Category Archives: art

Times refreshed.

There was an article in New York magazine recently about the tech wizards at the New York Times Online finally getting their time in the sun (and desks at the main headquarters) for keeping the paper afloat and being largely responsible for infusing the Online edition with heart, art and depth. They were behind the even-handed, mesmerizing, often-shocking Word Train on the day of the election:


but have really been crafting amazing interactive graphics for a good while now. Like many a media-obsessed New Yorker/workaday procrastinator, I trawl the Times Online for interesting bits and bobs throughout the day and I’ve been especially impressed by my findings as of late across all sections of the paper. There was this lovely blog post (if you can really call it that) by Maria Kalman following the inauguration:


or today’s Abstract City post: I Lego NY (I love this!):




It’s nice to see a touch of whimsy these days when everything else seems to be doom and gloom with a side of gloom. Keep it up, NYT.


Alvin Ailey’s 50th.


I’m still aching to go. Who wants to go with me?

What I’ve been doing since I’ve been gone.

I went home.


I helped launch Ben 3.0.

I got pink eye.

I got robbed.

I fell in love with New York all over again.

Still going….

I had 2 more best friends bite the dust– I mean get engaged.

I went to the Interesting 2008 conference and learned that laughter is related to our fight or flight response.

I went to the After Nature opening at the New Museum and got very disturbed.

I rediscovered the power pop awesomeness that is Nada Surf.

I went to Venice, CA to see my lil’ sis. I went to Seattle a few times.

I saw Man on Wire and wondered where my singular passion was (again), I saw Vicky Christina Barcelona and wondered why I’m not waiting tables in the south of France like I always said I would, I saw Batman IMAX and wondered what took me so long.

I signed up for a public speaking course at NYU, yet another example of me inflicting pain upon myself for the sake of….????

I got in the pitiful habit of eating 3 meals at my desk.

I lost sleep over the possibility of layoffs following the demise of our biggest client Wamu.

Which brings me here….

Birds of a feather.

Very cool photographic study of multiple cultures and identity groups within a single diverse city (Rotterdam). From a review on the photographers’ website Exactitudes:

“By dragging the repertory of the street kicking and screaming to the studio backdrop, the series offers a purposely absurd response to the sentimentality of Jamal Shabazz (“Back in the days”) and the beloved and utterly bogus spontaneity of the photo booth. It’s a perfect fit for an age that’s made the “cool hunt” a corporate pursuit. Of course the photos are starchy and obdurately posed and ever so consciously styled, because there can be no meaningful limit to the cross-contamination between those notions of a authenticity and supreme self-awareness.”

Just hope it doesn’t rain.

A grown-up execution of arts and crafts. London-based artist Elisabeth Lecourt fashioned a collection of 60 pieces out of colorful city maps. If I were 84×60 cms I’d totally wear one.

Thanks for the tip, Benjamin.

A life less pixelated.

THAT is true love.

Art? Novel? Screenplay? Ransom note?

Neato. From New York magazine:

“British artist-writer Graham Rawle resisted the idea of printing Woman’s World, a new novel about a possibly homicidal cross-dresser that consists entirely of phrases clipped from sixties women’s magazines, in collage form; he was concerned it might be taken for ‘a novelty rather than a novel.’ He needn’t have been: Jean Doumanian decided to produce the movie without even knowing how the book had been constructed.”


Some notes on his process:

1. “I think the word there was originally part of a title for a feature in [the magazine] Woman’s Own. Above it was a picture, the lower part of which showed a drab wallpaper background. When cutting out the word, I decided to include a fragment of it because the scene describes such an interior.”

2. “One of the problems with using only found fragments to assemble my story was finding multiples of people’s names, which were repeated many times throughout the novel. I decided on Mr. Hands for my antagonist because the word hands is easy to come by in adverts for nail polish, soap powders, and the like. The name also describes his licentious, groping nature.

3. “Much of the material comes from romantic short stories featured in every women’s magazine at the time. Unfortunately for me, most of these are in the third person. Since my story is mainly written in the first, all of the pronouns had to be changed. Once I’d factored in punctuation marks and line breaks, there could be a dozen elements within one sentence.”

4. “Throughout the book, the word woman generally appears in some bold or decorative script or, as in this case, in color. It was probably the most commonly used word, so there were lots to choose from.”

5. “The word forty happened to be sitting on the top of my numbers file as I was pasting down the words, so I stuck it in. It also added a nice graphic element to the page.”

6. “It was fun trying to find a printed number for every page of the book. A bit of tinkering was often required. Here the 209 is intact as part of a telephone number.

7. “Little dogs can get overexcited and work themselves up into a lather, or, in this case, a ‘rich, creamy lather’—a phrase I found in an advertisement for beauty soap.

8. “The line I had in mind ended with something like, ‘…;whose resemblance to Sylvia Syms was extremely remote.’ Having previously categorized my found material into specific subjects, I searched my ‘measuring and distance’ category for the word remote but instead found the phrase ‘…could be measured in nautical miles.’ Much better.”

9. “Celebrity-endorsed beauty products were common in 1962. I think this bit came from an ad for a moisturizing cream used by British screen actress Sylvia Syms, which said something to the effect of: ‘Look over there. Isn’t that Sylvia Syms, star of stage and screen who keeps her skin so young-looking?’”