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Moby Talks Photography

Musician Moby‘s first book of photography, Destroyed, was released at the end of May, accompanying the launch of his latest album of the same name. Upon its launch, the British Journal of Photography‘s Olivier Laurent sat down with Moby to discuss his work, the new book and photobooks in general. Here’s the first video, with the second part (the portion about the business and purpose of photobooks) after the jump:

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Quote of Note | Cory Arcangel

“People keep coming at me with the question, is it a painting or is it a photograph? Technically it’s a photograph. It’s a photograph because it’s photographic paper. But obviously I think about them as paintings, because they refer to the history of painting, right? I also have to think about them as sculptures, because every part of the process is part of the project. They’re sculptures because they play on the idea of what should be hanging in a gallery. In that sense they’re also kind of ready-mades….They’re uniques. I advertise them as being really easy to make, but the truth is, nothing is really easy to make. I make hundreds and hundreds of them, and then I edit down to the four that seem to work well together. But, of course, I try to play it up. Like, ‘Oh, they’re so easy. It’s nothing.’”

Cory Arcangel, in an interview with fellow artist Mary Heilmann published in the April issue of Interview. An exhibition of new work by Arcangel opens May 26 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

At Martha Stewart Living, Color Begins at Home, with Chicken Eggs

Living cover.bmpToday’s big news in the tastefully appointed, farm-fresh land of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) is the reorganization of its media business, as Wenda Harris Millard steps down as president of media and co-CEO of MSLO to become president of brand consulting firm Media Link. The shakeup puts Charles Koppelman at the helm of the media division while Stewart herself will “oversee all editorial and creative functions.” But the colorful happenings don’t end there. The May issue of Martha Stewart Living is all about color. In her editor’s letter, Gael Towey, the magazine’s acting editor-in-chief (and MSLO’s chief creative officer), reminisces about the earliest days of the magazine, back in 1990, which can only mean one thing: misty egg-colored memories!

For us, COLOR has always been a touchstone. It all started with some unassuming chicken eggs. While on a photo at Martha’s house in Westport, she gave me a dozen eggs freshly laid by her Araucana chickens. That Saturday morning, my husband, Stephen, and I were cooking the eggs for our children…when Martha called. We had just put the eggshells on the windowsill in the sunlight to admire the gorgeous colors: soft blue greens, gentle browns, and warm creams. It took Martha and me about five minutes to cook up a plan for our first how-to painting story, inspired by the Araucana eggs, followed by our launch into the paint business. Soon Stephen and I were painting our kitchen ceiling Araucuna Turquoise, our dining room Drabware, and the hallway Americana Buff. For us at Martha Stewart Living, the egg definitely came first.

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At SVA Dot Dot Dot Lecture, Gary Hustwit Advocates Elliptical Interviewing

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(Photo: UnBeige)

Last night at the White Rabbit lounge in New York City, the School of Visual Arts’ MFA in Interaction Design program hosted the second event in its “Dot Dot Dot” lecture series. Among the four speakers that addressed the standing-room-only crowd in mini-lectures on this month’s topic—”the interviewers“—was documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit. The director of Helvetica (catch it at a free screening tomorrow evening in Denver, Miami, San Diego, or Evansville, Indiana), Hustwit is now working to wrap up production on Objectified, his hotly anticipated documentary about industrial design that will debut early next year.

Hustwit’s decision to address the crowd without PowerPoint slides was indicative of his approach to interviewing, or perhaps the lack thereof. “My process of interviewing people is I do not interview people,” said the cheerful Hustwit. “I’m trying to get them to forget that they’re being interviewed.” He accomplishes this by avoiding the word “interview” in his communications with subjects (preferring “talk” or “discussion”) and going into a meeting with a set of conversation topics but never a list of prepared questions.

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Phil Hansen Tapped for Grammy Artwork

phil hansen.jpgSelf-taught artist Phil Hansen is all about the process. He has used a tricycle to paint a giant portrait of Lance Armstrong and parted with a quart of his own blood to depict the grinning visage of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il on a canvas of 6,000 plywood-backed Band-Aids. Last summer, he painstakingly rendered the likeness of Jimi Hendrix in matchsticks, before lighting the piece on fire in a nod to Hendrix’s fondness for guitar burning. And so when the Grammys came calling, Hansen was ready. Using tools such as microphones and guitar picks as paintbrushes, he created the official artwork for February’s 51st annual Grammy Awards program book, telecast tickets, and promotional poster. And in keeping with Hansen’s focus on process, he also created this time-lapse video to document the making of the twelve-foot-tall 3-D poster (pictured at left):

Click “continued…” for a video of the making of “A Moment,” a 2007 work for which Hansen posted his phone number online and asked people to call and tell him a moment that changed their lives. Over the course of 136 consecutive hours, he wrote the responses on a giant circular canvas. Click to see the sum of those pivotal moments.

