film February 29, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

Forgive 1 The Forgiveness of Bloodfiller29 The Forgiveness of Bloodmartson title1 The Forgiveness of Blood
For his first film Maria Full of Grace, Joshua Marston teased an uncompromising and sincerely delicate story out of the world of Colombian drug trafficking, and won himself a slew of international awards in the process. Eight years later, his follow-up deals in a subject no less morally ambiguous. The Forgiveness of Blood asks what happens when two Albanian teenagers are drawn into a blood feud by their father, who may or may not have killed a man. Now according to Albanian social code, the family owes a life, and teenage siblings Nik and Rudina must put their entire lives on hold. The most jarring thing about these events is not the lengths the children must go to, or even the fact that all this is enforced by nothing but social code, with no state law to back it up. The real shock is that Nik and Rudina are modern-day Albanians bowing to a custom that’s hundreds, if not thousands, of years old.
     Shot on location from an entirely Albanian script, Marston recruited a cast of non-professional actors and stayed close to the land to raise some essential questions. To what extent are we responsible for the actions and beliefs of our families? What is the “right” retribution for murder? And how long will this ancient practice survive?

CE: Why Albanian blood feuds?
JM: I think the thing that’s fascinating about the blood feuds was more the contrast of the old and the new in Albania. Specifically the idea that someone, a kid, could be sitting in his house playing video games and sending text messages, but the reason that he’s in his house is that he’s stuck in a feud because of this old, ancient tradition.

1 2 3 4 5 6


Art February 29, 2012 By Editors

General 8301 Planet Photo Contest 2012 General Category Winners.

Music February 28, 2012 By Ingamar Ramirez

jonquil 400 Jonquil jonquil title Jonquil
Hugo Manuel’s vocals have never shown this level of precedence in Point of Go as in previous works, spanning from the lo-fi One Hundred Suns to the folk ambience of Sunny Casinos. Ever since joining Oxford’s Blessing Force collective, the members of Jonquil have not only reinvented their lineup and recording process, but they also seem to extend an unrevealed limb for pop in the gestalt of their songwriting. The electronic haze of “Getaway” is curtained precisely over simple, yet moody piano chords and mobilized percussion. Jonquil’s newest single, “It’s My Part,” boasts a stunningly gratifying catchiness from the first licks of electric guitar. The song’s lyrics may very well paint a picture of stage fright, which evolves into a self-realization arising as if spontaneously. Point of Go is a collection of jams more than suitable for driving towards a neon sunset, and should leave fans old and new eagerly speculating where Jonquil will end up next.
filler29 Jonquil

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Architecture February 27, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Winning design for Mae-Sot School.  By Amadeo Bennetta / Daniel LaRossa, Berkeley, CA.

Winning design for Mae-Sot School. By Amadeo Bennetta / Daniel LaRossa, Berkeley, CA.

moving title Moving Schools
London-based architect David Cole was vacationing in Mae-Sot, Thailand, a town along the Burmese border, when he first learned about the plight of refugees there. Over the past twenty-five years some 30,000 Burmese have come to Mae-Sot to escape their country’s political violence. They live in camps with interim housing but without community buildings and schools. Cole warmed to the refugees he met, and saw the work that the Burmese Migrant Workers Education Committee, the Colabora Birmaina, and other organizations were doing on the ground.
     After returning home, in order to build a school in Mae-Sot, Cole and industrial designer Louise McKillop founded Building Trust International (BTI). The charity’s mission is to facilitate international building projects by assembling a specialized team of architects, engineers, sponsors, and other organizations. To solicit ideas for the Mae-Sot school, BTI organized an open design competition. The project brief called for a mobile structure that could serve as a school and community center. While the notion is simple the design problem isn’t. Since the refugees don’t have protected land rights, the structure has to be simple to assemble, transport and reassemble. And the structure needs to address the tropical climate, leverage local construction materials and techniques, and shape a deeply sheltering, inspiring space for the refugees. The competition attracted the interest of over 800 teams and some of the best entries were displayed at a pop-up gallery in London, generating even more interest.

