Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Long before I knew about art galleries or even street art, I was excited about album cover art, if only because it was the visual counterpart to the music on the records I loved. Album covers conjured a euphoric association with the listening experience. Most of my earliest home-made tee shirts were stencils based on punk album covers… No matter how much I love art, or try to convince myself of its relevance in society, the fact remains that music is a lot cooler and way more able to reach people’s hearts and minds… but I’m a populist and I look at it this way: I may not play an instrument, but I’m gonna rock it hard as nails anyway. With my art I try to capture the same energy and spirit that makes music so powerful and democratic. REVOLUTIONS is a celebration of all the great music and accompanying art that has inspired me over the years.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
An excellent biography of the Muppet master, this 85-minute film from the PBS show Great Performances mixes the history of Henson’s projects with plenty of sketches that any fan age 6 and older should enjoy. The film shows the incredible range of Henson’s creations, starting in 1955 with “Sam and Friends” then moving on to Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and beyond. It illustrates the breadth of his genius, from creating entirely new worlds in film (The Dark Crystal) to pithy ’60s TV commercials that achieved branding and a laugh in less than six seconds. There’s footage that most fans haven’t seen in years, or at all: a regular bit from The Jimmy Dean Show; tantalizing bits of his 1965 Oscar-nominated short, Time Piece; appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show; his explanation of Wall Street on Nightline; and Miss Piggy’s hilarious deconstruction of Morley Safer on 60 Minutes.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Greetings, members of NATO. We are Anonymous.
In a recent publication, you have singled out Anonymous as a threat to “government and the people”. You have also alleged that secrecy is a ‘necessary evil’ and that transparency is not always the right way forward.
Anonymous would like to remind you that the government and the people are, contrary to the supposed foundations of “democracy”, distinct entities with often conflicting goals and desires. It is Anonymous’ position that when there is a conflict of interest between the government and the people, it is the people’s will which must take priority. The only threat transparency poses to government is to threaten government’s ability to act in a manner which the people would disagree with, without having to face democratic consequences and accountability for such behaviour. Your own report cites a perfect example of this, the Anonymous attack on HBGary. Whether HBGary were acting in the cause of security or military gain is irrelevant – their actions were illegal and morally reprehensible. Anonymous does not accept that the government and/or the military has the right to be above the law and to use the phoney cliche of “national security” to justify illegal and deceptive activities. If the government must break the rules, they must also be willing to accept the democratic consequences of this at the ballot box.We do not accept the current status quo whereby a government can tell one story to the people and another in private. Dishonesty and secrecy totally undermine the concept of self rule. How can the people judge for whom to vote unless they are fully aware of what policies said politicians are actually pursuing?
When a government is elected, it is said to “represent” the nation it governs. This essentially means that the actions of a government are not the actions of the people in government, but are actions taken on behalf of every citizen in that country. It is unacceptable to have a situation in which the people are, in many cases, totally and utterly unaware of what is being said and done on their behalf – behind closed doors.
Anonymous and WikiLeaks are distinct entities. The actions of Anonymous were not aided or even requested by WikiLeaks. However, Anonymous and WikiLeaks do share one common attribute: They are no threat to any organization – unless that organization is doing something wrong and attempting to get away with it.
We do not wish to threaten anybody’s way of life. We do not wish to dictate anything to anybody. We do not wish to terrorize any nation.
We merely wish to remove power from vested interests and return it to the people – who, in a democracy, it should never have been taken from in the first place.
The government makes the law. This does not give them the right to break it. If the government was doing nothing underhand or illegal, there would be nothing “embarassing” about Wikileaks revelations, nor would there have been any scandal emanating from HBGary. The resulting scandals were not a result of Anonymous’ or Wikileaks’ revelations, they were the result of the CONTENT of those revelations. And responsibility for that content can be laid solely at the doorstep of policymakers who, like any corrupt entity, naively believed that they were above the law and that they would not be caught.
A lot of government and corporate comment has been dedicated to “how we can avoid a similar leak in the future”. Such advice ranges from better security, to lower levels of clearance, from harsher penalties for whistleblowers, to censorship of the press.
Our message is simple: Do not lie to the people and you won’t have to worry about your lies being exposed. Do not make corrupt deals and you won’t have to worry about your corruption being laid bare. Do not break the rules and you won’t have to worry about getting in trouble for it.
Do not attempt to repair your two faces by concealing one of them. Instead, try having only one face – an honest, open and democratic one.
You know you do not fear us because we are a threat to society. You fear us because we are a threat to the established hierarchy. Anonymous has proven over the last several years that a hierarchy is not necessary in order to achieve great progress – perhaps what you truly fear in us, is the realization of your own irrelevance in an age which has outgrown its reliance on you. Your true terror is not in a collective of activists, but in the fact that you and everything you stand for have, by the changing tides and the advancement of technology, are now surplus to requirements.
Finally, do not make the mistake of challenging Anonymous. Do not make the mistake of believing you can behead a headless snake. If you slice off one head of Hydra, ten more heads will grow in its place. If you cut down one Anon, ten more will join us purely out of anger at your trampling of dissent.
Your only chance of defeating the movement which binds all of us is to accept it. This is no longer your world. It is our world – the people’s world.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Fairey credits They Live as a “major source of inspiraton” for his own subversive brand of street art. “They Live was … the basis for my use of the word ‘obey,’” Fairey said in a statement. “The movie has a very strong message about the power of commercialism and the way that people are manipulated by advertising.”
Describing his 2003 exhibition, This Is Your God, Fairey noted: “One of my main concepts with the show, and the [Obey] campaign as a whole, was that obedience is the most valuable currency. People rarely consider how much power they sacrifice by blindly following a self-serving corporation’s marketing agenda, and how their spending habits reflect the direction in which they choose to transfer power.” They Live addresses those same issues, Fairey said.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
N12.bikini - Intro Video from Continuum Fashion on Vimeo.
The N12 bikini is the world’s first ready-to-wear, completely 3D-printed article of clothing. All of the pieces, closures included, are made directly by 3D printing and snap together without any sewing. N12 represents the beginning of what is possible for the near future.
N12 is named for the material it’s made out of: Nylon 12. This solid nylon is created by the SLS 3D printing process. Shapeways calls this material “white, strong, and flexible”, because its strength allows it to bend without breaking when printed very thin. With a minimum wall thickness of .7 mm, it is possible to make working springs and almost thread-like connections. For a bikini, the nylon is beautifully functional because it is waterproof and remarkably comfortable when wet.
The RAMM:ELL:ZEE from MOCA on Vimeo.
One of hip-hop’s most enigmatic figures, RAMMELLZEE was a graffiti writer, rapper, and sculptor. Born in Far Rockaway. Queens, RAMMELLZEE began a brief graffiti career on the A train in the mid-1970s. By the early 1980s, he was creating paintings and three-dimensional sculptures of letters, many of which were shown in galleries and museums. RAMMELLZEE viewed lettering as a form of weaponry and believed graffiti could liberate the mystical power of the alphabet, as a theory put forth in the manifestos “Ikonoklast Panzerism” and “Gothic Futurism”. A reclusive artist, RAMMELLZEE all but stopped exhibiting his work in public and spent much of the last two decade of his life in his TriBeCa loft he called the Battle Station, where he was rarely photographed without wearing one of his handmade, science fiction-style masks. He died in 2010 at the age of 49.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
BEATS, RHYMES & LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST is a documentary film directed by Michael Rapaport about one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. Having released five gold and platinum selling albums within eight years, A Tribe Called Quest has been one of the most commercially successful and artistically significant musical groups in recent history, and regarded as iconic pioneers of hip hop. The band’s sudden break-up in 1998 shocked the industry and saddened the scores of fans, whose appetite for the group’s innovative musical stylings never seems to
A hard-core fan himself, Rapaport sets out on tour with A Tribe Called Quest in 2008, when they reunited to perform sold-out concerts across the country, almost ten years after the release of their last album, The Love Movement. As he travels with the band members (Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White), Rapaport captures the story of how tenuous their relationship has become; how their personal differences and unresolved conflicts continue to be a threat to their creative cohesion. When mounting tensions erupt backstage during a show in San Francisco, we get a behind-the-scenes look at their journey and contributions as a band and what currently is at stake for these long-time friends and collaborators.
Rarely heard stories from New York’s legendary DJ Red Alert, Native Tongues members like Monie Love, the Jungle Brothers, Busta Rhymes, and De La Soul bring an intimacy to the days when young artists discovered the freedom of artistic expression, while rejecting the confines of gangster rap and negative stereotypes. Chronicles of songs like “Scenario” and “Check the Rhime” paint a vivid picture of growing up in Queens, and how the band’s unique approach to hip hop helped transform and influence the genre for years to come.
A New York native, Rapaport’s lifelong love for hip hop helps achieve intimate, all-access interviews and cinéma vérité-style filmmaking, fostering a conversation for A Tribe Called Quest to determine if there is a possibility to mend the wounds from over the years. In addition to chronicling the past, present and uncertain future of the band, the film includes interviews from the Beastie Boys, Kanye West, Pharrell, Mos Def, Santigold, Monie Love, Pete Rock, Large Professor, De La Soul, The Jungle Brothers and Common, all of whom attribute some combination of love, respect, and inspiration drawn from the legacy of A Tribe Called Quest.