August 9, 2010

Images

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June 7, 2010

Unsorted Links

UPDATE: Rearranged with respect to the next post; trust me, it’s better for everyone this way.

http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2010/06/perceptions.html

Richard Barnes - Murmur 8, December 14 2005

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May 25, 2010

Part One Point Five

The China beat goes on:

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Ines Brunn after Li Wei

Some notes on the People’s Republic before the second chapter on the Fabled C[hinese]hipster

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Wu Yulu’s amazing mechanical men:

After suffering a series of life changing set backs such as a burnt down home, spraying himself with battery acid, and experiencing great financial debt—all in the name of art—Chinese farmer Wu Yulu is finally gaining some recognition for his homemade robots.

Designboom

DB also has a gallery of Wu Yulu’s ‘Peasant Da Vincis’ for Cai Guo-Qiang’s inaugural exhibition at the newly restored Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai; some images interpolated below (cue egregiously ironic juxtaposition of images + text):

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wu-luyu-for-cai-guoqiang-pollockbot-via-designboom

Click image to see Robo-Pollock in action at DB

Chinese news site Southern Weekend recently sent intern Liu Zhiyi undercover at the Shenzhen site of Foxconn, “the world’s biggest contract electronics maker and a major supplier to Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and other companies,” which has been under scrutiny for the suicides of nine workers this year (more background info at NYT):

I know of two groups of young people.

One group consists of university students like myself, who live in ivory towers and kept company by libraries and lake views. The other group works alongside steel machineries and large containers, all inside a factory of high-precision manufacturing environment.

–Liu Zhiyi, Southern Weekend via Engadget

The translated article is definitely worth reading, though the Apple connection clearly raises the profile of these otherwise-overlooked incidents.

Skeptics (or fans of Apple) have taken to pointing out that this suicide rate, in a plant with four hundred and twenty thousand workers, is no higher than that in a Chinese city of comparable size.

–Evan Osnos, Items of Interest, Letter from China blog on the New Yorker, May 25 2010

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids...

Again, clickthrough for sweet vids on DB...

On a lighter note:

“I hear that Americans can buy anything they want, and I believe it, judging from the things I’ve made for them,” Chen said. “And I also hear that, when they no longer want an item, they simply throw it away. So wasteful and contemptible.”

Chinese Factory Worker Can’t Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans, The Onion

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Essay Question (10 pts): To what degree does electronic music reflect the alienation of technology and hyperindustrialization?

Let me take this opportunity to explain my music. At first I liked drums, they were fast and noisy and that’s what I first produced. After a while I listened to more electronic, quieter music. I like fast music, but it’s more melodic as a general rule. I added more melody into my music, more baritone. My latest work has slowed down in comparison to my older music. In the past it’s always been very young, punkish, full of joy. Now, I like slower, blacker, darker music. Also, I like the Chinese influence. I cant explain it, I just like it. I add a little bit of Chinese music in everything.

Sulumi, via Intel×Vice’s Creators Project

via Wired

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A few more for good flavor:

mickey-christ

  • Wild Wild Westernization: “16 Items They Only Sell at Chinese Walmarts” (Buzzfeed)
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, 1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Shanghai, 1948

  • A glimpse into a Chinese toy factory.
Li Wei via the Guardian

Li Wei via the Guardian

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April 30, 2010

Leslie Buck's Legacy

Leslie Buck (NYT) & his Masterpiece (Core77)

Leslie Buck (NYT) & his Masterpiece (Core77)

Leslie Buck passed away this week at the age of 87. Born in 1922 in what was then Czechloslovakia, he survived Auschwitz and Buchenwald, where his parents were killed, and came to New York after the war. He started a paper goods company with his brother Eugene and in the 1960’s set out to corner the city’s hot cup market. Since so many of the city’s diners were owned by Greeks, he decided to design a cup using the colors of the Greek flag. He executed the design himself, and despite his lack of formal art training, it was an instant, and enduring, success.

Leslie Buck, Dossier

While the Greek elements unironically evoke mythology and classicism, Buck’s “Anthora” has achieved NYC icon status through sheer ubiquity.

I Lego NY by Christoph Niemann for the New York Times

I Lego NY by Christoph Niemann for the New York Times

If Starbucks represents America’s corporate muscle and the likes of Stumptown, Blue Bottle et al find an audience among foodi-elitist connoisseurs, the Anthora is the mark of true blue everyman: Anthora’s richness lies in its cultural heritage, which at once captures the spirit of the country and its greatest city (that’s right, I said it).

As a recent transplant, I find that Buck’s design is iconic in a fundamentally different way: it is a relic of Old(e) Noo Yawk, a winsome vessel of unassuming kitsch. Major cities the world over have signature buildings, bridges, parks, landmarks, taxi cabs, subway iconography, but where else can you stake a claim to a local coffee cup?

Also on Core77 & DQM, among other blogs.

