Designing ‘Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies’

( all images and text via Pentagram’s blog )

Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies opens today at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Station.

Lisa Strausfeld and her team, in collaboration with the author and architect James Sanders, have designed the exhibition Celluloid Skyline: New York and the Movies that opens today in Grand Central Terminal. The month-long multimedia exhibition, based on Sanders’ classic book by the same name, relates the hundred-year plus history of filmmaking in and about New York City in a display of original scenic backings, film footage, production stills, and exhibition panels complete with quotes, location shots, art department drawings and renderings.

At rear, a backdrop of the old Penn Station from The Clock (1945).

Large rear-projection screens play signature scenes from films like Manhattan (1978).

Celluloid Skyline was designed to create an environment that recalls the cinematic experience, and the exhibition takes full advantage of Vanderbilt Hall’s dramatic interior, a space itself so representative of New York and one of the few rooms in the city large enough to hold the exhibition’s contents. “This is not a conventional museum-style exhibit, but rather a vast, immersive, magical environment that allows people to walk into the ‘movie New York’ of their dreams,” says Sanders.

The highlights of the exhibition are the four gigantic “scenic backing” paintings used in such films as Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest and Vincente Minnelli’s The Clock. These meticulously rendered cityscapes, some more than 25 feet high and 60 feet long, have never been publicly exhibited and are hung on scaffolding around the perimeter of the room. The result is a space in which visitors feel, in Sanders’ words, “as if they are actually inhabiting the various environments of the filmic city—streets, skyscrapers, rooftops, theaters, waterfronts, interiors—allowing viewers to come away with a greater understanding not only of the moviemaking process, but of the urban character, texture and significance of the real city.”

Full article + images here >


Filed under: architecture, art, films, space/place, urban

Hi-Tech Umbrella With Flickr and Google Earth

( via tokyomango )


This is Pileus, an umbrella devised by two researchers in Keio University’s Media Design department that has a pre-installed Flickr uploader and wi-fi so you can browse your photo gallery while you walk in the rain. A little bit distracting, sure, but no more than text messaging on your cell phone or playing your DS Lite.

Pileus also has Google Earth-driven GPS, a built-in camera, compass, and a motion sensor. It’s just a prototype for now, but its co-creators are actively seeking commercial interest.

Filed under: design, space/place, technology, urban

Urban Experience through the lens of Bombay Cinema

( via networked_performance )

9780816649426_big.gifBombay Cinema: An Archive of the City; The urban experience in India through the lens of popular Bombay cinema by Ranjani Mazumdar.

Cinema is not only a major industry in India, it is a powerful cultural force. But until now, no one has undertaken a major examination of the ways in which films made in Bombay mediate the urban experience in India. In Bombay Cinema, Ranjani Mazumdar takes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Bombay cinema as the unofficial archive of the city in India.

In this analysis of the cinematic city, Mazumdar reveals a complex postnationalist world, convulsed by the social crisis of the 1970s and transformed by the experience of globalization in the 1990s. She argues that the upheaval of postcolonial nationalism led to Bombay cinema’s articulation of urban life in entirely new terms.

Specifically, the place of the village in the imaginary constitution of anticolonial nationalism gave way to a greater acknowledgment, even centrality, of urban space. Bombay Cinema takes the reader on an inventive journey through a cinematic city of mass crowds, violence, fashion, architectural fantasies, and subcultural identities. Moving through the world of gangsters and vamps, families and drifters, and heroes and villains, Bombay Cinema explores an urban landscape marked by industrial decline, civic crisis, working-class disenchantment, and diverse street life.

Combining the anecdotal with the theoretical, the philosophical with the political, and the textual with the historical, Bombay Cinema leads the reader into the heart of the urban labyrinth in India, revising and deepening our understanding of both the city and the cinema.

Ranjani Mazumdar is an independent filmmaker and associate professor of film studies at the School of Art and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

Filed under: art, films, urban

Street Ethnographers

( via smartmobs )

Francois Bar, who has been doing fascinating work with Francis Pisani on appropriation of phone technology, reports on Sao Paolo’s “motoboy ethnographers.”

