Sunday, 31 January 2010

Man, that Michelangelo had an eye for detail.

Ian Anderson*
Feedback From Ian:
seldom is something so enjoyable so wrong :-) the reason it's wrong is because like hansel and gretel it doesn't leave a trail. the reason for the creative in the first place is lost in the second case. it was a witty punchline without the pre-amble so it was a witty response well presented and immediately one of the posters we were drawn to when we hung them in the studio but when you really look at it against the brief it not only doesn't announce that jethro is my new name but it doesn't explain it either... so it only works in the context of me knowing why it's been sent.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Stonewall Brief "Get A Grip"

Initial Brief.
The next General Election will be held no later than Thursday June 3rd 2010. Stonewall wants to produce an eye-catching persuasive awareness campaign to encourage people to register and use their vote.
It would be worth investigating how current political parties encourage people to vote. And there’s an opportunity to organise some primary research to find out what would encourage people to vote.
Remember that as a registered charity Stonewall is politically neutral. They work with all the political parties and so the creative thinking must not be biased towards one party in particular.
Initially we were asked to create a postcard to encourage people to vote.
"A democracy without voters is like a bike without handlebars. Get A Grip."
(Postcard Design/Georgina Carroll, Sophie Jane Pickup, Frankie Baird.) Pre-Campaign. Taking inspiration from the original postcard, we wanted to create a political campaign but avoid the negative connotations of politics. A campaign, which would appeal to students (18-25). We decided to host our own election, and for this we needed promotion. We were keen to avoid a corporate look, much the opposite, we wanted to subtly hint towards politics, but not throw it in peoples faces. We needed to create enough intrigue for people to tun up, without giving away the purpose of the event. If we could succeed in getting people to take part, this would give us a real insight into how successful our promotional approach was.
Teaser Poster.
Teaser Postcards.
The 'Not So' General Election.
The election is all about choice, and in Britain we are lucky enough to have the right to vote. Once people arrived at the event, we wanted to try and get them to understand what it would be like if they couldn't vote. Therefore the ballot papers were designed to take away the participants right to choose. Each ballot displayed the name of just one political party. The only choice given to the participant was whether they would be 'voting' of 'not voting.' The ballot instructed the participant to tear off the coloured strip and place it in one of two ballot boxes. Participants would then get to keep the rest of the postcard as a souvenir of the day.
Souvenir Pop-up Ballots.
(design by Nina McNamara)
The card reads "I went to the general election and all I got was this lousy Pop-up postcard"
A number of results could prevail from this experiment.
  • Would the participant 'not vote' as a rebellion against their loss of choice?
  • Would they vote regardless of which party they got?
  • Would they refuse to vote completely?
  • Most importantly, Would having their choice taken away persuade them to value their vote in the real general election?
Key purposes to the event:
  • Test the impact of our teaser posters/postcards, by analysing the response to the event.
  • Creating an experience for participants, so they can interact with politics and feel involved on a personal level
  • Using this interaction to really make people understand the importance of voting.
(Photography: Jen Hingley)
When the participants had finished voting, they were asked to read this exit poster, to re-inforce our message of how it feels to have 'choice' taken away, ensuring they understand why they have taken part in our 'experiment.'
(Poster Design-Jen Hingley)
We wanted people to become involved within a voting 'experience.' Everything from the Facebook group, Teaser posters/postcards, The Alternative Ballots to the Polling Station Itself, were designed to involve participants in a unique way, and to keep them intrigued.
Using the statistics we gathered from the 'Election Day,' we created follow-up posters. and booklets. These still carry the signature 'Ballot slot' as seen throughout. This links with, and try to incorporate, the 'experience' of the day into a poster in order to encourage voting. We generated a follow-up pack, which will contain ephemera from throughout the project and re-inforce the idea of creating souvenirs and collectables related to the election.
Voters will become more like fans, Politicians more like celebrities.
Follow- Up Campaign.
The event was essentially market research, but not only that, we felt it was important to show the public how we used the information they had provided, and keep them involved.We generated posters using the statistics, and the 'comments' we received from participants about the event.
Poster Design Jen Hingley
Poster Design: Nina McNamara
(Booklet Design: Nina McNamara)
3 postcard pack.
We also created a promotional pack. We wanted to stay in keeping with our guerilla style of working. The pack contains
  • Follow-up fold out poster
  • A booklet explaining the whole campaign from start to finish
  • follow-up postcards of the Polling station
  • 3 pack of postcards showing participants
  • Souvenir rosette (a re-creation of those worn on the day)
  • The Alternative Ballot
Design: Sophie Jane pickup, Georgina Carroll.
  • " Really Makes you think, Do I have a choice?Mind Games"
  • "I think the campaign works, it reminds me of the importance of personal choice- but we have to interact to understand how we feel when our choice is dicated for us. Great!"
  • "The display made me very angry, I didn't have a choice. Sterling work all round, especially that sex-pot who gave out the ballots!yum x"
  • "The most important thing I do, voting was so hard won by our forefathers/mothers. Why do young people not vote in large numbers?"
  • "Very thought provoking"
  • "I vote therefore I am"
  • "Great Idea, but bossy polling station attendants..."

