Thursday, December 10, 2009


"I did this for the children of the world."

More amazing design humor.

Subjectified from Matt Ganucheau on Vimeo.

Thanks Stewart Smith

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Neutra Face

Tristan Bynum, Jason Kinney, Forrest Martin and Mark Searcy bring sexy back to design nerdery in this brilliant Lady GaGa parody.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Aire: The Second Fourfold Root exhibition/performance tonight

The Detroit/Brooklyn art cabal gathers for an evening of living fashion installations and music tonight.

AIRE exhibition poster by Bird Ov Prey

NEW YORK -- Devotion Gallery is pleased to present "Aire: The Second Fourfold Root", a live exhibition of dark fashion works taking place on November 14, as part of "The Fourfold Roots of Everything".

Since 800 B.C., philosophers sought to identify a single arche, from which all substances are formed. Empedocles was the first to propose a set of archai, which he referred to as "the fourfold roots of everything". These four roots became the four classical elements of Greek philosophy and the reigning dogma until recent centuries. Empedocles argued that these four elements drove the cycle of life and the changing seasons -- water initiates spring and becomes air, air initiates summer and becomes fire, fire initiates Autumn and becomes earth, earth initiates winter and becomes water -- and, thereby, united birth and death into one continuous process.

This second "Fourfold Roots of Everything" event will focus on the second fourfold root, air. Plato regarded air as an intermediate element marked by its mobility, lightness, and ability to penetrate. "Aire: The Second Fourfold Root" explores this penetration/protection dichotomy in full detail, most notably with Cyberoptix Spring Collection "Atmospheric/Pressures". This collection is constructed from surplus military balloons and tatted lace doilies, seemingly disparate materials that stem from the same Victorian-to-Cold-War time period, when they had a shared utilitarian purpose of protection and have, since then, been fetishized.

Rubber has traditionally been used as protective clothing: From rain boots to gas masks, hazmat suits to condoms, it is meant to repel fluids and prove impermeable to corrosives and viral agents. Rubber latex gas balloons have been used throughout military history -- for scientific observation, meteorology, espionage, distribution of propaganda, and transportation of munitions -- all with the purpose of protecting territory while at war. During the height of World War II, the use of military balloons was extended beyond simple reconnaissance missions to a form of tactical offensive: The Japanese sent over nine thousand Fu-Go balloon-bombs into the eastbound polar jetstream, one of the few attacks to ever penetrate the mainland United States.

Fetishists currently use rubber latex in a prophylactic manner, not only to protect and repel, but to transform the wearer into another persona through formation of a second skin. Despite its extensive use as a fetishized fashion object, it has yet to be used in couture in any manner other than echoing the hyper-sexualized second skin aesthetic. Cyberoptix's Bethany Shorb departs from recreating a caricature of this second skin and, instead, isolates the body from the viewer through voluminous gather, ruffles, and masses of goffered rubber fabric repurposed from vintage military balloons. Color, weight, and texture of the latex also play an important role in distancing "Atmospheric/Pressures" from fetish-wear: Mottled shades of ebony and coffee couple with its natural amber color to belie its B.D.S.M. heritage.

Shorb complements the hand-fabricated and -repurposed rubber fabrics, both visually and conceptually, with several forms of modified lace and tatted doilies. In addition to their decorative purpose, lace items were used in a protective manner: A Victorian and Mid-Century home staple, doilies and lace runners isolated fine furniture surfaces from hot cookware, and fabric upholstery from hair- and skin-borne emollients. In Elizabethan times, interchangeable ruffled collars protected garments from food spills and human sweat. "Atmospheric/Pressures" references this penetration/protection dichotomy of lace through restrictive pilot caps, exaggerated dunce caps, veils and other traditional religious head coverings, thereby allowing the underlying untouchable surface to show through.

Shorb's exclusive use and repurposing of these vintage and deadstock materials (and subsequent hand-dying, painting, and screen-printing), combine to envelope the conceptual exploration of penetration and protection in a unified romantic aesthetic. Echoing the dark and Victorian elements of "Atmospheric/Pressures", will be fashion installations by local celebrities Bird Ov Prey (Karbine), Mercantile (Kill Devil Hill), Sinner/Saint (Anthony Malat), and the very elusive VDK.

"Aire: The Second Fourfold Root" will take place at 319 Scholes Street in Brooklyn at 10:00 p.m. on November 14, 2009. This event will include dramatic live performances -- by Brooklyn-based Black Swan, Baltimore-based Death Domain, Detroit-based DethLab, and local hero Violec (Ryan Brogan, Subtrak) -- and interstitial deejay sets by Cowboy Mark and Ghostly's Mike Servito. Admission will be $10 for non-members, and free for members. (Visit for membership information.)
Contact Marie at for further information and press materials.



"Pherepaphe: The Fourfold Roots Of Everything" opened at Devotion Gallery on All Hallows Eve, October 31, 2009.

