Katerina Kamprani: The Uncomfortable.

Katerina Kamprani has some very interesting and entertaining work:

All the objects you will see in this website are deliberately designed to annoy you.

This project started after I failed to finish my studies in industrial design around 2011 and it has continued to grow ever since. My goal is to deconstruct the invisible design language of simple everyday objects and tweak their fundamental properties in order to surprise you and make you laugh. But also to help you appreciate the complexity and depth of interactions with the simplest of objects around us. As a poor designer I have started the project by making conceptual 3d visualisations, but recently I have decided to spend all my savings to produce prototypes, because what would the world be if there were no Uncomfortable objects out there?

Many of these did make me laugh, but there was also a sense of cynical despair, because if these objects were marketed, people would buy them. The concrete umbrella would become a popular garden ornament. The thick buttons would become a new anti-fashion fashion statement. The wineglass would become a new party drinking game favourite. The chain fork would become fashionable jewelry. Ms. Kamprani is in Athens, but here in uStates, people have become such slaves to marketing, I don’t think there would be a problem in selling any of Ms. Kamprani’s prototypes. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see unscrupulous people taking advantage.

You can visit Ms. Kamprani’s site to see more.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Photos: Niklas Adrian Vindelev.

Instead of accelerating the demise of traditional craftsmanship, what if digital tools enhanced it and expanded the possibilities of what we can make?What if an architect could use a digital tool — a CNC machine, say — to create something with a distinctly human quality? How might the machine be applied to skills such as woodwork and metalwork? Could it be used to make objects with the aesthetic appeal, including the touch and feel, of a handmade object? Could it also make objects that can be scaled — objects with applicability to architecture?

These were the timely questions that three architects recently explored as residents at SPACE10  — IKEA’S external future-living lab. With a shared interest in exploring how digital tools can be applied to traditional techniques — and the potential of a CNC milling machine in particular — Yuan Chieh Yang, Benas Burdulis, and Emil Froege together found answers in three very different but eye-opening ways.

You can read and see more at Space10.

If you’re in Ottawa, consider Indigenous Walks.

Indigenous Walks is a walk and talk through downtown Ottawa exploring landscape, architecture, art and monuments through an Indigenous perspective.

The character Danerys Targaryen finally returned to Westeros on Sunday night’s Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere, but the actress, Emilia Clarke, shot the scene on a Northern Irish beach called Downhill Strand. Much of what viewers know as Westeros, in fact, is actually Northern Ireland, including parts of Winterfell, Slaver’s Bay, and the Kingsroad—all thanks to the nation’s open tracts of land and many surviving castles. To draw attention to this fact, Ireland’s tourism board commissioned a massive tapestry that details every episode of the series.

The 66-meter-long artwork is on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. A group of artisans including the museum’s director, Katherine Thomson, are embroidering each meter with characters and symbols that summarize each one of the episodes preceding Sunday’s “Dragonstone.” As Season 7 progresses, they’ll add more yardage to the tapestry to reflect new developments on the HBO juggernaut. By the end of season 7 it will be 77 meters long.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Alexey Kondakov.

Ukranian multimedia artist Alexey Kondakov flexes his Photoshop prowess to take characters from classical paintings and transport them into everyday  scenes in his series “Art History in Contemporary Life”. The ongoing project sees the artist take banal photographs of contemporary urban life — from subway cars to waiting rooms and trash-filled alleyways, and inserting figures from paintings by the likes of Bouguereau and Holbein. In doing so, Kondakov creates a playful meditation on the nature of time, overlapping époques and cultural contexts. See more of his work on his Facebook page.

You can see more at iGNANT.

File this under Want. As a whole house full of want. It’s a chair which is also a bookshelf, which is in turn, part of the larger bookshelf. This is brilliance. You can see much more and read all about it at iGNANT.

Danli Hu.

A thought-provoking project by interactive designer Danli Hu reminds us that reality has never been concrete. Made for Hu’s graduate program in Design and Technology at New York’s Parson’s the New School, Touching the Void allows users to feel objects that aren’t really there.

