Category Archives: arts and culture

pigeons – the most private form of communication

today i got such a great mail from a friend of mine, Lauren. she’s doing her honours in graphic design in Holland. anyway she wrote to tell me about this project she’s been working on called Something To Hide, and it’s part of a final year research project into using alternative methods to bypass existing communication tools in order to gain more privacy.

No privacy clause in fineprint. Just little pigeon claws.

No privacy clause in fineprint. Just little pigeon claws.

Lauren and 10 other students from the Sandberg Institute have been training carrier pigeons since March. Lauren said the original idea came from watching a programme on how all our communication is traceable and ultimately non-private. their theory is that carrier pigeons are the most private form of communication. fascinating! they have a great website detailing their experiment.

Pigeon knows he was supposed to deliver a message, but cant remember what it was supposed to say.

Pigeon knows he was supposed to deliver a message, but can't remember what it was supposed to say.

they are busy working on a documentary about the project and you can also catch them at the Experimenta design festival in Amsterdam.

farm stall eccentricities

so i made the most of the 2 day week 2 weeks ago, took leave and headed to struisbaai and arniston. a road trip in South Africa ain’t a road trip unless you stop at a farm stall. in this instance, the Moerse Farm Stall in Napier caught our eye. some snaps:

moersefarmstall

sexybread
sexybreadwarning

afrikanerpainting

medicinefamily

coffeeshopwisdom

we found this very pretty ice cream truck in arniston, colour coordination a pure coincidence:

purpleicecreamtruck
and ate a pint of prawns at the arniston hotel – highly recommended:

pintofprawns

we also found the SunTouched Inn, which reads a bit like SunDouched Inn:

suntouchedinn

how to respond to critics: uwe boll speaks out

i’ve always had a soft spot for people who speak out and defend themselves. to me it shows substance. much slated German director Uwe Boll has released a statement regarding an internet petition to stop him from making movies. for those of you who aren’t familiar with his movies click here. and this is what he has to say.

love it.

south african novel of the year: Moxyland

25th of April is the launch date for Lauren Beukes’s first novel – Moxyland. I have been privvy to the manuscript pre-publishing, and i sincerely hope it goes cult classic. set in a future Cape Town, your life is controlled by your cellphone, you are hostage to a government that oppresses its citizens through censorship and genetically modified Alsations called Aitos watch your every move. the character cast is made up of an artist who sells her body to an energy drink in exchange for being able to create her art, a super genius hacker who helps her digital graffiti friends break through information control to disseminate the truth and a rich kid blogger who has a sociopathic lack of conscience. i sincerely hope it gets picked up by a large rich studio looking for something different to produce and gets made into a movie. anyhow watch this space, i will be well documenting the launch.

moxyland cover

cool stuff seen around

jesusbanana

we gave the jesus on our windowsill a regal banana jacket for easter.

iloveshit

stickers on the till in Idols store in Musgrave Centre, Durban. made by the shop assistants.

badges

badges in Idols, through the glass.

watermassage

you can get a water massage at OR Tambo airport, while fully clothed. pretty cool.

stylecoke

a Style-my-Coke booth at the Design Indaba. I got an I Love Jozi styled Coke.

macfaffi

the Mac store in Rosebank has used International Graffiti artist Faffi as inspiration for their new range, and decked out the store accordingly. it’s awesome – they’re even selling Faffi vinyl toys in store. very progressive for a main market cosmetics brand.

randomkindness

found this on a wall in one of our editor’s studios.

dirk

caught my brother’s first gig as the drummer in a band called The Wailing Jimi’s at Assembly a couple of Fridays ago.

birdmouth

a pretty piece of art i saw at a party. but blurred but hey.

macman

and this great blockmounted pic found in an old university computer lab. brilliant.

IG Assembly 01

so we held our first round of experimental ‘idea altruism’ talks – a lot of fancy words to describe an informal get-together where inspiring young people share their work, ideas, dreams and opinions in an environment that is non-judgemental. we held it at the office, and our first speakers were Brad Armitage – he of Vida e Caffe fame, Guiseppe Russo – owner and founder of One Small Seed magazine and Khaya Nongalaza – manager and part owner of Maphindi’s hotspot in Nyanga township. to say the least, it was inspiring, and although we weren’t sure what we were doing with the evening, it turned out really well.

here’s the flyer:

igassemblyflyer

we had a few issues – such as not having a neutral timer to keep speeches short (the idea is that everyone has 6 minutes in which to speak but we all ran hopelessly overtime). and we didn’t order enough pizza since we had a bigger turnout than we initially thought, but it was really great to see people who are so different at first appearance connect through a shared mindset, which is totally our objective. we’re hoping to have IG Assembly once a month, alternating in Joburg and Cape Town, so we’re busy planning Jozi as i write this. some pics from the evening:

grant

grant from B-Boy group Ill Rock taught us about the history of b-boys, break beats and how it’s not just dancing, but high-performance athleticism.

uno

Uno took us through his ‘My Documents’ folder – amazingly voyeuristic interest here, thoroughly enjoyed it.

guiseppe

Guiseppe Russo told us about his vision for One Small Seed in South Africa, and about how we need to set a standard and not settle for second best, just because we’re in South Africa.

brad

Brad Armitage told us how he and his partner set up coffee legend Vida e Caffe, with a dream and ever-zealous perfectionism. we can all be grateful to him for Meia de Leits. he also spoke about his new premium beer projects he’s been working on, packaged in champagne bottles. awesome.  you can buy them at Vida.

crowd

the crowd, listening.

dancing

some pre-talk dance moves went down.

paul

Paul van der Spuy spoke about some of his past projects, as well as his new venture – Speed Way Cafe, which draws inspiration from the Ace Cafe biker bar in england.

crowd2

more of the audience.

steps

chilling on the steps during a break.

