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briansholis : 2020faves   44

Four Tet, "Baby"
Music by Four Tet, vocals by Ellie Goulding
Concept / Director: Joanna Nordahl
2020-02  2020  2020Faves  FourTet  MusicVideo  DroneFootage  electronic 
9 days ago by briansholis
#158 The Case of the Missing Hit | Reply All
A man in California is haunted by the memory of a pop song from his youth. He can remember the lyrics and the melody. But the song itself has vanished, completely scrubbed from the internet. PJ takes on the Super Tech Support case.
2020  2020-03  2020Faves  podcast  ReplyAll  1990s  PopMusic 
25 days ago by briansholis
Ben Tarnoff, "From Manchester to Barcelona"
"The long 1990s is said to have begun with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and ended with the attacks of September 11, 2001. But, when it came to our popular discourse about the internet, the long 1990s lasted a lot longer."

"This is what makes our moment so interesting: the conventional wisdom is cracking up but its replacement hasn’t quite consolidated."

"… two articles of faith always remain. The first is that capitalism is more or less compatible with people’s desire for dignity and self-determination (or can be made so with proper regulation). The second is that capitalism is more or less the same thing as markets.

What if neither belief is true? This is the starting point for building a better story about the internet."

"While markets are certainly central to capitalism, they aren’t what makes it tick. Accumulation is. To put it in a more Marxist idiom, capital is value in motion. As it moves, it expands. Capitalism, then, is a way to organize human societies for the purpose of making capital move."

"What makes capitalism so unusual is that production (and accumulation) isn’t for anything exactly, aside from making it possible to produce (and accumulate) more. This obsession gives capitalism its extraordinary dynamism, and its revolutionary force. It utterly transforms how humans live and, above all, how they produce. Capitalism forces people to produce together, in increasingly complex combinations of labor. Production is no longer solitary, but social."

"The pre-capitalist economy looked like a cluster of islands — an archipelago. It involved a collection of small producers relatively isolated from one another and producing mostly for personal use. (Marx memorably compared the French peasantry to a sack of potatoes.) By contrast, the capitalist economy looked like a network. The network of capital concentrated masses of people into larger nodes of production and linked them through countless threads of interdependence. Yet the wealth that this network generated didn’t flow to the many workers who collectively created that wealth. It flowed to the few who owned the network: the capitalists."

"The internet, and the constellation of digital technologies that we call “tech” more broadly, intensifies the fundamental contradiction in capitalism between wealth being collectively produced and privately owned."

"Increasingly, tech is able to harvest value from us simply for existing."

"If tech intensifies capitalism’s contradiction between wealth being collectively produced and privately owned, it also intensifies capitalism’s tendency to slice people into different groups and assign them different capacities and values."

"Machine learning systems help automate that work. They leverage the supposed authority and neutrality of computers to make the differences generated by capitalism look like differences generated by nature."

"Capital is value in motion, so it must always be moving. And it moves best through a particular kind of social fabric, one that is both webbed and fissured, linked and sliced, connected and differentiated.

This helps make sense of what we call tech. Tech is an agent and accelerant of these dynamics, of “densely connected social separateness,” to borrow a term from Melamed. This explains its tendency to generate immense imbalances of wealth and power, and to heighten the hierarchical sorting of human beings according to race, gender, and other categories."

" If tech intensifies the contradiction between wealth being made by the many and owned by the few, then the obvious solution is to resolve the contradiction: to turn socially made wealth into socially owned wealth."

"… sometimes the most emancipatory option isn’t to transform how infrastructures are owned and organized, but to dismantle them entirely."

"The intellectual is not the only one who thinks. Masses of people in motion also think. And it is the thinking of these two together, in the creativity that results from their continuous interaction, that furnishes the form and content of anything worth calling socialism."
2019  2019-12  BenTarnoff  LogicMagazine  capitalism  technology  internet  markets  2020Faves 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Olga Tokarczuk, "Nobel Lecture: The Tender Narrator"
"… even if I were to say, “I’m lost,” then I’d still be starting out with the words “I am”—the most important and the strangest set of words in the world."

"We live in a reality of polyphonic first-person narratives, and we are met from all sides with polyphonic noise. What I mean by first-person is the kind of tale that narrowly orbits the self of a teller who more or less directly just writes about herself and through herself. We have determined that this type of individualized point of view, this voice from the self, is the most natural, human and honest, even if it does abstain from a broader perspective. Narrating in the first person, so conceived, is weaving an absolutely unique pattern, the only one of its kind; it is having a sense of autonomy as an individual, being aware of yourself and your fate. Yet it also means building an opposition between the self and the world, and that opposition can be alienating at times."

"Whenever I go to book fairs, I see how many of the books being published in the world today have to do with precisely this—the authorial self. The expression instinct may be just as strong as other instincts that protect our lives—and it is most fully manifested in art. We want to be noticed, we want to feel exceptional."

"What we are missing—it would seem—is the dimension of the story that is the parable. For the hero of the parable is at once himself, a person living under specific historical and geographical conditions, yet at the same time he also goes well beyond those concrete particulars, becoming a kind of Everywhere Everyman."

"The first two decades of the twenty-first century are the unquestionable property of the series. Their influence on the modes of telling the story of the world (and therefore on our way of understanding that story, too) is revolutionary."

"The potential materialization of another season creates the necessity of open endings in which there is no way that mysterious things called catharsis can occur or resound fully—catharsis, formerly the experience of the internal transformation, the fulfillment and satisfaction of having participated in the action of the tale."

"It has turned out that we are not capable of bearing this enormity of information, which instead of uniting, generalizing and freeing, has differentiated, divided, enclosed in individual little bubbles, creating a multitude of stories that are incompatible with one another or even openly hostile toward each other, mutually antagonizing."

"Information can be overwhelming, and its complexity and ambiguity give rise to all sorts of defense mechanisms—from denial to repression, even to escape into the simple principles of simplifying, ideological, party-line thinking."

"Life is created by events, but it is only when we are able to interpret them, try to understand them and lend them meaning that they are transformed into experience. Events are facts, but experience is something inexpressibly different. It is experience, and not any event, that makes up the material of our lives."

"I have never been particularly excited about any straight distinction between fiction and non-fiction, unless we understand such a distinction to be declarative and discretionary. In a sea of many definitions of fiction, the one I like the best is also the oldest, and it comes from Aristotle. Fiction is always a kind of truth."

"At base―as I am convinced―the writer’s mind is a synthetic mind that doggedly gathers up all the tiny pieces in an attempt to stick them together again to create a universal whole."

"In my view, the discovery of “the butterfly effect” marks the end of the era of unswerving faith in our own capacity to be effective, our ability to control, and by the same token our sense of supremacy in the world. This does not take away from mankind our power to be a builder, a conqueror and an inventor, yet it illustrates that reality is more complicated than mankind might ever have supposed. And that we are nothing but a tiny part of these processes."

"Our cardiovascular system is like the system of a river basin, the structure of a leaf is like a human transport system, the motion of the galaxies is like the whirl of water flowing down our washbasins. Societies develop in a similar way to colonies of bacteria. The micro and macro scale show an endless system of similarities."