“Humans are visual animals; we rely on our eyes and believe the world is exactly like what we see. We think an object physically exists in our real world because we can perceive it with our eyes and feel it with our hands. Creating a virtual object, which is unseeable but provides physical sensations despite its invisibility, challenges people’s definition about virtual and reality,” explains Hu on her website.

You can see and read more at The Creators Project.

A Perfect Summer Fan.

I could use a good, beautiful summer fan, given that are temps are in the withering range.* These not only express a specific concept, they are also part a very old papermaking process, and with my deep and abiding love for paper, makes this an even more enticing item.

Komorebi (木漏れ日) is one of those uniquely untranslatable Japanese words. It means “sunlight filtering through the tree leaves” and embodies a poetic appreciation for nature and its changing seasons. Capturing that aesthetic, and embedding it into a beautiful handheld fan (uchiwa), is designer Kotoko Hirata, who created the Komorebi Uchiwa.

Escape the summer heat with this beautiful handheld fan made from Echizen Washi paper, a traditional Japanese craft with a 1500-year history. Artisans steeped in the tradition create leaf patterns by hand so when sunlight hits the fan a silhouette of tree leaves appear. It’s a lovely reminder that there are ways of appreciating the summer, rather than escape into air conditioning.

Once the paper is completed it’s transported to Kyoto where fan makers, known for their kyo-uchiwa, create the radial wooden skeleton of the fan and merge it with the paper.

More at Spoon & Tamago, where you can buy this beautiful fan.

*On the bright side, this is the quietest 4th ever, with none of the months of assholes setting off fireworks preceding it. The silence is lovely.

From Babadook to BabaDong.

Well, there’s scary for you. :D

Behold the BabaDong, a high quality silicone dildo. The Babadong has a sturdy base, so you can strap it on and take it anywhere! Don’t worry if it gets dirty on your adventures (which it most likely will…) because the BabaDong is dishwasher safe! The BabaDong has a length of 7.5 inches from base to tip and a girth of 5 3/4 in. around it thickest part. This campaign is for PRE-ORDERS. The BabaDong will only go into production if the minimum goal is met. IF NOT EVERYONE WILL BE REFUNDED.

If you’d like to read more about this project, and/or support it, head on over to the BabaDong gofundme page.

The Museum of Failure.

Oh, this is absolutely grand, and you can read all about it, and see more at The Creators Project, or just head over to The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden. On July 13th, the museum will be having a failed beer tasting:

July 13 / 19:00 – 21:00

Explore the world of good, bad and experimental beer with Brygghuset Finn  www.brygghusetfinn.se

The Museum is also on tour, and will be doing pop ups in Gothenburg, Sweden, Istanbul, Turkey, Miami Fl, USA, New York City, USA, and Stockholm.

Pollution Popsicles.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Initially appearing to be a new artisanal food trend, these popsicles are actually a creative approach to spreading awareness of Taiwan’s issue of water pollution. The project, entitled ‘Polluted Water Popsicles’, was initiated by Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui and Cheng Yu-ti–a group of art students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. To create the popsicles, the young artists collected water samples from 100 locations in Taiwan, with each sewage specimen then frozen and set in polyester resin for preservation. The project is successful in its innovative and deceptive conceptual approach–each counterfeit ice treat contains waste and domestic refuse extracted from the samples, 90% of which was plastic. The students also designed wrappers for the popsicles, and their work has been recognised by the Young Pin Design Award, as well as being exhibited at Taipei World Trade Center’s Young Designers Exhibition 2017.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Polluted Water Popsicles.  Via iGNANT.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Archive Dreaming from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

Archive Dreaming, a stunning project, and one I hope becomes a reality before I die, because it would be an amazing experience! You can read all about this, and see more at The Creators Project.

Minutiae Photos.

There’s a new app in town, but it’s not like other social media in any way. This one is to document entirely mundane moments of your life, and you don’t get to do it at any given time.

Thus was born Minutiae, an anonymous photo-sharing app that, unlike uber-serious photography apps, encourages people to embrace the boring and mundane instead of meticulously sculpting the digital replica of their everyday lives.

