Tuesday, December 04, 2012

24 gifts for you!

Over at the website of a secret club we're throwing a little gift your way every day until Christmas eve. Previous days' gifts will not be available, so you best check in 24 times if you want them all.

So far we've given away the crown of King Winter, some delicious gift wrap, a magical landscape and today you'll get a classic collage challenge, unless you read this tomorrow...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reviving a blog
OK, this blog is on the verge of death. I've written it many times before, but since I started out kennmunk.com my focus has shifted, I mostly design through a secret club.

At the moment I'm teaching and I'm focussing my teaching on the importance of the sketchbook, yet sketchbook pages have all but vanished from my website. Sketchbooks aren't made to be showcased, but if I'm trying to inspire the creatives of the future to use this tool, I should put my jpgs where my mouth is, so here's the first of a series of sketchbooky entries.

In 2009 a secret club went to Sweden. Mostly to get stung by wasps and mosquitoes, but also to just sketch, think, experiment without having a project. This is a sample page from that trip:

It shows various random stuff, research and ideas all mingled and mangled, but that's my mind for you. On the left hand page, right in the middle, you see G Y S I N G though. What it actually says is Gysinge.

When you walk up the path to Gysinge, this is what you see.

If you walk round the back, this is what you see - a side of a house painted in different traditional Swedish colour combinations. You see, Gysinge is a hardware store, but not your standard B&Q. Gysinge is for people who really love their old homes, people who restore and it's the sexiest hardware store I've ever seen. It's a mix of reclaimed materials and new, but the true beauty of this place is that it itself functions as inspiration and DIY guide, take the slightly blurry pic below, it shows a ceiling in the state you'd find it in an old house, stripped, primed and painted. It's beautiful. It's not just about flogging your primer and brushes, this place cares.

This excites me. Without my sketchbook, I'd forgotten its name and contrary to what Shakespeare thinks, a lot is in a name - if you have the name you can find it, dead easy. Use your sketchbooks, kids. You'll save so much time later if you don't have to google "Cool Swedish Hardware Store"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The state of my tech

Everything around me breaks - it's true that I keep things longer than most people - I don't see the point in getting more new, planet polluting stuff just for the sake of it, but right now I'm in a rubbish tech avalanche, and hey! Why don't you join me for the ride?

It started when my son stuck 2-4 hairpins into the DVD drive of the second laptop (he currently only uses the numbers 1, 2 or 4 and when we asked him he said 2, 4) Immediately after that, my DVD player (the one connected to the telly) died, I never expected that one to last, the on-screen info was misspelled).

Sunday our router died, but we still have our mobile "broadband" from Telia which isn't very broad, it's never been above one meg. We still have the DVD playing capacity of the first laptop, that one's all right still, the plastic casing is crumbling, though. Thank you apple.

But then, RIGTH NOW I wanted to plug in some speakers at the uni where I teach and when it didn't work, I unplugged them again, only to leave part of the mini-jack lodged inside, so now that laptop has no voice. It registers that a mini-jack is plugged in, so the speakers have been shut off.


Monday, September 17, 2012

planning inspiration-adventure

I've organised a few inspiration-adventures for creatives or students over the years, mostly in London when I lived there - nobody seems to go on inspirational trips to Aarhus, Denmark...

Research for these was usually a mix of regular haunts (Galleries, shops, museums and so on) as well as checking listings and asking around for what was on, something easy to do when you know the place.

Now we're going on our own little adventure to Hamburg and while I've asked around, people I know haven't been able too point me to the kind of places I like, so a bit of online investigation has been needed - it's funny how finding quality info takes a while, a simple google of "cool things in Hamburg" won't do, you'll get a start, but to really get anywhere I've found that following trails works, It's been fun to research for this little adventure, I'm looking forward to finding out if my scouting is up to scratch, but I think it is.

I could get into this scouting and guiding, I enjoyed it in London and it felt good to show other creatives good stuff while getting the word out on great galleries and shops, everybody wins.

Oh, by the way, the main reason we're going is this

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last one...

Luckily, rosehip season is upon us and after a bit of annoying cleaning of these itchy...things... The stash to last us a year is in the cupboard. Right now elderberry capers are soaking up salt and soon it's time for blackberries. Need to get into mushrooms and shoreland foraging next. It's a brilliant thing to do. Somehow, it's connected to my creative work and somehow it's not. We scavenge/salvage a lot of building materials from the street, not only because it's free, but because of the soul these pre-loved bits of furniture possess.

Scavenging and foraging are pretty similar, spotting something useful as you walk, but foraging is knowledge based, scavenging for design projects is open and, well, creative. There's no creative thinking involved in foraging, there's no creative thinking involved in boiling jam, you follow a formula and it's a nice break.

Also, it tastes quite good.

Monday, August 06, 2012

On 20. August from 8PM-midnight my work will be displayed alongside that of Xavi Garcias, Masaki Miwa who both took part in the Super Duper Nova project I did with A secret club.

There'll be music, there'll probably be some drink, it'll be in Hackney (More specifically 445 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE)

More info on the event here.

In my previous post and on my flickr you can see a few WIP shots of my piece that was based on the awesome abilities of MacGuyver.

The reason I haven't shown you the finished piece isn't that I want to be overly secretive, it is simply because I forgot to document it...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Help Yourself
A few work in progress pictures from the creating of an A6 piece for an show in London.

It's all about MacGuyver, that thrifty guy with his swiss army knife. I learned a lot from MacGuyver, mainly that it's possible to bodge anything. I really wanted a knife like his, and when I finally was given one for a birthday, I was a happy camper - mostly because my Swiss army knife had the word "Camping" etched into it, I'm sure MacGuyver's didn't have that, but never mind, it did - and continues to do the job. (Although it's currently a bit lost somewhere in the flat.)

