Archive of: art
Now this is a stroke of genius. Penguin are starting a new series of classic books, but with plain white covers, giving everyone the opportunity to create their own design.
According to consumer research conducted on what factors matter to people when they decide whether or not to pick up a book in a bookshop, the cover design comes out as most important. So this might be the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.
These “naked” covers will be made of art quality paper and shrink wrapped to stop them getting dirty before purchase, there is also an associated gallery for people to submit their creations.
The first six to be released are:
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Magic Tales by The Brothers Grimm
- The Waves by Virginia Woolf
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Emma by Jane Austen
I’ve always had a soft spot for Penguin, I feel they’ve been a genuine innovator in publishing ever since their inception in 1935 (the history of the company is a fascinating read), and this latest idea is right up there with their best.
By a complete coincidence I’m right in the middle of The True History Of The Elephant Man, their presence in my book collection is that pervasive.
Hat tip: BoingBoing
What happens when signage decides it wants to say something else… haunting.
I write today in what began, at least, as a conflicted mixture of resignation and alarm. Probably you do not recognize my name, but it’s both embossed and encoded on my credit card, so possibly you should. I have been one of the staunchest defenders of your copyrights ever since the virtualization of music distribution began to challenge them, and I’ve been one of your most dedicated personal patrons since I was old enough to spend my own money.
But I have also now started stealing your music. I haven’t stolen much, but I’m sure you will agree that the moral issue is not merely one of quantity. I have been one of the last independent apologists for a moral kernel, elusive now to perhaps the point of imagination, in your corrupt and desperate retreat, but now even I have given up. I still buy, but now I also steal. You have forfeited your right to my loyalty.
Are you reading this Music Industry, are you learning yet?
This turned up in my inbox yesterday via the Chemikal Underground mailing list.
The Delgados, influential figures in Glasgow’s independent music scene for over 10 years, have announced that they are to amicably disband. The reason has been put down to the departure of their bass player Stewart Henderson who informed the band in the New Year that he did not wish to make another album. The Delgados have always been known as uniquely collaborative songwriters and as such, it was decided that the band could not continue without all of its original members.
Stewart has written a lovely little piece saying goodbye on his diary page.
Bugger! I love the Delgados but never got a chance to see them live, it just never happened. That’s that plan scuppered now. If anyone has any pointers to decent bootlegs I’d be very grateful.
(Currently playing in iTunes: No Danger by The Delgados, from The Great Eastern)
Mix tapes have always been a huge part of my musical education, both giving and receiving. A mix tape can expose you to new bands and sounds you never would have discovered otherwise, as well as helping you to rediscover old friends and songs you may have overlooked.
This extract touches on that joy of discovery, as well as the sense of deja vu that you find with the music industry’s reaction to home brew compilations then and now.
[…] then Sony came out with the Walkman. I suppose the record industry expected consumers to buy cassettes of the LPs, and some surely did, but hey – why not just buy blank cassettes and record tracks from LPs instead? Of course, this is what every Walkman user did, and before long there were warning stickers on records and cassettes, stating: home taping is killing music! It was a quaint forebear of today’s industry paranoia over downloading and CD burning.
Once again, we’re being told that home taping (in the form of ripping and burning) is killing music. But it’s not: It simply exists as a nod to the true love and ego involved in sharing music with friends and lovers. Trying to control music sharing – by shutting down P2P sites or MP3 blogs or BitTorrent or whatever other technology comes along – is like trying to control an affair of the heart. Nothing will stop it.
I had no idea he had had written this, I really should try and keep up to date with what’s going in the world more often. So much music so little time!
(Currently playing in iTunes: Vingt À Trente Mille Jours by Francoiz Breut from Hamster On The Wheel)
Detail from ‘Weather’ by Olafur Eliasson. Tate Modern, London 2003
(Currently playing in iTunes: Long Distance Runaround by Red House Painters)