The name "Pherepaphe" alludes to Plato's recontextualization of the Greek goddess Persephone as "wise for seeing that all things in the world are in motion" and who, furthermore, is a part of that dynamic quality. Traditionally, Persephone is known as both the Queen of the Underworld and the Goddess of Fertility. These seemingly disparate titles collide each year on All Hallows Eve, a ghoulish day that also marks the harvest and descent into winter. Persephone's conflicting roles point to the cycle of life and ultimately explain the changing seasons, a process Empedocles referred to as "the fourfold roots of everything".

"Pherepaphe: The Fourfold Roots Of Everything" visually resolves the contradictory elements of Persephone, through her recasting as Pherepaphe and the primordial of the fourfold roots. It makes the necessary visual references to the dark and the sacred, but also to the organic and the dynamic, the "in-motion" quality that Plato referred to in his renaming of the dark goddess. This group exhibition includes in-gallery work by Arnold Steiner, Bethany Shorb, Carrie Villines, Dan Tesene, Elisabeth Timpone, Jeffers Egan, Keep Adding, and Sougwen Chung. A living installation of dark fashion works in November will further underscore the dynamic and emphemeral qualities of Pherepaphe.

"Pherepaphe: The Fourfold Roots Of Everything" will remain on display until December 14, 2009. Devotion Gallery is located at 54 Maujer Street (near the corner of Maujer and Lorimer Streets) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.



As a practitioner of obsessive ornamentation, Jorden Haley's work encompasses a variety of disciplines, including traditional mixed media, digital media, fashion and jewelry design, graphic design and photography. His work is inspired by the juxtaposition of machinery with the organics of nature, the pristine chaos of the digital world, esoteric occult symbolism, antiquated typographic systems, and bog bodies.



Schooled in both sculpture and photography, Shorb creates elaborate prop, costume, and set constructions that blur the line between editorial fashion photography and performance art documentation. Model, wardrobe, and set each retain the same visual and emotional weight: A hyper-saturated amalgamation exploring the interstitial space between alluring and repulsive, hedonism and restraint, seductive speed of the expressway and still finality of Last Rights.

Bethany Shorb was born in 1976. She received her Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture, with an elective in Photography, from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her works have been widely published in the United States and abroad. As founder of Cyberoptix, she has designed high-tech couture for SIGGRAPH and costumes for screen and stage alike (including Skinny Puppy's 2004 world tour), as featured in FiberArts and Industrial Nation. Her current neckwear line has graced the throats of Motor's Bryan Black and actor/director Crispin Glover, and was featured in the New York Times Magazine, BPM, Nylon, Antenna, Wired Blog, and the Martha Stewart Show.



Mercantile is a collaboration between Mary Beatrice Brockman and Mark Christopher Straiton.

Mary Beatrice Brockman attended The School Of Visual Arts to study sculpture. After leaving, she focused her fine-art skills on restoration, and eventually settled on pattern-making and handmade wallpapers. Brockman meshes the absurdly real with decorative qualities, using overheard stories (such as "The Whale Found with a Bomb in its Belly") as a point of departure.

Mark Christopher Straiton is wild at heart and a jack of almost all trades. He is best-known as co-owner of Kill Devil Hill, a widely-lauded antique shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.



Born in mid-seventies Baltimore, Anthony Malat grew up on the road. Touring extensively with his post-punk hardcore band Universal Order of Armageddon (and later the art punk outfits Love Life and The Bellmer Dolls), he became well-practiced in the obsolete arts of backyard auto repair, hand-poke tattooing, and non-denominational marriage officiation.

His line has taken on many forms over the past few years but one thing has remained unchanged: He works alone, using outdated machines and methods, and has used his lack of formal training to his advantage by inventing unorthodox but practical techniques, giving his work special and unique details.

Sinner/Saint suits have gained an international reputation for being the most unique custom designs available today. Malat's clients include Jon Spencer, Jim Thirlwell (Foetus), Benjy Ferree, as well as members of The National, Interpol, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the New York Dolls, The Hold Steady, Barenaked Ladies, and even N'Sync!

Sinner/Saint and Malat himself have both been press darlings, with full articles or editorial pieces appearing in GQ, Rolling Stone, Spin, Nylon, Black Book, V, Ha'Ir (Tel Aviv), Soma, Swindle, and countless others. He has sold limited-run ready-to-wear collections in New York City, Chicago, and Tokyo.

Sinner/Saint will be introducing a new subdivision that will be available off-the-rack at limited locations and online, as well as jewelry and accessories in association with the partners of the mentor group VDK. In his limited spare time, Malat continues his musical career with the Bellmer Dolls, and makes furniture and sculpture from reclaimed building materials, as well as restoring Victorian-era homes in the borough of Brooklyn, New York.



VDK is a collaboration between Anthony Malat and Jorden Haley. The VDK is not what you think it is.



Obsessed with electronics, feathers, Native American art, pagan ritual, fetish, punk rock, and tribal percussion, Black Swan is the brainchild of Phoenix Perry and Margaret Schedel. Connoisseurs of the romantic and ethereal, they create high-impact, hard-to-predict events beyond the realm of normal expectations. Their music is reminiscent of electronica and punk, steam boats and theremins, and breaking glass. All costumes are handmade and designed around the art of Phoenix Perry.



Mark Christopher Straiton is wild at heart and a jack of almost all trades. He is best-known as co-owner of Kill Devil Hill (a widely-lauded antique shop in Greenpoint) but perhaps better-so as a deejay: He has played some of the most hallowed halls of clubland and some of the darkest basements throughout the United States. Playing dance music of the ages, he is generally thought-of as a rock-a-billy deejay or a techno deejay, but he also plays everything in between.

"The single best deejay in NYC" - Jayson Diamond
"Radical Riot Raver" - Emme Evard
"Mark is techno's Sid Vicious" - Sal P. (Liquid Liquid)



Starting as a solo project of the frontman of acclaimed synthpunk band SIDS, Death Domain is an all-analog, minimal electronic act based in Baltimore. As is clearly referenced by the name "Death Domain" (a term referring to biological molecules involved in the regulation of cell death), the man behind Death Domain bridges the gap between his two main passions in life (i.e., science and music) in order to mold a unique sound. Â Death Domain has released multiple cassettes with future releases on 7", 10", and 12" formats."



With the Dethlab project, Shorb and Doyle seek to define "the new black" by connecting the dots between trends in music, fashion, design and culture: Mashing Ballardian reality with a romance for the glory days of postpunk and the cyberpunk future promised by Blade Runner. Like a modern day McLaren and Westwood, Doyle and Shorb are obsessive consumers, creators, and curators of all things dark, innovative, and beautiful -- often with tongue firmly in-cheek.

In addition to deejaying and event production, they are currently recording original music, have facilitated happenings such as Alice In Wonderland themed tea parties and period costumed croquet socials in abandoned factories, and have used nearly as much fake blood as Gwar. Shorb has performed her own circuit-bent instruments around the country as Toybreaker, and as a member of seminal noise band God and His Bitches. Both have collaborated closely with indie-electronic label Ghostly International on package design and merchandise development, and share the notion of "one foot in the gallery, one in the club." The "Machines That Feel" series is the best example to date of their combined interests in art, music and social-commentary.



Mike Servito is a deejay's deejay, a lifelong music fanatic with a truly unique ability to move a dance floor. Fearless in his seamless transitions from one style to another, Servito has an unpredictability and a deep trust in his music knowledge that has garnered him a cult following and made him an in-demand deejay the world over. Although Servito is a NYC transplant, his deejay style is unmistakably Detroit. Inspired by Detroit radio of the 80s and local deejays in the 90s, Servito came of age in a flourishing electronic music scene, making his debut in 1995 and immediately gaining the attention and respect of his peers and local techno heroes. After a brief hiatus, Servito was lured back into the game through the vigorous encouragement of his close friend Magda, and returned to the deejay realm in 2002. Servito redefined himself, finding inspiration in the new generation of electronic-music producers and deejays.

Mike Servito was among the original "Untitled" residents, whose ranks include Matthew Dear, Derek Plaslaiko, Tadd Mullinix, and Ryan Elliott. He has played multiple Detroit Electronic Music Festivals and has held court with some of the best talent in the world, including artists from heavyweight labels such as Bpitch Control, Perlon, Minus, Kompakt, and DFA, as well as hometown legends Transmat, Planet E, UR, and Spectral Sound. In 2008, Servito became the newest addition to Ghostly's deejay roster, and has happily returned to deejaying and traveling the world playing his favorite music.



Ryan Brogan, the mastermind behind the Brooklyn-based imprint known as Subtrak, came to New York via Detroit, where he began his foray into electronic music nearly a decade ago. As a deejay, he has shared the booth with everyone from Daniel Bell, Misstress Barbara, Kevin Saunderson, and Juan Atkins, to Troy Pierce, Omar S., and Guido Schneider. As a producer, he has released electro under the alias AudioRiot and minimal techno as The Pale (with long time collaborator Christian Bloch, Denmark's infamous techno guru). He currently has several EPs under his belt, a recent full length album (Toybox) released under his own name, and various side projects (such as the insanely popular mash-up project "Trademark Technique").

Brogan hasn't surfaced to perform since the release party for "Toybox" on July 4th, 2009. In response to a special request from Cyberoptix's Bethany Shorb, Ryan has agreed to debut his intense new live Breakbeat/Dubstep project VIOLEC. (Think Bassnectar meets Soulwax!)



Devotion is a new gallery, where space exists as a cross-section of the world at-large. This Williamsburg-based location combines science, art, sound, data, and complexity to reveal our existence as part of an integral whole. Devotion Gallery is located at 54 Maujer Street (near the corner of Maujer and Lorimer Streets) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.



319 Scholes is a new architectural space in the industrial heart of Bushwick committed to the increasing use of trans-disciplinary approaches in order to achieve artistic communication.


CONTACT: Marie at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Dusting off my combat boots for Skinny Puppy tonight in Detroit.
Wait... who am I kidding? They've never collected dust.

