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.
Profile: SubmarineChannel Dutch media innovators Bruno Felix and Femke Wolting, co-founders of Submarine.com, collaborated to produce Submarinechannel.com, an initiative designed to explore and promote innovative approaches to… 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.
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
EVENTS: DIY DAYS and FHTA head to SF This coming weekend the Workbook Project will stage two free events in San Francisco.
FHTA invades San Francisco – Screenings and DIY DAYS
Friday August 15th at 8pm – Mint Plaza and the Mezzanine 444 Jessie St.
Cinegogo, myspace, and the Workbook Project present:
From Here to Awesome – You’re the Festival Programmer
For more info and to secure your… read more
RADAR NYC 6.9.11 LOOK
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… read more
Olek seems to be some sort of knitting goddess. You worship her now! Just kidding. But in all honesty, how can you take your eyes away from the sheer eccentricity that is wrapping a monument in crochet work. That’s some crazy stuff. It’s great to see that the New Yorkers that were stumbling around Wall St. in the wee hours weren’t afraid to approach this woman on a mission. Seeing this makes me want to pick up some needles and knit one, pearl two. Whatever that means. I’m sure this will inspire some sort of knitting craze. Pity if it doesn’t.
Sarah Lipstate, a.k.a. Noveller (RADAR ep 28 – Before I Die) came in for a live session and interview on WNYC this past Monday, Jan 31. If you weren’t lucky enough to listen then, her appearance is now available as a podcast you can listen to right now. In the interview, she discusses the rising prominence of female guitarists, the background of her recording name, and the various pieces of gear she uses for her music. She also plays two beautifully sweeping and ambient songs, which should definitely add some much-needed warmth to a cold winter’s day.
This year, there was a Pandemic at Sundance Festival. Workbook Project founder Lance Weiler unleased Pandemic 1.0, a transmedia experience involving various aspects both online and offline, where players could work to stop a global pandemic that plays out like an apocalyptic supervirus. Centered around a short film and an upcoming feature, Hope is Missing, the project told a story through a variety of mediums, including Twitter, and various story objects planted throughout Park City. In the two interviews, Weiler discusses the project, what he hopes to accomplish from it, and the research and development involved in Pandemic 1.0 and Hope is Missing.
Wall Street Journal interview HERE
Sundance interview HERE
It seems like our contributors are in the mood for love this Valentine’s Day. And whether you’re a happy couple or forever alone, there’s no reason to stay in this year.
Dr. Sketchy’s Does Valentines Day
If your idea of Valentine’s love is cabaret performance art mixed with your own artistic expression, Dr. Sketchy’s (RADAR ep 8) has a special Valentine’s installment of their Anti-Art School.
Sunday, Feb 13 · 4:00 – 7:00 pm
The Bowery Poetry Club
New York, NY 10012
$10 advance, $15 at door EVENT INFO
The Poetry Brothel: Milonga
For those of you with a more poetic idea of love, but still have a taste for the cabaret, the Poetry Brothel (RADAR ep 20) presents Milonga, a Valentine’s edition of their inventive poetry readings.
Sunday, Feb 13 · 8:00 pm – 1:00 am
The Back Room
102 Norfolk St.
New York, NY 10002
$5 – $15 EVENT INFO
Missed Connections: A Love in Transit Party
And for those whose idea of romance involves falling for a beautiful stranger on the subway, Sophie Blackall (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) invites you to find your Missed Connection at the New York Transit Museum.
Monday Feb 14 · 6:00 – 8:00 pm
New York Transit Museum
130 Livingston St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Free EVENT INFO
Factory25 dredges up the very best and the most interesting of the art/music news and plugs it into their twitter feed. This Brooklyn based film and music label is on top of the the happenings in the ever eccentric and changing industry of expression. Their linked articles are from acclaimed sources, and it is so convenient having them just show up on your feed. Factory25 does all the searching for you. It is a true service for us all.
Our friend Shantell Martin (RADAR ep 26 – Hidden Oras) is at it again, and fellow RADAR contributor Aakash Nihalani would probably enjoy this video as much as we did. This video is a time lapse of Shantell and friends in Tokyo putting together and taking apart a beautiful mural on the ground, during her time in Japan in 2009. And maybe I’m a bit slow, but it took me a few views to realize the video is actually in reverse. Mind = blown.
Shantell Martin’s website
Interview with Shantell about the tape drawing here
We haven’t heard much from Lavalier (RADAR ep 16 – Missed Connections) lately, but clearly they’ve been busy. Their video for their new single, “Twilight Lovebite” seems to be less about the bafflingly popular vampire series and more in line with the weirder old episodes of The Twilight Zone. More specifically, it seems to be a trippy combination of The Twilight Zone, The Shining, and a video game from the 70s. And maybe you shouldn’t watch it before going to bed…
If you’re a grammar snob like me, taking the time to make sure even your text messages use proper spelling and grammar, then you probably know what it’s like to seethe with quiet rage every time you see a sign with quotation marks where they simply should not be present. Quotation marks are quite a loaded piece of punctuation—they tend to suggest sarcasm, disbelief, or suspicion when used for something other than actually quoting someone. This book, as well as the blog it is based on, highlight the strangest and most out of place instances of quotation marks we see every day. It should definitely be an “interesting” read.
After being quiet for a while, SLAM Theatre (RADAR ep 6) is back this month! The spontaneous play writing and acting competition is open for everyone–so if you are an actor or writer, you just might get to participate. The first 10 scripts through the door compete, and actors may drop their names into a hat. Of course, anyone is also welcome as an audience member as well. This session is actually five weeks long, meeting every Sunday night, same time and place–four weeks of competition, with the fifth week showcasing the champion. It began last night, but you can still check out the rest of the show.
Begins Sunday January 9 · 7:00 pm
Downstairs at the Tank Theatre
354 West 45th St. at 9th Ave.
New York, NY 10036 EVENT INFO
Diana Eng (RADAR ep 31 – Fairytale Fashion) has been busy. With her newfound success as a designer who creates whimsical fashions using math and technology, she’s gained recognition from tech geeks and fashionistas alike. She’ll even be a curator at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) this year. And recently, she launched a new website for her brand, which features a blog on how she designs and creates her work.
RADAR NYC 6.25.10 WATCH
Slush Pile Funnies – Joe InFurnari’s
Take one really talented comic writer/illustrator, a handful of his worst ideas, and website to showcase all of it and you have Joe Infurnari’s Slush Pile Funnies. Infurnari, who’s related to Smith Mag’s excellent Next Door Neighbor webcomic (RADAR 001 – Next Door Neighbor), has been making comics for a while now, and… read more
FCKD Mag – RADAR S3 Ep 32 [vid] Ryan Watkins-Hughes, founder of the FCKD Mag project, is a deconstructionist through and through. In this latest project, Ryan is making a social commentary on advertisements by purchasing the flashiest, advert filled magazines and altering the covers as well as the ads inside of the magazine. By adding his artwork to the already printed magazine Ryan is replacing the “junk… read more
Space Hunter – RADAR S4 Ep 40 [vid] Heather Gargon is a Space Hunter who travels with her sister Kristen to worlds unknown in search of exotic life forms. The Space Hunter project includes creatures that Heather draws, builds and animates via stop motion photography – all elements of an expansive installation. The worlds that she creates are fantastic and whimsical, and mix a nostalgic atmosphere with the… read more
Now, we suggested a few weeks ago that you follow Marc Horowitz (RADAR ep18 – Google Maps Road Trip) in his latest project, The Advice of Strangers. For the month of November, he put up his daily decisions to a poll for his followers to vote on, everything from who to vote for in the election to how he should indulge in an egg roll. If you didn’t check it out, here’s your chance to see what you missed. The response was quite overwhelming, some of the polls getting more than a thousand votes. And even though the polls are all closed now, he’s still posting a few updates. And if you have been following along, it’s definitely been cool to see it all unfold.
Reading Rainbow (RADAR ep38 – Weathervane) is a blast of reverb-happy, jangly guitars and catchy male-female vocal harmonies. And now they have an album out! Prism Eyes, their new LP, is a fast-paced, yet dreamy, adventure through a series of different genres and eras of music, including lo-fi garage rock, shoegaze, surf rock, and even a bit of 60s pop. What ties it all together is the high production values that really do create a wall of sound. This Philadelphia duo is definitely a band to follow in 2011.
By night Tanya Fischer is part of the blood-drenched punk rock/performance art group Bambi Killers (RADAR ep12 – Bambi Killers), but in prime time she plays the character Zoey on the show The Defenders. It’s forgivable if you couldn’t recognize her without the blood. Here’s an interview where she talks about finding time to balance both gigs, as well as her film debut in “The Assassination of a High School President.” She also describes Bruce Willis as “a cool cat.” I like anyone who can work that phrase into an interview. Check it out!
Bear Hands (RADAR ep37 – Dickchicken) recently released their energetic debut album, Burning Bush Supper Club, and now they’re coming home to New York. On Dec 17, they’re playing at the famous Bowery Ballroom, with opening bands Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and The Tony Castles. Get your tickets before the show sells out!
Friday, Dec 17 – 8:00 p.m.
6 Delancey St.
New York, NY 10002
$13-$15 EVENT INFO
Fucked In Park Slope
I’ll start with a personal anecdote: I was walking down 5th Ave in Park Slope, behind a family about to cross the street, only to have a car run a red light in front of them. The father flips out, screaming obscenities and starts kicking the car, and then kicks another car, in front of his kids, with his wife egging him on.
It was then when I realized that maybe Park Slope isn’t quite as quaint as I originally thought. And that’s what this blog is for. Fucked in Park Slope is written by residents of this pretty, gentrified and allegedly family-friendly neighborhood, where they rant, rave, and snarkily report the daily happenings. Honestly, if you’ve ever gotten frustrated by the G train, this blog is for you.