Mr Hyde – Bring Forth the Links!

mr_hydeCharlie Haughey’s mesmerising yet chilling Vietnam War photography

Art depicting modern-day Mad Men. “Mod Men”, if you will

If you haven’t seen the trailer for the James Hunt biopic Rush, rectify immediately

And this makes our heads hurt



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The Thrill of the Chase!

treasure huntBack in 2009 I wrote a post called Treasure Hunt outlining an idea for an immersive and engaging TV or Web format.  I said then that the time was right – but as per usual I was both right and wrong!  It was definitely the time to start developing the idea fully – and boy am I a wee bit annoyed that I haven’t done more with it so far – but the time to launch would in fact be now (or more specifically for the pre-school holiday period).

Why now?  Well a couple of things are clearer than ever:

>> Smartphones rule: despite all their problems (primary among them a lack of battery life and unreliable connectivity in the “real world”) the connected, GPS enabled phone is king within the target demographic.

>> Social sharing has gone viral: basic as it may seem, the social behaviours of the web that have developed over the last couple of years are here to stay even if the current leaders of the social networks may not last the course.

>> “Every little helps”: in today’s congested and ever changing business world, monetising ideas is becoming increasingly a case of maximising the potential of many different revenue streams rather than focusing on one big (advertising/sponsorship) opportunity – while at the same time keeping the customer proposition simple.  An integrated cross-media, multi-platform, multi-audience format would maximise such opportunities.

>> “Talent” based reality shows have passed their sell-by date: After the rise of the talent shows like X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice, we are debatably into the final phase of the celebrity driven variants with Strictly Come Dancing perhaps being the last succesful throw of this particular dice?

>> What next for the Super Producers? Do you really think that Simon Cowell will happily dissapear off into the distance counting his booty from the success of the X-Factor?  No, he will want more and has already shown his hand with the less than successful gameshow Red or Black and the downright disasterous Food Glorious Food – trailing (rather than leading) the second coming of the cookery show (with Masterchef and its spinoffs as the undisputed king and The Great British Bakeoff as the undisputed Queen).  With both Endemol and Syco needing to get back to becoming genre leaders rather than followers – they need something new and something big and something soon.

And so that brings me back to treasure hunts and the timing being now.  Back in 2011, Santa Fe based art dealer and latter day Indiana Jones, Forrest Fenn buried a chest full of his treasures in a secret location and then published his memoirs The Thrill of the Chase that included a poem containing clues to the location of the treasure…

While this format bears a great deal of similiarities to my own – there are a number of vital differences, but one thing is for sure – the hunt is on!

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Back to nature

returnedNow these really are supreme up-cycling – no longer ignored offcuts from furniture production, these re-turned birds from Norwegian designer Lars Beller Fjetland are now super-desirable and super-sweet examples of feel-good woodcraft.  They also fit beautifully into a menagerie of Matt Pugh owls and birds and the lovely laser cut forest animals from UUSI.

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jason tozer bubbles 1Having just returned from a weekend of Christmas food excess at the in-laws in Sweden, my first thought wasn’t of bubbles other than perhaps those not-so-quietly doing their thing in my tummy – but then I saw an article about Salman Rushdie, award winning and fatwa challenged writer of Midnight Children and The Satanic Verses.  Apparently, prior to making it as a professional writer and becoming Iran’s most high profile hate icon, he was an advertising copywriter.

jason tozer bubbles 2Very interesting indeed!  Apparently he wasn’t alone in having such a career path either – but no one else can lay claim to creating such brilliant slogans such as Naughty but Nice (for Fresh Cream Cakes) and, in this case, the superbly apt Irresistibubble (for Nestle Aero) – which amazingly is still used today.

jason tozer bubbles 3While reading this Rushdie article, my mind was drawn to a memory of some amazing photographs of cavitation bubbles that were entered into a competition I was running at the time by macro-photo fiend Dr John Brackenbury to promote science and engineering.  Sadly I can’t find them anywhere, but instead I stumbled upon these amazing photographs to share instead.

fabian oefner iridient 2Fabian Oefner >>> Swiss native Fabian uses all sorts of digital flash wizardry to capture bubbles for his brilliant series Iridient.  Like the others featured here, the addition of soap to the water creates wonderful rainbow effects and the life story of each bubble at its most spectacular when captured at bursting point.  While you are browsing Fabian’s site, please don’t miss the colourfully extravagant Millefiori series.

fabian oefner iridient 1Jason Tozer >>> Originally commissioned by Creative Review for a Sony advertorial (ie. they have been shot with the first generation Sony Alpha D-SLR on its release in 2009).

This beautiful and thought provoking series of images from Jason Tozer really does conjure up images of planets; there are some that are very reminiscent of that famous photo of the Earth taken from the moon, but others definitely allude more to the big gas giants Jupiter and Saturn.

bjoern ewers orbital 10Björn Ewers >>> Another ad man, Berliner Björn Ewers gained world-wide acclaim for his Inside Instruments campaign for his local (and world famous) orchestra.  But it is one of his latest projects that has caught my eye.  Orbital, a series of 10 bubble photographs that are simple and beautiful.  The standout is #10 (not sure if it has a specific name) which reminds me so much of a slightly bleary eyed (hungover?) Hal from 2001. If you want to buy some prints then you can do that here.

bjoern ewers orbital 6Well surely this amazing selection of soap covered magnificence is so much better than food induced agrivation?  Simple ideas, beautfifully framed and captured with modern digital photography techniques for our pleasure.  I hope you enjoy – and if you find those cavitation bubble photographs from Dr Brackenbury on your wanders through the interweb then please let me know!

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A recurring theme

Perception and space.  Photographs of photographs.  Three dimensional optical illusions in a two dimensional medium.  My head hurts… but try as you might; there is no denying that the following three artists take these ideas and turn them into unique and beautiful works of art that are each very different takes on similar techniques.  One digital; one physical and one textural – awesome indeed!

john houck aggregatesJohn Houck >>>  Houk uses bespoke software to generate the baseline, and then another piece of code to generate the second derivative iteration.  From that it is a recursive process of folding, lighting and re-photographing the resulting image to finally arrive at the final works of the Aggregates series.  Bloody brilliant if you ask me – and definitely one of my favourite cross-media installations.  Check out an interview with John through Lay Flat and check out his other works at the brilliantly named On Stellar Arrays.

j r schmidt lego manhattan new yorkJ.R.Schmidt  >>>  Apparently Schmidt worked off satellite imagery to render this beautiful, but sadly digital only (Lego doesn’t come in those oh-so-on-trend colours!) depiction of New York made from the epitimous Danish building blocks.  Now, it is quite clear how all this wizardry can be quite easy to do with the type of 3D rendering software that J.R. (R.I.P Larry Hagman) will have access to in his day job – but it is a great idea that has been brilliantly executed.  And to top it all he has rendered one of the prettiest world maps ever created.  Buy an XL I say – and stick it on your wall at home!

miriam bohmMiriam Böhm >>>  Berlin based Miriam has works in MoMA, which is no surprise as her works are both visually stunning as well as being worthy of detailed reflection and discussion.  Although very much the product of a studio process; each work conjures up so much more than a “photograph of a photograph”  although the press spin does try its hardest to break the spell.  See more of her latest exhibition, Before in Front.

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Coca Cola 150 years at the movies

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Patterns of Marrakech

patterns of marrakech patterns of marrakech 2

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