Art Quoted

Some days you wake up and immediately start to worry. Nothing in particular is wrong it's just the suspicion that forces are aligning quietly and there will be trouble.

Jenny Holzer

Supermodels Quoted

We have this saying, Christy and I: We don't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day

—Linda Evangelista

See why Linda and Christy Turlington called the shots during the Supermodel era

What happens in Japan... will come to haunt you on the Internet

Cindy Crawford for Pocari Sweat

Brad Pitt and Wes Anderson for Softbank Mobile

Phoenix - Fences

Lego on Avedon

via Flickr

Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light

Looking at the work of the late Richard Avedon is a humbling experience. His portraits are the work of an exacting technician, a humanitarian, a true artist, and a cruel, neurotic genius. The 1995 documentary Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light gives comprehensive insight into what a unique visionary he was - and how he was definitely the kind of person you'd want to party with. If you can get your hands on this, it's definitely worth a look.

(FYI, I hear that Bob Mercer screens this doc in the SFU course CMNS 375 Magazine Publishing)

Avedon delivers quote-worthy sound bites here that inspire you to take pictures--or at the very least, look up his work and discover what a great force he was in American photography for more than 50 years. His work extends far beyond the fashion photography and handful or portraits we know him for today.

We've all seen his work, and you probably didn't even know it. If you've ever looked at the liner notes for the Beatles White Album, or 1, then you've seen Avedon's photography. This 2008 post from perpenduum.com looks at the influences of Lartigue and Avedon on the work of Wes Anderson, particularly in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Here's some great trivia facts to take to your next social event involving art or film snobs:

* An Avedon-style photo of actor Owen Wilson, in imitation of Avedon's American West photo of Boyd Fortin holding a disemboweled snake, was used in a prop for the film The Royal Tenenbaums; Wilson's mother Laura Wilson was a close assistant to Avedon.

* This famous (and fantastic) cast photo was taken by Richard Avedon:

A clip from Richard Avedon: Light and Darkness



Put down that glass of milk you're drinking before you read this, or it may come out of your nose:

From the Onion:
Oh No, Performers Coming Into Audience

PITTSBURGH—Audience members at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts are reporting that, oh God, no, approximately 20 extremely enthusiastic actors are approaching the edge of the stage and appear determined to continue their current musical number in the main seating area.

"Oh, man, are they? Shit," one audience member was overheard saying as the energetic ensemble began filing down previously unseen stairs and past the front row. "Shit, shit, shit."

Increasingly uncomfortable audience sources have also confirmed that the performers are proceeding down the aisle with crisp, larger-than-normal steps timed perfectly to the music. Even more shocking, some appear intent on interacting with non–cast members.

...While most theatergoers have avoided meeting the actors' gaze by smiling awkwardly and staring straight ahead, the roughly 76 people seated on the aisles have been less fortunate. Performers are currently removing them from their seats and are apparently forcing them to participate in some kind of humiliating choreographed dance.

Jesus Christ, one actor just did a jumping toe-touch from the stage into the audience, pumped his fist, and high-fived a fellow performer, prompting those in the first several rows to jerk back in their seats and shield their heads.
For more details, visit the Onion


Chinese Calligraphy, meet the 21st century

Here's a stunning site where you create your own music video for Spanish singer Labuat. It's all in Spanish but you'll understand what to do.

NB: Depending on your connection speed, it might take a while to load


via Fubiz and FWA


"Creative use of white space is about as realistic as a banker's bonus"

--Lindsay Nicholson, editorial director of Good Housekeeping UK, in an interview with The Guardian regarding the magazine's recent redesign

More from the Publishing Doomsday Files

Actually, it's good news! The only magazines that are dying, says Gabriel Sherman are stinkers or titles that service ad buyers before readers.

From Slate.com's The Big Money:
"...a closer look at the types of magazines that have closed reveals a more nuanced and, in many respects, hopeful portrait of the magazine business. According to a list compiled by Advertising Age, titles that have shut down in the past year come from the shelter, technology, travel, luxury, and teen categories. The reason for each category's challenges are obvious, from a meltdown in the housing sector to teenagers' wholesale abandonment of print for Facebook and Twitter.

"Yet the general conclusion that many extrapolate from these recent shutdowns is wrong. It's not that magazines are dying; it's that magazines that were created solely for advertising or market-share purposes are. New magazine titles often fail from a combination of bad timing, bad thinking, and a bad choice of brands to extend. Put simply, there are too many mediocre magazines."

