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robertogreco : style   47

The Triumph of the Quiet Style - The Awl
"The clearest demonstration of the quiet style—the dominant, most provocative, most interesting aesthetic of our time—is in theater, where Annie Baker created a revolution by slowing everything down, inserting long pauses, setting plays at room temperature. Baker is, in America and for straight plays, the unquestioned superstar playwright of her generation. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 and a MacArthur Grant in 2017. Her success is so sweeping that it’s almost hard to remember how weird her style seemed five or ten years ago, and how much it ran against all the prevailing headwinds of playwriting, which, for decades, had been all about making plays faster, more shocking, edgier.

American plays were already fast-paced (quick cuts, overlapping dialogue) and then, in the 1970s, David Mamet figured out a syncopated style that made them even faster. (“Arrive late, leave early,” is his prescription for writing scenes). Neil LaBute, Mamet’s heir, starts his signature play, Reasons to Be Pretty, with the stage direction: “Two people in their bedroom, already in the middle of it. A nice little fight. Wham!” Edward Albee, the reigning granddaddy of American theater, admitted that he wrote The Goat, a play about a man’s love affair with a farm animal, more or less because he couldn’t think of any taboos left to break.

For Baker, studying playwriting at NYU, the contemporary approach to playwriting was a nightmare—a formula to get your turns and reveals as plentiful and as high up in the script as possible, and all of it about as artistic as working in the pit at Daytona. While in graduate school, she had a breakdown (by her accounting, one of many) and, stuck, declared to her mentor that what she really wanted to do was to write a play about her mom and her mom’s “hippie friends sitting around and talking about spirituality for two hours,” which, to Mamet and her NYU professors, would have been like saying that what she wanted most as a playwright was to make sure that her audience had the right atmosphere for a nice, peaceful nap."



"But it’s not as if the quiet style began ten years ago. Chekhov is quiet. Our Town is quiet. Beckett is quiet. French New Wave is quiet. Probably, in every era, ‘serious’ art is quieter and slower than commercial. What I am saying, though, is that something distinctive is happening, and it’s clearly resonating with audiences since the same tendencies are dominant in all these different mediums, producing what for years has been the the most unsettling, most challenging, most talked-about work.

The key figure for the quiet style, the one who lays its sociopolitical foundations, is J.M. Coetzee. In Coetzee, the ruling class relinquishes—reluctantly but voluntarily—all its entitlements and, in humility and debasement, acquires a kind of beneficence. “The alternatives [to the power structure] are not,” he writes in the Diary Of A Bad Year, “placid servitude on the one hand and revolt against servitude on the other. There is a third way, chosen by thousands and millions of people every day. It is the way of quietism, of willed obscurity, of inner emigration.”

For the protagonists of the quiet style, most of whom descend from generations of easy living (their privilege is so patent and so internalized that they rarely deign even to speak of it), institutions no longer have anything to offer them and need nothing from them. They tend to be very willing to relinquish whatever societal power they have to those who want it more than they do. It’s characteristic to be an ex-pat (as in Lerner and Greenwell) or to be in some sort of internal exile (Vermont in Baker’s plays) or to be adrift in the ghettos of the unpublished, unproduced artistic underclass (as in Jarmusch, Baumbach, Heti, Dunham, etc). In other words, to have opted out.

What’s crucial—and, ultimately, what defines the quiet style—is the gesture of abnegation, a recognition by its heroes that success either is not for them or doesn’t matter to them. In spite of its heavy use of naturalism, the quiet style is not realism. Fundamentally, the quiet style is a mode of religious expression and it leans heavily on its confessional aspect, its blind faith that the moments of most abject, most senseless humiliation are also the moments when we are at our funniest and truest and (ultimately) most divine. For me, the great attraction of the quiet style is that it takes the attributes of my much-maligned generation—our restlessness, fecklessness, envy, solipsism—and turns them into something like a prayer."
quiet  quietness  slow  pause  pauses  art  film  theater  samuelbeckett  frenchnewwave  jmcoetzee  2017  style  playwriting  writing  davidmamet  anniebaker  abnegation  restlessness  fecklessness  envy  solipsism  naturalism  realism  antonchekhov  jimjarmusch  sheilaheti  lenadunham  noahbaumbach  filmmaking  taolin  benlerner  mumblecore 
22 days ago by robertogreco
Bay Area Disrupted: Fred Turner on Vimeo
"Interview with Fred Turner in his office at Stanford University.

http://bayareadisrupted.com/

https://fredturner.stanford.edu

Graphics: Magda Tu
Editing: Michael Krömer
Concept: Andreas Bick"
fredturner  counterculture  california  opensource  bayarea  google  softare  web  internet  history  sanfrancisco  anarchism  siliconvalley  creativity  freedom  individualism  libertarianism  2014  social  sociability  governance  myth  government  infrastructure  research  online  burningman  culture  style  ideology  philosophy  apolitical  individuality  apple  facebook  startups  precarity  informal  bureaucracy  prejudice  1960s  1970s  bias  racism  classism  exclusion  inclusivity  inclusion  communes  hippies  charism  cultofpersonality  whiteness  youth  ageism  inequality  poverty  technology  sharingeconomy  gigeconomy  capitalism  economics  neoliberalism  henryford  ford  empowerment  virtue  us  labor  ork  disruption  responsibility  citizenship  purpose  extraction  egalitarianism  society  edtech  military  1940s  1950s  collaboration  sharedconsciousness  lsd  music  computers  computing  utopia  tools  techculture  location  stanford  sociology  manufacturing  values  socialchange  communalism  technosolutionism  business  entrepreneurship  open  liberalism  commons  peerproduction  product 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Blog—Jarrett Fuller — The Soul-Crushing Student Essay
"I taught a writing class for the first time this semester and it was easily the hardest course I’ve ever taught. My experience tracks pretty closely to Korb’s story. It was hard to get students to contribute, to discuss readings, to bring their own thoughts into the texts we’d read together. Even though I ranted against the five-paragraph essay on the first class, and presented on why we’d be dismantling that form to use for our own purposes, I referred to it only as a problem of structure, not of content. I hadn’t connected that only does that format inhibit new styles and structures of writing but also how much of yourself is brought into it. I wish I had read this at the beginning of the semester instead of the end. I have all sorts of ideas for the next time."
jarrettfuller  2018  fiveparagraphessays  structure  form  writing  teaching  howweteach  content  style  teachingwriting  education 
april 2018 by robertogreco
////////// from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other
"Nothing could be more normative, more logical, and more authoritarian than, for example, the (politically) revolutionary poetry or prose that speaks of revolution in the form of commands or in the well-behaved, steeped-in-convention-language of “clarity.” (”A wholesome, clear, and direct language” is said to be “the fulcrum to move the mass or to sanctify it.”) Clear expression, often equated with correct expression, has long been the criterion set forth in treatises on rhetoric, whose aim was to order discourse so as to persuade. The language of Taoism and Zen, for example, which is perfectly accessible but rife with paradox does not qualify as “clear” (paradox is “illogical” and “nonsensical” to many Westerners), for its intent lies outside the realm of persuasion. The same holds true for vernacular speech, which is not acquired through institutions — schools, churches, professions, etc. — and therefore not repressed by either grammatical rules, technical terms, or key words. Clarity as a purely rhetorical attribute serves the purpose of a classical feature in language, namely, its instrumentality. To write is to communicate, express, witness, impose, instruct, redeem, or save — at any rate to mean and to send out an unambiguous message. Writing thus reduced to a mere vehicle of thought may be used to orient toward a goal or to sustain an act, but it does not constitute an act in itself. This is how the division between the writer/the intellectual and the activists/the masses becomes possible. To use the language well, says the voice of literacy, cherish its classic form. Do not choose the offbeat at the cost of clarity. Obscurity is an imposition on the reader. True, but beware when you cross railroad tracks for one train may hide another train. Clarity is a means of subjection, a quality both of official, taught language and of correct writing, two old mates of power; together they flow, together they flower, vertically, to impose an order. Let us not forget that writers who advocate the instrumentality of language are often those who cannot or choose not to see the suchness of things — a language as language — and therefore, continue to preach conformity to the norms of well-behaved writing: principles of composition, style, genre, correction, and improvement. To write “clearly,” one must incessantly prune, eliminate, forbid, purge, purify; in other words, practice what may be called an “ablution of language” (Roland Barthes)."

— from “Commitment from the Mirror-Writing Box,” Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Woman, Native, Other

[See also PDF of full text in a couple of places:
http://www.sjsu.edu/people/julie.hawker/courses/c1/s2/Trinh-T-Minh-ha-1989.pdf
https://lmthomasucsd.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/minh-ha-reading.pdf ]
trinhminh-ha  rolandbarthes  literacy  clarity  writing  language  taoism  zen  buddhism  persuasion  authority  authoritarianism  power  control  tradition  poetry  prose  canon  rhetoric  grammar  rules  expression  classics  communication  subjection  instrumentality  beauty  style  genre  composition  correction  improvement  purification  speech  vernacular  schools  churches  professions  professionalism  convention  conventions 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Bad Taste - YouTube
"You often hear it said that taste is all in the eye of the beholder - and that there is no such thing as 'bad taste'. We think there is - and that bad taste is often down to excess; caused by trauma."
style  taste  badtaste  excess  overcompensation  schooloflife  deprivation  trauma  sentimentality  gaudiness  design  aesthetics  economics  appreciation  desperation  humans  understanding 
july 2016 by robertogreco
How to end on the internet
"It’s impossible to end a piece on the internet. All the conventions incubated in print fall flat: the neat summary, the mild prediction, the kicker quote. Especially the kicker quote.

Maybe it’s because the internet is endless and we all know it, so any suggestion of completion — of a thought, an argument, a story — rings false. “Oh really? You think this is it? Please. I’ve got ten more tabs lined up.”

Also, let’s be real: we rarely get to the end anyway. Midway through, we get distracted. We jump around. Pieces on the internet don’t build to a crescendo followed by applause; they cross-fade, one into the next.

Given all these challenges, there is no set of internet endings I admire more than John Herrman’s in his series THE CONTENT WARS at the Awl. John works for the New York Times now, and while there’s no question it’s an important platform for him, it has been impossible not to notice that his endings have changed, which has made me appreciate that previous run even more.

