Monday, 26 March 2012

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...

Well, nothing much to see yet... but no doubt the footage will be compelling when it is eventually released.

Film-maker/explorer James Cameron has successfully navigated his tiny one-man submarine to the deepest part of the ocean floor, the Marianas Trench - 7 miles down. While he maintains the focus of the expedition has been entirely scientific, he has also been recording a lot of footage, and hopes to make repeat trips to this 'other planet'. Watch this space.

More here and here.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012


I'm a big fan of this new minimalist advertising campaign for Lego, by Jung von Matt, simply called 'Imagine'. Using the simplest forms possible, they remind us of classic iconic children's characters, riffing on what Lego is all about - play and imagination. See if you can spot the characters...

More here.

(South Park, Bert and Ernie-Sesame St, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles)

Monday, 19 March 2012


Technology news today. Research scientists at Cambridge University have announced a fascinating development in the use of laser technology - creating a laser unprinter.

Using very short pulses of green laser light, printed ink is selectively vaporised (OK, 'ablated' technically), leaving the paper undamaged and ready to reuse.

Manufacturing and recycling paper is a very inefficient, carbon-footprint-heavy process. Cambridge University calculates that worst-case, 'unprinting' uses half the carbon emissions of recycling - best-case, it is 20 times more efficient. If the technology can be fed into commercial devices, this could be an astonishing development.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Wrecking Crew Orchestra

There was a lot of chat at work today about the music videos of Jonathan Glazer, Spike Jonze, and Michel Gondry.

Coincidentally, I just stumbled across this fantastic piece of dance and lighting by Japanese group 'Wrecking Crew Orchestra' - it certainly has a Gondry 'Daft Punk' feel to it.

Using electro-luminescent suits and fantastic choreography, they create the illusion of human-scale stop-motion animation. Superb stuff - great fun.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dale Rogers Ammonite

The other night I had the good fortune to be part of a behind-the-scenes tour around Dale Rogers' north London warehouse. Dale Rogers is a renowned fossil and mineral collector and dealer, operating from gallery premises at 77 Pimlico Road (website here).

It was an astonishing spectacle. 95 million year old triple spikes ammonite found in Morocco? Step right up, yours for £56k...

Wall-filling slab of Wyoming-sourced Eocene era fossilised fish? A snip at £20k+...

Collectors of this top-end, museum-quality (and then some) material range from private individuals like Sir David Attenborough to multinational corporations for some seriously swanky interior decoration. Frankly, I don't care who is buying this stuff if it's being preserved - we heard about the ongoing destruction of overwhelming numbers of specimens as material is indiscriminately mined in the phosphorus extraction industry.

Dale Rogers was a great host, generously sharing his knowledge with a group approaching the objects from the position of artistic/aesthetic value - unsurprisingly, names like Barbara Hepworth and Anish Kapoor kept coming up. These objects are clearly of scientific value, but their great beauty surely places them in the hinterland between Art and Science.

A real treat - just a shame I couldn't get out without lightening my wallet. Luckily, those triple ammonites remain for another collector...

Monday, 5 March 2012

L'Odyssee de Cartier

Cartier's astonishing 3minute 'short film' advertisement, is quickly going viral. Two years in the making, and directed by Bruno Aveillan, it certainly deploys some impressive CGI work - although the panther is real throughout. Great play with scale too! There's plenty more info on the dedicated website, here.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Titian Acquisition

The National Gallery has acquired a new Titian work, 'saved for the nation', after a £45m deal was reached with the owner, the Duke of Sutherland, the BBC reports. 

Titian, Diana and Callisto, c1556-9
The painting will be shared between the National Gallery, London, and the National Galleries of Scotland, in Edinburgh. It has just gone on show in London.

More info here.

EDIT: great article here in the Guardian about the ongoing debate about use of public funds in purchasing works of art, and the return of the entrance charge discussion.... (HT to MT)