Skinny Puppy - Smothered Hope [1984]

RE.TREAT by Úna Burke

Úna Burke RE.TREAT

Úna Burke RE.TREAT

London College of Fashion MA student Úna Burke has crafted this extraordinary collection wearable sculptures.

From the artist:

This is a conceptual collection of wearable art pieces, depicting a series of eight human gestures associated with the cause, the physical and psychological effect and the healing stages of human trauma. Sculptural forms are created around the shape of the contorted female body. A number of pieces are reminiscent of prosthetics and medical braces. This signifies the potential for healing within the boundaries of something which inhibits the body.

Carcass-like in form, each piece is hand crafted from vegetable tanned leather, resulting in a colour indicative of human flesh. They have been produced to be viewed as contemplation artefacts observed in the environment of the gallery and they can be used as fashion accessories when broken down into sections, such as arm pieces, leg pieces, head or neck pieces and shoulder pieces. They could be combined with other garments in flowing fabrics which would create beautiful contrasts with the structured forms of these pieces.

Úna Burke RE.TREAT

References to medical braces and fetish wear are clearly present, but the intricate layering of the leather bands also makes me think of mummification, segmented crustacean shells and particularly Samurai armor. Whatever images and narratives they may inspire, the concept and execution are both breathtaking.

[via Haute Macabre]

Monday, November 09, 2009


Syntaks - "Twentytwohundred" Video from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Ghostly International's latest signing Syntaks - Danish visual artist/designer Jakob Skott and vocalist Anna Cecilia - have just released the synesthesia-inducing album Ylajali and the lush music video above for our favorite Ann Arbor/NYC/LA-based label.

The richly layered waves of organic and processed sound and phantasmal voices make me want to compare Syntaks to Scott Cortez and Melissa Arpin-Duimstra's work as Lovesliescrushing, or a number of acts on 4AD. But Syntaks bring a presence all their own to the shoegazey dream pop party, and make some of the finest, most captivating autumn music you'll find anywhere.

From Ghostly:
Syntaks take their cues from the ambient experiments of Brian Eno and Popol Vuh, the film scores of Ennio Morricone and John Carpenter, and the tonal depth of ‘90s shoegaze bands and early 4AD records. Each sound—from the tinkling of a piano to the snap of a snare drum—has been electronically treated, conjuring an air of unreality that belies the music’s organic construction. Syntaks’ newest record on Ghostly International, 2009’s Ylajali, is a romantic fever dream, a post-rock paean to the transportative, transformative power of sound. Syntaks wraps the couple up like a shroud, absorbing their identities in the pursuit of a heart-stoppingly beautiful vision.

In Ylajali’s beautifully scorched sonic landscape, acres of drones run beneath Anna Cecilia’s wordless sighs; beats crunch like autumn leaves while synthesizers swell, flourish, and disappear. Songs either tramp through hazy forests until they fade into the dark (the Boards of Canada-esque “Love Camp 23”), or stack tone upon tone like translucent building blocks, building to forceful, near-operatic crescendos (the epic “She Moves in Colors”). Syntaks’ Jakob Skott is a drummer by trade, and his percussion—both live and programmed, but always lent an otherworldly sheen—plays the sinister counterpoint to Cecelia’s tender melodies. “The Shape of Things to Come” typifies Syntaks’ dreamlike musical logic, drifting through fields of placid melody until sheets of guitar noise, metallic snares, and choir-like vocals rush in. Once the storm passes, all that’s left is the sun, glinting through the mist.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nice Collective Time Machine

For their Fall 2009 runway debut entitled Time Machine, San Francisco's Nice Collective plunged into the murky dreamscapes of H. G. Wells, Chris Marker and Terry Gillian-offering a distopic, but euphoric vision of blurred timelines and epochs. Time Machine presents the full realization of the brand's ethos, which is less about clothes than the creation of a full immersive experience. The specially designed runway/installation was the joint collaboration of Nice Collective and friends, who labored with a full team for over three months on the complex schematics. Assembled from hand picked materials (including a salvaged turn of the century carriage, aged steel, antique leather and burnt wood), the resulting environment provided a timely homage to the fashion spectacles of the early nineties.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Sesame Street at 40

Happy 40th, you old bird. And thanks for the synesthesia and ordinal linguistic personification!

[Is it any wonder?]

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ghost Riders

Some photos and clips of The Horrors live Detroit last week:

The Horrors
The Horrors

The lads from Central Saint Martins have traded in their ghoulsih growls and stomping garage beats for swirling melodies and sweet arpeggiations. Well... mostly. Their live sound is still massive, but more of a smoldering, just-barely-controlled detonation than explosive bolts of plasma and sonic sex. This isn't to say ears weren't shattered and souls destroyed. Oh they were.

Sea Within a Sea clip

Ghost Rider [Suicide cover] clip

Full Flickr set here.

You Are Here

Just because it's a sunny, cold autumn morning, and I woke up with this song in my head.

