Wednesday, 31 October 2012

RIP Lebbeus Woods

The legendary conceptual architect Lebbeus Woods died yesterday. The Guardian has an excellent obituary on him. His visions of fractured, parallel worlds are problematic in the most thought-provoking way. Most of his work remains unbuilt - indeed only one of his creations was ever realised and was completed just this year. He is, of course, famous in science fiction circles because of his work on Vincent Ward's abandoned Alien III and because Gilliam rather cheekily used a design by Woods in Twelve Monkeys. Woods sued and won but allowed the film to continue to be screened.

Nikon results

I sometimes take out my beloved vintage Nikon FM for the sheer joy of hearing the shutter snap and the gears clunk in its satisfyingly-weighty metal chassis. However, these occasions are infrequent and it therefore takes me ages to get through a whole film. I recently completed my second roll and took it to the local Jessops for developing and scanning.

What a mistake that was! The folk at the Jessops lab, who I am sure are very well-meaning, have produced the most detestable set of scans imaginable. The auto-contrast has ruined most of the detail and I am left with a muddy set of images. I could get the negs re-scanned but the cost would be prohibitive. Next time I am going to see if there's someone online who will do a decent dip-and-scan package.

I would say 'enjoy', but instead I'll just ask you to tolerate the images below. :-(

Monday, 29 October 2012

Foxy dreamy... yes indeedy!

This weekend just gone I had an amazing adventure on the banks of a moonlit reservoir. A group of revelers re-created an old folk rite invoking the spirit of the fox for the Hunter's Moon.

The story is rather Wicker Man. Legend has it that water sources in the area began to dry up. The local lord led processions around the muddy remains of a lake in the hope of restoring the level and in doing so found a strange chest in the mire. This casket was recovered and within it was found a book purported to be 'The Red Book of Langsett'. After a bit of good old English conspiracy the ritual of the fox procession was born.

The locals of Langsett have revived this tradition and the resulting spectacle is quite stunning. Crowds gather by a local inn and the hooded, masked revelers process by the light of burning torches along the bank of the reservoir up to the pub. There they sing and dance to drum beats by the eery glimmer of the full moon and the their ritual culminates in the burning effigy of a fox head. Ninety minutes outdoors on a chilly British night is not normally something I'd consider sane, but I wouldn't have missed this for the world.

You can find out more about the Langsett Fox Dance here.

Sunday, 28 October 2012


So, I have finally got around to getting a tumblr organised. Over the last few months I've blogged a bit less, mainly because I find the Blogger interface rather clunky (especially when it comes to images). With a one-click Firefox Add-On installed I hope that there will be more action on the tumblr account.

I'll still be posting weird and wonderful things on this blog, so don't go deleting your bookmarks/RSS feeds etc.

Click here for the goodness.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Four Seasons by Krisztianna

Check out these awesome sculptures by Krisztianna. Freed from the constraints of painting onto a real model, she has been able to run riot with the details in both the makeup and headdresses. She also does a lot of illustration, so check out her site.

Via The Macabre and the Beautifully Grotesque

Friday, 26 October 2012

Sunday, 21 October 2012

One for the arachnophobes...

has been very busy (and, arguably, slightly naughty) and set up an awesome bit of projection mapping for Hallowe'en. He (I presume it's a 'he') filmed some spiders in a box and then back-projected the footage onto curtains to make the critters appear huge and angry. The result is both astounding and terrifying. It certainly looks great on the YouTube video below. I wonder if it holds up in real life? I sort of hope so...

Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Late last month we went on a little adventure to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The YSP is an open air gallery of sculpture and hosts works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Anthony Gormley amongst others. These artifacts are dotted around the rolling landscape of Bretton Hall which is home to deer and sheep. The result is a wonderful experience on a day as bright and clear as the Sunday when we went.

Our visit reminded me of how important context is when we view objects. Our experience of the sculptures was entirely different to the one we might have had were they in a more traditional gallery. Moore's work in particular is very landscape-like, so when they is viewed within a larger expanse of terrain their impact is quite stunning. Many of the pieces are cast bronze. Their slightly reflective surfaces caught the colours of the land and sky and, as the air chilled around us, they continued to emit a noticeable warmth as the sun's rays heated the metal.

As well as bronzes the YSP hosts some landscape sculpture too. I very much enjoyed James Turrell's Skyspace - a converted deer shelter which takes on a quality of the interior of a Mayan temple allowing visitors to contemplate the sky they see through a portal in the apex of the ceiling. The room was at once tranquil and moving.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Unfinished Swan

Check out this new game on the PSN - a digital children's storybook of sorts. It got a glowing review on IGN and looks stunning.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

OMG! threeA does Yokoyama

It's one of those dream-teams which, on one level, seems so obvious while, at the same time, too good to be true. Yes! Ashley Wood's awesome threeA is teaming up with legendary 'mech designer Kow Yokoyama to bring his much-loved Ma.K universe to life.

They've just posted an ad for a 1/12 Kröte walker.

I want one. Who wouldn't?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Installations by Rune Guneriussen

Rune Guneriussen is a fantastic Norwegian artist who explores the relationship between domestic interiors and landscapes. The beautiful images he produces are free from digital manipulation and show the subtlety and craft behind his creations.

Via Colossal

Friday, 5 October 2012


Below is an excellent, humorous short exploring the possibilities of a host of red-hot tech topics. Augmented reality, apps, AI, GUIs and gamification are all dissected. Things seem jolly at first but then take a turn for the sinister...

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Monday, 1 October 2012

Massive GUI dump

ShockBlast has just posted an enormous collection of amazing GUIs showing the breadth of the best that's out there. Click on through and be amazed.