nic the intern’s white out – moriyama house              

Dec 31, 2008

One can’t help but wonder what it’d be like to live here,
In a house without hallways, without boundaries,
Without tradition.  Then you might wonder,
Are they really missing? Are they present,
But evolved? Or are these things within us?
Where would you eat?  Put your shoes?
Where would you go to get away…
Welcome to Moriyama House  (house being a loosely applied term).
The Office of Ryue Nishizawa completely deconstructed the traditional notion of the house here, leaving exposed the scattered remnants of a house’s building blocks.
Moriyama House looks like an eccentric Tokyo commune – more public than private, more compound than house. In fact it is communal living, composed of a main residence, maid’s quarters, and apartments.  Yet somehow Ryue Nishizawa’s little building block compound fits into the urban fabric. His work always pursues blending the “inside and outside.” On this tokyo lot, he brought the city into the house with very provocative results.


Moriyama house has been widely discussed on the interwebs, yet I was reminded why it is so great when I stumbled upon this three dimensional tour. I highly recommend taking it, a perfect escape for the holidays.
Happy New Year, may it bring you pleasant reminders and surprises.
Posted by Nicolas Allinder, the intern

dallas clayton              

Dec 30, 2008

i first came across dallas clayton about a year ago via a link on the great los angeles band no age’s blog.  his energy was literally stunning.  at first glance it was hard for me to decide if his tone was genuine? annoying?  ironic? or what… but there was something there and after a while, it was the aforementioned energy that got me.  so much good energy and so charming.  (i always feel a little sad about my preset to ‘quick cynicism’ after it’s overturned like this)
anyways, he’s obviously a brilliant dreamer.  chk this and see more here.

but back when i first stumbled across him, his site was just a blog with a lot of cool writing on it, not that different from other blogs with lots of writing.  so i guess i was kinda surprised (and impressed) to see an announcement somewhere not long ago that he was reading from his new book called “an awesome book”, and it was being presented by bjork and matthew barney.

the book is available for order here and for viewing here.

here’s a new years poem and drawing from his site.

i for one am going to try to find within myself a bit more of the hopeful/earnest/innocent/dreamer/gentle/man-boy that dallas clayton seems to be channeling in 2009.

i’m just hoping it’s that kinda year.

so have a safe and happy new year! ok?

posted by matt olson

room with a view              

Dec 30, 2008

really amazing house by arte spatial design studio.  follow the link as there’s more good work to look through there. 
to my knowledge there is no american equivalent to whats happening with recent modern japanese residential architecture.
at least once a week i’m stunned by some new project there.
please enjoy.

posted by matt olson

text / meassages: books by artists              

Dec 21, 2008

walker design fellows – noa segal & mylinh trieu nguyen at text / messages: books by artists
if you’re a minneapolis reader or someone who might find themselves here in the next months, this show at the walker art center, text / messages: books by artists looks totally great. 
lawrence weiner and ed ruscha are pictured here.  the show also features work by, amongst others, dieter roth, richard tuttle, allan kaprow and yoko ono (which is perfect since i’ve been researching her lately).
and i love ed ruscha.  just sayin.
the most amazing thing? 
with a valid minneapolis library card the books can be checked out for… no.
get all the deets and more pics like these at the walker design blog.
please, enjoy.

posted by matt olson

casa chilena 1y2 by Smiljan Radic Clarke              

Dec 20, 2008

this is one of the most perfect things i’ve seen this year.  i’m in love.
from the spanish (semi-sensical online style translation)
“… the walnuts grown to which has left in peace, the negation of the outside thanks to a perimeter wall painted to the lime, an interior patio with possibilities of to be covered by a simple shadow of agricultural membrane anchored to its walls, a to be austere relative with symptoms of outside unfolded to all the long thing of the patio, a sky of wood in brute painted The dormitories of strong colors, they recall of an or another way, the houses of boarders of the Chilean field.”

kinda odd but, the look of the weathered brick makes me feel nostalgic. it’s like:
ghosts – japan
tons more photos here at platforma arquitectura.
please, enjoy.

posted by matt olson

nic the intern presents ‘white out’ – jun ishikawa              

Dec 17, 2008

white out is an ongoing series of posts drawn from a presentation that our intern nicolas allinder gave about his research into recent modern japanese architecture.

