Designed by Ashley Mayes.
Archive for January 2011
“Exit Through The Gift Shop” has been nominated for an Oscar. Congratulations BANKSY!
For whatever reason, the recently-completed Actelion Business Center by Herzog and de Meuron hasn’t been getting as much internet love as most of their work. In fact, I’ve seen more posts about the release of renderings of their re-designed tower for Roche in Basel, which doesn’t seem as exciting as this project’s completion. I haven’t been able to find a set of plans for the building, which would really help me understand the organization behind this stack of pretty, triple-glazed offices.The Actelion website was almost helpful with this: “Every floor is laid out differently. This fundamental principle is based on a strict regularity: in the four corner points, where the ‘office beams’ meet, are the core zones through which access is provided to the whole building.” I start to understand, but the abrupt change from “Every floor is different.” to “this is based on strict regularity” confuses me. Does anyone look at images of this project and think “Oh exactly! strict regularity!”
I met Jim Mahfood once, when I lived in Roseville. He was coming to a signing at the comic book shop I worked at. I had to pick him up from the airport and I was totally nervous, for whatever reason. I remember trying to impress him with my knowledge about comics but came off sounding totally dumb. Thankfully he was a really nice guy and didn’t make me feel like the wanna-be dork I was. Cut to nearly 10 years later and I’m walking through the third floor of Myspace and I see a gigantic Jim Mahfood mural on a wall in the IGN offices. I was shocked.
It turns out that he did a mural for IGN in their San Francisco office so they asked him to one here in Beverly Hills as well. It’s kinda of a sci-fi/comic book mashup of characters all hanging out in the cantina from Star Wars. The inner nerd in me was totally freaking out pouring each of these panels. If you’re into any of this stuff you should click the images above to get a better look and see the details he put in. You can also see a cleaner version of the images over on his site by clicking here.
I came across this interview in DAMn Magazine #24, where Julien De Smedt and Jesse Seegers talk to Michael Meredith via Skype. The interview starts with what MOS finds inspirational (basically everything other than sports) and ends with MOS pretending to play in a band:
… “say we were bands playing; we say ‘man, that sounds right’. our parents would say ‘that stuff sounds like shit, turn it off’. Part of our goal is to produce a kind of music that sounds right at a certain moment. This also means that we have an incredibly short lifespan potentially, but that’s OK. If scripting is the equivalent of rave-techno, we have no interest in that; we would rather use those tools to produce things that sound like Deerhoof or Black Dice, kind of using the given technology ‘wrong’. But that is indebted to a 60s, 70s practice of Stockhausen for example, you can’t arrive at that without Stockhausen.”
It’s a quick read with images from several MOS projects; I’ve used images from their P.S.1 summer pavilion that comes up in the interview a few times. The funniest time is when Meredith says “we didn’t know that our P.S.1 project was going to become Snufffaluffagus in the end.”
In September of 2009 I posted about an as of yet unfinished short film titled The Third & The Seventh, whose purpose was to show the beauty of architecture. The catch was that the entire film was created purely from computer graphics. But what I had posted was just a part of the overall film he was creating, a 12 minute short that’s beyond beautiful. Thankfully TFIB reader Chris sent me an email reminding me that I had forgotten to post the final version of the film.
What’s remarkable to me is how he treads in and out of the “uncanny valley.” The uncanny valley is a term used in robotics, specifically when robots and other facsimiles of humans look and act almost like actual humans, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers. In this instance I’m using the term in reference to the buildings he’s created in the computer. For a good percentage of the film I’d say that his buildings are nearly flawless, my mind believes that what I’m seeing is entirely real. But every now and then you get that feeling that something isn’t quite right.
Overall though I feel like Alex has done a better job creating realistic effects than a lot of major motion pictures out there. What he manages to create in 3DS Max, V-Ray, After Effects and Adobe Premiere is above and beyond what I think most people could do with these programs. I’ve also included a video of his process in creating one of the scenes from the movie. It’s sped up a bit, and honestly I have no idea what he’s doing, but it’s always fun to watch someone’s process in creating something.