Until one morning, I’ll wake up and find I’m thinking about something else, and then I’ll know the worst is over. My heart might be bruised, but it will recover and became capable of seeing the beauty of life once more. It’s happened before, it will happen again, I’m sure. When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive–I’ll find love again.
Of the 10,000 images he snapped over 2012, BSA photographer Jaime Rojo selects to present the 110 best works on the street to represent this years most compelling, interesting, perplexing, and thrilling works of art.
This slideshow is a great display of Brooklyn’s range of mediums, techniques, styles, and sentiments that appear on the street today – and as the scene continues to evolve worldwide.
Despite the ever-encroaching digital world, the popularity of Moleskine, those utterly dignified black notebooks that can be carried in your pocket, seems to only have increased. The many 20th-century cultural heroes who carried Moleskines, from Oscar Wilde to Pablo Picasso, have lent the brand an aura of creative genius.
But this winter, Moleskine is bolstering its 21st-century cred with the publication of
The Detour Book, a collection of the creative journals of present-day artists, designers, and writers. Noted by Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova last week, The Detour Book sounds like one of those tomes that deserves to be poured over:
Scattered across the pages of The Detour Book are the images of over 250 notebooks decorated, hacked, and filled with intimate sketches and drawings by some of the world’s most celebrated creative professionals; among them architects, designers, film directors and musicians including Spike Jonze, Sigur Ros, Mary Ellen Mark and Karim Rashid, to name a few.
There are funny little cartoons from Dave Eggers and brilliant sketches from Toyo Ito, which show the Mikimoto building taking over Ginza. Each book is its own unique archive, preserving the struggle to bring a spark of an idea to fruition.
What’s interesting about the collection is that most people don’t use Moleskines as traditional sketchbooks at all. Instead, designers like Tord Boontje have used them as 3-D objects, slicing through their eggshell pages and hacking them into study models. ATELYE 70, the Turkish architecture studio, turned the fold-out pages of a Moleskine Pocket Accordion into an actual architectural model, inserting plexiglass staircases and scale models between the folds. http://bit.ly/V8wi6W
The Detour Book is one of those rare pieces of marketing that rewards a company and the consumer equally. It’s marvelously fun reading. And who can blame Moleskine for being proud? Buy your copy here.
This gallery contains 10 photos
It would be very curious to record by means of photographs, not the stage of the picture, but its metamorphoses —Pablo Picasso
When LIFE magazine’s Gjon Mili, a technical prodigy and lighting innovator, visited Pablo Picasso in the South of France in 1949, it was clear that the meeting of these two artists and craftsmen was bound to result in something extraordinary. Mili showed Picasso some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates, jumping in the dark — and the Spanish genius’s lively, ever-stirring mind began to race.
“Picasso” LIFE magazine reported at the time, “gave Mili 15 minutes to try one experiment. He was so fascinated by the result that he posed for five sessions, projecting 30 drawings of centaurs, bulls, Greek profiles and his signature. Mili took his photographs in a darkened room, using two cameras, one for side view, another for front view. By leaving the shutters open, he caught the light streaks swirling through space.”
This series of photographs, known ever since as Picasso’s “light drawings,” were made with a small electric light in a darkened room; in effect, the images vanished as soon as they were created — and yet they still live, six decades later, in Mili’s playful, hypnotic images. Many of them were also put on display in early 1950 in a show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Finally, while the “Picasso draws a centaur in the air” photo that leads off this gallery is rightly celebrated, many of the images in this gallery are far less well-known — in fact, many of them never ran in the magazine — but they are no less thrilling, after all these years, than the iconic picture of the archetypal creative genius of the 20th century crafting, on the fly, a fleeting (albeit captured forever on film) work of art.
BMW Motorrad has a gap in its product range large enough to drive a Bundeswehr Unimog through: it doesn’t have a retro roadster to compete with the hugely popular Triumph Bonneville or the expanding Moto Guzzi V7 fleet. Which is strange, given the remarkable popularity of the classic R-series with custom builders.
Here’s the latest vintage Beemer to catch our eye. It’s an R80/7 built by Luka Cimolini in his garage in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Luka’s original plan was to customize a Dnepr, but documentation issues put paid to that. So he snapped up a 1977 R80 in the UK and shipped it to eastern Europe.
It took Luka two years to build this machine, his first custom. But he’s hit the ball out of the park at the first attempt. Slammed low and with a kicked-up seat, he’s given the high-riding R80 a low and sporty stance.
The mods are extensive, with the most obvious being front forks dropped almost two inches and 11-inch shocks fitted at the back. The rebuilt engine is hooked up to universal Megaton reverse cone mufflers, and Luka modified the subframe to take the custom seat unit. The fenders are bobbed BMW originals, and BMW /5 headlight brackets cradle a customized Dnepr lamp. The brake and clutch levers are Triumph, the steering damper knob is from a BMW R26, and the tacho is from an R69S. The grips are Lambretta.
BMW, it would seem, is taking note of the trend. One of the biggest news stories from this week’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan is the announcement of a retro roadster from BMW, to be revealed next year. A development of the LoRider concept, it’s likely to be powered by the current air/oil-cooled, 1170cc boxer motor and feature inverted forks. Can’t wait.
Images © Ciril Komotar. With thanks to Andraž Kopitar of the leading Slovenian custom motorcycle site 7seven Customs.
true gangsta grandpa
A fairly elderly man – yet prolific graffiti artist- spends the later days of life pasting collage artwork out of portrait photography on the streets of his Brooklyn neighborhood.
And this OG isn’t doing this for money, or to be ‘cool’ with the ‘kids these days’ – but because it’s something which brings him a lot of satisfaction – as natural to him as breathing. Continue reading
Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in three very short weeks in 1951. But then it took six years for the book, famously written on a long scroll, to reach the reading public in 1957. Shortly after its publication, critics were at least quick to recognize what the book meant. One New York Times reviewer called it “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago asbeat.” Another saw in the novel “a descriptive excitement unmatched since the days of Thomas Wolfe.” 54 years later, those early reviews have withstood the proverbial test of time. These days, Modern Library and TIME place the novel on their lists of the 100 greatest novels.
And now the vintage clip — Jack Kerouac, the man himself, appearing on The Steve Allen Show in 1959, first fielding some questions, then reading from his beat classic.
Above you can watch a rare 1979 meeting, of sorts, of three hugely influential twentieth-century cultural minds: Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and — in spirit, anyway — Jack Kerouac, who died ten years before. This clip, though brief, would be fascinating enough by itself, but Sean Wilentz provides extensive backstory in “Penetrating Aether: The Beat Generation and Allen Ginsberg’s America,” an essay fron the New Yorker. “On a crisp scarlet-ocher November afternoon at Edson Cemetery in Lowell,” as he describes it, “Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg visited Kerouac’s grave, trailed by a reporter, a photographer, a film crew, and various others (including the young playwright Sam Shepard).” There “Ginsberg recited not from Kerouac’s prose but from poetry out of Mexico City Blues [ … ] invoking specters, fatigue, mortality, Mexico, and John Steinbeck’s boxcar America, while he and Dylan contemplated Kerouac’s headstone.” Why that particular collection? “Someone handed me Mexico City Blues in St. Paul in 1959,” Wilentz quotes Dylan as having told Ginsberg. “It blew my mind.”
In the piece, which comes adapted from his book Bob Dylan in America, Wilentz goes into great detail describing Dylan as a link between two sometimes compatible and sometimes antagonistic subcultures in midcentury America: the folk music movement and the Beat generation. “I came out of the wilderness and just naturally fell in with the Beat scene, the bohemian, Be Bop crowd, it was all pretty much connected,” Wilentz quotes Dylan as saying in 1985. “It was Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti … I got in at the tail end of that and it was magic … it had just as big an impact on me as Elvis Presley.” Wilentz describes Dylan relating to Kerouac as “a young man from a small declining industrial town who had come to New York as a cultural outsider more than twenty years earlier—an unknown bursting with ideas and whom the insiders proceeded either to lionize or to condemn, and, in any case, badly misconstrue.” The Beats showed Dylan a path to maintaining his cultural relevance, a trick he’s managed over and over again in the decades since. “Even though Dylan invented himself within one current of musical populism that came out of the 1930s and 1940s,” Wilentz writes, “he escaped that current in the 1960s—without ever completely rejecting it—by embracing anew some of the spirit and imagery of the Beat generation’s entirely different rebellious disaffiliation and poetic transcendence.”
Note: Do you want to hear Sean Wilentz read Bob Dylan in America for free? (Find an audio sample here.) Just head over to Audible.com and register for a 30-day free trial. You can download any audiobook for free. Then, when the trial is over, you can continue your Audible subscription, or cancel it, and still keep the audio book. The choice is entirely yours. And, in full disclosure, let me tell you that we have a nice arrangement with Audible. Whenever someone signs up for a free trial, it helps support Open Culture.
Founder of music label Case/Martingale and recent resident DJ at Marie Claire magazine, music maker and producer Christ Lawhorn has created Fugazi Edits, a new record made entirely by sampling every single song in the band Fugazi‘s discography. The instrumental album includes excerpts from 100 Fugazi tracks to form a dual personality record, with one part remaining true to the band’s tone and the other being more experimental. Samples of each are available directly from Lawhorn’s site.
