Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Birds of a Feather

This new micro site for Marc Aurel's '07 Fall Line is a good example of how a little can go a long way. Note the lightly blowing hair of the woman on the interface and the unique role over menus. All and all there is nothing really that new or mind blowing here not to mention it's a bit lean on content (it is after all a site for a fashion line) but on the whole, the site does a really nice job of conveying an overall feeling and aesthetically speaking, It's a great looking site. Oh, and the models aren't bad to look at either.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Through The Woods

A synchronized gang of furies on BMX bikes haunts the pocket-sized Feist in Bat For Lashes new video for What's a Girl to Do? With an eerie sample track that would make Michael Myers shutter, a ride through the woods has never been this creepy. That's why Bat For Lashes is this week's Critical Tunes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Into the Light: The Photography of Chip Litherland

Chip Litherland’s photography is like holding an x-ray up to a light. The colors seem more vibrant and hence the shadows that surround them appear much darker. Instantly your eye catches the unordinary, the beautiful or the strange. Litherland has shot for the The New York Times and the Sarasota-Herald-Tribune but some of his best work can be seen on his own website which follows a simple portfolio layout that lets his images speak for themselves.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


The other day I was having a conversation with someone about designing animations for stadium light boards and the difficulties of that considering the specific dimensions and pixel sizes. This is a nice short video featuring a very low tech approach to light pixel animation and how something as simple as a couple hundred candles in a room can produce some beautiful typography.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Atlantic Migration

Something you probably didn't see at this year's Tour de France prologue in London was hundreds of stenciled yellow birds along the tour route courtesy of Montreal's answer to Banksy, Canadian stencil artist, Roadsworth. Roadsworth, who has been making a name for himself on the streets of Montreal for the last couple years with his traffic inspired graffiti finally made the leap across the pond just in time for the most famous bike race in the world. In an interview with Wooster Collective the 33 year old artist listed a car free Montreal as one of his greatest life ambitions.

When Australia Freezes Over

Australian Indie rockers Dappled Cities prove that great music videos don't always need dancing girls and flashy cars a couple of Eskimo suites and a polar bear will do just fine. The new video for "Fire, Fire, Fire" features the band camped out in a lo-fi icy tundra and all week I've had this song stuck in my head so now, hopefully it's stuck in yours. The direction of this video is fantastic and though the playhouse set design has been done before, the video comes off refreshing and different. Full video below...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Tiger Style

I’m seeing a lot of projection based projects these days from light graffiti to projection pen tools both in advertising as well as exhibitions but this clip of a tiger running wild through downtown San Jose remains my favorite. Here's how it works…

At night projections from moving cars are shone on the buildings downtown. Each car projects a video of a wild animal. The animal’s movements are programmed to correspond to the speed of the car: as the car moves, the animal runs along it speeding up and slowing down with the car, as the car stops, the animal stops also. The framerate of the movie corresponds to the speed of the wheel rotation, picked up by a sensor. If the presence of a moving object (such as another car or pedestrian) is detected with proximity sensors, its animal "avatar" appears in the projection. [The] Projection disappears and flickers as it is supported by the architecture. The city itself is an active partner in creating this alter ego.

Full video below...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Heart Coffee Art

Flavours of Lakhoum, a Richmond VA café is known for their Middle Eastern food and Turkish coffee but there is more to this cup than coffee and milk. The Baristas at Lakhoum are known for their intricate portrait work delicately etched in the froth of each cup. The portraits take about 45 seconds a piece so your coffee is still delivered hot.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Copy Cats

What happens when designers get lazy? The new album for Against Me! is looking lawsuit-close to Ratatat's 2006 release. A graphic jab or lazy design?

Beyond Thunderdome pt.2

Today is the entry deadline for this year’s Cut&Paste tournament. Entries are in and the judges have been announced including…

Andrea von Bujdoss – Art Director, Mass Appeal Magazine
Jose Cabaco – Creative Director, Wieden + Kennedy
Michelle Dougherty – Creative Director, Imaginary Forces
Justin Fox – Designer, Australian INFront
Futura 2000 – Graffiti Artist
Motoko Mizoguchi – Designer/Founder, Mo’Design
Simon Needham – Co-Founder, ATTIK
Saber – Graffiti Artist
John Trippe – Founder, FecalFace
Annie Wong – Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong

Check out Cut&Paste for more information on cities and dates.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Punk Rock Paranada

This post is a bit late today but it took about a day to recover from the Gogol Bordello show last night. The first time I heard Gogol Bordello was about a year ago on the now defunct JBTV. I remember not being able to sleep and flipping through the channels when I saw the video for Not A Crime and it was so good and so different that I wrote the band name on a magazine on my coffee table before I fell asleep. One year later, the self proclaimed kings of gypsy punk finally made it to Chicago for what was one of the best live performances I have ever seen. Picture the love child of Circ de Sole, Stomp and the Pogues on speed and you'll have a vague notion of their live show. If you get a chance to catch them live they are a must see and if not you can always hunt down the incredibly rare documentary, "The Pied Piper of Hutzovina" chronicling the gypsy roots of Bordello front man, Eugen Hutz. Full trailer below...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Bounce That

Maybe it was because I was out too late last night or the fact that everyone I know is at Pitchfork this weekend or that I missed the Bird Machine open house on Friday because of work but I was feeling a bit down today until I was sent this performance of a group of trampoline gymnasts with at least a rudimentary knowledge of video editing commands. Note the paint rolled loading bar at the bottom of screen...I mean stage. Oh yeah, did I mention that it was done in one take in front of a live audience?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Through The Looking Glass

Ever look at a child's drawing and envy their complete disregard for convention? Your not alone, Picasso himself once said that he spent the first half of his career learning how to draw and the second half trying to forget. In recent years, Korean photographer Yeondoo Jung has taken children's drawings and adapted them in photographs. Bizarre and strangely beautiful, Jung's exhibit does not attempt to explain or critique child art but to expose it's playful innocences and it's surprisingly complex nature. More photographs here...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Chris Thompson: Wild Style

Storyboard for the BBC documentary Ivor’s Choir

The first time I saw the work of London based designer Chris Thompson is like the first time I saw Reggie Jackson and wanted to play baseball. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but he did make me want to run out and buy After Effects until a caught wind of the $999 price tag. Chris Thompson talks about story boards, moving to New York to work at Loyal Kaspar and not being restrained by a personal style. Full interview here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Headhoods is a small Brooklyn based Sweat (shirt) shop producing limited edition printed hoodies featuring such famous heads as Elvis, Audry Hepburn and even your own skull. All of their hoodies are hand printed on American Apparel brand sweat shirts and I kinda want one.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Mi et mi chamois!

Who says T-shirt art is dead? The new video for D.A.N.C.E. by the the Parisians duo Justice brings simple animation to the moving canvas. It's like Hypercolor with an electro beat. Full video below...

Fantastic Voyeur

A truely amazing new website from HBO. invites you, the voyeur into the strange and fascinating lives and complex stories lines of characters inhabiting a virtual cityscape. There is the seemingly, happy upper class family perched high above the city in their glass condo but not all is as it seems. Two neighboring apartments but only one is used for living, a curious meditation scene reveals that like many of the shows on the HBO network itself, there maybe more to the story than at first glance. Scored with the user's choice of moody instrumental tracks, this is one of the more addictive sites I've seen.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Technology: The New Jordans

Innovation is wonderful thing but it is no more than a parlor trick if it doesn't have purpose. This was the reason the Critical Intent blog was created. Last week at work, I watched as the line in front of the Apple store on Michigan Ave snaked around the corner in anticipation for the new iphone. Last year, a similar line in front of the Nike store just a block away for a pair of sneakers. At what point did technology become the most sought after consumer product? A pair of sneakers may or may not make you a better basketball player. A new iphone may increase your productivity but this isn't the reason these things sell. The cultural value of these items has far surpassed their monetary or technological value. Hypothetical question: If you had an iphone but could show no one and only use it in private would you buy one?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Tripping The Light Fantastic

Light graffiti produced by LED hand lights, sparklers and strobe lights combined with time lapse photography to produce some stunning images. View entire Flikr set here.