Speartalks: Grant Hamilton

You have heard by now that Polaroid film is dying. Rightfully, no, but inevitably, yes, and we have few words to appropriately state our reaction (of the few we have, the following do share company: appalled, mystified, f*cking pissed).

Of course, while we are all justified in experiencing some emotion over this unnecessary loss, there are those among us who have even more right to mourn (see also: picket, riot, send death threats, etc.). One of them is Grant Hamilton, an Iowa City-based professional photographer who cites a 1975 Polariod SX-70 as his camera of choice "“ and who will, come next year, be to find a new medium.

Join us as we A) Take a moment of silence for a great thing lost; and B) Chat with an artist who is approaching some serious changes.

Joshspear.com: Let's cut to the chase: What will you do when your film runs out?

Grant Hamilton: My film will never run out. As long as there is one pack left in my refrigerator, Polaroid isn’t dead.

JS: Are you stockpiling, or are you transitioning into something new?

GH: I currently have 77 packs of 600 and seven packs of Time Zero. So, I guess I am a bit of a hoarder. (more…)

Jeff Hastings at We are Superlative Conspiracy

WeSC (We are Superlative Conspiracy), one of the finer establishments in America for all your skate culture needs (and boasts the support of Stereo Skate guys Jason Lee and Chris Pastras) has some big doings. Former Pasadena Art Center College of Design student and avid snowboarder Jeff Hastings may work with grass seed (you can see his grass wall at Bandini Art gallery in Culver City), but his work ain’t no Chia Pet. What Hastings has created is an “environmental art installation”–rings of grass comprised of soil, seed, and vermiculite that look like potted donuts–in WeSC’s L.A. store. He suggests that having the rings growing in the store “defies the odds of nature.” Kind of like a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk. Or Carrot Top.

Dave Eggers + Apex Art: Lots of Things Like This

Dave Eggers is a modern day renaissance man. Not only is he responsible for founding McSweeney’s, but he’s got a few impressive books under his belt and also runs a writing program for underprivileged kids amongst other things. Eggers continues to make our worldly contributions feel a little less significant with his latest venture, a collaboration with Apex Art entitled Lots of Things Like This. The upcoming exhibit explores an unnamed crude, often funny, and certainly irreverent form of contemporary art that ranges from one paneled cartoon illustrations to text-based art best exhibited in the works of people like David Shrigley, Raymond, Pettibon, Nedko Solawkov and Tucker Nichols. If you’ve got a twisted sense of humor, and you find yourself in New York between April 2nd and May 10th we recommend making your way to Apex Art on Church Street in NYC to check it out.

Dr. Romanelli Converse

L.A. designer Dr. Romanelli hasn’t been to an “accredited medical university,” but Chuck Taylor has decided to let the good doctor operate on a pair of limited edition Converse. The sneaker giant has teamed up with Bono’s African AIDS charity (RED) to produce 1HUND(RED)–100 artists to create limited edition kicks to benefit the cause–and Romanelli happens to be #12. The result is a shoe covered with breathable bandages, ghastly skulls on the soles, and some vintage anatomical drawings on the interior. Be the envy of your ER. The hottest guy in the burn ward. The there’s-nothing-really-funny-about-people-in-pain shoe wearing dude. You can find the Dr. Romanelli Converse at Sold Out until they, of course, sell out.

French Kicks: Swimming

I guess I haven’t been keeping tabs on the garage rock, post-punk scene but the first I heard of the French Kicks was hearing the song embedded in my friend’s MySpace page. I know, stop harassing me. I took a listen to their sophmore album, “Swimming,” and I like what I am hearing. For a band that was influenced by the hardcore scene, the quartet produces some subdued music with a cool sound that is not overproduced. (Ed note: I went all the way to New Jersey to see them last year. New Jersey, people! -H) This album was produced and mixed entirely by the band and is said to be their most melodic work. I especially like the spotlighting they do on specific instruments, like the drums in the track “Over the World.” I think this album definitely earns a coveted spot in my car’s CD changer. The album releases exclusively through iTunes on April 1st and will be in stores on May 20th.


Of the top three places architects look for inspiration, we’d say nature would be number one (two and three are always “art” and “the dumpster behind Frank Gehry’s house”). For Orquideorama in Medellin, Colombia (yes, the same place where Pablo Escobar had his cocaine empire), flora is more than just a design concept: it’s the freakin’ design. What looks like wicker platforms are actually pedal shaped, steel-reinforced modular structures. Architects Felipe Mesa and Alexander Bernal wanted their garden to be a garden in every conceivable way, so as the plants propagate, so do the platforms. At the vertex of these cones are self-sustaining gardens that drink up the rain water that gets funneled down. t’s a beautiful, functional space, and makes us realize that our father has a lot of improvements to make on our old treehouse.

Feng-GUI Lab

If you run a website, odds are you probably have at least some semblance of knowledge regarding how many hits your site is getting and where those hits are coming from. You can also get answers for how long people are spending at your site and at which content they are looking. What all of those numbers don’t always tell you is why people are clicking on what they’re clicking once they’re there. There’s a good chance it has to do with your visual presentation, so if you’re not arousing interest once people view your space"¦perhaps it’s because you’re not visually drawing them in. Thanks to Feng-GUI Lab, a group of visual scientists and interactive designer, now you can figure out what you’re doing wrong. Feng-GUI analyze your site’s feng shui by creating a heat map of your site that “is a composition of several algorithms from neuroscience studies of Feature integration theory, Salience, Visual Attention, eye-tracking sessions, perception and cognition of humans.” In short, Feng-GUI can help you figure out if it’s time you redesigned your page.

Via Core 77

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