Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Art - Learning to love you more

I've recently come across this website called "Learning to love you more".
To best describe it, I'll cut paste from their intro:

"Learning to Love You More is both a web site and series of non-web presentations comprised of work made by the general public in response to assignments given by artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. Yuri Ono designed and managed the web site."

The project took place from 2002 to 2009 so, unfortunately, it's too late for us to officially take part. It's still very interesting to see/hear/listen to what others did, and to observe how people from different backgrounds articulate a guiding directive in different or in similar ways... 
At any rate I hope you'll have as much fun exploring the website as I did.

Here are just some some of my favourites...

Assignment #32  
Draw a scene from a movie that made you cry:

"The final sequence in Requiem for a Dream that is entirely about devastation and degradation."
Natalie T.
Oakland, California USA

"From Fight Club, You met me at a very strange time in my life."

Assignment #4
Start a lecture series.
In Touch a picnic lecture series on absorbing art through the skin 
 "In Touch"
Ric Royer 

Assignment #42
List five events from 1984.

-Being in Los Angeles  for the Olympics but only seeing the torch.
-Being upset that Reagan won again.
-Hearing Punk Rock For the first time.
-Checking out Doonesbury Anthologies from the Fletcher Branch Library in Little Rock and photocopying the books at my mother's receptionist job.
-Cooking for my family the first time.
McCloud Zicmuse
Olympia, Washington USA

Assignment #63 Make an encouraging banner.

Julia J.
Charleston, South Carolina USA
In large friendly letters? (THGTTG FTW) ; j

Assignment #16 Make a paper replica of your bed
Anne Farrell
And on that note I bid you all goodnight. : j

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photography - Three way photo safari Vol. III

For this edition of the safari a newcomer joined Khnoum (click here for Khnoum's blog) and me: meet Khnoum's friend Jürgen, who runs a photography business in Germany.
Our themes were Isolation, Magic, and Startling.
If you'd like, you're welcome to guess who took which shots. We each took one shot for each theme.

4 layers of isolation
...In the crowd
Downtown Paris 6pm


Reach out and touch

Reaching 4 startling
Music shop magic

Praying for magic

Escher's haunted cat
(if you stare long enough, the ghost appears.. So try not to stare!)
PS it turns out the specter only appears if you enlarge the image and then stare at it. So you should all be safe! : j

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Video - The adventures of Todd Bieber

I was reading through Boing Boing this morning when I happened upon a heartening video posted by Mark Frauenfelder (a boingboing regular)... It was about a seditious NYC criminal named Todd Bieber who defied the law and created beauty where naught but waste and refuse had lain.

Ok, perhaps that's over-dramatising a bit, he is a filmmaker and humanity adventurer who planted flowers and vegetables...

Here's the skinny on that tale (which happens to tangentially tie-into my next post):
Part 1

Part 2

This story made me smile and set out to do my research (aka poke around the net) before posting about it... And discovered that it wasn't Todd's first adventure of this sort!

If you're like me and you missed the tale of the lost film that came to an end in March, watch the saga unfold through these 3 videos:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Good stuff! Right up there with shipping bobcats instead of chairs on ebay. : j
To find out more about Todd bieber here are the the usual links:

Todd's Tumblr
Todd's Twitter
Youtube channel
Bieber's blog (defunct)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Music video - Double bill: Coco Rosie / Florence + The Machine

Been going through some changes lately. Today I've stumbled onto two bands that I find quite interesting... and that spark some ambivalent feelings in me.
I can say for sure that I like these two tracks... Or perhaps it's the way they reflect how I'm feeling at the moment... It would seem I'm not so sure after all. : j

At any rate perhaps you might like them, so here they are!

Florence+The Machine: What the water gave me

CocoRosie: Fairy paradise (music starts 1m50s in)

Florence+The Machine
Their website (with news, a music player, shop)
Myspace (with music)

They don't seem to have home pages at the moment (down I'm guessing)
Myspace (with music)
Very good fansite (with info, music,the works)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Music video - Axis of Awesome performing on red nose day

This made me smirk quietly to myself at six in the morning after waking up from weird dreams about bloggers who have exited the stage. 

