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Crane.tv is a contemporary-culture video magazine, focusing on arts, design, style, food and travel around the world. Launched in 2010, Crane.tv comprises a talented team of journalists, videographers, producers and digital marketers — gifted storytellers who present emerging and established creative scenes from around the world.

Entries by Crane.tv

Hugo França: From Forest to Furniture (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 10:47 AM

Brazilian artist Hugo França began his professional life as an industrial engineer in São Paulo, before making the decision to quit his job at a computer company and move into the jungles of northeast Brazil. For 15 years he lived and worked alongside indigenous tribes, learning their generations-old woodworking techniques and traditions.

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Today, from his beautiful atelier in São Paulo and a workshop in Trancoso, Bahia, his furniture, made solely from reclaimed wood and usually from the Pequi tree, celebrates both natural material and form. His self-coined "furniture sculpture" can be seen in exhibitions globally from Design Miami Basel to ArtRio.

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Originally using disused canoes, França has adopted sustainable methods of collecting materials to work with. Rather than attempting to find shapes that fit his designs, he uses existing natural forms as the first stage of the design process. Here, the raw material of the Pequi tree is somewhere in between a ready-made object and a block of stone to be chipped away at.

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His work could quite easily be mistaken for art alone, however beneath the beauty lies genuine functionality. Going against the sculptural grain, França's designs encourage interactivity - in other words, the pieces are to be touched, sat upon or curled up in.

Text by Tilly Sleven for Crane.tv

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Francesco Carrozzini - Through the Lens (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2014 | 1:28 PM

A true master behind the lens, Francesco Carrozzini is worth watching.

Cover shoots for Vogue, music videos for global pop stars, celebrity portraits and the New York Times Screen Tests for T Magazine. This CV sounds like it belongs to an industry veteran, rather than 30-year-old Italian photographer cum filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini.

He has had the entire A-list in front of his lens, from Oscar-winning actors Robert de Niro and Natalie Portman, to musicians and supermodels like Keith Richards and Naomi Campbell. An impressive list for someone whose career was launched in 2001.

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Carrozzini's visual flair, unmistakable style and instinct for when to snap admittedly didn't come from nowhere. The son of Vogue Italia's editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, he was born and raised in the world of fashion. As a child, Carrozzini was constantly surrounded by the world's best fashion photographers, but it was the moving image that he was instinctively drawn to. That said, the young Carrozzini saw an opportunity and soon started assisting the likes of Bruce Weber and Peter Lindbergh.

"I always saw photography as a way to get to film."

Although he quickly became a talented photographer, Carrozzini's passion for film didn't fade to black. Directing The New York Times Screen Tests series with Lynn Hirschberg, back in 2006 was the gig that really put him on the radar, earning him industry wide acclaim and an Emmy nomination.

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Inspired by Andy Warhol's silent screen tests, filmed at the famous Silver Factory Studio back in the sixties, Carrozzini wanted to create the same intimate relationship between camera and subject. Although in both cases, the subjects on camera were all famous names in the entertainment industry, Warhol had a distinct advantage -- he was friends with them. As a new kid on the block, Carrozzini didn't have the luxury of immediate intimacy with his interviewees, he had to create it. He did this by cocooning each star in a small dark room with nowhere to look but straight down the lens.

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Now the photographer/filmmaker has found a signature aesthetic that combines both disciplines. Expertly blurring the lines between moving and still image, Carrozzini employs a cinematic style to his photography. Like many artists, he is constantly working, seeing creative possibilities and potential narratives wherever he looks.

Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv

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Polo: An Argentine Legacy (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 1:42 PM

To some people, Polo might be all about fast-paced horse riding, beautiful women and sunny afternoons on the field with a glass of champagne. But look a little deeper and it's also the oldest team sport in the world, and a celebration of tradition, skill and family.

From boot making to teaching your child to ride, all aspects of the sport are traditionally passed down through generations. For many in Argentina, the sport is woven into every aspect of life, culminating in the biggest event in the annual polo calendar: the final of the Argentine Open in Palermo, Buenos Aires.

