Dave Mckean is one of my absolutely favorite comicbook artist. He's been doing short movies for many years, which I have only seen stillpictures of. But now his first feature film is coming up, Mirror Mask, written in collaboration with Neil Gaiman and produced on a low budget with a small crew of 15 freshly graduated animators. Damn I hop this will come to Denmark. Otherwise I'll simply have to get the dvd. By the looks of it I'm already drooling with expectation.
On a sidenote - I'll be going sailing this weekend. Going with my dad from Vedbæk, near Copenhagen to Als in southern Jutland. That'll add up to about 30 hours of sailing in relatively cold and rainy weather. I'll bring my camera, so expect to see amazing photos of real men taking their turns with mother nature. Coming up next week :)
Sep 29, 2005
Sep 28, 2005
Utopian ideas should always fill one with deep suspicion. A clear vision obscures other possibilities. In the essay I found today, Jeremy Adam Smith brings to attention the violence inherent in any utopia. Very literally exemplified in his description of the book "Utopia" by Thomas More:
"The violence of More's historical period is never far from the surface of More's island Utopia, where a single act of adultery is punishable by slavery and serial adulterers are punished with death. If More's narrator had looked past the happy smiling faces of Utopia, what fear and violence might he have seen?"
"The Ten Stupidest Utopias" is a very interesting little essay, going from Platos "Republic", over Elisabeth Nietzches Nueva Germania, Le Corbusiers Radiant City, Constants New Babylon, ending with the internet. Read, read.
Sep 27, 2005
Today I've really dug up something for for the young readers who hunger for action, blood and nude people. The visible human project has it all.
Very basically they've taken a (nude) dead body, frozen it and cut it in very, very thin slices. Finally all the slices have been scanned, opening up numerous new possibilities for visualizing the human body. For instance this movie.
For more pictures from the project there's the facinating site with the interesting full name "Introduction to Introduction to Cross-Sectional Anatomy" from Harvard University.
And have a nice day : )
Sep 26, 2005
The intriguing mrs. Suzanne of Wurzeltod has recently posted a lovely collection of links to little bizarre movies. And I'm not gonna cheat you of those.
Here's my favorites amongst them:
Strindberg & Helium - 4 episodes about the famous Swedish writer and his lesser known friend - Helium the pink balloon.
The Hole - A very pro animation about what can happen if you eat to many little coloured pills. I think.
The Cat With Hands - woohoooo, clasically scaaary...
Sep 25, 2005
I found a real piece of online quality: an online gallery of princeton universitys Collection of deathmasks. Strange to look into these tired, bony faces. Frozen moments - not of living body, but of a dead and decaying one. And even though they are casts of empty shells they seem to convey so much emotion, having caught the charaters in a most intimate situation - their own deathbed.
The deathmask of Jonathan Swift
Also highly useful is the Web Gallery of Art which I refound looking for this particular picture: The Death of Marat by David. I always liked it very much.
And here is his actual deathmask.
And have a merry sunday.
Sep 24, 2005
A nice essay about Japan, formalism the concept of ostranenie, estrangement - as described in this post. Makes the familiar unfamiliar, to prolong the process of perception and is thus a tool to take posession of the place/space in new ways.
Here it is: "Cute Formalism"
Sep 23, 2005
Here's a little treat for you - the music video for the song "Jed's Other Poem
(Beautiful Ground)" by the band Granddaddy.
"So, what's so special 'bout this video" you ask yourself. Well, I'll tell you: It's programmed in Applesoft II on a 1979 Apple ][+ with 48K of RAM. Pretty cool, eh. And apart from that it's a pretty nice song and a real nice video...
"Jeddy-3 the humanoid was assembled in the kitchen out of spare parts. Before Jed's system died he wrote poetry. This is one of his poems."
Sep 22, 2005
As I've told about before the overlying theme of the projects this year is the city seen as duration (over time) rather than as a geographical area. This made me think about a book called "urban songlines", I strongly recommend the first chapter to all Danish Speakers, which in turn made me read "The Songlines" by Bruce Chatwin - one of the best books I've ever read. It's about the nomadic nature of man in general and the way the australian aborigines map the land in particular.
The land is sung. First time by the ancestors, who created the songs and the land by walking through it. Before it was sung it did not exist. Unsung land is dead land. And as the songs describe routs, criss-crossing the entire continent, land is not experienced as twodimensional area. It is seen as a web. Words for "land" are the same as the words for "line".
Inspired by this I went on my own little walkabout through Copenhagen last thursday. Starting 16.30 I travelled through the city and suburbs untill 8 next morning, getting 2,5 hours of sleep in a hidden corner of the harbour late at night. The criteria for my route was my own curiosity, moving away from boredom and towards places unknown.
To register the trip I brought a notebook and some small plates of wax to make prints of places where my own ephemeral being in the space at the time had been significant in some way. I specifically did not bring a camera - to maintain the images and memories only in my mind, helped by the wax prints.
T hese photos of the wax, was taken while they were placed on a light table. See the rest HERE. I'm gonna put some more as soon as I have photoshop reinstalled. Also of the casts I'm making from them now... so, stay tuned.
Sep 21, 2005
I've learned a wonderful term today - ostranenie. It's russian. Translated to english it becomes estranging and Danish (very funny translation) it's underliggørelse (more like weirdning, lol).
"This Russian term of literary analysis refers to the experience of having the familiar and commonplace made strange or alien. Such a process of estranging those experiences which are ordinarily taken for granted, challenges the perceiver to re-engage their significance and perhaps discover new or unexpected meanings."
This term will include a lot of the art, film and books that I find most interesting and entertaining - Duchamp, Jeunet (Delicatessen, Amelie...), Vonnegut and Kafka... A fascination I've untill now explained, calling it "reality with a twist".
This ostranenie-thing seem to be a very powerfull tool for any kind of artistic practice.
"One of the interesting corollaries of Shklovskii's idea is that of the invisibility of the commonplace: "they do not appear in cognition." Familiarity breeds a particular form of contempt in his mind. It is the contempt of not seeing ... Common perception, it might be inferred, is a kind of blindness. It is the poet's or the artist's role to open eyes."
So, it has everything to do with perception and memory - mmmm... iiinterresting...
Read all about it
Sep 13, 2005
Here's a fast little update, just 'cause I'm sort of in a hurry but have a bad conscience for not updating for several days ;)
The site of the day contains images from 2 photoalbums bought at a fleamarket in Beijing. "The albums are amazing artifacts of a time and place that most Westerners have no connection to". Old pictures are always nice, but these offer an inside view of the cultural revolution - a rather terrible point in history, where Mao did what he could to erase all traces of knowledge from the past, history and traditions. Quite interesting to get a different view of this if you ask me.
Scrapbook of the Revolution
from money not art
Sep 9, 2005
During a little bit of project-relevant research on the net i have I've come across a very nice place on the net, from which you will now all benefit. It is "THE SCHØYEN COLLECTION, a checklist of 650 manuscripts spanning 5000 years" - infact it spans much further.
Below you see the item that led me there. If it indeed is a map, it is quite possibly the oldest in the world. It is a so called cylcon, depicting river Darling with tributaries Warrego and Culgao, New South Wales, Australia, 20,000-3000 BC.
The collection has pictures of such categories as: History, Weights & Measures, Architecture And lets not forget Middle Scots Languages.
Link can from now be found in the fancy and rapidly expanding links section to your left (filed under "image banks & other libraries".
Sep 8, 2005
Ok - I've just been reading some Deleuze (& Guattari, but who cares about him). Not that I haven't tried it before, but I just thought I'd give it a little go, since it was sweet Dubi who'd put out a link and it was an interesting subject. But, and I know, based on earlier experience, I should have known, what load of complete bullshit!
"The appearance of a central power is thus a function of a threshold or degree beyond which what is conjured away ceases to be so and arrives." - what is this, don't he know grammer, are they on acid... numerous questions like that pops up... and this was even just the 2. sentence..
"Both the melodic line of the towns and the harmonic cross-sections of the States are necessary to effect the striation of space." - mhmm, ok... Just a few questions to clarify here, fx: Why are towns melodic and states harmonic. What on earth is "striation" supposed to mean. Is he stoned...
All in all - what a load of French bellybuttonpicking academic masturbation....whhheeeeuuw (sorry 'bout that).
As my brothers professor so wisely said:"Read it and if you don't understand it, read it again. If you still don't understand, read it one more time. And if you still don't understand - then it's probably because it's incomprehensible" - Oh yes, smart guy good old Niels Viggo Steensgaard.
Sep 6, 2005
First real day of school yesterday, one new teacher, quite a few new classmates and a new project. So far it all looks really promising.
Taken from this years program of the XAP studio:
"We are ... no longer tied to the same geographical locality. Private cars and efficient public transport makes it possible that we no longer have our home, our work and spend our free time in the same place (same city). The city as a phenomenon as well as the hierachical division between city suburb and landscape is being dissolved and replaced by an urbanity who's range is measured and defined by the radius of action of the individual.
The general discussion of the year is the connection between and the consequence of an architecture and urbanity understood as a duration over time rather than a physical/geographical extent"
So, we're gonna deal with the exiting fact that historical city centres are loosing importance as people has become more mobile. The city is no longer the large village it used to be, where you lived and worked in the same neighbourhood as your friends and family.
Rather than defining oneself through a geographical area, you create and constantly evolve a web of particular places, physical and virtual, and the routes and connections between them. Thus time comes into play - time from place to place, time of day when you go where, to work, on the net, time of year...
I'm really looking forward to work with time, a really difficult subject imho, and very relevant. If any of you dear readers have some suggestions for litterature or websites that might be interesting in this context, please don't hesitate to put them in a comment.