Maria Kallin: Day dreaming a Christmas walk

Maria Kallin is a photographer out of Sweden who has the ability to make everything she shoots look delicious. With the exception of the birds above, I want to eat all that she photographs knowing full well it may not be edible, yet still hoping a taste would transport me into the color field dream world she captures around her subjects. I chose these photos from among her rather large portfolio because they so nicely embody this time of year, at least here in the Midwest. They seize a certain chill in the air but manage to leave you with a warmth scarcely felt outside the holidays. Looking at this sequence of images I imagine a Christmas Day walk along the edge of the woods, snow crunching below taking special care to freeze these memories in time. Perhaps I’m idealizing these a bit much but as I’ve said before, I love to day dream, and these made me forget what I was doing for 20 minutes, and to me that’s a successful photograph. And a successful 20 minutes at that.

You can also check out her etsy shop where Maria has a number of prints for sale. Found via designworklife.


Collage Poems and Recontextualized Reading

Recently I’ve spent a lot of time chopping up old National Geographic magazines to use as material for my latest endeavor, creating motion collages for the Holy Spirits ep “The Afternoon’s Blood.” In order to keep my sanity and balance out all the hours in front of the computer I’ve started reading a little more than usual. Partly because Michael of Holy Spirits has turned me on to books I never would have known existed otherwise and partly because reading makes me day dream, a lot. I’ve always had a hard time focusing on a book for longer than a few pages, I would constantly find passages or even single words that would spark a train of thought that I couldn’t resist following. Next thing I know, 15 minutes go by and I’m still staring at the same page. Over the years I’ve come to accept that I can’t finish a book the way others can, so I now approach reading differently. Its more of a creative/meditative exploration and I don’t fight what I once considered ADD. Now, after 15 minutes of staring at page, is the point where I typically grab my sketchbook.

A few months back I did a couple writing experiments but nothing really became of it.. until I couldn’t find a bookmark. I tossed one of these in Emerson’s “Nature” and spent the next hour moving it around the page finding different word associations and new meanings within the text, it was a new book. I had just turned reading into an entirely new activity for myself. I found I wasn’t reading the book at all but making my own story with the pieces that shown through the cuts. It opened up a new realm of day dream inducing possibilities.

Having cut out countless pages of old Nat Geos for my collages, I have an apartment full of clippings that have nothing better to do than be turned into more of these. I’ve started hand laminating a few so they withstand normal bookmark handling and will likely be selling the first run at the Space Space event Dec. 4th in Queens. They’re completely handmade and one of a kind, I couldn’t duplicate one exactly if tried. This is just the beginning of these and I think I’ll eventually set up a shop to start getting these in the hands/books of fellow day dreamers.

If you’d like one of these sooner or have any requests you can email me (thinkorsmile at gmail) and we can talk. Looking forward to hearing what you think about these!


Free Music Collection: December 2010

I should have crafted a massive year end list that overwhelmed you with hundreds of my favorites.. but honestly that sounds too daunting for me to even think about. So I’ll present this month’s like any other, approx. 40 links to get you started exploring the free music abyss. On the year end list note, I won’t be completely passing up the opportunity to share the artists that got stuck on repeat. I’ll be contributing to a year’s end project far greater than I could have accomplished myself.. so stay tuned in the coming weeks for that!

If you need new music daily rather than monthly, follow me on twitter @thinkorsmile. I typically post links there as they are discovered. Or you can follow my twitter list of music bloggers who are doing the dirty work of digging these artists up. Happy exploring.

Think or Smile | Free Music Collection: December 2010

I’ll admit, I don’t really like Christmas music. At always the same generic overproduced garbage year after year. Luckily for me (and you), Unholy Rhythms and Cactus Mouth have put an end to the vicious cycle. They got together some of the year’s best artists and asked them to created an exclusive holiday track. The results are too good not to share. Artists involved are: BAnanas Symphony, Unouomedude, Ra Calium, Danniell Radall, Closed Cassette, Megafortress, Craig Cruiser, Dream Band, Ricky Eat Acid, Guerre, Holy Spirits, Martha! Mother, SNOWMINE and Mutual Benefit.

“Holiday Sweaters & Egg Nog” A Cactus Mouth & U/R Christmas 2010 Mix

Happy holidays!

If you’re feeling any of these artists show ‘em some love and go see them live. As always, if you have any music to share hit me up on TwitterFacebook or good old fashioned email.


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2010