Another ignorant blog about user experience in real life and digital adland

Fresh air

Lead Pencil Studio bilboard
Made by leadpencilstudio

Commodity and monetization. Bollocks and bullshit. God and bad. Big space in between. This piece is amazing and pointless at the same time, one may say. I think it is very interesting, unless you read what one of the author has(actually not) to say

Borrowing the effectiveness of billboards to redirect attention away from the landscape… this permanently open aperture between nations works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond.

I like the ‘interpretation’ from fascodesign(directly under the above quote):

Which sounds nice and poetic and non-threatening, but clearly, this thing is a monument to everything America’s not.

I think that now everyone can say whatever fits their agenda. But still this is the thin border between not only art and architecture, because there’s third party involved which is advertisement. All of them are shouting from that piece, I am not sure if it is about consumers, McShit or other capitalistic conveniences tho. This wouldn’t even be sarcastic whispering. One cannot cut own feeding hand. The last one in this case, the second one is either wanking or on the phone. We all know what I think, if not here’s the tip: this shouts about anything you put into, that’s the beauty of it, like blank canvas, you can paint anything on it. Although my first impression was that this is a typographic experiment gone really bad and all the copy exploded. I was sure this is an ad of some sort. Since it’s not an ad, then what the hell is it? An art? Does it have the famous title Untitled? No, it is even better Non-Sign II. An abstract interpretation of a sign. Anyway, the scarcity and the opulence are quite well balanced and I think that’s it. An abstract that needs no additional abstraction. Well done.


Is there still time for this? Is there still space for it? Do we need to remember how it was when things were fixed? What about those who will never remember, for them this would be fun, or curiosity? In what context?
So many questions from just one button. I personally love the idea of Playbutton something that is between those two historical functionalities. One is the iPod’s hidden complexity behind one simple button and the second is this old school singularity of objects. Who would want to carry a box of tapes and change them to listen to just a single track and then change back to listen to another one? Well yeah, some dickheads would to show off, but being honest I cannot imagine making life again complex like it was back in the days. I cannot refuse myself being able to be free, or a bit more free to be precise, in making choices. On the other hand there’s this temptation of having physical exemplification of those choices. Having them touchable, sortable, putable and losable. How does one lose an mp3 song? Doesn’t. One cannot lose mp3, one can delete it or forget where it is among millions of other mp3s and one can easily get a new copy at any time. It is then impossible to lose a piece of music in a way that somebody else would find it between the seat and side of the bus and then play it in their mp3 player. Tangibility of music remains only in buttons we press to play it. And, as cliché as it sounds, music has lost its physical appearance. CD or a tape were the music, they were not just the objects. We haven’t lost it. We just made our life easier by getting rid of the middle-man, yet still we long for yesterday. And it is not because of the objects(well, in consume driven world we are dickheads and we do think so), it is because we had a medium that helped us to appreciate, now when it’s gone we do not feel like we posses it. To remind ourselves, Walter Benjamin wrote that the aura is gone because of the multiplication. And I’d add again that it is not gone. It is moving. We need to start seeing it not above object but above content. I’ll never buy PlayButton.

Scott’s rubbish

Scott I love you. You are as great as Mr Brainwash. I hope you will make millions selling that stuff.

I love your artworks’ titles too: untitled (two-tires) I am all wet already.

Your body of work is not only unique and honest, it is also a monumental exemplification of the current state of stagnation of human relationships with history of art. So many things are forgotten and misspelled. Your works’ connotations are endless and so deep that anybody that dives into it must drown. It is so pure! I bet you got many questions such as: how did you do it, what was your drive, why did you use white stick not the green one, are you determined to what you find or do you bring your own things, do you design those sculptures before or on the spot, do you like them, what is your favourite piece? Don’t answer them, just make your art! They are dumb.
scottjarrett 2 Scotts rubbish

Whatever(catches my eye)

Horishi watanebe

japanese photographer hiroshi watanabe is exhibiting at the ad gallery, switzerland until 17th october 2009. entitled ‘american leitmotiv’, the exhibition will feature Hiroshi Watanabe’s photos handled and developed by his hand which remind us of the authenticity of traditional drawings.

Well there is nothing wrong with his images. But there is everything wrong with the “rationalization”. I was actually reading about W.Benjamin’s aura in Gernot Böhme’s philosophy book on aesthetics of nature (not translated into English, as far as I am aware). He writes about Bejamin’s theory in context of nature which is not that important now, although it is close. Like fake flowers, the above description reveals shallow aspirations. Plastic roses “remind us of the authenticity of” real ones, so why bother? Authenticity is a muddy ground to step on while talking about photography. Pictorialism was one of those fake roses that somehow rubbed shoulders with authenticity. Steichen and Co. created a movement of fake roses lovers, which would try to transgress the borders of mimesis and establish their own visual language. Which Watabene is nicely following. This doesn’t change the fact that “the authenticity of traditional drawings” is a stab in a back, for both Benjamin and Watanabe. If a technique solely would define the piece of art then it would be an easy business. It does certainly have much to do with how you do it but any resemblance to real characters is never intentional.

‘I go to places that captivate and intrigue me. I am interested in what humans do. I seek to capture people, traditions, and locales that first and foremost are of personal interest. I immerse myself with information on the places prior to leaving, but I try to avoid firm, preconceived ideas. I strive for both calculation and discovery in my work, keeping my mind open for surprises. at times, I envision images I’d like to capture, but when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye. photographs I return with are usually different from my original concepts. my photographs reflect both genuine interest in my subject as well as a respect for the element of serendipity, while other times I seek pure beauty.’– hiroshi watanabe

Not much to add. I should pity those artists that piggy-back preconceived ideas saying that they are trying to avoid them and then… they shoot something that even Stieglitz wouldn’t bother, because “ when I actually look through the viewfinder, my mind goes blank and I photograph whatever catches my eye.

But I do not pity them. I envy. Because the beholder(or the ever losing curator) is so naive that doesn’t seem to understand that is being pissed on all over by an artist’s whim.


Comic covers

best cover comic captianbritian Comic covers

I do love comic books, and from time to time even a bit too much. I’d been even playing Arkham Asylum recently. My iPhone is filled with nothing else but comic books at the moment. I know this passion won’t last long, still got too many books in a queue.

Anyway I have just stumbled upon this list: The 50 Best Comic Book Covers of 2009. What a nice bunch of pretty images. Some are plain some are copy-cats some are pretty cheap. But hey! among 50 there must be something good, well let’s leave it for now because I had to double and triple check that these are 2009 covers. Some of them could have been pretty cool in 60’s or 70’s but now they just look like someone’s messed up with inspiration. Covers are actually posters in fact. They announce what comes from within the book as they do in film poster industry (you decide). They should be the content’s metaphor. I know some target audiences need nothing more but simple old “flesh and guns” but those shouldn’t be among top 50.

So, those made me think of good old Polish posters which were actually in the same style. The reason was that authors wouldn’t have access to any assets, sometimes they weren’t able to watch the movie. I know it sounds silly but in communistic Poland all sort of shit was common. So they would have pen and paper and thy would create some of the best posters ever. No I do not mean that socialistic crap, I mean some serious film posters for example, which would convey the story in a most dramatic and deep metaphorical way. I’ll compare 2 posters: Polish and American here to give you an idea what I mean:

Rocky (the original one)
Polish Version

USA version

So that “top 50” list reminded me about this particular struggle with so many doors to be opened and with trying to avoid the obvious ones. Some comic book authors should have commissioned others to design their covers and maybe not to get on that list and please me. Seriously, one does judge book by the cover. The comic book. And it does not have to be comic.


Patterns and grids were supposed to make design(digital I mean) a bit easier and, thank God, they did to certain point. I remember times before 960, when I’d use canonical grid mixed with golden ratio and some human perception knowledge I got while studying art.There was Jakob with his ugly idea of usability. Well, idea was great but the presentation had some traumatic results on some. Then of course there was always a story to be told which someone called journey and then added a user to that whole new experience. And the UX has been born.

Recently I saw this nice and sad link browsersize. Sad because so many people can’t see the donate button. Nice because it says that not much has changed in last decade. Well actually in last millenium. We’ve been always doing certain things the way we do, and some uneducated plonkers thought they’d reinvented the wheel with usability(I mean all those wankers that follow blindly rules of grid systems and false kindergarten science). There are still blank spots on the map of our behavior with regards to our journeys and decision making process but hey, for some it is still not very obvious that people(with christian background) read left to right and that it affects composition(positive and negative).

Browsersize is a great…hmm let’s call it tool. (On many occasions, I did have to pull out F shape print outs as in the last resort and be told to back off because the web ‘is changing’ so this may be one more useful weapon for those still crusading  dark-ages).But that’s not what I am really on about. What I am on is the obvious implication of the above observation. It only confirms what we’ve known for centuries. So it is time to start seeing what’s under those rules because grid designs aren’t the final solution neither are pixel-perfect Mac OS X rip offs. So I always love to see when one gores the 960. I am getting bored with that slick, colorful barf that defines what is good digital design.  I wonder what is usual dwell time on those sites? Some may know the answer and if it is more then 30sec it means someone forgot it has opened in a back. Proper user experiences aren’t that rare but that usually requires whole new grid to work with. 4 dimensional one.

