Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.
John F. Kennedy

Ryan Woodward was a prominent Hollywood animator, designer and storyboard artist who honed his talents working on some of the most beautifully animated films in recent memory including Space Jam, Osmosis Jones and The Iron Giant.

Having become disenchanted with the relentless pressures of Hollywood, he took up the position of Assistant Professor of Animation at Brigham Young University, and launched into a side project that was perhaps deemed too expressionistic for a traditional film audience.

The result was the breathtaking short film, ‘Thought of You' -  a combination of creative gesture drawing, experimental and traditional animation styles and contemporary dance, all set to the acoustic chimes of 'The World Spins Madly On' by The Weepies.

Although brief, the magnitude of this work cannot be overstated, with Ryan having to draw and refine over 4,000 individual frames to arrive at the finished product, and that excludes the several layers that make up each of these hand-crafted sketches. The distinctive colour palette, the texture of the backdrop, the rough edges and errors - all lead to an almost magical expressiveness and use of visual metaphor that really brings these brushstrokes to life.

All of a sudden the canvas becomes a stage, and the expressionless faces allow the rhythm of movement to tell this enchanting story of the complexities of intimate relationships, but without the distinct narrative that shepherds the viewer into one line of thinking; rather, each individual experiences something unique and personal that touches on their own sensibilities.

The story behind the film is captured in a short documentary where Ryan explains his idea, the challenges, and his approach at conveying a message through a new medium - animated contemporary dance, for which he was aided by the ever-talented choreographer Kori Wakamatsu.

With such charming work, it is of little surprise that ‘Thought of You’ has been showered in accolades including recognition at the Los Angeles Cinema Festival of HollywoodSedona International Film Festival, and the 2D or Not 2D Animation Festival, to name but a few. It seems as though Hollywood’s loss has lead to wider gains, and I for one am eager to see what Ryan creates next.

P.V.

Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut
The MacBook Air was a jaw-dropping, if somewhat compromised product when it launched in January 2008. It was thin and svelte and beautiful to behold, but it was limited by woefully underpowered processors and a battery life that bordered on shambolic. Beyond this, it was prohibitively expensive for the mainstream. For a machine that was so clearly aimed at the ever-ready traveller, it was, in many respects, a promise unfulfilled.
Fast-forward to 2011 and the latest MacBook Air is a very different beast. The issues that made the original such a disappointment have now been comprehensively addressed: the processors are quick, the boot-times are near-instantaneous (largely due to the exclusive use of flash memory), the battery life is much improved and although not cheap, it is a much more affordable option for the everyman, with the 11” model starting at £828.59 (or £729.60 if you’re able to claim Apple’s Higher Education discount).
That is not to say that it is a perfect machine; with the cost of flash memory still high, the entry-level model has only 64GB of storage, which, although sufficient for the novice or secondary user, can soon be swamped by those with even moderate photo/video/music collections. In some respects, frugality is the order of the day - to keep the essentials on the machine, and trust the rest to either the cloud (Dropbox and Box.net are excellent options) or an external hard disk. Furthermore, the lack of an SD Card slot on the 11” model means that you’ll still need to use an adaptor or cable to transfer photos onto your machine - something which adds friction to an experience that we now expect to be largely seamless.
Today’s MacBook Air is still not a machine for everyone, but then it doesn’t need to be. If you want more storage on your Mac, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it, you’ll have to consider the MacBook Pro, which still offers more conventional hard drive options, an optical disk drive and more besides.
But if you’re after an almost effortlessly portable, quick-enough for most needs, relatively affordable notebook that you’ll never notice weighing down your satchel, then the new MacBook Air is something that is hard to overlook - it may not be perfect, but it’s amongst the most enticing ultraportables on the market. Perhaps this time form really did follow function.
P.V.

The MacBook Air was a jaw-dropping, if somewhat compromised product when it launched in January 2008. It was thin and svelte and beautiful to behold, but it was limited by woefully underpowered processors and a battery life that bordered on shambolic. Beyond this, it was prohibitively expensive for the mainstream. For a machine that was so clearly aimed at the ever-ready traveller, it was, in many respects, a promise unfulfilled.

Fast-forward to 2011 and the latest MacBook Air is a very different beast. The issues that made the original such a disappointment have now been comprehensively addressed: the processors are quick, the boot-times are near-instantaneous (largely due to the exclusive use of flash memory), the battery life is much improved and although not cheap, it is a much more affordable option for the everyman, with the 11” model starting at £828.59 (or £729.60 if you’re able to claim Apple’s Higher Education discount).

That is not to say that it is a perfect machine; with the cost of flash memory still high, the entry-level model has only 64GB of storage, which, although sufficient for the novice or secondary user, can soon be swamped by those with even moderate photo/video/music collections. In some respects, frugality is the order of the day - to keep the essentials on the machine, and trust the rest to either the cloud (Dropbox and Box.net are excellent options) or an external hard disk. Furthermore, the lack of an SD Card slot on the 11” model means that you’ll still need to use an adaptor or cable to transfer photos onto your machine - something which adds friction to an experience that we now expect to be largely seamless.

