Between November 22-28 the whole world will light up with seven days of Carnivalesque Rebellion!
Think of it as an adventure, as therapy, as Buy Nothing Day times a hundred … think of it as the World Cup of global activism – a week of postering and pranks, of talking back at your profs and speaking truth to power. Some of us will poster our schools and neighborhoods and just break our daily routines for a week. Others will chant, cut up their credit cards in big box stores and pull off theatrical stunts that provoke mass cognitive dissonance. Others still will drop stink bombs in strategic locations and engage in the most visceral kind of civil disobedience.
In all, millions of people around the world will walk out of their schools, offices and factories for a week and live!
To pull this off, we need to learn from the failures of the recent G8/G20 protests. A few sensational and spectacular acts of violence (police cars on fire, window smashing) will not provoke the kind of global mindshift that our world so desperately needs. And neither will sitting at home yelling at our screens. If our Seven Days of Carnivalesque Rebellion are to succeed we’ll need a plethora of actions that cannot be dismissed as petty acts of vandalism, that genuinely challenge the power of megacorporations, that make people think about the climate tipping points now descending upon us and that highlight the perversity of a system that has brought us to the zero point of systemic collapse.
What would you do if you could mobilize thousands of connected protesters in cities all over the world? Send your best ideas for coordinated acts of civil disobedience to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share the most compelling ones in subsequent briefs.
Graffiti Artist Dain Teaches the French About American Beauty at the Lebenson Gallery, Paris
Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Dain’s opening his first solo exhibition at the Lebenson Gallery, in Paris’ hip Marais district tomorrow.
Entitled ‘Born Again’ as a nudge to his use of old-school icons, the show presents pieces made exclusively for the occasion. The artist’s style is deeply cross-genre: he mixes street art references and graffiti with drawing, collage and varnish. Some pieces are pasted and finished in the street, others are destined to canvases.
He’s made a name for himself by hijacking images of classical beauties and creating urban, deconstructed portraits of 50s Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly. The process starts with a black and white photo, that he places into a collaged, surreal universe composed of old ads, logos, and scattered words picked from magazines. He inserts each figure in a different, stereotypically ‘feminine’ activity: some traditional, for example, in the midst of flower picking, others intentionally contemporary, such as taking a photo with a cell phone. His trademark is arguably the circled, dripping eye, like a graffitied monocle, a poke at classical chic.
This Pop Art-meets-90s-Street-Art pieces expose a society troubled by ephemeral fame and beauty. His work suggests a longing for yesteryear and stable, timeless standards – contrasted with today’s violently saturated urban landscape.
On the eve of his opening, he spoke about beauty, fame and black & white.
ELLE: How would you describe your technique?
Dain: My technique is a mixture of collage, silkscreen, spray paint and writing. I love bringing back the 40s and 50s with a modern twist. It was a classy time, a more simply time..
ELLE: Would you call yourself a street artist?
Dain: I don’t call myself a ‘street artist’ or this or that type of artist, too many people are looking for a title. I respect all art, whatever that may be.
ELLE: So then what are you going for?
Dain: I create beauty… I think no matter how long time may pass that always remains. Too many artists try the ‘shock’ affect or have some kind of political message. I think those wear off after a while.
ELLE: Is there a message behind your work?
Dain: For me it is not so much about the beauty of a particular actress. Fame, celebrity status and beauty all disappear over time. What I love about the old black and white films or photos was that you tried to fill in the emptiness that was there. My mother always said that ‘todays women leave nothing to the imagination’ … I think often that is so true.
ELLE: How do you select the women you talk to?
Dain: Not sure. For me it is not so much who the celebrity is, but more about the expression of that person. The eyes can speak so much.
‘Born Again’ is on June 24-July 24 2010 at the Lebenson Gallery, 56 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris
You think it means: Heaven-sent manna, completely devoid of any synthetic or artificial substance
It actually means: Not as artificial as it could be
The standard: Organic food is grown without pesticides, hormones, synthetic fertilizers, artificial flavor enhancers, or genetically engineered organisms. The U.S. organic standard as set by the Department of Agriculture is 554 pages long and lists dozens of prohibited ingredients, from arsenic to strychnine. Certain enzymes, acids, and waxes, however, pass the feds’ organic test.
Producers say: “As a farmer, I like the challenge of making something grow with as few outside inputs as possible. On my dinner table, it’s a matter of health.” —Carmen Fernholz, farmer in Madison, Minnesota
Beware of: Food that says it’s “made with” organic ingredients. This is not the same as “organic.” Look for the USDA seal.
