Friday, March 30, 2007 - Featuring the work of John Smith is a platform for new and innovative works in film and video. It presents a monthly curated exhibition for which visitors can also submit their works for consideration.

The site is beautifully in its simplicity. With a simple bold text interface that concentrates focus on the artworks themselves.

The videos are free, but registering with the site gives you access to the archive of previously featured films.

This month features the works of John Smith, and one that stands out to me is 'Girl Chewing Gum' - It appears to be a director giving orders to actors as they act out a natural street scene, but what is actually being shown is archive footage of a scene that the artist is then providing his own ironic 'direction' dialogue on top. As the video progresses, flocks of birds and then clocks are instructed to carry out the artists vision. I love this idea, and it could be applied to so many situations. From banal scenes to presidential speaches, with all protagonists being 'directed' by the omnipresent 'director'. is part of the creative Think Tank, Tank Magazine.

More about Jjohn Smith.

Shades that change colour

Chemists at the Univercity of Washington have released a demo of a prototype pair of sunglasses that have lenses that can change colour. The lenses are adjustable by the wearer, who can change the colour of the shades by turning a small button on the side of the shades arms. The technology will be applied to shades where wearers may want to have shades for different conditions - such as skiers or riders of bikes and motorcycles. Traditional shades that react to the light to darken the lenses in bright conditions do not work when shielded from UV rays (which trigger the reaction), where as these user controlled shades would work in all conditions.

Thanks to Kimm for this link.
Read more here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Online Advertising Investment Increases By 41%

The BBC reports today that while advertising spend in 2006 suffered as a whole, investment in online advertising over the same period increased by 41%.

TV advertising itself experienced a 4.7% fall in spending to £3.9bn.

The report added that online advertising actually grabbed a record market share of 12.4% in the second half of 2006, as expenditure topped £1.098bn.

UK's online ad market share is almost double the global average of 5.8%, the report added.

Recruitment spent the most on web advertising - increasing expenditure by 2.7% - followed by finance and technology.

Read more here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Single Shot - Short Film Site

A very simple and beautiful interface to a site that presents a wonderful short film project. Each film is created with only one single take. The films are availble to download for mobile and iPod video.

I am still watching all the films - my favorite so far is the glass pistol.

Check out the site here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Robotic Fish

These guys at Essex Univercity have made a very realistic robot fish that is on show at the London aquarium.

Aquaroids - Aquatic Robots For Your Home Aquarium

This is footage of commercially available water robots, called Aquaroids. They were available in Japan in 2001, but I am struggling to find any to buy in Europe. If anyone knows please leave a comment, or write me. They were made by Takara (Tomy) in Japan.

Robonova - This Robot Can Do Back Flips!

This robot can do back flips - which is more than I can do! Mind you if you have the $1,200 to pay for the prebuilt kit, I would hope that it could! The kit is available from online store

The robot, called Robonova is created by Hitech Robotics, a family run robotics company in Korea.

They have video of their robots in action here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fold School - Free Furniture

foldschool is a collection of free cardboard furniture for kids, handmade by you. The downloadable patterns can be printed out with any printer - simply follow the instructions to assemble a stable piece of furniture.

A cool and simple site for kids - foldschool

Illustration Mundo

This is a really good site for browsing illustrators portfolios. My only complaint is that you can only see one small image of peoples work, without having to link out to their own sites.

Check out Illustration Mundo

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Audi TT Viral Video by Universal Everything

This is a really beautiful animation created by Univeral Everything for Audi Australia to announce the launch of the new Audi TT. It is wonderful in the fact that it does not actually show the car itself, but through the abstract and fresh modern elements the video really conveys the sleek and aerodynamic car design and leaves people wanting to actually see the car. The particles were actually generated by a specially created softwear to dynamically recreate a simulation of a wind tunnel. I am not sure that it lives upto its viral name, but it is certainly a stunning piece. The animation is too long in my opinion with the final part dragging on. The particles may have been better off forming the famous rings that make up the Audi logo. Check out more work by Univeral Everything here.

The Robots Are Taking Over!

I do not know if this model maker is responsible for the designs of the characters in the film Robots? They are amazing! Check theem out on his flickr account.

Thanks to Pete for this link!


I saw Faile exhibiting in the Lazarides Gallery Soho, London last week. The Faile site is a great experience of the Faile art brand. I am saving up to buy some of their work!

Check out the Faile site.

Pictures On Walls - Online Gallery

This online gallery sells original pieces and prints from AIKO, BANKSY, EINE, ERIC the DOG, FAILE, HEWLETT, INSECT, INVADER, MCLAUCHLAN, MICALLEF, TOS

Check out the site here.

