With Hurricane Sandy slowly making it’s way to the east coast you may want to check out Wind Map, a website that tracks the directions and speeds of the wind in the U.S. As you can see in the image above the wind is pretty strong right now, about 20 to 30 mph, but it’s expected to pick up as the day progresses. It’s a rather beautiful way of visualizing such an unseeable part of nature. Be safe east coast friends!
I always wished that NASA sent an civilian artist into outer space, so they could tell us what its really like up there. To really know what it was like to be a civilian gazing back at that pale blue dot is a grandiose effort.
The ability to translate the experience of floating above earth takes special skill. I am currently rooting for Portland State University Professor Cameron Smith. This Professor of Anthropology in the Pacific Northwest has built a fully functional space suit in his living room. He will use it to reach the lower stratosphere via balloon, approximately 50,000 feet above our humble vantage point. With a DIY manifest destiny sort of feel to it, Smith has taken it upon himself to be part of this human experience of hovering above planet earth. Smith has constructed a fully operational space suit with salvaged materials and finds from EBay. Hopefully an anthropologist can relay back the human experience of floating above.
The New Horror Maker, Part One: An Interview With Simon Barrett
Since it’s Halloween time, we figured we’d do some ~*~sPo0Ky~*~ interviews. The first went up this week and it is with fantastic new horror writer Simon Barrett. Barrett is known for his real and raw scary stories which are totally in vogue now in the horror world since V/H/S hit screens earlier this year. He is super smart and has some great things to say about creating, writing, Hollywood, and how it all comes together.
Greta Waller’s Blurred Vision
Greta Waller is a local painter currently pursuing her MFA at UCLA. We’re totally in love with her blurry, often humorous paintings that deal with the temporary put into permanence in her paintings. We’re also super, super, super in love with the above close-up painting she did of a Pomeranian. I even e-mailed her to enquire about purchasing it.
The New York Times On Jeffrey Deitch
The New York Times published an article a week ago about Jeffrey Deitch and all the drama surrounding MOCA. It’s a fascinating read and very, very accurate: it all boils down to a lot of LA art people being gossipy, fickly, cocktail party chatters who tainted his name. We’ve had that happen to us (They called us the “Art Tea Party,” which we love.) and we know this to be true. It seems like a karmic loop is coming full circle for the LA art world…
Mohawk General Store in Silver Lake is one of our favorite places to shop and they are increasingly getting better and better as they are carrying more and more random, exclusive stuff. Local outwear makers ReCut Supply are a good example as Mohawk are carrying their first collection of vests made from vintage military material online. They are some pretty rad wears.
Barack Hussein Obama
Graphic novelist Steven Weissman e-mailed us about his great new book Barack Hussein Obama. The book is a satirical and funny and dark look at an alternative universe Barack Obama. It’s fantastic. If you are in Los Angeles, Steven will be speaking at Skylight on Sunday.
Oh! If you missed our pop-up at Meltdown, check out how it went here!
I recently had the chance to check out the second exhibition being held at the Wondering around Wandering space, “Happy Accidents,” featuring a diverse range of work from a select group of international artists. Curated by Manchester-based art and design studio DR.ME, the show brings together sculptures, drawings, prints, installations, photography, and video-based work, all tied in some form to something unexpected in its creation. Artists featured include Linus Bill, Rhys Coren, Ryan Doyle, Daniel Eatock, Mark Edwards, Jonathan Flanders, Sebastian Haslauer, Steve Hockett, Hannan Jones, Joseph Manning, MVM, Benjamin Rawson, Ellery Roberts, SAVWO, and Rasmus Svensson.
Looking at the work presented together, it isn’t immediately clear what the thematically ties the work together without knowing the premise of the collection, but it does all feel at home together. There’s a thread of experimentation and a contemporary sensibility of image-making running through the work that is exciting and confusing in a good way, much like a mistake that turns out better than the intended outcome–a happy accident.
Happy Accidents is the second of three exhibitions happening at Wondering Around Wandering and will be on display until Sunday, October 31. If you’re in the area, definitely check it out and keep an eye out for the last few events going on in the space, which you can find here.
