The Effect of Color

Color is one of the fun­da­men­tal ele­ments of our exis­tence, and defines our world in such deep ways that its effects are nearly imperceptible.

It inter­sects the worlds of art, psy­chol­ogy, cul­ture, and more, cre­at­ing mean­ing and influ­enc­ing behav­ior every step of the way. Most fas­ci­nat­ing are the choices we make, both sub­con­sciously and con­sciously, to use color to impact each other and reflect our inter­nal states.

Whether in the micro-sense with the choice of an arti­cle of cloth­ing, or the macro-sense where cul­tures on the whole embrace color trends at the scale of decades, color is a sig­ni­fier of our motives and deep­est feelings.


Synth Britannia

Doc­u­men­tary fol­low­ing a gen­er­a­tion of post-punk musi­cians who took the syn­the­siser from the exper­i­men­tal fringes to the cen­tre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pock­ets of elec­tronic artists includ­ing the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Volatire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Bal­lard and dreamt of the sound of the future against the back­drop of bleak, high-rise Britain.

The crossover moment came in 1979 when Gary Numan’s appear­ance on Top of the Pops with Tube­way Army’s Are Friends Elec­tric her­alded the arrival of synthpop.

Four lads from Basil­don known as Depeche Mode would come to own the new sound whilst post-punk bands like Ultra­vox, Soft Cell, OMD and Yazoo took the synth out of the pages of the NME and onto the front page of Smash Hits.

By 1983, acts like Pet Shop Boys and New Order were show­ing that the future of elec­tronic music would lie in dance music.

Won­der­ful BBC doc­u­men­tary on British syn­th­pop from its indie begin­nings to its 1980s glory. It’s an hour and a half long so you might want to make a cup of tea first because you will end up watch­ing the whole thing.


TV Party The Documentary

In 1978, two rev­o­lu­tion­ary trends emerged in New York City, pub­lic access cable TV and punk rock.

These two phe­nom­ena came together spec­tac­u­larly in Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party. O’Brien recruited his pal Chris Stein, the gui­tarist of Blondie, as his co-host, fel­low Fac­tory kid Wal­ter Ste­d­ing as leader of The TV Party Orches­tra, and under­ground film direc­tor Amos Poe as direc­tor and the rest, as you’ll see, was history.

Hip­sters tuned in to fol­low the antics of the TV Party gang and such guests as Iggy Pop, David Bowie, P-Funk’s George Clin­ton, The Clash’s Mick Jones, Kid Cre­ole, Klaus Nomi, as well as per­for­mances from acts like Tuxedo Moon, the Brides of Funken­stein, Alex Chilton, and more.


Klaus Nomi

Klaus Nomi was a leg­end in the New Wave scene in New York in the late 70s. He was an incred­i­ble show­man with a stun­ning, oper­atic countertenor.

After intro­duc­ing him­self to the scene in New York, he played the punk and new wave clubs around the city with vary­ing bands.

In 1979, when David Bowie came to New York to per­form on Sat­ur­day Night Live, he asked Klaus Nomi to be a backup singer.

For the next three years, Klaus was what you’d expect from an avant garde, new wave, pop opera per­former: cel­e­brated and well respected in the under­ground scene and more pop­u­lar in France, Ger­many and Japan than in the US.

He put on incred­i­ble shows and did TV appear­ances that were unfor­get­table to the few peo­ple who saw them, but there was some­thing wrong.

Klaus prob­a­bly felt sick more often than he should, had trou­ble keep­ing any weight, and prob­a­bly felt con­stant fatigue.

In 1983, Klaus’ ill­ness caught up to him. He was one of the early vic­tims of AIDS.


We ❤ Retro Media: Vinyl, VHS, Tapes & Film

We live in a dig­i­tal world that gives us all the media we could pos­si­bly dream of at the click of a mouse, yet many peo­ple miss the old school phys­i­cal for­mats from our past.

Lis­ten­ing to vinyl and cas­settes allows us to con­nect with music in a dif­fer­ent way than MP3s. VHS and 8mm cre­ate visual aes­thet­ics and atmos­pheres that are dif­fi­cult to repli­cate in dig­i­tal video.

And the sur­prises inher­ent to ana­log instant pho­tog­ra­phy help embed an organic qual­ity to the record­ing of our memories.

