Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lite-Brite Cripple's Boston with Raised Finger

I first saw this story on the BBC News site. My, response, given the lack of detail (no picture of the offending devices) was, "who are the ad retards behind this?".



A friend IM'd me a link to CCN's reporting of the story. When I saw the character that was on the blinking signage pieces I got a good laugh. It;s Ignignokt from Mooninite Marauders on Adult Swin (Cartoon Network). I've never seen the show but I'm familiar with the character. It's hard to gauge who acted foolishly in this situation. I'm assuming these done with the help of people with some knowledge of outdoor media buys and they were placed legally and with approval, but who knows.



Future (Advertising) Weapons

The agency where I am working is in a tough to get to part of Manhattan. A freind who works there with me, and lives by me, convinced me to do a subway/bus combo-commute. Monday was my second time on a NYC bus. I got on, pulled out my Treo and noticed I had a message on it asking me whether I wanted to accept an incoming media file. Here is the short video that was uploaded to my phone.



Weapons on Vimeo


It turns out to be part of a campaign for the Discovery Channel's show Future Weapons. The guy in the video gives a 6 digit code to enter on the site. I couldn't find the spot on the site to enter it... that's an elaborate and expensive way to jerk viewers/consumers around.



Monday, Adweek ran a piece on this. The campaign uses HD monitors and bluetooth technology at bus shelters around New York.

Hallucinogen of my mind

Miss Snickerdoodle actually created this image juxtaposition but I agreed to post. Poor Brit.



The following clip is where the title of the post is from.



I always enjoyed this. Her bit on time travel is precious.



Caveman's Crib

Geico gives us a peak into the private lives of Cavemen in a well executed flash video piece called Caveman's Crib. Be sure to check out the journal tucked under the pillow, funny stuff.

As cool as this is the fun wears out quite quickly. I keep thinking there should be something more here.




Monday, January 29, 2007

Trendspotting: Men in Tights

Via the Calgary Herald: Man in tights could be next fashion victim by Misty Harris

I'm ready to don a kilt, but tights, hmmm I'm not so sure.

Although gridiron glamour is the last thing one thinks about when it comes to the Super Bowl, next Sunday's game will preview one of the most talked about looks in menswear for fall 2007: man tights.

The body-hugging pants worn by football players may be a far cry from their couture counterparts, revealed earlier this month at Milan Fashion Week. But their sleek silhouette nonetheless captures the guiding principal of the catwalk trend, ingeniously labelled "hosiery for homies" by New York journalist Brian Niemietz.

From the angora leggings and fitted stirrup pants worn by male models on Prada's runway to the cashmere jersey tights and microfibre cotton and wool leggings in Marni's menswear collection - not to mention painted-on pants visible at Alexander McQueen and Roberto Cavalli - top designers are hanging their hopes on this superhero staple. Fortunately for them, the male ranks of the international fashion press seem eager to get their Spider-Man on.

Fashion Wire Daily's Godfrey Deeny enthused that male leggings are the season's "must-have" and that "the feminine-in-masculine moment is all the rage." Tim Blanks, Style.com commentator and CBC Fashion File alum, waxed poetic about tights' capacity to emphasize men's boxy blazers and jackets. And New York Times reporter Guy Trebay praised men's cashmere leggings, worn with square-cut jackets and coats, as "almost ostentatious in their simplicity."

Getting the average guy to trade Levis for leggings, however, will be no easy task.
"This is one of those things that's nice to think about and fun to laugh at - a little bit like blush and mascara for men - but I just don't see it sticking," says Marian Salzman, executive vice-president of New York advertising agency JWT. "All the sizzle of Paris and Milan isn't going to put a guy in Detroit into leggings unless he's very, very hip and trendy."


You can read the full story on the Calgary Herald site.


Speaking of men in tights, Microsoft had a few of their own prancing up and down the side of a building on Manhattan's West Side today to promote the launch of Windows Vista. This could be just what was needed to nip this tights thing right in the...



Mother Nature... Bloody Bitch

Via National Geographic News.

