Archive for November, 2008

Krzysztof Wodiczko

November 29, 2008

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Yesterday I went to a conference where I met a very inspiring artist called Krzysztof Wodiczko. He´s a polish artist currently living and teaching in America.

Even if today he´s mostly known for his large-scale outdoor projections I was more fascinated by his earlier work. He made lots of machine, which would react to the human using it. One of these machines was a vehicle on which one would move forward and backward, with the vehicle only moving in one direction. Even if it seems pointless, you still get somewhere, as long as you keep moving. Once you stop, the machine stops as well.

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Another one was a speakers box, in which you would stand like in a podium, and the machine would move as long as you keep speaking. He said that it questions wether it´s your speech that generates the movement or the machine that generates your speech.

He made so much great stuff, it´s impossible to describe it all. The thing I love about his work how he turns simple ideas into somehow humorous projects – still they are very criticall. I´m glad to found out about him.

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De Optimo Republicae Statu deque Nova Insula Utopia

November 26, 2008

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While working on the proposal for my second year project I´m reading Thomas Mores “Utopia” It has been written in 1516 but is surprisingly easy to apply to todays society.

The only way to reduce the number of thieves is to reduce the number of people who must either steal or starve.

They´re  far more anxious, by hook or by crook, to acquire new kingdoms than to govern their existing ones properly.

You´ll be surprised to find how few people actually produce what the human race consumes. And now think how few of these people are doing essential work – for where money is the only standard of value, there are bound to be dozens of unnecessary trades carried on, which merely supply luxury goods or entertainment.

A builds a very expensive housem which then fails to satisfy B´s fastidious taste. B therefore neglects it so badly that it´s soon in ruins, and builds himself an equally expensive house elsewhere.

Just to quote a few…

Even if what More describes was not actually his own “perfect society”, it can definitly be seen as a critic on the existing situation. One interpretation holds that this suggests that while Utopia might be some sort of perfected society, it is ultimately unreachable. It doesn´t matter though. It´s not so much actually achiving this ideal, it´s the trying to get there that makes a difference. In the end Utopia translates into Not Place and therefore not meant to be real.

There surely will be more posts on this. At the moment I´m looking into Micronations and existing forms of build Utopias. All very exciting!

A treat!

November 25, 2008

Google published millions of historic photographs from the LIFE photo archive. A joy to everyone who is interested in history/social photography/photo journalism.

http://images.google.com/hosted/life

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Sunday in the new Saatchi Gallery

November 16, 2008

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In Your Body, Xiang presents a gigantic nude. Fabricated from painted fibreglass, the figure is unnerving in detail, her expertly faux finished skin radiating a sickly, waxen pallor. Shorn headed, and slumped on a simple wooden chair, her subjective doll-like presence reflects the epitome of emotional depletion. Towering over the viewer as a goddess-like effigy, her vacant gaze projects downward with oppressive force: her nakedness and vulnerability evoking a self-contemplative reflection of inadequacy, humility and emptiness.

http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk

Hopeful News

November 13, 2008

NY Times Spoof

Today the activist group “Yes Men” distributed a fake edition (1.2 million copies) of the “The New York Times”. Instead of “All the news that’s fit to print” they put “All the news we hope to print” in there.

Here is a video with reactions to it:

It looks so real, they also created a very realistic website. http://www.nytimes-se.com/

It took them six months to finish – and I think it is well worth it!

Celebration!

November 9, 2008

I recently found out about a place called Celebration in Florida.

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Celebration, Florida is a census-designated place and an unincorporated master-planned community in Osceola County in the U.S. state of Florida, near Walt Disney World Resort. It was developed by The Walt Disney Company.

World Drive connects Celebration directly to the Walt Disney World parks and resorts; the north end of World Drive begins near the Magic Kingdom and its south end connects to Celebration Boulevard, allowing Celebration residents and guests to drive to Disney property without having to use any busy thoroughfares.

Wikipedia

Established in the early 90´s Disney has apparently divested most of its control over Celebration, still it very much looks like Disney town. I guess you could call this the ultimate customer brand identification. Oh, let´s go to Disneyland…we don´t even have to travel there. Wow, we could go every day, and then, when we come home, we´re still in Disneyland. Maybe we could go to a Disney restaurant and have a Goofy meal or something, afterwards we watch some Disney cartoons and then go to sleep in our Disney bedding. Don´t forget to put on the Mickey Mouse shaped nightlight for the baby!

Really, why would anyone want to live there?

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This is pretty amazing

November 5, 2008

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Portraits of Nairobi

November 4, 2008

For a period of two weeks I´m working on a book project together with David Fulford. http://www.david-fulford.com He went to Nairobi and did a drawing workshop with children from a slum called Kibera, on the outskirts of Nairobi. He also gave them disposable cameras and they came back with some amazing pictures, which probably you wouldn´t have got if you went in there yourself. These are some impressions…can´t wait to have the book finished.

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A manifesto for artists and designers

November 2, 2008

Four former students from the Netherlands (Sandberg Institute/Utrecht School of the Arts/Rietveld Academy) launched the website http://www.conditionaldesign.org. Their manifesto reads “The process is the product” or “The process produces formations rather than forms” and “Instead of operating under the terms of Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Media Art or Sound Design, we want to introduce Conditional Design as a term that refers to our approach rather than our chosen media”

I like it, it sounds like something, which many have thought before but never wrote down. I like manifestos, written statements. To put something to paper. I like to think it makes you believe in it more.

Have a look for yourself!

One day a man entered my belly

November 1, 2008