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Mine is the beige house. No, the other one. No, the one next to that.

In his new book Ciphers, German photographer Christopher Gielen (previously) reveals haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development through aerial views of American urban sprawl. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 5, 2014 - 50 comments

Hey, dummy!

Retail Therapy: What Mannequins Say About Us
Like the larger fashion industry, mannequin design echoes seasonal styles that come and go, both in regard to technological improvements and the way we view our bodies. “It’s often the body attitudes and facial expressions that reflect what’s going on socially,” says Hale. Accordingly, the stiff, unnatural bodies of early mannequins were well-matched for the Victorian Era‘s restrictive ideas about women’s rights and fashions, which dictated they wear many layers of heavy fabric over tight-fitting corsets.
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jul 1, 2014 - 14 comments

Acrylic on Magazine

Ofelia Cleaning. Ramiro Gomez (Facebook page) (Gallery page) is an artist whose paintings at the blog Happy Hills "document[] the predominantly Hispanic workforce who work tirelessly behind the scenes to maintain the beautiful imagery of these affluent areas." He also places painted cut-outs of workers on the lawns in pricey neighborhoods. [more inside]
posted by crush-onastick on May 7, 2014 - 6 comments

Pansy Club

Deviates, Inc is a tumblr devoted to exploring the visual culture of LGBT history ranging from Gilded Age drag queens, classic Hollywood lesbians, to militant gay activism.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 13, 2014 - 7 comments

Pussy Riot

What Does Pussy Riot Mean Now? "With all eyes on Russia, two members of the country’s most notorious band of shit-stirrers are free after nearly two years of political imprisonment and enjoying the rock-star treatment during their first trip to the U.S. But the group’s unlikely journey from art-school project to international icons shows just how rotten Russia has become and how much the mission has changed."
posted by homunculus on Feb 7, 2014 - 57 comments

Look at that guy with the typewriter on the Eagles' bench!

The NFL's Modern Man: How Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin — a bike-riding, socially conscious, Animal Collective–loving hipster — is redefining what it means to be a football player.
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 20, 2013 - 52 comments

The New York Review of Books turns 50

In February 1963, a new publication took advantage of the New York City printers strike and launched with a daring editorial: It does not, however, seek merely to fill the gap created by the printers’ strike in New York City but to take the opportunity which the strike has presented to publish the sort of literary journal which the editors and contributors feel is needed in America. The New York Review of Books is now 50. [more inside]
posted by mattbucher on Oct 21, 2013 - 7 comments

Roger Ebert on Kindness: The Cartoon

'Kindness' covers all of my political beliefs. A new cartoon from Gavin Aung Than's Zen Pencils inspired by the late, great Roger Ebert. (Zen Pencils previously)
posted by NoMich on Jun 4, 2013 - 21 comments

Trans 100

The Trans 100 is a list curated by We Happy Trans based on nominations of 100 key trans people breaking ground in American culture, arts, social justice, and politics. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Apr 12, 2013 - 36 comments

Batteries not included

André Cassagnes, the inventor of Etch A Sketch, has died aged 86. [Telegraph] [Guardian] [Washington Post] [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 2, 2013 - 25 comments

The Frightening Hungarian Crackdown

"The new constitution 'recognizes the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood,' and art that is deemed blasphemous or 'anti-national' is now the target of a full-blown campaign of suppression."
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 10, 2013 - 137 comments

"Aaron Sorkin versus reality"

"Aaron Sorkin is why people hate liberals." The writer of Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 and The Newsroom makes Alex Pareene's Hack List at Salon.
posted by downing street memo on Jul 19, 2012 - 163 comments

LOVE ME

Artist Bas Van Oerle presents a series of propaganda posters for the 2012 Republican presidential contenders. Ron Paul For The Youth Vote. Fields of Santorum. Love Me Romney. Join The Cosmonewts.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Mar 25, 2012 - 36 comments

The Transparency Grenade

The lack of Corporate and Governmental transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, tedious process of policy reform.
Solution? The Transparency Grenade.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Feb 19, 2012 - 26 comments

Art and Activism: Five Tips for Queer Boys

Yosimar Reyes, a champion slam poet has collaborated with artist Julio Salgado, who is "out and proud" as gay and undocumented, on a new set of works called "Five Tips for Queer Boys" (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and extra). [more inside]
posted by anya32 on Feb 14, 2012 - 0 comments

In Soviet Russia, Mars travels to you

The utopian Mars fiction of Soviet Russia
posted by Artw on Jan 11, 2012 - 8 comments

Alan J. Pakula's "The Parallax View"

Welcome to the testing room of the Parallax Corporation's Division of Human Engineering. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 5, 2012 - 29 comments

Simone Weil

Some lives are exemplary, others not; and of exemplary lives, there are those which invite us to imitate them, and those which we regard from a distance with a mixture of revulsion, pity, and reverence. It is, roughly, the difference between the hero and the saint (if one may use the latter term in an aesthetic, rather than a religious sense). Such a life, absurd in its exaggerations and degree of self-mutilation — like Kleist’s, like Kierkegaard’s — was Simone Weil’s. - Susan Sontag [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 19, 2011 - 8 comments

Journalism is just a gun. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.

In this time of corrupt politics, police brutality, media dereliction, and increasingly vicious culture wars, there's perhaps no graphic novel more relevant today than the brilliant and blackly funny Transmetropolitan. Created by Warren Ellis back in 1997 and inspired by prescient sci fi novel Bug Jack Barron, the series covers the work of gonzo journalist, vulgar misanthrope, and all-around magnificent bastard Spider Jerusalem in a sprawling futuristic vision of New York so chaotically advanced that humans splice genes with alien refugees, matter decompilers are as common as microwaves, and a new religion is invented every hour. As a callous Nixonian thug nicknamed The Beast prepares for his re-election to the presidency, a primary battle heats up between a virulent racist and a charismatic senator whose rictus grin masks some disturbing realities. When Jerusalem delves into the machinations of the race, he breaks into a web of conspiracies that threaten the future of the country -- a problem only he, his "filthy assistants," and the power of intrepid journalism can defeat. More: Read the first issue (or three) - browse images from the new artbook - Tor's read-along blog (another) - Jerusalem's touching report on cryogenic "Revivals" - dozens of original sketches and sample pages - timeline - quotes
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 17, 2011 - 55 comments

Being as complicated as the system you are pranking

Johannes Grenzfurthner on subverting subversion and on how subverting the system has become more difficult over the years as society has changed. Features imaginary artists saving Taiwan, Jackass and the far too banal blood sausage made from your own blood.
posted by DRMacIver on Nov 17, 2011 - 5 comments

“Today we have a new group of satirists who, at the same time that they bite the bourgeoisie, use only their lips, but not their teeth”

While he was contributing to the New Yorker as Syd Hoff, he was also contributing to the Daily Worker and New Masses as A. Redfield — the pseudonym he adopted for his radical work, The Ruling Clawss (Daily Worker, 1935) a collection of surprisingly relevant cartoons.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 29, 2011 - 21 comments

It was really a very small beaver.

When a family of beavers moved in to a creek in the bayside town of Martinez, CA, in 2006, they gained both fans and detractors. Concerned about flood control in the struggling downtown area, the city council formed a Beaver Subcommittee to explore the options, including extermination, relocation, and engineering fixes. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Sep 30, 2011 - 28 comments

Orange you glad you got your Nickelodeon?

Two and a half years ago, we explored the early history of Cartoon Network... but it wasn't the only player in the youth television game. As a matter of fact, Fred Seibert -- the man responsible for the most inventive projects discussed in that post -- first stretched his creative legs at the network's truly venerable forerunner: Nickelodeon. Founded as Pinwheel, a six-hour block on Warner Cable's innovative QUBE system, this humble channel struggled for years before Seibert's innovative branding work transformed it into a national icon and capstone of a media empire. Much has changed since then, from the mascots and game shows to the versatile orange "splat." But starting tonight in response to popular demand, the network is looking back with a summer programming block dedicated to the greatest hits of the 1990s, including Hey Arnold!, Rocko's Modern Life, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Double Dare, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and All That. To celebrate, look inside for the complete story of the early days of the network that incensed the religious right, brought doo-wop to television, and slimed a million fans -- the golden age of Nickelodeon. (warning: monster post inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 25, 2011 - 116 comments

Robert Altman's "H.E.A.L.T.H."

HealtH (1980) [part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] was the film which ended Robert Altman’s relationship with Twentieth Century Fox, the studio for whom he had made M*A*S*H. ... During the editing of the film Altman’s main supporter, Alan Ladd Jr., left the studio and release was shelved. Altman distributed the film himself to the festival circuit. ... But it has never been released on VHS, DVD or BluRay and thus remains one of the least seen of Altman’s ouvre. This is unfortunate as it is a very entertaining film, even if it falls short of its ambitions as a political satire. Ronald Reagan disagreed - calling it "the world's worst movie".
posted by Trurl on Jul 8, 2011 - 18 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) of The Pain talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

Old School Weblog

This Isn't Happiness — what we remember weblogs to be a decade ago, like MeFi, it's all about the links. It features art and photography, music and books, even occasional politics. But it never fails to be beautiful. [occasional nsfw image]
posted by netbros on Feb 27, 2011 - 33 comments

Art and Europe's Last Dictatorship

Fascinating and inspiring interview with playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard by Riz Khan on the subject of Belarus, a country ruled by the dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and whether artists can have an impact on the world of politics. Recently, the troupe Belarus Free Theatre has been touring the West with Being Harold Pinter, to rave reviews. Stoppard himself was a child refugee, escaping with his family from Czechoslovakia in 1939.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 27, 2011 - 15 comments

They Made It In Iran

"Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh on making art about sex and politics in the Middle East..." and how they fled and what they're up to now. More images here.
posted by artof.mulata on Sep 8, 2010 - 1 comment

Goodbye Heyoka

John Kay’s Heyoka Magazine project January 2005 though June 2010 is now completed. All 34 volumes are online.
The Interviews section is a treasure trove from Shirin Neshat to Rick del Savio to David Michael Kennedy
Many reference Native American culture today: Tommy Lightening Bolt and Mala Spotted Eagle and William Under Baggage and Pete Catches
The range is great from Photos of the Apatani in Arunachal Pradesh to extreme bikram yoga and Leonard Cohen Everybody knows. The list goes on. Heyoka has morphed into non duality magazine
posted by adamvasco on Aug 29, 2010 - 2 comments

Make Art! Change the World! Starve!

Make Art! Change the World! Starve!: The Fallacy of Art as Social Justice
posted by divabat on Aug 13, 2010 - 40 comments

The future, broken down

40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years For it's 40th anniversary issue, Smithsonian magazine asks experts in various fields for insights into our future and compiles a list of 40 predictions about the future of science, nature, the arts and technology. The feature essay is by President Obama, in which he explains why he's optimistic about America's future. (VIA) [more inside]
posted by mondaygreens on Jul 15, 2010 - 48 comments

Don't just make art, make food!

"Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with." [more inside]
posted by KS on Jun 4, 2010 - 66 comments

I do not know what art means but I know what it is.

The Wisdom Of Rats - A personal essay on art and time and everything, by Charles Bowden for Harper's.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 6, 2010 - 12 comments

Can you find Satan?

"This may truly be the most important new painting of the twenty first century." The McNaughton Fine Art Company presents "One Nation Under God" [cache], an... interesting take on American history in a nifty zoom interface. Artist John McNaughton, who calls himself "the only living artist in the world today" to practice the Barbizon School of French Impressionism, has an extensive body of less opinionated work for you to admire. Interview. Character list.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 6, 2009 - 305 comments

Tales of the New Frontier - JFK Comics!

Tales of the New Frontier - Adventures in a mythical 1960's Kennedy administration. Comics by Todd Ramsell.
posted by Ufez Jones on May 29, 2009 - 7 comments

Fuck the President. Literally.

"In Join Or Die, I paint myself having sex with the Presidents of the United States in chronological order."
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 27, 2009 - 130 comments

You Betcha

This f*cking election. A babble tower.
posted by digaman on Nov 2, 2008 - 100 comments

reportage illustration

Overlooked New York, Impassioned New Yorkers from an Artist's Perspective by Zina Saunders, who is now becoming better known for her darkly humorous political images. Her blog on the illustrator blogsite, Drawger. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 5, 2008 - 18 comments

Room 641A

The Secret Room: EFF Designer's Cartoon on Illegal Spying. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 23, 2008 - 11 comments

The Political Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman

The political cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman lampooned American politics from the era of Grover Cleveland to the Truman administration. If he's known today it's mostly for having originated the teddy bear. While some of his cartoons have scant relevance today, many remain surprisingly relevant. Of the many historical events he drew there are women's suffrage, the 1948 election and the 1912 Republican primaries between Taft and Roosevelt.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 21, 2008 - 10 comments

Charges against artist Steve Kurtz thrown out

Biomaterial charges against N.Y. art professor dismissed. A judge has thrown out the charges against Steve Kurtz. Finally. Kurtz's case was previously discussed here and here. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 21, 2008 - 29 comments

Improved Billboard Touts AT&T and NSA Collaboration

"The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants." [Via Threat Level.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 28, 2008 - 67 comments

Political Emotions

The Feel Tank. "We are a feel tank, but this does not mean that we do not think. We are governed by outrage that the desires and demands for a less bad life and a better good life continue to go unrecognized."
posted by papakwanz on Feb 7, 2008 - 25 comments

Big man with a big heart does his part

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 5, 2007 - 12 comments

Freaks in the Big Top the Artwork of Mark Bryan

New Work from artist Mark Bryan's Sideshow [more inside]
posted by hortense on Oct 2, 2007 - 2 comments

Htein Lin: Burma Inside Out

Burmese artist Htein Lin was imprisoned by his country's military government from 1998 to 2004 on charges of planning opposition protests. In prison he was forced to improvise to continue painting, using paints smuggled in by guards and white cotton prison uniforms as canvases. In place of brushes he used his fingers, cigarette lighters, syringes, pieces of netting, dinner plates, and blocks of soap. Burma Inside Out (PDF), an exhibition of some of his prison work, will be on display at the Asia House Gallery in London from July 27 to October 13.
posted by homunculus on Jul 26, 2007 - 10 comments

Got MLK?

When he's not writing for The Adventures of Chico and Guapo or MadTV, Colin Quashie is creating his own brand of political art (with some help from elementary school kids on that last one). He has even put together a free coloring book to help you sort out the civil rights movement. What does it all mean? He'll tell you.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jul 3, 2007 - 2 comments

To Each, His Own ... Country

In 1980 artist Lars Vilks began construction of two sculptures in Skåne, Sweden. The works—once they were found—were considered houses by the local authorities and therefore condemned because they were built on a nature reserve. After many lost appeals, Vilks protested by declaring the area as the micronation of Ladonia with the motto of suum cuique. And while there is no possibility of receiving work or actually living in Ladonia, you too can become a citizen of Ladonia. For a nominal fee you can even become nobility, and choose your own title!
posted by terrapin on Apr 6, 2007 - 23 comments

The world is thinking

Fora Tv is a good place to watch videos of lectures and discussions on topics ranging from politics and science to religion and the arts. Whether you'd like to see Jim Lehrer talk about politics and prose, or watch Brian Eno and Will Wright discuss the joys and techniques of generative creation, you might find something here to like
posted by localhuman on Jan 24, 2007 - 4 comments

I would like to take this opportunity to endorse the candidacy of Mr. Peanut for mayor of Vancouver.

We need more artists in politics! In 1969, Canadian performance artist Vincent Trasov constructed a human-sized peanut costume and took on the familiar identity of Planters mascot Mr. Peanut. Five years later, Trasov took his performance art persona to the next level as he entered Mr. Peanut into the 1974 Vancouver mayoral election, running on a platform of "Performance, Elegance, Art, Nonsense, Uniqueness, and Talent." Trasov posed a "visual question" to his opponents at the debates via tap dance, received at least one celebrity endorsement during his campaign, and in the end, garnered 3.4% of the vote. Recently, Trasov (and fellow artist Michael Morris) launched the Morris/Trasov Archive, where you can find a nice collection of photos from the campaign trail online (Performance -> My Five Years in a Nutshell).

Mr. Peanut remains a central part of Trasov's art; his "Histories" place Mr. Peanut in the Bamyian Valley of Afghanistan, the Marx-Engels monument at Berlin, and at the entrance to Thebes, playing the role of Oedipus opposite the Sphinx.
posted by duffell on Dec 10, 2006 - 11 comments

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