September 15, 2006—A fresh lamb dinner might sound like a manageable meal for an 18-foot-long (5.5-meter-long) python. But maybe the hungry snake should have waited for the lamb to be born.

Last week firefighters in the Malaysian village of Kampung Jabor were called in to remove the bloated snake (pictured) from a roadway. The reptile had swallowed an entire pregnant sheep and was too full to slither away and digest its supersize meal.

But the stress of being captured likely triggered the python to purge—it eventually regurgitated the dead ewe.







I just did a post on the Python that ate the 11 dogs gaurding the fruit orchared, but after seeing the size of the snake that ate the ewe I'm having trouble buying that story. The expression on the men's faces with the snake says to me "look, here, this is the snake that ate your dogs". I smell a rat, or more precisely, four men with dog breath.






This is actually my second post on Gustave, Burundi's "Man Removal Machine". Weighing in at an awesome one ton (or more) and a shocking 300+ kills under his belt, he's the baddest predator around.

The recently released motion picture Primeval, is based on Gustave.



In this bit of documentary I found on YouTube some French hunters try to capture Gustave by tying a goat in a cage placed at the edge of a river. In the morning the goat is gone and the cage had been dragged into the water.



Sunday, January 28, 2007

When I grow up...

I wanna be like the giant python in Kuala Lumpur that ate the 11 dogs gaurding a fruit orchard.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Street Art?

Nick Z left a comment on my Banksy post and called my attention to this story about "The Splasher", an anti-art defacer of street works by genre heavies like Obey and Swoon.





The author of the piece on The Gothamist says that members of the NY Graffiti Art community encouraged them not to report on this.

Several people who we know in the New York graffiti community urged us not to cover the Splasher at all, saying that it would only encourage him to destroy more work-- but his project does raise some interesting questions that seem worth considering. First, to what extent is his basic premise correct-- are most streetartists spoiled children of the (white) bourgeoisie? Is their work just a leading sign of gentrification? And second, can a project that consists of destroying other people's work itself be considered art? After all, burning down a museum would rightly be called a crime. Is this? Before you answer, maybe it's best to read up on the Splasher-- here are some links from around the web.

Often, in the wake of his attacks, the Splasher also leaves wheat-pasted screeds, attacking the streetartists as tools of capital, calling their work a "fetishized action of banality" and "a representation of the most vulgar kind: an alienated commodity"


(The Gothamist article also includes a links of links for additional articles on The Splasher.)

I've always considered the "Obey" series as works of political-social commentary using the graffiti format as a means of expressing messages and perspectives outside of mainstream discourse. As such they are part of an active public discourse. These are not sanctioned pieces of decorative public/municipal art. Given that position(admittedly, my interpretation) they are and should be open and receptive to criticism.

The request of some not to report on The Splasher repositions the emphasis of these works on their aesthetic and decorative merit over their function as discourse. I would be very disappointed to hear the artists take that stance. For me, that would suggest that they are decorative piece's that legitimize themselves through a posturing use of political messaging. (That said, this is America and hypocrisy out greatest luxury.)

I have been taking pictures of the more formalized manifestations of graffiti over the last few years. From time to time I post them under the heading of "Beat on the Street." I've also been taking lots of pictures of bathroom scrawls and graffiti. It's always been my thought that you can learn more about who we are, collectively, by looking at the anonymous and uncensored expressions "on the edges". (A collection of Yellowpage covers with their unconscious scribblings left during phone conversations would be an excellent idea.) Thinking along these lines I've always thought we should identify the things that people do, like tag and leave graffiti and invent ways for them to do MORE of it, socially and publicly.

A desire on the part of some not to see these works of grafitti defaced is as reactionary those who would prosecute graffiti artists, no matter how esthetically cultivated the work it is.

Thank's again for the tip, Nick.

American Muffin

Have you seen the Fiber-sure ads with all the food products with holes in them? I couldn't help but see the parallels with other things I've posted recently.




Penis Pokey.




And of course, SNL's "Dick in a Box" (Uncensored Version).




