RADAR is a series produced by WBPLabs -- a division of the WorkBook Project. The series is a timely, insiders view into the cutting edge of storytelling and creativity, and the attendant tools, tech, models and community.
Suzanne (Cub) Rogaleski grew tired of choreographing her trapeze act to popular music and canned sounds. Ryan (Lone Wolf) Sawyer was looking to showcase a more avant-garde side of his drumming. Born out of need for each to perform original material while challenging their own artistry, Lone Wolf and Cub is a collaboration that defies category. And while they might seem like two disparate acts, the two of them are able to communicate with each other through a common language of painting. Their canvases act as visual road maps while they perform so that they are fully able to understand where each other is heading. Performing in unison, they invite their audience to share their childlike wonder and inspiration.
This week, we bring back the blog with help from Diana Eng (RADAR ep 31 – Fairytale Fashion), and she made it easy for me, since I’m already a huge fan of most of her choices. She’s been quite busy lately, with her amazing line and increasing popularity in the fashion world, including her new collection of Laser Lace Tees and Tops. You can also check out her shop, as well as read up on her inspiration on her own blog.
How long can you nyan for? This very well could be the last thing the Internet ever needs, as it combines the holy trifecta of cats, adorableness, and utter randomness. Based off of PRguitarman’s original Pop Tart Cat .gif (I suppose toast is healthier?) times how long you can, well, nyan. It’s so addictive, though, that you can nyan for hours on end if you allow it. Added bonuses here include putting the site into different languages such as Japanese (makes sense), Nyan (exactly what you’d expect) and Catalan, giving double meaning to the .cat domain name. We may think it’s cute now, but once cats successfully conquer the Internet, the rest of the world will surely follow. So cute though!
This was Diana’s pick, but I have to interject here—this isn’t just one of my all time favorite songs, but possibly my all time favorite music video, and a big part of my inspiration for wanting to get into filming bands. A ballad off their definitely-classic-by-now debut LP Fever to Tell, it showed that the (at the time) rising buzz band Yeah Yeah Yeahs (and more specifically, lead singer Karen O) could do more than thrash and screech, but also create one of the most touching songs of the last decade.
Tina Fey is just one of those people who do pretty much everything right—30 Rock is still the funniest thing on TV after like, what, 5 seasons? Then there’s Date Night and Baby Mama, and the fact that after she left Saturday Night Live the only time people talk about the show is when they mention how far downhill it’s gone since then. So clearly she’s some kind of sorceress and we should all be terrified. Or you can read her hilarious book and hopefully absorb some of its power. If nothing else, reading it on the subway is sure to piss off the disgruntled former frat bros who still insist, “women aren’t funny.” Tina Fey just happens to be at the top of a long list of women who prove them wrong.
Talk To Me is a new exhibit at MoMA that examines the ways humans interact with objects. Every day we interact with things like computers and increasingly smarter phones, which in turn, interact with us. Talk To Me offers a look at the history and future of these interaction, going back to products from the 1960s and looking forward with some products in development. A lot goes into it—visual design, interface, information. In keeping with the theme, the organizers encourage communication and feedback from the visitors, ranging from suggestions from designers to visitor interaction using cell phones. Be sure to check out the blog as well.
Talk To Me
July 24–November 7
Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019 EVENT INFO
Thingiverse and Ponoko
Diana has picked a couple of nice blogs for you to check out, specifically if you like, well, things and stuff. Thingiverse is a blog co-founded by fellow RADAR contributor Bre Pettis of Makerbot (RADAR ep 19), focusing on digital designs from ordinary people and realizing them through the use of machines like laser cutters and digital printers. In a similar vein is Ponoko, which is sort of like a digital Etsy (or rather, a more-digital Etsy), exploring the art of digital making even further.
What do you do when there’s a pothole in your street? Try avoiding it? Call the city to fill it in? Effective ideas, though they aren’t especially imaginative. With the help of Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano, a couple of Montreal-based artists, these folks in several US and Canadian cities turned their potholes into works of art—at least temporarily. But the photos on My Potholes capture a number of whimsical moments created from minor nuisances. Watch as they turn common road hazards into swimming pools, donut fryers, gardens, rabbit holes, and more.
