Desperate Dave’s Love Story
What started as experimenting with certain materials to make a carpet, became an ongoing series of masks made out of rope. As Bertjan Pot explains in this video he makes one after a busy day of meetings. When he’s been talking all day and running around he just needs to sit down and make something. Good idea and an even better result.
OK, I know ideally our AAB inspiration write ups revolve around Amsterdam life and people. For this one, let’s say my colleagues and myself live in Amsterdam and are considered people (well at least during working hours). People that are really psyched about the release of this feature film about making music . What is so good about this? For starters, the question that kickstarts this film is one we can all really relate to. If you lock yourself up in your studio, spend precious hours finding ideas, sounds, words and try and craft something that has value, you can’t help but question what constitutes ‘value’? The question “Why am I doing this?” transcends the poorly lit realm of the composers studio. It is a universal question for conscious beings. So, we can all relate. Second, Red Bull with their pioneering Red Bull Music Academy have been successfully fueling the marriage between the worlds of music and marketing for the past 15 years. Who is not happy to see marketing dollars being invested in actually creating culture and helping to sustain what Van Dyke Parks in the movie calls ‘our greatest language’. And lastly, the film project is created and directedby Ralph Schmerberg and his Berlin based artist collective ‘Mindpirates‘. If you don’t know them, do check them out. You can watch the film here.
Akira clashes or crashes with Drive and a Tarantino road movie in the animated music video Stefan Glerum recently finished for the track ‘In the Middle of the Nite’ by DJ and producer RipTide. Stefan, a very talented artist and illustrator did the animations in collaboration with studio Crooked Line. There are four high rollers and a lot of spoilers on the race cars, but I will not spoil the end. Sketches and prints from this project can be viewed until February 24th at Kallenbach gallery. On another note, Stefan Glerum recently did a very nice poster series for Het Kabinet Festival, creating characters such as Kickstarting Kenny, Air Forced Arnold, Bushwacking Becky, Immovable Ira, Necro Phil, Eradicating Elisabeth and Just The Tip Trevor.
We all know by now that Erik Kessels – owner of KesselsKramer – is one of the most avid curators of vernacular – more specifically amateur, accidental and found – photography. ME TV, a collaboration between Kessels and Thomas Sauvin, is a booklet recently published in Bejing, with only 8 reprinted images of a Chinese woman posing identically in front of her television over a certain period of time. The only thing that changes is her outfit. If you look at the details, such as her pinkie finger, you see that the photographer – most likely her husband – really made the effort to have her pose identically. It makes you wonder why. In any case, according to Kessels and Sauvin it is done in a way that verges on a work of conceptual art.
Innovation starts with a natural distrust of the status quo. When you’re prepared to start asking simple questions of everyday things, the world is suddenly full of possibilities.. Simple question: why are boarding passes unpractical and fucking ugly? Peter Smart started to rethink the airline boarding pass. A job well done.
I just wanted to share a great place I discovered this week; situated halfway between our appartment and my office, on the Singel near Dam Square. Letterpress Amsterdam is a small type studio that produces all kinds of exotic bespoke printed matter. The friendly owner Thomas spent some time to show me around and explain what he does with his two wonderful old presses, metal typesetting and some funky old wooden type blocks. I am certainly going to be going back there very soon. Oh yeah and pssst… try and keep it a secret otherwise everyone will want to go there too.
Many people know Kadir van Lohuizen for his photo documentary uncovering the diamond industry. but now he did something completely different. over the course of a year, he traveled form the southernmost tip of south america to the northernmost tip of Alaska, visualizing migration along the pan american highway. partly due to the addition of stories, charts and graphs, the book, film, blog and iPad app has become an amazing and inspirational piece of work (casefilm). it’s time very well spend.
Last week I stumbled upon this artwork by artist collective Pink Pony Express. Original graffiti ‘Rot Kop’ (Shit Head) is redone in classical letter carving in stone, by Gerard van Luijn. The piece can be found in the old center of Nijmegen. Photo bij Gerard van Luijn.