Earlier this year, 12 motorcycle couriers in São Paulo started using camera-phones to chronicle their daily lives. They get together periodically to discuss each other’s finds and decide collectively what stories they want to cover. The result is Canal*MOTOBOY, a real-time account of life on the Paulista streets. This is part of “Colectivos transmiten desde teléfonos moviles” at zexe.net, and the motoboys are simply the latest addition to a growing network of “citizen ethnographers”. They join 17 taxi drivers in Mexico City, 25 young gitanos in Leida, and 16 in Leon, 10 prostitutes in Madrid, 40 people with disabilities in Barcelona, and 19 immigrants from Nicaragua in Costa Rica.

Filed under: ethnography, research, urban

“Flâneur” by Gould, Berlin 2007

( via wooster collective )

From the artists/filmmakers: “It’s a short stop motion film. There is no digital image manipulation in it! Everything you see has really been wheatpasted!”

Filed under: art, films, urban

Social council bedding

( via reluct )

New product launch in may by Social Council.com.

– Designed and manufactured to improve sleep.

Filed under: design, social, urban

Re-work it baby

( via style will save us )

So, you’re giving mass-production the cold shoulder, you’re too skint for designer and you can’t be bothered with vintage? Well, how about getting your sorry little butt into a bit of ‘post vintage’ by art and fashion collective Andrea Crews? This is the description the hip Parisian collaborators are coining for their eco-edgy collection of re-worked second-hand fashion.

Finding fame back in 2002 with their ‘temporary workshop installation’ at Le Palais de Tokyo art gallery, the collective, headed up by founder Maroussia Rebecq, came up with the concept of transforming a 4 tonne mountain of discarded clothing into a unique collection of wearable art, via a stack of sewing machines, mannequins and a finely curated team of local artists, designers and sewers.

5 years on, and everyone from Tokyo club kids to New York eco-fashionistas are working their look.

Not exactly the kind of label you expect from the home of haute couture, but who can blame Andrea Crews for fashioning a moony at the establishment?

Good for you as these designs (anything from a pair of grandpa trousers transformed into mini overalls or a baggy sweatshirt re-worked into an evening dress) are original or limited edition and have been created via collaborations between hot young things from art and design.

Good for the environment as every item has been salvaged, revalued, recycled and transformed into something fresh and exciting in their Parisian studio. The collections, alongside the installations and workshops offer a more ethical way of consuming and serve to successfully highlight the excessive consumption of new clothes and the lack of social consciousness in the commercial fashion world. They also work closely with schools and humanitarian organisations to encourage sustainable development, activism and social engagement whilst achieving creative goals. The UK alone sends 1 million tonnes of textiles to landfill every year.

Price Andrea Crews Dresses from 120 Euros, Shoes 90 Euros, Overalls from 90 Euros, Tops from 90 Euros.

Buy Online at www.andreacrews.com.
I Heart NYC, 262 Mott Street, NYC 10012.
Mario’s Left Tanker, 1F2-29-7 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, 150-0011 Tokyo.

Filed under: art, fashion, social, urban

SEVILLE’S Solar Power Tower

( via inhabitat )

spanish solar tower, seville green electricity, Sevilla PV, Europe’s First, Solucar, photovoltaics, solar powar in Spain, Seveille Solar power tower

Rising out of the Andalusian countryside like a gigantic obelisk, a 40 story concrete tower surrounded by fields of photovoltaic panels is is the first stage of Europe’s first commercial solar power station , which recently went into operation in a sunny region outside Seville, Spain. The eye-popping spectacle bears more than a passing resemblance to Sauron’s Mordor Lighthouse in Lord of the Rings – only shiny, happy and sunny, rather than dark and fiery. Dumb analogies aside, there’s no way that our meager words do justice to the sheer awesomeness of the project, so you’ll just have to check out the photos and video here .

Continue reading with more images>

Filed under: architecture, design, research, space/place, technology, urban

Street Level

( via remix theory )

Image source: Youtube

I recently received the following link to a Youtube video about the exhibition “Street Level” taking place at the Nasher Museum of Art:


As great and as challenging the works in this exhibition may be, they do not fall in emerging Remix practice, but rather belong in appropriation art practice following the conceptual art movement from the nineteen seventies. One thing which should be pointed out is that not everything that makes references to pre-existing material is Remix. Appropriating something does not mean one automatically is remixing. Remix relies on sampling–that is an actual part–an actual section of the “thing” must be part of the “remix,” and the projects in “Street Level” are precise allegorical references to the street, or some other source that is connected to the street. Even after making this clarification I urge you to look at the Youtube video, please do take the time to view it.

