Thursday, August 22
"In 2008, Barack Obama’s Chicago headquarters housed engineers from Facebook and coders from Google. Everything was optimized for the web, from the talking points to the logo—the simple, minimal, now iconic Obama 'O.' The candidate’s graphic designers even made use of a new typeface, Gotham, which was so well suited to social media that the Discovery Networks and SNL later folded it into their own branding. A decade later, the minimalist, startup-y aesthetic Obama pioneered during his first campaign is omnipresent, both in politics and in Silicon Valley, where apps from Tinder to Facebook have taken to using the style in their marketing materials. Partly because of its simplicity and adaptability across platforms, half of the 2020 Democratic field has embraced good, responsible, rather vacuous 2010s design, as well. ..."
"'I don’t have a blueprint, really,' says Jannis Stürtz when asked how he discovers records to release on Habibi Funk, his reissue label for ’60s – ’80s funk and soul music from the Arab world. Alonsgide running his other label, Jakarta Records (with releases from artists like Mura Masa and Kaytranada), and DJing around the world, Stürtz still finds the time to dig for records in 'most [Arab] countries that you can currently go to' outside of the Arabic Peninsula. Sturtz also snuck in some much needed time researching a forthcoming Habibi Funk issue, during a trip to Lebanon for the country’s first Boiler Room. ..."
YouTube: Habibi Funk: An Eclectic Selection of Music from the Arab World (Habibi Funk 007) 16 videos
Wednesday, August 21
Keith Haring at work on his mural Tuttomondo on the wall of the Church of Sant’Antonio, Pisa, in 1989.
"Though he died in 1990, in many ways Keith Haring is still alive. His art is everywhere. There are Haring T-shirts, Haring shoes, Haring chairs. You can buy Haring baseball hats and badges and baby-carriers and playing cards and stickers and keyrings. Keith Haring’s work pops up all over the place – his radiant baby, the barking dog, the dancer, the three-eyed smiling face. Simple, cheerful, upbeat, instantly recognisable. They make you smile and they work like graffiti tags, small signifiers that say 'Keith woz here'. But Haring did much more than provide cute cartoons. He was publicly minded. His art faced outwards. He wanted to inform, to start a conversation, to question authority and convention, to represent the oppressed. Those cute figures are political. ..."
Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool (Video)
Ignorance = Fear, 1989.
2009 April: Keith Haring
"First the glimmering white and black images of Ermanno Olmi’s I Fidanzati light up the screen and warm your heart. Then they abruptly flicker out—like imagined fleeting glances of a love affair you can’t forget but couldn’t hold onto. In seventy-some minutes, I Fidanzati teaches – no, simply lets you learn – about distance, time and the uncontrollable, bittersweet ways in which romances wax and wane. Olmi introduces the fiancés’ plight in images of the pair sitting still across an empty table. They are in a dance hall suffused with the nervous longings of wallflowers stuck in anticipation. From the first to last, the scenes and sequences of I Fidanzati are as affecting as the quiet looks on the fiancés’ faces at this moment: she, hands in lap, looking away from him with the gentlest irritation; he, staring past her, slightly bemused and frustrated. ..."
W - I Fidanzati
YouTube: I Fidanzati Trailer, Under the Influence: Mike Mills on Ermanno Olmi, I Fidanzati opening scene
Tuesday, August 20
"Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition will present a carefully curated group of artworks and objects of exceptional quality that draw inspiration from the country-house aesthetic, as exemplified by the magnificent collection assembled by the Dukes of Devonshire over centuries at Chatsworth. On view alongside Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition, the private selling exhibition will be on display in the newly expanded and reimagined galleries at Sotheby's New York. The exhibitions will be open simultaneously and their visual parallel will provide the opportunity to celebrate collecting and collectors, of which Chatsworth and the Cavendish family are amongst the greatest examples in history. ..."
Sotheby's - Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition (Video)
W - Chatsworth House
Find the Hidden Cameo in A Magnificent Early Canaletto - Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, ARCHITECTURAL CAPRICCIO WITH CLASSICAL RUINS, 1723.
