MonthAugust 2004

David Cerny: I would rather not do political art

Radio Praha interviews David Cerny:

Provocation is the amplified…uh…amplified reason why the art exists. What’s supposed to be called ‘art’ and not design has to have something behind. Has to have some message, whatever. Of course, it can have a static message. But it has to have a message, it’s not a ‘chair’. You can have certain chairs, which might become, after years, even art, if they weren’t developed solely as functional objects, but, also with something in mind. So, we call it provocation, but it just means ‘stronger’. And I do sometimes use stronger messages… Personally, I would rather not do any political art… I prefer to do things ‘above’, you know, local bullshit. And I was asked ‘Will you eventually change the video when the president will be changed?’ And I was thinking about it, but this is a piece that was created at this time, and it is in a certain way of course ‘commentary’. As any piece of art has something to do with the time it was created

(thanks Mark!)

Learning to fly

My host won’t let me post pictures from this, so just check it out yourself.

Lost Art: Learning to Fly

(via Notes from Somewhere Bizzare)

What Trent Reznor is listening to

Just read this interview with Reznor, and he lists off a bunch of stuff he’s been listening to lately:

In recent weeks I’ve been listening to: The Bug, Pressure; The Icarus Line, Penance Soiree; TV On The Radio, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes (terrible name for the band and record, but some really interesting stuff); The Polyphonic Spree, Together We’re Heavy (My “everything will be okay” music. I love these guys); Slipknot, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses (heavy done heavy); Meat Beat Manifesto, …In Dub (fucking fantastic; pisses me off that it’s so well done); Cat Power, You Are Free (and I am not gay for loving this); Badfinger, The Very Best of Badfinger (unexplain-able); Wilco, A Ghost is Born (trying to like it, so far unsuccessfully).

Via NIN News Hotline

Abstract Dynamics: mixtapes economics

And one more from the abstract archives, while I’m at it.

In hip hop there are actually two record industries. One is the old school, major labels, and independent labels based on their model. They make money by selling recordings and controlling copyright. The are legal, traditional and grasping at ways to deal with a digital future. Then there is the mix tape industry, illegal, under the counter, occasionally violent and deeply in touch with future. Its a parallel black market economy, routing around the bureaucracy of “capitalist” laws, much the way eastern block black markets routed around the bureaucracy of “communist” laws.

Guerilla marketing of bikes

An older one by Billy Blaze I’ve been meaning to link to for months now:

For a second I was about to get mad. I could actually feel the emotion begin to take off inside. Some fool had just stickered my bike! Grr…. Hold up wait. Something in my emotional process got cut off. I read the sticker. “TrackstarNYC”. An all track bike store. News. Information. Delivered straight to my bicycle. Even more efficient then the internet!

Blaze: social networks ain’t dead yet

William Blaze questions the expert opinion that social networks are dead:

In the world of music Simon Reynolds has argued that innovation tends to occur in those genres most ignored by critics, while the critical spotlight does nothing but generate stagnation. Or perhaps its just that the critics are perpetually a little late to the party.. Social software just had its little hyped up media year, and the result was close to zero innovation. And now the critics are bored, looking for a new trend to “predict” a couple minutes before their colleagues find out what’s up. And like an ignored musical scene, nothing could be riper for innovation.

Full Story: Abstract Dynamics: Social No Dead

Transrealist Manifesto

Transrealist Manifsto by Rudy Rucker [PDF], thanks Sauceruney

Transrealist novel grows organically, like life itself. The author can only choose characters and setting, introduce this or that particular fantastic element, and aim for certain key scenes. Ideally, a Transrealist novel is written in obscurity, and without an outline. If the author knows precisely how his or her book will develop, then the reader will divine this. A predictable book is of no interest. Nevertheless, the book must be coherent. Granted, life does not often make sense. But people will not read a book which has no plot. And a book with no readers is not a fully effective work of art. A successful novel of any sort should drag the reader through it. How is it possible to write such a book without an outline? The analogy is to the drawing of a maze. In drawing a maze, one has a start (characters and setting) and certain goals (key scenes). A good maze forces the tracer past all the goals in a coherent way.

Union made Converse clones

Irregular Times: A Tale of Two Sneakers

I’ve been meaning to mention the No Sweat sneakers for some time. While Adbuster’s “Black Spot” sneaker may never see the light of day, you can already pick up a pair union manufactured kicks.

I like the idea of using union labor in foreign countries to both bring jobs to developing nations and to ethically manufacture materials (and likely still for a lower price than using U.S. labor).

I’d like to see some edgier Puma-esque designs available. Also, No Sweat offers an entire line of union made clothing, but their stuff’s not very stylish.

Something Awful Remixes the Watchmen


Watchmen gets the penis and gay joke treatment from Something Awful.

Business blog, employment and ethics, and Fast Company,

The Vision Thing is a business blog I’ve just discovered. I like this post skewering the bogus “and generation” hype. But I’m a little confused by their post about Fast Company. Sure Fast Company is gimmicky, and quick to hype new gimmicks (hene the “fast” bit). That’s the nature of the glossy business magazine game. And I’m not sure about the second example they cite, the bit comparing the What Should I Do With My Life? artice with the What Do I Do Now issue. I don’t see how these articles are incompatable.

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