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robertogreco : momus   40

Travelling around, my hobbies are quite simple. I... - Mrs Tsk *
"Travelling around, my hobbies are quite simple. I buy secondhand clothes and books, visit antiquities, look at contemporary art. What I’m seeking in all of those things, I think, is contact with — and sympathetic, symbiotic union with — some sort of otherness, something which stretches and extends me.

Contact with what’s strange and fresh reminds me of the early part of my life, in which everything was strange and fresh. It also gives me a kind of “immortal head”: exposing myself to real difference allows me to peek into other centuries, other cultures. I become huge and wise and full of time. Maybe I also enjoy the sensation of becoming more and more alien to the very culture of airports and jeans which makes my self-stretching possible.

Lately, however, I’ve been noticing how little art really extends and freshens me. What I mostly get from art shows is a filling-in of details in a picture I already know. Many shows in so-called “contemporary” spaces are in fact academic takes on 20th century modernism. Zoomings-in on the known.

The current show at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, for instance, Possibilities of the Object, zooms in on Brazilian Tropicalia. At Tate Modern in London there’s Marlene Dumas, whose work I like but possibly know too well. It’s not that these artists don’t deserve their zooms, more that I don’t feel expanded enough. I get the same sense of cultural stagnation from these shows that I get from rock music: both seem mired in retro, overwhelmed by the achievements of the past, stuck in “repertory” or “academic” modes. Art seems to have become classical music, a sort of visual Classic FM.

Biennials and art student degree shows are the ideal places to escape this sense of endless retreads of the known. But the odd show in a major museum does surprise and delight me. At Moderna Museet in Stockholm, for instance — although the main “blockbuster” show of Louise Bourgeois, while good, falls into the “known” category — there’s a very good show downstairs of the work of Akram Zaatari, an artist from South Lebanon who investigates his home town of Saida with a careful and subdued archeological process.

I spent a lot of time with a film Zaatari had made in Saida’s souk, in which he got traders to look at old photos and identify shopkeepers and recall how their shops were. The videos I’ve posted here are of another piece, which looks at the bombing of a Saida school by the Israeli airforce in the early 1980s, and Zaatari’s documentation of it at the time, and the architect-pilot who refused and dumped his bombs at sea. This is the kind of art I travel to find, and it’s poignant to connect with Lebanon via Sweden. Suddenly the art textbook is snapped shut and we’re off somewhere fresh."
momus  otherness  neoteny  2015  children  childhood  exploration  difference  learning  art  travel  akamzaatari  unknown  discovery  newness  perspective  expansion  freshness  saida  lebanon 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Next month, as part of Helsinki’s status as Design... - Mrs Tsk *
"Next month, as part of Helsinki’s status as Design Capital 2012, Marimekko launches a series of guerilla recreations—across Helsinki & online—of the Mari Village, a utopian project (& money sink) started in 1962 by Armi Ratia, the firm’s tough-yet-visionary founder.

Marimekko’s own PR about what this will involve is vague, & doesn’t show any images of the original site, developed in collaboration with the architect Aarno Ruusuvuori. The company certainly doesn’t go into the doubts Armi Ratia had about the village—originally planned to house 3500 inhabitants—or the reasons the plug was pulled in 1966.