What it says: FAIR TRADE
You think it means: Short-circuiting a system that forces some men to pick beans so others can recline in coffee shops
It actually means: Tipping farmers on other continents
The standard: Suppliers have to meet an international standard for wages, labor rights, and working conditions. Small worker-run farming cooperatives are preferred suppliers, and are guaranteed a set minimum price for their crops.
Certified by: TransFair USA, a private nonprofit
Producers say: “Fair Trade coffee has … more body, fewer defects and a stronger aroma. With cocoa, we look for the same high quality, aromatic cacao that is used to produce fine chocolates.” —Santagio Paz, member of farming co-op, Peru
Beware of: Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, which just this year began marketing a Fair Trade Certified coffee product, perhaps to smooth over well-documented allegations of using child slaves to harvest cocoa in Africa.
What it says: ALL NATURAL
You think it means: From the earth’s very bosom, unadulterated by the foul hand of man
It actually means: Less “natural” than organic, making it about as natural as polyester
The standard: The FDA allows “all natural” to appear on products that don’t contain added colors or “artificial flavors.” Some plant and animal derivatives like high-fructose corn syrup qualify as “natural” but must appear in the product’s ingredients list.
Certified by: No one, though companies face big federal penalties if they lie on their labels. Caveat emptor.
Producers say: “For us the term ‘natural’ means products made with no synthetic ingredients, including artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.” —Elisabeth Wenner, spokesperson, Kraft Foods
Beware of: “Natural flavorings” listed among the ingredients. All kinds of fermented, distilled, and otherwise chemically treated substances can pass through this loophole.
What it says: DOLPHIN SAFE
You think it means: No dolphins were harmed or killed during the making of this tuna
It actually means: Dolphin-friendly
The standard: “Purse-seine” nets are the most dolphin-hazardous fishing tool. These giant floating tea bags are often intentionally set on dolphins, which are known to swim with schools of tuna. Purse-seine netting is allowed, so long as no dolphin mortalities are observed. Boats that use purse-seine nets are assigned a “dolphin mortality limit”—usually around 50 dolphins per boat per year.
Certified by: Observers from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission
Producers say: “When I shop in the U.S., I don’t even always look for the dolphin-safe label. Pretty much all the tuna on the supermarket shelf is dolphin-safe.” —David Bratten, scientist at the IATTC; former tuna-boat observer
Beware of: Not much. The dolphin-safe label is a big success. The number of dolphins killed by fisherman in the tropical Pacific fell from 132,000 in 1986 to less than 1,500 in 2004, according to the IATTC.
What it says: NOT ANIMAL TESTED
You think it means: The makers of this toothpaste or mascara product would never hurt a fly, let alone a rabbit
It actually means: “Cruelty-Lite,” but not quite “Cruelty-Free”
The standard: Companies agree to conduct no animal testing, but may still market products and ingredients that were tested on animals in the past. All suppliers must also make a written commitment to stop testing. Overall, the standard is fairly rigorous, developed by an international coalition that includes the Humane Society.
Certified by: A private independent auditor, every three years
Producers say: “The rabbit means we’re helping the earth by not being cruel to animals. … It’s just one of the many things we do to help ‘Spaceship Earth,’ as my father would say.” —Ralph Bronner, VP, Dr. Bronner’s Soap
Beware of: The words “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals”—they are meaningless without the leaping bunny logo. Also, keep an eye on animal-friendly Tom’s of Maine, which was recently acquired by Colgate-Palmolive.
What it says: LOW FAT
You think it means: “This food will make you thin”
It actually means: Less fat (though perhaps more sugar and flavor engineering)
The standard: In the U.S., “Low Fat” means no more than three grams of fat per serving. “Fat Free” means less than half a gram per serving. Entreés and main courses are granted a bit of a loophole—no more than 30 percent of their calories can come from fat.
Certified by: The FDA sets the standard, but there are no regular outside audits
Producers say: “Fat is usually where the flavor is. But the consumer wants less fat in their diet, so lowfat is a balance, a compromise.” —Albert Straus, president, Straus Family Creamery, Marshall, California
Beware of: Two-percent milk. Thanks to the dairy lobby, it is labeled “reduced fat,” even though it contains 62 percent of the fat found in “whole” milk. Also, remember that not all fats are created equal. Saturated, tropical, and trans fats are bad.
[mashable] freedom of information & knowledge:wikipedia & pirate bay
WikiLeaks is currently in the news because its Afghan War logs comprise one of the largest and most controversial intelligence leaks to date. But while WikiLeaks is relatively new to the public, it is actually a product of a long-established culture. That culture has already had a banner-bearer; a quintessential exemplification of its values — The Pirate Bay. WikiLeaks is akin to The Pirate Bay, but for another purpose. WikiLeaks disregards the letter of the law and grants political analysts and citizens new information, then defends that choice with an argument for a higher virtue: Freedom of information and knowledge. The founding figures behind WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay each claim to place that value above all others — that, and a little bit of anti-establishment zeal.At this point, its name is merely symbolic — a statement of philosophical association. WikiLeaks is not a wiki, but shares the same culture, along with The Pirate Bay, Linux, and the open-source movement. For decades, the members of this “hacker” community have espoused the free flow of information in a world without borders, where no institution, neither corporation nor government, could hinder independent thought and the democratization of knowledge.The connections between WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay are not merely conceptual. There are also more direct correlations. Both WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay have been hosted by Swedish Internet service provider PRQ, which also hosted the website of insurgents in Chechnya who sought a publishing platform that would not represent any established state. It’s the Swiss bank of Internet providers, and a bastion of 21st century hacker values and individualism.In The New Yorker’s detailed profile of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, it’s clear that he belongs to this tradition. He began his adult life as a computer hacker with no formal education. Though he did eventually attend college, he had nothing good to say of the experience. This was in part because his mother discouraged him from traditional education, fearing it might rob him of his individualism and will to learn. Today, it seems almost as if Assange is trying to live out the radical philosophies of Ayn Rand.We all know the stories of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs — computer whizzes who dropped out of college because they had technological revolutions to tend to. Assange is in some ways cut from the same cloth, though his choice has not yet earned him dramatic wealth, and his commitment to openness is more radical.But through his project, the tradition has reached the world stage in a whole new way. Computer hackers with this Internet-born, fundamentalist philosophy of information and individual entrepreneurship are not just dictating the terms of technology and digital entertainment, but of journalism, political discourse and military engagement.WikiLeaks and The Pirate Bay are also similar in this regard: You can say what you will of the ethics of it all, but you have to admit it’s remarkable.
If companies like Apple listened to some of these short-sighted demands from users, we’d have an uglier and bulkier iPhone with a keyboard. It undoubtedly wouldn’t be as good. That’s because most users have no imagination. They want what they know. When they say they want the future, what they are really saying is that they want a moderately updated version of the past.
Between info received from NYCtheblog and some suspecting images via Google Maps, there appears there may be a secret pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
This is completely uncalled for. Clearly some hipster’s parents went to the trouble of either building their undeserving son/daughter a pool or they just sent numerous checks to them and indicated in the memo line “For a pool”.
Correct me if I’m wrong (you better not correct me), but pools don’t really mix with hipsters do they? People wearing knit hats and bathing in 100+ degree temperatures don’t really work.
Where is this pool and how do I get invited to go?
The 5 Best and 5 Worst Music Biopic Casting Decisions
1. Amy Adams as Janis Joplin
We recently learned that Amy Adams, whose sweet, girlish film persona could not be farther from the gritty, hard-drinking, raspy-voiced rock legend’s, has landed the role of Janis Joplin in an as yet untitled biopic. Though we’re excited to see a movie about the Texan crooner who died too young, we just can’t picture this doe-eyed leading lady in the starring role.
Quaid’s over-the-top caricature of The Killer paints broad brush strokes over one of the most complicated and influential musicians to emerge from the 1950s. Cultivating a Southern yokel accent and crazy eyes, Quaid turns Lewis’s devilish mannerisms into a cheap joke.
3. Hayden Christensen as “Musician” (Bob Dylan) in Factory Girl
Though his character is officially known as “Musician,” it’s not hard to deduce that Christensen is supposed to be impersonating Bob Dylan in this Edie Sedgwick biopic. It’s almost painful to watch him fake a raspy voice and speak in heavy-handed jive talk to imitate the folk hero in his prime.
Portraying one of the most powerful blues singers ever, Ross adds a glossy disco sheen that completely obscures Holiday’s distinctive voice. With Ross’s syrupy voice on the soundtrack, striking Holiday songs like “Strange Fruit” and “The Man I Love” feel lightweight, and the movie amounts to little more than a two-hour karaoke session.
