Last Friday, as office hours wound down and the sun started to go to bed, we were greeted by what some in the "business" might call "a game changer." It was 4pm, cold, and ya know, we were all ready to go off into the sunset, when a rumbling from the street sent us a signal. Is that....Zac Shavrick's Toys Are Us project displayed in the back of a truck? "It can't be. Must be a dream," I said to myself. Yet, after rubbing my eyes I could still see it — a red truck with countless metal sculptures lining its bed. Like kids on Christmas we ran merrily down the stairs to check out this bit of welded whimsy, which featured nearly a hundred small statues of everything from the outrageous Buckethead, to a guy riding a (monster) Camel, to a family hanging out, to a Reddit-sourced grizzly bear with chainsaw hands (yep), each embodying a particular je ne sais pas that reminded me of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, which Zac mentioned was a favorite as a kid, so much so that he would re-create the characters in his dad's metal shop. And so, there you have it, a boy who crafted crazy little sculptures as a child continues to do the same as an adult. And, we, well, we were just there with a camera to document the dreamy magic that happened on the street that fateful afternoon. Check it out, above.
It's Monday morning and we're all starting to panic about our Halloween costumes. To distract ourselves, we spent the morning checking out all the great projects that launched over the weekend. We've got a few devastating films about romantic love, a lamp to turn off so no one sees you crying, and whiskey and cupcakes to numb your feelings. Well, looks like we've got your weekend all planned out for you! Enjoy!
While Chinese cuisine isn't generally known for its desserts, Chinese baked goods are crazy delicious and something that I will travel great distances to find. And trust me, unless you live in a city with a serious Chinatown, they are hard to find! Terry Chen's new baking venture spins the traditional flavors of Asian desserts into cookies and cupcakes and more, spawning delightful sounding combinations like "chocolate five spice","vanilla taro", and "matcha black currant." Among the rewards you can choose from are a special edition dessert bento box and a private dessert party. Isn't it time you treated yourself? — Cindy A.
Whiskey 'n Ditch is Katrina Whalen's second year NYU Tisch MFA film. A funny family drama set in 1970's Wyoming, Whalen will follow three generations of modern Western folk. Dorothy is a young mother whose dad, the local deputy sheriff, employs Dorothy's son and all his cub scout friends to get petition signers on board to save ye olde red light district. There's gotta be a John Wayne version of this film that is not at all funny. Lucky for us, Whalen is of a more whimsical mind, the Wyoming native having worked for the likes of Michel Gondry, Julie Taymor, and having had her animations featured in Charlie Kaufman's Synechdoche, New York. (Ok, so that last one wasn't particularly funny, but youknowwhatwemean. She draws 'n stuff. This film will be good. That is all.)
"You told me I had a weak chin."
"That was the spring I stopped loving you."
Yesss! I'm not sure if it's because I'm a child of divorce or just a human being, but I could listen to breakup stories until the end of time. And Five Ways to Leave Your Lover gives us not only five breakup vignettes for the price of one, but devastating dialogue (including the bit quoted above), and characters whose experiences are as varied as New York itself. We've got couples in Brooklyn, Bucharest, Chinatown, Brighton Beach, and the Bronx. There are teenagers, a gay couple, 70-year-olds, Russians at a picnic, bikes, beaches, and more, all rendered beautifully with a super-16mm camera. Pass the popcorn. And the kleenex.
An updated version of the mid-century modern lamp, ya don't say? To be honest, I didn't even know such a thing existed, but once Shannon Guirl starting waxing on its history, I said to myself, "Man, oh man, I've seen these my entire life and never really thought about them as anything but an apparatus that conjured light." Yet, her vision is clear, taking hints and philosophies vital to the original mid-century lamp and bringing it into the future. Also, I'm really into the idea of porcelain horseshoes, so, ya know, I had to get involved.
Occupy Wall Street has been all over the media this week, and Kickstarter is no exception. #OWS-related Kickstarter projects range from DIY publications to art projects, media collaborations, and performance collectives, but what they all have in common is momentum. We took some of the Occupy Wall Street projects and put them all on one handy curated page for your perusal.
All of this making the world a better place business makes us pause to ask ourselves: What is the meaning of life? Well, Song-A-Day dude Jonathan Mann recently found out, and he didn't even have to hole up in a Nepalese monastery for a decade to do it. In fact, all he did was sing a song to Siri, who told him, amongst other things, that the meaning of life was, well, "42." Though, I guess we all pretty much knew that already.
Tomorrow We Disappear is a documentary project about a slum in India filled with people who were once traveling acrobats, magicians, storytellers and street performers. Quite a lively bunch, if you can imagine! The land has recently been sold to real estate developers, so the urgency to document this community while it still exists is all the more real. Over on the blog, the project creators share the backstories of some of the colony’s inhabitants. It’s pretty amazing stuff.
Hey, all you hepcats out there in radio — er, Internet land. We see you. We hear you. And so, we gathered you on this "jazzy" curated page, where swinging is a priority, and horns are, uh, aplenty!
Where Brooklyn at?!?! Just south of Queens, which is exactly where the Moveable Type letter press will be this Saturday, aka TOMORROW! As major fans of antiquated technology, we're pretty excited, so much so that Kickstarter will be joining them at the Brooklyn Flea, and giving away these original posters all day long. For free! Dat's wassup.
And if you're one of our neighbors to the Midwest, take heed! This Saturday, 10/22 at 12:30pm, join our very own Stephanie Pereira at the Hand-in-Glove conference in Chicago, where she'll be hosting what we call "Kickstarter School," and it's open to the public. School will be in session at the ACRE Artist Residency booth at the MDW Fall Showcase, 3636 S. Iron Street. Come say hi, hear some of our advice on how to make a great Kickstarter project, and bring your questions!