Author Archive

Trois Disques

Detail of Alexander Calder’s 21 meter-high sculpture ‘Trois Disques’. Taken in Montreal’s Parc Jean Drapeau.

Book: The MacOS App Icon Book

I don’t talk much here about my day job as a software designer at Rogue Amoeba, but this seemed too cool to pass up. Star Danish icon designer Michael Flarup has put together a beautiful book about the design of app icons on the Mac. Alongside the work of numerous talented designers are a few examples of my own work, for example the largest, most detailed, rendition of Audio Hijack app icon I’ll probably ever see:

The whole book is beautiful, and worth getting a hold of if you like looking at page after page of icon craftsmanship assembled in a handsome package.

Pre-Order Here →

Book: Dilla Time

Don’t sweat it if you don’t know who hip hop producer J Dilla is. I only had a rough understanding of who he was, and what his impacts on music were, before I read Dan Charnas’ amazing biography.

Dilla was a hip hop producer in the 90’s whose programming of drum machines brought in a style of drumming which nobody had ever really heard before. His beats were erratic and off time, which on those early drum machines took some effort to achieve. They weren’t quite straight time, and they weren’t swing time. They were in Dilla Time. He used this technique to give his music a slightly off, slightly drunk, even slightly unsettling feeling.

A great read, especially for those who love 90’s hip hop and sampling. Buy it at your small local independent book store.

National Gallery Stickers

The National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, uses stickers as passes. Put one on your lapel and go inside. As a side effect of this, as people left the gallery they stuck them to the lamp post outside, which led more and more to do the same.

Taken during my autumn trip to Ottawa.

Collapse

This facade of a building in my neighbourhood went and fell down this week. Last June I thought the whole thing looked precarious, and took this photo of the temporary structure:

Parliament of Ghosts

From this New York Times profile of art in Ghana comes this photo of a beautiful space created by Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama, titled Parliament of Ghosts. What an incredible space.

Chainsaw Aftermath

Photographs of Robert Cumming

The New Yorker has a nice little profile on Robert Cumming, an absurdist photographer I had never heard about. His pieces are whimsical and silly, like the above piece entitled “Watermelon/Bread”.

As an artist, he was an inveterate tinkerer who, for a period, taught himself a new fabrication skill every year, which would later come in handy when making the props that he used in his photographs. He was stubbornly inquisitive, often following his ideas wherever they led him, even—or especially—if it was impractical or absurd.

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Via Rafa

Winter Ski

Birch Bark Biting

Photo by Hilary McDonald via Washington Post

During precontact days, birch bark biting was practiced mainly by women in tribes “wherever the birch tree grows,” Church says. That area is vast; it includes British Columbia, northwest Alaska, Washington state, the northern Great Plains, the Appalachian Mountains, the Great Lakes and New England. Tribes that have practiced the art form include some Algonquin peoples of the Great Lakes parts of Canada and the United States, Ojibwe, Pottawatomi, Abenaki, Odawa, Chippewa and some groups of Cree.

To create an image — a dragonfly, a flower, a hummingbird — artists use their eyeteeth (the sharp teeth also known as canines) to pierce the delicate, onion-thin skin just enough to make indentations. They move the piece around in their mouth, creating symmetrical shapes. They can’t see the results of their work until they unfold the bark and hold it to the light.

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