The chal­lenges these retro for­mats present to cap­tur­ing and expe­ri­enc­ing media actu­ally enhance our appre­ci­a­tion for the sound or image, mak­ing the art we love a bit more inti­mate, and real.


Preview Alan Moore’s Fashion Beast!

While comic-book leg­end Alan Moore was cre­at­ing hunky, nude and blue Dr. Man­hat­tan for Watch­men in the 1980s, he was also work­ing on a movie script about a queer cross-dresser. Engaged by punk pio­neer Mal­colm McLaren, famously the man­ager of The Sex Pis­tols and New York Dolls, Moore crafted the 1985 screen­play for Fash­ion Beast, a gender-bending take on Beauty and The Beast set in a dystopian future.
Sadly, it was never filmed.
Now, almost 30 years later, Fash­ion Beast has been dusted off and adapted by writer Antony John­son and artist Facundo Per­cio as a ten-issue comic-book lim­ited series from Avatar Press.
Says Moore of the adap­ta­tion:
“Since Mal­colm McLaren first sug­gested that I write a screen­play based on his notion of mar­ry­ing the strange and iso­lated life of Chris­t­ian Dior with the fable Beauty and the Beast, I’ve often won­dered what such an unlikely con­cept would have looked like had it been prop­erly realised. Now, albeit in a dif­fer­ent medium, I finally get to find out…
It’s an odd tale, in its sub­ject mat­ter and in the mode of its telling, and I like to think that Mal­colm would be very pleased to see another of his star­tling and incen­di­ary ideas brought so intrigu­ingly into existence.”

 

Above, check out a pre­view of Fash­ion Beast #1. In it, we meet pro­tag­o­nist Doll Seguin, a cross-dressing coat-check girl and night­club per­former who (not coin­ci­den­tally) dances to McLaren’s trib­ute to New York’s drag-ball scene, “Deep in Vogue.”
And check out McLaren’s video bellllllow.


Keith Haring’s Journals

The Keith Har­ing Foun­da­tion has scanned Keith’s jour­nals from 1971 to 1989, some of which are fea­tured in Keith Har­ing: 1978–1982. A page will be posted each day for the dura­tion of the show, which will be on view at the Brook­lyn Museum from March 16 through July 8, 2012. The exhi­bi­tion is the first large-scale pre­sen­ta­tion to explore the early works of one of the best-known Amer­i­can artists of the twen­ti­eth century.

Click on the Polaroid for the Journal.…


Art Spiegelman on the Birth of Garbage Pail Kids

These images come from Garbage Pail Kids, by the Topps Com­pany, a col­lec­tion of the first five series of the pop­u­lar par­ody cards. The text is excerpted from the intro­duc­tion by Pulitzer-winning car­toon­ist Art Spiegel­man, who worked on GPKs, as well as many other projects, in his 20 years work­ing for Topps.
I don’t think I even remem­bered that we had already done a Cab­bage Patch Kids par­ody called “Garbage Pail Kids” as part of an upcom­ing Wacky Pack­ages series, although Mark New­gar­den, who had been respon­si­ble for writ­ing and draw­ing a rough for it, brought out John Pound’s ren­der­ing. We took one sketch: a kid lit­er­ally going nuclear, with a mush­room cloud com­ing out of his head. It even­tu­ally became Adam Bomb (No. 8a). We knew from expe­ri­ence that if we could find two exam­ples, we could find 200. But if we could only come up with one, we were in trouble.
Maybe it was No. 29a, the skele­tal Bony Joanie, or maybe the kid climb­ing out of the toi­let bowl (potty humor, short of depict­ing actual turds, was a nat­ural) that became the sec­ond pro­to­type. One way or another, we stum­bled to the start­ing line and were on to some­thing that we could turn into a series.

Through­out, Len was the friendly voice of rea­son, say­ing, “No, you can’t show a tam­pon!” After a while we started to get punchy. We’d go into a trance try­ing to fig­ure out, say, what we could do with some poor kid’s ears that would be graph­i­cally com­pelling. Or how the kid would react to being stabbed. We’d have these ses­sions in which we would all sit around this tiny imitation-wood table in a small room with junk all around it, com­ing up with jokes about some­body crawl­ing out of a toi­let look­ing like he just ate something.