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While the British may have introduced the game in 1888, it is the Argentines who have long since established that they are the cradle of some of the world's best polo players. The Argentine's inherent skill and connection with their horses dates back to the Gauchos. An integral part of the country's evolution and tradition, the Gaucho was born out of the cross between the first Spanish conquistadores, the native Indians and their African slaves. Never fully accepted by either social group, the Gaucho was left to roam the vast pampas as a nomad, working the land with only his horse for company and survival. This resulted in an incredibly strong bond between man and horse that has been passed down through generations, with the Gaucho still responsible for breaking in potential polo ponies and developing their lightning quick reactions to the rider's most subtle shifts of movement. Players, patrons and spectators alike, fervently swear that the polo pony is at least 60 percent of any player's game.

Pepe Santamarina, President of Polo at The Hurlingham Club in Buenos Aires, explains the country's passion for the sport: ''Every player dreams of two things; having a horse from your own breed playing the Open or having your son, but it's more or less the same.''

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Some well known Polo personalities such as Adolfo Cambiaso, Captain of champion team La Dolfina and Lucas Monteverde, star player of Alegría talk about what it means to play the final, while Pepe Santamarina and Frankie Dorignac, President of the Argentine Polo Association share their experiences of a life in the passionate world of polo.

Text by Ruth Amelung for Crane.tv

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Spring/Summer 2014 Styled By Fashion Experts

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 10:18 AM

Fashion bloggers and stylists are normally most comfortable working alone, but on this occasion they joined forces, stepping away from their collective comfort zones and into a more collaborative fashion arena.

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Four leading experts in the fashion industry spent a day styling...

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Giles Deacon (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 11:33 AM

It's ten years since GILES launched at London Fashion Week. Here the brand's creative director tells us why change is on the horizon.

He had Jean Charles De Castelbajac, Bottega Veneta and the Gucci Group on his resumé before launching his eponymous line at London Fashion Week in February 2004. Giles was no newbie. His first show, and many of those that were to follow, was styled by old friend (and ex-lover) Katie Grand. The venue, thanks to a friend's father, was the Chelsea Pensioner's Club at the Chelsea Royal Hospital and it was packed to the rafters. Ten years on the Yorkshire-born designer is a little older, and a little calmer but he continues to draw crowds season-on-season.

Text by Crane.tv

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His Name Is Paul Smith (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 9:02 AM

The fashion world would be a dreary little place if this whimsical British designer hadn't taken a tumble off his bike at age 18.

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When Smith, an aspirant cyclist from Nottingham, stacked it in the early 1960s he ended up in hospital for six months and then free-wheeled his way into the arms of Britain's young creative class. Forty years later, after casting his colourful wand across both men's and womenswear -- and all manner of collectibles from Minis to manicure sets -- the sun would struggle to set on his empire with over 300 stores in Japan alone.

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But the king of stripes is adamant that his current Design Museum, London exhibition is not a retrospective, but an encouragement for today's young designers to work hard and achieve their goals. The nicest man in fashion reminds us that it's not always about what you do but how you do it.

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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Nick Mulvey (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 4:33 AM

The London-based singer-songwriter performs his single "Nitrous" and tells us why the days of Arsenal raps are over.

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At six, he believed he could fly. From this early music memory, involving the complex balance of speed, cornering and Dire Straits, Nick Mulvey has gone on to many other great heights. He achieved cult acclaim with his previous band Portico Quartet, who were nominated for a Mercury Music Prize back in 2008. Two years later, he hung up his Hang drum and reverted back to the guitar, releasing his first solo EP Fever to the Form last year and touring with the likes of Laura Marling, Willy Mason and Laura Mvula. He also hit the festival scene hard, partying as well as playing, with sets at Glastonbury and Lattittude.

Mulvey kicked off 2014 with a huge UK tour and is one of the artists to watch out for this year.

Text and video by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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Simon Heijdens: Design Miami/ (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 6:29 AM

Inspired by the essence of Perrier-Jouët, this London-based artist's pioneering new work propels Art Nouveau into the 21st century.

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The Rubells: Design Miami/ (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 6:00 AM

Contemporary art is a family affair for these collectors.

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Their contemporary art collection is one of the largest and most impressive in the world. Don and Mera Rubell began collecting soon after their marriage in the 60s, and their children followed in their footsteps. Now the family are considered pioneers in the movement to make privately owned collections publicly accessible.

