Choros: A Transfixing Experimental Dance Film by Michael Langan & Terah Maher | Colossal

 

Choros from Michael Langan on Vimeo.

Released three weeks ago after a year on tour at various film festivals, Choros is the latest experimental art film from director Michael Langan the explores the movement of the human body, specifically the motion of dancer Terah Maher. Choros follows in the steps of Eadweard Muybridge, Etienne-Jules Marey, and Norman McLaren, all of whom spent years studying the physical moment of animals and humans through film. Langan takes the next step using new digital innovations to layer some 32 sequential instances of a single movement and then stretch it out over time. Set to Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, the 13-minute video is pulsating, hypnotic, and flat out lovely to watch. 

 

Choros: A Transfixing Experimental Dance Film by Michael Langan & Terah Maher | Colossal.

Time-lapse Images of Nude Dancers Created with 10,000 Individual Photographs Colossal

Time-lapse Images of Nude Dancers Created with 10,000 Individual Photographs

NY-based photographer Shinichi Maruyama created these lovely photographs using nearly 10,000 individual photographs of a nude dancer in motion. The abstract images remind me of Japanese ink wash painting, as if the figures were cread by the stroke of a thick brush, which is not unsuprising considering Maruyama’s previous work with water sculptures. Of the photos Shin says:

I tried to capture the beauty of both the human body’s figure and its motion. The figure in the image, which is formed into something similar to a sculpture, is created by combining 10,000 individual photographs of a dancer. By putting together uninterrupted individual moments, the resulting image as a whole will appear to be something different from what actually exists. With regard to these two viewpoints, a connection can be made to a human being’s perception of presence in life.

See much more on his website. All images courtesy the artist. (via kottke, petapixel)

via Time-lapse Images of Nude Dancers Created with 10,000 Individual Photographs Colossal.

Show: Word Art Collective

Some of my video and photography-based typographic work will be shown by the Word Art Collective at the Hoxton Arches from Wednesday 21st November to Saturday 8th December 2012.

The Word Art Collective is a non-profit initiative established by a group of curators and writers based in London, generously supported by the European Commission and partner gallery Hoxton Arches.

The show is curated as an exhibition of art and design by artists whose work explores the theme of European identity, taking as its base an interest in language.

Venue
The exhibition is to be held at Hoxton Arches, Arch 402, on the edge of Shoreditch.
Arch 402
Cremer Street
London
E2 8HD

saudi arabia bir hima petroglyphs | Flickr – Photo Sharing!

The pre-Islamic rock art of Arabia at Bir Hima, carved into the eastern foothills of the Asir Mountains, is one of the most important rock art sites in Saudi Arabia. Most of what youll see dates from around 5500 BC, athough there are more recent examples scattered around.

via saudi arabia bir hima petroglyphs | Flickr – Photo Sharing!.

Moth Trails at Night | Colossal

 

Ontario-based ceramicist Steve Irvine caught this wonderful long exposure shot of fluttering moths swirling around a floodlight at night. Via National Geographic:

Fluttering wings leave lacy trails as moths beat their way to a floodlight on a rural Ontario lawn. The midsummer night’s exposure, held for 20 seconds, captured some of the hundreds of insects engaged in a nocturnal swarm.

Moth Trails at Night | Colossal.

Some images from the Workshop at Gerald Moore Gallery

A really nice alchemy ran through that Summer School workshop on sunday; by the time I picked up my camera, I went back outside to find people who didn’t know each other performing words and letters, and brainstorming on possible messages involving alternative post-Olympic messages and the Pussy Riot.

The Free Pussy Riot one, below, has since been very broadly shared by Amnesty International UK, amongst others, on Twitter.

The workshop was curated by George Vasey; Summer School was curated by Rosie Cooper & realised by Fay Nicolson.

Summer School: Free workshop at the Gerald Moore Gallery

Want to protest? Tell a story?
We are looking for between 10-15 volunteers to join us for a performative typographic workshop at the Gerald Moore gallery on Sunday August the 12th. Working with the body’s potential to form new words through movement and gesture, it will be your chance to take part in a living work of art.

I will be leading a three hour workshop and participants will be invited to work together to create a collaborative public performance on the day.

Sunday 12th August 2012
12-5pm

Workshop, 12th of August 2012

We want people to bring ideas along and work together as a group. It will be a fun day, and we will provide lunch and refreshments as well as a souvenir.

