Sunday, 27 February 2011


"The Backwater Gospel is the bachelor projects of eight students at The Animation Workshop. It's an animated short about a small, isolated community in the Dust Bowl of the 1930's, a minister hell-bent on ruling his flock and an undertaker who always precedes death."

The Backwater Gospel Blog
The Animation Workshop
The Animation Workshop (Vimeo)

Friday, 25 February 2011

Thursday, 24 February 2011


This is an odd little short from Sandro Miller featuring John Malkovich.

"I have this idea in my mind for a painting about butterflies. Blue and green and yellow butterflies, tumbling out of my brain. I think it’s going to be good. I feel like I can almost touch them... like they’re right there for me to grab as they’re flying away... out of my skull and taking all those dark thoughts and little devils with them. Just fluttering away and leaving the good stuff behind. Butterflies. I’m going to get my canvas and my paints. I think I’m all better. I think I’m ready to leave."

Design/VFX - Gentleman Scholar
Creative Directors - Will Johnson & William Campbell
Producer - Tyler Locke
Executive Producer - Rob Sanborn

Editor - Josh Bodnar/The Whitehouse

Designers/Compositors - William Campbell, Will Johnson, Tommy Wooh, Daniel Blank, Paul Yeh, Heather Aquino, Claudia Yi Leon, Joseph Chan

Director - Sandro Miller

Music Composer - Matt Hutchinson

Sandro Miller
Sandro Miller Wiki
Gentlemen Scholar
Gentlemen Scholar (Vimeo)

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


"My interest in photography arises from an urge for self-expression. It is the
product of my research into the search for identity. In reflection on my own
experience of life, I am moved to ask questions about the meaning of identity.
I ask, for example, how identity is expressed in our lives. I wish to explore the
relationship between the individual presenting his / her personality and the
society to which he / she presents it. As a being in society, I wish to use images
as a means of conveying impressions as I receive them, and open them to

I do not see photography as a means of describing objective truth. Rather, I see
subjectivity in selecting and constructing the content. I recognize that photography
always offers the possibility of multiple interpretations. The subjectivity of creating
construction combined with a recognizable reality tempts the viewer to forget the
mediating function of photography. One is tempted to believe that one sees the
situation itself with the help of the picture. But a photograph is a product of artistic

For me, the most fascinating capacity of photography is its capacity to portray a
moment as a picture and to capture an essence of the event. My photograpic
series are composed of different fragments of reality put in relation to each other.
While photographing, I watch people very closely. I choose situations in which
I believe people are described in an honest way; but the fact remains that I do
choose the scenes I photograph, and what kind of message I construct by
combining these images. I feel a responsibility to the people I wish to portray,
and therefore I work very carefully, choosing the situations in which I photograph,
and selecting the pictures which I show in public."

Hide all
Andreas Weinand
Andreas Weinand (Conscientious) source

Monday, 21 February 2011


Another graduation film from a talented team of students from Gobelins, l’école de l’image. This 3-minute short has a sumptuous visual style and the team involved have documented much of their work in their individual blogs. It won "Best Graduation Film" at Annecy 2010.

The Lighthouse Keeper (Vimeo)
Baptiste Rogron
Gaëlle Thierry
Rony Hotin
Maïlys Vallade
Jérémie moreau
David François
Romain Gauthier

Saturday, 19 February 2011


I find Daniel Palacios' work extremely beautiful, engaging, and thought-provoking. His work Waves has received a lot of attention in the blogosphere. Though not without reason, I prefer Intrusiones which illustrates sounds and its influence over time. That said, his entire catalogue is worthy of attention.

"The work of Daniel Palacios (Cordoba, 1981), an artist educated in sciences who graduated with a degree in Fine Arts, develops by applying the relations of art, science and technology to space and the perceptual systems as a result of his postgraduate studies which earned him Masters degrees in Art and Technology and Art in the Public Sphere.

Works such as ‘Waves’, ‘Outcomes’ and ‘Kill the Process’ have brought him to exhibitions like ‘Synthetic Times’ at the National Art Museum de China [NAMOC] and ‘El Discreto Encanto de la Tecnología (The Discreet Charm of Technology)’ at the Museo Extremeño e Iberoamerica of Contemporary Art [MEIAC] in Badajoz, the prestigious Neue Gallerie of Graz (Austria) and Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie [ZKM] in Karlsruhe (Germany), one of the main sanctuaries for electronic art on a global level, in addition to taking part in such international fairs as ARCO and festivals of the stature of ARS Electronica of Linz (Austria). His work has received major recognition, including the second VIDA9.0 Art and Artificial Life awards and support for production of his work from the PROPUESTAS programme of the Arte y Derecho Foundation, in addition to being awarded an artist residency at Casa Lutetia (Sao Paulo, Brazil), published in the MIT Press specialist magazine ‘Leonardo’ in “Art from Andalusia for the 21st Century’ coordinated by Ivan de la Torre Amerighi, and the recent Tames & Hudson publication of ‘Art and Science Now: How Scientific Research and Technological Innovation are Becoming Key to 21st-Century Aesthetics’ by professor Stephen Wilson.
He has also given workshops and conferences on the combined use of technology and plastic arts in such schools and centres as the FAAP School of Plastics Arts (Brazil), School of Fine Arts of La Laguna (Tenerife), CRCC (Palma de Mallorca), Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, IAAC (Barcelona), File Symposium at the SESI Gallery (Brazil), Science Week at the Centre of Contemporary Art in Malaga…

Concerning information and electronic technology as tools for creating a process more than achieving a defined representation. Although it encompasses different themes, his work is a set of relationships with the surrounding environment: whether with the physical space itself as we perceive it or what phenomena are happening in it. In a certain sense, he creates situations which invite reflection or represent his own reflections at a specific moment of his research concerning perceptions and the manner in which they influence the way we relate to them.

Contact with reality and plastic languages is a major aspect of his work, which seeks to create situations and not simulations, utilizing ‘reality’ in his installations with the goal of creating plastic, non-digital results. Technology allows him to control what factors come into play in that space, in what measure and what their effect will be. In this way, the public is an indispensable part of the work by participating in its process, while the artist in turn can study their reactions, the one factor he cannot control and the vital aspect of his work."

Daniel Palacios
Daniel Palacios (Vimeo)
Daniel Palacios

Friday, 18 February 2011

STEVE REICH's "Clapping Music"

Peter Van Der Ham created this brilliant realisation of Steve Reich's Clapping Music from a concept by George Manak. An original rendition is below.

Steve Reich
Steve Reich (Wiki)
Peter Van Der Ham (YouTube)

Thursday, 17 February 2011


"For several years Shoplifter has worked exploring the use and symbolic nature of hair, and its visual and artistic potential. It started as a discovery in an antique shop, a lock of hair encased as a keepsake and shaped as a flower, and has since evolved as an exploration of hair’s meaning - from strength, self-image and beauty, to vanity, decoration and fashion.

Shoplifter has said of her work, “Vanity is to a different extent on the surface of my work and sometimes it appears only vaguely or in an abstract way, but it plays a role whether it is visible in the work or only in the air when I make it. I really respect the human need to decorate oneself and one’s environment, be it driven by vanity and obsession or sincere love for beauty, which in and of itself is vanity at its best.”

Shoplifter has often collaborated with Björk, who used her hair sculptures for the art for her album Medúlla. Other collaborations include Assume Vivid Astro Focus, , ThreeAsFour, and Victoria Bartlett’s VPL.

Shoplifter has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe, most notably at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where she was commissioned to produce a window installation in collaboration with a.v.a.f. Other exhibition venues include The Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland, White Columns, New York, Amy Smith-Stewart Gallery, New York, Colette Art Gallery, London, Deitch Projects, New York, Creative Time, New York, Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York and The Kitchen, New York."

Björk, wearable hair sculpture 2004

Shoplifter (The Selby)
Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (Museum of Contemporary Craft)
Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (ArtNet)
Hrafnhildur Arnardottir (Under the Glacier)

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

WATARU ARAKAWA's Fireball Charming

I've only just discovered this in an announcement of a second season of this collection of shorts. The new season comprises 13 two-minute episodes from writer/director Wataru Arakawa with music from Usui Yoshiyuki and animation from Jinni's Animation Studios.

