UPDATE: They fixed it and apologise. Thanks Alex.
The other week Alex Hibbert of the Manchester Evening News asked me this:
Fair enough. I thought, why not? A credit is always nice. And you hear so many stories about media owners just using pictures without credit or anything, it's nice when they ask.
It's not like many other people are looking at my old EBCB posts.
@alexghibbert Sure. Thanks for asking.— russell davies (@undermanager) July 16, 2015
A few days later I remembered this and looked at the story they wrote.
No credit that I can see.
I asked about that (and I even gave them another link):
No response. Nothing.
It's not a massive deal, obviously. But you know, disappointing.
July 24, 2015 | Permalink
July 22, 2015 | Permalink
It was sunny the other day so I was browsing the magazines in the newsagents. My eyes are old enough now that I can only read tiny magazine type when I'm outside in the sunshine. This Foreign Affairs cover grabbed me, because it features the same illustration as every piece on robots so I started to have a leaf through. Imagine my absolute delight when I saw how bit the type was - it's huge, possibly, even Large Print huge.
Blimey, I thought, they know their target audience, I bet most of them are a bit hard of seeing, but, this review seems to suggest the type has always been like that.
Anyway - good sized type Foreign Affairs!
(Though, really? Terminator? You couldn't have used Johnny Five? Or Huey, Dewy and Louie? Or an actual, real robot?)
July 20, 2015 | Permalink
I came across this book the other day. It brought on that flashing montage of images that passes for a Proustian rush in a child of the TV age. It's from the 1991 V&A exhibition 'Visions of Japan' and it's a nice enough thing, but it completely fails to evoke the novelty and power of that show.
It was the first thing we'd been to at the V&A, perhaps the first after moving to London and I remember a slowly building exhibition that started with imperial Japan and craft Japan and culminated in a multimedia urban barrage. A bit of research reveals that final room was, in fact, designed by Toyo Ito and it featured :
"Numerous images edited and accumulated in 12 laser discs predominantly show everyday scenes in Tokyo. Flocks of people crossing zebra-zones, businessmen talking on the platform while waiting for a train, a young man speaking over a public telephone, etc. These video images are collages and change incessantly on the 44 screens and the 44 screens display different images almost all the time but occasionally show the same images. Environmental music processed by a synthesizer fills the space from 16-channel speakers to add another dimension to the scene."
Laser discs! That sort of thing would still get written-up as exciting and innovative now, in 1991 it was remarkable. Plus, at the time, to me at least, Japan was still exotic and remote.
I got rather fascinated with Japan after that, in a superficial pop culture kind of way, I got interested in Sony, in Wipeout, in Designers Republic, in what you could absorb from The Face and i-D, in how Japan was filtered through Westerners who'd actually been there. I read In Praise of Shadows over and over. (I think that was the book I bought by telneting my credit card to bookshop.co.uk, or something like that, pre-Amazon.) I tried to justify the price of a Final Home jacket. I listened to Major Force, all the time.
I'm not sure exactly when I first got there. I think it must have been around 1995 because it was just after the first Starbucks opened. I remember they were so busy they offered no choice of drinks. They just did a latte and everyone had that.
The first pictures I still have are from 2000. Again, they seem banal now, but they were impossibly exotic at the time. I did all the tourist things.
Tokyu Hands, Kiddyland, Vacuum Records, Harajuku. I sought out record stores and bought a Lego stereo and lots of tasteful Japanese versions of trip-hop and hotel lobby music. Music for Beautiful Modern Life (Edited 4): A New Basic is still one of my favourite albums ever. I scoured ebay for every version of My First Sony. I know it's not deep cultural engagement, but I enjoyed it.
My last trip was around 2003 when we were working on the Aiwa account. I remember the thrill of visiting the Sony headquarters and the disappointment of being unable to get our newly purchased Sony laptop to connect to their Sony projector. It seemed to symbolise the decline that leaked out of the walls.
But now, for some reason, I'm getting excited about Japan all over again. I'm lucky enough to have some friends who spend a lot of time there so my instagram is full of wonderous sights. I have other friends who are visiting soon, and we've started a savings account to get us to the Tokyo Olympics, which is going to be brilliant.
This time, I'm hoping, my relationship with Japan will be about more than shopping and Sony. Or maybe not. Maybe Sony will be brilliant again by then.
July 16, 2015 | Permalink