Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Sorry Officer - I was just praying for free parking"

The best excuse for not getting a parking ticket in Singapore - ever.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hong Kong's cultural identity...

... Impatience.

Still life with presentation materials, anno 2007

Typical shot during a 21st century presentation. Presenter brought a laptop, a projector, and speakers. The quaint, authentic 20th century whiteboard stays unused in the corner.

Wonder how this tableau will look in another 20 years...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

France, count your blessings

French Governments have a tendency to keep whining about the French language being endangered by globalisation, even to the extent that official words have been proclaimed for new media, to counteract English.

This picture was taken in an Australian pub, on a street corner in The Rocks, the fashionable downtown Sydney neighbourhood. As Ozzie as it gets, with bitters and ales and rugby on the TV screen in the corner. And the word 'BRASSERIE' in bold letters on the age-old ceiling beams.

Who says only the English contribute to the global Lingua Franca?

Cultural crossroads

The quintessential Flower Power Volkswagen Van, sitting along a road in New South Wales. In the sixties you'd just know who drove this: bandana'ed, pot smoking hippies with guitars and flowers in their hair.

Forty years on, Flower Power is over. Free lifestyles have become multiple lifestyles. People are so much more difficult to pinpoint. Who owns this van? A poor guy who lives in it? A well-off collector, with a sprawling place in Watson Bay and a sentimental yearning to his student days? Australian gypsies, if these exist?

And what's the wilting flower garden doing up there? Is it a remnant of the Flower Power days, or is the owner just trying to make his vehicle carbon neutral?

Lifestyles are fragmenting. Every crossroad has become a cultural crossroad.

Commercial overload

Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Just another view, waiting for the shuttle train between the main terminals. Literally every surface is covered with advertising messages, some of them static, some of them dynamic. Dynamic means you see another message every few seconds. So in this shot you see ten messages, or fifteen, or twenty, depending on how long you're looking. And my camera phone doesn't cover as wide an angle as my eyes.

Every day we receive around 3,000 commercial messages. On paper and packaging, TVs and radios, posters and billboards, interior walls and the sides of buildings. On websites when we surf, in our webmail if we use the free variant, even when we're playing games.

Meanwhile, we keep hearing that we need to relinquish some of our privacy in order to help marketers increase their accuracy in targeting. My answer: fine, if you have to, but for chrissake show me some results!

How long until we all succumb to information overload?