The years between 2007 – 2008 were particularly great for the downtown scene. Everything seemed new and fresh. The music, the fashion, the photo/video blogosphere, the art, even the promoters were thinking outside the box finding some of the coolest and most unique spaces to hold events. It was as if everyone was feeding and informing each others art. At the center of this new raw energy you would more often than not find the ladies from Mean Red. They held events at some of the most interesting venues in the city including the legendary now defunct Yard located in Red Hook Brooklyn. It made for some of the best times during those early New Pop party years. The following video first published in 2008 highlighted some of those great photo/video moments. To this day no one could cover events like our crew.
Cargoh recently did a profile on a Vancouver based artist Indigo. She currently works in many mediums including stencils, posters, acrylics, oils, photography, printmaking and more. Her artwork is an exploration of human emotion, personal story and the weight of memory. After you check out her profile you might want to check out the Cargoh site. It is a community based website for artist.
This footage of one of the last remaining uncontacted tribes on earth is simply amazing. I can only imagine what the people in this tribe are thinking when they see the plane fly over. They probably think it is some iron dragon or some god of some sort. That plane is as mysterious to them as a visitor from another world would be to us, even more so. Observe the tribesman pointing his bow in the plane’s direction. Illegal logging in the Amazon is driving these tribes away, violence from loggers or even the common cold can wipe out an entire tribe. For more information on this story and more videos including one that asks, “What would have happened if the plane landed?” log onto uncontactedtribes.org
As magnificent a place as New York is today, it is only a watered down version of it’s 70′s self. It’s impossible to describe to people who weren’t there what NY was like in the 70′s. There was an attitude an energy an element of danger that permeated almost every inner city neighborhood in the 5 Boroughs. At the same time there was also an element of community and camaraderie necessary to survive or just stay out of trouble. Nowhere was this more evident than in the South Bronx, and no film captures this time better than the documentary by Gary Weiss, 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s. One sound-byte from a gang member featured in the the film sums up the South Bronx in the 70′s best.
“I’ve seen … 57s … I’ve seen 12-gauge shotguns, I’ve seen 12-gauge pumps … I’ve seen a .45 military special with a clip on the street … I’ve seen fuckin’ Thompsons. A damn Thompson! I’ve seen it! I’ve seen hand grenades, I’ve seen damn beer-can bazookas getting made. That thing hit you, just the same as being hit with a gun! I’ve seen .22 zip guns, I’ve seen .38 zip guns. I see things you never think you’ll see on the street. I’ve seen dynamite. I’ve seen all this, man; you’d be surprised. Pretty soon, they’re going to steal the damn atom bomb!”
If you are interested in the contemporary history of New York you should watch this film. 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s has more of the original fabric that made up NY in the 70′s than any other fictional or documentary film to date. It makes cultural references long forgotten by the NY of today. You feel the grease, you see the grime, you feel the first beats of today’s urban art and music scene pulsating through every frame. If you want to lay claim to being a true New Yorker you should learn it’s history, and there is no better history lesson than 80 Blocks from Tiffany’s.
This fall, the film is seeing a reissue on DVD, making it available for the first time in 25 years. It is available below in it’s entirety with the exception of an 8 minute section in which there is no audio due to youtube restrictions. For more information about this remarkable film log onto the Guardian.co.uk
The main difference between Graffiti and Street Art is that while the former often rebels, degrades, and lashes out against it’s environment the latter almost always merges, comments and even contributes to it. The following video by Shafiur Rahman is one of the better examples of this. This video documents the making of a piece done by Joseph Loughborough and Ben Slow on Hanbury Street in London. The piece called “Ma o Shishu” was found in a book about photography. Ironically the video also uncovers a hidden story of squatters living behind this work of art. This is why street art is my favorite genre of art. It isn’t about hanging art on walls as an excuse for exclusive audiences to drink wine and socialize, the purpose of art is to comment on the world we live in, and to beautify it. As the artist stated “Their piece changed the street. Everyone who passed – young and old, local or tourist – responded very warmly to it.”
Connecting to audiences via social media is a vital part of any relevant marketing strategy. Branded video on the web is arguably the most effective way to do this. Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and more brands are slowly but surely coming around to this realization. Some may argue that no one has embraced web video like the world of fashion. The following video from the folks at Wallpaper Magazine investigates the fictional often melodramatic films that tend to emerge from the world of high fashion.
Here is a cool piece from Christian Schneider for the folks at Artists Wanted. This video profiles Pete Eckert who is blind but refuses to allow his handicap to prevent him from doing what he loves. When asked about his process Pete says that “sounds gives an image just like light gives an image, sound wraps around images… my artwork is a byproduct of my perceptions,” Truly inspiring.
Another NFL season has come to an end with the Green Bay Packers defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31 – 25. As a die hard Jets fan this Superbowl was particularly hard to watch since the Steelers defeated my Jets in the Championship round. As a result I found myself rooting against the Steelers as any good Jet fan would. The game was a good one, but somehow the FOX broadcasts made the entire experience seem less than Super. CBS is king when it comes to game analysis and putting the audience in the moment. In comparison FOX comes across as very hoakie. Maybe it is my Northeast bias.
Anyway for many of you out there the reason you watch the game isn’t the game itself, but the 2.6 million dollar 30 sec ads. Last year I listed my top three ads and I am at it again. I didn’t think this years batch was particularly good, and there doesn’t seem to be any instant classic candidates. But one did make me laugh out loud and there were a couple of movie trailers that got me really excited. So here they are. Like last year I listed my top 3 along with a rating in the categories of concept, photography & writing.
Yesterday I was introduced to an amazing series “Everything is a Remix” Produced by Kirby Ferguson and Robert Grigsby Wilson. In this episode they did a side by side comparison of the film Kill Bill and older genre films. This compelling view into the mind of Quentin Tarantino, Hollywood’s most prolific remixer, was insightful and entertaining. That video led me to Part 1 of the web series for further investigation into the recent history of remixing. Included in this episode are examples from the early hip hop anthem Rappers Delight, to the notorious Led Zeppelin plagiarism cases. Part 2 titled “Remix Inc” goes into more detail about the history of remixing in genre films. It is truly a joy to watch and I am looking forward to parts 3 and 4 from these guys.
This video courtesy of producer Kirby Ferguson and and editor Robert Grigsby Wilson does a side by side comparison of the film Kill Bill and the older movies it referenced. It is not a secret that Quentin Tarantino who worked in a video rental store before he got his break, relied heavily on old genre films to inform his work. Not being a film student or a indie art-house film buff I must admit that I either didn’t recognize or make the connection between many of the films referenced in this remix, so I was a little taken aback by the fact that my all-time favorite director would rely so heavily on older movies, even lifting scenes frame for frame to create what I considered masterpieces. My opinion of Tarantino as an “original” artist took a hit after viewing this edit, until one of the comments on the vimeo page put some perspective and historical context to this sampling technique.
“Tarantino truly is the first hip-hop filmmaker. He samples everything and still manages to make it unique. He frustrates the hell out of me because I can see him pulling from some of my favorite sources, but you can’t deny the end product, which is always entertaining as hell.”
On the Everything is a Remix website they provide us with scholarly insight into the age old question ‘Is anything Original?’ For those among us who hang out in indie art circles or were attentive in film class this site may seem a little passe. But if you like me have been raised mostly on pOp culture, music videos and blockbuster movies, this site will give a little insight into the mind of the indie art film buff. These guys really know their stuff.