When I first saw renderings of SOM’s proposal for Grand Central Station, I didn’t even bother to read about it. It looked… not that great. SOM (along with others) was asked to submit an architectural intervention for the area surrounding Grand Central Station. The folks funding this design work are hoping to generate the public support needed to have the area rezoned. This rezoning would allow greater density and taller towers, somehow preventing the area from becoming a soulless jumble of chain restaurants. So my initial disappointment with the proposal was due to the towers themselves: they are fine, but nothing more. The aren’t exciting, they’re boring. And what was this halo perched between them? It’s a pretty ostentatious connection for two unambitious towers. And doesn’t it just look like a clear version of that Olafur Eliasson museum extension in Denmark? But then I realized that the halo had an impressive trick: it moves.
Up and down, up and down, this urban-scaled doughnut is an elevator that climbs from the cornice of Grand Central to the… to the… top of the towers. Towers that I no longer even care about because that moving thing is too exciting. How awesome would it be to ride in this thing? Frightening, sure. But just pretend to be standing inside, watching the city sink below you as unprecedented mechanics pull you toward thinner air. I can imagine watching this precarious contraption from ground level in awe, and I can wonder how movies will use this spectacle as a setting for romance or crafty criminals. But this design work is not a design proposal. It’s supposed to help us imagine a new reality for the neighborhood around Grand Central station, sure– but I quit caring about the neighborhood around Grand Central Station the moment I found out this metal circle could lift folks away from it.
And that’s a larger problem. In trying to garner support for a rezoning effort, this proposal distracts from what’s really happening on the streets of the neighborhood. It’s exciting to imagine a novel attraction for the city, but if we’re trying to reinvigorate a small portion of that city’s urban fabric, it doesn’t help to shift focus toward a pie in the sky. Or here, a doughnut. I absolutely agree that this doughnut is “saccharine, overwhelming, and nutritionally suspect” even if I still fall into the trap of wanting it to happen immediately.
We’ve reached the end of the series of Halloween Desktop Wallpapers so why not end the week as Halloween night ends for most kids? With razors in chocolates, shitty “healthy” candy, and a peanut butter cup or two that you eat immediately because it’s the best candy you have. The final wallpaper is by Braden Graeber and is an homage to Halloween candy culture. There’s a little bit of grandma hard candy we all hate, broken Pixy Sticks because Pixy Sticks always break, and some Tic-Tac looking pills that are undoubtedly treats for the parents: it’s all a part of Halloween. Braden’s has laid it all out in a colorful, humorous, and somewhat entrancing way to remind you of that Halloween isn’t just about frights and fun–it’s also about terrible candy.
Next month, the Parrish Art Museum will open a new building on the Montauk highway in New York. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the finished museum is not what the architects originally intended to build. That initial design was much more complex and nearly triple the budget of the long and low structure that now stands. Not too surprisingly, the budget was axed back in 2008 when the economic crisis was reaching fever pitch. Things did not look great for the building. However, the paring down has made the building better. The formal complexity eschewed by the realized design has not lessened how impressive the standing structure is. According Architectural Record:
Inside, it’s one success after another. From a circulation spine that resembles the nave of a very elegant cathedral, roof beams rise to heights that make the galleries feel grand, but never grandiose. Most of those galleries have the kind of perfect proportions that create a sense of calm, and at the same time a feeling of exhilaration. And they are large enough for big works, including John Chamberlain sculptures, yet intimate enough to make even small, 19th century paintings feel cossetted.
Not bad for a building that only four years ago had one foot in the grave.
We’re nearing the end of our week of Halloween wallpapers but the momentum isn’t slowing down. Today we have a fun wallpaper from Spencer Harrison a designer from Melbourne who founded Happy Stüdio. For his wallpaper he took a smattering of everything that makes this day Halloween-y and laid it out in a clear, concise manner. This is the wallpaper for the designer who likes their Halloween to be clean and minimal, don’t you think?
Thanks so much to Spencer and check back tomorrow for our final wallpaper!