invisible lights

Immaterials: Light painting WiFi from Timo.

A four meter high rod studded with 80 LEDs was used to create light-paintings that present a long-exposure, line-graph cross section of the strength of the various wifi networks available in downtown Oslo. The invisible made visible, but not quite. Fascinating stuff. More on the process, as well as past projects, here and here. Also: the resultant photo-set.

Wrenching news.

PingMag, the Tokyo based magazine about “Design and Making Things”, is shutting down

I’ve been an almost daily reader of PingMag for at least two years, thrilled to have found a site so consistently fascinating. I’m more than sad they had to throw in the towel, I’m actually somewhat shocked. From their site:

Dear PingMag readers,

It’s the last day of 2008, and we have a sad announcement to make.

From today, PingMag will be taking an extended hiatus, and will not be updated for the foreseeable future.

PingMag has been running for 3 and a half years now, and over that time literally millions of you, from every single corner of the planet, have visited, read our articles, left comments, linked to us on your blogs, sent us letters of support – some of you have even flown to Tokyo to join us!

We are eternally grateful for your fantastic support over the years.

It is only because of you all that we have managed to keep PingMag going this long, and with every article – and there have been around 1000 of them! – we have made new friends, and found new, exciting people and places here in Japan and all over the world.

Thank you! Thank you for all your love and good will. We can only offer our sincerest apologies that we are unable to continue returning your fantastic generosity.

As well as you our readers, so many of you have actually contributed to PingMag, in so many different ways. It isn’t possible for me to thank everyone personally here, but many of you are credited in the about page, and anyone who we’ve missed, our apologies! Every contribution, however big or small, has made PingMag what it is, and you will always be a precious member of the team.

The world is facing tough times right now, and many of you may have uncertain months ahead. Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, we wish you all the very best of luck, and look forward to being able to meet again, we hope, at some point in the future.

All the very best wishes from Tokyo,

Tom, and the entire PingMag team.

artpost: possibly one of the most unique interfaces I’ve ever seen

The wicked playful, amazing and just downright weirdo-funny portfolio of talented, award winning, dutch flash artist/designer Coen Grift.

Make sure to zoom in on everything, there’s an obscene amount of detail packed into the 1000 megapixels of art, comedy, and minigames.

To start, find the raccoon with the metal detector. He’s hanging out by the tree of carrot death.

via James Everett

like a walked-into-a-bar joke

Tonight’s music: AIRtest.
found via Warren, who has this description: “It’s techno, played by a jew’s-harpist and a vocalist/beatboxer from Hungary and a didgeridoo player from Germany. Acoustic Goa.”

My usual Sunday office job bailed on me today, (no one had booked the building for the Sunday after New Year’s, so there was no reason to have anyone there. Scary, financially, but not unexpected), so Ray and I decided to step out and see The Golden Compass instead. Not really sure what there is to say about it, except that it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I like the idea of a children’s movie that’s anti-indoctrination, but was not particularly thrilled with the formulaic, predictable plot or the overly drawn out fight scenes. Oh! And the bear! Ian McKellen playing a warrior polar bear prince, that’s great! Now could you please not let his character lose gravity every time he runs? Basic animation principles, people, basic!

Ah well, I also pointed out the poor copy and flawed marketing in the Earl’s drink menu booklet, too, when we went to dinner before the movie, so perhaps I’m really not in any position to be attempting to discuss design like a normal human being.

what’ll it be, doll? (damn unsupported formats)

I came up with a new movement yesterday while over at Duncan’s, Woodcut exploitation. Line-art tramps in skirts like tiered bandages and hands full of guns. Seventies trash with Edwardian aesthetics. Wondermark meets Grindhouse. Lowbrow graphic poster art as intricately executed as comics from the turn-of-the-century Strand Magazine.

I’m wondering if I’m really the first to think of it. Currently, the hip uchronia is Steampunk, (Jules Verne punk-tech, the appealing, ironic union of Industrial Revolution and Victorian-era engineering re-mixed with post-internet technology), with the occasional dash of Raygun Gothic, (think Metropolis meets Buck Rogers, meals as pills, flying cars), or Space Cowboy, (Farscape, Firefly) – I haven’t been seeing much else making the rounds.

Is there already a Woodcut Exploitation movement out there? Have I just been spending time in all the wrong places?

Actually – while I’m at it, I desperately want to know the name of the current design movement that’s all wickedly baroque curlique in elaborately juxtoposed layers with vines, text, skulls, and absurd machinery. It’s been all over clothing for almost a year and a half and yet I still haven’t found anyone able to tell me what it’s called.

Here’s a good example – The music video Jonas Odell created for The Hours, (download here):

wrapped in the warmth of you

I rediscovered an artist the other day through a boingboing posting and decided that this time around, I simply had to remember to share. His name is Dave Devries and he creates rich realistic paintings based on the scrawled drawings of monsters that children draw. There’s a certain beauty in them that captures a little sense of something ethereal and creepy. It only takes a minute, go give it a look.

In other news, dolphins have taken the next step toward being worshiped as gods by the New Age crowd by carefully crafting situations where they will be found using tools, proof evinced. This is extra good timing on their side, as just this week we’ve learned to breathe underwater as fish do.

However, they have not managed to make the useful as sexy sleek as Tsaya has. They make strap on wallets that look as if they were designed with an everyone-wearing-black mexican stand-off in mind that involves cell phones instead of guns. The idea is to replace the handbag with something you can wear and be active in. A pity, I think, that so far it’s only made of black patent leather, though I’m certain that has it’s own built in market.

Speaking of design, actually, I found that Dream Designs, the place I had my interview at, has a website. I highly recommend giving them a decco if you’re looking for quality fabrics. As part of my interview, I asked what their policy was on corporate consumption and confirmed my suspicion that they’re firm supporters of organic and natural products, a stance that only bolsters the respect I had for the company. I sincerely hope there’s a strong possibility that I get a chance at this. To work what I call ‘a real job’ in a place where my skills fit and I have the opportunity to continue learning, it would be such a gift. Theater became tiresome, too many egos. The networking was an aspect I didn’t mind so much, but the petty things that one had to remind oneself of constantly were wearing. This is a small city. This actress loathes that director who dislikes that actor who won’t work with this costumer who’s dating the first woman mentioned. Reliable employment, full time, is exactly what I want.

I’m feeling a little snow-blind lately. My week has been flurries of shredded newspaper information and I’m finding now that it’s becoming hard to keep track of who has read what into my incruental sacrifices.

Curiosity, does anyone know who this artist is?