"'Blood & Fire has done it again. The best reggae label out there has put together another crucial selection of 70's DJ tracks. Classic works by U Roy, Big Youth and Dillinger, with a cut from one of my personal faves Trinity. However, the star of the show is the late great I Roy. I was a big fan of his work before, but he is simply dazzling on every track here. It helps that he's toasting over some Niney's greatest riddims and mind-bending dubs of the era ('Wolves & Leopards' by Dennis Brown, 'Paymaster' by Gregory Isaacs, 'Weeping' by Jr. Byles), but I Roy's versatility is unmatched and really shines through. From Rasta themes to early slackness stylee, he is head and shoulders above the rest. ..."
Holland Tunnel Dive
YouTube: Big Youth - Four Seasons, Wild Goose Chase- Big Youth & Dennis Brown, Flat Foot Hustling · Dillinger, Wolf and leopards - No conscience - Sister maggie breast: Dennis Brown, I Roy, Observer All Stars
Monday, August 19
"Opening Day was fair and clear and dry with some what of a nip in the air. It was Spring and Dutch Schnell was dead. New York in the Spring meant clear days after rain and a nip in the air, and Dutch above every body else. I kept thinking I heard him shouting in the park. Where was the center of the park now that Dutch was dead, for in the past you listened for him and you looked for him, and where ever he was the center was. I sat in the Owners Box. Often in the past, Dutch walked down from the dugout to the box and shook hands and talked a little with some body there. Sometimes he kissed a lady for the camera, or a crippled child. When I was a young ball player I wondered why you done such things. When I was a more experienced ball player I thought you done it because the owner told you to. ..."
SI: BANG THE DRUM LOUDLY FOR SOUTHPAW HENRY WIGGEN, BACK NOW IN A TRILOGY
Winning and Staying Honest in America’s Game
It Looked Like For Ever: the End of the Road for Henry Wiggen and Alex Rodriguez
2016 April: Henry Wiggen - fictional baseball player, 1954-1979
The Seine at Argenteuil c. 1892 The Clark
"Of the painters normally associated with the French Impressionists, two appear to be rather different: Edgar Degas, about whom I wrote at length last autumn, and Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894). With the recent ‘rediscovery’ of Naturalism, or social realism, Caillebotte is now being associated with accepted Naturalist artists such as Jules Bastien-Lepage, in many respects more strongly than with the core French Impressionists such as Monet and Pissarro. In this and the next article, I am going to look at a small selection of Caillebotte’s paintings across the breadth of his career, considering how Naturalist they might be, and how that fits in with their appreciation. ..."
The Naturalism of Gustave Caillebotte 1, The Naturalism of Gustave Caillebotte 2
2014 April: Gustave Caillebotte
Sunday, August 18
"A series of three pieces/suites; 'Leapday Night', 'A Traveler's Dream Journal', and 'Interspecies Smalltalk' involving Rhys Chatham/Ben Neill (on trumpet/mutantrumpet), Fluxus mainstay Takehisa Kosugi (violin), and Behrman himself on electronics. Behrman creates thickly layered liquid sounds utilizing this complex computer music system which absorbs, actually hears, the sounds of instrumentalists, then plays off their improvisations with its own synthesized reactions. The system consists of pitch sensors ('ears' with which it listens to the performing musicians), various music synthesizers (some homemade), a computer graphics color video display and a personal computer. 'Heavy period-synth float with bare accompaniment, thankfully just-pre DX-7.'"
Lovely: Album Notes
YouTube: Leapday Night (Full Album)
2010 October: Roulette TV: David Behrman, 2012 January: The Siren Orchestra, 2014 May: On the Other Ocean/Figure in a Clearing (1977). 2015 June: Wave Train, 2018 January: Music With Memory (2018)
BarrioHabana Community Project
"As the Photography collection specialist my primary role is caring for photographic works in the Museum’s collection. However, I’m also always interested to learn how institutions and artists in varied situations and with different resources care for their collections and archives. I recently spent a week in Havana, Cuba, exploring photography collections, taking in architectural sites, and speaking with artists and curators. I had been curious about practices in Cuba because of the unique storage challenges the tropical climate presents. In an area where materials are not readily available, Cuban people have a legacy of creative and innovative strategies. Below are highlights from my trip. ..."
