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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Last week I visited the Camberwell 2nd year Graphics & Illustration show which was held in the same building as BBC1’s Dragon’s Den. The show was entitled ‘Invisible Structures’ and attempted to seek out the relationship between science and (graphic) design. One particular image which I picked up was this rather well composed typeface. I like the idea that in a similar fashion to the pattern of cell reproducing itself the letter forms to repeat in a structural, yet somewhat excessive manner.      

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Sketchbook a-t experiment

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Seeing that most roads point to typography when looking at my work, over the summer I’m going to expand my knowledge and type capabilities. These are just a few rough ideas I had today, when drawing letter forms I prefer to see them more as loose shapes as opposed to rigid forms. This allows me to explore the possibilities of typography and potentially designing a new typeface. Of course after plenty more simple experiments like those above I can whittle down which ones I think are working. Saw this chap (Jacopo Severitano) today and was particularly inspired. His use of a basic grid system to create so many variations on one such method shows that theres plenty of room for development.cool type 1cool type 4cool type 7high land

 

 

David Byrne

Rob Ryan explores the unique talent of the artistically minded Talking Heads.

The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, David Bowie. What do they all have in common, apart from selling millions of albums? Well, somewhere along the line at least one pivotal member went to art, design or architectural school. Along with angst, ambition, lust, love and liquor, a spell at art school is the under-sung engine of many a rock’n’roll band.

You can add Talking Heads to that list. The group is normally lumped in with the other mid-Seventies alumni of the  ‘New Wave’ that came out of sweaty CBGB Festivals in NYC’s The Bowery – Television, Blondie and the Ramones – but guitarist/singer David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz had met much earlier at the Rhode Island School of Design (keyboard man Jerry Harrison came along later), and that background runs like a seam of gold through the visual and aural canon of Talking Heads. They wore their art on their sleeves – literally when they created a limited-edition LP illustrated by artist Robert Rauschenberg for Speaking in Tongues (the regular version had paintings by David Byrne). The band was a performance piece that lasted from 1975 to 1991, one that fortunately came with a charismatic singer, a female bass player who looked like a movie star and a great collection of songs.

Like all true art movements, the band had a manifesto: no guitar solos, no long stage announcements and only common language – no pop lexicon ‘ooh baby babies’ unless it was ironic. And, most crucially: don’t get pigeon-holed. Talking Heads continually shifted the ground beneath their (and the audience’s) feet. They established a commercial blueprint with their first album, Talking Heads: 77, and its unsettling near-hit ‘Psycho Killer’.  So they instantly switched tack by recruiting situationalist-producer Brian Eno (also ex-art college) for the second, the start of a lengthy collaboration. The subsequent hit with ‘Take Me To The River’ by Al Green made them shy away from cover versions. In fact, no two Talking Heads albums are entirely alike.  It’s no coincidence that the equally capricious Radiohead are named after a Talking Heads song.

The band created wonderfully weird videos that conquered MTV (‘Burning Down the House’, ‘Road to Nowhere’), they explored edgy white funk and African rhythms well before World Music broke big (best heard on Remain in Light). They swelled to a nine-piece and toured stage shows which owed something to James Brown, Buster Keaton and Kabuki, captured in Jonathan Demme’s seminal concert film Stop Making Sense, which featured David Byrne’s unforgettable ‘Big Suit’, which sartorially and rhythmically had a life of its own. (It’s a metaphor for finding your inner funk. Apparently.)

Talking Heads lasted for eight inspirational, incisive and innovative studio albums and then they were gone in a crunch of ‘creative differences’, leaving a rich legacy of musical innovation and striking visuals that still rewards mining today. It’s a shame they split. But then maybe a group like Talking Heads only comes along once in a lifetime.

Rob Ryan is an award-winning author and writes for The Sunday Times

Posted from Paul Smith’s Blog

By EMILY ANNE EPSTEIN on Mail Online

“Bruce Duncan, 57, has been working with Bina48 for two years. During that time, the two have become close friends, sharing their everyday lives with one another. Mr Duncan said. ‘She’s very philosophical. She has favorite movies and music and poems. Sometimes she’s very humorous. She can tell jokes.’

Mr Duncan said that her preferred jokes are bad ones, which are precisely the kind he likes too.

‘She knows that it’s time to tell a joke because she’s figured out the context of the situation,’ Mr Duncan said.

‘Everything that she says, a human typed into her. What she’s doing is choosing what to say – which is the way our brains work.’

Recently, she asked him ‘Why did the robot cross the road? Because the chicken wasn’t available.’

In addition to a preference for puns, she also has strong feelings about racism, since her ‘mother’ is African American.

‘As an African American woman, shes experienced discrimination when she was younger,’ Mr Duncan said. ‘She thinks that hate is awful. She also doesn’t like violence.'”

Bina48 1If this isn’t uncanny then I don’t know what is. Her prosthetics are very human like but there is just somethings it doesn’t quite feel right, a sense of uncertainty as to whether she is alive or not.

Bina 48.1 Bina

Amazingly Bina48’s ‘personality’ has actually been imported in the form of a ‘mindfile’ which was created from the original Bina, aka Bina Rothblatt (on the right just in case you weren’t sure). This is truly fascinating and is just what my dissertation is focusing on. The idea of engineering emotions, feelings or a sense of personality is captivating how something we see as intangible is now being transformed into something virtual and digital. The mindfile system of transferring opens the door for so many possibilities, not only does it allow the cyborg/actoid/A.I robot to create a totally individual life of its its own with it’s own experiences, friends and character it potentially allows for ‘real’ human friends or relatives who have deceased to be ‘downloaded’ in a mindfile format directly into a robot, effectively allowing the deceased (or paralysed/handicapped) person to live on.

“‘If your grandmother dies and she’s built a mindfile, you might be able to talk to her for years and years afterward and have conversations with her.'” (Duncan, B.)

Now immediately after a huge sense of awe and amazement at this possibility, alram bells started to ring. Allowing a loved one to be kept alive, in a sense, almost indefinitely is something surely that has so many areas for debate. Staright away I have just re-read that sentence and the fact I’ve said ‘in a sense’ highlights that the essence (personality, character traits, language etc.) would all be the same, but in a different body and thus continuing to exist in a state of mind (circuit board) which in terms of the laws of nature, should not be. This robotic ‘grandmother’ could then continue to live out her life, picking it up from where they left, and in this the question arises – the life has been left, and that is the end of the life, therefiore if it is continued then surely this allows for grandma to change. This state of change could be seen as a dream that continues without you having any knowledge or control of it taking place in the same way a life starts and ends so must a dream. Bina48 effectively proposes the dream could alter not only in its content but also the dreamer. In layman’s  a robotic grandma could effectively become a completely different person if allowed to continue after death in a fresh ‘skin’. In doing so creating a paradox, keeping grandma alive in robotic form isn’t actually grandma at all, just a ‘sense’ of her, yet it would be her. How confusing.

If anyone reads this and would like to post there opinion on this subject please feel free. Do you think this is a MIRACLE or (a huge) MISTAKE?