Below is the brief statement sent by David Colagiovanni (thank you for the forward!):

It’s the work of 3 artists- Mark Bradford, William Cordova, & Robin Rhode for who the streets of their respective cities act as fluid, living sources of inspiration. Found objects, urban vernacular and performative gestures help build a foundation for their art, including painting, works on paper, sculpture, photography, video, installation and other mixed media. Their work explores the ways that cultural territory is defined and space is transformed in urban environments.

Filed under: architecture, art, mobility, space/place, urban

Embodiment in Digital Art

( via artificial.dk )

A little background via their site >>

Welcome to artificial.dk – your news resource for information about net art, software art, and other computer based art forms. Our mission is to promote these art forms to a broad audience because we believe they can develop and nuance our views on advanced technologies and the society they are a part of.

Artificial.dk is now an archive of articles and activities from the period 2001-2007. No new articles will be added, but you are welcome to browse through our previously published articles. Your hosts and editors were Kristine Ploug & Thomas Petersen. Contact us at: artificial at artificial dot dk.

Special: Embodiment in Digital Art

Dan Graham: Body Press, 1970-1972. Photo: Dan Graham, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery , New York and Paris.

‘[…] the image can no longer be restricted to the level of surface appearance, but must be extended to encompass the entire process by which information is made perceivable through embodied existence. This is what I propose to call the digital image.’ (Mark Hansen: New Philosophy for New Media, p. 10)

In this last special at Artificial we have chosen the theme: ‘Embodiment in digital art’. Inspired by current trends in media art and theory, we take our point of departure in the expanded notion of the digital image in order to have a closer look at the role of the body in contemporary digital art and culture.

Art has always actively involved human beings: whether you read a book, watch a film, visit a museum – or just talk to a good friend. As soon as you engage in the world, a process of interaction and exchange occurs.

In his widely acknowledged book, New Philosophy for New Media, Mark Hansen demonstrates how the embodied spectator is involved directly in the very production of contemporary media art with focus on process, performance and interaction. The ‘image’ can no longer be understood as an external formal thing, e.g. as a canvas hanging on the wall in a gallery. The so-called digital image has to be acknowledged as an open field or terrain of possibilities in-formed or in-framed by physically present human beings in specific situations bound in time and space. The embodied existence is the filter, the nexus and the materiality of the art experience. Following Mark Hansen’s argument means that in order to grasp the new scene for the digital art event, we have to turn our focus from the level of code towards the embodied human experience.

Left: still image from Myron Kruegers Videoplace, 1970. Info and video: www.artmuseum.net/w2vr/timeline/Krueger.html. Right: Nam June Paik: Random Access, 1963. Photo: Manfred Montwé. www.nydigitalsalon.org/10/artwork.php?artwork=13.

This special consists of a number of interviews and articles about international projects – from young talented ideas to prominent research projects – which investigate aspects of embodiment in different art forms supported by state of the art technology. Our focus on this subject is part of a wider theme on ‘body and technology’ which will be launched by the web magazine Turbulens (www.turbulens.net) in March 2007 (the curator group Maskinstorm (www.maskinstorm.org) is also involved in the theme). Keep an eye open this spring for a broad variety of activities within the field.

Continue reading >

Filed under: applications, architecture, art, consciousness, DIY, hack, locative, mobility, new media, research, social, space/place, technology, urban

Surveillance Exhibitionism

via Rhizome

Jill Magid’s work makes surveillance intimate. First drawn to the subject not by political inclination but by a fascination with ‘lipstick spy cams,’ her projects have included penetrating several international police forces to engage officers in unusual forms of collaboration. In Amsterdam, she initiated the System Azure consulting firm, through which she was hired to encrust local cameras in color-coded rhinestones. In Liverpool, she seduced the cops into navigating and then documenting her actions in public space.


Her most recent project, entitled Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, after the police call-letters for L-O-V-E, was sparked when a subway cop declined her request that he search her. Once again turning the tables on the system in which she’s intervening, the artist responded to the officer’s rebuff (offered on account of her gender) with a request that he train her. The two went on to spend several late nights together, in and outside of the subway tunnels. Magid calls the officer ‘my lighthouse underground, and she’s documented their meetings in photos, a 64-page ‘black book’ novella, and in installations of accumulated ephemera.

– text by Marisa Olson – Full article here >

Filed under: art, films, locative, new media, situationist, social, space/place, urban

Dude! Where Can I Park My Car in China?

( via treehuger )

Look at the photo above, and you’ll see just a few of China’s 11.5 million private cars. (That 2006 number represents a one-third jump from 2005 levels.) Take a closer look, and you should be able to discern cars parked on sidewalks. And if you look really closely, you might be able to pick out cars double-parked on sidewalks, and even the guy whose job it is to direct cars into sidewalk parking “spots.” What you won’t see is that parking spots, for China’s new middle class homeowners, are “one of the many modest causes that have brought a change in the urban mentality – beyond a consciousness of limited legal rights, to a growing awareness of the need for a more active ‘civil society’ as a balance against arbitrary officialdom.” More after the jump. ::Economist.com

Full article here > 

Filed under: urban

OFFF Day 3

A little background on Offf (through their web-site)>

Since 2001, OFFF is exploring software aesthetics and new languages for interactive and visual expression.

Every year, the festival features digital artists, web and print designers, motion graphic studios and avant-garde electronic musicians. But OFFF is more than an event about any of these disciplines. More than a design conference, a multimedia trade fair, or a digital animation festival. OFFF is an enthusiastic celebration of a new visual culture.

OFFF is spreading the work of a generation of creators that are breaking all kind of limits. Those separating the commercial arena from the worlds of art and design; music from illustration, or ink and chalk from pixels. Artists that have grown with the web and receive inspiration from digital tools, even when their canvas is not the screen.

From exercises in interactive synesthesia that excite all our senses to stage performances made of lines of computer code. All this, and much more, is shown every year at OFFF; one of the essential meeting points for the international scene of postdigital creation.

Past participants in OFFF include legends of graphic design and visual communication like Neville Brody, Tomato, Kyle Cooper or Stefan Sagmeister; acknowledged software artistssuch as Jared Tarbell, Lia, Casey Reas y Ben Fry, or Daniel Brown; innovators of the moving image like We work for Them, Tronic Studio, D-Fuse or Renascent; explorers of advanced interaction like Soda, James Paterson, Amit Pitaru or Craig Swann; and the most important names that have defined the aesthetics of the experimental and creative side of the Web: Joshua Davis, Yugo Nakamura, Hi-Res!, Josh Ulm, or Erik Natzke. The festival has also a special spot for the main names in the Spanish scene (Area3, Vasava, Innothna, Cocoe, Dani Granatta, La Mosca…) and for creators of surprising new kinds of sonic landscapes: Tujiko Noriko, The Vegetable Orchestra, Sutekh, Taylor Deupree, System, Daedelus, Stephan Mathieu, Kenneth Kirschner


Coverage by, (who else ?!) Regine

On the last day at OFFF in Barcelona, Matt Pyke gave a little walk-through of his work at the Designers Republic and especially all the things he has been setting up (from a lovely garden in Sheffield) with his multidisciplinary studio Universal Everything since he has left there.


Especially nice were the 20.000 generated characters for the Lovebytes festival which instantly became the subject of collecting and their installations for the Nokia store in NYC. On its screens you see people which are basically flocks of pixels which interchange parts of each other when calling – creating a simple yet poetic visualization of the company’s “connecting people”-mantra. They also have a blog called Everyone Forever on which Universal Everything collect stuff that inspires them.

Later that day, it was John Maeda’s turn which put me in a similar position to Régine when Bruce Sterling was talking at IFID since it was more of an eclectic lecture to inspire his numerous audience which is naturally difficult to write up. We’ll try anyway:

Actually, John Maeda never wanted to talk about his work in front of audiences like this again ever since an illustrator told him that his computer-based work “is so empty”. It’s much better to talk about ideas anyway. One of his latest ideas was Simplicity but he’s already getting tired of that by now. When he got really tired, he went on a vacation at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He needed to get khaki shorts, so he went to a GAP store and there was even more simplicity (“Keep it simple”), switch on the TV and you see Paris Hilton living “The Simple Life” and the list goes on. But maybe we just love complexity too much to make everything simple. Take the MIT media lab, a place which, thanks to I.M. Pei‘s architecture, looks very simple from the outside. Yet, it’s a very complex place. While at Google, you get free smoothies (and accumulate the dreaded Google 15), in academia there’s no such thing. Instead they give people titles, lots of them, making their lives ever more complex with growing responsibilities. As he also describes in his book Maeda@Media, John grew up in a family-run tofu factory in Seattle. Tofu also is simple food, but the edamame beans it is made of need to go through a complex process to become the final product. This was a very spartan education and made him thoroughly enjoy studying at school. When it was time to choose a college, he went for MIT’s media lab, which, from above, coincidentally also resembles a chunk of tofu. He met Muriel Cooper who told him to go to art school which is what he did and where he met more mentors like Paul Rand and Ikko Tanaka who were all very advanced in their careers and focussed more on humanizing their students than anything else.

