Fashion week is over and we’re left yearning for things we may never be able to afford or be able to wear without causing a scene. We just can’t afford things like Bart Simpson haute couture by Jeremy Scott and it’s not exactly practical everyday wear. That, however, is what fashion week is all about. It’s pining for unbelievably beautiful or weird things and it’s inspiring. It’s hard not to see new fashion and be inspired to change things up. Few things from actual fashion shows can make their way into our closets, but for fans of fanciful accessories there is one.
Banksy won our hearts years ago when he mysteriously showed up on the scene, leaving street art that was at times a political commentary, pensive, and even humorous. Like Zorro or Batman, the calling card that was his art created quite the following. As with most graffiti artists, his work shows up mysteriously on the sides of unsuspecting buildings. Best of all, it’s free. It’s no wonder, then, that Banksy has inspired some imitators over the years. Banksy is one of many artists that have revived the interest in graffiti as an art form. He’s been praised for bringing art back to those who can’t afford gallery visits and helping to change the perception people have of graffiti as just “vandalism”.
Much like the floppy disk, the CD is on its way out. MP3s and their players, bless them, blew CDs out of the water when they gave us the ability to have our entire song collection on hand at once. Memory cards and USB sticks eliminated that awkward stage where CDs replaced the aforementioned floppy. There are teenagers alive who have never had to deal with these old relics physically. The floppy disk is just a little icon, the ‘save’ button on a word processor. Sean Avery, however, turns the CD into something more--by destroying it.
It’s not often that recycled art stuns, but Avery’s pieces are out of this world. He calls his work sustainable art. Sustainable art, like environmental art, emphasizes a need to give back and to make the most of what we have instead of creating more waste. Sean Avery breathes new life into outdated technology. His elablorate sculptures that gleam in the sun are even created in a lo-tech way: simple hot glue, wire frames, and a lot of patience go into each of his pieces. Interestingly enough, his subjects most often seem to be animals. He finds something living and breathing within and literally makes it shine. Scales, feathers, and fur are all created with shaped CD fragments.
There’s nothing new about publicity stunts mixing in with video game launches. Taking a cue from big screen hype, video game launches have become an event. Costumed heroes, famous guests, launch parties, flashmobs and more have all been a part of some big game releases. Weather balloons? Not so much. It’s not exactly a traditional way of raising some fanfare for a game, but we’ll bite. To celebrate the launch of Mass Effect 3, coming out on March 6th, Electronic Arts will launch copies of the game into the sky next week and encourage fans to track them using GPS to find out where they land.
Finally, there’s a way to party and prepare that thesis you’ve been holding off on, thanks to science. Recent research shows that a moderate amount of vodka increases word association skills and verbal creativity. This means that you’re slightly more on your toes and creative when buzzed on vodka. A buzz loosens up the mind enough so that we’re less likely to be inhibited by a deliberate approach to problem solving, but not so intoxicated that we can’t think logically. Anyone could guess that a little alcohol loosens us up verbally, but no one could guess that it would make us better poets or smoother speakers.
It’s Monday and the day before Valentine’s Day. The pressure is on and the drudgery of the work week has begun. It’s time to break out the coffee, get some work done, and then dart around in search of last minute sentiments if you have to. It’s a stressful day and we all need something for the nerves. Instead of the usual time killers or Youtube videos, have a look at some of Seth Casteel’s animal photography.
The notoriously talented photographer dabbles in the adorable and serene, but his specialty seems to be dogs at their most ridiculous. Lately, he’s been able to capture some pretty fantastic candid shots we usually don’t usually see. Dogs love fetch. Half the reason we play fetch with dogs is because their excitement is contagious. It’s all over their faces and body language. So what happens when we pitch a ball into a nice pool? Casteel has captured right in the middle of retrieving a ball from a pool. These underwater dogs are everything you could want and more. They’re ferocious, ridiculous, and having a pretty awesome time.
For as many great big name games as there are, it’s tough to find games that don’t fit a certain mold. Adventure games, which were big when we were kids, have all but disappeared off the map now that consoles are pumping out great platformers like the Mario games and every game inspired by it, first person shooters, and RPGs. Adventure games involve a lot of pointing and clicking since they made their debut on computers. They’re often simple in some aspects, but that gives adventure games freedom to explore bigger stories and to make stories an interactive experience. Adventure games often involve a lot of puzzle solving too, and while that’s definitely fun, the genre’s been pushed aside in recent years for games with a lot more action.
It’s rare that advertisement falls under our arts category or that something so simple as font on a background catch the readers’ eyes. Swiss Life, however, has really set the bar for creative advertising. They’ve done so by being crafty with their words. The insurance group known for life insurance and pension needed a new way to let readers know that insurance is a must. Anything can happen in life, so everyone needs a safety net incase the worst happens. It’s truthful advertising, but it needed an extra bit of edge.
Their new ads offer that satisfying twist. This new set of Swiss Life posters is dubbed Life's Turns In a Sentence. Just as advertised, the posters turn whole lifetimes in single phrases. They’re funny, cute, notoriously clever, and capture some major life changes that no one anticipates. “She’s my everything went wrong”, “I love my house now belongs to my ex-wife”, “I like working with you is impossible”, are among the more bitter of the bunch, but they’re some of the best examples of truth in advertising.
It’s a tough world, nice guys finish last. There are plenty of sayings that are meant to prepare us for a mean world where success means being more underhanded than your predecessor. To many, there’s just no room for extra kindnesses, because kindness itself has become a weakness. This myth of kindness and generosity as things that are detrimental has kept people in fierce competition for years. The truth, however, is that people who reach out and help others are no more likely to fall behind in the world than peers who only look out for themselves. Dispelling the falsehood of self-interest getting people ahead is Good Virus, Kindness is Contagious.
In almost a week, tons of people will struggle to express just how they feel about one person. Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and like it or not, everyone is thinking just a little romantically. Soon, chocolates will be flying off of shelves and Hallmark will count their millions made in Valentine’s cards and Peanuts memorabilia. Valentine’s Day is easy for those with lovers who are satisfied with a practical box of candy or flowers or cards, or singles who can swoop in on February 15th and get all the chocolate they want on sale. However, some people expect to be romanced a little on Valentine’s Day. Who knew?