Wednesday November 25th 2015



Aakash Nihalani: Tapes Extraordinary Space

Sometimes simple solutions can present the most interesting context.

Askash Nihalani works with lowly tape to change our view of the ordinary into something extraordinary by selectively placing graphics into space, highlighting “unexpected contours & elegant geometry”.

Nihalani says:

I’m not trying to push a certain highbrow logic or philosophy or purposely communicate through the esoteric medium of art. I work instinctively, trying to follow my gut about the sensation of color and space, and have fun doing it.

From the moment one enters his website, Nihalani’s playful solutions offer memorably artful, design moments.  Enjoy.

Video of the day: The Alphabet 2 by Alessandro Novelli

It’s Friday, and we wanted to send you into the weekend with something playful and well-executed.

Designer Alessandro Novelli’s Alphabet 2 is a video experiment in developmental spelling.

Each character represents the meaning of the word itself.  Playing with different techniques and materials, the scale is focused on Helvetica’s font proportions.

Enjoy this collection of words generated by a delightful vocabulary/spelling lesson which is so cleverly animated.

Thanks to my friend Rob for the pointer.

Blood Concept: There’s a Perfume for Your Blood Type

“The human body is totally pervaded by a liquid vital rush that brings us what we are most fond of: Life. Filled with legends and meanings‚ blood is soaked with mystery, fascination and respect: it’s the most tested and studied part of the human body. Hiding the multitude of secrets that reveals our inner and unique way of being. Blood Concept is a ceremony devoted to the pulse of life and its visceral boost. It is actually the river of life.”

Wow.  That’s quite a description of the concept behind Blood Concept by Giovanni Castelli  and Antonio Zuddas.  But we have to admit we are curious, especially hearing the fragrance characteristics:

Perfume O is a leather fragrance, composed of thyme, raspberry, cyperus esculentus, rose hips, leather, birch, cedar wood, metallic notes.

Perfume A is an aromatic unisex fragrance which includes notes of green garden, tomato leaves, basil, star anise and metallic notes.

Perfume B is a unisex woody spicy composition with red apple and black cherry in the top, artemisia, pepper, pomegranate and black tea in the heart; patchouli, tick wood and metallic notes in the base.

Perfume AB is a unisex mineral composition with aldehydes, aluminium and slate in the top, pebble and aqua in the heart, cedar wood and metallic notes in the base.

In no way flowery or expected, the line may not be for everyone, but they are certainly unique.  The scents can be purchased here.

EARonic the Ironic iPhone case by Daniela Gilsanz

Ever feel like the whole world is watching while you are on the iPhone?  Well Daniela Gilsanz created an ironic twist on a contemporary James Bond idea.

The EARonic iPhone Case is designed to camouflage the fact that you’re on the phone.  Now if only she would come up with an invisibility sleeve for our arm!

Of the concept Daniela says she:

…first came up with the idea last fall when applying to art schools. She was getting a portfolio together and while sketching some ears in her sketchbook (one of the prompts from a school) the initial EARonic mockup and portfolio piece came to be. Since then, we’ve improved on the original concept, photographed many an ear, and produced the actual phone cases.


Video of the day: London Bus Tour

Moritz Oberholzer is a director and editor from London and Zurich.  This little piece of London from a bus made us miss the place just a little more than usual.


Lowrider Coloring Book by Dokument Press

Growing up in Southern California, Lowriders were a culture you had to belong to, to fully experience.  Even being Latina did not count if you were not part of La Familia.   So it is interesting to see Lowrider cultural crossover that has transcended the decades, while the basic aesthetics of the cars remain the same.

With its own video, the Lowrider Coloring Book expands the audience.  Take a look to get an understanding of the compelling nature of a car culture that dates back to the thirties with its hopped up hydraulics and amazing paint jobs.

Then, apply your own version on paper.

You can get the coloring book here.


Jay Shells is a Metropolitan Etiquette Authority




We live in times of constant information, constant movement, constant change.  Perhaps it is not surprising that social manners and etiquette have taken a back seat to bad behavior.  And perhaps we should not be surprised when our bad behavior is now called out by artists acting as contemporary Emily Posts.