"I also dream of a new kind of narrator―a “fourth-person” one, who is not merely a grammatical construct of course, but who manages to encompass the perspective of each of the characters, as well as having the capacity to step beyond the horizon of each of them, who sees more and has a wider view, and who is able to ignore time."

"Seeing everything means recognizing the ultimate fact that all things that exist are mutually connected into a single whole, even if the connections between them are not yet known to us. Seeing everything also means a completely different kind of responsibility for the world, because it becomes obvious that every gesture “here” is connected to a gesture “there,” that a decision taken in one part of the world will have an effect in another part of it, and that differentiating between “mine” and “yours” starts to be debatable."

"That is what tenderness serves me for―because tenderness is the art of personifying, of sharing feelings, and thus endlessly discovering similarities. Creating stories means constantly bringing things to life, giving an existence to all the tiny pieces of the world that are represented by human experiences, the situations people have endured and their memories. Tenderness personalizes everything to which it relates, making it possible to give it a voice, to give it the space and the time to come into existence, and to be expressed. It is thanks to tenderness that the teapot starts to talk.

Tenderness is the most modest form of love. It is the kind of love that does not appear in the scriptures or the gospels, no one swears by it, no one cites it. It has no special emblems or symbols, nor does it lead to crime, or prompt envy."

"Tenderness is spontaneous and disinterested; it goes far beyond empathetic fellow feeling. Instead it is the conscious, though perhaps slightly melancholy, common sharing of fate."
2019-12  2019  2020Faves  OlgaTokarczuk  NobelPrize  lecture  literature  politics  imagination 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Emily Fox Gordon, "How I Learned to Talk," The American Scholar
"When I think about those early sessions at Riggs, I marvel at how unguarded Farber was—much more so than I, who was often tongue-tied by self-consciousness—and how much his openness was at variance with his native reticence and his grave, sober manner. Once it got going, a conversation seemed to run itself, swooping and gliding like the planchette of a Ouija board. What kept our sessions grounded was his readiness to offer counsel."

"I can see now that he was acting as a kind of deprogrammer, deliberately breaking up the chains of inference and association that my years as a therapy patient had formed in me, blocking my tendency to follow familiar routes to familiar conclusions. One of his favorite phrases was, “I’m not interested in that.”"

"The kind of talk Farber taught me to prize is a quiet thing. The range of circumstances in which its delicate attunements are possible is rather narrow; rising to the occasion of talk requires a steady, undistracted attention that in turn depends on an acceptance, however provisional and temporary, of the world as it is. This acceptance doesn’t require a suspension of awareness of what’s wrong with the world, only that our attention not, for the moment, be focused on changing it. While we talk, the world becomes a reservoir of meaning into which we take turns dipping.

Free-range talk depends on a cultural consensus, now no longer in place, that the individual, not the group, is the primary social unit. The mob chants; people speak and listen."

"To look at the world humorously is to adjust for the ballooning effect of strong emotion, to make a meeting of minds possible by shrinking reality to a size both parties can recognize."

"The four conversational virtues Farber spoke of don’t have much application anymore. Judgment and discretion have ceded their function to the political censors who stand guard at the gates of the mind, and humor, unless it’s entirely anodyne, is tightly regulated. As for the imagination, these days it’s viewed with suspicion. When human relationships are understood in terms of power and privilege, their inquiries are taken to be intrusive or voyeuristic or appropriative. How can we imagine the reality of others when they’ve come to see themselves as defined by their race, gender, history of trauma, and status as victim or victimizer?"

"We can still talk to our intimates, which is a saving grace, but between people who don’t yet know each other well, open-ended conversations seem increasingly rare. Not that they were ever common, or ever safe: long before the era of political correctness, they were full of hazards, hidden agendas, pockets of concealment, boredom, and disappointment. Sometimes they simply failed, for reasons too complex to be analyzed. They were like bull-riding contests—one knew one would fall off, the question was how long one could stay on. But even if their success rate was low, something has been lost as they’ve grown scarcer. They allowed us to enter, if only briefly, the great houses of other minds."
2019-09  2019  2020Faves  EmilyFoxGordon  TheAmericanScholar  memoir  Essay  psychology  conversation  LeslieFarber 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Sarah Wagner, "Between Pastureland and Progress," LitHub
"Lexington was only ever slowly growing. The city has been steadily expanding and densifying over the past century, with no major influxes of young business nor mass migrations of youth to more promising lands. Over the past century, without much work to become so, Lexington grew from what would have once been called a town into an accidental city."

"A field in the center of the city did have a certain beauty to it. The grass was dense and plush, inviting us to lie on it. Whenever I’m away from Kentucky I miss the verdancy of the Ohio River Valley, where air thick with water and pollens feeds ecosystems even in the heart of a city. Grass feels so natural that it is hard to remember that Kentucky Bluegrass is actually not native to Kentucky at all."

"Lexington’s city limits can be defined solely by its politics; the city is one of three small blue islands in the middle of a red state—the liberal refuge a college town often provides."
LexingtonKY  architecture  UrbanPlanning  UrbanDevelopment  2019  2019-11  2020Faves  SarahWagner 
4 weeks ago by briansholis
Freddie Gibbs And Madlib: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
This Freddie Gibbs and Madlib Tiny Desk performance was a year in the making, largely because Madlib insisted on playing with El Michels Affair, a vintage funk and soul band based out of New York. But it was worth the wait. When pianist Marco Benevento opened with a delicate, almost jazzy run, it created the perfect opening — and juxtaposition — for hard-hitting emcee, Gibbs to jump in and ride the hell out of that beat.

From the moment they launched into "Education," a cut off the latest MadGibbs project Bandana, it was obvious Gibbs has spent countless hours honing his style. Meanwhile, Madlib, an enigmatic and reclusive producer known for his analog head-nodders, brought along a small thunder tube and vintage electric bongos circa 1960. Just getting a chance to see him ignited excitement in the NPR crowd.

But the conclusive jam in this killer set was "Freestyle S***," a track that drips with the smoothness of satin and swagger of the seventies. It and the rest of the set elevated the room for both longtime purists and new fans alike. But the way Gibbs emphatically showed his love for Madlib was just as beautiful to witness. There's little doubt about their deep admiration and appreciation for each other. It was hands down, for me, the best Tiny Desk of the year.

"Gat Damn"
"Soul Right"
"Freestyle S***"
2019-12  2019  2020Faves  MusicVideo  NPRTinyDeskConcert  NPRMusic  FreddieGibbs  Madlib  ElMichelsAffair 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Mark O'Connell, "Splendid isolation," The Guardian
"My relationship with time had always been characterised by a certain baleful anxiety, but as I approached the start of the decade in which I would have no choice but to think of myself as middle-aged, this anxiety intensified. I was always in the middle of some calculation or quantification with respect to time, and such thoughts were always predicated on an understanding of it as a precious and limited resource. What time was it right now? How much time was left for me to do the thing I was doing, and when would I have to stop doing it to do the next thing?

This resource being as limited as it was, should I not be doing something better with it, something more urgent or interesting or authentic? At some point in my late 30s, I recognised the paradoxical source of this anxiety: that every single thing in life took much longer than I expected it to, except for life itself, which went much faster, and would be over before I knew where I was.