Nathan Fake You Are Here [2007]

Future Fashion

Fashion predictions for the year 2000 in the 1930s
[clip via Benson, via T0ybreaker]

Fantastic film reel above. They nailed it with at least one prediction.
I wonder if many at the time would have imagined something like Gareth Pugh's "dark euphoria."
Actually... probably yes! He's like an anachronism from the golden age of science fiction:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Merlin Mann on Time and Attention (Getting Things Done)

Continuing on the subjects of creativity and working methods, here's a talk Merlin Mann gave at Google last year.
(Great to listen to in the background while you're getting things done.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Work smarter, not harder.

Rarely do I ever re-post an entire article, but I've been preaching this method to mostly deaf ears much of my professional career. So glad Fast Company published this piece.

The workforce is full of what I call "inefficient martyrs": people who believe that putting in long hours, sucking up to people they know are unqualified to be in management, and sacrificing their personal lives is somehow equal or superior to accomplishing something significant with smarter methods and less effort. Good planning, time management, allowing yourself pleasure, traveling frequently, daydreaming, actively making time and effort to expose one's self to different cultures and radical ideas... just taking time to experience things outside of "work" which make one a more insightful, productive and valuable contributor to the workplace [and ultimately society] has all been demonized by American corporate culture as lazy and flaky. These "lazy and flaky" afflictions on corporate America are the ones who innovate, become successful entrepreneurs, speak at TED conferences, and generally make the world a better place. The inefficient martyrs will rise like stars within their companies, be paid too much to leave, contribute nothing of value to society and continue to hate their lives - while livin' The American Dream.

Fast Company | Design & Innovation | Hard Work's Overrated, Maybe Detrimental.

A co-founder of Flickr argues that hard work often doesn't amount to much--and neuroscience offers some backing for the claim.

Caterina Fake, who, with her husband Stewart Butterfield, founded Flickr, knows a thing or two about bliztkreig work schedules. But she points out that late nights are seldom very useful in the grand scheme of things. Hard work? Overrated:

When we were building Flickr, we worked very hard. We worked all waking hours, we didn't stop. My Hunch cofounder Chris Dixon and I were talking about how hard we worked on our first startups, his being Site Advisor, acquired by McAfee--14-18 hours a day. We agreed that a lot of what we then considered "working hard" was actually "freaking out". Freaking out included panicking, working on things just to be working on something, not knowing what we were doing, fearing failure, worrying about things we needn't have worried about, thinking about fund raising rather than product building, building too many features, getting distracted by competitors, being at the office since just being there seemed productive even if it wasn't--and other time-consuming activities. This time around we have eliminated a lot of freaking out time. We seem to be working less hard this time, even making it home in time for dinner.

Much more important than working hard is knowing how to find the right thing to work on. Paying attention to what is going on in the world. Seeing patterns. Seeing things as they are rather than how you want them to be. Being able to read what people want. Putting yourself in the right place where information is flowing freely and interesting new juxtapositions can be seen. But you can save yourself a lot of time by working on the right thing. Working hard, even, if that's what you like to do.

That raises the question: How do you set aside the mind space to see patterns, make connections, and read what people want? How do you find the right thing to work on?

Fake points to the salient example of Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA. They spent a lot of time lollygagging and goofing off, going to parties and bullshitting over coffee.

That might seem like a historical footnote, but our everyday experience vindicates it. After all, have you ever had a great idea at your desk? But how often does that bulb go off in the shower, or in bed?

Modern neuroscience actually vindicates this apparently lackadaisical approach. It turns out that the best way to find breakthrough ideas might be to avoid working hard. As the Wall Street Journal reported this summer:

By most measures, we spend about a third of our time daydreaming, yet our brain is unusually active during these seemingly idle moments. Left to its own devices, our brain activates several areas associated with complex problem solving, which researchers had previously assumed were dormant during daydreams. Moreover, it appears to be the only time these areas work in unison.

"People assumed that when your mind wandered it was empty," says cognitive neuroscientist Kalina Christoff at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who reported the findings last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As measured by brain activity, however, "mind wandering is a much more active state than we ever imagined, much more active than during reasoning with a complex problem."

She suspects that the flypaper of an unfocused mind may trap new ideas and unexpected associations more effectively than methodical reasoning. That may create the mental framework for new ideas. "You can see regions of these networks becoming active just prior to people arriving at an insight," she says.

The researchers found support for the idea that blinding insights favor a prepared mind--that is, you've got to really internalize the problem at hand if you're to find any sort of solution. (More more on that, check out this article from last year in the New Yorker, by Jonah Lehrer.) But to actually bring those insights to life, you've got to step back. (See why graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister advocates taking time off.)

But if the daydreaming hypothesis is right--and it seems hard to deny--more hours at your desk are actually counterproductive. You'd do better by setting aside lots of playtime, to let your mind wander. Only then will you stumble your way onto what's important.

Modern office design is actually converging upon this idea, without any prodding from neuroscience--for example, Facebook's new offices seem to be organized more around living rooms and DJ booths than cubicles. Elsewhere in office design, conference rooms are quickly being crowded out by lounge spaces. In other words, the very types of places that Watson and Crick found so useful.

Boba Fett + Front 242

[If you're reading this blog, no explanation required.]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Large Hadron Collider is being sabotaged from the future?

