Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Design You Own Google

Google have pulled it out the bag again with another cool added feature. Rename your google search engine to whatever you please. Google MyWay just gives your computer that added slickness and is sure to impress any fellow computer geek.


After a glowing recommendation from a friend I sat down to watch eduKators. To my utter shock the 2hour long film was in German with subtitles. The film is about 3 activists who are trying to make a stance against capitalism and do so by breaking into people houses. The main twist is that they don't actually steal anything, they simply rearrange the house and leave a note questioning the morality of the wealthy owners. Things go slightly against the plan when one of them returns home during a break in. The plot unfolds and of course there is the love triangle to add some spice. The message behind the film is brilliant, however the film is dragged out and boring in parts.

Who said Vampires aren't real?

I am not a fan of the supernatural nor am I a believer. So the Twilight Saga is definitely not normally up my street. However, after a lot of persuasion from my friends, I decided to give it a go. I am completely and utterly hooked! Taking an average of 3 days per book I fell in love with Edward Cullen, a vampire who is described as possible the most perfect human being. The supernatural story is made highly realistic and after discussing each and every event with my fellow fans on holiday I felt completely engrossed in the plot. Not to give to much away, the saga is about a girl who falls for a vampire. The four books relay there life together and the romance between human and vampire.

The 1st film, which has received countless awards, has been released and it truly lives up to the high expectations from the book. Edward Cullen is beautiful and successfully has become a heart throb to girls all around the world. Winning best kiss at the MTV movie awards simply sums him up. I ask you to please read the books before seeing the film as the in-depth descriptions from the book are needed to help with the imagination of the perfection of Edward.
The second Film New Moon is out in November and I certainly will be at the first showing. The only thing that slightly confuses me is that during my summer job in a local primary school I discovered the 11 year old girls to all be reading it but I think that this book is for a slightly older age group or at least they could never appreciate the shear romance of the relationship.

David Tartakover

An award winning design by David Tartakover, 'Children are the rhythm of the world'. A thought provoking image of all the companies which use child workers whilst implying the connection to children and the gun industry. Can Micky Mouse and McDonalds really be classed alongside guns and heavy machinery.

'Bring the Settlers Home' is another of Tartakover's famous pieces. It addresses the issue that most Israelis are opposed to Jewish Settlements in the Occupied Territories. The Mobile home, painted in the Israeli National colours is being directed towards Palestinian Land as shown by the arrows in black, red & green, the Palestinian national colours.

Most of Tatakover's Work is conveying a political message in his country. He lives by the moto "Freedom of opinion is not a right but a duty". He is one of Israel's most prominent graphics desginers.

His most famous work has to be the 'Peace Now' Logo, which was the first political bumper sticker in Israel. "The movement activists liked the logo," Tartakover, 62, recalled this week. "But they thought there should also be a symbol. I told them it wasn't needed - this is the symbol. It took time until they understood that this was the first political sticker in Israel." It remains the most famous and recognizable political message of the country today.

Know Hope

After walking the streets of Israel this summer this graffitied 'Know Hope' was recurring on most street corner. The grammatically incorrect spelling caught my attention and it was clear that there was a statement being made. Was an individual's cry for help? After some research the artist is described as Israel's very own Banksy. The secrecy of Know Hopes identity is a talking point but the message behind the artist is that we all have something to say and everyone has a right to voice their opinion.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009


The Museum on the Seam is
“a unique museum in Israel, displaying contemporary art that deals with different aspects of the socio-political reality. Through the works of artists from Israel and abroad, who respond to the stress and tension between and within groups, the museum invites the visitors to examine the degree of influence of the social environment on the individual and vice versa. The message of the museum calls for listening and discussion, for accepting the other and those different from us and for respect to our fellow man and his liberty” (Museum on the Seam, 1999).

The museum hosts many exhibitions that deal with issues of human rights alongside their main coexistence exhibition. After visiting several times I find the work has a strong impact. Dealing with these issues is always difficult but I feel that the graphic design portrays strong messages and poses questions to the viewer. However the Museum on the Seam mainly deals with issues that apply globally and not specifically to Israel.

These are some of the most famous images found in the Museum. They are simple yet effective.

In Canpbell's Soup Can

I went to see an exhibition of Celebrity Portraits From The Andy Warhol Factory at the Tel Aviv Museum of Arts. I particularly enjoyed Carl Fisher's piece of Andy Warhol in the famous Campbell's Soup can. I later discovered that this was done before Photoshop was invented and therefore is an ingenious piece of art.

In the same exhibition was Mick Jagger, 1970, photographed by Gerald Malanga. Malanga worked very closely with Warhol during the mid-sixties. This particular image is one of his most famous photographs and is internationally recognized. Having grown up in a Household who idolizes Mick Jagger I feel this iconic picture conveys the genius photographer that Malanga is.

Silence Over The Abyss

The librarian at The Tel Aviv Museum recommended that I look at the following 2 artists: Miki Kratsman & David Reeb who were both contributors to this project which look at the silence of the Israeli public in face of Oppression. Miki Kratsman is a photographer and photojournalist who's imagery comes from the occupied territories as from within Israel. Her powerful scenes reflect impossible conflict and human conditions.

Combat 2008, Israel, 2008, is just one example of how his images relay morality and courage. He is definitely an artist which I find inspiring and I'm going to be exploring more of his work this year.

