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Attending the Opening Reception of 10 Years of Wooster Collective gave me the opportunity to look back on the influence of Wooster Collective and how discovering information there influenced street art blog posts here on Design Notes. Opening up the archives I found a couple gems. Not too soon after I moved to NYC I attended Wooster Collective’s AIGA NY | Walk/Don’t Walk: A Visual Walking Tour of Manhattan in 2006. I was introduced to artists such as Lister, Supine, Bast, Skullphone and WK among others on the street. Following up on that event, probably my favorite street art event was 11 Spring Street. Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine another event like that happening again. Having had the chance to walk through it and shoot images are one of the things I’ll remember fondly about my first couple years here.
With all that said, I really enjoyed walking around looking at the pieces included for the 10 Years of Wooster Collective. It was crowded as one would expect considering it was Wooster Collective. Below are some of those images from that night and a second visit when it wasn’t so busy.
This morning I found out from a tweet of MarcDSchiller that Os Gemeos and Futura2000 have a painting going up. After spending some quality time enjoying the great weather at Madison Square Park I decided to walk a couple blocks to check out the progress. The painting is going up on the side of a school at 320 West 21st street and looks to be titled the “giant project” according to a post from Os Gemeos website.
UPDATE: Below is the press release for the mural.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brazilian artists Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo also known as ‘Os Gemeos’ and pop culture legend ‘Futura’ have partnered with New York City-based creative studio AKANYC and street art website 12ozProphet to create an eightyfoot mural on the west-facing wall of P.S. 11, William T. Harris elementary school, in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.
Allen Benedikt, founding Creative Director of AKANYC, has been coordinating the mural project with each of the three artists for close to a year now after the success of Os Gemeosʼ previous New York City mural on Bowery. Working directly with Robert Bender, the principal of P.S. 11 and and along with additional support from Nike and MTN Colors, the project finally began in the afternoon of Friday, August 6, 2010- dovetailing with Nikeʼs World Basketball Festival. The overall theme of the mural is a message of international unity. Os Gemeos’ iconic yellow character (sometimes referred to as as ‘the giant’ or ʻgiganteʼ) will be seen adorned with flags representing countries around the globe in varying color patterns. Of the design, Os Gemeos says, “We are using different flags painted with non-traditional colors. The idea is ‘one world one voice’, no borders, no separation, just everything and everyone working together for a single cause that is a better world.”
The hope from all parties involved is that the mural will serve as a gift for the neighboring community and the children of P.S. 11- which is why the public wall was chosen over a private or more commercial space- and to also help initiate a larger empowering art movement within New York. “We want to open a dialogue with the city of New York and work with local and international artists to create a regular mural series that we believe will inspire and enrich the creative communities throughout the city,” says Benedikt.
Futura’s art will be seen within parts of Os Gemeos’ overall design, where he will add his signature style to the piece. Benedikt notes that bringing Futura into the project was something really important to him. “He [Futura] is a hometown hero for New York and it was important for us to have someone from the city working on the mural,” says Benedikt. “There’s a great dynamic between Futura and Os Gemeos. They each have very distinct and respected styles. Coming together, they prove there is a symbiotic relationship between their aesthetics and that is the true essence of collaboration.”
The mural will be completed this Friday, August 13, 2010. AKANYC has a production team of photographers and videographers documenting the entire process. These assets will become available to media outlets by request from AKANYC after the project’s completion. Os Gemeos, Futura, and Allen Benedikt will be available for select press interviews on Friday afternoon. Please contact Brittnee at AKANYC via the details below for scheduling information.
contact information: email@example.com
press contact: Brittnee Cann
Media Relations Manager AKANYC
www.akanyc.om | 51 MacDougal Street #235 | New York, NY 10012
AKANYC x 12ozProphet x Os Gemeos Mural at P.S. 11 in NYC
About Os Gemeos
Gustavo and Otavio Pandolfo aka Os Gemeos
Os Gemeos (pronounced “ose zhe’-mee-ose”) are two artists from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Born in 1974, they are Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, identical twin brothers whose pseudonym, Os Gemeos, translates to “the twins” in Portuguese. In addition to painting, sculpture and installation work, in recent years Os Gemeos have gained international notoriety for their incredible works created on the streets of Sao Paulo.
Os Gemeosʼs particular process has led to a unique vernacular very specific to Sao Paulo. Most works are created using latex house paint, rollers and spray for the details. The artists championed this new style and mixed different influences from the street to create their own distinctly recognizable aesthetic. Improvisation plays a big role, as the work is shaped and formulated according to their surrounding environment.
Os Gemeos divide their painting mode in two, painting together, and starting and finishing each otherʼs works. The works convey their vision of day-to-day life, simple scenes that are sensually rich. The artists are interested in what lies inside of people, beneath the surface. Characters are often rendered smelling the insides of their clothing as if to say, “it is only here, behind the clothing that a personʼs true essence can be found.” They are influenced by the folklore and people of Brazil, creating characters that are reflections of both indigenous customs and the urban sprawl mimicking the contradictions of the world around them.
Futura, born Leonard Hilton McGurr in 1955, is an internationally acclaimed artist who got his start in the 1970’s painting graffiti on New York City subway trains. His abstract approach to painting with aerosol gained him popularity amongst the art industry and in the early 80’s his work was featured in galleries alongside peers including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Growing as a more serious artist, Futura began collaborating on music projects- first in 2000 with English rock band The Clash when he helped to produce the sleeve artwork for their 7″ single ‘Radio Clash’. From there Futura went on to do another collaboration with the band during their ‘Combat Rock’ tour by live-painting on stage during their musical performances. Years later in 2002, Futura appeared in DJ Mehdi’s music video for single ‘Breakaway’ where he covers a room with his signature tags using black marker and spray paint. Most recently, in 2006, he was featured in a John Mayer music video alongside other street artists like ‘DAZE’ and ‘Tats Cru’. All of these successes and more have earned Futura globally established credibility in art, music, and pop culture circles. Today, 54 years old, Futura is still a well-respeted artist, not only for his graffiti art but his illustration and graphic design as well. Under the label ‘Futura Laboratories’, he designs his own clothing line headed out of Fukuoka City, Japan.
AKANYC is a boutique New York City-based creative agency that works with select clients to deliver online and offline media relevant for urban art and lifestyle culture. The companyʼs expertise includes graphic art, web design, studio photography, video production, and custom book publishing all. AKANYC’s client roster includes brands like Nike, Supreme, ALife, DQM, and Deitch Projects.
AKANYC was established in 2005 by Allen Benedikt and is also branded under the alias ALSO KNOWN AS.