Steal Life - Photographic Magazine

I stumbled across this site while searching for more info on Adam Neate in the previous blog. It is a visual magazine made up of slideshows set to music. Slideshows are submited based on different themes each month. They should make them available as desktop themes or screensavers.

Check it out here.

Adam Neate - Art For Free

Adam Neate is a talented graffiti and street artist, who's work is finding its way into more traditional art gallery spaces. His paintings often made on recovered materials are for the most part left free in the streets for people to claim for themselves. Adam's work is an interesting examination about the relationship of art and how it is consumed. It also seems like Adam's work and means of marketing himself are timely reflections on the way that MP3's revolutionised the way that musicians have had to adapt to these times. Read an article with Adam at Steal Life, and check out his works at his own personal site

Terminal B - Searching For Creative Talent In Barcelona

Created with the objective of promoting the network of creativews working in Barcelona, this site provides a way to search for talent across a wide range of criteria. It is visually impressive and very dynamic in design. The seach is very useful, but the initial navigation seems more funk than function. It is a very interesting example of making a dymamic interface for a network of information. The same group is also responsible for Created In Barcelona, a book highlioghting some of Barcelona's hottest creaetive talent. So if you are looking for or you are, an architect, designer, illustrator, photogrpaher or web designer in Barcelona check the site out here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Best Friend Comedy Show

Catching up with some old mates from London last week and they told me about a UK comedy that I was yet to hear about.

My Best Friend is a show where people are challenged to convince their family and friends that the shows comic presenter is actually one of their friends. If they manage to convince people that the actor is their friend, enduring increasingly more embarrassing situations they wilol win £10,000.

I saw this except, and have to say I am looking forward to getting it on DVD!

Thanks to Peter for keeping me in the loop of English comedy.

Friday, March 09, 2007

BLYK - Advertisers To Subsidise Free Mobile Phone Service

An industry of intense competition and innovation, the mobile market is going to get it's next interesting model. Free mobile phone calls.

While some talk plans have the possibility to supplement the plan with free calls, Blyk a pan-European free mobile operator is launching the first totally free mobile talk plan in the UK market in mid-2007, with other markets to follow. The service is aimed specifically for young people and is funded by advertising.

BLYK will buy traffic from the major mobile phone carriers and give it for free to it's users, but they will have to read and also respond to a certain amount of advertising.

The service will no doubt allow advertisers very targeted opportunities and initially the service will be perceived as very popular with the young market it is aimed at. However with mobile calls and services coming down in price and with VOIP coming more and more to mobiles the appeal of free calls may not be so attractive. Especially considering the invasive nature of mobile marketing and the effort users will no doubt have to go to to respond and acknowledge the ads. Advertisers are gettting more and more savy to users following up on their ads and will no doubt expect the platform to encourage people to enguage with the advertising. I can imagine teenagers reluctantly clicking rapidly through their inbox of 20 ads, not taking the time to take not of any of the messages. I hope that BLYK have some new innovative ideas for less intrusive advertising for this platform to ensure their success. This model reminds me a lot of the free ISP's of the late 90's - rapid changes int he mobile industry could just make this new service obsolete very quickly.

Source: Springwise
Read more: BLYK

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Futuristic Scope Watch - Could This Time Piece Save Your Life?

Actually this futuristic watch design invents a new way of displaying time - even though it would be pretty annoying after a while. I like the story that they have created to explain its unusual design.

The year is 2157, Alien Robots have taken over the Earth. Our cities lie in ruin. The last surviving humans have retreated to hidden caves and bunkers to escape the constant patrols by KX-400 Combat-bots. The remaining resistance fighters send out scouting parties for much needed supplies, but their job is extremely dangerous and few survive. Now, thankfully, they have the Arkon Industries SCOPE. This wrist mounted device accurately detects the power signatures given off by the Combat-bots allowing our patrols to evade the enemy. Powered by 2 lithium cells the SCOPE can locate nearby threats and indicate the direction and distance of the target. But on earth it has been adapted to simply tell the time.

Found on TrendHunter, read more atTokyo Flash.

Sony's Challenge To Second Life

Sony is to launch a new 3D virtual wolrd community, similar to Second Life where users will be able to create a pesonal avitar, explore a high quality 3D world, purchase space and personalise it with purchased or made objects. Sony’s ‘home’ community will be hotly anticipated, as the machine has extremely powerful processing power, so the experience should be visually far more impressive than that of Second Life.

Sony’s move is a response to the recent explosion of social networking and so called web 2.0 sites that are eating into the time spent playing on games consoles. But to be seen will be just how they will learn from Second Life and other social networking sites to make the experience truely compelling and advantagous to the user.

Each person will have their own appartment to which they can invite friends and in which they can chat, play and share video, music and other content that they have on their Playstation. Their trophies from completing games will be hung on their walls. This is very likely to take the experiences that have made MySpace so popular, but deliver them in a far more compelling and enguaging way.

No doubt seeing how brands have been keen to jump on the Second Life phenomenon, there will be a queue of companies looking for new ways to be featured in Home. Appealing to the commercial potential for advertising within this 'game' Sony have designed it so that dynamic advertising can be delivered through the virtual environment including hi quality video.

The software will be downloadable for free, and is due to launch in late 2007.

I think that this one will be a very important one to watch when it kicks off later this year.

Read on here on BBC, but read more here

Rock & Royal - Chandelier Art

Today Arno Coenen and Hans van Bentem of Rock and Royal give the ancient techniques of mosaics and chandelier design a new twist by creating photorealist mosaics and peculiarly shaped chandeliers.

Check out more of their works here.

Found on Trend Hunter

Robotic Snake ACM-R5

This is a freaky video. The Hirose Fukushima Robotics lab have developed an amphibious snake-like robot named “ACM-R5” that can maneuver both on ground and in water surging its long body in such a realistic fashion. Seen on Trend Hunter.

More here

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Teaching The Machine - Cool Video About Web 2.0

A very cool video that uses typed text written on screen in various scenarios to explain some of the simple principles of Web 2.0. One of the things that interest me most about the end message is that not only is it each of us as individuals that will contribute to the way information is arranged and ordered, but also that each action we make, be it clicking on a link, tagging and article, copying and pasting etc, each of these actions will be fed into a computerised system that will learn based on our actions. The relationship between human action and computerised automated actions is a facinating area of developement. As computers get more and more powerful, their levels of intelligence will superceed our own. Thanks to Gaz for the link.

Ideas & Being Green Are Key To Brands Future

"Fresh ideas" and "being green" were the top qualities of this year's Fortune 'most respected' companies award winners.

Read more on CNN

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sell Side Advertising - New models for online advertising

John Battelle of Searchblog poses an interesting new model for online advertising, where site publishers could select the ads that they want to serve on their site, picking the most relevant ads, and ones that with a Cost Per Click payment would generate them the most money.

This kind of model is more relevant to bloggers, than big commercial sites. This is interesting territory that is ripe for development - major publishers and media have relationships with advertisers and enguage in a complex relationship. Bloggers will no doubt want more control over the ads that they serve and the power to negotiate and leverage their sites more effectively.

The model presented means a lot more work on behalf of the publisher, who actively has to select the ads, would have to monitor their performance etc etc. I am not sure just how much time most bloggers would have to do this. The payments would all need to be managed by a single ad supplier, as it would be too much to open a dialogue with too many advertisers.

I think that allowing publishers to select appropriate ads for their site, combined with software algorythmns will ultimately provide the advertiser with more relevant placement.

Read the article here...

Monday, March 05, 2007

The Branded Male - Help Write This New Book

Mark Tungate is researching a new book called THE BRANDED MALE, which will explore the changing habits of male consumers, as well as analyzing the ways marketers target men. As Mark researches and writes the book he is using his blog to share his ideas and allow people to comment, suggest ideas and offer insites into the subject. The most incicive comments will find their way into the book. A nice way to become a part of a book, without having to write a book yourself.

Read his progress and add your own comments here

I already submitted my comments:

I think you could dedicate an entire chapter to the 'let's add another blade' phenomena of marketing to men. The epitome of male product marketing, razor and shaving products, have struggled to reinvent themselves and have taken an increasingly predictable approach to differentiation. Simply adding a new blade. I thought that two blades as opposed to one made a real difference, but I struggle to feel the improvement that my 5 blade razor should be delivering. The question your book could ask is just how many blades will I be shaving with in 5 years time?

Did you ever see this quite impressive web site marketing for Philips? Harnessing cutting edge video and with it's ironic and provocative humor to create a viral effect, this is a memorable example of male marketing to the young and internet savy male.

I have had the pleasure to work with Mark, collaborating with him in the creation of FIFTY, for which Mark was the writer, and I can assure you it is worth your while contacting Mark as he is a really talented and nice guy!

Friday, March 02, 2007

iLike - The Future of Music Communities?

iLike is a relatively young music community based software service, having only just reached the rip old age of four months, but I predict that this is going to become a very popular service, and the principles on which it is based will be adopted by many other music services.

It is wonderfully designed service with a very fresh, clean and modern interface. The service itself is very simple in concept - to help you organise and share your music, allow you to interact with people who share similar music tastes and recommend new music. While many other sites and services are setting out to do similar if not exactly the same things, iLike combines so many of the best concepts and in such a well designed package that it stands out from the rest.

iLike sets out to introduce you to music that you will like but have not yet listened to and combines several simple methods.

