Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shepard Fairey: Clean Energy For America

Shepard Fairey never fails to bring powerful messages to the public through beautifully simple images. I admire his intelligence, his talent, and his unrelenting approach to art and politics.


Mandrake to Super 8

I love Los Angeles in the Summer time...

This Saturday one of my favorite bars, The Mandrake, is hosting an opening for artist Scott Benzel which starts at 7.00PM. Since the Mandrake knows that you need to lube yourself up for the occasion, they offer a pretty radical happy hour: $2 off cocktails, $5 PBRs w/ a shot of whiskey to wash it down, or a $5 Tecate w/ a shot of Tequila if you're feeling So Cal.
But it doesn't end there...
Less than two miles down the road Flux is hosting Super 8 which also begins at 7.00PM ending at 10.00PM
'The Flux Super 8 is the first annual showcase that celebrates eight of the most exciting and emerging filmmakers, video artists, and design collectives from around the world. The inaugural Flux Super 8 will launch with a show at the Scion Installation Gallery in Culver City. The artists will develop site-specific installations created exclusively for or premiering for the first time in Los Angeles for the exhibition.

The Flux Super 8 are: The Blackheart Gang (Cape Town, South Africa); Max Erdenberger (Portland, USA); Saam Farahmand (London, UK); Sophie Gateau (Paris, France); Miwa Matreyek (Los Angeles, USA); Terri Timely (San Francisco, USA); United Visual Artists (UVA) (London, UK); YesYesNo (Amsterdam, NL + New York, NY).'
I know what I'm doing this Saturday

Maleen Neel Rings

The street ring designed by Maleen Neel allows you to mix and match a variety of candy colored stones to your hearts desire...I'm way into it as life really is all about having choices. The band itself comes in two designs that look great side by side.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Project H Design

We champion industrial design as a tool to address social issues, a vehicle for global life improvement, and a catalyst for individual and community empowerment. Using a scalable local-to global model for all projects, design fellows and volunteers in 6 US and 3 international chapters work to create systems and solutions for the developing world, homelessness, education, foster care, health care, and more.

We are a global coalition of hundreds of designers worldwide. We work with, not for, organizations, enterprises, communities, and individuals. We provide enabling, sustainable, meaningful, and efficient design solutions.

Death & Taxes


Touchable Hologram Becomes Reality


Los Angeles Arboretum

Flux Super 8, Culver City


Support Health Care Reform in Los Angeles


Help Put Prop 8 on the Ballot in 2010


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

MIA: Jimmy (Adja)

This MIA song 'Jimmy' is great especially because it's originally a part of the soundtrack to an old Bollywood film called Disco Dancer, a film that I really enjoyed. Makes MIA's version that much more fun...

And the original from Disco Dancer!!! I Love It! Death by Electric Guitar!

The GTOs (Girls Together Outrageously)


Following the Money: Billboard Company Lobbyists Speak Out Against New Sign Ordinance, Deliver for L.A. City Election Campaigns

According to... http://banbillboardblight.org/?p=2457

A predictable sight at the seven public meetings held to date on the new city sign ordinance has been billboard company lobbyists at the speakers’ podium, all arguing that the proposed ban on digital signs and the limitations on the height and size of billboards and other signs will impede business activity and cost jobs. While they have offered scant evidence to support these predictions, one thing is clear. The process of revising the sign ordinance has provided plenty of employment for lobbying firms that have also raised significant amounts of money for the campaign coffers of city politicians.

For example, the four largest billboard companies in the city-Clear Channel Outdoor, CBS Outdoor, Van Wagner, and Lamar Advertising, paid $217,000 to lobbying firms in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009, according to reports filed with the City Ethics Commission. The biggest spender was Van Wagner, a New York City based company that has supergraphic signs in L.A. in addition to conventional billboards. Van Wagner, one of a number of companies that have sued the city to block enforcement of a ban on those supergraphics, paid lobbying firm Cerrell & Associates $90,124 in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.

Other lobbying payments made during that time period were: CBS Outdoor to Afriat Consulting Group, $71,127; Clear Channel Outdoor to Urban Solutions, $36,281; and Lamar Advertising to Ken Spiker & Associates, $20,000. In addition, the California Sign Association, whose membership includes those companies, paid $18,000 to the lobbying firm, Arnie Berghoff & Associates.

Those same lobbying firms also helped bankroll 2009 election campaigns through fundraising for candidates for city attorney, city controller, and the city council.

According to Ethics Commission reports, a total of $173,900 was raised for candidates, although it should be noted that the above lobbying firms have a variety of clients in addition to the sign companies. The most favored recipient of this largesse was City Councilman Ed Reyes, who was given $26,450 for his re-election campaign against token opposition. Reyes is chairman of the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, which conducted hearings on the new sign ordinance...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Curious Oddysees @ C.A.V.E. Gallery

June 12 2009 Opening Reception

Afro Funke 6 Year Anniversary

Ok folks....so this is it...our Afro Funke' 6 Year Anniversary is THIS Thursday. We have spared no expense to put together an amazing line up. Please come out early (doors @ 8pm!) and pre-sale is recommended for the no-wait list (and $5 discount.) Jeremy, Cary, Rocky, Glenn, Tatiana, and Jordan can't wait to celebrate with you.

Thank YOU for 6 beautiful years.....here is to many more!!

$15 / $10 advance
Thursday June 11 (9pm–2am)
Zanzibar (1301 5th St)

Nosaj Thing 'Drift' Record Release Party


Wednesday June 10 @ 10pm
The Airliner: 2419 N Broadway

Thu Tran's Food Party on IFC


You or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr

With this academia-obsessed novel, New York Times perfume critic Burr branches out from his nonfiction scent-based books. Howard Rosenbaum is a Jewish powerhouse in Hollywood with an Anglo-Saxon wife, Anne, whom he met at Columbia University, where they both earned Ph.D.s in literature. Now they live among "pathologically narcissistic" people with an "utter disdain for the written word." But when narrator Anne is solicited to compile a book list for Dreamworks CEO Stacey Snider (Burr weaves actual Hollywood bigwigs into the tale), the list becomes a small book club, then morphs into a huge gathering with Anne the literary guru to virtually all of Hollywood. Anne and Howard's only child, Sam, travels to Israel, and Howard's initial delight sours when Sam is rejected by a rabbi in Jerusalem for an intensive study "program" because he is not officially Jewish and therefore "unclean." A true celebration of intellect, Burr's tale does, occasionally, misstep into a pedantic bog, but ultimately examines the personal decision each of us must make to run from, or embrace, our identity. (Publishers Weekly June)

Monday June 22 (7pm)
Book Soup (8818 W Sunset Blvd)

Pasadena at Vroman's on Tuesday, June 23, at 7pm

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sarah Sophie Flicker of Citizen's Band

Comrade Couture: Revisiting Communist Germany's Fashion Scene

I really hope that this documentary makes it out for a screening in Los Angeles...
According to Spiegel Online International...

Most think of East Germany as having been drab, gray and boring. But an underground fashion scene did its best to spice things up. A new documentary takes a look at the perils of creating avant-garde couture in a communist country.

Marco Wilms clearly remembers an early lesson from his days as an elementary school pupil in communist East Germany. One day, the director drew a crooked tree on a chalkboard. She then explained to the class that her job, and that of the socialist collective, was to bend that tree and make it grow straight.

"It was obvious that she was referring to me," said Wilms, laughing.

Under a regime that demanded conformity, Wilms preferred individualism, and wasn't afraid of speaking his mind. He paid the price. As a teenager, he was labeled a "potential enemy of the state" and barred from finishing high school, despite top grades. Instead of applying to art academies as planned, he spent the next three years waking up at 6 a.m. to work at a factory making fish hooks.

But when a scout spotted Wilms at a disco and recruited him to join East Germany's elite cadre of state-sanctioned models, Wilms finally found his niche: Pulsating on the fringes of East Germany's highly regulated mainstream fashion world was a brazen alternative scene that reveled in self-expression, subverting precepts of how a citizen of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) was to dress and act.

