Author Archive

NOT SO #DTF, OH NO!!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

 

 

 

 

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Do you ever think that universally all we have in common is our interest in food and sex?

Well in Japan they are over the sex, so check your hypothesis: http://i-d.vice.com/en_gb/read/think-pieces/863/i-sex-its-better-than-sex

What I actually mean though is: can you think about materiality today? But in a good way: like touch, not like technology. I will!

MER-RIH XMAS!

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

This holiday season I am wondering all the deep things.

What is your favorite Rihanna song and why?

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(honesty appreciated, but not a prereq.)

“THE COLORS TODAY ARE GOING TO WAKE YOU UP!!”

Saturday, December 7th, 2013

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Lindsey Wixson is primarily known in the fashion industry for her unique look: her dramatic lips, playful pout and her trademark gap between her two front teeth. The public narrative Wixson and her representatives have crafted for her is a rather detailed one, even providing information about the dreams and aspirations of the young woman had she followed a different path. During her childhood Wixson wanted to follow a culinary or legal career.

Her professional goals became exclusively fashion-oriented in the brief outpour of success that occurred after Steven Meisel chose her for the cover of Italian Vogue. After the cover, Wixson was booked for two luxury brands, Prada and Miu-Miu, both as exclusives. Ever since, she is a widely recognized face and prominent model.

In an interview with WWD, Wixson discussed how she understands her path and her ascend to success. She single-handedly cites reading a Reader’s Digest (RIP!) in a bathroom when she was 12 as the catalyst for her pursuit to become a model: “It was about how Bill Gates — the millionaires — got big. It was talking about how they took the chance and they took their opportunities and they took it to a whole other level.”

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Do you ever look around at the world, noticing the people surrounding you? Wondering how they understand their existence, how their brain functions and to what degree their understanding of things is similar to yours?

I do. That is why this video-mosaic of the famous model Lindsey Wixson is possibly the most fascinating thing I have seen in the recent past. It bewilders me to see her and her responses to reporters asking her questions about her experience and opinions as she is preparing for fashion shows. Within about a minute, Wixson manages to fit these gems:

The colors today are gonna wake up. They’re going to be, like, ‘WAKE UP, GUYS!’

BEAAAAUUUTIFULLLL! Oh my god, look at this dress! It’s Roberto Cavalli, it’s crazy!

It’s over the top, glamour, period-retro

I would like to become a pilot.

I feel like a woman from Mars… Obviously, I am, like, taking over the world. Pedal to the medal!

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Modernization of Dale Carnegie’s ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’

Monday, November 25th, 2013

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Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

1. Criticize, condemn, complain.
2. Don’t give any appreciation. (You are ‘Just being honest.’)
3. Arouse in the other person the desire to retweet you and ‘like’ your personal page on the Facebook.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

1. Become genuinely uninterested in other people.
2. Smirk.
3. Ask ‘What was your name again?’ even if you remember.
4. Be a good speaker. Encourage others to talk about you.
5. Talk in terms of your interest, always.
6. Make the other person feel unimportant –do not stop until they feel so.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to win.
2. Show utter disrespect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “I was wrong.”
3. If you’re wrong, deny it consistently and fervently.
4. Begin in a daunting way.
5. Your questions are always rhetorical and not to be answered.
6. Completely monopolize the ‘conversation.’ You are a go-getter. You know what you want.
7. Let the other person–as well as everyone else–know every idea is yours.
8. Disregard the other person’s point of view.
9. Be dismissive of the other person’s ‘ideas’ and desires.
10. (Define ‘nobler.’)
11. Make a PowerPoint with moving images and as many Clip Fart images that may be used.
12. Make everything a challenge. You are a perfectionist.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment


1-8. Lol, yeah, okay. Miss you Steve.
9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggested, but let them know it could have been better.

NEKKID & NEUROTIC

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Interesting piece on the Romantik of the 70s. Reference-heavy, but mostly familiar texts & media, I think.

