July 31, 2010

Continued

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  • Nice interview with Raf Simons (WWD via HB)
  • Lengthy inverview with David Andrew Sitek (BV)
  • Awesome interview with Bill Murray (GQ)
  • Telling interview with Penn & Teller (Telegraph)
  • Decent interview with Ari Marcopoulos (Dossier)
  • Hip interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P of Ed Banger) (OC)
  • Strange interview with Spike Lee (Gothamist)
  • Passable interview with Rafael de Cardenas (S×H)
  • Brief interview with Tara McPherson (PSFK)

China:

20100715_LivingRooms_China-slide-YE61-slide-via-nyt

  • Urban China, ever the work in progress (NYT)
  • China’s Banks: Great Wall Street (The Economist)
  • Bad PR for the nouveau riche in the PRC (WSJ via Gawker)
  • The other oil spill (NYT / Salon)
  • A green movement grows in China (The Economist)
  • The Economist also draws an ophidian metaphor for China’s growth / lack thereof.

Music:

Media & Technology:

terrafugia_fly_away-via-psfk

Food:

Mark-Bittman-101-Grilling-Recipes-the-Minimalist-on-NYT

NYC:

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Random:

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June 19, 2010

Itemized

“I’m the best thing to happen to typography since Johannes fucking Gutenberg.”

This should keep you busy while I take a couple days off:

Click through for more of Hans Van der Meer's amazing photos of European football pitches

Click through for more of Hans Van der Meer's amazing photos of European football pitches

Classic; see below

Thanks Zach; related article below

kapoor-hirst-close-danto

Bluechips & Theory:

  • Jonathan Jones on Anish Kapoor and Damien Hirst.
  • Chuck Close: Life. As with art, music, film, etc., I hate reading book reviews instead of the books themselves, but sometimes secondary sources suffice… at least until I can justify throwing down $25 for it
  • Danto, part two—I’m still ambivalent about his definition of art as “embodied meaning,” which I first encountered a few years ago, but this is a good place to start if you’re not familiar with his work (which I can’t say that I am).

Work-Of-Art-Season-1-Episode-101-07

  • In accord with the New York Times review, I found Bravo’s “Work of Art” surprisingly watchable, living up to its pseudo-Warholian premise more than the SJP branding and Bravo production tropes might suggest. (I was mostly curious because I met Trong, pictured above, a few days prior.) If nothing else, “Work of Art” affirms that artists’ egos are particularly suited for the magnifying glass of reality television.
  • Hyperallergic looks at the show inside and out. The former article wisely points out that the reality TV formula of themed ‘challenges’ all but precludes any possibility of artistic growth, as well as the insular—if idealized—working conditions. In other words, it’s hard to take the show for a window into the art world (not that “Top Chef” does any better) when television necessarily imposes a distance between life and work.
  • I’ve never watched “Project Runway,” but apparently WSJ does, drawing parallels between the two shows in their recap of the first episode.
  • GQ talks to Bill Powers (“Work of Art” judge & NYC gallerist)
  • Related: The current state of the Brooklyn Museum (where the winner of “Work of Art” will get a solo show).
  • Inverted: Googleheim?

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June 9, 2010

Music in Video Form

Frankly, I was disappointed with the squirmy PG-13 implied violence / homoerotica (not to mention the gimmicky bowlcuts) of “Alejandro”—especially because I thoroughly enjoyed “Telephone”—though Gaga is clearly (and perhaps commendably) going for broke on the Madonna ‘gay-man-in-a-woman’s-body’ schtick.

Perhaps I was unimpressed with Gaga’s latest S&Meh-tinged (as they say on Brooklyn Vegan) effort because I’d recently seen the entirety of the Cremaster cycle for the first time, over the past two weeks at the IFC Center. (Despite the datedness of the special effects, the scope of Matthew Barney’s vision can only be described as epic, and I have yet to fully digest the visual language of the five-part arc, much less form an opinion about it.)

Of course, the comparison is patently unfair to both artists, and, to Gaga’s credit, “Bad Romance” is easily one on my favorite music videos of all time. Now, let’s see if Klaus Biesenbach can get them together for some kind of blockbuster collaboration…

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via Pitchfork

It’s tempting to peg the video as a metaphor for the album—drifting along, lacking ambition yet not unpleasant—but I haven’t listened to LP4 quite enough to pass judgment. Also, interview with Mike Stroud (½ of Ratatat) on Nowness.

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I liked the video from the start, but it’s taken a few views to get into the song itself.

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More jams:

Japandroids – Younger Us (Pfork) (A little too pop-punky on first listen…)

Yeasayer – O.N.E. (Clancy & Build Remix) (’Sup)

Crystal Castles Suffocation (Memory Tapes Remix) (Pfork)

Kid Cudi [vs. LCD Soundsystem] – All Talk (ft. Chip Tha Ripper & Christian Bale)

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May 14, 2010

Guilty As Charged

Look at this Fucking Hipster Edition

What Does Hipster Mean to Meme?

via Buzzfeed

I appreciate the Sartre call-out (1:17); however, to her point(s), I just happened upon the latest installment of Nitsuh Abebe’s monthly column for Pitchfork, in which he addresses the concept of irony as the guiding tenet of indie (read: hipster) culture, citing LCD Soundsystem and Hipster Runoff (both of which I’ve written about in a similar context).

You can’t possibly navigate the Internet without being able to understand both arch, knowing irony and all-out earnestness– but no matter how good your ability to figure out which is which, you will eventually run into items where you have no earthly idea how serious the author is.

–Nitsuh Abebe, Why We Fight #3: A Brief History of Knowingness and Irony,
Pitchfork, May 7 2010

In Abebe’s inaugural essay, he draws parallels between Joanna Newsom and Lady Gaga; the former recently spoke about the latter in an interview with the Guardian. (I was less impressed with the extended analogy of musical evolution that marked his second effort, though I’d like to read the Calvino story he mentions.)

dont-feed-the-hipsters-by-trustocorp-mccarren-park-via-gothamist

More to come soon…

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May 4, 2010

Images: Super Deluxx Follow Up

More on the Images (below), as well as several new ones; as always, too much, too much. But seriously, how often do you see something like this.

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Hyères, France, 1932 / Magnum

First of all, the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at MoMA is really quite remarkable, and I echo Kottke’s rave review (he mentions the image above, which was the first of many that caught my eye).

What he excelled at was seeing things in a different way from most other people.

A Father of Modern Photography: A Hunter and His Prey, The Economist, April 15 2010

The retrospective has a personal resonance on several levels: I’ve become increasingly interested in photography, journalism and photojournalism in the past couple years; his photographs of early and mid-century China are vaguely nostalgic (probably because I recently spent a couple months living in Beijing with my grandparents, who lived through it); and I recognized HCB’s portrait of Sartre from a book cover.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Discovered while eating a turkey hoagie and contemplating the meaning of life at a roadside stand. Also, admit it: he’s cute as a goddamn bug!

–Mike Sacks, Famous Philosophers and How They Were First Discovered,
McSweeney’s, May 2010

(More on HCB at Vanity Fair via 3qd.)

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Liu Bolin at Eli Klein: an excellent show despite the blue-chippy crowd at the opening. It might be more of the same and it probably has a certain loaded cultural content that can only be appreciated as someone who has recently spent time in China, but I would still say that the pieces in On Fire are visually compelling even without the political subtext.

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-1

His works have been communicated via emails, blogs, magazines and journals on a massive scale.

Liu Bolin’s earlier Hiding in the City photography series, in which he paints himself into the urban landscape, was inspired by the Chinese government’s demolition of the Suo Jiacun Artist Village in Beijing in 2006. He drew attention to great landmarks in China, both old and modern, while highlighting the lack of recognition which was paid to the citizens that built them. He portrayed the tragedy of the increasing insignificance of the individual in China as the government focused on presenting a modern commercial and industrial image. Rather than trying to fight, people attempted to hide and adapt to these forced changes.

–Liu Bolin’s On Fire press release & additional images via Eli Klein.

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-5

Click images for larger versions.

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索家村 – Suo Jiacun [Artist's Village] (apparently, Liu Bolin reps it); 中国当代 – Contemporary China

liu-bolin-on-fire-at-eli-klein-3

折 – fold, discount, break, bend, snap, lose, roll over, convert, rebate, twist, double up, be convinced, turn back, turn over, lose money in business, change direction, be filled with admiration, suffer losses (Google Translate)

Dude's shirt (bottom right) matches the photograph...

Dude's shirt (bottom right) matches the photograph...

Liu Bolin
On Fire
Eli Klein Fine Art
462 West Broadway (near Houston)
New York NY 10012 [map]
212 / 255-4388
April 30, 2010 – June 4, 2010

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I didn’t make it to the Scott Campbell opening, but it made it into other “emails, blogs, magazines and journals on a massive scale”: TBWE has a nice gallery of the work and the opening; OC has a gallery of the work itself; HB recap; Interview studio visit via HB; Terry stays relevant.

I did make it to Faile & BAST‘s DELUXX FLUXX NYC opening (after stopping by Liu Bolin), but my photos didn’t turn out so well. Again, you can find more/better coverage elsewhere.

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Keith W. Bentley - “Cauda Equina” (1995-2007)

Keith W. Bentley – “Cauda Equina” (1995-2007)

The New York Times has an interesting article on the kind of organic art that is currently on display at the Museum of Arts and Design.

nyt-angier-skulls

Jan Fabre – "Skull" (2001); Fabián Peña – "The Impossibility of Storage for the Soul I (Self-Portrait)" (2007)

Of course, people have always used natural materials to make their art, for the simple reason that until recently nature was all they had, said Ellen Dissanayake, a scholar on the evolution of art [who notes that] from the beginning, art demanded transformation. “Even in hunter-gatherer societies, they tend to make their stuff look not organic,” she said. “When they’re painting, they’ll use geometric shapes, make a row of triangles or circles, as though to show humans are more than nature.”

As Ms. Dissanayake sees it, when people make art, or “artify,” they follow several “aesthetic principles,” whether they know it or not. “They simplify, repeat, exaggerate, elaborate and manipulate expectations,” she said.