Here’s what I’m talking about:

John deployed the blog-style “Anyway!” with some regularity; I’ve always loved it, even though I’ve never quite been able to articulate what it does. Lower the stakes? Acknowledge that the reader had something else she was doing before she got sucked into this? Whatever the case, it’s one of the great rhetorical discoveries of the mid-2000s.

One of his personal trademarks was the Big Maybe — Exhibit A, Exhibit B — in which a piece, after building its case, explodes into hypotheticals: maybe, maybe, maybe, I don’t know! It reads as an unraveling of the thread of coherence; an admission that it was tenuous to begin with. It is, I think, a gesture of genuine humility. “I see this only barely more clearly than you.”

Then there’s the way this numbered list goes off the rails: 13, 14, 15… 234875627839452… 45862170348957103946872039568270. I love that sense of like, buffer overflow: of staring a powerful system in the face and coming away with a nosebleed.

Of course, this is my favorite:
In conclusion, haha, ashkjghasgauosghasugas;gashgk, who knows.

…because it is the ending that probably every piece, in every medium, deserves. And because it would never, ever be permitted by the editors of the New York Times.

Reading all of John’s CONTENT WARS endings (is that a weird thing to do? Because I just did it) is illuminating, because all of them, even the more conventional ones, share an unmissable sensibility, almost a declaration of values. In quick succession, you find: humility, and a reminder of the limits of knowledge; that almost comical effect of a mind straining to contain its subject; and an absolute refusal to retreat into empty optimism. All together, this is a pretty good stance for the 21st century.

It’s been a joy to read John in the New York Times and it is without question an important step for him — a place he’ll improve in lots of ways. However, it must not pass without mention:

Mr. Malik of Gigaom, whose site employed 85 people at its peak, said if he were to start the business today, it would probably be a Facebook page. There is an opportunity, clearly, to reach people there. Money? That’s another matter. “How do I monetize?” he asked. “Still not clear.”

They’ve got him doing kicker quotes."
howwewrite  2016  robinsloan  internet  johnherrman  structure  endings  unfinished  maybe  anyway  style  web  journalism  theawl  nytimes  thecontentwars 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Jen Delos Reyes on Instagram: “Today in the Art in Everyday Life class @uicsaah we read artist manifestos, including Yvonne Rainer's No Manifesto: No to spectacle. No to virtuosity. No to transformations and magic and make-believe. No to the glamour and
"Yvonne Rainer's No Manifesto:

No to spectacle.
No to virtuosity.
No to transformations and magic and make-believe.
No to the glamour and transcendency of the star image.
No to the heroic.
No to the anti-heroic.
No to trash imagery.
No to involvement of performer or spectator.
No to style.
No to camp.
No to seduction of spectator by the wiles of the performer.
No to eccentricity.
No to moving or being moved."
yvonnerainer  manifestos  jendelosreyes  spectacle  virtuosity  style  art  sccentricity  performance  everyday 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Austin Kleon — 10 lessons from designer Tibor Kalman: Perverse...
"1. Everything is an experiment.

You can get a great feel for what Tibor Kalman (1949–1999) was about just from the opening pages of Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist…

[image]

2. Learn on the job.

Peter Hall points out that Tibor was always “learning on the job—or, as someone side of the journalistic vocation, conducting an education in public.”

One way he did that was to hire young designers more talented than him and learn from them:
That was the way I learned. I stood over their shoulders, and learned how graphic design is done. But I was always the boss. It has been a curious phenomenon in my life that I’ve continued pretty much throughout my career; I would try to get the job I couldn’t get, and not know how to do it, and then I would hire people who did know how to do it, and I would direct them. That to me is always the ideal way to work, because you learn very quickly and you have the means to do something, and yet you know nothing about the field, so you can do something original.

3. As soon as you learn how to do something, move on.

[image]
I did two of a number of things. The first one, you fuck it up in an interesting way; the second one, you get it right; and then you’re out of there… I think as long as I don’t know how to do something, I can do it well; and as soon as I have learned how to do something, I will do it less well, because it will be more obvious. I think that goes for most people. I think most people spend too much time doing one thing.

4. Having a style is a kind of death.

[image]

David Byrne, for whom Kalman designed many album covers, including Remain In Light:
Tibor and company don’t have a signature style, and that is a worthy ambition in life…. Having a recognizable style relegates you to the status of quotable icon. And while being an icon is flattering, I imagine, once it happens, you become irrelevent.

My own ambition is to write a song that sounds like I stole it—like “I” didn’t write it, but it has always been there. To get the “I” out of the song is the ultimate compositional coup, whether in music or design.

5. Visual literacy isn’t enough. Designers have to read everything.

Kalman said that “an enormous amount of graphic design is made by people who look at pictures but don’t know how to think about them.”
I started asking job candidates, “What have you read in the last year?” Because I suddenly began to realize that the difference between a good and a bad designer is how much did they know about everything else—biology, history. Because graphic design is just a means of communication, a language, and what you choose to communicate, and how and why on a particular project, that is all the interesting stuff.

