Friday, November 17, 2017

Run- DMC on Graffiti Rock from 1984

One of the greatest Hip Hop performances ever on TV:

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Ska legends re-unite, conquering racism and mental illness. The inside story from Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Jony Ive on the Authentic Pursuit of Excellence
Jerry Seinfeld on Coming Out as funny

from the New Yorker:

Jony Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, speaks with David Remnick about the art of focus and working with Steve Jobs.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Barbara Kruger’s Supreme Performance

from the New Yorker "Culture Desk"

In 1927, back when fonts were still little metal glyphs in heavy wooden cases, the German company Bauer Type Foundry opened an office in New York City and launched a new typeface called Futura. The optimistic, sans-serif font was a hit, but the import tariffs of the Great Depression soon strained the available supply. To meet demand, American foundries launched their own faux Futuras, with names like Twentieth Century and Vogue. During the Second World War, Futura languished abroad as its ripoffs, the typographic equivalent of “freedom fries,” filled American pages. By the time the font was welcomed back, in the fifties, its fakes had secured a legacy in its image. Futura was a shorthand for modernity and hope, a staple in ads for the sleek consumer goods designed for the postwar suburban middle class.

A few years later, in the mid-nineteen-sixties, Barbara Kruger was losing her enthusiasm for art school, so she left and took a job at Condé Nast, designing mail-order ads for the back of Mademoiselle. She returned to making art in the seventies, weaving hangings from ribbon and bits of metallic yarn as an exploration of “women’s work,” but felt it was frivolous. In the fall of 1976, she went to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and shortly thereafter turned to collage, reviving the skills that she’d honed as an ad designer. This work paired scenes from banal consumer life with text that reframed the implied motives of her subjects. In one black-and-white work, from 1979, a woman reading Marie Claire appears beside the headline “deluded.” In 1981, Kruger’s art appeared in a group show titled “Public Address,” alongside work by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jenny Holzer. There, she débuted her now iconic style: white Futura text in red boxes.

In 1990, Kruger made what would become her most well-known work, which features a model’s hand holding a red box that reads, “I Shop Therefore I Am.” Since then, her red-and-white Futura has filled the lower lobby of the Hirshhorn Museum, in Washington, and hovered over the breasts of a naked Kim Kardashian on the cover of W (“It’s all about me I mean you I mean me”). What began as a way of subverting the vernacular has become a part of the vernacular itself. Like the Absolut Vodka ads of the eighties, Kruger’s format is easily copied by anyone with a computer and a yearning for subversion. In 1994, the downtown streetwear brand Supreme cribbed Kruger’s red-and-white Futura for its logo—teasing the boundary between homage, parody, and theft. Supreme has earned international appeal by releasing weekly product “drops,” including T-shirts, sweatshirts, boxing gloves, bolt cutters, and, this past February, a limited-edition MetroCard, which draw long lines outside Supreme stores. (Original fans lambaste the non-skating arrivistes as “hypebeasts.”) In 2013, Supreme sued the clothing brand Married to the Mob for infringing on its red-and-white Futura logo. “What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” Kruger told Complex, when asked for her response to the lawsuit. “I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.”

Last week, Kruger, who is seventy-two, installed five new works in red-and-white Futura as part of this year’s Performa biennial. The commission includes a billboard in Chelsea, a roving yellow school bus, a limited-edition MetroCard, and an installation at the skatepark in Coleman Square Playground, which pose questions like “Who owns what?” on red vinyl decals wrapping the ramps. The installation seems to nod at Supreme in a way that is more than oblique or accidental, and yet Kruger was reluctant to confirm that the work was meant as a direct address to the brand. “The whole idea of streetwear being branded and corporatized is only something that’s emerged with this sort of power over the past fifteen to eighteen years,” she told me over the phone last week. “I think it’s sort of interesting, and it’s very complicated but compelling, that my work and ideas and visuality have been drawn into so many sites of communication.” Kruger has a savvy, forthright way of speaking. She brackets loaded words with “quote-unquote” to suggest a degree of eye-rolling distance. When I asked about the Supreme lawsuit, she said, “I thought it was so amusing. Here are these people, so cool—like, you know, totally rad, out of the bubble—and there they are suing each other on the most conventional, proprietary, monetary level.” She paused. “I really make my work about those kind of moments. I tried to reply on that level in three sentences,” she said, referring to her “clusterfuck” comment. “It has nothing whatsoever to do with Supreme quote ‘ripping me,’ unquote. They’ve been doing that forever. I don’t care!”

The centerpiece of the Performa commission is Kruger’s first live performance, a recurring event titled “Untitled (The Drop).” Last Thursday, outside a former American Apparel store in SoHo, a line of guests for the opening stretched around the block. Hired bouncers managed the crowds. A woman in Pucci sneakers asked to skip ahead, but was sent to the back like everyone else. Two teen skateboarders did ollies in the street; it was hard to tell if they were part of the performance.