The workshop curated by George Vasey
Summer School is curated by Rosie Cooper and realised by Fay Nicolson

Booklet designed by Kaisa Lassinaro

http://www.geraldmooregallery.org/sub-links/letterform-for-the-ephemeral-expanded/

Sunday 12th August
The workshop starts at 12pm; phrases will be performed from 3pm
Gerald Moore Gallery at Eltham College
Mottingham Lane
Mottingham
SE9 4QF

Edwin Deen’s Multi-Colored Sprinkler Paints On-demand Rainbows

 

Photo © Edwin Deen, Niels Post, Ampelhaus

Using some color pigment, an electric tap, a few meters of hose and a plain garden sprinkler, Deen transformed a simple garden sprinkler into a smile-inducing artistic device. I have the sudden urge to put on a white painter’s uniform and start prancing through this thing. The rainbow sprinkler will be on display at BARRY at the W in Amsterdam starting August 30th. All images courtesy the artist. And if you like this, also check out the Robo Rainbow. (via my amp goes to 11)

A Multi-Colored Sprinkler Paints On-demand Rainbows | Colossal.

Kurt Perschke’s Giant Inflatable RedBall UK Project | Colossal

 

via Video Timelapse of Kurt Perschke’s Giant Inflatable RedBall UK Project | Colossal.

 This summer, New York artist Kurt Perschke brought his famous RedBall project to the UK for the first time, installing his massive inflatable red ball in a total of 20 sites around the country. Photos of the public installations flooded the news and photo sharing sites likeFlickr and Instagram, and I tried to live vicariously through them and imagine what it might be like to stand in the completely transformed spaces inhabited by this giant red sphere. Lucky for us filmmaker Danny Cooke was on hand during the entire RedBall UK trip and edited together this fantastic timelapse of the installation as it moved from location to location around the country. I recommend sitting back and watching it much larger for the full effect.

Luke Evans & Josh Lake: I am a camera

We’ve seen some odd student projects in our time here at CR, but this must go down as one of the oddest: two Kingston students created human photograms by swallowing 35mm film, then, erm, expelling it, and recording the results

Luke Evans (above) and and Josh Lake (below) are in the final first year of the BA Graphic Design & Photography at Kingston University. For their final major project they “wanted to bring our insides out” they say. “So we ate 35mm photographic film slides and let our bodies do the rest.”

Both students ate pieces of 35mm slide film, ‘expelled’ it in the dark, fixed the silver and then scanned the pieces using an electron microscope in order to record the traces their bodies had left on the film’s surface.

“The full-sized images are 10,000 pixels on the longest edge, allowing you to see every detail of what our bodies produced,” they say, as can be seen from this shot of the work on show.

See more of Luke Evans’ work here

And Josh Lake’s here

 

Creative Review – I am a camera.

تضاريس / Relief / Tadariss

This picture of human arabic typography, reading تضاريس/Relief/Tadariss, was taken on the first day of a seminar on 3D typography I gave at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts in Beirut, Lebanon.

Working with Masters students in Art Direction and Multimedia, we a created choreography-based pluri-alphabetic piece allowing a group of people posing as human letterforms to express a word in English, then in French, and finally in Arabic in a few moves, reflecting on the Lebanese multi-lingual culture.

Descriptive Camera – Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson created a camera which doesn’t deliver a photo but a description of the photo it made. Eh what? After the shutter button is pressed, the Descriptive Camera sends the photo to Amazons Mechanical Turk for processing. Somewhere someone receives this photo and writes a short description about what’s on the photo, that person receives a small payment for this task. As soon as that text comes back, a thermal printer outputs the result in the style of a polaroid print.

How cool is that!

via Descriptive Camera – today and tomorrow.

Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Beirut, Lebanon

Alba 75 ans

The ALBA, where I was giving a one-week seminar on typography last month,
is celebrating its 75th anniversary next week.

For this occasion, the school asked me and the students to prepare something
to go on the massive banner that will cover the building during the festivities;
above is a sneak pic of the making of.
More soon.

Robert Bringhurst: What is reading for?

 

A nonmaterial definition of the book comes hand in hand, it seems to me, with a nonmaterial definition of reading. In the widest sense, I think the term simply means paying attention to what’s in front of you and trying to make sense of it. Fish do this as they swim through the water. Birds do it as they fly through the air or sit in the trees or on lam post waiting for breakfast. Earthworms do it as they poke through the sod, and I do it, not only in the library but also when I’m listening to those birds or looking at the water and thinking about those fish.

This foundational kind of reading is much older than the oldest protoliterate inscriptions, older than human language, older than the first, nameless primates, climbing around in the trees in northern Africa some sixty million years ago.

Robert Bringhurst on the future of reading « Felt & Wire.