6. You don’t necessarily have to be visually motivated to be a designer.

Rick Poynor on Kalman’s red-green colorblindness (I have it, too):
Most designers are designers because of an exceptional intensity in their response to visual form coupled with a degree of talent for manipulating it. Kalman is unusual among those who choose design as a profession in not being a visually motivated person in this sense. He is red-green color blind and, although this is not severe, it means that he treats color as an “idea” rather than as a sensation to which he responds according to intuition or taste. He will know intellectually that “sky blue” is called for to get an effect he wants to achieve without being able to specify for himself which shade of blue it should be.

7. Don’t steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style.

Kalman said it was okay to borrow ideas, but “transform” is the key word: you have to know the context of the ideas and not de-contextualize them, but re-contextualize them:
Reference means just that: You refer to something. It gives you an idea. You create something new.

Real modernism is filled with historical reference and allusion. And in some of the best design today, historical references are used very eloquently. But those examples were produced with an interest in re-contextualizing sources rather than de-contextualizing them.

There’s an important difference between making an allusion and doing a knock-off. Good historicism is… an investigation of the strategies, procedures, methods, routes, theories, tactics, schemes, and modes through which people have worked creatively…. We need to learn from and interrogate our past, not endlessly repeat its recipes.

8. Photographs are neither true nor false.
Early in the history of photography models were used to enact situations for a camera to record. Later, we learned how to retouch images, first by hand, later by rearranging the tiny dots that make up the images. Meanwhile, there has always been the cheapest and easiest way of making photographs lie—simply changing the caption to change the meaning of the image. Some people accept this but still argue the photograph remains in some way uniquely “honest.” They say that for it to exist, some kind of real-life situation also had to exist. They claim that the fact that a camera can be set up by remote control to record whatever passes in front of it somehow confers objectivity. They cling to the idea that the photograph is an inherently “real” or honest image and as such is always on a different plan from an obviously subjective form of visual communication, such as painting. However, I believe that photography is just like painting and that it can lie just as effectively. I do not accept that there is necessarily a “true” moment that the camera captures, because that moment can be manipulated as much as anything else.

9. Children give you new ways of looking at things.

[image]
We chose to increase the complexity of our lives by having children. The greatest benefit of having those children has been to look at the world through their eyes and to understand their level of curiosity and to learn things the way they learn things.

[image]

10. Marry well.

At first, I only new Tibor Kalman as Maira Kalman’s late husband. Isaac Mizrahi might argue that’s as it should be:
Tibor’s most brilliant contribution was to marry Maira. If he hadn’t, I would have. I don’t mean to sound corny and romantic, just that his relationship with her is a work of art. She has an incredible in-born ability to be a touchstone, and pick out what’s good in a room, whether it’s a screenplay, a piece of music, or a piece of furniture. I never think of them seperately, or, his sense of humor or her sense of humor, I think about them together, how much he owes to her and she owes to him.

Maira Kalman painted the closing pages of the book:

[image]
[image]

It’s out-of-print and can be a little hard to get your hands on, but anyone interested in design should give Tibor Kalman: Perverse Optimist a read."
tiborkalman  mairakalman  design  graphicdesign  howwelearn  learning  lifelonglearning  reading  photography  complexity  parenting  children  howwework  style  aesthetics  thinking  howwethink  vidualliteracy  literacy  visuals  steallikeanartist  influences  canon  reality  truth  isaacmizrahi  marriage  partnerships  context  invention  creativity  classideas  favoritebooks  rickpoynor  davidbyrne  talkingheads  failure  careers  work  education  unschooling  deschooling  interdisciplinary  transdisciplinary 
july 2015 by robertogreco
the tyranny of House Style - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
I am terribly troubled by the ever-growing tendency to standardized and prescriptive usage, and I think that the Twentieth century, American-invented conventions of House Rules and House Style, to say nothing of automatic computer functions like Spellcheck and AutoCorrect, have exacted an abrasive, narrowing, and destructive effect on the way writers use language and ultimately on the language itself. Journalism and newspaper writing are one thing; House Style indubitably very valuable there; but as a literary novelist who writes by hand, in a notebook, I want to be able to use language for texture and I've intentionally employed a looser, pre-twentieth century model rather than running my work through any one House Style mill.

When Pietsch reads this to Tartt, who had perhaps forgotten the details of her memo, she replies by expanding on the point:
Well—I'm not saying that the writer's voice is always the highest standard; only that a lot of writers who are fine stylists and whose work I love wouldn't make it past a contemporary copy editor armed with the Chicago Manual, including some of the greatest writers and stylists of the 19th and 20th century. It's not as if we're the French, with the Academy, striving to keep the language pure—fine to correct honest mistakes, but quite apart from questions of punctuation and grammar—of using punctuation and grammar for cadence—English is such a powerful and widely spoken language precisely because it's so flexible, and capacious: a catchall hybrid that absorbs and incorporates everything it comes into contact with. Lexical variety, eccentric constructions and punctuation, variant spellings, archaisms, the ability to pile clause on clause, the effortless incorporation of words from other languages: flexibility, and inclusiveness, is what makes English great; and diversity is what keeps it healthy and growing, exuberantly regenerating itself with rich new forms and usages. Shakespearean words, foreign words, slang and dialect and made-up phrases from kids on the street corner: English has room for them all. And writers—not just literary writers, but popular writers as well—breathe air into English and keep it lively by making it their own, not by adhering to some style manual that gets handed out to college Freshmen in a composition class.

