Monday, July 30, 2007

CityWall is a collaborative social space in Helsinki, Finland.

The CityWall is a large mutli-touch display installed in a central location in Helsinki which acts as a collaborative and playful interface for the everchanging media landscape of the city.

The content displayed on the CityWall is periodically organized into themes or events that are currently taking place in the city such as festivals, carnivals or sports events.

The CityWall is designed to support the navigation of media, specifically annotated photos and videos which are continuously gathered in realtime from public sources such as Flickr and YouTube.

CityWall is one of the first real world applications for large format multi-touch technology. The collaborative and site-specific aspects of CityWall make it a useful tool which becomes part of the social fabric, rather than a clunky gimick... like Microsoft Surface.

[via Core77]

Friday, July 27, 2007

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail S. Gorbachev is one of the new faces of Louis Vuitton. The Vuitton ad is part of a campaign to emphasize the company's heritage in luggage and travel accessories. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the ads include other celebrities using Vuitton bags...

Way to go, Microsoft!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Otaku: the watches of Haruo Suekichi

Kim Erickson is an ocularist; that is, someone that makes prosthetic eyes.

Erickson - who incidentally considered a career in architecture, but then don't they all? - makes his eyes for accident victims and those who have lost their sight through disease.

Via Super Colossal + audio slideshow and story.

Olafur Eliasson's Your House (Inside A Book) is a hand-bound, laser cut book that renders the negative space of the artist's house at a scale of 85:1.

Reminds me of Brian Dettmer's work we wrote about on June 20th - but with lasers instead of scalpels.

Interview with artist Adriana Salazar from We Make Money Not Art.

I am not a moralist towards technology, but I love to show its ironic side, I love to laugh at the fact that we truly believe technology is progress, and that it is eventually going to save our lives: in my pieces there is always something that remains incomplete, some sort of imperfection that becomes an effective part of the work. It is as if our actions as well as our machines were always failing to succeed their task. Maybe what humanizes our technological world isn't its tendency to boost human form or function, but its constant failure, its fragility.

I like the fact that this kind of things tend to escape the discursive, enclosed, and elitist approach to contemporary art. I like, for example, when people laugh at them or when they become interested in how they work or in how they relate to certain human experiences.

More images at Flickr.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This isn't brand new, but I don't have cable and am most amused:

Star Wars Robot Chicken Part 1
Star Wars Robot Chicken Part 4
No idea where parts 2 and 3 are, but here's some more:
Space Worms
Jar Jar and Vader
"You dirty little smuggler."

Bless YouTube.

The Truth About "Belgium"
[thanks Craig]

related: The Invention of "England"

Daft Punk donned the robot suits and absolutely destroyed Los Angeles last night (more).

They Might Be Giants tonight in Detroit... for free!
That's right: TMBG at Concert Of Colors

Max M. Fisher Music Center (next to Orchestra Hall on Woodaward)
Sunday, July 22 | 7:30PM | FREE

When was the last time you pogo'ed to Ana Ng?
See you there, fellow geeks.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pimpin' Architecture since July 1997

Happy 10th anniversary to Archinect! Let's take a look back...

Congrats, Paul.
You've come a long way, and more importantly, have led the way for many.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Lost Vanguard opened this week at MoMA: a photo exhibition by Richard Pare which documents Soviet architecture from 1922-1932.

In terms of pure creative energy, few periods of the 20th century can match the architectural ferment that began with the dizzying upheavals of Russia's 1917 revolution and ended in 1932, crushed under Stalin's heel.

The sheer range of visions, encompassing everything from the cool functionalism of the early Constructivists to the radical formal experiments of Konstantin Melnikov, would suffice to mark the era as one of the most fruitful in modern architecture. What distinguished it was the passion of its conviction, however naive, that architecture could be an agent for profound social change. That this vision was stillborn only adds to its allure: as an incomplete experiment, it potentially could be renewed by future generations.

Read on + slideshow at The NY Times.

Lightning-round DVD review time:

Color Me Kubrick
(Watched it two nights in a row.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Geoff over at BLDGBLOG is doing a cool follow-up project to his Undiscovered Bedrooms of Manhattan piece.

BLDBLOG has set up a voicemail account for people to call in and share their fantasies about discovering hidden spaces, which will be broadcast weekly on WFMU.

Just call +1 (206) 337-147, and if your story is imaginative enough, it'll be on the air. Geoff and DJ/rupture will switch things up over the coming months to include all of sorts listener created field recordings and other content.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

That rant about The Police this morning was probably unnecessary, but I feel a bit better. I had lost faith with the adult contemporary remake of Don't Stand So Close To Me in '86, but Mr. Theakston reports that they were outstanding in Louisville recently. Good to hear.

It's rare that we ever repost gossip from the New York Post, but this raised a few eyebrows around here: Lovitz smashes Andy Dick's face into a bar over Phil Hartman's death.

Upcoming feature alert:

We were so inspired by the divine foie gras served by Lina and Marvin Bernstein at The French Gourmet in Ferndale last night that we're going to start a new foodie column here on the Lab called Oral Fixation. Stay tuned.

The Police played a reunion show in Detroit last night. That's fine and good, and I hope they made a lot of money. They were a really good band. I liked them an awful lot in the 80's. They were on-par with Duran Duran and Men At Work at the time, but for some reason there is a level of reverence The Police have which the other two do not - which in my opinion is delusional.

The Police knew when to quit, while Duran Duran dragged on past their relevance. Duran Duran was actually a much better band, but they took it too far and made some really crap music later on. The Police broke up at their peak - which is the smartest thing any band can do. It solidifies their place in history and makes fans long for something that can never come.

I take issue with this reverence for The Police as a point of record. There was noting that made The Police more "serious" that Duran Duran or Men At Work in the 80's. They were all pop bands of the time. Duran Duran, as stated and brilliant as they were, made some real junk late in their career. The Police broke up, and Sting went on... to make a career of nothing but utter crap. I rank his entire catalog of solo work up there with Celine Dion and DJ Paris Hilton. Even Andy Summers put out a lot of cheese-ball shite since The Police dissolved. Only Stewart Copeland (son of a famous spy) had managed to maintain respectability as an artist.

If Duran Duran's diligent, if not misguided, work were to be compared to the collective solo work of The Police post-1986... who would be less embarrassing? Clearly Duran Duran, and this is exactly why I did not want to ruin my memories of The Police by attending this show of desperation for relevance from a once very good band.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Today's time waste: Victorian costume drama slapping.

And now, a moment or two of zen from our dark lord and master...




Archinect has a great feature which looks at the role of architecture, landscape and urbanism in music videos. Glad to see Royksopp's Remind Me and Eno & Byrne's Mea Culpe included.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I recenlty stumbled across Shaun O'Boyle's beautiful and creepy photos of Holy Land USA. One might think this dilapidated and very American roadside attraction is somewhere deep in the bible belt, but it's in actually New England - Waterbury, CT to be exact. It was built in the early 1950s, "when lawyer and evangelist John Greco responded to a personal message from God."

According to Roadside America, "A tall high tech cross of steel, visible for miles, would light up at night. The joke is that locals grow up believing Christ was electrocuted on the cross."

See O'Boyle's other modern ruin photos here.

Despite the Ikea going up, it's good to see that my old neighborhood hasn't changed all that much.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Here's one from the archives. I remember standing in line outside the Majestic Theater back in '95 for a Die Krupps show and getting heckled for dressing like a fascist (red neck tie, black shirt, biker leather... same as now pretty much.) The irony of course is that Die Krupps' biggest hit [above] is about their guilt over German politics, and the content of industrial music for the most part is as extreme liberal left wing as it gets. (Not that I should really care what some crackhead said 12 years ago.) For all that 'Fatherland' lacked in lyrical subtlety and nuance, it made up for with some killler riffs.

I'm going to kick this blog post off by reblogging part of Marius Watz's Generator.x post about this show to give the details. Hats of to Marius for a really great post: Tropism: Commonwealth vs. Joshua Davis

Currently on display at the Espeis gallery in Williamsburg, Tropism is a collaboration between New York product design studio Commonwealth and generative artist Joshua Davis. Inspired by the endless variations of form in the plant world, they have worked together to create a series of computer-designed vases imprinted with generative graphics.

Tropism: Commonwealth vs. Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis w/ Zoe Coombes & David Francisco Boira of Commonwealth / Prints

For the whole article visit Generator.x

I went down to the show today to check out the work and was impressed by not only the art itself but by the fact that a gallery space was successfully presenting and selling digital art objects. The work itself reminded me of Marius' own 3d prints created earlier this year and also of several similar pieces that have used this same technology combine with ceramic to create sculpture digitally.

3d printing, laser cuts, limited prints and other means of rendering files are becoming increasingly popular solutions to the dilemma new technology artists face when selling work to collectors.

Curious about the Commonwealth vs. Joshua Davis show I asked some questions to the gallery curators and was excited to discover that the gallery itself is the gallery/presentation space of Commonwealth's own work space. Hopefully, the great success of this inspired show will encourage other galleries to support and present similar work. As for now though it's pathfinders like Espeis, Maxalot, curators of the above mentioned show, and Bitforms that are brave enough to lay claim to this new form of sculpture.