Typographic match-making in the city

Street politics is the modern urban theater of contention par excellence […] Simultaneously social and spatial, constant and current, a place of both, the familiar and the stranger, the visible and the vocal, the street represents a complex entity wherein sentiments and outlook are formed, spread and expressed in a unique fashion.

Asef Bayat

khtt.net

Edited by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares
Khatt Books, Amsterdam 2010
Highly illustrated 396 pages in color
Languages: Dutch, English, Arabic
Size: 21 cm x 28 cm
Soft cover with flaps

The Typographic Matchmaking in the City project is a design research project investigating new approaches for bilingual lettering and poetic narrative for public space.

 

The Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography is a cultural foundation and design research center dedicated to advancing design and typography in the Middle East, North Africa and their diaspora, and to building cross-cultural creative networks.

 

Le monde arabe en révolution(s) – Rima Marrouch : « La guerre des graffiti en Syrie »

 

Parallèlement à la violence de la répression, une deuxième guerre fait rage : la guerre des graffiti pour le contrôle des images et des slogans. Les murs se font le champ de bataille des graffeurs pro et anti gouvernementaux. Dans le Midan, au centre de Damas, un quartier autrefois célèbre pour ses restaurants, les murs sont recouverts de peinture noire pour couvrir les slogans anti-gouvernementaux.

« Des amis m’ont dit avoir lu le slogan ‘A bas Bashar !’ à Damas. Apparemment, les forces de sécurité étaient plutôt paresseuses, elles ont uniquement recouvert ‘A bas’ et ont laissé ‘Bashar’ », raconte un activiste syrien.

Le monde arabe en révolution(s) – Rima Marrouch : « La guerre des graffiti en

Syrie ».

Les choses, Georges Perec, 1956, extrait

 

Jérôme avait vingt-quatre ans, Sylvie en avait vingt-deux. Ils étaient tous les deux psychosociologues. Ce travail, qui n’était pas exactement un métier, ni même une profession, consistait à interviewer des gens, selon diverses techniques, sur des sujets variés. C’était un travail difficile, qui exigeait, pour le moins, une forte concentration nerveuse, mais il ne manquait pas d’intérêt, était relativement bien payé, et leur laissait un temps libre appréciable.

Comme presque tous leurs collègues, Jérôme et Sylvie étaient devenus psychosociologues par nécessité, non par choix. Nul ne sait d’ailleurs où les aurait menés le libre développement d’inclinations tout à fait indolentes. L’histoire, là encore, avait choisi pour eux. Ils auraient aimé, certes, comme tout le monde, se consacrer à quelque chose, sentir en eux un besoin puissant, qu’ils auraient appelé vocation, une ambition qui les aurait soulevés, une passion qui les aurait comblés. Hélas, ils ne s’en connaissaient qu’une: celle du mieux-vivre, et elle les épuisait. Etudiants, la perspective d’une pauvre licence, d’un poste à Nogent-sur-Seine, à Château-Thierry ou à Etampes, et d’un salaire petit, les épouvanta au point qu’à peine se furent-ils rencontrés – Jérôme avait alors vingt et un ans, Sylvie dix-neuf – ils abandonnèrent, sans presque avoir besoin de se concerter, des études qu’ils n’avaient jamais vraiment commencées. Le désir de savoir ne les dévorait pas; beaucoup plus humblement, et sans se dissimuler qu’ils avaient sans doute tort, et que, tôt ou tard, viendrait le jour où ils le regretteraient, ils ressentaient le besoin d’une chambre un peu plus grande, d’eau courante, d’une douche, de repas plus variés, ou simplement plus copieux que ceux des restaurants universitaires, d’une voiture peut-être, de disques, de vacances, de vêtements.

Depuis plusieurs années déjà, les études de motivation avaient fait leur apparition en France. Cette année-là, elles étaient encore en pleine expansion. De nouvelles agences se créaient chaque mois, à partir de rien, ou presque. On y trouvait facilement du travail. Il s’agissait, la plupart du temps, d’aller dans les jardins publics, à la sortie des écoles, ou dans les H.L.M. de banlieue, demander à des mères de famille si elles avaient remarqué quelque publicité récente, et ce qu’elles en pensaient. Ces sondages-express, appelés testings ou enquêtes-minute, étaient payés cent francs. C’était peu, mais c’était mieux que le baby-sitting, que les gardes de nuit, que la plonge, que tous les emplois dérisoires – distribution de prospectus, écritures, minutage d’émissions publicitaires, vente à la sauvette, lumpen-tapirat – traditionnellement réservés aux étudiants. Et puis, la jeunesse même des agences, leur stade presque artisanal, la nouveauté des méthodes, la pénurie encore totale d’éléments qualifiés pouvaient laisser entrevoir l’espoir de promotions rapides, d’ascensions vertigineuses.

Ce n’était pas un mauvais calcul. Ils passèrent quelques mois à administrer des questionnaires. Puis il se trouva un directeur d’agence qui, pressé par le temps, leur fit confiance: ils partirent en province, un magnétophone sous le bras; quelques-uns de leurs compagnons de route, à peine leurs aînés, les initièrent aux techniques, à vrai dire moins difficiles que ce que l’on suppose généralement, des interviews ouvertes et fermées: ils apprirent à faire parler les autres, et à mesurer leurs propres paroles; ils surent déceler, sous les hésitations embrouillées, sous les silences confus, sous les allusions timides, les chemins qu’il fallait explorer; ils percèrent les secrets de ce «hm» universel, véritable intonation magique, par lequel l’interviewer ponctue le discours de l’interviewé, le met en confiance, le comprend, l’encourage, l’interroge, le menace même parfois.

Leurs résultats furent honorables. Ils continuèrent sur leur lancée. Ils ramassèrent un peu partout des bribes de sociologie, de psychologie, de statistiques; ils assimilèrent le vocabulaire et les signes, les trucs qui faisaient bien: une certaine manière, pour Sylvie, de mettre ou d’enlever ses lunettes, une certaine manière de prendre des notes, de feuilleter un rapport, une certaine manière de parler, d’intercaler dans leurs conversations avec les patrons, sur un ton à peine interrogateur, des locutions du genre de: «… n’est-ce pas…», «… je pense peut-être…», «… dans une certaine mesure…», «… c’est une question que je pose…», une certaine manière de citer, aux moments opportuns, Wright Mills, William Whyte, ou, mieux encore, Lazarsfeld, Cantril ou Herbert Hyman, dont ils n’avaient pas lu trois pages.

Ils montrèrent pour ces acquisitions strictement nécessaires, qui étaient l’a b c du métier, d’excellentes dispositions et, un an à peine après leurs premiers contacts avec les études de motivation, on leur confia la lourde responsabilité d’une «analyse de contenu»: c’était immédiatement au-dessous de la direction générale d’une étude, obligatoirement réservée à un cadre sédentaire, le poste le plus élevé, donc le plus cher, et partant le plus noble, de toute la hiérarchie. Au cours des années qui suivirent, ils ne descendirent plus guère de ces hauteurs.

Et pendant quatre ans, peut-être plus, ils explorèrent, interviewèrent, analysèrent. Pourquoi les aspirateurs-traîneaux se vendent-ils si mal? Que pense-t-on, dans les milieux de modeste extraction, de la chicorée? Aime-t-on la purée toute faite, et pourquoi? Parce qu’elle est légère? Parce qu’elle est onctueuse? Parce qu’elle est si facile à faire: un geste et hop? Trouve-t-on vraiment que les voitures d’enfant sont chères? N’est-on pas toujours prêt à faire un sacrifice pour le confort des petits? Comment votera la Française? Aime-t-on le fromage en tube? Est-on pour ou contre les transports en commun? A quoi fait-on d’abord attention en mangeant un yaourt: à la couleur? à la consistance? au goût? au parfum naturel? Lisez-vous beaucoup, un peu, pas du tout? Allez-vous au restaurant? Aimeriez-vous, madame, donner en location votre chambre à un Noir? Que pense-t-on, franchement, de la retraite des vieux? Que pense la jeunesse? Que pensent les cadres? Que pense la femme de trente ans? Que pensez-vous des vacances? Où passez-vous vos vacances? Aimez-vous les plats surgelés? Combien pensez-vous que ça coûte, un briquet comme ça? Quelles qualités demandez-vous à votre matelas? Pouvez-vous me décrire un homme qui aime les pâtes? Que pensez-vous de votre machine à laver? Est-ce que vous en êtes satisfaite? Est-ce qu’elle ne mousse pas trop? Est-ce qu’elle lave bien? Est-ce qu’elle déchire le linge? Est-ce qu’elle sèche le linge? Est-ce que vous préféreriez une machine à laver qui sécherait votre linge aussi? Et la sécurité à la mine, est-elle bien faite, ou pas assez selon vous? (Faire parler le sujet: demandez-lui de raconter des exemples personnels; des choses qu’il a vues; est-ce qu’il a déjà été blessé lui-même? comment ça s’est passé? Et son fils, est-ce qu’il sera mineur comme son père, ou bien quoi?)

Il y eut la lessive, le linge qui sèche, le repassage. Le gaz, l’électricité, le téléphone. Les enfants. Les vêtements et les sous-vêtements. La moutarde. Les soupes en sachets, les soupes en boîtes. Les cheveux: comment les laver, comment les teindre, comment les faire tenir, comment les faire briller. Les étudiants, les ongles, les sirops pour la toux, les machines à écrire, les engrais, les tracteurs, les loisirs, les cadeaux, la papeterie, le blanc, la politique, les autoroutes, les boissons alcoolisées, les eaux minérales, les fromages et les conserves, les lampes et les rideaux, les assurances, le jardinage.

Rien de ce qui était humain ne leur fut étranger.

Pour la première fois, ils gagnèrent quelque argent. Leur travail ne leur plaisait pas: aurait-il pu leur plaire? Il ne les ennuyait pas trop non plus. Ils avaient l’impression de beaucoup y apprendre. D’année en année, il les transforma.

Ce furent les grandes heures de leur conquête. Ils n’avaient rien; ils découvraient les richesses du monde.

Ils avaient longtemps été parfaitement anonymes. Ils étaient vêtus comme des étudiants, c’est-à-dire mal. Sylvie d’une unique jupe, de chandails laids, d’un pantalon de velours, d’un duffle-coat, Jérôme d’une canadienne crasseuse, d’un complet de confection, d’une cravate lamentable. Ils se plongèrent avec ravissement dans la mode anglaise. Ils découvrirent les lainages, les chemisiers de soie, les chemises de Doucet, les cravates en voile, les carrés de soie, le tweed, le lambswool, le cashmere, le vicuna, le cuir et le jersey, le lin, la magistrale hiérarchie des chaussures, enfin, qui mène des Churchs aux Weston, des Weston aux Bunting, et des Bunting aux Lobb.

Leur rêve fut un voyage à Londres. Ils auraient partagé leur temps entre la National Gallery, Saville Row, et certain pub de Church Street dont Jérôme avait gardé le souvenir ému. Mais ils n’étaient pas encore assez riches pour s’y habiller de pied en cap. A Paris, avec le premier argent qu’à la sueur de leur front allègrement ils gagnèrent, Sylvie fit l’emplette d’un corsage en soie tricotée de chez Cornuel, d’un twin-set importé en lambswool, d’une jupe droite et stricte, de chaussures en cuir tressé d’une souplesse extrême, et d’un grand carré de soie décoré de paons et de feuillages. Jérôme, bien qu’il aimât encore, à l’occasion, traîner en savates, mal rasé, vêtu de vieilles chemises sans col et d’un pantalon de toile, découvrit, soignant les contrastes, les plaisirs des longues matinées: se baigner, se raser de près, s’asperger d’eau de toilette, enfiler, la peau encore légèrement humide, des chemises impeccablement blanches, nouer des cravates de laine ou de soie. Il en acheta trois, chez Old England, et aussi une veste en tweed, des chemises en solde, et des chaussures dont il pensait n’avoir pas à rougir.

Puis, ce fut presque une des grandes dates de leur vie, ils découvrirent le marché aux Puces. Des chemises Arrow ou Van Heusen, admirables, à long col boutonnant, alors introuvables à Paris, mais que les comédies américaines commençaient à populariser (du moins parmi cette frange restreinte qui trouve son bonheur dans les comédies américaines), s’y étalaient en pagaille, à côté de trench-coats réputés indestructibles, de jupes, de chemisiers, de robes de soie, de vestes de peau, de mocassins de cuir souple. Ils y allèrent chaque quinzaine, le samedi matin, pendant un an ou plus, fouiller dans les caisses, dans les étals, dans les amas, dans les cartons, dans les parapluies renversés, au milieu d’une cohue de teen-agers à rouflaquettes, d’Algériens vendeurs de montres, de touristes américains qui, sortis des yeux de verre, des huit-reflets et des chevaux de bois du marché Vernaison, erraient, un peu effarés, dans le marché Malik, contemplant, à côté des vieux clous, des matelas, des carcasses de machines, des pièces détachées, l’étrange destin des surplus fatigués de leurs plus prestigieux shirt-makers. Et ils ramenaient des vêtements de toutes sortes, enveloppés dans du papier journal, des bibelots, des parapluies, des vieux pots, des sacoches, des disques.
Ils changeaient, ils devenaient autres. Ce n’était pas tellement le besoin, d’ailleurs réel, de se différencier de ceux qu’ils avaient à charge d’interviewer, de les impressionner sans les éblouir. Ni non plus parce qu’ils rencontraient beaucoup de gens, parce qu’ils sortaient, pour toujours, leur semblait-il, des milieux qui avaient été les leurs. Mais l’argent – une telle remarque est forcément banale – suscitait des besoins nouveaux. Ils auraient été surpris de constater, s’ils y avaient un instant réfléchi – mais, ces années-là, ils ne réfléchirent point – à quel point s’était transformée la vision qu’ils avaient de leur propre corps, et, au-delà, de tout ce qui les concernait, de tout ce qui leur importait, de tout ce qui était en train de devenir leur monde.

