Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Visual Complexity

' intends to be a unified resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks. The project's main goal is to leverage a critical understanding of different visualization methods, across a series of disciplines, as diverse as Biology, Social Networks or the World Wide Web. I truly hope this space can inspire, motivate and enlighten any person doing research on this field.'

Mostly over my head but they look pretty!

Eno Henze is a generative artist, based in Berlin, who has produced a great array of outstanding projects. What's so interesting about Henze's work is the strangely organic and painterly outcome based on code. The images shown here are from a commissioned piece for Aurora - Norwich International Animation Festival, part of an ongoing series of computer drawings entitled "The Human Factor", which Eno Henze started in 2006. As he explains: "In this series I try to stress the idea of a drawing that is the result of a collaborative process between me and the machine".

"This project was created to make a visual representation of a space that is very much one-dimensional, a metaphysical universe. The data represented and collected here serves a multitude of purposes: Modeling the Internet, analyzing wasted IP space, IP space distribution, detecting the result of natural disasters, weather, war, and esthetics/art.

The goal is to use a single computer and a single Internet connection to map the location of every single class C network on the Internet. It is obvious that the Internet is not routed as a bunch of class-c networks, but it is easy to see that by treating the Internet IP space as a bunch of class C networks, it will be possible to make a detailed map of the entire Internet. In reality, the address space has been allocated in fairly large contiguous blocks, which renders strictly optimal utilization difficult. The smallest block that is logically routed via BGP or allocated by ARIN is a class C network (CIDR /24.)"

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me"

Playing For Change | Song Around The World "Stand By Me" from Concord Music Group on Vimeo.">

More info about the performers here

Katsushika Hokusai - The Great Wave at Kanagawa

Published in 1832 (Edo Period) as the first in Hokusai's series 36 Views of Mount Fuji.

The primary component of this print is a giant wave poised to crash onto small boats. It is not, as is often suggested, a tsunami, but rather an off-shore wave, or okinami. The print portrays a grand struggle between man and nature, placing the viewer in the midst of the ocean swells. The waves serve to frame a distant Mt. Fuji in such a way that the peak remains noticeable, even though it is small in comparison to the giant waves in the foreground.

As a Westerner, without any cultural conditioning or background in Japanese prints, glancing at the image, one will be invariably drawn first to the largest of the waves, only later discovering Mt. Fuji. For Japanese, however, the 'normal,' traditional way to view the print would be from right to left, implying "that Hokusai's Great Wave was designed to tumble into the viewer's face, so to speak" (Forrer). More importantly, by viewing the print in this manner, one quickly discovers Mt. Fuji; indeed, the viewer is naturally drawn to linger on Mt. Fuji by the sloping of the waves, as it appears perfectly at the bottom of the "half-pipe," to borrow a term from skateboarding.

Another important difference between 'The Great Wave' and earlier manifestations is the stunning use of color in the final print, namely, that of Berlin Blue, or bero. Looking at the print, shades of bero dominate, coloring the water, people, and Mt. Fuji. The color is thick, bold, and aggressive (contrast this with Kanagawa oki Honmoku no zu). Although the publisher of the prints certainly had a hand in Hokusai's wide use of the ink, due to the recent popularity of the color, Hokusai himself probably sought to employ the bero not only for commercial reasons, but also as a result of personal taste. As Smith offers, "…the symbolic meanings of the colour blue, with its implications of water and rebirth, must have been of great personal appeal to Hokusai himself as he embarked on his 'second life'" (Smith 259). Whatever the dominant cause, the coloring of 'The Great Wave' certainly contributed to the overall popularity of this print.

