I'm dead-tired and lazy so here's an easy one for you - James Brown asking first Michael Jackson, then Prince on to the stage. And we see Prince out-funkin' MJ 10 time and out-rock'n'rollin him 100! Oh yeah.
Must've been a rather nice little intimate concert experience.
Sep 11, 2007
Sep 9, 2007
And now I would like to present essayist, architect, artist, sportsman and now also guest blogger - Tine Bernstorff Aagaard - who've written this delightfully vulgar text as part of the Food Workshop on easa007 in Elefsina, Greece. All text and images by her.
Disgust vs. Lust
A flaneurs sensitive stroll through a meat market. The fascination of organs and limbs; cold, lifeless as well as warm and pulsing in the mediterranean evening sun. The fascination as the duality between attraction and disgust. The colors and shapes of the exhibited organic structures in an ocean of variety teasing the eye of the perceiver and forces the willing body to continue along the meatpacked arcade; moving even deeper into the all embracing atmosphere. The harsh smell of blood lingers all around.
Meat color. The weight of exposed, overwhelmingly naked body parts as one would never relate to living creatures. A somehow structured mess that does not catch the viewers eye. The Sound of butchers hammers smashing bones and bits of bodies into more bits of bodies and more meat atoms are released.
Heavy laughs and tricksy sale speaches hits bypassers without a living chance of avoiding. Coming on to one as one comes on to the flesh. One cant escape; not even ones own desire to stay.
Caught between oneself sensing the body parts as the butchers sensing one. One becomes an object. The foreigner is exposed while sketching. The breathing on ones neck. Eyes on the paper. On one. The lust of investigating every little shape, deformation of the body parts. Like stroking the slightly sticky skin gently with the palm of ones hand - with the line of the pen against the pure paper. The disgusting feeling of exposing ones desires in this ruthless environment.
In the middle of this a box appears. The content is a massive structure of snails. Moving all on top of each other. Looking like the hanging stomachs would, if they were still functioning. The structure lets some snails depart to escape. The sound of the shells hitting the tiled, wet, floor as they tip over the edge, is somehow similar to the should of the hammers smashing into the flesh and bones. The slow page of their movements seems so fast due to the fixed time of the massive 'stilleben' one is situated in. The roughness of slaughter an animal makes the process of growing of snails, seem more like the act of growing vegetables and fruits. Despite the little creatures slim chance of surviving, these escapists shows a way out. Or at least a will to get out. To escape.
One leaves with a bag full of living snails. 3,5 euro for approximately the make body count as class in primary school. One makes a habitat of lettuce and a white plastic bowl to make them survive more than the two days because of the heat one were told. One gives them names and have them - not just participating in a dinner party, but even controlling the whole autonomy of the evening. Keeping them alive for how long? This situation is even more artificial than the situation in the box in the meat market.
A dilemma again. Playing it passive perhaps. Time might choose and leave one as an observer. They might by now have lost their sliminess and will to live. Their possibility to escape was part of the game. But most are still there. With the names of the peoples one know. They were all most still last time one observed the situation. Excrements were lying all over. Like the snails might be doing now. Dry and dead.
Sep 7, 2007
Sep 6, 2007
This artist, Jonathan Harris, writes amazing pieces of software. Software which maps nothing less than the mental state of the world. The results are some very poetic interactive maps. It's done by collecting data from the internet. A concept that has been tried in many variations before. What is special about this stuff is the extremely clever ways these data are treated and visualized. Fx. in We Feel Fine which maps the emotions of the world. It would be more precise to say emotions of the blogosphere perhaps... but anyway - the results seem really quite advanced and poetic, so go and play.
Newer and even more interesting than We Feel Fine is Universe - a modern mytholgy.
But before you start playing and exploring these worlds of his (or us) do yourself the favour of spending 20 min. of precious mindless browsingtime and whatch his speach from the TED conference this year, to get a very prober explanation of how these interactive maps work.
I feel like a map of myself.
(and thank you Luis for bringing my attention back to Ted's YouTube channel :)
Sep 5, 2007
Athens Street Art
Coming down from the Acropolis a certain side of Athens opened itself up to me when I practically walked into this piece. Like nothing I ever saw before. Body of glued textiles and mouths of cut out prints. On top of layers upon layers of tags.
I hadn't noticed anything walking up. Possibly also to do with the waves of salty sweat washing down my forehead into my eyes. But when my eyes had been opened the pieces were everywhere. Lots of different styles.
Tags all over. In thick layers. Making me wonder if the strong street art scene of Athens might be a product of the municipal authorities relaxed attitude towards keeping everything neat and tidy.
I love how street art turns the walls of the city into a media for site specific mass communication. Though most often rather abstract mass communication. In contrast to the definite and predictable messages of advertisement. And then we are closing in on the core of what makes this stuff both fantastic and important.
Ostranenie - a term I've touched on one or two earlier occasions, translates into defamiliarization. It was coined by the Russian formalist writer and critic Viktor Shklovsky who views this mechanism as the trues essence of all art.
