Tuesday, December 31, 2002

NOTICE: I accidentaly deleted all the mail in the mike@burnlab.net account from the past week, much of which I haven't had a chance to reply to. If you sent anything to this address recently, please re-send it. Jeff B, Andy S, and a few others i forget....
My bad. Thanks.

...and a last minute reminder for those in Michigan still looking for something to do tonight: we strongly suggest John Acquaviva, Matt Dear and Paxahau at The Necto in Ann Arbor tonight. Ghoslty, Blackbx, Plus8, Burnlab... can't go wrong.

Happy 2003 to all our beloved readers. For those in the NYC vicinity, a friendly reminder that Olex's Dancing Makes Happy 02 will be the party to beat for the designer/techtrominal crowd, featuring Magda vs. Dinky, Troy Pierce and a special appearance by DJ Traxx. We strongly suggest swinging by Olivia Barry's party in Red Hook beforehand for some neighborhood cheer and more Burnlab programmed audio selections. Drop me an e-mail for directions to the latter and follow the link above for the former.

The Fix is dead, long live The Fix.

Jon Ozias and our friends at Ghostly International kicked off Untitled last week at the Shelter. The free vodka ran out in less than an hour and the door had to be cut off at midnight as hundreds of Detroiters and expats filled the legendary basement club to hear Detroit's next wave craft the future sound of the city. Untitled is poised to make 2003 all about the present and future of electronic music culture, providing Detroit with a weekly dose of fresh talent and good reckless fun not seen since the days of the Bankle parties.

Here are mug shots of six brilliant DJs and one guy badly pretending to know what he's doing. Also be sure to read Robert Gorell's article in the Metro Times with some great quotes from Jon.

On a tangent: there would be more photos, but some wanker lifted my camera at the after-party. How ghetto is that? If anyone tries to sell you a hot Fuji FinePix 6800, give 'em a nice punch in the belly from the Burnlab and a lecture on how to be a decent freakin' human being. I love Detroit, but that crap doesn't happen at parties in Brooklyn.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Sad news for fans of The Clash. Joe Strummer has died of an apparent heart attack.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I'm off to Detroit today. See all you kids at the UNTITLED preview party on the 26th. Be sure to get there early for free drinks and some Wax Trax! classics.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Rem is online - OMA/AMO has a new web presence that is. It's a really strange site, that it is. First the web browser expands to full screen [I hate that] then you get a pop-up window [I hate that too], then on the Mac here a Flash file downloads to the desktop which then has to be dragged and dropped onto Explorer. The super-tiny text is vector, so you can increase the size of the browser window and the text will enlarge in proportion. [That's kind of neat.] There is a ton of information, but something is missing... no images! It's an architecture site, isn't it? Maybe they're still working on it.
Hmm. I like their buildings.

Where's that Prada site by the way?

In other Koolhaas news, OMA was awarded the contract for the CCTV headquarters in China a few weeks ago. [CCTV is the state-run television network.] Images can be found here and here. Apparently the irregular grid represents stress points on the structure. The engineering studies thus provided an equally functional and graphic theme for the building fa�ade. Nice.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

The Contemporarary Art Institute of Detroit is driving me crazy. I'm having a Motor City Breakdown.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Re: Don's post on WTC proposals, I concur that Foster and Partners is the best of the lot. Nothing really groundbreaking [for Lord Norman that is], but the most balanced design and most likely to be a wonderful urban space for the long term. And I love the renderings! Though I appreciate much of their work individually, the team responsible the Hollywood Squares plan managed to make a perversely cold formal study out of an extremely emotional site. "Dreadful" is certainly not too strong a word for it. At least we didn't see yet another version of the tremendously insensitive melting towers from Mr. Eisenman. THINK and United Architects also had some strong ideas. Daniel Libeskind's proposal is both emotionally and intellectually stimulating, though I am leery of a deconstructivist vocabulary for the site. Yeah, for me Foster nailed it with dramatic, sustainable structures, great street level presence and a stunning and appropriate memorial. For the most part, a very good day for architecture in New York. Other thoughts?

Just in case anybody doesn't know...The 7 WTC proposals are out today. You can view them at Lower Manhattan.info. I listened to some of the presentation on the radio this morning, but couldn't make head or tails of it until I saw the pictures.

The opinion of the commentator on the radio was that Foster & Partners would be an automatic front-runner due to their expertise level and based on the merit of the design. And it is a good design, in my opinion. Think Design's World Culture Center plans follow a very similar tack as Doyle's initial design response, with open latticework towers and museum spaces on high floors. Richard Meier et. al's "# sign" buildings are dreadful. My favorite design is from United Architects -- and I thought I would automatically dislike it because of the huge size of the team -- I feared design by committee. But I really like their interlinked towers. They make a number of analogies in the presentation, but I like the buildings because they seem to reference a group of interlinked people standing together over the site of the original World Trade Center -- active people, who have something to do. United Architects' and Foster's plans both seem to me to be very modern, 3rd-Millenium buildings that fit the context of lower manhattan better than the others.

So, what do all you designers think?

If the Beck iPod isn't enough, more examples of how confused the world is right now:

Alec Baldwin proposes putting a new Yankee Stadium on the WTC site.
Art student arrested for making people uncomfortable.
Recreational cannibalism in Germany. (As one Computerlove.net reader countered reactions of shock and disgust, "Welcome to Germany, dudes!" Hmm.)

Ah, but there are a few who can save us...

Reverend Yohan brings us holiday cheer with some Chomsky quotes at EvilPupil.com. Before you get down on my man for being all dark and cynical, be sure to read the FAQ section. Enjoy. :)
Just in time to reflect on the state of the world with sharp tongue and sharp suit, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have a new album set for February release and a brand new web site.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Hurry, you only have until January 8th to get your limited edition
Beck iPod -whatever�

The City of Detroit is close to making a decision on the future of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. The two parties bidding for the management contract are incumbents Pop Culture Media and a group lead by techno pioneers Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig. Due to a financial loss for the city in 2002 [despite attendance over one million], the government is considering skipping a year. Full article in the Freep.

Burnlab is officially in full support of Derrick, Kevin and Carl's team and we encourage city officials to give control of the festival to those responsible for the music which inspired it, and to allow it to take place in 2003. Those who feel the need to write to the city can find contact info here.
Some other relevant links:
DEMF dot com
Metro Times article on 2001 DEMF drama

Monday, December 16, 2002

If you're the lucky high-bidder, you can roll to your next electro event in style on your very own Fischerspooner designed skateboard. The one of a kind deck is available through eBay, and all the proceeds go to the Amnesty International Music for Human Rights fund.

Saturday, December 14, 2002

We apologize for any technical difficulties and hope to correct them soon.

Friday, December 13, 2002

From the latest TIME magazine:

DIED. ACHILLE CASTIGLIONI, 84, whimsical patriarch of modern Italian design whose playful, highly stylized lamps, vacuum cleaners, ashtrays and other domestic objects helped establish Italy's postwar reputation as a design innovator; in Milan. Castiglioni created some 200 items, including the Arco lamp, an arching alternative to a ceiling light, and the Mezzadro, a tractor seat stool.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Just in time for the holiday travel season....Ian Schrager has launched a new website featuring his collection of hotels. You can check out all the hotels(each has great photo's) and make reservations online. It also appears an online shop is in the works likely to be full of products by this guy.

If you're searching for great [free!] pixel fonts visit our friends at Orgdot. Norway is cold and dark this time of year, so send them some love.

The perfect stocking stuffer this season [there is a lewd joke in there somewhere], order your iRobotnik thong today. "Machine Friendly" professionally silkscreened by BitBoy's army of love robots.

Hot on the heels of their smashing party in November, our good friends at OLEX present Dancing Makes Happy 02 on New Years Eve in Brooklyn. Featured on the turntables are Magda, Dinky, Troy Pierce, Ambassador and Plexus - who can be seen holding a PBR at DMH 01 on the Untitled flyer.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

More bad music news. Mary Hansen of Stereolab was killed when she was struck by a car while riding her bike. Guess I'll spend this week switching back on to my old stereolab CDs.

just picked up some noteworthy new hip hop______the much anticipated new one from the roots, phrenology, lives up to their reputation of innovation, mixing straight up hip hop and r&b with rock, heavy metal, and even electro (check out the hidden track)_____also, the new one from detroit�s slum village,trinity.although missing cofounder/super producer jay dee (except as producer on a few tracks) and lacking in consistency, the album is still excellent in places (noteably the herbert-sampling "what is this")

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Just in time for the holidays, Karim is unloading some rare prototypes and samples at the NYC HQ this Saturday.

Director and former member of Monty Python, Terry Gilliam spoke at the LAMOCA two weeks ago. Previewed at the event was Lost in La Mancha, a documentary about Gilliam's adaptation of Don Quixote which never happened - despite some ten years preparation, three attempted starts and over $32M in the bank. The film, starring Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp and a troop of life-size marionettes was literally halted by floods and disease. The documentary about the "un-making" of Don Quixote hits theaters on January 31st.

Among the half dozen projects currently on Gilliam's desk are Brothers Grimm (scheduled to start shooting in the spring for MGM) and a film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Form:uLA | Dimension Laboratories
Wow. The essence of "Cyberpunk" has never been defined by architecture quite so explicitly. This brings me back to the days of rummaging through scrap yards for parts to build scratch models of parasitic structures for John Bell's design theory class after watching Brazil like three times in a row. Only Form:uLA does it better than I ever imagined. Plus they can draw like Jay Shuster. [Okay, almost... but better than most for sure.]

Friday, December 06, 2002

Detroit artist Glenn Barr is currently exhibiting at the La Luz de Jesus gallery here in LA. You might remember Glenn from Ren and Stimpy as well as Bjork's "I Miss You" video. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90027

Car Couture
The Petersen Automotive Museum�s current exhibition of Million Dollar Cars is really incredible. Steve McQueen�s custom Jaguar and my new favorite, the Delahaye T165 with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi made me stand and drool.
The origins of custom coachbuilding can be traced back to about 1450 in Hungary, where the first reported carriage coach was built. Constructing horse-drawn coaches for the aristocracy and landed gentry, the "carriage trade" became an honored and profitable business, one often handed down from generation to generation. While beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, there is no doubt that the firm of Figoni et Falaschi created some of the most beautiful coachwork ever seen, although there are some dissenters: Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons categorized their work as "positively indecent;" another stiff upper lip referred to Figoni et Falaschi as "Phony and Flashy." Born in Piacenza, Italy, in 1894, Giuseppe Figoni moved with his family to Paris when he was three. While still a boy he was apprenticed to a wagon builder named Vachet. By the time Figoni founded Carrosserie Automobile in Boulogne-sur-Seine near the Longchamp racecourse. Although his early commissions included Bugattis, Ballots and even the odd Duesenberg, it was his rendering of designs utilizing the French Delage chassis for which he became famous. Figoni's aerodynamic design of the 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 won the Le Mans 24-Hour Races in 1932 and '33. His next sporting body was on the new Delahaye 18CV. Introduced at the Salon de Paris in 1933, it was an immediate hit, making him the coachbuilder of choice for most Delahaye customers. Figoni was, according to fellow designer Philippe Charbonneaux, "very much an artist...a master of curves and elegant lines." In 1935, Figoni went into partnership with fellow Italian Ovidio Falaschi, who had the capital Figoni needed to expand. Falaschi was also well versed in the automotive business and had his own strong ideas about styling. "We really were veritable couturiers of automotive coachwork," Falaschi recalled, "dressing and undressing a chassis one, two, three times and even more before arriving at the definitive line that we wanted to give to a specific chassis-coachwork ensemble." One of the first designs to carry the Figoni et Falaschi name, a Delahaye Type 135, featured all enveloping fenders, or "enveloppantes" as Falaschi called them. These fenders, typical of many Figoni et Falaschi creations, were formed from as many as 48 hand-hammered pieces of steel that were butt-welded together, section by section, until they gave the appearance of having been sculpted. This design concept is said to have been inspired by famed automotive artist Geo Ham's modernist paintings in the French publication L'illustration.

Also at the Geffen Contemporary -Retrofuturism: The Car Design of J Mays is the first comprehensive museum exhibition devoted to the work of an American automobile designer. The exhibit features the new Beetle and Thunderbird as well as a model of the Marc Newson Ford with its matching Mui Mui luggage.

as you can see from mike's last post, something really exciting is set to hit detroit soon. but, before we can celebrate the arrival of detroit's next legendary event, we must first bid farewell to its prototype, the fix. tonight, fri. dec. 6, is the final dosage of the fix. as a special thank you for all who have come out to support the night over the last 5 months, there will be no cover charge tonight. brendan m. gillen (aka ectomorph) and carlos souffront will be digging deep into their crates to make this one memorable send off. as an added bonus (for me, at least), tonight will also serve as a party for my 29th birthday. more music. more drinks. more bad behavior. one final fix.

We are teaming up with Blackbx and Ghostly the night after Christmas at The Shelter. This is a free preview of an as yet untitled event series. The talent consists entirely of fast rising young stars including Tadd Mullinix, Derek Plaslaiko, Matthew Dear, Mike Servito and Magda. Come early for free drinkies and listen to Jon O and I pretend to deejay in the backroom. Info here. [+ don't forget the Victoria Dark event tomorrow night!]

What good are designers anyway? Pair Affinnova with n_Gen Design Engine and you have the best thing since PageMaker 1.0 turned every wanker with a Mac Classic into a graphic designer overnight. n_Gen is actually a very innovative piece of software... a bit too much effort went into this for it to simply be the elaborate joke it looks like. n-Gen works like this: users select a style ["California Noir�" = David Carson, "Urbivore�" = Peter Saville, etc.], then plug in their own title and text, then the software apparently churns through some algorithms and pumps out a unique graphic layout. The end product is blatantly a stylistic rip-off, but a unique design nonetheless. The best part is that its free! I just downloaded a copy for the Lab, and will be futzing around with it tonight. Could lop hours or days off the design process for club flyers... or even annual reports! ;)
Ughh. So, is design dead?

Really, go download yourself a copy and we'll do a little reader/conspirator n_Gen gallery right here. The good folks at Move Design who created this thing have quite a sense of humor about it. Here is a description of the Urbivore� design module: "Feel the angst and decay of the city in the comfort of your own studio, with Urbivore�. Sophisticated, cosmopolitan and spare, four out of five professional designers agree, it's the most faithful reproduction of minimalist - post - apocalyptic - grit - chic available."

Thursday, December 05, 2002

this is the antethisis of design vision, not to mention just plain EVIL. (unless you yearn to be replaced by a focus-group based form generator)

I was watching �Requiem for a Dream� for the 100th time over the holiday and I must say Clint Mansell is quickly taking Howard Shore�s place on my list of favorite composers.
Mansell left behind a career in a groundbreaking British pop group, Pop Will Eat Itself, to compose musical scores for motion pictures. PWEI, whose deliriously rude blend of punk, pop, hip-hop, electronic, and dance music made them one of the most influential British groups of their day. The "Poppies" released seven albums between 1987 and 1996, but as the various members of the group became involved in side projects, PWEI began to splinter, and they decided to call it quits after the release of their final album, �Wise up Suckers�. After the breakup, Mansell moved to the United States, and began devoting himself to purer electronic sounds as he investigated the possibilities of film composition. In 1998, Mansell completed his first film score, for the acclaimed independent feature�Pi�; directed by Darren Aronofsky. Mansell's score received wide acclaim, and Aronofsky, used Mansell to score �Requiem for a Dream�. The success of Mansell's scores for Aronofsky quickly made him an in-demand film composer, and he scored six films in 2001 and 2002, including �Knockaround Guys�, �The Hole�, and �Murder By Numbers�.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Nice post Olivia! There's so much cool damn stuff going on in Detroit this month. Follow the link in the previous post to see Jeff performing a digitally hot-rodded table saw at the 2000 Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and read the rest of the article this statement was taken from: "I spent a great deal of time attached to a portable cassette recorder used for diary purposes attempting to capture conversations, experiences, numerous moments of my life. My early obsession with recording grew out of a fear of losing that time that was passing. Reflecting on my recorded life ultimately was very beneficial. Reinterpreting the fragmented perception of my everyday revealed things, things that are a foundation for my recent sound-based work."

Speaking of the DEMF, Pop Culture Media's three year contract is expired and the festival rights are currently in the hands of city council to bestow on the best team for 2003. There is the potential for Detroit's biggest annual event to simultaneously return to its grass-roots energy and be transformed into a world class cultural festival on par with SONAR in Barcelona... or even bigger and better. Right now we wait and see.

I hear Detroit has 5" of snow... Appropriately, experimental sound artist Jeff Karolski will be outside the Detroit Institute of Arts /DFT tomorrow at 6:30 performing his season/site specific "Air Conditioning".
This event will span the east side street of John R (interacting with its one way traffic), the beautiful exterior architecture of the DIA's Detroit Film Theatre and into its warm and cozy interior where concert-goers will be attending the night's music performances. (Steven Rush & Quartet in concert performing original and John Cage compositions)

Simultaneously, Jeff's outside performance will be fed to concert-goers inside, while the Theatre's inside is being projected outside.

Who is this Jeff Karolski anyway?

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Ghostly International's next event, Victoria Dark happens this Saturday at the legendary Shelter, under St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit. Performing are Ghostly artists Matthew Dear, Kill Memory Crash [live] and Tad Mullinix, plus the talented and charming Mike Servito and a handful of special guests including Bpitch Control's Kero. All for a mere ten bucks.

UPDATE: Sam Valenti IV graced the cover of the Metro Times this past week. Read the rather detailed article about the history and future of the music industry phenomenon known as Ghostly International here.

Still no word on exactly why Control IV was prematurely shut down last Wednesday night, but you can read Rich's statement on m-nus.com. There is also a four and a half hour video stream of the evening available. Not quite like being there... Skip ahead to about 4:00 to see Sven Vaeth working up to an epic frenzy just before the cops bust in.

Dublin, by the way, was a much needed change of pace and scenery. The Irish know how to live. Imagination's Guinness museum is an outstanding example of good experience design, complete with smell-o-vision and a very swanky circular glass lounge on top of the old brewery. Thanks to Jon O and Caitlin Doyle for all the good tips. No Bono sightings, but U2 is pretty inescapable in Temple Bar pubs. We did see Sinead hanging out in a gallery.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Having recently become a satisfied member of the Apple iPod family of owners, I�m now on the quest for the perfect accessories for my 20gb baby. Some items of note fellow iPodders may be interested in: Colette of Paris sells the limited edition Dior Homme case designed by Hedi Slimane (Hedi's iPod playlist includes: '80s hits from The Smiths, Blondie and The Clash.) While DVForge has created their stunning DVBase for desktop exhibitionists.