Cool Stuff Friday.

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I really, really don’t want to spoil the surprise here. I’ll just say I was laughing myself silly, and this is someone who is delightfully familiar with the flat rat phenomenon. Go see!

One of my most favourite authors, Jim C. Hines, came out of model retirement for a good cause:

Click for full size!

Click for full size!

And, from The Creators Project, Vintage Posters can now be yours, for free!

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If the posters of today still had the look of those of yesteryear, would they still get tagged and trolled as often? Much work today, it seems, lacks the graphic audacity of yore, opting instead for forms and formats we’ve become accustomed to. That’s why, when you find vintage posters in flea markets, you find prices that might suggest they were just printed.

Many of these posters are available online, but it’s often difficult to find high enough quality to print them beyond standard A4 printer paper sizing. Finally, our savior: FreeVintagePosters.Com. The name explains the concept rather well. From Soviet propaganda posters and advertisements for airlines of the 60s, it’s up to you—there are several categories ranging from “Sport” to “Film” to “Nature” and everywhere in between. At Creators in France, we’ve been redecorating. Check out a few of our favorites below:

Head on over to see their picks, or go straight to FreeVintagePosters.com.

How to Play With Your Food.

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an apple, also carved with a variety of Japanese patterns (wagara).

an apple, also carved with a variety of Japanese patterns (wagara).

 

a pattern that resembles the traditional Japanese asanoha floral pattern, carved into broccoli.

a pattern that resembles the traditional Japanese asanoha floral pattern, carved into broccoli.

Oh, how I wish I was talented in the carving/sculpture department. If I had sprogs though, I’d think this might be fun family time, let’s have fun carving up our veg before we cook it and eat it!

Japan has a rich tradition of food carving called mukimono. If you’ve ever eaten at a fancy restaurant in Japan you might have found a carrot carved into a bunny, garnishing your plate. But in the hands of Japanese artist Gaku, the art of fruit and vegetable carving is elevated to a new realm of edible creations.

One constraint to carving fruits and vegetables is that sometimes you must work fast. The moment a peel is removed, oxidization will start to discolor your artwork. So, depending on the variety, Gaku’s carvings are probably created within several minutes. Armed with a tool similar to an x-acto knife and a fruit or vegetable from the grocery store, Gaku carves intricate patterns that are often inspired by traditional Japanese motifs.

Gaku points out that the banana is great fruit to practice with because it’s cheap and easy to carve. When asked what he does with all his creations after he’s done, his reply is simple: he eats them. “Except for the banana peel.”

You can see more of Gaku’s creations on his instagram account.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Oh. Must. Have.

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Spirited Away is one of my long standing comfort movies, and who doesn’t love Kaonashi (No Face)? I absolutely must have this.

OMG guys — Studio Ghibli is releasing a Kaonashi coin bank!

The official name of this why-hasn’t-this-been-done-sooner contraption is Spirited Away Kaonashi Musha-Musha Coin Bank. And it’s a coin bank (we can stop calling them ‘piggy’ banks, right?) modeled after the Kaonashi character, also known as No Face, from the beloved 2001 film Spirited Away.

Similar to the way that great Itazura Kitty Coin Bank worked, it’s activated when you place coins on the sake saucer. Kaonashi’s arms then raise that saucer to its mouth and your coins fall into the depths of its stomach. It even makes that “ah” sound when it’s activated, and then burps once the movement is complete.

It’s set to go on sale online and at Donguri Kyowakoku shops, the official retailer for Studio Ghibli goods, on May 20, 2017 and will retail for 4800 yen.

Eeeeeeeeeeee. Must. Have. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Horses Of Course.

I have a backlog of submissions I’m slowly getting posted, but serendipity strikes, and I have two horse submissions, very different from one another. We start with the amazing and beautiful art of painting resin horse models, thanks to Kestrel. This is time consuming and difficult work. This isn’t a type of art where the artist gets to simply go with flights of fancy, the object here is intense realism. One such artist, Mindy Berg, has her latest up for auction, and it is a beauty!

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I am so very proud to formally introduce to you my newly completed Lucius resin, sculpted by Emilia Kurila. Lucius needs no introduction.. but in case you have not seen him before he is one of the most coveted resins in the hobby (for good reason!). Made from a small edition, he is one hard resin to find, either painted or unpainted. This particular copy has been with me since the start of the edition, and it has taken me since then to complete his coat. Now we all know that time doesn’t necessarily equate to quality, but, I do want accentuate the fact that I have taken my time on this piece with no holds barred, and allowed myself to boldly go where I have not gone before…

Introducing Skywalker. Destined for great things, in this horse I aimed for the stars. He is by far the most detailed and complicated pattern I have ever attempted. Skywalker was painstakingly hand painted in oils, with each tiny hair a stroke of a minuscule brush, and there are thousands upon thousands of tiny hairs. There is a great reason that this technique is not commonly employed! Although a beautifully effective way to create realistic coat patterns, it is an incredibly slow process. Acrylics and pastels, and some pencil, were also sparingly used in his creation as well. He is an example of what I can create without time constraints, my painting “magnum opus” to date.

Then we have some photos from rq, of an interesting place visited for a work event, which also had a horse. I think it would make a cool cabin. They should have made the tarse large enough to slide down! Click for full size.

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© rq, all rights reserved.

A BIG Book!

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Oh, if I had young sprogs, I’d get these books in a heartbeat, which puts a whole new spin on interactive books.

The Big Book is precisely that – a children’s story that unfolds into a gigantic single sheet, revealing a beautiful illustration of something central to the story. The redesigned children’s fairytale adds another dimension of interactivity to storytelling, allowing kids read a story with their eyes, ears and whole body.

It was originally designed by Japanese illustrator Mao Fujimoto in 2011 as a school project (we actually covered it back then, so we’re super happy it’s finally been turned into a product). Fujimoto came up with the idea by following a keen fascination about what it would be like to ride on the turtle, which carries the young fisherman to a sub-sea palace in Urashima Taro, one of Japan’s most beloved stories.

Now, Urashima Taro and The Giant Turnip have been turned into real books thanks to Seigensha Art Publishing. Each features Fujimoto’s beautiful illustrations accompanied by story text in both Japanese and English. So not only is it great for storytelling, it’s also useful for learning another language!

Because it’s designed to be spread out on the floor and walked/crawled on, the books are made from water-resistant, highly durable paper so it holds up to toddler abuse.

You can see, and read much more at Spoon & Tamago.

Santiago.

An animated self-portrait exploring the line of human evolution and a projection of a possible future.
As our evolution turns from biological to technological, are we now the bridge between the born and the made.
I painted this stop frame animation on myself using face paint, a mirror and a camera.

Copyright Emma Allen.

Story, animation, performance -Emma Allen – emmaallen.org
Post Production – Huxley Studios – thisishuxley.com/
Sound Design – Edapollo – soundcloud.com/edapollo

Emma Allen
instagram.com/imakefings/
twitter.com/imakefings
facebook.com/paintfaces/

Wonderful! I like the beginning best. Santiago on Vimeo. Santiago at The Creators Project.

Bowie: The Stamps That Fell To Earth.

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(Click for full size.)

The Royal Mail has released a set of David Bowie themed stamps, which have been enlarged, attached to weather balloons and sent into space as part of a launch stunt.

The set of 10 stamps have been designed in-house by Royal Mail and use a template created by Studio Dempsey for the Classic Album Art stamps series, issued in 2010, which featured the Bowie album Ziggy Stardust. The same template was also used for the Pink Floyd stamps in 2016.

Die cut stamps with visible vinyl

Each of the new Bowie stamps has been die cut and features the arc of a vinyl record poking out of the sleeve.

Six of the stamps feature album covers, which together show Bowie’s transformation and include: Hunky Dory; Aladdin Sane; “Heroes”; Let’s Dance; Earthling and ★.

The other four stamps show Bowie performing live on tours including The Ziggy Stardust Tour, 1972; The Stage Tour, 1978; The Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983; and A Reality Tour, 2004.

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You can see all the stamps, and more at Design Week 30.

Autonomous Car Trap 001.

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The Creators Project has an absolutely fascinating interview with James Bridle, whose current project involves the magical science of fucking up autonomous cars. While this is a fun and intriguing project, Bridle brings up a very good point about just how easy it would be to interfere with those wondrous self-driving cars. Pictured above is a salt trap, blending the legendary magic of yore with modern road/driving signals.

Is it a silly prank, a Pagan ritual, or a genius discovery about the next era of mass transit? In a picture posted to Flickr by artist James Bridle—known for coining the term, “New Aesthetic”—a car is sitting in the middle of a parking lot has been surrounded by a magic salt circle. In the language of road markings, the dotted white lines on the outside say, “Come On In,” but the solid white line on the inside says, “Do Not Cross.” To the car’s built-in cameras, these are indomitable laws of magic: Petrificus Totalus for autonomous automobiles.

