Comments Off on Beckmann-N’Thépé Build a Library from Muddy Cement readArchitecture
This week, folks in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving. The holiday is a time of reflection and appreciation, but most of us aren’t any good at that, so we’re doing what we do best: eating copious amounts of food and then shopping ourselves into misery and debt. This week, I thought I would share recent examples of buildings devoted to the decidedly loftier goals of education and civic engagement: libraries.
Built by Beckmann-N’Thépé, this is the library for the French University Marne-la-Vallée. The massive and muddy-looking concrete volume hovers above an area called the High House Farm, and you can see what appears to be a fragment of a moat near an entrance to the the library. Although the project is very real, the architects describe the project in terms more akin to fantasy than concrete, saying: “Between naturalism and terror, the Marne-la-Vallée Library puts us in touch with our dreams– active, joyous, sometimes disturbing, comforting, but always salutary.” Another word I’ve seen floating around to describe the project is convivial, which I will try to casually work into conversation at the Thanksgiving dinner table between spoonfuls of mashed potatoes.
The only interior photos I can find show the winding, powder blue stairs. Any other insights into the quality of the interior space will have to be gleaned from renderings and plans. A description that accompanies the renderings says that “calm and whiteness prevail” on the interior of the project, but what that might look like is as murky as the moat underneath the reading room. It’s a strange project, experimental in a way that, to me, resembles a monolith excavated from the site below. For now, students at Marne-la-Vallée are left to climb the blue stairs into the reading room and enjoy the calm whiteness that remains a fog for the rest of us stuck outside.
Bravest Warriors follows four teenaged heroes-for-hire as they warp through the universe to save adorable aliens and their worlds using the power of their emotions. Chris, Beth, Wallow, and Danny negotiate the most fragile laws of space-time—emotion—where every decision could lead to broken dreams and crushed hearts. There’s intergalactic battles for attention and affection; love that spans space, time, and reason; and proof that adventure takes on many, often weird, forms.
Though there’s only two episodes so far it’s looking really promising. The first episode features a bunch of time wackiness because of the “Fartsparkle effect”. Of course. The second episode features an Emotion Lord who makes the universe go crazy. Cashews in your mouth! I’m pretty excited to see how the show goes, so far so good.
Comments Off on The sweet electronic sounds of ‘Interconnected’ by Steve Hauschildt readMusic
After releasing the excellent Just To Feel Anything with his band Emeralds earlier this year, the American electronic musician Steve Hauschildt is back once again with the release of his new LP Sequitur. It’s an album filled with futuristic compositions, sweet vintage synths and that great pop-sensibility that we’ve come to love from Hauschildt and Emeralds.
The stand out track for me has to be beautiful Interconnected. Opening the album, Interconnected really warms you up with its mix of ambient vibes and and its rich synthesizer textures. It’s a warm, beautiful and playful piece of music that really is a joy to hear. Its glimmering video is the perfect visual companion to the music. Created by Sabrina Ratté, it fills the screen with great colors and vintage video transitions. Go check it out!
Earlier this year when Kyle and I visited New York we had a little mixer, so I thought I’d try to arrange the same sort of thing while we’re here in Portland. It’s extremely short notice, I know, but there’s so many people here in Portland that I know and don’t know who I’d love to hang out with and share a drink. If you’d be interested in hanging out with me as well as some other great creatives here in Portland you should come out to Kask around 8PM and say hi. I figure we’ll camp out with some beers and see who shows up. Looking forward to seeing some friends, new and old.
Abstraction and Nature: An Interview With Alexander Kroll
Alexander Kroll is probably the best working abstract painter in Los Angeles. His paintings are so vibrant and active with layers and layers and layers of technique placed within them. They are absolutely remarkable. We sat down with Kroll to speak about his practice and history, which is now incredibly tied to LA. He even has an indoor/outdoor studio! If you are in Los Angeles, he has a solo show opening at CB1 Downtown starting Sunday.
These are cool: a Los Angeles product designer has made these accessories that have USB devices built into them. They are very sleek and made to look like there isn’t (But there is!) a USB device in there. They aren’t cheesy like it sounds but rather futuristic looking. Can someone get us one of them necklaces?
The Making Of Björk’s “Mutual Core”
Earlier this week, Björk’s new video came out and was shared on this site. How was it made? The effects are brilliant–but what is what and who did what? Well, MOCA went behind the scenes while the video was made and spoke with LA based Andrew Thomas Huang, who directed the video. What an amazing process!