CHUMI

and Chumi simply told us who she is and what inspires here.

snippets from Design Indaba Expo 08

while i didn’t get to go to the full indaba since i was missioning around joburg, pretoria and durban, i did get to sneak in an afternoon on the opening day of the indaba, which is always a thrill for creative types.

bags

pictures

saw loads of cool exhibitors, although they were a bit sticky about taking photos. genevieve and i were mainly there to catch her boyfriend’s show – John Sithole of label Earthquake – which was some gothic jozi urban goodness with true SA cues such as Converse shoes and kasi inspired bags.

earthquake1

earthquake2

earthquake3

didn’t catch the name of the first designer but they had this great liquorice allsorts theme going:

allsorts1

allsorts2

allsorts3

allsorts4

and then we chilled at the Cullinan pool for the rest of the afternoon.

cullinan

john and gen:

johngen

gen and i in the lift:

lift

where the cool kids are: south africa

a local version of lastnight’sparty, introducing we-are-awesome.com. flipping rad, ek se.

nuflex1

nuflex2

nufl3

street

garsh! we actually have a fashion industry. now who’s gonna invest in these guys?

i found this great resource for some young graduates from fedisa. some choice extracts:

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fediasgrad8

fediasgrad9

found via ultimate sa online fashion resource ifashion.co.za

street marketing: mother city queer party

on the wall of the venue, cape town high school.

mcqp

mcqp2

accessible if emo art makes a perfect gift: youth apathy

also found on Notcot. Subzero is less than life. to quote the packaging of this mantlepiece masterpiece:

subzero came from a look at the psychology of populations. and well, myself….seemingly conscious, educated and caring, but completely paralyzed by the understanding of a lawless administration, various nations at war, a planet reaching boiling point, and it all seems out of control. Subzero does nothing; Less Than Nothing. He is depressed from his incapacity to affect anything. In the end it’s a call to arms really but for now he remains motionless, frustrated, mad, and simply bummed out.”

subzero

packagingsubzero

websites that have been eating up my time.

Creativity Online is like the Daily News for anyone who works in and around the ad industry. Filled with interesting snacks of marketing related info.

Stormhoek’s just won an award for doing some innovative marketing. This is their blog, which is good reading. It’ll make you relook how you approach your product’s positioning, and rightly so. Big up to these guys and the work they’ve done with Cerebra.

Mike Stopforth’s blog is always worth checking out, especially if you’re confused by the whole web 2.0 thing (what does that really mean? etc etc). Dig around here for some easily accessible information and case studies, in normal, non-tech speak. Super cool.

There’s been talk of RCRD LBL  for a while now but it’s finally up and running. If you’re single and lame like me you’ll want to set aside a friday night – okay, a sunday afternoon – for this gem. For those genuinely interested in the music industry.

And then I’m still twittering. This program is something you’ll only get into digging once you bother to sign up and use it. But it’s making marketers all abuzz at the moment since the word ‘micro marketing’ came onto the scene.

And lastly, Superfuture is not new, but it keeps me coming back. You’ll see why.

“don’t cry we’ll make you a design”

teamuncool

Says an SA Creative Collective that hails from Jozi called TeamUnCool“. here’s some of the stuff they do:

johdel

SL cd cover

chinxxx is an electronica dj and producer it would seem (described on the site as OI-LEE – drawing + flash animation + live visuals + kungfu kicks + huggs) and has all these rad pics and gifs on her myspace. worth a peek.

chinxx

and this is designer / illustrator / sound designer kidu’s I Love Zulu book:

kidu

and Chris Saunders who is a photographer:

chris saunders1

chris saunders2

deadbeats F.R.I.E.N.D.S rip-off

from south african animation pioneers, the guys who do Urbo. check it out, can’t wait til we get to watch a full episode (ahem guys, come along now). and congrats to my dear friend and lead writer lauren who recently got confirmation that her first novel will be published – not that we ever had doubts it would happen.

ripe for sponsorship: clap your hands say Eurafrica

i spent my sunday night at Obz Cafe’s theatre, sipping coffee and munching on cheescake, watching a play that made me weep with laughter. Eurafrica  – written by Lucy Heavens and Sarah Jane Scott – is a 2 woman satire about contemporary white South Africans. it’s completely politically incorrect but at the same time manages to be objectively honest, so they get away with it. the storyline goes (in their words):

“Aida and Gwen feel unwanted and scared in South Africa.  They’ve considered leaving, but Europe is very cold and they only have South African passports. After a divine visitation from their ancestors, Cecil John Rhodes and Queen Victoria, they are encouraged to mobilise ‘their people’ towards the formation of ‘EurAfrica’.  It’s a haven for all those English liberals in South Africa who want a place to call home. 

Gwen and Aida embark on a deeply ironic journey through their colonial past and an awkward celebration of their English heritage to convince the people of their dubious cause.”

aida and gwen

let it be known that my stomach still hurts. it’s exceptionally witty and extremely relevant. highlights include… oh go see for yourself. it’s at Obz Cafe every Sunday night until 2 December. starts at 8.30, it’s best to go around 7.30 and have a drink, maybe something to eat before the show. tickets are R49, and i recommend you book a table as there wasn’t any free space that i could see. Click here for their offical website.

if you’re a brand speaking to youth white south africans between the ages of 18 – 28, here’s some content you might want to get involved in. suggestions include sponsorship, exclusively promoting trial and sampling of your brand during the performance (atmosphere is very condusive to it), merchandising, even turning it into a television special. kinds of brands it would suit: edgy, say it like it is brands, fashion, alcohol – great for experiential, strong retail partner.