Tag Archive: art

Apparently, coloring books for adults are a thing now. We anticipated the trend years ago, when we (the organization crew of our festival Waldeck-Freakquenz) produced a stack of slightly NSFW and silly art, which we wanted to offer for free at our next festival. It’s gotten lost in someone’s files now, but I swear, this year is the year it gets printed.

Anyway, there are all sorts of coloring books now, from animals and gardens to Game of Thrones to Dr Who (expensive) and even magazines like Flow.

This morning I stumbled over a hashtag on twitter, it’s called #ColorOurCollections. Libraries all around the world offer coloring pages, prints and sketches from their archives for free! Special collections libraries and archives around the world are teaming up to provide coloring pages scanned from historic materials all week.  Here are just some highlights:

The New York Academy of Medicine

Bodleian Library


Ellis Library

… and lots more. Peruse the hashtags this week, there’s a ton of participants. Have fun!


Neil Gaiman’s inspiring speech about making art

Found this on Boingboing. All the best to you in the new year!

Creatures from El

Check out these surreal sculptures by Canadian artist Ellen Jewett, found on deviantart.

Abalakin by Alexander Preuss

More old bookmark material! I don’t remember how I came across these stunning visuals by German artist Alexander Preuss, but I’d like to share this.

Have a look at his gallery for more mouth-wide-open sci fi visuals and concept art. I really like futuristic city scapes and huge structures in space.

Wearable Electronics: How to make an EL wire hoodie

First off, this tutorial is meant for total noobs who, much like me, have never touched a soldering iron in their lives, mean to since years but never seem to find the time… Thanks again to the people who inspired me at 30C3!

I made my first try at modding a hoodie with EL wire and I want to share the steps with you. It’s not that hard. Of course you can order them on etsy or something. They’re like 40 Euros and up. But if you prefer to make things (yay! making!), by all means, do. It’ll be much more rewarding.

You’ll need:

– a hoodie

[with zipper or not, but a pocket will be essential (15-40Euro)]

– 1 m (or more if you are taller) of portable electroluminescent wire.

[ Color of your choice. It will probably come with an inverter and connectors. You can build them yourself or just order them online, or better yet, make your local shopkeeper happy. (3-10 Euro)]

– 2 AA batteries

– scissors

– about 1 m of black velcro tape

[Again, more if you are tall – I’m not. ^^ (1-2 Euro)]

– black thread (1-2 Euro)

– plastic invisible thread

[you can buy a length of thin fishing line or sometimes find them in crafting stores in the decoration section (1-5 Euro)]

– heat shrink or sugru

– tailor’s chalk or white kajal

– measuring tape

– optional: a sewing machine (80-infinite Euro)

– or: a sharp needle

[And lots of patience (nerves).]


1 First, line out where you want the wire to run with tailor’s chalk or white kajal.

2 Sew on one side of the velcro tape along these lines with the black thread.

[ You can do this manually or use a sewing machine. A wide zig-zag stitch is recommended. (Note: You should really exchange your sewing machine needle afterwards because hard materials like velcro really fuck it up.)]

3 Cut off the velcro where you don’t need it. Now meassure this line and match up your EL wire and the other side of the velcro to this for trial.

4 Sew on the EL wire on the outer side of the other piece of velcro.

[ Machine: I wasn’t sure if I could do this with the machine, but luckily I got a very thin plastic thread that worked with the machine. It’s tricky to use, though, because it curls up a lot. Again, make sure that you use the widest zigzag-stitch possible. The wire has to stay exactly in the middle so it won’t be damaged.

Hand: You don’t have to sew on the whole length, you can also make the wire stay with little points of thread only.]

5 Try to match wire and velcro again, cut off where not needed.

6 Secure the end of the wire.

[ I used a little blob of sugru for this (which is great, btw). You can also use some heat shrink if you have it.]

7 Make a little hole in one pocket of your zipper. Put the inverter inside, wiggle the connector through the hole.

8 Put your EL wire velcro line on your zipper, connect to inverter. Switch on. Look splendid!


el wire

This is just the start though. You can make really cool designs on other pieces of clothing or accessories, like for example Lady Ada’s tron bag (see video below). The advantage of this velcro technique is that you can take the wire off and wash your garment as usual. Experiment! Use two different colors, make swirls or zigzags or…

If you are into hacking clothes, Adafruit is the place to go. I’m looking forward to trying out more, maybe use an Arduino next time… We’ll see.

We are proud to announce that there will be a third Waldeck-Freakquenz festival this year on 13th-14th september 2013. I think we fairly established the awesomeness of this festival by now. 2012 was the best party yet. 


