My Favorite Things #12: Gorgeous Websites

Throughout my days, the occasional browsing will surprise me and I discover some gorgeous websites that make me rethink my perception of web design, literally.  With the use of HTML5, designers can now introduce depth into previously one dimensional space.  One can also rethink the user experience as well, such as OMFG below.  All are worth a visit during your once daily, or thrice daily, browsing.

Lady Gaga’s Workshop




Continue reading “My Favorite Things #12: Gorgeous Websites”

stillspotting nyc: To A Great City

On the 47th Floor of the 7 World Trade Center

This past weekend I took my friend Josh to stillspotting nyc: To a Great City, an off-site exhibition from the Guggenheim.  It was a self-guided walking tour that took us from Battery Park, Governor’s Island, the Woolworth Building, and finally the 47th floor in 7 World Trade Center overlooking the entire city and the newly opened 9/11 Memorial.  For the first true fall weekend, it was the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon, whether an architect, designer, musician, or just art enthusiast – or looking to see some of the hidden spots of downtown Manhattan not available to the public. Continue reading “stillspotting nyc: To A Great City”

Ari Tabei – creating her own home in the natural world, synthetically

Tonight I attended an artist viewing and talk at Fair Folks & a Goat on the Upper East Side.  Artists Cosme Herrera, Eliza Stamps, and Ari Tabei were able to discuss their inspiration and careers, all to a room of attentive spectators.  We spent  the first half hour of the event drinking Pinot Noir and surveying the works as they were displayed across bookshelves, mantles, and of course the walls.

My favorite artist was Ari Tabei from Tokyo (visit her site), whom I found quirky and kind.  She started off by saying she was afraid of the nature and found synthetic materials like vinyl and plastic soothing.  Most themes in art and literature play to man’s need to be close to the natural world and reject the artificial, so Ari’s viewpoint is unique indeed.  She said in most places she visits, people don’t understand – except for people in New York City. Continue reading “Ari Tabei – creating her own home in the natural world, synthetically”

A Few of My Favorite Things #6

Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown” video

People have been going apeshit this week about Arcade Fire’s newest video for “The Wilderness Downtown” – a beautiful marriage of HTML5, Google Street, View, interactivity, and a band that unfortunately everyone knows about now.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you are asked to enter the address of the home where you grew up and what follows afterward is a beautiful montage of previously filmed videos with new windows opening showing satellite views of your house, and birds.  Each window that magically appears with the timing of the song makes your brain explode a little bit more.  My favorite part was when you are asked to “draw or write” a note to your younger self, and then birds fly in and land on the letters.  Chrome Experiments breaks it down more technically than I can.


I discovered Artwalk.TV when I was looking through TechiesGiveBack’s Twitter Stream.  Evidently once a month, using the hashtag #artwalk, people come together and have a Twitter Chat about art uploaded to Artwalk.TV, a community site where you uploaded your artwork, create a profile, and reach out to other artists.  Patrons can make a donation in order to ensure that Artwalk.TV can “expand the human creative awareness of what art is and can be.”  The next chat is on September 28th and I wholeheartedly intend to join in.  Follow them on twitter @artwalktv

Hands and Knees
\”Dancing On Your Tears\”

This is exactly why I like Hype Machine – discovering new bands.  Hands and Knees reminds me of my friends’ bands in high school who played shows in their parents’ houses and everyone dances in the kitchen.  They kinda remind me of Voxtrot (???) with their Bostonian self-proclaimed “unfussiness”.  It is the kind of music you imagine dancing to very wholesomely with your boyfriend during a friend’s party.  Two of my favorites are “Dancing On Your Tears” and “The Moonlight is Wicked”.  Check out the rest of their albums and “keep whistling like a foolish old man.”

BTW – Dear members of Hand and Knees – it’s very awkward to Google your name to find images of your band and you end up with porn – and you are sitting next to a stranger on the Bolt Bus.

Bolt Bus

How come no one ever told me how AWESOME Bolt Bus is?  I bought tickets to visit my sister Deborah in Baltimore for Labor Day weekend and the WiFi along is AMAZING!!! Bolt Bus is perfect to take when you are leaving somewhere for the weekend: you have the ride to answer emails and such so you can actually enjoy your weekend.

I Was There – “Who’s Your Mayor?” – What To Think Of Foursquare

Last night I attended 501 Tech NYC‘s event “Who’s Your Mayor?” (Exploring Nonprofits + Foursquare) with Emily. Naveen Selvadurai, Co-Founder of Foursquare, explained some of the reasoning behind the initial idea of Foursquare. Here are some of the key points I took away:

What To Think Of Foursquare

  • Foursquare was inspired by the habit of people who live in cities like NYC with a plethora of venues, restaurants, cafes, and bars, but always go to their favorite spots.
  • We should think of Foursquare as an excuse to break habit and explore new places.
  • Foursquare turns daily life into a game.
  • Foursquare is an example on how software can change people’s behaviors.
  • A toddler in the online world, Foursquare is only 18 months old – but already has over 80 million check-in points.
  • Foursquare can be used as a “diary” of your personal life i.e. check in at gym, check in at bar for friend’s birthday, etc.

Shelley Bernstein, Chief of Technology for the Brooklyn Museum, also presented how they utilized Foursquare to drive visitors by rewarding their “Mayors” and regular visitors with badges and free memberships (Brooklyn Museum is suggested donation btw).  It’s pretty amazing how they incorporated Foursquare on their Community Page and definitely deserves a look.

Final Takeaway – I finally joined Foursquare and will make it my mission to be a major for the Brooklyn Museum.

Peter Callesen – Paper Cuts

You have been to galleries and museums before where you questioned the materials an artist used.  In this day in age we are concerned with what is indestructible and long-lasting.  We are rejecting printed media for browsing a screen on a tablet whose inner workings remains a mystery to one who holds it.  Anxiousness and fear are at a high as we begin to feel overwhelmed and fragile due to our ever evolving surroundings.  When an artist takes a delicate medium such as paper to create art, great care is taken with attentiveness to it’s delicacy.  Peter Callesen’s paper cuts are beautiful in their fragility and how they express how a blank medium can be “loaded”.

The Birds of the Air, 2009, Detail Acid-free 120 gsm paper, glue and oak frame. 107 x 83 x 13 cm

My paper works have been based around an exploration of the relationship between two and three dimensionality. I find this materialization of a flat piece of paper into a 3D form almost a magic process – or maybe one could call it obvious magic, because the process is obvious and the figures still stick to their origin, without the possibility of escaping.

I find the A4 sheet of paper interesting to work with, because it is probably the most common and consumed media and format for carrying information today, and in that sense it is something very loaded. This means that we rarely notice the actual materiality of the A4 paper. By removing all the information and starting from scratch using the blank white 80gsm A4 paper as a base for my creations, I feel that I have found a material which we all are able to relate to, and at the same time is non-loaded and neutral and therefore easier to fill with different meanings. The thin white paper also gives the paper sculptures a fragility which underlines the tragic and romantic theme of the works.”

Peter Callesen, Artist

The Art of Social Media

Internet Week 2010 is half over but I can already say that the $10 for the HQ pass, $25 for admission to the Art of Social Media, and doing most of it without Internet in my apartment, it is well worth it.

The Art of Social Media was held on Tuesday June 8th at The Art Directors Club in collaboration with The Social Media Society, featuring paintings by Matt Held inspired by Facebook Profile pics, The Nudes of Chatroulette by Justin Gignac, a rowdy and rambunctious Stumblebum Brass Band, electric violinist Michael Schulman (you have seen him shredding in the subways), and a whole room full of characters somewhat involved with the Internet.

Yes, he is singing “I want to f*** you in the a$$.”  And yes, my mom reads this.

Joshua Davis is Infinitely Interesting Part #2

Joshua Davis is happy he was the selected Pokemon.

To explain, I recently posted a blog entry about deciding which designer to write about for my New Media Web Design course as part of a final project.  Based on the initial web layout of the site, I selected Joshua Davis.  His portfolio was laid out similarly to Evan Roth’s in a grid-like pattern.  Davis had actually commented on the post, saying he was glad he won, but HE was the first to use the grid pattern for his portfolio.  He said he greatly admires Evan Roth and even though he used the layout first, “we won’t have to kill him.”  Davis then offered an invite to his studio in Mineola, NY, where I could possibly score some print freebies.

Even more reason why he is the selected Pokemon. (I choose you!)


Joshua Davis is an American web designer and new media artist.  He is most recognized for being an early pioneer of Macromedia Flash and wrote Flash to the Core in 2002.  Joshua Davis’ work “brought an entirely new dimension to art. Utilizing randomization in controlled environments, or Chaos Theory, Davis established a new and unique perspective on visual communication and creative expression, pioneering an area previously unexplored in graphic design.”  (via good ole’ Wikipedia)

Chaos Theory = Butterfly Effect

“”In my work I derive huge satisfaction from creating discrete shape and color palettes and then writing algorithms that assemble the pieces into randomized, whole compositions.  Chance is not always pretty, but it is fun.”

-Joshua Davis

After being a part of the New York art/club scene in the early 90’s and battling with drug addiction, Davis elected to pursue his dream of being a full-time artist.  Working under Thomas Noller in 1995, he learned to write HTML, experiment with Macromedia Flash, and ActionScript programming.Davis became a major influence in graphic and web design during the “Y2K” era of the “Dot-Com” explosion.


