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July 23, 2012 - Comments Off on Myriad Marathons

Myriad Marathons

Olympic season is upon us once again. Time to watch that opening ceremony, a few interesting events, and then tune out till the medal count comes out! All snark aside, I have fond memories of watching the Olympics with my family. As an event that only happens every four years, it's incredible to think there have only been a handful of games, winter and summer, since my birth. Yet as a celebration of the limits of the human body and how it can bring us together all politics aside, the Olympics are definitely inspiring.

Watching the opening procession of the games can turn into quite the geography lesson. Sometimes to the point where one swears some of the more obscure countries don't even exist. You wouldn't be wrong in the case of the country Vodkovia, a fictional Stalinist country in Eastern Europe that has a penchant for genetic modification. Oli Kellett did a series of interesting photo manipulations to illustrate the bizarre team the country has assembled for London this month. Whether this is a strange art project or viral marketing campaign is unclear, regardless it is a wacky parody of the effort spent to approach perfection in athletics.



 One of my greatest annoyances about this year's Olympics is the London 2012 logo. While undeniably unique, something about its 80's retro stylings and harsh abstract appearance have turned me off since its premiere years ago. Yet such aesthetic can work in certain situations as the site for art director and graphic designer Jimmy Raheriarisoa attests. The sharp abstract angles and shapes are much more in balance in this stylish one page site. While it still possesses much of the distracted energy of such a style, it is honed here to communicate the singular vision of artist.


The Olympics is an invitation for advertising and media gluttony. With so many eyes focused on a single city and event, content providers go into overdrive, often producing tons of generic and unoriginal material to feast our sport-hungry eyes. However the following television intro for BBC's coverage of the Beijing games is a stunning exception (sadly, BBC didn't manage an equal level of vision for the event now happening in their own capital this year). Created by the powerhouse duo behind the Gorillaz, Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, and borrowing music from their London opera of the time, Monkey: Journey to the West, this short is incredible. The thrumming bass accompanies a summarized version of the classic Chinese tale Journey to the West while the main characters subtly reenact many of the Olympics' most famous events. How many can you spot?

The Sketching Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Mondays, containing the artistic musings of Mobile Designer/Developer Ben Chirlin from our Monday morning meeting at the NY Creative Bunker as well as his inspiring artistic finds of the week.