Dream on

Zabriskie Point by Michelangelo Antonioni
July 29th, 2009

Am not sure how many times I've seen this film. But I remember very vivid the first time: I was about 12, alone at home and not supposed to watch TV. Switched to Zabriskie Point by accident - well, back then we had only three TV channels anyway.  Three decades later I can easily see how the shock that masterpiece initially provoked when I was still a girl entered as a underlying theme into my life. The style, the music, the two main characters. Saw it again last night and in that sense it really was revelation.

Via Wikipedia: "It tells the story of a young couple — an idealistic, free spirited young woman, and an aspiring radical turned fugitive. They meet in the desert under bizarre circumstances, instantly connect with a fearless spirit, and then part with tragic consequences. When the fugitive dies in an attempt to reconcile his minor transgressions with the police his new-found lover's connection to the corporate and government establishment is psychologically and permanently severed when she visualizes the home of her corporate lover/boss exploding in slow motion."

[ Catalysts ]

African Noise

Cut hands
July 18th, 2009

Had the great pleasure of being at the Salon des Amateurs in Düsseldorf last night to hear William Bennett play a live set. He chose to show Les Maîtres Fous to his music. Haven't seen the film in a while and it is still disturbing.

Jean Rouch always pushed the limit of his scientific research and is still a huge source of inspiration. Via Wikipedia: "Rouch's practice as a filmmaker for over sixty years in Africa, was characterized by the idea of shared anthropology. Influenced by his discovery of surealism in his early twenties, many of his films blur the line between fiction and documentary, creating a new style of ethnofiction."

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On the role of the designer in the 21st century

Matt Webb @ Copenhagen's Reboot conference

July 6th, 2009


Matt Webb is one really handsome Brit giving an inspiring speech with a wonderful conclusion. From boingboing.net: "It's a great Webbrant, thought-provoking, learned, wide-ranging, weird and great."

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Sir Ken Robinson

gives the 2009 commencement address at RISD

June 10th, 2009


Watch his inspiring, witty and humorous speech. From the RISD Site: "One of the world's leading thinkers on creativity, Sir Ken Robinson was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for outstanding achievements as a writer and tireless advocate for creativity, education and the arts. His latest book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything became an instant New York Times bestseller and has been widely embraced by leaders in business, education, government and the arts. In the late 1990s, Robinson was appointed by the British government to lead a national commission on creativity, education and the economy, which resulted in the widely acclaimed 1999 'Robinson Report,' All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. His subsequent book Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (2001) firmly established his reputation as one of the world's leading authorities on the value of creativity. Known for his ready wit and deep humanity, Robinson speaks throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the ever-shifting global economy. He has advised governments in Europe, Asia and the US; worked with international agencies and Fortune 500 companies; and guided some of the world's leading cultural organizations."

And RISD's president John Maeda introduced him. It might really be the best school for design nowadays...

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Happy Birthday

Neville Brody
April 23rd, 2009

Via Wikipedia: "Brody's experimentation with his self-made sans-serif typography, along with his Pop Art and Dadaism influence, caught the attention of music record companies such as Fetish Records and Stiff records after he left college. His record cover designs lead toward a grudgy and a punk scene. The album Micro-Phonies by Cabaret Voltaire was art directed by Brody in 1984. His infamous typography features on the front and a bandaged figure spouting liquid from the mouth stares blankly at the viewer.

Brody made his name largely popular through his revolutionary work as an art director for The Face Magazine. He changed up the basic and structural rules that existed in the British culture into a more artsy and vibrant aesthetic. His designs provoked some form of emotion to the extent that people would stick to one page instead of turning pages like they would normally do when reading a novel. Other international magazine and newspaper directions have included City Limits, Lei, Per Lui, Actuel and Arena, together with the radical new look for two leading British newspapers The Guardian and The Observer (both newspaper and magazine).[citation needed] Brody has pushed the boundaries of visual communication in all media through his experimental and challenging work, and continues to extend the visual languages we use through his exploratory creative expression.

In 1988 Thames & Hudson published the first of two volumes about his work, which became the world's best selling graphic design book. "

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Years from now what will I wish I had done today

With an attitude
April 20th, 2009

Been thinking about these two grand ladies the last couple of days. They manage to look even better the older they get. Brilliant designer Andrée Putman (not only for the interior design of my favourite plane of all times) and top artist Cindy Sherman (not only for evoking all that egoism for altruism). Absolutely admirable - in every aspect.

[ Catalysts ]

Lines to live by

Photo by Peter Kayafas

April 6th, 2009


Good Morning Starshine from Hair (1979):

"Gliddy glub gloopy

Nibby nabby noopy

La la la lo lo

Sabba sibby sabba

Nooby abba nabba

Le le lo lo

Tooby ooby walla

Nooby abba naba

Early morning singing song"

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"When the shadow of your house would be your home, the moment of arrival would determine where home is"

by Tomas Schats

April 1st, 2009

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Sucking on words

Kenneth Goldsmith
March 27th, 2009

UbuWeb's founder, publisher and patron saint is Kenneth Goldsmith. He has done an incredible job collecting avant-garde films among other outsider arts and made them available online. If you'd like to get to know him better, watch "Sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith" (2007), a film by Simon Morris.

Kenneth Goldsmith says in the documentary: "I believe that information management is the way we are writing now and will continue to write in the future. [...] There is enough language in the world, that we need not create any new language. [...] The interest is in the remix, the accumulation and the filtering. We become intelligent agents."

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"No one should be designing record covers after the age of 30"

The Peter Saville principle.
March 19th, 2009

I am a huge fan of Peter Saville. It has been a while since I had the chance to work with him, but his influence remains.

Via Eye blog: "Controversially, for an audience full of designers working in the music industry he said: 'No one should be designing record covers after the age of 30', and 'Music covers are not graphic design, they do not communicate anything, they have no purpose in that respect.' Saville amused us with his directness – he was refreshingly opinionated."

[ Catalysts ]