The Corley Conspiracy

As part of the London Design Festival I attended a new opera called “The Corley Conspiracy”. The event was cowritten by a friend and collaborator Sean Starke, who is also part of the MIRROR project that I’m involved with.

Based on a true story that unfolded on Usenet bulletin boards in the early 90’s, the piece which I would hardly call an opera as its delivery is more like a play with actors speaking and accompanying music is a portrayal of a paranoid mind that raises unsettling questions about a society under surveillance. Both disturbing and darkly comic, the show was entertaining and intelligent with some great comedic moments and high calibre acting.

Congratulations Sean, nice work.


Look in the MIRROR

For the past 3 years I’ve been working on a project called MIRROR with my good friend Thomas Anselmi. Our collaboration began with a breakfast meeting about a website and quickly evolved into us writing music and visually refining the MIRROR brand together.

MIRROR just launched a new site and put on two free shows to close friends. The show is an experimental video and music project which has been described as a little bit like walking onto the backlot of a David Lynch film studio.


Tufte’s Sparklines

Lately there’s been a lot of talk about Edward Tufte. Who is he? He may be the only designer with a roadie.

If you have yet to read any of his books you will find depth and clarity in his explanations of information design that simplifies complex data systems. Or perhaps you could read his amazing essay on how Microsoft’s powerPoint software is making presenters and audiences cater to the lowest common denominator. Wired has an article on the subject.

One of his favourite info graphic devices is Sparklines, which he describes as “Intense, simple word-sized graphics”. He has a section in his latest book “Beautiful Evidence” on the subject. This micro graphic format seems to be spreading across the web quickly with open source solutions that offer simple snippets of code that generate Sparklines.

Here are some:
Javascript generator for Photoshop
Sparklines for Ruby On Rails


Mark Your Space

More and more, it seems that one of the stronger motivational factors of the web is to tag, mark you space, define your borders, or claim your territory. Call it what you will, it seems like a new continent has been discovered and everyone wants a piece.

No visual representation shows this more that DrawBall. Interesting how it takes on the aesthetics of graffiti. Make sure you try the playback link in the top right.


Composer under the Hood

There’s no telling what you’ll find if you just rummage under the hood of Apple’s OS X. If you’ve got a mac, chances are you probably haven’t yet found the Quartz Composer. It’s a cool possibly geeky way of generating motion graphics on the fly. QC has a unique method of composing motion graphics recipes using flowcharting.

It’s a new app and there are few really cool examples of its use yet. Here’s some interesting work by Futurismo Zagakousaku, I particularly like the constructivist piece here.


If you’ve installed the Developer tools for OS X you’ll find a huge array of free well thought out tools. Have a look.