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What’s the Opposite of Kickstarter?

Nope, not communism–it’s Kickstopper, a “website that raises funding to crush people’s dreams, at the exact moment when they need to be crushed.” The team from YouTube’s Universal Comedy channel imagines the anti-crowdfunding force with the help of a trio of floundering creative entrepreneurs: a guy who once yearned to make a semi-autobiographical film about his failed college romance (“set in the Jazz Age” and featuring “a wide variety of fedoras”), a young woman who looked to Kickstarter to make her glassblowing dreams come true, and an inventor of a killer smartphone accessory.

Quote of Note | Alanna Heiss on FOOD

“Early on a call went out to the entire team to help spread the concrete on the new floor of the restaurant. But the amount Gordon Matta-Clark had ordered was significantly more than was needed, and the concrete truck wouldn’t stop pouring. A great metal chute ran from the truck through our open window. The river of concrete kept flowing–what was in the truck had to come out of the truck. Concrete began to rise over our ankles, well above the level where we thought the floor should be. We shoveled. We tried to make piles we could break up later. We pushed cement high into the corners of the room, we tried to pile it up onto the walls, but it flowed back down onto the rising floor. Outside, the truck driver smoked his cigar and looked bored.”

-Alanna Heiss, curator and former director of PS1 Contemporary Art Center and a director of Art International Radio, shares a memory of the legendary Soho restaurant FOOD in the Frieze New York 2013 catalogue. As part of Frieze Projects, the fair is presenting a special tribute to FOOD in the form of a temporary restaurant where each day a different artist is invited to cook.

Quote of Note | Lena Dunham

“I’m just so fascinated with what the approach to theme will be–is it about a punk attitude? Is it about the specific time period referred to as punk? I think there are a lot of mysteries to be unveiled. And we can use it as an excuse to spit inside the museum…just inside a cistern of some sort, any old Greek cisterns we might find.”

-The delightful Lena Dunham on her expectations for last night’s punk-themed Met Gala. She attended with Erdem Moralioglu, who designed her dress, complete with upper back-bearing “tattoo window.” The two had a transatlantic fitting via iPad. Added Dunham, “My dog ate a safety pin during the fitting, which is punk.”

Let’s Play #ArchitectBandNames!

Crank up the LEED Zeppelin, design fans, because Twitter is abuzz with a most delightful hashtag: #ArchitectBandNames. Who wouldn’t want to listen to Edward Durell Stone Temple Pilots or jam out to Jeanne Gang Gang Dance? Enjoy some of our favorites from across the twitterverse:


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Quote of Note | David Tang

“The Riedel stemless wine goblet is foul to look at and fouler to drink wine from. Calling it a ‘goblet’ is an insult to me as a good Catholic altar-boy who is used to gleaming silver grails at Mass. If you are so antsy about wine glasses having stems, you should get some old ones without stems–especially those with a square crystal base. The idea that you should worry endlessly about glasses of red wine being knocked over is typically one of those irritating middle-class anxieties best consigned to oblivion. If a glass of red wine is knocked over, then it’s knocked over. We will just have to clean it up. Blotches on tablecloths and carpets are the marks of stylish nonchalance and confidence.”

-Sir David Tang, responding to a reader question concerning Riedel wine tumblers, in his most recent “Agony Uncle” column for the Financial Times

Watch This: Liz Magic Laser’s Armory Show Focus Group

Over the years, the Armory Show has shifted its expectations of the year’s commissioned artist from creating a few fresh works to showcase in the catalogue and as benefit editions to “helping to create the visual identity of the fair.” (Fortunately, wildly talented graphic designer Reed Seifer has been there to do the heavy lifting.) And so the selection of performance-inclined Liz Magic Laser as this year’s Armory Show poster artist was cause for eyebrow raising, even before the press release that promised she would “activate the fair’s heritage as a site of innovation and discovery,” a phrase that evoked a portrait of the artist as a young gumshoe, raising an oversized magnifying glass to her eye. Laser went the inside baseball route (hey, it worked for Argo) and hit a home run. Embracing the sleek corporate efficiency of the megafair, she embarked on an market research odyssey, staging a series of focus groups composed of collectors, curators, art pros, and journalists, to help her strategize what she would create for the fair, from limited-edition works to tote bags. Watch and enjoy:

Font Heresy! Vatican’s Comic Sans Sendoff to Pope Benedict XVI

An e-book issued by the Vatican to commemorate the papacy of Benedict XVI (who Barry Blitt has depicted relaxing on a hammock on the cover of this week’s New Yorker) reminds readers that the “the Pope’s ministry is a guarantee of obedience to Christ and to his Word,” even if that Word is set in…Comic Sans. That’s right, design fans, the 265th pope is going out not with a bang but a typographic whimper. Benedictus XVI, which now greets all visitors to the parchment-look homepage of the Vatican as it muddles through the virtual side of Seda Vacante, is a collection of 60 photos of the pope on the job–palling around with John Paul II in the pre-Twitter era, consulting scripture, kissing babies, walking along bucolic lanes, and brandishing a variety of weighty golden objects–all annotated in godless Comic Sans. Adding to the typographic heresy is the prominent digital watermark of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, that appears on most of the photos: it is set in Papyrus.

Barbie Lists Dreamhouse for $25 Million

Today in unreal estate news, Barbie is looking to sell her Malibu dreamhouse. The listing of the fictional pink palace–a bargain at $25 million–is Mattel’s way of launching “a year-long global brand campaign” that will follow Barbie on a worldwide hunt for new digs (may we suggest Vilnius?). “It wasn’t an easy decision for Barbie to put her Dreamhouse on the market, but this move marks an unprecedented opportunity for her fans to get an inside look at her dreamy home,” said Lori Pantel, VP of global marketing for Barbie, in a statement issued today.

Mattel tapped L.A. broker Josh Altman, who you may recall from Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, to handle the fictional sale. Despite the abundance of hot pink scrollwork and Victorian flourishes, the listing describes the three-story manse as “clean-line[d]” and “contemporary.” Elsewhere, real estate euphemisms tout the Dreamhouse as “innovatively scaled” and with “a truly unobstructed view of the ocean” (it has only three walls). And while $25 million is steep for a one-bedroom, where else are you going to find custom Pantone 219C hardwood floors? Adds Altman, “This is the only home in Malibu with a self-flushing toilet and fireplace that crackles even when it’s not on.”

Quote of Note | David Tang on Cars

“On [car] colors, I have always heard that green is unlucky. The British racing green is also often confused with the modern metallic green that seems to be favored by accountants. A good friend of mine, who controls a multinational conglomerate, forbids any of his companies to carry out transactions with a country whose flag has got green in it. So no Zimbabwe, and half of the countries in Africa–nor Ireland nor Italy. It is, surprisingly, a rather smart rule. On cleanliness, I hate the images of the father washing the car, with his young son drying with one of those yellow suede cloths, in the drive of their semi-bijou residence. This is such a haunting image that I have never worried about the state of cleanliness of any car. When I got married, I left the church with my bride in a filthy Hummer full of mud that had been accumulated from three days of shooting.”

-Sir David Tang, who first visited Monte Carlo in “a completely clapped out [Citroën] Deux-CV,” in his most recent “Agony Uncle” column for the Financial Times

Conan Rounds Up Least Viral Videos of 2012

“Best of” lists are a dime a dozen at this time of year, but only the most discerning cultural critics dare to voyage into “worst of” territory. Conan O’Brien and Team Coco prove themselves up to the task in this roundup of the least viral videos of 2012. No “Gangnam Style” here, moving image fans, but you will find five less than scintillating and refreshingly trendproof gems such as the aptly titled “Reading.” And remember: virality is in the eye of the beholder. Andy Warhol would have taken these over PSY and “KONA 2012″ any day.

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