Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Advertizing Today? A comic view...

Product Placement from Matti Niinimäki on Vimeo.

Work of Matti Niiimäk

The Shore

Tassels sparkle under the glare of spotlights
Blood red spots stain milky skin
Every muscle carved and protruding
set in relief, prepared and popping for the stage
she commands the ropes
Wrapped like Indian bangles around her arms
Slowly she rises and continues her ascent
until reaching the very top of the striped fabric ceiling
and then held upside down
where time is suspended and the crowd finally silent
(hands have ceased rummaging for kernels,
whispers and giggles have evaporated into thin air
like the pound notes from the act before)
she releases
tumbling speedily so that waves of colour, flying auburn strands
whirl past spectators’ eyes like moving landscapes in a fast car
they stare looking outside their limited windows
and into the set tank that beholds wonders,
capturing a life lived differently
Japanese waves
foam with movement around her feet and unto her ankles
Permanently she remains on the shore
listening to alien seagulls and smelling salt water taffy air
Cotton candy, boardwalk blueberry cheese knishes
Candied apples and hotdogs with bright yellow mustard and sauerkraut
Contained frozen on the edge of her limbs
Short 1950s bangs lift up and down
Mimicking the melody of the sea
As she hangs with one leg around the rope
twisting and contorting her body
So that she spins one leg and arm outwards
waiting to catch magic dust that shimmers in the smoky air
the crowd is fuzzy and shaking like objects under the hot summer sun
but their deep furrowed stares can be felt
climbing up and down her body
observing her piercings, forgetting her grace
She stands upside down in loud protest
Her laughter spreads like silky margarine through the tent
People secretly wish for her descent
her fall from freeing and dizzying heights
Instead she plunges down
catching herself inches from the concrete floor
Gasps tickle the air
their exhalation becomes her victory
Her dazzling blue feet stomp on the red and gold box
Signalling her finale, her exit from the murmuring zoo
For as much as they look in, she looks out
into a daily reminder of the masquerade performance
in the lives of others

Sunday, 26 April 2009


I'm riding on the cusp of change (self-induced and/or precipitated). We wonder what is next and where we'll land in September (ain't it lovely how flat leases can motivate action or spur decisions?). I have dreams of Paris and a career that will inspire, stimulate and reward.

I find the hardest thing to do is to figure out what you want to do (and why you want to do it). The good news is that I have been thinking about this for quite a while now, and I believe that I have finally gotten to the crux of it:

To conceive creative concepts for brands/clients that are rooted in sound business strategies, with a particular focus on the digital space, and to write these ideas to life.

Although short and perhaps a bit vague, it has taken me a while to get to the germ of it. I think that getting to the heart or core of something - an issue, a feeling, an idea, and being able to articulate it, can be the toughest part of figuring it out (and figuring something out doesn't spell the end of it - it can still morph, change shape and there's no telling when you'll find it).

Reminding me of that much quoted line: "I am sorry for the length of my letter, but I had not the time to write a short one." Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte. (Blaise Pascal).

Not knowing feels both scary and exhilarating at the same time - kind of like jumping our of a plane - which is definitely worth doing (really changes your perspective, both literally and figuratively;).

Sunday humor and a roast?

Came across a superbly funny video that sweetly displays the creativity and fun that can be had in the web remix. Also spent the day roasting in the park. A laugh and some sun makes for a superb Sunday. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Less is more?

I know - not another blog entry about Twitter. But there is yet another development in the user-generated evolution of Twitter.

How much can be packed in 140 characters? How can meaning be embedded in the short and sweet? Did Mark Twain capture it best when he said: “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead"?

How is the web shaping the way we communicate? Are we witnessing the rise of a new breed of multi-taskers with short-attention spans that seek instant gratification? Could be an interesting bunch.

Snapshot of Twitter recipes, book and love story below.

Twitter Recipes:
Saffron Asparagus Orzo: brwn c orzo/T butter/garlic; +.25t saffron&s+p/2.5c broth. Cvr@low9m; +2c asparagus3m. Fold+8T parmesan. Srv w parm.

Look closely. These are awesome acts of compression. Ingredients, actions, quantities, times and temperatures — both Fahrenheit and Celsius — boiled down to utmost richness, density and clarity. A dish, a meal, a trip to deliciousness magically packed into the tiniest carry-on bag.

"I do this as a coffee-break hobby,” Maureen Evans said. “Kind of like sudoku. I really get a kick out of how complex a recipe I can fit into 140 characters.” The recipes are from her collection of cookbooks and her travels. “They’re solutions to what’s fresh and what’s in season.”

Unpacking tweets for an hour or so in the kitchen is surprisingly challenging. It forces the mind to think harder, to fill gaps, to innovate and improvise. It re-introduces risk and discovery to cooking, which puts you only a short distance from delight.

You’ll find @Maureen at

Read more here.

Book: Twitter Wit
Former Gawker writer Nick Douglas made a stir when his book-in-progress called Twitter Wit, a humorous collection of tweets, got picked up by HarperCollins for a pretty penny ($50K). Suddenly a publishing phenomenon that had been happening sporadically in the blogosphere had a new Web 2.0 focus: Twitter.

Read more here.

Throughout history, many love affairs have been chronicled through poetry, letters and song. In the future, we will have tracks of Twitters to detail the emotional wealth of modern day people, as told in fewer than 140 characters.

What are you condensing into 140 characters?

Bursting at the seams

Although I can't really explain it, sometimes I feel like this lady. Fat, full, packed with eclectic paraphernalia, bursting, delicately balanced, replicating, colorful, screaming and ready to take on strange exotic mysteries (whose secrets are probably exposed on the back of a new LA Sushi joint or menu).

