Category: art

A response from Ferrara Pan Candies

January 29th, 2013 — 2:54pm

Got a response from my letter to the Ferrara Pan Candy Company about the atrocious box art for Boston Baked Beans:

Dear Mr. Horton:

Thank you for emailing Ferrara Candy Company regarding Boston Baked Beans. Hearing from our consumers better enables us to continue to provide quality products and services. Consumer feedback is very important to us, and we appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Ferrara Candy Company is happy to hear you enjoy our products. We appreciate hearing good things from our consumers and the opportunity to share consumer comments in our company newsletter from time to time.

Our creative departments are continuously launching new products and packaging concepts. Often, these ideas are in the development stage for years prior to actually being launched. Any suggestions, type communication or material – including any questions or answers, comments, suggestions, or the like – will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary. Furthermore, Ferrara Candy Company, Inc. is free to utilize any ideas or concepts contained in any communications for any purpose whatsoever, including, but not limited to, research and development, manufacturing, packaging, creative planning, and/or marketing products.

Information regarding product development is considered trade information. Any sharing of this type of information outside of Ferrara Candy Company is a violation of contract rights belonging to Ferrara Candy Company. Ferrara Candy Company attempts to make confectionery items that will satisfy our consumers.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments with us! We appreciate your patronage.


Jaime Motts
Consumer Relations

Comment » | art, Uncategorized

Boston Baked Beans

January 17th, 2013 — 4:27pm



I couldn’t take it anymore and had to write to the Ferrara Pan candy company:

Dear Brand Manager for Boston Baked Beans,

I have loved Boston Baked Beans since I was a kid. I still buy them almost every time I go to the supermarket. However, I note with a touch of anguish each time I purchase your product how ugly the box is. It’s really the ugliest box in the entire supermarket. And you can’t blame this on trying to maintain the historical continuity of your brand, because you’ve been changing the box over the last few years, making it even uglier. The addition of the completely incongruous ‘Peanut head’ logo/mascot is apparently an attempt to exert some connection to ‘LemonHeads’ and ‘Cherry Clan’ (if you still make that delightfully non-politically-correct candy). But this is misguided. There is no consumer awareness of ‘peanut head’ and it’s a pretty unappetizing concept. It makes me think of fellatio by a microcephalic from the American South, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the grand tradition of Boston Baked Beans.

As a designer, I would like the best candy in the world to have a nice box, so I am offering to design you a new box, free of charge.

And hey, if you want a new product idea, how about a candy like LemonHeads, but flavored with real Ginger and Lime? The mascot could be a cartoon Englishman, and you could call them ‘Limeys’… I think that is a winner, and I will be happy to work on that for you, too.

I’m totally serious. I eat your candy all the time, let’s try to make the experience more aesthetically pleasing…



Comment » | art, design

The Death Of Charles Schulz

January 8th, 2013 — 5:19pm


Here is the libretto to the opera, The Death Of Charles Schultz, all done up in CSS3 with a very small footprint.

Comment » | art

Story’s Over

January 4th, 2013 — 2:13am

New Quiz

SO…..  For anyone who either still cares and/or didn’t catch it in the beginning, everything on this blog before this post is part of a metafictional story, which began a while ago with this online test:

Which proved to be very popular, and so I built an entire narrative framework around it (the blog posts previous to this one), which I launched along with another psychological test here:  EM_Beige_Feb2011.html

For people who were extra nosy, there were clues in that Flash file and elsewhere that led to this supposedly ominous but pretty obviously not ominous web page that I built to be the basis of a game of some sort:

People seemed to like the tests, but the responses to the story it was encased in were more or less evenly divided between not noticing, not appreciating and apathetic. A few people signed up for the game,  but not enough to warrant figuring out what that game should actually become…  (it’s really just a shell that let’s people sign up for cities at this point. Anyone have any good ideas for an online RISK-like game of mind control and world conquest? )

At any rate, my ideas for expanding this story were not proving fruitful. So at that point I decided to make another test ( here ) and use it to promote a book I had just written: here  and  here .

Once again, the test was appreciated, but this did little or nothing for sales of the book. It was as if they were completely different things.

So instead of another test, I next created an interactive quiz which is apparently so hard that no one has yet been able to solve it, despite my offer of a $30 gift card to whoever figures it out ( here ) .  For the record, you drag those blinking tags onto the screen, which then trigger musical cues, and somehow the interaction of all this creates the answer to the question ‘Where is the fourth, two?’  Since earlier quizzes I had made were almost immediately solved, I thought I would make this one more difficult. That goal seems to have been achieved. And no, the answer is not some metaphysical ‘it is not possible’ type of thing. It’s an answer. In English.

I used the quiz to promote a Kickstarter project that involved two friends and I dressing like clowns and pushing a giant aluminum coin with Elizabeth Warren’s face on it across India and Bangladesh ( Kickstarter  ). There really is no connection whatsoever to the psychological quizzes with that bit, and I didn’t actually expect the project to get funded, and was moderately relieved not to have to do something embarrassing like push a giant coin across Bangladesh in the midst of a deadly monsoon dressed like a circus clown… —but I couldn’t stop thinking about the concept, so I figured why not. (In a similar vein, here’s some art:  .

