A new show opened at Site Gallery today by Finnish artist Pilvi Takala. It’s brilliantly observed work focusing on banal absurdism, mainly around rules, perceived rules and behaviour. It’s deeply funny and well worth popping into if you’re nearby.
Watch an excerpt of Takala’s The Real Snow Whitefor an example of how she pokes things with a straight-faced stick.
Einar and Jørn from Voy have finally made a video to explain and demonstrate Ugle: the networked owl.
In their own words:
Ugle is a wooden owl that can be controlled over the internet with an iPhone application. It lets you send colour-messages from your phone to your home. When you change the position of the colors on the owl on the screen, the physical owl turns its head to the chosen color. It is a decorative personal message system where the household has to decide what the colours mean.
I bring up Ugle quite a lot, in talks, in conversation, in day-to-day life. It’s the perfect example of the kind of products that people should be designing for the home — networked but not screaming network, undemanding, ambiently conveying meaning. The meaning is constructed between the people that use it, rather than being dictated by the object.
It is designed for natural tendencies, casual observation, rather than trying to create a new behaviour.
Too many products that come out of the Internet of Things end up putting utility above beauty, whereas it can be both. Ugle demonstrates that it’s possible to have a domestic, networked object that is functional and pleasing to look at (see also the Good Night Lamp by Alex D-S).
Ugle is calm, ambient, networked and beautiful, and that’s what our homes need.
An Englishman, needing a pair of striped trousers in a hurry for the New Year festivities, goes to his tailor who takes his measurements.
“That’s the lot, come back in four days, I’ll have it ready.”
Good. Four days later.
“So sorry, come back in a week, I’ve made a mess of the seat.”
Good, that’s all right, a neat seat can be very ticklish. A week later.
“Frightfully sorry, come back in ten days, I’ve made a hash of the crotch.”
Good, can’t be helped, a snug crotch is always a teaser. Ten days later.
“Dreadfully sorry, come back in a fortnight, I’ve made a balls of the fly.”
Good, at a pinch, a smart fly is a stiff proposition.
To make it short, the bluebells are blowing and he bollockses the buttonholes.
“God damn you to hell, Sir, no, it’s indecent, there are limits! In six days, do you hear me, six days, God made the world. Yes Sir, no less Sir, the WORLD! And you are not bloody well capable of making me a pair of trousers in three months!”
Since October last year, Instagram has ruled my photograph taking. It’s done what Flickr should have done and what twitpic, yfrog and the like thought they were doing — a simple, single-purpose photo sharing mobile app.
It gets a lot of flak from people moaning about the use of filters, but that misses the point of what it really is. Like criticising twitter for people’s spellings. As a social space, it’s probably my favourite at the moment. It reminds me of the early days of twitter – the days when you followed a fairly small, but diverse, group of people. When you shared ideas – occasionally what was for lunch – and didn’t have to worry about blocking all the SEO spammers or niche retail outlets from Kentucky, or people shouting for attention.