. The new collection of jewellery from “illustrator, designer and general maker-of-things” Kaye Blegvad is stunning. Adorning necks with diving gulls or staring eyes, fingers with strands of laurel, posies or moonstones and wrists with tiny, tiny hands, they are beyond wonderful and we want them all.

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    Some combinations make sense instinctively, others need to be brought together to fully appreciate the brilliance of their mutuality. With that in mind we give you This Charming Charlie a blog curated by US-based graphic designer Lauren LoPrete whereby she adds Smiths lyrics onto panels from Charlie Schulz’ iconic Peanuts. There’s a lot of this kind of stuff that fires Twitter’s imagination on an almost daily basis, but these ideas have legs when they go above and beyond enjoyment of the random juxtapositions and actually become something more than that, which I think these do. Cheers Lauren!

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    You don’t often get celebrity juice on It’s Nice That, but when it comes in the form of really, really cool old photography ,we’re happy to give it a shot. So get a cup of coffee and immerse yourself in these sometimes cringeworthy photos of celebrity ex-lovers of the past in this amazing, and lengthy blog entitled Old Loves. Such an archive of images is really quite fascinating. See Brad Pitt move from woman to woman; witness Rita Hayworth marrying man after man; learn that Molly Ringwald went out with “Dweezil” Zappa. Some of these photos are cheesy, some are downright creepy (I’m looking at you Michael Caine and a very young Bianca Jagger) but all of them have one thing in common; the people in them were very, very happy together when it was taken, and as a result makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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    Jammed between the molars or against the curb of the road, prised with the heel of a shoe, the belt buckle, the lighter or the key ring, alternative methods for getting that crafty bit of metal off the top of the beer bottle come in many guises. But the real deal, the bottle opener, is a work of beauty and simplicity and its wonder is being celebrated by Czech creatives OKOLO’s new exhibition Open & Drink!