One woman with bleached-blond hair told a friend, “Now I just feel like one of those teen-agers in line for Supreme. It’s making me feel really embarrassed.” Five minutes later, she got frustrated and left. The line continued its slow creep forward. Patrons left the storefront with brown shopping bags. Visitors would be allowed ten minutes in the space, and purchases were limited to only two items. “Maybe they’ll be selling skateboards,” one man hoped.

Inside the store, the set was arranged to look like a store. Everyone clumped at the door to take photos of the red-and-white Futura items for sale, including an embroidered beanie with the phrase “Want it Buy it Forget it” (forty dollars) and T-shirts that read “Whose hopes? Whose fears? Whose values? Whose justice?” (forty-five dollars). The man bought his skateboard deck (sixty-five dollars). A sign, in Futura, hanging by the register said that the proceeds would benefit Performa. Near the door, a woman took a selfie. Outside, the line had doubled in length. It was hard to tell exactly who was ripping whom.
Jamie Lauren Keiles is a freelance writer.

Saturday at 1pm at 427 Broadway, New York City

As Performa 17 examines the sociopolitical context informing contemporary art today, with work examining immediate and critical concerns confronting our urban centers, the shifting political and cultural currents of our world today, and the role of the arts and of artists in supporting afflicted communities, Heavy Discussion v.3 examines skateboarding through a female perspective, reflecting on skateboarding as an art and women in skateboarding as the afflicted community. Due to major political and cultural shifts within that community, including the recent induction of skateboarding in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, increased normalization of skateboarding in popular culture increasing female participation, and expanding corporate interest, now is a perfect time to foster dialogue.

Panelists / Alexis Sablone / Kea Duarte / Sara Kay / Jaime Reyes / Elissa Steamer

Monday, November 13, 2017

School of Life Monday:
"How to Make a Decision"

Life constantly forces us to make very big and often very painful decisions. When we are next facing such a choice, here is a small exercise that could help us to know our own minds more clearly.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Sunday with Svenonius

His new project ESCAPE-ISM (videos)

From the album Introduction to Escape-ism, out November 10, 2017 on Merge Records.

bonus :
tracks from earlier in 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

When A 60-something Feminist Artist [Beat Down]
Overgrown [Wannabe] Skaters

I make it clear over the years that the brand discussed in this article is on my shit list. In fact no one is allowed to come into one of my exhibitions if they are wearing anything with the name on their person or board. Nor will I photograph anyone no matter how talented if they are supporting this bullshit brand. They have stolen from me and other artists and friends. They are the antithesis of cool, they are SHIT.

from The CUT

I Think About This a Lot:
When a 60-Something Feminist Artist Dragged Overgrown Skaters
By Kat Stoeffel
The best insult I’ve ever heard came out of one of the most trivial news stories I’ve ever followed.

The story involves the cult skatewear line Supreme, in the years before it was fashion-relevant, back when it was just an expensive hobby for rich teens and cool dads.

Important historical context: Before Supreme partnered with Louis Vuitton, it ripped them off. In 2000, Louis Vuitton sent Supreme a cease-and-desist letter when their trademark showed up on skateboards. So did other entities whose logos Supreme used on hoodies and jackets, such as the NHL and the NCAA.

These days, Supreme doesn’t steal, it collaborates. But intellectual property theft is in its DNA. The white Futura on a red box logo is “inspired” by 72-year-old artist Barbara Kruger, who uses an identical text treatment to collage anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian maxims over 1950s advertising-style black-and-white photographs.

In May of 2013 — decades after Supreme started slinging T-shirts with a bootleg Kruger logo — Kruger made her opinion of Supreme known. The circumstances of this event involve in-group drama that is tedious to recount — an ouroboros of cringe. But the outcome was one of the sickest burns since “virgin who can’t drive,” so bear with me.

A rival clothing company run by young women was selling hypebeast parody items, beanies that said “Supreme Bitch” and the like. Supreme tolerated Supreme Bitch until they tried to trademark “Supreme Bitch,” at which point Supreme sued the makers of* Supreme Bitch for $10 million for stealing the logo Supreme stole from another woman. The whole thing made me want to look away. Thank god I didn’t, because Foster Kamer, an editor for Complex at the time, had the good sense to ask Kruger (the Ur-bitch?) for a comment.

Kruger’s response was a blank email with a Microsoft Word document attached, file name “fools.doc.” What fools.doc contained gave me the words to understand the Supreme v. Supreme Bitch feud. It also gave me the tools to analyze the many inconsequential imbroglios that would follow.

“What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” Kruger wrote. “I make my work about this kind of sadly foolish farce. I’m waiting for all of them to sue me for copyright infringement.”

I think about fools.doc about once a week. The absence of digital niceties in Kruger’s statement sends a chill of awe down my spine. My own file names have since become tributes to its evocative brevity (bummer$$.xls, doneforever.pdf).

But mostly, I think about “what a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers,” because it is a perfect insult. Kruger didn’t call Supreme thieves or Supreme Bitch opportunists and, in her amusement and restraint, did more damage than the most hyperbolic flame war. Engaging with petty drama is a way of validating it. WARCOTUJ dismisses an entire situation without even bothering to differentiate the players.

Husband’s tribute to curvy wife sparks backlash?

Animal shelter slams Lena Dunham’s abused dog farewell post?

Ted Cruz staffer faves porn tweet?

You don’t need an opinion, all you need are eight words: “What a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers.” Repeat and keep scrolling.

WARCOTUJ is equally useful in one’s personal life. I think of it when a minor workplace conflict devolves into reply-all hell (“just jumping in here … ”) or when a party I wasn’t invited to turns into an Instagram photo shoot. I thought it of myself one recent Saturday morning, when I waited in line (in 90-degree heat with no cover) for an indie, luxury-candle sample sale.

On a deeper level, I love WARCOTUJ because it’s a feminist critique of Supreme. Supreme’s use of logos isn’t an earnest, Adbusters-style commentary or a clever fashion world send-up à la Comme des Fuckdown. Call it a ripoff, an homage, or a collaboration, Supreme’s style of straight-up appropriation is evasive. It’s a way of signifying something without actually coming out and saying anything.

Supreme relies on obscurity to retain an aura of cool — sending hypebeasts racing to prove they “get” its references. Kruger’s popularity, meanwhile, is a function of her legibility. Lines like “I shop therefore I am” and “Your body is a battleground” transform the appropriation of familiar images from a commentary for the benefit of other art-world insiders into something accessibly meaningful and politically powerful.

Kruger’s quotability feels inextricable from her being a woman artist. At least, it doesn’t strike me as a coincidence that so many prominent female artists — Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Tracey Emin — use text in their art. Or that after a female celebrity turns 50, she becomes a beacon of DGAF candor. If you can’t count on being heard, you can’t risk being misunderstood.

I don’t want to jinx it, but it does suddenly feel like they’re being heard. Holzer’s “Abuse of power comes as no surprise” has become a rallying cry in the art world’s reckoning with its own Weinsteins. Kruger, meanwhile, is headlining the performance-art fair Performa 17, and her pieces all seem designed to mimic Supreme. In addition to a Kruger “takeover” of a Lower East Side skatepark and a Kruger Soho pop-up shop (billed as a performance) with around-the-block lines and strict item limits, the MTA is releasing a limited-edition line of MetroCards printed with her provocative questions — a better version of a stunt Supreme pulled earlier this year.

So you can find me at one of the four subway stops said to have Kruger cards, waiting in line with all the other fangirls, trying all the machines, messing up your commute. You know what to do. Say to yourself — what a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers — and walk on by.



also from ARTSY : I Went to Barbara Kruger’s First-Ever Performance—and Left with a Skateboard

Friday, November 10, 2017

Nadya of Pussy Riot on MSNBC

Nadya Tolokonnikova from the Russian punk music and protest group Pussy Riot joins MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell to discuss the similarities and differences between President Trump and Vladimir Putin and to share her advice for the American resistance.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lots of my Video interviews and more
can be seen on the Burning Flags Press
Vimeo page

From the Paradigm Magazine "Rear Window" series of interviews by Theo Constantinou, filmed by Eric Ashleigh, in January 2012 on a freezing day walking around New York City's East Village.

Theo's introduction:

There was this book I had seen when I was in high school called Fuck You Heroes, by Glen E. Friedman. That book and those memories, prior to Google images and blogs, was where I saw every iconic punk and skate image that shaped my 15 year old mind, ethos and approach to skateboarding. I knew before I wrote my interview with Glen that I could gear the questions primarily towards his photographs, and we could talk for hours about those images and their impact on not only myself, but the other like minded punks I knew over a decade ago. What I was thinking about while writing this interview with Glen, is the same thing I think about when I write each of my interviews now; how can I push the scope of what Glen will talk to me about if I ask him something that will alter not only the way I think of something, but maybe inspire, like Glen’s photographs, some 15 year old kid’s perspective from my interview with him. For me, that is exactly what happened: an altered perspective and a motto to remember everyday while trying to achieve one’s goals. “And that’s just all there is to it. Don’t care about what other people think about what you’re doing, if you’re inspired to do something, if you want to do something, if you have some kind of feeling that you should do something … then you should just do it; don’t let what other people’s preconceived ideas of good behavior, or whatever it is, limit you to thinking what you should and shouldn’t do.” If you are inspired to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses for yourself or let someone else tell you your inspiration is no good. Glen taught me a lot that day and continues to inspire, I hope this video does the same for you.

Paradigm Magazine:

Paradigm Magazine's You Tube channel

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads (video)

We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.