“For those of us who believe in physics, this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” -Albert Einstein

core of the superconducting solenoid magnet at the Large Hadron Collider

This is equally insane and awesome.

Basically, two very credible scientists came up with a theory that perhaps the Large Hadron Collider's string of misfortunes is no accident, but a deliberate result of a future event to prevent observation of the Higgs boson - an as yet unverified elementary particle. Nuts? People have believed in crazier things.

New York Times: The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, put this idea forward in a series of papers with titles like “Test of Effect From Future in Large Hadron Collider: a Proposal” and “Search for Future Influence From LHC,” posted on the physics Web site in the last year and a half.

According to the so-called Standard Model that rules almost all physics, the Higgs is responsible for imbuing other elementary particles with mass.

“It must be our prediction that all Higgs producing machines shall have bad luck,” Dr. Nielsen said in an e-mail message. In an unpublished essay, Dr. Nielson said of the theory, “Well, one could even almost say that we have a model for God.” It is their guess, he went on, “that He rather hates Higgs particles, and attempts to avoid them.”

This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”

Read on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ripley and Mad Max making out to Vangelis = awesome.

Sigourney Weaver and Mel Gibson in Peter Weir's brilliant film The Year of Living Dangerously

Monday, October 12, 2009

Death By Ackermann

Oliver Ackermann

The third post in our unofficial creative minds series, A.V. Club New York examines the wiring of one Mr. Oliver Ackermann - Rhode Island School of Design grad and former toy designer, founder of Brooklyn-based effects pedal factory/recording studio/live-work-performance space/"DIY empire" Death By Audio and frontman of plasma-hot band A Place To Bury Strangers:

Oliver Ackermann is trying, and failing, to describe the sound of his effects pedals. He builds them all from the ground up—designing the circuits; attaching the transistors, capacitors, and resistors; and drilling and silk-screening the metal cases—so it comes as something of a surprise that he has trouble finding the right words. "You could almost describe these sounds," he says, but then stops himself. Ackermann is enthusiastic, manic, and charming; his mouth remains locked in a permanent smile. He starts again: "I guess it's about making something that I think sounds badass."

"Badass" is an apt description for Death By Audio, Ackermann's DIY empire, which occupies two adjacent lofts in Southside Williamsburg. One of them houses a concert space, which showcases acts that occupy the interstitial spaces between rock, noise, and sound-art, while a nearby loft houses a recording studio, a rehearsal space (for Ackermann's band, A Place To Bury Strangers), a room for silk-screening and painting, an electronics assembly room, and a wood and metal shop. It's the pedal business, though, that keeps Death By Audio humming—not to mention ringing, shrieking, and twisting into and out of eardrums in basements and garages across the country...

Read on.

The Horrors tonight in Detroit

Friendly reminder, one of my favorite bands in the world The Horrors are playing at The Magic Stick tonight.
[Yeah, it's Monday. Go!]

The Horrors Who Can Say [2009]

The Horrors Sea Within A Sea [2009]

Joshua Eustis interview

Finally getting around to posting this fantastic interview with Josh from Telefon Tel Aviv for Ellen Allien's BPitch Control label. This is kind of a follow-up to last week's Bill Viola post. Like Viola, Josh articulates the details of his creative process in a manner that is both thoughtful and straightforward. Plus, not only does the guy have without question the best album of 2009, he has a great punk ethic and sleeps with staff paper next to his bed to write down song ideas from dreams...

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SKETCH3D on Core77

Core77 has a nice write-up on o2's SKETCH3D at Gizmodo Gallery, including a clip of yours truly giving a demo.

Gizmodo Gallery opening party

+ If you haven't checked it out yet, o2 has a brand new website. Erick Carlson, Mike Miller and the whole team busted serious ass to get it up in time for GizGallery. The new site has more and bigger images, is much easier to navigate and update, and no more Flash!

Bright Nights in Brooklyn

If you're in NYC, do go see Bright Nights presented by Random Number tonight on the Manhattan Bridge Anchorage in DUMBO.

Bright Nights is a curated program of digital artwork that celebrates the projected image, draws attention to the iconic architecture of the Manhattan Bridge, and electrifies the arts friendly DUMBO neighborhood. The program will be projected onto the Anchorage, to coincide with the 100th birthday of the bridge and the 10th annual Walk21 conference in October 2009.

Four internationally renowned Brooklyn-based artists created new works that interpret the unique physical, spatial, and historical components of the bridge. The artists were chosen for their ability to energize a public space, in celebration of the major thoroughfare’s 100th birthday.

Artists include Motomichi Nakamura, Burak Arikan, Lee Wells and our very own Marius Watz.

Wednesday, Oct. 7th | 7PM - 10PM
Manhattan Bridge Anchorage, Front & Adams Street side in DUMBO, Brooklyn

Marius Watz, "Bridge Hypothesis" from Random Number on Vimeo.

Motomichi Nakamura, "Steel Monster" from Random Number on Vimeo.

More sketches and video clips of Marius' project Bridge Hypothesis on Flickr.