And that’s it.

Since these psychological quizzes are the most popular things I’ve built, I will probably make more at some point and send them to whoever has signed up, unless I can think of a legitimate way to turn it all into a cult.  There have been a handful of people who contacted me and seemed legitimately cult-amenable, and I don’t think a start-up cult really needs too many followers in the beginning, as long as they have that unique combination of determination and weak will that makes for a good minion; however I think it requires a level of self confidence from the organizer that is hard to maintain over the long haul, so that probably won’t happen either.

As an afterward to the events herein, based on this work, I was recently hired to write a creepy psychological quiz for a transmedia promotion for a television show on Cinemax called Hunted.  Here!

However, the show seems to have already been cancelled.

Meanwhile, I’m still getting 1000 hits a day! But maybe not after this…  (NOTE: just checked that and it’s not true. There seems to have been a change at StumbledUpon and the traffic dropped to a few hundred a day. Oh, well… )

Comment » | art

I test well…

August 18th, 2008 — 1:54pm

So these Austrian Doctors are the most anal retentive clients EVER. I mean they somehow spotted an RGB color that was off by 2 points (out of 255) in the red channel. The tech guy whose name I can never remember was watching on screen and he turned to Dr. Pierley and said, “needs a few percentage points red.” And she nodded to him as if she’d been thinking the same thing. This is why I call these people wine snobs.

But now every time I bring in a version to check out, the doctor gives me another test. It’s a bit like a mental massage; I definitely feel better after leaving… The light is still giving me massive headaches though; feels like it’s digging into my brain.

Comment » | art, Whining

Nigeria Loves My Art

July 31st, 2008 — 1:57pm

So the Nigerian scammers have branched out a little. No longer are they satisfied with getting a few million dollars worth of stolen government bonds out of the country, now they want MY ART:

Dear Artist,
Oceanic Artwork Is located in Abuja, Nigeria with is various stores across Africa. We have been in business since 1992. We buy and sell different views of artworks including Sculptures, fabrics artworks, Metal and Wooden artworks, Poetry with pots, canvas and Captivating carpets, Herbs & Natural Foods, Textiles etc….

Over the years, and through our commitment, experience, and expertise Oceanic Artwork has established a business relationship with our customers that will last a lifetime! We hope we can count on you to be one of our faithful customers. We challenge you to give us a try. We will do our best to beat the competition.
We came across your web page while searching for good artworks And I will like to buy some of these creative artworks out of your Stock. I am pleased to let you know that we am interested in the Purchase of some of your lovely artworks, please let us know the present Condition of the artworks. Are they in frames?

We appreciate and value your business and look forward to provide you with the best possible service.

4 comments » | anxiety, art, Whining

Anne Hathaway is Abstract Expressionist

July 8th, 2008 — 3:19pm

I cannot be the only person to have noticed the similarity between the giant-eyed, balleen-toothed grin of newly ubiquitous Hollywood star, Anne Hathaway, and the groundbreaking abstract expressionist imagery of Willem de Kooning?

Comment » | art, celebrity, Whining

My New Painting(s): parthenogenesis

June 16th, 2008 — 11:53pm

Desperate to come up with new art, I pulled one of my unsuccessful paintings from the garage and decided to turn it into a triptych. I scratched out with a pencil the areas that will become the three new paintings I hope to make from this single crappy one. It’s a close up of a woman’s face, with agrammatical text (which seemed more interesting when I wrote it) “fruits of an eye where mouth can’t speak.”

I am fascinated with agrammatical text, but I seem to be the only person in LA who sees it as anything other than a gimmick. This non-sentence was supposed to define the concept for an audience, but it seems cloying in retrospect. The point of it all is that we are bound by the strictures of our thinking, which itself is bound by the structures of our language. So by breaking that structure and forming sentences that are incorrect in standard English, we can on occasion reach thoughts that would be unattainable in any other fashion. For this to make sense you have to believe that thought is composed of language or at least that language is a requirement for conscious thought to exist. Most people don’t believe this.

Most people assume that language is a way of describing an inner life. They think they have thoughts that are TRANSLATED into language. This, I believe, is bullshit. There is a reason why transcendental meditation requires you to clear your head of words. Without language, it would be impossible to understand the concept behind this very sentence. Your understanding of that sentence is different than the thought OF the sentence. In other words, you have a feeling that you sense as you understand a sentence like the one earlier, but that feeling is the result of conscious thought composed of words, it could not give rise to the words that created that feeling.

All of this doesn’t make my original painting any less crappy. I created it on a computer and then had it painted in oil in Vietnam (along with 12 more of varying degree of success). An interesting point, or criticism, that no one has bothered to make because no one really likes the idea, is that this concept—that words CREATE thought—is denied by the manufacture of the painting itself. That’s because with this series of paintings the ideas did come first; the idea (or Platonian original form) was created in the computer. This expression of the idea (created by Vietnamese laborers) is merely the playing out of that generative force.

None of this has any bearing on the fact that the original painting is lame. But now it will become three paintings. Hopefully one of them won’t suck.

Comment » | art, consciousness, language, Whining

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