My Secret Assistant is created during the Liquid Journalism think-tank organized by Mediafonds in 2013. We were teamed up with Geertjan Lassche, a Dutch reporter and documentary maker, to find contemporary solutions for journalism.
My Secret Assistant is a smartphone application which discretely keeps the connection between you and your network warm and alive. This project is a critical proposal for the future of journalism.
Why we need to have My Secret Assistant
We are the generation where the meaning of friendship and acquaintance is defined by social media. We flirt on our Facebook accounts, follow with Twitter, socialize and share pictures with Instagram and connect through LinkedIn. While this organic network grows bigger every day, it also gets more and more difficult and time consuming for us to keep all our personal contacts alive.
We’re simply too busy to feed our relations with information. The result: business contacts slowly fade away and we miss professional network opportunities for our future. What we need is an assistant!
This smart application, hidden in our phone, which time-to-time reminds you of your A-list business contacts, takes topics / actualities of the day and morphs them into personalized emails or messages for you to send to your most valuable business contacts.
How does it work
Through accurate inputs and filters, easy to use interface, the user can start a connection through news and media events that are custom prepared and adapted for each person. This service would never send a message without your consent, as we know how dear your network is for you. And the app bares a fantastic toll which prevents the receiver of your messages sees it as junk mail.
My Secret Assistant, it’s a secret between you and us.
Are Botticelli and Hugh Hefner really that different?
A project by Addie Wagenknecht and Pablo Garcia where they asked online sexcam performers to replicate iconic works of art. This piece is an experimental homage to both fine art and the lowbrow internet phenomenon of cams.
Webcam Venus project is developed for FAT lab by Addie Wagenknecht and Pablo Garcia. Webcam Venus is a work in two parts and will be shown in its entirety at FAT GOLD April 1-13 2013 at Eyebeam NYC.
This post is made possible thanks to Remco van Bladel
After making the LARP blog post, we ran into this news item!!!!!
Inspired by the upcoming movie, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the video features a party of hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarfs and cameos from Gollum and native New Zealander, director Sir Peter Jackson.
It’s the latest in a series of creative ANZ safety videos that have included fitness guru Richard Simmons replete in a sequin tank top, and a Rugby World Cup themed video starring a cast of All Blacks players.
“Passengers appreciate the lighthearted and entertaining approach we take to delivering important safety information,” said Jodi Williams, ANZ’s head of international marketing.
“It’s noticeable that on an ANZ flight they sit up and take notice during the pre-flight briefing — expectations of this part of the airline journey have certainly been heightened.”
The text is taken by the CNN website.
Nike+ 21-Karat shows a Pinar&Viola version of the running experience in the future, through the eyes of a girl using the Nike+ App. Being inspired of Saar Koningsberger’s diverse interests, multitasking wonders, qualities and connectivity, they fantasized a 2.40 minute run where she has an ecstatic visual experience and where the run is enhanced with personalized graphical motivations and challenges.
This fictive, phantasmagoric-speculative imagery, mingled with realistic future predictions is made as a contribution to the Romance of Running exhibition, organized by Nike within the framework of London 2012 Olympics. The exhibition took place at the old Film Museum in Vondelpark, Amsterdam, in August-September 2012.
This entry was written by Amsterdam, Decadence, Digitalization, Ecstatic Surface Design, Exhibition, Glam Chaos, Pinar&Viola, Video, Visual ecstasy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on October 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm, filed under
Next Thursday, September 6th, our new Ecstatic Surface Collection 2013, Scandal Aqua will be launched at Pilevneli Project in Istanbul. Hereby two images from the collection and our portrait taken by the photographer of the gallery, Isik Kaya, together with our personal video invitation and the text written by the curator of Cobra Museum, Hilde de Bruijn.
We hope to see you with us at 7pm at Pilevneli Project.
Ecstatic Surface Collection 2013
Thrill Seekers Leaked
Collection 2013 is the third Ecstatic Surface Design Collection by Amsterdam-based graphic design duo Pinar&Viola. Their collections are non-commissioned, autonomous projects based on current events in politics, culture and economy, encapsulating the beauty and horror of the contemporary. As the recurring term ‘Ecstatic Surface Design’ indicates, the collections (like Pinar&Viola’s other work) are strongly focused on the aestheticized and commercialized designed surfaces that surround us, and with their design they seek to investigate the latent violence, the power structures, behind these surfaces. In their own words, the 2011 Collection for instance staged oversized credit cards as “toxic pieces of plastic, shown as an all-encompassing metaphor for shattered dreams, disappointment, the changing notion of value and the mutating concept of ‘credit’”.
The 2012 collection consisted of images that belong to “the secret collection of the fictitious persona Scarf_whiz80. Snapshots, carefully manipulated pictures and skilful photomontages, all portraying veiled divas built a critique on societal norms of gender, race, religion and sexuality, including destructions of stereotypes and ideologies.”
The bath towels of the 2013 Collection are lavishly decorated with an overload of symbols, icons, and gadgets taken from popular and vernacular culture. Let me list some of Pinar&Viola’s main ingredients for this project:
Think pop star posters. Think Justin Bieber towels gone wrong. Think Tumblr.
Think Twitter. Think teen girls experiments with blingees.
Think webcam chats. Think Wikileaks. Think sexting.
And now we’re at it anyway: think Berlusconi, and the man whose name was mentioned so often in the press that we now, with an oddly intimate ring to it, refer to him as DSK. Two men whose sexual scandals are too well-known to be repeated here. Think the image of Democratic Congresman David Wu, dressed in a tiger suit with his hands in the air to a female aide. (Wu resigned after being accused of having an ‘unwanted sexual encounter’ with the teenage daughter of a friend.) And last but not least think of Congresman Chris Lee, who photographed himself shirtless in a bathroom mirror and sent the pictures to a woman he supposedly contacted on Craigslist.
The towels directly speak to our senses. In fact, at first, their pink-purplish backgrounds might even have a slightly nauseating effect. On top of that, the abundant amount of kittens, icons from Blackberry’s love theme, blingbling items, and other kitschy elements seem to have little to do with the frame of reference of the average grownup. And personally, I even felt a bit revolted by the idea of pressing the image of that overly self-aware looking, slick middle-aged man with fake smile who is at the heart of each towel’s composition, to my freshly showered body.
Clearly, the intended users of these towels must be the wet-haired teenage Tumblr generation girls, who’s photographs, taken with their smart phones in the private space of their bath rooms, are part of the Collection too. But then what is the relationship between the girls, each wrapped in one of the towels, and this man? There is a photograph of him in his bathroom too, at odds with the carefully controlled image he is presenting with the towels. In the photograph, he is wearing his own personal towel with a distorted pin-stripe pattern, and hashtag sign followed by the word charisma – as if to stress his popularity. Are the girls, all wearing the same necklace with hashtag medallion, admirers or maybe courtesans of this man? Well, possibly, as in the 2013 Collection “dubious moral standards ornament teenage dreams,”
as Pinar&Viola state themselves.