I'll show you the outcome another time.

As this deals with Childhood TV Characters, I figured I'd use a technique I hadn't used since childhood and I started making a lino cut version, but this turned out to be the wrong way to go, so in the end, I made a sort of collage with silver and red paper.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Calling all Animators!

A secret club is planning a Celebration of Animation at the amazing art cinema Øst for Paradis in Aarhus, Denmark and we're looking for interesting animation work to screen there.

Please go here for full information in English or here if you prefer Danish.

It'll be stellar.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Sunday morning well spent I decided not to stop my son from drawing on my leg. Not a hard decision, here's the result.

Monday, May 28, 2012

This may all be happening in Aarhus, Denmark 2nd June. Sign up for newsmail at a secret club or go to our facebook page for more. It's soon time to play again. Sponsored by Hama Supported by Børnekulturhuset

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Jenova Chen I just gave a short talk on collaborative play, torytelling and Jenova Chen's approach to computer game design. I might go into deeper detail in some future post, but for a bit of procrastination/research, have a go at Flow

Friday, April 20, 2012

New website for a secret club It's been a long way coming, but now it's finally here: The brand new schhh.org All that's missing is the English half, right now that bit is a disappointment that comes just as you want to press that little button. (For the defiant of you, something will happen if you do press the button, just goes to show that "Nothing here to see" isn't always true.) It's been a pleasure to get this all sorted, all our previous events have a home now, we have a nice little place for gifts, exhibitions and a Filmograf for showing you films whenever they come into existence. There's still lots to be done, but it's a home. At the same time, we've decided to get ourselves on the book of face and on Twitter Twitter will mostly be for things we've seen and like as well as updates. keep them peeled, more will come over the next centuries. Thank you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Don't You?

Back in January I was asked to contribute a task to Digital Arts' "Why Don't You?" article. (Funny, it's not the first project named Why Don't You that we've taken part in.)

We made it a project for a secret club as that made sense, sadly it's credited to me solely and I am described as an illustrator and the brain behind a secret club, while I form part of the brain, I am not an illustrator, that describes the other part of the brain, Annabelle Nielsen, far better.

Our task was to send people on an adventure and coming up with this little micro-project reminded me of a student days dreams: To constantly travel the world, live out of hotel rooms and just design like hell with whatever was at hand. This was in 1998 and traveling the world, chatting to clients on your Iridium phone while surfing the net with the other hand sounded damn cool and totally possible.

Years down the line reality is - thank God - different, but this project was cooked up sitting on a hotel room floor, the photo taken in a photo booth, so this sending people off on an adventure was made while being off on an adventure.

The adventure is about halfway down the page. and if you scroll a few more people down, you get to good friend Chris Ratcliffe of Garudio Studiage who will prompt you to build a zoo.

There are a lot of good, little project there to pick from if you need a bit of inspiration, it's funny to see the ones that are overly self promotional, but aside from that, there's plenty to choose from.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Leaving the house for the train very early on Monday, I scared a cat that ran across the street, it made me think of some very early London mornings, the foxes I saw and how I insisted on being excited about seeing foxes. (Even when their screaming kept us awake at night.) I have watched a small group of them playing a fairly complex "chase the plastic bag" game.

I miss the London foxes, I've had some of the most interesting wildlife encounters in London, swarm of bees in Soho, bat in the flat, mouse hunting - that sort of thing. Foxes are a rare sight in Denmark, there are very few urban foxes, so the ones you see are shy and in the countryside/forests - I miss bumping into them.

Later, on the train I sleepily stared out the window only to see a real, healthy looking fox on the prowl, as if the cat from earlier had been a teaser for the real deal.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Robots, Aliens and Rocketships

Posterdesign by the fabulous Annabelle Nielsen

We're ramping up for a space and science fiction themed event at a 101-year old observatory in Aarhus, Denmark.

More info here

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Expedition

Last night, on that impossible date, I went to the cinema Øst for Paradis for a secret club to introduce the film Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud

We had been asked to set the mood for the film, but that would probably have been a tad depressing, so instead we did what we do: We tried to get the audience to play. Not then and there, but some time in the not to distant future, we sent them on an expedition. This idea was developed further from at microbrief we'd set for the current issue of Digital Arts

With the audience in their seats, I made them make a little booklet out of the sheet of paper we'd laid out on for them, this would be their log book for the expedition, now all we can do is wait for their log books to return to us.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

the Schhhop is full to the brim
The shop of a secret club, also known as the Schhhop now features most of the amazing collages made for the Super Duper Nova collage challenge show, including my own contribution.

Every penny dropped in the shop will help a secret club produce more creative events, so even if you don' like the art, buy some and be a better person.

There are only about 25 zines left, they're all ready to go to a new home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stykker af Stumper - Pieces of Bits

The first Denmark-based workshop for a secret club of the year is a mere week and two days away and I'm very, very proud of this one. We are presenting a miniature programme of films at a cinema to fuel imagination before playing. The programme consists of a surprise short by the Quay Brothers, followed by Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - links to trailer, tickets and info on a secret club's website.

Image from schhh.org

When the house lights go up, our Automatic Collage Material Vending Machine will be purring like a kitten and ready to provide the punters with everything they need to make a collage of unimaginable beauty and cleverness.

If you're in Aarhus, and want to spend a Sunday morning like it's meant to be spent, buy your tickets here.

This one is more for the grown-ups as the films are, but if any kids want to drop in at around 12.30-1.00PM when the film is over, we're not known to stop you.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Super Duper Zine

The Super Duper Nova zine is now finished and shipping.

The cover


Xavi Garcia

Anna Walsh of Garudio Studiage

You can still pre order to be sure that you get your copy.