12ozProphet is one of the premier online communities for street art and popular culture enthusiasts. Founded in 1993, the website began as a fan zine featuring photographs of street art, articles about the underground movement, and selling art supplies like spray paint, caps, and other items including apparel and books. After reaching cult status in the late 90’s, 12oz moved business from it’s humble catalog to grow into a website that, still today, hosts forums where artists from all over the globe can congregate to discuss art and other musings. In the years since it’s move online, 12ozProphet has evolved to become a platform for many of the culture’s most authoritative voices by hosting blogs to a number of world-famous artists and photographers including Os Gemeos, Todd James aka Reas, Cody Hudson aka Struggle Inc, Martha Cooper, Haze, and Jamil GS.
www.akanyc.om | 51 MacDougal Street #235 | New York, NY 10012
Before I jump into my reaction to Beyond the Street: With the 100 Most Important Players in Urban Art I think it’s important to explain what I think is good street art and why I’ll stop and photograph something outside. While I’m familiar with a lot of the “names” out there I do try to stay a bit ignorant of who’s doing what. I don’t want to be persuaded by reputation—I want to be as interested in stuff on their own accord, not what other people have said or sold in a gallery. I’m a visual guy so I can tell pretty quickly what’s been done with skill. I don’t think people should just live off their reputation if they’ve done shit work recently.
Last night I checked out Deitch whom was hosting the book launch of Beyond the Street: With the 100 Most Important Players in Urban Art. I’ve been a fan of this project for quite some time. Patrick Nguyen who is one of the editors contacted me a couple years ago asking if they could use a photo that I shot. I said sure as I wasn’t doing anything with it. Time passed and I forgot about the whole thing. Out of the blue a couple months ago I received a new email explaining that they ended up not using it. To be honest I wasn’t sad about it but appreciated the fact that they kept my two year old email and wanted to let me know. He also mentioned that they were going to launch the book soon in London & New York. So that brings me to last night.
I don’t think I’ve ever used the word spectacular ever in a post, but as I flipped throughthe book for the first time that’s what I was thinking. It’s one of the first book on street art that has managed to do a great job of balancing images and text together. The design is really tight though occasionally the type reminds me of Print & ID magazine. Aesthetics aside, how does the content hold up? It’s hard to say as I haven’t read the book yet. What I can say is that I’ll be spending some quality time with it over the long weekend to find out. The title is pretty ambitious though at first glance probably can seems like it’s covered a lot of what is worth documenting and talking about. Obviously they’re not going to be able to please everyone with the list but for me that actually wants to learn a lot more about some of the characters out there this book is a great starting point.
While I don’t know a lot about who’s doing what, there were three sets of people that I looked for and didn’t see in the book. I’m a fan of what peru ana ana peru and how they spread their stuff over the city. The designer in me likes how some things stay consistent while at other times become consistent in their inconsistency. The second group is Graffiti Research Lab. They blast digital stuff on to outside walls. How they’re pushing ideas, tech, and o pen source is worth mentioning. The third is Monsieur Chat. From an aesthetic pov he’s doing a lot of really tight stuff. I would have liked to have known more about each of those people and would have been good additions to the others.
The other thing that I would have liked to see is possibly a timeline along with criteria of how the people were chosen. Keep in mind that I haven’t actually read the book and there might be a rational embedded in each story that becomes apparent as to why certain people are listed. But with that all said I think this book should be on the shelf (and read) of anyone that has stopped briefly outside to look at marks that most people ignore in the busy daily life.
For those smart enough to have checked out the PSFK NY Conference Friday, they were treated with an early screening of Exit Through The Gift Shop – A Banksy Film. Here’s a couple quick notes about what I saw and why fans of street art should view it. First off it’s a film, not a documentary so all aspects of truth have to be viewed with those expectations in mind. What wasn’t faked was actually seeing stuff being made and placed on streets, walls and with Shepard Fairey in a Kinkos shop. Other blue chip street artists seen in the film include Space Invader and Mr Brainwash among a couple other familiar faces.
For better or in my pov worse, most of the film takes place in LA. While the film shows a lot of coverage of Banksy’s show in LA with the pink elephant, there’s no mention of his Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill in NY nor his main stage show in Bristol. The film focuses in a lot of areas so I wondered why the omissions? Car culture is okay but street art makes more impact when seen via feet then sitting down.
Now that I’ve seen Exit Through the Gift Shop, I visited 415 W. 13th Street to see Mr. Brainwash ICONS. There’s some great detail of the show from Tokyohanna when she saw it last month. The show is still up though I’m not sure how long it will be up. I’m guessing a couple more weeks at least.
And since we’re talking about street art, have you seen anything new lately? I haven’t for quite some time. I asked this question to Beyond the Street The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art editor Patrick Nguyen (a book I’m really interested in reading once it comes out) about the trend. His email response was this “Regarding new street art, much of it in London was based in the East End, especially the Shoreditch, Hoxton and Brick Lane areas. It’s still going on, but it’s less dynamic than it used to be. This seems to be due to a variety of reasons, including the economic downturn and drop in art prices — which has meant there are fewer people putting stuff up primarily for the purpose of advertising upcoming shows and releases of artwork for sale. Buffing is also happening more quickly now, but that’s been the case ever since London was awarded the 2012 Olympics. One thing I can see becoming popular here again is tagging — a more back-to-basics approach, and a reaction to both the gentrification of the streets and the crossover many street artists have made to the gallery scene.”
Just some things to consider as you see the film. And until you see it in a theater there’s always the Banksy YouTube channel…
Typically for me if I see something twice in a somewhat unique manner it usually feels like a pattern to me. Chances are if there’s at least two of the “thing” out there, it’s only a matter of time before I see it elsewhere. The current “thing” that I’ve started to notice is a nice, simple and effective play on the idea of smiley face. While I haven’t seen the rapid gestures of the smile more in the usual areas, I’ve noticed it pop up on 32nd and 16th streets. There’s two things that I like about it. Very fast message to convey, the meaning is pretty obvious, and easily reproducible. It also reminds me of the Love Me stuff that tends to be finding it’s way more around the city. Again a similar approach of conveying a message very quickly and easily reproducible on different scales.
Having never visited Boston I took the train up for the weekend to check it out. Unfortunately there was a lot of rain so it made it kind of soggy to walk around. But I came to walk, so that’s what I did. As I was heading to the ICA I came across some Obey posters. I didn’t know the full extent of the history between the arrest of Shepard Fairey as he placed some of those Obey posters and the opening of his show at the ICA many months ago. But I knew enough that when I saw them I was kind of curious to see what else was around in the area. Sure enough right across from the burnt out building where the Obey posters stood was a Federal Reserve building. Coincidence?
It’s been a bit of an up and down week over here at DesignNotes. I’ve been under the weather of most of the week which is highly unusual, and on the flip side the weather outside has been actually pretty decent. In more relatable Link Drop news, I found that the sites I spent time with has a lot of personal expressing in them. There’s a bunch of interviews, process and visualization. Intermixed with all that are the normal tech., Apple and Twitter issues.
President Barack Obama for BusinessWeek
Brad has to be my favourite photographer that I like to share my doom and gloom predictions about the print industry with. He’s also old school but in a good way. Recently he visited the White House for BusinessWeek to shoot a cover story on Barack Obama. This is his post about the experience, something that more photographers should do once their images are published.