Text and video by Crane.tv

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Marianne Goebl: Design Miami/

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 7:23 AM

Building on sand is a wobbly affair, but the foundations of Design Miami/ - now in its ninth year - are as solid as ever. For five days some of the world's biggest designers, curators and collectors will pass by the fair's sandy pavilion entrance, designed by the New York outfit Formlessfinder, and congregate under one roof. According to the fair's redoubtable director Marianne Goebl, this year audiences can expect a wide spectrum of work, ranging from large-scale to small, with a focus on works that represent the intersection of digital and analog.

Typically the festival showcases emerging talent and this year the spotlight is on contemporary American upcoming stars such as David Wiseman and the Haas Brothers - both represented by R 20TH Century - and Jonathan Muecke at Volume Gallery.

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Goebl's must-sees include jewelery as "wearable sculpture", and Jean Prouvé's 1944 pre-fabricated house shown for the first time by Galerie Patrick Seguin. Also not to be missed is Simon Heijdens' mesmerizing collaboration with Perrier-Jouët.

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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David Wiseman: Design Miami/ (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 10:31 AM

Having created installations for the likes of Christian Dior in New York and the West Hollywood Library, Wiseman has blossomed into a darling of the design world. This week, his lattice-inspired pieces, including a large screen, are on show at Design Miami/.

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Along with the Haas Brothers, Jeff Zimmermann and Joaquim Tenreiro, Wiseman's designs will be shown as part of the works selected by leading New York gallery R 20th Century.

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Graduating in 2003 from the Rhode Island School of Design, Wiseman quickly discovered that his intricate drawings would be better realised in 3D, allowing his audience to interact with them as they do the surrounding world.

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His ability to produce these amorphous shapes with such fluidity may have been brought on by his mother, who he, as a child, would often play doodling games with. Inspired by natural phenomena, his hands-on approach is appropriately organic and his creations, spanning both fine and decorative art, are all born from raw materials.

Text by Fiona Scott for Crane.tv

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Daniel Arsham: Design Miami/ (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 5:10 AM

If you're tagging a Daniel Arsham article, set considerable time aside. The New York-based artist - insert "filmmaker", "set designer", "Snarkitect" etc - has a huge repertoire for one so young, and a collaborator contact list that boasts names such as Merce Cunningham, Pharrell Williams and Heidi Slimane to name a few.

He's a creative who transcends many disciplines but there's always a performative aspect to Arsham's work, and his offering at this year's Design Miami/ is no exception. He continues to join forces with the choreographer/dancer Jonah Bokaer for 'Occupant' which shows at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

"There's an aesthetic sensibility present in his work, that's very clean and simple, architectural almost." says Arsham of his friend, whom he met while they worked together for Merce Cunningham and who has performed for him ever since.

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'Occupant' follows 'Study for the Occupant', the dance Bokaer performed at Arsham's London Frieze exhibition - #recollections - in October, which the artist describes as a "fragment" of the larger piece that will showcase at Design Miami/. As with the Frieze performance, this one will incorporate a version of the artworks from Arsham's latest exhibitions.

"Occupant, uses some of these objects that I've been working with but they're cast in chalk in order to allow the performers to use them almost as inscribing tools on the floor of the stage." says Arsham.

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The pieces are cast technological objects from the not-so-distant past. Arsham trawled through ebay, snapping up retro film reels, ghetto blasters and microphones, which he fossilised with volcanic ash and crystal, using chemicals to create the effects of many years in a matter of hours.

"At the end of the performance we're left with a kind of wasteland of broken cameras and phones."

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Also at Design Miami/ this year, Arsham will premiere his latest venture and first film. "Future Relic 01", is the first instalment of the artist's series - Future Relic - and is based on 'an archetypal brick phone cast from a mixture of plaster and broken glass'. The short narrates the discovery of the phone and features a backing score from Swiss Beatz and costumes designed by Richard Chai.

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The list of collaborators continues to grow, but Arsham still can't convince anyone to get in the mould and any human-casts he has to do himself. It's a four to five hour, uncomfortably hot and vaseline-soaked process he loathes.