"...Largely, these magazines never caught on with readers. And it's not surprising. Magazines are emotional products. They are objects of aspiration, passion, and desire. No one needs to read magazines, but millions of readers still subscribe to their favorite titles because they harbor deep connections to the glossy pages. As one veteran editor once explained to me, the best magazines make you feel like tearing open the plastic wrap the second that they arrive in your mailbox and curling up on the couch with them, ignoring whatever plans you had for the evening.

"Which is why the current downturn can be good for publishers. Magazines still offer an unsurpassed ability to marry literary ambitions with deep reporting, photography, and visual design. In this new media age, people talk about the importance of transforming readers into "communities." Magazines have never had a community problem. Great magazines have built enduring relationships with their readers that Facebook and Tumblr still aspire to. But in a race to grow their businesses, publishers put advertising first and editorial excellence second."

--"The Magazine Isn't Dying," Slate.com
Well said! P.S. Did you know People was a spin-off of Time magazine?


This kid is the best, full stop

"This kid is the best. Dude is like, "Doesn't even matter, lightning from my hands, what." He's like, "Lightsaber upside your head, bitch." Stan Winston is looking down from heaven and saying "Would a smile hurt?" And this kid is like "Relax, ghost. I run this."

Meanwhile, George Lucas is like "I need to get out of the kitchen, because it is filled with heat that I cannot take." Penguin legs. (Via Urlesque)"
via VideoGum


It's amazingly satisfying to pretend you're Daft Punk

Jill Barber charms SXSW (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Here's some Canuck-style gossip for ya. It looks like love over here... unconfirmed but my research tells me that Lawrence and Barber are sweethearts - thus, the mushy tweets.

CBCRadio3 host Grant Lawrence has been totally crushing on Halifax singer Jill Barber all week at SXSW, via Twitter:
"GrantLCBCR3 Seeing sexy Jill Barber play at Canada House at 1245pm"
"GrantLCBCR3 Best legs in Austin: Jill Barber"
"GrantLCBCR3 Jill Barber crooning sweetly at and seductively at Habana Calle 6. Nice break from the cacophony! Like being at a resort!"
"GrantLCBCR3 Jill Barber doing Sam Cooke's "Cupid", which is Jay Malinowsky of Bedouin Soundclash's all-time fave song."
You can hear the lovely tune as Jill performed it for GO! on CBC Radio for Valentine's Day below. She starts at 1:06:18 but the whole show is great. If this flash player doesn't work, search "The Soul of Love" at this link.


eeeeeeeeeee! (UPDATE - Trailer)

See the newly released trailer here

THANKS, Matt (link fixed)

I'm working for HBO too

So, because of the lack of commentary due to general brain-mushiness at this time of year, this space is inadvertently becoming a series of press releases for things I am interested in seeing and reading (whoops).

Accordingly, here's a little promo for the Criterion Collection and HBO. The first is a trailer for Grey Gardens, the 1975 documentary by the Maysle brothers about Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter, Little Edie, cousins of Jackie Kennedy. The Beales are cult figures, known for their eccentric style, and for the controversy surrounding their mansion, Grey Gardens. The Beales neglected the estate until it fell into a state of squalor so severe, they were evicted.

Just below are sneak peaks at the 2009 HBO TV movie about the Beales, also called Grey Gardens, including reenactments of moments from the 1975 documentary. Drew Barrymore is lovely, don't you think?

The Great Food Revolution

I'm high off of a great tour of CBC Vancouver on Friday. I was lucky enough to hitch onto a SFU communication students field trip to the mothership, and since then, my love for most things CBC has been renewed. So, I'm excited this week about another series of food docs that's hitting the screen. Last year, The Current broadcast some great pieces about the global food situation called "Diet for a Hungry Planet".

The Great Food Revolution takes the microscope to North Americans', and specifically, Canadians', diets:
The Great Food Revolution is a rich and spicy stew of stories about a food revolution that has transformed the way we eat, drink and think about food. Food is the new status symbol. For a rapidly growing number of people, it’s a measure of personal sophistication and the magic ingredient for a long and healthy life. It is the 21st century’s magnificent obsession. Food outsells sex on the bestseller lists, TV chefs are revered celebrities, dining has become "an entertainment", nutritionists are the new therapists.

Four, hour-long episodes, shot in High-Definition television, chart the exotic course of this all-consuming revolution that has cut a daring new swath through staid family and national traditions and altered the course of the global economy.

The Great Food Revolution is a celebration of our new culinary fascinations, told through character-driven stories that speak to the culture of food, the passion of the times and the forces of the future.
I'm always thinking about food - thinking about what to eat now and later, what I just ate, and also in a social, cultural, and political context - so these are right up my alley. I hope these interest you too.


Grayscale Bar

Like Monocle, Finnish magazine Kasino A4 reaches beyond the printed page. To represent their black and white magazine, the very stylish publishers of Kasino ran the Grayscale Bar at Colophon2009 for the duration of the magazine event in Luxembourg. Naturally only black or white drinks were served (ie coffee or vodka).

via MagCulture

Family Album

I'm currently doing research on photographer Diane Arbus for my very last undergrad paper (hurrraaay!). Arbus's last project was a Family Album (unfinished), which, among other themes, explored performance and decorum in family photographs and other formal portraits... or at least, that's what art historians think. Who knows what Arbus really had in mind.

There's an unexpected parallel to Arbus's work in a hilarious website I found this weekend. Sexy People is a blog devoted to recovering the "perfect portrait[s]." Like Arbus's work, they reveal the "freak" in all of us--especially those who had their pictures taken before 1990 at a local Sears portrait studio or by Artona.


Canada Honours Harvey

These pieces came by way of local filmmaker Jason Karman.

Last night, The National paid tribute to Harvey
[video | starts at 41:00]

CBC also filed a story online
[Yo-yo King Dies at 90]

From the family:
If you have any stories or memories you'd like to share with us about Harvey, please don't hesitate to send them to us at forharvey@lowehk.com and we will put them with his other memory items.

photo by Dean Buscher


Remembering Harvey Lowe

The Yo-Yo King of Chinatown dies at 90
By John Mackie, Vancouver Sun
March 14, 2009

They called Harvey Lowe a Chinatown legend, but that was something of an understatement.

Lowe hosted Canada's first Chinese-language radio show, was a nightclub fixture in the 1950s and '60s at clubs like the Marco Polo and the Smilin' Buddha, and a restaurateur who was involved with Chinatown hot spots like the Bamboo Terrace, the Kingsland and the Asia Gardens.

He was also the doorman at one of Chinatown's fabled gambling dens, taught Julie Christie how to smoke opium for the movie McCabe and Mrs. Miller and was once a regular on the Smothers Brothers TV show.

But his main claim to fame was as a yo-yo player. In September 1932, Lowe won the World Yo-Yo Championship in London, England. He took a $4,600 prize, and lived in London for three years, doing yo-yo exhibitions around Europe.

He visited the Eiffel Tower so often the guards would let "the little China boy" in for free. His manager insured his hands with Lloyds of London (as a gimmick: his hands were insured for only a day), and he taught the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) yo-yo tricks.

"Somebody has a picture of him playing yo-yo with me, the royal photographer," Lowe said in a 2003 interview with The Vancouver Sun.

"We tried to get that picture, but dammit, they wouldn't give it to us, because we wanted to use it for advertising."

Lowe died Wednesday at St. Paul's Hospital. He was 90.

Teaching yo-yo to a future king was a far cry from his childhood in Victoria, where he was born on Oct. 30, 1918, the 10th child of Lowe Gee Quai and Ming Yook.

His father was one of three brothers who set up tailor shops on Government Street in the 1890s. Through a bizarre immigration mix-up, all three were given the same English first name, Charlie, but were given different last names: Lowe, Hope and Wu.

Lowe's father died when he was three, and his mother supported the family by sewing. He was largely brought up by his father's concubine or mistress, who lived in the same house as the rest of the family.

"The Chinese want sons, so [my father] had a concubine," he said, noting that his mother had eight girls but only two sons.

"Imagine, both of them were living under the same roof. But they got along good. The concubine was the one that looked after me. The first mother gave birth to 10, and I had one [younger] brother from the concubine, so I was No. 11."

Harvey's fortune changed during the continental yo-yo craze of the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 1931, Lowe bought his first yo-yo for 35 cents, and he was soon winning local contests.

"I had badges and wound up with a bicycle," he recounted. "Man, that was like winning a Cadillac in 1931."

He was so good, promoter Irving Cook offered to take him to London. Lowe won the World Yo-Yo Championship on Sept. 12, 1932 at the Empire Theatre in London. At the height of his yo-yo powers, he figures he could do 2,000 different tricks with his Cheerio yo-yo, which is now in the National Yo-Yo Museum in Chico, Calif.

In late 1934, he returned to Victoria and high school. But his mother sent him to Shanghai in 1937 so he could learn to write Mandarin. He lived through the Japanese occupation there during the Second World War, but in 1949 left China when Mao Tse-tung's Communists took over.

Back in Vancouver, he got a job as a doorman at the Dye Ning gambling club in the 100 block of East Pender.

"Five or six" gambling houses operated in Chinatown at the time as social clubs. Lowe said the attitude of the authorities was simple: "You can gamble all you want among you Chinamen, as long as you don't let the English in."

It was an easy job.

"All I'd do was watch the door and let the members in. Non-members are white," he laughed."As soon as reporters would come, I used to fake [not speaking English]. 'No can come in, sorry, sorry. No can come in.' So they don't talk long with me. 'No speak.' They'd all laugh and walk away."

He bought a typewriter and started writing stories about China, which he showed to Jack Short at radio station CJOR.

He wound up doing a half-hour show, Call of China, for 12 years.

In the early 1950s he opened the Smilin' Buddha Cabaret on Hastings Street, and in the 1960s he was stage manager at the Marco Polo, one of Vancouver's top nightclubs. In later years he worked as a greeter for Canadian Pacific Airlines at the airport, was president of the Chinatown Lions Club and worked in public relations for Aberdeen Mall in Richmond.

He was a one-off, a man with a seemingly endless supply of energy. In 1995 he had surgery to deal with a tumour "like a small golf ball" in his brain. Taking the tumour out was deemed too risky, so doctors "cleaned up" his brain the best they could in a 10-hour operation.

The surgery was successful, but left a lingering problem: memory loss. Lowe coped with it the best way he knew how: by doing yo-yo tricks. And after a month, his memory returned.



I wish christmas could be sooner

Oooh baby, that's a detachable touch tablet screen on a laptop computer with two batteries so that it lasts 10-15 hours, and weighs only 2 lbs. AND it operates on your choice of O/S. I'm drooling.

Introducing the TOUCH BOOK by Always Innovating (www.alwaysinnovating.com)


via weHeartit


Where to Pass the Torch?

Michelle posted this essay, "Roe vs. Wade vs. My Boyfriend," a while ago. I didn't really know what to say about it but it certainly got me thinking again about reproductive rights. How far have we come since the 1970s? How much work is left to do? An article in the NYTimes puts everything in perspective... the outlook is not so great.

Would you put your life on the line to preserve women's right to abortions? (And is it your responsibility?)


Thanks, Internet

If I never surface from my room again, it's because I'm on Polyvore, a scrapbooking, styling, fashion watching, DIY, social networking, creative expression extravaganza. You can see what I've done with my day so far in the carousel below.

Find me on Polyvore


Unlike everyone else on the planet, I didn't see Watchmen this weekend (It made a staggering $55,655,000). However, I watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and this:


It's better in French

And here are a few more NSFW covers I love via The Selby. Thanks, Ryan... those workspaces were inspiring.

P.S. In related design problem solving, here's a similar use of typography on the cover of Wallpaper.
Playboy, the Braille Edition by Taryn Simon

Vanilla Ice has something to say

via RightMusicWrongs (NB: He was paid to say sorry ... but it was nice to hear anyway)

In reality, it's weird

This is a very weird blog feature that Style.com has launched for this season's fashion weeks called "Virtual Front Row". They have correspondents in Milan, Paris, New York phone in a blog-style post and Style.com animates the avatars in these little "live" videos below. It's a very bizarre little idea, not in the fact that the technology is very exciting but because it looks a bit creepy.

I wonder if people are enjoying these. Either way, they are fascinating to me. Here's (from top to bottom), Erin Wasson, Tim Blanks (yay!), and Vera Wang. Other contributors include Michael Kors, Haley Freedman, Averyl Oates, Jefferson Hack, and Oliver Zahm. All "virtual front row" videos so far can be found here. And in this meta-moment , Jefferson Hack (current editorial director of Dazed and Confused) plays around with the idea of avatar mash-ups.


A little bit of literary eye candy: the Book Cover Archive (like Sleevage but for books)

Some hand-picked favourites:

Megan Lau: Owns Home Computer

via BoingBoing

Clash of the Titans: Google vs. Amazon & Apple

Today, Amazon announced that it will sell e-books for the iPod Touch and iPhone:
Starting Wednesday, owners of these Apple devices can download a free application, Kindle for iPhone and iPod Touch, from Apple’s App Store. The software will give them full access to the 240,000 e-books for sale on Amazon.com, which include a majority of best sellers.

The move comes a week after Amazon started shipping the updated version of its Kindle reading device. It signals that the company may be more interested in becoming the pre-eminent retailer of e-books than in being the top manufacturer of reading devices.
Remember when I thought that the whoever would be the first to sell books through apple would will the digital-book game? It might not be true anymore. Recently, Googlebooks launched a $7-million spending campaign to seek out authors world-wide via print ads in newspapers.
The almost comically sweeping attempt to reach the world’s entire literate population is a reflection of the ambitions of the Google Book Search project, in which the company hopes to digitize every book — famous or not, in any language, published anywhere on earth — found in the world’s libraries.

...But as it turns out, authors and publishers are hard to track down. More than members of most settlement classes, said Kathy Kinsella of Kinsella Media in Washington, which is directing the ad campaign, these are a particularly diffuse group.

“We looked at how many books were published in various areas,” she said, “and we knew from the plaintiffs and Google that 30 percent were published in the U.S., 30 percent in industrialized countries. The rest of the world is the rest.”

So, using United Nations data, her company created a list of countries and territories. Some nations, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, were excluded because they do not agree to international copyright terms. In others, like Cuba, North Korea and Myanmar, her company is prohibited from buying ads because of United States trade embargos, Ms. Kinsella said.
Google is willing to make an arrangement with the authors to allow their books to be read online for a fee; Google will take a cut and so will the copyright holder. This is a game changing move, considering the scope of the Googlebooks project. Googlebooks might be simply more accessible since it works on any platform, not just Kindles or iPhones. Their strategy probably has Amazon and Apple shaking in their boots.

via NYTimes, "Amazon to Sell E-Books for Apple Devices" and "A Google Search of a Distinctly Retro Kind"


If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

According to Fashion Week Daily, Interview magazine is getting a whole new look starting May of this year. Remember the fantastic relaunch of the magazine in September 2008? You know how great it looks now? Yeah, leave it alone!


Big laughs

It's like sweeps week for magazines as a calvacade of new issues hit the stands, fighting for a dwindling set of readers. Vanity Fair brought out the big guns this month with an amazing portfolio of "Comedy's New Legends." I will be picking this up, if only for the shot below of Jason Segal, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd as Tom Ford.

Annie Leibovitz pokes fun at her March 2006 VF cover (below)

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in New York

Also noteworthy and on newsstands: Madonna in a huge Steven Klein portfolio for W magazine.
(By the way, Steven Klein's website has a great opening video made from a Angie/Brad shoot).

You should know...

The CBC needs financial flexibility, not more money

CBC chief executive Hubert T. Lacroix said Thursday in a speech ... reacting to comments from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty on Wednesday that CBC already gets "substantial financing" and should not expect more.

He said the CBC does not want new money, but the flexibility to borrow against future years to weather the current recession.

He pointed out that CBC/Radio-Canada has no access to the capital markets or to commercial borrowing.

"Private broadcasters have the financial flexibility that comes from their sources of capital. In a cyclical downturn, they can effect some changes by smartly managing their balance sheets and lines of credit," he said.

"As a Crown corporation, CBC/Radio-Canada has no access to this type of borrowing so, when we lose a dollar of revenue, we must cut a dollar of expenditure or postpone the expenditure to next year in order to balance our budget."

The CBC gets $1 billion annually from government, but estimates advertising revenue next year will be $60 million or more below budget.

Cuts are looming at the public broadcaster that would hurt its ability to fulfil its mandate, Lacroix said.

Among the measures being considered at CBC to deal with the shortfall:

* Introducing more American programming into television schedules (currently 100 per cent Canadian from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.)
* Downgrading or selling parts or the whole of TV or radio services.
* Increasing advertising on the air.
* Shrinking geographic coverage of the country by consolidating local stations, which would reverse the current investment CBC is making in building regional coverage.
* Selling off assets.

Lacroix pointed out that CBC, unlike any private broadcaster, provides programming in English and French across five time zones and has services in eight aboriginal languages and eight international languages.

Investment in Canadian drama and comedy is up 38 per cent in the last eight years, he said.

"Other conventional broadcasters are facing stagnant or shrinking audiences, yet CBC Television's audience share in prime time has risen to 8.9 per cent this season — an increase of 1.5 points in just two years," Lacroix said.

The CBC gets about $34 from each Canadian taxpayer, he said, compared to $124 to support the public broadcaster in the U.K. and $77 in France. He said it's a modest investment, considering the huge mandate the CBC is required to fill.

Lacroix defended the diversity of platforms, including livestreaming and podcasting, that is delivering CBC to Canadians. He said he wants to maintain some key directions at CBC despite the economic downturn.

"We can't be all things to all people. We simply don't have the resources, nor should we," he said.

"We must focus where we can be most effective: content company, Canadian programming, leader in new media, deeply rooted in the regions."

For more info...