Cool Stuff Friday.

Fri

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!

1490115251312-Berger45-vintage-printable-wwwfreevintageposterscom_

1490115310194-destination-moon-vintage-poster-wwwfreevintageposterscom

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.

gaku-fruit-vegetable-carving1

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.

ghibli-kaonashi-piggybank-2 ghibli-kaonashi-piggy-bank-top

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.

A BIG Book!

bigbook_sp_top

big-book-gigantic-turnip-5

big-book-urashima-taro-4

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.

The Shaolin Flying Monks Theatre.

Photography is by Ansis Starks.

Photography is by Ansis Starks.

This is one of those things you really wish you could see in person!

Monks perform levitation over a huge wind tunnel at this amphitheatre, which was designed by Latvian studio Mailītis Architects for a mountain range in central China. The Shaolin Flying Monks Theatre stands on a slope covered in cypress trees on Songshan Mountain – a mountain range in Henan Province.

The mountains are home to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shaolin Monastery, which is also considered to be the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Kung-Fu martial arts.

Tasked with creating an amphitheatre to host weekly shows where local monks as well as the general public can try flying, Riga-based Mailītis Architects wanted to create a building that respects its natural surroundings.

monks1

monks2

Click all the images for full size! There’s much more at Dezeen.

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!

Decolonize Your Gitch.

summer-peters

Summer Peters is hoping to inspire other Indigenous women to push the boundaries of Native art. (Andrea Noline).

Summer Peters, an Ojibway artist, recently won an award for her piece, Decolonize Your Gitch. I have to say, I quite like it, there’s a joyous assertiveness to it, and a bit of happy, rebellious fuck off in there as well. The piece has come under fire from some, there are people who say it promotes violence against native women, but I think those arguments can be consigned to the same old rape culture arguments women always hear, that for some reason or other, it’s totally our fault if we end up raped, beaten or murdered. There are also a number of people, usually not native, who object to any modernization of traditional Indigenous arts.

An Ojibway artist is taking a feminist stand against online critics, who say she should be ashamed of her recent award-winning piece called Decolonize Your Gitch.

Summer Peters recently won a judge’s choice award at a U.S. art festival for her artwork, a bra and thong beaded with traditional floral designs.

After she posted it to social media, “I would say 99% of the people liked it,” Peters said.

But others objected to the piece, accusing her of “promoting violence towards native women.”

“There was a guy that said I should be ashamed of myself, my family should be ashamed of me, that I was nuts, that I was crazy, that my beadwork was shitty,” said Peters.

In response to her critics, Peters wrote in an Instagram post:

“I will take all the negative criticism so that Native lady artists in the future will maybe have an easier time … women should not be told what to do, what to wear in attempts to avoid sexual violation, we should not have to cover up and/or NOT wear a pretty bra & panty set or bikini because we might be violated and it would be all of our faults.”

You can read more here.

America Chavez.

Marvel's America Chavez, artist Joe Quinones.

Marvel’s America Chavez, artist Joe Quinones.

The ever fabulous America Chavez, Latina Lesbian Superhero, will have her own series this year!

This spring, young adult novelist Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath) and artist Joe Quinones (Howard the Duck) continue the high-octane adventures of America Chavez. Marvel’s lesbian Latina powerhouse, Chavez punches her way through dimensions and faces off against an oncoming alien horde all while managing her social life and trying to attend various classes on alternate Earths. Since her introduction in 2012, Chavez has stood side by side with Marvel’s most powerful heroes, and this year she’s ready to take the world by storm in her new series, America. We asked Rivera about her new series.

You can read the full story at The Advocate.

Indigenous Activism Roundup.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

Protesters gather outside of the White House. CREDIT: Natasha Geiling.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Mni wiconi—”water is life”—appear to be empty words to the federal government, but they now constitute a battle cry for Native nations as they rise together in the U.S. capital today to voice their discontent with the Trump administration’s policies regarding indigenous rights and power.

[…]

Organizers also want the public to know that this gathering is not just about the Dakota Access Pipeline, even though it now serves as the symbol of all that’s wrong with the government-to-government relationship that tribes and the federal government are supposedly involved in. Tribes point to the Trump administration’s fast-track actions on the pipeline sans meaningful consultation and environmental review serving as the tipping point for Indian country by making a mockery of free, prior and informed consent—the right of every other sovereign nation in the world. They hope to make the point that the federal government, in going forward with the pipeline against the tribes’ wishes, abdicated its role as trustee to protect the tribes’ rights and resources, and violated their sovereignty and self-determination.

Full Story at ICMN. Think Progress also covers this story.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

Tipis on the National Mall, near the White House, as water protectors gather for a march advocating for indigenous rights and a halt to environmental destruction. Kandi Mossett/Facebook.

“The Standing Rock movement is bigger than one tribe,” the Standing Rock Sioux said. “It has evolved into a powerful global phenomenon highlighting the necessity to respect Indigenous Nations and their right to protect their homelands, environment and future generations. We are asking our Native relatives from across Turtle Island to rise with us.”

Full story at ICMN.