Enter Jason Shelowitz, or as he is known on the street, Jay Shells.   His Subway Etiquette Campaign caught our eye for it’s very simple, yet needed reminders in public places; namely the New York Subway System and public streets.


Shells says:

I surveyed 100 people on their top pet-peeves (not service related) while riding the Subway. I narrowed the results down to the top ten most occurring issues and rewrote them as a sort of list of rules. I designed posters in the style of the Service Changes posters we see everyday and silkscreened about 40 of each (400 total).

Jay Shells’ latest street missive, care of the Metropolitan Etiquette Authority is this little reminder (below) to pay attention while walking.  Afterall your Facebook status update can wait!

According to Shells “there are four different messages”, be sure to let us know if you see them around.


Katsuyo Aoki’s Predictive Dreams are Ceramic Wonders

According to the saying, we can only predict two things in life: death and taxes.

Katsuyo Aoki‘s Predictive Dreams tend to be prescient of the former.

Though the remnants of this death are a tad more elegant than one imagines our actual skeletal remains.

Based on historical backgrounds, ideas, myths, and allegories, the work makes us stop and consider the story of each piece.

Says Aoki of the work, “…the several decorative styles and forms I cite simultaneously hold divine and vulgar meaning in the present age, having an irrational quality that contradict each other, which I feel express an important aspect in the contemporary age in which we live.”

We would have to agree.

Enjoy this video of Katsuyo Aoki’s work, though language may be an issue, the images are universal.

Post inspired by my friends at

Social Influencers or How Groups Condition, Conscious or Not.

 “A psychologist at a girl’s college asked the members of his class to compliment any girl wearing red. Within a week, the cafeteria was a blaze of red. None of the girls were aware of being influenced, although they did notice that the atmosphere was more friendly. A class at the University of Minnesota is reported to have conditioned their psychology professor a week after he told them about learning without awareness. Every time he moved toward the right side of the room, they paid more attention and laughed more uproariously at his jokes, until apparently they were able to condition him right out the door.”

– W. Lambert Gardiner, Psychology: A Story of a Search, 1970  Image:  Martin Beckett

Mark Changizi: How Not to Get Absorbed in Someone Else’s Abdomen

Mark Changizi and I met on Stumbleupon. His work with the science of creativity, the harnessing of the brain (he just released a new book), and his general intelligence caught my eye immediately.  As I have mentioned here before, Stumbleupon has been a constant source of likemindedness since discovering it in 2007.

Mark and I have been talking about sharing his content on mixingreality for a while.  So yesterday when he commented on my Facebook page with a link to an article he wrote in 2009, I had to suggest this as his initial offering.

Do you ever get caught up in someone else’s life?  Ever spend more energy on someone else’s success, and less on your own?  Human nature, right?  Changizi breaks it down as only a cognitive scientist can.  So with no further ado, I present Mark Changizi’s essay:

How Not to Get Absorbed in Someone Else’s Abdomen.

Male anglerfish are born with an innate desire to not exist. As soon as a male reaches maturity, he acquires an urge to find a female, sink his teeth into her, and grow into her. This evolved because anglerfish live in the dark ocean abyss with few mating opportunities. By giving up his life to be part of the female, the male can reproduce more often. It’s not clear he can appreciate all the sex he’s getting, however, because much of his body and brain atrophies and fuses with her body. Nevertheless, that’s where male anglerfish want to be – that’s a full male anglerfish life. And you thought you had problems. At least you’re not partially absorbed in someone else’s abdomen. Let’s toast our fortune: We are not male anglerfish!

Or are we? Although we have no innate drive to stick our heads into the sides of other people, we do have a drive to stick our heads into groups of people – into communities, tribes, villages and clubs. We’re social primates, and a full human life is centered on the communities we’re in, and our place within them. There aren’t many hermits, and most that are probably wish they weren’t. Communities of people have bulls-eyes on them that are irresistible to us humans. Although communities are necessary for a full life – e.g., family, bowling league, and civil war reenactment society – there are some communities that are especially damaging to one’s creative health. Creative communities – they are the creativity killers. For scientists, for example, their female anglerfish is the community of scientists, a community which is creative as a whole, but which tends to snuff out the creativity of individuals within it. Not only are these creative communities dangerous to one’s creativity, but they seductively attract creativity-seeking individuals into them like moths to a creativity-scorching flame.

That creative communities are alluring to the aspiring creativity maven is not surprising: we all want friends who understand what we do and appreciate our accomplishments. What is surprising, and is not widely recognized, is the extent to which these creative communities are destructive. The problem for the male anglerfish is that his entire world becomes shrunken down, from a three-dimensional world of objects and adventures to a zero-dimensional world of gamete-release. The problem for us is that we’re equipped with a brain that, upon being placed within a community, reacts by severely shrinking its view of the world. Once the psychological transformation has completed, one’s view of the world has become so radically constricted that one cannot see the world beyond the community.

The source of this shrinkage is something called “adaptation,” or “habituation.” When you walk from a bright sunny street to a dimly lit pub, the pub initially feels entirely dark inside. After a while, however, your eyes habituate to the low light level, and you see it as highly varied in light level: it looks dark inside that mouse-hole in the wall, bright where the uncovered light bulb is, and, scattered around the room, you see dozens of other light-levels spanning the dark-light range. This is clearly advantageous for you, because you effectively began as blind in the pub, and minutes later could see. In order to make it happen, though, you underwent a kind of “world shrinkage,” in particular a kind of “luminance shrinkage,” where luminance refers to the amount of light coming toward your eye from different directions around you. When you first entered the pub, all the differing luminance levels in the pub were treated by your visual system as pretty much the same, namely “very very dark”; at that point in time your eyes were habituated to the wide world of luminances found on a sunny day outside. The “sunny” world of luminances differs in two respects from the “pub” world of luminances. First, the average luminance in sunny world is much higher than that in pub world. Second, and more important for our purposes here, sunny world has a much wider range of luminances than in pub world – from the high luminance of a sun-reflecting car windshield to the low luminance of the gaps in a sewer grating. Our eyes have the ability not only to adapt to new light levels (e.g., high versus low), but also to new levels of variability (e.g., wide versus narrow). When you habituate from sunny world to pub world, your eyes and visual system treat the tiny range of luminance levels found in pub world as if they are just as wide as the range of luminances found in sunny world. Your entire perceptual space for brightness has shrunk down to apply to what is a miniscule world in terms of luminance. This kind of world shrinkage is one of the many engineering features that make mammals like us so effective. All our senses are built with these adaptation mechanisms at work, and not just for simple features like luminance or color, but also complex images like faces.

In fact, our heads are teeming with world-shrinking mechanisms that go far beyond our senses, invading the way we think and reason. When we enter a creative community, varieties of adaptation mechanisms are automatically elicited inside us, helping to illuminate the intellectual world inside the community. Ideas within the community that were impossible for us to distinguish become stark oppositions. Similar mechanisms are played out for our social world – the hierarchies we care to climb, and the people we care to impress. At first we don’t appreciate the status differences within the hierarchy, even if we abstractly know them; but eventually we come to “feel” the gulf between each tier. While having these mechanisms is fundamental to our success in tribes, and was thus selected for, our creative integrity was not on the evolutionary ledger. Creative communities are dank pubs, and once we’ve optimized ourselves to living on the inside, our full range of reasoning is brought to bear on a narrow spectrum of ideas, a spectrum that we’re under the illusion is as wide as it can be. And so we don’t realize the world has shrunk at all.

Originally published here on September 18, 2009.  Reprinted with kind permission by changizi.  We look forward to more of his generosity.

Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books, 2009) and Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella Books, 2011). His first book was The Brain from 25000 Feet (Springer, 2003), and he is aloof.

 Page 4 of 31  « First  ... « 2  3  4  5  6 » ...  Last »