Think or Thwim

A Collection of Things Worth Considering

Category: Art

Guerrilla Public Service

Richard Ankrom grew tired of panicked drivers cutting across four lanes of traffic on the 110 trying to make the unmarked 5 exit in LA, and he did something about it. He created his own shield and letters out of aluminum, donned a Caltrans-ish orange vest, and installed the missing information himself.


That was August, 2001. Ankrom’s helpful alteration remained until November of 2009 when Caltrans finally replaced the whole thing with an updated version, complete with Ankrom’s correction.



Sculptures by Erwin Wurm

Wurm placed the house atop the Museum Moderner Kunst for the opening of his exhibition there last year. If you’d like one for the top of your museum, theres a video showing how he did it at YouTube.

Erwin Wurm - Truck
Truck (2005)

I also like these ads: #1, #2.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster

Tim Noble and Sue Webster make pictures of themselves using piles of junk and a light.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Dirty White Trash
Dirty White Trash (note the gulls)

Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Real Life is Rubbish

Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Real Life is Rubbish2
Real Life is Rubbish

Tim Noble and Sue Webster - he-she
Tim Noble and Sue Webster - He-She Daylight View
He (Daylight View)

Tim Noble and Sue Webster
Sue Webster and Tim Noble

:: The New Shelton Wet/Dry

Good News!

Remember the guy that created his own real-life marker for Google Maps? Back in 2004 that same guy, Robert Sollis, did this.

In this newspaper all the negative news articles have been carefully cut out. While in theory this should leave only positive news for us to enjoy, it in fact leaves little more than a wealth of advertising.

Robert Sollis - Good News


:: Core 77

Using Science to Understand Aesthetics

Stephen Palmer’s lab at Berkeley has been doing experiments to understand our preferences for some spatial compositions and colors. Some of the results agree with the art books, but some don’t.

68 minutes. Link to Video

The Art Price Bubble Is Still Expanding

I’d think twice before paying $85 million for a Picasso right now. This chart is from Art Market Insight’s Art Market Trends 2006 (PDF).


There’s a lot of interesting information in the report, including a list of the most expensive works sold in 2006.

:: Paul Kedrosky

Viktor Schreckengost – Designer

Viktor Schreckengost Lawn ChairChances are you’re familiar with something Viktor Schreckengost designed. He turned 100 years old in 2006. He’s had a long career, and the breadth of his work is amazing.

From Viktor Schreckengost – American Da Vinci:

He created the first cab-over-engine truck, the first modern mass-produced dinnerware, and the first economical pedal-cars for children. He designed stage sets and costumes, flashlights, printing presses, riding lawn mowers, electric fans, and bicycles. At the same time, his work in the fine arts flourished.

The cab-over truck is what caught my attention. I’d always wondered why that funny looking design caught on, and why it disappeared again in the 1980s. In 1932 Schreckengost teamed up with engineer Ray Spiller to design the first cab over truck. Cab Over TruckThe laws at the time limited truck length to 42′ on the highways. By locating the cab over the engine, they could save several feet of cab length and that to the trailer capacity.

According to Schreckengost “The man who bought one of those could pay for it in one year with the additional hauling load.”

Long haul cab-over trucks disappeared from the US when the highway length limit was relaxed in the 1980s. Sitting ahead of the front axle makes for a rough ride, and the engine noise is louder in the cab. However, the design is still common for small delivery trucks that need more maneuverability and in Europe where the highway length limits are more restrictive.

Schreckengost’s fine arts designs include paintings, sculpture, and ceramics. This bowl designed for Eleanor Roosevelt is probably his most famous artwork.

Parabolic Jazz Bowl. Sold December 2004, Sotheby’s, US$254,400

In addition Schreckengost has been teaching design at the Cleveland Institute of Art for 70 years. His students are responsible for the design of a large part of our environment including the best-selling car in North America.

:: :: All Things Considered

The Mystery of Picasso

Time lapse showing the evolution of a Picasso painting:


:: Tinselman :: ThrowAwayYourTV

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeesten

Think or Thwim

The Animaris Rhinoceros Transport is a type of animal with a steel skeleton and a polyester skin. It looks as if there is a thick layer of sand coating the animal. It weighs 2 tons, but can be set into motion by one person. It stands 4.7 meters tall. Because of its height it catches enough wind to start moving.

For fourteen years Theo Jansen has been working on creating a new life-form. These creatures consist of walking skeletons made of yellow electricity tubes. These skeletons are wind powered…. Eventually he wants to put these animals on the beach where they will lead their own lives.

:: Strandbeest

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