Monthly Archives of: December 2009

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STAR GAZING

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Vignettes from a silent night at home.

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ALL THE RAGE

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Let Fury Have the Hour is a feature length documentary about the influential English punk-rock group The Clash, and its founder and guitarist, the late Joe Strummer.  Shepard Fairey’s fine poster for the film will, no doubt, become a most-wanted piece of movie collateral.

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SUNDOWN

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The Danish designer, Guus Oosterbaan’s memorial to the fading glow of the incandescent lightbulb–the bulbs are to be outlawed in Denmark in 2010–is humorous, sweet and just a wee bit sad.

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CLASSICAL MUSIC

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A stunningly beautiful iron triangle from early 19th Century Germany, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection.

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NEIN TIMES

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Recently–and startlingly–Swiss citizens voted to ban the construction of minarets, the distinctive, tall spires that define the architecture of mosques. As with many political issues, a widely-distributed poster supporting the ban came to define the anti-Minaret referendum. Following the vote, however, posters voicing opposition to the referendum began appearing. This one, which reads: Equal Rights for All:  No to the Minaret Initiative, was thought by experts to be well-designed, but too sophisticated to resonate broadly.

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MAN FROM LA MANCHA

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The great Spanish film director, Pedro Almodovar has been honored with a monument in his hometown, located in the Castilla-La Mancha region of central Spain. Enproyecto Architects have created a fitting tribute with a simple horizontal edifice that cinematically frames the landscape of La Mancha, as Almodovar himself might frame it in his films.

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SKY HIGH

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Another brilliant book cover design by Paul Sahre, for Killing the Buddha.

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WINDOW DRESSING

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Flyer for a Zurich fashion show, by Jonas Hegi.

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JOY & MEANING

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There’s great joy in giving, of course, but the frantic holiday season turns gift-giving into a futile search for originality and an odious exercise in beating the clock.  Still, giving meaningful gifts for reasons that matter are fundamental objectives worth revisiting.

Few things are more fundamental than water, and Charity Water’s objective of providing clean drinking water to those who lack it is about as worthy an endeavor as one can conjure up.  With a painfully poignant and powerfully effective marketing campaign, they, like many charitable organizations, make a strong case for eschewing extravagant trinkets in favor of quite literally changing the course of a life.

Or at the very least, making those trinkets count for something. Personally, I’d be happy with one of these wrist bands, which can provide clean drinking water for one person for 5 years.  As an aesthetic statement, it has fine graphic appeal; and as a symbol of how little it costs to re-inject meaning into the act of gift-giving, few reminders would be closer at hand.

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TREADING WATER

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The latest in Banksy cheekiness, via Flickr.