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.
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.
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.
Transmedia Talk #3 – Jeff Hull, Jeremy Bornstein Welcome to 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.
This episode is in TWO parts
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]
[Audio clip:… read more
The Power of User Generated Content At SXSW I watched Christopher Poole (founder of the infamous 4chan) introduce his new project Canvas. This isn’t as edgy as his previous meme factory. Canvas provides basic tools for users to post and alter pictures. Think of it like a message board where users have conversations through constantly evolving images. A long thread starting with a picture of… read more
this conference is being recorded – Kevin Wheatley This edition of TCIBR is brought to you by IndieFlix – Our guest today is writer, co-director and star of THE BEACH PARTY AT THE THRESHOLD OF HELL, Kevin Wheatley. On Oct. 19th, National Lampoon will release the film theatrically in 27 cities. Kevin discusses how he and co-director Jonny Gillette created a post apocalyptic political comedy with limited… read more
Eliza Skinner (RADAR ep 2 – I Eat Pandas) returns to the world of Internet videos with this short about a couple going through an angry breakup just as their friends arrive for an Oscars party. Hijinks ensue, guests are weirded out, and movie puns are thrown around—and for some reason movie puns are so much funnier when shouted in a fit of rage. Movie nerds will either cringe or chortle. Or both. Either way, Eliza is quite hilarious as a pissed off ex-girlfriend.
Morningbell – Lovefool
Before I watched this video, I thought the title was just a coincidence—surely they weren’t covering that classic 90s radio mainstay? But that’s exactly what Morningbell (RADAR ep 33 – Unnatural History) did. And they did it gloriously. They stayed true to the original while giving it a bit of their own odd flair. And the breakfast-tastic video definitely ups the weirdness factor. You know, for those of you who like your 90s nostalgia with a side of scrambled eggs.
Sophie Blackall has to be one of our busiest contributors. When she’s not creating beautiful blog posts about her father’s adventures or the Missed Connections of complete strangers, she’s creating amazing illustrations for children’s books. Her latest work is the illustrations for The Crows of Pearblossom, a short story originally written in 1944 by the legendary British author Aldous Huxley. Her vivid artwork gives a modern and whimsical flair to the classic tale.
Have you ever wanted to see Internet memes live on stage? As it turns out, the Gregory Brothers (RADAR ep 27 – Auto Tune the News) are among the many YouTube musicians performing as part of the DigiTour—and they’re playing New York on May 1. Go see the show, and then spend the rest of May with musical current events stuck in your head.
Sunday, May 1 · 7:00 pm
127 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
$18 EVENT INFO
Slam Theatre week 1
SLAM Theatre (RADAR ep 6) is back this spring with another round of their fast-paced playwright and actor competition. It will be going on for the next four weeks, but Sunday is the first round of eliminations for this series, and you don’t want to miss the beginning.
Sunday April 24 · 7:00 – 12:00 am
Sunday, May 1 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm
The Tank NYC
354 West 45th Street
New York, NY
$5 suggested donation EVENT INFO
Luke Williams is a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business who specializes in disruptive innovation—a constant stream of unexpected changes and challenges to the old status quo. And in this world where “recession” is the word on everyone’s mind, new, disruptive ideas are more important than ever. While his blog (and book), DISRUPT may have been written with businesses in mind, the ideas he gives in his posts are surprisingly applicable to anyone.
Parts + Labor is a cute short film made by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Sean O’Malley and starring Barak Hardley and Tipper Newton. In it, a girl on a budget tries to get her motorbike fixed and strikes up a conversation with the mechanic. What follows is a simple yet extremely well made and funny short about a short but sweet connection between two people. It’s nice to see a comedy short that feels natural and doesn’t rely so much on awkwardness as similar films tend to do. If you’ve been having a nasty day so far, this should quickly turn it around.
Javelin – Canyon Candy
Electro/hip-hop duo Javelin (RADAR ep 27 – Auto-Tune the News) just wrapped up their latest 10” entitled Canyon Candy, which will be out later this spring. Their next project will be a film to go along with it—a surreal, epic western, shot in Brooklyn of all places (but if the final product is anything like the preview video, it should be quite amazing). They’ll be shooting it this April, and you can actually help out—they launched a Kickstarter campaign, and as of today they’re quite close to reaching their $9500 goal. Maybe your pledge will be the one that accomplishes that feat? Either way, there’s also something cool in it for you—a $25 pledge gets you the full album on a sheriff’s badge Playbutton.
Thought Catalog is exactly what it sounds like: a catalog of thoughts. It’s a regularly-updated site where writers from all walks of life, from bloggers to published journalists, publish short opinion pieces on various subjects, ranging from Facebook to the New York City Subway to house parties. The reflections are more cultural than political, and clever without being pretentious, and the pieces are packaged together on a clean, well-designed site that doesn’t inundate the reader with ads. Take a look; odds are you’ll find something that interests you on the first page.
Now that the snow’s all thawed and everyone’s back from SXSW, spring has finally arrived in New York! And that can only mean one thing: funny, sexy pillow fights?
Dr. Sketchy’s Tribute to Cynthia Von Buhler
Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR ep 8) is back, and what better way to celebrate spring than showing off your art skills? This Sunday’s show features doing a tribute to artist Cynthia Von Buhler.
Sunday, March 27 · 4:00pm – 6:45pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY
$12 advance, $15 at door EVENT INFO
G.L.O.C. Launch Party
When Glennis McMurray (RADAR ep 2 – I Eat Pandas) curated for us a while back, we mentioned her new project G.L.O.C. (Gorgeous Ladies of Comedy). Now that the website TheGLOC.net has launched, it’s time for a party! Expect to see some hilarious comedy from some of the funniest women out there, as well as some other surprises.
Thursday, March 31 · 6:00pm – 8:00pm
200 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
$6 EVENT INFO
Newmindspace Pillow Fight NYC 2011
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Newmindspace (RADAR ep 10), but they’ve returned with a new website and big plans for the 4th annual Pillow Fight Day! Bring your own feather-free pillow and meet at Union Square for the pillow battle of a lifetime.
Saturday, April 2 · 3:00 pm
E. 14th St. & Broadway
New York, NY EVENT INFO
You know, when I used to think of Etsy, I always thought of cute things, like polka dotted dresses and hipster-ish girls selling scarves and ribbons and such. So I was not prepared for what lurking horrors awaited me on Regretsy. And by “lurking horrors” I mean things like “vegan” soap made with human breast milk, ball-exposing man thongs, and actual dead mice dried up (mummified?) and made into craft… things. I’m actually not sure what the mouse things are, except terrifying, and a constant reminder of one’s own mortality—which can be yours for $12.00! Regretsy does us all the service of digging deep into the bizarre, frightening, and occasionally depressing world of the very worst stuff people try to hawk on Etsy, and blogs it to the world with a healthy dose of snark.
Transmedia Talk #17 – Lorie Marsh on Lost in Sunshine Welcome to Transmedia Talk, a new podcast covering all things Story. Transmedia Talk is co-hosted by Nick Braccia, Dee Cook, and Haley Moore 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]
Or Subscribe with iTunes… read more
New Breed LA: Planning for Discoveries [vid] For the community of working-class filmmakers at New Breed a constantly evolving creative process of telling our stories is the one thing we can count on in these changing times. Embarking on journeys through deeper methods of collaboration & engaging with fans across various platforms is certainly exciting – but one thing is for certain, the creative needs to be… read more
How to Improve Engagement with your Webisodes Why do some web producers release their webisodes weekly when they have evergreen content? That is, if their series of web videos are not tied to current events, why not release them all at once?
One answer might be that the release schedule is tied to the production schedule – episodes are being produced one week and released the next.… read more
This week’s edition of RADAR NYC is brought to you by Marc Horowitz (RADAR ep 18 – Google Maps Road Trip). When we last checked in on him, he was working on The Advice of Strangers, a project where he had strangers vote on all his life choices. His latest project is a series of short video “studies,” showing a day in the life of things like talking random objects and dust. Many of his selections for this blog seem to fit the theme of “a day in the life,” whether it’s the life of a city or the life of an imaginative teenager.
Directed by Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler, Manhatta is a short film depicting the city in 1921. And it’s honestly amazing how much hasn’t changed since then—the film depicts shots of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Staten Island Ferry, as well as a few buildings modern New Yorkers would certainly recognize. These are things we see every day, just as we did 90 years ago. A series of shots filmed to show the creators’ love of the city, the stark images of steel and steam invoke a feeling of strength and power It chronicles a moment in the life of not just any city, but The City.
At first glance I thought this was a music video, but it’s actually much more than that. Martin Creed is a Glaswegian conceptual artist, though many of his works mix music and visuals. The song itself manages to be both catchy and chaotic, which contrasts nicely from the minimalist video of two dogs of (very) different size representing Thinking (the small one) and Not Thinking (the large one). It’s quite a funny juxtaposition, reflecting the different roles of consciousness and unconsciousness.
Zombie? Spaceship? Or wasteland? Take your pick, if you like awesome things. Or if you’re a teenager with an overactive imagination. According to comedian Patton Oswalt, these are the themes we tend to gravitate toward as young storytellers. Oswalt shares his thoughts on growing up in this hilarious memoir of his own experiences (of the three above topics, he picked wastelands), from dealing with relatives as a child to working in a “grim Canadian comedy club.” It should definitely be a great read for all those creative kids who grew up in the suburbs.
This week’s even goes out to our readers in LA. Roman Signer is a Swiss Artist who specializes in what he calls “momentary sculptures,” essentially small live installations that are captured on video. One work, “Barrel with Camera,” is of Signer placing a camera in a barrel and rolling it down a hill, though the video withholds this information until the end to give the viewer a humorous revelation. Many of his works invoke humor, ranging from slapstick to dark comedy, all laced with social commentary against pretensions. The art world could always use a bit more humor.
Ongoing through March 14
8687 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA EVENT INFO
News, Words, and Drawings of the Day
Finally, Marc gives us a few things to follow, including a couple we can follow on our smart phones. The Fluent News app gives us a break from the cacophony of all the different news outlets out there, and aggregates the top stories into a mobile newspaper that the viewer can customize to his or her own tastes. For all the language geeks out there, there’s the Dictionary app, which includes a Word of the Day feature for those of us who like to confuse our friends with our ever-expanding vocabularies. And this last one isn’t an app, but artist Lauren Nassef posts a new drawing every day on her website, ranging from current events (Gaddafi) to some rather beautiful vintage-esque portraits.