July 31, 2010
- 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)
- 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.
Media & Technology:
May 26, 2010
UPDATED, one last time before midnight.
Os Gemeos & Blu (Works in Progress) in Lisbon
Street art’s symbiotic relationship with the Web makes you wonder whether the genre’s broad popularity stems from the fact that its characteristic features—swift execution, quicksilver response to pop culture and politics, the dominance of quotation and commentary, snarky attitude, fragmented statements embedded in the world rather than meant to stand apart from it—actually reflect the way that plugged-in people process information, more so than “traditional” art. There is something particularly contemporary about street art’s whole M.O., in this sense.
–Ben Davis, Is Street Art Over?, Slate, May 26 2010 (Highly recommended)
Fresh Stuff from Ron English in Queens
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Two perspectives on Marina:
She and MoMA have brought some magic back into art—the sort of magic that all of our courses in art history and appreciation had encouraged us to hope for.
–Arthur C. Danto, Sitting with Marina, The Stone blog on NYT, May 23 2010
There are euphoric moments and then intensely sad feelings of heaviness. Whatever you’re feeling becomes intensified. Certain truths about things I need to fix in my life are revealed to me. Marina says that in her own life she’s not so disciplined—that the performance gives her structure.
–Deborah Wing-Sproul, The Performer Made Bare, NYMag, May 23 2010
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[As Prokhorov] explained to “60 Minutes,” “I don’t use a computer. We have too much information and it’s really impossible to filter it.”
You know what? He’s not necessarily wrong. Do we REALLY need all this information? Like, right now—you’re reading this column and hopefully enjoying it, but ultimately, could you have survived the weekend if you missed it? I say yes. Just about everything online fits that mold—you have to sift through loads of bad writing and irrelevant information to find the occasional entertaining/funny/interesting thing, and even then, it’s not something that’s making or breaking your week. Ever been on a vacation and had little-to-no Internet access that week? You survived, right? Maybe the big Russian is on to something.
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Candy reminds us of the postmodern notion of self-creation—the way we don social signifiers with the same ease as clothing, constructing our selves bit by bit from cultural cues and images. Rather than the solid frameworks we cast them as, our selves are more like sweaters we put on and take off. When it comes to social identity, we’re all a wee bit in drag.
–Caroline Hagood, New Documentary Tries to Solve the Riddle of Andy Warhol’s Candy Darling,
The Huffington Post, May 21 2010
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The problem of negative externalities [refers to] costs that accrue when the self-interested actions of one person leave bystanders worse off. The biggest example of a negative externality is global warming: When we burn carbon-based fuels, we benefit ourselves while imposing a great cost on billions of other present and future inhabitants of the planet.
–Felix Salmon, The Man Who Could Unsnarl Manhattan Traffic, Wired, May 24 2010
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GOOD Picture Show has a gallery of J. Bennett Fitts' incredible photos of Middle America
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May 15, 2010
“A low moan of agreement escaped Ellis’s mouth.” –Bret Easton Ellis
Once again, it’s too nice out to sit in front of a computer screen, so we’re going with assorted links today… A few interesting stories, including an article on the future of digital journalism. *UPDATED on 5/16 with even more recommended reading.
