Arbores Laetale

I recently watched M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Happening’, which the CBC touted as the “best B movie of all time.” I doubt the Nightrider would appreciate such an underhanded compliment, but that said, it was far nicer than the reviews he got elsewhere. If you have any intention of seeing this movie, and do not want it spoiled, stop reading now. You have been warned. Like many of his previous works, the plot is fraught with mystery and suspense, as a lethal virus spreads across America, making normal people commit suicide. Various theories are proposed throughout the movie, but in the end, mother nature is responsible for releasing a toxin via natural flora. This has made me somewhat paranoid ever since watching the movie, as I am constantly running away from trees that blow in the wind, and I often times fall asleep holding a bottle of (insert name of product that kills plants here).

Arbores Laetale, Diller Scofidio, Renfro, green space, rotating tree

As if my paranoia wasn’t enough, as “arbores laetae” or “joyful trees” is the latest project by NYC Diller Scofidio and Renfro. The unusual installation project is located in Liverpool, England as part of the city’s art biennial. 17 trees were planted in a small parkette, however 3 of the trees slowly rotate on specially designed bases. It’s a very cool idea, but I’m still to worried about what the tree gods think about it. Although I’d urge you to visit this installation, I am sure every stoned teenager and their dog is sitting in the park drooling in wonder. Instead, check out some pics here.

Arbores Laetale, Diller Scofidio, Renfro, green space, rotating tree

OMA Residential

If you wander down to NYC’s Union Square, you might notice a new slim tower being constructed at One Madison Park. The developer of this tower, Slazer Enterprises, is also working on an adjacent project with OMA, which is their first residential tower in New York. Unveiled earlier this month, the 107m tall tower features an innovative high rise design that will take your breath away. The building cantilevers 30 feet over its neighbour, a form that “provides a number of unexpected moments that appear at each step – balconies at the upper part of the building and floor windows at the lower part — providing a variety of unit types and features throughout the building”, in words of the great Rem Koolhaas. The staggered and jagged uncertainty of the building are truly different, but blend in well with the surroundings. Just check out Koolhaus’ amazing penthouse design, which features a glass ceiling open to the rooftop swimming pool. Damn fine!

One Madison Park, Slazer Enterprises, Rem Koolhaas, OMA Residential, New York City, NYC

Lifepod

If the idea of escape seems all the more enticing now that the rest of the world is caught in economic uncertainty, meaning(ful/less) elections and yet another OJ Simpson trial, here’s an amazing prefab remedy to help your mind wander. Escape to the beach, the mountains or the trees in San Fran-based Kyu Che’s sustainable Lifepod. Loosely based on the traditional yurt, the Lifepod is both organic and high-tech. Built to be highly portable, the Lifepod is a fully functioning, off-the-grid mini capsule for modern nomadic living.

Lifepod, Kyu Che, capsule home, concept home, quadrupedal fuselages

Originally conceived in 1997, Lifepods are constructed using the most advanced 21st century automotive, aeronautic, nautical and RV technologies. Inspired by roaming mammals, the futuristic prefabs are designed as “quadrupedal fuselages” with footings that can adjust to the contours of their surroundings, rather than disfiguring the landscape to fit to the house. All the modular pieces fit into a 40ft container and can be shipped anywhere around the world. Using state-of-the-art technology, you and your Lifepod can roam the world un-tethered and off-the-grid.

Lifepod, Kyu Che, capsule home, concept home, quadrupedal fuselages

Should your inner nomad be perfectly content with a Zen staycation, Kyu Che also offers a Lifepod capsule that can be fitted with minimalist screen or glass doors and used as a sculptural garden retreat, tea house, or sanctuary from the madness of daily life. I’m seriously considering putting one of these on top of my garage.

Galactic Girl

Freud would have a field day with this next story. So, we’ve been covering the super awesome progress of the Virgin Galactic project from day one. In the past, we’ve featured both the spaceport in New Mexico, and the amazing looking spacecraft known as SpaceShipTwo, but recently something caught our eye. A fine looking lady appearing on the side of SpaceShipTwo’s swiss cheese-like fuselage, gives a retro but sexy vibe to this ridiculously expensive adventure. Just what is the story behind this slender, spine bending babe?

Galactic Girl, SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Galactic logo, New Mexico, spaceport, Richard Branson

But that’s where the story gets a bit strange. Reportedly, she was dreamt up by Virgin’s founder and CEO, Richard Branson, who modelled her after his very own mother. Now I’m not saying that it’s uncool to think that your mom is beautiful, nor am I trying to be conservative regarding the obvious sexy look and feel of the image, but this is a touch over the line. My mom would certainly blush five colours of red if I depicted her in this manner on the side of my billion dollar rocket ship. If he was alive, I wonder how Freud would react to Branson placing his mother on the side of a fuselage, correction, the most expensive phallic symbol the world has ever seen? Does someone have issues? According to Freud, we all have issues.

Galactic Girl, SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Galactic logo, New Mexico, spaceport, Richard Branson

Twisted Bench

Twisted Bench, Pablo Reinoso, bench, seating, concept design, wooden bench, art installation

Picture above text, it’s a first for the HC2 Design News section. The reason being is because today’s post will be short and sweet. I am sick of things that make sense today, hence the picture first, text second approach. Not that that is wild and crazy, but take the twisted bench by Pablo Reinoso. Doesn’t is just scream comfort…or severe back pain. Still, I can’t help but love it.

B-Scanner

Business cards have become less of a way to disseminate contact information and more about brand extension, so it makes no sense to spend so much money on them only to be thrown out after someone transcribes all the relevant information into an electronic or pre-historic paper address book. This, along with the environmental ramifications of throwing away chunks of paper is one of the reasons we have refrained from using business cards, and are (administratively) paperless. Even so, for those who yearn for business cards, the B-Scanner is at your service.

B-Scanner, business card, electronic business card, business card scanner, e-card

Just slide in any standard size card and an image capture is kept in memory. You sort and thumb thru each card via a jog dial and everything shows up beautifully on an OLED screen, sharp enough for small text. Still a concept but I know a lot of old school folks who still tote around business card holders. I think they would jump at something like this. However I do have 2 beefs. Many modern cards utilize texture in the design which a screen doesn’t pick up. Many also use front and back layouts which this concept doesn’t seem to accommodate.

B-Scanner, business card, electronic business card, business card scanner, e-card

Upside Down House

As a young boy, I remember visiting a restaurant that had it’s furniture hanging from the ceiling. I remembered that place for weeks, as I just couldn’t understand how they got all the stuff to stay up there. Oh, to be a kid again…full of wonder and naivety. Although I’m now wiser to the trickery of man, I have tried to retain a bit of that wonder as I’ve aged, and today I hope you’ll follow me down the rabbit hole to explore something from my past.

Upside Down House, concept house, strange house

Instead of a dining room in a restaurant, the upside down house is the ultimate in gravity defying, awe inspiring glory. Sure, the house has no value, save for artistic. At first when I saw this place I thought that is was cool, but ultimately useless. As I’ve had time to think about it, I just can’t imagine how much work went into making it true to it’s opposite form. Was it a waste of time for the workers? A waste of money for the financial backers? A waste of materials, carbon etc…? At the end of my deliberation, I came to the conclusion that it was worth every cent, splinter and dead tree, because it inspires and dares us to dream of a time when our imaginations could do anything.

Upside Down House, concept house, strange house

Slacker Uprising

So I consider myself a pretty plugged in individual. I pay attention to various news sites, social bookmark like a fiend, and even converse with colleagues from time to time about current affairs. That said, until watching the trailer for Michael Moore’s newest flick, Slacker Uprising, I had never heard of the infamous noodlegate. No, I am not going to spoil that for you in case it’s news to you as well. Moore’s latest film chronicles his travels throughout key US battleground states during the last election, where he encouraged young people to vote. I find it sort of funny that he’s releasing a movie about how he motivated the slackers (Moore’s Liberal audience) to rise up and vote, but they somehow failed to knock Bush off his perch in the White House. As this film marks the 20th anniversary of Moore’s first movie, Roger and Me, he’s giving something back to the fans and releasing this film for free, on the Internet. First Radiohead broke all the rules, and now, Moore; a guy who’s always breaking the rules, is going to try and do the same to to the film industry. Respect.

Slacker Uprising, noodlegate, Michael Moore, Roger and Me, film

Olympic Logos for the 2016 Games

Armed with my trusty, and sometimes fuzzy, over the air television, I too caught the Olympic fever. Thankfully, I took a few Tylenol, and my record breaking case of Olypmiphreniosis has been cured. No longer will I have to watch the likes of Michael Phelps shatter record after record with the special suit handed down by Aquaman, or that Jamaican guy who figured out how to place black holes in the middle of his lane. Yes, Stephen Hawking would be proud that his black hole theory finally works, but alas, he’s betting that Cern’s newest toy will be a bust on finding the elusive God particle.

