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how do you crack the mainstream without selling out? | I-D VICE

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If you believe that “pop” is as valid an art form as any other, there is a snobbery to this. Jamie XX has drawn on various genres so why not borrow as a form the three-minute pop song? Extrapolate the sentiment out to young artists and the results can be heavy-hitting. We all need to pay the bills.

The logical conclusion to this puritanism is that “real” artists only make art for themselves. Which, when you think about it, is oxymoronic. An audience is an essential component for art. Without one you’re a person in a room with a pen or a paintbrush or a piano. To claim the audience is incidental doesn’t hold much water: curating your audience, thinking about who your art is for and who’s NFI, is part of the process. It’s strange to try to claim it’s all for you.

Text Oscar Quine
Artwork Christopher Dombres

Read the full article at VICE I-D

It Took 350 Lighters and Three Years to Make This Photo | WIRED

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Hong Kong Soup 1826 by Mandy Baker

Hong Kong Soup 1826 by Mandy Baker

Mandy Barker makes garbage beautiful. She photographs detritus that washes ashore and spends hours arranging them to create complex, layered images. Working with everything from tsunami debris to discarded soccer balls, Barker makes the overwhelming issue of worldwide pollution easier to visualize.

She photographs detritus that washes ashore and spends hours arranging them to create complex, layered images. This photo is part of her seriesHong Kong Soup: 1826,which features butane lighters that she found littering 30 beaches around Hong Kong. She spent three years gathering some350 lighters for the project.

Visit Mandy Barker’s website.

Read the full story by Jakob Schiller at


Problem-Solving Strategies of Different Animals, in Illustrated Dioramas | Brain Pickings

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By Maria Popova From procrastinating pigeons to counting bears to dung beetles that navigate by the stars. Life and Reality are not things you can have for yourself unless you accord them to all others, Alan Watts wrote in his mind-expanding 1950s meditation on what reality really is. Although our species has a long history of using nonhuman animals as metaphors for understanding human reality, we are only just beginning to accord our fellow creatures the dignity of their own reality by growing a new understanding of their complex consciousness.

Each example in the book comes from Kelsey’s interviews with scientists who study the respective species, brought to life in Kim’s breathtaking 2D/3D dioramas.

Illustrations courtesy of Owlkids Books

Please visit BrainPickings for the full post.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going Freelance | HBR

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Who hasnt thought about quitting their full-time job and going out on their own? In fact, a study by the Freelancers Union found that 88% of people say they wouldnt return to a full-time job. Horowitz says that most are happy to be done with the brutal schedule, the way work is organized, and office politics. Still, freelancing isnt without its challenges.

Being your own boss is certainly tempting. But is giving up your status as a regular employee the right choice for you?

  • Do you have a marketable skill?
  • Do you have a robust network?
  • Do you have the right temperament?
  • Do you have a financial cushion?
  • Are you disciplined about work?
  • Can you try it out?
  • Can your current employer be your first client?

Read the full article at Harvard Business Review.

Print Wikipedia by Michael Mandiberg on Vimeo

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Print Wikipedia is a both a utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data. Michael Mandiberg has written software that parses the entirety of the English-language Wikipedia database and programmatically lays out 7600 volumes, complete with covers, and then uploads them to In addition, he has compiled a Wikipedia Table of Contents, and a Wikipedia Contributor Appendix.

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Why Are Design Firms Stagnating? | Co.Design

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Design is hotter than blazes, so why is it that traditional product design firms arent growing? In fact they seem to be, well, challenged. There are exceptions, but for the most part, substantial growth in design consulting firms has not coincided with the growth of design overall in business.

As design goes in-house, the future of independent firms is murky. Here are four reasons why growth isn’t a given.

1. Design is too important to outsource and therefore is moving in-house.
2. Strategy, “design thinking,” and customer experience are priorities of corporations not necessarily design firms.
3. Communications agencies are hot on the heels of design firms.
4. Design firms dont differentiate themselves from one another in a compelling way

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