- I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’ve never read any Roberto Bolaño, but I’d never seen a picture of him before—is it just me, or does he look a lot like Keith Haring? (GQ)
- Alastair Harper on “George Orwell, Patron Saint of Hacks” (Prospect)
- Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s “Theory, Literature, Hoax” after Borges. (NYT)
- Claudia Roth Pierpont on Duke Ellington (New Yorker)
- Nick Carr on the new New York license plate (below) (Huffpo)
Also worth reading, if you’re so inclined:
- The current state of NBA point guards (GQ)
- Kareem sounds off (ESPN)
- The China Model (Economist)
- How the Web Is Changing the Way We Eat (Salon)
- Interview with Rick Owens (above) (Artinfo via Slam×Hype; images here)
- Interview with Damien Hirst & Michael Joo (WWD via Slam×Hype; images here—the log piece reminds me of Ai Weiwei…)
- Interview with Bret Easton Ellis (Vice)
- Interview with Gorillaz (Wired)
- Gus Van Sant catches up with Madonna (Interview)
- Adam Kimmel raps with David Blaine (Interview)
- Greg Miller on Karim’s Nader’s theory of mutable memory (Smithsonian)
- Ryan Bradley on “Sex, Lies and Nature Documentaries” (GOOD)
- Malcolm Gladwell on WWII espionage (New Yorker)
- Gary Wolf on the Data-Driven Life (NYT)
- Richard Lewontin on Jerry Fodor & Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s What Darwin Got Wrong. (The New York Review of Books)—I’d heard a lot of the arguments before until I came to this bit:
Individual organisms are surrounded by a moving layer of warm moist air. Even trees are surrounded by such a layer. It is produced by the metabolism of the individual tree, creating heat and water, and this production is a feature of all living creatures. In humans the layer is constantly moving upward over the body and off the top of the head. Thus, organisms do not live directly in the general atmosphere but in a shell produced by their own life activity. It is, for example, the explanation of wind-chill factor. The wind is not colder than the still air, but it blows away the metabolically produced layer around our bodies, exposing us to the real world out there.
Plus, a short, sweet video for good measure:
May 1, 2010
Lebron rocking Rick Owens & A.P.C. – Nathan Goldberg for GQ
I was wrong: the spotty Spurs held their own against the Mavs in what turned out to be a decent six-game series. Once again I have no idea what to expect from the Suns in that second-round matchup. As for the other semis, I suppose I like the Nuggets and Jazz equally, but I think the Lakers will take the latter down in six. Cavs in six; Hawks damn well better advance past the Bucks, but I doubt they’ll win more than two games against the well-rested Magic.
But yeah, sports:
via Arrested Motion
April 17, 2010
Damn right hipsters have infiltrated NBA fandom.
The NBA playoffs start today and I’m excited to watch some “grown-man” basketball (along with “posterized,” this locution has been annoying prevalent this season). I suppose that anyone who has been following the NBA this season knows this already, but GQ has a nice rundown of (most of) the teams that made the playoffs.
Personally, I’m tend to be a fan of specific players over teams—I suppose I can only stake a legitimate claim to the Hawks as my local squad: their opening series against the Bucks is promising, and I’m actually looking forward to seeing Jennings school Bibby, my least favorite Hawk. The Magic look good once again and I expect to see them in the conference finals: they’ll miss Turkoglu but Vince has already proven himself and I can’t imagine he’ll be less than brilliant in the postseason. Even though KG was my hometown hero back in the day and I’m glad he got his ring, but I don’t think the Celtics have it in them and I’m a sucker for Wade’s underdog appeal.
Lebron is a foregone conclusion.
The bottom halves of both conferences are stacked with dark horses, though I can only realistically see one and two seeds in the conference finals. If last year is any indication, the West seems more prone to early-round upsets due to tighter competition. I think the Durant (and then Denver) will give the Lakers a run for the money, but I’d take Dallas over the spotty Spurs. Lastly, I have no idea what to expect from the Suns and Blazers matchup.
I’m actually ambivalent about the Lakers—they’re alternately the team that I love to hate and I hate to love—but I’m fascinated with the semi-mythological culture of Phil Jackson’s team and, of course, Kobe.
In the manner of Carles: which NBA team has the most hipster cred? Portland is easily the most hipster town, but I’ll venture the Nuggets because they’re all tatted up and Melo is from the ‘authentic’ hipster dive-city (if there is such a thing) of Baltimore (via Brooklyn, no less)… though you could probably make a similar argument for just about any team or superstar.
Of course, the real sign that I’m a hipster: I’d rather hit MoMA to see Fassbinder’s World On a Wire tonight (Art vs Basketball?)… and I’ll catch the games tomorrow if I’m not out biking.
March 23, 2010
“You can’t make art with business in mind.”
Photographer Danny Clinch directed this ‘documercial,’ featuring Brooklyn’s beloved HOVA, for the “World’s Most Iconic Vodka.” To be perfectly honest, I didn’t find it that interesting—in fact, it struck me as annoyingly overbranded in the beginning and the end—though I’m a sucker for the unabashed glorification of New York City.
Related: A full explanation of the line “If Jeezy’s payin’ Lebron, I’m payin’ Dwayne Wade.”
March 16, 2010
» Aesop Rock – Daylight (4:25) – 4.1MB m4a @ 128kbps
The Persistence of Trite Imagery
Since this Sunday marked Daylight Saving Time, I decided to put my philosophy degree to good use by pondering the psychology and metaphysics of this semi-annual ritual.
First of all, there is technically only one daylight to be saved: contrary to folk wisdom that might suggest otherwise, daylight is an indivisible entity. In a sense, daylight is like money—which is also grammatically singular but conceptually plural (insofar as one would hope to have more than one money)—such that daylight is quantifiable, at least in terms of daylight hours. In other words, official terminology denotes that summer is ‘Time to Save Daylight’—i.e., Time for Daylight-Saving—while the colloquial (if not altogether prevalent) shorthand “Daylight Savings” is a gerund, as per the nominal usage of “Savings” for that type of bank account. (Even the Wikipedia URL for the Daylight Saving Time entry is Daylight_savings.)
The monetary metaphor is useful in illustrating how DST’s pithy essence “spring forward, fall back” belies the curious phenomenon that either occasion—the turning of the clocks in spring or in fall—can be described as gaining or losing an hour. Common parlance suggests that we have indeed acquired a full 60 minutes, yet this increment simultaneously seems to have slipped through a mysterious temporal rift in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It appears that we have both gained and lost an hour on Sunday, a discrepancy that reveals two divergent systems of belief concerning time and how it is measured: absolute vs. relative. The two views correspond to a scientific picture of an independent physical world and a pragmatic ‘lived’ experience of time, respectively.
The former system holds that time marches forward of its own accord and that to push a clock forward—from 2AM to 3AM, say—disturbs the clockwork of the universe to the effect that humans have erased an hour from their day. Here the bank analogy must be modified: on Sunday, we withdrew an hour on credit, which we will pay back in October; for the next six months, we owe one hour to the universe, or nature, or whatever. We have lost it in the interest of practicality—we need to borrow the hour for the better half of the year—though we plan on restoring balance in six months or so. For the absolutist, the hour is deferred.
Those who abide by the second perspective, on the other hand, see time as more malleable, where chronology is purely pragmatic: we gained an hour on Sunday because we now have an extra hour of sunlight—and, ostensibly, productivity—to the effect that the days themselves grow longer. By springing forward, we stake a claim to the greater daylight afforded by the rotation of the Earth, silently folding one hour into the shroud of slumber in order to extend each and every day in those six months. For the relativist, it’s possible to save daylight like money albeit not in the interest of yielding a long-term dividend: everyone cashes out the same predetermined amount at the end of each day.
Of course, both schools of thought understand that the actual demarcation of time to be incidental (i.e. pragmatic in a broad sense)—otherwise we wouldn’t have license to give and take (or take and give) hours as we please. Nevertheless, I wonder if there is any correlation between the saving(s) locution and the gain/loss dichotomy: are relativists more predisposed to regarding DST as a savings account, as opposed to absolutists who treat the extra time as a line of credit?
Does that even make sense? Rather, does it even matter?
Now for the real news:
- Advertising 2.0: This Time, It’s Personal. FaceBook is now crowdsourcing targeted advertising like social AdSense (=AdBook?). (NYT, Future Perfect) Also, Product Placement: Geolocation is so hot right now (NYT)
- Mattel Mentality x Mad Men = Barbie. WTF. (NYT)
- Google Maps now has (spotty) bike directions: Gothamist blurbs, Streetsblog mentions, Wired crowdsources; Bike Snob NYC is more thorough, with an incisive riposte to the Post
- Big ups to the Alma Mater in the Times. But seriously, the prospect of digitally tracking writers’ inspiration and composition process is quite fascinating.
