Probably one of the coolest features I have noticed in Texas are the old-fashioned signs. They are everywhere representing an incredible variety of businesses, and are made mostly from aluminum, lights and neon. I am fascinated by the signs and how much they have influenced my artwork since I moved here. 

Provavelmente uma das características mais marcantes do Texas são as antigas placas. Elas estão por toda parte representando uma grande variedade de estabelecimentos, sendo feitas principalmente de alumínio, luzes e neon. Devido a minha fascinação pela estética destas placas e o quando elas têm influênciado o meu trabalho desde que eu mudei para cá, resolvi escrever este artigo expondo ao mundo o meu ponto de vista.
austin

Ice cream shop in Austin

This ice cream shop is a good example of Austin’s aesthetic, and the sign on the ground could be a good example of the easygoing lifestyle there. The vibrant city energy can be felt anywhere, with its abundant cafes, bars and music venues. Home of two major music festivals in the USA – Austin City Limits and South by Southwest – the city is known as the cultural capital of the south; and its alternative and liberal customs make it such a special place in Texas. 

A sorveteria mostrada na fotografia é um ótimo exemplo da estética em Austin. A placa derrubada na calçada pode servir como exemplo do estilo de vida descontraído da cidade. A energia vibrante é sentida em todos os lugares; representada por seus inúmeros cafés, bares a casas de espetáculo. A cidade é palco de dois dos maiores festivais de música dos EUA – Austin City Limits e South by Southwest – e seus costumes liberalistas e alternativos fazem deste um lugar muito especial aqui no Texas.
austin

The Yard Dog in Austin

These shops are located on South Congress Avenue, and they remind me a lot of Silverlake, in Los Angeles; and Haight Street, in San Francisco. The street is home to a remarkable collection of vintage shops, independent designer boutiques and family-owned restaurants; which are beautifully represented by these unique signs. The same way NYC has its famous I Love NY t-shirts, Austin has the slogan “Keep Austin Weird” as its trademark. The slogan can be found on innumerable souvenirs as well as tagged around different parts of the city.

As lojas localizadas na South Congress Avenue lembram-me muito de Silverlake, em Los Angeles; e Haight Street em São Francisco. A rua é marcada por uma coleção renomada de brechós, boutiques de estilistas independentes e restaurantes familiares; os quais são bem representados por estas incríveis placas. Da mesma maneira que Nova York possui sua famosa marca com suas camisetas “Eu amo NY”, Austin é dona do slogan “Mantenha Austin Estranha”. O mesmo pode ser encontrado em inúmeros produtos de recordação, bem como marcados nas paredes em diversas partes da cidade.
austin

Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds in Austin

A collection of international pop culture icons from across the universe was used on this store’s layout creating a vintage look, and making reference to the Beatles. The highlight is the Austin version of the Portuguese-born Brazilian Muse from the 40s “Carmen Miranda”. Carmen Miranda was a samba singer and actress who represented Brazil world wide, after becoming a Broadway star and not only the highest paid artist in Hollywood; but also the highest paid woman in the United States. In Brazil she is considered the precursor of the “Tropicalismo” movement. 

Uma coleção de ícones internacionais da cultura pop ao redor do universo foi utilizada na fachada da loja “Lucy in Disguise”, criando um visual antigo e descolado; fazendo referência aos Beatles. Mas o destaque da fachada é a versão de Austin da musa brasileira dos anos quarenta, Carmen Miranda. Nascida em Portugal, a cantora de samba e atriz imigrou ao Brasil representando o país mundo afora. Sua fama transformou-a em estrela da Boradway e não apenas a mais bem paga atriz de Hollywood; mas também na mulher com o maior salário no mundo do entertenimento, nos Estados Unidos. No Brasil, ela é considerada uma das precusoras da Tropicalia.
fort worth

Leddy Boots in Fortworth

Fort Worth is the next big city near Dallas, and is part of the Metroplex. The city is also the place where tourists go to experience the country culture. It is typical for someone who doesn’t know Dallas, to imagine the city as a cowboy’s paradise; but in reality, this misperception couldn’t be further from the truth.  Although Dallas is strongly influenced by the country culture, Fort Worth is the place where one would go to experience that.

Fort Worth é o grande centro urbano vizinho de Dallas, fazendo parte do Metroplex. A cidade é o lugar procurado pelos turistas interessados na cultura sertaneja. É bastante comum para quem não conhece Dallas imaginar a cidade como o paraíso sertanejo. Entretando, na realidade esta idéia fica longe da realidade. Embora Dallas tenha sido fortemente influênciada por esta cultura, Fort Worth é o lugar ideal se você está em busca desta experiência.
fort worth

Riscky's Stakehouse in Fort Worth

Main Street in Fort Worth is home to most of its tourist attractions, such as bars, restaurants, boot shops and souvenirs in general. For the meat savvy, the street may be the right spot to try that authentic Southern BBQ. The street also holds the twice-daily Longhorn parade, which should not be missed.

A rua principal Main Street, localizada no centro de Forth Worth é o local onde encontram-se a maioria das atrações turísticas, bem como seus bares, restaurantes, lojas de botas e lembranças em geral. Para os amantes de uma boa carne assada, a rua é o lugar ideal para experimentar o autêntico churrasco texano. Lá você também vai presenciar a Parada do Gado (Longhorn Parade), a qual acontece duas vezes ao dia e é imperdível. 
fort worth

Hunter Brother's Ranch in Fort Worth

The bar below may not have the trendiest sign, but they guarantee “Cold Beer” and “Hot Women”. What else could one wish for? Though low on design appeal, I figured it deserved mention in this entry.

O bar abaixo pode não apresentar a placa mais hype, mas eles garantem “Cerveja Gelada” e “Mulher Gostosa”. O que mais alguém poderia desejar? Mesmo que não tenha um grande apêlo visual, eu pensei que merecesse uma menção nesta entrada.
fort worth

PR's in Fort Worth

Dallas has so many distinctive signs, and here I am highlighting one single corner on Oak Lawn Ave at Bowser. The corner is in my opinion, considered Lucas’ hood. The best sign belongs to a no longer existing bed and breakfast called “Lucas”. The current business belongs to the Seafood Restaurant Chain “Pappadeaux”. 

Dallas possui uma variedade imensa de placas estilizadas, e neste artigo eu estarei focalizando em um único cruzamento entre as ruas Oak Lawn e Bowser. O melhor luminoso pertence a um antigo hotel chamado Lucas B&B, o qual atualmente cede lugar ao novo restaurante de frutos-do-mar Pappadeux, Devido a sua estética estabelecida na região, o novo estabelecimento manteve a sinalização original. 
dallas

Lucas Bed and Breakfast in Dallas

The neighborhood diner Luckys Cafe is located just across the Street, and its Sunday Brunch is part of my weekly agenda. The food is as good as any other good diner, but where it truly shines is its extremely friendly and helpful staff. On the opposite side of the street is located Luke’s Locker, which is not shown here, but deserves some credit. They are the best sports shop in the area, focusing on running and triathlon. That’s where a big chunk of my paycheck goes.

O modesto restaurante Luckys Café fica localizado do outro lado da rua, e seu famoso Brunch de domingo é parte da minha agenda semanal. A comida é típica de restaurantes da mesma categoria, mas o grande destaque vai para o atendimento amigável e altamente eficiente. No lado oposto da rua fica localizado a loja esportiva Luke’s Locker, a qual não está sendo mostrada aqui mas deserve algum crédito. Sendo a melhor loja do gênero na área, especializada em corrida e triatlon, este é o lugar onde eu gasto uma grande parcela do meu pagamento.
dallas

Luckys Cafe in Dallas

Snookie’s Bar & Grill is located on the other corner of the intersection.  I haven’t tried yet, but their sign is very interesting and it appears to be busy most of the time.

Snookie’s Bar & Grill fica localizado na outra esquina do cruzamento. Eu ainda não experimentei, entretando, sua sinalização é interessante e o lugar está cheio na maioria das vezes.
dallas

Snookie's Bar & Grill

Among all these signs, Lucas B&B is my favorite. There are several other signs I have seen but haven’t been able to photograph yet. A good friend of mine told me about some pretty unique ones in Arlington, which I should be checking out soon. Slowly, I am discovering some unique characteristics in Texas, which I am going to take with me for the rest of my life.

Dentre todos estes luminosos, Lucas B&B é o meu predileto. Existem várias outras placas as quais eu avistei, porém ainda não tive a oportunidade de fotografá-las.  Aos poucos eu vou descobrindo estas características peculiares do Texas, as quais influenciarão meus passos por onde for, pelo resto de minha vida.
dallas

Lucas Bed and Breakfast in Dallas

 

Advertisements

cows are us

December 14, 2008

chick-fil-a

 

For the past years I have been noticing the use of cows in North American advertising. Being a vegetarian and having cows as one of my favorite animals, made me an easy target for those campaigns; which in my opinion are brilliant. The first campaign showcased here was created by Dallas’ advertising agency “The Richards Group“, for the Atlanta based restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A.

chick-fil-a

 

The slogan “Eat Mor Chikin” is used as if the cows were protesting against the amount of beef consumed in America, on an attempt to reconstruct American fast-food industry. The campaign directly targets McDonald’s, Burger King,  Wendy’s, and other hamburger based chain restaurants, focusing on educating customers to eat more chicken.

 
chick-fil-a

The creative team have used smart and sharp copywriting with misspelled words representing the cows illiteracy, and at the same time creating a more fun and relaxed boycott. The campaign started in 1994 with a single billboard and continues evolving, exploring new possibilities; and most of the times adjusting the jokes and sense of humor to the aesthetic of their different locations across America.

chick-fil-a

In some of the TV commercials, cows take more extreme action like in the one shown here; where they invade a football stadium landing on a burger vendor. The same interactivity has been brought to real life by using three-dimensional cows tagging massive billboards near the main freeways of American cities. I find the entire campaign brilliant, fun and very original. The creative team has done such a good job applying the concept to their target audience; by the use important icons of their culture, such as football.

Another brilliant, yet controversial campaign was created by the Los Angeles based “Deutsch Inc.”, for the Real California Cheese company. The slogan “real cheese comes from happy cows – happy cows come from California”, uses California’s geography, weather, and culture; which combined to clever copy-writing transmits the ideal environment for dairy farming.

The commercials are set on paradisiacal farms, where the sun shines and natural events such as earthquakes make the cows’ life more interesting. The parallel between the effects of the great Californian weather on its inhabitants, is here applied to the cows. In one of the commercials, the cows complain about the rainy season, which is represented by one single cloud in the sky. 

In another commercial, an Alaskan cow moves to California and loves the fact there is no snow on the ground. The Californian cows raise eyebrows for not knowing the word “snow”, even though in reality, it snows a bit in California. Another commercial shows two bulls hitting on some cows passing by. They use some slangs that a Californian “dude” would use to hit on a “chick”, talking about working out and other body conscious aspects.

Notwithstanding the remarkable advertising campaign, California Milk Advisory Board has encountered some legal issues along the way. Animals rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have alleged the company is using false advertisement; making the audience believe that cows are raised in such utopian conditions. According to PETA, “Roughly one-third of California’s cows suffer from painful udder infections, and more than half suffer from other painful infections and illnesses”, amongst several other allegations.

happy cows

This is a very complicated issue for me, as a vegetarian and a visual communicator. I have always been aware of the reality of the majority of cattle farms, and that is one of the reasons why I originally decided to become a vegetarian, ten years ago. Nonetheless, I think the campaign is bright and effective, getting the attention of different groups with divergent opinions. Moreover, controversy is a sign of good advertising, right?

All the images used for this entry are copywrited and were extracted from the Chick-Fil-A and Real California Cheese websites.

For more information about animal rights, vegetarianism and unhappy cows visit: www.unhappycows.com

dance, monkeys, dance.

June 14, 2008


Written and Produced by Ernest Cline

When I lived in San Diego, I used to go to a monthly underground audiovisual exhibition called The Visual Underground“, and amongst dozens of incredible videos I’ve seen throughout the years, this one has been on top of my list since then. Despite its low resolution images, and its straightforward presentation style, this is in my opinion, one of the most brilliant realistic poems someone has written about the human being. I have been looking for this video online for a while and have finally found it, furthermore, I found the person responsible for this literary masterpiece. 

Ernest Cline grew up in rural Ohio, being strongly influenced by the 80s. With a childhood filled with comic books, arcade games, sci-fi movies, and the first personal computers available, Cline made his way out of that small town with his words as weapons, in order to survive in this world. In the early nineties, he co-produced and directed a stage performance of Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail, presented at the Gen Con, for two consecutive years. Around the same time, his passion for avant garde low-budget short film production brought his work to the television, with such films as Rattletrap Gaslaktica played on Columbus public access TV. These days Cline lives in Austin, Texas’ cultural capital. His aspiring talent and hard-working personality have lead him to Hollywood, writing a movie about Star War’s fans, called ‘Fanboys’, to be released in the fall of 2009. 

make you clap to this

March 16, 2008

Check out Justice‘s new video-clip: D.V.N.O. 

 

After the incredible production of D.A.N.C.E. the french duo, from the record label Ed Banger, scores again with this simple, vintage and powerful video. Produced by Because. Directed by Machine Molle, So Me, and Yorgo Tloupas; with post-production by Machine Molle.  

shoes, interrupted.

February 24, 2008

dsc_0125a.jpg
 

How many times have you walked on a random street; anywhere around the world, looked at the sky and found that lovely pair of shoes laced together bouncing over the power lines? How many times after spotting those shoes have you asked yourself, what are the possible reasons why those shoes are hanging there? If you have found yourself in that situation; and had no answers for the questions, don’t worry. You are not alone!

 

dsc_0031a.jpg

 

After having photographed a few hanging shoes around Melbourne, I decided to speculate possibilities that could possibly explain the case. Do people have their shoes stolen on the streets and thrown over the power lines? If so, do the thieves have emotional reasons for doing it this way, instead of taking the shoes with them? Do kids in high school or college do that to their frosh during their o-week? Maybe someone’s shoes were hurting their feet and the person decided to take them off, and throw them away? Could that possibly be the end of the line for those shoes; and instead of throwing them away in the rubbish can, the individual decided to interact with the environment, adding an element to the city’s landscape? Someone once told me It had something to do with marking the spot where a ‘narc’ got beat up (by ‘narc’ the person meant someone that ‘rats’ on their friends). What have you heard about it?

 

 dsc_0081.jpg 

 

With all that cogitation added to the considerable amount of shoes I’ve seen hanging over the power lines in Melbourne, my questions are: Is this act becoming more common nowadays, and possibly turning into a new trend? Will this be an old form of expression/attitude becoming a movement? Are we witnessing the beginning of a new artistic interaction, possibly soon to be called shoe-tagging? Living in the post-modern world, where almost everything is acceptable, I wouldn’t be impressed if that is the answer for the case. Whatever It is, whatever you have heard or imagined about it, I want to hear your thoughts! In the meantime all we can do is contemplate the interventions on our streets, while asking ourselves: why? Why? WHY?

 

img_0020.jpg 

 

replay: christian marclay

February 2, 2008

Audiovisual exhibition at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, in Melbourne. Christian Marclay was born in California, raised in Switzerland, and currently based in NYC. Strongly influenced by Marcel Duchamp, Pop Art, the punk movement and performance art, Marclay has been composing music and performances as an experimental DJ for over 25 years.Installations using several projectors, TVs, and speakers, from collages of classic hollywood movies and personal footage, mixing audio and video, Marclay creates a new composition rearranging elements and playing with your senses.”Music like you’ve never seen before and art like you’ve never heard before”, as the interview magazine says. The exhibition ends on february 3rd, so keep an eye open to see if It is going anywhere next to you.

Record PlayersVideo, 5 mins 1984

For Christian Marclay ‘Breaking is making sound’. The musicians in Record Players shatter records rhythmically acting out against the records’ fragility in order to free music from its captivity.