Stanley Kubrick At LACMA
LACMA has a lot of great shows up right now but that Stanley Kubrick film/art/photography mashup happening there is just wonderful. It’s super academic and feels like you are walking through a book about Kubrick, influences, and techniques. There’s also a ton, a ton, a ton of film goodies and props. You don’t have to be a fan or even know his work that well because this show teaches you everything you need to know. It’s also up through next Summer: we all have a long time to see it and see it again.
Generic Man For Selfridges
Generic Man are always doing cool things and collaborating with cool people. We got word from them that they have an exclusive collection being sold at Selfridges London for the holiday season. We can’t get our hands on these LA born, London sold shoes so we decided to covet them via a post. If you can swing by Selfridges, you should check them out. They’re great.
Comments Off on ‘Kid Icarus (Little Jam)’ by itsnotyouitsme readMusic
As much ambient and shoegaze rock as pastoral pop, itsnotyouitsme has been a hidden favorite in the realm of new classical and electronic ambient. The genres overlap so beautifully (maybe it’s the “glacier rock” movement that started it all, or the efforts of Philip Glass and Brian Eno that planted the first seeds) that it is hard to ascribe itsnotyouitsme’s sound to a specific spot. The Harlem-based duo of Caleb Burnhans and Gary Mcmurray take the best from both worlds – string instrument chops, meticulous looping and effects – to create an otherworldy reflection of chamber music.
Kid Icarus (Little Jam) is from the much beloved 2010 album fallen monuments. The album was recorded entirely live but one could never tell. The string melodies fall on top of each other, sequenced and improvised together with enough distance to hear the phrasing. Yet it is mixed enough to feel like each new string line is an inevitable conclusion, a relaxing, thoughtful conclusion.
Next week, while Bobby and Kyle are wandering around Portland, I will be wandering around New York City, a place I haven’t really visited since living there… has it really been that many… six years ago. Of the countless things to see and do there, I am most excited about stalking a number of projects by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro that have been completed over the past half-decade. Two of the firm’s most visible projects in the city are the High Line and the renovations to the Lincoln Center, and both projects challenge traditional notions of the ground.
The images above are of the illumination lawn, one of the many additions to the Lincoln Center realized by DS+R. The complex curving lawn hides a restaurant below, allowing the firm to add public green space and a fancy restaurant in one steel swoop. The pavilion along with the High Line are exciting and novel ways of introducing green space into densely urban areas. So while it may be cold and windy, I will be shivering all over these projects and pretending it’s still early September.
Maybe because of the digital tools that architects use to develop and present projects, it’s easy to stop thinking of space as something tangible. But it’s very real. Even though I’ve re-visited New York many times through pictures or remembering what it was like to walk around its streets, it’s much more exciting to actually be going back and putting my feet on the ground. The ground in these projects is atypical, green in a city that is mostly concrete and weird fragments of nature in completely unnatural presentations.
Comments Off on ‘Fuck It’, A New Print by Steady Print Shop Co. readArt
Today is one of those days when I don’t really feel like writing, and this print by Steady Print Shop Co. matches my mood pretty well. Simply titled Fuck It, paired with an old Snoopy drawing by Charles Schultz, this is the print for the old curmudgeon (or 30 year old, in my case) in your life. You can snag one for yourself for only $15 by clicking here.
Comments Off on Illustrations of Snowy Retreats by Luke Twyman readIllustration
UK based illustrator Luke Twyman recently sent me an email letting me know he’d made a few new illustrations. What you see above are the fruits of his labor, and they’re really damn good. What would be rather banal drawings of icey landscapes have become textural masterpieces, filled with depth, color and imagination. I feel like these are illustrator pieces with textre overlays, but it’s hard to tell, so good work Luke. Really looking forward to seeing how Luke’s style evolves.
Comments Off on ‘A Bionic Future’, A Glimpse Into The Future of Exo-Skeletons readTechnology, Video
The promise of what the future will bring always makes me incredibly hopeful. I know that technology will shape our future in exciting ways that few people can imagine, but I think about this all the time. Thankfully filmmakers like Maris Curran are documenting the rise of helpful tech, showing the potential for progress and just how far we still have to go. The video above is titled A Bionic Future, a look at exo-skeletons which are helping paraplegics to walk.
Honestly while watching this video I got teary-eyed. You can instantly see the joy these people are feeling. My favorite person featured is Matt Tilford, who puts it perfectly. “I like to watch my foot, actually take a step. Because, for four and a half years, I haven’t done it.” I think few of us can imagine what that must feel like. Thinking that you’ll never be able to walk again and then given the gift once more through the help of an exo-skeleton.