Paola Antonelli‘s twenty-year career at the Museum of Modern Art has been a journey through many facets of design, “from cute chairs and fast cars to video games and now also the idea of violence,” she told the audience at the recent DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in New York. Watch her talk from that confab below to gain insight into the darker side of design as explored—and hacked, penetrated, manipulated, penetrated, and exploded—through Design and Violence, an online curatorial experiment that explores the manifestations of violence in contemporary society.
When did beauty become a dirty—or at least obsolete—word for artists and designers? Stefan Sagmeister weighed on the issue in his stimulating—ok, beautiful—presentation at last week’s DLD (Digital-Life-Design) conference in New York City. Watch the video below for an aesthetic journey that goes from the industrial shed that is Memphis’s Cook Covention Center (“Elvis had truly left the building.”) to a consideration of the impact of Sagmeister’s fellow Austrian Adolf Loos to faux Mondrians (can you tell the real from the fake?) to a mesmerizing coda complete with jiggly gelatin typography.
The fifth annual School of Visual Arts MFA Design Criticism (a.k.a D-Crit) conference, “Lingua Franca,” drew an impressive, international crowd to the SVA Theatre, where members of the Class of 2014 presented their thesis research alongside guest speakers such as writer and curator (at Hong Kong’s new M+ museum) Aric Chen, material anthropologist Emily Stokes-Rees, and creator of the MIT Press Mediawork project Peter Lunenfeld. Those that missed—or want to relive—last Friday’s proceedings are in luck: videos of the sessions are now available online. We suggest beginning with novelist and critic Nicholson Baker‘s keynote address, “Wrapping Sentences Around Things”:
Style.com and the rest of the Condé Nast crew elected not to repeat last year’s rather awkward livestreaming of the arrivals at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala, but they did keep a camera trained on the indefatigable André Leon Talley on Monday evening as he held court at the top of the carpeted granite stairs shouting terse greetings (“Instagram! Patricia!”) and complimenting ensembles. The result is a series of very, very short videos such as this one, in which Talley and Tom Ford discuss the work of designer Charles James, the subject of this year’s spring Costume Institute exhibition; the textile of Ford’s own sumptous white waistcoat (spoiler alert: silk!); and the sartorial preferences of Ford’s toddler son.
Biographer and art critic Deborah Solomon stopped by The Colbert Report this week to discuss her latest book, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), which reveals that the American-as-apple-pie artist wrestled with severe depression and was consumed by a sense of inadequacy. The real scandal, for Colbert, is that Rockwell was not the political conservative that he has been made out to be. Among Solomon’s revelations is that he [gasp!] voted for Kennedy.
In the deepest reaches of an IKEA superstore, no one can hear you scream. OK, so they can hear you, but they cannot be bothered to listen, because who can heed the anguished cries of others when attempting to decide between the Söderhamn (in Replösa? in Isefall?) and the Härnösand, or maybe the Tidafors, but what about the Strandmon (does that still come in Skiftebo)? Grab your morning course of meatballs, pull up an Esbjörn, and treat yourself to Daniel Hubbard‘s dramatic reenactment of the lost-in-IKEA-by-way-of-Alfonso-Cuaron‘s-Gravity experience. We think it’s out of this world.
It’s experimental animation! It’s pottery! Stop, you’re both right! Watch the creations of Devon, England-based Ramp Ceramics (that stands for “Roop & Al make Pots”) come alive in this film by Jim Le Fevre, Mike Paterson, and the aforementioned Rupert (“Roop”) and Alice (“Al”) Johnstone. The production was commissioned by the UK’s Crafts Council.
One of the benefits of being President of the United States that you won’t read about in civics textbooks is the opportunity to admire for at least four and as many as eight Decembers, a 300-pound, edible replica of your home without ever leaving it. (And because you are the President, no one can stop you from uprooting a fondant fir or two for a quick taste test.)
This year, the White House chronicled the creation of its gingerbread doppelgänger in this video, which compresses several weeks of work—led by Pastry Chef-in-Chief Bill Yosses—into less than two action-packed minutes. The finished product, now on view in the State Dining Room until what we imagine to be an epic New Year’s Eve demolition party, includes a functioning replica of the North Lawn fountain and not-to-scale models of the Obama family dogs, Bo and Sunny.
What is like to be on the front lines, armed with only a camera and surging adrenaline? Ron Haviv has 23 years worth of answers. The photojournalist’s work across 18 countries unfurls in “Testimony,” an exhibition on view through January 31 at New York’s Anastasia Photo gallery. “I believe and have dedicated my life to witnessing history in an attempt to create a body of evidence that holds people accountable,” Haviv has said. In this video, the first in a new series produced by the gallery, Haviv is joined by Sebastian Junger for a discussion about war, stories, pictures, emotions, and what happens when those things collide.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…Fred Armisen dressed like Beau Brummel and helping people to overcome awkward situations. Don’t be confused by the period dress or 1990s-Canadian-sitcom-level production values, this modern-day superhero is Ambiance Man, a new series created by artist Alix Lambert for MOCAtv, the YouTube channel of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
“Ambiance Man is a series about a superhero who fixes what we really need fixed in our day-to-day lives,” says Lambert, who previously teamed with MOCAtv—and Sam Chou of Toronto’s Style5—for CRIME: The Animated Series. “While most superheroes are focused on preventing the end of the world, Ambiance Man is focused on transforming the moments that feel like the end of the world.” The 13-episode series also features Jack Black, Jibz Cameron, Peter Macon, and Atsuko Okatsuka.