Advertising’s revenge of the nerds
This was by far the most popular of the sites I passed along this week via Twitter. It’s hard to say if this really is a new concept or one that’s being reported on. Non creatives will always be more attentive to stats that show graphs going up. Designer’s just need to understand that and use it to their advantage.
Why Does the Best Design of 2009 Still Look Like 2000?
This was probably one of the more important articles that could warrant some more in depth consideration. Comparing some of the best in industrial design today to the past, there hasn’t been a huge leap in the design. Minor tweaks aside there isn’t much new. I think this also could be a bigger issue of business culture in general. Look at what others have done and replicate.
On the inequities of design competitions
I really like this quote so I’m copy + pasting it here “…Designers who win awards for edgy design they did for a friend’s business– with a print run of one hundred or something like that? They’ve got no art director, no creative director, no client’s representative, no agency person. Where’s the obstacle to good design there? But take something like a cheese. When I see a really good package for a cheese– I know what that designer went through to get there. It makes me want to fall on my knees and kiss that designer’s feet, that cheese. —Ernesto Aparicio”
There’s a lot of takeaways from this practical statement. Can design that is collaborative, ie working closely with those that are not as passionate about doing something new be celebrated as much as the artist that does design on the side? This example also illustrates why I don’t show a lot of images from designers web sites. For me to truly appreciate a design I need to see it in the real world. Design magazines don’t barely reflect the real world that real design flows into. If I’m going to suggest a poster is pretty good, I better be able to see it against a real wall with other posters surrounding it.
This tries to end the mysticism of art trying to be design. Good design takes time, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be having an outer body experience to do appropriate work.
JK Wedding Entrance Dance
This post pretty much sums up how media, design and marketing need to be. It’s amazing how distinct the age gap between those in online that are old that treat sites like print material, and those online today who understand it’s an ongoing conversation that can’t be predicted six months in advance. With that said I do have some doubts that the JK Wedding dance wasn’t an elaborate pr stunt by Chris Brown’s handler’s, but maybe that’s just me…
Heating Up the Charts
There’s some unusual candor about the process of selecting and working with a design firm for the redesign of Billboard’s site. Interesting pov’s and observations.
how blogging really works: random acts of traction
This isn’t the only reason I blog, but it’s true that a publisher will never know what ideas take off. For me, if I post five or six random design ideas a week, over a period of months some of them will evolve into something really special. If I hadn’t started where would those ideas come from?
Can We Please Kill This Meme Now
This is why I collect stuff for this Link Drop. There’s so much good stuff out there that I need a place to filter it after seven days.
Q & A with Ingsu Liu, W.W. Norton
I like talking about the demise of print, but I don’t have any allusions that digital can be as conceptual as a well designed book cover. The above interview is with the current V.P. art director at W.W. Norton, the talk is about their process.
Building an Army of Hyper-Local, Mobile-Connected Advocates
There’s a couple interesting angles for me on this story. I first read this story from Advertising Age, but since they wall their content after a week I thought it made more sense to pass it along to the original source. A lot of people use foursquare, I can’t argue that point as I see them all talking on Twitter. I’ve never tried it for personal reasons. In any case this article does a good job a breaking down the mobile app.
The App Store and Apple’s Recent Behavior
Apple has always been a corporation though sometimes people forget this. With the iPhone and the partnership with ATT, a lot of their business strategies are being questioned.
When it comes to visual culture kind of stuff I’m a big fan of the bluechips like Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Invader. Living in NYC for the last couple of years has been great to see all of them in action both outside and inside. Banksy was flying around on walls marking up rats and presented a great pet store. Shepard Fairey had a show that I missed (though there used to be a lot of stuff outside) but saw him in action trying to defend what had happened in Boston. So it was only fitting to see Invader selling some of his work inside since there’s a bunch of it floating around outside.
I’ve never been a person to look badly at how people/artists want to distribute their work. If they want to go inside and have representation—great for them. The more people that can see something the better. But after seeing Invader’s Top Ten show I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. I think it was a combination him trying to hard with the rubik’s cube to make a replica of something of meaningful to older generation (album art), and turning what he’s know for (invader characters) into cheap disco ball replicas.
On the flip side, I’ve noticed a couple new pieces of his outside (and one that’s been cleaned up) that I think are great. I came across a rainbow character on Bowery and a QR code on Greene St. Having seen those pop up and knowing that Invader had a show on, only added to my enthusiasm. Unfortunately that energy never really got off the ground inside. I have no doubt that everything that he has up for sale will be sold and to an extent that will be seen as a success. But over time when that stuff is compared en masse it might seem a bit out of context and possibly tacky.
Ok, this Link Drop is even too late for my liking… But it’s better to publish it three days late as opposed to not posting it all or doing a double issue this week. With the amount of rain NYC has been getting in June, if there’s a day of sun it’s worth trying to make the most of it. This weekend there was a lot of it—hence this post is coming out on a Monday. I’ve got UX on my mind and it seemed like that came across with a lot of the posts that I thought were worth saving. But isn’t everything about some sort of experience?
Chris Anderson Interview
There’s a lot of ideas about publishing and passing on info in a world of free and not so free content. Whether you’re in publishing or not I think a lot of people can get something from listening to the podcast.
Powers of Ten x Katsu
There’s a great scale to Katsu’s work. The last clip is of him painting on a roof in nyc. I’m pretty sure it’s on a building that viewer can see from the end of the High Line.
A Feed Apart, an unofficial feed aggregator for An Event Apart: Sessions
This is a great idea created on the grassroot’s level. A couple people created a site that would collect all tweets related to the conference. I think this kind of stuff will be a must for conferences as twitter becomes a popular way of mentioning stuff that speakers give importance to.
The True Love Project
A photographer took a series of images of people under a hypnotic state. The subjects were to visualize true love.
Dog and Pony Show Design
Ever ask yourself how many design comps to show to present to a client. This post goes in depth about that.
A post about the Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I think I’ll have to read those books at some point
Mobile Uploads to YouTube Increase Exponentially
I don’t think this info about mobile uploads will surprise anyone that it’s increased a lot since the new iPhone video capabilities came out. It just shows the power of one button click that makes things easy can be of great benefit.
It’s been a crazy blog week for me and because of that my Link Drop is three days overdue. The High Line opened which I was happy to experience first hand early in the week. Quite a few interesting blogs passed some nice traffic to me because of it, so I thought in return I’d compile those sites near the top of this post. I also got a lot of interesting response from my AIGA post, a significant amount coming via twitter which I thought was interesting. On top of all that, there was a lot of great stuff on the net. So adding that all up I finally can present last weeks Link Drop. See you back in a couple days…
If you get the opportunity to walk the High Line at night, these are the people responsible for the great lighting design. It was one of my favourite parts of the experience walking around that first night.
Hype for Type
The person behind this site did all the right things to get the word out to the design blog sites out there. I might do an interview with them as they mentioned something kind of interesting about why they wanted to start the site in the email I got. They were “frustrated with the lack of quality and original typefaces within the design community.” I’d like to hear more about that from them.