2016 Olympic Logos, Olympic Games, Madrid, Tokyo, Vancouver, London

I am so off track (pun not intended, but enjoyed) so let’s get down to it. For all you who are already looking beyond Vancouver 2010, and London 2012 or wherever they’re having the 2014 Winter Olympics, there’s the 2016 Summer Games. Recently these games caught our eye in that we noticed a few logos from some of the potential hopeful hosts. My faves are Madrid and Tokyo, which leave me wondering just how did London get voted in with their retro logo?

2016 Olympic Logos, Olympic Games, Madrid, Tokyo, Vancouver, London

Pop-Up Park

Olafur Eliasson’s waterfalls have created a rush of art tourism in New York City. The number of ways to see the waterfall, created specifically for the waterfalls, is growing fast. One approach is the generically luxury boat cruise for only $50,000. Another is potentially coming to Brooklyn to check out the temporary observation deck at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The 26,000 square foot site had a Strober Brothers Lumber warehouse on it until a few weeks ago, and has recently been deeded by the Port Authority to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy asked dlandstudio to develop a temporary park for the aforementioned waterfalls. On a Brooklyn budget! Dland’s design includes wide swaths of color painted in stripes over the asphalt to create both a more comfortable walking surface for pedestrians and add colour and texture.

Pop-Up Park, dlandstudio, Dland, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, green space, temporary park

The design is like a pop-up shop for the future Brooklyn Bridge Park on the waterfront. The park includes grass mounds for lounging (the future park will be lots of mounds), a sand area retained by wood beams with umbrellas for shade, and our favourite, hay bales that get seeded and grow grass like a chia pet as the summer progresses. The pop-up park is going to invite people to use the former warehouse-blocked waterfront as a park, allowing people to discover vistas of New York that were previously blocked. Way better than a $50,0000 cruise. Further, the paint, trees, plantings, planter boxes, hay bales, Plexiglas (on the perimeter fence) and some labor is all being donated. So not only is this a pop-up park, but it’s becoming more open-source too.

Pop-Up Park, dlandstudio, Dland, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, green space, temporary park

David Byrne’s Bike Racks

Bike racks are a necessary evil, which plague the urban cityscape. I say evil, because they are often repetitive, unimaginative and otherwise obtrusive. Sure they represent and help promote cycling, and deter people from using personal automobiles, but that said, they aren’t overly exciting. Thankfully David Byrne felt the same way, and he set out to do something about it. David is a New York based artist-musician, and an avid biker who used this interest to a spark design career. The NYC Department of Transportation recently asked Byrne to judge a bike rack design competition. He enthusiastically agreed, and submitted some of his own ideas which really stole the show away from all the other entries.

David Byrne, Bike Racks, NYC Department of Transportation, creative bike rack, bike rack sculpture

His frames go beyond the typical u-shaped, and circle styles we’ve come to expect near parking metres and utility poles. From huge high heel outlines to sexy babes and even un petit chien, Byrne designs make bike racks cool, and thereby make bike riding cool as well. You can check out all of the designs online and throughout New York. The competition closes on October 24th.

David Byrne, Bike Racks, NYC Department of Transportation, creative bike rack, bike rack sculpture

aka Akroe

“I like the idea of making a picture a souvenir, to try to create a feeling, something that could stay in mind as an interrogation instead of an answer” quote from Etienne Bardelli, aka Akroe. Let’s jump right into a few exerts from Akroe’s recent interview with Format Mag. Regarding the support of her parents, her past experiences with graffiti and a father who is a professional architect she says: “It wasn’t so much fun with my parents. My mother let me do it and let me believe she didn’t pay attention, but I think she was anxious as to my whereabouts and she knew that I kept spray cans on me. My clothes were totally dusty and covered with coloured drips. She had an artistic point of view, which was quite right; she said graffiti always looks the same. Now, through detachment, I understand her very well, but she didn’t understand how strong of a role action and feelings play in graffiti; it’s a major ingredient of the game. My father was totally insane about graffiti; as an architect in this little town, he was so stressed out by my actions that he claimed deteriorated the streets. It was a big deal for him, but he couldn’t be too hard on me, because I did decoration at the same time for a lot of shops and nightclubs. But I remember we had strong clashes at home. I was a terrible child sometimes.”

