James Econs is a phone box vandal with a ‘Big Society’ conscience. Spotting a disused phone box in Horsely, Surrey he had an idea. A few hours later he’d installed shelves and books and turned it over to the community as a free book exchange. He’s now known as the ‘Banksy of carpentry’. Read more [...]
An Austrian photography museum has bought a rare collection of 4,400 Polaroid photos by 800+ photographers including Sally Mann and Ansel Adams . You can see 18 of them here: http://bit.ly/eNyAPx .The WestLicht Museum of Photography is displaying the works until 21st August 2011. Visit the WestLicht Museum website. Read more on PhotoRadar
Being sophisticated sort you’ll no doubt be familiar with food and wine pairings. But have you ever considered pairing your reading matter with appropriate music to enhance your experience? Flavorpill has put together a menu of books and suggested accompaniments such as: William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and The Velvet Underground and Nico Edith Wharton’s The House [...]
Flavorwire has collated a series of photos of people posing naked in urban and more remote environments – fancy taking your clothes on a tank anyone? See the photos on Flavorwire
French photographer Nicolas Chorier specializes in aerial photography using a camera attached to a kite, which allows him to get a unique perspective on the world. An adapted camera beams photos down to a handset fashioned from a game boy. See his work on his website or watch the video:
An interesting video about a Taschen book called Tresspass, which looks at the history of street art by the Wooster Collective. See it here:
It’s Nice That is a website dedicated to all things creative. One of their regular features asks creative types what books they have on their shelves – and they range from Calvin and Hobbes Sunday Pages 1985-1995 to Book of British Birds (Readers Digest) via Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss .
In 1949 a 21-year-old Stanley Kubrick was sent on a photojournalism assignment to Chicago. The resulting photos are now in the Library of Congress, but you can see some of them on Chris Wild’s excellent website How to Be a Retronaut. As well as the Kubrick photos, the site is a veritable treasure trove of [...]
Brian Dettmer, a Chicago-based artist, specializes in making intricate sculptures out of the pages of old medical books, dictionaries and encyclopedias. He doesn’t remove the pages, preferring instead to use the constraints of the covers and the illustrations contained within the book, never adding new elements. He dissects each book using surgical tools, working one [...]
Photographer Bridget Fleming’s Downtown From Behind project aims to capture the people living and working in the 200 streets below 14th Street in Manhattan. The twist is that everyone is on a bicycle and photographed from behind, which makes for some interesting streetscapes. Each photo also has a short accompanying bio of the subject. I [...]
The 111-year-old Philadelphia Orchestra is facing the possibility of bankruptcy even though it has assets that outweigh its debts. If the vote goes through it would be the first big US orchestra to take this extreme measure. They are planning to mount a campaign to raise $160 million in their biggest ever fundraising drive. But [...]
Here’s a night class I’d like to try… Will Smith went to a tattoo parlour in London’s East End to be taught how to tattoo by world-class tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta. Wisely banned from trying his inept hand at tattooing a real person, he’s given a hunk of pig skin to practice on (much as [...]
Chris O’Shea is an installation artist who has designed a holographic projection system with the aim of encouraging computer savvy kids to gain confidence in drawing and telling their own stories on stage. The kids draw props and characters which then float alongside them and react to their movements in real time. The system uses [...]
According to NPR, the 2011 Sundance festival was an outstanding one for black filmmakers, where there were more films by, or about, black people than at any time in the history of the festival, which started in 1978. Shari Frilot, senior programmer at Sundance, attributes it to filmmaking becoming less elitist and equipment more accessible, [...]
Walking down the the aisle with your beau takes on a new meaning when the aisles are stocked with potatoes and floor cleaner. Supermarket chain Asda has launched a new online dating website, claiming that “the supermarket has overtaken the pub and the internet as the nation’s number 1 spot to find love”, and that [...]
Punchdrunk the imaginative London-based immersive theatre company has upped sticks for NYC, and set up home in an abandoned hotel in Chelsea. The McKittrick Hotel was built to be New York’s most luxurious hotel, but it was closed down 2 days after the start of WWII (and six weeks before it opened). Now it’s home [...]
No Right Brain Left Behind is an innovation challenge designed to give US children the creative tools they need to solve modern-day problems. Run in conjunction with Social Media Week 2011, creatives from ad agencies, design and innovation companies had five days to come up with ideas and submit them to the No Right Brain [...]
Has commerce and marketing taken priority over careful crafting and editing of books? It’s a question asked, and discussed at length, by Alex Clark (and some more by the many people leaving comments). Rather inevitably, there appears to be an error the text that hasn’t been picked up by the copy editor. Can you spot [...]
Fantastic Factology has been gathering facts from the public about “surprising things in life” – the best will be engraved onto plaques sited on benches around the 2012 London Olympic site, which will (hopefully) be visited by “generations of future visitors”. You can see some of the facts on the Fantastic Factology website. It seems [...]
Artist Wafaa Bilal is undertaking a year-long project which involves taking a photograph every minute. That may sound like it requires an extreme amount of commitment, but he’s taken it a step further by having a camera inserted into the back of his head (in a body piercing studio). Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, his body [...]
Ever wondered who came up with the world’s favourite board games and where they got their inspiration? For example, Anthony Pratt, a WWII fire warden, thought up Clue/Cluedo during Nazi air raids, and originally called it Murder! And it turns out that Monopoly looks suspiciously like a board game patented by a Quaker woman 3o [...]
Does your writing “favor length over brevity, ornateness over simplicity, literalness over figuration”? If so, you aren’t alone according to English professor Ben Yagoda, who has noted that his students seem incapable of writing concisely and clearly. And it’s something that’s increasing with the Internet generation. Read more on The Chronicle.
Think classical music and hip hop don’t mix? Not according to video artist Rashaad Newsome. He’s cut together footage from rap videos to Carl Orloff’s Carmina Burana (in the UK, you’ll know it as the music the X Factor judges come on stage to) and the result is mesmerizing (and jaw-droppingly awesome when seen on [...]
Vivian Maier, was an eccentric, shy nanny who worked for wealthy families in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s turns out to have been leading a double life as one of the most talented photographers of the 20th century. But nobody knew this until an author researching a book, John Maloof, bought a job lot [...]
Every year, 88-year-old Dutch woman Ria van Dijk visits a fairground shooting gallery ad picks up a gun. And every time she scores a hit a camera flashes and her photo is taken. She’s been visiting the shooting gallery almost every year since 1936, and the series of pictures taken chronicle her life since she [...]
Artist Nina Paley took her camera, and some volunteers, to the Met Museum in NYC and took photos of 914 statues and then combined them to make a moving, morphing, evolving sculpture. Her thesis is that all work is derivative – whether or not video manages to prove that it’s a mesmerizing watch. Read how [...]
Another literary list from Flavorwire: this time a list of inventive autobiographies that put bland celebrity offerings in the shade. Check out: The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Gunter Grass, in which he fictionalizes accounts of his life from the perspectives of his eight children; My Prizes by Thomas Bernhard examines the life he [...]
Flavorwire has compiled a list of authors who have rewritten classic stories (often with a twist) without ruining the original. Their examples include: On Beauty by Zadie Smith – a retellling of Howards End Weight by Jeanette Winterson – a reworking of the Atlas and Heracles myth The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski [...]
Phyllis Robinson, who died on New Year’s Eve 2010 aged 89, was one of the advertising pioneers when she was appointed to run the copy department at a new agency Doyle Dane Bernbach and she was called “the first great modern advertising writer” by former Esquire art director, George Lois. She was responsible for successful [...]
Vinegar Hill House, a restaurant reached down a dark and deserted cobbled road at the far reaches of NYC’s trendy DUMBO district held an American Psycho themed New Year’s Eve Dinner. Not to be outdone, Flavorwire have come up with a number of literary dinners, such as: Dracula – featuring tomato soup and blood orange [...]
Photographer Arthur Drooker’s photos of N. American buildings make them look as if they’ve survived (or decayed) since ancient times. He uses infrared photography to infuse an other-worldliness in industrial landscapes and dilapidated mansions. See them here.
Ghost of a Dream turns discarded lottery tickets into sculptures of the things that could have been bought had the ticket been a winner. Click here to see the colourful palm trees, chandeliers and cars.
Ira Glass, award-winning producer of popular radio show This American Life, explains what makes for a good first person narrative on radio. He boils it down to: relatable characters, surprising plots and interesting and universal themes. All good advice for developing TV programmes too. Read the full interview in the Seattle Times.
Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov’s haunting photos on My Modern Met that mix archive photos with modern day cityscapes bring home what it was like to live in the great cities in the time of WWII better than reading dozens of history books about the subject. Even seeing undoctored photos or archive of the time is [...]
MobyLives investigates a complaint from young adult fiction author Justine Larbalestier, who wrote a book called Liar about a black girl called Micah, but found that the publishers had designed a cover showing a white girl with long, straight hair. It turns out that many publishers have found they can’t sell books with black characters [...]
Reverse graffiti is practiced by people who clandestinely clean the dirt off buildings or vehicles, leaving behind an artwork. See some stunning examples on Environmental Graffiti.
As TV Mole is in NYC this week (for the US publication of Greenlit: Developing Factual / Reality TV Ideas from Concept to Pitch), here’s a nostalgic look at the city, through the eyes of photographers in 1941.
Ben Heine is an Ivory Coast-born, Brussels-based photographer, illustrator, caricaturist and painter who is exercising several of his skills via his Pencil vs. Camera series, where he substitutes part of a photograph with a sketch, which may or may not faithfully replicate the original image. Take a look at some of the images on Flickr.
Bedroom Secrets is a blog that chronicles the restoration of one of Van Gogh’s best loved paintings, The Bedroom. The restoration started at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam in March 2010 and the bloggers include Ella Hendriks, Head of Conservation; Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho, Assistant curator and Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh [...]
In June 2010, Sothebys New York, put up for sale a number of letters from the artist Margritte to Paul Collinet, a poet and associate and also lover of Margritte’s wife. Read all about them in More Intelligent Life.
There are many reasons to avoid going to the opera, but if yours relates to your objection to sexism and stereotyping, you might enjoy reading Smoke Free Carmen, which is a politically correct (short) rewrite of the classic opera.
Fifty Cars That Changed the World by Andrew Nahum, Principal Curator at London’s Design Museum explores the design impact of classic cars such as the 908 Ford Model T, the 1957 Lotus Elite, and the 1998 Smart Car. Also in the series are Fifty Dresses…, Fifty Chairs… and Fifty Shoes….
Flavorwire has smoked out some of the 20th century’s most reclusive authors in a defense of their refusal of celebrity. Featured authors include Marcel Proust, J.D. Salinger, Cormac McCarthy and Harper Lee. Read their analysis here.
Saughton Prison in Edinburgh has won an award for its library that includes designs and fittings built by prisoners. The library has changed imates’ lives by introducing them to the joy of reading. In one year it had 12,500 prisoners visit the library and vandalism to the books has been reduced from 80% to nil. [...]
How Our Laws are Made is a colourful infographic that describes the process of getting a US bill made law. It is the winner of The Sunlight Foundation’s Design for America Challenge. The Sunlight Foundation aims to make US government transparent and accountable.
Stephin Merritt is a prolific (ex-NYC, now LA-based) singer-songwriter known for his bass voice and eclectic tastes in music as well as his collaborations with Lemony Snicket. Now a group of (largely) London artists are illustrating one of his best known albums: 69 Love Songs on the website How Fucking Romantic (named after one of [...]
Expect a mysterious letter sometime soon from Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe who aim to get neighbours and friends talking by creating curiosity. It’s all part of an art project that started when they sent a handwritten letter to 467 houses in Cushendall, Ireland in April 2009. A few months later, they repeated the exercise [...]
The Museum of Innocence by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk is about a character called Kemal who collects items from his love in order to construct a shrine to her. This shrine is called the Museum of Innocence, and is complemented in real life by a the author’s own Museum of Innocence containing 83 objects, one [...]
The Times published a list of the best – and most beautiful - fashion/interior design blogs. The list features: Brooklyn Limestone – the story of the renovation of a traditional townhouse; Pillar Box Post – Observations on beautiful London things by an expat American; Oh So Beautiful Paper - pretty paper things such as wedding [...]
Glowfungi is a new communication medium made from glow-in-the-dark bacteria created by CURB, a company that provides sustainable advertising and corporate communications. As well as disco fungi they have created ads and messages in wood, crop fields, moss and dust. Visit CURB to see more. Hat tip: Springwise