Archive for the ‘urban’ Category

the words don’t fit or the medium is the message

April 16, 2014

Photo by derfrankie • Instagram.

writing on the wall

April 2, 2014

An interactive exhibition by Annie Albagli, held in the Commonwealth Gallery in the Fall of 2007 .

global revolution

October 8, 2011

I’m all for it. Joining in on 15 October 2011.

(again I could not locate the original source of the picture, sorry.)


February 8, 2011

As other people have said, the iPhone is actually not such a great phone, but I love the fact that I  have a reasonably decent camera in my back pocket. This picture I took a while ago . It says what it is: BILD = image.

notes in a bottle

April 18, 2010

Photo by Andy Lochire

Bottle of Notes is a sculpture by Cleas Oldenburg, completed in 1993, it is a magnificent piece of public art in Middlesbrough, UK, home of voyager and mapmaker James Cook. On the inside is written “I like to remember sea-gulls in full flight gliding over the ring of canals”, taken from “Memos of a gadfly” a poem written by the designer van Bruggen in 1987 and based on recollections of his Amsterdam childhood. Outside is a quotation from Captain Cook’s journal “we had every advantage we could desire in observing the whole of the passage of the Planet Venus over the sun’s disc” according to Middlesbrough Council.

structural violence

September 20, 2009

How do you visualize a concept, which implies a complex theoretical discourse and is also embodied in our experience, something such as structural violence?

Sometimes an image search will bring up a series of useful visualisations. Sometimes it is hard to find something that works, so you have to think laterally and  that search may bring up new ideas of how to think about a phenomenon.

Here is what I have come up with for structual violence related to an educational context:




I am not sure yet, if this is what I really meant to say, but it is what I found to be expressive and telling so far. For some reason the images all include writing. Now I wonder, is this a concidence? Or does it say something about how language and literacy is used in power relationsships? Note to self: Read Bourdieu’s Language and Symbolic Power and Foucault’s Diszipline and Punish.

art and maps (1) stanley donwood

March 28, 2009

Here is the first of small collection of maps in contemporary art, found here and there.



Paintings by Stanley Donwood.

more love

January 31, 2009


Last year these love banners were created by 10 New York designers to be displayed on Times Square. I cannot find the site, where I found the images, so apologies, and please let me know if you do.

Grassroots Obama Video

October 28, 2008

Watch this Grassroots Obama Video, unfortunately I can not embed it in the WordPress blog.  which I have now found on YouTube.

Thomas Finely from wrote:

Check out this original, grassroots-made music video supporting Barack Obama. The level of effort put into the design and video production is enviable, not to mention the message and impact of the video being incredible. Just… Wow.

Nothing much to add. It seems all the talk about participation enabled through new digital media is epitomized in this really well made video, combining the grassroots aesthetics of  “social realism” used by Obama supporters with Hip Hop lyrics and music and a visual interpretation though animated words and images, which has become so typical for Web 2.0 online video rhethoric.

A quick look at the Cafepress Website (where people can order T-Shirts, Mugs etc with thousands of different designs) and a comparison of the designs for Obama and the for McCain shows that at least one thing is definite: Obama seems to inspire a lot more creativity in people, not only in terms of numbers (87.000 versus 30.000) but also in terms of quality and originality of design. The CafePress Meter, which tracks sales also refelcts a clear Obama lead (in sales).

tree diagrams by david byrne

July 24, 2008

History of Mark-making, 2002

David Byrne from Talking Heads fame has an interesting website. He not only broadcasts a MP3 radio stream, there is also a lot of other stuff to find. E.E.E.I. (Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information) is a project where Byrne used nerdy old Microsoft Powerpoint to create art. There is also a page of drawings, in his own words: “drawing/diagrams (mostly) in the form of trees, which both elucidate and obsfucate the roots of contemporary phenomena and terminology. Sort of like borrowing the evolutionary tree format and applying it to other, often incompatible, things.” more here: Arboretum. Heck, the guy even designs bike racks. see the video here

David Byrne, Space-Time Reflexivity, 2002

Postscriptum: Note that superheroes, archetypes, mythical creatures and wild animals  all featured in the case study of children’s drawings my recent presentation held at the UKLA. I’d love to know hat was going on in David Byrne’s mind.

google maps extreme

July 17, 2008
IT everywhere #18, originally uploaded by Paul The Wine Guy

The IT everywhere series by Paul_The_WIne_Guy on Flickr has plenty more great mashups of graffiti, street art and digital icons. And here is another take on Google Maps, sent by Axinia, which made me laugh: Google Maps Extreme.

I could not embed it so you have to follow the link.

word search map

June 27, 2008

Google search map of Germany

Die Zeit features a curious map of Germany: it is a visualisation of the most searched for words from a list of 64 different terms according to geographical location. In Heidelberg people look for stress and sufferning while in not too distant Würzburg people look for pleasure. In Rostock in the north east, not surprisingly, people look for work, while in Freiburg in the south west people look for wisdom and peace. It seems to have been created by Sigrid Ortwein. On her website you can find an uncommon re-interpreation of the Genesis: “In the beginning there was the IMAGE and the image became the WORD and the word was with God, and the word became LETTER, and the word became Spirit, and the letters became NUMBERS and the numbers became ROWS OF NUMBERS and the rows of numbers became CODES …”

(Am Anfang war das BILD und das Bild wurde WORT und das Wort war bei Gott und das Wort wurde BUCHSTABE und das Wort wurde Geist und die Buchstaben bekamen ZIFFERN und die Ziffern wurden zu ZAHLENFOLGEN und die Zahlenfolgen wurden zu CODES …)

Jazz Funeral

March 21, 2008

“where the people are dying to come in”

Steve is in New Orleans right now, and he has joined Flickr!


January 24, 2008

Verweile doch refers to a quote by Goethe taken from “Faust”

Werd’ ich zum Augenblicke sagen:
Verweile doch! du bist so schön!
– which makes part of Faust’s wager with the devil.

If I should bid the moment stay, or try
To hold its fleeting beauty, …

Translation taken from this article: Passion and art: the story behind Faust in the Guardian, which also explains why Goethe cannot really be translated into English, as evident from this translation –  it cannot evoke the literal immediacy of Verweile doch! Du bist so schön! which would mean: Stay! You are so beautiful!  but using a poetic expression, not used in contemporary German. Here it makes a neon invitation to linger in front of the “Deutsches Theater in Berlin”. I don’t know, is this supposed to be art or advertising? Does it matter?

Hommage to Robert Indiana

January 21, 2008
Robert Indiana – NY, ursprünglich hochgeladen von Graham Hutchinson




LOVE, in Madrid by mitue



There is a current exhibition about Robert Indiana at the Museum in Wiesbaden, Germany. However, I love to see how people interact with art and go to Flickr: So many of my favourite things. Best word. Sixties pop art. Street Sculptures. Gardens. Over 1600 images tagged Robert Indiana.

Come rain, come snow, summer and winter, in the day and in the night, in the country and in the city, all over the world – LOVE prevails! :-)

language and city

December 13, 2007

(Fellow Austrian) Ludwig Wittgenstein described language as a large town, grown from an ancient city into a large town including what today would be modern suburbs:

Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses. Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations

(a metaphor which Clifford Geertz expanded to “culture” in his essay “Common Sense as a Cultural System.“) The metaphor can also be reversed, and cities may be read as text:

This video could be seen as a reversal of the project Delete! (I blogged about it here).

In “Kapitaal” (Capital) not the signs but the city is eliminated, and all but the signs remain. The video was created by Studio Smack (via Cross the Breeze). I do agree with the comment of a viewer, that the animation would be better viewed on a big screen, or may be for the small low res YouTube version it could be a bit shorter.

This video “The Child” created by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet is a brilliant animation, showing an entire short story set in an urban (New York) landscape, created only with words and typography. Cult video for fonts lovers and graphic designers says the YouTube description. One of the best typo motion /animations I found on Youtube. Worth watching indeed.


November 10, 2007


neo, uploaded by sigrid

I have finally uploaded some photos to flickr, which I have taken with my new digital camera in the course of the last few months. I had been reluctant to switch to digital, as I love my old mirror reflex Canon, but this summer I went ahead and bought a cheap no name digital camera. It took me much longer to get used to it than I ever anticipated and I still have my problems with it. But the strange thing is, that with this change came many other changes, among them new subjects, a new photographic style and new social practices around photos.

For most of my life my most favoured photo subjects were people and for years I used to take portraits of friends and their children and have two or three sets of prints made, so I could give them away as presents. I bought the digital camera with blogging in mind, which would make it easy to post and share images, and this also to some extent changed the choice of subjects: I am not satisfied with the quality of digital images I made of people so far. Because of the time delay it seems impossible to catch the right fraction of a moment when I feel the composition and expression are just right. Also it is hard to see details on the LCD screen and judge the contrast of light and shade, especially in broad daylight. And in any case for privacy reasons I would not want to post images of people in my blog. So my focus has shifted to inanimate objects and to a different way of composing pictures.


raining words

October 19, 2007


Here another kind of digital screen made of water, a waterfall screening words picked up via a certain algorithm from the Internet. “Bitfall” is an installation by artist Julius Popp, currently on view on Vienna’s Karlsplatz, but only untill the end of the month. The video is worth watching, because still images cannot convey the sense of transient beauty created by the gentle rain of words, briefly appearing and disappearing in the falling water. And Renauld Huberlant posted a visual poem by Apollinaire from 1916, if I understand right with my poor French, about the sound of rain. Talk about multimodal.


this is not a photo opportunity

October 7, 2007

in London, Paris, Munich

This is not a photo opportunity, by simonbooth

Not a Photo Opportunity, by d.wieclawska

This is not a photo opportunity, by jan.martin


street signs art

September 20, 2007

Andrea Acosta B-Side


Andrea Acosta B-Side 2

A great website celebrating street art is Here I found the images of Andrea Acosta’s street art project B-Side in Worpswede, Germany. She used the grey space on the backside of street signs as work surface covering them with shadow images of things, plants and leaves, patterns of nature.

She writes: … what to do with this realization, of how to make this space ‘alive’ but yet undisturbed. … how to point at something without intruding it? … when there is so many information already why does it make sense to add more?

… In a delicate but subversive way I use this forgotten space to question and subvert the functionality and language of signs in public space; through small subtle interventions I try to silently make visible this spaces, delicately inhabiting them and thus leading to a new direction in the streets.

… I guess its very true that the space is overcrowded, but when a poetic gap is opened, you can see something in a different way. As artists I think we have the power to interrupt the everyday, the people, the flow of something, to make something else visible; a brief moment of understanding that perhaps turns into a story, a comment, a conversation, perhaps only you change but certainly at the end energy is moving.


September 20, 2007

Backwards, by florriebassingbourn

There is a Flickr Group dedicated to reverse signs.

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