Architecture, Book April 28, 2011 By Nalina Moses

Caption Here

Treehouse Lake Tegern, Community Warngau, Germany, 2004. Image courtesy of DOM Publishers.

treehouse title treehouse
There’s something simultaneously childlike, hippieish and fanciful about a treehouse. Who would build their home in the supple, swaying branches of a tree? And who would feel comfortable living perched so precariously off the ground? The answer is, apparently, lots of people. A new book in DOM Publisher’s “Design and Construction Manual” series, “Treehouse,” offers up serious, practical, advice, and also some inspiring contemporary examples.
     Most of the treehouses featured in the book are in Central Europe, and tucked within immense, leafy perennials that look as if they’re centuries old. The book’s overarching image, of a small cottage tucked within an explosion of foliage, has a fairy-tale resonance. The trees offer protection from sun and rain, and a sweet retreat from the pressures of everyday life. Treehouse living fulfills our yearning for a simpler, more elemental way of life, one less bound up in materialism and more closely aligned with natural rhythms.

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Books, Design April 27, 2011 By Eugene Rabkin

© Flammarion Publishing

© Flammarion Publishing

av title1 Axel Vervoordt   wabi
I once saw a photo of Yves Saint-Laurent’s living room, and its cluttered opulence looked positively oppressing. Years later I discovered the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi, and I found its regard for simplicity, sparseness, and the natural cycle of life refreshing. Wabi-sabi is lived-in beauty found in imperfection, the decay of all things, and the transience of all being, natural and unnatural. It prizes cracks in old vases, uneven texture of the ancient walls, and the withering of trees. It acknowledges the slow but intractable march of time, and in accepting it finds tranquility. Breathe in. Breathe out.

     Like other things Eastern, and therefore exotic, wabi-sabi has often been bastardized by interior designers and their wealthy clientele. Axel Vervoordt, a Belgian art and antiques collector, could surely qualify as an impostor, but in his new book Wabi Inspirations ($65, Flammarion), he is careful to point out the sincerity of his interest in the unadorned and unassuming beauty of wabi-sabi (or simply wabi). The effort does indeed seem genuine and the gorgeous book is an important photographic document, since, despite wabi-sabi’s popularity, there is a dearth of its visual representation. The 255-page volume is a tour of properties redesigned by Vervoordt in the wabi spirit, often with the help of the Japanese-Belgian architect Tatsuro Miki. With their soft light and sparse interiors these spaces become sanctuaries. But it is the vividness of textures that really makes you want to run your hand over the photographs. Or just live in them.

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Music April 26, 2011 By Timothy Gunatilaka

4AD

4AD

ty header2 Tune Yards: whokill
“Sometimes I’ve got the jungle under my skin”, Merrill Garbus sings on “Es-so”, from the follow-up to her 2009 debut, BiRd-BrAiNs. There indeed seems to be a wildness within Garbus and her experimental music. Stylizing her stage-name as tUnE-yArDs and album title as W h o k i l l, Garbus’ disregard for standard syntax befits the haphazard approach to her songwriting; for a joyous madness certainly pervades the hodgepodge of raucous harmonies, spiking horns, rumbling rhythms, and jazzy bass (courtesy of Nate Brenner). The Afro-pop aesthetic and her swooning vocals can, at times, evoke Vampire Weekend — but only if the polished sheen of Ezra Koenig’s compositions had been cut up and obliterated in the midst of some spastic frenzy. On the single “Bizness”, Garbus yelps, “I’m a victim, yeah/Don’t take my life away/Don’t take my life away” — an urgent, desperate plea that is countered by its hypnotic, almost childlike harmonies and video. On W h o k i l l, Garbus serves up ten tracks that are defiantly bizarre yet still irresistible — a rare balancing act that heralds a truly original talent.
filler29 Tune Yards: whokill

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Art, Features April 25, 2011 By Editors

Book, Design, Greenspace April 22, 2011 By Jordan Sayle

Brooklyn Grange, New York, from My Green City, Copyright: Gestalten, 2011

Brooklyn Grange, New York, from My Green City, Copyright: Gestalten, 2011

title 11 Concrete Jungles
This Earth Day, after a year that has seen an unprecedented oil spill, devastating natural disasters, and an ongoing nuclear crisis, it’s a good time for some positive news about the environment.  Those looking to counterbalance the fatalistic stories that have dominated the headlines with a few reasons to feel more optimistic about the future sustainability of life on the planet will be happy to find scores of promising items in My Green City: Back to Nature with Attitude and Style, edited by Robert Klanten, Sven Ehmann, and Kitty Bolhöfer. 
      The newly published book is an illustrated guide to a number of the design trends that are guiding the global movement toward the greening of our urban spaces.  Individually, none of the small developments will likely make the lead story on the evening news.  But like stubborn weeds peaking through the cracks in the pavement, they are slowly gaining ground in cities everywhere and supplying evidence that the metropolitan centers of the future will be more unrefined and far wilder than the stark grids of steel and cement previously envisioned.

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Art April 21, 2011 By Jennifer Pappas

image courtesy of Steve Yennie

image courtesy of Steve Yennie

ms title Mike Shine Der Wilden Mann
As a longtime fan of interactive gallery shows and general flights of the imagination, I always get excited for a Mike Shine opening. On Saturday, Shine’s third installment of his ongoing Flotsam narrative, Der Wilden Mann: THUS SPRACH FLOTSAM; METAMORPHOSIS 3 opened at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. Outside the gallery, a band played and the line for cans of Tecate and wine served in small plastic cups hugged the right side of the ramp leading up to the entrance. Inside, the air was sharp with fresh sod and varnished wood, comforting smells that together with the honky-tonk rock music wafting in through an open window, gave the gallery a bucolic feel.
      Shine is notorious for mixing it up and this show is no exception: Nordic mythology, carnival oddities, hand-painted signs and whirling wheels of fortune cover the brown and mint green walls in an impressive array of framed paintings and painted objects. At the center sits a large, Norse style longhouse (with a grass roof, the source of that wonderful earthy smell) you can enter and explore. Later, talking to Shine, he shows me a photo of close friend, skateboarding legend and filmmaker, Stacy Peralta sprawled across this very roof, laying sod.

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Features, film April 20, 2011 By Jeff Markey
Mark Ruffalo as “Father Joe” in SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS.

Mark Ruffalo as “Father Joe” in SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS.

stills title Mark Ruffalo
Academy award-nominated actor, Mark Ruffalo has his directorial debut, SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS, out this month. The film was written by Christopher Thornton who Mark Ruffalo met while studying acting at the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles. Ruffalo and Thornton also star in the film. SYMPATHY FOR DELICIOUS is about a paralyzed man’s (Delicious Dean, played by Christopher Thornton) journey to cope with his tragedy and a Priest (Joe, played by Ruffalo) who is trying to encourage him to realize Dean’s gift and his own dream to build a shelter for the homeless on skid row in Los Angeles. Dean is paralyzed in a motorcycle accident that leaves him unable to walk, in a wheel chair and living out of his car on skid row. However he is also left with the ability to heal people. It should be mentioned that Christopher Thornton is also paralyzed from a rock-climbing fall when he was 25. Ruffalo’s and Thornton’s 10-year collaboration leaves us with a film that explores the effects of tragedy, the conflicts between spirit, ego and superficiality and the struggle of compassion over material obsession and in the end the victory of salvation.

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Features, Music April 19, 2011 By Benjamin Gold

Cold Cave 1 Cold Cave: Q&A with Wes Eisoldcold cave title Cold Cave: Q&A with Wes Eisold
Some people are surprised when they learn Wes Eisold — the creative force behind the blackened synth-pop group Cold Cave — was once the vocal-cord thrasher of hardcore bands like Give Up The Ghost and Some Girls. But, for Eisold, who spent a childhood constantly moving from city to city, change is as defining a characteristic as his cryptically dark lyrics are. Eisold just released Cherish The Light Years, his second full-length as Cold Cave, and it’s a marked departure from the lo-fi bedroom production on which the band first made a name. In fact, it’s a fully-blown electronic pop record, one so committed to its mode that comparisons with decade-specific new wave is an unavoidable knee-jerk reaction. But, to consider Cherish The Light Years only in this context would be, for Eisold, completely missing the point. Currently on a European tour, Eisold spoke with us about his artistic evolution, album aesthetics, and, among other things, how he decided to completely commit to his music.
filler29 Cold Cave: Q&A with Wes Eisold

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Architecture April 18, 2011 By Nalina Moses

Caption Here

image courtesy of Situ Studio

title 21 ReOrder: Brooklyn Museum
Classical architecture carries powerful, authoritative associations, so much so that it can make even the loveliest space feel a bit stodgy and out-of-touch. So reORDER, an installation in the Great Hall of the Brooklyn Museum by local designers Situ Studio, is quite a feat. The installation takes the museum’s fine, neoclassical hall and gives it new life, reshaping it as a funky, informal event space.
     The original museum building, designed by acclaimed nineteenth-century architects McKim Mead and White, is a stately, symmetrical mass graced with exquisite details like the Doric columns in its central hall. Through studying and manipulating the column profile Situ Studio invented sixteen new, unique profiles, and clad the existing columns with them. Each new column enclosure has a wide, solid base that can serve as a seat or as a ledge. And each one is topped with a soft, swollen, mushroom-like cap made from pleated white sailcloth draped over concealed wood hoops. The tops tip gently in different directions, obscuring the idea that columns are rational, weight-supporting elements. The overall effect is startling. The lucid geometry of the space vanishes, as does simple passage through it. The columns take over like giant, benevolent creatures. And the space, a central one that connects several galleries, becomes an engaging diversion.

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Greenspace, film April 14, 2011 By Jordan Sayle

cet 1 Rocking the Boat to Save the Seastitle-1
For three decades, Peter Jay Brown has been regularly leaving his family and steady jobs in television production behind to take extended tours aboard the fleet of ships owned by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The activist marine life preservation group often goes to extreme lengths to carry out its mission, employing some highly confrontational practices like sinking or ramming into vessels thought to be impairing the future survival of seals, whales, and other inhabitants of the ocean. Frequently wearing the title of first mate and nearly always armed with a camera, the most dangerous weapon of all, Brown has stood at the helm as a volunteer beside the society’s founder and the fleet’s captain, Paul Watson, on missions to Alaska, Antarctica, the Galápagos, and practically everywhere else, whether the objective was to prevent poaching in marine sanctuaries or the use of drift nets by large scale fishing operations.

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