Design

Olga Poláčková-Vyleťalová

A Gentle Woman, 1969

Affection, 1974Escapes Home, 1980Tristana, 1972Krehké vztahy, 1980

Born August 8th 1944 in Hradec Kralove.  Painter and graphic artist. Private studies (1963; Antonin Kybal), Art school (1968) and Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague (1968-1969; Karel Svolinsky). She showed her works on collective exhibitions from 1974, on her own from 1980. She designed 76 movie posters between years 1969 and 1989. (Terryposters.com)
(See more here)

✆ EXTINCTION PHONE

Nicholas Monsour
Extinction Phone, 2014

Aluminum, thermoplastic, PVC, plywood, paper, refurbished pay phone, crystal oscillator timer circuit, Arduino control circuit, audio circuit, lead-acid batteries, recordings of extinct species, phone book containing scientific names of extinct species.

The extinction phone rings every time a unique species goes extinct on Earth, which is 73,000 times per year, or 200 times per day, or every 7.2 minutes.

This project is a site-specific, interactive art installation.  The phone is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller, and uses an AdaFruit Waveshield to playback audio.  The phone also includes custom built timer and interaction circuitry.  The recordings of extinct animals were gathered from various libraries and collections around the world.

The directory that hangs from the pay phone contains the most up to date and comprehensive list of identified species believed to be extinct.  The phone book can be purchased here.

OSPAAL Poster Art

The Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, África y América Latina), abbreviated as OSPAAAL, is a Cuban political movement with the stated purpose of fighting globalisation, imperialism, neoliberalism and defending human rights. It publishes the magazine Tricontinental. The OSPAAAL was founded in Havana in January 1966, after the Tricontinental Conference, a meeting of leftist delegates fromGuinea, the Congo, South Africa, Angola, Vietnam, Syria, North Korea, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chile and the Dominican Republic. Mehdi Ben Barka, the Moroccan leader of the Tricontinental Conference, was murdered the year before, allegedly with complicity of the CIA.

One of the main purposes of the organisation is to promote the causes of socialism and communism in the Third World; for example, OSPAAAL strongly supported Hugo Chávez and demands that the Cuban Five be released. Social development, which the organization says is a human right, is a recurring theme in OSPAAAL publications.

From its foundation until the mid 1980s, OSPAAAL produced brightly coloured propaganda posters promoting their cause, however, financial difficulty and ink shortages forced the organization to stop producing these posters. However, in 2000, these posters began to be printed again.  These posters, as they intended to be internationalist, usually had their message written in Spanish, English, French, and Arabic. As opposed to being put up on walls around Cuba, these posters were instead folded up and stapled into copies ofTricontinental, so that they could be distributed internationally. This allowed OSPAAAL to send its message to its subscribers around the world.

All OSPAAAL-Posters from the beginning until 2003 are documented and indexed in the book The Tricontinental Solidarity Poster.

Comprehensive archive of OSPAAAL posters created by librarian/archivist Lincoln Cushing

These are some of my favorites:

BHUTANESE PHONOGRAPHIC STAMPS

Bhutan issued these phonographic stamps in 1973.  The first of their kind, the records contained recordings of folk songs, facts about the country and the Bhutanese national anthem.  They have adhesive backs for use as postage.  In 2008, Bhutan issued a CD-ROM stamp as an update to this design.

RECORD 1:

RECORD 2:

IAMPETH

 

IAMPETH (the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting), which describes itself as "an international, non-profit association dedicated to practicing and preserving the beautiful arts of calligraphy, engrossing and fine penmanship," has an absolutely wonderful, treasure-trove of a website at www.iampeth.com.

Highlights of the IAMPETH's website include the gallery of Master Penmen from the Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship (replete with biographies and work samples), but by far the greatest thing this site has to offer is a PDF library of dozens of scanned, downloadable rare books filled with beautiful calligraphic designs.

 

Uncomfortable Hyperreality

 

Jeremy Geddes, The Cafe. Oil on Linen, 2008-2009.

Some of the more absurdly photorealistic paintings of Jeremy Geddes make me very uncomfortable because — I can only imagine — what I value most in painting and drawing is finding a unique synthesis of innovative technichal and conceptual methods.  When I see images such s the one above however, the part of me that respects effort and craft, which has struggled with the hand/eye alchemy of representational skill, is very excited and dazzled — yet I do not feel that I have seen anything conceptually innovative.  Regardless of this disappointment, Geddes' paintings are certainly worth marveling at, and I appreciate the consistent reminders from artists of this technical calibur of the thrill that extremely detailed and convincing handmade works can elicit — and the irreplacablility of the handmade is enough of a provisional concept for me, to indulge — even if it is only a connotation. 

You can see more images of Jeremy Geddes paintings on his website, or in a zillion different magazines, or printed onto snowboards, etc.