We need more visitors to get out of this alive, though. Last time, we had a little over 100 paying happy visitors and we barely made it out in the black. If you would like Waldeck-Freakquenz to continue, bring more friends and family into the enchanted forest with you next time. Tell everyone you know about us. This way, more people will have a great weekend and the team of volunteers will be able to keep on organizing this little festival in the future.


As always, ten spots for bands are open. This stage could be yours for an hour.


Which genres do you want?

Basically we had a pretty weird mix last time; indie, stoner rock, ska core, drone, electro and what have you. We are not set in any ‘genre bounds’ – if your band is deemed awesome by our jury, you will play.

How do we apply?

Contact us at festival@waldeck-freakquenz.de with a link to your album or song material.

When will we know?

The jury will convene sometime in March. We will tell you as soon as we know who will get to play.

How do we get there?

You’ll need a car and some directions. If you google Burg Waldeck, you will get wrong hits. The address is Waldeck Weg 1, Dorweiler. But it is sort of in the middle of nowhere.

Is there a reason not to apply?

Absolutely not!


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Welcome back! You are probably wondering why headbugz has been so quiet for over a month and more. We are now emerging from the self-elected seclusion in the forest. What have we been up to? Well, as usual, we have been preparing for the second Waldeck-Freakquenz-Festival at Burg Waldeck, arriving one week before the date and making the area the most awesome music forest on earth!

This year, we not only had ten amazing bands playing, defying all genre bounds as usual, but various other things you could explore.

Beamer video shows were made by Haegi Freakquenzy. Here are two examples, he made one for my band, Kampfstern, and one for the amazing Hermelin, who rocked hard.

We projected videos to both sides of the stage.

David and Domi built a multichannel yurt (sounds way cooler in German “Mehrkanalzelt” or “Sechskanal-Jurte”), a tent with a surround set-up where you could chill and listen to audio plays or sound installments. David has this project where he sonifies human chromosomes so you can actually listen to human DNA … Trip guaranteed!

The Tetris-Contest was a success! We made prizes for the first to third places, hand-crafted tetris-stones. The lucky winners where overwhelmed with joy. And it was a close call! Does anyone have any pistures of the occasion?

You could take tours to see the old castle, Märchenonkel Fram offered some information and history of the place.

Light Graffiti as usual, you could paint pictures in the night sky with torches, lamps, cell phones, you name it.

The magic forest “Zauberwald” was a small dubstep and drum n bass disco in a remote glade. Friends from Hamburg had prepared many black light art pieces like mushrooms and geometric forms just hanging in the dark forest and glowing with psychedelic colors. We actually got a disco ball up a tree and it just hung in the forest maybe ten meters up. Magical!

And of course you could just space out stargazing anytime.

Thank you all for coming, making music, helping, building things – we had a great time! If you have taken pictures, like Paul and Wing did (thanks again!) please upload them somewhere, there are tons of locations and tricksy neat things I have no pictures of. Words and pictures can’t really convey what it felt like to be there, so I guess you are just going to have to find out next year.

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Very Old Lovers and Faeries

I have been researching Konrad’s of Würzburg ‘Partonopier and Meliur’. This chivalric romance,put to writing around the second half of the 12th century, tells the story of a mortal, Partonopier, falling in love with a faerie, Meliur.

Faeries in the Middle Ages

This motif is called “Mahrtenehe” in German; a marriage with a supernatural being. In the middle ages, genealogical stories that claim the descent of a house from a fay often offered justification for legitimate reign. It sets the lineage apart from common mortals. In a nutshell; they want to feel different. For example,  Artus (King Arthur) is said to have a fay, Terre de la schoie, as an ancestor in Wolfram’s of Eschenbach ‘Parzival’. Another example is Thüring’s of Ringoltingen ‘Melusine’, who is said to have founded the house of the French Lusignans.

Melusine turns into a serpent or fish once in a while. Her husband, Raymond, has made a vow never to look at her while she locks herself up. When he can’t control his curiosity anymore, Melusine departs through the window, never to be seen again.

The Frescoes of Runkelstein Castle

I read several claims now that claim that Partonopier and Meliur are painted in the frescoes of the Castle Runkelstein, also known as Castell Roncolo in Italy. Its frescoes are world famous because they depict scenes of high middle german literature and, unlike other castles, it has not been totally modernized and kept a lot of its medieval characteristics. The English Wiki article is sort of short, but here you go anyway. There are several rooms, each with a different theme, such as The Jousting Hall, the Hall of the Coat of Arms, a chapel depicting e.g. the Story of St. Katharina and the Room of Tristan (from Tristan and Isolde, of course).

