July 31, 2010

Continued

raf-simons-the-influencer-via-hypebeast

  • 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:

high-line-phase-2-via-curbed

Random:

messi-by-morning-breath-via-turntable-lab

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July 12, 2010

Summer in Brooklyn

Animal; cf. What? by my boy Kombo

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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 6, 2010

Items

guggenheim-tilt-shift-by-bryan-solarski-via-good

I’ve mentioned tilt shift photography before, but it continues to blow my mind.

…it gives the viewer a sense of being in a smaller world, a bit like the way the world looks to a kid.

–Bryan Solarski, GOOD Picture Show, June 2 2010

Equally amazing: photos of the semi-dystopian ruins of Kowloon & Battleship Island & Kowloon (below) (Dark Roasted Blend via Boing Boing)

kowloon-via-dark-roasted-blend

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howlawsmadeWIRTH2

The “How Our Laws Are Made” infographic above is well-executed and fairly clear, if a little busy (GOOD); the Pulp Fiction one below is neat but, as one commenter points out, the story makes more sense the way it unfolds per Tarantino’s script (Flowing Data).

pulp-fiction-infographic-by-dehahs

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Art vs. Art:

greater-new-york-via-nytimes

Greater New York at PS1: I only got around to seeing about half of the exhibit when I stopped by PS1 last week, but I’m sure I’ll have many opportunities to revisit and engage with the work over the next few months, especially once Warm-Up is underway. Nevertheless, I would imagine that Greater New York stands for everything that Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car (below) is not. (NYT)

bmw-art-car-jeff-koons-paris-1-via-arrested-motion

That said, I thought that Koons’ art car (unveiled at the Centre Pompidou) turned out fine, though I was a little disappointed to learn that “the design isn’t actually painted on the car; it’s a vinyl wrap covered with two layers of clear coat. BMW says the wrap was lighter than paint and it could be applied much more quickly. That was a key consideration because Koons had just two months to complete the project.” (Wired)

via Animal

See also: Image gallery of previous BMW art cars via Wikipedia.
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May 20, 2010

Imagery

Like Images… but, you know, ending with “-ry” instead of “-s”

http://tinyvices.verbsite.net/__data/tinyvices_andrew-kuo.jpg

  • Andrew Kuo’s “My Wheel of Worry, May 2010″ (Tiny Vices via TWBE)

cremaster-cycle-via-ifc

matthew-barney-bjork-marina-via-moma-flickr

paco-blancas-participating-in-the-artist-is-present-via-flickr

lichtenstein-at-gagosian-via-arrested-motion

When we think of still lifes, we think of paintings that have a certain atmosphere or ambience. My still life paintings have none of those qualities, they just have pictures of certain things that are in a still life, like lemons and grapefruits and so forth. It’s not meant to have the usual still life meaning.

–Roy Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein
Still Lifes
Gagosian
555 W 24th St (at 11th)
New York NY 10011 [map]
212 / 741-1111
May 8, 2010 – July 30, 2010

Banksy_NYC_2010-via-animal

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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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band-mgmt_628x434

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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March 19, 2010

Hipsteria

or, What Hipster Means to Me

Hipster. Reject the label or embrace it, Sisyphus does not envy you though your path is clear: you like art (check), music (check), design (√), fashion (√), film (√), food (√) and biking around Brooklyn to jam with hipster friends or go to (i.e. be seen at) art happenings and step out for smokes (√√√√√). And you blog about it (√). There is no possibility that you have freely chosen to do these things: the hipster is a sheep, a cartoon, a robot, a target market—anything but a living, breathing human being. The hipster is Sartre’s waiter.*

[It would be too easy to populate this post with photos from LATFH, Vice, Cobrasnake, Last Night's Party, Lookbook.nu, etc. etc., so we're going with photos from Beijing's Ren Hang, via Neocha Edge. Are Chinese hipsters more or less authentic than their Western idols? Is Chinese anything more or less authentic than Western versions of the same? Meta-migraine...]

