Friday, May 17, 2013

the hybrid face of time and space, and all that's in between

Want to know more about Amanda Palmer's music? She's opened up a ton of past recordings--some to download, some to buy, but all available for listening. Fun idea, and something more artists should do; because the concept of record stores with listening stations is now something firmly camped in vintage reality for most of us.

Artist Nina Katchadourian has, for several years, been rearranging book spines to make snippets of prose ranging from the whimsical to the profound. Now, her project has been released as a book itself, which is, frankly, all kinds of awesome.

Interested in quilting? Interested in constellations? Combine the two! There are seventeen days remaining to the project, which is now fully funded, so you can still contribute if you want your own special thing; or just toss in funds to support quilt artistry in general. Either way, it's a fun idea, be that wall hanging or bed covering--a section of the sky, with stars strewn in stitches to adore at leisure.

More intriguingly, though, this is not the first Haptic Lab project to use Kickstarter, and it's far from the first that's funded--this tends to be what they do as a collective. Most of their projects are sold in kit form, but when they have a design idea that needs more funding than simply selling kits and finished quilts will get them, they toss up a "mini-Kickstarter" to help them. In exchange, they put out limited editions that will never be made again. So it's a win for everyone involved--Haptic Lab gets to make bigger projects, and sell the non-limited versions to the public; the contributors get a special, one-of-a-kind handcrafted creation with all of their trademark precision and tactile sensitivity.

Speaking of Kickstarter, have I mentioned the Girl Genius Kickstarter yet? Already fully funded, with sixteen days to go, the impressive thing on this one is the steadily achieving set of stretch goals, because the more Studio Foglio raise, the greater this thing's going to be when it closes.

First, a touch of explanation for anyone who doesn't know: books are expensive to keep in print. No one knows this better than independent publishers, but as the Foglios are highly talented, slightly scattershot, vaguely disorganized artist-types, they suddenly realized they had several volumes that had slipped out of availability all at once.

This is bad. Thus, the Kickstarter, and the stretch goal process:
  • $70,000: Reprinting Volume One of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $85,000: Reprinting Volume Eleven of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $100,000: Reprinting Volume Five of Girl Genius (achieved!)
  • $115,000: Reprinting Volume Two of Girl Genius (will likely also be easily achieved as they're close)
  • $130,000: Reprinting Volume Three of Girl Genius (also highly possible, as they have sixteen days and a LOT of fans)
And it goes up from there. Even better, if for reasons of ecological preservation, discouraging clutter, or purely financial, the $20 level gets you both a shiny metal pin (in antique silver or brass) PLUS PDF copies of all the books they manage to save with this effort.

Also, some of the upper level offers are just amusing beyond all reason, up to and including, for the startling fee of $10,000, Professor Phil coming to your house (or, the concurrent offer, $10,000 to keep Phil from ever coming to your house).

If you're a fan, you just might need to help them out. Good news for us--they're going to get the help, so anything past now is gravy. Tasty, tasty steampunk gravy.

Are you a wee bit OCD? Do you cook? Consider the Obsessive Chef cutting board set, with precise organizational measurements printed right on the cutting surface. Personally, I love this concept; it would be a boon to both beginning and experienced cooks alike.

Know someone who's interested in calligraphy or illumination, but who prefers naked girls to dusty books? Offer them a compromise. (That link is elegantly NSFW, but very very pretty, just so you know.)

I actually think that's a fascinating concept in general--it hearkens back both to the old horror tales of living books, as well as tattooing in general, and the preservation of knowledge. After all--you can't suppress knowledge that people already know. And folks are already getting quotes tattooed on themselves, why not entire book pages? Think about a banned book fair that's entirely comprised of passages no one can take away without removing the skin of the participants.

(I might be taking this a bit far, but still. Fascinating.)

Normally, BuzzFeed is where you go to get a quick fix of internet oddity or quirky reaction gifs to save for later, but on occasion, they make serious points. Here, why Varys is the real star of Game of Thrones. They may not be wrong.

And--last but defiantly not least--prepare yourselves. He is coming. And he looks amazingly bad-ass. RiddickRiddickRiddickyay! (Yes I am a fan.)

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