1998 – 2001

worked at Kioken Design, a web production company who made JLo’s first site, until it folded in 2001. became an independent web designer and artist, speaking at graphic design conferences including SIGGRAPH, Flash Forward, FITC, BD4D, OFFF, & Graphika Manila.


teamed up with developer Branden Hall  to form The Department of Notation Studios,
a media development studio


took over the band Tool’s websites – designed info page


The Department of Notation Studios disbanded.  Davis & Hall continue collaborating on projects.


professor at New York’s School of the Visual Arts, runs own design studio, & leads workshops at design conferences.


Jackson Pollack – abstract expressionist prominent in the 1940’s and 50’s.

“Among modern artists, I conceptually identify with Jackson Pollock — not that I’m a particular fan of his visual style, but because he always identified himself as a painter, even though a lot of the time his brush never hit the canvas. There’s something in that disconnect — not using a brush or tool in traditional methods.”

–          Joshua Davis, from his studio website

Classic video games – used “sprite” of an alien from Space Invaders as logo for Praystation.

Apple iPhone Art App “Reflect”:

REFLECT is an Apple iPhone Art App that uses multi-touch gestures to randomly generate a composition which gets reflected into a kaleidoscopic pattern.

You can then save your reflection as a background wallpaper, or send to a friend.

For more info, visit Sideways Mobile.

Independent Projects: was a website used by Joshua Davis’ website display new design work and experiments and one of the first to offer open source Flash files.  It was regarded as an “icon of web design.” (Design Museum )In 2001he won the Priz Ars Electronia Award, a prestigious prize for digital art.

Joshua Davis also hosted, the site of a popular Internet forum, hosted by Joshua Davis. Its minimal design, understated Web presence and hidden registration page all added to its intrigue, and for a period of time it served as an online community for many graphic and web designers and programmers. “Photoshop Battles” were a popular activity among forum members, leading into the internet phenomenon now referred to as Photoshop tennis. “Photoshop tennis”  is a graphics related game conducted in internet forums where one member “serves” a photo to another member to make their own alteration.  Each member makes one alteration and then passes on the photo.   The community of Dreamless traveled past the boundaries of the Internet with impromptu local meetings, or “riots” according to Davis, that were arranged for Dreamless users to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas.

One notorious forum on Dreamless was “08 – Meaningless and Shallow”, a topical free-for-all which lead to numerous flame wars, post floods and user-led XSS vandalism. After several “meltdowns” and member disputes, Davis closed Dreamless in July 2001.

Commercial Clients:

Barneys Department Stores, Lucent Technologies, BMW, Kanye West, Motorola, Amp’d Mobile, Nike, Volkswagen, Umbra, Miquelrius, Sony, Motown Records, Puff Daddy, Bad Boy Entertainment, TOOL, Universal Records, Atlantic Records, HBO, Canon, Nokia, Charles Schwab, New Riders Publishers and others.


Once Upon A Forest

Joshua Davis Studios


Good Ole’ Wikipedia

Gadgetopia “Whatever Happened to Kioken Design?”

Joshua Davis Studios

Design Museum

Sideways Mobile

The Importance of Your Web Layout: Joshua Davis is Infinitely Interesting

As part of the final project for New Media Web Design for the semester, I have to write an essay profiling the background, work, and creative perspective of a recognized design studio creating award-winning web or interactive design work. The list we could choose from was Funny Garbage, Robert Greenberg Associates (RGA), Antenna Design, and Joshua Davis.

The following is proof about how the layout of your website can make or break whether you are offered certain opportunities, or whether a graduating senior will write an essay about you as a final project.

Funny Garbage -big text – REALLY big text – and crazy animations going everywhere.  It may be the Red Bull I drank at 1 am, but I’m growing anxious at the rapid movement.

R/GA – Oh, I see you are opening a Singapore Office.  Everyone is doing work in Singapore nowadays.  I see you like to use Helvetica.  Everyone likes to use Helvetica Nowadays. Oh, wow, you’ve won a whole mess of awards. You are also black, white, and red all over.

Antenna Design – You demand for me to get Flash 6.  My 4-year-old IBM can’t handle it.  Yes, I know, I’m not a full-fledged Mac user yet.  Why do you have to take such a low blow considering we just met?  I’m done with you.

Joshua Davis – At first glance, I see you laid out your site in a grid patter similar to Evan Roth.  Great minds think alike?  Oh, and your studio is based in Mineola?  You show images of your work right away, which I see mostly involve pleasant looking designs, some of which are in soothing kaleidoscope-like patterns.

Joshua Davis, in the spirit of Pokemon, I choose you for my paper topic.

Top 5 Links During Today’s Browsing

Paste Magazine – Six Amazing Mashup Albums

Bust Magazine – Isabella Rosellini’s “Green Porno” airing on Sundance

Brooklyn Vegan – Shepard Fairey’s Mural on Houston and Bowery and “May Day”

MOG – Did Gaga Steal Grace Jones’ Style? Five Photos to Set the Record Straight

New Music Talk – Rant about Black Eyed Peas Being Number 1 Reason to “Get Excited About Music” According to Rolling Stone