Once a day, at random, all participants receive an alert to take a photo simultaneously, regardless of time zone. After taking the photo, the user is paired with a random stranger somewhere in the world who also just took a photo, and they are given 60 seconds to browse their chronological timeline or that of the stranger with whom they were matched. When the minute expires, the app shuts down, and the users must wait for the next alert to use the app again. Beyond the anonymity and its focus on the quotidian, Minutiae also prevents users from following anyone.

Despite Minutiae being a fully functioning app, Adolfsson and Wilson agreed that it should really be an artwork in and of itself. As Wilson tells Creators, it helped that they had a bit of a Swedish Arts Council funding instead of venture capital, so they were able to make what they see as a collective embrace of global mundanity.

“Our thesis is not that social media is ‘bad,’ just that it ends up making us look at the world, and documenting our experiences, in a very particular way,” says Wilson. “Through our use of Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, etc., we are in the continuous process (often unconsciously) of refining filters that determine how we capture our lives… Minutiae frees us from this pressure to perform since you no longer have the option to choose what you are documenting—connections are singular and random.”

Another way Minutiae frees users, according to Adolfsson, is by restricting the time spent on the app to one minute per day. This flies right in the face most apps, which are designed to keep users locked in for as long as possible, or returning again and again like an addict.

“The app is a tool to help participants document their own in-between moments of life,” says Adolfsson. “The type of moments that we usually don’t think of as important enough to capture.”

You can see and read more at The Creators Project. Minutiae.

Metalliferous Streams from Eric Bellefeuille on Vimeo. All I have is WOW.

Paris at night by Roberto Estupinián.

Amazing, exquisite photos of Paris at Night.

Oh, Almost.

The embroidery on the shirt is done. Finally. I swear, the small things can take bloody forever and ever. Not quite finished, the dread wash test is up next, here’s hoping it survives well. The designs are from Urban Threads.  Serpents are 6″ x 5″, little black heart 2.5″ x 2″. Shirt is Liz Claiborne, bought at Goodwill, natch. Click for full size.

© C. Ford.

Alright, That’s On The Creepy Side.

The Deep Sea Diver Giant marionette began his journey through the city starting in the Old Port Friday afternoon. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC).

While I delight in gigantic, mechanical spiders and dragons, I’m not so delighted with gigantic humans. We naked apes are a dangerous species, and seeing humongous, mechanical humans leads me more towards uncanny valley. I don’t find the idea of human giants charming. That said, they were all over Montreal for the 375th Birthday celebration.

Giant marionettes are taking over parts of Montreal starting this morning, with a larger-than-life street performance as part of the city’s 375th anniversary bash.

The marionettes, one of which is five storeys high, were made by a French company called Royal de Luxe. They made their Montreal debut today, winding their way through the city streets and along the river.

You can read and see more here.

Namahage!

Etsuko Ichihara’s Namahage in Tokyo.

In Japanese folklore there exists a beast-like deity called the Namahage. It can be found all over Japan, taking on different appearances and even names depending on the region. Although harmless, it exists to scare those who are lazy or wrongdoing out of their bad habits. Inspired by this tradition, media artist Etsuko Ichihara decided to create a modern-day version of the Namahage specifically for Tokyo, and unleash in onto the streets of Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara.

In the traditional Japanese ritual, men would dress up in demon masks and parade through town, visiting houses along the way. They typically yell phrases like “Are there any crybabies around?” or “Are naughty kids here?” But the Namahage have been known to admonish adults too. And by acting as a scary rule enforcer, Namahage played the important role of strengthening family and community ties. This became a critical part of Ichihara’s “Namahage in Tokyo,” a city where many young Japanese men and women immigrate too from rural Japan, hence diluting the bonds between family and community.

Ichihara’s Namahage is quite spectacular simply as a costume. Its mask consists of a camera and drone, perfect for scanning and locating lazy gamers and otaku. It’s the work of sculptor Hiroto Ikeuchi. The rest of the costume too, in which Ichihara collaborated with fashon label chloma, is beautiful in its modern interpretation of a traditional deity.

This is all so wondrous and imaginative! I enjoyed every moment of the videos, and what great gods to play with, too. Some very nice knife wielding, too!  I loved the imagining of Namahage in Tokyo to have incorporated a camera, given the large role surveillance plays in all our lives anymore. That would definitely make Namahage’s job easier. Via Spoon & Tamago.