I thought the image was a nice extension of those blocky letter forms out there at the moment.
he sees, he’s a seer
The idea has a lot of potential though I wish it did more then just use the Amazon api for suggestions. If only there was a real person behind this—or better yet a group of librarians to offer suggestions.
Kindle’s Not Working
I don’t have a Kindle and I’ve often wondered if it’s a bit overpriced considering a netbook doesn’t have any of the same limitations that Amazon has put on their machine.
I thought the video was quite amazing, and better yet I don’t think it was staged.
The New Negroponte Switch
Good presentation to look at about stuff moving away from academic discourse and application of interactive ideas in the real world.
I discovered this neat site via twitter. Cool observations on what he does.
Fun with flash—something I don’t normally say…
I haven’t actually had time to read this, but it’s next on my hit list once I have five minutes to sit down.
Can Computer Nerds Save Journalism?
Another perspective on what needs to be done with journalism. Everyone has an opinion these days it seems. I wonder if anyone aside from journalists are actually reading these things.
Microsoft Biffs the Bing Logotype
I liked this first person account of working at Microsoft as an intern and how there was actually good design going on, and how it kept getting killed. Relates to that awful Bing logo.
Data Center Overload
The whole magazine issue is quite strong content wise, the redesign looks like it came from New York Magazine. Here’s one article from the Infrastructure issue.
My friend has a great eye and mind for picking stuff to talk about.
Banksy’s Bristol show
Banksy’s got a new show, would be interested to get my hands on the book if there was one. From some of the clips it looks like a lot of his stuff from NYC is on display from the pet store.
One of the more popular posts on twitter that I mentioned this week. Fun—no?
I can’t think of a better city than NYC to spend as much time walking as possible. There’s too many obvious reasons for me to list here except to say it’s pretty hard not to walk a block and not find something interesting to look at, and in most cases be inspired by. Street art used to be a big part of that for me. The common cliches of finding and seeing stuff in obscure corners as a daily exploration used to abound. I’d take pictures and post it to flickr etc. Funny or perhaps more sadly is that I’m not doing that nearly as much at the moment. What happened? It’s really sterile at the moment. For all I know there could be a great movement going on one block past were I usually walk, but I don’t think that’s the case. On the flip side there’s a lot of chatter about street art online as I’ve noticed with this page I created to collect all Street Art News, but my reality as I walk back and forth around the city (and occasionally Brooklyn) is that there isn’t much to note because there’s nothing to see. It’s blank. Could it be that people are focusing more on gallery work (which is fine if that was the goal in the first place), maybe it’s a reflection that people don’t really feel inspired at the moment due to the economy? Are people focusing more on twitter to get their message out? It’s just a guess on my part but I’m getting kind of tired of not seeing anything at the moment.
This was a pretty good week for me overall. I got some great coverage from Slate and CNN, and from the feedback so far, I gave a good talk for CreativeMornings. But it wasn’t entirely perfect. I ended being a part of ten15am which was probably the best for everyone involved. Sometime in the not so distant future I’ll do a post on some of the more interesting things I discovered being part of that group. Theme wise it was a bit all over the place. For some strange reason air was a big theme, along with typography. There’s also a couple follow up links from last week’s Link Drop.
Kill Your RSS Reader
Slate’s technology columnist Farhad Manjoo tests out my tab system for finding good stuff on the web
Tech Trends: time to ditch RSS?
CNN’s SciTechBlog bulds off of the Slate post about my tab system. Lots of interesting comments ensue after it’s published.
Making Policy Public: Vendor Power!
This is a follow up link from my mention last week. Probably one of my favourite projects that I’ve come across this year, designer Candy Chang goes through the process designing something to demystify the rules and regulations of street vending in New York City.
Here & There influences
Another follow up link, this time about those crazy maps of Manhattan. Lots of interesting influences that I didn’t realize at first glance.
Cool to see that Verlag is now available for anyone to buy. There’s some good blurbs in this annoucement about designer and typographer working together to create something that has staying power.
Aerial Virtual tour of New York
Amazing views of New York with the ability to circle around. It would be even cooler if I could fly around the whole city aside from just a fixed point—yet it’s still quite amazing to interact with.
The publishers dilemma
There’s a couple options for publishers as they try to figure out the digital world that is now changing the typical value chain in publishing: authors –> agents –> publishers –> whole-sellers –> retailers –> consumers that could be turned into authors –> retailers –> consumers.
How to Save Media
More ideas about how old media should try to figure out how to survive in today’s world.
The Xerox Star UI
Fascinating description of digital dirt and how the shift of one pixel made it disappear. I also just like looking at the collection of icons for the UI as well.
The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time
This collection is fascinating for a bunch of different reasons, and not just for the list itself. When something akin to a best of list, there’s a lot of editorial consideration which Amazon in my mind hasn’t been known for in the past. Usually they’d put up a ranking that is compiled entirely of data of numbers that represent what people are buying. With this list, that has changed. A person compiled that which adds all sorts of subjectiveness into play. The second thing that struck me is that there isn’t a simple buy all button. What if I were rich and could actually afford all 100 of those albums. There’s no easy way to do that which is kind of surprising to me. Additionally I thought the comments afterwards was helpful too—other people could chime in to what they considered to be the best albums. A good counter balance to the amazon official list.
I feel as though this week just started and it’s already Friday. Good weather, good company and being in NYC will do that to people. But with that said there’s always time for the interwebs and below are some of the sites that I thought were worth a second look. There’s a bit more weirdness this week and less graphic design—coincidence? For this edition of Link Drop I also had a bit more coffee then usual, hence the erratic diagram. Till next week, though I’m not sure how I’m going to simultaneously post a Link Drop and a live presentation at the same time…
The Battle Between Art & The Algorithm
Apparently design lost the battle with art and now art has set its sights on the algorithm. Is deciding how something is weighted in a myriad of ways based on rational—or is it art. I think it’s art if design myself if you know what to look for.
Microsoft sales fall for first time in 23 years
I’m surprised more people haven’t mentioned what has happened to Microsoft this year. There’s some smart connections being made in this piece. Not to beat a dead horse for me, but the fact that I can take a pic and push it on to the internet with a message within a minute from start to finish is amazing. Am I using any tools from MSFT to do that? No…
Twitter Clients Are a UI Design Playground
This is interesting—did twitter plan to to harness the crowd to make a better UI because they really didn’t know what they were doing, or did they create such a bad experience it pissed off enough people that they decided to make their own better UI? Funny thing is, if twitter was the music industry they would have tried suing their users where as twitter encouraged it.
Scorecard | The National Design Awards
I thought the question that they brought up about Architecture Design and Interior Design was worth mentioning. I had no idea, but I’m neither an architect nor an interior designer…
Psst, have you heard…
I liked the idea of visualizing how things are spread via the promoters, passives and detractors.
Fascinating view of how the Gameboy (often ignored by designers as a great object) evolved and reflected the time as the years went on.
“NPR maps the Energy Grid”
I find these kind of maps fascinating on a couple different levels. There’s the proximity of lines to actual cities (or distance from them), and the patterns the lines make that outline energy.
100 days of Obama’s Facebook news feed.
