Tag Archive | London

Covent Garden: 17th century sandwiches, Mick Jagger’s hair, the market, and more.

Appnova’s new HQ is in Covert Garden. We absolutely love it. Covent Garden is like ice cream – you’ll never get tired of it.

 

Here’s a series of interesting and unusual facts about Covent Garden.

In 1632 the 4th Earl of Bedford, Francis Russell, commissioned the renowned architect Inigo Jones to develop the area into a luxury neighborhood. Heavily influenced by Italian piazzas, Jones created London’s first public square, surrounded by arcaded buildings and dominated by the church of St. Paul.

The first sandwich ever eaten by that name is claimed to have been consumed in the Shakespeare’s Head in Covent Garden by the Earl of Sandwich, in 1762. Sandwich was a keen gambler who when snacking at the gaming tables had his meats put between slices of bread to keep his fingers (and the cards) free from grease.

Eliza Doolittle, the central character in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, is a Covent Garden flower seller.

A lock of Mick Jagger’s hair is up for sale at auction house Bonhams next month with a guide price of between $2,400 and $3,000. Mick Jagger’s hair was snipped from his mane in the early 1960s and kept by relatives of one of his first girlfriends, Chrissie Shrimpton, a Covent Garden secretary he famously dated while a student at the London School of Economics.

 

And here’s a series of great images, nicked from “Old Covent Garden: The Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Markets” and “Covent Garden Then & Now”, both by Clive Boursnell.

dreamer_boy

About this photo, Clive Boursnell says: “Everything was on the move: the ever-changing colour of the light, the kaleidoscope of shapes…Then a blast from a truck’s horn, a voice from a cab window: ‘Out the fuckin’ way, dreamer boy.'”

CG0 CG4-528x532 CG4 CG5-528x530 CG6-528x530 clive-boursnell-covent-garden-2 clive-boursnell-covent-garden-5 Covent-Garden-by-Clive-Boursnell-II-620x620 Covent-Garden-by-Clive-Boursnell-XI-620x620 Old_Covent_Garden__2262520i

Photo sources: Retronaut http://www.retronaut.com/2012/10/covent-garden/ Time Out http://now-here-this.timeout.com/ / All photos © Clive Boursnell.

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Part 2 / Less Tavor, More Tumblr. Or, Think Outside the (Pill) Box.

I was having a “Sunday Roast Social Media Conversation” the other day, trying to explain to a friend my views on the beauty of medicine, and the importance of aesthetics in life; he said “a pill is a pill, mate”, to which I replied “Ceci n’est pas une pill”, paraphrasing René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images.

He didn’t get it. Neither did I.

The nitty-gritty, anyway, is that a pipe is a pipe but also something else, and pills are pills but are also something else – something beautiful to look at, with all their colours and shapes – and once again art and medicine found themselves sharing a compartment on a train, and once more we should try to think outside the (pill) box, and realise a pharmaceutical company should have a social presence that goes beyond the mere link-news-functional-post-done-ciao.

Nothing new here – Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome, the American-British pharmaceutical entrepreneur who co-founded Burroughs Wellcome & Company, was also a philanthropist and an art lover. According to Wikipedia “Wellcome had a passion for collecting medically related artefacts, aiming to create a Museum of Man. He bought very widely anything related to medicine, including Napoleon’s toothbrush, currently on display at the Wellcome Collection. By the time of his death there were 125,000 medical objects in the collection, of over one million total.”

If you leave in London, go see the Wellcome Collection TOMORROW. If you don’t leave in London, come down here and visit the Collection instead of Primark and other “cheap and unchic” attractions. Here’s the Collection’s website: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

How to turn this into digital matter, then? A few suggestions will follow.
Anyway, once again, remember the dogma: INFORM AND ENTERTAIN.

Pinterest
In 2009, I went to the Wellcome Collection to see “Exquisite Bodies: or the Curious and Grotesque History of the Anatomical Model”, an astonishing collection of anatomical models. From the bearded lady to Damien Hirst’s Hymn, how cool would they look on a Pinterest board?

L0051902 Bearded Lady

hirst_hymn_miniprint_12970_large

Wax Anatomical Model

You can’t avoid Facebook
Yep, that’s true – Facebook is like Rihanna: wherever you go, you can’t avoid it. Therefore, make the most of it.
Pfizer is doing a good job on the social network, posting inspiring things, vintage photographs and beautiful etchings.

(From the Pfizer Photo Archives: An etching, circa 1915, of Pfizer’s manufacturing plant in Brooklyn, New York)

pfizer

Use Tumblr!
As you probably know, I’m a big fan of Tumblr. How to use it, when it comes to medicine-related stuff? Look at Medical School (http://medicalschool.tumblr.com/). Brilliant.

Is this one of Yves Klein’s monochrome works from The Blue Epoch? Nope, it’s the human spinal cord in cross section.

human_spinal_chord

 

Abstract painting or colourised SEM of anthrax bacteria?

Colorized SEM of Anthrax Bacteria

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, Part 1 / If Damien Hirst turned an art gallery into a pharmacy, why shouldn’t we turn a Facebook page into an arty pharmacy?

“Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.”
Anton Chekhov

“Inform and entertain”, recites the social media mantra; whatever you do, follow this simple rule and you will eventually produce something good.
And yes, even if it is not about football or girls or LOLs or cats, your Facebook page / Tumblr / Pinterest can attract a strong community. And yes, even if you are a pharmaceutical company.

How? Here’s the recipe:
Useful links and info + practical advices + healthy recipes and tips for a healthier lifestyle + a forum-like place in which the company and the consumers converse + YOUR PERSONAL TWIST

What about the twist? Think for instance about medicine in art. Even more specific: let’s consider the concept of pharmacy in art.
Here’s a just a few examples:

Readymades of Marcel Duchamp / Pharmacy (Pharmacie) / 1914
‘Gouache on chromolithograph of a scene with bare trees and a winding stream to which he added two dots of watercolor, red and green, like the colored liquids in a pharmacy.’
15_big
Joseph Cornell / Pharmacy
‘Lot Description
Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) 
Pharmacy 
typed and dated ‘Joseph Cornell 1943’ (on a paper label affixed to the inside)
wood box construction — printed paper, colored sand, colored foil, sulfur, feathers, seashells, butterfly, aluminum foil, fiber, wood shavings, copper wire, fruit pits, water, gold paint, cork, water, dried leaves and found objects
15¼ x 12 x 3 1/8 in. (38.7 x 30.5 x 7.9 cm.) 
Executed in 1943.’

If you have a spare $4 million in your right pocket, head here to buy it: http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/sculptures-statues-figures/joseph-cornell-pharmacy-5147472-details.aspx
Joseph Cornell
Damien Hirst / Pharmacy / 1992
From the Tate’s website: ‘For Hirst medicine, like art, provides a belief system which is both seductive and illusory. He has commented: ‘I can’t understand why some people believe completely in medicine and not in art, without questioning either’ (quoted in Damien Hirst, p.9). By reproducing the area of a pharmacy the public is normally denied access to in a highly aestheticised context, Hirst has created a kind of temple to modern medicine, ironically centred around an agent of death (the insect-o-cutor). Offering endless rows of palliative hopes for a diseased cultural body, Hirst’s Pharmacy could be seen as a representation of the multiple range of philosophies, theories and belief systems available as possible means of structuring and redeeming a life. Like medicine, however, these attempts to think a way around death are eternally doomed to failure.’
Pharmacy 1992 by Damien Hirst born 1965

hirst2DHS335Tate1writingre_771_0

WARNING! The following example should be taken as a mere case of pharmacy-themed art, and it shouldn’t be used, for obvious reasons (customers looking for medicines online don’t really want to see posts about drug abuse, addiction and sad stories of troubled pop stars).

Jason Mecier / Pill Portraits

Pharmacy: From Old French farmacie (modern French pharmacie), from Medieval Latin pharmacia, from Ancient Greek φαρμακεία (pharmakeia, “the use of drugs”), from φάρμακον (pharmakon, “a drug, charm, enchantment”), from Ancient Greek φαρμακίς (pharmakis, “witch”).
Lots of celebrities have problems with drugs. Everybody knows it. American artist Jason Mecier created a series of interesting celebrity mosaic-portraits using coloured prescription pills.

amy-winehouse_1969701i (1)

mecier_02

Stay tuned for Part 2.

What do you think?
London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.

Burberry, the £4.95 billion business that doesn’t know how to take interesting pictures of London.

Back in the 1980s, people used to visit exotic places and take a gazillion pictures with big black squared point-and-shoot cameras, then come back home, invite people over, give them crackers, salty biscuits and pistachios, show them the gazillion pictures, and bore them to death.

Here’s me riding a camel. Here’s Jen posing in front of the Great Pyramid. Here’s our driver, Rashid, eating ice cream. Here’s Fritz, a German fellow traveller, dancing to Lady Gaga, on the boat, during the Nile cruise.

And so on and so forth, multiplied by a gazillion times.

grandma_picture

We already spent some time explaining why Burberry, AKA one of the toppermost social brands ever, AKA the reference when it comes to all things digital marketing-related, is surprisingly weak on Pinterest (and Instagram), when they talk about London.

I mean, London is not exactly like Hull – two streets, three pubs, fish & chips shop, that’s it – so why are they always posting pictures of Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Tower Bridge and other rather unoriginal stuff?

The only explanation is they hired a team of social media veterans – meaning they are a bunch 75-year-olds accountants with a passion for colourless clichéd holiday photography.

Now, my point is: do you want to show London’s vibe, its characters and countless shades of Majesty and Beauty, in an original and unique – yet organic mummy-friendly – way? Then get inspired here:

eastvillage

Tips, food, places, photos of sheep roaming next to Canary Wharf, parks and green spaces, iconic design, healthy eating, tilt-shift photography, vintage, art and characters. Of course, this is not the perfect Pinterest account, the one scientist will study in the future and social strategists will talk about for many years to come. Yet, although this is not a a £4.95 billion business – like Burberry – they inform and entertain and tell the story of a great place, in a very pleasant way.

Win.

sheepcanarywharf

What do you think?

London Web Agency Appnova – keep following us on Twitter @appnova and “like” us on Facebook for useful news and tasteful digressions about geeky stuff.