To celebrate our latest release with Matthew Shlian, we recently collaborated on a feature video of the artist talking about his process in the studio. Ann Arbor-based director and producer Jakob Skogheim also captured some awesome time-lapse footage of Matt working on several pieces, including one from the new Extraction Series. Music provided by Shigeto turns the video into a veritable Ann Arbor hat-trick.
The A to Z of Ghostly Art & Design Influences: Jon Wozencroft of Touch
Today we’re kicking off a new series for the blog, entitled The A to Z of Ghostly Art & Design Influences. If you’ve ever wondered who has influenced the art and design direction of Ghostly, here’s an opportunity to check out our bookshelves, so-to-speak. Our hope is to highlight the work of people who’ve inspired us over the years. Sometimes we’ll do an interview, sometimes we’ll simply share a few jaw dropping images for your delight. We won’t proceed in any particular order, but we’ll try to share these influences with some degree of regularity. First up in A to Z: Touch.
Touch has existed for its 30 years of life somewhere outside the realm of classification. A record label in the eyes of many, Touch has nurtured the careers of musical artists like Fennesz, Bioshphere, Philip Jeck, and Hildur Gudnadottir with an ambivalence towards trends.
Jon Wozencroft, its helmsmen and photographer, is an inspiration not only for his non-linear approach to media and art, but for his sheer love of quality. His lens, in many ways, has created the way we see contemporary Western art music. For Ghostly, coming into early contact with the music and packaging of Touch was a signifier that art and music can share equal footing. For our first installment of A to Z, Ghostly’s founder Sam Valenti asked Wozencroft a few questions about identity, photography, and the state of the industry today.
[GI] Touch is very up front in not being a record label. How would you define Touch as an idea?
[JW] We try to resist defining Touch, which in some respects is part of the problem of achieving recognition… It’s not a question of being vague or elusive—we prefer to trust the chemistry of our artists’ work and our long-term narrative about independent activity to do that—but let’s deal first with the “record label” situation.
Designing the Audio Dock Air: An Interview with John Sundermeyer
Last year, we met Los Angeles-based industrial designer John Sundermeyer through a mutual friend. Call it kismet, but as it turns out, John was just wrapping up his first design commission for Audyssey, whose home audio products we’d recently developed an attachment to. John’s design was none other than the Audio Dock Air, which we launched in the store earlier this year.
As the founder of Pull Creative, a design agency specializing in user experience, and original author of one of our favorite water bottles, we knew John would have some interesting things to say about the creation of the Audio Dock Air, so we passed along some design-junkie-type questions and John helped illuminate his process for us.
[GI] Why are you a designer?
[JS] I’ve always been a designer. Meaning, I’ve always thought and acted like a designer, so I learned the necessary skills to make it a profession. I’ve always liked making things, but I was even more interested in the ideas and drawing. I grew up in Ann Arbor and was influenced by Detroit and the auto industry. My best friend and I would spend hours drawing cars, systems for mag-lev vehicles and buildings.
I eventually got into woodworking and wooden boat restoration; initially I would sketch-up paint schemes for boats and eventually entire boats. During this time I was influenced a lot by the Mid-West’s industrial past while I was growing up. I helped out at a relative’s workshop on the restoration of antique and classic boats and aircraft. Everything was about preserving the machine’s originality; we’d go to extremes to ensure that every detail was kept intact. So early on, I was fascinated by these machines that had been so well designed that they were worthy of painstaking resurrection 50 or 70 years after they were built.
Filtered: Photos by *safesolvent
Martin Reisch, working under the moniker *safesolvent, is the kind of prolific photographer who makes you think of all the moments in life that you should’ve taken a picture but didn’t. A rampant Instagrammer, Reisch has made something of a name for himself in the community through his unique approach to iPhone self-portraiture (note: you need a timer, a GorillaMobile, and a pair of good legs).
How to do a self-portrait like *safesolvent:
"I tend to do selfportraits mostly in locations that have vast large amounts of empty space. I like the contrast it gives when adding myself into it. It reminds me alot of those storyboards that the late Ralph McQuarrie had done for Star Wars and some of the Isaac Asimov book covers. You’d often see a robot or character posed amidst an expansive location.” - MR
At Home with Rob Fissmer of Vitsœ
Ghostly fan and GMS subscriber Rob Fissmer studied architecture at RISD and later went on to work at one of the world’s most influential design stores, Moss, where he was also responsible for compiling our MG/M1 collaboration. Following his time at Moss, Fissmer settled into a position as the head of North American operations for Vitsœ, the UK company which produces the iconic 606 Universal Shelving System designed by Dieter Rams.
It’s a little known fact that we are devout admirers of everything Dieter Rams related. In an age of overabundance, both digital and physical, Rams’ designs speak volumes to the practice of living better, with less. Amazingly, Rams even managed to imbue his humble shelving system with this sensibility.
Fissmer recently re-located with his wife Elise Loehnen to Venice Beach, CA, where they have set up a unique "Vitsœ apartment" prominently featuring an array of 606 compositions. As a former DJ and lifelong vinyl collector, one could say that he is an ideal use-case for the system, which is not only flexible and movable, but perfectly suited for vinyl storage.
We asked Rob to some share some of his insights on Rams, eclectic possessions, and organizing your vinyl by color. His answers after the jump.