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Lou Reed.

Screen Shots From 'It Felt Like a Kiss'

A Good Wife Guide (The Film)

Here is an animation I did to try and animate 'A Good Wife Guide' from a layout project I created in first year. I wanted to state three rules and try to portray them using moving image, I wanted to stay ture to the handmade collage nature of the original project and the authentic 'worn' look of the 19403/50s ephemera I have collected. The animation is a little fast, and here the example is small, but hopefully it gives you an idea. NM Music courtesy of 'It Felt Like A Kiss' and Jay-z

It Felt Like a Kiss!WATCH ME.

Just had to post this, as the film from the fascinating collaboration between Punchdrunk, Adam Curtis and Damon Albarn has become available to watch once more on bbc I-Player. The film was shown in snippets on various screen within different settings ; i.e living rooms, c.ia offices etc, and then the whole story comes together as the audience sit in a discarded party tent to watch the pieces fit together, waiting for the dream to end and the nightmare to begin. The beautful thing about the film is that it doesn't appear to have clear start or end, the film plays loop and the audience experience it at varying start points, yet the film still makes sense.
"I think we can get down into what a woman wants to feel, which is daring and a little bit...she wants to get away with something..if she has a chance to get away with something she wants to get away with atleast."

Sunday, 17 January 2010


A Group effort.
We began with three filters;
  1. -The Half; Photography by Simon Annand
  2. -A Luxury Christmas Hamper.
  3. -Busby Berkely.
We also got allocated a quote;
"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them" - Adlai Stevenson.
We were united in the belief that the quote represented the idea of correcting ones own mistakes or admitting when you are wrong. However each person had a slightly different idea of how this could be represented.
We had to create a pitch for each filter, and each must be relevant to our allocated quote.
The Half:
The exhibition contained black and white photography, which showed actors during the last 30 minutes before curtain up. We decided to take the idea of something transforming within an allotted period of time, just like the actors did. The making of the work would be 'the half', and the work itself would be the 'performance'. We also liked the idea that within a group we could each have our own input, yet create a collaborative piece, so bearing in mind the quote, we decided that each of our individual inputs could be excercised, and as each person took turns in transforming the work, they would essentially be correcting the previous persons 'mistakes' in order to put across their own interpretation of the quote.
The Luxury Christmas Hamper.
We decided that a hamper could be defined as a device for the transportation of something. A hamper is something you put things in, transport them, and then take them out. When we added the meaning of the quote into our thought process, we decided that 'The Hamper' did not have to be used in a conventional sense i.e for food, but could also be used for the transportation of words. When words getted passed on or 'transported' from person to person, often they can change, things can be mis-heard, mis-interpreted and mis- repeated. This was something we wanted to explore. We were also intrigued by the difference between what people say and and what people mean. therefore could we create a device where the 'input' is what someone says and the 'output' is what they really mean.
Busby Berkeley.
We enjoyed the decadence of the Busby Berkeley films we researched. From his idioscyncratic style we took the idea of synchronisation and uniformity, as well as an indulgent and decadent tone. As with the other two filters we had to relate the filter to the quote, therefore we took the idea of 'eating your own words' literally. At first this idea seemed as though it was in danger of being a cliche, but we thought, Why not? For once we might want our work to be deliberately cliched, a deliberately literal response to the quote. For this we decided to host a dinner party. The invites read: 'You are cordially invited to eat your own words.'