Much of this had to do with being a parent. Having two young children had radically altered my relationship with the days and hours of my life. Almost every moment was accounted for in a way that it had never been before. But it was also the sheer velocity of change, the state of growth and flux in which my children existed, and the constant small adjustments that were necessary to accommodate these changes."

"And with this new phase of parenthood, I began to think how strange it was, given how precious those early years now seemed to me, that I spent so little time thinking about my own childhood, the lost civilisation on which my adult self now stood."

"A word he used a lot in talking about his work, and in describing the experience and value of the nature solo, was 're-enchantment.'"

"When you’re actually in it, the reality of the solo is, at least at first, one of total boredom. I cannot stress enough how little there is to do when you have confined yourself to the inside of a small circle of stones and sticks in a forest. But it is an instructive kind of boredom, insofar as boredom is the raw and unmediated experience of time."

"Then it occurred to me that there was something about the not knowing that was somehow right. Not having a human name to give the tree, a category in which to put it, made the tree more real and present to me than it otherwise would have, or so I allowed myself to believe."

"In these moments, I find myself thinking of the place itself as somehow conscious of my presence. To be alone in a forest, and to be thinking of the forest as somehow aware of you: I will acknowledge that this sounds like the very substance of nightmare, but, in fact, it is a strangely beautiful and quietly moving experience, and I think it must be what people mean when they talk about intuiting the presence of God."

"And I thought with a pang of how I was always hurrying him – to get dressed, to get out the door for school, to finish his dinner, to get ready for bed – and of how heedlessly I was inflicting upon him my own anxious awareness of time as an oppressive force."
MarkOConnell  TheGuardian  isolation  time  nature  NatureWriting  solitude  parenting  2020  2020-01  2020Faves 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Sheila Heti, "A Common Seagull," The Yale Review
"A friend drawn ugly becomes ugly. A life drawn sweet becomes more sweet. To draw your life is to attempt to transform it with your magic."

"The things that interest us most, that we live with, become trapped in our consciousness. Our minds, once we have an object in them, can never let that object be free. The ones we love, no matter how many ways we tell them they are free, live unfree in the jail of our mind. We cannot release into freedom those we love so long as we continue to think about them."

"This seems to me one of the central dilemmas of art making: What is the right way to keep working once the inspiration—the being taken possession of by the appropriate muse—has left you? How do you complete in a way that doesn’t distort or damage, what emerged spontaneously? Do you produce only fragments? Do you try to link the fragments by the thinnest threads that are as unobtrusive as possible? How do you finish what inspiration has left off? How the artist resolves this problem is everything."

"What does it mean to distrust the novelty of experience? To say instead that what one needs in order to create are not new things—not new grand adventures, not new wives or husbands or cities—but the same thing over and over again until a Platonic form of the thing builds up in the mind and becomes the model for what is written about, or painted?"

"It is this profound and inward attachment to his own domestic reality, which was repetitive, limited, and simple, that perhaps led my grandfather to praise Bonnard for the complete honesty in his intuitive emotional statements…"

"When I think about the death of my father, there are no edges to my recollection. How could my thoughts of that week, in a way the most profound week of my life, be in relation to a rectangle, to a rectangular frame? That week does not even know what a rectangle is."

"For George, happiness would always be there when he heard the word seagull, which could not be touched or eroded by the sight of an actual seagull. The idea of the thing is so much more shimmering than the thing itself. To let the repetitions of our life cohere into the Platonic form of our life—to contemplate our life not by looking at it directly but by way of our inward relation to it—might be the best way to feel that one’s life is not just a common seagull, but something balanced and faultless and sweet."
SheilaHeti  TheYaleReview  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  mourning  Bonnard  painting  art  PersonalEssay  creativity  writing  family 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, "Data Architectures," e-flux Architecture
"The facilities described in the report all share an aesthetic of total inaccessibility and anonymity: contemporary fortresses, with no windows or signs. They sit silently in urban landscapes, allowing a powerful infrastructure of surveillance to be hidden in plain sight, invisible to thousands of people passing by every day."

"While data centers are pivotal nodes in our social, political, cultural, and financial landscapes, their physical presence remains unassuming, banal, and anonymous. They mirror the asymmetric and abusive relationships between tech corporations and end-users."

"In fact, ninety percent of the world’s data was generated just in the last two years."

"… if data centers were a country, they would be the eleventh most energy consuming nation in the world."

"On server farms, the presence of humans is increasingly occasional and residual. Data centers are extreme buildings built for machines. Are they a new form of post-human architecture?"

"Data centers are an architecture for machines, but they are still modelled on human dimensions and needs."

"Can we imagine new models of a data permaculture, relying on the unstable course of the sun and the winds for energy, and decide to harvest data only when resources are available? Or conversely, what if we embrace the notion of an impermeable architecture completely liberated from humans, one where humans are reduced to an occasional visitor of a lightless, hot, ultra-efficient machine environments?"
2020  2020-01  eflux  IppolitoPestelliniLaparelli  environment  architecture  data  infrastructure  2020Faves 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Jason Farago, "Curation as Creation," NYRB
"It’s been well over a decade now since the figure of the curator—a once auxiliary player in the world of art—became vulgarized and generalized in consumer society, and still its demented currency endures"

"The curator, especially the curator of contemporary art, is a young figure in art history; we critics have thousands of years on them."

"Only in the middle of the twentieth century did the curated exhibition take over from the salon, the dealership, and the independent show as the principal launch pad of contemporary art. In fits and starts, the professional curator arrogated responsibilities once held by the artist, the collector, the historian, or indeed the critic, becoming the figure who assigned meaning and importance to new art…"

"The very act of restaging a decades-old exhibition, from the placement of walls to the design of the displays, suggests how thoroughly the object of inquiry in contemporary art has passed from individual artworks to full-scale shows."

"The local press regularly flayed him, but people outside Switzerland were talking about sleepy Bern, and on the strength of “12 Environments” the tobacco company Philip Morris made Szeemann a very strange offer: a no-strings-attached budget of $150,000 (more than $1 million in 2019 dollars) to organize any show he wanted."

"If Documenta is now the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art, that is largely the legacy of Szeemann’s edition of 1972, for which he reassembled most of the postminimal and conceptual artists of “When Attitudes Become Form,” but also included photorealism, hyperrealistic sculpture, political propaganda, and the art of the mentally ill, all of which typified what he called “individuelle Mythologien” (individual mythologies). Large-scale international exhibitions of new art were already well established (the Venice Biennale by then was more than seventy-five years old), but Szeemann’s Documenta established the megashow as we imagine it today: a thesis-driven presentation with a unified mode of display; bold, often temporary public interventions; and theoretical discourses in the form of catalogs, debates, performances, and interviews."

"But I’m not sure Szeemann was an artist manqué so much as a compulsive accumulator of artistic information."

"Szeemann’s later career, often focusing on national art scenes (Austria, Belgium, Spain, the Balkans) and culminating in two editions of the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2001, tried to reconcile those two camps, and the results were mixed. These late shows had larger budgets, drew larger audiences, but had little of the fissiparous invention and theoretical heft of “Grandfather,” “Bachelor Machines,” and the other achievements of the 1970s."

"Today’s young curators have not only come of age when artists themselves can regulate their own attention through digital networks, and when their art often involves the remixing and redeployment of preexisting images. They also must fight for attention when all of us are marketing a “curated” self to our friends, lovers, coworkers, and sponsors, and where each day human classifications and judgments increasingly give way to algorithmic “curation.” (Every Instagram feed is a curated show of one’s own.) Add to this a deep skepticism of the all-encompassing visions of “When Attitudes Become Form” and “Bachelor Machines”—for a certain sort of younger curator, every interpretation from above is an act of violence—and you can understand why so many sound more like social workers and educators, committed to “listening” and “learning,” than like master builders."

"We in the art world spent years laughing at the curated pizzas and curated nail salons, but the joke was on us: the practice of curating, in the Szeemannian sense of organizing ideas and images into meanings and narrative, really has been universalized and cheapened. This may not be a bad thing, and art today may benefit from a quieter, more modest, more collaborative approach to organizing exhibitions. But I suspect the standing of the curator is going the way of that of the critic, and no one ever built a monument to us."
JasonFarago  NewYorkReviewofBooks  2019  2019-10  museums  HaraldSzeeman  curating  exhibitions  freelance  Documenta  2020Faves  GettyInstitute 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Astra Taylor, "The Right to Listen," The New Yorker
"The idea that the right to listen to one another should be defended in a democracy seems strange. That’s probably because we lack a shared vocabulary or framework for understanding listening as a political act."

"But to listen is to act; of that, there’s no doubt. It takes effort and doesn’t happen by default."

"A listener, when she realizes that she struggles to attend to only certain kinds of voices, apprehends the divisions in society. How we hear someone relates to that person’s gender, race, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, and wealth. Some voices are perceived as authoritative, others are ignored; some are broadcast around the world, others fade for lack of funds. Attempting to create what the essayist Rebecca Solnit calls “a democracy of equal audibility” is a social enterprise—it’s one of the tasks of feminist, anti-racist, and economic-justice movements. What would such a democracy sound like? Certainly not like one booming bass note."

"To defend our right to listen to one another, we must sometimes strain to hear voices that the powerful would drown out."

"How might Zuckerberg’s rhetoric strike us if we also saw the ability of citizens to hear one another as central to democracy? From that perspective, the deliberate pollution of our common listening space might register as an anti-democratic act. The listening perspective is especially useful today, in the age of digital media. While Facebook and other social-media platforms do facilitate speech, their business models revolve, in a fundamental way, around the manipulation and commodification of listening."

"… the history of thought about free speech does contain ideas that can be of use. Among them are the concepts of “audience interests” and the “right to hear,” which have been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court. These concepts see the First Amendment from a listener’s point of view. In addition to asking, “Do I have the right to speak,” Genevieve Lakier, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Law, told me, we can ask, “Am I, as a listener, genuinely hearing a diverse and representative array of views?”"

"As an activist on the left, I long assumed that my role consisted entirely of raising awareness, sounding alarms, and deploying arguments; it took me years to realize that I needed to help build and defend spaces in which listening could happen, too. As citizens, we understand that the right to speak has to be facilitated, bolstered by institutions and protected by laws. But we’ve been slow to see that, if democracy is to function well, listening must also be supported and defended—especially at a moment when technological developments are making meaningful listening harder."
AstraTaylor  NewYorker  2020Faves  2020  2020-01  listening  politics  democracy  activism  empathy 
5 weeks ago by briansholis
Ali Slagle, "Pasta With Sausage, Squash and Sage Brown Butter Recipe," NYT Cooking
"Whether you’re after a night in with your special someone or your sweatpants, this is your pasta: a cozy combination of spicy sausage and squash that’s glossed with nutty, sage-spiked butter and Parmesan. It’s inspired by the cavatelli with sausage and browned sage butter at Frankies 457 Spuntino in Brooklyn — the most ordered dish on dates, according to the owners, but appealing no matter the occasion, according to us. The key to making the dish sing is the unsexy color (brown). You'll want to get a hard sear on the sausage and the squash, and let the butter bubble until brown and toasty. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, omit the sausage. The meat will be gone, but the comfort won't be."
2020Faves  AliSlagle  NYT  pasta  recipes  winter 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Parul Sehgal, "How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart," The New York Times
"'Can you still just tend your own garden once you know about the fire outside its walls?'"

"Offill doesn’t write about the climate crisis but from deep within it. She does not paint pictures of apocalyptic scenarios; she charts internal cartographies. We observe her characters’ lurching shame, despair, boredom and fatigue — solastalgia experienced in ordinary life, vying with the demands of aging parents, small children, the churn of the mind."

"The climate crisis, Offill shows, is reshaping not just our world but also our minds. “Weather” joins other new fiction in transforming the novel of consciousness into a record of climate grief. "

"She pointed out which fragments made it into the book, which ones didn’t. The key to her proc­ess, she told me, is time — hence the agonizing slowness of the writing. Only by waiting and continuing to stare at and sift these fragments does it become clear which ought to remain. So many, she said, lose their “radiance”; they reveal themselves to be merely clever."

"Offill has made no concessions, no feints to be taken seriously on anyone’s terms but her own. She has taken up a disparaged form, the “domestic novel,” stuffed it with ideas, histories of geology and the cosmos, while somehow stripping it down to its most austere, efficient form. With it, she pursues those very subjects — motherhood and the climate emergency — that can seem too large, too sentimentalized, too guilt-inducing to be subjects of successful, let alone serious, realist fiction."
2020  2020-02  2020Faves  ParulSehgal  JennyOffill  writing  WriterInterview  NYT  books  profile 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Toby Shorin, "Building for the Culture," Subpixel Space
"I’ve noticed many founders prioritizing culture, visibility, and perception over product, customer development, and strategy. Maybe this is to be expected in a time where culture moves faster and is perceived as more important than ever. But I find it unusual that the tech industry seems unaware of a whole class of typical mistakes founders make in pursuit of cultural relevance."

"Having a good brand can serve business goals. But prioritizing it to the neglect of other needs is always damaging, especially for early-stage companies with limited funding."

"Content algorithms are programmed to reward visibility with more visibility, and the equation of visibility with value is also instantiated in social media interfaces, where the most recognizable game is “make the numbers go up.” Media technology changes what we look for in culture, and what we expect of ourselves. What we have today is a culture of culture: an online arena in which the perceived importance of visibility, influence, and culture itself are at an all-time high."

"Today’s founders want to be seen, to be relevant, to become part of the spectacle of hyperspeed online discourse. In fact, I suspect that in many cases the pursuit of cultural relevance is the reason for starting a business in the first place."

"Having a company entails being seen. It entails being known more widely than one can typically be known. It is a way of being at the center of attention."

"When it comes to public presence, everything a company does a brand does better—or with less effort. Realistically, it is much easier to run a great brand than it is to run a great company. A successful brand can be bon visuals, hype, and a twitter presence alone—customers aren’t even necessary. A brand, after all, is just a nexus of belief.

And this is exactly where problems arise. Founders that are primarily concerned with their public perception are likely to prioritize work that confirms it."

"As long as there are zero-cost ways to become visible to thousands of people, these desires aren’t going away. Media transforms our societies irreversibly."

"The internet is a technology of visibility, of seeing and being seen. As each aspect of our lives, as culture, business, and identity formation move into these networked spaces, each aspect will develop ways of seeing and being seen, and in this way they will become more alike. There was already a certain homomorphism between corporations and celebrities. Our new culture of seenness is accelerating this tendency. Businesses are becoming more like people who are becoming more like celebrities who are becoming more like businesses."
TobyShorin  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  management  leadership  SiliconValley  SocialMedia  SocialCapital 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
How Leo Castelli and MoMA Charted Today’s Rocket-Fueled Art Market –
"What I found was that the Sculls’ purchase and gift of Map stands as a singular transactional masterpiece, an exemplary product of the remarkable relationship between Castelli, Johns, the Sculls (and their heated competition with the Tremaines), and MoMA, that shaped the course of art and the market for it over decades."

"What becomes clear in retrospect is how this competitive swirl around Johns, this relentless pursuit of the new, and even the audacious accounting of Map’s appraisal, presaged the burgeoning market for contemporary art that continues into the present."
2020Faves  GregAllen  ArtNews  LeoCastelli  ArtMarket  ContemporaryArt  JasperJohns  ArtCollecting  2019-11  2020 
6 weeks ago by briansholis
Studio Oker's identity for Norwegian furniture maker Hamran centres around a bespoke serif typeface — The Brand Identity
Hamran is a Norwegian family-run business that makes bespoke kitchens, interiors and furniture. Founded in 1930, they design their predominately wooden products from start-to-finish, focusing on durability in order to reduce the ecological footprint.

Stavanger-based Studio Oker has rebranded Hamran, with the new identity centring around a bespoke typeface created in collaboration with The Pyte Foundry. The flared serif’s generous curves and flares represent the precise craftsmanship that is poured into Hamran’s products. Applications are laid out elegantly, keeping the focus on the typeface and the photography of Hamran’s beautifully-designed interiors.

Typeface: The Pyte Foundry
Norway  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  GraphicDesign  furniture  identity  branding  CustomType  TheBrandIdentity 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Oude Dijk monastery, designed by Shift Architecture & Urbanism, Dezeen
Dutch studio Shift Architecture Urbanism has extended the Oude Dijk monastery in Tilburg with a brick extension with a nursing home and apartments for its residents, the Sisters of Charity.

The four-storey block extends from the south-eastern edge of the historic monastery, which date back to the mid-19th century.

This extension provides 24 care home apartments and 36 apartments for those with limited care needs.

Continuing the cloister typology of the original monastery the extension is design to compliment the existing structure and gardens.
ShiftArchitecture&Urbanism  architecture  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  monastery  interiors  Dezeen  TheNetherlands 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Greg Afinogenov, "Migration Exhibitions Obscure the Reality of Militarized Borders," Art in America
"In the United States, institutions now have an opening to articulate an alternative vision, one that not only confronts Trumpism but understands its links to the neoliberal consensus that came before, that not only showcases the work of artists who reject nationalism but identifies culprits and underlying structures. Yet, they find themselves torn between the radical vision of an open world and the temptation to flatter and reassure."

"Each of them misfired in a different way, but none because the artists included were insufficiently radical. The Phillips exhibition used the history of migration to evade the specificity of the present; the ICA exhibition sidestepped the human agency of border violence; and the Harvard exhibition took refuge in a narrative of hybridity that blurs the distinction between goods and people."

"The climate of moral crisis that led to these museum exhibitions originated partly with recent reports about concentration camps on the US-Mexico border, but the structure within which these camps were created dates back to the end of the twentieth century. By focusing on migration itself, instead of border enforcement, each of these exhibitions has taken a crime and turned it into an act of God—and thus reduced its own historical urgency to a bland thematic statement."

"All the exhibitions featured artists who, like Vo, use the movement of objects as a metaphor for the movement of people. People’s belongings figured repeatedly as a stand-in for the disruption and trauma of the migration process."

"All three shows were careful to avoid or minimize any notion that there may be people with names and addresses who are responsible for making certain kinds of migration violent and traumatic."

"What matters here is not the individual culpability of philanthropists but the manifest impossibility of attempting to make good on “the civic and social imperative of art” without pointing fingers at concrete people and organizations. In displaying the work of Tama, Moore, Akomfrah, and Akerman, the curators have clearly recognized that migration, pace Levinas, is a political question. Yet, like the shows at the ICA and Harvard, the Phillips’s wall texts and advertising ultimately confined themselves to nonthreatening winks about the real targets of the exhibition."

"What stripping out the perpetrators actually delivers is not nuance but exculpation. Informed by a laudable political impulse but unable to realize it, the exhibitions turned instead to the inoffensive notions that migration is a good thing, and that migrants shouldn’t be mistreated or abused."

"Is this asking too much of museums, which can’t afford to be too scrupulous if they want to survive in a world of declining arts funding? Perhaps. But even if we don’t expect them to change, we should still criticize them—in the name of the artists they exhibit, if nothing else. As an immigrant myself, I could identify with the experiences of longing and loss on display, but some wounds are inevitable and others are not. A politics that fails to distinguish between the two can offer only futile gestures."
art  politics  borders  museums  ExhibitionReview  ArtinAmerica  GregAfinogenov  migration  ContemporaryArt  2020  2020-02  2020Faves 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
New Time Machines Working Group
"The pathology of the world ending at any instant (1945-) is very different from its slow uninhabitability (1970-). Yet we live in both."

"Key, however, in the distinction between the threat of the end of the world and the end of time, is the differing means and ends that utter their coming. Apocalyptic Millenarianism doesn’t ask individuals to embrace a cosmos, but to commit to a single, unidirectional timeline. The sudden cancellation of the future holds little ground, and its declarations should be met with suspicion—even when they invoke crises that cannot be denied—because they don’t give us worlds."

"...astrology seeks to articulate and actively craft how time’s disposition and affordances are governed, taking the event more than the self as its subject."

"... the disjunction between magic’s appearance and its inhabitation, as practice resistant to enclosure."

"Perhaps one theory of political change lies in a transformation of the quality of time: not whether, but which, and whose, watches we consult."

"Today, a dominant experience of time is translated from orbiting planetary bodies to corresponding regulation in digital machines, which keep our devices in constant, unprecedented sync; mobile devices are an expression of the medium of time that enforces its serialization. There was a possibility for our devices to derive their initial logic from elsewhere. Rather than skeuomorphic telephones, these portable circuits, liquid, and glass might have become the explicit wayfinding tools of earlier designs for companion devices."
KeiKreutler  NewTimeMachinesWorkingGroup  2020  2020-02  2020Faves  time  astrology  synchronicity 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Taeyoon Choi interview with The Creative Independent
Architect, designer, teacher, and learner Dan Taeyoung discusses building trust within cooperative spaces, developing open-ended systems, and un-learning hierarchical ways of operating.
2019  2019-06  2020Faves  cooperatives  community  AlternativeEducation  architecture  politics  BuiltEnvironment  NewYorkCity  gardening 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Thomas de Monchaux, "A New Idea in Architecture? No New Buildings," Metropolis
"This way of seeing sustainability in the already-built environment is informed by the concept of embodied energy: an accounting, derived from models of economic and ecological systems, of the total expenditure of energy in the material extraction, processing, transport, assembly, installation, demolition, and decomposition associated with the life cycle of any given artifact."

"Generally, around 80 percent of the systematic energy associated with a building is concerned with extraction and construction, manufacture and maintenance, demolition and decomposition; the remaining 20 percent is associated with lifetime operations like cooling and lighting."

"Average life spans of buildings in the developed world are declining, to around 70 years in America and as few as 30 years in Japan. This is not progress."

"We are accustomed to thinking of the natural environment as a critical resource—to be conserved and consumed with care. Maybe we can accustom ourselves to thinking of the unnatural environment in the same way."
2019-12  2019  2020Faves  ThomasDeMonchaux  architecture  environment  Metropolis  buildings 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
George Scialabba, "Back to the Land," The Baffler
"Farming is the deepest layer of his mind; writing—learned at the University of Kentucky and then at Stanford in a famous seminar with Wallace Stegner—is the upper layer. That upper layer itself is divided: the fiction (a selection was issued last year by the Library of America) and poetry are slow-moving and deep-gauged, beautifully observed and full of interior incident, never loud or didactic. The essays, by contrast, though full of elegantly phrased and powerfully rhythmic sentences, are intensely earnest, aiming not to entertain or even to instruct but to convince and move."

"This is splendid prose. It is disastrous advice."

"No amount of recycling, farming right, eating right, being neighborly, or being personally responsible in other ways will matter much if we don’t subsidize solar and wind power, raise mileage requirements, steeply tax carbon, drastically reduce plastic production, kill coal, and provide jobs for all those whom these measures would disemploy. [...] In a face-to-face society, virtue is the right lever. Unfortunately, we live in a mass society, thoroughly bureaucratized and institutionalized, dense with complex systems, which only large aggregations of people (or money) can move. We need more, not fewer, plans, laws, and policies, but democratically formulated ones."

"Berry’s prescription underestimates the opposition—they really have closed off every path to change except the most difficult one: sustained, society-wide, decentralized popular mobilization."

"Like most antimodernists, Berry is very good at reminding us what we have sacrificed by embracing modernity. One such sacrifice is a sense of place."
"But although it lends his writing gravity and grace, I’m sorry that Berry insists on giving the agrarian ethos a religious framework and on situating human flourishing within a “Great Economy,” by which he means not Gaia but the “Kingdom of God.” As a result, he speaks less persuasively than he might to those of us who feel that our civilization has somehow gone wrong, and that at least some part of traditional wisdom is indeed wisdom, but who cannot believe that this universe is the work of the Christian God, or of any God."
TheBaffler  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  WendellBerry  ethics  economics  landscape  farming  LandUse  BookReview 
7 weeks ago by briansholis
Bak Gordon, Secondary School Romanshorn, Dezeen
Beige tiles and pale pink window shutters cover the exterior of this concrete secondary school in Romanshorn, Switzerland.

Designed by Portuguese practice Bak Gordon Arquitectos with local firm Architekturbüro Bernhard Maurer, the Secondary School Romanshorn replaces two outdated buildings.
2020  2020-01  2020Faves  architecture  BakGordon  education  concrete 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Peter Schjeldahl, "The Art of Dying," The New Yorker
"I don’t trust my memories (or anyone’s memories) as reliable records of anything—and I have a fear of lying. Nor do I have much documentary material. I’ve never kept a diary or a journal, because I get spooked by addressing no one. When I write, it’s to connect."

"Death is like painting rather than like sculpture, because it’s seen from only one side."

"Closeness is impossible between an artist and a critic. Each wants from the other something—the artist’s mojo, the critic’s sagacity—that belongs strictly to the audiences for their respective work. It’s like two vacuum cleaners sucking at each other."

"When I started writing criticism, in 1965, in almost pristine ignorance, I discovered that I was the world’s leading expert in one thing: my experience. Most of what I know in a scholarly way about art I learned on deadlines, to sound as if I knew what I was talking about—as, little by little, I did. Educating yourself in public is painful, but the lessons stick."

"Advice to aspiring youth: in New York, the years that you spend as a nobody are painful but golden, because no one bothers to lie to you. The moment you’re a somebody, you have heard your last truth."
PeterSchjeldahl  NewYorker  memoir  dying  cancer  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  ArtCriticism 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
Dayna Tortorici, "My Instagram," n+1
"I told my friend, an art critic, that I was self-banishing to Instagram, the only social media platform that did not haunt me, get under my skin, and cause me to feel shortness of breath and numbness in my fingers. I had a theory that everyone was haunted by at least one of them, and which one depended on your insecurities, the type of people who gathered there, and the style of communication its interface allowed."

"Leaving Twitter for Instagram was like moving to Los Angeles, only cheaper."

"The satisfaction of self-publishing is difficult to describe. To press a button and see your own excrescence appear in the preordained format, minted, can feel like a kind of magic. It can make you feel like you count."

"This would be the place to speak about René Girard, about influencers, about the mise en abyme of mimetic desire: we want what other people want because other people want it, and it’s penciled-in eyebrows all the way down, down to the depths of the nth circle of hell where we all die immediately of a Brazilian butt lift, over and over again. But what is there to say? We know it, we know it, we know it. Still we keep scrolling, deeper down the well of our bottomless need."

"Instagram grows on subjectivity like a fungus whose shape and color varies from person to person, and to describe what it feels like to live with it is not to describe how it works. Nor is it to describe what it feels like for anyone else — a fact of which this essay is evidence."

"Considerations like comfort, accessibility, and acoustics were secondary to visual appeal. It was as if the landscape itself had dysmorphia, altering its physical appearance to fit an arbitrary standard that undermined its primary function. But maybe I had it backward. Maybe the point of a physical space was no longer to shelter physical people. Maybe a storefront was a marketing tool for a direct-to-consumer internet start-up, the way a website was once a marketing tool for a brick-and-mortar store."

"A voyeur knows what kind of viewer he is, but looking at Instagram, you are not always a voyeur. Neither are you always a witness, nor any other single kind of watcher. Each post interpellates you differently. Your implied identity slips with each stroke of the thumb."
DaynaTortorici  n+1  Instagram  Twitter  SocialMedia  identity  2020  2020-01  2020Faves 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
M. R. O‘Connor, “Dirt-Road America,” The New Yorker
“He continued to run his pharmacy but started an amateur cartography business on the side, tracing his routes on maps and taping them together, mailing copies to people all over America. “Part of my original thought was to get people out into the outback and to see their country,” he said. ’There’s more to travelling than being on the interstate going seventy miles an hour.’”

“Today, approximately thirty-two per cent of America’s public roads are unpaved. There are still, however, millions of miles of dirt roads in what the French call arriere-pays—the hinterland. The poet Beverley Bie Brahic describes arriere-pays as “the place we can’t quite see from where we stand: it’s around the next bend; it’s what draws us onward in our travels.”
maps  trails  NewYorker  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  driving  America  landscape  cartography  travel 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
n+1 editors, "Smorgasbords Don’t Have Bottoms," n+1
"Indies have benefited from the patterns of gentrification that have proved so punishing to other kinds of small businesses, and future growth may be inhibited by those same forces."

"Like Facebook, Amazon doesn’t put a high value on moderation, or any kind of human/editorial intervention, casting the very core of the bookselling business as one more efficiency to be optimized. Thus the everything store is not a store at all, but rather the retail economy in miniature, its seedier and illicit aspects brought to the surface, operating on an equal plane with more straightforward transactions — all of which Amazon profits from."

"Conglomerate publishing has responded with anxiety masquerading as newsy brashness. Given the choice between seeking out the new, the strange, and the shocking or hanging onto personalities and news hooks and follower counts, the Big Five opt for the latter. In an age of hyperconglomeration, there are profit goals to aim for and slots to fill. There are templates for success, never mind that they may be out-of-date, or that success in publishing, as in life, tends to be a freak occurrence."

"There are still numerous book editors who edit, and edit well, but they are operating at cross-purposes with their employers, for whom editors are most valuable as seekers of sure things, known quantities, and built-in platforms."

"The drift into vacuity signifies something more than the difficulty of describing boring books, a problem publishers have contended with as long as there have been publishers. One senses in jacket-copy rhetoric the hermetic, recursive antipoetry of consolidation."

"No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be as vapid as possible. But eventually you internalize the squeeze. Everyone down the chain adjusts their individual decisions to the whim of the retailer, or to their best guess at the whim of the retailer."

"The extreme whiteness of the industry is a crucial part of the problem, but so is a coercive bookselling environment and an ever greater tendency toward profit seeking. Without structural changes, the industry will float from one idea to the next, incapable of differentiating good from bad, deep from shallow."

"Even in the absence of revolutionary change, the truth is that as Barnes & Noble floundered and Amazon rose, independent bookstores across the US fought back against every mitigating circumstance and overturned every dire prediction. They may not save the industry, but their example is a source of constructive inspiration. And even as conglomerate logic tries to crowd those bookstore shelves with Trump books and influencer memoirs, there is a giant constellation of books being produced by America’s independent publishers, carefully edited and intelligently marketed, that are worth reading."
books  publishing  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  n+1  technology  Amazon  IndependentBusinesses 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
David Reinfurt interview on the Design Notes Podcast from Google Design
Design Notes is a show about creative work and what it teaches us. For the first episode of 2020, Liam speaks with David Reinfurt, founder of O-R-G, half of Dexter Sinister, and author of A *New* Program for Graphic Design. Together they explore the fluid notions of personal, corporate, and graphic identity throughout Reinfurt’s career, the importance of learning through practice, and the relationship between design and art.
DavidReinfurt  DesignNotes  2020  2020-01  2020Faves  podcast  GraphicDesign  DexterSinister 
8 weeks ago by briansholis
‘Book of Basketball 2.0’: Last Fun Knicks—Indy–New York Game 3, 1999, The Ringer
"Bill, Sean, and Jason break down Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference finals and Larry Johnson’s iconic 4-point shot"
BillSimmons  JasonConcepcion  SeanFennessy  NBA  podcast  2020Faves  2020  2020-01  NewYorkKnicks  IndianaPacers 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
Andy Shauf, "The Neon Skyline" (ANTI-)
""I kept coming back to the same situation of one guy going to a bar, which was basically exactly what I was doing at the time. These songs are fictional but it's not too far off from where my life was," Shauf explains.

For The Neon Skyline, Shauf chose to start each composition on guitar instead of his usual piano. He says, "I wanted to be able to sit down and play each song with just a guitar without having to rely on some sort of a clever arrangement to make it whole." The resulting album finds its immediacy in simplicity. While the arrangements on folksy "The Moon" are unfussy and song-centered like the best Gordon Lightfoot offerings, his drive to experiment is still obvious. This is especially so on the unmoored relationship autopsy "Thirteen Hours," which boasts an arrangement that's both jazzy and adventurous.

Like he's done throughout his career, Shauf wrote, performed, arranged, and produced every song on The Neon Skyline, this time at his new studio space in the west end of Toronto. Happy accidents like Shauf testing out a new spring reverb pedal led to album cuts like the woozy closer "Changer" and experimenting with tape machines forced him to simplify how he'd arrange the tracks. Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Shauf ended up with almost 50 songs all about the same night at the bar. Though paring down his massive body of work to a single album's worth of material was a challenge for Shauf, the final tracklist is seamless and fully-formed.

As much as The Neon Skyline is about a normal night at a bar with friends and a bartender who knows exactly what you'll order before you sit down, the album is also about the painful processing of a lost love."

Written, performed, arranged and produced by Andy Shauf
Mixed by Rob Schnapf at Mant Sounds; Assisted by Matt Schuessler.
Mastered by Philip Shaw Bova at Bova Labs.
Art by Meghan Fenske
Photo by Colin Medley
Layout by Mat Dunlap
AndyShauf  2020Faves  2020  2020-01  PopMusic  Toronto  TorontoMusicians  storytelling  ANTI- 
9 weeks ago by briansholis
LM Sacasas, "The Convivial Society: Vol. 1, No. 1"
"… to thrive or even exist in the culture of digital media, one has to rather unrelentingly offer up more and more of oneself in ways that make one, initially at least, more than a little uneasy."

"My experience has been one of growing gradually more comfortable with publicizing myself, by which I simply mean making public aspects of myself that I would have ordinarily considered private or of little to no interest to others. Not all of this amounted to overcoming shame, precisely, although, of course, that depends to how exactly we define shame. It is not exactly that I thought I was doing something wrong about which I should feel ashamed, but rather that there was something rather untoward about the whole thing."

"…we're now accustomed to sharing things/moments/images about ourselves that others used to be ashamed of sharing. So, we've learned to have less shame about such things. One can decided if that's bad or not."

"In the culture of digital media, the boundaries between home and work blur so that we might be ever more available as a source of labor. In the culture of digital media, the boundaries between the home and the commercial sphere blur so that we might be ever more available as a source of consumption. In the culture of digital media, the boundaries between public and private blur so that we might be ever more available as a source of data and content."

"It is also the case that we must be shameless in our consumption as well. We must not turn away; we must be comfortable voyeurs, shameless connoisseurs of the lives of others."

"Increasingly, it seems to me that we are coming to see not only the natural world but the social world as standing-reserve. We do not, in other words, see other human beings as persons to be respected, even their folly and frailty, perhaps especially in their folly and frailty. We see them resources for the content mill."

"… it may be that we need to draw attention again to very basic and fundamental realities. That we must learn again what it means to take responsibility for the good of our neighbor. That we must rediscover our responsibility to tend the social commons that it may be reconstructed in such a way that human beings may flourish in it once again. For as human beings, we depend not only on nature, but on our second nature, the realm of culture; both require our care and our maintenance, both must be cultivated if they are to yield the fruit."
LMSacasas  technology  SocialMedia  publicity  privacy  DefinitionsOfSelf  media  TikTok  CivilSociety  boundaries  2020Faves  2020  2020-01 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Anne Helen Petersen, "The Wages of Productivity"
"The real way to show that you’re cultured is to evidence (through conversation or Instagram) consumption of cultured things (podcasts, articles, award-winning books, quality television) and participation in cultured activities (pottery class, skiing, bread baking, endless numbers of self-optimizing physical activities)."

