February 2007 Archives

‘What is amazing is the idea of this generation being responsible for creating a cultural icon— like that we get to do that!’
—Elizabeth Berkley speaking, presumably, about Nomi at a fund-raiser for the New Globe Theater [in last week's NYO]

Right before the movie came out, I remember seeing a puff piece about how they used a dialogue consultant to figure out the slang of the future in Judge Dredd Demolition Man [thanks, Jason, Sandra Bullock's other biggest fan]. Also, they had Sylvester Stallone climbing out of the solid Styrofoam interior of his car after a crash. It felt like they were trying too hard and on the absolute wrong things. [Never did see that movie, wonder how it turned out?]

Anyway, the opposite seems true in these two cases. This is the kind of stuff you like to see after the movie's out--or discover via freezeframe for yourself.

Foreign Office has a reel of their ambient video, commercials, and graphic/info set dressings for Cuaron's Children of Men. [foreignoffice.com via waxy]

Armin has a collection of graphic design, logos, and signage from Mike Judge's Idocracy which is pretty awesome. Fox threw Idiocracy in the dumpster soon after it was born. If anyone figures out the way to buy it that gives them the absolute least amount of money possible, please let me know. [underconsideration via kottke]

So the Oscars. Did I just miss their press release warning that they were going to inject off-off-Broadway wacky juice into the show? Because after being numbed into catatonia by years of Debbie Allen, Debbie Allen manques, and Gil Coates' Hollywood-snake-eating-its-tail directing, a simple heads up that they were going all avant garde would've been nice.

Never mind that both Will Ferrell's weird musical number and Tom Hanks' speech made reference to alcoholism. Plus there was Ellen's rolling papers joke at the end. That's mainstream.

What threw me--after the very existence of the non-relevant Ferrell song, that is--was that choir of sound effects people. Cool, sure, but WTF? Their multi-channel video backdrop made me think they were doing a live cover version of Christian Marclay's Video Quartet.

Obviously the biggest Marclay cover version was that iPhone commercial, though. I'd say I hope he got royalties, but then, I wonder how much he paid to license those clips. Exactly. The proper course of action would have been for Apple's agency to hire Marclay to do the commercial. Or actually, to do other commercials.

And speaking of commercials, did anyone else think of that VW shadow hands commercial during the Pilobolus numbers? Also, Pilobolus???

update: [d'oh, I see kottke's already got people working on the Marclay iPhone thing.]

February 23, 2007

Nailing The Armory

Paddy Johnson at ArtFagCity manages to capture the Armory Show and the entire art fair phenomenon in two sentences: "It's hard to know what to think of anything. Everything looks like you should buy it."

The Armory Show: New Digs, Same Fair [afc]

February 23, 2007

It's Like Dogme For Fair Use

Sweet. Lessig announced an insurance/legal services partnership for documentary filmmakers whose films are certified as meeting American University's Fair Use For Filmmakers Best Practices Standards.

Changing documentary clearance practices was huge enough, and already paved the way for PBS to air Byron Hurt's Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes and for IFC to co-produce and distribute Kirby Dick's clip-heavy This Film Is Not Yet Rated, to quote just two of CSM-AU's examples.

But now, if your film certifies--paging Harmony Korrine!--Stanford's Fair Use Project, which has as its mission the market-based reclaiming of fair use rights that have been boilerplated away by risk-averse distributors, will provide pro bono legal support in the event someone makes a copyright infringement claim against it.

Except, you know, when they won't: "If we can’t provide pro bono services, then Michael Donaldson’s firm will provide referrals to a number of media lawyers who will provide representation at a reduced rate."

So if you're going to get sued, perhaps as part of your promotion plan for the film, and you want to get sued for free, try getting sued in a sexy and strategic enough Fair Use Test Case way that kicks SFUP's own ball down the field as well. Good luck with that.

Major News: Fair Use and Film [lessig via bb]
Insurer accepts fair use claims! [centerforsocialmedia.org]
Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use [csm, nov 05]

So Christie's bought Haunch of Venison, which will open an outpost in Rockefeller Center, the spectacular, near-raw space where the Judd Foundation pieces were previewed? Great.

But is it, as the NYT calls it, "the first time, an auction house has acquired a gallery primarily to enter the market for new works by living artists"?

Have I just been in deep freeze, or didn't Sotheby's buy all--or was it half?--of Deitch in the late nineties for...one million dollars?

It's fascinating to inadvertently track the transformation of Claude Lelouch's 1976 tracking shot tour de Paris and/or force C'etait un Rendez Vous go from mythical underground film to rediscovered classic to Google-mapped puzzle to demythologized YouTube entertainment--and now to mainstream mash-up material.

Snow Patrol, aka the Scottish Coldplay, has licensed Lelouch's film and used it--portions of it, anyway, as the video for their single, "Open Your Eyes." My knee-jerk reaction was, "well, that's a lazy-ass way to make a music video," but I have to say, it generally works, so I guess I'm cool with it. Mostly because I like to think that hundreds of people have already done the same thing themselves and swapped out Lelouch's phony engine roar for their favorite roadtrip music anyway.

But to Snow Patrol's credit, they appear to have actually reworked--or, as the credits put it, "remastered"--the original to their own artistic ends. Sure, they chop four minutes off and edit out the shoot-the-Louvre segment, but it seems like they also pumped up the contrast as well. I thought they even added some CG-flashes of flame toward the end, but then I realized they were the fleeing pigeons, picked out in headlamps of Lelouch's Ferrari Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9.

One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the easy, factcheck-free laziness surrounding Rendez Vous' myths. In this age of Google, it takes a real commitment to keep ahold of romantic-but-made-up details; Very Short List can take comfort in knowing they're part of a long tradition of not Googling the little stuff.

You can watch Snow Patrol's "Open Your Eyes" on the YouTube. [via vsl, thanks michael!]


WPS1 has posted the audio for MoMA's recent symposium, "The Feminist Future: Theory and Practice in the Visual Arts." Listening to a panel discussion with no access to the visuals can be a tough sell, but the two talks I heard were frankly awesome:

Artist Coco Fusco's performance as Sargeant Fusco sounded fierce and relevant, while the Guerrilla Girls, bless their hearts, sounded a bit out of touch.

The killer, though, is Beatriz Colomina's discussion of Eileen Gray and Le Corbusier. The thrust, if you will, of her presentation was that Corbu essentially raped Gray's most important architectural work, E.1027, a house she built in Roquebrune/Cap Martin on the far side of Monaco, by putting murals depicting Algerian concubines throughout the house.

It's obviously more complicated than that, and I find it remarkable that so little of what she talked about is generally known. I've heard people who should know better dismiss and diminish Gray's work as recently as 2004.

Anyway, what's also remarkable is that E1027 is still a deteriorating ruin. When I lived in Monaco in 1995-7, I tried once to find it, but no locals could figure out what I was talking about. The most comprehensive images I've seen, though, are on flickr, a photoset made by Daniel, an Irish architect, who hopped the fence in 1997 when the house was a squat [the last owner had been murdered a couple of months prior.]

I can't find any images of Gray's last house, Lou Perou, which was done near St Tropez, either. And I can't find any word on the status of her own house, Tempe a Pailla, which was inland, up the mountains from Roquebrune & Menton in the village of Castellar. How is it that no modernist pilgrims have tracked and documented this stuff?

Listen to 'The Feminist Future' on WPS1 [wps1.org]
E1027: A Photoset by It's Daniel [flickr]

update: Tropolist Chad points out that Colomina's talk is an architectural classic. here's the text of "Battle Lines: E.1027," from 1995, for example, a lot of which she also presented at MoMA. As Chad puts it, "Of course, if I had to pick a dozen such texts to keep bandying about, that one would be near the top of the list. " As Tropolism pointed out in Dec. 06, Colomina's paper was also reprinted in the first issue of Pin-Up Magazine.

later update: Guy points out that Lou Perou is included in Caroline Constant's 2000 monograph on Eileen Gray from Phaidon. I put it on my to-get list from the storage unit...

February 10, 2007


Uh-oh, One less trip to the Anthology each year. Todd Haynes' Superstar is on Google Video. [via coudal]

The idea to use a large heliostat to deliver winter sunlight to a small village deep in a valley of the Italian Alps, was a success:

The mirror — 870 meters, or 2,900 feet, above Viganella and measuring 8 meters wide by 5 meters high — is motorized and constantly tracks the sun. Computer software tilts and turns the panels throughout the daylight hours to deflect the rays downward. But from Viganella's main square, bathed in reflected sunlight, all that is visible of the false sun is a bright glare from the slope above.

"At first no one believed it could be possible, but I was certain. I have faith in physics," said Giacomo Bonzani, an architect and sundial designer who came up with the idea of reflecting sunlight onto the square and made the necessary astronomical calculations. The project languished for a few years until funding — about €100,000, or $130,000 — came through last year from private and public sponsors.

The mirror was designed by Emilio Barlocco, an engineer whose company specializes in using reflected sunlight to light the entrances to highway tunnels. He read about Viganella's plight on the front page of the Turin daily La Stampa and offered the village his expertise and services. "Whenever you do something for the first time, you're either a pioneer or stupid," he said. "We hope we're the former."

A concrete plinth was anchored to the rock face of the slope above Viganella to serve as the mirror's base. The mirror panels were flown up by helicopter. The software that tracks the sun's rotation is so sophisticated that the rays can be directed anywhere by the computer, which is in the town hall. "If the church or the bar in the town next door has an event, like a baptism, or a wedding, we can shoot the rays there," Midali said. "It's very versatile."

When I first thought up a project to do this in 1999, even when I started talking to Olafur about it in 2003-4, I didn't even know I was talking about a heliostat. But now with the Wikipedia, and the advent of the Solar Positioning Algorithm and the more comprehensive libnova celestial mechanics library--and the successful testing in Viganella, of course--my excuses for not building me one of these are rapidly diminishing.

Computer age brings sun to village in shadow of the Alps [iht via tmn]
Previously: On an Unrealized Art Project


Don't get me wrong, I love me some yurts. But like the equally lovable geodesic dome, something always seems lost in between ideal sustainable concept and hippie-dippy, style-free, domestic execution.

Finally, though, someone's made a yurt for the Wallpaper Dwell designblog generation. That's the Ecoshack promise, anyway. Their Nomad Yurt has a bit of a kick to it. Plus, it's available in Plyboo, and when the bright red nylon outershell comes available, you'll be able to set it up on the slope, and no one will snowboard into the side of you. Very important. [And not just because your yurt's shaped like a mogul.]

The only thing wrong I can see: it's only available in one smallish size right now--12' across, 7' high. Oh, and I don't have any land to put it on.

The Nomad: "Mongolia‘s 2000-year-old portable ‘ger’ updated for today’s urban nomad" [ecoshack.com via Eames Demetrios' dasfilmfest]

February 2, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Farce


I was beginning to think everyone in Boston, and most everyone in the media, and most certainly everyone in the cable news industry, was a freakin' idiot. [cf. nearly every angry, belligerent comment by an embarassed official; the smartass reporter asking the tagger when he was gonna get a haircut; the Department of Homeland Security reassuring us that there were "no credible reports of other devices being found elsewhere in the country."]

But the Boston Globe's Brainiac blog, co-written by Joshua Green, has saved the day, navigating a level-headed reportorial and analytical path through the fog of media. Good stuff.

Fortunately for Berdovsky and Stevens, the other level-headed Bostonian is the judge, who immediately questioned the applicability of the hoax-related statute. These charges will be dropped and the hysterical politico-media motivations behind them will be recognized. Eventually. Their haircut press conference was almost pitch-perfect. [In contrast, the sudden and total disappearance of Interference, Inc., the ATHF street agency, strikes me as kind of spineless.]

Meanwhile, even as I roll my eyes as the corporate co-optation of street art tactics, I have to admit, I love these Mooninites devices. They're gorgeous. Graffiti Research Labs, which propagated the LED Throwies idea, took a swipe at the poseur-ish Interference. But I don't think it's really fair.

I'm reminded of something Marc Schiller, at Wooster Collective, told me when I wrote about corporate-sponsored street art in 2005 [oh, we were so innocent then]: "Once something's out there, what matters is how well it's done." [nyt]

Ongoing Make coverage of the Mooninite devices, including beautiful closeups--and hopefully, someday, schematics and kits
. [makezine]

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

comments? questions? tips? pitches? email
greg [at] greg [dot ] org

find me on twitter: @gregorg

about this archive

Posts from February 2007, in reverse chronological order

Older: January 2007

Newer March 2007

recent projects, &c.

Our Guernica Cycle, 2017 –
about/kickstarter | exhibit, 2017

Social Medium:
artists writing, 2000-2015
Paper Monument, Oct. 2016
ed. by Jennifer Liese
buy, $28

Madoff Provenance Project in
'Tell Me What I Mean' at
To__Bridges__, The Bronx
11 Sept - Oct 23 2016
show | beginnings

Chop Shop
curated by Magda Sawon
1-7 March 2016

eBay Test Listings
Armory – ABMB 2015
about | proposte monocrome, rose

It Narratives, incl.
Shanzhai Gursky & Destroyed Richter
Franklin Street Works, Stamford
Sept 5 - Nov 9, 2014
about | link

TheRealHennessy Tweets Paintings, 2014 -

Standard Operating Procedure
about | buy now, 284pp, $15.99

CZRPYR2: The Illustrated Appendix
Canal Zone Richard Prince
YES RASTA 2:The Appeals Court
Decision, plus the Court's
Complete Illustrated Appendix (2013)
about | buy now, 142pp, $12.99

"Exhibition Space" @ apexart, NYC
Mar 20 - May 8, 2013
about, brochure | installation shots

HELP/LESS Curated by Chris Habib
Printed Matter, NYC
Summer 2012
panel &c.

Destroyed Richter Paintings, 2012-
background | making of
"Richteriana," Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Canal Zone Richard
Selected Court Documents
from Cariou v. Prince (2011)
about | buy now, 376pp, $17.99