My interest piqued by passing references by my friend Jenna Sutela and others, I’ve had to scour obscure PDFs to find the fullest account of the Mari Village, or Marikylä, with its experimental homes. Here’s a series of screenshots of Juhani Pallasmaa’s essay—published in Capitel Art in 1985—The Last Utopia, some images of the Marimekko Sauna System…"
nenetsuboi  history  marimekkosaunasystem  aarnoruusuvuori  helsinki  design  utopia  1985  1966  juhanipallasmaa  marimekko  jennasutela  momus  imomus  finland  armiratia  1962 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Mrs Tsk *
"I’m particularly interested in Japan’s image of — and empathy with — Scandinavia. Sitting yesterday in the Finland Cafe in Daikanyama, a basement kitted out with silver birch trees and wall-projected loops of Helsinki street scenes, I was leafing through a big book about Finnish fabric design company Marimekko, perennially popular in Japan, when I discovered that they’d had a Japanese designer in the 1970s, Katsuji Wakisaka. This graduate of Kyoto School of Art and Design was just 24 when he came to Finland in 1968 to pitch his portfolio to Marimekko. He was hired on the spot."
design  japan  finland  momus  marimekko  scandinavia 
january 2011 by robertogreco
click opera - Raise your spirit, level your society!
"Inequality is bad for us...message of The Spirit Level: Why more equal societies almost always do better, a new book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, two epidemiologists...draws political conclusions from scientific observations, and as such it's full of fascinatingly counter-intuitive insights, such as the idea that inequality makes the lives of the rich worse as well as the lives of the poor. The authors take up and run with Oliver James's point that capitalism makes you mentally sick, saying that it's not just the poor who suffer from the effects of inequality, but the whole population; mental illness is five times higher across the whole population of the most unequal societies than it is in the most equal ones. It's not being poor per se that sucks, it's living amongst people with very different life outcomes. Mental illness and obesity, drug addiction and violence, teenage pregnancy and the weakening of community life -- all increase in more unequal societies."
culture  spirituality  economics  politics  disparity  inequality  sweden  japan  us  trends  books  capitalism  well-being  health  society  momus  research  uk  portugal  scandinavia  lifeexpectancy  poverty  mentalhealth  mentalillness  stress  gini  equality 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - The underclass wants to become the overman!
"Progressive politics, for me, has to go back to Marx's basic, positive, clear and forceful idea (it was William Morris's too) that ability is the true human capital. We have to stop associating creativity with privilege or class. All human beings are creative. That, rather than problems or victimhood, is what's at the core of an individual, a class, a nation, and the species itself."
momus  progressivism  human  victimhood  humancapital  karlmarx  politics  creativity 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Hayao Kawai, the self, and the great mother
"laid out 3 key points...distinguishing Eastern mind: tendency to introversion, location of consciousness outside self, strength of "great mother inside"...lack of distinction in Eastern world btwn consciousness & unconsciousness...Eastern philosophy seeks self in its own unconsciousness...when Westerners say word "mind" refer to consciousnes...Eastern self lives in unconsciousness...lack of knowledge of self. self in Westerners is put in centre of consciousness...self is seen as strong, central & independent - & yet frail...surrounded by unknown, able to be overwhelmed & undermined at any moment by powerful "instincts" & "impulses" from somewhere else...Westerners tend to find meaning of their life in a fight w/ fate & own nature, whereas Easterners tend to find meaning of life in "tasting their fate"; accepting it, & living in harmony w/ their own nature. typical Western dramatic hero struggles against inevitable, whereas typical Eastern hero "tastes" & accepts it."
west  east  japan  culture  society  momus  harukimurakami  hayaokawai  psychology  psychoanalysis  self  consciousness  unconsciousness  meaning  life  perspective  family  community  individuality  fate 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Tokyo, let me count the ways!
