Tag Archives: art

urban aquarium

A beautiful art installation in the Portland International Airport by artist Sayuri Sasaki Hemann. Handmade jellyfish are suspended in a large-scale aquarium. The project aims to ‘create a dialogue between viewers about context and displacement and about the unexpected.’

The jellyfish are styled after the Sky Jelly, A Midsummer’s Night Dream (real name!), Portland Rain, Electric Moss Jellyfish, Magic Jelly, Moonlight Parade, and Sunset Jelly. I would love to unexpectedly come across this work while headed to a flight.

Photos by The Weaver House

fine lines

A series of Polaroids by Erin Curry, an artist from Florida. Powerlines gazes upwards to the lines overhead that connect us.

the sound of years

This record player plays slices of wood, translating year ring data into music.

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.

by Bartholomäus Traubeck

printed in japan

I’m experiencing a renewed appreciation for the work of Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka after discovering a brochure from the 2007 ‘Printed in Japan’ exhibition at the temporary Stedelijk Museum.

Weekend Links #38

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed over the last week:
1. Hearing about the little free library project and its aim to promote literacy and a love of reading (pictured above via, Merci, TOM)
2. Seeing David Sedaris at Carré in Amsterdam and receiving a copy of the never-before-published essay Innocents Abroad
3. Browsing photos of Stencil Art in Istanbul (pictured below)
4. Reading the NYTimes article about the importance of character in academic (and general) success
5. Attending the first Zuidermrkt, a new outdoor market in Amsterdam

the move

The Move, a short film inspired by Amsterdam-style moving, illustrated with paper by artist Mandy Smith.


Beautiful. The Sensing Nature exhibition by Tokujin Yoshioka at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo (via 11.54)

The Corn Poppy

A favorite from Dutch painter Kees van Dongen (1877 – 1968) titled The Corn Poppy, 1919 (via beatlittleheartbeat).

Big Bang Big Boom

A new stop-motion animation by Blu, a street artist from Argentina who is always amazing. In this latest work, he consumes a city to sketch ‘an unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life … and how it could probably end.’

I Heart Oregon

I’m enjoying an afternoon of complete laziness and taking the chance to catch up on my favorite blogs. Bless Google Reader for not counting the number of unread posts after 1000 (just indicating ‘1000+’). I have seen a million things that I want to reblog, but this print from Amy Ruppel topped the chart. I have a small craving for the Oregon springtime, although I’m not likely to fly in again until late autumn. I will content myself here in Amsterdam with some trips to Berlin, escapades around Holland and a trip to South Africa in June. Sprinkled with several visits from my siblings, that should be sufficient (via unruly things).

Street Art in Okinawa by Koax

Nice collection of street art on Unurth including Chu, JR, and 2501. (unicornology: spaceships: texturism)


A film by Job and Roel Wouters, showing their rainbow gun in action. The music by Yvo Sprey & Friends, in which Job and Roel also contribute, is also worth some attention.

Signatures Exchanged for Passwords

The project Signatures Exchanged for Passwords by Donna Rumble-Smith takes a nostalgic look at the waning use of handwriting in the digital age and the loss of intimacy and emotion that accompanies the use of digital text over the handwritten word. Her project was showcased at Talent 2009 in Eindhoven and featured on design.nl.

A Little Thought

Book cover designs by Dutch illustrator Dick Bruna. (via but does it float)

Silvia Wald and the Sausage Pillows

Textile artist Silvia Wald has created a series of meat-inspired pillows for a cuddly version of German favorites, such as Leberwurst, Fleischwurst, Schinken, and a variety of ‘meat accessories’.  Even for fellow vegetarians, this can certainly be enjoyed. The Fleischwurst and the Leberwurst (below) are great alternative neck pillows for long flights.

The sausage string can be wrapped around the neck for a loose shawl and the Schinkenkissen is perfect for an afternoon nap. Watch this interview (in German) to see Wald describe these products and others.