Our good friends and mayhem conspirators Ectomorph are performing live TONIGHT at Family.

Friday the 13th of July
Family @ The Works
1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit MI
$5 before 2AM/$10 after | 18+ | 10PM-?

I've never seen footage from a live show that captures the energy of being there quite as well as this clip of Fixmer/McCarthy performing Join In The Chant. This was shot in London a couple days after we saw them in Dijon. I love how Douglas paces the stage like a pissed-off jaguar in a cage. You can almost taste the sweat.

Awesome level: 10

Au Revoir, Nathan!

Join us this Saturday night as we bid farewell to one of Detroit's finest. Nathan Rapport is shuffling off to the city on the bay, and we're getting the gang back together for the occasion (sort of.)

The Dorkwave extended family - which in current form is Nathan, Ms. Toybreaker, myself, Mark Lazar, Jon Ozias, Jen Rhode and the evening's master of ceremonies Mike Servito. Rob Theakston will be playing an extended set with Patrick Russell and Frankie Banks.

Saturday July 14, 2007
Buzz Bar
546 E. Larned, Detroit MI
21+ | $5 | 10PM-2AM

Thursday, July 12, 2007

As of late I've been doing lots of mask research myself for a new fashion line I'm working on. Today while searching for unique gas masks, I came across this gem. Yes Virgina, get the Mickey Mouse gas mask for the kids....

Artist Paddy Hartley's Project Facade interprets the personal and surgical stories of servicemen who underwent pioneering surgical reconstruction to repair horrific facial injuries incurred in battle during the First World War.

Great interview at WMMNA.

Also see his previous face corsets project.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My new site is FINALLY up! Go explore! Lots of new drawings and stuff.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

AMO recently launched a new auction feature for Visitors can browse and bid on super rare prototype designs. The interface looks great and functions beautifully.

This is so well done, I'm almost willing to look past those awful tee shirts - complete with URLs that still don't go anywhere.

Die Electric by Scott Amron makes practical new uses of AC plugs and sockets.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Good gracious, it's been a while since I posted here. Bethany and I have been out of town a lot: Toronto last weekend and Connecticut the past several days. Huge thanks to Cowboy Mark, Lisa Hsu, Phoenix Perry and Brian Jackson for trekking up to Fairfield on the Metro North for the weekend, and to Mrs. Shorb for pulling strings to get a fireworks display on the beach for our engagement party! (Maybe it was a coincidence, but we'll take it.)

There's lots to blog about, but I'm not terribly inspired to write at the moment. Instead, I'm going to direct you toward Dark Roasted Blend, which is 10X cooler than Coolhunting. If that's not enough to keep you occupied, check out Accent Feed, which is (as far as I can tell) the best blog coming out of in San Diego.

For those who've been trying to find recent archives, the new version of Blogger does not (and apparently can not) post previous months set in the ancient template we're using here at the Lab. Until I redesign the site with current templates (pain in the ass - thanks, Google!) here is where you can find the last few months since the switchover to Blogger 2.0 back in April:
April '07
May '07
June '07

And I haven't forgotten - Part 2 on Luigi Russolo is still coming.

Also, for those who've been asking, I've decided that Burnlab will never be RSS. The main reason is that I like to edit posts multiple times and don't want my first drafts being archived out on the interwebs. We are a "web site." I'm still not totally comfortable with Burnlab being called a "blog", let alone anything more more ephemeral. As much as this site can be about current fashions and momentary whims, it is really about documenting this slice of time we live in. I would like to think of Burnlab as the Trinity College Library for all the whacky stuff our readers are interested in. I'm a documentation freak, and Burnlab has replaced all my scrapbooks as a depository for both personal and cultural engrams - certainly not just for me, but for all of our contributors and readers. For all those who say "live in the moment," I disagree wholeheartedly and say, "define the future and write history in the process."


Saturday, July 07, 2007

two fellow car designers, Markus Haub and Thomas Salzle have just started a design-related blog, Formfreu (Freeform, i think). its in German but there are great shots, lots of cars but also architecture, product design, city scenes, etc.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Demonstrate your patriotism this 4th of July by joining MSNBC's Keith Olberman and demanding the resignation of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.



PS: LOVE the drag racing school bus!

on this my 9th straight 4th of july out of the u s of a, i can honestly say there are still a few things that make me proud to be an american in the way the majority of americans mean it. where else but in america would you find this? (i actually do think it is one of the most killer/funny things i´ve ever seen)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007