Ziv Koren

Ziv Koren is a famous Israeli PhotoJournalist for over 15 years. His photographs are of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. I recently picked up his book 'Louai Mer'i, A Sergeant Is Going Home', which is a photographic documentary of a wounded soldier who has lost both his legs. This project shows the world about those thousands of people who are living with the result of conflict. Ziv Koren touches on many sociological and political issues such as the Separation Wall in Jerusalem, Immigrants being forced to sell there bodies, war & conflict.
The photographs convey a powerful and moving message and each one tells its own little story. I am looking forward to researching more of his work.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Whilst on Holiday in Tel Aviv I took the opportunity to visit the Museum of Art. The galleries were varied and jam-packed. The Museum had a modern feel and the sloping walkways connected the different exhibitions. You could find anything from Picasso to ancient Jewish art to acrylic collages on calendars to Andy Warhol photography. There was defiantly something for everyone.
The Helena Rubinstein Art Library was fascinating. The women running it were charming and very helpful. On mentioning my Dissertation topic a mountain of books were presented to me. I discovered some very interesting Israeli Artists and a will definitely be making a return visit.

Happy 100th Birthday

This is the official logo to celebrate Tel Aviv's 100th Birthday. "Erupting Centre", which was designed by Baruch Naeh. This logo gives off the energy vibe which is so dominant in the 'city that never sleeps'. The use of geometric shapes is symbolic to the Bauhaus architecture which is frequently found in Tel Aviv. The use of the circle for me symbols the unity which is being strived for. The use of English as well as Hebrew reflects the large population who flood to Israel from around the world. A successful celebratory logo!

There Are No Labels

This advertisement for Absolut Vodka was plastered around Tel Aviv. As well as being cocky I found it quite ironic that it is advertising a more expensive brand of vodka when its message is that in a utopia brands/labels don't matter. However the use the Absolut font and the wording make it a huge success.

Asaf Lifshitz

I saw this Asaf Lifshitz sculpture outside the Azrieli Centre in Tel Aviv. Untitled was constructed in 2002 and is made of stainless steel. I found it very interesting that this sculpture of a warrior at war would be outside a shopping mall as if he his taking a break from war to rehydrate. What I also found very strange was the use of water in a country that is so short on it.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Azrieli Center

The Azrieli Centre is 3 sky scrapers in Tel Aviv, made up of a circular tower, a triangular tower and a square tower. It was designed by Eli Attiyah and developed by David Azrieli. The towers contain offices, a shopping centre, a train station and a cinema complex. At night the towers are lit up magnificently. The view from the top floor is spectacular, you can see the whole of Tel Aviv. When driving into Tel Aviv from the airport and seeing these sky scrapers I know I am home in Tel Aviv. They really are iconic buildings.

August Rush

Evan Taylor grows up in a home for boys. He believes his parents are still alive and that he will find them someday through his music. He can hear music in everything. Through flashbacks it shows how his parents met at a party and had a one night stand. His father, Louis, is a guitarist and lead singer of a rock band, and his mother, Lyla, is a famous concert cellist. Due to Lyla's father the couple were not allowed to ever speak again. Lyla falls pregnant and her father tells her that the baby died at birth when really he put it up to adoption.
Evan who runs away from the home meets many musicians along the way and eventually gets recognized as a child musical prodigy. I will not ruin the plot but all I can say is that this film reveals the most amazing story of love. If you like a good cry this film's final scene is one of the most moving endings I have ever seen. A truly remarkable story, with incredible emotion and brilliant music.

Freedom Writers

Based on a true story, Hilary Swank plays Erin Gruwell, a middle class, idealist teacher who goes to work in Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, a voluntary integrated school. However it isn't working. The Asians, The Blacks, The Latinos and The Whites do not get along and the school has no faith in the minorities. Violence is high and most students do not make it to graduation. Erin Gruwell, who initially doesn't fit in and comes into conflict with her students makes it her mission to change these students way of life. Through informal education she encourages the students to share their life experiences and build relationships with each other. Through learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust, the students begin to read and write and care about their work. They even create a fundraiser to bring over the woman who hid Anne Frank. Their whole outlook on life is transformed and they graduate and some even make it to university.
This film is truly remarkable and would recommend it highly. It is also very effective to deliver messages of informal education, creativity and change. A book has been published with the diaries of all the Freedom Writers which I am looking forward to reading.

In Search of Hope

During my research on social revolutionaries I was inspired by the likes of Mandela, Ghandi, Herzl & Che Guevara but what I found most fascinating was the individuals that have made a difference to their societies. Mariane Pearl's husband was murdered by Islamic extremist and after so much hatred she wanted to find hope in the world. She travelled across continents to meet extraordinary women who despite hardship, poverty and disease have transformed their communities. In this book she revealed never before seen pictures and stories from her travels.
These stories are not only inspiring to me but also reassuring that their are people out there who are actualizing their dreams for change.

Mandela: The Authorized Portrait

Whilst researching for a summer camp I was running on social revolutionaries I stumbled across this book of my hero Nelson Mandela. This coffee table book is full of fabulous photographs of the remarkable life of Mandela alongside world figures paying tribute to this legend. There is also accounts from Mandela's fellow prisoners on Robbin Island. This book is amazing to flick through and becomes more and more fascinated after each account. It is truly inspiring.