I wanna go to Miami.

24 December 2012 – The interesting thing about being in Florida for the Art Basel Miami Beach is that some locals don’t really think of Basel as a place, but rather as a thing or an event: Miami’s very own Art Fair which happens to be called Art Bäsil [sic].

Hats off to the locals, as the entire city goes all out with high end to shabby chic exhibitions, graffiti artists working around the clock, parties and cocktails, dinners and take-outs, trashy shops and haute couture. Practically every soul is busy snapping away with cell phones, texting who knows and just plain living it up. The city is a mad house and you can feel the energy in the air. Here are a few colours and textures from this year’s fair:

Is it art or is it a chain-link fence?

Please don’t touch the Roni Horn sculpture.

Tiffany Trenda performing her new piece, Body Code at the gallery Licht Feld – friends from Basel.

An artist’s statement on modern trends in fashion – a stretched earlobe can also be used to blow bubbles.

Fidel keeping cool in the Miami heat. And Why You Shouldn’t Buy Art by William Powhida.

Killer-sized bees in the Wynwood Arts District.

Good ol’ Andy.

> Art Miami
> Context Miami
> Wynwood District

The 2013 Karo Diaries have arrived.

22 November 2012 – Printed, bound and delivered. The new diaries are here and we are now shipping.

> Read more
> Look at the photos

2013 Karo Diary arriving soon.

7 November 2012 – Thanks to the inundation of smartphones and other electronic devices, we are pleased to announce the new (19th!) edition of the Karo Diary. Unlike smart devices, our diaries do not need batteries and do not leave any cookies behind – unless of course you want the homemade sort!

> Read more
> Look at the photos

Skyscrapers and empty condos – no tanks.

12 September 2012 – Since 1997 we’ve been working on a series of photographs of the freight yard in the Klybeck neighborhood. Who would have thought then that we would actually see the day when the tanks came rumbling down. The New Basel or Rhinehattan building project proposes to create a new neighborhood on this plot of land, housing up to 4,000 residents and creating new workplaces. The master planners contest that the project is necessary so that urbanity develops. The character of life in Basel is provincial — nothing to be ashamed of — and now we have a new point of conflict adding to an obvious inferiority complex.

This brings to mind the phenomenon in the early 1980s in the USA: large shopping malls which killed the downtown shopping district and the abundance of luxury apartments and high-rise condominiums which stood empty. Europe, and Basel for this instance, could learn a thing or two from America’s mistakes, instead of following their footsteps.

The first signs of resistance to the planned building project are already popping up around town,
including this graffiti ‘Sink Rhinehattan’.

> World Wildlife Fund: New Basel – A Manhattan on the Rhine, at the expense of nature? (in German)
> Basellandschaftliche Zeitung: Manhattan on the Rhine jumps over it’s borders (in German)
> Greenhattan: organization for creating an ecological, public alternative to Rhinehattan (in German)
> The Economist: Birth, death and shopping – The rise and fall of the shopping mall
> Wikipedia: Victor Gruen – Pioneer of US shopping malls
> Pulitzer prize winner Robert Campbell: Charles River Park at 35 – It may be a nice place to live, but you wouldn’t want to visit (commentary about a similar issue in Boston)

The new kid in town.

25 July 2012 – We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new record store. Stax-o-Rex buy and sell vintage vinyl from various music genres including soul, R&B, rock-n-roll, garage, amoung others.
If you are a music enthuasist, be sure to check them out. By the way, we designed the new logo!

> Read more about it
> Stax-o-Rex

US Court orders Facebook to revise Terms of Use for Like Button.

22 June 2012 – Until now, many Facebook users were unaware when and how they were exploited for advertising. They may not have realized that a click on something as simple as a like button could generate revenue for the company Facebook. Like buttons are directly linked to Sponsored Stories, modern advertising in disguise.

According to Facebook: “Sponsored Stories are posts from your friends or Pages on Facebook that a business, organization or individual has paid to highlight so there’s a better chance you’ll see them. They are regular stories that a friend or Page you’re connected to has shared with you. When your friends interact with Pages on Facebook (for example: they like a Page or check in to a business), you may see stories about their activity in your news feed. Sponsored Stories are the same, except that a business or organization has paid to show the stories more prominently by displaying them higher in news feeds or on the right-hand side of Facebook. You can’t opt out of being featured in Sponsored Stories, but you can visit your activity log to make sure that only the people you want to share with can see your activity. If you’re aren’t using timeline yet, learn how to remove posts from your profile.”

You can’t opt out of being featured in Sponsored Stories. Basically this means that you permit a business or other entity to pay Facebook to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information. Following the US District Court ruling filed on June 20, changes to this policy are to be made within the next six months, which is estimated will cost Facebook $103 million. Facebook will donate an additional $10 million to non-profit organizations.

This is not the first time that Facebook buys its way out of unauthorized usage of personal data. However, warnings and notices may not keep people from sharing on Facebook. A recent analysis of the accounts of a million Facebook users concluded that nearly 9 out of 10 Americans – and slightly fewer Europeans – share information about themselves that can be misused, according to secure.me, a company that offers privacy services to users of social networks.

> Source: The New York Times
> Santa Clara Law Digital Commons
> secure.me

Illustration: FantasPorto Horror Film Festival poster by Draftfcb Lisbon, Portugal 2011
Creative Director: Duarte Pinheiro de Melo, Luis Silva Dias; Art Director: Rodrigo Burdman; Copywriter: Samir Mesquita;
Photographer: On Shot Estudio; Retoucher: Eduardo Firmino

> Draftfcb

Walk around the Art Parcours.

13 June 2012Art Parcours, an official offshoot of Art Basel, will present site-specific artworks and performances from June 14–17, by renowned artists and emerging talents in the historical St. Johann neighborhood. Art Parcours is open to the public and free of charge. We made our own little contribution to the event: The Many Faces of Jay, a small series of collages featuring our neighbor Jayesh Kumar – a local hero turned global celebrity – from Jays Indian Restaurant. The exhibition is tucked away directly next to the main door to our studio at St. Johanns-Vorstadt 15.

> Exhibition: The Many Faces of Jay
> Art Parcours
> Jays Indian Restaurant

Aleksandra Mir (*1967, Poland): La 600, modified Fiat, 2012. Magazzino d’Arte Moderna, Rome.
A homage to Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. In 1998, Orozco was named one of the most influential artists of the decade.

The Original: Gabriel Orozco (*1962, Mexico): La DS, modified Citroën DS, 1993.
Fonds national d’art contemporain, Puteaux, France. Photo: Florian Kleinefenn. ©2009 Gabriel Orozco

Freshly pressed.

29 May 2012 – The K’werk Bildschule bis 16 (offers art and design classes for youngsters under 16) will become official affiliated with the Basel School of Design by the end of 2012. We have completed a subtle redesign of the new curriculum booklet, annual report and poster. Modern fonts and colors have been integrated and crisp, super-thin paper adds freshness to the new look of the school.

> kwerk.ch
> Basel School of Design

Spring has sprung.

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1 May 2012 – It is the perfect time of year to pack up a blanket and a loved one and find a nice bunch of trees out in the middle of nowhere. Laying in the grass with the trees swinging overhead makes you feel like you have just stepped onto the set of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up.

> Blow-Up

Patrick Lindon’s new website now online.

3 March 2012 – We are pleased to announce that Patrick Lindon’s new website is online – designed by us – just in time for the Aircraft Interiors Expo. See you in Hamburg!

> patrick-lindon.com
> 2012 Aircraft Interiors Expo

Goodbye, tanks!

12 February 2012 – It is hard to believe, but the entire lot of Migrol tanks and silos in Klybeck Quartier in the northeastern corner of Basel are in the process of being dismantled. Giant hydrolic clippers are cutting through the metal walls of the tanks, as if they were trimming mere paper. The neighborhood resonates from sonic boom-like waves which are emitted every time a piece falls to the ground.

Over the next few months, we will be taking a look at the changes in this unique area, where Switzerland, Germany and France meet. City planners are euphoric with visions of developing a Little Manhattan out on the island in the Rhine, but this will surely take a decade or two, if it does, in fact, crystallize. In the meantime, the city of Basel is hoping that the in limbo real estate will appreciate in value by allowing temporary usage for the locals and are offering a small budget for creative heads to get together and set the wheel in motion for a new, pulsating neighborhood. We are looking forward to what develops.

New Year.

16 January 2012 – New projects. New friends. New hiking trails. New recipes.