First you must create a profile which can be shared among the rest of the iLike community. You start by manually describing the genres and actual musician that you like. This creates a crude profile of your music tastes. But by downloading a small software gadget that analyses what you play in iTunes or Windows Media Player the service it able to get a realtime view of your music preferences, initially taking a snap shot of your music library and then starts an ongoing analysis of your music listening habits in the most logical way, by making a note of every time you listen to music on your computer or iPod. Continuing to build up and ever more perfect picture of your listening habits.

Users of iTunes software also have the benefit of having a user interface directly in the iTunes browser, that gives you access to your profile and community features of iLike. It shows you similar songs to the ones that you are currenly playing - so if you like Muse but want something similar, simply start playing one of your Muse tracks and it come immediatly back with recommendations similar to Muse. The recommendations all link to 30 second previews accessed via the iTunes store. You can also rate the songs in your library so iLike can determine which ones you like over others. Being embeded in iTunes and so always there when you are playing your music, with no need to remember to login to a website is a strong feature. We all have far too many sites to surf, to remember to come back to so many sites we have registered with. Once registered you are likely to continue to use the service as it is also very unintrusively implemented. The concept of dedicated software to access web content is going to be a strong trend in future.

Interesting are the complex algorthms that they use to determine what you would like to listen to. The most successful services in the future will be those that have alorythmns that are able to search massive quantities of data and deliver you only a few, but highly relevant results. While is can be easy to relate certain bands with others, the software that calculates your recommended suggestions is far more complecated.

iLike also harnesses the community of users and networks you to people that share similar tastes in music. By being able to easily browse other peoples libraries that share similar bands, it bives you a less mathematical and more human way to discover new music. You can build up lists of friends and see what they are listening to, what is most popular and recommend tracks to them.

This is the future of tracking and understanding trends and analysing music consumption. Bands can find out exactly who is listening to their music and which songs are played the most. This must be really interesting to base understanding on the actual listening rather than on record sales.

iLike seems very heavily geared at providing an excellent service, with the aim of generating revenue from providing traffic and sales to the iTunes store. The strong links between iLike is also apparent in it's design, as it seems to have been designed specifically to fit in with the iTunes software. I ask how long will it be before iTunes buys iLike or releases their own version of this community software.

A really great aspect of iLike is that it not only recommends establish artists, but is a forum discovering new music talent. Capitalising on the content of their sister site Garage Band, it acts as a filter on the many thousands of unsigned artists that have submitted their music to Garage Band. So through iLike you are also recommended new unsigned bands who's music is easily downloaded for free with one click straight to your iTunes library.

The service requires so little effort, yet delivers good value. you do not need to make friends, build pages, maintain blog etc, but you can do all of these things with it if you wish.

Download iLike and join the community HERE.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Normal Design - Not!

Japan based American designer Ross McBride originally started out as a graphic designer, which comes across strongly in his painfully simple graphic and conceptual approach to product designs. I love the ironic concepts for his watches, which are part of a series of twelve (naturally). The clever irony of Time and Money being the hour and minute hands, or the simple practical functionality of the multiple hour hands that deliver the time in multiple time zones but on one face, as opposed to the usual multi faced displays.

Check out his watches and other products, including some very nice digital clocks and stools made in the form of keyboard keys at

Gilbert and George

Gilbert and George have a retrospective at the Tate Modern from 15th February until the 7th of May, 2007.

Check out the Tate Modern site for some interesting films that show these facinating artists in their studio, how they work with computers and how they catalogue their vast collection of works and source materials.

Gilbert and George can gave a talk at the Tate Modern and answered questions from the audience. Hear it on the Guardian Weekly Culture podcast.

Pervasive Animation - Conference

Pervasive Animation - Location: Tate Modern
Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March 2007

Animation has an unlimited potential to visually represent events, scenarios and forms that have little or no relation to our experience of the 'real' world. Implemented in many ways, in many disciplines, it is increasingly influencing our perception and experience of the world we live in.

Especially since the digital shift, the uses of animation are no longer exclusive to cinema, and animation's origins in pre-cinematic optical experiments through avant-garde experimental film continue to evolve in fascinating ways. Artists increasingly incorporate animation in installations and exhibitions, architects use computer animation software to create narratives of space in time, and scientists use it to interpret abstract concepts for a breadth of industries ranging from biomedicine to nanoworlds. Pervasive Animation provides a dynamic international forum to explore animation's myriad forms and applications across a wide band of creative and professional practice.

The conference's contributors include Norman Klein, Michael Snow, Vivian Sobchack, Tom Gunning, Anthony McCall, George Griffin, Suzanne Buchan, Beatriz Colomina, Edwin Carels, Siegfried Zielinski, Lisa Cartwright, Johnny Hardstaff and Esther Leslie.

More info