Blue – An Erotic Life

Wow.  Someone finally made something beautiful and true with blobby lumps of clay. BLUE: An Erotic Life is a stop motion animation that narrates the life story of a blob of clay dealing with sexual addiction. The piece plays on the contrast between graphic adult content and grotesque stop motion. The combination of the two makes for an absurd, dark humored short film. BLUE: An Erotic Life is my BFA Student Thesis from Parsons School of Design. by Tibo Charroppin, via Coilhouse

Half-Remembered and Half-Right: The Bullys “Sluts”

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] I’ve been looking for this track for about six years now and I just found it on an old data CD I just dug up out of an eternally unpacked cardboard box.  It stuck in my head for a few reasons: About damn time there was a good honest anthem about preferring ’em promiscuous, nicely under two minutes.  Know thyself, said that famous Greek. The heart of this band was Johnny Heff, a NYC firefighter who died when the Twin Towers collapsed. The spring of 2001 was my first headlong dive into punk rock appreciation, coming to it from the nerdier side of things (being a long-time Sonic Youth fan, going through that awkward ska face in high school and then, finally, wolfing down Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces in about three days).  This being the heady early days of file sharing, I took […]

A Helpful Reminder That Everything You Were Taught is Wrong

Matt Yglesias had a good post this morning about the sort of dumbed down cause -> effect common wisdom that gets tossed around at all levels of education and historical analysis.  In this case, he takes aim at the old chestnut we all learned in high school about the poor Germans in the Weimar Republic running around with wheelbarrows full of paper marks to buy a loaf of bread and how that hyperinflation made all the Germans toss up their hands and say “hey, why don’t we give this Hitler guy a try?” I understand that this is an accurate recounting of German folk history, but I wish people recounting it would note that Germans sort of misremember what happened. The hyperinflation of 1919-1923 was bad, but there’s a reason charts of it end in 1923, namely that the democratic government of Germany managed to tame the problem and in […]

Song of a Weakling Child: The Dispute Between Aphex Twin and Stockhausen is over

This clever video fuses two masters of electronic music together: Aphex Twin‘s “To Cure a Weakling Child” and Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s “Song of the Youth”. In 1995 BBC Radio 3 recordings from several electronic artists including Aphex Twin, Plasticman, Scanner and Daniel Pemberton for a story called “Advice to Clever Children“. What Stockhausen had to say about Aphex Twin: I heard the piece Aphex Twin of Richard James carefully: I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work Song Of The Youth, which is electronic music, and a young boy’s voice singing with himself. Because he would then immediately stop with all these post-African repetitions, and he would lookfor changing tempi and changing rhythms, and he would not allow to repeatany rhythm if it were varied to some extent and if it did not have a direction in its sequence of variations. And Mr. Richard D James’ […]

People in Paper Houses Shouldn’t Throw Molotovs

Those gentle souls at Atlas Obscura reminded me about this here paper house that Elis F. Stenman built back in the 1920s.  Yes, paper.  Specifically, newspapers. The Rockport Paper House’s walls, doors, and furniture are made of varnished newspapers—roughly 100,000 of them. 215 layers of paper were stuck together with a homemade glue of flour, water, and apple peels to make 1-inch-thick panels for the walls. Apple peels?  Well, while I couldn’t find a glue recipe (not even among wheatpasters, the most opinionated of DIY glue makers) it makes a bit of sense, as that peels would have some amount of pectin in them, a fiber, gelling agent and occasional adhesive used to seal cigars. While the idea of paper as a building material is not uncommon–see China and Japan–this all-recycled newspaper approach is definitely inspiring to a materials scavenger like myself.  I’m reminded of the newspaper wood by designer […]

Space Shuttle Crew Operation Manual

The Space Shuttle Crew Operations Manual is available to anyone who wants to read. With the shuttle program retiring it you made need it if you are lucky to beat Space Center Houston, Seattle Museum, or numerous states vying for the Space Shuttle you might need this. Some of the pages are beautiful and you can download the PDF (41.2mb) or look at some samples below. It’s not the most interesting read at hundreds of pages, but some of the diagrams are beautiful.

Nomad/Filmmaker Bill Brown

Bill Brown is the sort of guy we all wanted to be in film school.  Traveling incessantly, chronicling the ride with a trusty Bolex and a rolling narration that chronicles the corners, the details, the little things and carefully arranges them into constellations to invoke The Big Cosmic Everything.  He makes zines, fills his website with vignettes from Detroit, Lubbuck, Texas and California City, California.  Rust, decay, space, dust, emotion, travel. May I recommend his compilation DVD The Next Best Place?  A better 25 dollars you are not likely to spend with an education on Spring-Heeled Jack, nuclear missiles, the Roswell crash and the little joys of being in motion in North America.

1-Bit Symphony: Jewel Case as Orchestra

Tristan Perich is releasing a live performance that creates itself within the confines of a CD jewel case. Though housed in a CD jewel case like his first circuit album (1-Bit Music 2004-05), 1-Bit Symphony is not a recording in the traditional sense; it literally “performs” its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit—programmed by the artist and assembled by hand—plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself. Reminds me of of the Loud Objects Noise Toy, albeit in somewhat more elegant packaging¹.  It’s available on pre-order for $29.  Would love a kit or an Instructable to make my own. Saw this over at notcot. ¹Edit: That’d likely be because Tristan Perich is a member of Loud Objects.  How foolish am I?