Coming as a surprise to most Fugazi fans—the band hasn’t produced a record in nearly 10 years—Lawhorn’s edits have in fact been approved for release by Fugazi founding member Ian Mackaye and record label Dischord. Profits from Lawhorn’s single-handed work will be divvied up between two charities. Initially released in early August as a limited edition run of 1,000 for a select number of indie record stores, Fugazi Edits will release to the general public in the weeks to come. Keep an eye on Chris Lawhorn online for updates.
By: Maria Popova
On the anniversary of the tragic literary hero’s death, revisiting his only public insights on life.
Four years ago today, David Foster Wallace took his own life, becoming a kind of patron-saint of the “tortured genius” myth of creativity. Just three years prior to his suicide, he stepped onto the podium at Kenyon College and delivered one of the most timeless graduation speeches of all time — the only public talk he ever gave on his views of life. The speech, which includes a remark about suicide by firearms that came to be extensively discussed after DFW’s own eventual suicide, was published as a slim book titled This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.
You can hear the original delivery in two parts below, along with the the most poignant passages.
On solipsism and compassion, and the choice to see the other:
Here is just one example of the total wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe; the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely think about this sort of natural, basic self-centredness because it’s so socially repulsive. But it’s pretty much the same for all of us. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you have had that you are not the absolute centre of. The world as you experience it is there in front of YOU or behind YOU, to the left or right of YOU, on YOUR TV or YOUR monitor. And so on. Other people’s thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real.
Please don’t worry that I’m getting ready to lecture you about compassion or other-directedness or all the so-called virtues. This is not a matter of virtue. It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting which is to be deeply and literally self-centered and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. People who can adjust their natural default setting this way are often described as being ‘well-adjusted’, which I suggest to you is not an accidental term.
On the double-edged sword of the intellect, which Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Anne Lamott have spoken to:
It is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotized by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about ‘the mind being an excellent servant but a terrible master.’
This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.
And I submit that this is what the real, no-bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.
On empathy and kindness, echoing Einstein:
[P]lease don’t think that I’m giving you moral advice, or that I’m saying you are supposed to think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it. Because it’s hard. It takes will and effort, and if you are like me, some days you won’t be able to do it, or you just flat out won’t want to.
But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you want to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
On false ideals and real freedom, or what Paul Graham has called the trap of prestige:
Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.
They’re the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that’s what you’re doing.
And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving…. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.
That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
On what “education” really means and the art of being fully awake to the world:
[T]he real value of a real education [has] almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:
‘This is water.’
‘This is water.’
It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime.
In the altogether excellent Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, Tom Bissell writes:
The terrible master eventually defeated David Foster Wallace, which makes it easy to forget that none of the cloudlessly sane and true things he had to say about life in 2005 are any less sane or true today, however tragic the truth now seems. This Is Water does nothing to lessen the pain of Wallace’s defeat. What it does is remind us of his strength and goodness and decency — the parts of him the terrible master could never defeat, and never will.
Complement with the newly released David Foster Wallace biography.
belgian photographer kurt stallaert has conceived a series of hyper-realistic images entitled ‘bodybuilder’s world’. the personal project suggests an imaginary world with a literal ‘powerful twist’. at first glance the subjects look ordinary in their daily surroundings, but on closer inspection they have been augmented to look like avid members of the professional fitness sport. the faces of the individuals, often those of children, are attached to the superhuman trunk of a bodybuilder generating a peculiar sense of curiosity, particularly within the everyday life setting.
How would products of great brands of alcoholic spirits look, if they were packed in beverage cartons instead of their prominent bottles? Times are changing, what remains of the brand?
design by JØRN
“If india was a movie” ist als freies Projekt in Nord-Indien (genauer Himachal Pradesh und Jammu & Kashmir) entstanden. Nachdem bereits zahlreiche Arbeiten und Serien umgesetzt wurden, die das indische Leben und die dortigen kulturellen Unterschiede und Kontraste beleuchten, beschäftigt sich “If india was a movie” mit der Fragestellung wie vergleichbare Arbeiten aussähen, wenn jedes Portrait ein eigenständiges Filmplakat wäre.” –DMIG
Frazer Spowart told the story of a devoted BMW E30 owner in the first installment of Cars I See. Now for the second episode, the subject is a 1972 BMW 2002 that’s lavished with love by Patrick Burns, who’s BMW affliction is inherited from his father Wendell. There’s forty years of soul in Patrick’s car, and it’s a driver.
The inevitable blemishes are part of the car’s personality, though, and one of the things Patrick enjoys is picking up more stories from the people he encounters when he’s out with his distinctive silver 2002. It’s a another well-told story where the car, while playing a central role, is but a vehicle for fostering deeper human connections. Scroll down to watch Episode 2 of Cars I See.