Dark Ass Bats tonight

Dark Ass Bats 5

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time again for Dark Ass Bats. Now that's it's cold out, we're moving downstairs from the Alley Deck to the new performance space in the Majestic Cafe. Come on out and get your weird on.

Wednesday, October 7th
Resident DJs Dethlab & Glühüfr + special guests Ataxia live
Majestic Cafe
4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit MI
10PM | free!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Alexander McQueen live

SHOWstudio is producing a live webcast for Alexander McQueen's Spring/Summer 2010 collection in Paris. This is like a MacWorld keynote for Prada-Goths. Tune in here.

+ Watch a collection of past show highlights below:

Alexander McQueen: Iconic Moments from Jean Hürxkens on Vimeo.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bill Viola's creative mind

I've been aesthetically captured by Bill Viola's video art since first seeing it in person at Cranbrook in the '90s, but have recently developed an entirely new appreciation after listening to him speak about it. He has a lucidity about his own process few visual artists can express with words. There are few things I enjoy more than learning about an artist's creative process - not just the technical how, but the why, the motivations and all the steps in between. That's why the clips below are such a treat.

"The Passage", 1987 - Flickr photo by 17 SIP

I got on a renewed Viola kick over the weekend, when Adam Greenfield posted a couple long photos of rather sublime just noticeable difference street ads for H&M in Helsinki. These immediately made me think of the jnd master. This also got me thinking about Nine Inch Nails' '00 Fragility tour - with backing films that looked heavily influenced by Viola's work. Being such a fan of both, I was surprised to learn Viola had actually created said films for Trent Reznor.

In the two clips here, Viola articulates both the creative motivations and technical processes in the making of the Nine Inch Nails media:

Bill Viola about his work for Nine Inch Nails Part 1: La Mer

Bill Viola about his work for Nine Inch Nails Part 2: The Great Below + The Mark Has Been Made

For a deeper look into Viola's mind, also see this DesignBoom interview from 2007. An excerpt below about twilight, thresholds and "moments of instability" [subjects very near and dear to our mission at Burnlab]:

Friday, October 02, 2009

FACT mix 88 by Traxx


Traxx has a brand new mix for FACT Magazine has been warping my mind all day. Check it out.

FACT’s latest exclusive mix comes from the man with the best real name in dance music, Melvin Oliphant III. You probably known him as DJ Traxx.

Traxx is one of the strongest adherents to, and evolvers of, the Chicago house sound. This month he releases a blinding new album, Faith, for his own Chi-town-based Nation label, which shows just how distinctive he's grown as an artist while keeping the original box jam aesthetic alive. His career really kicked off in 2001; over the years he's worked under his given name as well as Traxx, Mysterio and XX Art, and he's recorded for International Deejay Gigolo an Crème Organization, collaborating with people like Green Velvet, Jamal Moss, DJ Hell and Legowelt - and building up a sizeable cult following along the way. Tad Mullinix, better known as Dabrye and James T. Cotton, offers this ringing endorsement:

"Traxx is possibly my favorite DJ in the world. And while many DJs can't successfully execute their ideals in their own productions, his music is exactly the kind of amazing stuff that he would spin. His overwhelming passion for great music comes through in his production. The pinnacle of his art, whether he is DJing or producing, is his ability to seize the moment and make crucial changes only when they are necessary. His art is not just a 'back to basics' approach, but a refinement of styles that have been abandoned for music with slick transitions and needless ornamentation. This is Jakbeat in its rawest form."

FACT Mix 88, which Traxx put together exclusively for us using only vinyl, is a fine illustration of Traxx's musical animus. As well as a liberal supply of jacking acid house, techno and electro, there are also gripping diversions into EBM, industrial and synth-pop; tellingly he opens the mix with Chris & Cosey's recent remix of Excepter. The resulting mix is heavy, loud, intense and riotously entertaining; it will stir even the most jaded house fan.

Be sure to listen to some of the other FACT mixes, including a truly superb one from Andrew Weatherall a couple weeks ago.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ron Zakrin, Solvent and Black Devil Disco Club tonight in Detroit

Ron Zakrin

Ron Zakin solo art show at 323 East with DJs Dethlab, BMG of Ectomorph and Ian Ammons
Saturday 9.26.09 | 6PM-12AM | 323 East Fourth Street, Royal Oak, MI

Random Reason presents Solvent and JDSY live at the Old Miami
Saturday 9.26.09 | 10PM-2AM | $5 | 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI

Macho City presents Black Devil Disco Club with DJs Mike Trombley and Scott Zacharias at the Magic Stick
Saturday 9.26.09 | 9PM-3AM | $15 | 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI

Friday, September 25, 2009

Detroit Rock City

KISS is playing at Cobo Arena this weekend in Detroit.
Destroyer was the first record I ever bought. I was four years old.
Liked the cover. Bought most books & LPs since on the same premise. It [design] really works.

KISS - Detroit Rock City [1976]

The Cars + Andy Warhol

I vaguely recall seeing this on USA Up All Night in the mid '80s.
It's not "good", but it's still amazing!
Also, slightly NSFW due to lots of hipster French kissing and some stop motion nipple action...