"This is great stuff. I'm reminded of one of Nabokov's letters in which he mentions replying to a bunch of copy-editor corrections with "thunderous stets." As someone with neither the virtuosity nor the titanic ego of Nabokov, I am largely thankful for the work of copy editors, who have saved me from many gross errors over the years — but the tyranny of House Style is a major pain in the ass for any stylistically sensitive writer, because there's no clear avenue of appeal when it's invoked: the editor isn't saying "this is better" but rather "this is just what we do." And you never know — or at any rate I have never been able to figure out — when an editor will give way to authorial passion and/or reason and when he or she will dig in the old heels.

I sometimes wonder whether these inevitable conflicts between editors and writers aren't becoming more intense as more and more writers are blogging and tweeting, that is, writing wholly without editorial supervision. The Wild West of online writing may even cause editors to want all the more to hold firmly to Standards. But when a writer has the skill and thoughtfulness, and experience, of a Donna Tartt, then she deserves to trump House Style. As I expect she does."
alanjacobs  standards  english  standardization  language  michaelpietsch  donnatartt  vladimirnabokov  copyediting  housestyle  writing  style 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Six pieces of wisdom (and one heap of nonsense) | Industry Voice | Design Week
[1] Milton Glaser said, ‘Just enough is more’ …

[2] Howard Aitken said, ‘Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats’

Too much design is style passing for ideas. Stylishness is easy sell because it’s undemanding and nice to have. Intelligent, boat-rocking ideas are harder to conjure up and more difficult to sell because they drag people into their discomfort zone. They take risks, challenge assumptions and take advantage of the unexpected.

[3] Bob Gill said, ‘Each one of my jobs is about things people could have seen themselves if they bothered to look’ …

[4] Larry Smith said, ‘Constraints fuel rather than limit our creativity’ …

[5] Jan Kaplický said, ’It’s not a sign of creativity to have sixty-five ideas for one problem. It’s just a waste of energy’ …

[6] Alan Fletcher said, ‘You’re just pissing about’ …

[one heap of nonsense] ‘…continual optimisation activity…direct unequivocal propositions… convergent tangible context…universal functionality…competitive brandscape analysis…indispensible secret agents of engagement’

This sort of contrived, overblown and self-important nonsense does our industry no good at all. It gives the impression we’ve got something to hide. We’re supposed to be communicators, so let’s say what we mean – and mean what we say. David Ogilvy said, ’Never use jargon words like reconceptualise, demassification, attitudinally, judgementally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass’."
design  via:litherland  miltonglaser  howardaiken  bobgill  larrysmith  jankaplicky  alanfletcher  simplicity  ideas  cv  jargon  language  contraints  creativity  efficiency  stylishness  style 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Free Cinema - Wikipedia
"Free Cinema was a documentary film movement that emerged in England in the mid-1950s. The term referred to an absence of propagandised intent or deliberate box office appeal. Co-founded by Lindsay Anderson, though he later disdained the 'movement' tag, with Karel Reisz, Tony Richardson and Lorenza Mazzetti…

The manifesto was drawn up by Lindsay Anderson and Lorenza Mazzetti at a Charing Cross cafe called The Soup Kitchen, where Mazzetti worked. It reads:

These films were not made together; nor with the idea of showing them together. But when they came together, we felt they had an attitude in common. Implicit in this attitude is a belief in freedom, in the importance of people and the significance of the everyday.

As filmmakers we believe that
      No film can be too personal.
      The image speaks. Sound amplifies and comments.
      Size is irrelevant. Perfection is not an aim.
      An attitude means a style. A style means an attitude."
tonyrichardson  karelreisz  directcinema  cinémavérité  jeanvigo  free  1959  1956  1950s  manifestos  manifesto  glvo  srg  edg  filmmaking  film  style  attitude  perfection  sound  small  size  freedom  everyday  freecinema  documentaries  documentary  thesoupkitchen  lindsayanderson  lorenzamazetti  wabi-sabi 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Mark Jenkins: Go Figure! on Vimeo
[For me, the most interesting bit comes towards the end (8:57 and on) when Jenkins speaks about teaching, holding workshops, and sharing his technique…]

"The basic casting process is quite simple and I've taught it to like seven-year-olds and up. The learning curve is really low… And I don't even know if it's good, but they see my work and then they see the technique and a lot of people gravitate towards doing something that they've seen on my site, which is usually an outdoor installation.

You always hesitate to try to…teach. People can look at your work and get inspired, but if they look too long they end up creating your own work. And what seems to have work best…longer workshops in Russia…sometimes I've done projects…Getting used to being outdoors and using objects. It's more that they learn a perspective than learn… That seems to be the most valuable thing that they get out of it. Or even just learning a different way to see the city."
art  2012  perspective  cities  noticing  learning  style  sculpture  technique  streetart  markjenkins 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Advanced Style: Age and Beauty - NOWNESS
"We're having a senior moment: From textile mogul Iris Apfel in her trademark owl spectacles to artist Ilona Royce Smithkin in DIY orange eyelashes, the stars of photographer Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog represent the most fashionable older ladies and gentlemen of New York and beyond. Today on NOWNESS we feature Cohen’s iconic style mavens in an exclusive short by filmmaker Lina Plioplyte. “Hearing them speak about clothing is so fascinating,” says Cohen, who launched his site in 2008 and also has a documentary in the works. “There is history and memories in what they are wearing and I think it’s important to show that storytelling aspect, as well as their vitality and creativity.” Cohen spoke to NOWNESS about silver-haired confidence."
documentary  film  fashion  elderly  age  expression  via:kottke  style  beauty  art 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The art of working in public « Snarkmarket ["Work in public. Reveal nothing."]
"…two very different dudes…different positions…different objectives…both written in essentially the same style, with common characteristics both superficial—a smart but very informal voice that reads like a long email from your smartest coolest friend ever—& structural:

…both conjure a sense that the piece is almost being written as you read it…slightly chaotic & totally thrilling…both let you inside their heads…But!—they don’t let you all the way inside. There’s plenty withheld…here’s the genius of the style: they don’t tell you much at all…

I tend to zero in on this kind of writing because I aspire to do more of it myself, & to do it better. Working in public like this can be a lot of fun, for writer & reader alike, but more than that: it can be a powerful public good…When you work in public, you create an emissary (media cyborg style) that then walks the earth, teaching others to do your kind of work as well. And that is transcendently cool."

[See the great comments too.]

[See also Clive Thompson's post, which references this one: http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2011/08/the_art_of_publ.php ]
writing  business  public  robinsloan  publicthinking  mattwebb  berg  berglondon  alexismadrigal  classideas  transparency  surprise  revelation  style  newliberalarts  chaos  publicgood  learning  teaching  mediacyborgs  sharing  web  internet  informality  balance  spontaneity  immediacy  thinkinginpublic  thinkingoutloud  2011  comments  questions  possibility  pondering  emptiness  workinginpublic 
july 2011 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma - storify.com
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  comments  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
For Dewey, Bellow, and Sweetness: The Story of the Chicago Comma - storify.com
"The University of Oxford no longer uses the "Oxford" or serial Comma in its own publications. Even though the serial comma is still recommended by Oxford University Press, we feel that the time has come for the torch to be passed to a new city on a new continent. We say: let the so-called Oxford Comma become hereafter known as the Chicago Comma."
timcarmody  danielsinker  oxford  oxfordcomma  punctuation  chicago  2011  manualofstyle  writing  style  ego  humor  appropriation  renaming  classideas  storify  commas  howwewrite  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  serialcomma  language  communication  johndewey  saulbellow  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Oxford Writing and Style Guide no longer recommending the Oxford comma
"The kottke.org style guide still advocates the use of the Oxford comma, but take that with a grain of salt; I also misuse semicolons, use too many (often unnecessary) parentheses -- not to mention m-dashes that are actually rendered as two n-dashes in old-school ASCII fashion -- use too many commas, and place punctuation outside quotation marks, which many people find, in the words of Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted "Theodore" Logan, "bogus". Oh, and in another nod to the old-school, I also use "dumb quotes" instead of the fancier and, I guess, technically more correct "smart quotes". (via, who else?, @tcarmody (or should that be "whom else?"))"
writing  style  oxford  commas  kottke  howwewrite  punctuation  parentheses  quotationmarks  dumbquotes  2011  serialcomma  oxfordcomma  language  communication  styleguides 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Curtis gets Curtised | Abject [This is good.]
"I’m only one-third through Adam Curtis’s latest film, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, and as usual I am hooked in and provoked by his work. But as with his previous films, there is a certain something about how Curtis constructs his arguments… The way he picks out a distinct element or personal value and makes it the core value that explains EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong, I would describe The Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares, and The Trap as essential viewing, and since his films are readily available online I hope lots of people watch them. He’s also a brilliant blogger.

But I can’t ignore that something feels off for me in his rhetorical concatenations… and this slick parody helps me to understand what that something is:"