Text from

To see a extrememely high res version of the great wave click here

The Great Wave was also the inspiration behind the quicksilver logo:

10 most visually stunning movies of the last 10 years

from Unreality Magazine

See it here

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Pieter Bruegel - Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

"No plough stands still because a man dies"

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (1558-ish) is a painting in oil on canvas (73.5 x 112 cm) long thought to be by Pieter Bruegel, although following technical examinations in 1996, that attribution is regarded as very doubtful. It is probably a version of a lost original by Bruegel, however. Largely derived from Ovid, the painting itself became the subject of a poem of the same name by William Carlos Williams:

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

In Ancient Greek mythology, Icarus succeeded in flying, with wings made by his father Daedalus, using feathers secured with wax. Icarus chose to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax, and fell into the sea and drowned. His legs can be seen in the water, just below the ship. The sun, already half-set on the horizon, is a long way away; the flight did not reach anywhere near it.

If you look just below the ship on the right hand side of the painting you will see Icarus' legs popping out of the water, it was popular in early Netherlandish painting to have staffage in the foreground of the painting and have the centrepiece theme much smaller and in the distance. See below in Claude Lorrain's painting 'Odysseus returns Chryseis to Her Father' (1644)

Here's a good article on 'Landscape and the Fall of Icarus'

Film Preview: “Art & Copy” — a Tribute to When Apple’s Ads Were Emotional

ART & COPY trailer from Baldwin& on Vimeo.">

from cultofmac

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of viewing “Art & Copy,” a new documentary about the best ad agencies on the planet, during the San Francisco Film Festival. It’s a wonderful film, full of great stories about the creative process and the origins of the 20th Century’s most memorable ads. Critically for Mac fans, this includes a brilliant blow-by-blow for how Apple’s amazing “1984” commercial was created, courtesy of TBWA Chiat-Day Chairman Lee Clow.

The clip itself isn’t available to embed, but what Clow says about “1984″ — and then demonstrates in 1997’s “Think Different” — is worth remarking upon for anyone who has a long-term relationship with Apple. Clow says that the reason “1984″ could be brilliant is that, first of all, he was given absolute creative freedom, second, Ridley Scott typified a new way of making movies that was just starting to take off in the U.S., and, most important, Apple actually had a revolutionary product and was aware of how revolutionary it was. When a great creative force gets a near-unlimited budget to promote a genuinely amazing product, it would be hard not to do so well.

Fascinatingly, Clow claims Apple’s board tried to kill “1984″ right before it aired, at which point Jobs and Woz offered to split the cost of airing it in the Super Bowl — so it helps to have rich, passionate executives, too.

What’s interesting about looking back to “1984″ and “Think Different,” both of which are considered in the film, is just how emotional they are. They make a profound appeal to people who feel like outsiders, rebels. Whether Apple ever really represented that feeling or not (I personally believe that it did), those spots went an incredible distance toward summing up what being a Mac user meant in the pre-iMac era. It meant everything, in a lot of ways. Pretty much any long-time Apple user will get misty watching either spot — or even talking about them.

That’s why the segment of the movie that shows Clow and his team working on iPod dance commercials in the present day was ultimately such a shock. Apple doesn’t make passionate ads any more. The emotion is gone. Apple makes cool ads — iPod dancers, Mac v. PC — and it makes educational ads — iPhone explanations, iPod touch as gaming system — but it no longer makes a real emotional appeal. Now, this transition is unquestionably more successful. But it does make me feel less a part of a movement. And that’s something I miss pretty much all the time.

I can’t recommend this film, which gets distributed in September, highly enough — nor that you click through the jump to watch “1984″ and “Think Different.”


Monday, 27 April 2009

Google Earth Alphabet

The first ever 'Google alphabet' has been created using the internet giant's satellite service.Graphic designer Rhett Dashwood picked out natural features and building which resembled each of the 26 letters.
The Australian did not even have look outside his home state of Victoria to find the full set.

It did, however, take six months of 'just pressing the cursor up, up, up' to find all 21 consonants.The 32-year-old only discovered the elusive letter 'K' last week.

'I found them exactly as you think I might have,' he said. 'Slowly moving from page to page over the maps and visually scanning.' 'I did it in my spare time - it was better than doing a sudoku,' he said. 'I set a little puzzle for myself.I put some simple restrictions on my project, like sticking to my home state of Victoria and not manipulating (rotating or Photoshopping) the images in any way.
'There were no short cuts to finding them, but I did sense patterns emerging the further I searched which helped to guide how long I spent looking in particular areas.'

Sand Dancer

Marc Chagall - Paris Through the Window

“When Matisse dies, Chagall will be the only painter left who understands what color really is.” Pablo Picasso

Paris Through the Window, 1913

"After Marc Chagall moved to Paris from Russia in 1910, his paintings quickly came to reflect the latest avant-garde styles. In Paris Through the Window, Chagall’s debt to the Orphic Cubism of his colleague Robert Delaunay is clear in the semitransparent overlapping planes of vivid color in the sky above the city. The Eiffel Tower, which appears in the cityscape, was also a frequent subject in Delaunay’s work. For both artists it served as a metaphor for Paris and perhaps modernity itself. Chagall’s parachutist might also refer to contemporary experience, since the first successful jump occurred in 1912. Other motifs suggest the artist’s native Vitebsk. This painting is an enlarged version of a window view in a self-portrait painted one year earlier [below], in which the artist contrasted his birthplace with Paris. The Janus figure in Paris Through the Window has been read as the artist looking at once westward to his new home in France and eastward to Russia. Chagall, however, refused literal interpretations of his paintings, and it is perhaps best to think of them as lyrical evocations, similar to the allusive plastic poetry of the artist’s friends Blaise Cendrars (who named this canvas) and Guillaume Apollinaire." full article

"His "Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers" (1912-13) in the very first gallery is emblematic of this expatriate condition. (According to a Yiddish expression, to do something with seven fingers is to do it very well, and very fast). Two landscapes hover above the painter: the modernity of Paris meets the timelessness of Vitebsk, the Bellorussian village where the artist grew up, the eldest son of a Hassidic laborer. While Chagall spent most of his life in France, he never stopped returning to Vitebsk in his mind. His countless images of it were all the more vivid for his not being there." full article
The Tate has 7 of his works, including 'The Poet Reclining' above, if anyone wants to see it close up... check it.

Here's all his work or most of it, courtesy of Olga's gallery SEE IT HERE !! It's definitely worth a look.

Friday, 24 April 2009

HEY GLASTO MAC BOYS & GIRLS! - Get the Countdown

I thought I would delve into the world of mac/iPhone development. It's my first attempt so go easy

get it here

Like drawing? live in london? free tonight?

Check it out !

Gill Sans vs Monotype Sans-serif

Essay exploring the comparisons between Gill Sans and Monotype sans-serif. Interesting if you like typography

View here

Edward Hopper - House by the Railroad

Edward Hopper, the best-known American realist of the inter-war period, once said: 'The man's the work. Something doesn't come out of nothing.' This offers a clue to interpreting the work of an artist who was not only intensely private, but who made solitude and introspection important themes in his painting. view full article

From "Techniques of the Great Masters of Art":
"Hopper frequently used a straight. horizontal motif, usually a road or railroad track. to construct the space within the picture and to emphasize the division between the picture space and the viewer's world. Indeed, the more the viewer tries to penetrate the depths of a Hopper painting, the more impenetrable it becomes. What holds the viewer is that the artist's vision seems under control and yet, on closer inspection, the viewer realizes that the visible surface is a tissue of improbabilities and unreadable shifts in space. Hopper's view that nature and the contemporary world were incoherent contributed to his artistic vision.”

“The single focus of the painting is a large gray house in an imported French style. Although Hopper customarily worked from life, he invented this house based on some he came across in New England and others he may have seen on Paris boulevards. This architectural style became fashionable in America during the mid-nineteenth century. Its hallmark is a double-pitched roof pierced with dormer windows that give height and light to the attic level.

