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Simian Substitute Site For June 2013: Monkey Experience

Monkey ExperienceMONTH END PROCESSING FOR MAY 2013

Art: "What's outsider art?" asked The BBG when we passed the poster for the current exhibition at the Wellcome Collection in London. And the best response I could come up with was "um, you know, mentals." Which may be a terrible thing to say, but it presumably explains the interest of a museum that looks at "the connections between medicine, life and art." Souzou: Outsider Art From Japan runs until the end of June, and shows work from 46 artists resident in a number of different institutions. There's an astonishing mix of styles on offer, from Shota Katsube's epic army of twist-tie soldiers to to Daisuke Kibushi's loving recreations of old movie posters.There's no single reason why these people make art, and a nice collection of video interviews (also available on the website) shows them at work explaining how it helps them. And it's all free! You've only got a month left, so don't miss it.

Movies: You know me, I'm a fan of animation. I thought I knew the sort of thing Don Hertzfeldt did, thanks to his notorious Oscar-nominated short Rejected. But then I saw his first feature, and realised I didn't know him at all. It's Such A Beautiful Day takes a simple stickman figure, and over three chapters (originally released as individual shorts over a period of several years) proceeds to turn his life into one gigantic existential crisis. But it's done in a heartfelt, humanistic and beautiful fashion that so-called serious, 'proper' filmmakers can only dream of (yeah, looking at you, Malick). At the moment, it just might be the best film I've seen so far this year. Its theatrical run is over now, but you can buy it on DVD direct from Hertzfeldt, or watch it online for a couple of bucks.

Telly: Why the hell has nobody told me about Archer before now? Okay, it's possible that they may have mentioned it but I wasn't listening. Frankly, that isn't good enough. Basically, after I'd finished ploughing through House Of Cards on Netflix, they suggested I should give Archer a try, and dammit they were right. You could think of it as a ruder animated version of Get Smart - the adventures of a dim spy and the colleagues that hate making him look good - but that doesn't even begin to describe the apocalyptic gag rate that it hits in its best episodes. I'm still roaring from the scene where the boss of Archer's organisation - his mum, but that's another story - interrupts a meeting about staff pay cuts to take a call from her furrier. "Unbelievable!" says Archer. "We have to cut back, but you're buying new horseshoes!" DVDs are currently available, it apparently plays on Fox UK now and again, and Netflix has three whole seasons to explore, so you don't have the same excuse that I had any more.

In the meantime, your Simian Substitute Site for June 2013 is Monkey Experience - or to give them their full title, Monkey Experience Oy, a mobile services company based in Helsinki, a couple of minutes walk from the Design Museum. Obviously, my Finnish is lousy (despite having just spent a week over there, which you'll be hearing more about shortly), so I've had to resort to Bing Translator to see what it is they do exactly.

The key thing appears to be that they make services, not apps: "If pizzerialla is mobiiliapplikaatio, which you can see the necessary information with a view to the adoption of a telephone order, is the case of the mobile application. If the pizzeria mobiiliapplikaatiosta can directly make and pay for your order, which is mediated by a pizzeria in the kitchen, is the case of the mobile service. When you consider the business and the owner of a pizza restaurant to choose/ from, depending on what you think the outcome?"

Well, you get the idea. Anyway, how about some comments? And I don't mean ones from you spammy bastards who've been plaguing me over the past month, and have brought me this close to implementing Captcha or some such nonsense.


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