Most of current grids require 2D thinking, plus eventually some twists. Where shiny stuff is just a nice package for mind blowing emptiness. Designing user’s time on a page and the depth of the journey defines 2 more dimensions that many designers completely ignore glorifying ‘let’s just scratch the surface’ culture. No I won’t give examples, show pie-charts nor flood blogosphere with ‘visual aids’. It is all about thinking which is something that cannot be found on a web or thought through tutorials. It is something that requires a bit of courage to look deeper.


Saw it! Finally and what? Moon. Well if you like rotten body for half of the experience then it is worth it. Anyway what strikes most is that I finally saw a light at the end of full-on-action tunnel. Sci-fi so far used to be about aliens, wars, defeating, attacking, surviving and everything else (forget Solaris, better read all his books) but people(well few odd movies, I bet you can find them, in a way, are actually confirming it). If this movie is supposed to be a fresh start for sci-fi cinema then I think it is the only way forward. What I am on about? Well, space, machines, and technology is not that important to make it a hero. Actual life in future/space is getting more down to earth, more fiction then science. Yes, that way, correct. I mean proper fiction, where everything has a reason, no forced ending with nuke-it-all happy end. Science is in a background: harvesters, genetics, spaceships etc. They are not fighting each other to rule the galactic nor go to another planet to discover dinosaurs.

Well, it may sound like boring sci-fi drama, or maybe it is the new genre, after a sci-fi office drama we could have a Gone with the Wind remake about him being miner on the moon and she being a mermaid on a posh spaceship.

600 dots closer

David Carter spent or actually wasted so much imt on that lovely pop-up book which could be smart as well. But why making it any better? It has colours, moving parts and it is a book. Every aspiring designer/artist/anyone dreams about very own book. Because our perception of books hasn’t been ruined by ‘everyone can write” blogosphere rule(like that whole blog or example). Book is tangible it is not something you can just delete with all the responsibility that follows. Neither it is something that does exist in virtual world, that actually hasn’t been seen by anybody. Like God. We just believe in it. Has anyone seen the Internet? I doubt. We use it, we dwell in it and some even can afford hating it. But it does not exists, really… but books. They are real. Since Guttenberg things had changed slightly, more people could write but still not everyone would be published and if someone is… well that means it is important, that is was worth it(paper, publishing, ink, shelves etc). With the book comes as well effort, time, money and tremendous responsibility for an opinion/wrok that cannot be undone. With blog posts comes nothing: it is fast, cheap and can dissapear very quickly if something went wrong. Books can be burnt but that makes it even more complicated. So it all leads to abuse today. Vide the 600 dots book. In my opinion it is a blasphemy. One may say, actually shout: “WTF! Have you heard of art books or art at all?!” Well I did and that is my problem. I prey for the moment when a beautiful craft like that below would have a meaning too, without asking the author what did he think(or smoked) doing that. I prey for a moment when… well I can stand up now, I can see it coming, it is very far tho.Anyway I’ll give you a glimpse(via CR):

In a quirky marketing move, the Tate has created a couple of teaser films of two forthcoming art books: Peter Blake’s ABC and 600 Black Spots, a pop-up book by David Carter (shown). Cute, yes – but viral? Probably not…

The clips, which reveal the contents of both books, are apparently an example of Tate “keeping up with emerging trends in video and viral marketing,” as the press release somewhat hopefully states.

Lemonade anyone?

Creative industry likes to wank and whine, well all of us are whining wankers anyway. Lomonade tells stories of people that were laid off and that actually made them to find the meaning of life. Sad story isn’t it? I mean how much time can you waste before you find the meaning? Does it have to be someone else to tell you: “go and get a f*$%&! life” ? I thought that being creative makes sens in life… or maybe I haven’t found the meaning yet.

More than 70,000 advertising professionals have lost their jobs in this “Great Recession.” Lemonade is about what happens when people who were once paid to be creative in advertising are forced to be creative with their own lives.”

BTW there is a guy in the trailer who is a coffee roaster or something like that, how creative is that huh? is it 70 000 randomly chosen people on first come, first served basis?

Older posts

Some are gone for ever, some are in polish… hence this is considered to be a new version of my online pulp.