blog

2018-12-07 20:13 culture blog

We Are Drowning in a Devolved World: An Open Letter from Devo - Noisey

Forty-eight years ago, on May 4, 1970, as a member of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), I was front and centre being fired on by my fellow Americans in the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University, as we peacefully protested President Nixon’s expansion of the cancerously unpopular Vietnam War into Cambodia without an act of Congress. I was lucky and dodged the bullet, both literally and figuratively, but four students were killed, and nine more were seriously wounded by the armed, mostly teenaged, National Guard troops. Two of the four students killed, Alison Krause and Jeffery Miller, were close acquaintances of mine.

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2018-12-05 17:55 space blog

Falling in Love With the Dark - Nautilus - Pocket

For roughly the past two decades, at least two-thirds of the U.S. population have not been able to see the Milky Way at all, and it will get worse before it gets better. The dawn of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is expected to significantly lower costs and spur consumption. In addition, LED lighting produces light with a bluer cast, which is more effectively scattered by the atmosphere. “This has the potential to be the nail in the coffin for seeing stars in most communities,” Nordgren tells me.

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2018-12-04 09:16 culture blog

Edward Gorey’s Enigmatic World | The New Yorker

From 1985 almost to the end of his life, he put on vaudevillian musical revues up and down the Cape, using, for the most part, nonprofessional actors. Many of the shows were mystifying. Of one, “Useful Urns,” a spectator said, “There were these big stage pieces shaped like urns that would move about the stage with actors popping out saying various unconnected phrases.” Reportedly, a lot of the audience walked out. Gorey, by contrast, had a wonderful time. “He hooted, whooped,” a witness recalled. “It was almost more entertaining watching him than the performance.” Asked, once, exactly what he did on these shows, he answered, “I direct, I design, I do everything.” He didn’t do it too hard, though. His assistant director said that his idea of directing was “to keep the actors from running into the furniture.”

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2018-11-24 12:40 culture blog

Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now and Walkabout, dies aged 90 | Film | The Guardian

In 1968, having established himself as a cinematographer, Roeg paired with film-maker Donald Cammell for their joint directorial debut, Performance. The film was originally intended as a vehicle for Mick Jagger, who was at the height of his fame, but between Cammell’s mystical gangster-meets-rock star story and Roeg’s visual inventiveness, the end product was deemed too unconventional for release by the studio, and was shelved for two years, but became a counterculture hit.

Roeg’s follow-up was equally unconventional: Walkabout, set in the Australian outback and starring a teenage Jenny Agutter and Indigenous Australian actor David Gulpilil (his screen debut). As with Performance, Walkabout was a commercial flop on release, but steadily grew in status and acclaim.

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2018-11-15 17:05 books blog

You Can't Rely on Inspiration: Essential Writing Advice from J.G. Ballard | Literary Hub

[O]ne’s become used to these overlong novels in which everything is explained and tidied up. At the heart of every good short story lies a certain ambiguity, a sort of “Yes, but.” That’s very seldom found in novels. And yet this ambiguity is the very stuff of life.

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2018-11-13 13:00 culture blog

FilmStruck's closing ignites fears that Hollywood's march toward streaming will erase movie history - Los Angeles Times

The internet has turned aficionados into online detectives, scouring the web for physical copies of obscure film titles.

“What’s happening is the cinema of the 20th century is being erased,” said Wheeler Winston Dixon, a film studies professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “These films vanish from public view because there’s no one there to recommend them.”

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2018-11-13 08:54 culture blog

Anthony Bourdain Takes A Tour Of The Lower East Side In Final 'Parts Unknown': Gothamist

Despite stops at Jean-Georges’ Public Kitchen, Ray's Candy Store, Emilio’s Ballato, John’s of 12th Street, Veselka and more, the food really came secondary to the interviews. Bourdain opened up his rolodex and met up with many key LES figures, including Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch, Fab 5 Freddy, Cro-Mags' Harley Flanagan, publicist Danny Fields, filmmakers Amos Poe and Jim Jarmusch, The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black’s Kembra Pfahler, and Fishing with John star/painter John Lurie.

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2018-11-11 20:02 books blog

The Great Work: Alchemy and the Power of Words – Emergence Magazine

But the novel I started writing soon transformed itself into something else. A book which I began to write in conventional English became a book written in my own version of Old English, the language which my Anglo-Saxon narrator would have spoken. But this, while it might be the most obviously unusual feature of the novel, was not the most significant surprise the book sprang on me.

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2018-11-11 19:15 books blog

Penguin – Science Fiction Covers: Part 1 - Visual Melt

Penguin Books have always had a strong ethos when it comes to their creative direction, whether utilising the classic minimalist coloured stripe or allegorical illustration, they always hit the mark.

Penguin Science Fiction covers deserve a closer look, in particular the talented creative directors, artists and illustrators that helped shape the way the future looked.

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2018-11-10 16:11 culture blog

▶︎ Kwaidan / 怪談 | Evening Chants

Living in Kyoto for the past two years has deeply influenced his current sound, which is a focus on musically crafting a “Japanese mood” called Meitei (冥丁) (thus, his name). Rich in history, Meitei wanted to borrow this lost “Japanese mood” and incorporate a contemporary spin on it. This led to the creation of Kwaidan (怪談).

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2018-11-08 17:58 mind blog

Photographs by Felix Salazar

They looked like the concrescence of linguistic intentionality put through a kind of hyper-dimensional transform into three-dimensional space

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2018-11-08 17:37 mind blog

Strange Frequencies By Peter Bebergal Author Interview

I realized that technology doesn’t have to mean complex circuits. Technology could be defined as any way in which human beings have materially tried to interact with our environment, with nature, with the spirit world, with the divine. Any time that we are synthesizing the things around us—whether it’s with a crystal to try and peer into a spirit realm like John Dee did in Elizabethan England, or the person who is hacking an FM radio to try and hear spirits—there are so many resonances. It’s not just that they are trying to communicate with spirits, but in some ways what they’re both doing, which I find absolutely fascinating, is taking a material object and using it in a way that it wasn’t necessarily intended for, or using it in a way that isn’t built into the thing itself.

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2018-11-07 11:11 books blog

Talk with me | Aeon

In 1913 the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein fled the interruptions and distractions of Cambridge to live as a hermit in Norway. No one knew him there, and he could focus on his work on logic in isolation. It worked. He lodged for a while with the postmaster in Skjolden, a remote village 200 miles north of the city of Bergen, and later had a hut built overlooking the fjord. Alone, he wrestled with the ideas that would metamorphose into his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). Anyone who tried to pass the time of day with him got short shrift. ‘Go away! It’ll take me two weeks to get back to the point where I was before you interrupted me,’ he is supposed to have shouted at one local who made the mistake of greeting him as he stood pondering what could not be said.

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2018-11-04 20:30 culture blog

The New Punks of Los Angeles - The New York Times

It’s a new version of the story that punk has told for decades: Alienation breeds creativity breeds community. The music, whether apathetic or politically charged, interactive or combative, is the most honest venue these kids have to communicate their feelings. And they’ve found a crowd that is willing to listen.

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2018-10-23 13:54 tech culture blog

Christie's Will Be the First Auction House to Sell Art Made by Artificial Intelligence | Smart News | Smithsonian

Hugo Caselles-Dupré, one of Obvious’ three co-founders, tells Christie’s Jonathan Bastable that GAN consists of two parts: the Generator, which produced images based on a data set of 15,000 portraits painted between the 14th and 20th centuries, and the Discriminator, which attempts to differentiate manmade and AI-generated works.

“The aim is to fool the Discriminator into thinking that the new images are real-life portraits,” Caselles-Dupré says. “Then we have a result.”

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