The Cars - Hello Again [Extended Uncensored Andy Warhol Version, 1984]

I remember the same year listening to a radio interview while delivering newspapers on my bicycle. The DJ from the local rock station WRIF asked Ric Ocasek if The Cars were "new-wave or rock." Ocasek replied, "We're new-rock."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gizmodo Gallery '09

Gizmodo Gallery install
Gizmodo Gallery

Gizmodo's second annual geekfest/gadget exhibition in up now through Sunday in New York City. o2 Creative Solutions was invited to create two interactive installations: one for the Ghostly Discovery App which syncs the mood-based interface to a lighting system, and a new version of SKETCH3D which is now milled out of tank grade aluminum [seriously] and through the magic of accelerometers, allows the user to rotate their drawing in 3D space and shake to clear just like an analog Etch-a-Sketch. It's been a great honor and opportunity to take part in Giz Gallery this year, and we met some truly awesome people this week.

Here's Bre Prettis demoing the MakerBot playing Daft Punk:

Here's ArcAttack playing the Doctor Who theme and Imperial March with Tesla coils and robotic drums:

+ some photos from installation and the opening party:
Gizmodo Gallery install
Gizmodo Gallery install
Gizmodo Gallery install
Gizmodo Gallery install
Gizmodo Gallery
Gizmodo Gallery opening party
Gizmodo Gallery opening party
Gizmodo Gallery opening party
Gizmodo Gallery opening party
Gizmodo Gallery opening party

More photos and video clips here.
Info on o2's work at the gallery here.
Full info on Giz Gallery '09 here.

New A Place to Bury Strangers video + LP

Oh, hells yeah...

A Place to Bury Strangers - In Your Heart [2009]

The loudest band in New York's second LP Exploding Head will be released on Mute October 6th.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Atompunks unite

If I weren't so freaking busy, I'd be in the Netherlands right now. GOGBOT Festival 2009 officially starts tonight. The theme of this year's gathering of socially and aesthetically curious artists and thinkers is Atompunk - drawing inspiration form the period framed by the cold war.

GOGBOT 2009 takes place September 10-13 at ten venues in the center of Enschede, NL (about an hour and a half east of Amsterdam and Utrecht.) The festival program was developed over the past ten months by the good people of PLANETART with shared ideas and images from the global community via the Atompunk mailing list.

Tonight's opening ceremony features a presentation by guest of honor Bruce Sterling and a live performance by Alec Empire. Read Bruce's introduction to Atompunk here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Telefon Tel Aviv North American Tour

Telefon Tel Aviv kicks off their North American [and possibly last] tour TONIGHT at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Go to their MySpace page for details, and enjoy the brand new video for "Helen of Troy" below:

Helen of Troy from joshua eustis on Vimeo.

Scribe Mundo de Papel

SCRIBE MUNDO DE PAPEL from ladies on Vimeo.

[via Spatial Robots]

Friday, August 28, 2009

Final Solution

photo by EquinnoxX

Download nyctaper's recording of NIN's last [New York] show "ever" Nine Inch Nails: August 26, 2009 Terminal 5

[thanks Greg!]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

S2DIO Night: Angel Fever

This past weekend's Detroit By Design S2DIO Night at the Bankle Building was a blast. Big hat tip to John Ryan and Rich Rice for organizing it! Some pics below:

S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night
S2DIO Night

Architecture isn't about bricks, it's about people. Sometimes naked ones.

This is brilliant.

New York Post: High Line is a Lust Cause

"Note to parents strolling the High Line: Don't let your kids look up.

The Meatpacking District's newly opened, much-touted urban park along an elevated, former railroad trestle has unwittingly turned into a peep show near The Standard hotel, as randy hotel guests perform sex acts in front of floor-to-ceiling hotel windows."

[via Archinect]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Goudron live + teh arts at S2DIO NIGHT: ANGEL FEVER Saturday

Ms. T0ybreaker and I are excited to be DJing w/ DB2 as Dethlab and showing photo and design work at this month's special edition of S2DIO NIGHT: ANGEL FEVER, curated by John Ryan.

Saturday, August 22
Bankle Building, 2944 Woodward Avenue, Detroit MI
9PM | $5 donation | please use rear entrance

Goudron (live)-Ron Zakrin [Ersatz Audio, I.T.]
Carlos Souffront
dR. disKo DUST [John Ryan]
Dean Syst3m

Peter DeAngelo
Michael Doyle
Bethany Shorb
Amber Locke
video art projections by Demonbabies
atmosphere & video shoot: Isaac R.

A couple previews:

photo by Bethany Shorb [more here]

Solvent slides comp 24"
illustrations by Michael Doyle

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"Moar fog, plz."

[Adam and Nicola are the best.]
Photos and video clips of ADULT. live in Detroit this past Saturday:

Adult. live
Adult. live
Adult. live
Adult. live
Adult. live

Much more here.

Also, go to for info on her first book of photography, First Edition - spanning 11 years of work.