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April 29, 2010

Images: Super Deluxx Edition

Henri Cartier-Bresson's portrait of Sartre is currently on view in his retrospective at MoMA

Henri Cartier-Bresson's portrait of Sartre is currently on view in his retrospective at MoMA

As with his entire body of work, Sartre’s theory of imagination refers to—and, naturally, affirms—his ontology, in which he explores Husserl’s tenet that “all consciousness is consciousness of something” in the context of the ‘detotalized totality’ of being-in-itself / being-for-itself dualism. Sartre postulates an admittedly underdeveloped notion of image consciousness in his early work The Imaginary (1940), though these writings are largely eclipsed by his later political [viz. Marxist] proclivities; nevertheless, his theory of imagination is a sufficient foundation of a phenomenological aesthetics.

Notably, Sartre implies that the imaginary (or ‘irreal’) has the same ontological import as the real: if the real is never beautiful, it is simply because beauty is, by definition, imaginary, where imagination is a permanent possibility of consciousness. A painting, photograph, film, song, performance, etc., necessarily transcends perception—i.e. consciousness of oil on canvas, ink on paper, a projection, an actor, etc.—as an object of image consciousness, which overflows with the meaning of the portrait (etc.): a particular arrangement of brushstrokes or sounds immediately presents itself to consciousness as an image or melody. The abstract, then, is that which escapes us in experience qua perception; colors transcend pigment to conjure mood or geometry.

Hence, Images (in no particular order):

Liu-Bolin-via-artcat

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Faile-Bast-Deluxx-Fluxx-NYC-via-TBWE

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maya-lin-what-is-missing-video-still-via-designboom

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http://www.designboom.com/cms/images/rid09/zaaa07.jpg

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http://theworldsbestever.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Whistlers-father.jpg

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shepard-fairey-mural-houston-bowery-deitch-via-arrested-motion

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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 21, 2010

Memetic Downfall

Constantin Films has just pulled the plug on the hundreds of Der Untergang parodies (aka the Hitler Meme) that have been circulating around the YouTubes for a couple years. TechCrunch has a nice summary of the takedown of the New York Times-reviewed meme.

As the Times notes, the most successful incarnations of the meme transcend National Socialist ideology to reveal bare psychology: Bruno Ganz channeling a visceral, abject rage, immeasurably amplified by the linguistically opaque German tongue. Similarly, the scene is a testament to brilliant pacing—the best videos realistically exploit the tension as well—and director Oliver Hirschbiegel writer/producer Bernd Eichinger are duly flattered by the meme (both are quoted in the TC article). Conversely, I’m curious as to why certain remixers opted to interpolate certain names and terms, such as “Mein fuhrer,” “Steiner,” etc., while others are more liberal in their subtitles.

A full postmodern/contextual analysis of the Hitler meme as a semiotic case study, including a look at the PC barrier, can be found here.

As for my own underdeveloped insight, I would propose that the Hitler meme is, in many ways, the inverse of Ramin Bahrani’s “Plastic Bag”, just as Marina Abramovic’s The Artist Is Present is the inverse of Chatroulette (a dissertation-worthy topic in itself). I have no further comment.

A couple of the videos are still live on Know Your Meme; the original is below:

Updated with a few more videos after the post: Read the rest of this entry »

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April 19, 2010

Infographic Overload

This ironic meta/PoMo infographic has been making rounds in the memesphere lately:

phil-gyford-infographic-infographic

It’s true for the most part, though the 3,274 seems a bit over the top.

In any case, here are a few of the better infographics I’ve seen lately:

soyouneedatypeface

Julian Hansen has created an extremely thorough visualization of typography for dummies.

Click the image for the full, unadulterated 1983×1402 version.

Inspiration Lab

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Yesterday, before I discovered the video above, I came across a dollar bill with a red “Where’s George” stamp on it and I decided to enter it into the database (I’ve logged a couple in the past). It seems that I’ve since spent said dollar, as it is no longer in my wallet, but I managed to find it in my Firefox history. Apparently, it was in Greenpoint almost exactly a year ago; who knows what sort of wonderful adventures George #B2078 7046J has had in the mean time…

Follow the Money via Visual Complexity via PSFK

Almost (but-not-really-at-all) related: Redesigning the Dollar Bill; UPDATE: The new $100 bill.

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apple-google-microsoft-gizmodo

Gizmodo’s guide to the current fronts where the Big Three are vying for tech/information world domination.
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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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April 12, 2010

Thy Fearful Symmetry

Earl Woods did not live to see his son’s scandalous downfall, but he may be instrumental in restoring the good name of the shamed Nike pitchman… though I prefer the Christian Bale remix (below):

via Buzzfeed

Most commentators see the commercial as distasteful or exploitative—Colbert notes that Nike is selling Woods instead of vice versa—though ad execs are rather enamored with the 30-second spot, insofar as it offers a curiously intimate moment with the athlete.

http://cdn.mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Tiger-Nike-Online-Video-Ad-Visible-Measures.jpg

Visible Measures charts the spinoffs; via Mashable

I can’t say that I’m particularly keen on golf, but I do love pop culture, celebrity, and Nike—not to mention the role of marketing in all of the above—and I’m curious if this is the epilogue to the whole sordid affair. As per the title of the post, did William Blake portend the meteoric rise of golf’s biggest star?

Cheap Shot (Reprise) after the jump— Read the rest of this entry »

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