It would be easy to dismiss this visualization, but it’s actually quite impressive. It’s in a format almost everyone recognizes, there’s humour, there’s history and some of it is actually plausible.
That google seems to be wrecking every industry out there. But if it’s so bad why hasn’t anyone stepped up and made it better?
Telling amazing stories
Simple points to consider, hard to execute when all three measurements of 1. Collecting consistent data, 2. Designing meaningful visualizations and 3.Telling amazing stories are actually more subjective than you think.
Walking Madison every morning I never know what I’m going to end up seeing around NYC. The weather has been slowly getting better which is great because Spring can’t come fast enough for me. I’m not much of a horticulturist fan, but even I have to admit that it’s nice to see stuff in bloom. Most of the treks are fairly unremarkable, Madison and I will see a couple things that kind of make us go hmmm, but nothing blogworthy. But since I had my first iced coffee of the year (my unofficial signal that spring is here), I thought I’d show a couple things that we came across Saturday morning.
Space between crosswalk lines: We saw a bunch of new lines being painted around NYC. I’ve never really thought about how they measure the space between the lines—but we found out how. The guy would put his two feet together and make a mark a move on.
Bright coloured sky: We were near the Cooper Union when we walked upon this image. It seemed pretty vibrandt while not trying to hard to be something that it wasn’t.
Sticker on poster: Kind of fitting don’t you think? That was on the Bowery. This morning (Sunday) when we walked by the poster again that sticker was gone. Just shows you how fast things can change around here. If you see something that is worth noting, take the picture at that moment because it might not be there when you come back. Good philosophy for life in general I think—go after what you want in the moment. Who knows if the opportunity will come again.
Madison sitting at one of the best places in the world: Sitting beside the Flatiron building near Madison Square Park is one of the great things you can do in the city. Lucky for us, we can rest there after our walks when we need to take a break from the stage that’s around us.
A couple weeks ago Blogs.com asked me if I was willing to pass them on a list of design blogs based in NYC (I considered Brooklyn as part of this list) of my choosing. I thought it wouldn’t be that tough—but of course it was, not because of the quantity but because design for me can be a fairly broad term. There’s a lot of categories that blur into each other. To help me see where the blogs fell into, I made a 2×2 grid. Within the grid I made each of them have a 4 letter name so they could fit on the grid in a consistent manner—kind of like a stock ticker. As I started putting together the list, I’d check a certain number of blogs each day with the intention of if someone could only open eleven blogs (after all I’d want to include DesignNotes) each morning from NYC, which sites would give the biggest amount of great content that wasn’t overlapping each other. I also didn’t want the list to turn into something akin to what everyone else would pick as popular blogs, but show that there’s a bigger range than the expected norm that everyone lists. The sites below are what came I ended up with. That list became known as Ten Design-Related Blogs from NYC.
I’ve always been a bit skeptical of other listings like this to some degree whether from magazines or other blogs because they felt very buddy, buddy. One could argue the same thing about me—people would be wrong to think that of course, but now maybe I was wrong to be skeptical of others intentions in the past—I don’t know. But just to be fair here’s a breakdown of how these blogs flow into DesignNotes: People behind the blogs that I’ve met in person: 6/10, People I’ve shared email correspondence: 8/10, People I don’t know at all: 3/10, Number of of blogs that have been mentioned in my Link Drop: 10/10, and People I’ve had a beer with: 4/10.
AisleOne (ASL1) aisleone.net
A clean curated design blog that emphasizes grids, typography and whitespace done well—very calming blog.
i [love] marketing. (ILVM) anaandjelic.typepad.com/i_love_marketing
Don’t be fooled by the title, this blog is much smarter than the typical blog pushing marketing ideas. Not afraid to question the status quo out there, lots of ideas to consider.
Ashley Simko (ASMK) blog.ashleysimko.com
There’s a constant flow of great design images, quotes and thoughts daily if not hourly placed on display. I’m curious to see this blog evolves over time.
PLUS and MINUS things (P&MT) byamt.wordpress.com
The image selection is always compelling as it is unique. Lots of photography and industrial design stuff.
Graphpaper (GRPR) graphpaper.com
Here’s a blog that talks a lot about UX design in a manner that’s understandable to anyone, yet isn’t holding back from great observations.
Kottke (KTKE) kottke.org
A ton of diverse links, it’s hard to be bored when there’s a source like this out there.
PSFK (PSFK) psfk.com
They cover a lot of different areas of design and marketing. If something is kind of interesting out there in a commercial sense, they’ll probably talk about it.
Swissmiss (SMSS) swiss-miss.com
A bellwether blog for all other reblog design sites, the number of people that gravitate to what is mentioned on this site is incredible.
UnBeige (UNBG) mediabistro.com/unbeige
There’s a constant flow of news in the design world from fonts, furniture, art and architecture
We’ve all been taught that consistency is branding is a key aspiration for the designer. It kind of goes without saying of course. There needs to be a system in place where certain elements need to play in a manner that makes sense. People also should also be able to expect certain values to hold through when they come into interaction with a brand. But wouldn’t it be more interesting if things were not exactly turned upside down in terms of the idea of consistency, but allowed to flex a bit?
When I look at a lot of marks that are made to live and die outside, there’s a lot of sticking to some sort of “brand guideline”. What’s quite amazing about Katsu is the variation of scale. The first image is on the bottom of a lamp post while the second image goes across two doors. I’ve seen it on trucks which in itself kind of funny now that I mention it. When it’s on a vehicle it’s moving around the city just like a UPS truck is by spreading it’s message. The broader point is that this unique skull mark is easily replicable by the artist no matter what the scale.
Another trick to test the visual effectiveness of a brand is to place a thumb on the logo. Can you still tell what brand it is? If yes, the surrounding environment is helping to shape the brand—if it isn’t that identifiable perhaps it’s not as good as it could be. The third image I shot is a primer version of the skull mark. It’s just one solid shape but it’s pretty easy to identify that it’s part of the same family.
On the complete other side of the spectrum of inconsistency as consistency that is inconsistent is peru ana ana peru. The words peru ana ana peru usually stay the same, how their expressed visually is different depending where you find it. The thing is, a person knows right away that it’s mark is part of the same family once again. I wouldn’t recommend this kind of visual strategy for a bank—but wouldn’t it be interesting and a bit more human if the marks a business made were more human and less mechanical?
Maddie and I come across this truck quite often in the mornings when we walk by on our normal dog route. It’s typically parked in the same area which isn’t that notable except for the fact that the building it’s near is quite clean, slightly prissy and something that you would expect to see on some parts of Madison Ave. We like the truck because it’s such a contrast to the building. We also like the gestures that the marks represent. I’m sure if you asked the owner of the truck or those that have to work in the building they’d offer some other opinions. But those marks kind of show some signs of whose talking with their paint and markers. Most of the stripes tail off towards the top because their arms weren’t any longer. And those that were able to get higher probably climbed on the truck. But as time goes by, all the marks tend to blend into each other into indecipherable symbols.
