Archive for September, 2006

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART

B000enul84_01__aa240_sclzzzzzzz_ Thanks to Eric J. Lawrence at KCRW for hooking us up with this one. Captain Beefheart – Under Review is one of the only places you can find good information on this character. But as expected, we found him on Youtube! Check out this live performance from Belgium in 1969. Absolutely out of this world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAoPhVn4y1Q&mode=related&search=

You could also check out the BBC documentary on him, though you’ll probably need a PAL DVD player…

WARHOL’S CHELSEA GIRLS

Warhol_a_top So Dave Hickey must be the most engaging art critic working today if his performance in Ric Burns’ documentary is any indication.  Can’t wait for the re-broadcast of the film. And Chelsea Girls should be seen by all Americans, or at least by more than just art-school-damaged designers.

Check out the additional footage on the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/warhol_a_footage.html

WARHOL TONIGHT

Warhol_a_bio1 Don’t forget to tune into your local PBS station tonight for the Warhol special on the American Masters series. Here is what Ric Burns said about directing it:

Q: What interested you in the story of Andy Warhol?

A: The amazing thing about Warhol is that he was so successful at projecting an image of who he was that he actually mesmerized posterity. People have taken him at his word. "If you’re looking for Andy Warhol," he once famously said, "don’t look any further than the surface of my paintings or the surface of me. There’s nothing behind there." There’s nothing recherché about the story of Andy Warhol. It’s there in print, in biographies, in letters, in paintings, and movies and friends and memories. If you walk behind the image that he created for himself, you discover one of the greatest stories in the history of art, in the history of American culture, a Horatio Alger story like nothing you’ve ever seen. There is not a person in America who cannot relate with their heart as well as their head to the rags-to-riches story of Andy Warhol, this kid with everything going against him in Pittsburgh – immigrant parents, in the Depression, growing up in two rooms with two older brothers, sleeping in the same bed with them, no indoor toilet, no radio, no hot or cold running water. Not a regular guy, clear to everybody but his mother from the start, small, frail, very bright, very vulnerable, incredibly shy, a host of childhood ailments culminating in St. Vitus dance when he was eight, which basically kind of put the kibosh on his schooling for a while.

He really had every challenge he possibly could have: a gay, dyslexic, poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks who grasped American culture as it came out of the ground in the 20th century more viscerally, more intuitively and more brilliantly than anybody before us and who came to New York, implausibly, in 1949, with $200 in his pocket, and 10 years later bought a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. He transformed himself into the most highly paid and most successful and well thought of commercial artist in America. At which point the story hadn’t begun yet, at which point he still wasn’t Andy Warhol, the Andy Warhol.

He really had every challenge he possibly could have: a gay, dyslexic, poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks who grasped American culture as it came out of the ground in the 20th century more viscerally, more intuitively and more brilliantly than anybody before us and who came to New York, implausibly, in 1949, with $200 in his pocket, and 10 years later bought a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. He transformed himself into the most highly paid and most successful and well thought of commercial artist in America. At which point the story hadn’t begun yet, at which point he still wasn’t Andy Warhol, the Andy Warhol.

He really had every challenge he possibly could have: a gay, dyslexic, poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks who grasped American culture as it came out of the ground in the 20th century more viscerally, more intuitively and more brilliantly than anybody before us and who came to New York, implausibly, in 1949, with $200 in his pocket, and 10 years later bought a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. He transformed himself into the most highly paid and most successful and well thought of commercial artist in America. At which point the story hadn’t begun yet, at which point he still wasn’t Andy Warhol, the Andy Warhol.

He really had every challenge he possibly could have: a gay, dyslexic, poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks who grasped American culture as it came out of the ground in the 20th century more viscerally, more intuitively and more brilliantly than anybody before us and who came to New York, implausibly, in 1949, with $200 in his pocket, and 10 years later bought a townhouse on Lexington Avenue. He transformed himself into the most highly paid and most successful and well thought of commercial artist in America. At which point the story hadn’t begun yet, at which point he still wasn’t Andy Warhol, the Andy Warhol.

Can’t wait!

RICHTER & MOTION DESIGN

Rhythmus 21 is online with an introduction by the great Jonas Mekas here: http://www.jonasmekas.com/hans_richter.html

For those of us in the motion design trade, this is probably the earliest example of abstract film animation available. Mekas, now 83, gives a great introduction to the piece from an art historical perspective, though we are interested in it as a document of early motion design experimentation.

Meadgallery_invitep1 And don’t forget to poke around his site. Here is a living legend who is reaching out to us, sharing his wisdom and experience from across the years.

MESSAGE PILLOW DESIGN

Another great idea; The morning message pillow.

Pillowwithtext Developed by designer James McAdam. He embroidered a sweet message "Good Morning Sweetheart" onto his pillow so that every morning has a chance to start off well. It looks like he has done it himself and we won’t be buying it any time soon. http://www.jamesmcadam.co.uk/portfolio_html/mm_pillow.html

INFORMATION DESIGN

Saw this on the NYT site. Interesting and frightening at the same time for those of us who got into the housing market in the early part of this century.

27leon_graph2_large_1 Just remember folks, all data can be arranged to prove any point of view.  Discounting the value of new housing starts significantly alters the outcome of this chart. But it is still interesting to see…

PARABOLES CUSTOM

Design plays a role in every day life, not just for designers and businesses, but for artists and the public as well. Check out this article on DIY Satellite dish public art project from artist Émanuelle Chérel. The article is in French, so brush up and check it out:

Para1_1 From the article:

“Le projet consiste à décorer les antennes paraboliques des habitants des quartiers nord de Bourges. Le motif décoratif est choisi par les habitants d’après un élément ornemental présent dans leur appartement. Les motifs peuvent provenir de vaisselle, de tapis, de rideaux, de divers tissus d’ameublement, de papiers-peints, de bibelots, ou aussi de bijoux, de vêtements, de broderies…”

Check it out here: http://julienceldran.free.fr/paraboles.htm

SWIMMING LESSONS

We’ve been thinking about getting our oldest son into swimming lessons so he can have some fun in the pool next year, but the lessons can be expensive. I saw this and am  pretty sure I can make one myself, but Julie killed the project.

Lrg_swimming_machine

PANTONE HEAVEN

Marketing_Drive has a fun set of photos matching Pantone colors to objects in the real world. Though many are debatable, in my opinion, they get it right 90% of the time.

91121303_2484965e42 This is my favorite right now. I keep going back to look at the slide show. Julie does this all the time, it’s kind of a sickness, or so she says, though I think of it as a special talent. Like the ability to hear that Mosiquito ring tone that only teenagers can hear. To my ears, it sounds like barely audible clicking, but it drives Julie crazy. (Is this too much information for this blog?)

So be sure to check out the Pantone matching game slideshow at: http://flickr.com/photos/mdsf_gone_wild/sets/72057594053892136/

Could this be more fun?

ARS ELECTRONICA

Simpl_sujet2_3 The big, hip technology/art exhibition in Linz is just about over. I couldn’t make it, but this is what the curator had in mind this year:

A simple life. It seems like something we would all like to have. But like everything you don’t have and desire, once you get what you want, boredom inevitably sets in. The hustle and bustle of daily work motivates you to go on a vacation and relax. Simplicity achieved. But after relaxation has settled in, complexity beckons. There has to be more to life! So we douse ourselves with complexity and continue the ritual of complexity, simplicity, complexity, simplicity, complexity until at the very end of our lives when by no longer existing we achieve the ultimate in simplicity—nonexistence.

On the surface, all artistic practices support complexity: the addition of a concept to the visual, auditory, or tactile realm. However some art, although additive to the universe of concepts and objects around us, helps to simplify the world by having a subtracting effect more than it adds to the surrounds. Technology art, in particular that which pertains to the computer as opposed to purely kinetic art, is generally neither simple nor complex. It is both. And that is what makes technology art difficult to fit comfortably into any previous genre. It’s complex: there are cryptic instructions and rituals required to maintain and interact with most technology art. It’s simple: many of the codes used to create technology art are trivial in comparison to the complex experiences they synthesize. If asked to choose whether to have a traditional oil painting or a computational art piece hanging in my living room, I would choose the painting for simplicity’s sake. But I’m unlikely to be in my living room and enjoy the painting, because I am usually in front of my computer—which has become the living room of most contemporary minds.

Not sure how simplicity REALLY realates to this show, because most of the installations and projects seem to be anything but simple. But I’m reserving judgement. You can download podcasts and videos soon. Check it out here:

http://www.aec.at/en/festival2006/index.asp

Go to Top