"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

[ Catalysts ]

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."

[ Catalysts ]

"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 ]

Please Say Something

Amazing short film

March 14th, 2009


It has been a long time that any design struck me. "Please Say Something" by David O'Reilly did. The animation is about a troubled relationship between a cat and mouse set in the distant future. It won the Golden Bear for best short film at the 2009 Berlinale. From Motionographer: "Doing what other people don't is how O'Reilly rolls. Narrative risk-taking, boldness in aesthetic simplification, and self-imposed creative rules lead to epic creation. PSS is strange, insanely original, and some of the most authentic storytelling you'll ever see." I couldn't agree more.

[ Catalysts ]

The Frightening Beauty of Bunkers

by Paul Virilio

February 9th, 2009


During my years at university we spent a few days at the stormy coast of the North Sea studying and drawing bunkers. Today a post at the, always inspiring, Design Observer evoked some of those long forgotten memories. From The Morning News: "Approximately 1.500 bunkers were built during World War II along the French shores to forestall an Allied landing - 'the Atlantic Wall'. Decommissioned after the Allied invasion of Normandy, this elaborate defense system now lies abandoned. At the age of 25, Paul Virilio stumbled upon these relics with his camera and began a study that would continue for 30 years. His 1975 book, Bunker Archeology, has recently been translated into English and reprinted by Princeton Architectural Press: an inquiry of war and its structures and a personal memoir of exploration, merging technical analysis with philosophical questioning." Also, go and check out the images.

[ Catalysts ]

The Quantified Self

Kevin Kelly

February 4th, 2009


From The Quantified Self blog by Kevin Kelly: "The central question of the coming century is Who Are We? What is a human? What does it mean to be a person? Is human nature fixed? Sacred? Infinitely expandable? And in the meantime, how do I get through all my email? Or live to be 100. We believe that the answers to these cosmic questions will be found in the personal. Real change will happen in individuals as they work through self-knowledge. Self-knowledge of one's body, mind and spirit. Many seek this self-knowledge and we embrace all paths to it."


[ Catalysts ]

Nothing is original

Five rules for directing
January 26th, 2009

Jim Jarmusch: "Rule #5: Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from - it's where you take them to."

Thank you, Eric Baker!

[ Catalysts ]


Unique Bird Photography

January 25th, 2009


From Rick Lieder's website: "An ordinary bird feeder, an ordinary day: and the ordinary, beautiful, eternal ballet of survival, flight, and falling, the aerial acrobats forever in motion, a rush of speed and feathers past the wondering human eye."


[ Catalysts ]

Heiner Müller (1929 - 1995)

Die Hamletmaschine / The Hamletmachine (1977)

January 10th, 2009




Tiefsee. Ophelia im Rollstuhl. Fische Trümmer Leichen und Leichenteile treiben vorbei.


Während zwei Männer in Arztkitteln sie und den Rollstuhl von unten nach oben in Mullbinden schnüren.

Hier spricht Elektra. Im Herzen der Finsternis. Unter der Sonne der Folter. An die Metropolen der Welt. Im Namen der Opfer. Ich stoße allen Samen aus, den ich empfangen habe. Ich verwandle die Milch meiner Brüste in tödliches Gift. Ich nehme die Welt zurück, die ich geboren habe. Ich ersticke die Welt, die ich geboren habe, zwischen meinen Schenkeln. Ich begrabe sie in meiner Scham. Nieder mit dem Glück der Unterwerfung. Es lebe der Haß, die Verachtung, der Aufstand, der Tod. Wenn sie mit Fleischermessern durch eure Schlafzimmer geht, werdet ihr die Wahrheit wissen.

Männer ab. Ophelia bleibt auf der Bühne, reglos in der weißen Verpackung. 




Deep sea. Ophelia in wheelchair. Fish wreckage corpses and body-parts stream past. 


While two men in doctor’s smocks wrap her from top to bottom in white bandages. 

Here speaks Electra. In the Heart of Darkness. Under the Sun of Torture. To the Metropolises of the World. In the Names of the Victims. I expel all the semen which I have received. I transform the milk of my breasts into deadly poison. I suffocate the world which I gave birth to, between my thighs. I bury it in my crotch. Down with the joy of oppression. Long live hate, loathing, rebellion, death. When she walks through your bedroom with butcher’s knives, you’ll know the truth. 

Exit men. Ophelia remains on the stage, motionless in the white packaging.

[ Catalysts ]

Mister Lonely

by Harmony Korine

December 28th, 2008


Harmony Korine's debut film Gummo had a huge influence on design back in 1997. Still love the title sequence. I saw his second movie Julien Donkey Boy at the Berlinale in 1999 and was struck by Werner Herzog's performance and deeply disturbed by the experience Korine provided. Today I watched his latest work Mister Lonely (2007) and a rather weird chain of associations let my back to another mind-blowing cinematic discovery: anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch - more precisely his film Moi, un Noir (Me, a Black). He is considered as one of the pioneers of Nouvelle Vague, of visual anthropology and the father of ethnofiction. And obviously he remains a huge influence on contemporary filmmakers. Rouch is a giant and Korine still worth checking out.

[ Catalysts ]