Filtered: Photos by Shigeto
Zachary Saginaw (aka Shigeto) will be the first to tell you that he’s not a photographer. He expressed as much when we met up with him prior to a gig at the Berghain Kantine in Berlin. And then, almost immediately following this statement, he pulled out his phone to show us recent Instagrams he’d snapped while on tour.
Okay, so maybe Zach isn’t a photographer. But he’s certainly one prolific Instagrammer. On his previous European tour he tallied up an unspeakable cell phone bill, in part because of his Instagram habits.
For our recurring “Filtered” series, we asked Zach to pick his all-time favorite Instagrams and answer a few questions about why he likes to share (see after the jump). Ever humble and eager to contribute, he sent us some inspiring shots, along with how he achieved each effect.
(Top image: “Taken in the Red Wood Forest on tour with Emancipator and Marley Carrol. I used Camera+ for the HDR effect as well as Crossprocess.” -ZS)
"Taken 4/18/2012 in Luxembourg using the TopCamera "timer" app and the Crossprocess applications. It’s my first self portrait.”
Filtered: Photos by Heathered Pearls
Heathered Pearls is the alias of Jakub Alexander: DJ, music curator of the IS050 Blog, and founder of Moodgadget Records. Not only is he one of the funniest people we know, he also happens to be a diehard Instagrammer.
For our new series entitled “Filtered,” we asked Jakub to pick a handful of his all-time favorite photos (see more after the jump) and answer a few questions about sharing.
(Top photo: Scott Hansen aka Tycho taking photos in LA.)
"This was my first time using gorilla cam which gives you a timer so you can get in your shot, what was crazy was this seagull flew by right at the right time to interrupt it, such a better photo with him in it."
An Interview with Jacob Höglund of Sunpocket
Last summer, a friend was found sporting a pair of racing green sunglasses during lunch. They were pretty awesome looking. And then he took them off and folded them into the palm of his hand. We were blown away. At the table, we picked them up and just couldn’t put them down. The conversation continued and we barely paid attention because of a pair of sunglasses. Within days, we tracked down the only store in Manhattan to stock them and bought our very own pair.
It turns out the sunglasses also came with a story. Originally a French company, Sunpocket had only recently been relaunched by a Swedish entrepreneur named Jacob Höglund (pictured above with his father), after he discovered an old pair in his parents’ cottage.
Jacob was kind enough to answer a few questions about what’s been happening with Sunpocket since he reintroduced it to the world a couple years ago.
[GI] When did you have the realization that you wanted to take a chance on relaunching the brand and how did your friends/family react?
[JH] When I found my father’s original Sunpockets in our ski cottage in Norway a few years ago, I just loved the product right away. It also brought back tons of memories from my childhood, as I was brought up in a crazy ski family that spent every weekend and holiday on skis.
In Process with Andy Gilmore
Each time Andy Gilmore provides new work for release under Ghostly International Editions, we find ourselves newly amazed by his evolution as an artist. While the work speaks for itself, we remain ever curious about Gilmore’s processes. To help shed some light, we asked Andy a few simple questions about his approach.
[GI] In the past two years, your portfolio has grown considerably. To produce so much work, we imagine there must be one dozen Andy Gilmore clones working in a dimly lit studio 24 hours a day. What’s the reality?
[Andy Gilmore] The reality is there is but one of me working 10+ hours a day in a dimly lit studio—a lot can get done in 7300+ hours.
[GI] In addition to your increased output, we’ve witnessed a greater complexity to your compositions. We wouldn’t dare ask a magician to reveal his secrets, but could you shed some light on the process and time involved in creating one of your works?
[AG] Generally, I build a form/pattern in Illustrator line by line, piece by piece—values are then assigned across the form to create the illusion of depth and movement. I essentially then use Photoshop to develop the image as if it were film. This all can take days or hours.
[GI] Do you start with a particular feeling or direction you want the work to take, or does the shape develop organically? Principia, for example, appears to have some Indian or Eastern Asian undertones. Was this intentional from the outset?
[AG] Oftentimes I have a particular direction that I have been exploring and I just continue to build upon it. Overall, its a very Gestalt approach to image making—in that I just allow the suggestion of form to guide me along. Indian and Eastern themes certainly influence my thinking and make their way into work unintentionally.
[GI] Speaking of directions, where do you see your work heading? What interests you most at this very moment?
[AG] The work has moved in directions that I could never have anticipated so I can’t really say for sure. New questions are posed everyday that can lead to any number of new directions and opportunities to explore. Drawing always interests me most of all.
Zachary Saginaw Discusses “Lineage”
Following the release of his mini-LP Lineage, we asked Shigeto (Zachary Saginaw) to explain the connection of family to his music and working with Michael Cina on the art to translate this connection.
Describe the story you attach to your family.
My mother’s side of the family were from Hiroshima, Japan. Shortly before WWII they made a new home in California. In 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Executive Order 9066 took effect. This order imprisoned 120,000 Japanese Americans due to being related to the enemy and being “potential enemies” themselves. Someone from the army came to your door.
They told my family they had no choice and it was a national security matter. They could have one suitcase per family member and must be ready to leave shorty. They were all loaded into buses and not told where they were going or how long they would be there. My family ran a produce shop. They were very respected in their neighborhood. When this happened, they lost everything. The houses and shops that belonged to and were run by Japanese Americans (meaning American citizens born on U.S soil) were lost and taken by others pretty much forever. One of the few things that my family got back was their upright piano. That piano is in my family’s house in Michigan to this day.