Friday, 2 October 2009

Sao Paulo

As many of you will already know, outdoor advertising was banned in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1997. It was a very revolutionary bid to reclaim the visual and mental environment of the city. However, after all the ad's were removed, many people began to complain that it had left the city as a very bland concrete landscape with obvious gaps where the billboards once stood but now the blank canvas is allowing creativity to flourish. And now for the first time, São Paulo has approved a permanent outdoor art exhibition. The project, dubbed RojoOut, is bringing the city to life with colorful installations in 11 locations.

Ctrl, Alt, Delete

Last April in New York dozens of New York artists and activists battled the clutter of consumerism in a guerrilla-style billboard takeover. Mobilized by Jordan Seiler and the Public Ad Campaign, the 24-hour direct action replaced nearly 19,000 square feet of illegal advertising with original, anti-corporate street art. They were removing/changing billboards and posters that according to Seiler were not properly licensed and were violating bylaws that had been on the City's books since the 1940s. I find this very inspirational as I feel it's very important to regulate the use of advertising by corporations and I think that designers need to take more responsability of what they produce, too many graphic designers are willing to work for sole destroying companies that are lying to the consumers about how great they are.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Adbusters

'We are a global network of culture jammers and creatives working to change the way information flows, the corporations wield power, and the way meaning is produced in our society.'

The Adbusters are essentially an anti establishment group who's aims are to challenge mainstream media and the information they give us. They produce a magazine every two months, are involved in many other events such as 'Buy Nothing Day' and have produced some great one off pieces of art and design such as the corporate flag. They tackle issues that I want to pursue when considering my independent project and dissertation when regarding the responsibility of advertisers and designers.

Stussy Website

I've always been a fan of the Stussy Clothing company and brand, and their new site has given me a reason to blog it on here. The site is a collection of inspirational blogs from all the different stores across the US and Canada. I really like the way that the website is far more devoted to delivering an incite into what ticks over in their heads rather than trying to sell you a product. I think it's a very successful tool in trying to generate greater brand loyalty and awareness.

Keith Haring

I was first made aware of Keith Haring when studying for A level art and instantly respected and enjoyed the work he produced. Born in Reading, Pennslyvania and raised in nearby Kutztown he developed an interest in drawing at a young age, learning to draw cartoons from his father and other popular culture that surrounded him. He enrolled in Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh but dropped out after realizing that becoming a commercial graphic artists was not what he wanted to do. He later moved to New York and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts, in New York he was exposed to a thriving art culture outside gallery space, art that was popping up in downtown streets, subways and spaces in Clubs. Haring instantly got involved in the scene organizing exhibitions at the Club 57 and other venues.

Between 1980-85 Haring produced 100s of drawings on the New York subway and his work became very familiar to commuters and tourists alike. Haring's work was devoted to spreading messages, most notably regarding aids, which he himself was diagnosed in '88 and died from in '90. I find his work very influential for various different reasons, firstly I love the illustrative style he used, bold line and colour. Secondly his dedication to deliver a message and the alternative way he went about doing so.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Battersea Power Station

This iconic London landmark is one of my favourite pieces of arhictecture in the city and I would not like to see it torn down in redevelopment plans the site. It was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott and built between 1929-1935 and has become a grade 2 listed building. It was last used to generate electricity in 1983 and what to do with it next has been questioned for many years. It owes some of it's celebrated status to various cultural appearances such as the album art for Pink Floyds 1977 ablum Animals. Over the summer I worked at an event that was trying to promote the site as a future hub of trade in the south west of London. After hearing many proposed ideas for the site (theme park, giant retail park, flats etc ) their ideas seemed far more comprised in keeping the building as the main focul point and turning it in to the first zero carbon office space in London. It has recently been added to the Buildings at Risk Register by English Heritage so I would love to see something done soon to save it from destruction.

True Romance 1993

An unconvential storey of romance written by Quentin Tarentino and directed by Tony Scott. It's a fast moving film that takes an alternative route of the american dream. It's billed as a love storey but revolves around drugs and crime. I was very pleasently suprised with a film that I thought would be a far more wishy washy love storey. It's filled with a star studded cast with fantastic performances from Christain Slater and Patricia Arquette. My favourite scene is when Vincent Coccotti (Christopher Walken) is talking to Clarence's father in order to gain information on Clarences where abouts, the father already knows his fate so produces a very memorable performance of his last words. It is thought of as a breakthrough of sorts for Tarentino and was his first screenplay for a major film. It is thought that he wanted to direct the film but sold the script in order to work on Reservoir Dogs.