[This video embedded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1bX3F7uTrg ]
adamcurtis  satire  style  documentary  allwathedoverbymachinesoflovinggrace  via:leighblackall  bbc  2011  video  collagevideo  collage 
june 2011 by robertogreco
On the pleasures of reading Kant. « The Pinocchio Theory
"Some philosophers are such great writers and stylists that they are a pleasure to read — even in translation. Plato and Nietzsche are the most obvious examples, though I’d also include Spinoza, Hume, and Wittgenstein, at the very least, on my short list of great philosophical stylists. And the rhetorical effects of style are a big part of what attracts readers to such philosophers — Nietzsche, especially, seduces more on account of his style than on account of his actual arguments. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s a delusion, in any case, to think that you can separate logic from rhetoric, or content from style. Even mathematicians value “elegant” proofs. In things less cut and dried than mathematics — like metaphysics and ethics — style and rhetoric are even more important…"
philosophy  kant  rhetoric  stylists  writing  style  wittgenstein  nietzsche  hume  spinoza  plato  socrates 
march 2011 by robertogreco
Boutiques.com
"Boutiques.com is a personalized shopping experience, brought to you by Google, that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers -- celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers. Boutiques uses visual technology to help fashionistas discover and shop their look and creates the opportunity for designers to showcase their collections and latest inspirations online.<br />
<br />
Boutiques.com is built on technology developed by our team of fashion experts who work with engineers to “teach” our computer systems to understand various patterns, pairings, and genre definitions. When signed into your account, Boutiques.com learns about your style and preferences and in turn, provides you better results and recommendations over time. Ultimately, Boutiques.com will provide shoppers with a much richer and interactive shopping experience and help drive traffic to retailers' websites."
boutiques  boutiques.com  google  online  clothes  clothing  design  shopping  fashion  webservice  2010  style 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Polysyndeton - Wikipediaia
"Polysyndeton is the use of several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted (as in "he ran and jumped and laughed for joy"). It is a stylistic scheme used to achieve a variety of effects: it can increase the rhythm of prose, speed or slow its pace, convey solemnity or even ecstasy and childlike exuberance. In grammar, a polysyndetic coordination is a coordination in which all conjuncts are linked by coordinating conjunctions (usually and, but, or, nor in English)."
english  grammar  habits  words  writing  cv  via:russelldavies  repetition  conjunctions  style 
may 2010 by robertogreco
Style Icon: Cayce Pollard from William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" ---> NOGOODFORME.COM
"You'd think such an allergy to brands would put a cramp in a girl's style, but here's the other rub: Cayce has style in spades. She may be allergic to fashion, but she still loves clothes. You can tell, because the novel talks about her clothes a lot. (And she has a girly side: she enjoys spa treatments and does Pilates, for God's sake!) Her limitations with clothing actually work to give her a strong look, which the book encapsulates best:"
fashion  fiction  books  marketing  williamgibson  style  glvo  srg  patternrecognition  cosplay  clothing  wearable  wearables 
march 2010 by robertogreco
50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
"It's sad. Several generations of college students learned their grammar from the uninformed bossiness of Strunk and White, and the result is a nation of educated people who know they feel vaguely anxious and insecure whenever they write "however" or "than me" or "was" or "which," but can't tell you why. The land of the free in the grip of The Elements of Style.
writing  education  strunk&white  language  criticism  english  linguistics  communication  academics  grammar  critique  style 
december 2009 by robertogreco
further to the previous posts, just a thought - a grammar
"musical taste is not just about music, & that this is a good thing. This has always struck me as one of the things that’s interesting about pop music, especially when you think about it in a sort of teenaged sense — the way our tastes & affiliations are informed by, or even trying to express, things about us. Where we fit in. Whose side we’re on. Where we stand on issues of style & culture & the politics of just being a person who likes things. When it comes to adults & music critics, though, this tendency can get out of hand; it can abstract itself & spin off to a level where we are only just barely using the mere pretense of music to air grievances about other things entirely....sometimes it can be way easier to start complaining about how everyone else around is boring & predictably middle-class and blinkered and insular than it is to admit that on some level you are choosing this environment, & that there are reasons you choose it instead of another one."
music  taste  class  politics  via:russelldavies  criticism  posturing  identity  society  teens  human  behavior  style  culture  middleclass  bourgeois 
december 2009 by robertogreco
The death of uncool « Prospect Magazine
"We’re living in a stylistic tropics. There’s a whole generation of people able to access almost anything from almost anywhere & they don’t have the same localised stylistic sense that my generation grew up with. It’s all alive, all “now,” in an ever-expanding present, be it Hildegard of Bingen or a Bollywood soundtrack. The idea that something is uncool because it’s old or foreign has left the collective consciousness. I think this is good news. As people become increasingly comfortable with drawing their culture from a rich range of sources—cherry-picking whatever makes sense to them—it becomes more natural to do the same thing w/ their social, political & other cultural ideas. The sharing of art is a precursor to the sharing of other human experiences, for what is pleasurable in art becomes thinkable in life."
culture  music  art  brianeno  design  uncool  cool  change  style 
november 2009 by robertogreco
A Continuous Lean.
"A Continuous Lean is about things. American things, good looking things, well designed things and all sorts of other things. Sometimes A Continuous Lean even talks about people and ideas. That’s it, keep it simple. More good, less bad."
us  beausage  clothing  fashion  style  culture  design  americana  history  madeinusa  shoes  wabi-sabi 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Blambot Comic Fonts and Lettering
" Comic book lettering has some grammatical and aesthetic traditions that are quite unique. What follows is a list that every letterer eventually commits to his/her own mental reference file. The majority of these points are established tradition, sprinkled with modern trends and a bit of my own opinion having lettered professionally for a few years now. The majority of these ideas have been established by Marvel and DC, but opinions vary from editor to editor, even within the same company. I'm often asked to bend or break these rules based on what "feels" best, or more likely, the space constraints within a panel.
