Archives for category: surreal

Brilliant video, odd singer, retro synths

iamamiwhoami – ; john

 

Brilliant video, badly dressed singer, retro synths.

Architecture in Helsinki – Escapee

 

And just amazing. Amon Tobin is touring his album ISAM with a sick stage show put together by these talented people: Via Motus, V Squared Labs, Leviathan and Blasthaus

He’ll be in London on June 25th and I’m pretty sure I’ll be missing out on the audiovisual sensory overload. Damn.

 

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Final poster concept

 

Brief:

The Chaumont Festival team wanted to refresh the student competition, embracing the diverse media that feature in graphic design output: publications, printed objects, video, interactive productions, etc. In light of this, the judges wanted to invite the students to think about an essential component of graphic design: writing.

Writing can put words to what images cannot explicitly say or convey. But this statement overlooks the role that the designer’s choices can play in reading practices. The same text, in different media and with specific page or screen layouts, will be read and appropriated differently. As a result, there will be not one but multiple readings; not one reader, but readers. Formatting text and choosing a medium therefore amount to devising reading scenarios. And this is what the jury hopes to read, discover and test!

Entrants are free to choose their text, although it is best to avoid casually choosing a text – as if for some laying-out exercise. The text can be in English or French. Whether it is written for the occasion or borrowed, its title and source should be mentioned.

 

For this brief I chose to focus on the generalizations made about different nationalities – in this case the French and the English and reminding the viewer that whilst we may be different as nationalities as human beings we are all the same.

The poster text is based loosely on the painting The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte. A realistic looking pipe below which Magritte has written ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ – ‘This is not a pipe’. This appears to be a contradiction, however, it is of course not an actual pipe but a painting of one.Magritte’s work was intended to challenge the observers preconditioned perceptions of reality and this, along with the French language used for the text has informed my poster design.

My text reads: ‘Je ne suis pas un frog’ or ‘I am not a frog’ in French and ‘I am not a rosbif’ in English. The insults are written in the language that would be used by the respective nationality.Both ‘rosbif’ (roast beef in English) and ‘frog’ are mildly offensive, almost accepted insults from the French to the English and vice versa. Both have long histories, so long in the case of ‘frog’ that it’s original meaning has been lost. Likewise, do many of us really know why the French like to call us rosbifs?

The texts are intended to challenge the viewer into considering the generalisations. I am English, and therefore to some Frenchmen I am a ‘rosbif’ and so, like Magriites pipe I am and am not a rosbif. This is the same for the French text; of course the Frenchman is not a frog, but some may consider him so.

The typefaces I have chosen for each line of text also enforce the idea of generalisation. The French text is written in Papier sans typeface, a script font chosen to represent an idea of ‘Frenchness’. The colour of this text is the blue of the French national flag.The English text is written using Gill Sans font and I have used this as it is known to represent ‘Britishness’ because of it’s use by well known institutions like the BBC and Penguin books. Its colour is the red from the St. Georges Cross.

Between the texts is a Venn diagram made up of two semi-transparent circles, or ‘elements’ (English and French) that intersect to create a white segment. The diagram and its intersection represents our difference (nationality) and our similarity – we are all human.

The whole piece is on a pale blue background, chosen to represent the English Channel that separates us as nations.

The two pieces of text are arranged so that the poster can be rotated 180 degrees to put either the French or English text at the top. The circles of the Venn diagram of course, will always remain in the correct position.

Ideally, I would have liked the French text and Venn circle to be printed one side of the poster and the English the other but this proved to be inaccurate in terms of alignment.

 

 

Another project that’s bubbling under Mission Flash is a poster design competition for the Chaumount (I pronounce it Cha’mone but I’m a philistine) Festival. Here’s the brief and linkage to the festival.

OPEN TEXT

The Chaumont Festival team wanted to refresh the student competition, embracing the diverse media that feature in graphic design output: publications, printed objects, video, interactive productions, etc. in light of this, the judges wanted to invite the students to think about an essential component of graphic design:writ ing.Writing can put words to what images cannot explicitly say or convey. But this statement overlooks the role that the designer’s choices can play in reading practices. The same text, in different media and with specific page or screen layouts, will be read and appropriated differently.as a result, there will be not one but multiple readings; not one reader, but readers. Formatting text and choosing a mediumtherefore amount to devising reading scenarios. and this iswhat the jury hopes to read, discover and test!entrants are free to choose their text, although it is best to avoid casually choosing a text – as if for some laying-out exercise.The text can be in english or French. Whether it is is written for the occasion or borrowed, its title and source should be mentioned.and now… Get “texting”

Righto then. Here’s my first draft. I’m considering an A0 size screen printed poster but it’s still a work in progress. Brief explanation of the concept below it.

Chaumont Festival poster

For this brief I have chosen to focus on the generalizations made about different nationalities specifically the French and the English and reminding the viewer that we are all individuals whilst as human beings we are of course the same. The text that I have chosen is self-written and is based on The Treachery of Images by Rene Magritte. In this painting of what is ostensibly a realistic looking pipe, Magritte has written below it “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” – This is not a pipe – which appears to be a contradiction. However, it is of course not an actual pipe but a painting of one. Magritte’s work  intended to challenge observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality and this, along with the French language used for the text has informed my poster design.

My text reads: “je ne suis pas un rosbif” I am not a rosbif in French and: “and I am not a frog” in English. Both ‘rosbif’ (roast beef in English) and ‘frog’ are mildly offensive, almost accepted insults from the French to the English and vice versa. Both have long histories, so long in the case of ‘frog’ that it’s original meaning has been lost. Likewise, do we really know why the French like to call us rosbifs?

For me to say “I am not a rosbif’ one would assume that I would need to be English. I have chose to turn this assumption on its head by writing the text in French. Likewise, to say “and I am not a frog” one would assume that I was a Frenchman – but this is written in English. Who is who and why does it matter? In addition to this conundrum the whole situation could be reversed. Could this be a Frenchman saying that he isn’t a ‘rosbif’? He isn’t of course but neither is the Englishman. He is an Englishman. Again, this also applies to the denial of being a ‘frog’. This never ending conundrum is represented by the two white circles within the poster. They overlap in the form of a Venn diagram. One circle represents France, the other England. They are individual in nationality but intersect as human beings.

The typefaces I have chosen for each line of text also enforce these ideas of generalisation. The French text is written in the style of ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’. Magritte was, of course Belgian but the language he uses is French. My text is both a play on his words and written in it’s style. The English text is written using Gill Sans type. I have used this typeface as it is known to represent ‘Britishness’ because of it’s use by well known institutions like the BBC and Penguin books.

 

Abandoned TV

Soooo, the next brief for my Graphic Design degree. Play 2 Create: “create a visually dynamic web site that imaginatively interprets the narrative structure, spatial and temporal (time-based) experience and contextual meaning in a cinematic film.” Nice.

This is to be done using Flash and ActionScript. Never done anything with either of those in the past so technically this project may be a ball-ache but conceptually and visually very interesting.

After a little umming and aahing the movie I’ve chosen is going to be the stylish and controversial (at the time) A Clockwork Orange. In the movie of Anthony Burgess‘s novella of the same name Stanley Kubrick visualised a dystopian, near future England  where ultraviolent gangs roamed the streets high on Beethoven and milk, looking for their next victim. A little research reveals a dearth of info on Kubrick and the movie but here’s what I like about it:

A Clockwork Orange

The ‘Kubrick stare’. As performed by Malcolm McDowell here, Jack Nicholson in The Shining below and Vincent D’Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket below that. Face centre of the screen, head slightly tilted down, eyes looking up and they’re looking at YOU.

The Shining

Full Metal Jacket

Which brings me neatly to the centring of many scenes in Kubrick’s movies. The attention to detail and dramatic effect is amazing. As seen above and these lovely set ups in A Clockwork Orange:

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

Finally, the architecture in A Clockwork Orange really does it for me. In an era when modernist, brutalist projects and social housing developments were yet to fall from grace, these concrete beauties/monstrosities are a perfect backdrop. First is the Brunel University in Uxbridge AKA the Ludoviko Medical Centre followed by Southmere Lake on the Thamesmead Estate (between Greenwich and Bexley). Finally, Southmere as it is now.

Brunel University

Thamesmead

Thamesmead

There’s a great video here where Simon Baumann visits the locations in the movie while the narrator reads from Kubrick’s script notes. Interesting stuff.

More on all this later…

Johnny Cash

Cryk bear

During my research for the screen printed poster project I came across the Polish circus posters, CYRK. There’s so many brilliant ones to choose from but this one; Bear in tuxedo by Waldemar Swierzy is one of my favourites. The bear’s managing to look both preposterous and dignified. Loads more here.

South Bank

South Bank

National Theatre, South Bank

I love the area around the South Bank. In a swift hours walk you can get to see some major cultural and architectural landmarks as well as some dodgy street entertainers, it’s got the lot. A bit of Brutalism? Check. Man dressed as a kind of polar bear/wolf hybrid? Check.