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.
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.
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.
Cross-Pollination: the Strength of a Community “What’s amazing about where we sit now in a society, we’re global we’re more connected than we’ve ever been before, and we have more devices than we’ve ever had before. This is an amazing time to be a storyteller. I think that inherently, what you’ll start to see is that the next generation of social networking will push more story… read more
CONNECTED with Tiffany Shlain We caught up with Tiffany Shlain as she prepares to release her newest feature, CONNECTED “An Autoblogography about Love, Death and Technology.” A DIY pioneer, Tiffany is always at the forefront of utilizing interesting and innovative ways to reach and engage audiences. Starting next week CONNECTED makes its way to screens nation wide after a successful festival run.
What made… read more
RADAR NYC 5.20.10 LOOK
Appropedia – The How-To On Sustainability
Remember when we showed you the awesome sustainability powers of the living art satellite, Waterpod (RADAR 017 – Waterpod) Well, if you were struck by the project’s use of appropriate technology and green living, you’re going to want to check out Appropedia. Yeah, it does sound a lot like Wikipedia, except this web-based… 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.
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.
VIDEO: Power to the Pixel Power to the Pixel is a conference that focuses on funding, producing and distributing films in the digital age. The next edition of PTTP will be held in Paris this coming June. Liz Rosenthal the founder of PTTP was kind of enough to share the following video. Please feel free to embed and spread.
The final Power to the Pixel… read more
Where pain meets fun: the creative process “What the hell am I doing? I can’t write. How do people fucking do this for a living?” These are the poisonous phrases of defeat that loop inside my brain prior to my turning into a robot and heading toward the refrigerator to binge on cheese even though I’m a vegan.
I’m a firm believer in rolling up your sleeves… read more
At this year’s DIY Days, I had the pleasure of getting to see Molly Crabapple (RADAR ep 8) speak about how she created Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School and turned it into a global affair with branches of amazing models and artists all over the world. And while she was speaking, I asked myself “why haven’t we gotten her to curate a blog yet? She’d have some amazing stuff.” And she did.
Serge Gainsbourg – Poinconneur des Lilas
In this classic clip, legendary French musician Serge Gainsbourg disguises himself as a ticket puncher (“poinconneur”) in the Paris Metro and sings a song about the monotony of the job. It sounds boring, but the song is quite catchy and builds up a rather frantic pace, and the unexpectedly morbid lyrics (at least, for those of us who speak French!) keep it interesting. Definitely something to think about as you ride the subway to work!
Dave van Ronk – “Luang Prabang”
When I first heard this song, my first impression was that of a very dark folk song, or an Irish rebellion chant. It’s actually, of course, American and much more recent—a Vietnam protest song, though the tune is based off of an old English folk song about coal miners. Here, Dave Van Ronk challenges the idea that going to war and sacrificing yourself makes you a “hero”—what good does that actually accomplish? Is it really worth it?
You can find the song on Van Ronk’s album Going Back to Brooklyn, HERE.
Kiki de Montparnasse: The Graphic Biography
You probably recognize the above image, based off the famous photograph by artist Man Ray, though odds are you don’t know much about the model of said photo. Alice Prin, a.k.a. Kiki de Montparnasse, was truly a liberated woman of the 20s: born into poverty but quickly rose up as a muse for many artists, as well as an artist in her own right. Now you can read her story in graphic novel form—because words alone wouldn’t do such an artistic figure justice.
Beginning April 25 and continuing for a week, the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature returns for its seventh year. The festival will feature speakers, panels and films, and will discuss the role of literature and writing, and where it all fits into today’s ultra-connected world of social media, WikiLeaks and revolutions in the Middle East. Be sure to see Molly Crabapple’s live painting installation in the plaza of The Standard hotel—she’ll be working on it every day of the festival.
April 25-May 1
The Standard Hotel
848 Washington Street
New York, New York 10014 EVENT INFO
Coilhouse, Biorequiem, and Gala Darling
Coilhouse is part blog, part published magazine, and devoted to the expression of love for alternative culture. Expect to see everything ranging from short films, fashion, photography and art—anything that’s forward thinking yet still has a vintage style.
Zoetica Ebb is one of the co-founders of Coilhouse, and has her own site too, where she posts blogs, art and photos of her own, all done in a very distinctive and beautiful style. You can also buy some of her work as well.
“Hello! I’m Gala” is what greets visitors to the blog of Gala Darling, a bright and sunny corner of the web that celebrates femininity and promotes “radical self-love.” I found it impossible not to feel awesome after reading a few entries—and I’m a guy, not even the target audience.