Hopper rejected European influences, maintaining that American art should capture the character of the nation. Like Cole and Bierstadt, he expresses the tension between nature and culture. Although railroad tracks are typically associated with the noise, speed, and rapid change of modern life, this scene is curiously still and silent, as if the rush of industrialization has passed it by. Hopper, working in the period between the two world wars, appears to have found little to celebrate in the urbanization of America, which had destroyed its original, pastoral aspect. Here, the railroad track is the color of earth, taking the place of the stream, valley, or farmland that once formed the background of American culture.” From
It is said that the House by the Railroad has been the influence for many famous houses in films…

Noteably, The Bates Motel in Psycho;
Giant with; Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean;
The Addams Family;

If you like lonely old houses, photographer Kevin Bauman has done a project on the subject…

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Interesting natural phenomenon

On the evening of March 31st, 2009, Tim Tevebaugh was driving home from work east of Craigmont in the southern Idaho Panhandle (see map below). Across the rolling hay fields, Tim saw a very usual phenonmena. The snow rollers that he took pictures of are extremely rare because of the unique combination of snow, wind, temperature and moisture needed to create them. They form with light but sticky snow and strong (but not too strong) winds. These snow rollers formed during the day as they weren't present in the morning on Tim's drive to work.

Based on estimations from Tim as well as the blades of grass in the picture, most of the snow rollers were about 18" in height, while the largest rollers were about 2 feet tall.

view full article and more pictures

Van Gogh - The Night Cafe

Painted in 1888, This is the Cafe where Van Gogh lodged between May and September of 1888, he lodged here while his yellow house was being furnished.

Letters from Vincent Van Gogh to Theo Van Gogh concerning 'The Night Cafe'...

“I have tried to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green. The room is blood red and dark yellow with a green billiard table in the middle; there are four lemon-yellow lamps with a glow of orange and green. Everywhere there is a clash and contrast of the most alien reds and greens, in the figures of little sleeping hooligans, in the empty dreary room, in violet and blue. The blood-red and the yellow-green of the billiard table, for instance, contrast with the soft tender Louis XV green of the counter, on which there is a rose nosegay. The white clothes of the landlord, watchful in a corner of that furnace, turn lemon-yellow, or pale luminous green. ” view letter here

The next day (September 9), he wrote Theo: "In my picture of the Night Café I have tried to express the idea that the café is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime. So I have tried to express, as it were, the powers of darkness in a low public house, by soft Louis XV green and malachite, contrasting with yellow-green and harsh blue-greens, and all this in an atmosphere like a devil's furnace, of pale sulphur. And all with an appearance of Japanese gaiety, and the good nature of Tartarin."
view letter here
This is the sketch he sent to his brother.

Later in the year when Gaugin arrived in Arles he painted a portrait of the proprietor; Joseph Ginoux's wife Marie in the Cafe. Entitled Night Café at Arles...

Van Gogh also did a portrait of Marie Ginoux entitled 'L'Arlésienne'...


Objectified - A Documentary Film by Gary Hustwit from Selectism on Vimeo.

Google Maps Typography

The sneaky moves of anti-social smartphone users

Listening Test

interesting reads...

Grafica Fidalga - the letter press process

Cisma's Lambe-lambe 2004 from CISMA on Vimeo.

And here's a video the Coolhunting has done of the same studio, love it.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Borja Bonaque

Great simplistic modernist illustrations from Borja Bonaque, a designer and illustrator from Valencia. view more here

Freedom on the fence

Freedom on the Fence is a documentary project about the history of Polish posters and their significance to the social, political and cultural life of Poland. Examining the period from WWII through the fall of Communism, Freedom on the Fence captures the paradox of how this unique art form flourished within a Communist regime. The documentary contains interviews with older and younger generations of poster artists, examples of past and current poster work, historic and current film footage of where and how the poster is viewed, and commentaries from both American and Polish scholars and artists on the significance of the Polish poster as a cultural icon.

Andrea Marks, Director, Producer
Glenn Holsten, Director

More info

The Art Of Necessity (from CR Blog)

When the European avant-garde reached Spain in the 1930s, local printers found themselves ill-equipped to respond. Small printshops were mostly reliant on turn-of-the century typefaces: hardly fitting for expressing this bold new world. But, in a remarkable show of ingenuity, they found their own means of respond ing to art deco, futurism et al: ‘type case art’.

