I'm doing a lot of train travelling at the moment; trips back to Wales and working with on site at a client's business park. I keep being reminded of this aweome music video for Chemical Brothers by Michel Gondry:
I was loaned a copy of Apartamento last week - it's an interesting read; it juxtaposes people's fascinating living spaces alongside in-depth interviews about significant parts of their lives. It's all done with a kind of art/fashion/new-bourgeoisie lens and on lovely uncoated paper stock.
I got the distinct impression that it wasn't written for me, but I enjoyed reading it none the less.
Up front are a few short essays - this one seemed to resonate a bit:
I was up in the Manchester area over Christmas, which offered the opportunity to check out The First Cut, an exhibition of art works crafted in paper at The Manchester Gallery.
There's a lot of beautiful stuff shown in the exhibition, from a host of international and more local artists. One that really struck me was The Wonder Forest, by Manabu Hangai. I hope no one minds but I felt compelled to make a short video:
It was like each tree would respond to the draft created by the movement of another, forming this kind of perpetual motion in the leaves of the forest - I loved the unpredictability of the rotations and the rich colour and textures of the leaves of the trees, which are made from recycled materials.
A bit of a happy accident happened when I set this to music - I've used 'How do birds hear music' by Basquiat Strings & Seb Rochford. It gives it this kind of industrial natural world vibe that actually works quite well.
A lot of community-led projects I hear people talk about, locally or nationally, seem to be based around complex tech platforms and structures. Regardless of how awesome they will be one day, they spend ages in some sort of 'coming soon' or beta phase.
Impossible.com is a prime example of that - the small information that's out there points to an awesome idea that people will want to get involved with. But because it takes a long time to build a social network, I have to park my excitement when I get to the site, and wait indefinitely.
This is the tech that the Lambeth Snow Warden scheme is relying on:
It's just a pdf map showing where people are already involved, and where you can help. Once you're signed up, you're added to a google group to stay updated.
The main requirement in so many new 'big society' (cough) projects is a body of people. Maybe all you need, to start with, is an idea and a pdf.
One of the things pinterest is obviously great for is collecting inspiration by category - it's enabled me to be much more selective in the kinds of clothes I buy, through my board Without looking foolish, and I've also started to plan out what I might do with a business one day, through The Woodpigeon. Last year I even bought a beautiful McIntosh side board (a bit like this one) off the back of the common threads I discovered through my future house board; VictorianModernCosySparse.
What the hell is this aesthetic? Kevin Mcloud called it 'Vintage' in that awesome Grand Design episode in Falmouth, the Corkellis House by Kathryn Tyler: "There's a considered simplicity - nothing showy, nothing uneccesary.. It's success is not just down to how it plays with space and light, but also how it plays with time".
I don't think it's called Vintage though. In as much as it's the inevitable post-modern next step in visual bricolage, that celebrates history rather than challenging or channelling, maybe. But it has no particular vintage. It seems completley now but also timeless.
Maybe it's a good thing that there's no official term for it - I find as much delight in seeking out images that embody my personal tastes and aspirations, just as much as I imagine the homemakers and designers enjoyed the processes of creating them.
This looks interesting for the end of the month - a group of illustrators and designers responding to nature in the context of the London environment. And it's a beautiful poster.
There's more information about the show and the contributors over on their website.
I'm not posting here as much as I would like to.
Over the past 4 and a half years, so much of what I've explored here has developed afterwards into a useable perspective; I'd hate to loose the outlet for that. But a lot of what I'm thinking about these days could conflict with the confidentiality of the projects I'm working on, so it's hard to know what to write about from week to week.
I'm going to have a go at posting at least something for the first half of next year, and then see where we get to.
Still pushing on, Aspire to Enquire is my space to write about the inspiring ideas and artefacts I find from time to time.
What is inspiring to me? I like ideas that can bring people together for common good, I like to see things communicated with beauty, and I thrive on finding innovative ways to spread messages.