Sunday, 29 August 2010

Instruments. Whimsical, melodious and highly playable - that is, unless you manage to take your eyes off the Triceratops vertebrae and ostrich skin.

W125-001, by Mick Cohagen

The W125-001 is a lightweight aluminium Telecaster style electric guitar.

This guitar is inspired by the 1930s Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union grand prix cars. These cars were famously known as "Silver Arrows" because of their raw aluminium bodies, and incredible power and speeds at which they ran.

It is particularly inspired by Rudolf Caracciola's W125 Mercedes-Benz used during the 1937 German Grand Prix, which used the number 12; and finished first ahead of two other silver arrows cars (Mercedes teammate Manfred von Brauchitsch, and Auto Union rival Bernd Rosemeyer), which completely destroyed the competition by finishing over four minutes ahead of the field.

The W125-001 features a wooden body and neck covered in aluminium; hand cut and shaped aluminium control plates, pickguard, knobs and pickup cover (which holds two single-coil pickups); and special spanner screws (which are the same tamper proof screws that were used on the original silver arrows race cars). The neck has been hand painted to imitate a dull and very dark petrified wood that contains mostly carbon. The strap is 100% cotton in white, in style of the drivers uniforms used in the 1930s.

MP1-001, by Mick Cohagen

The MP1-001 guitar is part of a Pangaea inspired multimedia project entitled No. 01517478. It consists of audio, video, clothing, music equipment, and displays.

The base of this guitar consists of a 1969 reissue Fender Mustang clone body, and a 1972 Fender Music Master neck. This guitar features a flat white/blue white finish with a flamed maple pickguard hand-painted to look like petrified wood; genuine triceratops vertebra knobs; genuine spinosaurus tooth and imitation petrified wood tremolo; a repainted Seymour Duncan JB JR with triceratops bone dust; and a worsted wool/leather/silk strap.

FGP2-001, by Mick Cohagen

Between design, research and development, and actual physical work; 400+ hours of work has went into this (all work has been completed by myself).

The design is based off of 60s Framus Strato de Luxe and Fender Maurader Type I guitars. The guitar used for this project is a 2008 Squier Jagmaster.

The Jagmaster had its offensive polyurethane finished stripped, and was replaced with a hand-painted imitation petrified wood finish. The plastic pickguard was replaced with hand made copper control plates in which the top control plate acts as a proximity control to kill the volume; while an ostrich skin pickguard hides four pickups powered by a bespoke booster unit.

This guitar also features a hand made strap made of worsted wool and silk, topped off with emu skin armour.

The crest on the headstock is a design based off the Bruce McLaren-era McLaren team logo.

Unlike the MP1-001, this guitar is designed to withstand balls out rock action.

Technologie de luxe!

Sushi Girl, by James Larsen

Couldn't find much about this guitar, apart that it was made by James Larsen in Tucson, AZ. Larsen produces these guitars under the "Girl Brand Guitars" moniker.

Sushi Girl features a "Giant Squid feeling peckish" inlay on the neck and continues the theme with a "See-through Plexi-Top with actual, real plastic imitation Sushi on a plate looking out at you!" A clever design that takes the tele form to a completely new level. Guitar maker Chris Larson uses a wide array of techniques and materials to create guitars that not only look interesting, but guitars that have unique sounds that guitar players find irresistible - the pickups are made by Dave Schecter (formerly of Shecter Guitars) himself, and include a transformer circuit that enhance the electronics of the guitar.


A Digitech Whammy Pitch-shifter pedal and a Boss overdrive pedal, painted in white and prettied up with ostrich skin, by Mick Cohagen.

Links - Mike Cohagen's homepage - James Larsen's Girl Brand Guitars homepage (an online scandal in web design lol)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

"4 ROOMS", by Jacob Kirkegaard - a sonic sculpture of silence from the empty memorial of Pripyat, Ukraine - house to the Chernobyl workers.

Touch # Tone 26 / CD - 52 minutes
Launch event: 25/26th April 2006 @ The Marble Church, Copenhagen
Released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster

Sample Track #3: Swimming Pool

Jacob Kirkegaard - 4 ROOMS

This is Jacob Kirkegaard's 2nd CD for Touch, after Eldfjall [Touch # T33.20]. Born in Denmark, now living and working in Germany, here he explores the sonic legacy of one of the worst man-made disasters in human history.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986; clouds of radioactive particles were released, and the severely damaged containment vessel started leaking radioactive matter. More than 100,000 people were evacuated from the city and other affected areas. Despite the fact that radiation is still being emitted from the nuclear disaster site, the 900-year-old city of Chernobyl survives, although barely. As of 2004, government workers still police the zone, trying to clean up radioactive material. Many — mostly the elderly — have decided to live with the dangers and have returned to their homes in the zone's towns and villages. Their population was highest in 1987, when there were more than 1200 people. In 2003, there were about 400 and now 350 are registered. The effects on the environment were catastrophic: huge areas of northern europe were dosed with radioactivity.

4 ROOMS - empty memorials

This work is a sonic presentation of four deserted rooms inside the 'Zone of Alienation' in Chernobyl, Ukraine, recorded in October 2005.

Jacob Kirkegaard deliberately picked rooms that once were active meeting points for people.
The rooms he found and recorded were abandoned abruptly, urgently, and for good. Their inhabitants were evacuated by Soviet military and were forced to leave all their belongings behind. On April 26th, 1986, the explosion of Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant had removed all possibilities of human survival in the vicinity.

Two decades after the event, Kirkegaard explores the phenomenon of radiation with the medium of sound. By listening to the silence of four radiating spaces he aims to unlock a fragment of the time existing inside the zone.

SILENCE - unfolding in space

The sound of each room was evoked by an elaborate method: Kirkegaard made a recording of 10 minutes and then played the recording back into the room, recording it again. This process was repeated up to ten times. As the layers got denser, each room slowly began to unfold a drone with various overtones.

From a technical point of view, Kirkegaard's "sonic time layering" refers back to Alvin Lucier's work "I am sitting in a room" [1970]. He recorded his voice in a space and repeatedly played this recording back into that same space. In Kirkegaard's work, however, no voice is being projected into the rooms: during the recordings he left the four spaces to wait for whatever might evolve from the silence.

Track listing:
1. Church
2. Auditorium
3. Swimming Pool
4. Gymnasium

A Flickr slideshow of photos about Pripyat, now a ghost town - except for the few elderly who have returned and refuse to leave). Pripyat has been ransacked and looted many times over for building materials, wood and metals (especially copper tubing and wires). However, apart from this, most of the town rests in the original state after being evacuated in 1986.
{Wikipedia: Pripyat}

About Jacob Kirkegaard

Jacob Kirkegaard is a Danish artist with an interest in the scientific and aesthetic aspects of resonance, time and hearing. His performances, audio/visual installations and compositions deal with acoustic spaces and phenomena that usually remain inaccessible to sense perception. With the help of unorthodox recording tools such as accelerometers, hydrophones or home-built electromagnetic receivers, Kirkegaard manages to capture and explore "secret sounds" - distortions, interferences, vibrations, ambiences - from within a variety of environments: volcanic earth, a nuclear power plant, an empty room, a TV tower, crystals, ice... and the human inner ear itself.

A graduate of the Academy for Media Arts in Cologne, Germany, Kirkegaard has given workshops and lectures in academic institutions such as the Royal Academy of Architecture in Copenhagen and the Art Institute of Chicago. During the last ten years, he has been presenting exhibitions and touring festivals and conferences throughout the world. He has released five albums (mostly on the British label "Touch"). Among his numerous collaborators are JG Thirlwell, CM von Hausswolff, Lydia Lunch and Philip Jeck.

Links - Homepage of Jacob Kirkegaard

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Speedpainting Demo

Thought to share it over here as well. Enjoy!

Speedpainting Demo from Luca Cauchi on Vimeo.

Finished image on my blog.


Monday, 16 August 2010

Art Post

Haven't posted anything here for a while, and thought that it would be nice to share some work I've done recently... Hope you enjoy them.



This digital painting was inspired by the great dsh

(ps- the blog design is better Moira!)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Typedia and some new Fonts!

Passionate about typefaces? Try Typedia
"Typedia is a community website dedicated to classifying typefaces and educating people about typefaces. Think of it as a cross between IMDB and Wikipedia, except for type. Anyone can join, add or edit pages for typefaces and the people behind them." - Smashing Magazine

And whilst you're in type-mood, check out 30 New High-Quality Fonts on Smashing Magazine, available to download for free from various websites. I've been downloading like crazy for the past 15 minutes, there's everything from clean sans-serif typefaces for minimal layouts, to traditional antiqua serif and over the top and decorative. (Just make sure you know which ones you can use commercially and which ones are solely for personal use).

Monday, 9 August 2010

Christopher Niemann

Click the image to see the whole hilarious (and informative) illustration by Christopher Niemann, and while you're there have a look at some of his great selection of work!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Top 5 Digital Artists/Illustrators in Malta

These are in my opinion, the best 5 digital illustrators in Malta right now (listed in no particular order), if you have any other suggestions please leave them in the comment section below.

Matthew Grima Connell
I've known Matthew Grima Connell for a couple of years (although mostly online). He started with clean illustrations and now has evolved his own style of artwork which has only gotten better and better throughout the years. Lately he has also produced some amazing animation work. Check out his website here his Deviant Art account here and his Youtube account here.

My personal favourite: Out in Lake Mistybank
Luca Cauchi
Luca Cauchi was actually one of my students in the second semester at MCAST Art & Design and his works were hard to miss. His style is very much like game concept art and visualisations and shows an impeccable eye for detail.

Street Alley
Lisa Falzon
I went to Lisa's early traditional art exhibitions in Valletta when I was still a student at MCAST. I remember being fascinated by her characters, each one of them seemingly a part of some secret story. Since then she has also started making digital artworks which are made up of digital collage and intricate brush work. According to her website she is now living in Ireland, but she still makes the list. Lisa's website and her Etsy Shop which has some amazing stuff :)

A Mould for Champagne Glasses
Mark Scicluna
Mark Scicluna's style is very much a mixture of traditional caricature with modern cartoons. One thing is for certain, this guy has certainly found an identity in his works which are constantly getting stronger and funnier!
Check out more of his work here

One of his book illustrations

Derek Fenech
I found Derek Fenech recently and randomly during one of my Facebook procrastination moments. I was mesmerised by his digital artworks which are a mix of street art and also for some reason remind me of spanish / southern american contemporary illustration. More of his works can be found on his website

The God of War

Make sure to also check out Ivan Saliba who is an exceptional 3D artist and animator, as well as Chris Bianchi a great illustrator who currently lives in London (I'm still not sure if his works are traditional / digital) 

(This list excludes 3D artists, manga illustrators, vector illustrators and obviously traditional illustrators)