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wilms -- now a fairly ordinary-looking, if sleekly dressed, 43-year-old filmmaker -- has documented this thrilling movement. His touchingly personal "Comrade Couture," which hit German cinemas earlier this spring, combines film footage and photos from the 1980s and revisits four of the scene's most vivid personalities in an attempt to summon the thrill of freedom and economically unencumbered creativity that lent East Germany's fashion underground its potency.

Opposition Cloaked in the Guise of Aesthetics:

One of those is Frank Schäfer. Once one of the GDR's most sought after stylists (who recently drew attention for advertising pubic hair styling at his Berlin salon), Schäfer has a maxim that underscores the intensity that marked Communist Germany's fashion netherworld. "A tiger that lives in a cage is much wilder than a tiger that is free to roam," he says.

The scene's illicit shows, staged everywhere from living rooms to abandoned chapels and bath houses, were ebulliently theatrical, heavily influenced by punk, Goth and New Wave aesthetics and peppered with undertones of morbid and aggressive sexuality. The models' dark makeup and exquisitely freakish get-ups contradicted East Germany's wholesome state-approved fashion. For many, the stage was not just an opportunity to strut on catwalks and perform, it was a rare venue to express an element of their true selves under a repressive regime.

Over the years, the performances, hosted by two main groups -- Allerleirauh (All Kinds of Fur) and Chic, Charmant und Dauerhaft (Stylish, Charming and Enduring), known simply as CCD -- grew increasingly elaborate, eventually featuring original music scores and over 100 designs created purely for a handful of packed performances attended by a small network of fashionistas and rebels.

The fact that the scene blossomed primarily in the 1980s, a time in East Germany when the state took a slightly more tolerant view of non-conformism, may explain the survival of the groups in a communist dictatorship. Still, a constant fear of arrest fueled the intimacy and excitement at the shows. Those lucky enough to be clued in say they were unforgettable.

"I got goose bumps watching them. It was clear that they might be taken to jail at any moment," recalled Grit Seymour, who worked as a model and designer in East Germany -- even tailoring a dress for Erich Honecker's wife -- and later parlayed her experience into work for Donna Karan, Max Mara and Hugo Boss. "They pushed things very close to the edge and it felt very moving, very illuminating and freeing to be there. It was an act of strong opposition cloaked in the guise of aesthetics and beauty."

Making Due With Shortages

The German title for Wilms' documentary, "Ein Traum in Erdbeerfolie," translates as "A Dream in Strawberry Foil." It refers to the durable plastic that farmers use to cover strawberries -- a material that served the underground designers well, as the GDR offered little in the way of quality fabric, most having been reserved for export.

"We also used black and white striped shower curtains...and hospital bags meant to hold organs and intestines," remembers Sabine von Otteginen, the dynamo behind the group CCD and another of Wilms' protagonists.

Once a police officer threatened to ban the group for tempting East Germans with fashions that could not be bought. In response, von Oettingen cried, "But they can make it themselves!" and offered to have patterns thrown into the crowds from the catwalk.

The reality, however, was that even the garb in official magazines wasn't usually for sale. Aside from in pricy, under-stocked government boutiques, there wasn't much worth buying.

Dorothea Melis, a former editor of the GDR magazine Sibylle, writes that fashion spreads were cobbled together from found and individually manufactured items, which caused many a reader to write angry letters, complaining that the patterns were impossible to follow. "Our helpless answer was always 'improvise, sew things yourself, dig through old drawers and closets,'" Melis recalls in her book about Sibylle. Instead of clothing, then, magazines sold ideas and patterns.

In fact, creativity and individual style flourished in the context of East Germany's tight economy. A handful of independent designers profited from selling one-off items to a population with mostly hand-me-downs and ill-fitting, mass-produced government garb at its disposal. Improvisation was also common.

"My mother sewed me an outfit from bed sheets, and I decorated it with graffiti because Beat Street was playing in the theaters at the time and I was a huge break-dance fan," said Wilms, who also remembers having been wearing a half-finished, homemade faux-leather jacket with enormous shoulder pads when the model scout approached him.

Socialist Models With An Elite Touch

East German fashion photography was an art unto itself. Although magazine images were government monitored, Wilms says they "offered an aesthetic world that didn't need to be commercial but just had to appeal to a kind of longing."

For Full Article please see: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,628632,00.html