A couple months back, I was packaging up the collage materials sent to me by Monster Rally for the Color Sky video (below) when I realized how amazing the pile of unorganized cutouts looked. I sat staring at them for a moment, then quickly gathered up a handful, randomly placed them face down on the scanner and covered them with a sheet of recycled paper. I repeated the process three times with three different groupings, creating the collages above. I’m not sure why/how I haven’t explored this technique before, Dada artists have been using chance as a process since the 1910s. Hans Arp would tear up paper, drop the pieces onto larger sheets and glue them where ever they may have landed. What Arp didn’t have, however, was a scanner at his disposal. To my knowledge, he never repeated, documented or compared the results of his chance experiments, which is where I think things get interesting, being able to see how identical fragments can create vastly different wholes.
Yes, these are simply unorganized collages, but they mimic life as accurately as I know. We’re all given a number of elements to work with and we can make of them what we choose. Some of the same pieces emerge time and time again and similar story lines may unfold. No two are ever alike and all are fascinating.
UK illustrator Katie Scott has developed a style all her own, dwelling somewhere within the realms of science textbook and vintage psychedelia. Her posters present organisms both odd and familiar, interweaving them until we no longer know what it is, or was. It’s as if these are pages fallen from an ancient encyclopedia, documenting life in an alternate universe, now lying somewhere on the floor of a great subconscious library. Thankfully, Katie has unearthed them for us to study and observe as fungi become amoeba, then evolve into water-colored bilateral cephalopods.
You can see more of these alternate perspectives of science on her site. There are also prints available which I imagine have the ability to fuel many hours of thought. I need one to put on my bookshelf, next to Netter’s.
This month’s collection may seem slightly less expansive than usual, but have no fear, expansion is on the horizon.
Think or Smile | Free Music Collection: May 2011
- Corduroi – Anything For Now – mellow beats, and buttery synths.
- Menagerie – You Can Only Sleep At Night – mellow electro acoustic out of Australia. $
- LYFSTYL – Blissful Allusion – compilation of gorgeous experiments from Moths, Teeel, Kohwi, Teen Daze and many other gems.
- Sun Glitters – cosmic oceans (feat. Steffaloo) – warm synthpop blanket for the soul. $
- Shells – Pastel EP – hazy bell laced electronic. $
- Candy Claws – Dreamland Soundtrack – hazed soundtrack for touring Dreamland.
- Long Long Long – Who The Fuck Said Family Ain’t Family No More – oddly familiar experimental guitar pop. $
- KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS – Remixes – culture-clash joyride through synthpop.
- DenFriends Compilation – experimental pop, soul and electronic. $
- Ghostly Essentials – Music For Ideas – joint effort between Ghostly International and TEDxUofM, meant to awaken the creative flow.
- RxRy – RxB – of course we have rhythm. of course we have blues.
- Lorn – Self Confidence Vol. 2 – hour and fourteen minutes of unfinished / unreleased / demo / don’t remember music from Lorn.
- Blank & Kytt – Sixmonthep – chopped chill beats.
- BIRCHES – a sketchbook of sounds recorded into the 404 – ideas, records, textures, etc., do what you will.
- Comodo – To The Sun EP – airy electronics drifting between beats and space.
- Shigeto – XLR8R Podcast – plenty of broken, hip-hop flavored beats, washed-out synths, emotive vocal snippets, and an unshakeable desire to nod your head.
- Low Light Mixes – undiscovered soundtrack – score your next half hour with obscurities.
$ = Name your price option. Support good music.
Think or Smile | Nathaniel Whitcomb © 2011