Thursday, September 13, 2018

The 1990s, Truck Beeps & Patswerk

Weekly Update 2018-37: SEO-nightmare-named band the 1990s remind us of the happiness in cheeky music, the true purpose of truck backup beeps & a love of the sea by Dutch Design Agency Patswerk.

This is Erika's and Ario's last week in Toronto!

Music: The 1990s
I can't easily list any bands that make me feel as uncompromisingly happy as when I hear a song by Glasgow band the 1990s. Their music is catchy, upbeat, cheeky, and just plain fun. According to the band, they play music "like a blonde gets out of a car" (lyrics from the song See You At The Lights). Their music also reminds me of earlier-days Arctic Monkeys when they focused on teenage dancehalls and alleyway fistfights. In all fairness, two of the three members of the band met while doing drugs in a tree at a party.

It's a shame they only have two albums (2007's Cookies and 2009's Kicks) because they're both great. Honestly, pick any song and jump in.

It was my due pleasure to finally experience the annual Toronto Bike Rave this year. While it was a little colder and shorter than previous group bike rides I had attended this summer, the magic of the ride was definitely in full force.

After riding 22km (not really that much!) into the hours of 2AM, I woke up bright and early the next afternoon to get to Cabbagetown for their annual street festival. TDot Batu also plays this festival pretty much every year, this being my third year playing it.

I really loved the part of the festival that I explored for the first time this year: a street-wide garage sale all the way down Carlton from Parliament (where the main festival is) to Riverdale Park, housing a glorious array of craft and art booths. Not to mention the amazing food and free coffee, my soul was super-duper satisfied.

This past couple of days marked the Jewish New Year, aka Rosh Hashanah. I really cherish the time I get to spend with my family for these holidays, as well as my mother's delicious brisket roast. I know she doesn't really like to cook, so I figured out a new tradition that seems to work well for us: we go grocery shopping together and then I made a couple of dishes in her kitchen. She does the eating and cleaning (and a bit of prep work - thanks for grating those carrots!) and I think it works pretty well for us! Plus, more quality time is always nice.

This week, my roommate Erika leaves the Noodle. Yep, she is off back to British Columbia to chase her dreams of motion design and animation. So my goal is to hang out with her and her dog Ario as much as we can before she leaves. We're hopefully going to the Island Nude Beach one last time if the weather cooperates, and then I take her to the airport on Saturday morning and that's it for a whole year. It's truly the end of an era.

This gives me great impetus to get my life a little less cluttered. I recognize in myself that I enjoy clutter to an extent in certain situations, like my wall collage. But it's just kind of tiresome to have so many things always sitting around. So I'll be preparing for a garage sale at my parents' house in Richmond Hill where we will hopefully be able to find new homes for a lot of our unused items. Bunz has been amazing for that, especially in terms of regained value, but some items have been sitting around forever and need to get out of my life.

I also want to scour the many, many, many Richmond Hill Buy/Sell Facebook groups to post adverts about our sale. There will even be an advert on my blog next week - scandalous!

Random Thought: Truck Beeps
In these tech-heavy times we live, it seems everyone wants a digital assistant that they can speak commands to and converse with. The idea carries a futuristic sort of feeling, making strides toward a true artificial intelligence, but at the end of the day these assistants are built to understand human language and provide audio feedback while they complete simple tasks.

My apartment happens to back onto a laneway where a small parking lot holds a few cars. One of these cars is a silver pickup truck that must slowly back into its spot in the puzzlework of cars. This spot is right outside my window, so I always know when this truck is arriving home because the car beeps incessantly while the truck is in reverse. I think this is built into the car, because it happens late at night and early in the morning when I really must imagine the driver can't possibly want the sound to be on.

Since this sound woke me up most recently a few nights ago in a daze, I had a random thought about it: is a backup beep on a truck victim-blaming? Should the driver not ensure 100% through their own means that there is no one in danger of them reversing their car? Why should the car set a loud beep, whether there is danger or not, and leave it up to others to get out of the way? I know it sounds really dramatic, but I feel that this sort of sensibility is less-serious-but-similar to asking women not to wear revealing clothing if they don't want to be assaulted.

Inspiration: Patswerk
Sometime I come across a piece of design that is really magnetic.

This is a composition by Dutch Graphic Design Agency Patswerk, a double-page spread illustration for a chapter in a book on sea preservation. I absolutely love the colour scheme - which they attribute to a constant inversion of colour while selecting a palette. Not only do I love that Patswerk actually discussed their process on Dribbble (which almost never happens), but this particular process is one I find really intriguing.

I have discussed before about my mesmerization with the fact that other animals can see a wider spectrum of colour than humans. Colour inversion feels like a super power that allows humans to perceive what that might be like for these animals. Especially deep down at the bottom of the ocean where it's too dark for many fish to see, there are still animals down there that perceive the darkness around them in a totally different way.

Not to mention that the typography (the simple stretched out E) is reminiscent of looking at type through a watery lens: everything becomes wavy and distorted. The overall texture of the image is very intriguing in how it graphically depicts the textures of the sea.

Patswerk is a Dutch Graphic Design/Illustration Agency with a knack for using interesting colours, clean lines, and sneaking moustaches into their work. I wonder if there's a moustache floating around in the sea above! Check out more of their work on their website.

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