Their website.
Their myspace with their tour dates and some of their music.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Text - We are become pals (Joey Comeau and Jess Fink)

There are a number things I enjoy on internet and sharing those is what this blog is all about.
Curiously, one of the one's I indulge in on a daily basis (webcomics!) hasn't gotten much coverage here.
Well this post isn't about webcomics either...

Today I'd like to share a series of short fiction written by Joey Comeau and illustrated by Jess Fink.

Ok, so why the windup about webcomics? Well, I first discovered Joey Comeau through "a softer world", a series he is creating in conjunction with Emily Horne. A softer world uses captions and pictures to create single standing episodes, three frames and a handful of lines to tell a story, stories that pack a punch. They are at times tragic, bitter, sweet, funny, random, and everything in between or any combination of the previous and many other things.
Well, recently, I found out that Joey Comeau was working with Jess Fink (who does just the right illustrations for these texts) on a series of short stories aptly named "We are become pals" featuring the (mis?)adventures of two teenage girls called Helen and Jane (pictured below). I feel as if I should put up an excerpt, but the chapter/stories are so short there wouldn't be much point. Lets just say I strongly recommend these stories to anyone who likes reading and Calvin & Hobbes.
The first part of "We are become pals" can be found here.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! : j

Joey Comeau:
    His books (some available for reading online)

Jess Fink:
    Her website with links to her blog, comics, art gallery, and more.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Music - Free beats (NYC)

I've been to New York city twice... I can't claim to know it to any extent at all, and yet, through media and through stories, I have come to develop an idea of what I think NYC should be like.

My fantasy NYC is neither goon squadded and heavily policed, nor is it the post apocalyptic madhouse of drugs, sex, and punk of the seventies...
It's mixture of details from stories taking place in New York combined with details about their past that the New Yorkers I've met have shared with me.

As a result I'm only likely to ever see my fantasy NYC in fiction, but every now and then I hear things that make me wonder if it isn't actually out there, somewhere, under the grime and hustle-bustle of the Big Apple.

At any rate, this made me grin...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music - Guitar strings gone mad (people playing with their iPhones) and Andy Nicolai

As the first youtube vid states, for those interested in what makes this effect possible, a conversation on reddit is ongoing.

In case you were thinking that the second video sounded nice (I certainly did), here's a full version of that song and another from the person.

And here's the other song of his I found scraping the net:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Video - "Splitscreen: a love story" JW Griffiths

This video has been buzzing in the web, and I can see why: it's sweet and its execution is flawless.

It won the 2011 Nokia Shorts competition, and get this: it was shot entirely on a Nokia N8 mobile phone!

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Music - Zoë Keating (cellist extraordinaire)

Before any palaver from me, click play here:

Sometimes music feels as if it is addressing me personally. It finds latent emotions within me and plays them, a form of resonance that sometimes makes beauty ache as I am swept away into the artist's soundscape.
Of course, most music can't do this for me, but I've just discovered somebody whose music does: Zoë Keating.

I won't go on about how she uses tech to sample herself and do multi track cello compositions, or about all the awards she has won, or all the big names she has played with. If you're interested, you can find out more about her through the links at the bottom of the post.

I will mention that she's had some up and downs with digital distribution and that the way she talks about music is lot like the way authors talk about writing...
Listening to her talk about music sounds very familiar indeed:

Listen and buy her music here.
Check out her blog here.
Zoë Keating on Wired about her creative process.
Follow her on twitter.

And anyone who eats okonomiyaki
as demonstrated by this twitpic of hers
gets extra coolness points!
Not that this lady needs extra coolness points!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Double bill- Music and Comics: "Moon Hooch" and "Pants are over rated"

Well, I've been back from my holidays for a week now and it's time to share some of my recent "Oh wow, this is great!" finds...

No one has ever accused me of lacking rhythm on this blog, but it would have been fair to do so... Well in the name of rhythm I give you these upstanding gentlemen (except the drummer, who is sitting): Moon Hooch! Who apparently not only rock, but also rock the NYC subway:

There is a number of videos featuring this awesome trio (Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen on tenor saxophones, and James Muschler on the drums) on youtube... So you can look them up there, you can go to their bandsite page (here), which has 8 tracks you can listen to or download, and you can friend them on facebook (here)

And now for something completely different... Or is it?

