humor

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Design

Descend Into the Endlessly Repetitive Loop of 'Jigsaw Jigsaw'

December 9, 2020

Grace Ebert

Image via Darren Cullen

If 2020 were packaged in a box, it would be Darren Cullen’s “Jigsaw Jigsaw.” Just like our repetitive days and seemingly endless fascination with simple pastimes, the 1,000-piece game relies on the Droste effect and features a recursive image that spirals into the same black-and-white puzzle over and over.  Pick up the “Jigsaw Jigsaw” in Cullen’s shop, and follow his satirical projects on Instagram and Twitter. You also might enjoy Micah Lexier’s pair of mirror puzzles that look exactly the same despite being comprised of 16 and 9 pieces.

 

 



Animation

SMILE: Ride an Emotional Rollercoaster with These Perpetually Grinning Characters

December 4, 2020

Grace Ebert

The googly-eyed cast in Lucas Zanotto’s new looped animation is all of us this year: Beaming one moment, bummed the next. “SMILE” follows an array of pastel characters as they quickly twist from one mood to another. Whether spurred by a downward spiral or rollercoaster ride, each movement turns the pastel creature topsy-turvy, leaving it with a perpetual grin.

Watch more light-hearted projects from the Helsinki-based director (previously) on Vimeo and Instagram, where he also shares tutorials and behind-the-scenes shots. Check out his recent collaboration with KAWS encouraging folks to vote in the U.S. election, too.

 

 

 



Design

Smell Like A Million Books With Powell’s Books New Fragrance 'Eau de Bookstore'

November 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

Waft this new scent for hints of wood, violet, and… musty paperback? Powell’s Books, the beloved independent shop in Portland, recently announced a limited-edition perfume that smells just like its seemingly endless rows of new and used titles. “This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality,” Powell’s says about the forthcoming release.

Termed an “Eau de bookstore,” the unisex fragrance was spurred by customers saying they missed the aroma of the shop during the ongoing pandemic. The packaging of Powell’s by Powell’s even resembles a bright red hardback that can sit inconspicuously on a shelf with other titles.

If you’re in the United States, you can pre-order a bottle now. As Powell’s notes on Instagram, you’ll smell “like a million books.” (via Kottke)

 

 

 

 



Animation

Nobody Is Normal: A New Animation Reveals What Lies Just Beneath the Surface of Being a Kid

November 11, 2020

Christopher Jobson

However weird you feel inside, you’re not alone. That’s the literal message of this delightful animated short created for the UK children’s charity Childline — a 24-hour hotline that helps kids navigate bullying, abuse, sex education, and pretty much any other stressor you can imagine. Directed by Catherine Prowse (previously), the film imagines the sometimes unbearable anxiety of growing up and the ultimately futile attempt to bottle it all up. Prowse also shares a fun making-of clip. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

Animation still

Animation still

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

 

 



Animation

'Awkward' Revisits the Embarrassing Moments We All Experience in an Amusing Animation

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

Nata Metlukh’s animation “Awkward” lives up to its name as it transports viewers right back to the last time they bumbled a handshake or didn’t properly judge the distance during a parallel park. Through uncomfortable and comical scenarios, the San Francisco-based animator captures many of the embarrassing moments even the most graceful folks experience: a man’s stomach growls loudly, another enthusiastically waves at a stranger, and a simple haircut goes awry. Despite their innocuous nature, the situations exude uneasiness.

Earlier this year, “Awkward” was awarded Best Short Film of the Year at Promofest in Spain. For more of Metlukh’s humorous animations, visit Vimeo, Instagram, and her site, where she shares a collection of quirky gifs.

 

 

 



Art

Miniature Figures Navigate Human-Sized Threats in Slinkachu's Humorous Interventions

November 5, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Slinkachu, shared with permission

At first glance, Slinkachu’s scenes might appear to be a heap of multi-colored pills or a mess of children’s toys left behind on a London street corner. Closer inspection, however, reveals minuscule figures navigating human-sized items as if they occupy an alternate, miniature world occurring in sidewalk alcoves and planter boxes. Characters find themselves in a sea of medication that’s reminiscent of arcade ball pits, while others create a tower to fend off a nearby bee that’s triple each of their heights. Imbued with humor, the site-specific scenes often comment on contemporary social issues.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slinkachu (previously) has shifted to creating works in his home to minimize exposure to passersby. Although many of his projects were canceled or postponed, the Natural History Museum commissioned both the mushroom and bee works shown below for its Urban Nature project, a biologically diverse green space in central London. “My work has always reflected the sense of isolation and loneliness that a big city can imbue, but the isolation of being inside is new to me,” he shares with Colossal. “These were recreations of small parts of city streets built in my living room with concrete paving slabs and weeds and moss.” The shift in venue has the British artist reconsidering parts of his practice:

It was a bit surreal recreating the outside world inside, but it has opened up new possibilities for me to create narrative images. By experimenting with mixing miniature sets and photographic backdrops, I’ve had many ideas about creating images that are not always possible to create outside on a real street without digital manipulation. It is different from my usual street work but a new avenue to explore.

Follow Slinkachu’s latest installations on Instagram, and pick up a puzzle or print of his miniature figures from Affenfaust Galerie.