May 29, 2011

Graffiti in Rio

May 27, 2011

The PhoneBoox (UK Invention)

As economic pressures have threatened public libraries with closure from lack of funds, the rise of mobile telecoms has rendered public phone boxes effectively redundant. Making the best of two seemingly unrelated developments, the UK-based PhoneBoox has converted a leftover phone box into an informal book exchange for the community.
The brainchild of British media consultant James Econs, the PhoneBoox in Horsley, Surrey, developed over the course of a single weekend afternoon. After being inspired with the idea, Econs cut and painted wood shelves, then installed them in the phone box. Books were scrounged and placed on the shelves, and a message to visitors was inscribed: “You are welcome to take me... but please make sure to replace me!! enjoy.” The PhoneBoox has been a hit ever since it was installed, Econs writes, and a fresh supply of books continues to flow.
Econs explains: “I guess the point is you don't have to 'be' anything to make things happen. I'm not a designer, I'm not a bookworm and I'm not a carpenter. I just had an idea, and without really caring whether it would be 'a success' - more just wanting to see what would happen - I got on with it. ... That is exactly what I like so much about it; Socially Beneficial Creative Vandalism. Manifestation to deployment in one lazy Saturday afternoon.”
The PhoneBoox book exchange from James Econs on Vimeo.

Indeed, much like the repurposing of old candy machines to sell seed bombs for guerrilla gardening or using retired cigarette vending machines to sell art, the PhoneBoox proves once again that grassroots innovation really can conquer all. Be inspired!
I am no designer - far from it in fact. I am not even a book worm. The term 'book-worm' actually couldn't be further from the truth. I read about the art of organisation and how to free employees minds enough to get their best work out of them. 

In my local village there sits a lonely classic old red Phonebox. With the age of mobile phones in full swing, you can imagine it is seldom used - except maybe as a game for groups of kids to come and smash the windows in one a month. Perfectly located at the end of a quite-ish high street with the bonus of two benches next to it, the local newsagents opposite and a park just down the road, it actually makes for a good place for all ages to hang out... and they do often. 

With the recent threat of library closures in the UK, what better way to restore these icons of England's past with a rejuvenating revamp? With nothing planned on a Saturday, the idea came at about 10am. Past experience told me that projects like these can be forgotten in a flash if action isn't immediately taken so, with lessons learned I set to work. By 11am, I had location and interior photos along with some basic measurements. 12pm came, and I had set-up a workbench in the garden with makeshift shelves already cut. 1pm; the shelves had been painted and while waiting for them to dry I had the idea of making some book-ends out of the left-over ply. 2pm saw me scrounging around for books that were ultimately waiting for a new home or headed for the charity shop. 

Back at the Phonebox - kids watching closely - I got on with its installation and finished off by writing a message to encourage good use; and put a poster up on the local notice board.

I guess the point is you don't have to 'be' anything to make things happen. I'm not a designer, I'm not a bookworm and I'm not a carpenter. I just had an idea, and without really caring whether it would be 'a success' - more just wanting to see what would happen - I got on with it. 

Its been a hit with friends bringing comments like "the Banksy of the carpentry world!" and offers of fresh books are still rolling in. That is exactly what I like so much about it; Socially Beneficial Creative Vandalism. Manifestation to deployment in one lazy Saturday afternoon.

Introducing 'The PhoneBoox'

(The PhoneBoox book exchange is located in Horsley, Surrey, UK and is open to all...)

May 26, 2011

Mobile Interaction: Adding Content and Context (QR Codes and Mobile Use at Arts Experiences) by Group of Minds

Recently, Ron Evans was asked to speak at the CultureLab gathering in Chicago, on the subject of mobile interaction at arts events. They were kind enough to capture the complete workshop session on video, and I've included it below. CultureLab is cool. Their website says it "was formed to break down the silos of research, policy and practice, and create a new capacity and approach to tackling challenging issues. His goal is to spur relevant research, innovative thinking and in-the-trenches experimentation that will allow the cultural sector to respond more rapidly to changing conditions." Ron Evans invite all of you to learn more about CultureLab via the website and check out some of the presentations by other speakers that day. 

Mobile Interaction: adding content and context - Ron Evans from Cultural Policy Center on Vimeo.

Ron Evans of Groupofminds explores QR codes as a way of engaging arts audiences. Recorded at CultureLab's 2011 Emerging Practice Seminar.

Top 5 Art Market Internet Startups by Nicholas Forrest @ Art Market Blog

Nicholas Forrest provides again an important piece of information in his blog.
An increasing number of art market related internet startups have surfaced over the last six months as buyers appear to be becoming more confident with purchasing fine art online.  Here are my top 5 art market internet startups: is a new US based startup that uses a facebook-like ecosystem to bring art buyers, curators, gallery owners, collectors and photographers together in a social commerce network. In modern terms they are Facebook, Flickr, Artnet and Etsy rolled into one site specifically for purchasing high quality photography.

Paddle8 is an online platform that enables collectors to acquire artworks free of time and geographical constraints.  Their platform focuses on a monthly series of guest curated online exhibitions. Through the voice of a diverse range of curators, Paddle8 will showcase a range of perspectives on how to look at art.  Curators are drawn from inside as well as outside the art world, embodying the multifaceted relationship between art and its broader context. They are launching Spring 2011

With Artsicle, New York collectors can try their favorite pieces at home for only $50 – so they can be sure the work is right for them.  The New York Based startup allows New Yorkers to choose any work of art from the Artsicle online catalogue to display in their home for only $50 a month until they find something that they want to purchase.  Basically what Artsicle are doing is offering a “try before you buy” service for art collectors. is a new way to discover fine art. From works for sale at leading galleries to those on display in museums and private collections, helps you discover art you’ll love. will launch in Spring 2011. is powered by The Art Genome Project, an ongoing study of the characteristics that distinguish and connect original works of art. Their team of art world professionals and engineers teach their algorithms to understand each work of art across hundreds of attributes. then learns about your preferences, providing increasingly intelligent artwork recommendations over time.

VIP Online Art Fair:

VIP Art Fair is the first art fair to mobilize the collective force of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries with the unlimited reach of the Internet. Its inaugural fair took place exclusively online, January 22-30, 2011, at An unprecedented event, VIP Art Fair gives contemporary art collectors access to artworks by critically acclaimed artists and the ability to connect one-on-one with internationally renowned dealers—from anywhere in the world and without leaving home.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Rock Thought for a better world...

Rocks may not be an obvious source of inspiration for many writers, but Rock Thoughts — a US-based creative writing project — believes that the application of a little paint to otherwise bland stones could help inspire a new generation of wordsmiths.
I guess this is Sponge Bob Monster!

There are a number of ways to become involved in the project, set up by mother of three Karla Valenti. The first is to take a rock and paint it to look like a monster. This rock is then assigned a code by Rock Thoughts, and placed in a public place for a child to find. When it is discovered, the child is then encouraged to write a short piece of creative writing, using the rock monster as a focal point for their plot, to be submitted, along with any photos, for display on the Rock Thoughts website. The rock is then re-hidden and the process is repeated. Alternatively, for those who can’t wait to discover a stone of their own, there are a number of rocks available for “adoption” on the Rock Thoughts website, which are featured as a source of inspiration for any visitors. The site also hosts a communal story creation project, which invites visitors to the site to create a rock story collaboratively.
The real focus of Rock Thoughts is, in Karla’s own words, is “to empower children through creativity” and to “use their creativity to connect with others”. This simple, innovative idea has every chance of succeeding on both fronts! (Related: A combination of books and cookies to keep kids sweet — 'Monster supplies' store hides creative writing workshop.)
Rock Thoughts - a collaborative art and storytelling project from Karla Valenti on Vimeo.