The story centres around a female robot duchess named Drosel von Flügel and her guardian servant robot Gedächtnis.

The videos below contain the trailer for the upcoming season as well as a compilation of the freshman outing. Unfortunately, it's dialogue heavy and in original Japanese without translation. That said, the Chris Cunningham-influenced designs are fun and I like Usui Yoshiyuki's music.

Fireball Charming
Fireball (Wiki)
Fireball Charming (YouTube)
Jinni's Animation Studios
Usui Yoshiyuki(Grooveshark)

Monday, 14 February 2011


Hello everyone. Just to give you a head's up that I've been having a video-embedding issue that's specific to Firefox which repeats the same embedded video across various posts. It is not a problem with the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Opera. That said, the Firefox issue is cleared up when the cache is cleared.

If anyone is familiar with this issue, assistance would be welcome. I'll be working on it and will post an update as soon as it is resolved.

all the best,


Ben Reubold's short Solar would make a nice diversion on your break. See it in full resolution HERE.

The Curious Lure of PROFESSOR LAYTON

I think I've been overlooking games on the WIRE for far too long. It has taken some time to digest what is on offer and swimming upstream against media questioning the merits of the medium has stymied my progress.

And so I start with the puzzle-based series of games centering on the adventures of Professor Layton and trusty apprentice, Luke. As this last Christmas approached, the seventh for my son and with an unwieldy collection of action figures, bricks, vehicles, and boardgames, we decided to get him a Nintendo DS XL along with a pair of Professor Layton games.

This was spurred somewhat by the following from Charlie Brooker's blog at The Guardian:

"Don't be fooled by the children's book presentation: this is essentially an interactive detective story, although the story is just an excuse to present you with a series of increasingly challenging puzzles, some of which could cause even the most sophisticated brain to overheat. If I had children, I'd force them to play this on the basis that it would almost certainly turn them into geniuses."
Now, it's two months later and the entire household often spend spare moments working through the games. Across age and gender, these games have drawn us into its charming pan-European vision of England with its Japanese sensibilities.

It's greater than the sum of its parts which all work toward enhacing the other. The puzzles, animations, music, voice acting and quirky storyline is at once familiar and comforting while likewise presented in such a incongruous ways as to make something new. For example, accordian music which we tend to associate with France serves as the base of much of the soundtrack. It's a bit like giving Tolstoy a soundtrack of steel drums. Odd, but it works in this context.

The puzzles themselves remind me of puzzles that various teachers throughout my schooling would bringe in a couple times of year to challenge and delight, but each Professor Layton has 100+ enigmas. Each is delightful with a good balance of challenge(and occasional frustration) while offering an endorphine-releasing payoff that spurs the player on to the next puzzle.

Recently, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva was released which is an animated film based on the series. Not as compelling as the games themselves, it does serve to buttress the series without detracting from its achievements. My son in particular was charmed by it.

Most of all, it is something that takes the medium and makes the most of its abilities and has a broad appeal, particularly among those who find little to no appeal in the usual fare offered by video games while likewise drawing in veteran gamers more accustomed to shooting zombies.

Professor Layton (Wiki)
Professor Layton (Official Website)

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Motohiko Odani has an interesting collection of work though I find the titles of his creations tend to fall short.

"Motohiko Odani has been celebrated for his meticulously crafted objects and visions of utopia and dystopia since the late 1990s. A main theme underlying his sculpture, photography, and video work is mutation of humans and animals. In his celluloid-colored video Rompers, a computer-graphic-enhanced mutant girl sings, idyllically, while eerie insects crawl around her. She is indifferent to them and seems to accept that she is becoming something other than herself. The work comments on the mutation of nature in an age of bioengineering while appropriating the innocent setting of the children’s TV program, Romper Room that originally aired in the United States in the 1950s. On the Japanese version that was shown during the late 1960s and the 1970s, toy bees and cute animals frolicked with children.

Motohiko Odani was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1972 and received an MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1997. In his sculpture, photography, and video works, Odani mingles human, animal, and futuristic anatomy, exploring the boundaries of reality and myth, and the physical and the spiritual. Odani’s creations are eerie, yet visually stunning. He currently holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Intermedia Art at Tokyo University of the Arts. Odani’s works have been shown in various solo exhibitions, including “SP4 ‘The Spectator’ in Modern Sculpture,” Yamamoto Gendai Gallery, Tokyo (2009); and “En Melody,” Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milano (2001); as well as group exhibitions that include “MI VIDA: From Heaven to Hell,” MUeCSARNOK, Budapest (2009), and “Skin of/in Contemporary Art,” The National Museum of Art, Osaka (2007)."

* Top image: Fingerspanner, 1998, Photo:HIROMOTO Hideki (Takamoto Gendai)

Motohiko Odani (
Motohiko Odani (Tamamoto Gendai)
Motohiko Odani (Go Figure)
Motohiko Odani (ArtNet)

Saturday, 12 February 2011


"Born 1958 in Nachod, Czechoslovakia, Jitka Hanzlová is currently resident in Essen, Germany. She studied photography at Essen University and has since worked as a photographer on her own projects. She was awarded the Otto Steinert Photography Prize in 1993 and European Photography Prize in 1995 and was shortlisted for The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 2000 and 2003. Hanzlova's work on “Rokytník” depicting the small Czech village where she grew up and her portraits of women in various countries in “Female” have won her acclaim in Europe and America. "

Jitka Hanzlová (Sutton Lane)
Jitka Hanzlová (Conscientious) source
Jitka Hanzlová (Steidl Books)
Jitka Hanzlova (Artforum/BNET article)
Jitka Hanzlová (ArtNet)

Friday, 11 February 2011

RICHARD AYOADE's "Submarine"

"I have been waiting too long for the film of my life. My name is Oliver Tate. This film will capture my particular idiosyncrasies, for example, the way I seduce my classmate Jordana Bevan using only my mind. Also, since my parents’ marriage is being threatened by a man who runs courses on Mental and Physical Wellbeing, the film will probably feature some elaborate set-pieces of me taking him down. There will be helicopter shots. There will be slow-mo, but also transcendent moments, like when I cure my father's depression. Knowing me as I do, I will be surprised if this film runs to less than three hours. Note to the press: appropriate adjectives to describe this film include "breath-taking" and "irresistible" as well the phrase: "a monumental achievement”."

Submarine (Warp Films)
Richard Ayoade interview (Guardian)

Thursday, 10 February 2011


"In this work, Masuyama engages in an exploration of passages across time, space and art history. These photomontages are made after the 19th Century painters Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774-1840) and J.M.W. Turner (British, 1775-1851), who both traveled widely across Europe and documented their journeys in paintings. Returning to the sites that Friedrich and Turner captured over 160 years ago, before the invention of the camera, Masuyama takes several thousand photographs. With these images, he composes reproductions of the original paintings out of thousands of images, building the painterly atmosphere and light out of his contemporary photographs. The finished photomontage is mounted on a lightbox, illuminating his composite image from within.
Masuyama animates these historical, often iconic artworks with a new contemporary resonance, calling upon their shared universality while simultaneously pointing to the unique, individual lens of his own time and place. "

Hiroyuki Masuyama (official site)
Hiroyuki Masuyama (Galerie Sfeir-Semler)
Hiroyuki Masuyama (Studio La Città)
Hiroyuki Masuyama (ArtNet)
Hiroyuki Masuyama (Conscientious) source

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

SPIKE JONZE's "I'm Here"

If you have yet to see Spike Jonze's short, "I'm Here", do not hesitate to put aside a half hour for this charming love story. See it HERE.

"I’m Here is a 30-minute love story about the relationship between two robots living in L.A. Andrew Garfield and Sienna Guillory are in the lead roles, and the soundtrack includes original music by Sam Spiegel and original songs by L.A.-based art musician Aska Matsumiya and other emerging musicians."

I'm Here (Wiki)
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