7.04.2008

Whale hunt



An' experiment in storytelling', Whale hunt is a project by one of my* favorite interaction designer/artists, Jonathan Harris. An ex-fabricante, he 'designs systems to explore and explain the human world combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling'.

I remember seeing two of his pre-fabrica projects, 10X10 and Wordcount long time back and it had fascinated me with its smartness. Most of his projects stimulates our basic instinct of wanting to know, which the seniors say killed the cat. They allow you to play and yet not feel like a stereotypical addict (O.K, read bum) whose thumb can't forget the joystick even while its holding the mandatory burger.

'Whale hunt' retains these attributes but takes us on a journey and offers space (And what a space it is!) to create an experience different from the rest of his works. It is documented like a journey and hence takes us on one too, not necessarily the same for each one. It introduces us to Inupiat Eskimos in Barrow, Alaska, and captures a thousand-year-old tradition, the Inupiat whale hunt. The law allows the community to hunt 22 whales every year to maintain their food supply.

Check it out and see the primeval reds stirring up the dead greys.

*I am that you are not.

4.09.2008

Polish Film Posters



A post on Polish Posters is the sanest thing to do if your webpage is in need of some jazz. Look how mine shines. Anyway, the reason behind this is an accidental discovery of a folder containing images of posters designed by Eryk Lypinski, who alongwith Henryk Tomaszewski and others, revolutionised the art of film posters in a Poland ripped apart by WW II. A condensed history of what followed is here.

Prominent among the ones who came later and are now names, are Wiktor Sadowski and Wieslaw Walkuski.

Once you have figured how all the names are pronounced, check out a great collection of Polish film posters here.

3.24.2008

Frequent Flyer



This is a story worth remembering for our grandchildren's sake. On a drunken night, Paul's shoe (the one for the right leg) was stolen by a friend. And ever since, it's been a world of epic revelations for the free and single stud.

It's on a trip of a shoe's lifetime which is only getting better. I dont think Columbus's shoes would have enjoyed all those days around the world because it were on his feet and not safely wrapped in a nice polythene bag. My friend Satish and the fortunate thing spent a nice evening at the Gateway of India a week earlier. This was probably the 15th(!) country Paul's shoe was visiting. Enough to put any travelling gnome to shame. Ever heard of a shoe getting the better of its owners legs?

Find out Where is Pauls Shoe.
I like the Paris picture.

3.07.2008

See beyond Technology



My Transparent Screen.
I had some fun doing it up like this. Of all the posts I've tagged 'useless', this one takes the cake. Discover Mighty Optical Illusions, for they run a step ahead of Photoshop. My friend Mochu made me look up Rene Magritte's works after seeing this. I suggest you do the same.

2.26.2008

Art by Film Directors



I picked this book off the footpaths of Flora Fountain and that too for less than what I pay to borrow two DVDs. I tried to articulate the experience of reading it in many ways only to be embarrass myself after knowing the amount of clich├ęs in my jargon.

'Art by Film Directors' has been compiled / authored by Karl French, undoubtedly the least known name in the book. It features 23 filmmakers in the likes of Jan Swankmajer, Jean Cocteau, Peter Greenway, Alan Parker, Stanley Kubrick, Federico Fellni, Wim Wenders, Satyajit Ray, Fritz Lang and their artworks—Photographs, Paintings, Illustrations, Sculptures etc. Featured above is a ‘reimagined map’ and a ‘fused creature’, both by Swankmajer.

Colors



The 73rd offering of the Quarterly that was created in 1991 by Tibor Kalman and Oliviero Toscani (who also funded the venture) is out. The issue is called MONEY and talks about all the many forms the same exists in. The magazine had gone off its provocative ways since the first few issues but nonetheless, has been bringing out well designed / compiled editions on pertinent issues dealing with human rights, value systems and various forms of discrimination.

Their website offers articles as pdf's. It will take a while to load , make sure your browsers are updated. Also, do check out the some additional info including earlier covers, here.

N.B: Michael Bierut cites Kalman and talks about a few of his interesting ways in "Thirteen ways of looking at a Typeface" posted down.

2.25.2008

Moto sans Foto



I am sorry to inform the Motorola company and the rest of the world that I famously put my much defaced MotoRazr phone inside a toothbrush-holder half filled with waters of bygone time in a very basic bathroom of a new hotel that actually looks pre-independent in a non offensive small town called Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh. Thus, I managed to seriously damage its mic. which resulted in the callers not being able to hear me even after I woke up half the occupants of the nice hotel.

The first thing I did was removing the water from the toothbrush-holder. Then I rushed to the best repairman in Vidisha who opened the handset with his bare hands. I, not able to withstand the sight, told him to carry on and went to work. When I got the cursed piece of instrument back , I noticed a couple of badly torn strips of Scotch tape holding its insides. Right after, I was told that it was out of the skill sets of the unassuming but undoubtedly competent technician and I would need to go an ‘original’ service centre to be heard. The technician took Rs. 300 service charge without even a hint of smile. The ‘original’ service centre informed me two weeks down the line that the cost of repair would be slightly lesser than the cost of a new handset of the same model.