Slideshow

Next


Features, Greenspace February 24, 2012 By Jordan Sayle
Tara Oceans/Tara Expeditions

Tara Oceans/Tara Expeditions

title 23 Voyage on the Oceans
So often it’s the night sky that captures the attention of people contemplating undiscovered forms of life. Yet stargazers might not always appreciate that however unlikely it is for any of us to learn of alien creatures from far off galaxies in our lifetimes, there is a much better chance for us to find never before seen living things in the oceans here on the planet Earth. So-called intelligent life probably isn’t lurking anywhere in the deep blue sea, except maybe in a ghost story or two, but it’s an accepted estimate within science that microbial diversity in the world’s oceans accounts for what are thought to be millions of unknown species of phytoplankton, including protists, small metazoans, viruses, and bacteria. If anyone intends to study these unknown microbes, though, they better do so before the organisms vanish along with eroding coral reefs and become characters in a ghost story of their own.
     Warmer and acidified waters linked to human activities are disrupting subsurface ecosystems and turning the mission to study oceanic microorganisms into a race against time. A 2010 report in the journal Nature found that planktonic populations have declined by 40 percent since 1950. Appraising their health and numbers has significance beyond mere curiosity. As a food source, pelagic plankton constitute the foundation of the maritime food web. And as emitters of oxygen and as carbon sinks, they play a vital role in regulating the content and temperature of our atmosphere.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Art February 22, 2012 By Chloe Eichler

All photographs by Lee Jeffries

All photographs by Lee Jeffries

title3 Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries’ portraits of the homeless are neither documentary photography nor the kind of detached, quick-fire street photography practiced by artists like Weegee. Each photo begins as a conversation, in which Jeffries approaches a person living on the street and simply attempts to get to know him a little better. It’s an everyday gesture, but one that most people would never make—and one that informs the resulting portrait tremendously. Jeffries’ photos, with their lyrical surfaces and intimate framing, make for one of the medium’s most empathetic and affecting tributes to a group of people who remain either de-humanized or flat out invisible in the public discourse.
     Jeffries began the project in 2008, back when he still counted himself an amateur photographer, and since then has only expanded its reach. In addition to his native England, he’s shot the homeless populations of Rome, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, and, several times, Los Angeles. His first book of the portraits, Just Talkin’, is a non-profit publication that donates all its proceeds to charity. We spoke to Jeffries as he finishes his latest collection, a series on the homeless people of Miami.

Slideshow

1 2 3

Art February 20, 2012 By Aiya Ono

Caption

Image by Jordan Sullivan

title2 GHOST COUNTRY
Ghost Country is a haunting and romantic collection of images, collages and prose by Jordan Sullivan and jewelry designer Pamela Love. The book is a Memento Mori, containing 55 images with phrases such as, “Paradise is a deadman’s town”, painstakingly tracing a past that is lost and a future no where to be found. The book was born organically during a trip to New Mexico where Love was researching silver mines. Sullivan tells PLANET the two found similarity in Love’s jewelry and Sullivan’s work which naturally led them to create Ghost Country. He reflects on the process of editing and says, “It was as if seeing the past and the future at once. I realized so much of them had to do with love and death and this sort of broken portrait of America started coming together.”
     Surprisingly, Sullivan was originally a painter and the only photographs he had been exposed to as a child consisted of photographs from National Geographic and “a few pornographic shots stolen by a friend”. Now an artist in his own right, Sullivan’s solo show combining sculpture, collage and photography titled, A Room Forever will open at UTRECT/NOW IDeA gallery in Tokyo this April. Also a curator, his first group show titled, The Wild & The Innocent, will be on view next month at Clic Gallery in NYC featuring Agnes Thor, Todd Jordan, and Brea Souders among others.

Slideshow


Books, Greenspace February 15, 2012 By Jordan Sayle

future 1 Eat Like a Princetitle 1 Eat Like a Prince
It’s not as if the food message hasn’t been delivered convincingly before. But when it’s coming from a monarch whose country’s delicacies include something called spotted dick and something else that looks suspiciously like bottled oil slick but is actually a yeast extract paste known as Marmite — well, it’s getting pretty clear that something has to be done about the way we eat.
     Last May, the Prince of Wales delivered a speech to an audience at the Future of Food Conference in Washington D.C. about the dire state of our food production systems. Making elegant quotation signs with his fingers as he spoke of “sustainability” and its prospects in “the real world,” His Royal Highness drew from his three decades of experience with the issue to present the case that in the 21st Century, as global population escalates and as strains on agricultural land intensify, it is time for us to begin rethinking how our food is produced. Soils are being depleted, water is becoming scarcer, and climate change stands to make these problems considerably worse.
     The lecture now takes the form of a newly published booklet, which environmental activist Laurie David was inspired to help put together after attending the conference and hearing the prince in person. She tells PLANET that just as she sat and listened to Al Gore’s presentation of the climate crisis years before and had the vision for a film, she was motivated in this more recent case to spread the prince’s speech more widely.

1 2 3 4 5

Architecture February 13, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Caption

All photos from No Nails, No Lumber by Jeffrey Head (Princeton Architectural Press). Wallace Neff at an Airform construction site.

bubble title The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff
Architect Wallace Neff made a name for himself in the 1920’s and 1930’s building lavish Spanish-style mansions for Hollywood clients like Douglas Fairbanks, Groucho Marx, and Judy Garland. But his pipe dream was to fill the world with bubble houses: small, inexpensive, domed concrete structures that could be built in just a few days. A new book, No Nails, No Lumber: The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff, tells the story of his efforts. From 1942 to 1952 Neff helped design and build thousands of bubble houses throughout the world, some of which remain in use even today. In addition to a number of individual bubbles houses in California, a community of twelve was constructed in Falls Church, Virginia, and another community of 1,200 was constructed in Dakar, Senegal. There were bubble house resorts developed in Hobe Sound, Florida and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. And there were bubble houses built to use as grain storage bins in Litchfield Park, Arizona, as wine vats in Portugal, and as gas stations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
     The chief innovation of the bubble house was its patented Airform construction method. After a concrete foundation was poured in the ground, a heavy rubber bubble was inflated on top. Then the bubble was coated in layers of gunite (spray-on concrete), steel mesh, insulation,

Slideshow

Next

Fashion February 11, 2012 By Derek Peck

filler29 Miguel Adrover

Miguel Adrover, 2012 All Photography by Derek Peck

Miguel Adrover, 2012 All Photography by Derek Peck

title1 Miguel Adrover
filler29 Miguel Adrover From my regular column in AnOther magazine.

Late one afternoon in November I was walking along my street in the Lower East Side when I bumped into Miguel Adrover, the influential fashion designer who left New York in 2004. It was the first time I’d seen him in several years and he looked upbeat, excited even. He’d just gotten to town that day, he said, and he was happy to be back in his old neighborhood where he had lived and worked for many years. After a moment, he leaned in and said, “I’m coming back. I’m showing in New York again.”
     This was big news from the man who electrified the New York fashion world at the end of the 1990s, and it’s been carefully guarded until just this week. Saturday, Miguel will show his first collection in New York City in nearly eight years, returning to the Lower East Side theater where he started it all with his now-legendary Manaus-Chiapas-NYC collection.
     During the late ‘90s and early 2000s, Miguel Adrover was one of my favorite New Yorkers. He truly exemplified the spirit of the city at the dawn of a new century. An immigrant from Spain, he made Manhattan his home and embraced it so completely and exuberantly that, through his work, he was able to give ordinary New Yorkers a heightened awareness of what a unique and special place they inhabited. Often, he would wax poetic about the city in the most surprisingly original and insightful ways.

1 2 3 4