A Work of Brilliance

Nigel Long unframed

Dear Andy Whitlock,

I love what you have done with these photographs from Campaign. I wish I had done this.

You describe your work like this:

Lots of ad-folk look very serious in their profile pictures in magazines like Campaign. I thought I’d provide a glimpse beyond the borders of the photographs to suggest a different side to them.

I describe it like this. Very funny.

Superb.

Is This Wabi-Sabi?

I’ve been moderately obsessed by the concept of Wabi-Sabi after seeing a documentary about it the other night. It’s far too complicated for me to understand or explain. In fact it seems to complicated for almost everyong to understand.

Richard R. Powell summarizes by saying “It (wabi-sabi) nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

And:

The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers).

Which sounds a bit like the slightly fucked-up decoration in parts of our house.

It’s just about to be painted over. But I’ve started to like it’s shoddyness and now I think it might be an example of wabi-sabi I’m starting to feel guilty.

Easter 09 – Another One of Those Mixes

IMG_7891

Sorry it’s been a while.

This was done at the weekend when it was nice and sunny outside. Instead of trying to milk a goat, catch a leprechaun, make friends with my neighbours, learn the flute or anything else so exciting. Instead I popped open the skylights and the first fresh air of the year entered the loft…

I’m not sure exactly where this mix fits in the world. I’d like to think I could pull off a morning slot on a sunny terrace somewhere, but I think they’re becoming increasingly the kind of mixes that only elderly folk will like ;-)

Tracklist:

  1. Midtown 120 Intro – DJ Sprinkes
  2. Mystery of Nazereth – Marco Bernardi
  3. Twighlight (Layo and Bushwacka mix) – Unkle
  4. Light Through The Veins (Ewan Pearsons Downtown Lights Mix) – Jon Hopkins
  5. Poisson Pilote – Rone
  6. Amish Kid (Sasse Remix) – Phonogenic
  7. Lovelee Dae (Tanner Ross & KiloWatts Remix) – Blaze
  8. Inner 8 (Dexters DXR Mix) – Alton Miller
  9. Roman – Trickski
  10. Ellelli (Kalabrese Remix) – Madioko N Rafika
  11. Guinea Pig (DJ Kozes Vocal Variation Remix) – Ben Watt
  12. Song for Marie and Elise (Aeroplane Remix) – Lullabies in the Dark
  13. Who Are You? (Ft Heidi Happy) – Zwicker
  14. Interlude in the Bed – Rone
  15. Swarm (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix) – Art of Trance

You can download the mix from here.

And you should be able to get it through the iTunes Podcast here (once the iTunes machine gets round to updating things).

If anyone fancies booking me to play at the awesomest party in the world ever drop me a line I’m sure it can be arranged.

The Perils of Sponsorship

horse

If you sponsor ‘documentaries’ as a genre. Or even if you sponsor catch-up TV it could happen. You may end up inadvertently sponsoring a program about a guy who dies whilst being loved by a horse.

Reminds me of a ‘funny’ situation where we sponsored a B3TA newsletter and our promotion for a financial services client ended up next to a rather interesting quiz called “Funnel Or Tunnel”. I’m not going to link to it, but it can be found via the usual search engines. If you feel compelled to, you must be warned, it is, in capital letters, NSFW.

Things to do to escape your computer (or TV)

bike_hire

…hire a bike or roller skates or a boat.

Please help by adding to this in the comments.

Following on from this weekend’s activities. I’ve been thinking about what a great bunch of things Jason set me to do. All could be done with little investment, they were all quite fun, and thankfully all legal.

Asi seemed to suggest that I was lucky – and I think he was right. If he’d been in charge I’d have been:

deer-hunting, try nude modeling, kidnap a kitten, learn ballet, minor shop lifting, etc…

A totally different, and much harder, set of challenges.

Anyway, here’s the first few things that popped into my head:

Go into a pub you’ve never been into before and order a drink you’ve never tried before.

Yes, that's Pernod and Black

Paint one wall of your house a totally new colour.

Pink Wall

Go to a record store and buy a CD you’ve always thought you should have heard but haven’t. Then go home and listen to it. Properly.

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Buy an ingredient from a ‘specialty supermarket’ and make something with it.

Wasabi!

Gamble £5 at a local arcade.

Family Leisure Arcade

Go to a class in something you’ve never done before at a local leisure facility (this may be more scary for some of us than for others).

Cryptic Symbols

Like I said before I’d love people to add to this list in the comments so we can compile a bunch of interesting things to do when the computers are off.

It also got me thinking that this is quite similar to a show that’s been on the BBC (radio and TV) called I’ve Never Seen Star Wars. Where they take famous people and get them to do stuff they’ve never done before.

For example:

  • Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor buys his first pornographic magazine, tries some unusual seafood and listens to his first hip hop record.
  • Magician Paul Daniels reads feminist literature for the first time, learns how to swim, and experiences the film The Great Escape.
  • Stand-up comedian Arthur Smith watches Top Gear for the first time, eats his first Pop tart and watches Les Misérables.

All good inspiration for the start of this list of things.

Over to you… :-)

Earning Eternal Respect In 48 Hours The Twitter Way

I had a fun weekend this weekend. Thanks to a number of things.

1. Weekends are good anyway.
2. The weather was pretty nice.
3. I did normal stuff with Sophie like have nice lunches. Laze around. Drink a bit of wine. Get some chores done. Etc.

But in addition this weekend was a bit more exciting because of something that happened on Twitter on Friday night.

I was trying to decide whether to spend the weekend catching up on emails and that kind of thing. Or whether to go the other way and sod it all, so I posted:

Iain Tait (iaintait) on Twitter

To which Jason replied:

Twitter / @iaintait

And Andy provoked me with:

Twitter / @iaintait

Which is pretty much the same as a double-dare, and being the child I am I thought. I’ll show them guys. I’ll go offline and I’ll do them things. Then Andy will have to respect me, and not just for a bit. For the rest of eternity!

And you’ll never guess what. It was fun to do a bunch of freaky things. And it wasn’t just the act of doing the things. It’s was the other stuff around doing them that was interesting. Like having to go and acquire knitting needles and wool. Or spending time in the heavy dairy section of the supermarket.

So here’s what happened…

I started out with a shopping list.

Challenge Shopping List

Task One – Learn to Knit.

Acquire wool and needles first. I went to the Open Market in Brighton which is quite a place. I think it deserves it’s own post so watch out for that.

Here’s the wool stall.

The Wool Stall

And as you might have noticed on my shopping list I also needed knitting instruction. Which I got like this.

Absolutely brilliant! I’d have never had a knitting lesson off a geezer if it hadn’t been for Jason’s challenge. Although, to be honest, I did have to cheat a bit later on and look up a couple of how-to videos on the internet. The bloke’s instructions were too fast for me.

And here’s me with my sorry-raggedy-ass knitting.

My Pathetic Knitting

It’s too tight. There’s dropped stitches and all sorts. But fact is I’d learned how to cast-on and to knit (a bit). So in my book that’s task one passed.

Needles and wool cost about £2.50 and it was quite fun after I’d got past the initial frustration. I reckon I should have got bigger needles and bigger / sturdier wool to make it easier. Would I do it again? Maybe.

Task 2 – Make Your Own Butter

Then I went shopping for some cream so I could make butter. And here’s what happened when I got home and tried to make it.

But you know what, after that minor fuss it tastes pretty good. And it didn’t work out to be stupidly expensive either. I made loads of butter out of 2 medium cartons of double cream. I might even do that again one day. I’m guessing you could do flavours and all sorts :-)

The home made butter turns up again during the Cheese Eating Task.

Task 3 – Make a Weapon

Simple. A throwing device made out of various sized screws and foil.

My Weapon

It may not look much. But during this photo:

My Weapon In My Hand

It rolled off my hand and onto my bare foot. It hurt. Therefore it works as a weapon. Task 3 – complete.

Task 4 – Make a Fort

I quite enjoyed this. I think if I’d been making it with more of a purpose it would have ended up better. To be honest as a 30-something guy making a fort on your own is a bit of a sad and lonely thing so I just wanted to get it out of the way really.

Here it is.

Fort Close Up

The close up perhaps disguises the overall lameness of the fort:

Fort in All Glory

But it’s a fort. And I made it. So Task 4 is technically complete.

Task 5 – Eat Cheese

Both simple and fun.

Here’s the cheese board.

Cheese Feast

Here’s cheese + chutneys + home made butter.

Cheese Feast Plus

Here’s me eating some cheese.

Me Eating Cheese

Task 5. Smashed it!

Task 6 – Paint a self-portrait

Here’s the one task where I may have technically ‘failed’ but I think it would be a tough judge who failed me because of choice of media, especially under the circumstances.

Here’s my excuse. I didn’t want to get out loads of paints and make a mess because we were trying to tidy up the house at the same time. So I decided to do a self-portrait in charcoal.

If you think this is a cop out on my behalf you are very much wrong. Art was my lowest GCSE subject and I’ve never been good at drawing or painting so even trying to do any kind of self-portrait was a big ordeal.

And here it is:

My Self Portrait

Here it is next to me:

Me and My Portrait

So, self-portrait done. The rules didn’t say it had to be good.

UPDATE: Shit, Missed the poem writing thing!

Task 7 – Write a Poem

Arse. When proof reading this post I realised that there was ‘write a poem’ snuck in the middle of the Tweet. Oh well here goes…

Writing poems is never easy,
Specially when I feel this cheesy,
I enjoyed my time making a fort,
A little more than perhaps I ought,
Making butter was a lot of fun,
But my weapon wasn’t quite a gun,
I suprised myself by learning to knit,
And home-made butter didn’t taste that bad,
I’m afraid my portrait weren’t in paint,
But it’s clear an artist, that I ain’t.

It might not scan quite right, but it’s late and it’s an emergency last-minute poem.

Anyway like I said it was fun. I learned a few things and it snapped me out of a few bad / lazy weekend habits. Like spending it doing pseudo-work on the internets.

So next time your not sure what you’re going to do at the weekend why not get some friends to give you a bunch of stupid things for you to do. You might enjoy it. And you might earn their eternal respect. Right Mr Whitlock ;-)

I guess this is kind of connected to the whole Mental Detox thing – which looks like it’s coming around again soon.

The Making of Mr Oizo

Mr Oizo is probably best known for the whole Flat Eric thing. Which apparently as well as soundtracking he also directed, which was new news to me. Since then he’s made lots of banging electronic music. Most of which is just a little too far out for me.

I just came across this mini documentary about the making of his new album – Lamb’s Anger. It confirms that he’s a total nutter. In a good way.

Rave-Speak

I spotted these two posters on the way to work this morning.

May we reach for the laser?

I just liked the way they’d turned over-used and cliched rave commands / MC chat into polite questions. It makes them sound so very British.

And you know what, the nights are in May too. So the posters are double clever. (They look like 2 very good nights by the way if staying up late is your thing).

Which reminded me that I’d not posted this receipt that I got in NY recently.

PLUR Receipt

In case you don’t know PLUR is / was(?) is a big thing in US rave-speak (at least that’s how it’d seem from the outside). Wikipedia confirms it, so it must be true…

The UK equivalent has to be receipts with “I’m on one matey” or “Aceeeeeeeeeid” on the bottom. Who’s got a programmable till and can furnish me with such a thing ;-)