Dog Star / A Creative Arts Guide
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DOG STAR NYC IS A CREATIVE ARTS GUIDE | ART + THEATER + CHEAP DATES + POP CULTURE + FREE EVENTS + CITY LIVING + DESIGN + MUSIC + PHOTOGRAPHY + SPORTS + VIDEO + FILM + STREET LIFE + WRITING + POETRY & LOTS OF FUN + MAKE ART OUT OF YOUR LIFE!
Image above: Vik Muniz
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère after Édouard Manet, from the Pictures of Magazines 2 series, 2012.
Out of the refuse of modern life—torn scraps of outdated magazines, destined for obscurity—Muniz has assembled an ode to one of the first paintings of modern life. Édouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, painted in 1882, explores the treachery of nineteenth-century Parisian nightlife through the depiction of a bartender attending to a male patron reflected in the mirror behind her. Muniz plays on Manet’s style, replacing Manet’s visible brushstrokes with the frayed edges of torn paper and lending the work immense visual interest.
“Thank you for DogStarNYC, in general. The site speaks to so many kinds of interests; it discerns which qualities will appeal to many different tastes in a tremendous number of activities. I love how it encourages young people to pay attention to the unusual.
In New York we let so many teens walk around the periphery, mildly shell-shocked by life, while the information that they need to make sense of their world sits in the center of the room. DogStarNYC welcomes them into the middle of the room; the blog tells them how to walk there. ” - Stacy L.
DOG STAR is the creation of a high school English teacher in New York City. This blog began in 2008 as an online community for a journalism class and has since evolved into a curated site on the creative arts, arts-related news and a guide to free and low-cost events for teens. Our mission is to offer teens real-life options for enjoying all the creative arts in New York City. May wisdom guide you and hope sustain you. The more you like art, the more art you like!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The RAMM:ELL:ZEE from MOCA on Vimeo.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Zaha Hadid's Guangzhou Opera House from Dan Chung on Vimeo.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
FREE! Discover "Otherworldly" Landscapes at Museum of Art Design: Charles Matton in Focus (Part 4 of 4)
After a long career as a designer, illustrator and filmmaker, the French artist Charles Matton (who died at 77 in 2008) began creating his mysterious boxes in 1985 (more here). “It all started because Charles wanted to make realistic paintings of interiors,” said his widow, Sylvie Matton. But whenever he chose a space, “the colors on the walls were not the right ones” or “he would have to wait hours for the sun to set,” she said. To solve the problemMr. Matton started building miniature rooms, which soon grew so richly detailed that he wanted to make them for their own sake. “It was not like, ‘Oh, I am going to do boxes,’” Ms. Matton said. “It was a whole adventure of creation.” His subjects included the studios of artists like Francis Bacon and Giacometti, the empty halls of grand hotels and the libraries of Proust and Freud, for which he researched and modeled each individual book and bibelot. His longtime friend the philosopher Jean Baudrillard referred to the tiny atmosphere-packed environments as “theatrum simulacrum.” Mirrors create the illusion of labyrinthine corridors and make the interior of a box appear larger than its confines. In the library, above, with nine views, Mr. Matton amplified the confusion by introducing a ghostly figure — a video projection — who prowls the shelves without casting a shadow. “We love it when people try and understand” how a box is made, Ms. Matton said, speaking as though her husband were still alive. “But we also love it when they just accept the fact that it’s there as a magic thing.”
Imaginary Dog Star Soundtrack: We're bumpin' to Nina Simone's FEELING GOOD with great covers by others - Bird flyin' high, you know how I feel! Sun in the sky you know how I feel! It's a new dawn, it's a new day for me! And I'm feeling good!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
- BrooklynSat, May 14, 2011 – Sat, Sept 17, 2011Click here to view the Rock & Roll Summer film schedule. Free screenings of rock and roll films take place at the Coney Island Museum all summer from May 14–September 17, 2011. All tickets are $6. Doors open at 8 pm with pre-show entertainment, featuring classic drive-in trailers, short films, old commercials and more, begins at 8:15 pm. The feature begins at 8:30 pm. More
- ManhattanFri, May 27, 2011 – Fri, Aug 19, 2011Click here to view the Intrepid Summer Movie Series schedule. The USS Intrepid celebrates heroes from the movies with its third annual, free Intrepid Summer Movie Series on the flight deck. After the May 27 kick-off, dates are June 24 to August 19. More
- ManhattanMon, June 20, 2011 – Mon, Aug 22, 2011Click here to view the Bryant Park film schedule. For the 19th year, Bryant Park hosts outdoor film screenings at sunset on Monday evenings. Snacks, meals and refreshments are available at Bryant Park food kiosks and restaurants. The lawn opens at 5 pm. More
- ManhattanThurs, June 30, 2011 – Thurs, Sept 1, 2011Click here to view the Tompkins Square Park film schedule. This free movie series in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village, running on Thursdays from June 30 to September 1, is sponsored by EPIX. More
- QueensWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011Click here to view the Outdoor Cinema 2011 film schedule. These free, Wednesday film screenings offer ample grass on which to stake out a claim with a blanket or a chair, performances by local musicians and dancers (at 7 pm) and international films on a large-format screen—all set against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. More
- ManhattanWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011Click here to view the RiverFlicks film schedule. RiverFlicks for Grown-Ups returns for another summer. This year, the free outdoor film series is screening blockbuster films from 2010, giving everyone a chance to see last year's hits that they may have missed, or maybe just want to watch again. More
- BrooklynWed, July 6, 2011 – Wed, Aug 10, 2011Click here to view the McCarren Park film schedule. This free movie series in McCarren Park, running on Wednesdays from July 6 to August 10, shows classic hits from the 1990s with two outliers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Ghost World (2001), thrown in for good measure. More
- BrooklynThurs, July 7, 2011 – Thurs, Sept 1, 2011Click here to view the Movies with a View schedule. The 12th season of Brooklyn Bridge Park's movie series takes place this summer on Thursdays at Pier 1's Harbor View lawn. Each screening consists of a New York-themed movie, a short film curated by BAMcinématek, DJs from Brooklyn Radio to kick off the evening and bike valet parking provided by Transportation Alternatives. More
- ManhattanWed, July 13, 2011 – Wed, Aug 17, 2011Click here to view the Movies Under the Stars schedule. Riverside Park's Pier 1 at 70th Street plays host to a chronological (and free) series of horror films spanning the 1930s-90s. Movie goers can bring a picnic, if desired. The outdoor screenings begin at sunset. More
CAT IN A BAG! We think this pic is really funny! (Shows how little it takes to be silly AND creative!)
HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE FLEA LATELY? Now in a new Williamsburg location on Sundays! (Bring your friends!)
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
Whether openly and actively or in subtle, emotional, or subliminal ways, objects talk to people. As the purpose of design has, in past decades, shifted away from mere utility toward meaning and communication, objects that were once charged only with being elegant and functional now need to have personalities. Thanks to digital technology, these objects even have the tools to communicate through their interfaces, adding a new interactive dimension. Contemporary designers, in addition to giving objects form, function, and meaning, now write the initial scripts that are the foundations for these useful and satisfying conversations.
Talk to Me highlights the groundbreaking ways in which objects help users interact with complex systems and networks. It focuses on objects and concepts that involve direct interaction, such as interfaces for ATMs, check-in kiosks, and emergency dispatch centers; visualization designs that render visible complex data about people, cities, and nations; communication devices and other products that translate and deliver information; expressive and talkative objects; and projects that establish a practical, emotional, or even sensual connection between their users and entities such as cities, companies, governmental institutions—as well as other people. The exhibition is loosely divided into six sections, according to who or what is doing the talking, from objects to other people, the city, and even life.