Some of you may already suspect I have deviant tendencies... Well you're right! I am a proud lover of webcomics! And I stumbled upon these two strips yesterday as I was daydreaming about having Charlie Brown/Snoopy, Calvin/Hobbes, Jon Arbuckle/Garfield interacting in a post apocalyptic environment and having a look to see if it had already been done... Anyways, net snooping following it's own paths, I remembered finding a plethora of Calvin as an adult fanart, and wondered if I could find any for Charlie Brown (the answer: not really, but there's a nice set of animeified peanuts characters floating around)... But there where two fanart Calvin strips I hadn't seen from a brother duo Tom (the artist) and Dan (the writer) who form "Pants Are Overrated", which is chock full of a chaotic mess of geeky humor; and in some ways is a lot like what Penny Arcade used to be (for the webcomic literate).

Enough preamble!
Here are the two strips that caught my (and everyone else's) eye (and aren't entirely representative of their usual style, as they humorously point out in their first strip following these two):
Hold control and click on the thumbnail
or wheel click on it to view it!
Hold control and click on the thumbnail or wheel click on it to view it!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Video - Useless machine with a 'tude!

Aloha friends, I'm taking off for some R&R in Ireland.
I leave you with this video straight from Japan that may amuse no one but myself.
As a piece of tangential trivia: the face on the side is a japanese smiley!
Take care y'all, see you in a week or so.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Art - Matias Adolfsson the illustrator extraordinaire

Meet Matias Adolfsson, a fellow blogger and an awesome freelance illustrator hailing from Sweden.

His sketchbook illustrations remind me of those I used to see in children's books... I find myself grinning goofily as I butterfly from sketch to sketch. Perhaps you'll enjoy them as well.

His blog is loaded with his art: check it out!
His personal website also has contact info and archives of his drawings and sketchbook illustrations.
This is his deviant art account.

Have a look for yourselves:
(Much better expanded to see the crazy details he puts into his works! Wheel click or ctrl+click on the images to open larger versions in new tabs)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Video - "Google Exodus"

This video has been making the rounds... I think it's pretty sharply done! : j
Happy passover to those who celebrate it.

(It's best in full screen mode)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Video - "Xylophone of the Forest" ad for Docomo's new "Touch wood" phone

I love the idea and I'll bet it was a lot of fun to engineer!

Here's a link to the product page of the phone they're advertising... But it's pretty much irrelevant to us. : j

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photography - Three way photosafari

Greetings readers... Here are the pictures from the latest photosafari!

The usual suspects:
  1. The awesome Eryl, from the "Kitchen bitch ponders", who is becoming a regular.
  2. The most excellent and bodacious Khnoum, who has just (only 3 posts to date) launched a pottery blog.
  3. And yours truly.
The one and only Kass from "The K is no longer silent" was supposed to join us but must have had RL issues... If you see her, please send her our love. : j

Eryl, Kass, and Khnoum each picked a theme for the group, which were: Rotund, Emerge, and Congruity.
Each participant took one picture for every theme. That's three pictures from each participant. A picture from each participant for every theme.

If you'd like, you're welcome to try guessing who took what shots, who suggested which themes, and/or which theme each group of three pictures represents! Good luck with that if you try! : j

(Psst... Click on the pictures to enlarge them. Holding the ctrl button as you click opens pictures in a new tab in most modern browsers, or alternatively wheel-clicking)
On a cloth greenly
Of angles and curves
The more things change
The music in my head
Eggzactly different
First I must dive
Flower on stalks

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Music - Anna Kei (saxophone)

Meet Anna Kei (nee Anna Korbinska).
This lady was born in Poland and classically trained on the flute in Katowice, studied jazz sax in Warsaw, and has since hit the Parisian scene with a bang.
To quote her press release:
"She participates in TV broadcastings in France & in Poland, as well as in several jazz, funk, pop & ethno projects such as Seal, Rido Bayonne, Dave Liebman, Michael Tee, Urban Sax, Mystery, Irena Santor, Olivier Renoir, Urbs as well as her own projects."