View full article here

Giuseppe Arcimboldo



Arcimboldo's conventional work, on traditional religious subjects, has fallen into oblivion, but his portraits of human heads made up of vegetables, fruit, sea creatures and tree roots, were greatly admired by his contemporaries and remain a source of fascination today. Art critics debate whether these paintings were whimsical or the product of a deranged mind.[1]. A majority of scholars hold to the view, however, that given the Renaissance fascination with riddles, puzzles, and the bizarre (see, for example, the grotesque heads of Leonardo da Vinci), Arcimboldo, far from being mentally imbalanced, catered to the taste of his times.

Dan McCarthy - Forsaken

I have no info on this picture, I just like the imagery and the contrast in colours.

view more of his work here

Joan Miró - Dog Barking at the Moon

Made in Montroig, Tarragona, Spain, 1926
Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893 - 1983

Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture
From a seemingly quotidian subject—a dog barking at the moon—Miró crafted a painting that is fanciful, nostalgic, and replete with metaphysical yearning. As is true of many of the works he painted when he was living intermittently in France and in his native Spain, this work registers memories of the Catalonian landscape, which remained the emotional center of his painting and the source of his imagery for much of his life. Created shortly after Miró first included words in his art in what he called "painting-poems," its genesis lies in a sketch by the artist showing the moon rejecting a dog's plaintive yelps, saying in Catalan, "You know, I don't give a damn." The import of these words, crossed out in the drawing and then excluded from the painting, nonetheless lingers in the vacant space between the few pictorial elements that compose this stark yet whimsical image of frustrated longing.

Against the simple background, the artist has painted a dog, ladder, moon, and bird. These brightly painted signs arrayed across the field have the quality of words on a blank page. The ladder receding into the sky lends a sense of deep, vacant space to this scene of nocturnal isolation. Stretching across the meandering horizon line and into the distance, this frequently repeated element of the artist's personal iconography suggests the dream of escape or else a poignant desire for connection between the terrestrial and the cosmic. The remarkable combination of earthiness, mysticism, and humor with a rigorous formal imagination marked Miró's successful merging of international artistic preoccupations with an emphatically regional outlook to arrive at his distinctively personal and deeply poetic sensibility. Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2000), p. 63.

Hieronymus Bosch - The Ship of Fools

The ship of fools is an allegory that has long been a fixture and reminder in Western literature and art. The allegory depicts a vessel populated by human inhabitants who are deranged, frivolous, or oblivious, passengers aboard a ship without a pilot, and seemingly ignorant of their own direction. This concept makes up the framework of the 15th century book Ship of Fools (1494) by Sebastian Brant, which served as the inspiration for Bosch's famous painting, Ship of Fools: a ship—an entire fleet at first—sets off from Basel to the paradise of fools. In literary and artistic compositions of the 15th and 16th centuries, the cultural motif of the ship of fools also served to parody the 'ark of salvation' (as the Catholic Church was styled).

Ship of Fools (painted c. 1490–1500) is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch which shows prodigal humans wasting their lives instead of spending it in "useful" ways. The painting is dense in symbolism:

The owl in the tree is symbolic of heresy, as is the Muslim crescent on the pink banner that flies from the ship's mast.

The lute and bowl of cherries have erotic associations.
The people in the water may represent the sins of gluttony or lust.
The inverted funnel is symbolic of madness.
The large roast bird is a symbol of gluttony.
The knife being used to cut it down may be a phallic symbol or it may be symbolic of the sin of anger.

A monk and a nun are singing together. This has some erotic overtones (especially with the presence of the aforementioned lute) since men and women in monastic orders were supposed to be separate.

The painting as we see it today is a fragment of a triptych that was cut into several parts. The Ship of Fools was painted on one of the wings of the altarpiece, and is about two thirds of its original length. The bottom third of the panel belongs to Yale University Art Gallery and is exhibited under the title Allegory of Gluttony. The wing on the other side, which has more or less retained its full length, is the Death of the Miser, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. The two panels together would have represented the two extremes of prodigiality and miserliness, condemning and caricaturing both.

The painting is oil on wood, measuring 58 cm x 33 cm (23" x 13"). It is on display in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.