Greeting visitors at the entrance to the exhibition is Yann Le Coroller’s Talking Carl (2010), an iPhone and iPad app in which a box-shaped creature responds to sound and touch, gets ticklish and jumpy, and repeats what visitors say in a high-pitched voice. Other interactive features in the exhibition include a working NYC MetroCard Vending Machine (1999), designed by Masamichi Udagawa and Sigi Moeslinger of Antenna Design, and David Reinfurt, Kathleen Holman, and MTA New York City Transit, and manufactured for MTA New York City by Cubic Transportation Systems, with special Talk to Me MetroCards available for purchase; Kacie Kinzer’s Tweenbots (2009), little robots that roam the Museum asking visitors for help crossing galleries; and Tentacles (2009), a multiplayer video game created by Michael Longford (Mobile Media Lab, York University, Canada), Geoffrey Shea (Mobile Experience Lab, Ontario College of Art and Design), and Rob King (Canadian Film Centre Media Lab) that visitors can engage with on a giant screen.
A device called a BakerTweet (2009) by the design firm Poke is installed in the Museum’s Cafe 2, and staff will use it to announce by Twitter the moment when something delicious pops out of the oven, or the lunch specials of the day. The feed is displayed on a screen in the exhibition and also seen by followers of @MoMABakerTweet on Twitter on their own devices. Each object in the exhibition has its own hashtag and a QR code, which allows visitors to bookmark it and access more information about each object on the exhibition’s website, www.moma.org/talktome, in the galleries, or at home.
The exhibition is divided into six sections:
This section includes physical objects and interfaces that are not just communicative and reactive, but are also interactive. Some are explorations of things’ and humans’ behaviors—such as Kinzer’s Tweenbots, small, constantly moving cardboard robots armed only with flags that ask passersby to point them toward a particular destination. These Tweenbots will roam the Museum at specially announced times during the run of the exhibition. Other featured objects are functional, such as the interface for the MetroCard Vending Machine. The machine in the exhibition dispensesspecially designed MetroCards, which will also be available at subway stations throughout New York. The MTA’s Vending Machine was selected because of its outstanding interface, which leads customers through the process of buying MetroCards in a manner that is efficient, no-nonsense, and visually memorable, in true New York spirit.
At home, in the office, or on the road, people are increasingly surrounded by specialized companions and expressive digital pets. Some live in multifunctional devices, like Le Coroller’s Talking Carl, while others are autonomous, demanding to be seen and heard from their own bodies. Michiko Nitta’s Mr. Smilit (2003), for instance, is a toy that reacts to the noise of a child’s cry with a cry of its own, which may cause the child to stop crying and care for the doll. By integrating old-fashioned objects such as books and cuckoo-clocks with mobile applications, designers have created a hybrid of old and new, physical and digital. Mike Thompson’s Wifi Dowsing Rod (2007) provides comfort to people who may be overwhelmed by current technologies. Thompson has adapted the familiar form of a divining rod—believed in the past to beable to locate underground sources of water—into a tool that seeks out and indicates the strength of the unseen wireless signals that are all around us.
I’m Talking to You
This section explores the communication between people—and within individuals—by means of objects. The human body and mind—and how they express themselves in ways previously unthinkable thanks to digital technology— are the central agents and subjects of study in this section,. Some of the featured concepts are quintessential products of the time, mixing irony and malaise about interpersonal communication with curiosity and an eagerness to overcome these obstacles creatively. Alarmists fear that people’s reliance on digital communication has turned them into restless souls that, despite exchanging information and thoughts around the clock on blogs and social networks, can no longer articulate ideas and emotions; several of the design hypotheses in this section were generated to compensate for this, either psychologically or physically.
From Sascha Nordmeyer’s Communication Prosthesis (2009), a plastic smile that covers the lips and exposes the gums, making communication more explicit by forcing automatic facial expressions to help the socially awkward, to Gerard Ralló’s series Devices for Mindless Communication (2010), a range of communication interfaces that help the socially inept, designers have been quick in pointing out the absurdity and poetry of our present condition, as well assome possible remedies. Critical design is at its brightest on this human scale, with highly conceptual—albeit also highly descriptive—scenarios that explore the possible benefits and probable impacts of new technologies, often using dystopian narratives to heighten the urgency.
Not all the projects are speculative; some are pragmatic, and the one prompted by the most urgent conditions is also the most lyrical: EyeWriter (2009), created by Zach Lieberman, James Powderly, Evan Roth, Chris Sugrue, TEMPT1, and Theo Watson, is an interface that enables a paralyzed graffiti artist to tag buildings with his eyes using a remote control laser. It demonstrates that necessity and emergency can give rise not simply to particular solutions for extreme individual cases but also to breakthroughs for society at large.
Located adjacent to The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby on the ground floor of the Museum will be the video game Tentacles. Players begin the game in the dark at the bottom of the ocean, each controlling a squidlike form evolving out of the primordial ooze and hunting for life-sustaining microorganisms called tenticules. As each creature eats, it grows and is confronted with other players’ growing creatures, which can steal its tenticules and deprive it of nutrients. Players must decide, the designers say, if they are out for themselves or willing to be part of the larger whole, making for a dynamic and philosophical public game.
Designers search for the meaning of life in their own empirical and suggestive ways. Some narrate life from birth to death—as Jason Rohrer does in his video game Passage (2008)—and others zero in on the most minute and mundane moments, such as tooth brushing or procrastinating: Benjamin Dennel’s poster Brushing Teeth (2009) shows kids and adults how to brush their teeth, while David McCandless’s poster Hierarchy of Digital Distractions (2009) is a pyramid diagram of the interferences constantly gnawing at attention spans in this socially networked, dataconsuming world.
The question of the meaning of life is so enormous and profound—and life itself so difficult to perceive in its entire trajectory—that society must rely on synthesis and description, two characteristics of visualization design, in order to capture its range. Scientists and statisticians have long used visualization design to make sense of complex behaviors gathered in large data sets; in this exhibition, designers employ it to help society understand the ultimate mystery. In some cases this daunting task is approached through narrative, such as Christien Meindertsma and Julie Joliat’s gripping book PIG 05049 (2006), a deadpan investigation of the deconstruction and afterlife of a slaughtered pig. Frank Warren’s PostSecret (2004) offers a peek into the darkest corners of the human soul. In this mail-based project, people anonymously send him postcards with their deepest secrets written on them, expecting neither judgment nor absolution. The haikulike confessions have the power to haunt readers much as they have haunted the individuals who contributed them.
Thoughtful projects in the exhibition connect religious practices and rituals with contemporary technology. Examples include Soner Ozenc’s El Sajjadah (2005), a Muslim prayer rug that lights up when correctly positioned facing Mecca, and The Prayer Companion (2010), by the Interaction Research Studio at Goldsmiths University London. The T-shaped device scrolls global information across its ticker-tape interface, informing an order of cloistered nuns based in Northern England of world issues that could benefit from their prayers.
Because of its density and complex infrastructures and systems, the city relies on communication for its own sheer survival. It is an environment of continuous negotiation and navigation, based on codes of behavior that are timeless—the basic laws of human cohabitation—but often unwritten. These codes demand relentless adaptation and renewal.
With their ideas and products, designers can enhance clarity, civility, and engagement by involving citizens in the maintenance of the codes that keep the city alive. Designers can also stimulate the flow of communication that is the vital lymph of the urban organism. This section shows the changed role of designers—from creators of form and function to enablers, inspirers, and facilitators—in particular detail.
Using technology, designers can enhance a sense of neighborhood, like with the BakerTweet, all the while helping us to communicate effectively, feel pride in our cities, and find inventive ways to get along, as with Chromaroma (2010) by Toby Barnes and Matt Watkins of Mudlark. Chromaroma uses an existing infrastructure—London’s transportation systems—as a platform for a real-time game in which commuters sign up to play using their Oyster cards, a form of electronic ticketing used in Greater London, and then are grouped into one of four teams, where they rack up points with each journey and strategically complete specific tasks and missions. Technology can also enable authorities to coordinate routine and emergency responses, as with Electronic Ink, Inc.’s 911 Command Center Radio Control Application (2006), an emergency-response interface that helps dispatch critical resources more efficiently and with fewer errors.
Over the course of the twentieth century, people’s perception of the world has been transformed by momentous technological breakthroughs, among them air travel, telephones, television, satellites, and the Internet. Faraway people and places have come within reach, if not physically, then via video or audio. The world seems to have shrunk, but in reality these innovations have added layers of understanding and communication, making that same world deeper and richer with new metaphysical and expressive dimensions. Newly conceived virtual worlds, such as the myriad sites and artificial environments supported by the Internet, have further diversified the choices for inhabitation, with interesting social and cultural consequences.
What most of these technologies have in common is the fact that they are based on systems and rely on network connections, just like the natural world. Understanding their designs should be and often is a requirement for those building these physical and virtual environments, such as designers, architects, and engineers. For those who are not willing or able to understand the systems but still need access to them, there are interfaces that function as zones of engagement and exchange.
One of design’s foremost directives is to bring technological breakthroughs to a comfortable and understandable human scale. The projects in this section deal with both natural and artificial systems of all dimensions. There are efforts to render complex phenomena, such as the way trees work in Alex Metcalf’s Tree Listening installations (2008–09). Metcalf designed a listening device, powered by solar energy, which is placed on a tree trunk, linked to an amplifier, and connected to headphones that hang from the branches of trees in various locations in London and around the United Kingdom.
Through the headphones, passersby can listen to a tree’s inner workings—a ―quiet popping sound‖ of the water passing through its cells or a ―deep rumbling sound‖ produced by the tree’s movement. The installation joins science and art in a multilayered interaction with the natural world. Erik Hersman, David Kobia, Ory Okolloh, and Juliana Rotich created Ushahidi (2008), a free Web-based tool for collecting, visualizing, and mapping information. The service, whose name means ―testimony‖ in Swahili, was launched in Kenya in 2008, when a disputed election caused riots to erupt across the country. The website enables citizens to report incidents and identify safe spaces, using their mobile phones, on the geographic platforms Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, OpenStreetMap, and Microsoft Virtual. It was recently put to use during the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and the 2011 tsunami in Japan.
In this world of constant communication, ignorance is not considered bliss and misunderstandings can be missed opportunities. Moreover, there is the possibility of multiple interpretations, which can be channeled to add depth to a dialogue. To fine-tune their efforts, designers have become engaged not only in the classical principles of their education and in the typical preoccupations of their trade, but also in the basic tenets of cognitive science and scriptwriting. They are tackling new issues that have become central to our daily activities, such as negotiations of privacy and anonymity in the public theater of the Internet.
Central to their research is the role of translation and interpretation. Many people have devoted their lives to helping us understand others, and this section contains design solutions for curious humans who want to experience what it feels like to be something or somebody else, whether a menstruating woman—as in Sputniko!’s Menstruation Machine–Takashi’s Take (2010), a metal belt-like device equipped with a blood-dispensing system and electrodes that stimulate the lower abdomen, replicating the pain and bleeding of the average five-day menstruation period—or an inhabitant of a parallel universe, as in 5th Dimensional Camera created by John Ardern and Anab Jain of Superflux, which shows a number of parallel and different timelines as posited by the many-worlds theory.
Examples in this section also focus on the translation of experiences—color and light patterns into music, virtual links into physical ones, colors into touch, touch into text. Examples include Konstantin Datz’s Rubik’s Cube for the Blind (2010), which features embossed braille words on the squares for each color; Dan Collier’s Typographic Links (2007), which reimagines hyperlinks as physical red threads in the pages of a book about typography; Design Incubation Centre’s Touch Hear (2008), which consists of a finger implant a person uses to go over a word or phrase in a book and an ear implant where the user can listen to its related information, such as pronunciation or meaning; and Toshio Iwai’s Tenori-On (2004), a handheld device with a gridded screen of LED switches that plays synthesized sound and light patterns.
With actionable proposals and visionary clarity, designers have joined the ranks of those encouraging cross-cultural understanding. Their activist efforts work toward simple goals: acceptance, or at least tolerance; curiosity rather than rejection; and a more fulfilling, organic, and just way of living together.