Photo courtesy of Daikichi Amano

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Light travels...

Originally uploaded by jeremy cowart
London folk really transform when sunshine makes an appearance (it's so rare that the city just comes alive). It's great to see so many people out in the streets - lounging with shimmering pints and spreading freckles. The light mood can be felt hanging in the air like strange impregnating pollen. Let it shine.

Dutch take on T-Mobile Dance (with no Ad attached)

Monday, 20 April 2009

Collaborative Instigators

It's a zany world of remixers, creators and curators. The Sketchbook Project is an interesting example of how two people travel across the globe in a Honda Civic to link and connect artists through a collage of intimate moleskin sketches. What started out as a call to action - for artists to send in their sketchbooks - turned into a quest to gather the work of almost 3,000 participants on the theme "Everyone we know".

The method resembles the way we interact on the Internet -- unconnected people brought together to ruminate on the same idea - when that happens, communities form, ideas are shared and things happen.

Excerpt from: Art Beat on PBS

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Fan fiction?

Tweeting characters to life...I came across this interesting interview with Carri Bugbee, a PR agency owner who 'hijacked' or became "Mad Men" characters on Twitter (winning a Shorty Award for her portrayal of Peggy Olson) on her own accord. This wasn't a whimsical idea, but based on in-depth character research that involved watching Mad Men episodes, writing down dialogue to nail the tone of voice, and following conversations between the Mad Men stars themselves on Twitter to see how they 'tweet' and talk amongst themselves in order to stay true to character. Based on the recognition she received for this project, Bugbee has launched an agency called Supporting Characters, that will market this digital character creation service to the entertainment industry.

What a strange authenticity...and interesting offer. Peggy Olson has 12,788 followers, not of Aston Kutcher fame, but still strong, and arguably, followers may be die-hard fans that really appreciate this digital expression of character. Others however gripe about whether the portrayal is accurate or as genuine as it could be...

I'm not sure where this brand-jacking will lead, but in an era of blurring lines between content creators and content consumers, I think this is a fabulous idea - digital character extensions expressed across multiple web platforms developed and managed by people well versed in interactivity, engagement and conversation (which will succeed when truly providing entertainment value to participants).

What do you think? Are you interested in following and interacting with characters? Who would be you ultimate follow? (I'd like to follow Cara Thrace).

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Strange fruit

hanging between the Black Sea and the Bosphorus

Giving Coca-Cola a local flavor...

While walking along the streets of Sultanahmet in Istanbul, I came across Turkish variations of Coca-Cola bottles...

Turkish Delights

Not only this...

..but the harem in the Topkapi Palace delighted and fascinated me. The strange juxtaposition of lavish, ornate and opulent openness with a prison-like reality followed me throughout each heavily tiled mosaic room that glistened with reflections of colored light from stained glass windows; light that fell on velvet pillows and rebounded off gold framed mirrors. The women that lived here were shackled by tradition, custom and probably the type of in-fighting and conniving that would put Dynasty or Dallas to shame. Only a few concubines were the fortunate ones that would be chosen by the Valide Sultan (the Sultan's mother) to 'serve' him.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Istanbul Heavens

I found the countless domes in Istanbul breath-taking, from the domes in the square in Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, to the Aya Sofya. When stepping into rooms or mosques the domes gave me the impression of being possessed by light and space. I overheard a tour guide say that the dome represented the universe, or 'the dome of the sky' which separated it from the heavenly world above and physical world beneath. The hanging light, cord or chandelier from the center of the dome represents Islam or the Koran, given to the people (if my eavesdropping serves me right) to help them ascend to the heavens.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Follow me

From the G20 to Istanbul, Obama and I have been on the same trail (glad that ended because the traffic jams and city seizures are horrendous!). [Apparently villagers in a remote Turkish province sacrificed 44 sheep to celebrate his victory!].

It is a real testament to Obama's reach and ability to incite a sense of hope in many countries (although his alleged bow to Saudi King Abdullah incited something else in US conservatives).

Check out the Turkish version of Obama's iconic poster:

Monday, 13 April 2009


After a week long hiatus (not that too many people noticed surely;), I have returned from a magical trip to Istanbul. I've been wanting to visit this city for so long now, and I have to say, it not only met but surpassed my expectations (never a good thing to have but they seem to cling like hand baggage). I wanted to document my trip while I was there, but I was stuck in a quandary I find myself in quite frequently when I travel: somehow by putting the camera or pen in between moments, I distance myself from the actual experience...but I hope to capture the essence of that journey in a few blog entries (I did of course manage to snap away while in motion;) to come. This long weekend led me to do a whole bunch of nothing (read, nap and watch movies) and kept me away from the Mac while it was being fixed (again). But got her back, so more to come.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Speaking my language baby

Numbers wearing sideways hats
parade around my imagination
holding up alien phrases
Magic code morphs into images and text
Languages multiply
building barriers between realms
Digital to the left
marching to the sounds of electronic beats
Offline Dizzy Gillespie blows on his tune
Yet they meet in dark backroom lounges
filled with yellow smoke and the taste of stale cigars
Emulation of creation again
Hollywood became monotonous
Dream weavers stitched together infinite possibilities
Binary beginnings
in the shadow of transformation
Solitary confinement for the good
of mass and fast communication
Immediate message shower screens
changing, shifting, the pattern of speech
The extension of fingertip mouths
Move back to speech
Ping-pong development
Life in between
the visceral and virtual