Tout était nouveau. Leur sensibilité, leurs goûts, leur place, tout les portait vers des choses qu’ils avaient toujours ignorées. Ils faisaient attention à la manière dont les autres étaient habillés; ils remarquaient aux devantures les meubles, les bibelots, les cravates; ils rêvaient devant les annonces des agents immobiliers. Il leur semblait comprendre des choses dont ils ne s’étaient jamais occupés: il leur était devenu important qu’un quartier, qu’une rue soit triste ou gaie, silencieuse ou bruyante, déserte ou animée. Rien, jamais, ne les avait préparés à ces préoccupations nouvelles; ils les découvraient, avec candeur, avec enthousiasme, s’émerveillant de leur longue ignorance. Ils ne s’étonnaient pas, ou presque pas, d’y penser presque sans cesse.

Les chemins qu’ils suivaient, les valeurs auxquelles ils s’ouvraient, leurs perspectives, leurs désirs, leurs ambitions, tout cela, il est vrai, leur semblait parfois désespérément vide. Ils ne connaissaient rien qui ne fût fragile ou confus. C’était pourtant leur vie, c’était la source d’exaltations inconnues, plus que grisantes, c’était quelque chose d’immensément, d’intensément ouvert. Ils se disaient parfois que la vie qu’ils mèneraient aurait le charme, la souplesse, la fantaisie des comédies américaines, des génériques de Saül Bass; et des images merveilleuses, lumineuses, de champs de neige immaculés striés de traces de skis, de mer bleue, de soleil, de vertes collines, de feux pétillant dans des cheminées de pierre, d’autoroutes audacieuses, de pullmans, de palaces, les effleuraient comme autant de promesses.

Ils abandonnèrent leur chambre et les restaurants universitaires. Ils trouvèrent à louer, au numéro 7 de la rue de Quatrefages, en face de la Mosquée, tout près du Jardin des Plantes, un petit appartement de deux pièces qui donnait sur un joli jardin. Ils eurent envie de moquettes, de tables, de fauteuils, de divans.

An article by Cheryl Yau for PrintMag

As pedestrians meander swiftly through urban grids, confronting billboards, scrolling through incoming texts and saturated Twitter feeds simultaneously, London-based designer Amandine Alessandra demands that they pause…with the use of typography.

Eager to step away from digital fonts and ubiquitous desktop publishing software, Alessandra frequently turns to the urban environment, found objects and the human body as a resource for typography. She calls herself a live-type maker. “I have nothing against computers. I use lots of programs and I’m not saying one shouldn’t use them,” she explains, “I just think it’s nice to question your tools.” Alessandra’s typographic work not only challenges her viewers to consider the tools they use to communicate, but to be open minded about what letters could look like. Distorted by low-tech and unrefined methods of construction, each letter designed by Alessandra depends on the reader’s imagination for interpretation. “It’s accepting that if it looks vaguely like an A, it can be an A,” Alessandra states. “I think it’s a very postmodern approach to typography.”

Amandine_Alessandra_wearable_typo

Inviting her audience to think and look more closely at the letterforms has been an ongoing goal in Alessandra’s work. Her latest project Dance with Me utilizes long exposure photography to capture letterforms created by micro-choreographed movements. Clothed entirely in black, each dancer uses quick short motions to draw a letter in the air with their hands. Each letter is a ghosted silhouette – the result of repetitive movement accumulated in a single static image. Coming from a background of photography, Alessandra prefers to use long exposure or stop motion over video to capture movement. “I find that video is quite difficult to share. Because you really take a lot of people’s time, even if it’s 10 seconds. People have very very low attention these days.”

Sharing is an important aspect to Alessandra therefore she often tries to organize performances in public spaces, stopping people in their tracks with her typographic installations. In 2010, as the final project for her masters at London College of Communication, Alessandra orchestrated an assembly of eight people to mimic a real-time digital clock in Liverpool Street Station. Dressed in black and a lime green bolero, each performer bent their arms and torsos to act out the numbers. Even amidst the rush hour crowds on a Friday evening, the group was able to attract curiosity from passer-bys. “Some people thought we were selling something, so they were trying to understand what the advertising was for,” Alessandra recalls.

