Thursday, October 23, 2003

Agitprop genius Craig Baldwin, director of TRIBULATION 99 and SONIC OUTLAWS, returns with his grandest work to date. SPECTRES OF THE SPECTRUM plunders Baldwin's treasure trove of early television shows, industrial and educational films, Hollywood movies, advertisements and cartoons, combining these with live-action footage, no-budget special effects, and relentless narration to generate a wholly original paranoid science-fiction epic.

Deep in the Art of Texas
The long-awaited Nasher Sculpture Center, which bills itself as the first institution in the world dedicated exclusively to the exhibition of modern and contemporary sculpture, opened in Dallas on Oct. 20, 2003. Conceived by collector and real estate developer Raymond D. Nasher, the $70-million center occupies a full city block adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art in downtown Dallas. The 55,000-square-foot building and 1.5-acre sculpture garden is designed by Renzo Piano in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker. The center will showcase the 300-plus sculptures, by artists ranging from Rodin, Degas and Gauguin to Richard Serra and Mark di Suvero, acquired by Nasher and his late wife Patsy. The center also hosts traveling exhibitions, beginning with the National Gallery of Art's "Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier," Feb. 15-May 9, 2004, and the Harvard University Art Museums' "Medardo Rosso: Second Impressions," Apr. 3-June 20, 2004.

The UK's first building designed architect Frank Gehry opened on 25 September 2003. The design was commissioned by Maggie's Centres, the pioneering cancer support organisation, for their third centre at Ninewells NHS Hospital, Dundee. Frank Gehry, was a close friend of Maggie Keswick Jencks the Founder of Maggie's Centres. Like Frank's other buildings, Maggie's Dundee has his signature features. Not one of its walls are straight and it is topped by a concertinaed roof made of stainless steel and timber.

Matmos are the cuddly face of concept-y electronic music. Their last album was all based around the actual sounds of plastic surgery and liposuction and it still wasn�t annoying�it was funny, smart, and beautiful. On their brand-new one, The Civil War, they graft Americana like �The Stars and Stripes Forever� and fife and drum music onto stutter-step SoundEdit 16 glitchery. The result is an album that�s so seditiously patriotic it will make Toby Keith furtively masturbate on his tour bus.

Moo kari makka?� That�s what you say in Osaka, Japan when you meet someone. It means: �How you doing, making money?� Osaka is all about money. If it were a country it would be the world�s ninth richest. The city center is a blaze of illuminated signs, a warren of streets hosting the �pink salons� of the sex industry and endless covered shopping arcades. And it�s here, vying for space with slick, insistent stewards and hostesses, roaring pachinko parlors, and cinemas hosting ultraviolent films like Battle Royale 2, that you�ll find the homeless. Late at night they�re working, combing the arcades for plastic bottles or cardboard which they�ll hand into recycling centers in exchange for enough cash to feed their pet cats and dogs. Or they�re washing at a communal tap down by the highway that skirts Osaka Zoo, getting ready to sleep in huts of ply board and blue tarpaulin. Every one uses blue tarpaulin. They�d be quite pleasant places to live if it weren�t for the constant traffic noise, the exhaust fumes, and the smell of manure from the nearby zoo. Some of them are gems of home-built folk architecture, focusing even further the Japanese genius for miniaturization and high-density living, finessing humble living materials from homely flowerboxes and recycled plastic sheets branded with Hello Kitty logos. - culled from Vice Magazine

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