The State of Curation and Criticism

Individuals from various fields including art, design, film, and academia came together Saturday at the ‘you, me and everyone we know is a curator‘ symposium, organized by the Graphic Design Museum and concepted by Sophie Krier and Mieke Gerritzen. The symposium brought into question how the ever-growing amount and influence of online content redefines what curation and criticism means today.

The starting point was the space and stage created online. Curators today bear witness to the shift of influence: From yesterday, where traditional institutions and experts filter the imagery, essays, videos, and other content, bringing the crème de la crème to life and resigning the rest to oblivion. To today, where the democratization of production and distribution has resulted in a deluge of online content and raised the question of quality control. How can one determine quality in an online environment when distribution is open to the masses? How does this influence the traditional perception of art, writing, and content in general? What new relationships are forged? How do old relationships change, adapt, and evolve? What are the results? Here, I highlight two speakers to give an impression of the discussion that took place:

Design critic Rick Poynor took a look at the blogosphere to determine the current state of design criticism in this unique environment. His focus was on the power and presence of the individual writer, who develops a coherent and consistent viewpoint over time. He began by retracing the changing yet extant influence of print media, design magazines, and journals, and their eventual migration to blogs, whether exclusively or additionally. He then looked at the emergence of new platforms for design writing: institutions with journals published online, museums creating online content, and academic programs.

When it came to the question of whether the online curator was a critic, Poynor argued against the belief that selection alone can be an act of criticism. He described the common presentation of a blog ‘astonishingly bare’ compared to where we came from. He used Space Collective as an example of how a blog can create a visual criticism, a ‘new semantics of argument based on the image’. When it comes to writers though, he found most promise in the dedication to quality writing and the interaction between print media and online content.

Julia Noordegraaf discussed ‘performing archival material online’ through the case study Celluloid Remix, a contest sponsored by the Dutch Filmmuseum. Noordegraaf spotlighted the results and effects that come about when audio-visual material is taken from its original context and reframed, which can happen ad infinitum in an online environment. Noordegraaf concluded that the role of the archivist or curator today will look more like an editor, who maintains information streams, check sources, edits input, and designs interfaces to facilitate interaction between the content and the user.

Biographies and information about all speakers can be found here.

Everyone is a Curator

On Saturday at Paradiso, the symposium ‘me you and everyone we know is a curator‘ will explore the issue of quality in a time of visual abundance, in a search “for new quality criteria, new frames of references, and alternative methods for enabling connections between the virtual and the physical space of today’s culture.” I’ll be in attendance to write about some of the lectures. More to come…

Charley Harper Christmas

The work of artist Charley Harper, his animal prints and illustrated books, are one of my favorite gifts to give. His depictions of birds (with knees!) especially reflect his minimal realist style, full of color and geometric patterns. My recommendations are the illustrated book Birds and Words, An Illustrated Life, or a 2010 Calendar.

Le Creativ Sweatshop

le creativ sweatshop

“Creativity is something you constantly work on. Some say you are lucky to be so creative, but it’s something you work on every day.”

— Ndeur (Mathieu Missiaen)

Specializing in paper designs, the conceptual agency Le Creativ Sweatshop (The Creative Sweatshop) works across a spectrum of media that cater to their quest for creativity. (via Yatzer)

Twenty Years Later

mauer mob

November 9 marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the reunification process of East and West Germany. To remember the occasion, the British performance artist Martin Butler has initiated ‘Mauer Mob 2009: Recreating the Berlin Wall‘. At 20.15 on November 9 in Berlin, people will line up along the path where the wall stood to recreate its presence.

The Berlin Wall project is about creating a “temporary monument of reflection”. When it was created, the wall was one of the clearest man-made divisions of people with different ideologies. For the 20th anniversary of its deconstruction we will rebuild the Berlin Wall, not from steel and concrete, but from people. To remember when Berlin became one again after decades of separations – physically as well as in the minds…

To join the 8279 people already registered, visit the Mauer Mob site and choose a location (via Bas at OY).