AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: August 2009 (Page 1 of 3)

Spotted today

Today I saw a Claw Plush Toy Catcher outside H&H Shmeisani. Instead of having plush toys, as the name should suggest, it had old battered Nokia phones, remote controls, and best of all, cigarette packs.

Yes, Gold Coast cigarette packs.

I wish I had my camera.

Useful New Photoshop Filters

From College Humor.

My favorite two:

Check out the other five here.

Seriously

My imaginary dog ate my thinking cap this weekend.

I’m in the process of getting myself a new one. Meanwhile, I’m using my airhead hat.

1

It took me four years to learn this stuff

Now you can learn it in five minutes.

The three paragraphs that teach you everything you need to know about modern art:

Impressionism – painting outside of a studio with quick, loose brushstrokes to capture an evocative impression of their subject. Van Gogh was an Impressionist but wanted to express how he felt about what he saw so he distorted the subject. This helped to lead to Expressionism practised by artists from Edvard Munch through to Francis Bacon. The Fauves (wild beasts) expressed themselves by painting with bright colours. Jackson Pollock did it by throwing or dripping paint on a canvas. His paintings were abstract — Abstract Expressionism.

Cezanne was very important. He began as an Impressionist but then started to look at a subject from two different perspectives to represent how we see. Picasso and his friend Georges Braque were very impressed and started to paint subjects from lots of different views. This is Cubism. Marcel Duchamp was a Cubist but then changed art for ever. He said the idea is more important than the medium and refused to stick with the limited choice of canvas or stone. So he chose everyday objects and called them art because he had altered their context. This led to Conceptual Art where the idea becomes the medium.

The Dadaists were very cross. They blamed the horrors of the First World War on the Establishment’s reliance on rational and reasoned thought. They radically opposed rational thought and became nihilistic — the punk rock of modern art movements. Dada plus Sigmund Freud equals Surrealism. The Surrealists were fascinated by the unconscious mind, as that’s where they thought truth resided. Piet Mondrian thought he could paint everything he knew, felt and saw by using two lines placed at rectangles and three primary colours. This was called Neo-Plasticism and was inspired by Cubism. So was Futurism, which is Cubism with motion added. Vorticism is the same as Futurism, but British. The Minimalists might represent the real truth because they weren’t trying to represent anything. Performance Art is Dada live.

:)

That’s from Will Gompertz in the Times. (via sippey) (via Kottke)

The rainbow is actually made out of Pantones

Discard all your beliefs about rainbows being just a spectrum of light. That’s just what the world wants you to believe in a grand conspiracy.

The rainbow is actually made out of Pantone chips.

And look! Here’s the proof:

zapped by the lucky super rainbow by wandaaaa.

zapped by the lucky super rainbow by wandaaaa.

The Basheer Graphic Book agency has built a Pantone Rainbow spanning 8 meters and 5,000 colors.

Via The Cool List

Desire for Lightness

According to Nike. I’m really not a very big fan of Nikes these days, as I haven’t seen in a nice pair in about a decade. But this packaging for shoes, designed by Emille Molin and made out of recycled cardboard, is really cool.

More pictures and explanation here.

What do you think? Like or not?

Seven Years On- The Msa7arati

Last night I jumped out of bed in my sleep at around 2:30 AM after hearing really loud booming. In my state of sleep, my body went on alert-mode, wondering if the sky collapsed.

A few seconds later, I realize that for the seventh Ramadan we live through in Amman, I still cannot get used to the Msa7arati, a man whose sole job is to wake people up so that they have their prior-to-fasting meals.

Having been writing in this space for so long now, you can read my slightly romanticized thoughts in 2004 towards the then mysterious msa7arati.

Every night during Jordan’s Ramadan at around 2:30 AM, I wake up feeling like a giant is about to step on me, thanks to the “Boom! Boom! Boom!” of the msa7arati’s set of drums. It’s irritating of course, for several reasons. I wake up panicked for one thing, and it takes me a while to figure out that I am not about to be squished. It also takes me a couple of hours to be able to go back to sleep, and I still have to wake up at 7 every day.
Yet, my irritation does not equal my fascination with the mystifying “msa7arati”. Every night after his booming wakes me up, I scuttle out of bed, scramble for my glasses, and dash to the window, only to find that booming has already drifted away, taking the “msa7arati” with it. I run to another window, but his booming is also trailing off. It’s almost as if he moves around in a paranormal device that is much too fast for sleepy feet.
And so, this hide-and-seek game between me and the “msa7arati” has been going on since last year’s Ramadan.
Until last night. Last night, I scuttled out of bed fast enough, scrambled for my glasses swiftly, and dashed to the window in a flash.
I finally got a glimpse of the “msa7arati”.
Unfortunately, he looks nothing like what I imagined him to look. Here’s a quick sketch of what my over-active Disney-run imagination thought he would look like (never mind my drawing, I want to go nap to make up the lost sleep):

Funny reading that. Before then, I had no idea that such a person exists. Seven Ramadans on, and the msa7arati seriously annoys me. I think the world has reached the stage where alarm clocks can be set.

Plus, who will have s7oor at 2:30?

Don’t Judge My Hair

http://i1.wp.com/imgur.com/idgaP.jpg?w=629

Dollhead mohawk. How cool is that?
 

So I guess Sakhr isn’t dead yet

This is Sakhr’s translating BlackBerry technology. Really cool, though I honestly doubt it could possibly be as good as it is in the video. Voice recognition commercially still hasn’t reached that stage, I think. Cool anyway!

Via Persistent Scrutiny.

What happens when culture is splattered on a t-shirt?

The newest trend in the Arab world, and a cool one at that, is t-shirt startups. Usually composed of young Arab creatives, looking for a canvas of self-expression.

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In Jordan, there’s Blouzaat. I have already told you much about Blouzaat: gorgeous graphics teamed with a little too-smart social commentary and random Arabic phrases. Wearing a Blouzaat shirt makes me feel like I’m wearing a work of art.

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In Jordan, there’s also Jo Bedu, whose designs are as simple as simple as can be, yet they ooze wit. My favorite of their designs is a simple blue box that looks very similar to the Orange logo, except it says “Zarga.” I also love the one below: 

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In Lebanon, there’s ASHEKMAN, who sort of meet between Blouzaat and Jo Bedu. Funky graphics, with a dash of wit.

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 In Egypt, there’s Zafir, whose designs are neither too gorgeously designed nor fantastically witty, but they yell “CULTUREEE!”
Some of the designs include illustrations of the dolls Egyptians get to their daughters in Eid, and very Egyptian phrases.

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In Kuwait, there’s BAS, who shamelessly borrow cultural items and stick them on t-shirts, making wonderful items out of them.

 

Finally, in Saudi Arabia, there’s Nada’s E-Shop, which amused me so much that I wrote this post. Nada’s E-Shop is so different that the rest of the countries t-shirt art shops, because rather than dwell on older pop-culture or beautiful art, she uses elements of contemporary Saudi life to include  in her tees.


I’m sure there are many more in the Arab world, and it’s so nice to see all this creativity. Are there any more shops in your countries that I’m not aware of?

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