It’s a race to evolve beyond the semi-intelligent fungus that is eating away at our planet.
The cells in your body all think they are only themselves.
Just like us.
‘Straight Letter’, or ‘Straights’ is a script widely used by graffiti artists throughout New Zealand. While many locales have their own recognizable flavours of graffiti, a regional handstyle as prevalent as this is a peculiar phenomenon. Most agree this form originated in Los Angeles and arrived here in the late 1980’s, where local writers have been evolving it since.
Perhaps misnamed, Auckland Straights are characterized by their absence of clear horizontal and vertical lines. The resultant curved stems and angled bars, particularly on the capital and baselines, prevent strokes from being obscured by the relief pattern of a wall’s mortar, assisting in legibility. Individual glyph designs are primarily determined by the incorporation of a dominant left hand stem, providing a remarkably consistent pace, D’s and O’s that can be difficult to differentiate and some fantastically original S designs.
There is no lower case.
While judged primarily on consistency and kerning, artists express themselves through their Straights via mean height, the curve of their stems, the angularity of their letters, and through their finials, which seem to become more pronounced with each generation. Regionally speaking, a severe curve, low mean hight, large counter and more angular form has traditionally been the preference of writers hailing from Auckland’s southern suburbs while the city and western suburbs are marked by rounder, more conservative letters.
The fattened ascenders (tops, flares) emerged as a trend in the late 1990’s and have since become fashionable internationally. Writers reaching up to mark positions beyond their reach become unable to hold the aerosol can perpindicular to the wall’s surface and generate strokes which become fatter and more diffuse. Observing this effect over time enables astute artists to ascertain each other’s height and handedness; recreating it with consistent notan requires a calligrapher’s devotion and dexterity.
I was first introduced to New Zealand’s most despised font around 1990 and resented it with the passion of your average prominently positioned fence owner. Tags were highly individual, your meticulously developed calligraphic avatar, a three second encapsulation of your style. I was loathe to witness these creative expressions slowly replaced by graffiti’s answer to Helvetica. The legibility Straights provided however, enabled writers to communicate to the broader public as well as their competitors. The majority proved willing to sacrifice individuality for infamy.
Nostalgia aside - respect where it’s due. Straights provide an effective design solution to the problems it’s native media presents. This national typographic phenomena has, despite 25 years of regular buffing, come to completely dominate New Zealand’s contemporary, non-commercial, urban environment. This is the wild silver fern of our streets, shaped by generations of Kiwi youth, untamed by design.
Illustrator/High-Logic Font Creator
Buff Dis | 2014
Bacteria have been discovered that feed on a variety of bizarre sources, including hydrocarbons from oil spills. But the latest finding—bacteria that eat and breathe pure energy in the form of electrons—is particularly strange and exciting. Two types of the “electric bacteria,” Shewanella and Geobacter, have already been identified, and scientists say they are surprisingly common. Though all life is based on the flow of electrons, other organisms must consume electron-rich sugars and breath electron-depleted oxygen to produce this exchange. These bacteria, however, harvest electrons directly from rocks and metals, cutting out the sugar and oxygen middlemen. Scientists believe we can use the bacteria to help clean up sewage and contaminated water. One type of “electric bacteria” (seen in the animation above) even has filaments that can carry the electric charge, similar to how a charge is carried by a wire. In other words, a “live wire” could be created to conduct electrons across a distance by linking up the bacteria. The discovery raises the hope that we might one day derive our energy through a symbiotic relationship with nature rather than an extractive one.
//Huston, Connery, Caine & Kipling. No adjectives required.
“The Right to Flight,” the newest project from artist and writer James Bridle, involves flying a large, military-grade “helikite” balloon from the roof of Bold Tendencies, a multi-storey car park and art space in Peckham, South London. Bridle, known for his work touching on issues of technology, surveillance, and data, has equipped the balloon with a variety of payloads, from darknet routers to aerial cameras. However, instead of being sent to some secret NSA data center, the results are shared publicly and online. In this way, the project investigates how the power of surveillance and omniscience might be returned to the surveilled. Three silo-like aluminum rooftop structures, built especially for the project by architecture and design studio TDO, function respectively as a workshop, a hangar for the balloon, and an exhibition space. “The Right to Flight” takes its name from an 1866 treatise written by the Parisian photographer and balloonist Nadar, who proclaimed that mankind had a right to ascend to the heavens. Nadar was the first person to take aerial photographs, and he led the daring effort to break the Siege of Paris in 1870. But ballooning has also taken a darker turn: from the Zeppelin raids of the First World War to the use of surveillance balloons in Iraq and Afghanistan. With this project, Bridle attempts to rediscover Nadar’s utopias in the possibilities of contemporary technologies.
//Flying cars on sale by 2015
//Feels good to be home, but it doesn’t feel like home anymore. Tried to pick up where I left off, but after an 18 week break the Wacom is an alien thing.. like concentration. Taking time to reacquaint myself with the tools, reinstill better work habits and rediscover the reasons I do this stuff..
Boot camp for recovering artists | Day 1
The Bear and the Hare | Aaron Blaise (Animatior)