And if we go all the way back to the film "American Pie" I think we have enough material to call it a cultural phenomenon.




Cleanseat

A reader from Z├╝rich, HK, sent a copy of this. I found a copy on YouTube. Funny stuff.



Thursday, January 25, 2007

Photography

My fascination with the cruddy images my Treo 650 tales continues. The unstable results, especially in low light or low light/bright source situations are really quite interesting. I wish there was a 10 Megapixel version without any quality improvements so that I could print or display large images.

From my "Cosmology" series. (In reality pictures of dirty floors.)

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From the series "Night Drive".








Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Banksy

With his Barely Legal gallery show in LA this past fall and his recently published boook on, Wall and Piece notorious outlaw artists Banksy becomes more and more mainstream. (There is even a piece in Print, a traditional graphic design magazine, this month.) Don't get me wrong, I love his work, but I'd much rather see him turn his barb on the sillly gallery scence rather that become it's darling. The amount of time dedicated in the following video pieces to the "who is Banksy" question is tiresome. (Robert Banks from Briston, England according to the Wikipedia entry ) All said, my hat is off to the man, I wish there was more work happening outside the gallery scenes pushing on buttons and getting in faces.

Video profile on: CurrentTV






Banksy's Disneyland Gitmo prisoner install is among my personal favorites.

On Demographics: 51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

New York Times Article: 51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

Sleep is the New Sex

The following are some bits I hacked out of an article titled
Sleep is the New Sex. The following are trends identified by Marian Salzman, Trendspotter and Executive Vice-President at JWT.



Sleep is the new sex
We have talked in the media that "sleep is the new sex". Sleep has become the ultimate luxury, a fantasy and a secret indulgence. Human beings can survive longer without food than without sleep, but in our frenetic 24/7 lives, most of us are surviving on less sleep than we need. And when we want to sleep, we can't: more than half of us have trouble sleeping at least one night a week.

Smaller, greener, more efficient homes
Out with the McMansion and the sprawl of square footage and in with the efficient home that maximises space and resources.

Smaller cars
Along with smaller homes, we'll have smaller cars parked in the driveway - if there's a driveway at all. The benefits are the same: they're more efficient, benefiting both the owner and the environment.

Deliveries on demand
We can buy our groceries online now, but who wants to wait until tomorrow for that double chocolate chip ice cream when we have a craving right now? Watch for the next wave of cybershopping to include local dimensions that promise delivery within a relatively immediate time frame so that the accommodation of urgency is part of the shopper's pleasure.

Personalised diets
We're seeing a backlash against Atkins as people re-embrace healthy carbs and start to query any diet that suggests butter, cream and unlimited red meat are the smart way to eat. Beyond that, there's a growing belief that there's no such thing as a diet that's right for everyone. Personalisation - whether based on lifestyle, ethnicity, blood type or something else - will become an important component of diet programmes.

Gastroporn
It's one of the ironies of modern life that cooking shows and books are so hugely popular when much of the time we eat on the move or settle down in front of the TV with a microwaved frozen dinner. The preparing, cooking, tasting and eating of food have become voyeuristic pleasures separated from physical reality and carried out by experts who go through the moves with practised ease. Not unlike pornography.

Single drink bars
These bars will pop up to promote various brands, serving only one spirit and organised around the experience of that drink and its mixers. They'll be short-lived but have serious talkability while they're on the scene.

New delicacies
Foods unfamiliar to everyday shoppers, like jicama from Mexico and Japanese sushi rice, will be front and centre in the gourmet groceries that spring up in newly developed urban areas. Here, trendy shoppers are also likely to visit tasting bars and attend cooking classes. The continent most likely to emerge as hot in such shops? Asia. Watch also for African specialities like injera, the soft Ethiopian bread that also serves as an eating utensil.

Media grazing
A little bit of this, a little bit of that. Think of tomorrow's media consumption as a meal at a tapas bar: a dozen small servings of magazines, TV, and internet sources, a jug of sangria and some play-by-play dialogue with companions.