Glenda León. Listening to the Autumn. 2011.
Football field in Casablanca, Morocco.
"Ultras or fanatical football fans’ activities have always overlapped between football, social and political demands. Such groups have often shown their ability to mobilize and politicize stadiums. Whether they are aware of it or not, joining a group of ultras allows fans to appropriate a new social identity (an identity opposed to rival groups, public authorities, companies, and so on), a new way of life, and a sense of belonging. Ultra-fans’ hostility is directed towards all symbols of authority. They oppose rival fan-groups but also law enforcement, governments, the rich who exploit the poor and the country. As one fan of Raja Casablanca, a Moroccan club says. ..."
Africa Is a Country
Chefchaouen, Morocco 2018.
2019 July: Yes We Can—Football and Nationalism, 2019 July: Sport, history and politics at the African Cup of Nations
Saturday, August 17
Wikipedia - "Night Dreamer is the fourth album by American jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. It was released in November 1964 by Blue Note Records. With a quintet that includes trumpeter Lee Morgan, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Elvin Jones, Shorter performed six of his originals on this April 29 session. At this point of his career, Shorter felt his writing was changing. While the previous compositions had a 'lot of detail', this new approach had a simplistic quality to it. 'I used to use a lot of chord changes, for instance, but now I can separate the wheat from the chaff.' ... 'Night Dreamer' has mostly a minor feel, often perceived by Shorter as 'evening or night', hence the 'Night' in the title. It is a 3/4 'floating' piece, yet, 'although the beat does float, it also is set in a heavy groove. It's a paradox, in a way, like you'd have in a dream'. ..."
Wayne Shorter: Night Dreamer (1964) Blue Note MM33 (mono update added) (Audio)
YouTube: Night Dreamer 6 videos
"Between June 1930 and August 1931, after a series of mental health episodes had whittled away at her career, her marriage, and her overall well-being, Zelda Fitzgerald was a patient at Les Rives de Prangins, a clinic in Nyon, Switzerland, where she wasn’t allowed visitors until her treatment had been established. The experience, as one could imagine, was tremendously isolating: once at the center of a lively and glamorous scene, she now found herself utterly alone with her thoughts. Her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, sent short notes and flowers every other day. She wrote long letters in reply, tracing the contours of her mind, expressing both love for and frustration with Scott, and detailing, in luscious, iridescent prose, the nonevents of her days. Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda collects more than three hundred of the couple’s letters to each other. Three of Zelda’s letters from Les Rives de Prangins—carefully transcribed with an eye for accuracy, misspellings and all—appear below. ..."
The Paris Review
2014 January: View the Passport Photos of F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf & Other Cultural Icons, 2014 August: Gatsby to Garp: Modern Masterpieces from the Carter Burden Collection, 2014 November: Lost Generation, 2015 November: The Crack-Up (1945), 2017 December: Living Well Is the Best Revenge By Calvin Tomkins
Friday, August 16
"Next to the absence of Sun Ra, one of the most glaring omissions in Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary was the radical black music collectives that came out of America in the ‘70s. Burns saw the end of the 1960s as a break in the creative line of the art form. But rather than being the museum piece that Burns seemed to suggest, jazz in the new decade would make some of its most progressive statements. And it was in the creative freedom of independent ventures like New York’s Strata-East that the future would be mapped out. Alongside similar outfits like Tribe in Detroit, Black Artists Group in St. Louis, and The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in Chicago, Strata-East consolidated the previous advancements from all corners of jazz with a hard-edged militancy and community ethos that suited the times. Inspired by the empowering ideology of the Black Power movement, these collectives were fiercely independent. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy Daily: A Guide to Strata-East (Video)
An introduction to Strata-East in 10 records (Video)
W - Strata-East Records
Soundcloud: Strata East Mix Part 1, Strata East Mix Part 2
"The exhibition “Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019” is a golden anniversary survey of wonderful art from the collection of a New York museum that is in the process of being torn apart. El Museo was founded half a century ago, in a politically agitated time, in Puerto Rican East Harlem, the Barrio. It identified itself as a community art space. Its first shows were in a public school classroom on East 123rd Street and it stayed within the immediate neighborhood until 1977, when it moved to its present address, a city-owned building on Fifth Avenue at 104th Street. ..."
NY Times (Video)
Culture and The People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019
Whose museum is it anyway? The story of El Museo del Barrio has always been about representation
As El Museo del Barrio Celebrates 50 Years, Critics Say It’s Straying From Its Mission
Nicolás Dumit Estévez’s “The Flag,” 2003-6, a mixed-media installation at El Museo del Barrio in Manhattan that blends artistry, artisanship and activism. His handmade flag represents Dominican New York — an act of unity.
Thursday, August 15
"The Fourth of July in 1776 is regarded by most Americans as the country’s birthday. But what if we were to tell you that the country’s true birth date, the moment that its defining contradictions first came into the world, was in late August 1619? That was when a ship arrived at Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia, bearing a cargo of 20 to 30 enslaved Africans. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years and form the basis for almost every aspect of American life. The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times memorializing that event on its 400th anniversary. The goal of the project is to deepen understanding of American history (and the American present) by proposing a new point of origin for our national story. In the days and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery. ..."
NY Times - Watch: The Times Presents the #1619Project
NY Times - The 1619 Project
Fortune - The New York Times Launches the 1619 Project: raceAhead
Wednesday, August 14
"In 1926, the year that the painter Alice Neel got married in Pennsylvania, effective contraception for women was still only a distant rumor emanating from New York City. Even if she could have obtained a diaphragm—but it was illegal then to send them, or even information about them, through the US mail—she went to live with her parents-in-law, where she lacked the privacy to use it. Neel once said, 'In the beginning I didn’t want children. I just got them.' In France, where Ursula K. Le Guin got married in 1953, all forms of contraception were illegal. The new couple’s most valued wedding gift was a gross of US military-issue condoms, sent by a friend in the armed forces in Germany, with suggestive comments written all over the box. When Doris Lessing had a tubal ligation in 1948, securing for herself the sexual freedom she celebrated in The Golden Notebook, she was undergoing a new and controversial procedure. ... The great 20th-century mother-writers and -artists whose work towers above us now—Lessing, Toni Morrison, Adrienne Rich, Alice Walker, Susan Sontag, the list goes on—all owe their careers and lives to the right to reproductive health care. ...""
The Atlantic: The Suffragists Who Opposed Birth Control (Video)
The Atlantic: Votes for Women
Tuesday, August 13
"Haunting work by John Lurie – one side the soundtrack to his famous film appearance in Stranger Than Paradise, the other a sute of tracks on the theme of Ayler. The Stranger Than Paradise tunes are performed by The Paradise String Quartet – and are mostly darker atmospheric tunes from the Jim Jarmusch soundtrack. The Ayler tunes are more kinetic – played by a group that includes two violinists from the Paradise group, plus Curtis Fowlkes, Arto Lindsay, and Lurie himself. ..."
YouTube: Stranger Than Paradise And The Resurrection Of Albert Ayler [Full Album] 35:32
2012 July: The Lounge Lizards, 2017 October: The Lounge Lizards - Lounge Lizards (1981)
"The first single from the upcoming micro-cassette release on Lavender Sweep Records. This and the whole album was made from sounds send to me by listeners, from the Discord, Patreon and Subreddit. Here the contributors and their sounds are: Espacht - Overtone Trombone, Pedro Figueiredo - Cheap_Feedback, Monostich - nicepianothing. Album to be released later this summer. Filmed on location at Kamena Vourla, Greece, by the Luna Park seaside."
YouTube: The Sands Take You | tape loop, OP-1
2018 October: Distressed Tape, 2019 February: Sandpaper Is a Form of Change, 2019 February: Hainbach - Gear Top 7: My Personal Favorites In 2018, 2019 May: The Sound of Architecture and Design | Bauhaus, Piezo Microphones and FX, 2019 June: Make Noise Morphage - My "Film Noir" Reel
Monday, August 12
"Despite Thoreau’s achievements as a writer, environmentalist and social activist (he was, among other things, a passionate abolitionist and supporter of John Brown), many of his contemporaries considered him little more than a crank, a self-involved Pied Piper for the children of Concord, MA, whom he led in search of huckleberries on hot summer days. As Lauren Dassow Walls makes clear in her excellent Henry David Thoreau: A Life, he was a man of obsessively high principles, self-contained, a stickler for details who insisted on his own way of seeing the world, however quirky. ..."
Times Literary Supplement
TLS: A real genius for staying at home by Virginia Woolf (July 1917)
Thoreau Farm: Particular Blue
W - Huckleberries
NPR - For The Love Of Huckleberries: August Brings Out Hunters Of Elusive Fruit
Gutenberg: Aug. 9. THE WRITINGS OF HENRY DAVID THOREAU - JOURNAL, I 1837-1846
2009 April: Henry David Thoreau, 2012 September: Walden, 2015 March: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), 2017 March: Civil Disobedience (1849), 2017 April: The Maine Woods (1864), 2017 June: This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal, 2017 July: Pond Scum - Henry David Thoreau’s moral myopia. By Kathryn Schulz, 2017 July: Walden, a Game, 2017 October: Walden Wasn’t Thoreau’s Masterpiece, 2017 December: Walden on the Rocks - Ariel Dorfman, 2018 March: A Map of Radical Bewilderment, 2018 April: On Tax Day, Reread Thoreau’s ‘Civil Disobedience’, 2018 October: Against Everything: Thoreau Trailer Park, 2018 November: Walking (1862)
"The orange building in the middle of the photo below, 65 Mott Street, looks like an ordinary Manhattan tenement. It lacks a cornice, sure, and a renovation at some point in its history has erased any ornamental features on the facade. But that’s no different to countless other 19th century tenements across the city. Aside from this, you’d never know that this walkup has one distinction that makes it different from its neighbors. 65 Mott Street 'was apparently the very first New York building built specifically to serve as a tenement,' wrote historian Tyler Anbinder in his 2001 book, Five Points—his study of the horrific slum neighborhood this stretch of Mott Street used to be part of. ..."
Ephemeral New York
Sunday, August 11
Peace, love and lots of trash: The mythology of Woodstock is all well and good, but there was an unruly human side to the festival, too.
"... Overwhelmed and underprepared, the promoters declared that Woodstock was a free festival and welcomed the hordes that they couldn’t have turned back anyway. And as hundreds of thousands of people continued to arrive, the music and mythologizing began, along with the rain, the mud, the giddy sensation of being part of an unexpected multitude, the forecasts of disaster, the helicopter overflights to get musicians and food in and medical emergencies out, the uneven stage performances, the random and mostly friendly encounters, the lengthy set changes filled with urgent announcements, the waves of euphoria and discomfort, the sheer implausibility of the whole event. As a music critic, I have been to dozens of festivals since then, and none have been so makeshift, so precarious or so revelatory. ..."
NY Times: How Santana Hallucinated Through One of Woodstock’s Best Sets (His Own)
NY Times: Woodstock 1969: A Story Vastly Bigger Than Editors Realized
W - Woodstock
Rolling Stone: Woodstock: ‘It Was Like Balling for the First Time (Video)
CNN - Drugs, dirt and hot German bikers: Two teens who ran away to Woodstock recall the adventure of a lifetime (Video)
YouTube: Messed Up Things That Happened At Woodstock
“One of the most important motivations for me going to this thing was to take pictures. I was caught up in all that music, but I was caught up more in photography.”
"Wikipedia - "Montauk is a story by Swiss writer Max Frisch. It first appeared in 1975 and takes an exceptional position in Frisch's work. While fictional stories previously served Frisch for exploring the possible behavior of his protagonists, in 'Montauk', he tells an authentic experience: a weekend which he spent with a young woman at the American East Coast. The short-run love affair is used by Frisch as a retrospective on his own biography. ... On their last weekend Lynn and Frisch come closer together and take a trip to Long Island, New York to the village of Montauk on the Atlantic coast. For the author this weekend sparks the desire to describe the shared days, without any addition. The presence of Lynn triggers reflections and memories in Frisch. He ponders on age and his growing feeling to be an imposition for others, his success and its effect on enviers, admirers and women."
W - Max Frisch
Paris Review: Max Frisch, The Art of Fiction No. 113
amazon: Max Frisch
Saturday, August 10
Wikipedia - "The Brooklyn Museum is an art museum located in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. At 560,000 square feet (52,000 m2), the museum is New York City's third largest in physical size and holds an art collection with roughly 1.5 million works. Located near the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Flatbush, and Park Slope neighborhoods of Brooklyn and founded in 1895, the Beaux-Arts building, designed by McKim, Mead and White, was planned to be the largest art museum in the world. The museum initially struggled to maintain its building and collection, only to be revitalized in the late 20th century, thanks to major renovations. ..."
NY Times: Brooklyn Museum
How Might We Decolonize the Brooklyn Museum?
YouTube: Brooklyn Museum
People walk through the galleries of the Brooklyn Museum on May 20th, 2016.
Wikipedia - "John Smith Hurt (March 3, 1892 – November 2, 1966), better known as Mississippi John Hurt, was an American country blues singer and guitarist. Raised in Avalon, Mississippi, Hurt taught himself to play the guitar around the age of nine. He worked as a sharecropper and began playing at dances and parties, singing to a melodious fingerpicked accompaniment. His first recordings, made for Okeh Records in 1928, were commercial failures, and he continued to work as a farmer. Dick Spottswood and Tom Hoskins, a blues enthusiast, located Hurt in 1963 and persuaded him to move to Washington, D.C. He was recorded by the Library of Congress in 1964. This helped further the American folk music revival, which led to the rediscovery of many other bluesmen of Hurt's era. Hurt performed on the university and coffeehouse concert circuit with other Delta blues musicians who were brought out of retirement. ..."
Mississippi John Hurt – You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley (Video)
YouTube: You Got To Walk That Lonesome Valley (Live), John Henry, Spike Driver Blues, Make Me a Pallet on the Floor, Cocaine Blues, C.C. Rider, I'm satisfied, Richland Woman Blues, Goodnight Irene, Candy Man Blues
YouTube: King Of The Blues - Full Album 1:12:07
Friday, August 9
"Located in the Hamlet of Long Lake, in the center of the Adirondack mountains, Hoss’s Country Corner is more than just a store. Hoss’s is an Adirondack landmark. For over 40 years, friendly customer service and a selection of great products have been cornerstones of our success. A real general store, Hoss's Country Corner has operated year-round since 1972. Hoss's features Adirondack books, clothing, gifts, sporting goods, camping & hunting supplies, souvenirs and wonderful NY State cheeses. DEC hunting & fishing licenses and live bait are available as well as maps and trail guides."
YouTube: Hoss's Country Corner Open House Long Lake, NY
"'Black Star Study' is a dense, lengthy, tumultuous drone, one occasionally fleshed out with jittery synthesizer fluctuations and the stuttered grunts of something more akin to an unloved catalytic converter. Which is to say, in drone/noise terms, it is fantastic. Dave Seidel perpetrates the live performance in full view, his synthesizers narrowing into the distance on his desk, the bleak intensity of the music only slightly undermined by the sewing machine seen toward the rear of the room. As you listen, pay attention to the layers of grit, the mesh of crunchy distortions that makes your speakers vibrate and your imagination soar. Video originally posted at Seidel’s YouTube channel. More from Seidel, who is based in New Hampshire, at mysterybear.net and mysterybear.bandcamp.com."
Dave Seidel (Audio/Video)