Etienne Bardelli, Akroe, aka Akroe, graffiti, urban art, art installation

As to whether or not she prefers graffiti or graphic design, Akroe responded: “I use graphic design for both, only the tools change. Graffiti is my personal work, so I care about personal questions and emotions. Working as a graphic designer leads me to work with people, to exchange with them, to translate their own messages. It’s very interesting because people are often very interesting. Of course, I would enjoy spending a lot more time with my personal work, but sometimes commercial demands help me to find solutions for my own projects, and it helps me progress a lot too. Doing both together at the same time is a good solution for the moment, maybe it will change later. I don’t know.” At the moment, I don’t care…Akroe’s work is amazing.

Etienne Bardelli, Akroe, aka Akroe, graffiti, urban art, art installation

Spitefuls: Disaster Dioramas

Who doesn’t love a crafty adventure? I have never tried to do one of those cutout diorama dealies, but with Spitefuls new Disaster Dioramas, I just might have to. In full out glorious Technicolor, you too can create whimsical paper models of the Titanic and Hindenburg. My only concern is how much time it might take for me to actually make mine look like the model. Sure my BBQ ended up looking like a BBQ, but that didn’t stop me from ending up with a few “extra” piece after the job was done. In any case, check out Spitefuls for their dioramas and stay for the t-shirts and buttons.

Disaster Dioramas, Spitefuls, paper dioramas, printable dioramas

A pretty funny addition to this project is the warning text they’ve placed below each model. It reads: “…Don’t get in trouble making this. Make sure its okay to use the office supplies before you use the office supplies. Spitefuls didn’t tell you to do this. Only work during your normal office hours, uh I mean office breaks. Please throw away if your boss isn’t cool with it. Tell your boss you got it at www.spitefuls.com if they are cool with it. Tell your coworkers and the water cooler that too. Hug your printer. It probably could use a hug. Spitefuls is not responsible for you being fired, demoted, or any other bad things that could occur from you making, displaying, or doing anything relating to the Disaster Dioramas. Spitefuls is responsible for any promotions, good karma, and happy things that occur from you making, displaying, or doing anything related to the Disaster Dioramas – I’d like to hear about those good things…”

Disaster Dioramas, Spitefuls, paper dioramas, printable dioramas

Milky Way Chocolate

It really is the simple things that get our attention. Sure, we’re impressed with massively staged fireworks displays, and lip sinking songstresses with perfect teeth, but elaborate productions aren’t always the best way to go. Take for instance a recent ad I spotted for Oreo cookies. Essentially a class elevator in some mall had a glass of milk applique on the doors, while the elevator had an Oreo cookie decal. When the elevator came to the floor that displayed the cup of milk, the cookie would get dunked into the cup of milk. Genius and simple. We’ve found a new ad similar to this in the supermarket, which uses places a Milky Way chocolate bar on edge of the conveyor belt at the check out. As the conveyor moves, a decal essentially pulls the bar open, stretching out a massive piece of chocolate and caramel. Again, not overly elaborate, but certainly eye catching, and memorable. I don’t regularly eat chocolate, but this BBDO creation makes me want a Milky Way!

Milky Way, Milky Way chocolate bar, advertisement, grocery store, BBDO

Solar Highways

The green revolution is upon us, and there are daily announcements of new, more efficient technologies for us to embrace. I liken it to buying a new computer, whereby your new, high powered machine will essentially be obsolete within a few short months. That sort of mentality is a bit disheartening to those of us who really want to incorporate green technologies into our everyday lives. Personally, I want to buy solar panels, but have held off because newer, higher efficiency panels are being released each and every day. Why should I pay a ridiculous amount of money for something that’s not going to be as productive as something released two weeks for now? In the search for a solar solution to power our cities, one of our biggest obstacles is the massive acreage required by conventional arrays. Photovoltaic panels are flat and expansive, and urban centres are at a serious loss for free space. Thankfully, Australian renewable energy retailer Going Solar has conceived of a clever strategy that infuses urban transit systems with energy producing potential – install solar panels in highways as sound barriers!