"Zoning out" and "me time" as entertainment
With leisure time becoming so precious, zoning out has become a desired form of entertainment all of its own. Much of today's youth participate in "binge chilling". Entertainment now has as much to do with being switched off as it has with being switched on. Women, especially those in their 20s and 30s, consider their "me time" quite sacred.

The Beat on the Street

Upsidedown flames or an alien mob?







Learn to Speak Body



Thanks to DNAgal for the tip.

An amusing little "video" joke



and a terrible, terrible spot for Mercedes Benze.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Club Penguin

Club Penguin , Second Life (social networking and gaming) for tweeens. Actually quite impressive. They've gone to great lengths to deal with safety and security issues. Personal information and bad language is blocked, there are adult monitors and there is NO advertising. They found, when examining other sites for kids, that adverting put kids in front of inappropriate content (gambling and adult sites) within 3-4 clicks.

NPR Story on Club Penguin



Still Motion

It's amazing how much of "The Kid Stays in the Picture" was done with stills, well executed, but still none the less. Actually I believe they used Robert Evan's audiobook narration and built the movie right over that. I should fact check, but I'm too tired tonight.



I found some examples of stills used in TV show openings. The really loved using it for cop and detective dramas. The music scores on these are gems as well.





ZOOMZOOM

ZOOMZOOM bills itself as "The Original Online Glossy", whatever. There is a nice trend piece called "The Clear Message", some great old Rock N Roll portraits (ho hum) and lots of video & interviews from Fashion Week.



Karl Lagerfeld

A fantastic interview with Karl "Kaiser" Lagerfeld on Charlie Rose. Vert astute, very funny. He really does seem to be a man who propells himself forward without looking back or at least that's what he would like us to believe.

I'm a lifelong fan of Chanel and I've been looking for a good interview with him (in English) for a long time. (A year old but recently posted online.)



Monday, January 22, 2007

Surface Tension

I get very creeped out by people who are obviously going to great lengths to cover up as much of their body surface as possible. Out of deep, deep respect for Karl Lagerfeld I will keep my thoughts as to what it "means" to myself.








Here is a group of people that don't have that particular psychological affliction.

No Pants 2k7

Our 6th Annual No Pants Subway Ride took place on Saturday, January 13. Around 300 people participated this year, making it the largest No Pants mission ever. If you're unfamiliar with our No Pants series, check the missions page for write-ups of the previous five installments. This year's ride was loads of fun, and unlike last year, it went off without a hitch. We had a great group filled with all different shapes, sizes, races, and ages.






I don't know what the big deal is, Porky Pig NEVER wore pants.





Cowlick

Lady K sent me this pic today. Cute isn't it? Would look great on a white tshirt or on the front of some boxers. I haven't decided yet.

The Beat on the Street

A couple of postmodern wonders I photographed in the city today.

I saw this vehicle and was immediately perplexed by its relationship to what is contemporary. It seems so far removed from the styling of today's trucks and SUVs yet it does have a certain retro-spirit and the brown palette of colors is very now. I wonder if it starts?



Replicas of the Empire State and Chrysler Building connected by a bridge... what the f***. Anyone care to venture an interpretation or witty comment?




Rerun Breaks it Down!

I remember seeing this as a kid and being blown away, It's still quite impressive.



History of Break Dancing


On Color/Off Color: Blue Monday

Blue Monday. January 23 is the most depressing day of the year, according to one scientist.

Psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall has weighed up the influence of a number of January-specific phenomena to explain why many of us get the blues at this time of the year.

The Cardiff University expert has come to his conclusion by taking into account miserable weather, mounting debt, the length of time since Christmas, failed New Year's resolutions, a lack of motivation and a need to take action.

Keeping fit and active is one of the keys to staying happy at this time of year, he says.

The Community Service Volunteers (CSV) Make A Difference Day, have suggested people can beat the blues by getting involved with charitable organisations.

Their research indicates that half of people who have volunteered for more than two years feel less depressed and 63% of 25 to 34-year-olds say they feel less stressed after volunteering.

Dr Arnall backed up the findings.

