Articles Archive for October 2004

Reviews »

October 30th, 2004 | One Comment | Category: Reviews

Better than even Kurt Cobain, Elliott Smith provides a case study of the effects of fame. Though his rise was just as mercurial, the changes wrought were more profound and more eerie. Benjamin Nugent treats this flight to fame with a delicate touch, showing as many sides of Elliott as he was able to access. The result is a book about the pitfalls of the rise to public attention, its effects on friendships, and a man who fought against everything to maintain the one thing he truly lost: control. Nugent’s …

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October 19th, 2004 | One Comment | Category: Reviews

Ray Johnson has been called the “the most famous unknown artist in the world.” He was an unsung Pop Art innovator, collaging, mailing, and performing his way through the mid-twentieth century New York art scene. As artist Billy Name says in one of the interviews in the film: “Rauschenberg was a person making art, so was Andy (Warhol). Ray wasn’t a person. Ray was art… That’s why he’s an artist’s artist.”
How To Draw a Bunny documents Ray’s life as best as it could be done. Many were acquainted with him and …

Interviews, Videos »

October 18th, 2004 | One Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos

“Rap is something you do. Hip-hop is something you live.” — KRS-One
I first saw Pete Miser rock the mic live in 1996. He was the lead mouth in a Portland, Oregon, outfit called the Five Fingers of Funk, and they were opening for De La Soul at Seattle’s Fenix Underground. I was intrigued because I had previously only heard Pete do the spoken word thing on a compilation of Pacific Northwestern poets and personalities, Talking Rain (Tim Kerr Records, 1993). His flow that night in Seattle rode atop …

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October 15th, 2004 | No Comment | Category: Reviews

In this short but fascinating film, a wheelchair-bound homeless man, Michael, begins his day when he wakes up under an overpass, slowly maneuvers into his wheelchair, and heads to a local coffee shop. After cleaning up the sidewalk out front, collecting his pay (a cup of coffee), he makes his way to another overpass where he sips his coffee, and pulls out his flute. Unbeknownst to the hurried passersby, through his music, Michael is transferred to a world with able legs: legs able to run, jump, and leap with joyous …

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October 15th, 2004 | One Comment | Category: Reviews

Even with as many texts as have come out exploring and explicating our so-called information age, there has yet to be a more exhaustive account of just what the hell has happened than Alan Liu’s The Laws of Cool (University of Chicago Press). Nevermind the misleading title. This isn’t another exposé on “cool hunting” and finding out what the kids are into. This lengthy tome is about how most of us came to be knowledge workers in the factories of information.
To call this book “exhaustive” is an understatement. I can’t …

Interviews »

October 12th, 2004 | 6 Comments | Category: Interviews

“Technology marches on, over you or through you, take your pick.” — Stewart Brand
As technology marches on, who, besides alarmist Luddites, is keeping tabs on the changes it’s bringing about? One such person is philosopher Andrew Feenberg — and he does it with a philosophical pedigree that no one else can claim and from a critical stance that no other can maintain. His many books on the subject illuminate numerous aspects of technology’s ever-increasing influence that are so often overlooked in similar texts, yet he maintains an even keel: Andrew …

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October 11th, 2004 | One Comment | Category: Reviews

In the much-maligned medium of comic books, Chris Ware is one of the artists that justifies — even as he transcends — the medium. His work encompasses aspects of typography, graphic design, fine art, Joseph Cornell-style cabinet-making, story telling, and, of course, comics.
Daniel Raeburn’s book is the first to explore the expanse of Ware’s work. The book itself consists of a brief biography including in-depth interview sessions with Ware, and an extensive selection from all aspects and eras of Ware’s work. Included are pieces and layouts from Ware’s Acme …

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October 04th, 2004 | 3 Comments | Category: Reviews

A Hacker Manifesto is the Big Picture of not only where we are in the “information age,” but where we’re going as well. Adopting the epigrammic style of Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, as well as updating its ideas, Ken Wark establishes so-called “knowledge workers” as an unrecognized social class: “the hacker class.” Wark also updates Marx and Engels, Deleuze and Guattari, Nietzsche, and a host of others: