Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tom Waits on Australian Television 1979


The crazy Don Lane Tom Waits interview on Australian TV:

And Part II, he made it: The beautiful On the nickel, by Tom Waits:

Today's Sketch - an Octopus


When Water Flows Uphill


From Science Friday ( 

Published on Nov 21, 2013

In the Leidenfrost Effect, a water droplet will float on a layer of its own vapor,
if heated to certain temperature. 

This common cooking phenomenon takes center stage in a series of playful experiments by physicists
at the University of Bath, who discovered new and fun means to manipulate the movement of water.

Researchers test ridged surfaces in order to control the movements of hot water.


Today's Sketch - Stream of C.


(ink on paper)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Today's Walk - Saturated Reds and Yellows


Today's Walk - Angophora Trunk


Namibia's Herero Tribe - Photos by Jim Naughten


All photos by Jim Naughten.

From Wired Magazine:

The Amazing Costume Culture of Africa’s Herero Tribe

In 2011 Jim Naughten spent four months photographing the Herero tribe of Namibia. The London-based photographer drove thousands of miles through the desert, meeting and negotiating with people, camping and continuously cleaning the dust out of his camera equipment. His resulting book,Conflict and Costume, is an in-depth look at the bold and gorgeous costumes that have come to represent the cultural identity of the Herero people.
The style of dress was introduced during the German/Herero conflict in the early 20th century, when nearly 80 percent of the Herero population was wiped out. Though the attire was originally forced upon the Herero people, it has since become a tradition and point of pride. “If a warrior killed a German soldier he would take and wear their uniform as a badge of honor, and to ‘take’ or appropriate their power,” Naughten explained in an email. “A version of these uniforms is worn by Herero men today at festivals and ceremonies, to honour the fallen ancestors and to keep the memories alive.”
The Herero women adopted the German missionaries’ Victorian-style floor length gowns, but they eventually incorporated the vivid colors and cow-horn-shaped headdress (to represent the Herero’s respect for cattle) you see today. After a woman is married, she is expected to make most of her dresses, often from the offcuts of other garments. These voluminous, patchwork outfits are considered every-day attire, while dresses made from a single material are reserved for special occasions. In the book’s introduction, Lutz Martin writes: “Rounded to resemble healthy cows, the dresses contain up to 10 metres of cloth, despite summer temperatures reaching 50 degrees celsius.”
To get his portraits, Naughten immersed himself in Herero culture. He and his guide traveled from village to village, asking permission of the elders to photograph. In turn, he would be invited to weddings, funerals and ceremonies where would he set up his equipment and snap shots of passersby against the Namibian landscape. Naughten said he lost track of how many people he photographed (it was a lot), but he does recall that most everyone was excited to show off their garb. “The man in the yellow suit has to be a favorite,” Naughten wrote. “For walking in front of the camera/lighting set up without saying a word, posing so perfectly for one shot, and then walking off smiling.”
You can purchase a copy of Conflict and Costume here and check out Naughten’s work at the Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn.

Recommended: Vdrome


Vdrome is an online platform that offers regular, high quality 
screenings of films and videos directed by visual artists and 
filmmakers, whose production lies in-between contemporary art and cinema.

Each screening is presented during a limited period, as in a movie theatre.

Vdrome makes available a program of exceptional artists's films 
and videos that are selected due to their importance, quality and 
innovative strength, many of which are only shown in the context 
of film festivals, exhibitions or specific surveys,
being therefore of very limited access.

Vdrome is an initiative conceived and promoted by Mousse.

Vdrome has a permanent viewing location at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Detroit.

Curators: Edoardo Bonaspetti, Jens Hoffmann, Andrea Lissoni and Filipa Ramos

Managing Editor: Enrico Boccioletti

Current screening:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Faces From Vladimir And Georgii Stenberg's Soviet Movie Poster Designs