Yet, the pink-purplish towels keep drawing my attention, pulling me off and keeping me hypnotised at the same time. They raise my curiosity, not despite, but because they seem to present an impossible constellation of things which I would like to discuss in more detail. Instead of Justin Bieber, these towels feature our before-mentioned photo-shopped character. It would be safe now to presume that he is a fictitious politician, who upon further inspection is of course also wearing a wedding ring. He finds himself in five different, carefully designed settings, one for each towel: Domestic Affairs, Global Affairs, Sustainable Affairs, International Affairs, and Urban Affairs. In this parody realm, symbols, icons, gadgets, and decorations which would normally together make no particular sense, attain a coherent, symbolic meaning and become embedded in the suggestion of a narrative, a scandal even. Let’s get into detail with one example only, the Domestic Affairs towel:
This particular towel was highly inspired by the Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal. U.S. Congresman Weiner not only send x-rated self-portraits via Twitter but also a picture of kittens accompanied by a suggestive message along the lines of “me playing with kittens”. On the background of Weiner’s picture, a photograph of the presidential family was visible. So upon further investigation, the combination of pictures of cute kittens, empty photo frames (an indication of the empty rhetoric of a happy family life), a webcam and a ‘home’ button in the Domestic Affairs towel suddenly makes perfect twisted sense. We could also further speculate now about the threesome of a ‘home’ button, the password icon, lock and key, and the inclusion of a PC and webcam in this towel – they seem to send a warning message, and tell us that our homes, where we fulfil our need for privacy and recuperate, are not as impenetrable as we like to think. The PC and webcam do not only provide us a window to the world, it brings the world in as well. It is probably no coincidence that in the Domestic Affairs the curtains are open, and the weather outside looks grim.
The Domestic Affairs towel is exemplary for Pinar&Viola’s love for the vernacular, and what they call contemporary digital folk art, as well as for the entire 2013 Collection which is inspired by the political sex scandals that were all over the news last year – although most towels are generally inspired by these and do not illustrate specific examples. With their ‘junk’ ingredients, Pinar&Viola managed to cook-up a nourishing haute cuisine which speaks of politics, media, and strategies of manipulation and diversion, and makes us chew on the question what it actually is that the media are offering us. Are we being occupied with sex scandals instead of the information we really need in order to build well-informed opinions and make decisions as responsible, self-empowered individuals? And if so, is this type of distraction all we really want? Or, alternatively, if politicians and other powerful figures get caught in a sex scandal, shouldn’t we be treating this as serious item generating further research into the dynamics behind power structures, gender roles and class divisions? Or, when it comes to the media involved, shouldn’t we be speaking about the role of social media in the self-image of teenagers, or about the penetration of the public sphere into the private lives of people?
TO CONQUER A VACUUM
Just like Pinar&Viola’s previous two collections this collection pushes the boundaries of graphic design, though not only for its autonomous character, its rich iconography, or the quite overt political message about the mediatisation and spectacularisation of politics.
At the basis of the duo’s aesthetic language lies a philosophical approach that leads to a radical working method, and to designs that are so hyper-detailed and densely pixelated that they gain an almost tactile quality. Pinar&Viola’s ecstatic surface designs in fact testify of a great digital craftsmanship, traditionally relegated to the domestic and feminine sphere of labour, and involving a time-consuming work process that goes against the standardization and democratization of design and it’s software (in which there is no room for ‘hand-crafted’ originality).
What is interesting, is how Pinar&Viola’s strategy of creating incredibly dense surfaces is a balancing act between irony and love, between their critique of populist rhetoric with acknowledgement and acceptance of our irrational desires and needs. In their practice our need for ornamentation for instance, becomes a means through which they reveal the inherent, essential qualities of a subject. It becomes impossible to distinguish form and content, surface and depth, as Pinar&Viola are well aware of, when stating that “decoration is a means by which the inherent essential qualities of a subject are revealed. Decoration is a functional and autonomous facet in our practice, existing as stylistic elements and as a subject matter at the same time.”
Pinar&Viola’s surfaces are in fact so densely ornamented that the classic art historical term ‘horror vacui’ (Latin for ‘fear of empty space’) springs to mind, which means the filling of the entire surface of a space or an artwork with detail. The classic idea is that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural, that they go against the laws of nature and physics and that hence we feel the need to fill these spaces. Pinar&Viola take the notion of horror vacui ad absurdum; in our visually saturated environment they manage to be even louder – something I would actually not have thought possible. This is horror vacui for the affluent and well-educated consumer, Pinar&Viola’s response to the overload of information that we are surrounded with. Maybe our desire to ‘decorate’ is not caused by fear of empty space but by “a desire to adapt a vacuum, to conquer it, to mark it with one’s presence, (…),” as this is exactly what cultivators and constructors Pinar&Viola seem to do. Moreover, their rich iconography and horror vacui strategy not only conquers white, ‘unfilled’ space on a surface but also conquers empty space in a metaphorical sense: empty (political) rhetoric, superficial journalism, and information that by its sheer abundance becomes meaningless.
Hilde de Bruijn
Amsterdam, August 2012
i All Pinar&viola citations come from email and skype conversations that we had between June 2012 and August 2012
ii See note ii
iii Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog, named a “tumblelog”. The service is most popular with the teen and college-aged user segments with half of Tumblr’s visitor base being under the age of 25.
iv Animated pictures created using the Blingee free online photo editor which provides its users with a hotchpotch of “favorite topics from celebrities to anime, emo, goth, fantasy, vintage, and more!”
v The act of sending sexually explicit messages or photographs, primarily between mobile phones
vi See note i
vii As suggested by Asger Jorn in Against Functionalism, 1. Talk at the International Congress of Industrial Design (10th Triennale of Industrial Art, Milan), 1954. The text can be found online, for instance here: http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/asger-jorn/functionalism.htm
This entry was written by Art, Decadence, Dematerialization, Digitalization, Ecstatic Surface Design, Exhibition, Glam Chaos, Graphic design, Pinar&Viola, Political glam, Published, Vernissage, Video, Visual ecstasy. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink., posted on August 30, 2012 at 7:38 am, filed under
Baltimore Club (Spongebob dance)
On 15 February, GO music video that we directed was launched by Rolling Stone.
On the last eight evenings of 1969, WDR 3 television marked the close of transmission by broadcasting in colour the picture of a burning coal fire. There was no mention of the artist or the art character of the broadcast – and precisely this reticence enabled ‘TV as a Fireplace’ to blend into everyday life almost as if it had always been part of it. Dibbets demonstrated that TV is a collective experience. Even if lone viewers and families were in separate living-rooms, they were united, like prehistoric cave-dwellers, by a communal fire. The relaxation and diversion the piece offers is not dependent on this cultural-historical background, however, and it is hardly surprising that videotape cassettes of open hearth fires were commercially available 20 years later.
Two years ago, we made a proposal to Stedelijk Museum within the Visibly Absent project. The aim was to represent the contemporary commercial mutation of Jan Dibbet’s work. Instead, our other proposal, Les Rêves de la Perruche et de la Sirène was accepted. This post is also a commemoration to Marten Jongema, Stedelijk Museum‘s former curator, who left us last year in April. We miss you.
Go music video is the extension in motion of recently released single’s cover artwork that we designed. Driven by the hypnotic song, together with the video producer, Jose Biscaya, we created hypersonic greyhounds race trough a vibrantly odd WWW-landscape, with a hand-crafted virtual parkour in ecstatic browsers and buttons, viral internet-icons and digital dust windstorms. Go music video is the visual translation of Diplo & Oliver Twizt’s rambling remix.
The full length music video will be online very soon!
Directed by Pinar&Viola
Video production: José Miguel Biscaya
Intern: Gui Machiavelli
We’re almost done with Diplo & Oliver Twizt hit single GO’s music video.
It will be online next week. Hold your breath!
A launch party in Amsterdam is currently getting planned. We’ll soon publish more about it.
Here are some screenshots from the video.
Infantilism may be a fashion perennial, but if the blogger Ari Seth Cohen had his druthers, every season would be a senior moment.
“My eyes have always been drawn to older people, and from a style point of view, I find them more interesting because they are of an age where they don’t have to impress anyone and can wear what they want.” Ari Seth Cohen
Currently we’re tailoring the banging Go video for Diplo & Oliver Twizt. Click here to listen to the supersonic glowing song.