Rock Thoughts is an international collaborative art and storytelling project designed to empower children through creativity. Participating individuals paint "monster" rocks and hide them in public spaces for others to find. The rocks serve as plot devices for the finders who submit a story for that rock. The rock is then re-hidden for another to find and continue the narrative. Users are encouraged to submit comments, feedback and suggestions on how to further develop the story.
How does it work?
Participants paint rocks to resemble “monsters” and hide them in public spaces for others to find. The rocks serve as plot devices for finders of those rocks who are invited to submit a story to our site for the rock they found. Once the stories are uploaded, the rocks are re-hidden for someone else to find and continue developing that rock’s narrative. We also provide crowd-sourced storytelling as well as opportunities for visitors to adopt rocks that have been previously painted and are awaiting stories. At the moment, Rock Thoughts is in effect in various parts across the United States, Switzerland and Mexico and we are working on expanding the reach of this project to other countries.
We will feature a number of series of limited edition rocks. The finders of these rocks will receive age-appropriate gifts courtesy of Rock Thoughts. In addition,frequent storytellers receive prizes and all storytellers who submit stories to our site will be eligible to participate in an annual contest to select pieces for publication in a Rock Thoughts anthology. 

MIranda July's Message

I have received this e-mail from Miranda July (ok, collective e-mail) and I would like to share with you...Check out Miranda July Tag and her last projects...

I love her as an artist. You should check her pieces...THE FUTURE is her latest movie released in Cannes...

"Dear Person,

I made a movie, it's called The Future. It's about Sophie and Jason (pictured below) contending with mortality and the void within. There's a talking cat and a yellow tee-shirt that can move by itself. 

The Future opens on July 29th in select cities and then rolls out across the country in August. 

In the meantime, we have created a website: 
I'll be writing soul-bearing bi-weekly blog posts on here, and if that doesn't interest you there's a magical spinning oracle that conjures your own personal future, as I see it. If you find it helpful, then you can sign up to have your future sent to you every Monday and Thursday, like a horoscope. 

Note: You are on the list of people who will be alerted first when something big happens. Not just something pertaining to this movie, but anything. If the sun and the moon change places, you'll be among the first to know. 

we are in your hands,

May 24, 2011

Edgar Negret - Colombian Sculptor

Flor Sanky

Following up with our Colombian Artists series at THE ART REFERENCE now we present Edgar Negret.
Edgar Negret (born 11 October 1920 PopayánColombia) is a modern Latin American abstract sculptor. He attended the School of Fine Arts in Cali, Colombia. Initially working in stone in styles reminiscent of European modernists like Jean Arp and Constantin Brâncuşi; by the early 1950s, he began working in metal in constructivist tradition.
Edgar Negret

In 1955, his art was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art.In 1963, he won the Salón de Artistas Colombianos, and therefore becoming one of the most prominent Colombian sculptors of the 20th century. In 1968, he was awarded the David E. Bright Sculpture Prize, at the Thirty-fourth Venice Biennial. In 1985, the Museum Negret opened. In 2010, he was awarded “Grado de Oficial” by order of the Congress of Colombia.


Edgar Negret was born in Popayán in 1920, the same year as both Obregón and Grau, with whose careers his own provides a fascinating contrast. By age eighteen he was attending the School of Fine Arts in Cali, in the southwestern part of the country. In 1948, while home in Popayán, he met the Spanish sculptor Jorge de Oteiza, who decisively influenced his early work.

In 1950, following a stay in Manhattan, Negret went off to Europe, residing for short periods first in Barcelona and then in Mallorca and Paris. While living in New York, Negret came to know such United States artists as Louise Nevelson, Jack Youngerman and Ellsworth Kelly. By 1955 his prestige was on the ascendant. Among the exhibitions in which he participated was "New Acquisitions," at New York's Museum of Modern Art. An excellent example of his work of this period is provided by the series of "Magic Apparatuses," presented at the 1957 São Paulo Biennial and in Bogotá the following year. [In the present exhibit, Map belongs to this series, while Space Navigator andMetallic Tower are later works.] Negret received worldwide public recognition in 1968, when his work was awarded the David E. Bright international prize for sculpture at the Thirty-fourth Venice Biennial.

