Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"Insider Art" at the ICA London

Sponge Bob's Diddle Shop, 2007, Recycling, HMP Haverigg. Photo: Marcus J Leith

From the 12th July to the 9th September, the ICA in London is holding this exhibition, "Insider Art", which is contributed to by thousands of prisoners and youth detention inmates. The exhibition is part of the Koestler Awards Scheme which promotes creativity throughout the criminal justice system in the UK.

Original Post on: http://artnews.info/news

She-One & O.Two Interview

Had the distinct pleasure of meeting and interviewing (for UKAdapta) the Rockgroup crew comprising of Graff artists She-One and O.Two last week at Cargo over two seperate nights. The interview was hilarious to do as we were all in good spirits and they had some briliiant answers to give us. I look forward to sharing it with you guys on the UKAdapta site next month sometime.

She-One was live painting for an event called Planet Patrol Sessions, sponsored by Boombox records.

O.Two was live painting for a charity auction event called "Evolving Styles".

Images by Steff Plaetz and She-One.

Ani-Com 2007 HKG

It was such a shame that ESPV couldn't make it down to the event this year....Loads of one-off custom toy goodness on exhibit, as well as all the cosplay-heads showing off their look. It's usually a great day out and theres always plenty to buy. How was it this year? Anybody go?

Images Courtesy of Toysrevil.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Steampunk Coffee Machine

Perfect for that Monday morning coffee vibe: Designed by Swiss designer Carlo Borer, the cover of Etienne Louis machine is a steel sphere while the spikes and the supports are crafted from polished aluminum. The removable water tank is concealed under the detachable upper half of the sphere. Pricing for this strange looking coffee machine is unknown but they must be charging some good amount for this brilliant steampunk design.

Link from the Appliancist.

RIBA 2007

Six buildings have been shortlisted for the 2007 Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) Stirling Prize for architecture and the winner will receive a cheque for £20,000. All the buildings are unique on their own and show different approaches to contemporary design. The winner will be selected by a five-person Riba Stirling Prize jury and will be announced on 6 October.

Casa De Musica Concert Hall in Porto.

The America's Cup Building and park in the Spanish port of Valencia.

The Museum of Modern Literature in Marbach am Neckar.

Dresden railway station.

The Savill Building visitor centre in Windsor Great Park

The Young Vic Theatre in London

Link from BBC.

Runaway Brain

For me, the only time that I can remember Mickey Mouse being violent or scary was in the 1995 movie entitled, "Runaway Brain":
In an attempt to convince Minnie that he hasn't forgotten to buy her an anniversary present, Mickey Mouse ends up promising to take her to Hawaii. Funds being short, he applies for a job as lab assistant to the sinister Dr. Frankenollie, who happens to be searching for a donor to provide his monstrous creation with a brain....the rest of the movie involves monstrous mice running amok!

I wish Disney would have licensed out more of this kind of alternative character plot. Seeing a Count Donald Duckula or a Goofy Zombie would be amazing!

The toys come very highly-prized on my wishlist. Both the original Disney release and the Span of Sunset version really capture the grotesque-ness of Mickey.....

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Written by Alex Garland
Directed by Danny Boyle

Cassie: There’s a difference between thinking you might not make it home and knowing you won’t.

Oh Mother Nature, why have you forsaken us? Are we really all that bad to you that we deserve what you’re giving us? Not only have you fought back with global warming and disastrous storm activity but now you insist on dooming us on film as well. SUNSHINE, from director, Danny Boyle, does not announce distinctly when it takes place. Regardless of the time, the sun is about to give out on us. It has been slowly dying over the centuries and its warmth is finally waning on earth. After one unsuccessful attempt, the people of earth have pooled their resources together to send one last chance into space. The crew of Icarus II must travel through space for what can only be millions of miles (it may even be billions but I’m no space enthusiast) to reach the sun and drop a bomb into its center in hopes of reigniting its flame. Boyle’s SUNSHINE is a visual hot bed that draws the viewer into its world of dichotomies. From light and dark to close and far, the opposing forces manifest on the screen to make for a gripping debate between whether it’s better to fight against fate or resign yourself to it.

Staring directly into the sun is damaging to your eyes while staring directly into Boyle’s SUNSHINE will delight them. Boyle makes calculated visual and sound decisions that allow the viewer to feel like a crewmember on this momentous voyage. Long corridors are often devoid of noise and shown stretching on toward far depths before cutting to tight framing of various crewmembers (Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh and Chris Evans, to name but a few). The rooms that find these solitary crewmembers vary in style from simulation rooms that show the glory of the sun’s power to the payload room that houses the bomb that will hopefully save humanity, from rooms with wall-to-wall computer screens to oxygen rooms dedicated to the growth of plants. With so many rooms to speak of, Icarus II feels like its own world. With the people of this world alone in each of these rooms that make up this separate existence, the detachment from each other is only second in intensity to the distance between this ship and the planet it has left behind and lost all communication with. Determined to complete the mission they have set out for must outweigh the fear they feel being so completely secluded as their drive in order to survive.

Author of THE BEACH, Alex Garland, has crafted a script that plays out like a morality debate. The importance of the individual is weighed against the significance of the masses in some moments, while the needs of the masses are then weighed against the natural progression of the species in others. Fate and the usual bickering over whether we have any say in the matter permeate the entire mission, mostly against Boyle’s better judgment. Garland’s exploration of God and atheism were not elements that Boyle wanted to devote much screen time to, if any, but they still manage to make their way to the forefront. It seems curious to me that he would want to avoid these topics, as SUNSHINE needs them to further enforce its own sense of urgency. If this mission is unsuccessful, the sun’s warmth will inevitably cease to reach the earth. Come the time when all of earth’s inhabitants begin to reach their freezing point, the existence of God is going to be the hottest topic around.

SUNSHINE will definitely draw comparison to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 (it’s doing it right now even) with its soft-spoken computer voice commanding the ship and eerie, quiet emptiness. While it won’t come anywhere near having the same impact, it is still a strong successor. Boyle modernizes the space solitude tale by jumping back and forth between quiet calm and frenetic dizziness, between dusty and stale and bright and explosive. As the mission wreaks havoc on the minds of the crew, Boyle plays with our senses, making SUNSHINE an engaging, tense and thought-provoking trip to the center of the sun. Really though, can you imagine it any other way?

RANT by Dkoda : New Comic Strip



Written by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Directed by David Silverman

Homer Simpson: I can’t believe we’re paying to see something we can see at home for free.

It has been eighteen years since America’s ultimate nuclear family introduced themselves to the television-watching world. Their popularity and critical favour have waffled in waves over the near-two-decade span of the series’ life, but they have also become pop culture icons and a source of constant comfort and laughter through widespread syndication and DVD sales. And so the question I’ve heard tossed around the most leading up to the release of their first foray in the land of the big screen is why did they wait so darn long to get here? The reason doesn’t matter really; it’s the sense of entitlement Simpson fans have regarding the series and these characters that is somewhat frightful in its level of expectation. (Although if you’re interested to know, series creator Matt Groening and creative mainstay, James Brooks, wanted to place all the focus necessary on perfecting the television series without having anything take away from that. When they finally decided to go forward, close to the turn of the century, there were disputes over final script approval.) The pressure alone to deliver a hilarious feature that will appease the fans, the masses and the studio execs alike would be enough reason for me to never consider making it. Yet THE SIMPSONS MOVIE is finally here and from the moment little Ralph Wiggum pops out of the 20th Century Fox tag to trumpet triumphantly with the tune we all know well, it is clear that the whole “Simpsons” clan is happy to have arrived. As someone who would subscribe to a 24-hour “Simpsons” channel if one existed, I am just as happy to see them too.

The “Simpsons” folks know this is big. They almost seem to acknowledge it right away when the film opens with the biggest “Itchy & Scratchy” cartoon ever created. Itchy the mouse and Scratchy the cat get on about their usual, violent antics, but they do so while taking the first steps on the moon. THE SIMPSONS MOVIE is one small step for Springfield and one giant leap for television animated series everywhere. What does a leap of this size entail exactly? Rather than string four episodes together, “Simpsons” creators opted to tell a story that was too big to encompass on a small screen. In doing so, there are both elements lost and gained. The expansion means longer stretches between punch lines, which can be frustrating at first, as you want director, David Silverman (a one-time regular director of the series and former creative player at Pixar) to pick up the pace. Also, the story itself is much more linear than most of the television episodes that find Homer & company starting in one place and ending up somewhere entirely unexpected by episode’s end. (A recent example would be beginning with weaning Maggie off her pacifier, which leads to Homer taking sleeping pills, which finds him causing injury to all of Springfield’s fire department and ultimately ending with corruption in volunteer fire fighter work.) The movie follows the Simpson family as they once again find themselves the target of all of Springfield’s animosity after Homer commits a selfish blunder to eclipse the hundreds of blunders that came before that. Once the film finds its pace though and adjusts to its newfound size and stature, or perhaps once this fan boy became accustomed to the grandeur of it all, the laughs roll out rapidly. It may be mostly tame but it is also riotous and faithful.

A bigger screen means an opportunity to take some of the Simpson characters further than they have ever been. (It also means some characters don’t get any spoken screen time – sorry Patty and Selma.) Lisa meets a boy who transforms her into the giddy girl she’s repressed so many times before. Marge finds an assertive voice that elevates her above the doormat status she all too often assumes. One of the more prominent storylines, which I’m carefully trying to avoid being specific about for those of you who are trying to go in to the movie as clear as possible, finds Bart questioning what his life would be like if he had a father figure who wasn’t such an impulsive goof all the time. In one of THE SIMPSON MOVIE’s greatest achievements, it breathes new life and depth into characters that have spent almost two decades trying to remain the same. The one constant that needs to remain that way to avoid throwing the world order out of alignment is, of course, Homer. As Homer is accustomed to making monumental mistakes and learning lessons from those mistakes shortly afterward, his movie mistakes are nothing new for him. And like usual, he will see the error of his ways and make many more mistakes by the time a sequel hits.

THE SIMPSONS MOVIE is a rare, successful experiment in defying expectation and pressure to become a film that honours its origins while moving forward at the same time. As the town of Springfield breeds a self contained awareness that requires more than just a casual glance to appreciate fully, I’m not sure how well THE SIMPSONS MOVIE will play outside of its fan base. That said, anyone who has had the fortune to spend any amount of time with the people of Springfield since 1989, will find their first feature to be filled with a humoured familiarity that serves as a reminder for how they’ve been able to stick around for so long. And now that my Mac widget that has been counting down the days until THE SIMPSONS MOVIE has finally run its course, I can rest easy knowing that all my expectations were met and it probably won’t be quite as long until the Simpsons find themselves on the big screen again.

Brighton Graffiti

Awe-inspiring walls on Kensington St, Brighton. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing them in person, except from what I've seen on Flickr. There are some seriously amazing pieces there and it apparently is refreshed on a regular basis. I particularly liked the Tron concept; the lines/colors were so clean and well painted. Absolutely gorgeous!
The other great thing is that as more artists paint new pieces, the background becomes more and more cluttered giving a great chaotic and busy effect!

A huge shout-out to Aroe, Odisy, Rat, Sion, Nylon and Aagh!

All images found on FLICKR

Hip-Hop Landmark in New York

The State of New York has officially announced its recognition of 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx as the birthplace of hip-hop and as an eligible historic landmark. 1520 Sedgwick Avenue is home to a community room where the father of hip-hop, DJ Kool Herc, played in during the 1970s. The site, however, has been closed for renovations since last year, prompting hip-hop and community organizers to make a bid to have the location honored as a landmark. According to the New York State Office, 1520 Sedgwick Avenue “meets the eligibility criteria being that it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad pattern of our history.”

A flier promoting a performance by D.J. Kool Herc in the recreation room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on Aug. 11, 1973.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Hello Kitty Bling

The 62,000 Swarovski crystals studded Hello Kitty Maneki Neko Doll is currently sold at 8 million yen, equaling to US$66,115, in Hello Kitty Selection event of Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tokyo. Maneki Neko is a good money fortune symbol in Japan. Will the Hello Kitty craze ever let off?

Thanks to Fisherwy for the info!


For those of you who haven't seen this French street artist before; here you go! Mecha-goodness from the amazingly talented Duster132. The detail that goes into his paste-ups/pieces is a wonderful sight to behold.

You can see more on his Myspace page.