Here’s a story for you. When I was a little boy (for those who know me, yes there was such a time), I would occasionally have a sleep-over at my grandparents. Having kids myself now, I realize mum and dad needed some time for making the beast with two backs now and then. But that’s another story and besides the point. My granddad would walk to his library and pick out the old testament and read me stories. Stories of long gone times, filled with snakes, splitting seas and guys that make the movemberists look like brazilian waxed pussycats. I would enjoy these stories immensely. Later on I became literate myself and blessed with time and the absence of digital distraction, I would immerse in multiple stories at a time. I would take the time to really listen to music and wonder about it’s origin and intend. Then over time, stuff was getting a bit hectic. My influencers and trusted sources for good stories were readily available in an app on my smartphone. I started suffering from story-overload. And then…… all of a sudden, storytelling became the buzzword in our profession (well next to big data of course). We started sticking stories to commodities. And now, Amsterdam based ad brain John Weich wrote a book about it and he will launch it tonight. Not the traditional way, but by inviting interesting storytellers from the creative industry to tell a story, about storytelling, in their particular field of expertise. And so it happened that MassiveMusic’s Mr. Zee will be talking about the importance of storytelling in music crowd funding at the Pakhuis de Zwijger tonight. Imagine reading this line in 1999. You’d be like..wha? If you still think this now, then you have an extra reason to drop by tonight, Thursday December 12th, for the official book launch of John Weich’s ‘Storytelling on Steroids’.
Sometimes the best way to respond to some silly immigration law, is to make an amusing campaign that’s just as silly. This is Desperate Dave’s Love Story - in response to being told that the only possibility for him to legally remain in the Netherlands is if he has a Dutch or European partner. Despite that he has lived here since 2008, paid taxes, purchased a home, started a business and actively contributes to the economic, cultural and creative landscape that makes this country such a great place to live. Dave claims “This is not a protest, but rather a fun last project if I am forced to leave. What I find interesting is that I don’t know how this project will end… as it is being ‘scripted’ as it goes along.” Here’s a short bio about his creative management agency Zulus Can Draw, who genuinely offer a unique creative service. It would be a great shame if he has to shut up shop and head home. ”Talented creatives around the world is in abundance. Getting noticed is not an easy task for many. Zulus Can Draw, an illustration based creative management agency was established with the intention to help promote talented South African based illustrators and graphic designers in the Dutch and European advertising industry. Some notable campaigns Zulus Can Draw has worked on include The Dutch Red Cross, McDonalds and Revive Recycled Paper.” Tips, advice or words of encouragement can be sent to Dave here.
Our new agency, This that & the other, is temporarily based at the new office of Random Studio. Last Friday was the opening party of the place that looks more like a garden than an office. A good moment for the creative wizards of Random to demonstrate their skills. And skills they have. The space was filled with funky, artful (and at times disturbing) interactive installations. Guests were welcomed by an on-screen avatar, its eyes hunting you while entering the building (it even got angry when you came too close). You could play games against each other on big screens using phones as consoles. A photo installation made strangers share a kiss. Even the plants jumped in shaking madly for your smile. Highlight (and a bit confusing) was a 3D rendered monster lying on a sofa with a big, moving phallus. Most installations were created especially for the party. How great is that? Just as an experiment and a way to show the possibilities. Trying stuff without knowing where it will take you is part of the DNA of Random and that’s really cool and pretty rare. Go Random.
Jimmy Nelson has been around the world. He shot some amazing pictures of extraordinary humans. Very fond of his pictures, I could not identify myself with the tone of voice of his first video on the project. It was way too much over the top. It could very well be compared to a trailer of the new Sylvester Stallone blockbuster (which might just be a contradictio in terminis). Yesterday I witnessed his talk at the Concertgebouw during TEDxAMS and it really inspired me. Probably because everything sounds better at the Concertgebouw. It was no rocket science at all but it was honest. Very honest. And I fully agree with him on his vision (‘lessons’ as he calls it). Very curious which one of his ‘lessons’ you like best..