Archive for March, 2010

Phantogram

Published March 26, 2010 by Rubin

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Phantogram is a duo from Saratoga Springs, NY and I’m pretty sure from the blog posting and comments I’ve seen and received directly this band made a lot of new fans by playing shows at SxSw this past week.

My friend Mike told me about the Phantogram record Eyelid Movies and I was really into it after a few listens. The synths, sampling, drum beats, melodic kinda 90’s sound with energy and the really pretty female / male vocals. It really grows on you quickly and I suggest you listen a few times and find the many videos floating around from their live performances.

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Listen to: “Mouth Full Of Diamonds”

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Listen to: “Turn It Off”

Find out more at Myspace. Pick up Eyelid Movies. Go see them live.

Nicole Cherubini

Published March 26, 2010 by Molly

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Nicole Cherubini’s sculptures are made of terracotta, porcelain, earthenware and other surfaces resulting from hand-built, thrown and molded processes. It looks old-school when viewed from afar, in other words, and totally (unexpectedly) contemporary when examined at close range. The artist started as a photographer but moved on to clay and has been working in the medium for years. “Clay and the vessel came to me as a complete conceptual tool for a discussion of lack and for an exploration of the decorative,” she’s said. Cherubini has also spoken about her interest in exploring the boundaries between two and three dimensions. (Cool.)

The artist draws on a wide-ringing but specific body of references in her work: the history of ceramics, Greek storage vessels, the artist’s Italian grandmother, the theorist Jacques Lacan, Hittite pots in Turkey, conceptual art of the 1970s and artists like Cindy Sherman, Robert Morris and Donald Judd. If you’re into abstractions and beautiful, complicated objects, she’s one to follow closely.

Christopher Svensson

Published March 26, 2010 by Molly

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Christopher Svensson’s work is conceptually, visually and imaginatively awesome. These qualities often appear individually in artists and designers, or *maybe* in conjunction with one other, but it’s rare to find all three in the same person. Call the search off!

Happily, Svensson documents his work for us online. A few highlights include his useful information graphic poster comparing the sound qualities of the Neil Young song “Cinnamon Girl” in two different audio formats, a series of knit works based on internet memes, book interventions (see here), and another infographic dealing with a signature Phil Spector moment.

Treasure Maps

Published March 25, 2010 by Molly

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Could this be more straightforward or more amazing? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Theme Park Maps is exactly what it sounds like: an online archive of theme park maps ranging from 1931 to 2009. You’ve got your Busch Gardens, your Disneyland, your Splash Lagoon, your Dollywood, Fantasy Land, Magic Harbor and Shipwreck Island. Also Floridaland, Lakeside, Libertyland and something called Kentucky Kingdom.

If you have any interest in treasure maps or the graphic appeal therein, you’ll want to spend some QT with this archive!

Abstract City

Published March 25, 2010 by Molly

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Christoph Niemann’s illustrations are one-shot poems. You wouldn’t think it’d be possible to pack so much meaning / delight / humor into such simple images, but you’d be wrong. Niemann’s blog for the New York Times is called Abstract City, and it offers a running visual commentary on all things metro.

La Bolleur

Published March 25, 2010 by Molly

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La Bolleur is a former brothel in the city of Eindhoven, located in the Netherlands. Five years ago, three guys—Timon van der Hijden, Zowie Jannink and Steie van Vugt— took over the former lounge and remade it into a space for creative projects. The place functioned as a clubhouse for people of all stripes, and moonlighted as a restaurant, comedy night, dance party, movie theater and art gallery. The La Bolleur collective expanded (more dudes joined) and the rest, as they say, is history.

This spring for Milan Design Week, the guys have installed a miniature golf course at Zona Tortona in Milan, Italy. The course includes a sand trap, trellised cages, putting zones, bridges, and a whole bunch of other delightful mini-golf challenges. If you can’t schedule a visit, check out the photos and see if you can’t recreate something similar at home.

Karen Barbé

Published March 24, 2010 by Molly

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Karen Barbé is a textile designer from Santiago, Chile, and her work is heartbreakingly beautiful. Moreover, she keeps a rigorously-updated blog documenting her work and her aesthetic fixations, and the blog is a work of art in itself. Not only is the author unstoppably creative, but she seems to have the Midas touch: in Barbé’s hands old cross-stitch patterns become gorgeous cut-outs and empty plastic bottles turn into adorable pins.

Inspirations include traditional Chilean pottery, books of vintage patterns, Macedonian aprons, Lanigrafía (”the art of depicting landscapes or objects using different embroidery stitches and colors”), thrift stores, quilting, vintage fashion sketches and so much more.

To e

Published March 24, 2010 by Molly

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To e is Michael Crowe’s collection of YouTube screen grabs, some of which are altered and some of which are left as found. Try browsing for a minute or two. And then try stopping. Sometimes the simplest things can be profoundly mesmerizing.

Also be sure to check out this BBC News Report on one of Michael Crowe’s projects. Genius!

A Song for the Horse Nation

Published March 23, 2010 by Molly

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WOW! Have you ever seen an exhibit more clearly designed for enthusiastic amateur historians? And anyone else with a passing interest in Apache scouts, colonial history, Pueblo revolts and tribal herds? Which should be just about everyone?

The Smithsonian’s “A Song for the Horse Nation” is a splendid overview of the role of horses in America. Tales of conquistadors, warfare, embattled Native Americans and trade routes are all connected by the noble animal into a crucial narrative of American history.

Just how key is the horse? Consider this: the animal originated in the Americas more than 40 million years ago, eventually became extinct in its homeland, and was reintroduced in 1493 when Columbus brought 25 horses with him on voyage #2. Horses changed Native methods of hunting, travel, and standards of wealth. When it comes down to it, its sort of impossible to overestimate the impact of the animal.

The show stays up until July 2011, which gives you plenty of time to plan your voyage. Bring a notebook!

Johan Willner

Published March 23, 2010 by Graham

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Swedish photographer Johan Willner’s images of boyhood strike a strong emotional chord. His work deftly emulates the social uncertainty and ambiguous violence that often come coupled with the inevitably awkward stage of pre-adolescence. It’s that time in your life when you just want to turn invisible, but no matter what you do it feels like everyone’s looking at you. These could be still frames from a surreal film about evolving familial relationships and uncomfortable father-son moments. “What did you do?” the adults in Willner’s Boy Stories seem to be asking with their accusatory glances. “I don’t know, what did I do?” thinks the viewer, along with the boy who honestly can’t figure it out.

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