For this idea we planned to host a dinner party, in which we would create a dinner table, as decadant as a Busby Berkeley and record the whole affair from a birdseye view. We decided that the food should be words, and these words would be confessions of mistakes we ourselves had made; we envisaged sinful spaghetti, jealous jelly, ignorant ice-cream or double crossing cheesecake etc. the specifics were un-clear but the idea was strong, we could generate a lot fo diverse work during one sitting. We wanted to mess with location and peoples social inhibitions as well as making the project interactive by perhaps hosting the dinner party in the park or a lift.
After pitching our ideas, our 'client' chose 'The Half ' filter, being honest with ourselves, we really wanted to get the Dinner Party idea, this is an obvious lesson in 'Pitching'- we need to learn how to get the client to choose the idea we want them to.
A Six Sided Affair.
Straight away we jumped nto the project, and organised a group 'Layer Tennis' session. Armed with a stopwatch, a soundtrack and a vast array of craft materials, with our research about the quote in mind (see blog), we began. We each started writing on paper, things we regretted and threw that into the mix also. At first we gave each other 30 seconds each to make our 'mark' on the page, obviously the result was poor, therefore we upped the time limit to five minutes, this meant that our response could be instinctive, but not over thought- out. We decided as a whole the page was very clumsy and dis-pleasing to the eye, but we used a viewfinder to try and pick out some of the more sucessful aspects. We repeated this same process a number of times, and ended up with a large body or truly collaborative work.

We then needed to decided how to develop the work, to narrow it down slightly to make it more relevant. We held another session of 'layer Tennis,' this time we were not just trying collide every persons input together, but trying to cover up the last person's work completely, discrediting it as a 'mistake.' One person would create their interpretation of the quote, the next would try to completely cover it in whatever means possible, and then next would do the same etc. We then decided to each 'admit when we were wrong; and try to 'reveal' the work underneath again, in order to discover the best bits.

Refinement We decided we needed a way to bring all of these strands together, therefore we decided to each create 6 circles, using the work we had made. We would hav 36 circles in total and would display these in a square (rubix) on the window, this was a way of showing individual and collaborative inputs in a uniformed way. it was impossible to define who did which work, but it was clear there were 6 different inputs.

Chinese Whispers
As another way to output work, we decided that it was approriate to play chinese whispers with the quote. Here is the outcome of 6 random individuals.
We each took a 'whisper' and created out own response to it, these then formed 6 screen printed posters in six colours.
Zine. < We wanted to create a buzz around ‘Rubix’ as a collective, to try and get people more than just interested, but EXCITED. We had already created business cards, a blog and posters, centred around ‘Rubix’ but we needed something to represent the concept of the project and also to reflect the tone of ‘Rubix’ as a group. An effective way to collate research, process and group comraderie was through a handmade ‘fanzine.’ Then text used in the zine comes from parts of the blog, comments made in group sessions, a game of chinese whispers, and from general warm- up excercises throughout the project. Each member of the group appears by name. There is not a separate section for each person, everyone’s contribution exists in harmony with eachother. Our emphasis is on the group not the individual.We chose this handmade format as we felt the tactile nature of the zine and the photocopier publishing emphasised the way the work had been generated throughout.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A Journey Of Intrigue; Revisited.

After considering the start point for this project was a very tactile item, I decided that my original final layouts were too clean and clinical and did not evoke the appropriate tone. The original hand written copy had to be cponverted into Helvetica, so the natural progression was for a clinical layout to occur. At the time I didn't see a way to remain true to the tactile nature of the original document, having already tried a handmade method. Since the end of the project, I have re-assessed the layout potential, and create these revised versions.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Original Sachsenhausen Transcript

Original transcript from my visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration camp, Berlin. text appears in 'A is Not for Apple, Z is not for Zebra.'