We all worked anony­mously, since Topps didn’t want the work pub­licly cred­ited, pre­sum­ably so we could eas­ily be replaced by other hands. I was annoyed at the time, but my book pub­lisher, Pan­theon, was very relieved. The first vol­ume of Maus was being pre­pared for pub­li­ca­tion while the GPKs were near the height of their popularity.

In 1986 it was chal­leng­ing enough to get peo­ple to accept the idea of a seri­ous work about the Holo­caust in comic-book form with­out hav­ing to reveal that the artist also cre­ated those noto­ri­ous stick­ers for the pre­pu­bes­cent set. “Please keep it quiet,” my edi­tor insisted. “If this gets out, they’ll review your book and call it ‘Garbage Pail Jews!’

”Even­tu­ally, Garbage Pail Kids became as big a phe­nom­e­non as Cab­bage Patch Kids. Garbage Pail Kids offered some­thing that was not so benign and parent-friendly; rather, it pro­voked: “Oh, my god, what is that? Where did you get those? Your allowance is cut off! And you’re grounded!”
The dolls were pricey and had to appeal to adults. The stick­ers were avail­able for chump change and appealed to the inner beast in all kids. This was Topps, after all.

The Art of Sleevefacing

Sleeve­face is an inter­net phe­nom­e­non wherein one or more per­sons cover body parts with record sleeve(s), caus­ing an illu­sion and tak­ing pic­tures of it. Though the pre­cise ori­gin of the con­cept is unknown the term ‘Sleeve­face’ was coined in April 2007 by Cardiff res­i­dent Carl Mor­ris after pic­tures were taken of him and his friends hold­ing record sleeves to their faces whilst Djing in a Cardiff Bar.

His friend John Ros­tron posted them on the inter­net and cre­ated a group on Face­book. From here the craze became more widely known and it has fast become an inter­net phenomenon.

All it requires is a record sleeve, a cam­era and big imag­i­na­tion. There is a huge pool of exam­ples on Flickr. John Ros­tron and Carl Mor­ris authored the book ‘Sleeve­face : Be The Vinyl’ pub­lished in 2008 by Artisan/Workman which com­piles sleeve­faces from the world­wide sub­mis­sions to their web­site.

Put the sleeve in front of your face, strike the pose of the rock god you’ve cho­sen, and get your­self pho­tographed. See the video below for more detailed instruc­tions on how to do your own.


Animated GIFs: The Birth of a Medium

GIFs are one of the old­est image for­mats used on the web. The GIF graph­ics file for­mat was invented by Com­puServe in 1987. Through­out their his­tory, they have served a huge vari­ety of pur­poses, from func­tional to enter­tain­ment. Now, 25 years after the first GIF was cre­ated, they are expe­ri­enc­ing an explo­sion of inter­est and inno­va­tion that is push­ing them into the ter­rain of art.

Please watch the fol­low­ing episode of Off Book, fea­tur­ing inter­views of Christo­pher Price Edi­to­r­ial Direc­tor at Tum­blr, Patrick David­son from Meme­Fac­tory, a group that gives pre­sen­ta­tions about inter­net memes, Pamela Reed and Mathew Rader from REED + RADER, mostly ded­i­cated to fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phy and Visual Graph­ics Artist Kevin Burg with pho­tog­ra­pher Jamie Beck cre­ators of Cin­ema­graph.

We love ani­mated GIFs here at ‘The Remains’ and we con­stantly see amaz­ing exam­ples of cre­ative and inspir­ing GIFs in sites like Tum­blr where they are spe­cially pop­u­lar, but we par­tic­u­larly like the work of artist Max Capac­ity. I will ven­ture here to say that his ani­mated GIFs are post­mod­ern, com­bin­ing in them glitch art, pixel art, movies and stuff I can­not even start to describe. The fact that he uses the name Max Capac­ity is prob­a­bly not a coin­ci­dence as he has a lot of work to show up for. I can spend hours jump­ing from his Flickr site to his Tum­blr site to his YouTube chan­nel check­ing out his uni­verse of pro­lific cre­ation. Watch some sam­ples of his work below:

Ok, lastly we want to leave you with one last video from PBS Off Book. A 25th Anniver­sary GIF short Mashup set to 8-bit Dubstep.