White Genocide In Space!

Oh, the moans! The whines! The cries of the incredibly privileged white dudes! Will no one think of the bros? I can answer that one: No. You’re free to fuck off and not watch the new Trek, which, horror of horrors, is not stuffed to the starship ceiling with white men.

The new series Star Trek Discovery stars Asian actress Michelle Yeoh as the ship’s captain and black actress Sonequa Martin-Green as her first officer — and this has caused some Trekkies to fret about the lack of white men in charge.

While the overall reaction to the new Star Trek trailer has been positive — although there are the usual complaints from Star Trek fans about continuity errors — one group of fans is particularly upset about the show’s diverse cast of characters.

As both Heat Street and Daily Kos point out, the series’ YouTube page has been bombarded by comments labeling the show a “SJW” plot aimed at shoving “political correctness,” “forced diversity,” and even “cultural Marxism” down viewers’ throats.

Additionally, some angry Twitter users have even proclaimed that the show’s diverse cast is evidence of a “white genocide” conspiracy aimed at eliminating the white race from the face of the Earth.

Trailer from here.

Hee. Oh my, it’s a day to get drunk on tears. Via Raw Story.

Yuki James.

Stevie.

Absolutely wondrous portraiture by Yuki James, who does everything except conventional. I like ‘unconvential’ portraits of people, which simply means capturing people as they actually are, and how they wish to be portrayed, rather than the stiff, dressed up, traditional type of portraits. Just a few here, and most under the fold, possibly NSFW, so have a care.

The portraits feature a mélange of individuals caught in domestic moments to capture a provocative, elegant otherness that defies commonly accepted notions of race, gender, age, and individuality.

“Portraits are my passion and this show is a collection of my favorites,” James tells Creators. “I only shoot fashion or commercial work if the commissioning publication or client feels that what I do, and my voice, works with their brand. Or if I’m asked to collaborate with another artist or designer that I truly admire.” James recently collaborated with Jeremy Scott for Rollacoaster Magazine. “I love beauty in the unconventional. I love sensuality in those not expected to express it.” The portraitist says, “Emotions and feelings appeal to me. The things that tie us together as humans even when we seem so different.”

Tawan.

“An element of intimacy is something I strive to have with every person I shoot,” explains James of his process. “I take my time and ease into a space that feels comfortable and open, and then look for what they will give me. What poignancy can we tap into? In that way, each shoot is a collaboration.” Okachan, a picture of an older Japanese woman with a silk scarf covering her hair and a ball gag in her mouth, speaks to the contradictions of domesticity. The image is from a series of portraits the artist shot of Japanese women who are all over the age of 50, showing that modesty does not preclude tendencies like rough sex at any age.

[Read more…]

Alright, That’s On The Creepy Side.

The Deep Sea Diver Giant marionette began his journey through the city starting in the Old Port Friday afternoon. (Sarah Leavitt/CBC).

While I delight in gigantic, mechanical spiders and dragons, I’m not so delighted with gigantic humans. We naked apes are a dangerous species, and seeing humongous, mechanical humans leads me more towards uncanny valley. I don’t find the idea of human giants charming. That said, they were all over Montreal for the 375th Birthday celebration.

Giant marionettes are taking over parts of Montreal starting this morning, with a larger-than-life street performance as part of the city’s 375th anniversary bash.

The marionettes, one of which is five storeys high, were made by a French company called Royal de Luxe. They made their Montreal debut today, winding their way through the city streets and along the river.

You can read and see more here.

Disney: Silencing Robot Trump.

Walt Disney World.

Oh my, oh my. Disney is going to place a robotic Trump in their Hall of Presidents, but the are considering making this particular robot a silent one.

Disney is tight-lipped as to whether Trump will do the same. It’s already certain that a Donald Trump robot will be part of the attraction (which is currently closed for “refurbishments”). Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed this in a call with Wall Street analysts last November:

“We’ve already prepared a bust of President-elect Trump to go into our Hall of the Presidents at Disney World.”

Iger expressed hope for a “smooth transition,” though this looks to be anything but. There are already multiple anti-Trump petitions circulating (the most prominent one has collected nearly 15,000 signatures), which urge Disney to silence the Trump robot, on the grounds that Trump ran for president on a platform of “hateful speech, misogyny, racism, and xenophobia.”

