Have you ever wanted to leave everything behind and become a modern day nomad? It's a feeling I'm sure most of us have had at one time or another, but to actually drop everything and go is a whole other situation. Passing Through Traveling Down tells the story of a group of young train hoppers out to find their own way through America. Squatting, sleeping in fields, and trying to find yourself amongst swarms of helpless others is what makes this film, which seemingly blends the lines between documentary and cinema vérité, so interesting. That, and the whole, leave your life behind to sleep in train cars and discover America aspect. Dharma bums of the 21st century. — Mike M.
I was first turned on Vieo's work when I stumbled cross this amazing video of him, in which he builds an entire song by circling a room and playing all number of impossibly complex and fascinating instruments. Boy has got talent. His Kickstarter will help him put out his latest album with some pretty nifty perks: a twenty minute DVD of short films directed by Pete Munro and scored by the musician, plus a special booklet of his art and original poetry. Basically, a complete view of a hugely compelling creative mind. Yes.
Dabke is an experimental dance piece exploring the human connection to land and how it informs our sense of national identity. Created and performed by a wildly talented crew, these guys will be using every component of theatrical production to push the conceptual limits of their idea — from a composition infusing minimal electronic beats with traditional Dabke rhythms to a lighting design that creates shadowy, evident "territories" on the actual stage. The project video, murky and unsettling as it is, only further intrigues. This is a piece I'd love to see!
Hanafuda cards are Japanese playing cards that can be used to play a variety of games all over the world! In addition to their extraordinary versatility, they are notably — well — beautiful. Each deck contains 48 cards broken down into 12 suites representing a month in the calendar year, and then given a symbolic flower. (Hanafuda means "flower.") Sarah's designs are so classic and pretty, I'd love to play Koi Koi with them the next time I'm killing a few hours in an airport.
Fourth Arts Block is the only designated cultural district in Manhattan. It's an amazing creative hub running the length of E. 4th Street in the East Village — one which I only recently discovered after seeing a handful of different plans and poetry contests there over the course of a random week, and wondering outloud how all this amazing stuff was happening in a single block radius. (The people standing ahead of me in line informed me. Loudly.) Now I'm so glad I know about it. ArtUp is a program they run that works to transform abandoned urban spaces into street-side galleries. Old construction sites, scaffolding, vacant spots... everything is a medium for artistic expression just waiting to happen! I'd love to see this grow.