John Maeda (sort of) and his Apple II

Early in John’s own professional career, Japanese cosmetics-company Shiseido had him working “like Batman, teaching by day, arting by night”. Yet, many would consider his work to be “eye candy”, a term which he would like to see replaced with “eye meat” since it tries to get to the core of the question about how to create with computers. Back in those days, Maeda got an Apple 2-computer for $1500 and it did nothing. In 1995 in Kyoto, he built the “Human Powered Computer” which replaced all the mysterious inner workings of the machine with people. Quite funny and it lead him to better understand the spirituality of the machine. Many said that “the computer is nothing more that a pencil”, a statement which made many designers and artists feel comfortable with great changes already on the horizon. It is indeed a great tool, but we’re still trying to find out what kind of tool it really is. Every today’s software works a bit like a tree with alternatives branching out everywhere. Problem is, when you try to make art you always get stuck on that tree. And: paradoxically, true art will always be off that tree entirely.

Read full article here >

Coverage by Regine >

Filed under: architecture, art, DIY, films, graphics, hack, locative, mobility, new media, physical computing, research, social, space/place, technology, urban

Wireframe subaru

( via )

Computer-generated outline? Nope. It’s real. Dubbed “Modern Japanese Classic,” this 1:1 Subaru Impreza wire frame sculpture is the work of British artist Benedict Radcliffe. Apparently local traffic cops weren’t pleased that the art was parked outside of the gallery on the street, as over the course of a few days, it was issued a few parking tickets! [ via core77 / Make: / Winding Road]

Filed under: art, DIY, locative, space/place, urban

Project Placement

Project Placement
Analix Forever Galerie, Geneva, Switzerland

Artists: Conrad Bakker, Amy Balkin, Jay Heikes, Marc Horowitz, Packard Jennings, Gianni Motti, Mads Lynnerup, Zoe Sheehan Saldana.

+ Download the Press Release
+ View Images

A brief history:

Product placement has been around in movies for over fifty years, but became common practice for advertisers in the eighties as a result of significant gains by various placements. While not actually a paid placement, one of the most commonly cited catalysts for the growth of the product placement is the presence of Reese’s Pieces in the Spielberg film “ET” (1982). The products key role in the movie resulted in a temporary sales increase of 65% for the candy. This spike in the profit charts led to a new era of creative tinkering with product placement and its spread to related media.

Unusual examples of product placement:

IKEA has a arrangement with Hewlett Packard to stock the mock living-room settings in their stores with (real and fake) HP products – essentially situating computer products inside IKEA’s commercial mise en scène.

The Google Earth software, which allows users to virtually roam the planet, has led to roof-top advertising as seen from satellite. Somewhere between product placement and road-side billboards, these birds-eye images of the global landscape are slowly being interrupted by painted adverts and crop-circle like messages.

Virtual advertising, which is the superimposition of images onto real spaces in movies and television, is a particularly clandestine variation that came into public awareness as the result of a recent lawsuit over the virtual make-over of a billboard in the first Spiderman movie. Two companies vied for their rights to advertising space – one real, one virtual.

Examples of project placement:

In 1995, American artist Mel Chin initiated a collaboration between 102 artists to form the GALA Committee (GA for Georgia and LA Los Angeles). They persuaded the producers of Melrose Place (Spelling Entertainment Group) to allow them to provide the program with more than 150 props over the course of two seasons. These placed artworks included everything from domestic articles like bedding and furniture to framed artworks.

In 1993, French artist Matthieu Laurette took part in the TV game-show Tournez Manège (The Dating Game) and, while on the set, identified himself as an artist. This was the first of a series of Apparitions/Appearances which might be considered self-placements by the artist. His presence in at least five television programs can be understood as an infiltration-performance series and self-advertisement campaign.

(essay published in NUKE magazine No.4 “INVISIBLE”)

Filed under: architecture, art, new media, research, social, space/place, urban