comics  writing  typography  convention  graphics  style  howto  blambot 
february 2009 by robertogreco
The Post-Materialist | Magazine Poetry - The Moment Blog - NYTimes.com
"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 - NYTimes.com [see also: http://imomus.livejournal.com/401409.html]
"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
Coyote Teaching | Sicheii Yazhi
"Coyote teaching is cousin to the Socratic method, but has broader application and is less focused, ordered, or systematic...coyote is a trickster figure...disturbing you or making you question your accepted beliefs and methods for doing things"
constructivism  education  teaching  alternative  learning  change  schools  style  anti-teaching  via:hrheingold  socraticmethod  creativity  balance  risk 
june 2008 by robertogreco
ideasonideas » Blog Archive » F*** style
"Perhaps we have to see design less like art (which is how I fear it is still classified by many), and more like engineering. The data and ability to measure results exists. We simply have to put hard analysis ahead of our personal impulses."
advertising  design  graphic  marketing  engineering  critique  publishing  trends  innovation  opinion  style 
february 2008 by robertogreco
PopMatters | Columns | Rob Horning | Marginal Utility | The Design Imperative
"We are consigned to communicating through design, but it’s an impoverished language that can only say one thing: “That’s cool.” Design ceases to serve our needs, and the superficial qualities of useful things end up cannibalizing their functionality. The palpability of the design interferes, distracts from the activity an item is supposed to be helping you do. The activity becomes subordinate to the tools. You become the tool."
design  critique  criticism  function  form  utility  popular  aesthetics  retail  target  consumerism  consumer  society  competition  popularity  symbolism  industrial  products  customization  hipsters  marketing  image  personality  handmade  books  possessions  materialism  objects  fashion  style  commerce  variety  hipsterism 
january 2008 by robertogreco
stevenberlinjohnson.com: Literary Style By The Numbers
"I compiled stats for 3-4 books for each author, except Gladwell who has written two, and then plotted them on a scatter chart, with the y axis representing % complex words and the x axis representing words per sentence. The results were pretty fascinatin
amazon  analysis  books  complexity  words  sentences  statistics  style  visualization  information  language  literature  reference  writing  sales 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Surfin’ Safari - Blog Archive » Downloadable Fonts
"WebKit now supports CSS @font-face rules. With font face rules you can specify downloadable custom fonts on your Web pages or alias one font to another. This article on A List Apart describes the feature in detail. All of the examples linked to in that a
browser  css  design  fonts  download  typography  webkit  webdesign  webdev  software  style  safari  browsers 
october 2007 by robertogreco
russell davies: powerpoint as a toy for thought
"The Plenitude [book]...nice discussion of the problems and delights of creating 'stuff'...'Toy For Thought' made me realise what I'd love to see happen. I'd love someone to do to PowerPoint what the Wii did to Xbox and the Playstation. What might this me
presentations  powerpoint  keynote  physical  interactive  visualization  style  information  data  toys  play  performance  images  photography  interaction  wii  haptic  motion  senses 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Sartorialist: August 2007
"To move to a city where you are not afraid to try something new because all the people that labeled who THEY think you are are not their to say "that's not you"..."you've changed". Well, maybe that person didn't change but finally became who they really
sociology  style  identity  fashion 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Passivator (Ftrain.com)
"A passive verb and adverb flagger for Mozilla-derived browsers, Safari, and Opera 7.5, with caveats."
grammar  language  english  writing  patterns  productivity  editing  javascript  style  literature  linguistics  paulford 
september 2007 by robertogreco
Olia Lialina: Vernacular Web 2
"here’s the question: how does the Web look now, when it’s no longer seen as the technology of the future, when it’s intertwined with our daily lives and filled by people who are not excited by the mere fact of its existence?"
webdesign  culture  teens  fashion  facebook  myspace  net  education  design  society  style  website  webdev  web  online  internet  history  globalization  anthropology 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Chicago Manual of Style Online
"The bible of the publishing and research community is now available on your desktop. The Chicago Manual of Style Online is completely searchable and easy to use, providing quick answers to your style and editing questions."
bibliography  books  design  writing  reference  research  grammar  english  editing  punctuation  language  guides  standards  publishing  journalism  style 
july 2007 by robertogreco
In Praise of Chain Stores
"They aren’t destroying local flavor—they’re providing variety and comfort"
business  taste  capitalism  consumerism  culture  development  fashion  geography  restaurants  shopping  society  style  us  retail  stores  chains 
december 2006 by robertogreco
metacool: Beausage
"I'd like to tell you about a new aesthetic term called "beausage". It sounds French but it's not; instead it's a synthetic combination of the words beauty and usage, and describes the beauty that comes with using something."
beausage  design  words  linguistics  age  beauty  use  wear  style  wabi-sabi 
december 2006 by robertogreco
A List Apart: Articles: The ALA Primer: A Guide for New Readers
"If your house’s foundation is good, the house will stand for years despite the changing world around it. So, too, with websites. Here are a few of the articles that detail the theories, concepts, and practices on which much of the modern web is built."
design  css  bibliography  programming  graphics  reference  resources  style  tips  web  html  guides  internet  website  webdesign  galleries  webdev 
october 2006 by robertogreco
Exactitudes
"Rotterdam-based photographer Ari Versluis and stylist Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities o
photography  projects  social  europe  images  clothing  anthropology  tautologies  art  design  demographics  cities  fashion  culture  galleries  behavior  ethnography  human  patterns  people  portraits  identity  psychology  groups  sociology  individuality  style 
february 2006 by robertogreco
A List Apart: Articles: The Bathing Ape Has No Clothes (and other notes on the distinction between style and design)
"Until fairly recently, that is, when I started to notice a new feeling creeping into the sites I frequented. In what were nominally gathering places to discuss and celebrate online design, design seemed to be just about the last thing on anyone’s mind.
art  culture  design  web  community  fashion  webdesign  style  webdev 
december 2005 by robertogreco

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