27 October 2010

The Spaces of Others

Where we live, how we make our spaces our own is as much a creative "statement" as it is a personal one.  We can all easily recall scoping out the bookshelves of friends, or those of the hosts for a party, or of a professor as we wait for her office hours to commence.  Others' space is The Other made concrete.

One can visit Other Spaces via certain blogs, Internet-reported projects, or just taking a long walk in a new neighborhood.  Here are a few I've come across lately:

David Carr Smith

David Carr Smith has created a web book titled: Improvised Architecture in Amsterdam: Industrial Squats and Collectives.   He describes the work as a "visual-conceptual-experiential documentation of four occupied industrial sites in central Amsterdam, researched and recorded between 1990 and 1997 and between 2006 and 2008."





Images are copyrighted by David Carr Smith

What is impressive is his respect for the Other Space.  In taking his photos he says "Photo subjects are never interfered with: care is taken not to disturb the arrangements/patterns of objects from large to minute; lighting is as found. . . ."
  

Sweet Juniper!

Sweet Juniper! is a blog written by Jim Griffioen, one-time lawyer now living and, along with his wife -- a practicing lawyer -- raising their two kids in Detroit; or as he puts it "the most dangerous city in America."  Griffioen is a wonderful writer with a keen eye and wit.  Now and then on his blog he writes about and shows well-composed pics of abandoned buildings in his city.  He calls them feral houses.  The stories these achingly alone places speak . . .





Images are copyrighted by James Griffioen


Obelia Medusa

Obelia medusa's dollhouse re-creation of Bag End, J.R.R. Tolkien's home for Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist of The Hobbit.  Besides the remarkable craftsmanship, what's so neat about her work is trying to imagine how she got those perfect camera angles; some at hobbit level.




See the many-rest of her images here.



The Steampunk Home

Sara Brumfield keeps a blog named The Steampunk Home.  In it she presents the images, places, and objects that rock her creative boat.  Every now and then she'll post a studio tour of an artist or designer or friend.  Here are a few pics from two of the tours.












Wood is a wildly inventive and uber-craftman, a maker of inventive clocks.
See other studio images at his website here.



The Hermitage

Artist Rima Staines' work is focused, makerly, and deeply intuitive. She doesn't simply have a blog, rather, she creates a window into her universe and her imagination.  Her latest entry takes us on a walk in the early morning; the spider webs are gorgeous!





See more at Staines' blog, The Hermitage.

22 October 2010

Imagine Your Imaginings Were Real


Earlier this month I talked about Globe Genie as a way of vicariously seeing the world without actually paying for the plane fare.  (On my other blog I presented a learning module for writers using the site.)


Today I learned about Atlas Obscura, a collaborative project the goal of which is to curate the wonderously different, bizarre, and unusual places on our blue planet.


[from the Atlas Obscura website about page]; "Welcome to the Atlas Obscura, a compendium of this age's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica. The Atlas Obscura is a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist. If you're looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, phallological museums, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you'll find them."

17 October 2010

VIDEOS: Moving Art





Artist Bradley L. Litwin doing some subtle and powerfully novel work.  His website of kinetic art  shows a range of pieces.  Here are some videos of his art in action.











13 October 2010

VIDEO: Stop Action Fun



Image source

 
The OK Go guys - so digging their creative fun!



10 October 2010

Gotta Dance . . . errrr . . . Gotta Write!





Who hasn't dreamed of writing a novel?  Here's an opportunity to do just that - at warp speed!  Every November bunches of folks world wide hunker with computers or typewriters or plain ole paper and pen and try to write that book they've always longed to write.

[from the NaNoWriMo website]: "National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.  Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.  Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly."

And if you are into typewriters, as I am, you could join that very silly NaNo group who have named themselves the Typewriter Brigade.  More info on who they are and what they do has been posted by their leader, mclemens, at this site.

07 October 2010

Notes Found Wandering





Every now and then I will come across a note someone lost or left behind.  It might be a slip of paper found in a library book, or a grocery list smushed into the basket of a grocery cart, or a piece of notebook paper that slid down the side of a booth's cushioning at a coffeeshop.

Over on Flickr, a group of people have been compiling a photo file of found notes.  The images cover a wide range of notes - many grocery lists, doodles, and the occasional poignant letter.  You can find the collection at this link.





Images from The Wreck & Crash Society website.


On a similar theme is the The Wreck & Crash Mail Society which was [from their website] "was formed in the latter part of 1994, and is devoted to the collecting and study of all aspects of delayed and/or damaged mail and interrupted mail services.  Currently the Society is composed of four study groups, namely: the Air Crash Study Group, The Railroad Wreck Study Group, the Ship Wreck Study Group, and the Suspended Mail/Conflicts Study Group."


04 October 2010

Fashion . . . Oh, Now I Get It, Sorta



I have a friend, Vienna, who is totally into fashion as Fashion.  I never understood this, despite my background in theatre set and costume design and despite the fact that I have designed and sewed clothing for myself since I was 13.  The fundamental and intensely playful-creative quality of Fashion always passed me by.  I think that may be due to the high couture magazines that go for the big money approach where Fashion = Style = Prestige.  That big, fat Fall issue of Vouge magazine just keeps getting more boring.



So I was delighted to have upon NOTCouture, an online amalgamation of fairly high level stuff that somehow, in its collective presentation, seems more silly, witty, and just plain out there in a way that appeals to all levels of my imagination.



Nonetheless, the image being put across is still gotta-be-young-ultra-thin-uber-moneyed, which seriously detracts.  The conflict is always a dilemma.




[from the NOTCOT About page]: "WHAT IS NOTCOT? Design Network of sites reaching over 5 million pageviews monthly. NOTCOT Inc is a growing network of design sites currently including NOTCOT.com and innovative community contributed sites NOTCOT.org + NotCouture.com + Liqurious.com (+ previously TasteSpotting.com).

NOTCOT is a visual filtration of ideas + aesthetics + amusements. NOTCOT's two sites have become the daily sources of inspiration for creatives everywhere, fighting the good fight against "creative block" since 2005 with visually stunning imagery, the latest in international trends, and a passion for all things well designed.

NOTCOT.ORG is a community of creatives, design lovers, and trendsetters - where .org serves as the studio bulletin board gone digital - each image and caption brings you to a place worth visiting. It's about sharing what inspires you.



03 October 2010

Seeing the World, Randomly




This web site intrigues me on so many levels.  Globe Genie it's called.  It's the creation of MIT grad student Joe McMichael.  It utilizes Google's database of location images - one gets to places randomly by clicking on a continent and hitting the Teleport button.

Already I am daydreaming the kinds of games one could play with this:
  • 5 minute writing exercise - write a one paragraph story about what you see;
  • cloud watching - like when we were kids and imagined what the clouds reminded us of;
  • travel planning;
  • imaginary space travel (the images can be places on another planet);
  • opportunity for geography lessons for homeschoolers. . .
Any other ideas?


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