On the sax she is awesome. See for yourself:

In snooping around the net (aka doing my research) to find out more about her, I found some of her singing, which strikes me as ok but not earth shaking (the ESL is definitely a factor), and pictures of her... And wow, what a disappointment those were.
It's as if she hired a a coked out publicist (or deranged stalker fan? or both?) who had her submit to a photo shoot themed "let's try to make this person look as fake as possible", which is unfortunate cause she seems quite pretty when not bimboified. Shrug, maybe it's a pop music thing that I simply don't get?

I suspect can even name the PR company responsible for the bleh horror that is her website. Shrug.

She has half a dozen excellent sax tracks on her myspace (if you're going to click somewhere, this is it!) that are well worth listening to for a smooth jazz sax experience. 
She also supplements her income, as many musicians do, by giving lessons, except she gives hers online (I wonder why it isn't more common in music teaching world?). So if you are on the market for a sax teacher...  
And then there is "her" (coked out publicist's or perhaps stalker's) website; in case you want to see for yourself if I'm just being mean or not. : j

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Music - Eric the flutemaker

In minor unrelated news about myself, I have recently acquired a bamboo saxophone... And have been having great fun with it.

What is a bamboo saxophone you ask?
Well, bamboo saxophones can be saxophones that are entirely built out of bamboo (excepting the reed and the mouth piece of course)... Like so:

But that's not what I'm playing. I'm playing an instrument built by a man who specialises in making bamboo flutes. He essentially stuck a sax head on a the body of a bamboo flute.

His website.
The man himself and his spiel (fun to watch, he's an entertaining guy):

Or you could watch a video recounting in fairy tale fashion the flutemaker's first steps into the world of flute making. It's a interesting story that is pretty well told.

He is also using his business to collect funds for orphans who were living on a garbage heap in Nicaragua. Laudable work!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photography - Update on "Young me/Now me"

Some of the long time followers may remember that I posted about a project called Young me Now me... Well, they now have a blog which posts a Young me/Now me picture every day.


They've also now pushed the concept further and have created a variant called "Like Mom Like Dad", adult children posing to recreate pictures of their parents... Which is a further dose of awesome! It's touching to read and see how these people have gotten better acquainted with their parents or pay tribute to them as they go about recreating these pictures.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Photography - Three way photo safari Vol. II

Eryl from "The Kitchen bitch ponders", Khnoum, and I have been at it again.

For those of you who missed the first part, here is how we got organised: each of us choose a theme, which we then grouped, and each of us took a picture for each of the three themes.

The themes this time were "Missing", "Consequence", and "Landmark".

The pictures are below. If you'd like, you're welcome to try and guess who took which shots, and further who choose which themes. I think it's quite difficult unless you really know the person well, and even then... so good luck with that if you try! . : j

(Psst... Click on the pictures to enlarge them. Holding the ctrl button as you click opens pictures in a new tab in most modern browsers, or alternatively wheel-clicking)
I liked the monument before it made me ralph.

Windy Miller's new pad.
Too obvious...
The consequence.
Life on the fast track!
Loss of heart...
I'll miss you.
How many waiters does it take to change a bulb?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Video - "Anchored" by Lindsey Olivares

Whilst I don't particularly recognize St Valentine's day as being any more exceptional than other days of the year, I celebrate love no less today.

So, allow me to present Lindsey Olivares and her senior thesis at Ringling College of Art and Design... You can find out more about her on her blog (which is full of her artwork) and take a look at her portfollio!
And now for her creation (pst... watch it fullscreen, it's worth it):

Coincidentally, today, I'd like to tell you that I love you. ; j
Thanks for reading! Happy valentines! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Video - "Eye of the storm" by Lovett

Ben Lovett is a man of many skills... I first encountered him in through the music he composed for a nifty psycho-horror film called the signal. Well, here he is again with a steam-punky animation music video:

His website.

His online radio, check out some of his work!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Art - Google does something cool again! (Artproject)

If you are interested in art check this out!

Basically, google has taken the streetview approach to museuming, and they have hidef zoomable pictures of major artworks!

It's awesome!

Whose eye is this?

It's the baby's eye!
In a painting of Marie Antoinette,
by Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun.

Virtually wandering in the MOMA, that little plus means they have a close up of the work!