Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Then this video came along and knocked everything back in perspective. It's so... flawless. I consider it New York's response to my piddling efforts, and I stand humbled. It was made on the exact corners where I was inspired, in front of Affinity Cycles and elsewhere. Everything about it is more big-city than me, the quality of the video, the number of views it has received in one day, its immediate commercialization of the talent that made it. It's an apt e-portrait of hubris. I'm stunned, but I won't stop trying.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Deep from Dada Factory on Vimeo.
Al's film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008.There's some beautiful stuff here, I love the spinning cogs of the press and the elevator.
This film really typifies my perception of Al as a filmmaker. Seemingly out of nowhere, in a rush of a few weeks, he says "I want to make a film this month." Suddenly he's securing locations and spending money on the sets, and next thing I know he's made something entirely his, entirely beautiful. He spent much longer preparing it privately, of course, but it was still quite amazing to see how quickly Al can materialize his visions.
Incidentally, Al has just written another spotlight over at the Dada Press,this time on the diverse verbal world of Makena Walsh. Check it out: The Illusion of Geometry.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Photo from Poster Boy on Flickr
It's great. It's like instant counter-capitalism. Some perfected ad campaign is spewed out to get consumers to buy some new thing, and the masses instantly critique and satirize it.
My buddy Luke pointed out Poster Boy to me, who has elevated this practice to his chosen art form:
Monday, January 19, 2009
Once again he features the artwork of Faith 47 and shows the community context that surrounds her work. I feel like the creation of this kind of art, and the dissemination of it through films like this, re-humanize the planet a little bit.
A Question from Rowan on Vimeo.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Here's a very un-candid photo of Austin.
Austin works at Takashi's as a Sushi chef. Look what he made me for lunch yesterday! IN OUR HOME!
Here is Austin for Halloween:
So go visit him at work and tell him you love him too.
Friday, January 16, 2009
bike winter from Dada Factory on Vimeo.
Ever since I saw The Restless Debt of Third World Beauty I wanted to practice doing a music-video style edit, and in my recent trip to New York I spent a great deal of time dreaming up shots and generally itching to make a movie.
I wanted to make a video that summed up the craziness/fun of biking in the winter, but most of the blizzard footage I got was pretty boring/unusable, and I didn't feel up to filming on the worst days. So this is the mixed result, it was good fun, and I wish I had time to make a similar one every week. It's a little shout out to the people I love in this city, the activity I love so much, and the thrill of riding up a steep hill in the sunset.
Keep in touch for The Tale of Don Giovanni, That Indomitable Hipster, hopefully being filmed this October.
Many thanks to:
The Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective
Legal Messengers Inc.
Prollyisnotprobably.com for introducing me to Will's Stroud's stuff
The Wooster Collective for introducing me to Rowan's stuff.
music: "Careful" by Hot Chip off of The Warning EP
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
But is hard to conjure up in day-to-day life. The problem with Cruise's tear-jerker is that it puts the bar for when a people should stand against authority so freakin' high. I mean, yeah, these guys did the right thing in the face of massive facist adversity, but it took 6 million systematized deaths for them to get around to it! And people, we need to resist and rebel long before things become that clear cut.
Which is why I'm jotting this down, the week before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, on the eve of the inauguration of a black President. I just watched an excerpt of another film, Eyes on the Prize, a Civil rights documentary series that's about a bazillion hours long. It's a good watch that shows how turbulent the movement was, how punitive and reactionary the whites in power, esp. Eugene "Bull" Connor, were. Police Commissioner Connor and his ilk were racist fucks who were voted out of office, but refused to give up their positions. The city actually had two sets of governments for something like 114 days, in which time both groups would meet separately, pass laws, spend money, etc. Trouble was, the police force was still in the hands of Connor, who proceeded to trample all over citizen's rights to assemble by breaking up MLK's anti-segregation protests and marches with police dogs, fire hoses, and mass mass arrests. The black organizers cleverly (and controversially) got the non-working members of their community to create the groundswell for this direct action, so they could keep paying their bills as well as waging a political struggle. That essentially meant the high-school age children made up the protest body. They arrested children by the paddy wagon for simply demonstrating, and when the paddy wagons filled up they brought out school busses, and then the jails filled up. Then they simply hit people with hoses, sic'ed police dogs on them, and went out at night with klansman masks on to blow up MLK and other's hotels. The police responded to the crowds gathered at the exploded hotel rooms by beating up blacks.
