Tour de Kyoto

Bicycle culture is on the increase around the world; the number of related events, projects and collaborations seems to be growing every day. It’s good to see that the Paper Sky Bicycle Club is continuing to expand on their series of talks and events with their annual Tour de Kyoto in the old capital, Japan’s most bike-friendly city.

The event took place over ten days during the Golden Week holiday with the simple idea of bringing Japanese local culture and people together through cycling. The first stage began with a ride around the city, taking in beautiful temples and parks and a climb up the steepest hill in Kyoto. The day ended at one of the last remaining running water …read on

, 29 July 2011

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3D Type

I’m happy to be part of the recently published 3D Type Book—the most comprehensive showcase of three-dimensional letterforms ever written—by Fl@33. Featuring over 1,300 images of more than 300 projects by more than 160 designers including Sagmeister, Vaughan Oliver, Milton Glaser, Italo Lupi, Hort and Non-Format. The variety of work is amazing, spanning decades and materials, from nails and balloons to human skin.

, 22 April 2011

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THE IN SOUND FROM WAY OUT, PARTS 2 and 3

Lucas Badtke-Berkow has been exploring the world of the printed page in Japan for the past 16 years with his company Knee High Media, producing inspirational, independent and open-minded publications and consistently looking at things with new eyes and an infectious inquisitiveness of the world around him.

Starting with Tokion magazine (which featured 11 years ago in Level issue 05—that’s the ‘part 1’ of this story) Lucas and his company have remained absolutely true to their values while developing new and exceptional places, products, events and publications for themselves and others—and most importantly, for this one-island Earth.

Read the full story of the singular Knee High Media, linked below.

, 21 January 2011

“Not My Type: An Out of Character Experiment” is a typographical exploration of 26 letters (and a few sneaky characters) by 35 talented illustrators, designers and artists, all displayed in one giant alphabet.

The work is going to be stylistically diverse, with artists ranging from Jon Burgerman, I Love Dust, Sam Pierpoint, Lewes Harriot, Dan Westwood and members of The Outcrowd. (I’ll be bringing a big wooden ‘O’.) The exhibition will be showing initially in the Created In Birmingham store, opening May 6th; all prints will be available to buy from both the store or through the Facebook group where they’ll be shown for the first time to coincide with the opening night.

, 20 April 2010

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To Haiti With Love is a worthwhile cause with a slight difference: when you donate, you actually get a piece of artwork as a digital file. You can send this on to a friend or simply use the image as your own desktop wallpaper. Each piece of work will be sold as a digital postcard for £1 to raise money to help the situation in Haiti.

There are artists from around the world donating work, with more getting involved daily as this project snowballs. So far, the list includes David Shrigley, Genevieve Gauckler, Bob Kronbauer, Rob Ryan, Simon Peplow, Alex Trochut and Anthony Burrill with photographers Ye Rin Mok, Cass Bird and Valerie Phillips recently signing up.

, 06 February 2010

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VBS TV continues its output of quality programming with a look at the dark realities of Blackpool. The partially-subtitled 30 minute documentary on England’s “Las Vegas of the North” focusses on how the city is faring in the modern world. Sad and funny in equal measures.

, 02 December 2009

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We mentioned the amazing low-fi Digital Harinezumi camera a little while ago. Superheadz have just released its successor—the Digital Harinezumi 2—with higher resolution images and the ability to record in black and white and with sound. To mark the simultaneous release around the world they have an exhibition at Logos gallery in Parco in Shibuya to explain the history of the camera and its evolution from 110 film camera to its current format.
The all star exhibitors include Charlotte Gainsbourgh, Miranda July, Spike Jonze, Nick Waplington, Harmony Korine, Michael Stipe, Bruce LaBruce and Jens Leckman.

, 17 November 2009

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Gizmon, a Japanese camera company that makes add-on lenses for various compact cameras, have just released two new external lenses for the iPhone. There’s a fisheye and a wide/macro lens which both use a magnetic attachment to connect on top of the built-in iphone lens. Prices start at £23 for the wide/macro and £45 for the fisheye.

, 06 November 2009

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Mijonju / Superheadz photographer

BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOURS ALL OVER

Back in 1999, one of the first things I wrote about for Level was the Lomo LC-A camera, around the time it was just beginning to get some attention. Ten years on there’s a digital equivalent, but this time it’s not from Russia. The Digital Harinezumi (or hedgehog in English) was created by a group of obsessive lo-fi toy camera lovers in Japan called Superheadz who were also one of the first to introduce cheap Russian cameras to Japan. They sell a huge range of analogue cameras from their Shibuya store with an increasing number designed and produced by themselves, including a key-ring 110 camera and the Blackbird Fly, a twin lens reflex camera that uses 35mm film. There’s even …read on

, 25 August 2009

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Lee Basford photographer

TIME’S UP

An 18th Century Tower, 1,111 ticking clocks and a Japanese sound artist. These things all come together in a new Exhibition from Yukio Fujimoto. The location is Perrott’s Folly, built in 1758, now interestingly caught between various types of inner city housing. It formed part of the inspiration for Tolkien’s The Two Towers and has only recently been re-opened after closing its doors twenty years ago.

Inside you’ll find a narrow stone staircase winding up to the first room which on entering appears to be empty and run down. With paint pealing from the ageing mouldings, the place has certainly seen better days. Then you notice a tiny clock softly ticking in the centre of the room, insignificant at first, …read on

, 17 July 2009

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