I was wondering about those shapes so I took a couple pictures. The first image is quite smudgy. So I blurred things enough in the second image that some of those abstract shapes become more prominent. Taking the abstraction a bit further I was curious to see how those shapes played out inside a fairly simple grid. Those shapes fall into place more logically then I would have guessed. I’m not sure what’s to be learned here, but maybe there’s a bit more conformity going on then meets the eye at first glance.
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The one big theme that I missed on my note above for this week’s Link Drop was politics. It’s been a couple weeks since I really mentioned that much, and perhaps not surprisingly it’s tied closely to tech. Other tech. things that people interact with on a daily basis include Google, Twitter and Facebook. Surprisingly no iPhone stuff… People are also still trying to make sense of things so it’s natural that info design pops up from time to time. The only surprise mention is from Nooka where Matthew came back from Japan with some new toys. I’ve seen his collection previously which is quite impressive so I found his rational for what he brought back to be interesting.
tokyo toy report
A man and his rational for the toys he bought on his recent trip to Tokyo.
Why Small Companies Will Win in This Economy
I’m not so sure this is a new trend, but some of the same factors that are making this possible could create new opportunities to do better design work. If things don’t have to scale as much, it could allows for a less mechanical result. Maybe?
a lively debate with mark cuban
Went to the Boxee NYC meetup this week, expected a bit more info on the ui/ux release front. This post in terms of debating Mark was up for a bit of discussion during the night.
Blog/Jongerius x Maharam x Nike
Pretty cool idea, I don’t think their meant for me to wear—my guess is that they’ll be more popular with the cool girls, but as a design they look nice.
Sea Dust, pt 2
These type of images are really cool and make you see things in a different light. Throw a bit of biology into the mix and you have a pretty good post.
Fashion tends to go back and fourth, let’s hope this isn’t the case for basketball shorts.
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This week’s edition of Link Drop has a heavy duty number of site that are related to visualization, though ironically I’m wondering if the idea is getting severely bloated? Another irony is that I’m starting to think is that while newspapers and logos are on their last legs, I think typography and more to the point typefaces are going to surge in quality—just throwing that out there… I’m sure there’s more to mention like how Daylife’s site should be checked out, but I’ll leave that for a future post…
Newspapers Are Dead, Long Live the News
A good summary of two other essays that were making the rounds on the internet. For those trying to lock their content under a pay fee – I wish you the best of luck. Too bad no one is going to be able to find your valuable content.
Zoolgical Typeface (2008)
I really liked how fun this was. I think logos are pretty much dead like newspapers but something like this has a lot of potential to create an identity as much as one symbol could.
What is a Pylon?
From now own it shall be known as a pylon. At least that’s what I’m going to call it. I just wonder when I’m ever going to have a conversation about a pylon. Most people don’t know the difference between aerial and times…
Looks like I’m going to take a trip to this gallery in the not so distant future.
I’m not a parent but if you have a small child you might want to check it out. The cool idea is to post questions that her children ask and post possible answers.
I’m surprised that more sites don’t do stuff like this. Give the proper law language, but also break it down in terms that anyone can understand.
Branislav Kropilak Billboards
When was the last time you walked under a billboard? Me—never. Interesting perspective that shows things in a different light.
Google’s Irene Au: On Design Challenges
As much as this might bother people, if you’re trying to get the most clicks or links or what ever the “most” means, why wouldn’t you do that? Good perspective from Google.
NYC Sitcom Map
When most of these shows were on back in the day, I was in Canada and had no idea what New York was aside from a city with some shows. Now things can be cleared up with this map.
A couple nights ago I went to hear Shepard Fairey, Lawrence Lessig and Steven Johnson speak at Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy. I had pretty high hopes for the event that couldn’t possibly delivered on. Lessig spoke for about 30 minutes to put the case against AP in context. You can see the slides and hear it http://blip.tv/file/1821209. There’s a decent synopsis of the entire talk at PSFK. I’ve pulled some of the notable quotes from Fairey above. What disappointed me was that in one sense I’ve heard most of what Fairey has said before. Possibly because I’ve heard a lot of his interviews already and due to the nature of what he can say due to the lawsuit. I’m glad I went to see the talk in person, but I would have preferred to have had at least one person from an opposing pov there to cause a real debate.
The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me, and as a result the number of posts being included in my weekly Link Drop Contextd has been reduced. That’s not necessarily a bad thing b/c I don’t think anyone has time to read forty plus entries in one sitting. If there’s any pattern this week to notice, politics played a pretty minor role in what interested me web wise. Information on display always interests me, but it’s moving in a direction where I’m wanting to see how people archive and come back after the initial burst of data. Anyhow… thanks for checking up this Friday.
360 – Urban Villages in Paris (1920)
I’m not that familiar w/ the history of urban planning of Paris, but I’ve always enjoyed looking at how the city rolls out. This map is shows that spiral in a really nice way that integrates some of the different breakout percentages.
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This is such a cool idea, def. going to make my own nyc version of this. It might be kind of do a trade w/ someone in a different city that makes one too…
You Can’t Sell News by the Slice
I kind of like collecting these type of stories about how object to monetizing news. The thing is, this question is practical in almost any other industry at the moment – not just news.
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WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN
Since discovering this site a couple weeks (maybe month ago), I’ve been fascinated with the re-contextualization of this info into something it was never intended to be.
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I’m still kind of thinking wtf happened w/ the CCTV building fire.
With all the “hoopla”, news going around these days, and me discovering the above image from Shepard Fairey, I thought I’d collect some of the more interesting links that I came across in the last couple weeks. It’s far from a complete story but adds some more substance to an artist/designer that is doing some interesting stuff. I’m sure that’s there’s a million other posts that I could refer to, so if you think there’s something I should add to this list please let me know. (I’ll be adding new links to the top as they come in)
This week I thought I go with quantity and quality for Link Drop Contextd and leave the commentary short and sweet and let the site titles speak for themselves. Considering how much I enjoy football and that it’s the super bowl this weekend, I’m surprised that I didn’t come across that many related links. I’m also surprised that I didn’t mention one related link about Twitter. Till next week or blog post, ciao…
QuickPost 2: Super Bowl Ad Live-Blog.
Interesting concept, kind of interested to read the commentary once things get to the fourth quarter and many beers have been drank. Too bad it’s not open to anyone commenting…
Haven’t had a chance to read all of this info, but it looks like a great reference none the less
Wanting to take a look back so I can figure out how to proceed with 2009, I grabbed a bunch of notable posts that I thought were worth spending a bit more time with. Below each image I’ve made a note now that I’ve had some time away from each of the original posts. Here’s to the new year and thanks for visiting, and linking and commenting and…
This seemed like a great idea at the time, trade my shuffle with someone else and hear some new music. I ended up trading but due to my own business it took way too long to trade back with her. I learned my lesson – anyone else want to try trading?
I wanted to combine some of my photography with a listing of location. Another idea with good intentions, problem was it took a lot of time to map it out and I had no way of exporting the data offline if I wanted to. So after a while I stopped posting to that map.
