As part of a new creative direction, I am seeking a team member to help explore innovative art opportunities based on the use of acrylics, aluminum, and other materials. I’m a photographic artist who currently makes one-off pieces that incorporate waxed paper, acrylic diasec, and steel.
The goal is to create pieces for a new series using modern fabrication processes that include laser-cutting, 3-D printing, and metal forming, which will be layered on top of photo images.
Your job will include:
Exploring the different material options, and how we might incorporate them in the execution of my ideas. That means explaining them to me, what they can do, and what their respective limitations are.
Developing an appropriate production pathway. That means defining the workflow required to make the creative choices based on available physical and software tools.
Managing the prototypes – figuring out the appropriate partner companies, creating the necessary data files, managing the delivery of digital assets, and the physical production.
Managing the production of the pieces for exhibition. This includes the on-time coordination of other trades, digital asset management, and physical production and delivery.
You should be experienced in laser-cutting, 3D printing, CNC machining, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff I can’t even think about right now. You will also need to know the required software applications necessary to create the working digital assets such as CAD plans, including InDesign and Photoshop.
This job might be for you if:
You enjoy solving problems, and you can think “on your feet.” You love taking on difficult challenges and finding creative solutions. You don’t freak out easily. If you don’t know the answer, you dig until you find it.
You pay attention to the details. As far as you’re concerned, anything worth doing is worth doing right, every time. You stay focused, and things don’t fall through the cracks.
You communicate clearly, both in German and English.
You are willing to work collaboratively, but accept that the final creative choice is made by me (the artist).
Compensation is based on your experience, and the amount of time involved. If you can help design sets (and are comfortable with a saw and drill so you can help build them) that’s a huge plus as well. An interest in art history never killed any one either, but I can teach you the pertinent stuff.
If you want to see how I have worked so far, please watch this video. Not all of this was shot at my studio, but rather at the respective partner companies. The job itself is at my studio in Berlin-Moabit.
It’s been several months since I lasted posted to this blog. That’s not all about procrastination and laziness. I switched to a different web host, and have rebuilt my entire website, although the front-end looks largely the same. Many of you who know well how tedious it can be to maintain a website. Although I like the design I have for the core of my site, it was completely rebuilt on a WordPress platform. I am really familiar with the back-end management tool. More importantly, I needed to change the way I display my work, so I made two major design changes:
The Hanjo Project now shows the Leporellos which make up the three chapters as one long image. The viewer can scroll along the entire story as it is laid out in the final version. It’s accompanied by a few photos of the final box-book, as well as a short presentation video. The individual images from that project are lovely, but they were never the final product, so simply showing those was always a little frustrating to me.
The Sacred & Profane Project is getting close to completion. I have designed a new presentation method around the work, because the installation views of the final work is important. The simple jpg files don’t properly show the materials and construction of the pieces, so the photographs offer a better understanding of the project.
I’m still showing some of the original Artist Proofs from the Sacred & Profane series, and will add the new work leading up to the show in September. I added two new pieces, one of which will be shown at Photo London after next week. The relevant info is on the cleaned-up Exhibitions page.
The people who work with me have pointed out that I’m color blind. Fortunately I can tell my greens from reds, so I’m allowed to drive, but apparently I can’t really see the color blue particularly well. This became particularly obvious after that long, angry weekend I previously described. I invited everyone back into the studio and with great pride showed my team The Grey Room, a new set that I had destroyed and then re-sanctified with buckets of grey paint.
Or, as my team pointed out to me… BLUE paint. I’ll take their word, I guess…
I just found this wonderful two-part article called the The Crayolafication of the World that explores the naming of colors, how we got there, and how it has affected our perception. The author explores how different cultures have come about naming colors. It is not as analogous as you’d expect it to be. A lot of cultures don’t make a distinction between blue and green, for instance.
How many colors can you name? I can probably get to fifteen, but that begins reaching into purely descriptive terms. (Rust? Eggplant? Egg yolk? Those might describe East German hair colors for older ladies…)
Part Two of the article gets into the slightly more scientific aspects of color recognition. Children take comparatively long to acquire a nomenclature for the various colors. I can’t recall whether that was the case… It seemed my three sons figured out colors very early, but one thing that I will remember forever was a particular bonding experience with my first son. I’m not sure whether it was simply because I had more time for him than others that weekend, or whether we’re wired to communicate a certain way – we’re both highly communicative… to a fault! But at that time he was walking around pointing at things and saying “Elmo”, possibly one of his first words. Well, I sussed out that he was only pointing at red objects, and Elmo is a red furry Sesame Street monster… and we just spent the rest of the time walking around the house pointing out Elmo-colored things and saying the word “red.”
