freelance 1: notes on carving

This year I'm taking a year out from my degree and am instead working towards a diploma in professional studies. Translation: employ me! After my toe-dip in French schooling I'll be interning, somewhere. For the moment I'm doing bits of freelance work whenever it comes my way. We're supposed to keep a diary on such things, but I've had a physical aversion to writing personal thoughts on paper ever since my brother managed to find a diary hidden in the chimney. So here's a short, boring story about lino and illustrating on demand. OR, conclusions I have come to via carving.

1) Carving is fun, I like to do it for gifts. Like Christmas or Hannah's birthday.

2) Carving 5 things in 5 days causes my hand to bleed.

3) Yacht's mix for the French radio is good to carve to.

4) Carving makes me feel all neanderthal.

5) Illustrating titles in the style of old work = challenging. (Is it the swirls they want?)

6) Illustrating titles including objects = literal = variable satisfying:boring ratio

6) "high fashion" = ? I had never been on a fashion designer's site before this week. Unless SHOWstudio via Marie O'Connor's great project on the sound of clothes counts. (Which it doesn't!) Anyway, so, fashion site generalisation: they all contain too much flash and use old boring ideas, so I made some clothes up instead..

7) Bad Idea is a lovely magazine and I'm chuffed to be contributing towards it. That's the old issue, which had an awesome comic in it by Matilda.

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«l’éducation au cœur de tout, encore l’éducation, toujours l’éducation»

Eerie quotations aside, what a great day! After only 62 years of having the vote, there is a female presidential candidate. The next six months should be fascinating. My first election, I'm feeling flushed.

Another first: Ségo's campaign started online. Check "message de Ségolene" [to les bloggeurs] which ends with the classic to your keyboards!

paper standardization.

Voici my favourite poster, paper sizes in its bunkery home:

Designed by Sybille Stöckli it's a nice bedroom accompaniment to a certain chapter in Jan Tschichold's Die Neue Typographie. A brief history of paper standardization:

In the 19th and early 20th century the lack of paper standardization was conspicuous: the choice was made primarily on aesthetic grounds which lead to enormous amounts of printed matter.

1796 the German Lichtenberg recommended introduction of standardization, on the basis that formats should always be decided by successive halving of the original sheet size. (He wrote a good letter about it)

In the early years of French Revolution the principle was given partial recognition - authorities made a rule about formats of official documents and forms in mathematical terms: 1: 1.41 (which is linked with the metric system). By ordering the original size of sheets to be 1m2 and the proportion to be 1:1.41 they arrived at exactly the same scheme as today's A-series in DIN (Deutsche Industrie-Normen). However, the French attempts had no permanent result.

20th century research scientist Wilhelm Ostwald through Die Brucke (formed with K.W. Buhrer in 1912 in Munich) made new advances in regulating format size. Stemming from the Lichtenbergian principle of constant ratio, but measured in centimetres, the proposed "world-formats"(230x230 mm letterheads) was unpractical. Their work was interrupted by the war.

In 1922 Dr. Walter Porstmann at the German Standards Committee introduced metric-based DIN 476 paper standardization system. This replaced old "folio" system and "quarto format" and spread to many European countries before and during WWII. Now everyone uses ISO 216. (apart from the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines and paper haters).


Countries I've visited.

Disclaimer: this is pretty much a non-post using a nice map-making tool that's been around for a while.

So, I've been to 7 countries in 21 years. I have a passport for two of those, and lived in another for 20. Thinking I should take a trip soon.



radio gallery: the trans-communication lab

Radio gallery has been going on since the summer. I remember keeping the flyer (quelle surprise) A striking yellow, embossed, abake. The closing event is sold out but it'll be streamed on resonance Monday 20th 7-8PM.


The Trans-Communication Lab is the closing event in the Radio Gallery series of events and radio programmes, which examine radio as exhibition space. The event reverses the overall concept of Radio Gallery by re-imagining physical space as radio and setting up a 60 minute 'broadcast environment' in which a host of artists, researchers and journalists investigate and demonstrate live attempts at 'interdimensional' communication. These include Electronic Voice Phenomena, sonic time layering space evocation, demonstrations of US military's involvement with remote viewing and mind control experiments and a live performance of a ghost story.

Curated by Lina Dzuverovic (electra) and Carl Michael von Hausswolff, this event also features Jacob Kirkegaard, Olivia Plender and Jon Ronson with radio commentary by Rob Young. Nice.

Electronic Voice Phenomena = voices of the dead hidden in radio static. Wonder what Feldman would make of that, considering his radio hate and perspective on the impermanence of leaving music behind, ideas about the "religious element" of composing: You know, When I write a piece sometimes, I'm telling people, "we're not gonna be here very long." (third Cage-Feldman conversation)


john cage and morton feldman on the noises that frighten them.

John, wouldn't you say that what we're dependant on we call reality, and what we don't like we consider an intrusion in our life? Consequently I feel that what is happening is that we're continually being intruded upon.

That would make us very unhappy.

Or, we surrender to it, and call it culture.

Call it culture?

Or whatever.

Give me an example.

This weekend I was on the beach, and on the beach these days there are transistor radios blaring out rock and roll. All over.

And you didn't enjoy it?

Not particularly. I adjusted to it ... well I just thought of the sun and the sea as a lesser evil.

You know how I adjusted to that problem of the radio in the environment? Very much as the primitive people adjusted to the animals which frightened them. They drew pictures of them on their caves. And so I simply made a piece using radios. Now whenever I hear radios, I think well, they're just playing my piece. And I listen to it with pleasure.

They carry on having lovely, casual "hmm" laden conversations. About the pretentious nature of thought. Thought interrupted. Thought ever continuous. Telepathic thought. Radio making thought audible. The painters when they went to concerts. And then back to the radio:

You mean if you want to be a great artist you have to turn off the radio?

In conversation, 1967. From ubu web (oh, ubu web)

A few weeks ago I stayed in the mountains, where there is no broadband and no postcode and no shop. Amongst other things, I stocked up on sound without context. All I could do was listen. I couldn't remember the last time I did that.



six-word science fiction.

What a great idea. From this month's Wired. Very short stories, a collaboration between writers and designers. Varied results.

Frost design:

John Maeda:

Stephen Doyle: