On Fournier Street, Just off Brick Lane outside FUEL HQ. Been here longer than Brick Lane be trendy.
I come in. COOOL offices!! After a nice cup of English tea with milk we talk stuff.
Hi, Damon Murray, Peter Miles, Stephen Sorrell, or FUEL. I ask about recent project for Japanese client.
S: Music Link. We were involved in the naming process and logo.
D: It was good fun going to Tokyo which is always nice but they had tight deadlines so they were receptive to our ideas. There wasn’t a lot of umming and arring.
S: It was not like anything we’d done before.
S: We intentionally devised this character rather than a typo logo.
P: We didn’t do characters before. It squeaked and spoke like a four year old.
D: They’ve got a tradition for that kind of thing.
S: It could be a POKEMON character.
D: No it needs a special character for that.
D: As a logo and a character they liked it a lot. I don’t know how it goes as a station (music station on Japanese interactive TV platform.)
P: We did about 5 versions that’s not a lot usually, but that worked.
S: It was all done via email.
D: In the animation the egg turns into the character.
P: The guy running it was 55 but could have been 30. It was good working with him because he had a young outlook.
P: It was through a producer in Japan called Miki Noako. She works with Tomato too.
D: Running a school in Japan is not the top of our priorities. Not until we’re 50.
S: Through the visit to Tokyo we made some links with people who ended up getting involved with Wow Wow book/magazine.
P: Here’s one of them –
(they show me image in book about a site found at www.kt.rim.or.jp/~khaosan, an image of dead alien.)
ME: What was the concept with Wow Wow?
D: It started with a frustration on the art part; not being able to find interesting web sites. So from there we had this idea put together a review of websites that concentrated on the content. We weren’t interested in the design at all.
P: I think people want to know what’s going on online without having to do it. The web side of it is being thought through at the moment.
D: We found a lot of magazine sites replicated the magazine and we don’t think that’s what the internet is about.
P: The writers in Wow Wow weren’t actually reviewing a site as they would a record, saying whether it was good or bad, rather discussing the content, talking about the issues which arose. Even in an uninteresting site there might be something really interesting. Often these sites look better presented in book than as a site. The intenet hasn’t developed enough, hasn’t developed a unique position unlike TV, or even CD rom.
P: The interactivity is the unique bit and it has to exist because that’s the unique offer.
P: We chose the sites for the subject matter, not for the way that they worked. Some of the contributors couldn’t quite get there.
P: You know when it first started and there were people moving things in the other sides of the world. What happened to all that?
Me: It seems to me that you have extracted the unique nature of the internet, i.e. it being an open network full of extreme material that wouldn’t otherwise be available to the see other than on scary cult pamphlets.
D: Yes, the fact that they are up there is unique. But now they’re all up there and you can view them from the safety of your own home.
P: Yeh but how safe is that?
D: That’s another subject.
D: The technology part of it, it’s just a matter of time. When it started, bandwidth was limited but that’s changing. The bandwidth will get wider and the limits of what can be done, the quality will be as good as anything else.
P: There was letter in Creative Review which was a response to our book. They sent us some links for things he felt were exciting. You might as well watch telly.
Me: What were the sites.
P: Some kind of gothic thing, rayoflight.com or whatever. It would stink on paper, it certainly didn’t work as a site.
P: Page 112 was good (www.sensorium.org)
Me : What’s the story.
P: Breaking earth. They monitor movements on the earth’s crust and transform this information into animations. It’s good for obsessive is the internet. This one is good, it won an award and we were taking the piss out of it.
D: He’s now an expert. He had m.e. and lost his job. Whilst he was recuperating he got a camera and started to document the birds that came to his garden whilst he was laying there in bed.
P: The interesting stuff in Wow Wow is the responses of the writers.
D: Normally when people discuss these sites you get a link and a short description. In the book there’s 500 words or so and so it gets into depth.
P: ehusbands.com is good (p13). It was found by a friend of mine.
D: Was she looking at the time?
S: It might be worth talking about the contributors in here, they’re all quite interesting.
S: We intentionally wanted a broad mix of writers to compliment the broad mix of content. So there’s journalists and design journalists, artists, directors, design gurus. That’s something we’re looking for more of, writers who do not write for a living and who thus have an interesting slant on things.
P: You can get it in Japan (the book that is.)
S: There’s 2 coming out next year.
S: Wow Wow 2 and Wow Wow 3. It’s going to be an ongoing thing.
Me: Anything else going on?
D: Oh yeh we’ve got another book coming out called fuel 3000 coming out in September.
What’s it about?
D: Did you see pure fuel? It’s another version of that, it’s a bit more grown up.
Me: More grown up?
P: Two more book with Jurgen Teller and one with Polly Borland called Babies.
Damon shows me the last Jurgen Teller project. It’s full of wannabe models that went to see Jurgen through out the year. They’re called go-sees (the name of the book) because they go and see people to see if they can get a break in modelling.
THANK YOU FUEL