"Each spike in the fetish for productivity aligns with a moment of mass anxiety over layoffs, downsizing, and general precarity in the workplace."

"Before, productivity was possible partly because all of the “mundane” labor of the workday, from typing to making dinner reservations, was offloaded to the paid and unpaid women in your life. And every productivity manual or app is a blueprint, in some way, to returning to this model of work, where the concerns and demands of others’ largely did not concern or demand of you."

"And for those tasks and inefficiencies we can’t offload on coworkers and family, we now underpay others to perform them for us: TaskRabbits, Uber drivers, Instacart grocery shoppers, Trunk Club stylists, Blue Apron packagers, nannies, home organizers, Handy house leaners, Amazon warehousers and drivers, Seamless delivery people."

"We’re creating a new class bifurcation, between those who work so much, and are so conscious of squeezing productivity out of every hour, making enough money to offload all unproductive tasks, and those making very little in order to make that productivity possible."

"The problem is working so much, and cultivating such a hunger for total productivity, that the few hours we do have off, we’re desperate to preserve, in whatever small ways, for ourselves: to spend time with our children, to consume the products that announce our aspirational class, to sleep, to breathe."
AnneHelenPetersen  productivity  economy  leisure  ClassStructure  aspiration  Instagram  DomesticEconomies  2020Faves  2020  2020-01 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Yangyang Cheng, "I Save You in the Clouds," SupChina
"The Chinese word for “remember,” 记住 jìzhù, can be broken down into three distinct chunks: the first character, 记, is formed with a speech radical and the character for “self”; the second, 住, means “location.” To leave a mark, one needs language, as well as a medium — be it oracle bones or bamboo scrolls, paper or parchment, a floppy disk or hard drive."

"Despite my childhood ambition to one day revive my father’s research, I chose particle physics out of personal interest instead of my father’s field of mechanical engineering. My profession traces the origin and evolution of the universe. The tiny wrinkles of heat and light on a smooth, boundless sky hold the answers to our cosmological history. We build powerful telescopes on the top of mountains or the wings of satellites, searching for the faintest signals from the deepest time. We construct magnificent colliders underground, where beams of particles smash at nearly the speed of light, blooming into miniature cosmos in their infancy. We design state-of-the-art computing facilities that store, process, and transmit oceans of data to collaborators across the globe."

"Nature builds its library with no regard for our attempted reading."

"We are driven by our own desires, compelled to satiate our own curiosities. What we make of our time — the work we do, the stories we tell, the people we love — is what gives our lives meaning. Whether anything we produce has a longevity beyond our bodies is never as important as the act of living."

"My mother needed to hold on to the wish so that my father’s death was not only a personal loss but that of humanity’s. By preserving his research, my mother invited the future into her private mourning, so that she was not so alone in her sorrow."
YangyanCheng  SupChina  parents  death  mourning  computers  memory  astrophysics  science  China  2020Faves  2019  2019-12 
10 weeks ago by briansholis
Evan Malmgren, "Networked Up," The Baffler
A first-person 2020 update of Bowling Alone.

"I originally moved into a van to escape a numbing sense of static instability. I was living invoice-to-invoice on the margins of a dying print industry that was choking on the tentacles of powerful social media companies."

"Over time, I understood less and less about my surroundings, and simultaneously felt they understood less about me. I was rarely completely alone, but spending time with people either meant reconnecting after a long lapse or meeting someone for the first time. The questions were always, “What have you been up to lately?” and never “How was your day?” Everything, including my social connections, became fuzzy and abstract."

"As I circled the country, the U.S. Interstate Highway System started to feel like an extension of the internet—a diffuse, instantaneously interconnected collection of cataloged information systems, manifest in the material world. The veins took precedence over the organs they connected."

"What unifies the spectrum of van-dwellers, from “down by the river” to the glitzy, sanitized #vanlife micro-celebrities, and what makes them emblems of a broader social order, is that they’re all produced by a political economy that de-emphasizes rootedness and tolerates a great deal of individual precarity in service of heightened interconnection and general accumulation. Vanlifers inhabit a grid that emphasizes fluidity over the specific nodes it connects."

"Living in a van often involved an isolating disorientation, but the boredom— even in the face of continuous novelty—was more surprising. Without a grounding frame of reference, the overwhelming newness numbed me."
EvanMalmgren  TheBaffler  itinerant  vanlife  technology  SocialMedia  place  loneliness  2020Faves  2020  2020-01 
11 weeks ago by briansholis
Claire Bishop and Nikki Columbus, "Free Your Mind," n+1
"The hoary tale of the avant-garde—from prewar Europe to postwar US—has been abandoned, and, in its place, the transnational stories of Europe and North America are interwoven, starting in the 1880s. Both show modernism emerging from the foundational violence of industrialization and colonialism, which are traced through to their contemporary legacies in environmental destruction and white supremacy."

"Chronological or thematic hangs? Museums have wrangled with this binary since 2000, when MoMA briefly flirted with the latter before returning to the former. Now the museum seems to have resolved this intractable problem by narrating art through history—an inspired (if, in retrospect, obvious) reorientation that seamlessly allows some galleries to emphasize a timeline while others focus on a topic."

"These kinds of contrasts give rise to history understood as a morass of unresolved conflicts and multiple lines of flight, rather than a unified tale of artistic development. Of course, none of the current constellations break new ground or present innovative scholarship—that is still a step too far for even #newMoMA—but they renounce the egregious evasions that were previously MoMA’s calling card."

"At last, MoMA has realized that true innovation in the gallery lies in rethinking its model of history, and this can only come about once structural change is accomplished. Equity in the workplace, and a board of trustees whose commitment to art is not simply financial, are fundamental prerequisites for reshaping its approach to art history. Who works at the museum—and how they are treated—necessarily affects what gets exhibited and how it is presented, which in turn reaches different audiences."

"Once the most bloated museum in the US with plans to swell still further, MoMA has—like an oversize cruise liner in the Hudson—magnificently changed its course. The additional square footage gained by swallowing the former American Folk Art Museum is now utilized not for exhibitions but for much-needed community services."

"A colorful diagram in the lobby breaks down MoMA’s annual budget, showing the percentages spent on salaries, operating costs, and a severely slashed acquisitions fund. Commendably, the director has decided to bring the museum into line with more progressive institutions, earning no more than eight times that of workers on the bottom rung. The surplus from the formerly exorbitant salary has reportedly been redirected to eliminate unpaid internships. Free admission has finally been instituted, in recognition of the fact that the public has every right to see the collection of a tax-exempt museum."
2020Faves  NikkiColumbus  ClaireBishop  MOMA  NYC  museums  n+1  art  PaperMonument  FictionalCriticism  2020  2020-01 
11 weeks ago by briansholis
Destroyer - Cue Synthesizer - YouTube
From the album "Have We Met," out January 31st, 2020.
We acknowledge the financial support of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters, FACTOR, and Amplify BC.

Director: David Ehrenreich
Producer: David Galloway
Director of Photography: Liam Mitchell
Choreography : OURO Collective
Production Company: Border Patrol Films
2020Faves  MusicVideo  Destroyer  DanBejar  PopMusic  Vancouver  DavidEhrenreich  2020  2020-01 
11 weeks ago by briansholis

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