I didn't really know any of this, but more interesting to me was how much MLK was a proponent of direct action. Check out his Letter from a Birmingham Jail:
You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth."
Funny to think that some of the most effective direct activists were southern christians who are heralded as great, great men by the history books. Because in most places, 'direct action' is a dirty phrase, closely associated with an especially dirty concept: anarchism.
DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images via the big picture
Anarchists are deemed ineffective, dangerous, and thoughtless by mainstream society and the legal/media system that defines what mainstream is, but I bet Fox News is going to get all teary eyed talking about MLK on his government-assigned day. He's a hero to the mainstream in retrospect, now that they've seen the error of their ways and changed the law book. But MLK acted as a textbook anarchist. He intended to face the root causes of issues, rather than the superficial symptoms, which is what direct action is all about.
The thing is that in order to diagnose root causes you have to trust yourself to make the right decision, to know 'right' from 'wrong.' It is hard to be so certain in many situations. Take the Israel-Palestine conflict for example, where the 'truth' is vast, physically far away (from me, anyway), and most importantly obfuscated by biased information from impassioned sources on both sides of the issue. These arguments fall into the good/evil dichotomy, which is all well and good for Tom Cruise, but puts us contemporary human beings in a bit of a dilemma. When, if ever, do we act?
I don't know. King knew when he had to act, and talks about the 4 steps of non-violent direct action in his Birmingham Jail letter: "Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action." The point is, you must be sure what you're fighting for is worth fighting for, or you're just another punk kid in a mob. But once you're certain you can make positive change, whether by marching or speaking or film-making or any of the other great methods of communication we have available, be sure you do it. Because otherwise systems will continue to overstep their rules and oppress people.
Happy MLKjr Day/Inauguration!
Monday, January 12, 2009
The Dada Press is going to exist both as a complier/linker of original content, and a place to broadcast any of our journalistic pieces about Salt Lake's art scene. If you have any work you've done recently that you'd like to publicize send it in!
First up is a quick segment Al made about the Art Truck, The 337 project's latest endeavor. Check it out on the Dada Press!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Come one come all to the Arctic Alley Cat!
Cold cold cold and fun fun fun!
We still need people to man the stops, but it'll be a circular style race so you won't need to be standing out in the cold for hours.
There'll be antifreeze (edible) for your sustenance at each stop, and an easyish course, not really any prizes to speak of, but you'll get to freeze your ass off!
Friday, January 2, 2009
When they told her she was too short to ride a tallbike, that she should stick to her 47cm roadbikes, did she listen? hell no! She went out there and built the littlest tallbike in SLC. And I'm going to ride it tonight at Midnight Mass.
Here's to adventures. Here's to making movies. Here's to staying up all night in the cold doing amazing things. Here's to biking in the silence and seeing your best friends through the fog of your breath. Here's to travellers and anarchists and warm beds and tired heads. Here's to Winter in Salt Lake City.
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- Food For Samples
- Blown outta the water.
- The Deep is online!
- Macaframa Screening Tomorrow!
- Poster Boy and media mixing
- Rowan at it again
- Best Star Wars Summary Evar
- Roommate Austin!
- Stickie Note Story
- bike winter release
- Martin Luther King, Anarchism, and Tom Cruise's Va...
- The internets are a-hummin'
- Rally the Troops!
- Arctic Cat!
- New Years Resolutions & Midnight Mass!