Flight Pattern.

A ballet about the plight of refugees, commissioned for the Royal Opera House, has been showered with five star reviews and described with words like potent and sombre. It’s the work of the Canadian Crystal Pite who has built a reputation as one of the most respected choreographers of her generation – and who is the first woman to have created a new work for the Royal Ballet in almost two decades. It’s titled ‘Flight Pattern’ and Kirsty Wark went to speak to her about using dance to engage in a difficult harrowing subject.

Beautiful and so very poignant. I wish I could see this in person.

Looking for Knives.

Morissa Maltz.

Morissa Maltz.

Visiting Hot Springs, Arkansas is like walking into the past. A city stuck in time, it’s known as much for its history and naturally heated springs buildings as its mix of 1800s architecture and Art Deco—structures that are slowly crumbling yet still magical. One of the city’s iconic buildings, the gigantic and once abandoned Majestic Hotel, was recently demolished. A week before its dismantling, however, artist and filmmaker Morissa Maltz shot a video inside the hotel. Equal parts documentary, performance art piece, and music video for Dyan’s “Looking for Knives,” it is the final document of a space that held huge amounts of history.

In “Looking for Knives,” Maltz’s camera drifts through the hotels innards. Though The Majestic suffered a fire in 2014, the video focuses instead on paint peeling off walls and floors turning into dirt. Inspired by female artists like Pipilotti Rist, Francesca Woodman, and Maya Deren, for whom the body expresses emotion inside a space, Maltz also performs in the video, moving through the hotel’s crumbling corridors and interacting with its surfaces.

A lovely, haunting video and song. You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

Wrap My Hijab!

Mona Haydar, a Syrian Muslim-American poet and activist, released her first-ever single and rap music video in honor of the world’s first-ever Muslim Women’s Day on Mar 27 … all while she’s pregnant.

Given the current rise of Islamophobia around the world, Haydar wanted to fight the hate. And what better way to do that than with music?

“This song is a party,” Haydar wrote in a Facebook post.

After the song went live, some people began shaming Haydar and the other hijabis in the video for having fun, as they sing and dance away.

“So even if you hate it – I still wrap my hijab!” the lyrics say in anticipation of the hateful remarks.

But, Haydar did not let the hate ruin the moment, and instead kept on celebrating.

You can read more here. I think it’s a grand song!

SlayTV.

Slay

Screengrab.

Enter SlayTV.

Slay was founded by Sean Torrington, a former Goldman Sachs project manager, and his husband Terry; after Torrington lost his job in 2010 , he decided to follow his passion for filmmaking by creating some YouTube web series based on the lives of black and brown LGBTQ people. They then created an app to curate content from Youtube and the web onto one platform. And Slay has been growing ever since.

SlayTV officially launches on May 15 online, on iOS and Android devices, as well as on Roku, Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and other services.

Torrington hopes to empower content creators to become “sustainable entrepreneurs” who generate their own revenue. “Slay is not only digital TV, it is a production company and an ad agency,” he tells Out. “We will build campaigns around content on our network to get it branded.”

That content includes a wide variety of programs in various formats, for and by queer people of color, such as: the docu-series Other Boys NYC, a 50-part series exploring narratives of queer and transgender men of color; No Shade, inspired by Torrington’s coming-of-age in New York; and the romantic sitcom Love @ First Night, based loosely on Sean and Terry’s relationship.

Out has a nice introduction video. SlayTV. SlayTV on youtube. Great content, wonderful people, go explore!

Wee Gay Badgers: Mustard & Ketchup.

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Two “wee” gay badgers Mustard & Ketchup, who’re in a “long term lovin’ relationship,” star together in Looper’s retro new “Farfisa Song” video. The music project, helmed by Stuart David of Belle and Sebastian, is gearing up to launch tomorrow pre-orders for exclusive vinyl of its 2015 album, Offgrid:Offline, which this track originally appeared on.

The video’s cutesy cartoon characters were animated by David’s longtime collaborator, Iain Gardner, who also created Looper’s “Oh, Skinny Legs” visual. “I loved how ‘Farfisa Song’ harked back to the sounds from my youth and consequently found inspiration from ’70s variety shows for the video,” Gardner told OUT. “And it’s been a great way for me to flesh out and get to know my characters, Mustard & Ketchup.”

David said he gravitated toward the badgers because they live in a world where no stigma is attached to being gay, but where it is frowned upon to be a badger. Throughout the video, they’re shown preparing for a Looper music video on what looks like a very slim production budget. “We are proud to have worked with them on this video,” David said of Mustard & Ketchup. “We do feel, however, that Mustard and Ketchup may have overlooked the fact that there is something of a stigma attached to those who have chosen to associate themselves with Looper.”

Via Out.

Bowie: The Stamps That Fell To Earth.

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(Click for full size.)

The Royal Mail has released a set of David Bowie themed stamps, which have been enlarged, attached to weather balloons and sent into space as part of a launch stunt.

The set of 10 stamps have been designed in-house by Royal Mail and use a template created by Studio Dempsey for the Classic Album Art stamps series, issued in 2010, which featured the Bowie album Ziggy Stardust. The same template was also used for the Pink Floyd stamps in 2016.