"The Stenberg brothers, whose father was a Swede and whose mother was a 
Russian, were both born in Moscow, Russia but remained Swedish citizens until 
1933. They first studied engineering, then attended the Stroganov School of 
Applied Art in Moscow, 1912–17, and subsequently the Moscow Svomas (free 
studios), where they and other students designed decorations and posters for 
the first May Day celebration (1918). 1919, the Stenbergs and comrades 
founded the OBMOKhU (society of young artists) and participated in its first 
group exhibition in Moscow in May 1919 and in the exhibitions of 1920, 1921 
and 1923. The brothers and Konstantin Medunetskii staged their own 
"Constructivists" exhibition in January 1922 at the Poets Café Moscow, 
accompanied by a Constructivist manifesto. Also that year, Vladimir showed his 
work in the landmark Erste Russische Kunstausstellung (First Russian Art 
exhibition) held in Berlin. 1920s–30s, they were well established as members of 
the avant-garde in Moscow and of Moscow's INKhUK (INstitut 
KHUdozhestvennoy Kultury, or institute of artistic culture). Other INKhUK 
members included Alexander Rodchenko, Varvara Stepanova, Lyubov Popova, 
Medunetskii, other artists, architects, theoreticians, and art historians. INKhUK 
was active only 1921–24.

1922–31, the Stenbergs designed sets and costumes for Alexander Tairov's 
Moscow Kamerny (Chamber) theatre and contributed to LEF (art journal of the 
left front) and to the 1925 "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et 
Industriels Modernes" in Paris. 1929–32, they taught at the Architecture-
Construction Institute, Moscow.

The Stenbergs practiced in a range of media, initially active as Constructivist 
sculptors, subsequently as theater designers, architects, and draftspeople. 

Their design work covered the gamut from clothing, including women's shoes, to rail
carriages. Some examples of their sculpture were spidery and spindly 
structures, such as the reconstruction (1973–74) of KPS 11: Construction of a 
spatial apparatus no. 11 (1919–20) in steel, glass, paint and plaster on wood in 
the National Gallery of Australia Canberra. However, the arenas in which they 
excelled were theater, costume and graphic designs, particularly the graphic 
design of film posters, encouraged by the surging interest in movies in Russia 
and the government's sanctioning of graphic design and the cinema.

The brothers were at their prime during the revolutionary period of politics and 
artistic experimentation in Russia, centered in Moscow. There was a shift from 
the illustrator-as-creator to the constructor-as-creator or nonlinear-narrator-as-
creator. In the visual language of the constructor or Constructivist, the 
Stenbergs and other graphic designers and artists assembled images, such as 
portions of photographs and preprinted paper, that had been created by 
others. Thus, the Stenbergs and others realized wholly new images (or 
compositions) which were no longer about realism. Hence, graphic design as a 
modern expression eschewing traditional fine art was born in the form of the 
printed reproductions of collage or assemblage. One of the causes of the avant-
garde artists in the new Russia, who considered fine art to be useless, was 
served when the Stenbergs and others as constructors-as-creators produced 
posters that had a use, particularly to serve the state. (In fact, painter 
Nadezhda Udaltsova resigned from the UNKhUK in protest against the 
replacement of easel painting by use-intended industrial art.)

The serendipitous success of the Stenbergs' radical approach had been 
facilitated by a number of factors: their talent as graphic designers and their 
knowledge of film theory, Constructivism, Malevich's Suprematism, and the 
avant-garde theater. Even though commercial graphic design and advertising is 
propaganda, the dissemination of propaganda (пропаганды) was considered a 
desirable and honorable practice in Russia at the time. In fact, the Bolsheviks, 
who sought to reform the peasant class, considered film to be a potent 
propaganda tool for communicating with a widely illiterate population. Even 
though most films were imported, the Stenbergs designed posters for Sergei 
Eisenstein's movies and Dziga Vertov's documentaries.

The innovative visual aspects of Stenberg posters included a distortion of 
perspective, elements from Dada photomontage, an exaggerated scale, a 
sense of movement, and a dynamic use of color and typography—eventually all 
were to be imitated by others. The Stenberg artwork was frequently based on 
stills from the films. Radical even today, the posters by the brothers working 
together were realized within the nine-year period from 1924 to 1933, the year 
Georgii died at age 33. His motorcycle hit a truck, a few months after the 
brothers had become Russian citizens. Vladimir continued to work on film 
posters and organized the decorations of Moscow's Red Square for the May Day 
celebration of 1947."

--- wikipedia ---

The images below are details from reproductions in the book
'Stenberg Brothers - Constructing a Revolution in Soviet Design'
(The Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Georgii Stenberg

Vladimir Stenberg

Books by Ridou Ridou