He said: "Keeping physically and mentally active can often improve your state of mind and helping others can sometimes boost self esteem. Volunteering, especially if done on a regular basis, is a great way to feel happier and healthier."


Via Ananova


Throw some shapes and get over it.




Ron Mueck at the Brooklyn Museum of Art

I had a chance to get out to Brooklyn for an "outer burrough experience" and see the work of Ron Mueck at the Brooklyn Museum. Amazingly crafted sculptures that toy with feelings of isolation and loneliness through scale and super-realism.

The Brooklyn Museum has some serious issues with the floorplan, avoid it and the crowds on the weekends. These sculptures are on exhibit through February 4.



Bring out your dead!

I'm Art Buchwald and I just died
The New York Time's has produced a postumous video rememberance with Art Buchwald. It's really just a video obituary but worth seeing for the creep factor as you watch Art struggle to say "I'm Art Buchwald and I just died".





AdAge article on the largely negative response to the re-animation of dead spokesman Orville Redenbacher: 'Deadenbacher' Creeps Consumers but Drives Massive Traffic





JWT ressurected Steve McQueen for a Ford spot years ago but did so without injecting it with any creep factor.







Ule Brenne was way ahead of his time when he did this anti-smoking/cancer spot.


The Lesson here: NEGOTIATE THE RIGHTS TO YOUR POSTUMOUS AVATAR USE NOW! GET THE CHECK UPFRONT!


Spade a Spade

Miss Snickerdoodle just showed me this great short on the Kate Spade called "Blonde". No dialog, just a fun little music track. There isn't a direct link, use the scrolling thumbnail navigation on the bottom after clicking
here.



Kate has a adopted the newspaper metaphor for her site design. Just this week I wa taking pictures of the Banana Republic display windows. They're doing their own "Daily Bugle" thing. I'm not sure I get it or what the appeal of using "newspaper" as a reference point in these communications is. When art forms become less socially relevant they become transformed into "crafts". Think super-8 film, movable type presses and lithography. Have we unconsciously accepted the death of the newspaper? Does referencing it now connotate something more earnest and honest as a slice of Americana?





Kate's husband "Jack" was involved in the Mike Mill's film "Paperboys", one of my favorite shorts.

One last point on Branding. Andy Spade, director, founder of men's accessory label "Jack Spade", married to Kate Spade, goes by Andy. It's a bit confusing.

Ralph Lauren's real name is Ralph Lipschitz, but it's better, and less confusing that most don't know it.

Here's a good list of celebrity "real names"

Config your own adventure

Anyfilm, an online video site for Samsung allows you to "create" a film by positiong one of six icons on a matrix grid. An interesting experiement.





Sunday, January 21, 2007

The New Silent Films

I came across a couple examples of silent films this weekend. More accuarately, these are different video projects that are silent because of their unique venues.

The first is Sleepwalkers at the MOMA.





The Museum of Modern Art and Creative Time, the New York–based public art organization, have jointly commissioned Doug Aitken to create the artist's first large-scale public artwork in the United States. The project is also the first to bring art to MoMA's exterior walls. Eight continuous sequences of film scenes will be projected onto six facades, including those on West Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth streets and those overlooking The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. Inspired by the densely built environment of New York's midtown, the artist will create a cinematic art experience that directly integrates with the architectural fabric of the city while simultaneously enhancing and challenging viewers' perceptions of public space. The project, filmed in New York City, will be shown daily from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m., and is intended to be visible from many public vantage points adjacent to the Museum.

NPR story: Lights, Camera, Action on a Museum Wall.



Sundance has comissioned 6 director to create "films" for mobile phone. Maria Maggenti's describes her approach to the 4 minute piece she is doing asa "kind of primal film making exercise. Film making is all about editing; it's a juxtaposition of images".

NPR interview with filmmaker Maria Maggenti: Making a Film for the Really Small Screen



Robert Redford Unveils Sundance Mobile Movies

Fire in the A-Bar




Fire in the A-Bar a mashup by Mike Post. Ridiculous fun.