Keeping tabs on the latest up-and-comers in independent game design is becoming ever easier. A flourishing business model has emerged where small developers can make their games available to buy and download straight to your home console. This has its roots in the early ‘90s, when Shareware demos could be had through now-archaic pre-internet confrabrications known as BBSes (Wikipedia is your friend, younglings). Thus were born some of the greatest games of that era: Wolfenstein 3-D, Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, and an obscure little game called Doom. The next great game may well be found among those nominated for “Best Downloadable Game” at March 2009’s Game Developer Choice Awards, three of which are presented here:
A local and ongoing art project produced by Kirsten McCrea (hell okirsten.com) PAPIRMASSE is made monthly and combines the ‘limited-run’ appeal of self-published novels and ‘zines with the visual quality of printed art, and is presented in a subscription/ mail-art format.
The emergence of the Hip Hop Concept Album
For many people, the very mention of a concept album will have them rolling their eyes. Visions of a generation of Dad’s and their teen sons who have fetishized albums like The Dark Side of the Moon ad nauseam dance in the head. It is understandably tempting to write off the concept album as nothing more than a vehicle to chauffeur the egos of the Abbey Road greats.
Peter Bjorn and John
I was fortunate enough to brunch with Peter Bjorn and John at the Swedish ambassador’s house in Ottawa a few months back. The guys were on the Canadian leg of their tour, promoting their new album Living Thing. It was a pretty random and very casual affair and we nabbed the invite last minute from some good friends. We sat chatting about music and fashion over smoked salmon, potatoes, dill sauce, and mimosas. Tasty. I took advantage of the situation and slipped Peter and John a few random questions. Bjorn was too busy talking about bikinis with the ambassador’s husband.
Giving the world the means to exist visually
FEED is a two-man design firm run by Anouk Pennel and Raphaël Daudelin. What first started up as a music and graphic design collective working in-between terms at UQAM has over the last ten years become a successful studio and business. The pair, who still work from a basement in a residential neighbourhood, have built a practice based on integrity and pertinence. Last month at PUNKT Gallery (see over page) they presented a selection of their publishing, identity and typography designs to celebrate their ten year anniversary. They talked to SNAP! about how the best books are not always photogenic, the art of interpreting a client’s intentions and the emerging sense of what FEED should look like.
Developing a career in fashion
Co-founder of Agence Satellite – one of the first fashion agencies of its kind in Montréal – Erik Gaudrealt is also a key figure in Montréal’s creative circles, having launched and co-managed the successful company Perplex & Lola by age 23 and built and run the entire marketing department for Soïa & Kyo and Mackage, two branches of one of Montréal’s largest apparel producers.
Today’s hair trends
Located on lower St. Laurent, Coupe Bizarre literally translates as “the weird cut.” With such a funky name it is bound to raise some questions and attract the most diverse clientele. Yannick Ross, one of Coupe Bizarre’s fun and fearless hair stylists, considers his work to be a craft like any other that requires imagination, sensibility and talent. Alongside the other artists at the salon, he preaches the following philosophy: