Julia Fullerton-Batten is a UK photographer with an incomparable universe. I discovered her through her "Teenage Stories" work, depicting young women inside minitatures universes - sometimes tragic, sometimes innocent, sometimes fashionably ingenuous. I would describe Julia's unique narrative vision as being constructed like a Russian Doll, a "Matryoshka-esque" vision: small elements/within a surreal world/where happens a surreal story/featuring young women.

You may admire Teenage Stories for its uniqueness, but you should also admire for its technical prowess: it's hard to distinguish what is constructed environment from what is real. The ambience, the inventive lighting, the model's carefully studies positions -- all of it makes for quite the disturbing Alice In Wonderland setting that you cannot look away from (if you have seen the Jan Svankmajer czech rendering of this story, you'll know what I'm talking about).

There is other impressive work to be discovered in the "New work" section of Julia's website:
The seemingly random activities of young girls inside public spaces. Sometimes expressing some kind of a visual rendition of emotions inside a young girl's mind as time passes (my take), or just simply rendering the eeriness of an surrealistic situation featuring young girls in a random space or parallel dimension.

I'm sure that by now I'm rambling by myself, as you are now outbound to discover Julia Fullerton-Batten by yourself. In case you're still reading, it's time to go my friend, I need to have breakfast. Check out Julia's website, at http://juliafullerton-batten.com/.

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Google Is Getting Too Big For Me. (0)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 by , under ,

Google recently announced that it would be jumping to mobiles, offering its Gmail application in a super-efficient, feature rich format for cellphones. Great idea? Yeah, great idea. And as of today, Google will now also be delving in cellphones with its new "Android" package.

Allow me to add an "It's just that"(tm)

I think Google has come up with functional and undoubtedly popular ideas up to now, and it wouldn't be adventurous to say that they started the wave responsible for generating what we now call Web 2.0. It's just that (tm) purely speaking on brand equity terms, my feeling is they need to take care of their image as well. Techwise, they're going a long way. But brandwise, I don't know what to think of Google right now. I just know that as a consumer, as The Shopper, I'm feeling less and less comfortable with them.

On the Microsoft vs. Apple scale (saying these two were extremes, and I guess they somewhat are), I wouldn't know where to place Google. Maybe in the middle. Maybe closer to Microsoft. Actually, quite close to Microsoft. Good for a business, bad for a brand. Popularizing the notion of dominating a category doesn't seem to be such a good thing these days. It is my perception that Shoppers are now actually looking for "micro-efficiency": very specialized things that do a lot. Small giants. And branding is in large part responsible for that.

ING Direct is my fave example of a small giant. It looks and sounds simple. It's clever. It doesn't give out the perception that it's trying to rule the world. It stays sympathetic, and on a people-level. It's communication and branding makes me believe that the banking services they are offering are simple to use, and are better (and different) than the competition's, on comparable grounds. Apple used to do that, now they're more product focused. Watch out Apple, watch out.

Will I use Google's Gmail mobile app? Maybe. But if a Flooz (tm) mail application ever comes out, with a big, bubbly, bold green icon and tells me something like Web Mail Has Never Been Smarter, I will most definitely jump on it. Because it gives me the perception that it's exclusive, simple, and specialized.

Conclusion? If you're going to take over the world with a great idea, do it and act big. But don't forget that being small will always be beautiful.

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