Archive for the ‘Blah blah’ Category
Well then, a decade. That’s something to be proud of, I guess. My sleep pattern is less erratic than it was a decade ago, and I’m going to bed earlier, waking up earlier, but still I remain a dickhead who does this every morning.
Click here to see it full-size.
I seriously thought about stopping this year. A decade feels nice and round and neat and tidy. The problem now is that this is just one spoke of a daily routine of making notes about things (what drawings etc. I’ve done, which cap I wore, sports events I attended, the song in my brain when I woke up…) and I would really have to give them all up at the same time to be able to keep going and not regret stopping the sleep chart. So, see you here again in a year.
Your new national symbol, now that you’ve thumped your fists and fucked up the future for the younger people of the UK.
The UK lost, though.
And it’s because of you.
I hope your children and grandchildren can forgive you before you die.
Here’s your new national symbol, The United Kingdom of England and Wales: a racist pigeon standing on a pork pie.
I am angry.
Still really fucking angry.
The actual new one is shit. Here’s a proposal for an alternative:
Today is the 13th anniversary of the worst concert I ever went to.
Aphex Twin was enjoyable, although I have a vague feeling that we left before the end.
But Whitehouse. Truly awful. This was a photo that was in a German newspaper (and on their Web site) after the show.
Back in the day (2000) when I worked at Defcom in Berlin, our boss Johnny gave the employees a Polaroid digital camera for Christmas. Nice. It looked like this:
Images were 320×240 pixels (0.7 megapixels). It had 500kb of memory and held 29 photos. I found a few of the photos I took with the camera. Sadly, at some point along the way, I lost the camera :(
This is the first apartment building I lived in in Berlin. Lovely place. Very lucky to live in such a nice building. (27 April 2001)
A truck, a wall, and a tree. (27 April 2001)
Johnny’s dog. (27 April 2001)
U-Bahn station. (28 February 2001)
Self portrait in the office toilet. (28 May 2001)
I thought maybe possibly it could be interesting to a handful of you to see the thought process behind doing something. That something is this:
So basically, that is a drawing of Berlin. It’s specifically my Berlin. It’s not really meant to be a tourist-y landmark-y image of Berlin (although there are several easily-recognisable elements), but it’s more a drawing of the city that mean something to me, from my time living there. A couple of weeks ago, I had no plan to do such a drawing. This is how it came to be.
I don’t really do much isometric pixelly stuff. I like drawing things flat. But I was doodling and fancied doing a nice isometric cube. That idea evolved a touch into doing two cubes, the colours of a pencil/ink eraser. Moving those pink and blue cubes around in the Photoshop document lead me to the idea that they could be attached to each other by a pole up the middle. And then that pole became red and white like the top of the Fernsehturm in Berlin.
I thought about animating the upper cube so that it moves up and down the pole. I did a quick base for the drawing with some green squares, and added wooden stilts for the bases of the cubes. At this point, I was wondering if I could do a tower of different architecture styled cubes on top of the stilts. For some reason, I started thinking about a Web site design project I worked on when I worked for Defcom, a Web design company, in Berlin. The project was for a record label and I did some pixel drawings for the fairly minimal pages of the site.
Looking at old drawings from, like, 15 years ago, and I still kinda liked the U-Bahn entrance steps. So I cut and pasted them into my new drawing.
And this was the point when the eraser cube idea gave way. I thought about doing a drawing using patterns or elements of Berlin.
I added U-Bahn trains that left the cube on simple bridges. I added the some of the blocks from the Holocaust Memorial, and an old drawing of a self-ketchuping hot dog statue. Started working on other bits, too.
Because the idea had developed, I didn’t really want to be staring at a dark screen for the whole project, so I made a lighter gradient for the background.
Things changed and moved around. On the lighter background, the U-Bahn bridges looked a bit rubbish. See:
So I go rid of them. and kept on keepin’ on…
Moving things around…
Changing things so similar things aren’t too close to each other…
I tried re-introducing a dark background, but now, it didn’t feel like a dark drawing.
And that was that. Finished. (This image is slightly re-sized to fit the column here on the blog. You can see it real size here.)
Here’s some close-ups of various parts:
And should be interested to know exactly what you are looking at, here’s the full image again and below a list of all the elements:
Top layer clockwise from the back: Neue Nationalgalerie; Holocaust memorial; Bebelplatz; one of the many table tennis tables you find in the parks of Berlin; my lovely dog Billy near a big skip of trash in Mauerpark where we used to go every day; the fountain at Strausberger Platz; the U-Bahn entrance (slightly amended from the drawing mentioned previously, now it looks like the one at Ernst-Reuter-Platz); part of the Soviet war memorial at Treptower Park. And, obvs, the Fernsehturm in the middle.
First level (left to right): Part of the Palast der Republik, the old DDR parliament building which was being demolished when I arrived. Took a while, but is now completely gone; Mr Dead & Mrs Free, my favourite record shop in Berlin; Oscar-Niemeyer-Haus; the now-closed Knaack Club; and the also now-closed Negativeland video store on Danziger Straße.
Second level: a couple of the photoautomat booths that you see around the city; U-Bahnhof Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz; International Imbiss, a döner kebab place on Kottbusser Damm, just around the corner from an apartment I lived in; a Zigarettenautomat–cigarette machine–something I loved back in the day, so very handy; Zur Fuchsbau, a bar close to an old apartment; and the old white metal facade of the Galeria Kaufhof at Alexanderplatz.
Third level: lovely tiles at Paradestraße U-Bahn station; the old Tresor on Leipziger Straße with Volksbühne posters on the front; a Robben & Wientjes box, something you get used to when you live in Berlin, because you move house, and every time I did so, I rented a Robben & Wientjes van and bought their boxes, too; the Blinkenlights project on the Haus des Lehrers in 2001; and finally Alexanderplatz U-bahn station.
So yes, a whole load of lovely warm nostaligia for a city I love that is very very far away.