"It's one of the grossest things that I have to do. I dread the days I have to go into the studio. I've tried to make other people in the studio, but everyone gets like an hour into it and then they freak out."

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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Oliver Lange: The Magazine (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 22, 2013 | 5:05 AM

The cosmopolitan chef at The Magazine puts the world on your plate.

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Situated in the middle of Hyde Park, The Magazine restaurant adjoins the Serpentine Sackler gallery in a new building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Head chef Oliver Lange is German-born, but has travelled internationally to develop his palette. His food is most notably influenced by his time in Japan, where he trained with bona fide sushi masters and earned the nickname "Ollysan". Lange subsequently launched Kokoro (Japanese for 'heart and soul') his consultancy that works with restaurants to develop signature menus and innovative kitchen concepts.

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Back in 2004, Lange received high acclaim for assisting Mario Lohninger's restaurant Silk achieve Michelin success, and the young chef went on to become one of the guest stars of KP Kopfler's international pop-up phenomenon Pret A Diner. The Magazine is Lange's first permanent UK venture and his food is already causing a stir.

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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Daniel Arsham: #recollections (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 5:05 AM

In his latest performative exhibition, New York-based artist Daniel Arsham is cast in the role of future archaeologist.

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#recollections at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is Arsham's first solo show in London. Imagining himself as a prospective excavator, he has created an exhibition that consists of a series of cast technological objects from the not too distant past. Arsham trawled through ebay, snapping up retro film reels, ghetto blasters and microphones, which he fossilised with volcanic ash and crystal, using chemicals to create the effects of many years in a matter of hours.

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Arsham is the youngest artist to have worked with the late dance legend Merce Cunningham. Not surprisingly, performance is an integral part of his work. While working with Cunningham Arsham met dancer Jonah Bokaer, with who he has continued to collaborate.

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#recollections opened with a performance by Bokaer, a precursor to the pair's performance at Art Basel Miami Beach in December.

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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Frieze London 2013 (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 1:49 PM

It has become a parlor game of sorts to bash art fairs, which to be fair are little more than pop-up malls. But if the buzz surrounding the recent Frieze London is any indication the white tents in Regent's Park are not going away anytime soon.

The main fair, now in its 11th year and the beneficiary of a new layout and reduced capacity, made an emphatic claim for its being a necessary pit-stop on the contemporary-art circuit. Over 150 galleries contributed this year alongside the usual Frieze projects that run both on and off-site around the capital.

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But it was hard to overlook the increasing attention on Frieze Masters. Now in its second year, Frieze Masters is housed in a temporary structure designed by Annabelle Selldorf and has become one of the week's main attractions (and it has become a loaded full week of on- and off-schedule activities).

Directed by Victoria Sidall, Frieze Masters is dedicated to art from the ancient to the contemporary and has opened up a dialogue, via a series of talks and presentations, inviting modern-day artists to draw on historical practice in relation to their own work. It's a nice complement to the main fair that offers a curated and credible new context that's removed from unabashedly commercial fairs.

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Dominating the main fair, in terms of headlines and physical space, was Jennifer Rubell's Portrait of the Artist (Stephen Friedman Gallery). The piece is an oversized fiberglass sculpture based on a digital scan of Rubell's pregnancy 'bump' when she was almost full term. Rubell's piece invites the audience to climb into the giant hole in 'her' belly and assume the fetal position -- a welcoming thought to escape the crowds.

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If regressing back to the womb is not your idea of relaxation, one of the main attractions at Frieze London was the lush respite offered by the adjacent sculpture park. Curated for the second year by Claire Lilley, Director of Programme at Yorkshire Sculpture park, this year's commissions were a mix of old and new, featuring the likes of Matt Calderwood, Elmgreen & Dragset and Turner Prize nominee Helen Chadwick.

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Frieze London 2013 also provided a platform for underrepresented, emerging African artists. Of particular interest was Meschac Gaba's offering, a commission by Stevenson Gallery from South Africa. Gaba, a Beninese artist, assembled rows and rows of seemingly cheerful, brightly coloured kid's clothes. On closer inspection they were emblazoned with terms such as 'Terroriste' and 'Inceste', loaded labels that were displayed casually like so many slogans splayed across children's clothes.

Text by Leila De Vito for Crane.tv

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JK Iguatemi (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 1:22 PM

Like jazz and orthodontics, malls are an American invention. But the Stateside versions pale in comparison to their Brazilian counterparts. In Brazil, where the middle class has more than doubled in recent years, malls are more than monuments to conspicuous consumption: these one-stop shops offer not only a conga line of the world's leading labels -- from Lanvin to Goyard and Topshop -- but also exert a cultural influence over their environs. The family-owned Iguatemi Group -- which opened the first mall in Brazil in 1966 and these days has 13 locations across the country -- is the pioneering force of Brazilian retail. We recently caught up with CEO Carlos Jereissati Filho during the SP-Arte/Foto fair held at the JK Iguatemi location in São Paulo to talk shop.

It's staggering to think that the middle class in Brazil has ballooned as much as it has in the recent past.
Absolutely. We're talking about 50 million people becoming 100 million people in a big market. This has completely changed how people perceive the country. There's now a huge middle class that is hungry for luxury brands but if you want to touch these people you really have to connect with them, you can't suppose that they know you because you're a hundred years old. You have to come to them and present yourself and your brand. If you can bring out the designer, if you can do events and lectures that really show what your brand stands for, it really helps.

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For the uninitiated, how are malls different in Brazil?
I really believe that in Brazil malls are very different than what exists in the U.S. or even in Asia. In the U.S. the malls are in the suburbs; in Asia they're kind of enclosed vertical malls. In Brazil our malls are downtown and they are very open and integrated with the city. They are very convenient and lively places where you find not only shops but nice restaurants, fitness centers, cinemas, theaters, museums, all sorts of things that make them very relevant. It's a very particular concept.
Plus, Brazilians are a very gregarious people and they love to meet and be in groups so this sense of belonging is very important because we want to be part of a group, we want to be part of a place that we feel connected to.

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In addition to special touches like a VIP lounge and concierge services, I think it's interesting that you place such a premium on culture.
As the customer has evolved people are more and more hungry to learn about things. Culture fits in the overall program because people having less and less time and want to combine everything they do in life so it's not only about going to a place to shop. It's important for us to help to educate our customers. To have the culture within this space is very interesting because it's very convenient for people. As a result we have had many cultural initiatives over the years, not just SP-Arte/Foto, where the most important galleries in Brazil showcase their photography, but we also have an art program inside our malls, we sponsor exhibitions and events dedicated to art, we sponsor books, and we have many artist appearances in our stores. And, of course, we have a curator who selects works by young artists for our permanent collection that we rotate across our properties.

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How important is digital to you at Iguatemi? I notice that you have pre-paid electronic parking tags, touch-screen store locators, high-speed Wi-Fi...
I think technology plays a very important role nowadays especially if you consider that this generation wants everything to be very dynamic. They want to see more and more interaction between what we do and their opinions, how they react to things. Of course, in business the more you have data/information, the more you can help to provide new services to the customer. I think we are entering a new era and we're going to make the experience of coming to a mall much more technological, much more interactive than it is today.

Walk me through what you mean by offering brands a 360-degree turn-key solution.
We were the first ones in this business and when a lot of brands started coming here it was very important to us to know all their needs, all the information that they needed to enter the market. We helped a lot of brands that had no knowledge of the Brazilian market to enter the country. We have 13 different venues in Brazil so we help them not only to get inside the country but to establish themselves in great locations across the country.

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Another term I have heard bandied about is this idea of beautiful contradictions. Can you explain that?
The luxury business is still very young in Brazil, and when you think of this new consumer in the 21st century it's much more complex and mixed. The consumer wants to have everything in one place. The concept of beautiful contradiction reflects that mix that people want in a space: the fast and the slow; the local and the global; the high and the low. We try to create an environment that puts all those brands together in a new way, and it's worked pretty well because the consumer who is wearing Havaianas today is the same lady who wears a big diamond ring. There is no difference whatsoever these days.

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You practically grew up in these malls.
My sister and I used to go to the shopping centers a lot on Saturdays and my father said "Ok, you are not going to just be playing around, I'll give you a dollar if you count the bags and see who's selling the most" so we'd have to go around counting bags to see who was selling and then we would let him know. Nowadays I know the sales figures in my head but I still pay attention to the bags and to the traffic inside the stores because my head is educated to do that. For me it became natural because I started as a kid.

Text by Horacio Silva for Crane.tv

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Katie Scott - Body of Work (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 7:01 AM

Katie Scott came to fore by way of a cover art and poster commission by British band Bombay Bicycle Club. As a result, her work - strongly influenced by early anatomy and botanical study - was later nominated for 'Best Artwork' at the NME Awards 2012. Since then, her intricate pseudo-scientific drawings have been used by British publishing company Phaidon, the New York Times magazine and various design platforms including 1ina100.

Scott's fascination with botany is instantly recognisable upon entering her East London studio - the space, which she shares with her boyfriend, is dotted with exotic plants and cacti. Surprisingly, Scott's unique aesthetic is derived from only five colour swatches which she created while still a student at Brighton university. The creative process involves sketching, scanning and then digitally colouring her illustrations.

When asked about her success in such a short space of time, she accepts she owes a lot to the internet and blogs in particular through which she says she receives the majority of her commissions.

What's next for this young talent? She would like to set her illustrations in motion, exploring how animation could be incorporated in her work.

Text by Sophia Felstead for Crane.tv

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Projection Mapping with Leo Kuelbs and Dom Pérignon (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 12:24 PM

Splitting his time between Brooklyn and Berlin, multi-media curator Leo Kuelbs has a personal well of experience that spans luxury marketing, mass communications, public art, and theatre that he uses to create huge, reality-warping projection mapping displays. For his latest project "The Expanding Universe" Kuelbs collaborates with champagne powerhouse Dom Pérignon in a public video art display inspired by their prestigious bottle of bubbly, the Dom Pérignon 2004 Vintage.

The project features rapidly morphing, 3D animation projected onto the regal façade of Dom Pérignon's 7th century womb, the Abbey d'Hautvillers, exploring a musical and visual analogy of the brand's DNA and its evolution over the centuries. It celebrates the brand's heritage, and conceptualises how age-old practices, like dom Pierre Pérignon's 17th century champagne production, can blur the boundaries between past, present and future.

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This is the continuation of several years of video mapping work for Kuelbs, who first debuted the technique at the Dumbo Arts Festival in September 2011, projecting a multi-part video patchwork onto the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, Archway and surrounding cityscape. It covered over 30,000 square feet of urban space and featured the work of nearly 20 international artists and curators. He returned to Dumbo in 2012 with a new project titled "Codex Dynamic", following his first partnership with Dom Pérignon, "Divine Coalescence".

"Divine Coalescence" premiered at Berlin's Bärensaal last June, where Kuelbs and Dom Pérignon collaborated with opera singer, Nadja Michael, to create an orchestral projection mapping art piece for the city's cultural elite. This one-off projection explored the quest for balance through immersion in complex systems that span history, mythology, science, culture and art.

Text by Aleks Eror for Crane.tv

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Beardyman: The Human Drum Machine (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 11:17 AM

Darren Foreman, the human drum machine better known as Beardyman, is as much a part of the summer festival circuit as chemically induced happiness and mud-streaked wellies. The 32-year-old north London native came to prominence in 2006 with a victory at the UK Beatbox Championship, then repeated this feat in 2007, before retiring to the judging panel so the competition wouldn't become as predictable as Premier League football.

A severe case of self-diagnosed musical ADD has confined his discography to a paltry two releases. This debilitating condition has seen him drift away from beatboxing and into the realms of musical improvisation, emerging as a modern day Django Reinhardt. He's sunk seven years of effort, and around £30,000, into creating the Beardytron 5000 MK II - a live-action, inspiration-capturing device that allows him to warp sound as it happens. It made its debut on tour late last year, and after a barrage of needy emails and foot stomping, he agreed to give us an explanation and demonstration in his north London Beardylair.

So how did you first discover your beatboxing powers?

I found my beatboxing powers in a box in Nuneaton, I'm not even sure whose they were but they're mine now.

Convenient. You must've spent a lot of time perfecting them, does it ever get lonely?

Uh, no, 'cause I've got a cat so it's fine. Ha!

A cat, and, according to your Twitter account, seven children. Does The Sun ever give you grief about that?

My son gives me a lot of grief about it, 'cause three of the children are actually his. So I guess I'm a double grandfather? It's very complicated. They basically had to make up a new form of maths to try and compute how many mothers were involved. It was all to do with snowballing and Gary Glitter, it's awful.

We'll talk more about that off record. So what is the Beardytron 5000?

[In Dr. Evil voice] The Beardytron 5000 MK II is an incredible machine that will destroy all of humanity; errrrhhhh! The Beardytron 5000 is a machine made by Dave Gamble of DMG audio, it has its own wifi protocol controlling three iPad's, which allow me to control a program on my laptop, which is a hosting environment for VST's and a next-level looper, which has a kind of grid of loops that I can freely move around and record into, replace, overdub, multiply, and divide lengths according to the base length of the first loop that I make, which I can do in a variety of different ways - either according to a metronome or a just the first loop itself. It's written in C++ so it has taken about seven years to design, about a year and a half to actually code and test and refine but it itself enables me to make music from the future.

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Uhh... ok... thorough. So in what musical genre does this music from the future fit into?

In the future there will be no genres. There'll just be white noise. Everything will have just blended into one awful cacophonous wall of sound.

Are you familiar with "Police Academy" at all?

I am, yes.

Do you style yourself as a rap-game Michael Winslow?

No, because I'm not in the rap game and I don't tend to do that many sound effects anymore, I'm moving away from sound effects and beatboxing more into making music with technology and improvisation. As for the rap game, it's all a bit silly, isn't it? Hip-hop was cool but it's become kind of trope now -- for me, anyway. I respect it as an art form and I love the counterculture element and the conspiratorial element, I love that it's separate from the mainstream and I love anyone with an amazing flow but it's so rare for me to think that. I can't listen to it very long, that's the problem, unless it's A Tribe Called Quest; that I can listen to all day, or anything that Q-Tip does. But if you mean hip-hop culture and beef and rappers trying to outflow each other, I leave that to rappers because they're good at it. I'm more interested in improvisation and making music live.

By your own reckoning, you're a former Miss World, did you ever feel like your responsibilities as Miss World weighed down on you professionally?

Yeah, it was very hard when I was Miss World for that one year. I had to do all these openings and be at the Super Bowl and all that kind of stuff, especially knowing the hate I was getting for having changed the game, as it were. I was faced with riots, picketing outside my house, but I think it's more important that personality is more important, that beauty is on the inside. I mean, it doesn't matter that I had to suck off all the judges.

How exactly do you feel you changed the game, though?

As I say, it was groundbreaking that I won the Miss World competition on my personality alone. That shows women all over the world that it doesn't matter what you look like - even if you look like me - you can be the most beautiful woman in the world. I know that I am the most beautiful woman in the world and that fills me with confidence. Every day I look into the mirror and say: "YOU are the most beautiful woman in the world", and then I just spend hours masturbating, because I'm in love with myself. And I think that's the most important thing, that you find yourself so attractive that you just can't stop masturbating. That's happiness. That's the gift I've given to the world.

That's... the most beautiful thing I've ever heard... what's your favourite sound?

The sound of crying children.


Text by Aleks Eror for Crane.tv

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China Calling: Punk In Beijing (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 12:49 PM

When the Sex Pistols appeared on the BBC singing "God Save the Queen," China was still in the grips of the Cultural Revolution - most music was banned, and Mao ruled supreme. It would take another two decades before punk arrived in Beijing.

It began in basements, brothels and back alleys; any DIY venue that would allow for the alien genre. The earliest bands such as Underbaby and P.K. 14 were a motley crew of rebellious teens who, like the Sex Pistols before them, could barely play their instruments and hated the local metal scene.

Their sound was unmistakably Chinese. In the aftermath of the events of Tiananmen Square six years previously, mid-90's punk articulated the frustrations and hopes of a new generation. Today, punk in China has become a well-established subculture, embraced by as many angry kids as fashion-conscious hipsters.

Text by Stephy Chung for Crane.tv

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