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The Ultimate DIY House in Santa Monica


This is freelance writer Mary Beth Klatt, filling in for Steve Delahoyde, as he gets ready for his nuptials. We found pictures of this tiled house in Santa Monica, California by way of the Craftzine blog. You’ll see the entire residence is covered with broken crockery. That’s a whole lot of broken dishes or picassiette, a type of mosaic that incorporates shards of broken dishes, cups, and tiles. It was a nickname too, given to Raymond Isadore, who famously created La Maison Picassiette in Chartres, France. Now as much as we favor recycling and reuse, we’re not sure how this type of exterior decoration would stand up in cold-weather climates in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. But in Arizona, California, and Florida, have at it.

Si Newhouse: Extreme Zoom!

newhouse small.jpgNot too long ago, we told you about Si Newhouse‘s sharp eye for kerning (and horse tack) as revealed in a New York Times profile of the magazine magnate, and while Lacie Argyle‘s graphic of Newhouse was featured prominently on the front page of the Sunday business section, readers may have missed the fact that it was comprised of 1,551 Condé Nast-published magazine covers. Fear not, UnBeige readers, for Argyle (a.k.a. Jennifer Daniel) has provided us a link to the extreme zoom version of her graphic (once it has downloaded, click to enlarge and find your favorite covers).

“In this particular case we didn’t have an opportunity to shoot Si Newhouse, so all I had were a few snapshots of him at parties,” Daniel tells us. “By themselves none were strong enough to make the feature art, so that’s how this was born.” As for tracking down all those cover images, she says that they were pooled from a collection of about 3,000 that she found online. And the collaging? “I used a photo mosaic application that I imagine a lot of people use to make desktop wallpapers or Christmas cards with.” Condé Nast needn’t look any further for its 2008 holiday card image (just don’t forget the festive magnifying glass).

A Big Metal Box By Any Other Name


Whenever this writer reads one of these kinds of essays, there’s a
little sigh of relief breathed out. This time it came from Ideas on
Ideas’ newest piece “Think
,” and is all about that old debate of PC vs. Mac, which
began well before the birth of the first dinosaur. The refreshing
thing about the essay is that they stand up to their own community and say, “We wanted to be like you, but we can’t. We’re sticking with our PCs.” And that’s the way this writer has always been. Starting from an IBM PS2-Model 25 (and a Commodore Vic-20, if you want to get all technical about it), he’s always been a PC person. When he started getting interested in production, he said, “Okay, if I’m going to be serious about making a go of this, I’ll need to get a Mac, because that’s what they use in the industry” and a small fortune was spent buying a fancy G4. What happened? The thing didn’t do what his PC could, so it sat there, unused, and was eventually sold. He uses Macs at work and really enjoys them there, and in freelance jobs has used ones so tweaked out that they’d make you drool, but they just don’t do it for him and the flak continues among his peers. So it’s nice to read this “sticking up for yourself” type of thing and hearing “really, it isn’t that big of a deal.” Bravo! (now you may commence throwing tomatoes)

The Seedy Underbelly of the Charts and Graphs World


File under: ain’t this site a nifty resource? It’s Junk Charts. It’s a site dedicated to nothing but charts and graphs found lingering around in ads, newspapers, and anywhere where you usually find such things. It’s useful in two respects: a) it goes into great detail about what’s not working in the examples, how the data being discussed isn’t being put clearly enough, and b) because it’s showing you what not to do, it’s a good method of learning how to do it right when it comes to your own work. Granted, there’s probably not a ton of designers who are being asked to make charts and graphs, but who knows in this business. Even if it isn’t for client work, what about for pitches or movements in your own business or side projects? And hey, if anything, maybe just seeing some of the different work out there in the field might inspire you. And that’s what we’re here for. Well, that and the free mediabistro t-shirts.

Kottke’s Choice

Jason talks about choice triangulation:

I’ve always liked the old designer’s adage of “good, fast, or cheap, pick two“. That is, a project can be completed quickly, it can be done cheap, and it can be done well, but you need to choose which two of those you want. If you want a good project done quickly, it’s gonna be expensive. Fast and cheap? It’s gonna suck.

Read more: Pick Two