The New York Times recently ran a blurb on the (decline of the) hipster with a handful of decent and not-too-hateful comments. The piece cites Salon’s recent article on Hipsters+Food Stamps—which itself has elicited the usual anti-Trustafarian screeds and counterarguments in defense of food(ies), etc.—as the latest development in the ongoing culture war between “Young, Creative Urbanites” and regular people. Meanwhile, Adbusters is over it, which is probably for the best.

In any case, it’s worthy enough of an occasion to reflect on What Hipster Means to Me. (Ok so that’s probably an inappropriate, if pithy, exordium for what is intended to be a thoughtful, unironic and somewhat ambitious essay, but it was just too good to pass up.)

In other words, I’m not in denial about my hipster proclivities, so long as I might be granted the possibility of unironically self-identifying as a hipster. Similarly, Idolize Your Killers is (to borrow WordPress’s felicitous phrasing) “Just another hipster blog”—lest we forget that meta-commentary is the trademark of postmodernity and, by extension, hipsterdom and digital culture alike.

Yet “hipster” has been a pejorative term for nearly a decade now—a pigeonhole, a pariah, or worse: a Platonic “idea of Hipster.” This archetype finds infinite variations of empirical manifestations, though it is never fully realized; instead, an individual is reduced to his urban outfit, fixed-gear bike or love of Animal Collective, etc.

A brief overview on the case against hipsters: as the indie nation evolved alongside American Apparel*, so too did pent-up indignation at their smug, unleashed most memorably in Adbusters’ seminal July 2008 cover story “Hipster: The Dead End of Western Civilization.” Time Out is known to dabble in hipster-bashing; Paste did its part last year; Gawker and Gothamist hit the hipster hot button when they want to pander for pageviews. (I’m sure I’ve omitted many a rant; those are just the media that come to mind.) Conversely, the proto-hip tastemakers at Vice have somewhat validated the hipster with VBS’s ongoing alt-journalism efforts, which are now featured on the likes of CNN and Huffington Post.

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March 16, 2010

Daylight Saving Time & Other Items

» Aesop Rock – Daylight (4:25) – 4.1MB m4a @ 128kbps

The Persistence of Trite Imagery

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)

Music news:

  • 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)

Art news:

Bonus Trailer:

Ride, Rise, Roar trailer via Wired.

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December 19, 2009

Warning: Incorrigible Punster. Do Not Incorrige!

Weevil via Wikipedia

Weevil (classic pun fodder) via Wikipedia

Hell yeah! Schott’s Vocab blog on NYTimes.com has a thread about puns. There are already over 550 comments, which I managed to sift through despite (or because of?) a massive hangover. Editors’ Selections:

“200 million Chinese can’t be all Wong.”

Bruce Lee’s ‘favorite joke’ when featured in Parade Magazine eons ago.

Bruce

I submitted ten puns in a contest to get on the short list of best word-play. No pun in ten did.

Michael B. Schub

This morning I awoke with a hole in my window, the police are looking into it.

sheeeeelaa

A good pun is its own reword.

Peter

The film was in French, but it had English subtleties.

Randolph Herr

This meeting is a gerund.

Alex M.

His will is a dead giveaway.

Justin

Page 13 ha’puns to have several that I enjoyed:

There was a kidnapping on the next block. No big deal, his mom woke him up.

Stephen Hawking just finished a new book, it’s about time.

The penis, mightier than the sword.

Wagner’s music isn’t as bad as it sounds.

Title pun is credited to Mike.

While we’re on the subject, readers may have noticed my dissatisfaction with the title of the post (currently) published as “Habit after Humanity“: working titles included “Lifestyles of Health and Smoking” (a play on LOHAS that I ultimately deemed too obscure) and “Chemicals in Balance”, as well as “The World Is My Ashtray” (after the Modest Mouse lyric). I spend an excessive amount of time agonizing over titles and/or puns, so don’t pretend you don’t love them.

Chinese also lends itself to puns, perhaps more so than English.

The New York Times Magazine also recently posted their “Ninth Annual Year in Ideas“, which is pretty interesting… a far better waste of time (especially for those of you who may be snowed in) than reading 500+ puns.

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December 8, 2009

Guilty As Charged

periphrastic

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