In an earlier iteration of the same project, Alessandra had her performers occupy the crossing at Abbey Road, and spell out words such as wait, pause and hold in front of oncoming cars. She compares the Letterform for the Ephemeral project to guerilla advertising or an analog Tweet, as it allows her to disperse short messages at a very large scale without it being illegal. “It’s a bit like graffiti,” she says, “but it doesn’t damage anything.”

Alessandra draws inspiration for her activist typographic performances from a photograph of a student protest in May 1968, documented in Massin’s Letter and Image. Wearing big paper boxes with a letter written on each, the students gathered to spell something together. “If one of them was to be missing, the work wouldn’t mean anything anymore,” says Alessandra, who sees great value in collaboration and tries to use her work to facilitate collective experiences. “The idea of this typography was to question things, to question the passing of time, and to question how we can need each other to spread a message.” Her work draws attention and interaction, serving as social commentary of the current culture of speed.

Amandine_Alessandra_Abbey_Road

At the time of her experimentation, Alessandra’s peers at school were skeptical her work would find any commercial application despite its visual appeal. But Euro RSCG Lisbon quickly reused her wearable letterforms for the launch of the site Optimus Kanguru, appropriating the bolero with bright colors. Alessandra’s use of the human form has appeared in numerous publications and her low-tech yet engaging work has caught the attention of many designers. Despite the abundance of media messages and overwhelming information we receive everyday, it seems Amandine Alessandra is a success in provoking us to pause for thought.

Side note: As I was finishing up this piece, I thought a lot about how Amandine drew her inspiration from a student protest, and how there is a very active protest among us right now…Occupy Wall Street! So this weekend I’m going to go with a few of my friends, and use Amandine’s medium to project the voice of the movement.

 

Read more: Pausing for Amandine Alessandra, By Cheryl Yau — Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers

http://imprint.printmag.com/inspiration/pausing-for-amandine-alessandra/

Shane McAdams: Ball Point Pen Paintings | ArtFlakes – Blog

 

 

 

 

Shane McAdams, an artist and writer living in Brooklyn, NY, created stunning paintings by just using ball point pens and resin. His technique involves some sort of elaborate method in which the chosen pen has its cartridge removed and its contents blown out on panels before the whole lot gets taken to a tanning salon for a bit of UV light-blasting.

via Shane McAdams: Ball Point Pen Paintings | ArtFlakes – Blog.

“My Favorite Museum Exhibit”: Butterflies eating a piranha

This is not a spot of whimsy, people. This kind of thing really does happen. In fact, you can watch a real-life example (with a less-threatening fish substituted in for the piranha) in a video taken in Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest.

The good news: The butterflies are not really carnivorous, per se. The bad news: What they’re actually doing is still pretty damn creepy.

It’s called “puddling” or “mud-puddling”. The basic idea works like this: Butterflies get most of their diet in the form of nectar. They’re pollinators. But nectar doesn’t have all the nutrients and minerals butterflies need to survive, so they have to dip their probosces into some other food sources, as well. Depending on the species of butterfly, those other sources can include: Mineral-rich water in a shallow mud puddle, animal poop, and (yes) carrion.

When butterflies puddle over a dead fish, though, they aren’t biting off chunks. Instead, they’re essentially licking the dead fish—going after salt and minerals that seep out of the dead animal as it decomposes. Bonus: Some butterflies also like to lick the sweat off of humans. And a few species of moth have been documented sucking blood and tears for living animals, including humans.

“My Favorite Museum Exhibit”: Butterflies eating a piranha – Boing Boing.

Shelf-Conscious, an article by Francesca Mari

 

Chris Killip, ‘The Library of Chained Books,’ Hereford Cathedral, Hereford, UK, 1992.

In the Middle Ages, when monasteries were the closest equivalent to a public library, monks kept works in their carrels. To increase circulation, these works were eventually chained to inclined desks, or lecterns, thus giving ownership of a work to a particular lectern rather than a particular monk. But as collections grew, surface space diminished, and books came to be stacked on shelves above the lectern, at first one and then many. The problem, of course, was that two books chained next to each another couldn’t be comfortably studied at the same time: elbows knocked; shackles clinked and tangled.

A selection from Odorico Pillone’s library with fore edges painted by Cesare Vecellio.

Hence the innovation of vertical storage. One book could be removed without disturbing the rest. Yet the transition was gradual. Books in monasteries retained their chains for some time, and many leather covers, particularly in private libraries, protruded irregularly, tricked-out as they were with embossing and jewels. Those books that did stand were oriented with their spines to the back of the shelf.

