Tuesday, 30 September 2008
I always like Hot Chip album covers nearly as much as their music (which is a lot) It's really bold when there's a running theme or template as with these ones that I've picked out, it shows they are different pieces from the same source and they each kind of illustrate the songs. Each entity circled onto the square seems to embody the sense of the song through textures and materials. Album covers should do what these do, i think; act as a depiction of the music in a seductive, picture frame type way.
Their videos are generally an obscure raw and conceptual style, I find them some of the most visually interesting videos around.
There is an old version they made but never released for 'colours' on this page:
Michael Hughes has compiled a small book of postcards, called 'souvenirs' in which he has made images of postcards within their settings and images of attractions worked into their actual setting. I really like this idea of a double photograph. It makes me think about what an image represents and senses of time and presence. like a layered reality. I also came across the below series of images within an image, which really caught my eye.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
"The current of intellectual energy snapping through “The History Boys,” the ferociously engaging screen adaptation of Alan Bennett’s Tony Award-winning play, set in a boys’ school in northern England in 1983, feels like electrical brain stimulation. As two teachers jockey for the hearts and minds of eight teenage schoolboys preparing to apply to Oxford and Cambridge, their epigrams send up small jolts of pleasure and excitement. How to teach and interpret history is the question."
One view is represented by Irwin, hired by the school to scrape away the rust of received opinion from the students’ thinking so that their answers to test questions will have more edge.” On the other side is Hector, the poetry-spouting, eccentric teacher of general studies who cares deeply about how knowledge is applied to life. His pure idealism is measured by his response to a student during a discussion of the Holocaust. When the boy reels off a quote from Wittgenstein — “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” — Hector scolds him for glibness and for treating the words as “a dinky formula.” and responds “All human knowledge is precious whether or not it serves the slightest human use.” Most of the best lines go to Irwin “History nowadays is not a matter of conviction. It’s a performance. It’s entertainment.”
Transferred to the screen with its language intact, “The History Boys” inevitably feels less like a movie than like an academic vaudeville show. In one scene the students converse comically in French. Interwoven with the serious monologues are vintage popular songs (“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”) and scenes from old movies (“Now, Voyager” and “Brief Encounter”) performed by the students with a deadpan playfulness. If these songs and re-enacted film bits seem anachronistic choices for a movie set in the 1980s (the soundtrack includes period rock by the Clash and other groups), without its breezy horseplay “The History Boys” would come across as a drier, English answer to “Dead Poets Society.” All this verbal dexterity should awaken in viewers a wistful Anglophilic envy. How often do the most articulate characters in American films express themselves with such finesse?
--- London Movie Review
Saturday, 27 September 2008
"I also wanted to depict that time is a destroyer - once a minute is gone you can't get it back.
That's why my grasshopper is not a Disney character. He is a ferocious beast that over the seconds has his tongue lolling out, his jaws opening, then on the 59th second he gulps down time."
Here are some quotes that I jotted down;
'Triumphs of imagination such as the person you love is 72.8% water'
'How to think by jumping. Never wait for yourself. A word in your eye. The art of looking sideways... By the way, what’s it like living with a paper bag over your head? Not referring to you of course – the uncommon exception to universal bondage.'
'Every tool carries with it the spirit by which it has been created'
And a lot on the philosophy of vision;
If you do not raise you eyes you will think you are at the highest point
The most important instrument of thought is the eye
Every period has its own optical focus
Images have had a great influence on realities
Love comes in at the eye
Every man mistakes the limits of his vision for the limits of the world
To gaze is to think
One hundred tellings are not as good as one seeing
Originality is simply a fresh pair of eyes
To unveil is to enchant
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye
A monk asked his teacher ‘what is myself?’ he answered ‘something hidden within yourself’ the monk asked what this was and the teacher opened and closed his eyes.
Man is a seeing creature who sees with his thoughts and thinks while seeing
The entire course of our life depends on our senses, of which sight is the most universal and noble
What is originality – to see something that has no name.. hence cannot be mentioned although it stares us in the face.
Goethe thought thinking was more interesting than knowing, but not so interesting as looking. Certainly when confronted by a boring conversation my concentration is inclined to fold its arms and divert itself by observing the visual dialogues of my surroundings: the chit chat between dappled sunlight and a chint fabric, the point of contact between the edge of a near chair and the silhouette of a far lampshade, the dissolving outline of a face as it passes in front of a bright light. As Georgia O Keefe pointed out, nobody sees the flower, really, it is so small, we haven’t time, and it takes time to see, like to have a friend takes time.
We tend to reduce our environment to visual muzak – a perceptual symphony of colours, shapes and patterns. Blinkered by habit we glance around rather than look with acuity. In effect the eye sleeps until the mind wakes it with a question.
This has been really good research for my dissertation and given me a lot to consider further
Ishiguro is a Japanese-born, British writer whose books are generally never light hearted or particularly upbeat but he renders the characters meticulously well and captures the atmosphere for the stories fantastically. I read this book last year, in relation to the Alzheimer's D&AD brief because it's based around consciousness and existence and subjective experience. The theme is similar to that of 'The Island' in the way that the children in the school are clones, anaware of the reality of their environment - they exist in a controlled place as 'donors' and so their lives are lived with that purpose and only rumours suggest what happens beyond completing their donation. The story raises social issues and tests human emotions by unfolding these unsettling mysteries throughout.
The Fez Club is one of Cambridge's few night clubs worth visiting. I really liked the concept for this flyer they used to promote one of their nights. It's fun, simple and quirky with a retro design of a cassette tape keeping the message simply 'music'. If only they hadn't spoiled it by using comic sans at the bottom! Although it does look a lot like my dads writing on all of our old cassette tape labels.. so it could be arguably suitable.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
I'm in the middle of reading this book. Someone let me borrow it and said it was one of the best books they had read.. it's quite hard to get into but really gripping once it gets going. It's an epic story of the author's time in Mumbai and seems to cover everything from relationships, culture and travel to drugs and crime. The descriptions are captivating and I really enjoy the writing style.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Some amazing images! I find the compositional decisions and framing of photography a really fascinating subject. It's also intriguing to see the natural art in the different subject matter people have chosen and makes you appreciate things around you that you might not have imagined to be such artistic images if cropped and focused on. When I go anywhere with my camera I seem to automatically look at everything around me in a visual frame and I think that's an important method of thinking for every area of design.