"But if I love Tokyo it's the surrounding context - the thing producing events & encounters like these - that deserves the credit. You really only sense something as abstract as a context interstitially, in slipping glimpses as you scurry from appointment to appointment. & yet these glimpses contain the magic that fuels the city, & your love for it. So here's a paragraph of those glimpses, so frail, so fragmentary & yet so forceful. The tiling in the Citibank lobby on Aoyama Dori. The wooden mailboxes outside Utrecht. A transparently delicate schoolgirl reading a book on the stairs at Ebisu subway station...The sense of complete safety; I can wear the most ridiculous clothes w/out fear of embarrassment or assault. Never having to worry about prying hands near my wallet, even in the densest crowd. A sense of being, if not in the future, at least in a parallel world where people are quite a bit more refined, well-mannered & intelligent than I'm used to. A pervading calm inhibition..."
momus  tokyo  japan  future 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Overwhelmed by milk
"Japan is -- continues to be -- the most different society I know. While it may superficially look like any number of other advanced modern cultures, this place has something very, very strange going on just below the surface. I've been fishing about for a word or phrase to describe one important dimension of this strangeness, a thing I pick up here as I move around. The first word that occurs to me is "motherlove". But perhaps a better term would be "ambient impersonal tenderness". Japan is a society shockingly full of ambient impersonal tenderness, overlapping with tender-mindedness, shading into tweeness."
momus  japan  culture  society 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Absent without leaving
"the Japanese are more discreet, & minimise themselves more politely & considerately than anyone else...Even their houses seem to avert their gaze; you can pass down a heavily-built Tokyo street with the sense of being completely unobserved, thanks to the frosted glass in the windows, just as you can sit in a crowded train carriage and not find a single eye meeting yours. It can feel uncanny at times, like being an invisible man. Most of the time it's very reassuring, though. You soon miss it in other cities. Adjectives I'd use to describe this minimised public presence: discreet, considerate, polite, apologetic, cold, withdrawn, inward, socialised, repressed. & there we begin to hit on an interesting paradox: you withdraw into yourself in the interests of the collectivity. Your absence is highly social, even when it resembles a semi-autistic withdrawal. You turn inward to facilitate outward smoothness. You make yourself ghostlike out of courtesy to other people, who do the same."
momus  japan  tokyo  presence  etiquette  withdrawal  otaku  politeness  minimization  invisibility  subtlety 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - From the most-consumerist will come the post-consumerist!
"Japan is a great place for a tourist to indulge in visions of alternative societies. Not only is Japan actually different in many ways from the society the tourist was brought up in, but his simple incompetence, incomprehension and sheer delirium, as he walks around Japan, will create all sorts of fertile semantic gaps which -- if no-one is on hand to explain them -- he'll fill using his imagination. His expectation of difference will make him create it. Yesterday I was queuing for bread at a bakery on the busy plaza that leads up to Ebisu station. Perhaps the fact that it felt more like an airport than a bakery led to the vision that followed. Gazing at a sign showing the prices of different types of bread, I saw two prices. It was probably just two sizes of bread, but for a second I thought it said "WE SELL" for one price and "WE BUY" for another. I imagined, in other words, that this was a bread exchange."
japan  economics  reuse  secondhand  language  imagination  differences  society  culture  postconsumerism  consumerism  perception  perceiveddifference  momus 
december 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Worldwide Berlinification!
"Since it's a global recession, I also like to think Berlin has now become a sort of template for cities all over the world. Whereas we might once have looked like a museum of crusty subcultures past their sell-by date, this city now looks like the future of Tokyo, the future of London, and the future of New York. We're your best-case scenario, guys, your optimal recessionary outcome. Everything else is dystopia, Escape-From-New-York stuff.

