Paper Cut

May 12, 2010

Nice work from artist/designer Matt Shlian.


Are you happy?

April 23, 2010


Rock Star Science

April 22, 2010

Science is important. Science can be fun. And most of all science is very interesting. If you, like me, always struggled in school to feel a genuine passion for physics, chemistry or maths it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. People like Professor Brian Cox, a particle physicist, Royal Society research fellow and professor at the University of Manchester, are therefore important to publicise science. As a frequent presenter for various BBC programs he does a great job, making science look accessible and interesting. . It’s important because he creates interest and can change preconceptions about what sort of people scientists are. Maybe it helps that he used to be in a band.

Here’s a short five minute interview with him in the science museum. And yes, he smiles a lot.

Bye Bye

April 17, 2010

I have always been fascinated by iconic images, photographs that are imprinted in the collective memory of groups of people, be it local, national or global. That is why I like this project by creative director Michael Schirner, who used all his retouching skills to delete people out of famous images.

The results are strangely familiar photographs which your mind quickly fills with the missing content. The project is exhibited at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg until 25 April and at Galerie Ascan until 29 May.

To Do

April 15, 2010

I have just finished reading The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton. With the thought that it is work what makes and defines who we are, de Botton goes on an investigation of different work areas and places – ranging from Cargo Ship Spotting, Biscuit Manufacture, Rocket Science and many more. As a fan of documentaries and documentary writing I enjoyed reading about seemingly unimportant tasks, but which are all part of a smooth running society. De Bottons view of things, sometimes a bit sad and melancholic but more often very poetic and beautiful, is inspiring and seems to be a good way to look at life in all its detail.

Towards the end the author visits a plane cemetery in Mojave, California. Inspired by the scenario and the rotting evidence of human labour he states Death is hard to keep in mind when there is work to be done: it seems not so much taboo as unlikely.

This does sound a bit dark but is actually quite positive. Realising that whatever we do will probably not matter in a couple of decades, and how small we and our actions are, in the big scale of things, is deliberating. If one realises that work is in the end only a way to spend time until we die, which it essentially is, it takes a lot of pressure of finding the “right” thing to do, as long as it keeps you busy, your thoughts occupied and sometimes even makes you happy. And that’s it.

Now all you have to do is to decide whether you want to make biscuits, paint pictures or become a particle physicist.


April 7, 2010

There is an impractical side of human nature particularly open to making  sacrifices for the sake of creating objects that are more graceful and intelligent than we normally manage to be.

From: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton

Pretty Foods

April 4, 2010

I don’t actually know if the food tastes great but it certainly looks amazing. It should probably be called pretty rainbow food though. Pretty Foods

Yours Truly

March 26, 2010

A couple of years ago I received a digital mix tape from a friend of mine. It was called Yours Truly and truly amazing. I still listen to it now and again, and always wondered how she came up with it. Thanks to It’s Nice That I finally know. Yours Truly is a great website for music lovers, including play lists and videos of performing artists. Enjoy.

21 Pledges

March 21, 2010

Yesterday I went to The Battle for Politics, a one-day public summit, organised by the Institute of Ideas. With regards to the upcoming general election the debate dealt with the question of voting, especially with the “none-of-the-above” option in mind. Many people are of the impression that none of the political parties have clear ideological differences anymore, a phenomenon not only visible in the UK. In fact, it is much more about politicians and personalities, partly due to media coverage of politics, so one can’t blame them. Nevertheless, there are still many unresolved issues, which is why the IoI came up with 21 Pledges for Progress 2010 which people should put to their local MP’s and find out where they stand on it. Some pledges I find really worthwhile are:

Revoke unnecessary and nonsensical health and safety rules and guidelines in the interests of countering today’s risk-averse, safety-first climate of fear.

Limit the police’s power to detain people without charge to 24 hours rather than 28 days, in the interests of civil liberties and due process.

Abolish the monarchy and the House of Lords in the interests of a fully elected legislature and executive.

Support the arts financially, for their own sake, in the interests of liberating them from ever more prescriptive and politicised instrumental demands.

The Battle for Politics also touched on other issues such as immigration, the welfare state and the relationship between science and politics. All very interesting and way to much to recall it all here. What became clear to me though was that I am always fascinated by accumulations of knowledgeable, passionate people who care for something and are not afraid to stand up for it. I love the English debating culture and hope to take some of that skill with me should I return to Germany at some point.

I was especially intrigued by Brendan O’Neil, editor of political online magazine sp!ked, whose anger and passion impressed me. Check out the site and get some really good insights and witty, sharp comments about what’s going on around us.

Politics are important and should concern all of us. Sometimes they can be fun and entertaining as well.

Ron Mueck

March 12, 2010

I first came across Ron Muecks work back in the nineties, when I traveled to London and visited the Saatchi Gallery. I loved this tiny little naked miserable looking men, lying on the floor, with the title Dead Dad.

His hyper-realistic people have since fascinated me, especially because of the proportional aspect. I often wondered how Mueck works, which is why I find these pictures of him in his London studio, preparing for an exhibition in Paris, especially interesting.