Motherboard spoke via email and phone to a source close to Walt Disney Imagineering—the research and development department behind Disney’s theme park attractions. And according to the source, Donald Trump will be in the attraction, but he will probably not have a speaking role, unlike the three presidents immediately before him. The Imagineers will likely revert the attraction to its pre-1993 format, where only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln recited lines, while keeping the more realistic, grounded tone of the current show.

Motherboard has the full story.

Cool Stuff Friday.

the artist in front of “Tyrannosaurus” in Chiba prefecture (2016).

“Asura” in Akita prefecture (2015).

Toshihiko Hosaka began making sand sculptures in art school and has been using beaches and sand boxes as his canvas for almost 20 years. His work defies what we typically think of as sand art as he sculpts and carves the loose, granular substance as if it were some malleable form of clay.

There is no core, mold or adhesive ever used throughout the process: just sand. The only trick Hosaka uses (and this is commonly accepted) is a hardening spray applied to his sculpture only after it’s been completed, in order to prevent wind and sun from eroding it for a few days.

Looking at his work, you can hardly credit it, that’s it’s just sand, nothing more, because it’s truly amazing and intricate. He has done sculptures of Musashi Miyamoto, Godzilla, Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Asura, and a massive Kraken, among others. All the ones listed you can see at Spoon & Tamago, and be sure to visit Toshihiko Hosaka’s website!

An octopus sings about overfishing:

Overfishing Song from “Papa Cloudy’s Restaurant” from Studio Creature on Vimeo.

Artist Chuck Miller is fascinated with bodies, as many artists are, however, what fascinates Miller the most is fluidity and complexity of flesh. You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

Milena Ogrizovic beside Monument of the Fallen Fighters. Designer: Dajana Vasic.

Throughout the former Yugoslavia, mysterious and beautiful monuments dot the landscape, initiated by Yugoslav revolutionary Josef Broz Tito and designed by modernist architects. Increasingly forgotten, these brutalist concrete sculptures, which were public monuments to the country’s fallen soldiers of World War II, are revived in Serbian photographer Jovana Mladenovic‘s series Monumental Fear, which not only explores the former country’s triumph over fascism, but echoes the painful split that led to several Balkan states. Mladenovic’s series is also a tone poem meant to celebrate the creativity of the Serbian people, many of them artists facing uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote.

After studying photography at Belgrade’s University of Arts, Mladenovic moved to London to pursue her interest in fashion photography at the London College of Fashion. But she soon realized she was more interested in conceptual art and photography. Though she was happy to be in London, exploring avant-garde impulses, Mladenovic started thinking about her home country—specifically, its brutalist Yugoslavian communist monuments unveiled in the decades following World War II.

Fascinating and beautiful work. You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

And last, but certainly not least, Mr. Rogers!

Mr. Rogers is singing about how it’s ok to hug a pillow or pine after a teddy bear, and even though it seems like I’m too old for such things, I feel my stomach drop and I’m suddenly having trouble breathing. I feel like a kid again, and thanks to the 18-day Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood marathon currently streaming on Twitch, over 2 million people have already had the chance to feel the same. The Twitch stream is playing the entire Mister Rogers archive back-to-back in chronological order, including rare episodes that only aired once on terrestrial TV.

Twitch reached out to PBS with an idea for a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood revival in the lead up to the show’s 50th anniversary. They launched the marathon on May 15, partially thanks to the overwhelming response to marathons of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, and Julia Child’s The French Chef on the streaming platform. “We were excited to build on that momentum with this experimental initiative,” Lesli Rotenberg, a Senior Vice President at PBS, tells Creators.

You can read more about this at The Creators Project. The Twitch Mr. Roger’s Stream.

Namahage!

Etsuko Ichihara’s Namahage in Tokyo.

In Japanese folklore there exists a beast-like deity called the Namahage. It can be found all over Japan, taking on different appearances and even names depending on the region. Although harmless, it exists to scare those who are lazy or wrongdoing out of their bad habits. Inspired by this tradition, media artist Etsuko Ichihara decided to create a modern-day version of the Namahage specifically for Tokyo, and unleash in onto the streets of Shibuya, Harajuku and Akihabara.