This was before things really took off with Obama, I had seen the Hope graphic floating around the web but this was the first image I saw of it actually on the streets. A while after that post someone mailed me a couple of the posters. That was a very good day.
There was an interesting discussion after I posted this – unfortunately when I installed Disqus after the fact that comment stayed in the old database of comments. In effect the person was objecting to the commercialization of the idea of the Ghost Bike. At the time I was pretty much on the opposite side thinking that a company shouldn’t have to worry about worry such things. As I’ve walked a lot through the city and seen those white bikes out there, that person may have been correct with their objections.
This project is still going on for a couple weeks, but the number of people that saw it and contacted me after this post was quite amazing. Not sure where this project will end up but up until now it’s been interesting to watch it grow.
There was three events that were sort of art, sort of design that I really enjoyed seeing. One was MoMA’s Design and Elastic Mind Exhibition, Murakami at the Brooklyn Museum and Buckminster Fuller at the Whitney. I would have luved to have blogged more about the last two exhibitions but since they don’t allow photography inside I’ll just mention that it’s a stupid policy that will hurt them more than what it will help. Banksy’s installations would be up there too in really good things to have seen now that I think about it.
Just like the Frietag instruction booklet I mentioned above, Camper’s shoes are a product that other designers should want to strive for. They are perfect for the weather of NYC and never wear out. There’s only two brands of shoes that I buy, Camper and Giraudon.
There’s a lot of really smart stuff in this book. In my top 3 of things to read, and more interestingly I don’t think this book will date itself as much as some of the others along the same genre that came out this year.
For all the chatter of sites that tagged brands, I think Dear Adobe changed the game more so than any other UGC site. If I was wanting to study site concepts for company’s, this is where I would start. And no, Adobe didn’t design the site.
There are some benefits to working in SoHo aside from dodging tourists. I just saw Banksy in action on Broadway & Howard St. I caught the tail end of the the piece going up just before it started to pour rain which was kind of fitting considering the subject matter.
UPDATE 02 SEPT 08:
Looks like some additional marks and words were added before lunch today
You know the week has gone by quickly when Thursday feels like Tuesday – that’s sort of how this week’s Link Drop feels. It’s got a bit of photography, technology and the usual nod to other stuff going on outside and inside. On a personal note I almost get to say good bye to one of the craziest years I’ve had this weekend – both for the lows and highs. When I was twenty nine I had no fears about turning thirty – now I can celebrate the fact that I survived the year and get to look forward to being thirty one. Cheers to moi ( :
The 72-Room Bohemian Dream House
From New York Magazine: “The building at 190 Bowery is a mystery: a graffiti-covered Gilded Age relic, with a beat-up wooden door that looks like it hasn’t been opened since La Guardia was mayor. A few years ago, that described a lot of the neighborhood, but with the Bowery Hotel and the New Museum, the Rogan and John Varvatos boutiques, 190 is now an anomaly, not the norm. Why isn’t some developer turning it into luxury condos?”
How Many Web Services Can One Person Use?
From NYT: “How many more new social networking or micro-blogging or video-sharing site can one person use? Most of us don’t have time to respond to voice mail and e-mail every day, let alone check our Twitter updates and Facebook accounts and Flickr friends. And even if we have the time, do we need another site that helps us share and connect and network?”
CS4 is Here
From eismann-sf: “Adobe released CS4 yesterday. Congratulations to all those involved. From the XD perspective, this is an incredibly important release for one main reason: the CS application framework has become more unified across the point-products. In CS3, Flash, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator all adopted the similar workspace design patterns, but Fireworks and Dreamweaver retained their former Macromedia pattern. But now, in CS4, all the apps have adopted the a common workspace design pattern, which itself is updated. ”
Lazarides descends on New York City with “The Outsiders – New York”
From ukstreetart: “Lazarides are currently dominating the UK street art gallery scene and they’ve decided it’s about time they head over the Atlantic and start owning stateside. They’re going to be opening a pop-up show in New York’s Bowery and will be bringing together their artists in a unique show of some very lively work.”
The Balloon Project
From Process: “I wanted to take aerial shots over the streets New York so I spent the last few months designing, building, and rethinking of ways to not only get my camera up in the air, but to make it fire some shots when it was up there.”
Design Observer’s Fifth Aniversary Party: 11.05
From Design Observer: “Design Observer will celebrate five years with a party in New York City on Wednesday, November 5. The party will take place at Element (the beautiful 19th century bank building that became the Jasper Johns studio), located at 225 East Houston Street.”
From Kitsune Noir: “One of my favorite things to see in a student’s portfolio of work is a really cool book. For Sarah Kahn, a recent graduate of Pennighen Easg in Paris, this meant creating a book around “the emotional intellect delivered by some computing tool and functions.” That sounds pretty ominous and slightly vague to me, but what she created was a book that takes the digital world and makes it physical.”
New York Designs 2008 Threshold
From The Architectural League of New York: “The Architectural League created the New York Designs juried lecture series in 2003 to provide a forum for the presentation of innovative and accomplished work built in New York City. This year’s theme, ‘threshold,’ focuses on projects whose design mediates distinct conditions.”
Vancouver 2010 Graphic Identity
From vancouver2010: “The Host Country of every Olympic and Paralympic Games tells a unique story of culture and imagination through design and artistry. The Vancouver 2010 graphic identity seeks to unify and beautify the Games with a consistent look and feel throughout all its environments and communications. It will also allow VANOC to leave a mark in memories and in photos. Seen on the design of vancouver2010.com, brochures and publications, merchandise and uniforms, the graphic identity elements will eventually appear on buildings, street signs, banners and venues, dressing the city and venues in colour during Games time.”
Inside Google’s Design Process
From Businessweek: “While many eyes are trained on Mountain View for the official release of the new G1/Android phone from Google and T-Mobile, I got an insight into Google’s design process from the company’s VP of Product Management, Sundar Pichai, and Group Product Manager, Brian Rakowski. These two spearheaded the launch of Chrome, a browser I’m truthfully still getting used to, but whose design certainly adheres to the company’s overarching philosophy of superficial simplicity disguising sophisticated functionality (for an indepth look at Chrome’s development, check out this really fine Wired article by Steven Levy.)”
About: “I was designed by the nice people at DIY Kyoto to help you do more for the environment. And to do it in style. Of course, they also know you won’t mind saving yourself 5% to 20% on your annual electricity bills, either. With my friend holmes, I look at the energy your home is using, show you usage in graphs and charts, and help you figure out ways to save electricity.”
About: “”Slacker Uprising” takes place in the wake of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” during the run-up to the 2004 election, as I traveled for 42 days across America, visiting 62 cities in a failed attempt to remove George W. Bush from office. My goal was to help turn out a record number of young voters and others who had never voted before.”
Aaron Koblin – The Sheep Market
About: “TheSheepMarket.com is a collection of 10,000 sheep made by workers on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Workers were paid 0.02 ($USD) to “draw a sheep facing to the left.” Animations of each sheep’s creation may be viewed at TheSheepMarket.com.”