Sometimes an identifying design was drawn across the thick of the pages. A doctor of law just north of Venice named Odorico Pillone had Titian’s nephew, Cesare Vecellio, draw the fore edges of his books with scenes befitting their content. Other times a title label flagged off the inner edge of the cover or was affixed to the chain.

From The New York Times Shows You 65 Ways to Decorate with Books in Your Home, photographer unknown.

All text by Francesca Mari,

read all about it here: Paris Review – Shelf-Conscious, Francesca Mari.

Mandy Barker: SOUP

SOUP is a description given to plastic debris suspended in the sea,
and with particular reference to the mass accumulation that exists
in an area of The North Pacific Ocean known as the Garbage Patch.
The series of images aim to engage with, and stimulate an emotional
response in the viewer by combining a contradiction between initial
aesthetic attraction and social awareness. The sequence reveals a
narrative concerning oceanic plastics from initial attraction and
attempted ingestion, to the ultimate death of sea creatures and
representing the disturbing statistics of dispersed plastics having
no boundaries.

All the plastics photographed have been salvaged from beaches
around the world and represent a global collection of debris that
has existed for varying amounts of time in the world’s oceans.

The captions record the plastic ingredients in each image providing
the viewer with the realisation and facts of what exists in the sea.

Lover’s eyes

In the 18th and 19th centuries, wealthy British and European lovers exchanged “eye miniatures” — love tokens so clandestine that even now, in the majority of cases, it is impossible to identify their recipients or the people they depict.

Experts believe that there are fewer than 1,000 “lover’s eyes” in existence today.

Apparently, they were meant to be worn inside the lapel, near the heart. Damn romantic.

I discovered these just a few weeks ago in The Met’s Gallery 754 (one of my favorite parts of the new American Wing – all portrait miniatures). I’d love to see the show in Birmingham.

even*cleveland: lover’s eyes.

 

DesignMarketo—retrospection

Last December, DesignMarketo was invited to show its first retrospection (yes, somewhere between a retrospective and an introspection, it’s a retrospection), DesignMarketo en Barcelona at Otrascosas de Villarrosas gallery in Barcelona in December 2011. The exhibition space looked amazing, designed by Lars Frideen and Jordi Canudas (waiting for pictures here! Anyone?), and featured a variety of products launched during various events organised, the BookSetting poster being one of them.

On this occasion, DesignMarketo also launched its first book, (designed by DesignMarketo themselves!) presenting designers, products and events from the main events organised so far. It includes an introduction text by Brit Leissler and the photographs I’ve been taking for DesignMarketo those past 3 years.

A4, 64pages, printed laser & Riso as an edition of 100 only.
Get it from here!

Thomas Forsyth: Drawing tops

Drawing Tops
A spinning-top, that uses a pen as the spindle, represents many of the core ideas behind my current work. It is recognisable, un-intimidating, and invites people to interact with objects that can lead to unpredictable results, or an emergent property. Simply through indulging in the enjoyable process of spinning the top a bi-product is created. Where the pen marks the surface, a beautiful map of the experience and events that have occurred is produced. I am able to draw, but I am not particularly talented at it and yet found that, through the interaction with these objects, I have created drawings that I am more proud of than any I have done before.

Why not have a go…

His Drawing Tops are now available to buy at:
www.folksy.com (UK)
www.etsy.com (UK & Worldwide)
Art-s-talker

Presentation @ LCC

 

As a London College of Communication alumni, I was asked to give a presentation of my work to students of the MA Graphic Design course, along with Adam Hypki, who presented his research on the meta-narrations built by the juxtaposition of at first glance unrelated images in daily newspapers, and their echo to History of Art. I was asked to discuss my research on typographic forms for ephemeral messages, emphasing the difficulties in finding a satisfying direction.
It’s always nice to look back to where an idea came from, what didn’t work, and how vastly the frame of work always seemed to expand, however narrowly you tried to pinpoint it.
I loved the refreshingly dynamic attitude of the students, who allowed the lecture to turn into the kind conversation about graphic design and semiotics that I would like to have more often.

Yes, More To Do Lists

 

 

 

 

Yes, More To Do Lists

I thought these were lost forever. Imagine my joy at finding them sandwiched in between the pages of some soon-to-be-thrown-out magazine. These are my brother and his partner’s to do lists. If you’ve been here for awhile, you may have seen the earlier iterations here, here and here. He has been feeding them to me over the past year or so. I gasp every time I look at them.

via Mrs. Easton » Blog Archive » Yes, More To Do Lists.