Dr. Cornel West On Blind Willie Johnson And The Blues

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Dr. Cor­nel West is a promi­nent and provoca­tive intel­lec­tual. He is a Pro­fes­sor of Phi­los­o­phy and Chris­t­ian Prac­tice at Union The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary and Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus at Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity. In this inter­view, Dr. West argues that the blues is not so much about tri­umph as it is about resis­tance and sur­vival. He edu­cates the viewer on the pain that became Blind Willie Johnson’s blues. West claims that at the cen­ter of the blues is an indi­vid­ual yearn­ing to find one’s voice.

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Blind Willie John­son. Old blues singers led the wildest lives. He was blinded by his mom throw­ing lye in his face as a pun­ish­ment, dirt poor since birth, he lived in the burned remains of his fam­ily home, preached and played on street cor­ners dur­ing the day, and no one is sure where he is exactly buried.

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The Punk Singer: The Kathleen Hanna Documentary

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The first ques­tion that the men­tion of a doc­u­men­tary about Kath­leen Hanna prompts is usu­ally, Why hasn’t one already been made? Cred­ited as a founder of the third wave of fem­i­nism and Riot Grrrl – Hanna has been a sem­i­nal rad­i­cal activist, musi­cian, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, and cul­tural icon for over twenty years. She’s also been a light­en­ing rod for con­tro­versy, and a famously pri­vate per­son. Five years ago, she dis­ap­peared from the pub­lic eye, and is only now re-emerging.

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The Punk Singer com­bines twenty years of archival footage and an inti­mate look at four con­sec­u­tive sea­sons of Hanna’s present life, to tell the story of what hap­pened, and who she is now. Through archival footage and inti­mate inter­views with Hanna, “The Punk Singer” takes view­ers on a fas­ci­nat­ing tour of con­tem­po­rary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fear­less leader.


An Interview Jonas Mekas

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An inter­view with film­maker, poet, artist and film critic Jonas Mekas, renowned co-founder of Anthol­ogy Film Archives. In his films, he strives to cap­ture the essence of fleet­ing, ordi­nary moments — the poetry of every­day life. Now 90, he still films every day, and he never throws any­thing away. Over time, he has amassed an exten­sive archive of both film and video, which he edits into lyri­cal, diaris­tic films and also re-prints as pho­to­graphic art­works. In this inter­view, he explains why and how he films, and shows us around his home and workspace.

Released along­side major pre­sen­ta­tions of his work at the Ser­pen­tine Gallery, BFI South­bank and Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou, this exclu­sive inter­view with Jonas Mekas was shot in Octo­ber 2012 in the Brook­lyn loft where he lives, works and stores reels 60 years worth of film and video footage.

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Majical Cloudz

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Maji­cal Cloudz is Montreal-based song­writer Devon Welsh, with pro­ducer and live col­lab­o­ra­tor Matthew Otto. Their intro­spec­tive brand of synth-driven music is char­ac­ter­ized by an almost archi­tec­tural desire for bal­ance, craft­ing songs that are as son­i­cally min­i­mal as they are emo­tion­ally com­plex, equally reliant on neg­a­tive, hol­low space and lush, warm tex­tures. Welsh bares his soul through care­fully artic­u­lated sto­ries, ori­ented around themes of death, patience, fam­ily and desire. Their live per­for­mance is deeply expres­sive and raw, Welsh’s rich bari­tone woven into intri­cate sto­ries amidst washes of white noise, fil­tered synths and sparse thuds.

Synth-driven music at it’s worst, can sound soul­less and imper­sonal. How­ever, Maji­cal Cloudz is every­thing you’d ever want from this genre. Any­time a musi­cian ref­er­ences Minor Threat, in dis­cussing his approach to music, we’ll sit up and lis­ten. The sparse beauty of his music envelops you in a haze of emo­tion and nuance. Hav­ing first drawn our atten­tion thanks to his col­lab­o­ra­tive work with Grimes muse Claire Boucher, it’s not sur­pris­ing that Mata­dor has signed him and will release his next album.


Federico Fellini’s Juliet Of The Spirits

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Juliet of the Spir­its was directed and co-written by Fed­erico Fellini in 1965, and is one of the wildly imag­i­na­tive visual nar­ra­tives that solid­i­fied his rep­u­ta­tion as a world-class pio­neer­ing film direc­tor.  It stars Giuli­etta Masina as  a betrayed wife whose inabil­ity to come to terms with real­ity leads her along a hal­lu­ci­na­tory jour­ney of self-discovery. Haunted by, among other things, the infi­delity of her hus­band, a prob­lem that is solved with insights from, for starters, a friendly pros­ti­tute. Masina was Fellini’s wife, mak­ing her naked­ness here – emo­tion­ally, that is – all the more intimate.

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Cin­e­matog­ra­pher Gianni di Venanzo’s mas­ter­ful use of Tech­ni­color trans­forms Juliet of the Spir­its, Fellini’s first color fea­ture, into a kalei­do­scope of dreams, spir­its, and memories.

The very rich score by Nino Rota, com­poser of many of Fellini’s films has done an exquis­ite job here. The uptempo, 60’s jazzy music has an ethe­real feel as angelic sopra­nos are singing in the back­ground. Nino Rota has a cer­tain trade­mark style which is his com­po­si­tions uti­lize very heavy eclec­tic organ sounds along­side the con­ven­tional instru­ments. Alot of his music sounds weird and mys­te­ri­ous which is com­pli­men­tary to the films scenes. The cir­cus style music is a sta­ple in many of Fellini’s films and here it is used when Juliet is flash­back­ing to her child­hood when they went to the cir­cus and the grand­fa­ther takes a lik­ing to Fanny, a beau­ti­ful cir­cus enter­tainer. There’s music to sym­bol­ize Juliet’s com­ing to terms with her­self; rip­ping the bondages in a child­hood play where she was the mar­tyred saint– as if she was finally free­ing her soul and real­iz­ing she doesn’t have to be intim­i­dated by her mother ever again.

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A Million Times By Humans Since 1982

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Humans since 1982 are based in Stock­holm. Their claim is to arouse curios­ity by cre­at­ing mate­r­ial hints of how the world might be. Both born in 1982, Per Eman (Swe­den) and Bas­t­ian Bischoff (Ger­many) founded their stu­dio in 2008 dur­ing their Mas­ter grad­u­a­tion at HDK Gothenburg.

Their “Sur­veil­lance Light”, was ini­tially shown at Stock­holm Fur­ni­ture Fair in 2008. It was well received not only in the design and art press but also in polit­i­cal blogs and mag­a­zines. The pres­ence in media brought Humans since 1982 together with Brus­sels based gallery Vic­tor Hunt.

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Dur­ing their grad­u­a­tion the­sis in 2009 they devel­oped their projects, “Cel­e­brat­ing the cross” and “The clock clock”. Whilst “Cel­e­brat­ing the cross” was per­ceived ambigu­ously and polar­ized jour­nal­ists and reader on reli­gious and polit­i­cal blogs, “The Clock clock” evoke unan­i­mous pos­i­tive reac­tion. For their the­sis, Humans since 1982 received a price for the best grad­u­a­tion work at HDK and were received by Wall­pa­pers grad­u­a­tion Direc­tory. With “Cel­e­brat­ing the cross” they were nom­i­nated by Li Edelkoort for Design­huis’ “Euro­pean Talent”.

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A Mil­lion Times” is a new project by humans since 1982. It’s sim­i­lar to their The Clock Clock project, this time they’ve used 288 clocks which can be con­trolled by an iPad. Humans since 1982 will present their kinetic work “A mil­lion times” at Design Days Dubai / Vic­tor Hunt Gallery from 18. — 21. March 2013.


The Everyday Lives Of Furries Photographed By Tom Broadbent

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Zuki, a Gar­goyle at home. Zuki lives in Mil­ton Keynes and works in IT. Zuki owns a few suits, the gar­goyle is just one of them.

First rule of Fur Club: don’t reveal your iden­tity. Sec­ond rule of Fur Club: don’t talk to journalists.

British pho­tog­ra­pher Tom Broad­bent has been get­ting to know var­i­ous “Fur­ries” through­out the UK for the last few years. Fur­ries are every­day peo­ple, from bank man­agers to project man­agers to actors, who dress up in elab­o­rate furry ani­mal cos­tumes and meet up to chat and hang out. Furry groups have been spot­ted walk­ing around London’s St. Paul’s Cathe­dral and Mil­len­nium Bridge.

At Home With the Fur­ries is Broadbent’s ongo­ing project, born from a desire to cap­ture the per­sonal, every­day side of their lives with­out break­ing that first Furry rule. Broad­bent plans to exhibit and pub­lish this unique series, so keep an eye out for that.

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Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller’s Killing Machine

Known best for their consciousness-altering “audio walks,” the Cana­dian artists and co-conspirators Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are once again con­jur­ing strange magic.

In this work, Cardiff and Miller engage directly with the polit­i­cal. “The Killing Machine” (2007) is drawn from the artists’s strong views against cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, com­plete with a sound­track full of cin­e­matic dis­so­nance and an eerily roboti­cized cham­ber and drew the par­tic­i­pant into the work through their acti­va­tion of the instal­la­tion via push­ing a red button.

The Killing Machine, is inspired by Kafka’s well known short story The Penal Colony. This work is an open, scaffold-like struc­ture. Installed in a dark­ened space, a spot­light shines on a sinister-looking dentist’s chair with thick leather straps, draped with a dirty pink fun fur. The action begins by press­ing a red but­ton: A mega­phone cir­cles, while a flash­light on a robotic arm seems to inspect an invis­i­ble body in the chair. Another robotic arm appears with pneu­matic nee­dles that shoot out and prod the thin air, assault­ing the absent body, while a mourn­ful accom­pa­ni­ment of strings is inter­rupted by a drum­stick bash­ing o an elec­tric gui­tar. A disco ball twirling over­head com­pletes the soli­tary spec­ta­cle. Like a cellar-bound lunatic’s appalling inven­tion, dragged straight from a sci-fi hor­ror flick, this piece is rid­dled with lit­er­ary or cin­e­matic analogies.

But, whereas pre­vi­ous works of this type seem to stage a site of mem­ory or his­tor­i­cal inci­dent, The Killing Machine is a spec­ta­cle for its own sake, cre­at­ing a timely alle­gory both of the con­tin­ued use of the death penalty in the USA and of the obscene banal­ity of torture.

“Just have a seat and lie back. There there, just relax. This won’t hurt a bit. Let me just fas­ten up these straps.”


No Faggot, No Gay, No Lesbian, Welcome To JAMAICA!: Taboo Yardies

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Jamaica has a noto­ri­ous rep­u­ta­tion for homo­pho­bia and vio­lence against gays. Taboo…Yardies goes beyond the head­lines to look at what life is like for Jamaica’s LGBT com­mu­nity, and the ori­gins of the country’s atti­tudes towards homo­sex­u­al­ity. Inter­views with gay and les­bian Jamaicans both on the island and in the dias­pora, as well as gay-rights activists and promi­nent Jamaicans, form the basis of this brave, impor­tant film.

We hope to give view­ers an oppor­tu­nity to decide for them­selves whether to view Jamaica as a homophobic/homo-intolerant cul­ture is per­cep­tion or real­ity. More impor­tantly, we hope Taboo…Yardies becomes a vehi­cle that spurs an open an hon­est con­ver­sa­tion that ulti­mately pro­motes respect and tol­er­ance for all peo­ple regard­less of sex­ual orientation.’