Also, click on the second footnote’s link to read the Eno thing: Naked and Neurotic. It’s kinda wild/ weird: “The only time my feet aren’t cold is when I make love, which I do all the time. I only make love to keep my feet warm.”

INQUIRY ON “LITERALLY”

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Is there a reason the use of the word “literally” has become such a bothersome issue for all of us? What made it possible? Who is to blame?

 

We need a resolution.

APHEX TWIN: AN ENIGMA

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Recently a friend accused me of not listening to any music that is not rap. Of course that is totally untrue, but in a social context it is somewhat correct: publicly the music I am most likely to enjoy is rap. Privately, I have always listened to different music as well, especially while working/ writing.

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When I was in college I used to do most of my work in a very claustrophobic, constrained space to avoid all possible distractions. It was a lab that was equipped with a large Mac desktop and a bunch of equipment that I never used, because the lab was actually intended for the “New Media/ Critical Theory Studies” kids and during that time I was learning different stuff I am no longer using today. It was around that time I first became obsessed with Aphex Twin’s music, definitely starting with  ‘Selected Ambient Works 85-92.’  I loved the combination of the productive/ manic energy of the beats and the simultaneous soothing effect of the majority of the melodies in the album. I remember listening to “Ageispolis” after–and during– sleepless nights of meticulous studying, sometimes watching the very ravey video as a study-break.

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I have been thinking and wanting to write on Aphex Twin for a long time, but my wish proves to be a somewhat impossible task. Richard James–also known under his pseudonyms: AFX, Blue Calx, Bradley Strider, Caustic Window, Smojphace, GAK, Martin Tressider, Polygon Window, Power-Pill, Q-Chastic, Tahnaiya Russell, The Diceman, The Tuss, and Soit-P.P–is someone who definitely chooses to be an enigmatic figure. James has spent a great deal of his career creating an unflattering image of himself intentionally. The point behind his dedication to making the world see him as an unattractive individual remains unclear to me, but that is part of his enigma.

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Initially, I was planning on doing a mini-series of sorts on “The Way Every Richard James Album Makes Me Feel.” Ultimately, I am deciding against proceeding with that idea because it might be relentlessly self-absorbed and perhaps even too-revealing for no-reason. Instead, I present you with my deepest wish of someday writing the absolute Aphex Twin profile after spending a month with him, observing his daily life, work habits and nightlife activities.

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This 7-minute MTV interview is maybe the closest the artist wants us to get in understanding Richard James.The interviewer asks him what he means when he says that he builds his own instruments, and he states that he uses software, computers and the net to create. Often, he uses the help of others to perfect his sound. Questions about the way he releases his music continue, and his laidback attitude makes me admire him even more. It is particularly interesting to me to see the vibe between him and his enthusiastic interviewer. The interviewer clearly recognizes his genius and tries, at points perhaps too hard, to instigate a more intricate interview. Richard James seems humble, composed in a careless manner, soft-spoken and completely unaware of how brilliant he is.

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A LOT OF READS, *IF* YOU WANT THEM

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

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Happy Halloween, if you care!

I am going to a party for a magazine tonight. I am very excited, I think.  When I described what my expectations for the party are to a friend, I simply said: “It will be very Internet.” So, I am not too sure what magazine parties are like. Do websites throw them? (When is the annual HTMLG party, Blake?)

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You know who else is really into the internets right now? The Pynchon. Proof: Bleeding Edge. (Yawn, last month’s news, you know and I am sorry!!) But here, two good things on last month’s news:

Christian Lorentzen’s “In the Cybersweatshop”-Featuring delicious intro, and the incredible revelation my favorite gross/amazing dive-bar is joked about  in the book (the in/famous Welcome to the Johnsons of $2 PBRs).

Joshua Cohen’s “First Family, Second Life”-the Lorentzen piece addresses the prominent role of paranoia to extreme effects in the novel. In a similar tone, Cohen recognizes the pivotal role of chance as a narrative mechanism in the book: it seems like the paranoia almost yields meaning, when chance is investigated.

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Apparently, the internet is our generation’s opium, too. And it is making us dumb. Which reminds me, avoid the film Gravity, it is awful. (1/2 self-promotional, sorry!!)

You know what is NOT awful, besides “The X-files?” The soap-operaish tv-show Scandal. I think I even figured out why I like it: the key romance is “like emotional abuse.” Though my personal favorite is the comedic genius of Cyrus, which is SOO internet. It just feels amazing to watch Kerry Washington be big culturally after being a sidekick to Julia Stiles in a 90s dance movie about the struggles of whiteness. (Julia Stiles is that girl from the vodka ads, btw.)

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The beauty of today, some claim, is that we are consuming a lot of trash critically or knowingly. I certainly agree, to an extent, but I certainly do not fiscally support books that are catering to that very gross internety quality. (“It shouldn’t be about the book but the money you can make from the book,” said Ruby-Strauss’s boss, Jennifer Bergstrom.)

Recently, I was talking to my friend who is going to the magazine party with me about non-internet greatness. So let us now praise famous men who are worth it, and talk about the possibility of getting a tattoo in honor of James Agee, which we actually did-sorry mom! Or let’s just embrace the art of fucking up,  and think about how to do it beautifully.

Read this epistolographic piece if you might approve of my Agee tattoo. It is very good.

The interesting thing about the internet is the notion of “information” we have broadly reached. Is our understanding of “history” too skewed and subjective? Whether it (the “information”/”history”) matters (or not) and why it matters (paranoia? chance?) seems to be the key theme of all these reads, but they are only here *if* you want them.

The way people handle information defines them. Look at Paul de Man, reconsider him. Things are culturally slippery, sure, but will you buy Jenna Jameson’s new book, which she didn’t even write?

 

 

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A TEST I FAILED

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Are you Alice Munro or Bret Easton Ellis?

I scored 22/36. You?

**Cheaters will be fatally punished.

THE PERENNIAL AMBIGUITY OF CHRISTOPHER WOOL

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

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I like Christopher Wool’s artwork. Wool became famous for his paintings of strong, provocative phrases in black letters, primarily ALL CAPS. Wool’s works are of an abstract nature, sometimes intricate in presenting an idea, other times arcanely elusive. In October’s Vogue Dodie Kazanjian scored a rare interview with the media-reclusive artist. The format and presentation of the arguments the writer provides to the text more closely resembles that of an essay, but many intriguing themes come up.

By introducing Willem de Kooning’s approach to artistic work–who worked “out of doubt”–as a starting point, the writer reveals the artistic intentions of Wool to be consistent in their omnipresent questioning and doubting. They are works defined by what Kazanjian calls a “perennial ambiguity.”  This ambiguity may also be viewed as the proclamation of the honest confusion of an artist. Thus, the refusal of adopting an authoritative style should not be considered the result of limited intellectual rigor, but rather should be respected for its humility.

Discussing his artistic aspirations and how he managed to become a significant part of the modern art world, Wool asserts that his path was somewhat coincidental. “It just kind of happened,” he states. A key to his success was possibly that his early years in New York coincided with a legendary era of NY nightlife and culture: CBGB and Max’s Kansas City. The intersection of nightlife and the art-reality that was being created was evident in the 1980s, and shaped the public’s perception of artists’ role.

Work by Christopher Wool

Upon revisiting his old work, the artist himself confesses: “They were offensive, funny, and indelible–you had to pay attention.” Consequently, it is not surprising that the critical response to his work varied. Some thought it populist in its negativity, while others observed in it a radical stance: a cacophonous harmony, or a refreshing pathos. What is predictable in his work is Wool’s lack of “conclusiveness” or the absence of artistic closure. 

“I firmly believe it’s not the medium that’s important, it’s what you do with it,” the artist clarifies.

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