           → Welcome to Tokyo.
Personally, I’ve never been. But from what I can tell, Tokyo is animated and overflowing with energy, noise, stuff and a robot flying off to the red moon. At least, this is Nobumasa Takahashi’s interpretation of Tokyo. What struck me about his t-shirt design below and how it relates to this series on minimalist architecture is the way Takahashi evokes the dense excitement of a brimming Tokyo.
Against the multitude of movements feeding the Tokyo frenzy, there is an absence.  I wasn’t quite sure how to describe what I saw when Matt and Mike sent me on this (virtual) journey to catalogue Japanese minimalist architecture. But, after seeing Jun Ishikawa’s work I knew immediately what label to slap on my interpretation:
        → White Out.
His facades produce bold compositions pushing the noise into the background. Ishikawa’s blank buildings are interstitial moments silencing the din of the city.
His strong graphic design aesthetic and playful use of an iconic shape might just be another addition to the mass of stuff filling in Tokyo’s last bastions of space, but at least he fills space with absence.
          → I highly recommend looking at his work.
please, enjoy the weekend.

posted by nicolas allinder (the intern!)

mylinh trieu nguyen              

Dec 17, 2008

 mylinh trieu nguyen – come closer

i first became aware of mylinh trieu nguyen and her various design/art projects about two years ago when, after seeing her credited for work on a newsprint poster i bought by the artist david horvitz, i visited her website and thought her work was great.
time passed, then she was on my radar again doing more work with david horvitz.  this time it was in the form of asdf, an ongoing bunch of collaborative efforts that explore how technology can make art easily accessible and distribution cheap or free.  i like them all but, two of their projects are absolute faves: “it’s easy to find“, a show that consists of small works by twenty artists that’s on display in a p.o. box in upstate new york, and “for a brief time only at a location near you“, a purchasable exhibition of art available at whatever photo developer is closest to you.  both are great and really interesting to me on so many levels and i’m always excited by art that turns the viewer into a participant. definitely chk the links and read the deets about all the asdf stuff.
so, i’d encountered her work a few times and was a fan, which is just normal but, recently, the story got a little cooler. 
more time had passed and i saw the work below featured on a blog and i thought…

“i should go check out her website again” and while i was there,
i decided to buy this poster…
i was kinda startled when she wrote back in a few minutes and said:
Hey Matthew,
It just so happens that I’ll be moving to Minneapolis tomorrow! Who would have thought.
So we could actually meet up and I could hand deliver the poster if you wanted.”
she’d been awarded the walker art center‘s prestigious design fellowship and was minneapolis bound from los angeles.  wow.
and just like she offered in her email, she delivered the things i bought in person.
mylinh presents “here without you“, to me, at lunch in mpls
even though i’m pretty sure she won’t be able to deliver everyone’s orders, i encourage you to explore and buy the work in her store.
and the best part? there will be another very exciting chapter in the story coming soon!
please, enjoy the day.

posted by matt olson

a painting is a symbol for the universe              

Dec 16, 2008

maybe it’s perfect timing in a way since ’tis the season of gratitude and giving… these last days i’ve been thinking of sister corita kent a lot.   man, what a great sense of possibility and inspiration her art, energy and life give me. 
the andy warhol autobiography i’m reading has me thinking of the sixties a lot and, obviously, pop art, but too many of the stories from the factory just really bum me out (don’t get me wrong, i love andy too but…) it’s nice to remember that on the west coast sister corita was doing this all this activist pop art around the same time. 
so i’ve been digging into her life and work to keep things in balance.
even if you already know, i’m sure there’s more to learn…
and more to teach…
so why not… start here  &  look here  &   read this.
please, enjoy.

posted by matt olson

rave nature – maarten vanden eynde              

Dec 16, 2008

  maarten vanden eynde – rave nature
the visually compelling ‘rave nature(2005) by dutch artist maarten vanden eynde was installed at the maastricht cultutral event festival cement (=concrete). 

what really struck me though was its first glance similarity in tone to the mono ha artist koji enokura’s piece ‘wall’ (1971) from the ’71 biennale de parisa closer look reveals conceptual differences but, when looking through maarten’s web site i noticed another work, mo(nu)mentum, that had strong visual connections to another mono ha artist piece, nobuo sekine’s, ‘phase – mother earth (1968).

either way, lots of really great,  interesting work to look through at maarten’s web site. 

+ here’s a little tip. when you click on works>portfolio and you end up at the first, most recent project, click to the right but, click to the left too…  and it makes sense in a chronology way but, it took me a while to figure it out…

what can i say, it was early in the morning when i was there.

please, enjoy.

posted by matt olson