In the traditional Japanese ritual, men would dress up in demon masks and parade through town, visiting houses along the way. They typically yell phrases like “Are there any crybabies around?” or “Are naughty kids here?” But the Namahage have been known to admonish adults too. And by acting as a scary rule enforcer, Namahage played the important role of strengthening family and community ties. This became a critical part of Ichihara’s “Namahage in Tokyo,” a city where many young Japanese men and women immigrate too from rural Japan, hence diluting the bonds between family and community.

Ichihara’s Namahage is quite spectacular simply as a costume. Its mask consists of a camera and drone, perfect for scanning and locating lazy gamers and otaku. It’s the work of sculptor Hiroto Ikeuchi. The rest of the costume too, in which Ichihara collaborated with fashon label chloma, is beautiful in its modern interpretation of a traditional deity.

This is all so wondrous and imaginative! I enjoyed every moment of the videos, and what great gods to play with, too. Some very nice knife wielding, too!  I loved the imagining of Namahage in Tokyo to have incorporated a camera, given the large role surveillance plays in all our lives anymore. That would definitely make Namahage’s job easier. Via Spoon & Tamago.

Samuel Salcedo.

NSFW. That bit will be under the fold, so have a care. I am absolutely in love with the work of Samuel Salcedo. I would so love to have a tiny, naked man hanging out on my bookshelf, the question being, which naked man. And so much more!


Rain
185x180x260 cm. 2011. Polyester resin and aluminium powder. © Samuel Salcedo.

Traum
60x60x75 cm. 2011. aluminium and lead. © Samuel Salcedo.


Harvest
135x70x70 cm. 2009. Polyester resin and washbasin. © Samuel Salcedo.

[Read more…]

Cool Stuff Friday.

The Infinite Now from Armand Dijcks on Vimeo.

Over the past months I’ve been working with Australian photographer Ray Collins to bring his amazing oceanscapes to life in the form of cinemagraphs, a blend between photography and video. Each cinemagraph is created from one of Ray’s stills, and sets it in infinite motion, making a unique moment in time last forever.

These cinemagraphs inspired André Heuvelman from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to get together with pianist Jeroen van Vliet to record a very moving custom soundtrack, which I combined with a selection of the cinemagraphs.

You can see the original cinemagraphs at armanddijcks.com/cinemagraphs-waves

Ray’s images can be found at raycollinsphoto.com

André Heuvelman’s music: andreheuvelman.com

Stunning and mesmerizing work by all!

The Canadian Museum of History has unveiled a unique new exhibit that brings the faces of a 4,000-year-old Indigenous family back to life.

The museum revealed the three-dimensional forensic reconstruction of a shíshálh family whose remains were found in an ancient burial site near what is now Sechelt, B.C. The digital images move and blink in the incredibly life-like display.

“To look back on some of our people that existed within our territory 4,000 years ago, and to be in close proximity of their images — it’s a humbling experience,” Chief Warren Paull of the shíshálh Nation told CBC News.

“I see cousins. I see family.”

You can read more about this here. Amazing work.

SHE INSPIRES installation view.

Women’s history has long been marginalized in mainstream education, relegated to its own niche of study and overlooked in favor of male-dominated historical narratives. SHE INSPIRES, a group exhibition at The Untitled Space, highlights these lesser told histories through the work of over 60 contemporary artists. Each piece in the show is an homage to an important woman. Curator, Indira Cesarine, tells Creators, “SHE INSPIRES aims to honor and celebrate women who have impacted our culture and tell their stories which should be rightfully included not just as ‘women’s history,’ but everyone’s history.”

[…]

SHE INSPIRES is on display at The Untitled Space in Soho through May 20th. Click here for accompanying events and more information.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

The Slow Mo Guys take on mousetraps on a trampoline.

Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

Pink Floyd’s Pigs Will Fly!

Artist’s rendering – Flying Pigs on Parade over the Chicago River.

“Flying Pigs on Parade” is a visual response to the loud, illogical and frequently hateful expressions that polluted the presidential elections and that now define the actions of our U.S. leadership. 

One hundred years ago the Russian Revolution launched a series of events that would drastically alter the world. George Orwell used these events as the basis for his 1946 novella Animal Farm. The poignancy of the text has reverberated with many generations. We feel the message, once again, seems sadly relevant.

In 1977 Pink Floyd rendered their musical interpretation of the allegory into the concept album Animals in response to social-political conditions in late-70’s Britain. Like Orwell’s book, the interpretive messages of Animals have unfortunately become highly relevant again.

[…]

Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) has given us approval to replicate the original iconic Battersea pig in gold. Since we will have invested in the balloons, we intend to deploy the folly in other cities.

Flying Pigs on Parade is intended to first deploy in Chicago as a single day art installation. Most of the technical bits have been resolved. We are currently progressing through requirements for municipal approval, negotiating a float date in late summer.

We will need financial assistance in implementing the project.

(please see “DONATE” at top of page or our GoFundMe.com page)

If you can, help to spread the pigs all over! Flying Pigs On Parade. Donate!

Raw story has this also.

Cool Stuff Friday.

When the makers of the live-action remake of Kiki’s Delivery Service needed bicycles for the film they turned to one man: Nobuyuki Tani.

Beautiful, gorgeous bicycles! There are definitely three of them I’d like to have, if wishes were fishes and I had a net.

In his studio in Chigasaki, a coastal city in Kanagawa an hour Southwest of Tokyo, Tani hand-assembles all his bikes. With a careful attention to detail and an emphasis on materials, Tani sculpts his unique creations into functional, ridable works of art. He was commissioned to create all the bicycles for the live-action adaptation of Kiki’s Delivery Service (2014). Tani created the fantastical flying bicycle but also the bread maker’s bicycle and Tombo’s regular bicycle.

Tani also collaborated with Ishinokura Shoten to create 3 models that are produced at larger quantities. Vintage parts procured from around the world come together with custom-parts to create 3 distinct rides that are both beautiful to look at, but entirely functional. With just the right amount of whimsy, these bikes look like they’ve come right out of some imaginative fairy tale.

Pictured above is the “Matiere” model (158,000 yen). It’s a geographically neutral city bicycle that is all about materials: wood, leather and iron.

You can read and see more at Spoon & Tamago.

Ever wonder about soy sauce? Wonder no more!

screenshots from the film “The Birthplace of Soy Sauce”.

Soy Sauce is said to have originated in China and then brought over to Japan by a Buddhist monk who settled down in current-day Wakayama Prefecture in 1254. Using the abundance of clear, spring water from the town of Yuasa he began producing a type of miso that he had learned about on his travels that had been used to preserve vegetables. A byproduct from this process – a liquid that collected in the barrels of the miso paste – was soy sauce. And this is how the town of Yuasa became the birthplace of Soy Sauce.

In a masterfully-produced short film, Japanese filmmaker Mile Nagaoka walks us down the streets of Yuasa and into a traditional soy sauce manufacturer that’s still producing soy sauce almost exactly the same way it was made more than 750 years ago. You can almost smell the rich, fermenting flavors of soy sauce waft out of the screen.

After originating in Yuasa, Soy Sauce is thought to have made its way to Kansai, where it became popular. In fact, there is documentation of a large 18,000 liter (about 4800 gallons) shipment of soy sauce from Wakayama to Osaka in 1588. What is thought to be Japan’s first Soy Sauce manufacturer had opened shop just 8 years earlier and is actually still in business.

Via Spoon & Tamago.

Last Light from Colin Rich on Vimeo.

The NatGeo Travel Photographer of the Year comp is up and running! Get those photos in, people!  The Grand Prize is a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Islands!

The Joy Of Cooking: Miniature Food.

These are amazing, and wonderful to watch.

There are books on the wall, a table in the middle of the room, a plant, maybe a floor lamp or two. But something doesn’t feel right in this room, like it’s a set. Suddenly, a gigantic hand reaches into the frame, revealing that the room was indeed a set built entirely in miniature form. The chopping board is maybe the size of a pinky; the knife slightly smaller. This is the world of Japanese miniature enthusiast and YouTuber ‘Joken’ aka AAAJoken, or triple-A Joken.

Currently a member of the YouTuber management agency UUUM, Joken got his start by introducing toys for kids and creating stop motion animations using those toys. But since 2014 he’s created over 200 videos on a YouTube channel called Miniature Space. In it, he creates all kinds of miniature Japanese meals like tempura and okonomiyaki, but also everyday foods like spaghetti carbonara and corn dogs.

You can read and see more at Spoon & Tamago.