–Natalie Angier, Of Compost, Molecules and Insects, Art Is Born,
The New York Times, May 3 2010

– (2008)

Billie Grace Lynn – "Mad Cow Motorcycle" (2008)

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I didn’t particularly regret missing the Shepard Fairey opening until I saw this:

Classic.

Animal / TWBE

More Shepard Fairey and many more after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

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April 28, 2010

More Music Crap

optimo-oral-history-flyers-via-ra

Optimo flyers via RA (linked below)

Optimogeddon: a seven-hour Fin-de-Siècle blowout mix for your next seven-hour Fin-de-Siècle blowout. (I’ve only listened to Part 1 of 5 so far…)

On April 25th, the greatest club night in either Glasgow, the UK or the world (depending on who you ask) finishes. Optimo (Espacio), the brainchild of JD Twitch and JG Wilkes, arrived quietly at Glasgow’s Sub Club in 1997, and set about blowing the cobwebs off a stale, self-congratulatory Glasgow techno scene through a simple core philosophy: If it sounds good and makes people dance, play it.

Now, after 12-and-a-half years of sublime, genre-straddling, how-did-they-do-that acts of weekly musical witchcraft, combined with a zero-tolerance approach to “DJ culture”… it will all be over.

The Nights That Dreams Are Made Of: An Optimo Oral History, Resident Advisor

optimo-oral-history-residents

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GQ’s “Rock the Suit 2010” editorial anticipates forthcoming (/recently released) albums from a handful of indie superstars: MGMT (above), The National (below), The Walkmen, (surprisingly?) The Drums [previously], and David Byrne with collaborators St. Vincent and Santigold [previously] decked out in this season’s  (The notes about the designers read like Patrick Bateman’s internal narrative in Ellis’s American Psycho.)

band-the-national_628x434

The National performed and discussed their fifth LP High Violet at WNYC’s Greene Space on Monday (I made it out there for the live session, but honestly, the webcast is just as good as being there). In a potentially lucrative promotional move, the new album was streaming in full alongside a recent NYT profile of the band (only “Bloodbuzz, Ohio” is available now).

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Chuck Klosterman asserts that Beck’s “Loser” is the defining song of the 90′s because it illustrates how MTV was instrumental to the mainstreamification of alternative culture in the pre-Internet era. (Incidentally, Vice, which recently declared that it wants to be the new MTV, was founded that very same year.) (Spin)

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[I'm a little late on this one, but] blogosphere darlings Pomplamoose put the Indie Pop Fun back in Viral YouTube Sensation… or something to that effect. (NPR)

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New Holy Ghost! track; they’re opening for labelmates LCD Soundsystem for the four upcoming New York dates during the latter band’s current world tour.

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Flying Lotus’s forthcoming Cosmogramma streaming on his MySpace.

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Mister Cee’s Guru tribute mix for Hot97. (RapRadar)

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Oh My Gaga.

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April 23, 2010

Pop Mu$ic

Ke$ha made a minor PR spla$h in the blog ocean (a drop in the Photobucket?) with a mediocre-to-bad performance on $NL last week (I’ll spare you the clips, but you can find them here). Yet pop pundits from across the internets have come to her defen$e, speculating that the “not dumb” pop$tar/rapper will eventually command some kind long-term po$t-reinvention cult following. In other words, we can already fondly look back at the passable Uffie-meets-Gaga single “TiK ToK,” because $he’s charting a path back to Na$hville.

Fred Falke transforms the bubbly electro party jam into a disco-funk banger, which I like about as much as the original (i.e. I’ve heard worse):

» Ke$ha – TiK ToK (Fred Falke Remix Radio Edit) (3:55) – 6MB mp3 @ 208kbps

Ke$ha in Interview Magazine; via Buzzfeed

Ke$ha in Interview Magazine; via Buzzfeed

Of course, Ke$ha is almost willfully eclipsed by the mega-ego of Lady Gaga’s hair alone, to say nothing of the Celebrity Incarnate herself. Indeed, insofar as Stefanie Germanotta’s alter ego represents pop-cultural cynosure the world over, she is regarded as a symbol (or symptom) of postmodernity, the subject and object of an ever-growing body of meta-commentary… not to mention a shitload of YouTube covers. There’s the usual conspiracy theories and folk psychological drivel, not to mention the sort of cultural criticism that is slightly too smart for its own good, namely Mark Dery’s recent ‘rockist’ retort to Sasha Frere-Jones’ review of Gaga from a year ago. (My own analysis, below, is decidedly less clever.)

Dery’s dissection of Lady Gaga and her (purportedly) apocryphal brilliance is worth reading, though I should caution that it’s on the heavy side: in a brief riposte from the pro-Gaga camp,* one commenter characterizes [Lord] Dery’s essay as “ridiculous long, very smart, [and] very namedroppy.” As far as I can tell, it comes down to a matter of whether fun and intelligence are mutually exclusive.

Read the rest of this entry »

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April 16, 2010

Art vs Commerce

via Kottke

Parisian turntablists Birdy Nam Nam are obviously the missing link:

Plus: Re-enter Sandman – Smooth Jazz or Dance Pop, take your pick.

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