Posts Tagged 'Cool'

ObjectifiedByApple

Objectified, the new documentary feature from Gary Hustwit of Helvetica fame, which gets its world premier in March at this year’s SxSW, will include a rare interview with Apple design guru, Englishman Jony Ive (I know, a bit jingoistic, but we have so little to shout about these days). Rarer still, the interview, from whence the above picture came, was filmed inside Apple’s Design Studio. Might not sound like much, but it’s on a par with pulling back the curtain and catching a glimpse of Oz.

AVisionOfGreatness

Not since Bobby Kennedy ran for the democratic nomination in ’68 has the idea of a particular individual being elected President stirred so many – particularly in the jaded world of creative media – into action. From the primaries to the inauguration, graphic design and photography have been at the centre of capturing, distilling and expressing the Obama feeling. The posters, the photographs and the graffiti, as much as all the viral videos and Twitter feeds, were key to making him larger than life, aspirational and look like a president in waiting even before he’d won the nomination. Where photographs of John McCain made him look folksy, those of Obama made him seem almost god like. The notion of Obama – not just the colour of his skin but his young, dynamic approach – spoke of revolution while the other candidate looked like more of the same. Those looking for a claim on history sensed the opportunity to take their  Kennedy pictures, write their Kennedy stories, to design button badges and posters which just like Kennedy’s would tell future generations that it was the most exciting of times. Obama inspired the best and the most talented and they literally made him history. See for yourself here, here and here.

DefinitionOfCool8

Muhammad Ali’s Esquire cover. A personal favourite of mine. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments, all part of the Definition Of Cool project.

LikeTheDarkSideOrWhatever

Star Wars as retold by someone who’s never seen it. Genius. Especially the ‘whatever’s and special effects – arguably better than anything used in the Digitally Remastered versions.

DearDiary

 

Great track from Free The Robots. Even better video. If only all the world’s conflicts and crises could be settled with such style and politeness.

SexualHealingIsGoodForYou

 

Just wait until it gets to the ‘wake up wake up’ bit… Baaaaaaaaaaby…..

WhatIsTheDefinitionOfCool?

Ah, the eternal question: What is cool?

Always followed by: And why have some people/places/things got it while others haven’t?

Are cool and style the same thing?

Are all stylish things cool?

Does something have to be fashionable to be cool? Or is cool about doing your own thing?

Is cool the same as the other indefinable quality we call x-factor? Or can you have that special star something and still be naff?

Is cool passion, authenticity, confidence, lack of effort or all of the above?

How do you know when you’ve got it? How do you know when it’s gone?

Is it something you’re born with? 

Can you acquire it?

Can you buy it?

Can you sell it?

Is it something you can learn to be or does trying result in instant disqualification?

What’s your definition of cool?

Would it be the same as mine?

If it really is indefinable, then how come we all seem to know that those pictured above – Barack Obama, Steve McQueen, Apple’s iPhone, New York, Philippe Stark’s Juicer, Keith Richards, Miles Davis, James Dean, Adidas Shell Toes – all have it. Or maybe you don’t agree that they do.

How important is it anyway?

 

All my life I’ve been fascinated by the concept of ‘cool’, something you can’t see or touch yet we all instantly recognise, and react favourably to. Cool people/places/things are always popular, always respected, usually successful, invariably admired. Why? What have they got? What do they know? Can they themselves define it?

That’s what I’m intending to find out with The Definition Of Cool, my own personal journey in search of that magic formula. But first I need your help. I need to know your definition of cool. Who are the people, places and things that you think have it? And how would you put it into words? Don’t be too clever. I’m trying to get together a solid cast of characters I can go and interview – or in the case of products, places and dead people, those who know/knew them well. So don’t be afraid to be too obvious – obscure may be cool, but for our purposes it won’t get us very far. Pick people, places and things which are widely known and recognised, and tell me why you think they’re cool, along with your own definition, in the comments. Once I’ve got a sufficiently cool long list, I’ll be running a series of polls here on the blog to narrow it down to a short list of interviews for the book so don’t forget to sign-up to the mailing list here or subscribe to the RSS feed here, so you won’t miss your chance to vote.


dangennoe.net

Welcome to dangennoe.net the centre of my online digital whatever. Everything from news on current writing projects - one novel and two non-fiction books - to blogs, tweets, photos, Flickr pics, moblogs, videoblogs, writing archives, ghosting, journalism and various other random thoughts, every last bit of it is here.

Dan Gennoe

Dan Gennoe is a London based freelance journalist & author. He's written features, interviews and reviews for the likes of Esquire, GQ, Arena, FHM, Q Magazine, Mojo, Red, Time Out, The Independent and The Mail On Sunday. Dan also writes books, both fiction and non-fiction, and has ghost written the odd celebrity biography.

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