In this postmodern biopic, Bob Dylan’s ever-changing persona is fragmented into seven characters that take on everything from Dylan’s early Woody Guthrie period to his Christian “rebirth” in the ’80s. Richard Gere plays the backwoods, late-’70s Dylan featured on albums like John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, yet in his performance as Billy the Kid, he’s all Western with little hint of the musician who was supposed to be his inspiration.
The web is just now beginning to try to start catching up to print in terms of designing with cool typography in mind, but for now, print mediums such as poster designs remain the place to find the best typographic inspiration. This collection features everything from clean and simple typography to crazy and complex typography treatments that must have taken hours upon hours to complete and perfect.
All that I have done since reinstating internet into my life is read Mashable & Flavorpill. Right now all I can think is how awesome it would be to work for either site (you reading this out there?).
And after commandeering an iPad for the day my Apple love has been fully renewed. I don’t care about the bumpers or Droid’s new FlashTime - Apple is the sexier product. period.
But seriously - at least at this point in my life (or the week) I am loving the fact that I can discuss the above in my classes and that my professors are just as excited about the Adobe Apple wars or “Digital Diplomacy” as I am
Percentage of male artists at NYC galleries: Tony Shafrazi 95% Rare Gallery 89% Leo Koenig 87% John Connelly Presents 86% Anton Kern 86% Marlborough 86% Matthew Marks 85% Mary Boone 83% Derek Eller 82% Gagosian 82% Team 81%
Percentage of male artists in major museums: National…
The last couple of days have been an Old Spice explosion, as one of the most popular viral campaigns in recent history — in which the Old Spice Guy made personalized videos for fans, randoms and prominent bloggers alike — has taken over the social media realm. But how popular was it really? Visible Measures has some nifty numbers for us.
First, here’s the basics:
Number of videos made: 180+
Number of video views: 5.9 million
Number of comments: 22,500
And that’s since Tuesday.
The campaign, which stars The Most Interesting Man in the World 2.0 Isaiah Mustafa, launched in February centered around the theme “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” The original ad attracted 19 million views to date across all platforms (not just the below YouTube clip).
Next came “The Return of The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” which premiered a few weeks ago and has already garnered 6.9 million views.
As you can see, the campaign has only continued to grow in popularity — likely due to increased press/brand recognition.
According to Visible Measures, “Old Spice Responses” — a.k.a the string of custom-made vids — is one of the fastest-growing online video campaigns of all time. The company compares the endeavor to some of the most popular viral videos to date below, and how they’ve grown over the course of 24 hours (to be fair, “Old Spice Responses” had a time limit attached, so there was more urgency to participate with this particular string of videos than there was to get in on, say, the Susan Boyle craze).
Using Viewers to Go Viral
What’s genius about this endeavor is how Old Spice and marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy have used viewers to go viral. Yesterday, I was chatting with Dan Greenberg of Sharethrough — a company that seeds viral videos for brands — about the campaign, and he pointed out that, “Brands don’t make viral videos, users make videos viral.” That’s exactly what Old Spice achieved, rather handily.
Read Write Web has an excellent piece on how exactly this campaign worked, explaining how a team of “tech geeks, marketers and writers” gathered together and tapped everything from Facebook and Twitter to Reddit and 4chan (yes, 4chan — they went there) to make this thing go global. As I pointed out on Tuesday and Stan Schroeder opined this a.m., this campaign worked so well because it spoke directly to you.
A New Kind of Viral Video?
“In a way there’s nothing magical that we’ve done here,” Wieden + Kennedy’s Global Interactive Creative Director Iain Tait, told RWW. “We just brought a character to life using the social channels we all [social media geeks] use every day. But we’ve also taken a loved character and created new episodic content in real time.”
And that might be the most interesting part of the whole deal — how overwhelmingly positive it is. Let’s face it, most viral videos are shocking, disturbing and/mocking of their subject (as much as I adore “Double Rainbow,” it is, well, kind of mean). There’s none of that here. Instead of trying to trick folks into sharing content by creating something shocking or over-the-top (which would impel one to pass it along via the “WTF!?” sentiment) or coasting along on an established viral meme and attaching a product to it (as folks have done with Chatroulette and flash mobs), Old Spice first created a character that people — shock, shock, horror, horror — liked, and then created an immersive experience that people wanted to be a part of.
Congrats, Old Spice. You’ve set the precedent. Now ready yourself for the deluge of less successful copycats.