This is what he writes in his essay/manifesto Art as Technique - here conveniently highlighted for efficient blog-reading:
# 13. If we start to examine the general laws of perception, we see that as perception becomes habitual, it becomes automatic. Thus, for example, all of our habits retreat into the area of the unconsciously automatic; if one remembers the sensations of holding a pen or of speaking in a foreign language for the first time and compares that with his feeling at performing the action for the ten thousandth time, he will agree with us. Such habituation explains the principles by which, in ordinary speech, we leave phrases unfinished and words half expressed. In this process, ideally realized in algebra, things are replaced by symbols. Complex words are not expressed in rapid speech; their initial sounds are barely perceived. Alexander Pogodin [in a 1913 work] offers the example of a boy considering the sentence "The Swiss mountains are beautiful" in the form of a series of letters: T, S, m, a, b.
# 14. This characteristic of thought not only suggests the method of algebra, but even prompts the choice of symbols (letters, especially initial letters). By this 'algebraic' method of thought we apprehend objects only as shapes with imprecise extensions; we do not see them in their entirety but rather recognize them by their main characteristics. We see the object as though it were enveloped in a sack. We know what it is by its configuration, but we see only its silhouette. The object, perceived thus in the manner of prose perception, fades and does not leave even a first impression; ultimately even the essence of what it was is forgotten. Such perception explains why we fail to hear the prose word in its entirety (see Leo Jakubinsky's article) and, hence, why (along with other slips of the tongue) we fail to pronounce it. The process of 'algebrization,' the over-automatization of an object, permits the greatest economy of perceptive effort. Either objects are assigned only one proper feature - a number, for example - or else they function as though by formula and do not even appear in cognition.
And then you get the next part full length...
I was cleaning a room and, meandering about, approached the divan and couldn't remember whether or not I had dusted it. Since these movements are habitual and unconscious, I could not remember and felt that it was impossible to remember - so that if I had dusted it and forgot - that is, had acted unconsciously, then it was the same as if I had not. If some conscious person had been watching, then the fact could be established. If, however, no one was looking, or looking on unconsciously, if the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been. [Leo Tolstoy's Diary, 1897]
# 15. And so life is reckoned as nothing. Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture, one's wife, and the fear of war. "If the whole complex lives of many people go on unconsciously, then such lives are as if they had never been." And art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar,' to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object: the object is not important. [This key statement has been translated different ways; Robert Scholes, for instance, renders it as: In art, it is our experience of the process of construction that counts, not the finished product.] (from "Art as Technique" - click for full text)
After rereading Shklovkys text the above statement suddenly made sense. How you can destroy symbols with symbols.
One street artist who really take this effect of ostranenie to the sublime is Banksy, so in his concise words:
If you want someone to be ignored then build a lifesize bronze statue of them and stick it in the middle of town.
It doesn't matter how great you were, it'll always take an unfunny drunk with climbing skills to make people notice you. ("Wall and Piece", p. 208)
It draws us out of the white noize of our everyday routine and draws our attention not only to itself - but also to the space around it. And our bodys place in relation to that. Allows us to locate ourself both geographically and mentally in the urban space.
Wheeew - that was a rather long and rather messy one... a beer to anyone who followed me this far.
Sep 3, 2007
I've been dealing a bit with advanced interface-design before, here & here. And in fact what Jeff Han is doing here is not really different from what Microsoft Surface can do. He just have a much better idea of what to use it for. In other words - this is so much more useful fx. looking at graphic visualizations of complex data, where the ability to both see the big picture and infinitely small details is important... rather than using it as an interactive sofa table... thank you microsoft for really making a difference.
Towards the end of the interview he says something really interesting about a possible 3D-version. It turns out the actual problem with this is that the human body has great difficulty doing very presize gestures when it doesn't have anything to push against. It's the problem of keeping your fingertip in an excact point in space, while taking a step to the side. Something that's very easy to do if you rest it against a wall.
So maybe even Jeff Hans design is a dead end too. Lot's of more videos of this on Youtube.
Aug 28, 2007
Aug 25, 2007
Last night I went and saw this show, "Fallen From The Sky" by the Circo da Madrugada. Taking place in a park in Ørestaden surrounded by tall buildings from where the performers entered, sliding fastly hundreds of meters on suspended wires. The visual impact of the whole thing and the proximity of the performers - flying around right above ones head and running about in the crowd - really gave a sense of presence. Extremely nice.
Only drawback was the rather annoying narrator. The story so banal it would have stood much stronger had the performance been allowed to speak for itself.
Aug 20, 2007
photo by P-Real
If you are in Copenhagen this weekend go to see Halfmachine on their new ship. Robot-performance-underground-arty-farty stuff. Submarine ballet, floating interactive flamethrowers, sounds, etc... - all together a living world of eclectic imagery.
Or check out some of the other events that's part of the wonderful and brand new Metropolis Biennale
Aug 16, 2007
This video is based on data from the Visible Human Project which I wrote about back in '05. The aim of the project "is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three-dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. ... The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals."
It's the best video of this project I found on the net. It really shows how different sections can be cut through the 3D model, giving some rather unusual perspectives on it. I even quite like the music.
Made by Les Frère Lefdrup ...
And now of to bed with sweet dreams of traveling through bodies... I'll be good soon and post some proper stuff... promise ... boy-scout honour ... in the near, near future... it's just that not only did my feet stay in Greece - so did most of my fingers on my right hand and a few on the left. Difficult to type. And the net-connection is really slow too.
Aug 10, 2007
Home again. And I have not found my feet here yet. After two weeks of architectural hedonism. I seem to have left them behind. I think I know when it happened.
The last couple of days I'd been looking forward to the fresh Copenhagen breeze, the cool sheets of my bed, perhaps even a little dusty rain...
I guess also for other travellers than myself the turning point arrives as we approach the airport check-in. Nearing it one begin to sense something. At first it's a low mutter. Then sprawled clusters of strangers. Finally forming into the dradful line of fellow countrymen. Reminding you what you are going back to. This could have been anticipated but is blissfully forgotten. Mentally surpressed. You find yourself in a world of arguing parents, trying to get ahead in line, complaining, taking bloody ages... And you're forced to stand there with them. Sharing loud stories of local incompetence. Not even aboard the plane - but already engulfed in dreary Danishness.
And that's when my feet left me.
Jul 26, 2007
As the regular readers have noticed Adam in the World is enjoying the summer vacation. Instead of posting activities has included the Roskilde Festival, hanging out with my grandmother and playing with my old Lego.
At this very moment though I find myself in Elefsina, just outside Athens. Together with 420 students of Architecture from 35 European countries + plus a few from Latin America. EASA (European Architecture Student Assembly) has been taking place since 1981. Every year in a different place. Two weeks packed with workshops and parties and loads and loads of international socializing.
This year my role is to support a workshop about food (ritualized meals, the influence of context, memories and fx sound on the experience of eating, etc... good old fashioned playful conceptual experimentation) and to help out with all the power tools for the more practical workshops.
It's 45°C, really well organized this year, food is great, people are happy and the workshops are beginning to really take off. In other words - th atmoshpere is excellent.
For regular, possibly rather chit-chatting, updates of what's happening throughout the event check out the easa blog.
Jul 12, 2007
Just came back from the Roskilde Festival. Despite the amounts of mud and tents it is indeed a truly urban experience, a yearly experiment in ephemeral urbanity - a city of 100.000 people existing for 4 days. Build of nylon, rain, beer, shit, love and rock'n roll.
There's much to tell but it will not be now. Please just enjoy this painting by Vermeer - View of House in Delft ... which has noting to do with Roskilde. Except that it is also a city, where sometimes it rains.
What I like particularly about this painting is the plane of the facade. It Appears so two-dimensional. A veil. It is so fragile, full of cracks and holes. Explored and penetrated by the gaze of the viewer. A surface containing or defining a depth of its own.
Click it and it gets fabulously big.
Jul 2, 2007
What can I say... the Theremin is one of the more freaky intruments out there. It is, I think, the only instrument you play without touching. And yet it is as dependent on your bodys position and movements as a musical suit.
This the Ether & Æther orchestra. Randy George on theremin. Playing the Gnarls Barkley hit Crazy. And I've never heard anything like Randy George.
Jun 30, 2007
From the project 'Running the Numbers' by Chris Jordan. Above you see 6 panels displaying 2.3 million folded prison uniforms, equal to the number of Americans incarcerated in 2005. Below is a detail in actual size.
The brilliance of this project is how it visualizes those unfathomable quantities in a way so they become almost tangible. 2.3 mill. is no longer an abstract number, but can now be "experienced fundamentally through a bodily identification rather than as mere external objects" - if you remember Pallasmaas and Benjamins thoughts from this post.
You step up close to the panels. Zoom in. And can imagine the human body fitting inside each of the folded uniforms. You take five steps back. And as you do it, the overwhelming scale and tragedy of the American prison system presents itself. The abstract numbers are really understood through your body, its position in space, its relation to the image on the wall.
Jun 29, 2007
Turn down volume and watch...
"Since 2003, the MTA has made available for exhibition purposes 80 LED screens located at subway entrances across New York City. ... While the MTA's effort to create more opportunities for video art exhibition in public spaces is to be commended, selected works remain wholly fixated on commercial goods and media conglomerate events, a short-sighted curatorial choice that regrettably ignores the full potential of these promising exhibition spaces."
The PIXELATOR project including an easy How To guide
Jun 28, 2007
kRANggggGGGGgggGGGggggGGGggggGGGGgggGGGGgggGG. . .
PURPLE HAZE, ALL IN MY BRAIN!
LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME!
I'M ACTIN' FUNNY BUT I DON'T KNOW WHY?
'SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY!
PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND!
DON'T KNOW, IF I'M COMING UP OR DOWN
AM I HAPPY? OR IN MISERY?
WHATEVER IT IS, THAT GIRL, PUT A SPELL ON ME!
TWAngga TWang TWANgggGGGggggGGGggggGGGG
twanGGA-twaNG-TwanGGA-twaNG-twanGGA-twaNGGggggGGGggggGGGggg-TWANgga TWAng TWAngggGGGggggGGGggggGGGG
TWAnggA-Twang-TWanggA-TWang-TWanggA-TwangGGGggggGGGggggGGGGtwaNGGa twANG twaNGGGgggGGGGgggGGGGgggG
HELp me BABy! HELP me BAby!
PURPLE HAZE WAS IN MY EYES!
DON'T KNOW IF IT'S DAY OR NIGHT!
YOU'VE GOT ME BLOWING, BLOWING MY MIND!
HElp mE Baby! HElp mE BAby!
YEAAAAAAAAH! PURPLE HAZE! YEAH YEAH
YEAAAAAAAAH! PURPLE HAZE!
TWAngga TWAng TWAngggGGGggggGGGGgggGGGG
TWanggA-TWang-TWAnggA-Twang-TWanggA-TwangGGGGgggGGGGgggGGGG-twANGGa tWANg twANGGgggGGGggggGGGggggGG
TWAnggA-TWang-TWanggA-TWang-TWAnggA-TwangGGGggggGGGGgggGGGgtwaNGGA twANG twaNGGggggGGGGgggGGGGgggG
Help ME babY! Help ME babY!
Written live by MoveOverRover in the comments on this article. So click it and scrool down for more Hendrix hits.
Argggoddammit - blogger cut's of the end of all the long guitar riffs... well, just follow the link and get the whole concert uncut.
We need some life here. Old life. Seen over time in glimpses. Notice the little guy in the red jacket appearing twice.
I'm really quite buggered with Natasja dying just like that. Never before felt like that for someone I've never met in person. She's my Lady Di i think.
All the music that will never be.
The only consolation is the fact that she was on Jamaica. Had just played a concert. Was driving away from it in the company of her best friend. Stoned, drunk and happy as can be. That was her state of mind when she died. And that could be worse.
Give her some airtime this summer.
Tree by James Balog - via Pruned
Jun 24, 2007
Natasja interviewet i Bryggebladet
Sad, sad and shocking news - Danish rapper and dancehall queen Natasja Saad, aka Little T, died this afternoon in a car crash on Jamaica.
She had a flow like no one else around here. And she had something to say. Her future seemed brighter than ever and now it stopped. Just like that.
This is from summer '06 when she won - in front of 700 other contestants - Irie FM's influential "Big Break" contest in Jamaica.
Next to the video there's a press release from her manager
The concept "fair" has obviously never been part of natures (dis)order in this world...
To much to prepare for tomorrow - when I'll be hosting a small seminar on the subjects Shared Space and interactive urban spaces - to write anything sensible... so today just a photo I took on Vesterbro.
...and happy sunday .
Oh - in case you need something to ruin your evening with: Desktop Tower Defense... a very, very contagious game. Via Kottke.
Jun 23, 2007
... to follow up on the comments to the previous post:
Fred mentions above video - a parody of an ad for Microsoft Surface. It points directly to what is probably Microsofts main problem - they buy some very cool existing technology without having any idea what to use it for whatsoever.
So they make a very expensive completely niche product that can do anything in the world, but nothing in particular. Meaning it's still all just potential. As it was when they bought it.
At the same time Apple takes quite a bit of the same technology, makes it pocketsized and affordable. Because they had a clear picture of the iPhone. They start with functionality. A specific idea.
Along this line it's very instructional to compare Microsoft Surface to Reactable - super cool project Dubi has brought to light. Here's what the main man behind it, dr. Sergi Jorda, says:
"... unlike many projects which involves a lot of technology, it started from a concept and not from a technology. So first we knew what we wanted to build and then we discovered how to build it"
This video shows the basic principles of Reactable. It's a little noisy, but so nice. Notice that the hardware is exactly the same as for Surface, except Reactable is round... in other words - anyone can make a touchscreen table-computer... the interesting question is why you do it.
I'll end it here for now cause it's late. Hope to pick up on the vitual reality tomorrow. Tangible, tactile, virtual reality perhaps. Just got a marathon monologue with a mad genious to go through before...
Jun 21, 2007
This movie shows a demonstration of the most incredible piece(s) of software I ever saw.
But please notice in the beginning the sentence: "...technology we brought to Microsoft as part of an acquisition" - in other words M$ didn't figure this out themselves. They bought a little innovative company who had already done it. An important point for a mac-addict like me, hehe.
None the less - this looks so incredibly exciting.
Once more via my new favorite blog Bioephemera - spend some time there. It's worth it.
And there's a new, and much needed, label: "Technology"... to compensate "web" will die. This should open up for some more posts about things such as robots and interactive architecture.
Jun 20, 2007
Being an architect currently working as a planner on a project with a timeframe of two years - and that's just to make a fucking strategy - I've always envied the a- & possibility of musicians to be present in the now. The immediacy of their artform. Goes right from mind & body and out into the world. Now. Here.
Along this line one must also say that what is produced is extremly ephemeral. It also only exists now. And then it dissapears again. Off course aboriginal songlines are probably 40.000 years old, but for now let's concentrate on what the individual produces and experiences. As such, music is apparently the complete opposite of architecture.
However Juhanni Pallasmaa writes (architectureanimation, p. 58): "Music has historically been regarded as the art form closest to architecture. The metaphor of architecture as 'frozen music' is an expression of this relatedness. ... the over 2000 years of Pythagorean tradition concretely connects the principles of musical and architectural harmonies."
Pallasmaa goes on to talk about film being even closer to arch than music. But then continues - referring to Walter Benjamin and his book The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction - he writes: "In Benjamins view, architecture and film are communicated primarily through the tactile realm in opposition to the pure visuality of the painting. ... Works of music ... as well as architecture, are experienced fundamentally through a bodily identification rather than as mere external objects".
And so we return to the blind Stevie Wonder. Standing on the stage obviously identifying with the music through his body - as well as his ears. Experiencing the space through his body - not his eyes. Thus, even thoug both music and architectuere are abstract artforms, it becomes a tactile experience. And the music, the space and the body becomes one.
Which is one of the basic priciples of songlines. We're closing in on that subject.
And also perhaps answering the question of why this blog, sort of claiming to be concerned with architecture, has such a focus on things relating to the body.
Jun 18, 2007
Dear readers - It's time for a little status-report. The fact is that it has never gone better here on the blog. I changed the layout a while back and started posting consistently. Tweaked the design again a few days back. The aim has been more simplicity and legibility. Hope you like it.
There's never been more visitors - though most, 95% in fact, of them only come to see Britney give birth from behind. Fortunately the regular readership is also slowly expanding. And that is seriously nice. There's even a handfull of complete strangers amongst you. However I can safely say you're still a part of a true cult phenomenon.
I'm still trying to find the right format for posts. I've realized I'm not the most organized blogger in the world. Some are long and serious. Some short and silly. They sort of just follow my mood and momentary inspiration. And there's probably nothing to do about it, however much I want a strong, stylish concept.
So that's how it is. I you have any suggestions or critique - fx what to do with the hundreds of people wanting to see Britneys wide open pussy - don't hesitate to write me a mail or comment.
Cheers and thank you for reading :)
Love and peace
ps - bldgblog reports that Peter Cook has been knighted... so that's Sir Cook henceforth. Cheers to him. May he sleep well during crits.
Jun 17, 2007
Dear Hajra just commented on the previous post and left a wonderful present:
Situatinists in Wonderland - a very nice and suitable analogy on their ideas. You don't wanna miss Part One either... actually you probably ought to start with it...
And to continue with some more Alice in Wonderland here's another movie I came across yesterday on the seemingly very, very nice blog Bioephemera. This one's by an absolute favorite of mine - Jan Svankmajer:
Happy Sunday... and if you feel the need to know more about the situationsts after this just follow the links in the previous post.
Puuh... hope this won't get much to slow to load with all them movies...
Jun 16, 2007
A while back I promised a loong in-depth series about the aborigine mapping-koncept of songlines. And I admit it's been so so with the updates on that. But you must understand we're talking serious stuff here. Serious thinking.
So - introduced to the subject by the gentlemen Hank Williams and in particular Tony Bennett - let's continue warming up on the subject and take a detour around urban nomads.
Many people living in cities today doens't let themselves be defined by a limited geographical locality. Rather our identity is created through the daily or weekly routes we move along through the city. From home, to work, to favorite bar, etc... and when we get a new job our route shifts and we see a new city. But we don't plot these routes according to practical consideration alone. They also follow our immediate desires and mood. Through these choices we define ourself and the city. And as the city changes atmosphere throughout the day, year or more - we change our routes. It is not the place that matters but the velocity (uuh - veloCITY) we choose to move with.
The Parisian bohème around 1900, the flaneur, drifted strolling through the city. A tempo where the senses are kept open to even the most ephemeral impressions - the scent of a woman, the mood around montmatre at dawn.
The 50'ies International Situationists with Guy Debord and Asger Jorn made it into an artistic strategy - the Dérive. Their Psychogeographic maps are assembled of urban fragments. Areas and places with particular atmospheres, connected by taxi-rides.
Space changes over time. Not just when you build up or tear down. But because the subject that percieves the space always will be moving. Always interpreting. And thus an urban space is is not stable, but vibrating with the people who occupies it. Taking shape of their actions and the memories of other places they bring with them. Actions and memories again shaped by the space where they take place.
Extra bonus - found this along way:
Psychogeographic Guides to Paris and New Orleans
Extra extra bonus - Oh Tony, style and charm and those moves, my new hero... here's three more videos with him:
Interview and duet wit K.D. Lang - such an odd couple making that particular song even more beautiful.
Starring in the Comedy show Saturday Night Live - this really made me crack up.
And finally the young Tony again on the Dean Martin Show - those funky underplayed moves
Jun 14, 2007
An easy post for me, a hard one for you... a whole long, very beautiful, short-story by Haruki Murakami who I hadn't read anything by untill Dubi sent me this today... I think I could get rather used to it to be honest.
Read it - 10 minutes... 15 - max...
On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning
One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo's fashionable Harajuku neighborhood, I walk past the 100% perfect girl.
Tell you the truth, she's not that good-looking. She doesn't stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn't young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a "girl," properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She's the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there's a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is dry as a desert.
Maybe you have your own favorite type of girl - one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you're drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I'll catch myself staring at the girl at the table next to mine because I like the shape of her nose.
But no on can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can't recall the shape of hers - or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It's weird.
"Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% perfect girl," I tell someone.
"Yeah?" he says. "Good-looking?"
"Your favorite type, then?"
"I don't know. I can't seem to recall anything about her - the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts."
"So anyhow," he says, already bored, "what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?"
"Nah. Just passed her on the street."
She's walking east to west, and I west to east. It's a really nice April morning.
Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and - what I'd really like to do - explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock built when peace filled the world.
After talking, we'd have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woodie Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.
Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.
Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.
How can I approach her? What should I say?
"Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?"
Ridiculous. I'd sound like an insurance salesman.
"Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?"
No, this is just as ridiculous. I'm not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who's going to buy a line like that?
Maybe the simple truth would do. "Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me."
No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% perfect boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about.
We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can't bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She's written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she's ever had.
I take a few more strides and turn: She's lost in the crowd.
Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.
Oh well. It would have started "Once upon a time" and ended "A sad story, don't you think?"
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.
One day, the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.
"This is amazing," he said. "I've been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you are the 100% perfect girl for me."
"And you," she said to him, "are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I'd pictured you in every detail. It's like a dream."
They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It's a miracle, a cosmic miracle.
As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of a doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one's dreams to come true so easily?
And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, "Let's test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other's 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we'll marry then and there. What do you think?"
"Yes," she said, "that is exactly what we should do."
And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.
The test they had agreed on, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should have never undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other's 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.
One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season's terrible influenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. Their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence's piggy bank.
They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.
Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.
One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking east to west, both along the same narrow street in the Harujuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in the chest. And they knew:
She is the 100% perfect girl for me.
He is the 100% perfect boy for me.
But the glow of their lost memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fourteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.
A sad story, don't you think?
Yes, that's it, that is what I should have said to her.
No animals were harmed during the posting of this blog.
Check out Murakamis official website - very cool if you ask me.
Also someone has made a rather nice visualization of the story. Letters about four times too small to read, but it looks very pretty and poetic - pure visual poetry.
Jun 12, 2007
One thing leads to another - we all know that. And so the movie from yesterday led me on to these two:
This is the HeartLander, a so-called cardiac robot. It is inserted through a small hole in the body to mend a broken heart ... well, doesn't that just sound too good to be true! Above is the first prototype, below is the new slimmer, faster and funkier version. One of it's great successes so far is a myocardial injection which as far is I can understand is about tatooing a dot on the heart. Very handy. But what do I know.
Apparently one of its very funky abilities is that it can move about on a beating heart. An ability I'm sure patients still alive will appreciate. Obviously it's all still in early testing. None the less it is a rather impressive little robot they've made. So bloody simple.
I guess the finetuning of its mechanics might not hav been so simple though. Not to mention the practice it takes to learn controlling it - with what looks like a pretty regular joystick. All in all amazingly amazing.
Jun 11, 2007
When stress at work coincides with very nice weather blogging becomes rather hard. That's years of personal experience talking right there. Luckily our correspondent in Belgrade spend as much time roaming the net as usual - she send me a link to this film today:
In liverpool sculptor Richard Wilson has created a piece reminiscent of an updated but not quite as interesting Gordon Matta-Clark-work. Amazing what you can do with simple technology and a few (450.000) pounds and some giant shoulders to stand on... tssss! At least mr. Wilson could have come up with a less obvious title than Turning the place over. The very archilicious Bldgblog has some stills of it here.
I hate obvious titles. They don't add a thing to whatever they describe, except perhaps a cheap giggle. If you insist giving your artpieces obvious titles you should really be consequent and go for the good old style a la nude women bathing with cows and geese in the background (bad example - now I'll have geese fetichists all over my blog). My friend Odey got me into those the other day... and he's a real artist. Certified and royal. The final bonus of this post is a painting by him. If you're in Copenhagen do yourself a favour and go and watch it full size - 200 x 170 cm - at EXIT07.
One of the reasons I like his work is that instead of stating the obvious he makes realities clash. Mmmmmmm.... Odey Curbelo - the man :)
Jun 8, 2007
Mmmmm....memory.... I did it long time ago, but I have to do it again - draw your attention to the amazing world of anandamide. A master of delicate photomanipulation, creating surreal images and sets with a strong sense of a narrative. And I like that. He can even draw.
Jun 5, 2007
Today it's the Danish national day. Meaning I as a public employee get to sit in the sun and laugh of my friends toiling hard in their dynamic architectural studios. Why I choose to spend this day inside in front of my laptop is another question.
To further rub salt in the wound here's a little extra holiday treat they can't enjoy unless they put on headphones - an awesome freestyle battle by the two grime mc's Wiley and Kano. Amazing what young kids nowadays can do with a little practice and a lot of drugs... or should that be the other way round... probably.
Joking aside - these guys standing on a derelict staircase transcribe thoughts into words and beats faster than ... something very fast.
I've used the term long pork before without elaborating on its meaning. But since my discovery that the photo in that post now rank no. 1 in google image searches on the term I feel obliged to do just that.
Long pork is a term used by south east pacific islanders as an euphemism for human flesh. Isn't that wonderful. Most sources claim it refers to the taste being pig-like. But according to amarican occult journalist William Buehler Seabrook human flesh is more "like good, fully developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal."
Pictured above is the pioneer plaque send with pioneer 10 and 11 into deep space. It is devised to describe to extra terrastials what humans look like and where to get them. Just like the menus the myriad of local pizza joints keep leaving in my mailbox. If aliens do ever arrive here to have a taste of the exotic delicacy we might be to them this recipy for whole roast human seem to me like a good, if time consuming, choice. Otherwise I've heard that the upper arm of a young woman is supposed to be the most tasty and tender cut. Bon appetit.
For a thorough read on cannibalism i suggest you turn to wikipedias article on the subject. Or return here - quite a few interesting links came up during research which I'll be posting in the future.
May 30, 2007
Oh Yeah - there's a party going on... as part of Copenhagen Distortion the boys from This Issue has put together a Balkan Streetparty in Blågårdsgade tomorrow.
And yours truly aka DJ Cvrst is gonna entertain for the first hour with a hit mix of beats from the east. After when I plan retiring to the dancefloor (street) in the company of a bottle of Slivovitz (IPA pronunciation: /slivovɪts/) (Serbian: шљивовица, šljivovica; Bulgarian: сливова, slivova, or сливовица, slivovitsa; Slovenian: slivovka; Croatian: šljivovica; Bosnian: šljivovica, šljiva; Macedonian: сливовица, slivovitsa, or сливова ракија, slivova rakija; Polish: śliwowica /ɕli.vɔ.'vi.tsa/; Romanian: şliboviţă; Slovak: slivovica; Czech: slivovice)
Sometimes there's a long way between the snaps'... or should that be snapses - as in shots drunk in collectivity at regular intervals during lunch. The snaps itself and its digestive qualities being the only reasons for the toast.
Anyway - the snaps'... sometimes they're just too far apart in the big lunch of life. And sometimes they're just to far apart on a blog with more ambition than... erm... blogging... and sometimes they land on shore like long sets of waves sailing in from an endless sea of snaps. Yes, that's how it is.
The above picture depicts mr Green, sculptured by Juan Balandran, blogging rough and intimate short stories from LA as The Red Rooster. He doesn't post often. But the snaps' are very very close. And come full of booze and sweat and painful women.
His subject matter - people and destinies in LA I guess we'll call it - reminds me of P.S. Zollo who take fantastic portraits and descriptions of the encounters with people on the streets of Hollywood. Many of them homeless. Read the whole story and comments about Persephone and cry in your heart.
I am sorry for not posting lately... it just so happens that I have become a bit stressed at work. Just a bit. For the first time. The project has recently moved into the so-called porridge fase. All the while the sun has been shining as mercilessly as possible this time and place. So, only really merciless if you are sitting inside an office.
In other words summer has actually arrived now. Oh yes, I've even been swimming in the sea... and grilling freshly caught fish. And reading about songlines - just you wait, it'll be spread on this blog like flakes of gold...
The picture above I'm afraid does not have anything to do with anything. But as the aborigenes say "nothing is nothing"... so why not - it does fit the theme of this blog well. It is a facade in India made of cow poopoo, each with the imprint of a hand. The action of building becomes the ornament, as the builder imprints himself onto each brick. Scanned from the lovely photobook "suspended on a line" by Walter Battistessa (so it's actually only half a photo).
May 24, 2007
We need to get more political here. Even in my quiet corner of the world it is turbulent times like never before in my lifetime... perhaps I should blog about it... but for now we'll zoom out a bit and have a little lesson about political communication:
Frede tipped me of on this one ... and now i see he has made yet another well written post about it (in Danish)
May 22, 2007
After reading the previous post my beautiful assistant Petter reminded me of Eddie Lins Deep End Dining-blog...well written and witty gastro journalism by a man who fears nothing. So please be introduced to the term extreme dining. Best way of being that is this video I believe:
live tentacles from alba on Vimeo
Live tentacles served in The Prince restaurant in L.A. "The Prince, however, has a culinary dark side. At the end of the heavy bound menu near the bottom of the page are a couple of secret items known only to those who can decipher the Korean script. " - a masterpiece in gastro-journalism starting off with a beautiful story of his little sister.
Also be sure to read other classic posts such as the egg of darkness - balut aka duck fetus or Eddies take on a extreme dining classic - Eat Fugu - or Die Tryin' ... the poisonous-blowfish-sushi also famously eaten by Homer Simpson:
May 20, 2007
Food, it's production and consumption - the act of eating is fundamentally connected to human existence and experience. On level with only sex. And as sex it is an act of close contact between two bodies. Resulting in complex sensorial experiences of smells, flavours and textures. Be it a chicken or a pomegranate, processed or whole and raw - there's a bit of cannibalism involved in every meal. And as such it is ourselfs we look into when we eat.
"In the “Disembodied Cuisine” we will attempt to grow frog skeletal muscle over biopolymer for potential food consumption. A biopsy will be taken from an animal which will continue to live and be displayed in the gallery along side the growing “steak”. This installation will culminate in a “feast”. The idea and research into this project began in Harvard in 2000. The first steak we have grown was made out of pre-natal sheep cells (skeletal muscle). We used cells harvested as part of research into tissue engineering techniques in utero. The steak was grown from an animal that was not yet born."
A view of the installation including the kitchen, the frog's aquarium and the dining table - all enclosed within an airthight environment to comply with regulations for biohazards. Photos from the feast here.
Marti Guixe is celebrating 10 years working with food design. And he has made so incredibly many, incredibly nice small and big, funny and thoughtprovoking designs. Fx. above orangeflavoured lollipop with an orangeseed inside. Lot's of pictures at his site. I believe he has also been associated with Droog Design somehow... they do quite a lot of food-stuff too...
Finally we are obliged to end this trail of thought with Cloaca - a wonderful installation, a machine that turns food into shit.
Via Culiblog - a must for all food designers... oh - a post on Drawing Reastraint 9 and food
and We Make Money Not Art
May 18, 2007
On a friday night like this you've deserved some light entertainment... but you'll have to promise to read through the entire post below as well... yes, the exiting one about songlines...
By Lasse Gjertsen
I think a bit of genious is involved here..
Ayers Rock a.k.a. Uluru a.k.a. Beethovens 5th + Ulysses
OK... I have to write something about songlines now. It's a term, a concept, I've been circling the past year and a half. Since I was led on to read the aptly named book "the Songlines", written by Bruce Chatwin. Compulsory reading for all architects and planners - when I become president.
Songlines is a virtual map of Australia used by the Aborigenes. That is one way to describe it and my main angle of interest. Imagine a nomadic people. With stoneage technology. Walking the desert for 50.000 years (go home Jesus and your 40 days). They have no practical way to carry around maps of routes they only use once every 50 years. They have to keep all in their minds. They use song for this. Stories, narratives, with a melody.
"In the beginning the earth was an infinite and murky plain, separated from the sky and from the grey salt sea and smothered in a shadowy twilight."
The beginning describes a world, an earth, where all things is allready there. As lumps of matter hidden in the ground. The Ancients. All this potential is released when the sun first feel the urge to be born. It's not an outside force who pulls it up. It's all there allready. All in right time. The Ancients, the Ancestors, awaken and rise in the sun.
"The mud fell from their thighs, like placenta from a baby. Then, like the baby's first cry, each Ancestor opened his mouth and called out, 'I AM!' "... each one "put out his left foot and called out a second name. He put out his right foot and called a third name ... calling all things into being and weaving their names into verse".
Thus the land was not there before it was named. It must exist in the mind first. Not far from a buddhist idea of the world as an illusion. The land is the stories told about it. And vice versa the stories can be read in the landscape - each rock and river and featureless plain of gravel playing their part. Noting the melody as one walk past.
This all points to a number of interesting ideas - which will be discussed in upcoming posts and filed under the brand new label "songlines" :
- The question of identity and belonging.
- Memory of a space through a narrative
- The landscape as a representation of itself.
- Space perceived as a network
... and more - so stay tuned...
May 16, 2007
Last night I went to Kristine and Petters place and saw their brand new child for the first time. It's a she. She's got red hair. And her name is Saga. Which is a bit strange, but we'll just have to get used to it. Anyway it means the one who sees and tell stories. So there's already great expectations on her little shoulders. And she looks very very sweet. Hip Hip Hooray for Kristine and Petter - they are so cool
This however has made me wonder. About the more practical side of this whole procreation thing. The process. Or rather - the production design. It doesn't really seem thought properly through in my opinion.
Now, what we see here is an entire child on its way out, head first, through an opening we men know to normally fit rather nicely around something the size of large carrot. Incredible, but not very practical.
Also notice how clean the child looks on this image - made to be shown in American courtrooms. This of course has nothing to do with actual conditions...
by Raul Gutierrez
What a mess. Not even the baby looks happy about it. Intelligent designer - come on! The umbellical cord is rather cool though.
Apparently there was a time when it could be done with grace and dignity... only the bare foot reveals a bit of tension, a slight twitch of the toes. I'm sure that's how Kristine handled the situation as well (well, actually Petter said she'd made faces he'd never seen before and sounds he'd never imagined her able to voice) :
Ah, the good old days - all a woman would need was a stool and a pair of fashionably dressed and descrete ladies to hold up her dress. Now please enjoy Monty Pythons take on the situation:
May 9, 2007
Robert Gligorov - born 1960 in Macedonia, working in Italy - makes disturbing and fascinating images. With a strong sense of materiality, texture, tactility. Though many of them are pretty darn gory, they are at the same time poetic and sensitive... a combination I really appreciate.
He's a photographer who also works with other media and artforms. And even in his photography it seem to me that the greatest part of the art and work lies in the construction of the motif. Some extremely elaborate and some snapshot-like of a simple great idea (...all great artists have a little octopus and a white bird in their studio - just in case serendipity should strike).
Here's a couple of galleries of his images... lots of fantasticness:
Are you satisfied Petter?