One room tells the story of “Garel vom blühenden Tal” by the Pleier, another famous Arthurian romance. Sorry for all the namedropping, but this is just what this castle is; a who is who in literature of the time and a treasure of culture.

Scenes of ‘Garel’ at Runkelstein Castle; note the two lovers to the right.

Those are the two old lovers I was looking for. Here is the enhancement.

I enhanced some more and kind of deciphered something that could read Partonopyr, so I guessed that must be it.

Inversion helped a little.

I tried to match the outlines, this is what comes out.

Same goes for what supposedly is meant to read “Melivr“.

I took a course in palaeography once. But I certainly am not the most leet graphic nerd out there. If anyone has any CSI “Enhance this, and we know who the killer is”-knowledge to share with me, please do. I keep guessing my way through these pictures. Most of you will say, “What, you are a medievalist. Isn’t that what you do all the time? Guessing?”

Bits & Pieces

Of course, a lot of research into things that happened a thousand years or so in the past is terra incognita. There often is very few material to go on, because time is cruel, especially to paper and painting. You may gasp in shock now when I tell you that for ‘Partonopier and Meliur’, there is only one manuscript left and it doesn’t even have a proper ending. Often, things are fragmented. So it needs someone to piece them back together This is what I do most of the time; puzzling.

There are many other lovers in this cycle. Some I could read, the very first couple is Adam and Eve. But most of the names on paintings are so faded you can’t read them, like this one.

There is still something here, but what does it mean?

This one, I actually know the name of the woman. It is Secundille, a queen in India, wed to Parzival’s half-brother Feirefiz.

But the name of the man definitely starts with an A.

Fishing & Adultery

It could be  Anfortas, the Fisher King and the keeper of the Holy Grail. He was not always so holy though; he just wasn’t made for chastity. While committing adultery, he was wounded and got a – ouch! – spear through the nuts. The wound did not heal and festered and must have reeked incredibly terrible. That’s why they took him out to the lake to ‘air’. That is why he is called the Fisher King. True story.

Anyway, one woman in particular was suiting him, and it was said Indian Queen Secundille. He was fond of another, Orgeluse, tough. Since this is not the typical pair of lovers at all (compared to the rest of them) I doubt that it is Anfortas, though.


Having read ‘Parzival’ again, I think it could read Anschevin, which is Feirefiz’s last name, as well. He is Gahmuret’s son and his kingdom was Anschouwe. He is Secundille’s “Minneritter” and does great deeds in her name, but he renounces Secundille when he meets Repanse de Schoye, becomes baptized and marries her.

Help needed

What does it mean? I want to know! If anyone could help me to get more advanced enhancing techniques with Gimp or Photoshop or anything, please contact me. I would be ever so grateful for knowing Partonopier’s and Meliur’s neighbours.

Namazu-e – Japanese depicted earthquake as a giant catfish

Japan has always been prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. As you know, I favor ukiyo-e, Japanese woodblock print art, a great deal. Fascinatingly, the mythological creature causing earthquakes is a giant catfish. Pink Tentacle kindly linked to several woodblock print scans. Here is a small selection.

via Pink Tentacle

In November 1855, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck the city of Edo (now Tokyo), claiming 7,000 lives and inflicting widespread damage. Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (lit. “catfish pictures”) became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish (namazu) who, according to popular legend, caused earthquakes by thrashing about in their underground lairs. In addition to providing humor and social commentary, many prints claimed to offer protection from future earthquakes.

Namazu are normally kept under control by the god Kashima using a large rock known as kaname-ishi. The Great Ansei Earthquake of 1855 is said to have occurred when Kashima went out of town and left Ebisu (god of fishing and commerce) in charge. In this print, the giant subterranean catfish unleashes destruction on the city while Ebisu sleeps on the job. Kashima rushes home on horseback while the city burns, and Raijin the thunder god defecates drums. Large gold coins fall from the sky, symbolizing the redistribution of wealth during the rebuilding phase.

This print depicts a namazu as a priest seated inside a giant rosary. The creature does not want to cause any more earthquakes, but the “worshipers” — tradesmen such as lumber dealers and carpenters who profit from the disaster — are praying for it to act up again. The ghosts of earthquake victims float overhead.

Intense. Let us hope Kashima will restrain the namazu with kaname-ishi for a long time to come. You can view more prints at the Disaster Prevention Museum’s site or at Pink Tentacle.

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