All the prisoners held under the Nazis and this statue and tower, really shows us that because if we have these 18 triangles from the countries where political prisoners were brought.erm.they are obviously not representing all the other prisoners that were brought here under the Nazis, and at the statue at the base, they list all the countries from which political prisoners were brought to the camp. and they list 20 countries, so there's some erm again maybe aesthetics would win out of historical accuracy from time to time, and the East Germans main concern in their memorial site was really to glorify the communist struggle against fascism that's why they really focused on the communist prisoners here and the statue at the base of the tower can show us more thoroughly because we have three figures one is meant to be the prisoner from the camp which is being liberated and being welcomed back into society by a politician then behind is the soldier the Russian soldier the mother musical liberator and the artist who did that statue had to re-design it three times before it was approved because in the first two designs prisoner being liberated actually looked like a prisoner coming out of a concentration camp i.e very thin and emaciated and they said no I'm sorry that does not look like the strong men who saved the world from fascism so back to the drawing board. and by the third try they said okay that looks like our hero. but also in the East German memorial site there was absolutely no mention, and I'm sorry I said the memorial site was from 50-61-that's a lie it re-opened in 1961 and ran until 1989, alright, now that we're all with the facts. in the east German memorial site, there was also no mention anywhere whatsoever of how this camp was run between 1945 and 1950 under the soviets. now at the end of word war two all the powers that had aligned together to defeat Germany, so the Soviet troops, as well as the American the British and the french the allied troops the leaders from each of these countries got together to decide what to do with the country cos they wanted to keep a good eye on Germany so that she wouldn't get out of hand again like what happened after world war one. so what they came up with was to cut the country into 4 sections and put each section under a sphere of insulin so the NE quadrant of Germany went under the soviet and in that soviet sphere insulin they began opening prisoner camps to hold those who were not only not 'confunctionary' from before but also anybody who was now a political dissident to communism and in particular Stalin's form of communism. and they moved into old concentration camp sites because that was an easy place to start holding Sachsenhausen prison camp was run under the soviets special prison camp number 7.was one of ten such camps in this section of Germany. and the prisoners held here were mainly men,but also some women and some children. all prisoners were held without a proper court trial or a proper sentence some of them didn't even know why they were here.

Ed Ruscha.

Posted: Fri Oct 16 2009

Mountains. Preposterous things. How do you even attempt to paint them? All that certainty and might, which could easily translate into artistic hubris. Legendary West Coast artist Ed Ruscha tackles the subject by accentuating the awesomeness of it all. To a 1998 painting of what could be the Paramount mountain, the sides of the canvas bowed like a bulging forearm, he has added, in caps, the word 'The', thus rendering the whole thing - deliriously - an affirmation of the definite article. In another painting of a mountain range, from 2000-1, Ruscha equates and deflates towering immensity with the more fragile machismo of the hardware store. 'American Tool Supply', it reads. The idea of mountains… the very idea…

For the past five decades, Ruscha has worked in the space between words and images, exploring how words look and how we 'read' images. Hollywood mythology, The American Dream, religion, the sublime, cerebral sunset standoffs and cocktail hour hangovers are there to be unpicked in his cognitive and perceptual games.

His is a doggedly hands-off art; indeed that's partly where the humour lies. Yet for a deadpan conceptualist, Ruscha has always been a great graphic designer (thanks in part to his early training as a commercial artist) and this survey blasts through combinations of colour, font and imagery that exhilarate even when the results tend towards the obscure.

Retrospectives almost always stall at some point, and there are a few too many of his soft-focus monochromes from the late 1980s and early 1990s on show here, but the pace picks up when, older and apparently angrier, Ruscha returns to earlier work to create companion paintings. So, the building in 'Blue Collar Trade School' from 1992 becomes, in 2005's 'The Old Trade School Building', a nameless edifice, lit up and surrounded by a security fence. The words may have gone but the message, for once, is clear. 'That's progress', Ruscha seems to say. The paintings would serve as a wonderful focus sharpener should the Obamas tire of the Ruscha they recently selected for the White House.

Jordan Baseman.

'Nature's Great Experiment' is a film in three parts that uses case studies, drawings, audio field-recordings, archive footage and recorded interviews with behavioral geneticists.

The films by artist Jordan Baseman exhibit an individual style, yet they are all a depiction of the same scientific information gathering process: the interviewing of (primarily) mothers of identical twins and the twins themselves within the family home by scientific research workers. The project represents three vantage points of this interview and evaluation process: the mother, the research worker and the behavioural geneticist.

The work features Professor Terrie Moffitt and her Twin Research Team at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London - major contributors to the Twins Early Development Study (TEDS). This study focuses on the early development of the three most common psychological problems in childhood: communication disorders, mild mental impairment and behaviour problems. More than 15 000 pairs of twins have been enrolled in TEDS.

Nature's Great Experiment goes on tour in spring 2010.