- Stanley Fish on Pragmatism’s Gift.
- I’ve always been a stickler for free throws (i.e. I don’t understand why every player isn’t shooting 90+% from the line), so I was pleased to see that Wired has posted a guide on How to Nail a Free Throw.
- Old news, but here’s a couple of interesting articles on sports video games and their source material; specifically, how video games are have become increasingly true to life for athletes: League of Gamers (ESPN); Gamechangers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes (Wired)
- Speaking of video games, Virtusphere. Just watch the damn video.
- G4 (correctly, I think) identifies Chatroulette’s ‘Merton.’ NYMag’s Vulture (correctly, I think) identifies Ben Folds as a “Fin de siècle singer-songwriter.” Just watch the damn video.
- (Over)analysis of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” music video. (Vigilant Citizen)
- What Would They Know: Matthew Perpetua interviews Liars for Pitchfork.
- Time to Get Away: LCD Soundsystem finishing up their last record. (Daily Swarm)
- Wanna Be Startin’ Something: MJ posthumously lands a massive record deal. (WSJ, NYT)
February 14, 2010
For some reason this is the funniest video I’ve seen in a while.
Apparently this has been going on for a while, if the dates on older YouTube videos are any indication.
Meanwhile, Dwyane “Nightmare” Wade just made All-Star MVP.
February 8, 2010
Better slip you an Ambien. –Jay-Z
Even as I watch Vinsanity tear the Hornets a new one, I’m not quite sure if I’m looking foward to NBA All-Star weekend as it approaches hot on the heels of the Super Bowl (and, perhaps, will step on the toes of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day). It’s not so much that it’s an inopportune time, but the fact that the game and competitions feel like empty spectacle since there is really nothing at stake.
However, these new Nike spots (both by W+K’s Portland headquarters) definitely do the trick.
Advertising has picked up on the scent of the vampire / wolfman fad for some time now, but I think it’s pretty well-executed nonetheless… though the microsite strikes me as uninspired.
At very least, they’re better than the garbage that aired during the Super Bowl—though the NYTimes‘ Media Decoder did a decent job liveblogging the Super Bowl commercials while the rest of us were busy televiewing the nation’s most-watched sporting event.
January 24, 2010
–Pingdom has some web usage stats for 2009, such as:
- 234 million – The number of websites as of December 2009.
- 47 million – Added websites in 2009.
Nice to know that IYK is among 47 million new websites. There’s also numbers for e-mail and social networks. Definitely worth checking out: Internet 2009 in Numbers.
Taking a step that has tempted and terrified much of the newspaper industry, The New York Times announced on Wednesday that it would charge some frequent readers for access to its Web site — news that drew ample reaction from media analysts and consumers, ranging from enthusiastic to withering.
Starting in January 2011, a visitor to NYTimes.com will be allowed to view a certain number of articles free each month; to read more, the reader must pay a flat fee for unlimited access. Subscribers to the print newspaper, even those who subscribe only to the Sunday paper, will receive full access to the site without any additional charge.
Executives of The New York Times Company said they wanted to create a system that would have little effect on the millions of occasional visitors to the site, while trying to cash in on the loyalty of more devoted readers. But fundamental features of the plan have not yet been decided, including how much the paper will charge for online subscriptions or how many articles a reader will be allowed to see without paying.
–The New York Times recently announced that it is going to start charging online readers (in 2011) with a ‘paywall’ system. Or, as Gothamist bluntly puts it: “the Gray Lady’s going to start making bitches pay.”
–Apple has announced that it will unveil its “latest creation”—the digital world is certain that it will be an Apple tablet—at an event next Wednesday, January 27th. (Engadget; also on NYT, the Guardian, etc.; rumormongering has also caused a backlash in the world of tech journalism)
–P.S.1 just announced that Brooklyn’s SO-IL (Solid Object Idenburg Liu) is the winner of this year’s Young Architects Program design competition. Arch Daily has more pics and info.
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