Solar Highway, Tullamarine Calder Interchange, Australia, Going Solar, photovoltaic panel, solar panel

Going Solar’s first highway installation was completed on the Tullamarine Calder Interchange in Australia. The solar sound barrier comprises 500 meters of photovoltaic panels that are attached to a public display showing the project’s power output. As the highway is located near some residential areas, energy doesn’t have to travel far to reach its destination, and the massive solar panels provide much needed soundproofing to the houses nearby. It is expected that the installation will produce 18.7 megawatts per year, which is enough to cover its cost in about 15 years. The innovative application has netted Going Solar the ATRAA’s award for best grid-connected system. Although something will be available tomorrow that will totally eclipse this great find, it’s still nice to see progress.

Solar Highway, Tullamarine Calder Interchange, Australia, Going Solar, photovoltaic panel, solar panel

Eric Joyner

Today I’m divulging a publishing secret which only the inner circle of HC2 is aware of. Rather than sit down each and every day and find something glorious to write about, we tend to do massive writing sessions and bulk scheduled posts. Personally, I elect for 2 weeks of buffer so that when our paid design work gets too hairy, we can let this blog go the wayside for a few days, fully knowing that our scheduled buffer posts will pick up the slack. So as I write this (on Labour Day), I am finding myself in a weird place. Another season is about to fall, and life is changing all around me in some very positive ways. Business is good, we are keeping busy, and have been able to push the envelop with a lot of our recent projects. Inspiration is free thanks to these daily (read scheduled) posts, and our discovery of a world filled with robots and doughnuts is a reason to stop and taste the rainbow coloured sprinkles. Join us for a brief moment as we explore the work of Eric Joyner.

Eric Joyner, Robots and Doughnuts, painting, robots

The 80′s are back. I mean, if Kanye can rock the white shutter shades, New Kids can come out with a new video and world tour, and some TV network thinks it’s a good idea to break out a new version of 90210, I’d say all the signs are there. Although I wouldn’t classify Eric’s work as 80′s infused, there is certainly something retro about the style of his robots. It actually seems strange that I would even say 80′s and retro in the same sentence, as I do not consider my generation as old…yet. Although less advanced than the sleek human enslaving versions we’ve come to expect in I Robot, Terminator, The Matrix Trilogy and more, his creations have more of a personal, and even cuddly appeal. Eric’s talent shines through in his work, which is also on display in his new book entitled ‘Robots and Doughnuts’. Check out his recent interview with Fecal Face to find out more about his motivation, and process.

Shawn Button

Greetings earthlings. Today, I am writing you from my lair, and as such, I thought that it would be beneficial to show you some tub-inspired art. From the creative mind of Shawn Button, comes a painting featuring a 20-something bathing in milk with a rainbow spattering of Fruit Loops. There’s something nostalgic about this, not because I used to bathe with breakfast cereal, but because I used to eat sugary treats for breakfast. I remember the days of pop tarts, breakfast strudels, and coco-puffs. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I cut the roof of my mouth with a spoonful of Captain Crunch. In comparison, taking a bath in a tub full of Total seems so much safer. Enjoy!

Shawn Button, painting, artist, Fruit Loops

NYC by Sony

It seems like forever since we last touched on an actual ad that caught our eye. Although we discussed Apple and our ideas for their next round of silhouette ads, we’ve been having a very hard time identifying ads that are truly worthy of coverage. The wait is over, and I’m pleased to say that Sony has answered our plea for better ads. Disclaimer: I am a Sony fanatic, and prefer their products over most others due to their high quality. I am a Sony loyalist. To show off their newest mp3 player (I’ve had 3 of the previous generations), they’ve created an inventive subway map by using earbuds. The result is very cool, and it almost has an organic feel to it, like a tree branch. Brought to you by none other than Saatchi & Saatchi (these guys just keep churning out the coolest shtuff), Sony has hit a home run here.

Sony, personal electronics, earbuds, mp3 player, Saatchi & Saatchi, New York City, NYC, subway map

One Week ’til Park(ing) Day

In 2007 we introduce Park(ing), while this year’s event is only one week away. Just like last year’s event, Park(ing) Day 2008 will temporary create public parks by building a green space in ordinary metered spaces or lots. In certain cities, you may also spy the ParkCycle, a human powered mobile unit, created by the San Francisco based group Rebar. The ParkCycle will be on tour for the fourth annual Park(ing) Day making green space available when you want it and where you want it. The group states that they are the only providers of such a commodity and measure their green space contribution in square feet per minute (depending on how long they park it). “What began as a simple, playful idea has become a lively and visible symbol of the desire to reprogram the street and increase public open space in cities all over the planet.”

Park(ing) Day, ParkCycle, Rebar, green space, San Francisco

The event has gone global in up to 13 cities with the hope of showcasing “artists, designers, and activists around the world who are peacefully demonstrating how to reduce congestion, clean the air, save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve urban neighbourhoods.” You can create your own Park(ing) Space and be part of the history. Although the Park(ing) Cycle is cool you can create your own simpler space by adding the essentials such as shade, maybe some foliage, seating, and other park amenities for the public to congregate in. Check out the Park(ing) Day site for details.

Park(ing) Day, ParkCycle, Rebar, green space, San Francisco

Ground Zero

Today is a day that will live on in infamy for my generation. Although I recognize the sacrifices, and tragic stories associated with past significant events including Pearl Harbour, D-Day, and the like, I will never be fully appreciative because they were before my time. For 9-11, it is strange to consider that so many people coming after me may never fully appreciate something that was so significant to my generation. I can still recall the group of people from our apartment building who gathered around our television to watch the horror unfold on CNN. Images of planes colliding with the towers, people leaping to certain death, and a toxic dust cloud covering everyone, and everything. So many years later, the scars of 9-11 still remain, and have grown to include two wars, a President that will go down in history as a laughing stock, and a new Michael Moore documentary.

Ground Zero Memorial, 9/11, September 11th, World Trade Centre, Twin Towers, victim memorial, New York City, NYC, terrorism, terrorist, plane, hijack

The design process for Ground Zero called on the greatest visionaries from all over the world to come up with something that would take New York into the future. It has been marred with controversy, from the actual selection of a final design, to the layout of the memorial, and even the time lines associated with building construction. To date, Ground Zero has evolved from pile of rubble, to hole in the ground, and now a small gathering of cranes and construction equipment. So the end of the construction phase is in sight, but for some, the healing will last a lifetime. Today’s post is for those who wish to remember those who lost their lives on 9-11, and how Ground Zero will pay tribute to them.

Ground Zero Memorial, 9/11, September 11th, World Trade Centre, Twin Towers, victim memorial, New York City, NYC, terrorism, terrorist, plane, hijack

Ziggurat

The Mayans and Egyptians constructed incredible feats of architecture able to weather the test of time, but they had no idea their pyramids would inspire the shape of the latest carbon-neutral super-structure to hit Dubai. Dubai-based environmental design firm Timelinks recently released some eye-catching renderings of the gigantic eco pyramid – aptly named Ziggurat – with plans for its official unveiling scheduled for the Cityscape Dubai event which runs October 6-9 of this year. The ginormous pyramid will cover 2.3 square kilometers and will be able to sustain a “community” of up to 1 million.

Ziggurat, cityscape dubai, United Arab Emirates, Timelinks, pyramid, green pyramid

Timelinks claims that their Ziggurat will be capable of running completely off the grid by utilizing steam, wind, and other natural resources. The tightly knit city will also feature a super efficient public transportation system that runs both horizontally and vertically, and plans are being drawn up to utilize both public and private green spaces for agricultural opportunities.

Ziggurat, cityscape dubai, United Arab Emirates, Timelinks, pyramid, green pyramid

According to the International Institute for the Urban Environment, the technologies incorporated into the Ziggurat project will make it a viable metropolis, and Timlinks has responded by quickly patenting the design and technology developed for the project. A number of European professors will be on hand at CityScape Dubai to explain how the Ziggurat project can be incorporated into grander plans, meaning that it may not be a one-off structure.

Byroglyphics

Oftentimes, the simple designs are the ones that make the biggest splash. From the hippy Happy Face, to the black silhouettes of iPod users, both have definite staying power. Brands are made and broken based upon the amount of money they throw into advertising, marketing and product design. But can a brand be truly successful without an amazing logo, or graphical extensions. I mean, can you imagine what would happen if McDonald’s had a different logo, sans golden arches, or even sans a “McD”? Of course you can’t.

Byroglyphics, Russ Mills, artist, modern art, post modernism, painting

When I came across Byrogliphics, I was instantly reminded of the iPod commercials. You know the ones with someone’s silhouette dancing against some flashy neon background with the trademark white headphones rammed in their auditory canals. Now I’m certainly not suggesting that artist Russ Mills stole this idea from Apple, but perhaps they could borrow a page from him and take their already successful iPod campaign to the next level. I’m envisioning the same silhouettes, but with some cloudy decay, random spatter marks and streaky marks indicative of motion. Check out his portfolio for some truly amazing stuff.

Byroglyphics, Russ Mills, artist, modern art, post modernism, painting

Quilted Gas Station

Random public displays of art are usually some of the most interesting and creative pieces that exist. Today I would like to introduce a gas station that was completely covered in blankets of various colors and patterns, which now holds the title of best exhibit at HC2. Jennifer Marsh is an artist who supposedly decided to blanket the old station because “she was sick of paying high gas prices and bothered by the eyesore”. Marsh covered the station with the help of 15 other artists from around the globe, 2,500 students, and $29,000; most of the money came from Marsh’s pocket and the rest were grants. Don’t get me wrong, the gas station looks cool, might even pull over the car to take a closer look, but the thousands of dollars used to create it may have been better spent on Marsh’s gas tank. Considering it was the elevated gas prices that made her vexed in the first place. What’s next, rabies shots for the Easter Bunny? Still, the visuals are worth 29 million pennies.

Jennifer Marsh, quilt art, quilted sculpture, Quilted Gas Station

Not a Glitch

Save for the messiah, the almighty guy in the sky, no one walks on water. That’s his thing, I get it, but try telling that to Tiger Woods. In EA Sports PGA Tour 08, Tiger Woods could essentially screw up and hit the water hazard, only to walk straight out in the middle and hit his ball without a penalty. Now I must admit that golf is as boring as watching paint dry, but that is pretty cool. In response to the plethora of youtube videos documenting this phenomena, and the ridiculous amount of “don’t you test your games” type of emails EA received, a new ad for PGA Tour 09 shows off Tiger’s god-like capabilities. Although the golfer is presently recovering from knee surgery, the newest commercial depicts him walking into the middle of a pond, and hammering the ball right onto the green. Funny, but I doubt the real Tiger Woods would ever hit a water hazard. Check the video here.

Tiger Woods, Walk on Water, PGA Tour 09, video game, advertisement, YouTube

1% Water

1% Water is a project that aims to be a catalyst for change, reconnecting humankind physically and psychologically to water as well as helping us to shape a sustainable future. The exhibition explores themes such as AbUse, Sacred Waters and Reconnect through works by artists such as Atelier van Lieshout, Brandon Ballengée, Elina Brotherus, Edward Burtynsky, Amy Jenkins, Michaela Nettell and Studio Orta, designers such as &Made, Doshi Levien and Fulguro & TJAW and graphic designers Karlssonwilker, as well as key historic pieces. People from all over the world can even send in their own samples to be a part of mapping the 1% of drinkable water on the planet. Pretty cool project, but I don’t see too many people really paying attention. If you are concerned about our drinkable water supply, and the environment in general, then I highly recommend you check out “Water” the movie.

1% Water, Atelier van Lieshout, Brandon Ballengée, Elina Brotherus, Edward Burtynsky, Amy Jenkins, Michaela Nettell, Studio Orta, Made, Doshi Levien, Fulguro & TJAW, Karlssonwilker

Crazy 4 Cult 2

On August 22nd, Gallery 1988 in LA held Crazy 4 Cult 2. Basically, it was a pop culture-infused art show hosted by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier. The first show featured anything from Jay and Silent Bob to oil paintings of the guys from Shaun of the Dead playing with toys. This follow up was true to the original, featuring many of our favourite iconic movie figures from the 70′s through to the 90′s. From the inventive Data of the Goonies, to the psychotic Torrence family. Pop culture art never looked this good.

Crazy 4 Cult 2, Gallery 1988, Los Angeles, LA, Jay and Silent Bob, Shaun of the Dead, Goonies, 90's pop art, pop culture art

Things I personally like about Crazy 4 Cult, is that it features many different perspectives of the same general theme. The driving force behind this show is similar to the work that we typically see out of collective exhibits such as I am 8 bit. In addition to the variety of styles, I really like the mash ups featuring more pop culture figures than you can shake a stick at. I mean, just what are Jay and Silent Bob doing fighting Data, dogs and the Agent Smiths? Unreal.

Crazy 4 Cult 2, Gallery 1988, Los Angeles, LA, Jay and Silent Bob, Shaun of the Dead, Goonies, 90's pop art, pop culture art

Bastardgraphics

The man behind Bastardgraphics adheres to no restrictions and uses no certified regulations in his graphics. Like a child born without a father, Bastardgraphics are produced without direction from the one who planted the seeds of creativity within every chosen artist. Big colourful graphics that range from portraits to abstract tee-shirt graphics are a few of his fortes. He is a self-taught artist who preferred to read books to find his way. Involvement with endeavours such as the PLAY collective, an array of video and animation collections, have contributed to expanding his unruly artistic methods, helping him create freeze frames to make up the portfolio of Bastardgraphics. Loads more to say, but you’re best bet would be to check out the portfolio.

Bastardgraphics, PLAY collective

The Sustainable Living Roadshow

The issue of green living has become much more complex. How sustainable is a fuel if rain forest was cleared to plant its feedstock? How sustainable is an organic orange if it travelled 3,000 miles to get to you? I’m about to go on the road again, this time with a group seeking to address these issues: the Sustainable Living Roadshow. It’s an eco-carnival, a roadworthy green festival, a grown-up veggie caravan. The launch party is today, and it’s partnered with another great local-living organization: Victory Gardens 2008.

The Sustainable Living Roadshow, SLR, Amy Franceschini, Slow Food Nation, GMO freakshow, 100 mile diet, buy local

Artist Amy Franceschini established Victory Gardens in 2006 as a re-imagining of the similar American movement during the Second World War. Whereas both initiatives encourage citizens to grow their own food, “victory” in the modern movement is defined outside of war–as local food security. In her initial research, Franceschini found a photo of a WWII victory garden planted in the front lawn of San Francisco’s City Hall. Earlier this month, Slow Food Nation and an army of volunteers set out to re-create that image (on a grander, permaculture-inspired scale).

The Sustainable Living Roadshow, SLR, Amy Franceschini, Slow Food Nation, GMO freakshow, 100 mile diet, buy local

The Sustainable Living Roadshow (SLR) will be setting up a series of Conscious Carnival games amongst the gardens. They’ll include Toss Out Fossil Fuels, a GMO Freakshow, and a miniature Ecopolis. SLR will be touring this series of games nationally, along with a solar-powered concert stage, bio-fueled demonstration vehicles, and workshops and booths from local innovators in sustainability. Stops include Chicago, Knoxville, New Orleans, Austin and Las Vegas, as well as the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Chris Ryniak

Jeff Soto is no stranger to this blog, and his work permeates my own studio/office. So when he talks, I usually listen with the intent of gleaning some of his talent. Recently, he interviewed one of his favorite artists, Chris Ryniak, where he asked him about the constant use of teeth in his paintings. Ryniak answered: “I’ve always had some sort of problem or another with my teeth since I was a kid, so I was constantly aware of them. But I think I like the idea that they are bones that are totally protruding out of the body, but that doesn’t freak anyone out. People always seems to point out my “thing” for teeth, but look around, everybody has them, you see them all the time, people just don’t paint them a lot I guess. That’s it, I claim teeth painting for me, I got that sh*t on lock!”

Chris Ryniak, Jeff Soto, painting, contemporary art

When Soto asked him the dreaded “what is your work about” question, Ryniak responded “most of the work is really selfishly motivated in that it’s all kind of about me and my emotional experiences throughout my life. My work is always changing as well, but so is are my viewpoints on things and how I deal with things as I get older and have more responsibilities. I’m not a preachy person, I definitely have my stances on politics, spirituality, animal and human rights and all that, but I don’t put that stuff in the paintings for the most part. I suppose if you look at my paintings over the last 7 years or so, it’s like an autobiography or a journal cataloging how I was feeling at the time about whatever.” For the full interview, check out Fecal Face.

Chris Ryniak, Jeff Soto, painting, contemporary art

James Jarvis vs NikeTown London

What’s the deal with Nike? I mean, I want to hate them because they are the kings of slave labor, but for some reason I am starting to see, and like, a lot of their real estate developments. I wasn’t overly ecstatic about their new store in China, but that was only in comparison to the glass monster Adidas let loose on the oppressed nation. On it’s own, the Nike store in China is simple, not overly daring, but it works. To be clear, I am not going back on my original assessment, as the Nike store in China still isn’t anything to write home about.

James Jarvis, Nike Town, Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom

This is especially true when you put it next to Nike’s Oxford Street store in the London, which was recently revamped with an amazing window display. The avian-inspired toons are the work of (in)famed artist James Jarvis, whose blog hasn’t been updated in over 365 days. Musings aside, his style is very PG and easy on the eyes. A welcome addition to NikeTown London. I really enjoy the combination of see through and posters style elements.

James Jarvis, Nike Town, Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom