Monday, April 26, 2010

Today I'm getting into....

The Radio Dept.'s new album, Clinging to a Scheme.

It came out last week, and I was excited to hear that after four years they have finally released another full length. I am still working out how I feel about different tracks, etc, but on the whole I can say I love the album. I take that back, I have loved the song "This Time Around" for months. Anyways...Minimalistic, somewhat repetitive, post-punk, shoe-gazing nerd out. Where was this in my teenage years? honestly. hate to love it as much as I do.

I love that one of the tracks, "Heaven's On Fire,: samples a Thurston Moore quote in the beginning:

Reporter: People see rock’n'roll as youth culture and when youth culture becomes monopolized by big business what are the youth to do? Do you have any idea?

Thurston Moore: I think we should destroy the bogus capital process that is destroying youth culture.

Friday, April 16, 2010

the glory of an open lens

Because of some things happening in my personal life, I have been encouraged to learn more about photography, long exposures, and for the sake of sass, the benefit of keeping one's own lens open- *ahem.*

Here are some artists I have become particularly interested in.

Dean Chamberlain.

Chamberlain was born in Boston, MA ( a very neat town—I visited only last weekend!). He has focused his artistic energy on photography since age 15, and on light painting since his twenties. His unique lighting effects and (super) extended exposure times have attracted me to his work since I first learned about light art/photography. He has truly revolutionized portraiture—his models sitting for up to five hours as he paints the space around them with carried and projected lights of myriad colors, widths, shapes…creating almost mystical images around them. His technique was described by one of his exhibitions as "Painting With Light Through Time and Space."

Toby Keller
Using light to interact with the landscape.

Toby Keller is based out of Santa Barbara, CA that works for the Turning Studio, and owns Burn Blue Photography in Design. Though his other work is remarkable, his light photography/light painting attracts me (the total photo layperson) the most because of the way seemingly artificial light interacts with the natural in his work. Free flowing forms of light seem organic, almost like pure energy, and interact with rocks, the sea, mountains, etc. Keller takes what is already perfect- nature, and makes it seem supernatural almost with energy displayed as ribbons of glowing light.

Cenci Goepel and Jens Warnecke
This duo create stark images that highlight the ghostly, ethereal quality of natural beauty. These images grab me because their technique seems to make the illuminated, often rigid but fluid forms (like liquid metal?) seem to blend in with their backgrounds in a way that makes the landscape look as though it is from some alien planet rather than our own.

Eric Staller
Urban Light Play

In the latte 70's Eric Staller created long time exposures done at night in New York City. These have been exhibitied world wide. Exposures were several minutes in length.

more to come!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"dance me through the panic til' I'm gathered safely in"

I have been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen at work. Amazing.

(quote from "Dance me to the End of Love." I especially like the live version)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 Favorite Public April Fool's Jokes: let's not take ourselves too seriously today!

Nixon Runs Again!
1992: National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation program announced that Richard Nixon, in a surprise move, was running for President again. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Accompanying this announcement were audio clips of Nixon delivering his candidacy speech. Listeners responded viscerally to the announcement, flooding the show with calls expressing shock and outrage. Only during the second half of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that the announcement was a practical joke. Nixon's voice was impersonated by comedian Rich Little.

Alabama Changes the Value of Pi to make it "more Christian"
1998: The April 1998 issue of the New Mexicans for Science and Reason newsletter contained an article claiming that the Alabama state legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi from 3.14159 to the 'Biblical value' of 3.0. Soon the article made its way onto the internet, and then it rapidly spread around the world, forwarded by email. It only became apparent how far the article had spread when the Alabama legislature began receiving hundreds of calls from people protesting the legislation. The original article, which was intended as a parody of legislative attempts to circumscribe the teaching of evolution, was written by physicist Mark Boslough.
Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity
1976: The British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on BBC Radio 2 that at 9:47 AM a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur that listeners could experience in their very own homes. The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment that this planetary alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, BBC2 began to receive hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman even reported that she and her eleven friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room.
Instant Color TV
1962: In 1962 there was only one tv channel in Sweden, and it broadcast in black and white. The station's technical expert, Kjell Stensson, appeared on the news to announce that, thanks to a new technology, viewers could convert their existing sets to display color reception. All they had to do was pull a nylon stocking over their tv screen. Stensson proceeded to demonstrate the process. Thousands of people were taken in. Regular color broadcasts only commenced in Sweden on April 1, 1970.
UFO Lands in London
1989: On March 31, 1989 thousands of motorists driving on the highway outside London looked up in the air to see a glowing flying saucer descending on their city. Many of them pulled to the side of the road to watch the bizarre craft float through the air. The saucer finally landed in a field on the outskirts of London where local residents immediately called the police to warn them of an alien invasion. Soon the police arrived on the scene, and one brave officer approached the craft with his truncheon extended before him. When a door in the craft popped open, and a small, silver-suited figure emerged, the policeman ran in the opposite direction. The saucer turned out to be a hot-air balloon that had been specially built to look like a UFO by Richard Branson, the 36-year-old chairman of Virgin Records. The stunt combined his passion for ballooning with his love of pranks. His plan was to land the craft in London's Hyde Park on April 1. Unfortunately, the wind blew him off course, and he was forced to land a day early in the wrong location.

Flying Penguins
2008: The BBC announced that camera crews filming near the Antarctic for its natural history series Miracles of Evolution had captured footage of Adélie penguins taking to the air. It even offered a video clip of these flying penguins, which became one of the most viewed videos on the internet. Presenter Terry Jones explained that, instead of huddling together to endure the Antarctic winter, these penguins took to the air and flew thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America where they "spend the winter basking in the tropical sun." A follow-up video explained how the BBC created the special effects of the flying penguins.

Metric Time
1975: Australia's This Day Tonight news program revealed that the country would soon be converting to "metric time." Under the new system there would be 100 seconds to the minute, 100 minutes to the hour, and 20-hour days. Furthermore, seconds would become millidays, minutes become centidays, and hours become decidays. The report included an interview with Deputy Premier Des Corcoran who praised the new time system. The Adelaide townhall was even shown sporting a new 10-hour metric clock face. The thumbnail (found at shows TDT Adelaide reporter Nigel Starck posing with a smaller metric clock. TDT received numerous calls from viewers who fell for the hoax. One frustrated viewer wanted to know how he could convert his newly purchased digital clock to metric time.
Big Ben Gets a Make-over
1980: The BBC reported that Big Ben, in order to keep up with the times, was going to be given a digital readout. The announcement received a huge response from listeners shocked and angered by the proposed change. The BBC Japanese service also announced that the clock hands would be sold to the first four listeners to contact them. One Japanese seaman in the mid-Atlantic immediately radioed in a bid.
PETA’s Tournament of Sleeping Fish
In 2000 the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) warned that it planned to sabotage the bass fishing tournament in East Texas's Lake Palestine by releasing tranquilizers into the lake before the tournament. Their announcement stated that "this year, the fish will be napping, not nibbling." State officials took the threat seriously and stationed rangers around the lake in order to stop any tranquilizer-toting PETA activists from drugging the fish, and numerous newspapers reported the threat. Eventually PETA admitted that it had been joking.
Blame it on France: Chunnel Disaster
In 1990 the News of the World reported that the Chunnel project, which was already suffering from huge cost overruns, would face another big additional expense caused by a colossal engineering blunder. Apparently the two halves of the tunnel, being built simultaneously from the coasts of France and England, would miss each other by 14 feet. The error was attributed to the fact that French engineers had insisted on using metric specifications in their blueprints. The mistake would reportedly cost $14 billion to fix.