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Website Designs for Things That Don’t Exist

Spend enough time on the Internet there are certain rules that you’re bound to pick up on. Godwin’s Law, for instance, says that any argument on the Internet, regardless of the subject, will result in one person comparing the other to Hitler if it goes on long enough. Rule 34 hypothesises that, if you can think of it, there is porn of it. Finally, slightly lesser known than other Internet rules, there is Poe’s Law. Poe’s Law argues that on the Internet it can be impossible to distinguish a parody from an extremist who genuinely holds such a position.

On a similar note, it’s possible there are plenty of Internet denizens who have become confused on finding these websites, which do an excellent job of promoting their brand and giving important information to their readers, despite the minor inconvenience of being fictional.

Monster University

The Monster University website was put up to promote the upcoming prequel to Monsters Inc. However it does a good job of appearing just like every other university website in the world. They achieve this by learning the one golden rule of setting up a university website- photograph your students sitting under trees.

Yes, your university may have libraries, computer labs, lecture theatres, sports facilities, and even a wide array of chairs, but university website designers are only interested in one thing- how many attractive students can they fit under a single tree.

Weyland Industries

Weyland Industries is one of two companies that would eventually go on to form the Weyland Yutani Corporation, one of the most pointlessly evil companies in the history of pointlessly evil companies. Throughout the Alien movies Weyland Yutani’s business plan seemed to be “Go find dangerous alien life form. Allow alien life form to kill all our employees. ??????. Profit.”

As you’d expect from a company of such relentlessly pointless evil, their website is a really slick affair, full of swish looking infographic, company timelines and investor information. Just compare this website to say, Apple’s corporate website, or BP. Then run back to bed and hide under the covers forever.

Virtually All the Google Results for Lorenzo Von Matterhorn

Lorenzo Von Matterhorn is a fantastic example of the way we can use our SEO powers for evil, instead of good. Look him up. Lorenzo was the creation of How I Met Your Mother’s womaniser-in-chief Barney Stinson. One of his favourite tricks was to set up a bunch of fake websites for someone under a name that would be easy to get the top search results for- such as Lorenzo Von Matterhorn. Then he’d introduce himself to a woman (after checking their phone to make sure it had Internet access) say how great it was not to be recognised, then nip off to bathroom and give them a chance to Google websites such as this one, or this one, or even this one.

We’d advise you not to try this trick at home, but what’s the point? I’m sure you’re already working out which names would be easiest to optimise.

Epsilon Program

If you’ve ever played the Grand Theft Auto games you’ve probably enjoyed the talk radio programs that blare away as you’re running down men and women, murdering cops and blowing up everything. A recurring character in these programs is the Epsilon Program. Espousing the organisations beliefs, such as “Sperm is a lie” “Trees talk, but only some people hear them” and “Aliens exist and are present on earth. If you have a birth mark, you may be descended from Kraff, the famous Emperor of the 4th Paradigm” the website bears some resemblance to… Look, nobody wants to get sued here, you know who I’m talking about, I know who I’m talking about, there’s no need to say it out loud. Let’s just call it “The Church of Blientology”, yeah?

Dunder Mifflin

Dunder Mifflin is the paper company that is the centre of what we’ll call “the action” in the American series of The Office. While the other websites here include geeky factoids, subtle jokes and parodies, or pictures of monsters sitting under trees, this website looks pretty much entirely like the website for a paper company. That must have been one of the more exciting design jobs you could get hired for.

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer and blogger. Unlike Lorenzo Von Matterhorn, all his Google results are 100% real.

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Upcycling In Art

From museum-worthy pieces to crafts sold on sites like Etsy.com, upcycling is one of the art world’s hottest new trends. Upcycling happens when discarded items are repurposed; it’s different from recycling because the objects aren’t changed into a different form. Craftsmen and artists have been using the concept for years- we’ve all seen handbags made from license plates and lampshades made of can tabs. Pieces from the artists listed below are a bit different, though; they’re more about form and function than anything else. Here are some of the most creative examples of upcycling we could find.

Margaux Lange’s Barbie Jewelry

No, it’s not what you might think. This artist has given a second life to old, broken and discarded Barbie dolls; her pieces have a quality that’s sardonic and nostalgic at the same time. They’re also elegant and well crafted; a piece from Margaux Lange will definitely be the centerpiece of your collection.

Giving New Meaning to the “Bicycle Seat”

Bicycle Design Furniture founder Andy Gregg has been using welding rotators  on castoff bicycle parts such as rims, frames and handlebars, building stylish contemporary seating. His collection also includes coat racks, end and coffee tables; they’re of course very well-received among cyclists, but they’re stylish enough to appeal to everyone.

Gregg’s upcycled designs are often included in exhibitions and sold in galleries, and they’ve appeared in art publications around the world. Bike furniture is available online; on the company’s website, you can even get a discount on your next order in exchange for the donation of old bicycle parts.

From Trash to Treasure

Artist Aurora Robeson has kept over 30,000 plastic bottles out of landfills over the past year by turning them into beautiful works of art. Robeson uses the bottles, junk mail and other trash to create her pieces, many of which are internally lit by solar LEDs.  Her work has been featured in group and solo gallery exhibitions, and she’s received many awards and grants.

Robots, Built from Electronic Components

Upcycler Ann P. Smith uses welding equipment to build cute little robots from broken machines and electronics, which are then sold in galleries, shops and in her store on Etsy. Each sculpture is unique, and all are adorable; Smith’s work is gathering recognition from sources such as PBS, Architectural Digest, Wired Magazine, and the Discovery Channel.

Kitty Cat Overstuffed Pillows

Upcycling is popular among craft hobbyists, too. Small-time sellers and home crafters are making nice secondary incomes by turning old fabric, lace and ribbon scraps into home décor. For instance: cat-shaped pillows made of 100% recycled silk and felted wool. They’re trimmed in lace and ribbons, with hand-embroidered accents.

The upcycling trend in art is just part of the green movement; it signals the decline of the consumer culture that has overtaken society during the last fifty years. Being green isn’t just about recycling cans and newspapers; it’s a trend that encompasses home décor and art. With items that would otherwise end up in landfills, upcycling artists are making our world just a little more colorful.

This article was written by James Harper on behalf of Westermans, retailers of welding rotators and other welding equipment. Follow this link to their website to see their welding equipment or see more on welding rotators.

Invisible Art | Hidden Works of Art on Show

Sometimes, the less creatively minded of us will find ourselves staring at a painting or a collection of objects and thinking to ourselves – ‘is this really art?’

Well, if you’re one of those people then you’d better start practicing your best bemused face as a first-of-its-kind art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery promises to ‘set our imaginations alight’.

It’s fortunate that it promises to do so much work on our imaginations too, as the gallery consists of 50 completely blank pieces by famous artists including Andy Warhol and Yoko Ono.

The invisible art exhibition

The exhibition, taking place from June 12th will cost £8 and allow art critics, or just those who really like the colour white, to marvel at the blankness of the works deemed as “the best exhibition you’ll never see”, which is intended to demonstrate how the true nature of art is to inspire our imaginations and take what we want to take from what we see.

Showcased in the gallery are Tom Friedman’s ‘1000 Hours of Staring’ – a blank sheet of paper which Friedman looked at for five years to create the ‘art’, as well as an empty space claimed to have been cursed by a witch.

And if you like that celebrity feel you get when standing next to the waxwork models at Madame Tussauds then you’ll be in for a treat gazing at a bare pillar which Andy Warhol briefly stepped on.

Works by the art form’s originator can also be found there; pieces by the French artist Yves Klein are seen accompanied by a short letter by Yoko Ono instructing viewers to imagine they are looking at art.

And as if that wasn’t enough, your £8 also invites you to take on the ‘Invisible Labyrinth; during which a set of headphones guides you through an invisible maze towards Jay Chung’s two year movie shot without film in the camera.

Reception

Relatively unsurprisingly, reception has been mostly confused. The gallery’s director says that he thinks “visitors will find that there is plenty to see and experience in this exhibition of invisible art”, and that it proves that the creative process does not rely on material objects.

It seems though as if few people agree with his claims; and even pieces in the show such as a police officer’s report after a man claimed his invisible statue had been stolen can’t help but suggest perhaps the whole show is an amusing joke.

Somehow though, the gallery does seem to create something. If you find yourself with a spare afternoon then it might be worth a visit – perhaps you’ll surprise yourself when you’re a little more light-footed than usual for fear of smudging the invisible paint or scratching the invisible car.

Robin blogs about design and technology for DirectSight, experts in helping you buy glasses online.

Fake or Fortune with Fiona Bruce

Fake or Fortune?

It sounds as if it belongs to a game show however Fake or Fortune is the new BBC show presented by Fiona Bruce that investigates art by analyseing evidence and clues.

In the first episode of the series Fiona and the team investigate the validity of David Joel’s claim to owning a genuine Monet.

David Joel  has spent the past 18 years trying to prove the authenticity of a Monet he picked up locally for £40,000. If the sinister Wildenstein clan, whom the art world accepts as adjudicators in matters Monet, had deigned to include Bords de la Seine à Argenteuil into the artist’s catalogue, then Joel would have sold it. He was, after all, 82. Yet for him it was not about the fortune, but rather vindicating a long-held obsession. As his wife, Jennifer, discreetly put it: “I can’t tell you how much time it has taken up.”

High drama when the normally preternaturally calm Bruce lost it at the Gare du Nord where customs officials abruptly confiscated the “fake”. “I am so angry,” she said, her French becoming more fluent with every encounter with Parisian obduracy. She and the Joels had been in France to put the painting under a 240-pixel scanner and to find where Monet had painted his river scene.

The clinching evidence lay, however, in a private collection in Cairo where the records of a previous owner revealed that the painting had hung in a French gallery in Monet’s lifetime. “I’m feeling pretty confident,” said Bruce’s Antiques Roadshow sidekick Philip Mould, as he arrived at the sliding gates of the Wildenstein HQ. So, presumably, was the production team. They had been on a journey, Bruce explained. “You always hope you’ll come up with a ta-da end.” But they did not. Guy Wildenstein, backing his late father’s connoisseurship rather than the evidence, delivered a resounding “Non”. “The man’s mad,” said the delightful Mr Joel, far less aggrieved then Bruce.

This gripping programme took us to a very dark place: the art world.

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