Negret's work abounds in allusions to post-war technology. Their precise, blade-like edges are tempered by intelligent handling, which causes us to question the relevance of our present concerns and our anxieties with regard to the future. As objects, his sculptures lead us likewise to question the roles that other objects play, both in our own lives and in our communities, like it or not. This attitude of questioning has led both Negret and Ramírez Villamizar ­ although they have taken opposite directions ­ to investigate ancient artifacts. From them the two sculptors have extracted elements of poetry and mystery that impart a timeless quality to their compositions.

Negret's sculptures are like magic vessels within which a genie lies hidden. By touching them with the imagination, one can impart other qualities to their mechanical coldness and functionality. These works remind us that we cannot escape the impersonality of mass production and the homogenization of daily life and must find some means of harmonious adaptation.


La Torre Sin Fin

Check out an academic video done by the students Francisco Javier Zambrano Chaves and Alieth Vargas at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas Facultad de Artes ASAB (Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá):

THE BIG FIVE Artists from Colombia remains. R. Villamizar, Enrique Grau and A. Obregon will come soon!
Please, keep checking out!

May 23, 2011

Felipe Hirsh´s Musics Selection

Felipe Hirsh is a famous Brazilian Theater Director with a vast production career. In Facebook, he suggested some amazing music videos which I share with you. Felipe´s selection is thoughtful and refined.











May 22, 2011

Tela Digital TV Show and “Think BIG, Think small-scale” short-film by Guest Columnist Frandu Almeida

Hello The Art Reference readers,

Last year I had the opportunity to write about the short-film “Think BIG, Think small-scale” I edited and was magistrously directed by Barbara Tavares.

In 2010, the film won two awards in Internation Film Festivals in Argentina and Uruguay and it has been participating in several International Festivals around the world. Check for more info on the film’s website:

The today’s post is about a Brazilian competition we entered: TELA DIGITAL TV SHOW. It’s a TV contest that screens Brazilian short-films. All candidates are compiting for the BEST AUDIENCE AWARD, the votes are collected on the TELA DIGITAL’s website. A total of 60k prize will be distributed to the best films.

I would like to ask for YOUR VOTE today! It’s easy and only requires a registration. Please follow the instructions below:

- On the upper right side of the Page, click on “CRIAR CONTA” (meaning create your account)

- Fill out the information, especially your email address;

- Following you will receive a validation email. Validate your email. (check on your spam box, in case you don’t receive it);

- Click on the link on the email. This will validate your email.

- On the TELA DIGITAL’s webpage, search for the movie “O Gigante do Papelão” or click on the link:

- Below the video, you will find 5 stars. Click on how many stars correspond to your vote.
- Voila! You have voted on the film and helped us a lot.

You can watch the film with English subtitle on the link bellow, after watch please go back the TELA DIGITAL’s website and VOTE!!

Password: gigante

Thank you very much for your time. We appreciate it. If you have any questions or comment I’ll be glad to hear it.

Frandu Almeida
Director, editor and writer

The artist Sergio Cezar and Barbara Tavares at LABRFF 
(Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival)

Barbara is documentarist and producer with more than 6 years in the film industry working on production, distribution and film festivals. She loves film and this media mission of bringing optimist and stories into people's lives.
She lived in Los Angeles for the past 2 years, she just got back to her home country, Brazil, to open her own production company, Bodhgaya Films.
Bodhgaya Films is a production company located in Rio de Janeiro but works all over the globe. Produces documentaries, fiction films, institutional films, making of's, music videos and more.


Frandu Almeida, Sergio Cezar & Barbara Tavares

*This post was written by the Guest Columnist Frandu Almeida director of Bodhgaya Films.

Related Posts with Thumbnails