Today’s MacBook Air is still not a machine for everyone, but then it doesn’t need to be. If you want more storage on your Mac, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it, you’ll have to consider the MacBook Pro, which still offers more conventional hard drive options, an optical disk drive and more besides.

But if you’re after an almost effortlessly portable, quick-enough for most needs, relatively affordable notebook that you’ll never notice weighing down your satchel, then the new MacBook Air is something that is hard to overlook - it may not be perfect, but it’s amongst the most enticing ultraportables on the market. Perhaps this time form really did follow function.

P.V.

I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

LA Light' is an arrestingly beautiful short film shot and produced by Colin Rich that readily captures the electric brilliance of Los Angeles at night. The film itself is composed of thousands of time-lapse photographs shot across a six-month period that have been colour-corrected and shaped together to form a narrative tale of the scale and perspective of the city and its monuments.

The wide-angle vistas make the city appear to be almost tranquil at night, but the more intimate shots of buildings, streets and intersections make you re-evaluate those opinions as you feel the relentless buzz of activity. The Cinematic Orchestra's 'To Build A Home' provides the perfect musical accompaniment to do justice to these lovingly created visuals. As Rich himself notes:

Shooting time lapses is a labor of love and a study in patience.

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

P.V.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Mother Teresa

My Suburban Girl

I know a sweet suburban girl,
She’s witty, bright and brief;
With dimples in her cheeks; and pearl
In rubies set, for teeth.

Beneath her glossy raven hair
There beams the hazel eye,
Bright as the star of evening there
Where the yellow sunbeams die.

Her breath is like a flower blown,
In fragrance and perfume;
Her voice seems from the blissful throne
Where their harps the angels tune.

Her waist is just a trifle more
Than a cubit in its girth;
But when there my arms I throw,
I’ve all there is of earth.

And when she turns her dimpled cheek
Toward me for a kiss,
I lose expression—cannot speak—
And take all there is of bliss.

Samuel Alfred Beadle

Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits.
Theodore Zeldin
Olympus has had a penchant over recent years for releasing achingly beautiful, if somewhat flawed cameras, designed to appeal to those for whom the method and tools for shooting pictures need to be every bit as stunning as the photographs that they aim to produce. With the recent release of the Olympus PEN E-P3, it seems as though they might have finally given photographers a tool that is desirable, usable and without too many compromises of form over function.
Although superficially similar to its predecessors, the E-P1 and E-P2, the improvements to the package are significant: a vastly snappier autofocus; a screen that is bright, sharp and usable in direct sunlight, and a built-in flash that obviates the need for a standalone unit when venturing out to shoot more discreetly. This camera still isn’t flawless, but it’s far less dogged by the compromises and disappointments that riddled its beautiful, although flawed predecessors. The price may still be premium, but the justification for valuing beauty just became a lot more acceptable.

P.V.

Olympus has had a penchant over recent years for releasing achingly beautiful, if somewhat flawed cameras, designed to appeal to those for whom the method and tools for shooting pictures need to be every bit as stunning as the photographs that they aim to produce. With the recent release of the Olympus PEN E-P3, it seems as though they might have finally given photographers a tool that is desirable, usable and without too many compromises of form over function.

Although superficially similar to its predecessors, the E-P1 and E-P2, the improvements to the package are significant: a vastly snappier autofocus; a screen that is bright, sharp and usable in direct sunlight, and a built-in flash that obviates the need for a standalone unit when venturing out to shoot more discreetly. This camera still isn’t flawless, but it’s far less dogged by the compromises and disappointments that riddled its beautiful, although flawed predecessors. The price may still be premium, but the justification for valuing beauty just became a lot more acceptable.

P.V.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
Oscar Wilde

Be Your Own Souvenir!' showcases blablabLAB's interactive installation that resided at La Rambla, Barcelona during two weekends of January 2011. It encouraged the citizens of Barcelona to explore the relationship between being a spectator and performer, artist and tourist, observer and object by stepping into the 'scanner' and posing as a statue. The reward for your troubles? A small, three-dimensionally printed volumetric reconstruction of the person generated using three light scanners - something that's just a little more memorable than a postcard or souvenir t-shirt.

This innovative project was deemed appealing enough to deserve an honorary mention in the ‘Hybrid Art' category of the Prix Ars Electronica 2011, and it’s not difficult to see why. This playful piece of work showcases the vibrant spirit of Barcelona’s people, and Yeasayer's 'Ambling Alp' provides a fitting, quirky, uplifting soundtrack that mimics the ingenuity and tempo of this diverse and creative city.

P.V.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci