hello matakichi

A picture book entitled Namennayo! (Don’t Mess Around with Me!) and commercial goods modeled on those in the book are caricatures of ↑bosozoku symbolism and display a crucial aspect of such symbols and the commercial exploitation of them. This work, which was published in 1981, and had a sales of about 335,000 copies by the summer of 1983, features a cat called ↑Matakichi. Throughout the book there are numerous pictures of cats who stand upright wearing human clothes. miniature props (auch as motorcycles, cars, and buildings) are also provided. The plot concerns Matakichi’s youthful experimentation with several expressive styles including … Continue reading

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advanced building techniques

A common trait of technoludic online scenes and communities are the efforts undertaken to document, preserve and redistribute specific knowledge. The afols [adult fans of lego] have developed many building techniques beyond those found in official instructions. Back in 2007 Didier Enjary collected a lot of those in his ‘↓The Unofficial LEGO Advanced Building Techniques Guide‘ [.pdf | 1.7 MB]. Didier’s guide explains the geometry of LEGO bricks from scratch, then proceeds to particular techniques. All in all his guide is a testament to the afols’ intellectual and practical appropriation of the LEGO building system.  via ↑entry at ↑the brothers … Continue reading

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bricks and games

truly transmedial to and fro This is a moc [my own creation] ↑interpretation by afol [adult fan of LEGO] ↑m_o_n_k_e_y of the ↑Vic Viper. This fighter spaceship is a signature element of the ↑Gradius games, a series of scrolling shooters by Konami. The first game of the series was released in 1985, the latest in 2011. So over the course of a quarter of a century versions of the ship appear in more than two dozen computer games for different platforms.     Within the LEGO scene the Vic Viper has a ↑massive and very productive fandom, ↑originally inspired by … Continue reading

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setting minifigs free

Since 2011 the minifigures the LEGO group sells on magnetic bricks (so you can place them on your refrigerator door) are firmly fixed onto their magnetic pedestals. As it seems this has economic and copyright reasons, and the licence holders of franchises like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ demanded the fixation—just if minifigs had no rights. Last year I bought some magnetic sets in Berlin’s LEGO flagship store. The minifigs were simply connected to the magnetic bricks in the usual LEGO way. Some of the sets I bought this year are fixed ones, which is a big annoyance. … Continue reading

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orthometals

Some weeks ago we went swimming at the ‘↑Müllersches Volksbad,’ Munich’s gorgeous Art Nouveau indoor pool facility. After having swum some lanes I took a respite in the shallow part of the pool. I hadn’t been swimming for months and may have overdone it a bit on the first lanes. Feeling a slight dragging pain in my right shoulder, I hovered in the water, admiring the architecture, and rubbed said shoulder cautiously.     Submerged to his knees an elderly gentleman smiled fatherly at me from the stone steps leading into the pool.     ‘Got one, too?’ he asked … Continue reading

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remember

“Remember, remember … the fifth of November!” Well, well, the fifth of November just broke, and I’m curious what’s going to happen. If ↑Guy Fawkes, respectively ↵Alan Moore‘s “↑V for Vendetta,” and ↑its movie adaptation of the same name, on the symbolic level really is of such importance to the #OWS movement [see ↵occupy guy and ↵guy headroom], then we should expect some occupation today. Above that ↑Anonymous has announced actions against Facebook and against a mexican drug cartell—that is, if Anonymous indeed announced all of that, and not some hoaxsters. Anyway, it’s the fifth, it’s Guy Fawkes’ day. If … Continue reading

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wireless

These days the telephone turns 150 … if, without any reservations whatsoever, you accept ↑Johann Philipp Reis (1834-1874) as its inventor. German media during the last weeks were inclined to accept it that way, naturally. Alas, a short glimpse on the ↑timeline of the telephone teaches us that we can not anymore write histories of technology by constructing absolute origins and godlike inventor personalities. Nevertheless does it seem above dispute that Reis coined the term “telephone.”     Be all that as it may, I take the ample opportunity to have a look on how the future of the telephone … Continue reading

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occupy guy

On 26th September 2011 ↑Noam Chomsky announced his solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The next day ↑Cornell West addressed the crowd in person. And on 09th October ↑Slavoj Žižek gave a talk at ↑Liberty Plaza (formely Zuccotti Park). Not that I am much in synch with Žižek, but it’s the second time this year that I read something from him which made me applaud. Have a snippet from the transcript: In April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV and films and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign … Continue reading

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moc quality

Just having hailed the professional standards of ↵artefacts stemming from the mod world, I now feel like presenting analogues from the ↵moc world. Just recently SAS voiced the opinion that, despite of their ingenuity and fabulous looks, mocs always are recognizable as mocs. Meaning, that they somehow lack a quality commercial Lego sets do feature. What this quality exactly constitutes remained elusive, even after further probing enquiry from my side. My opinion is that this may stand true for some mocs, but ain’t an absolute rule. Quite to the contrary. Here is the moc-version of the ↑TIE/In Interceptor, which first … Continue reading

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moc styles

The cultural production of the ↵moc world features an amazing richness—in several dimensions. There is the vast range of scales to which the artefacts are made. But there also is a beautiful wealth of styles. Not to mention the incredible number of artefacts. And this although I for now almost exclusively have limited my scope to ‘Star Wars’ related mocs. But then again this was to be expected when dealing with aspects of the fandom of the biggest intellectual property franchise around.     Here are two examples. Both interpretations of the same subject, an imperial ↑AT-AT walker, are by … Continue reading

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