The point is that language has a lot to do with perception, because language becomes definition. I am completely bilingual (German and English) and can bullshit my way through a number of other languages. To anyone who speaks more than one language, you realize that straight translation is impossible, that all words are loaded with historic and cultural values, and that they have a distinct etymology. This means that people have different experiences because they don’t just get filtered through a personal matrix of reference points, but that there are distinct cultural aspects that define our experiences.
And maybe that’s why I see the set as grey, and my Berlin teams sees it as blue. People here seem to have more words for grey than eskimos have for snow… which is less than I thought.
Craig Damrauer is posting these on the All-New Math site. Think of it as philosophy plus graphic design minus big words. There’s a lot more at his site.
Points given for remembering the episode which explained that brunch comes with a slice of cantaloupe.
Fiddling with the computer’s Desktop background image must be one of the least productive endeavors in the world… but then again, there are people in this world who would argue that any attention spent on design is superfluous. I’m not one of them.
I use my Desktop quite actively, but I keep it neat. There are not a lot of files and shortcuts on my screen, except for the few folders and applications I access regularly. I end up returning to my home screen several times per hour, which has made it an important piece of visual real estate in my life. The default bluish-green screen that my system shipped with was quasi-futuristic and non-offensive, but I have always enjoyed changing the background image. For a long time I used photos from my own archives, but they now scroll past as part of my screen saver. There was also a number of Simpson images, notably Comicbook Guy proclaiming “Worst Desktop Image. Ever.” But I have found something new, and I’m in the mood to share…
Bobby Solomon at Kitsune Noir has developed an interesting treat called The Desktop Wallpaper Project. Every Wednesday he releases a new creation by different designers in various resolutions, perfectly sized for large photographer monitors all the way down to the iPhone screen. I really like Nik Daum’s work, but I’ve become quite busy with some research I’m doing. That means I need a Desktop that allows me to quickly find files, and avoid getting visually distracted. I’ve switched to Neil Doshi’s doodle. Solomon thinks it’s busy, but the low-contrast image makes it easy on the eyes. The only one I really avoided was Dash Shaw, because that’s exactly what I don’t want!
Go check it out, you’ll be happy you did!
There’s a couple of sites that I visit daily. It is hard to explain why, because I can’t say that I “learn” something there. Nonetheless I feel compelled to spend a little time there everyday, just to catch up on the newest posts. One example is FFFFound!, an image blog where members re-post interesting images found across the internet.
I scour these sites for the same reason I shower every day, sometimes twice. I don’t feel complete otherwise, and I need to immerse myself, however briefly, in that kind of beauty. I feel better afterward. I’ve occasionally posted odd images or pieces of art on this blog, and chances are I found them on one of these sites.
But recently I found an image that took my breath away. I had a visceral response to it. I can’t explain it, but I am certain most people won’t share how I feel; some things are just too personal. Maybe this triggers something from a previous life, or aggregates archetypes into a melange of hope and desire. I don’t know who these people are, but it seems like a perfect moment, captured as a self-portrait. At this age I know the difference between youthful love and the true love that comes later in life… but I remember the invincibility of Sunday morning in bed, with the rest of the world beyond the window.
So even though it feels like I’m invading an extremely personal moment, I like looking at it… and decided to share it with you.
I wish them all the luck in this world.
There will always be fashion trends, and to be candid I enjoy many of them. I don’t always participate, but I like seeing people catch a cultural wave and make it their own.
There have been a few trends though that completely elude me, and one that disappoints me.
For years now, I’ve seen motorcycle helmets shaped like WWII Nazi helmets driving around the US. At first it was a few tough bikers, sometimes even wearing their colors. Then various companies actually began manufacturing DOT-approved versions, and soon a lot of Harley-boomers starting sporting them – the usual lawyers, construction managers and podiatrists.
This used to piss me off – no other way to put it. I wanted to run these dumb MFs off the road, then pull over and plaster their helmets with Chabad “Moshiach Now!” stickers.
…but after a while I learned to accept seeing these helmets, and ultimately decided that it was o.k. – it was a great way of getting “back” at the N.S.D.A.P. – I figured if they could see all these people enjoying their freedom of choice, their pursuit of happiness, and the way they lived their distinctly non-Arian lifestyle, the Nazis would spin in their graves.
Great, victory is ours!
But what really cleared it for me was being in Vietnam last March. The Vietnamese had just passed a law mandating helmets, which of course makes a lot of sense in a country that has no real health care, few hospitals, and motorcycles as the major mode of transportation. Everyone rides mopeds there – and everyone was wearing brand-new helmets. They sell great helmets in Vietnam, but I got a particular kick out of seeing the “cute girls” – the ones that drive white Golf convertibles in LA – racing around town on pink Vespas, with pink Nazi helmets to match. That made me smile.
There is no way that a 20 year old Vietnamese girl is going to have the proper historical context – they’re just wearing it because they like the look, and possibly because the front opening makes room for their large Paris Hilton-style sunglasses. There is nothing mean or disrespectful about it.
The same, unfortunately, cannot be said about the Keffiyeh, especially the black-and-white one. The scarf has been worn as a symbol by Palestinians, especially those who see the destruction of Israel as a reasonable and worthwhile goal. It’s always been worn by Yassir Arafat, and is associated particularly closely with the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. Of course, Hamas has made it part of their iconography as well.
I see people in Europe and the US with Keffiyehs wrapped around their throats, and I can’t help but think they’re wearing a quasi terrorist “lapel flag.”
The number of people wearing it publicly has gone up, from the innocuous, to the stupid, to the malicious. Kirsten Dunst, Howard Dean, and Hugo Chavez come to mind – respectively. And a quick Google search of Celebrity Keffiyeh reveals a huge number of celebrities – all of whom look even more pompous as soon as you place them in a geopolitical context.
…but just as I want to go up to every college student wearing one (how is it that the educated are usually the dumbest in the crowd??) and confront them on their choice, it turns out that the Keffiyeh is entering the fashion mainstream. Suddenly every chain store fashion operator is featuring a variation of the black-and-white shawl.
Call it Hate Couture.
Some of the bigger stores such as Urban Outfitters are marketing them as “Anti-War Woven Scarves.”
Don’t forget to accessorize with the highly fashionable “Anti-War Bomb Belt” – le dernier cri!, and now available in kids sizes, too!
After God knows how many years of giving the Palestinians all stick and no carrot, the Israelis have successfully repositioned themselves in the media landscape as “the Bad Guys”. This has ultimately resulted in 24-year old marketing executives perceiving the checkered scarf as the new funky version of the Red Star or a stencilled image of Chè Guevara… funny little symbols that used to mean so much… but of course they don’t realize that there’s much greater complexity here, and that the Keffiyeh is still a vibrant symbol of hate and death.
…but maybe blissed-out Western Consumer Ingnorance can successfully sap any gravitas from the symbol, the same way it did with Nazi helmets, and turn it into just another meaningless artefact. Hopefully soon, I will be walking down Dong Khoi in Saigon and see a pretty girl on a Vespa driving by in her funny little helmet, and a pink Keffiyeh around her shoulders.
We live in an age that bombards us with marketing and messages constantly. Nothing new there, of course. But once we have gotten past the price decision (which product holds the proper value in our mind) we are left with a design choice, and the question becomes “Which product feels right to me?” Many of us purchase products based on how they make us feel, how they reflect on us, and whether they’re aesthetically pleasing to us. Simply put, some of these things will be standing around our house for weeks and months, and we will have to look at them.
So lots of effort is poured into creating compelling design. I will not bore you with bad examples, but we all know several of them- just look around the house. Detergent bottles in hyper-saturated colors, wine etiquettes probably designed by the wine-maker’s wife, and shampoo containers that make you want to close your eyes long after you’ve finished rinsing and repeating.
The Dieline.com is a site that calls attention to outstanding design, and I encourage you to check it out. It’s a pleasure for the eyes, and I will add some samples below. It showcases smaller brands as well as major products that we’re all familiar with. Particularly interesting are the conversations that happen about the various designs – I like hearing professionals articulate the things I find myself responding to, but couldn’t describe as succinctly. Click on the images to be taken to the Dieline posts and comments.
Armani Privee Line:
A favorite, because I bought these as a Mother’s Day gift for The List Maker a few years ago. They are handcrafted perfumes that are mild and natural, and the wood-and-stone bottles are Objet D’Arts in their own right.
Olio & Spices
I have always had a love for sauce bottles – those who knew my company Rotor Communications remember that our first broadcast studio had my personal collection of Hot Sauce Bottles (all 350+ of them) decoratively mounted on the wall along the entrance. Olio & Spices is an Israeli company, who used Israeli designers to create the packaging.
A great design of wine labels. The foot alludes to how grapes used to be stomped in order to press them. The label is fun but elegant. And the footprint has a touch of CSI to it, if you ask me.
Oh, just go to the Dieline and surf the site. It’s fun. The only disappointment is that they clutter their site design with Google Ads… how much money can that possibly generate?
I found this on the internet, and think it’s really cool… especially since we have a little Leica D-Lux like the camera in the picture.
Available over at DesignBoom. They also make a bigger one called My Documents for your laptop.