There is No O’odham Word for Wall.

TUCSON, ARIZONA—The Tohono O’odham Nation Executive Branch is firm on their stance against a border wall being built.

“[It’s] not going to happen,” said Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manual. “It is not feasible to put a wall on the Tohono O’odham Nation…it is going to cost way too much money, way more than they are projecting.”

TON Chairman Manuel went on to say, “It is going to cut off our people, our members that come [from Mexico] and use our services. Not only that we have ceremonies in Mexico that many of our members attend. Members also make pilgrimages to Mexico and a border wall would cut that off as well.”

ICMN has the full story.

This Is My Body.

1 MA7XcJEmVWHKbOPof9j8yA

This Is My Body. A figure stands in the middle of the image with arms outstretched. A red headband covers the forehead and long, loosely braided dark hair, parted in the middle. White streams down the face, and the eyes are red and swollen. The body has a bleeding wound on its side, a hole in each palm, and three rubber bullet wounds. Dark figures with riot gear border the figure to the right, while water from a vehicle cannon shoots down at the figure. (Art done by Joann Lee Kim).

Joann Lee Kim has a stunning body of work, do yourself a favour and wander over for a long look. I came across Ms. Kim’s work at The Establishment, specifically an article by Dae Shik Kim Hawkins Jr., about the days when 500 ministers descended on the NoDapl camp. I was there for that, and talked to several of the ministers. The ones I spoke with all seemed rather dazed and overcome by everything happening at the camps. The particular perspective of the article is an interesting one, and quite important, I think: Christianity Is Co-opting The Justice Movement. It’s an excellent article. Solidarity is more important than ever, as is making sure that solidarity is intersectional and inclusive. When it comes to christian involvement in major social justice fights, particularly indigenous ones, it is very important that attention is seriously paid to the colonial roots and colonial mindset which still rules most peoples’ thinking and actions, especially those of churches.

Have a read, highly recommended. And when you’re done, have a look around at the rest of The Establishment, a lot of good writing going on there.

Cultural Codex.

culturalcodexhome-720x445

https://culturalcodex.com/

A new online publishing platform is working to preserve and share knowledge of the cultures and languages of indigenous communities. Cultural Codex, developed by software company Dadavan Systems, invites anyone to contribute stories and experiences that record aspects of indigenous culture they want to celebrate, through personalized galleries that support text, video, photographs, and sound recordings. Currently in its early stages, the website features just a few dozen examples so far, but its creators envision archivists, artists, curators, museums, cultural and language centers, and many others producing online exhibitions and libraries that feature everything from archival material to personal reflections. Like those ancient, handwritten books from which the project takes its name, the growing resource will come together as a collaborative effort.

For a new platform, there’s a lot to see already, so do a bit of exploring and learn a little! Cultural Codex.

If you’d like to read more about the project, Hyperallergic has you covered.

Looking for Lost Cattle.

Some more of Kestrel’s amazing work: I finished off some tack for someone and got some pics with a new set-up for the background. I’ve set the doll up so he looks like he’s looking for lost cattle here. Will send a couple more of this set, of romal reins, braided headstall, pencil bosal (“bosalito”) with mecate and hanger and spade bit. I’m only showing the bosalito and mecate with hanger, here. The  saddle is totally wrong but it’s the only one finished at present.

I think the background works amazingly well, and serves to highlight such beautiful work. Click for full size!

1

You can see the hand made sterling silver buckle pretty good in this pic. Also you can see the tassel (the vaqueros call it “la mota”).

You can see the hand made sterling silver buckle pretty good in this pic. Also you can see the tassel (the vaqueros call it “la mota”).

aaaand here you can see all the gear that a vaquero or buckaroo would use. First the young horse is taught to respond to the bosal, then gradually taught to carry the spade bit, while the rider uses first the mecate reins and then gradually starts using the romal reins.

aaaand here you can see all the gear that a vaquero or buckaroo would use. First the young horse is taught to respond to the bosal, then gradually taught to carry the spade bit, while the rider uses first the mecate reins and then gradually starts using the romal reins.

All images © Kestrel, all rights reserved.

Moisés Hernández.

Immersed

© Moisés Hernández.

Mexican designer Moisés Hernández’ dipped his Immersed Birds collection in dye to emulate the plumage of tropical fauna. The wooden birds are based on the form and colouring of toucans, hummingbirds and Mexican quetzals – chosen for their bright, contrasting feathers.Hernández used computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) technology to mill soft, continuous wooden shapes that replicate the structure of the birds’ bodies. Exaggerated tubes form tails, while slender spikes make for beaks.

The designer then developed an experimental painting technique that immersed sections of the wood in coloured water. This allowed Hernández to create overlapping and contrasting layers of colour, and play with transparency – leaving the grain of the wood visible beneath the dye.

“This way, the birds acquire a duality where handmade and machine-made complement each other, resulting in three decorative figures,” said the designer, who has exhibited his work around the world.

Immersed1

© Moisés Hernández.

Via Dezeen. Moisés Hernández’ site is full of wonders, oh, have a visit!