Captioned simply, “Autonomous Trap 001,” the scene evokes a world of narratives involving the much-hyped technology of self-driving cars. It could be mischievous hackers disrupting a friend’s self-driving ride home; the police seizing a dissident’s getaway vehicle; highway robbers trapping their prey; witches exorcizing a demon from their hatchback.

Self-driving cars aren’t there yet, but the artist-philosopher-programmer’s thought-provoking photo is a reminder that we’ll have to start thinking about these things soon. If a self-driving car is designed to read the road, what happens when the language of the road is abused by those with nefarious intent?

[…]

Now Bridle is trying to build his own self-driving car, and made the sardonic artwork Autonomous Trap 001 in the process. He’s released all the code developed in pursuit of the DIY self-driving car here. We spoke to Bridle to learn more about the circumstances behind this vague photo series and better understand his apprehension and curiosity about the robot chauffeurs of the future.

Creators: What are we looking at here? Can you give me a brief explanation of Autonomous Trap 001?

James Bridle: What you’re looking at is a salt circle, a traditional form of protection—from within or without—in magical practice. In this case it’s being used to arrest an autonomous vehicle—a self-driving car, which relies on machine vision and processing to guide it. By quickly deploying the expected form of road markings—in this case, a No Entry glyph—we can confuse the car’s vision system into believing it’s surrounded by no entry points, and entrap it.

Is this actually an autonomous car, or is it conceptual?

I don’t actually have a self-driving car, unfortunately—I don’t think any have made it to Greece yet, plus the cost issue—but I do have a pretty good understanding of how the things work, having been researching them for a while. And the one in the picture is a research vehicle for building my own. As usual, I’ve got totally carried away in the research, and ended up writing a bunch of my own software, rigging up cameras and building neural networks to reproduce some of the more interesting currents in the field. Like the trap, I wouldn’t entirely trust what I’ve built, but the principles are sound.

Where did you take these pictures?

I made this Trap while training the car on the roads around Mount Parnassus in Central Greece. Parnassus feels like an appropriate location because, as well as being quite spectacular scenery and wonderful to drive and hike around, it’s the home of the Muses in mythology, as well as the site of the Delphic Oracle. The ascent of Mount Parnassus is, in esoteric terms, the journey towards knowledge, and art.

There’s much more at The Creator’s Project!

Send in the Clowns: Trumpholes Threaten Artist.

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Karen Fiorito.

A billboard sign depicting President Donald Trump's face next to explosions and dollar signs created with typography imitating Nazi swastikas went up in downtown Phoenix ON March 17, 2017. (Photo: Johana Restrepo/The Republic).

A billboard sign depicting President Donald Trump’s face next to explosions and dollar signs created with typography imitating Nazi swastikas went up in downtown Phoenix ON March 17, 2017. (Photo: Johana Restrepo/The Republic).

A menacing Donald Trump is gazing down on Phoenix’s Grand Avenue.

The president is flanked by mushroom clouds and swastikas configured like dollar signs.

“I think a lot of people are feeling this way and I’m just trying to express what I think is on a lot of people’s minds these days,” the billboard’s artist, Karen Fiorito, said Friday in an interview from her California home.

“Something that really concerned us was this idea of a dictatorship where things were going in a certain direction.”

But look closely at the mushroom clouds and you’ll see clown faces. There’s a Russian flag on Trump’s lapel.

“I tried to put a little bit of humor in things that are really dark and hard to take,” Fiorito said.

The billboard art was commissioned by the billboard owner, Beatrice Moore, a longtime patron of the arts on Grand Avenue.

“Some of these issues are so important you can’t not speak out,” Moore said in an interview.

The Trump billboard went up Friday at 11th Avenue and Grand, to coincide with the start of the annual three-day Art Detour event in downtown Phoenix. Moore said it would remain up as long as Trump is president.

Ms. Fiorito is now receiving death threats, a now common bit of behaviour on the part of those who simply cannot cope with any forthright criticism. The first comment in Ms. Fiorito’s tweet about the billboard going up:

Robbie England 
@buddhacatpress disgusting California filth, putting up this shit in my town is unacceptable! It WILL come down!

Oooh, her town! I guess it isn’t at all the town of the woman who commissioned the piece. And as a native Californian, Ms. England, have a nice cuppa Shut the Fuck Up, you intolerant bigot.

The willful ignorance on display in the Tweetstream is overwhelming, too. There was one person thinking she made a great point by saying “Trump refused a salary! He gave it to charity!” There’s just one little problem with that one – the Tiny Tyrant did no such thing, and won’t answer any questions as just when that money is going to find its way to a supposed charity.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Librairie Mollat.

Librairie Mollat.

These are some of the best photos I’ve have seen in a very long time, such a spirit of fun, and it’s amazing how well these book store employees match their picks! Whatever you’re doing, find a small window of time to go and look at them all, each one is a delight, this is pure treasure, and reminder of just how grand we people can be. A few more:

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Librairie Mollat.

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Librairie Mollat.

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Librairie Mollat.

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Librairie Mollat.

Oh, go look at them all!

Next up, some truly stunning photos … of people drenched in honey. Just one here, the rest below the fold, because nakedness, so watch yourself at work.

Blake Little.

Blake Little.

[Read more…]

Neither Wolf Nor Dog.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Courtesy Roaring Fire Films.

Fans of Kent Nerburn’s book Neither Wolf Nor Dog, will be thrilled to know the movie has finally been made, to great acclaim so far. This was David Bald Eagle’s final role.

It has taken twenty years for the bestselling novel, Neither Wolf Nor Dog to get made. And Indian Country was the venue as the independent film opened up Friday February 24 at the Yakama Nation Heritage Theater in Toppenish, WA, in theaters in Bemidji and Rochester, MN, and in South Dakota, where much of the film is set. These were the four sites to host the film’s theatrical premiere and they provided a very successful opening as the film was held over for another week at most of the venues.

Based on Kent Nerburn’s 1996 bestselling novel of the same name, Neither Wolf Nor Dog is the story of a well-meaning white writer (Nerburn himself, played by Christopher Sweeney) who is drawn into Native culture when a Lakota elder asks him to turn a box full of notes into a book. The elder — a man named Dan is played by 95-year-old David Bald Eagle — uses the opportunity to poke holes in Nerburn’s — and the audience’s — assumptions about Native people.

David Bald Eagle walked on his journey to the spirit world this past July at age 97, but was able to view the film and said, “It’s the only film I’ve been in about my people that told the truth.”

[…]

This is Scottish director Steven Lewis Simpson’s third feature film made in South Dakota. Christopher Sweeney, Richard Ray Whitman, Roseanne Supernault, Tatanka Means, Zahn McClarnon (seen in ‘Fargo’, ‘Longmire’ and ‘Mekko’) and newcomer, Harlen Standing Bear Sr. make up the rest of the outstanding cast.

[…]

Simpson ran a grassroots operation distribution, telling indie filmmakers on Facebook how he self-distributed, hand delivered prints and paid an absolute minimum for a Facebook ad, as Neither Wolf Nor Dog premiered in 3 states. It’s successful opening now sets the stage as the initial audience ratings should help for a wider release around the nation.

In the multiplexes that showed Neither Wolf Nor Dog, the competition was all Hollywood films of the moment, and Simpson’s beat them all comfortably, only the top 3 films in the US that weekend had a better screen average attendance. And it was all word of mouth, local media, grassroots support and very much with the help of Facebook. The audiences have given the film a 9.3/10 rating on IMDB so far and the reports from people have been extremely complimentary.

[…]

The films world premiere was at the oldest continuously running film festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it’s first review was 5 stars, receiving an incredible audience and critical response. And fans of Nerburn’s novel gave the film a standing ovation at a special South Dakota Book Festival screening.

ICMN has the full story. Be sure to look out for the film wherever you are!

Nick Turner: Running Free.

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© Nick Turner.

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© Nick Turner.

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© Nick Turner.

Beautiful, poignant photos here, originating with Nick Turner in Iceland.

Iceland is a mystical, snow-studded wonderland where cold winds dance with hot springs and the Northern Lights are as awe-inspiring as they are unpredictable. It’s not the country’s idyllic scenery that first attracted Nick Turner, though. Rather than capturing Iceland’s natural beauty in the form of volcanos, geysers, and glaciers, the artist chose to turn his lens on its wildlife, documenting his fascination with Iceland’s horse population in a series of salient photographs that have him literally running naked among the beasts.

“I think there’s a misunderstanding about the work,” Turner tells Creators. “It’s not me just running wild with horses naked, or anything like that. Far from it, actually. I’m trying to project this idea of running with them and being in that world because that’s the dialogue I am having.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.