If the major cities of the world all become "Berlins", though, I can't guarantee I'd stay in the actual Berlin, the black flagship, the Big Squat itself. If Tokyo, for instance, got as cheap and cheerfully creative as Berlin -- if it became the kind of city you could simply occupy without having to scuttle around pointlessly making rent -- I'd be there in a flash. Secretly, what I'm doing here in Berlin is waiting for Tokyo to Berlinify."
momus  berlin  squatting  recession  housing  economics  art  society 
april 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Altermodern Week 1: A new cultural era
"Postmodernism was so slippery, so able to glom on new styles from any era or culture & make them part of itself, so "right" for our age of global consumerism, that it seemed to me that we'd need Islamic revolution, or communist revolution, to break its grip."..."One thing that could revitalize pop music & other cultural forms exhausted by their own continuous vampirism of other times, cultures & finally, desperately, their own past, is that act of page-turning. I have decided to take Nicolas Bourriaud's declaration that postmodernism is dead very seriously indeed, precisely because I think it comes at the right time, and there's a need to declare this now." ... "These are the real world conditions which are making a new cultural era possible and, in fact, inevitable. I think calling it "the altermodern" is fine...doesn't really matter if a different label emerges. The point is that we are currently crossing a threshold, entering a new phase in the history of culture. Exciting times."
momus  postmodernism  postmodern  altermodern  change  gamechanging  crisis  2009  music  popmusic  art  literature 
march 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Art students (called Brian) observed
"Brian works hard and I believe he is seriously committed to his type of work, ie electronics. However he is adolescent in many of his attitudes and displays a smugness bordering on obdurate philistinism when it comes to dealing with areas outside his immediate province. He will have to grow up before he will be able to use his expertise towards art rather than be a small-time boffin." "Brian laid his radio-lightwave machine out along the studio. Everyone who walked in front of it interrupted transmission. Philip became interested, helped him fiddle about with the equipment. It reminded me of boys playing with electric trains."
education  art  schooling  brianeno  momus  teaching  sixties  culture 
february 2009 by robertogreco
click opera - Supersize mind
"Most of all, though, I feel that Clark and Chalmers' supersizing idea -- the Extended Mind Thesis -- fits my life intuitively. I feel that both technology and media extend my mind, and mingle it with other minds. This is why I do what I do; I like that promiscuity, that cultural reproduction."
culture  devices  momus  bionics  singularity  memory  iphone  technology 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Click opera - Notes towards a definition of "moronic cynicism"
"The moronic cynic uses cynicism as a way to prepare for the worst. The worst consequently arrives.
cynicism  criticism  philosophy  momus  via:russelldavies 
november 2008 by robertogreco
The Post-Materialist | Magazine Poetry - The Moment Blog -
"How will the current financial crisis impact what we do? It’s a question people in the design, fashion and style worlds are asking themselves right now. Someone who might be able to throw some light on the subject is Juan Ignacio Moralejo, an Argentinian who introduced a new style magazine in the aftermath of a financial crisis in his homeland that saw all bank deposits frozen, the president resigning, the nation defaulting on its debts, the currency plummeting and prices and inflation skyrocketing." ... “Having said that, most of my friends and I have an austere ideology, maybe a recurrent longing for nature and a simple lifestyle. Not exactly hippie-ism, but being aware of the advantages of limitations. It’s well known that you get a bit more creative when you have to struggle more.”
momus  crisis  argentina  us  austerity  simplicity  style  magazines  economics 
october 2008 by robertogreco
The Post-Materialist | Austerity and Style - The Moment Blog - [see also:]
"Japan — the advanced nation with the longest recession in recent memory, where property prices have been sinking gently since the early 1990s, and where austerity evokes local traditions of restrained, elegant beauty...A range of Japanese lifestyle magazines — Ku:nel, Sotokoto, Lingkaran, Kurashi No Techo and Tennen Seikatsu — is currently painting a much more positive and relaxed picture of austerity, drawing on Japan’s traditions of egalitarianism and thrift, as well as the post-recessionary popularity of its Slow Life and Slow Food trends. These magazines promote the idea that there’s virtue and utility — but also beauty, pleasure and natural sensuality — in life after affluence."
momus  simplicity  japan  austerity  postconsumerism  postmaterialism  slow  sustainability  environment  green  style  life  slowlife  slowfood  magazines  trends  economics  thrift  frugality 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - The hidden easter eggs of risk have come home to roost!
"Now, the current financial crisis is dauntingly technical -- and far beyond my comprehension. But it also contains a moral dimension which we can all understand, and I think the quote above is a way to the nub of it. That complaint isn't just about the failure of supposedly-intelligent brains to predict the current situation, it's about the specialization of intelligence, the narrowing down of intelligence from a general critical sense, a view of the big picture (the kind of view artists might take), to a very narrow form of self-interested cunning that focuses on devising ever-newer, even-more-complicated forms of personal gain -- ways to cheat the system and cheat other people, even out of their houses and food -- and studiously ignores the bigger implications."
momus  art  finance  capitalism  latecapitalism  subprime  banking  economics  ethics  generalists  cv  intelligence  society  morality  risk  risktaking  gamechanging 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Lullatone are adults
"It's time we accepted that "childhood" is something -- something benign -- that adults impose, sentimentally, didactically, on their offspring. It's an invention of adults. Left to their own devices, kids reject "childhood" at the earliest possible oppor
momus  children  childhood  society  brunomunari  lullatone  glvo  artists  music 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Where art and money meet
"Thompson's book presents a freakonomics-style list of strange-but-true facts about the financial structure of the art world. I quote a few of them from New Yorker András Szántó's summary in the Artworld Salon blog:"
momus  art  money  statistics 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Moment The Post-Materialist | Design Gets Serious « - T Magazine - New York Times Blog
"what could possibly be good about Comic Sans...irregular forms made it one of the easiest typefaces for dyslexics to read...also liked how it undermined the authority — and changed the meaning — of texts set in it."
design  postmaterialism  graphics  typography  comicsans  momus  fonts  dyslexia  culture  typeface 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Kuruma banare: post-car Japan
"Demotorisation has been happening in Japan since 1990. *According to the BBC, Japanese new car sales for May 2008 were only about half what they were in May 1990.* In 1990 7.8 million new cars were purchased in Japan. In 2007, only 5.4 million were bough
japan  momus  future  cities  cars  transportation  bikes  trends  change  simplicity  minimalism  materialism 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Moment The Post-Materialist | Muji Obsession « - T Magazine - New York Times Blog
"William Gibson really nailed its appeal: “It calls up a wonderful Japan that doesn’t really exist, a Japan of the mind, where even toenail-clippers and plastic coat-hangers possess a Zen purity: functional, minimal, reasonably priced.""
japan  culture  design  momus  muji  nicholsonbaker  williamgibson  postmaterialism  materialism 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Bronze Age iPods at Skara Brae
"If the Bronze Age folk left because of poor wifi coverage, they can come back right away; I can honestly say I've never been anywhere with as much open signal as Orkney and Shetland."
momus  wifi 
june 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Anne Other
"Magibon got to see the magic land of her dreams only on condition that she waive the power of her own control over her own image. She got to see the land of magic on the condition of losing some of her own....The result was a self-mediator's disaster."
selfmediation  youtube  japan  momus  image  identity  online  internet  tv  television  video 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Portable, personal and composite, fine. But "local", what does that mean?
"If you can carry all the info from a city, does that mean you carry the city with you rather than you go into a city? Do you carry your own city, does each person now have the possibility of carrying a portable city rather than installing himself or hers
cities  information  vitoacconci  globalization  culture  internet  momus  society  technology  urban  urbanism  local  place  web  mobile  mobility  digital 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - The good ad man
"The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everyone else. Have you noticed how the cleverest people at school are not those who make it in life? Don't seek praise, seek criticism. Sometimes it's good to be fired.
advertising  culture  momus  thinking  paularden  work  life  advice  innovation  creativity 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - The kids aren't alright ;-(
"Marxy's main concern, as a blogger working in marketing, continues to be the attempt to show that the kids are not alright, and that the grassroots Japanese creativity reported in the Western media is in fact either an illusion or concocted by a small el
japan  creativity  culture  momus  fruits  fashion  marketing  elitism  art 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Being right, and being interesting
"People who want to be right: Responsible, logical, consistent, Anglo-Saxon in their fear of contradiction and paradox and vagueness, people who want to be right will argue and fight, because what's right must win, of course."
culture  personalities  creativity  logic  competition  momus  power  ethics  simplicity  philosophy  fuzziness  generalists  boredom 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - My agenda
"reason art world is booming...super-rich buy art as same time, you can "consume" art as series of experiences...w/out ever buying...Materialist & postmaterialist ways of seeing - having & being - co-exist, for time being."
momus  cities  unproduct  travel  art  experience  glvo 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Walkscapes, strollology, and the politics of promenade
"people in the art world - who look on behalf of the rest - who've taken it upon themselves to see what landscape has become - landscape as recorded by modern versions of Rousseau's Solitary Walker. But Rousseau didn't have locative media."
art  momus  walking  urban  urbanism  psychogeography  space  place  landscape  cities  location  locative  gps  observation 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - Before and after bling I understand. But "during bling"? That's just a blip.
"We are at our happiest when we are absorbed in what we are doing; the most useful way of regarding happiness is, to borrow a phrase of Clive James’s, as “a by-product of absorption.”""
postmaterialism  consumption  materialism  happiness  japan  environment  momus  unproduct  sustainability  consumerism  consumer  design  jeansnow  slow  magazines  society  culture  modernism  postmodernism  philosophy  social  connectedness  community 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - In Båtsfjord on the Barents Sea
"You don't know what you did before, or where -- your memory is as bare as the rocky Martian hills behind the little red metal house where you live....And you wonder, as usual, who you were and what you did before."
travel  momus  finnmark  crabs 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Click opera - From Stockhausen to stock repertoire
"Thanks to our conservative tastes and our advanced technology, we can't forget, can't purge, can't let stuff flow and go, can't rip it all up and start again, an act of destruction which is crucial to all acts of new creation."
music  momus  evolution  audio  art  memory  forgetting  creativity  progress  technology  storage  archiving 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - The best houses are cheap, weird and fleeting
"With mainstream architecture increasingly being taken over by boring managerial types on the one hand and flashy hyped iconic sharkitects on the other, it falls to artists to capture our imagination with dwellings that break the mold."
architecture  design  momus  book  art  ephemeral  ephemerality 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - What's over?
Rock and Popular Music (CDs), TV, phone, car, democracy, America, book, wildlife, winter...NOT: live events (concert, conference, sport, art biennial), bike, radio, newspaper (not paper), photos, handmade, communism/socialism, religion
communication  history  momus  television  tv  technology  gamechanging  music  politics  media  radio  cars  bikes  us  wildlife  winter  environment  books  rock  events  sports  concerts  conferences  art  newspapers  photography  video  religion  communism  socialism  democracy  handmade  glvo  diy 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Click opera - Play = communication = fun = creativity = design = events = blah
"sometimes I wonder what the hell we're all playing at. Is all this waffle about "communication" and "play" just what post-industrial societies do when they've lost all productive sense of purpose? Where, in all this, is the relationship between design an
art  children  creativity  design  engineering  ethics  innovation  science  work  play  gamechanging  glvo  momus  industry  postindustrialism  us  sweden  japan  recycling  sustainability  environment  production  products  sweatshops  manufacturing  culture  consumerism  conferences 
november 2007 by robertogreco

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