The point is I miss the camera in that handset. So, I thought of compiling some photographs taken using the same and putting them up for your kind notice. They might be small to look at here but if you let it grace your computer by saving it on to the desktop or something, you will see they’re a little bigger.

N.B : For all the challenged brains wondering why can’t the camera be used if just the mic. is conked, please understand the silly thing won’t start up without a SIM card. You might also want to know that I am not the kind who carries three spare ones in my wallet.

Inert and proud of it.

What better way to restart an idle blog than doing it without excuses. Read on.

8.04.2007

Mutatoes



Rubber Johnny meets his botanical cousins.
Mutatoes is a project by Berlin based artist Uli Westphal. It is a "collection of non-standard fruits, roots and vegetables found at Berlins Super-and Farmers Markets. Uli's project serves to document and archive these last survivors of biological variety". While you are at it, don't forget to check out his other works.

via the one and only swissmiss.

7.28.2007

Things They Carry



A simple, nice and very reflective effort.

A flickr photo pool on the things one carry around.
Out of many American pockets and satchels, I suppose, but a must see nonetheless. Participate if you carry around anything that the west did not put in your pockets.

Check it out if you won't get tired of seeing Moleskine diaries, iPhones, iPods, MotoRazrs and Lamys.

7.19.2007

Peter Mendelsund



Peter Mendelsund is also (with reference to Chip Kidd who was featured earlier) a book designer with Knopf. I dont know if he sits next to Kidd's cabin. You could also read this interview to know him better, if that'll ease your life any bit.

7.13.2007

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Typeface



A brilliant essay by none other than Michael Bierut. Would make up for the entire time you would have spent cursing bad typo plus the time you spent trying to do something about it and couldn't.

Pourquoi?



A small (not really, its 20 mts) video with around 15 not-so-small graphic designers like Paula Scher, Michael Bierut, Chipp Kidd, Stefan Sagmeister, James Victore doing the talking.

Click here.

7.11.2007

Conversations

A routine, to-nowhere-in-particular walk of two people and an ageing dog on a leash came to a gradual end yesterday. Since the appropriate reasons for why they started it is not known, the reasons why it ended is irrelevant, though it would be useful to remember that it had been three years since it started.

The two, a man and a woman to be more specific (however, in the beginning of it, they had not quite stopped being a boy and a girl) had followed the artless and beautiful habit without giving much thought about why they were doing it and hence, were regular. The dog only made things easier for them by pretending to be aloof. It kept as much distance as the leash would let and always sniffed for something that she never seemed to find.

They never held each other’s hands or anything, not only because this isn’t a silly romantic story, but also since something like that would have been an affirmative act of mutual affection and they were just walking a dog. In fact, they never talked, most of the time they were thinking different things to themselves. Like the boy (lets call him that) was wondering what could it be that the dog was sniffing about and the girl (since the man is a boy) was feeling that it was abnormal that a road was taking a turn, taking all that trod on it along, when it could have run straight. But between their thoughts it looked as if they were having conversations, few and random, and were even careful not to break them while crossing the road. People believed they were deaf and couldn't talk. I don't think so. It might sound strange that after three years of companionship, they didn’t have things to talk about, but if you think again it is only normal that they are like this since, as I told earlier, they weren’t exactly perambulating but only walking a dog and it didn’t require them to talk about something that would have made long conversations.



The dog wasn’t particularly excited about the strolls, which is not to say that it didn’t enjoy them. It was aging, and was starting to find contentment in things that did not usually make animals happy, let alone humans. So, had it even known about its part in this underdeveloped state of things, there was nothing it could have done. It was after all, a dog; though with two people depending on her for the turn of fate, it is indeed difficult to agree with this fact. 



Lets come back to what happened yesterday.

After crossing the same roads and running out of footpaths like the other days and before it was time for the dog to turn around and for them to follow suit, the two stopped for no apparent reason (nobody knows it how it happened for sure since as the sight of two people pausing between walking is not unusual enough to be worthy of our precious attention).
And the dog, feeling the leash tighten for the first time, stopped too and turned back to find two of them standing, suggestive of nothing since they weren’t even looking at each other. 



They realised what was going on much later. And knowing them it would have happened separately at different points when their respective thoughts broke as thoughts often do. 
It was a while till they finally looked at each other, only as an effort to make sense of what was happening. Everything seemed to come back to the way it used to be and it looked as if they’ll start back only to come tomorrow, but nothing happened. The dog was glad to actually notice the sights around for the first time. It seemed to forget about her incomplete search and felt the warmth of a fading evening in its eyes.



The man and the woman tried to talk, but, as usual, no words came out. They tried to go back to their respective thoughts, but it remained as elusive as what the dog was searching for. He tried to remember who had stopped first, while she noticed the silence around them. It was probably then that they realised that there was nothing left to be said. The dog showed no hurry and was sitting, careful still to leave enough distance, and looked away at everything moving, jiggling its ears to shoo the illusive flies buzzing around its head.




---

Of a meek last chance given to pair of dry mouths

6.27.2007

vow!



Visuals of the World is the longest inspirational website in the world and it calls for designers to upload their work to make it longer as they intend to get into the Guinness Book of Records soon.

Current lenght of the website is 155 meters!