Wednesday, March 30, 2011

seeing as one.

it may be another question of which came first, but there is something immensely fascinating in the sort of photographic evidence most of us strive for when visiting tourist destinations. i am talking about the obvious state of affairs that for someone to visit pisa for the first time and not return with a picture of the leaning tower seems impossible. the same adheres to iconic buildings and statues globally: the proof of a successful visit is a photo of the landmark associated.

because we're often taken on predetermined tours and given mere moments to capture the images we wish to catch, it hardly comes as a surprise that the results staining our films - or the pixels on our screens - share a significant resemblance to each other. so much so, that one may start to wonder whether sometimes we're consciously attempting to recreate photos that we've seen in other people's photo albums and streams.

to put it more bluntly: we'd feel somewhat awkward if a friend showed a set of pics from pisa and the only shot of the tower was taken from an angle that did not showcase or accentuate the tilt – unless there was some other artistic merit to the snapshot, that is. right?

this observation inspired photographer corinne vionnet to arrange images she found online via search engines on top of each other. the resulting photos are dreamlike, impressionist collages which challenge the idea of personal memories and, moreover, the role recognizable icons play in our understanding of the cultural landscape which weaves imaginary with the real.

in the series photo opportunities vionnet's photos portray some of the world's most illustrious landmarks via our collective perspective and proves that we very much see as one.

Monday, March 28, 2011

bright spring.

last weekend i had the pleasure to play at loisto's spring party. the yearly event has been a highlight of a rather quiet party season. there's always a theme, a beautifully detailed decor and, of course, amazing people having fun. the party provides a breath of spring that always convinces one that the warm season is in fact on its way while the last snowfall and slush create doubt.

actually, to be totally honest, i felt envious of the people on the other side of the decks since i was busy clicking through records while they were mingling and dancing. oh, poor me and the trouble of working at parties...

this time the entire salon was filled with balloons and flowers, the smell of chocolate from a fountain and a couple of bright and breezy punches that made sure the crowd was happy and rowdy.

the intoxicating chocolate fountain.

dress by katri niskanen, belt by h&m, tights by wolford, boots by camilla skovgaard.

humid inside.

thank you, i had a blast!

Friday, March 25, 2011

spam on my walls.

i betcha thought that "hey, that's an appetizing way to emerge from silence...", but fear not, none of those processed meat related products coming your way.

instead i wanted to introduce a way all of that mailbox filling nonsense can be put to creative use with results that could be called – ta dah! – beautiful. spamghetto is a wallpaper with computer generated patterns where the messages that fill your email are added into the fluid and organic forms. the result is stunningly pretty and comforting and, additionally, worthy of some laughs up close.

customizable and available online.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

font fanatic.

as far as i'm concerned it is impossible to be interested in graphic and web design without some rather pronounced opinions about fonts and their usage. i lack all formal training, which in the world of web and graphics does not coincide with unprofessionalism since many established designers are self-educated, but i claim to be no such thing – just an avid follower.

it must come down to being a bookworm and an aesthete, but i have always given an immense importance to the form the words i ingest come in. obviously the cover design of a book is essential and i have spent several moments considering whether it is plausible to buy the same book wrapped in different covers just because they're all so incredibly beautiful. fyi, my answer so far has been no. moreover, since my early years the usage of serif and sans serif and their myriad forms have become familiar.

being an outsider of a kind – as in not taking active part in the particularities of design myself – i have not acquired many of the common pet peeves graphic designers tend to hold. but my work, which focuses on usability and functional issues, is design-oriented enough to provide me the sort of insider background to find sites like clients from hell and comic sans criminal amusing. needless to say, a throw-up of fonts in a design raises the hair on my body.

regardless of the pukey possibility offered in the project, i was thrilled to find one of my favorite games and one unsurpassed pastime dedicated to the beauty of words upgraded. andrew capener has taken good old scrabble and remade the base product classy in addition to adding a customizability option to it.

his vision is to have it produced and sold via the scrabble website where you could order the font you like best or a preselected assortment of fonts – in case you're not dismayed by the possibility of receiving comic sans in your set.

which font would you prefer?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


if you're a history buff, there's no way you could have avoided the decades worth of discourse around the loss of the great narrative, the significance of micro-historical examinations and the need to address times already passed from various different perspectives. the loss of belief in objective historical depictions both binds and liberates: we need to remain critical and interrogative as readers, but we're also allowed to consider a vast and sometimes unexpected body of works as informative.

although meticulous study still follows criteria that seems unsurpassable, works of fiction can reveal aplenty about the era of the writer (and sometimes even the topic) and, moreover, many of us consider (auto)biographies worthy in providing historical perspectives.

i briefly talked about my relationship with (auto)biographies here.

simultaneously with the ever-increasing demand to develop a critical stance towards everything we read, i have found literary experiences that encourage free imagining more appealing. inventive form goes a long way, but in terms of content it seems poems still provide the most self-evident media for guilt-free subjective interpretation and story building.

nevertheless, it is always impressive to find other kinds of sources for my historical imagination to run wild. having an aide at helping me go half-way is also rather great, and as it happens, joanna neborsky took the frugal current affair reports of félix fénéon and illustrated them to provide the flesh of her imagination around what fénéon's writing reveals of the early c20 france. the result is the illustrated three-line novels.

the pictures are as enigmatic as the original excerpts of information, and together they form a collage worthy of building a story around.

de charme, non? available from here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

hand salvage.

these winter months of continuous cold have destroyed the delicate surface of my hands. i am serious: destruction is the word.

last week i noted with repugnance that my knuckles looked as if i had taken part in some free fight session on my way to work. just briefly reaching for my tram ticket from the pocket of my winter coat had ripped the skin into gossamer films and torn the surface into a web of bloody cracks. the tops of my fingers had started to change their color towards a bluey tone that did not disappear during the day in the warmth of the office.

needless to say, i wore proper gloves outside all the time.

being as low maintenance as i am, i hardly pamper myself with creams for the body let alone specialty products. i have noted that hand ointments are something many of my friends feel passionate about – although we might never discuss body lotion, bringing up dry hands releases a fountain of passionate recommendations and opinions. for someone like myself who hardly suffers from dry palms, this winter has seriously clarified why this is such an urgent matter: i have, for the first time ever, been in pain.

luckily i did not have to rely on suggestions which all seemed to come with a downside: either the smell was foul or you needed gloves after applying. i was relieved to have some at hand (ha!) and this time i went to the storage and reached for the ultimate aide.

kiehl's has been my product line of choice for years because their subtle fragrances, simple packaging and quality contents appeal to me. i stock up on my trips abroad and have a pretty decent selection of almost anything i could need – luckily i had also succumbed to the lure of their hand cream.

two applications later, my hands are back to life. truly a miracle solution.