Noveller, a.k.a. Sarah Lipstate (RADAR ep 28 – Before I Die) has just released this gorgeous black and white video on her website for her song “Alone Star” off her new album Glacial Glow. Directed by Matt Kleiner, this video chronicles several days in the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. It’s some powerful stuff when paired with the musical storytelling of this Brooklyn-based guitar goddess. Contrasting the busy city with vast desert, it creates a truly surreal scene.
Writer Ben McCool (RADAR ep 41 – Memoir) has a new comic series coming out this September, but in the meantime you can check out a preview of it as well as an interview with USA Today. Titled “Pigs,” the comic takes a gritty look at the Cold War, which if you can believe it, ended two decades ago this year. So now it’s far back enough in our collective subconscious that we can take another look at the whole terrifying era of mutually assured destruction, secret agents and the Cuban Missile Crisis and see that things weren’t quite as black-and-white as we all thought at the time.
Our friends at the Poetry Brothel (RADAR ep 20) are bringing it back this weekend, with a magical twist. The “whores” will be teaming up with a master magician for some old school, Houdini-esque illusions.
Sunday, June 12th, 8pm-1am
The Back Room
102 Norfolk Street
New York, NY
$5-$15 EVENT INFO
Newmindspace Bubble Battle NYC 2011
The folks at Newmindspace (RADAR ep 10) want to make New York a more bubbly, effervescent place for its residents. Join hundreds of other bubble battlers with your own bubble-making supplies, and let the air fill with soapy, prismatic orbs (and yes I was trying to avoid saying “bubble” again).
Saturday, June 18th 2010 @ 6:00pm
Rain or shine. Free and all ages!
New York, NY EVENT INFO
Second Avenue Sagas
New Yorkers, be honest, how often do you find yourself silently (or not so silently) cursing the MTA for all the service changes and fare increases? Second Avenue Sagas hopes to answer some of the questions as to why all these annoyances happen. What started as a blog chronicling the progress of the long-delayed Second Avenue Subway, is now a blog covering all forms of New York City transit, offering opinions, insight, progress reports, and ideas to make transit better, as well as listing all the weekend service changes every Friday. It’s a great place for New Yorkers to get informed and involved with the city’s decisions on transportation.
Before I Die – RADAR S3 ep 28 [vid] Before I Die is a rare form of Interactive Art, started by K.S. Rives and Nicole Kenney, creating life, out of death. Using a Polaroid camera, Rives and Kenney have traveled far and wide asking people what they would like to do before they die, and snapping their photo as they answer. Rives and Kenny found that asking an age-old… read more
From the Desk of Sarah Seely From the Desk of Sarah Seely is a company of professional dancers, actors and artists all of whom work 9-5 desk jobs assisting executives. Rehearsals and performance opportunities are scheduled and created around this. The company’s work is a blend of theater and dance, a celebration of present-day concerns and campy vintageaesthetics, topped off with the frustration of being artists… read more
Transmedia Talk #15 – Andrea Phillips This show talks about Andrea Phillip's work on a range of ARG and transmedia projects and discusses staffing for participation, developing narrative that allows for participation, editorial control & ethics/responsibilities of producers
Do yourself a favor and watch this with headphones on, just to get the full effect. Symmetry is an inventive little short showing the dualities of life: peanut butter and jelly, faith and science, salt and pepper, and (spoiler alert maybe?) life and death, among others. And there are a few nice surprises and Easter eggs thrown in there as well to keep it from getting predictable. Tying it all together is a peaceful yet energetic soundtrack, a reminder to revel in the day-to-day things we often take for granted.
Brooklyn band The Antlers (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) had the lovely challenge no band wants of having to follow up their nearly universally critically acclaimed 2009 album Hospice. Fortunately for them, their new LP, Burst Apart holds up well (or else I wouldn’t be writing this mini review). Although it doesn’t really burst, as the title suggests—it’s more of a nice slow burn record. Sounding at times like fellow New Yorkers TV on the Radio, other times taking a more electronic turn a la Portishead or Massive Attack, and many other times creating a sound all their own, they’ve crafted another instant classic.
I feel like I mention Sophie Blackall (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) a lot in this blog, but really, it’s purely because she so consistently creating new work. And I should mention a personal bias—I really love her artwork. But this particular book is a bit different from most of her published works. Not only did she illustrate it, but also wrote the story. It’s based on a personal tale of her own, when her son was young and wouldn’t go to sleep. Definitely relatable for any parent, but what makes me particularly want to check it out is that based on her description, it sounds seriously gorgeous.
You can pick up a copy from IndieBound HERE
More about the book on Sophie’s blog
Dr. Sketchy’s – Koala Kunst
Another contributor that’s always busy with something new is Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR ep 8), this month bringing Australian models Agent Cleave and Jess Daly for “Koala Kunst.” Surely a title as deceptively adorable as Australia itself, a continent home to fuzzy marsupials as well as spiders so big they have their own health bars. The night’s festivities are designed just in time for Amanda Palmer’s Down Under Tour.
Sun, June 05, 2011 • 4:00 – 6:00 pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY 10012
$12 advance, $15 door EVENT INFO
FUCK! i’m in my twenties
A question for all 20-somethings: how many of you find yourself saying this on a fairly regular basis? Because I’ve done it at least 15 times. Today. But at least now you know that you aren’t experiencing your quarter-life crisis on your own, right? And existential crises are so much more fun when they happen to someone else, and that someone else has a gratuitous love of profanities. I have no idea who writes this blog, but really, it’s all of us. And someday we’ll all look back and realize that our twenties were actually pretty entertaining, if not utterly terrifying.
This week, we return to our contributor-curated series of blog posts with Lori Nix (RADAR ep 33 – Unnatural History). She found us a nice mix of beautiful works of art and some quirky, off the wall stuff–sort of like her own work.
That’s it, I’m officially jealous of the British. After outdoing us in music and comedy for years, they now roll out this oddly addicting TV spot for milk—which is undoubtedly a result of years of its creators spending too much time on the Internet. Because—and I’ve mentioned this before—the equation goes: cats + doing weird things = roughly 85% of Internet content. Also, note the strange milk cartons they use over there (hey, at least it doesn’t come in bags like in Canada).
Bodies of Water: Ears Will Pop and Eyes Will Blink
The music from this extremely talented LA-based collective has this rolling, lively Spaghetti Western-esque epicness to it that hooked me pretty much immediately, sort of like Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros without all the gimmickry. Ennio Morricone would be proud. But don’t get me wrong, there’s still enough theatrics and choral pieces to make this record the very definition of grand. Listen to it while walking down the street makes your life an instant musical. Just don’t blame me if people stare at you when you start singing along.
Despite new media’s repeated attempts to kill off the magazine once and for all (blogger’s note: hi there, sorry about that!), Hi-Fructose Magazine may be all the proof needed to show that there will always be a place for a beautifully-made, high quality, full color quarterly. Hi-Fructose aims to profile and discuss alternative artists, while at the same time dissecting what “alternative” means, bending genres and shattering norms in the process. Whatever you want to call it, there’s really some stunning work on display here.
You can pick up a copy at most bookstores, or check out their web presence HERE
Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities
It may still be a ways off, but Otherworldly at the Museum of Arts and Design should definitely be worth the wait. Lori Nix and other diorama artists will be showcasing their different creations, extremely detailed microcosms of worlds that are both realistic and surreal—glimpses of our world both as it is and as it could be.
Otherworldly: Optical Delusions and Small Realities
June 7 – September 18
Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019
$15 Admission EVENT INFO
New York Mag (and comments)
When Lori told me she liked to liked to read New York Magazine online to laugh at the comments following the articles, I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. But I didn’t have to look far to find out—the comments section is a nice concentrated cross-section of the Internet as a whole. You’ll find cynical, snarky millennials, sarcastic storytellers, political pundits who insert their opinions of Bush and/or Obama into every conversation, and trolls of course, because trolls simply are and always will be—they are as deeply ingrained into comment threads as the Pope is into Catholicism. It’s worth a laugh on any day you could use a bit of a confidence boost.
Transmedia Talk #2 – Christy Dena, Anita Ondine, Dee Cook Welcome to the second episode of Transmedia Talk a new podcast covering all things story. Transmedia Talk is co-hosted by Nick Braccia and Robert Pratten and looks to shed light on the topic of transmedia storytelling with commentary, interviews and tips on how storytelling is moving into the 21st century.
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]
download podcast running time 1:02:20 Subscribe iTunes… read more
Can a Story Be Too Real? Maureen McHugh has a piece up on MimeFeed about The Illusion of Authenticity, in which she talks about the most compelling storytelling as an alchemical mix between the mundane and the surprising.
So achieving ‘authenticity’ requires novelty in an established convention. The audience needs some level of comfort and some elements of surprise. For now, Transmedia is pretty much always… read more
INTERVIEW: The Future of the Internet Video Business, with Fred Seibert Scott Kirsner sat down with Fred Seibert the other day to have a discussion about the future of web content. Fred Seibert was a key creative force at Nickelodeon, MTV, and Hanna Barbera, and now runs nextnewnetworks and Frederator, both of which focus on creating and distributing content for the digital realm, and building communities around it.
[Audio clip: view… read more
I’ll be honest; it’s difficult for me to describe this without just suggesting you watch it for yourself, and it’s even more difficult to classify this as “watch.” From the National Film Board of Canada, this project tells the story of Pine Point, a planned mining community in central Canada, the people who lived there, and its eventual demise—being completely razed and taken off the map. It’s told through interactive bits, archival footage, pieces of animation, and recorded interviews with the former residents, and it all combines with some lovely music from The Besnard Lakes (one of my personal favorite Canadian bands) for a truly engaging experience that tells more than a straight up documentary ever could.
Ernest Greene, better known by his recording name Washed Out (RADAR season 3) will be following up last year’s excellent EP with his just-announced debut LP, Within and Without (complete with NSFW-ish cover art), due out July 12. But if you can’t wait that long, you can download the first single off the album right now. Eyes Be Closed sounds like a dreamy, trippy journey through a beautiful desert, or perhaps flying through the clouds. Either way, it’d be cool to listen to on the subway just as your train bursts above ground, the sunlight hitting your face.
By the time President Obama came on to announce the death of Osama bin Laden, it was already old news for a lot of wired people—myself included—who probably found out on Facebook or Twitter, and had about an hour to divulge their two cents on the matter. And it really showed how much the world has changed in the past 10 years. It was fascinating to watch the news unfold over the Internet, through mediums such as social media and imageboards, while major news sites struggled to keep up. Mashable has an interesting article on the role of social media in bin Laden’s death, complete with several fascinating infographics that reveal a lot about the world in 2011.
Shantell Martin (RADAR ep 26 – Hidden Oras) will be joining about a dozen other visual artists will be using the façade of the New Museum as a canvas for their collaborative projection installation, Let Us Make Cake, part of Flash:Light, a night time, site-specific series of temporary art installations that re-imagine public space. Other events are planned at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and on Mulberry Street, so it should be quite a night.
Saturday, May 7 · 8:00 pm
The New Museum
New York, NY 10002
Free EVENT INFO
Dr. Sketchy’s Does Jack the Ripper
Not even one of England’s creepiest and bloodiest legends is safe from the imaginations of the good people at Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School (RADAR ep 8). Though really, in hindsight it seems like the perfect backdrop for the grisly tale of murders that scared the petticoats off of Victorian England.
Sunday, May 8 · 4:00pm – 7:00pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY
$12-$15 EVENT INFO
FreedomLab Future Studies is an Amsterdam-based think tank and research lab committed to finding creative solutions to issues in technology, business, and society. The site also features a blog offering thoughts on subjects such as social media, storytelling, and intelligent green energy, while also emphasizing the growing influence of non-Western societies, such as Brazil and Africa, on the world stage. This is definitely a site to watch if you want to get ahead of the curve in the 21st Century.