All alone with Lykke Li

I’ve never really imagined what it would be like to be alone on a deserted island before. Perhaps I have in passing while playing “what are your desert island top 5 albums,” but I’ve never put much thought to the emotional state it might put one in. Until now.

This video from Lykke Li, who I don’t really know much about, has made me seriously consider what being alone on a beach, forever, might feel like. I think there would be moments in the silence where you could transcend beyond yourself, with no other human contact even your own thoughts would become tiresome. You would likely create games for one to pass the time, shifting grains of sand from one pile to the next. Maybe followed by a solitude induced madness or by the fact that you can never win a game for one. But I think mostly it would feel like each moment simply melted into the next creating an infinite loop of blurred time. It’s worth pondering, although I can’t say it’s something I’d like to experience.


Desert Island Feeling: A Think or Smile motion collage for Mutual Benefit

In preparation for our mini tour of California together I put together a motion collage for Mutual Benefit’s track Desert Island Feeling off of “Spider Heaven.” The video is created almost entirely out of clippings from a June 1973 National Geographic which I scanned, digitally assembled and brought to life. This song has been making the rounds for a while now so my hope is that this brings you a new way of feeling it. I’ll be performing it live alongside Mutual Benefit on the aforementioned tour so if you really want to experience it come out to the show and relive it anew. Hope it brings you a few minutes of joy.


Think or Smile tour with Holy Spirits & Mutual Benefit

Over the last several months I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with the Brooklyn based band Holy Spirits, which began back in August of ’10 when I made my first attempt at visualizing how I see music, by injecting motion to my traditional collages. Out of that first video many friendships and collaborations were born and I have since finished motion collages for each track on their debut ep, “The Afternoons’s Blood,” all in preparation for a small tour together where I will be projecting/manipulating the visuals live. After two successful shows in Brooklyn last month and the aid of our wonderful Kickstarter supporters, the time has finally come to take the show to the West coast. We’ll be joined on tour by Mutual Benefit, who I’ve also created motion collages for (see Stargazer) and California’s own Steffaloo. If you’re in the LA, SF, Santa Cruz area January 19-21, we’d all love to see you at the show and thank you for all your support. Here are the details:

I’ll also have very limited edition signed/numbered prints of the above posters available at the show if you’d like to take a piece of the evening home with you :)


Mid-century modern illustration: Imagined futures of the past

I came across these illustrations over at Wanken, who has dedicated this week (Jan 3-7) to mid-century design. Shelby’s site is always a great resource to browse if you’re in need of some design inspiration, or if you simply want to marvel at all things mid-century. I’m consistently amazed by the architecture he finds and want to live in nearly every residence he shares, not excluding the drawings above.

What I love about these illustrations is the glimpse they give you into the future as it was imagined in the past. These are scenarios that artists in the 50s-60s dreamed would be commonplace today, or even years earlier. Unlike visions of the future we see today (with the exception of prominently placed television sets) they are devoid of robots or machine integration into everything it can get its circuits into. Instead, they paint a picture of human life and nature melded together, co-existing. Lounging in the canopy, hearing the flow of water beneath your floorboards, naturally formed rock as pool walls, all examples of respect for the natural world around us. All environments I’d like to spend some leisure time in, illustrated or not.

See the rest of Wanken’s collection here.


Growing is Forever

It’s 2011, and for my first post of the year I can’t imagine a more wonderful thing to share with you. Growing is Forever is a short film by Jesse Rosten with words written by Kallie Markle. The film, in the most poetic of forms, manages to encapsulate everything I want the coming year to be, one of growth and beauty, collaboration and peace. A year to focus on growing, both personally and as a community. Whose with me?

Here’s to much living ahead.


Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2011