November 29, 2009
Tomokazu Matsuyama was born in Japan. He moved to the US when he was around ten years old, not speaking any English, and being overwhelmed by the culture shock of 1980s Los Angeles. His artistic work is a reflection of this upbringing. Matsuyama’s paintings envision traditional Japanese imagery through the lens of American pop art, creating a unique and beautiful hybrid. He strives to portray this global melee through a conscious “appropriation” of all of his influences: cultural, artistic, and personal. Matsuyama’s unconflicted and positively ebullient works do not ask, “What am I?,” but assert, “I am everybody.” (via) [more inside]
Chairman Mao's Underground City is a pictorial travelogue of a small part of the tunnels that Chairman Mao had built under Beijing to serve as a nuclear fallout shelter. The intrepid urban explorers come across some surprising things. The complex, which was built by hand, could house three hundred thousand people for up to four months and had amenities such as restaurants, cinemas and roller rinks. Here's a short Travel Channel feature on the Underground City.
Mike Penner, sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times, died on Friday in an apparent suicide. Penner was best known for his sports journalism until April 2007, when he publicly announced that he was transsexual and would begin writing as Christine Daniels (previously). He detransitioned in October 2008, returning to work under his original name, but without offering explanation. [more inside]
A 47 year old NYC photographer says to hell with it. He takes his 10 thousand dollars or so and buys a spot of land. You are miles and miles from anywhere. John Wells wants to build something for himself and inspire others. John has built the Field Lab and invites all who are interested to explore the idea of living off the grid... that is to use only the power you produce and eat what you grow. He has gotten a little attention...but for the most part has stayed out of the spotlight. You can follow his day to day blog and live a little vicariously. Note: If you want a tour...show up with a six pack or something. Its a long drive to town and he will forever be your friend.
Petoskey Stones are stones of fossilized coral (Hexagonaria percarinata ) that can be found along the shore of Lake Michigan near the town of Petoskey (Population 6,000). Once polished, they can be beautiful, and are often made into jewelry. It is the state stone of Michigan and is celebrated in an annual festival. The origin of the name of the stone, however, is under contention. [more inside]
Joe Howe (aka Gay Against You, Joemus, Germlin, Ben Butler and Mousepad) at Silkytooth. Mixtapes -- Long Live Summer::Playberlin::Best 2009 (Eno)::Mad Swing [v]
"The name Vanilla Ice evokes the sweet charm, the unknowing innocence of another time. In a world of school shootings, mass murders, endless wars, and economic despair, we miss that time." Catching up with Ice Man Robert Van Winkle after his career in music cooled down.
O Lutfisk, O Lutefisk!. Also known as lipeäkala, this dried white fish once saturated with lye is a traditional dish in both Nordic countries and in much of the upper Midwest of America and the plains region of Canada. Sounds tasty, right? Let this article describe the experience of countless kids faced with this dish each Christmas Eve before you sign up for a Lutefisk Eating Contest (scroll for video!) in Ballard, WA. [more inside]
San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter, together with the GLBT Historical Society, are making available all of the gay newspaper's AIDS obituaries in an on-line searchable database. The database, to be unveiled on December 1, 2009, World AIDS Day, contains the obituaries for about 10,000 people. [more inside]
"I don't distinguish the difference between work and play," says Liz Diller. "My husband and I are very obsessed with our work, and it's contiguous with our personal lives." Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio aren't only some of the most visible architects of contemporary urban public space; they're also married to each other. Perhaps the most high profile couple in a profession that seems to be particularly conducive to this kind of working marriage, Diller and Scofidio (and, now, their partner/tie-breaker Charles Renfro) have in recent years collaborated on projects including heavy-use public structures like the Institute for Contemporary Art in Boston (review), and Alice Tully Hall (review) and the High Line park (review) in New York, as well as more whimsical projects like the Blur building for Swiss Expo 2002 at Lake Neuchatel, and Arbores Laetae ("Joyful Trees") at the 2008 Liverpool Biennial. The architects talk to FLYP magazine about their marriage and to Charlie Rose about their work.
The best space shuttle launch video you will see today. As compiled and edited by NASA's SE&I imagery team at Johnson Space Center.
Swiss voters moonlight as architecture critics. The construction of minarets in Switzerland is now forbidden, with 57% in favor of the ban, freezing the number in the country at four, with one under construction. [more inside]
Remember Paper is a blog with photos of interesting magazines, books, and other paper-based ephemera. NSFW.