Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Simian Mobile Disco, Biking Around & Daniel Everett

Weekly Update 2016-42: One of my favourite electronic duos of all time, lamenting the upcoming loss of my bike in winter months, and the thoughtful urban photography of Daniel Everett.

Music: Simian Mobile Disco
I've been following this English duo since my first foray into electronic music - they're a classic to me. Simian Mobile Disco was formed in 2003 by James Ford and Jas Shaw of the band Simian, which is exactly how I found out about them. While Simian does have some electronic sounds, they're more of a rock band whereas Simian Mobile Disco plays with repetition, synth, and other aspects you'd find in a London nightclub. They're the kind of band I keep going back to every once in a while, and their 2013 album Unpatterns was a slow burner for me until my most recent listen. I can't get enough. Listen below:

This was another big week in the world of getting shit done. I moved all my photos to my external hard drive, and planned and packed for my Munich trip. Don't tell anyone but I'm writing this post from the airport! Check out my itinerary here.

I also moved my old backup to my external hard drive (500GB = 6 hours!) and wrote a blog post about China. Only one more to go! Writing this second-to-last post made me reflect on the trip (even six months later) and think about how lovely and jam-packed it was. We saw so much stuff! It'll be interesting to compare that to the trip I am about to take.

I also requested quotes and some paper samples from several business card printers. I was originally debating some custom embossing, but I think it'll be too expensive as a special custom die would have to be made for the project. Might be a bit too fancy, especially if it triples the price of the project.

I started thinking about my blog redesign and explored some pretty interesting blogs. You can read my working document (which may become something that resembles a project brief?) here. I have really been inspired by my friend Sara's travel blog Backpack & Bike.

Not only does she showcase her (and her boyfriend's) beautiful adventuring spirit, but the content is really practical and targeted toward an audience of people who want to travel in the same way. But what I like best about it is the overall user experience of the blog, which is miles ahead of mine. Honestly, I've been throwing posts out into the ether without caring about an audience (which is forgivable, since I write these posts for myself), but I should at least use the project as an exercise in attaining a better user experience...in case anyone should happen here. I mean, it is googleable after all.

I'm taking a light week, so I can take in all the sights of Munich! My trip is going to cover most of the week, so I'm not worried about getting too much done. Time for a break. The only thing left to do is print out my various tickets for things, and download some offline maps to my phone. Especially Tegernsee, lord knows there probably won't be a Starbucks with free WiFi there! Although, maybe the town will surprise me.

Random Thought:
The end of good weather is approaching all too quickly, which means it'll be time to put my bike away for the season and buy a metropass. This is a disheartening thought on many levels. Obviously, the cost of the pass is a bit upsetting, and my ability to get around quickly will be cut quite short, but it's really my lack of trust in the TTC altogether. Every time I've been forced to use the subway, service has been delayed or the subway cars have been packed to the gills, or something like that. Not to mention that without the exercise biking has given me, I'll probably grow some extra winter layers...but I suppose that's not a bad thing.

One year, I'd like to try biking around in the winter. But not this winter, as my father has expressed that he could not live with the worry of imagining me trying to bike over patches of black ice (or being hit by cars who have done the same). He has a point.

Inspiration: Daniel Everett
I came across Everett's work during one of my occasional peruses through ffffound.com. I realized during my most recent visit that I usually absent-mindedly scroll through the pages of content, never digging further into where the imagery comes from. And why not? It's such a waste to simply gaze at a piece and not try to understand it in a more meaningful way. So let's do an exercise together.

What do you think of when you look at the picture above? Does it remind you of something you've seen before? Does it make you feel a feeling you've felt before? Maybe one you haven't? How do you think the image was made? Was it fabricated in a studio or found out in the wide world?

I'd never really asked myself these kinds of questions about the content on the website until I saw this image. It made me so curious that I realized I should be changing the way I consume the content on Ffffound.

And so I clicked. Arcademi, the website where the image is from, contains a quote from Everett:
"My work originates from a preoccupation with order. I am interested in the divide between an idealized vision of progress and the physical reality of the structures and objects left in its wake. In my work I tend to embrace blandness and uniformity as both a subject matter and an aesthetic value. I use art as a way of sorting through my ambivalence towards the ideals of structure and perfection."
Lovely to discover. Now, let's check out some other images from the series.

I simply love the way the lines interact and vibrate. Check out more of Everett's work here.

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