Die cut stamps with visible vinyl

Each of the new Bowie stamps has been die cut and features the arc of a vinyl record poking out of the sleeve.

Six of the stamps feature album covers, which together show Bowie’s transformation and include: Hunky Dory; Aladdin Sane; “Heroes”; Let’s Dance; Earthling and ★.

The other four stamps show Bowie performing live on tours including The Ziggy Stardust Tour, 1972; The Stage Tour, 1978; The Serious Moonlight Tour, 1983; and A Reality Tour, 2004.

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You can see all the stamps, and more at Design Week 30.

Mr. Tweet: What. An. Idiot.

Snoop Dog (Screen Capture).

Snoop Dogg (Screen Capture).

There’s been considerable fuss over Snoop Dogg’s latest, which features the assassination of a political clown. (Three guesses.) I’d assume the video was meant to be one which would cause a fuss, because it’s a rather strong indictment of the current regime, which so far has taken many draconian measures against all manner of people, most of them not pasty white. Or orange. Political dissent is being quashed and felonized, the government is allowing cop shops to comb through social media, there’s the ban, the wall, representatives openly speaking out about the wonders of white supremacy, millions upon millions of people will have their health care stripped from them, cops have been given a green light to murder, and on and on it goes. So, I get where Snoop Dogg is coming from, and I agree with him that this regime is evil.

All that said, no matter where you stand on the video, Unpresident Jekyll gave away to Mr. Tweet once again, and once more proves that Mr. Tweet is a fucking dumbass:

Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!

Oh, Crispy Fried Christ, the man is a fucking idiot. No, dipshit-in-chief, there would not have been jail time. You’re the one who wants to jail people for no reason, remember? And, in the scenario you paint, I expect conservative assholes like yourself would have been thrilled and cheering it on. There wasn’t a video like that though, because there was no reason for one. Now, there’s a reason.

Also note the bloated ego of the child in tantrum: failing career, look at me, I’m unpresident, you’re no one! Jesus Fuck. Perhaps putting you in clown face is a good idea, then people might start to wake up to what you really are, an evil sociopath.

People in the tweet stream helpfully pointed out the time that Trump said he could shoot someone in the street and still have people vote for him; and others pointed out that he was stone silent when effigies of President Obama were set on fire; also silent when President Obama’s face was placed on targets for sale; also silent when the craptastic Ted Nugent said President Obama should suck on his gun; pointed out the time Trump called on 2nd amendment fans to take care of Ms. Clinton, and so on. One of the dangers of being such a fucking idiot is having all the smart people point at your hypocrisy.

Full story here.

Until I Die.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Photo: Miha Fras. Image via.

Four-and-a-half liters of blood, slowly collected over eight months into a unique type of battery, powers this sound installation from Russian-based artist ::vtol::, a.k.a., Dmitry Morozov. The piece, called Until I Die, was on show at the Kapelica gallery, Ljubljana in December 2016, with documentation recently released online.

The artwork uses Morozov’s blood to generate electricity, using electrolyte liquid and metals (copper and aluminum) with varying oxidation rates as power sources. This powers an electronic synth module, creating generative sound compositions which play from a speaker.

The installation features five “blood” batteries which are made up of 11 containers of the artist’s blood diluted with distilled water—and preservatives added—to make seven liters in total.

On his website ::vtol:: notes that the installation, both in visual aesthetics and its methodology, nods to the electrochemical experiments of the 18th and 19th century, particularly scientists Luigi Galvani, discoverer of animal electricity, and Alessandro Volta, inventor of the electrical battery.

“Two mutually reinforcing concepts form the central premise of the project. The first one is my desire to create a technobiological hybrid device after several years of fruitful but exhausting work. This device would be something that is in all but name me, that uses my vitality to create electronic sounds,” explains Morozov on his website. He continues: “Another crucial component of the installation is the generation of electricity: this is the cornerstone of my creative work. The fact that my body’s most important fluid can animate a device designed as an extension of myself beyond my body is also very significant.”

You can see more images at The Creators Project. A visually stunning project, to say the least, with significant and profound observations about humanity.

Noether’s Theorem: Visualized Music.

This is one of the coolest things ever. The Creators Project has an in-depth story, and stills from the video.

Noether’s Theorem concerns itself with symmetry in physical systems. “Symmetry is the idea that one aspect of a system can change while another remains constant,” Cooper explains in the video’s description. “The idea of natural laws themselves rely on the forms of symmetry that mean the same forces will apply to you as they do to me, independently of our position in space or time… The principle is also responsible for music, in that our enjoyment of tonality, melody, harmony and rhythm comes from our subconscious appreciation of different types of patterns (i.e. symmetries) in sound waves.”

McLoughlin, whose experimental films have showed us what a Googol looks like, an extra-dimensional portrait of his dad, and sleep deprivation distilled into visual style, applies the mathematical theorem to a spiraling universe of flat circles. “The law of symmetry struck a chord with me in a huge way,” McLoughlin tells Creators. “There’s just something so divine about that law, it’s just so primal and insanely complicated. Almost like the soul of everything. It just feels spiritual to me.”

If you’re into math stuff, learn more about Noether’s Theorem here. If you’re rather feel it than read about it, watch Kevin McLoughlin’s video for Max Cooper’s “Symmetry”.