Poster Boy NYC’s photostream
About: “Eventually I will stop this art form. By that time I hope that I’ve inspired enough people where I don’t have to participate in order to see the change that is “needed”. I always encourage people to take matters into their own hands. So pick up a razor and reclaim your visual territory.”
FOX Launches ‘Terminator’-themed, location-based MMORPG
From touch arcade: “FOX Broadcasting has launched a web and iPhone-based game called Ambush [App Store] that ties to its TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Ambush is a simplistic MMORPG that places the player in a virtual city and relies upon real-time iPhone GPS location information to track players within the game world.”
Muxtape – relaunching soon, in the service of bands
UPDATE: “I love music. I believe that for people who love music, the desire to share it is innate and crucial for music itself. When we find a song we love, we beckon our friends over to the turntable, we loan them the CD, we turn up the car stereo, we put it on a mixtape. We do this because music makes us feel and we want someone else to feel it, too.”
When Did We Start Trusting Strangers
From chroma: “Impressive presentation summarizing a massive worldwide study of Social Media and Influence, from the folks at Universal McCann. Nothing too surprising, but the figures are staggering, and the visuals are awfully purty.”
About: We like animation and games so much we thought we’d make this site.
While I didn’t spend my entire trip to Toronto walking around nor when did I do walk get off the main roads, from where I was I didn’t see that much street art that made me stop and go “nice” compared to what I’ve seen in NYC. With that said I’m always impressed w/ the more guerilla art that subverts advertising for it’s own purposes in Canada. Typically I’ve felt that in NYC it’s more about taking a marker and knocking out teeth or changing the face up a bit for laughs. In Toronto I’ve always found some really good examples that take a knife to social issues that advertising alone really couldn’t tell on it’s own. It’s also perhaps telling from my pov that those created on the street could never be entered in an awards show, so the creators aren’t already thinking awards entry like some of the more generic stuff that is submitted as such.
With the four images that I’ve posted, the first two were taken in Toronto while the third and fourth were taken in SoHo yesterday. I really thought the first one was a great use of paint w/ a couple key words. I like how after the first poster they switched up the position of the red X’s and straight lines to cross out things. The second image has great impact w/ a minimal amount of ink. Aside from some of the more trivial subversive marker work on ads in NYC, you can also find some gems that tell it like it is. I luv the fact that “shit is coming” stickers is nothing more than a couple words that kind of say what they mean with out any embellishment.
While you might not know the great blog http://eatingsandwiches.com/ just yet, friend Jody Sugrue has been on fire with great commentary on design. Her latest find comes via Buenos Aires with some unbelievable stop motion animation that took a couple months to put together by the artist BLU. Be sure to watch the video with the sound cranked up. There’s also a great site to explore more stuff at http://blublu.org/
It’s too early to tell if this will be the new “next big thing” or not, but earlier this week I saw the above sticker sans facial features. This morning I saw a poster with the same concept. Stuff like that is begging for interaction – I hope people that are carrying jiffy markers in their pockets will add their own interpretations of what a face should be. It will be interesting to see if the idea of diy faces picks up…
If you’re a visual person it’s hard not to keep your eyes open as you take in the environment around you. This is especially true if you’ve spent anytime in New York walking around. There’s so much to take in; people watching, looking skyward to the tops of buildings, and of course checking out the street art on poles, signs and walls. I’ve always appreciated that form of communication that straddles the legal boundaries of art in public space. So now more than ever I enjoy keeping an eye open for street art and stickers. I walk daily to work in SoHo and the fact that I have an iPhone that allows me to take pictures fast and the ability to upload them to flickr and to my tumblr account even faster keeps my eyes open. The pace and speed of myself taking those shots is matched by the sheer number of new things that grow on the poles and walls I see on a daily basis. Aside from appreciating that work, I really don’t have any background knowledge to the people behind what they do. On one level there’s a level of anonymousness to it though it’s fairly easy to pick out tendencies after a while. There’s also a lot of online information but you have to know where to look. When I noticed that PEEL: The Art of the Sticker by Dave & Holly Combs was being created I contacted the publisher for a copy to review. I was hoping that someone like me coming in w/ fresh eyes that wanted to learn more could get a lot from the book.
The book comes from the same people that publish the magazine PEEL. They’ve taken content from the magazine and clustered it into seven different areas. Those areas were 1. Social/Ploitical, 2. Characters, 3. PEEL (taking on the logo of PEEL), 4. Stencil, Spray & Drawings, 5. Contests, 6. Blackbook and 7. Toys. Each of those sections is backed up with interviews with artists and shows examples of their stickers (and toys). At times I felt like they were constrained with either showing too many examples or not enough visuals on a page. It’s a challenge when showing stuff that’s meant to be outside in the real world and then becomes replicated on a page. I think they were at their best when they didn’t let the computer hold them back and they let the content break the space like the interview they did with Me Love. It was a simple replication of a handwritten note that was the interview. As for the interviews themselves, after a while the questions started to feel similar which felt repetitive.
A book like PEEL is quite important because it becomes a document over time to temporal work. When you see street art and stickers you never know if they will still be there the next day. One thing that I wished each of the stickers had contained information-wise was the date and location that the image was taken. Some of the stickers felt out of context to me in that I didn’t know where the sticker was from nor the time frame in an easy way to see. Was this sticker five years old or maybe it was placed a couple months ago? It would have been cool to see a map at the back of the book with dots of all the cities that the stickers from the book came from. On the flip side i found it quite helpful that most of the artist’s interviewed had url’s to their site.
After reading PEEL I feel that I have a better understanding to what I’m seeing with stickers, but I think the idea of the book could have been pushed much further. Aside from interviews which I mentioned that started to feel the same, I would have loved to have heard more stories on their experiences. Like how an artist decided on the location to place a sticker, how often they went back to see if the stickers had changed, more about their process, dealing with printers, how they evolved their styles over time, did websites and online forums influence them – just general stuff like that. As ambitious of a book as it is, I also wondered if they had missed some of the more well known people out there.
Of all the street out that I come across walking around, Space Invader is probably my fav. Not too sure if it’s to the pixel like nature, self restraint, the aesthetics or maybe all of the above. I’m also a fan of the High Line concept and am looking forward to being able to walk once it opens to the public. Unfortunately when High Line started to get refurbished behind Chelsea Market an older piece of Space Invader got destroyed. I was happy to see last week (and took a picture today) that a new Space Invader piece has appeared near where the old one used to be.
While the Air Bear video starts off kind of slow it’s quite amazing to see what happens between a constructed bag and air and how lifelike it becomes. Video recorded by the artist Joshua Allen Harris himself, the only thing I wished he had down while recording is show the expressions of people walking by.
Typically patterns arise when you see something in a similar manner 3 or more times. But for me that seems a bit slow. If I see something in a pair – why not declare it as a pattern? With that said I’d like to offer up these two posters that I saw walking around. Using printed newspaper is kind of an interesting idea. It’s everywhere and yet when placed together with some low fi methods of communication that stands out (or at least to me). I like the contrast of wax pencil and b/w photocopier.