I caught my second Chairlift show a few months back at the Biltmore Cabaret. Everything about this band is top-notch: their weird wonderful range of sounds, masterful arrangements conducive to dancing or kicking back, clever lyrics, wildly original music videos and lead singer Caroline Polachek's outstanding voice. After the show I had a chance to briefly chat with Polachek about one of my favorite music videos of all time, from their first record:
That hypnotizing glitch effect is a technique called datamoshing, which I'm sure will be of special interest to any codec nerds out there. Here's a great website about it, including how-tos. Curious what else could be done with this. I sense a lot of potential, e.g. used as device within feature films. Apparently the team behind the video was racing to release it before their peers, who were using the same technique for Kanye West. Yeezy's video came out second. Still excellent:
This afternoon I walked around Berkeley Marina, saw many snails, and as I looked out at the water I felt I had stepped inside this JMW Turner painting. The atmosphere was awash in hazy sunlight, but through my eyes it swirled around a heavy core of sadness: Orlando.
At the Exposition Universelle 1900, in Paris. This boat ride simulator provided the feeling of seafaring for up to 700 people at a time. with rolling panoramas, rocking floor, seaweed odours, synthetic ocean breezes and accompanying sounds. I'm feeling hints of that Borges story about the world-sized world map.
This was on Hastings St in Vancouver. The sign is no longer there, nor the gallery below it.
Link to this work on website of Catriona Jeffries Gallery.
When a public luminary leaves us suddenly, it hits hard because they never withdrew from their vital role in present-day humanity. Today I thank: David Bowie, Oliver Sacks and Karen Schmeer. Their stars will never dim.
Diana Vreeland's fashion-forward ideas are currently cruising at breakneck speeds in the form of in-flight entertainment. Something tells me she would approve. The 'entertainment' in question is a biographical documentary about her called Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel. The film appeals on many fronts, not just the fashion/art perspective. One of my favorite parts - in her later career with the Met's Costume Institute - recounts her insistence on exaggerating the wig of a mannequin for the exhibit 'The Eighteenth-Century Woman' (pictured below). In reasoning with designer Harold Koda (who happens to be stepping down this month from heading the Costume Institute), she says, and I'm paraphrasing, 'it is not about showing the whole complete truth, but the integrity of the idea' .
See 'read more' for another example from the film Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
Bliss in an art gallery goes something like this: scores of gregarious zebra finches free in a room full of rock instruments. It's called 'from here to ear v19' and it's a captivating installation/live show by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. What I found most surprising was the level of activity in the room, not coming from us transfixed human spectators but from the birds themselves: hopping on guitar strings, feeding, singing, attempting to build a nest on a guitar, snoozing in the sand... the whole had an air of purposefulness and order far from the disarray I had expected to find. Here's a great article in Slate that clarified some questions I had. It even goes into how birds of the same species can develop different dialects based on environment, something I've always wondered about since observing urban chickens and wondering if they would develop different calls to cope with the loudness of the city.
I love this film. It is a spirited, unconventional search for concrete connections to Man Ray's 1926 film Emak Bakia. At first it seems all about the journey, as filmmaker Oskar Alegria follows the slightest whims to faraway tangents, but then we actually do arrive at real destinations and they are delightful. Such a fine balancing act of interior and exterior worlds. A highlight for me was the sound design, which at one point breaks the fourth wall and reveals its surprising origins. It is a documentary (played at Vancouver's DOXA Festival) but beyond that it defies categorization.
brilliant documentary, impressive editing. Great conversation piece. So much to think about and feel. Heartbreaking and haunting but ultimately uplifting because creativity/ imagination / love win in the end. Most importantly there's a joyous dance scene to Baltimora's Tarzan Boy.
I stopped by the Weinstein Gallery for paintings, photographs and documents by and about Leonor Fini, the enigmatic surrealist who enjoyed putting on a striking appearance to dazzle others. Most accounts spoke of her in almost mythological terms. I so wish I had a chance to cross paths with her, if even the briefest of encounters. One of my favorite works was Le Train. Great accompanying quote (pictured below):
Sparse highlights from the great spinning sphere of publication.