Wednesday, September 10, 2008

When only tap water will do...

Seriously? I'm all about eating/drinking locally and the water does taste pretty good, but really, it's been bottled?

Tap'dNY's website seems to make them out as a nicotine patch for bottled water addiction, while using the same arguments for eating locally: fewer food (or in this case water) miles, supporting the local economy, supporting mindful production/extraction methods, etc. While they are encouraging people to reduce the use of plastic bottles and reuse bottles in one's possession (good), they are still selling a bottled water product in a new [pretty] plastic bottle (not-so-good).

The "story" behind it...
Tap’dNY was born on a balmy evening in 2007, when New Yorker Craig Zucker made a remarkable discovery: Great water was available, on tap, in his Manhattan apartment...

Did we mention that New York City tap water wins in taste tests, even over those fancy imported water? Well, it does. NYC water is some of the best on the planet and is considered by many to be the champagne of tap waters.

If you are really curious about the history of NY water, you might enjoy this article from the newly debuted magazine Edible Manhattan, part of the Edible Communities.

As for Tap'dNY, will the irony of purchasing a bottle of water that could have been filled from one's own tap help consumers make that same conclusion about other bottled water? I suppose only time will tell. Maybe they'll take drinking locally one step further and "produce" their own... off to the faucet for a cold drink.

Inspiration: Anneke Jacobs

Anneke Jacobs is amazing!

From the series of sketches "Undesigning"

From the series of sketches "Undesigning"

"Sketches" 2008

"Chiquita Chandelier" made out of recycled banana boxes. Anneke even includes the directions to build your own here (click on "tekst"). This caught my eye on Craftzine.

"Lampekapjes" 2004

Big Typography Poster Contest on MyInkBlog

Oooh... big typography poster contest on! Submissions accepted until 10/10/2008.

Where it all began, or [my] computer arts in their infancy

This header may be an eyesore but it takes me back to good times!

For some reason lately I've been thinking back nostalgically about some computer programs that I used when I was younger. It occurred to me recently that I've been using computers most of my life for expression in some form of digital art (but don't worry—I went outside too!).

It took me forever just to remember what the names were, but I found it almost more difficult to dig up information on the web. I think most of us have all but forgotten about graphics programs' (and our own) humble beginnings. I may be dating myself but if you're in your 20s you may
remember some of these from your own youth...

Macintosh SE
This is the computer I was rocking early on—it's the first computer we had in our family. If you're wondering, this little guy was top of the line and had 40–80 MB of hard drive space and a tiny little black & white display. It was more than enough for word processing, playing Glypha 3.0, and even was
eventually hooked up to the early internet when it was still all texty. Photo from wikipedia.

I also had plenty of fonts at my fingertips for typographic stylings in Claris Works. :-)

Image from wikipedia. In case you're wondering, I was a big fan of the font Chicago—a classic Mac font.

Kid Pix
I want to say we had Mac Paint as well, but Kid Pix was one of my favorites on our little Mac SE. Below are some images from the first public domain version which was quickly replaced by a version with color, more tools & goodies. Later versions included sound, slideshow and animation capabilities.

The introductory image in this post was made using the public domain version of Kid Pix—that is still available online though you have to use Classic Mode on your Mac! (I added the yellow rectangles in Photoshop.) You only have one font, uppercase letters only, as a choice in this version and you have to place letters using a stamp method—this is why my text is a little crooked. Click here to get your own free version of Kid Pix to take for a test run. If you want to upgrade for yourself... err your kids, click here.

I wish I had some original "vintage" artwork to share with you but alas it's gone—maybe I'll be able to dig some up over the holidays.

The images above are from The Vintage Mac Museum, a Japanese website that is mostly in English.

Mac II-something
So maybe my middle school didn't have the most up-to-date computer systems, but I remember many days of booting up 5 1/4 inch floppy disks to play Number Munchers, Oregon Trail and Print Shop.

This is a Macintosh IIc—the picture is the closest to what I remember our computers looking like. Photo from wikipedia.

Print Shop
Print Shop was this awesome* program that allowed you to create simple layouts using borders, clip art and simple text. You could even print multiple page-long banners on your tractor paper-fed dot matrix printer—how cool is that? *well, awesome back in the day

I looked all over the web for images of Print Shop and its pieces of art, but it was tough. The photos below are from David Malkoff's Flickr photos—the only other person who seems to be thinking about Print Shop. Thanks!

Adobe Illustrator: The Early Versions

I was not old enough to even consider using the early versions of Adobe Illustrator but I found these videos on YouTube both amazing in what the original Illustrator capabilities were (even in black and white!) and also how far along the software has come.

Illustrator 1: Debuting on a Mac in 1987
It's funny when during the demo the Adobe president goes to change up the color of a vector drawing's line with "any shade of gray". Looking back at the video it looks like CMYK designations were available, but I suppose you couldn't tell what you had selected on screen?

Illustrator 88 in 1988: Oooh color!

Want to read more? Wikipedia has interesting entries on Macintosh fonts, Macintosh SE, Macintosh II, and the History of Adobe Illustrator. Of course, don't forget
The Vintage Mac Museum!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

New(ish) Dexter ads

I just saw a group of these ads yesterday while walking through SoHo. I should have read the New York Times and I wouldn't have been so surprised—but they definitely caught my eye. It made me think of how much I love Andrew Hearst's intertwining of pop culture and politics that turns expectations on their head.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dalí at MoMA

We finally hit the MoMA on Monday to see the Dalí exhibit, Painting and Film—just a reminder, it's ending September 15!

The exhibit brings together over one hundred pieces of art by Dalí, ranging from exploratory sketches and iconic paintings to six surrealist films to "explore the central role of cinema in his work as both an inspiration and an outlet for experimentation".

I was amazed at the skill applied to creating light & shape on the delicate canvases, which were much smaller than I had ever imagined. His ideas on paper/canvas are impressive in their dreamlike imagery but the exhibit experience was really completed by the films included.

The films delved into the subconscious in poetic, strange, surprising and sometimes disturbing ways—think ants crawling out of a person's hand, decaying donkeys or a razor cutting an eyeball, as were part of Un Chien Andalou—while a dream sequence clip from Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound offers a Dalí experience for the more squeamish.

It definitely got me in the mood to go back and read some Andre Bréton!

If you can, visit, if not, you can get a preview of the exhibit at its online home,

Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu

'Oddly enough, even when you know they are just hand-painted figurines, you can't help but feel that their plights convey something of our own fears about being lost and vulnerable in a big, bad city' — The Times

These intriguing, dark, and sometimes comic macro photos capture the trials & tribulations of city life for its smallest "inhabitants" (tiny painstakingly-painted figurines that are arranged and then left to brave the world on their own). View more of the artist Slinkachu's work on his blog,

A book of photos and stories, Little People in the City, has also just been published—available September 5.