Archive for December, 2006

Fromthearchives: Car Porn

December 18, 2006

Earlier this year designer Bernadette Deddens created the Car Cover Car Lover, and she asked me to photograph the project. The car cover is specially designed for a classic Porchse 911T, and fits like lingerie. It’s removal, piece by piece via the seductive straps and fittings, is a striptease. For the photo shoot we enlisted the acting skills of the superb Anthony Styles. The pictures were published in the October 2006 issue of Intersection magazine.

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Search drawing of sneaker

December 16, 2006

Someone came to the blog today off the search engine term “search drawings of sneaker.” Ok Mr./Ms. Google Poet, if that’s what you’re looking for here’s my search drawing of sneaker for you.

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I love your eyes, but only with ketchup.

December 16, 2006

Uh, messing around with The Surrealist Compliment Generator.

Perhaps even MORE strangely, David Lynch recently sat on a Los Angeles streetcorner to promote his new film Inland Empire – with a cow. Read about it here. A shot with Lynch and cow below, from a (slightly hokey) video by Nate & Matt.

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Possible pattern in british art?

December 15, 2006

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Top: David Annesley, Swing Low, 1964, steel sculpture, UK.

Bottom: Anonymous, Untitled, late 1800’s, folk painting, UK.

(The sheep was found deep in a library slide cabinet.)

Mirrorworlds

December 14, 2006

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Top image: an photograph looking up at a disco ball, from a dance floor in the middle of Berlin. The mirror ball is reflecting 360 degrees of the city around – see the original with notes at White Light, image by Tamara Nicol (thanks for the permission to reproduce).

Bottom image: the contested Vinland map. If it is indeed “real,” it would the earliest known map to show the Americas. That blob at far left, away from the big Europe/Asia blob, is Vinland (i.e. the Viking name for the New World, pre-Columbus). Or it may well be vintage 1950’s. Original image here.

Check out: Practical Mirrorworlds, a really cool post by Blackbeltjones about modeling and reality, with some excellent future musing….

Brand name

December 11, 2006

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You can’t read these buggers unless you’re fluent in Arabic, but I’m still totally fascinated by the delicate and bold art of Ottoman tughra. Back in the day each Sultan had a unique tughra – an intricate calligraphic monogram that was essentially his official signature, authentication and symbol. Each tughra was pretty strictly composed from the Sultan’s name and his father’s name, the image below is for Sultan Mahmud I. Maybe it’s interesting to think of tughra as a proto-logo, a decorative riff on the name as a form for communicating values.

So much of our visual field these days – from streets to supermarket shopping – is dominated by brand names. But this occurs not just via words, and not only with images: a fusion of language and image seems to be a hallmark of contemporary branding.

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Image bites back

December 2, 2006

Wow, please watch this AWESOME viral ad by Mr and Mrs Wheatley. Press play

Love it.

Art historian W.J.T. Mitchell has a wonderful book out called What Do Pictures Want? (In the above case it was pretty clear.) Mitchell probes our deep-seated and weird attitude toward images: why is it that we act as if images have power over us, why do we treat them as if they are alive? And at the same time, why do we deny this behavior? You probably wouldn’t put an image of your mother on a dartboard, but you might well put one up of your boss – that suggests some magical thinking. “The personified (or merely animated) object is, as we have seen, the occasion of deep anxiety and avowal in aesthetics. We want works of art to have ‘lives of their own,’ but we also want to contain and regulate that life, to avoid taking it literally, and to be sure that our own art objects are purified of the taint of superstition, animism, vitalism, anthropomorphism, and other premodern attitudes.” Aversion to superstition smacks of defensiveness.

The Wheatley’s viral ad also makes me think of Walter Benjamin’s classic line of thought that reproducing an image lessens its value, with the result being that the image loses its ‘aura.’ Of course, Benjamin was writing about mechanical reproduction, but I wonder how or even if this statement can be extended. The soldier in the game is a fixed avatar: a very contemporary form of reproduction, a virtual clone. The ad suggests that the image may well be capable of its own life regardless of virtual reproduction. Perhaps it is actually the soldier’s status as a virtual, animated reproduction that seems to lend it (him?) such uncanny power.

The crux of the Wheatley’s ad is the (unexpected) equation of game and reality. The ad starts with the players absorbed in the game, and then suddenly shifts as the game events become their reality. This seems to be exactly what we are seeing in alternate reality games, mixed or augmented reality, and flash mobs. This is the new space that Ze Frank and his viewers are beginning to explore with the collaborative games and challenges developed on his show and website (see the Earth Sandwich and Running Fool’s Trip). These are dazzling, new and rapidly developing forms that mix virtual and physical, extending the game into real life.