guerrilla it up

This symposium video gives a good account of the work of the Guerrilla Girls, a feminist artists’ collective that formed back in the mid-80s. From the smatterings of info I’ve seen around, it appears that they are still active, but not to the level that they used to be, having split up into 3 tranches. This video is a nub in the sense that it’s sort of like a toolkit for all those budding feminist activists out there. The beauty of the Guerrilla Girls concept is that anyone can adopt it and it has an almost timeless quality. Accept for if you are a boy…’Guerrilla Boys’ just doesn’t have the kind of ring we’re going for here does it. One thing I wish about this nub though. I wish they hadn’t put that vertical neon green line there.


Nubs blogged about. Response 1.

The Cokes are in the icebox/popcorn’s on the table! Horray! William Shaw at the RSA Arts and Ecology Centre has blogged about nubs. Think this might be the first time anybody has bothered to blog about them – thankyou William. I guess this means that the nub has gone viral or something, how exciting!¬† He raises some interesting questions, which I am going to respond to later.

He also posted this nub, from the RSA Animate which is a sort of hybrid of a teachnub and speechnub.

I can’t embed it but you can view it here

It’s an interesting effort (reminds me a bit of i met the walrus) and must have taken forever, but the jerky camera and bad sound are kind of off putting. Here’s something terrible we tried ages ago in this vein, but with the words of Tom Bentley rather than equally dense Matthew Taylor. I think this video underlines how hard it is to get complex information and complex words into a short video – we’re currently in our 7th week of trying to synthesize Robin Murray’s tretis on the social economy.

Sometimes words are just better when they come out of a face. E>G>

Take Pride

Charlie has linked to this video before, but I’ve been meaning to give it a full post for a little while as I think it deserves it.

In celebration of the Indian courts overturning the ban on homosexuality as violation of people’s basic rights, and today being Pride in London, here’s a fantastic nub featuring an excerpt of a Harvey Milk speech. It’s one of the best examples of the ‘animated speech’ you’ll see.

If you’re heading down, have a great Pride!

a kinetic typo

Kinetic typography is kind of the nub minimum wage – it’ll keep you going but it’s not much to work with. There’s been some decent use of it in the past, mainly because it was just new – but it’s played out now. You knew that once the Tories got on board, the ship of swizz was going down faster than the Exxon Valdez.

I’m bored now of watching the same old, same old typography vids – here’s a speech, here’s a cool font, here’s that speech in a cool font, look how it moves across the screen, you can see the words, in a cool font, look they’re still moving, but now at an angle.

If you’re even going to attempt a speech nub now, you need to be all about the storytelling. Great videos like ‘I Met The Walrus‘ and the Harvey Milk speech (a dedicated post on these is coming) use the narrative as bass note not treble; building their own version of the message on top.

Despite most of this post, there is still hope for kinetic typography beyond the usual blahdey blah. This tiny, tiny nub by FAD (and turd polishers JWT-NY) drugs the text, busts it out of the nub institution and leaves it to wonder around blinking in the sunlight. Nice font too.

Don’t Forget

I read somewhere that our cultural perceptions of memory are often linked to the technology of archiving and communication. When it was pen and paper, memories were talked of as being inscribed into the brain, in a digital age we think of our brains as big stores from which we can extract information, and maybe in a social/cloud computing age we will see our memories as attached to objects and networks and peoples as we move our memories from being individually remembered to being collectively remembered, in the process allowing us to forget less.

But what exactly are memories? Yes, dates and facts and numbers and images, and yes also smells and feelings but also movement and balance and a sense of ourselves in physical space. We think of memory as a function of our brain rather than actually being an integral component of our being, perhaps as a reflection of a wider cultural seperation of mind and body and self. But the process of remembering is part of us, it is an act of construction and of assigning value, that we seem to have little conscious control over. Someone once wrote (I think, Emanuel Litvinoff) that all memory is false, that remembering is the act of imposing a narrative on events that had none.

If remembering is important for us to build and grow then equally important must be the act of forgetting. Forgetting allows us move forward, to reconstruct, to reinvent and re-interpret – what we forget is as much a part of creating narrative as remembering. But I guess it is inevitable that if an essential part of ourselves is our memory, our record of our narrative, then forgetting is also dissolution.

In Billy Collins’ lovely poem ‘Forgetfulness’ forgetting becomes like someone you love going away forever, like parts of you slowly breaking off and slipping away into oblivion. This nub is of the former American Poet Laurete reciting the poem.

What’s most interesting is that unlike a lot of our previous posts, it doesn’t just visualise the ‘idea’, it performs it and therefore reinterprets it. The video heightens the poem’s air of melancholy and regretful inevitability, retelling the story in it’s own way. The written poem and the nub are essentially become two different versions.

I think what can be valuable about a nub is that it can add emotion and feeling to an abstract idea, or heighten and re-interpret the emotions where they already exist. This is where nubs can come into their own, far beyond the first basic steps of kinetic typography. I will post further about this soon, and about poetry nubs too.

This nub was created by the big advertising company JWT (NY). Whilst on a break from using their vast creative talents to “give the impression of solidity to pure wind”, they produced quite a few excellent nubs of Billy Collins’ poems, which you can find on our YouTube channel (eyes right). If you can manage to forget about who made them, they are quite lovely.