follow us in feedly
Society of the spectacle: Classic ‘Media Burn’ art prank skewers American life, 1975
11.21.2013
07:15 am

Topics:
Art
Media
Television

Tags:
Media Burn
Ant Farm

Media Burn
 
On July 4, 1975, the San Francisco art collective Ant Farm staged its highly media-savvy “Media Burn,” in which a revamped Cadillac would crash, Evel Knievel style, through a wall of flaming television sets in the parking lot of the Cow Palace sports arena and entertainment venue.

It was the perfect mix of Yippie-style anti-establishment protest and avant-garde art of the Nam June Paik type. According to a speech given by “Bill Ding” before the staged crash, “fifteen hundred man hours” had succeeded in transforming a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz convertible into a preposterous “Phantom Dream Car” with an elongated hood and a massive tail fin with a video camera embedded inside. What made the event so distinctive, and perhaps utterly American, was the media circus Ant Farm managed to instigate around the event.

Scheduled to coincide with the country’s 199th birthday, “Media Burn” was larded up with a healthy dose of patriotic folderol. The overriding metaphor of an epochal space launch accentuated the general feeling of ridiculousness (this was actually a Cadillac crashing into a bunch of TV sets, remember), complete with a star-spangled tarp to cover the “Dream Car” before the event and a special appearance by John F. Kennedy, who had been assassinated twelve years earlier, complete with Secret Service detail and presidential open-air limo. In the car, the Ant Farm “dummies,” as they were labeled, were wearing space-age outfits right out of the The Day the Earth Stood Still.
 
Media Burn
 
The act of destroying a bunch of TV sets was intended as a comment on our media age, but Ant Farm didn’t stop there—the entire afternoon was conceived as a mock media phenomenon, complete with self-important press releases and the issuing of “legitimate” press credentials, in an effort to sucker S.F. news outlets into covering the event. (It totally worked.) As the press release winkingly stated, “MEDIA BURN is NOT open to the public”—yet several hundred people did show up, and programs and hot dogs were happily sold to spectators.

One half-expects DEVO to show up halfway through and play “Jocko Homo” or something. “Media Burn” was so thoroughgoingly conceived that it almost precludes commentary. It’s enough to watch and enjoy it.
 

 
via Internet Magic

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin debating the future of America in 1986


 
Watching this debate between Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin from 1986, I was struck by how little has really changed since the late 80s despite the fact that, to Rubin’s way of thinking, we’ve had two “yuppie” Presidents in the White House. Hoffman’s vision seems more prophetic in light of the Occupy Movement, but I see the truth to be somewhere in the middle of their opposing points of view.

Despite his emphasis on maintaining a healthy body, no amount of good health helped Rubin. Ironically, the law-abiding straight-lace yuppie was killed in 1994 while fucking the system, run over by a car in L.A. as he was jaywalking. Hoffman gave up the good fight and committed suicide in 1989. The future they speak so passionately about in this debate was not theirs to further impact, though both had done their fair share starting in the Sixties. From founding the yippies, mobilizing the march on the Pentagon, leading the charge in Chicago in 1968 to inspiring John and Yoko’s sleep-in, there’s no question both Hoffman and Rubin managed to change the world we live in. Abbie’s style of guerrilla theater, activism and peaceful dissent was very much alive in the past few years on the streets of American cities like New York and in Europe, Turkey and during the Arab Spring movement. Rubin’s concept of revolution from within the system is less vivid and harder to measure. I don’t think it works for the most part but I’m still voting.

The debate took place in Canada. Rubin and Hoffman make their points with lots of energy and Hoffman is of course quite funny. The first couple of minutes has an appropriate musical intro,  “I’d Love To Change The World” by Ten Years After.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
follow us in feedly
How to say ‘NO’: Whitey’s perfect reply to a TV company who wanted to use his music for free
11.06.2013
11:12 am

Topics:
Economy
Media
Music
Television

Tags:
Whitey


 
Amidst the ongoing discussions about the value of music, British alt/rock/tronica artist Whitey has had enough of being asked to donate his music for free to large companies who, by rights, can and should be paying him. After receiving one such email from a company called Betty TV, Whitey, aka NJ White, wrote this caustic response:

I am sick to death of your hollow schtick, of the inevitable line “unfortunately there’s no budget for music”, as if some fixed Law Of The Universe handed you down a sad but immutable financial verdict preventing you from budgeting to pay for music. Your company set out the budget. so you have chosen to allocate no money for music. I get begging letters like this every week - from a booming, allfuent global media industry.

Why is this? Let’s look at who we both are.

I am a professional musician, who lives form his music. It me half a lifetime to learn the skills, years to claw my way up the structure, to the point where a stranger like you will write to me. This music is my hard earned property. I;ve licensed music to some of the biggest shows, brands, games and TV production companies on Earth; form Breaking Bad to the Sopranos, from Coca Cola to Visa, HBO to Rockstar Games.

Ask yourself - would you approach a Creative or a Director with a resume like that - and in one flippant sentence ask them to work for nothing? Of course not. Because your industry has a precedent of paying these people, of valuing their work.

Or would you walk into someone’s home, eat from their bowl, and walk out smiling, saying “So sorry, I’ve no budget for food”? Of course you would not. Because, culturally, we classify that as theft.

Yet the culturally ingrained disdain for the musician that riddles your profession, leads you to fleece the music angle whenever possible. You will without question pay everyone connected to a shoot - from the caterer to the grip to the extra- even the cleaner who mopped your set and scrubbed the toilets after the shoot will get paid. The musician? Give him nothing.

Now lets look at you. A quick glance at your website reveals a variety of well known, internationally syndicated reality programmes, You are a successful, financially solvent and globally recognised company with a string of hit shows. Working on multiple series in close co-operation with Channel 4, from a West London office, with a string of awards under your belt. You have real money, to pretend otherwise is an insult.

Yet you send me this shabby request - give me your property for free… Just give us what you own, we want it.

The answer is a resounding, and permanent NO.

I will now post this on my sites, forward this to several key online music sources and blogs, encourage people to re-blog this. I want to see a public discussion begin about this kind of industry abuse of musicians… this was one email too far for me. Enough. I’m sick of you.

FUCK and indeed YES.

You can see the original screen grab of this email on Whitey’s Facebook page. As Whitey is at pains to point out, he has no problem donating his music for free to companies who literally cannot afford to pay him. He told me this via email earlier today:

I don’t want payment for everything. I don’t even care that much about money, I give away my music all the time. You and I live in a society where filesharing is the norm. I’m fine with that.

But i don’t give my music away to large, affluent companies who wish to use it to make themselves more money. Who can afford to pay, but who smell the filesharing buffet and want to grab themselves a free plate. That is a different scenario.

So what do you think? I completely agree, but I’m sure there’s DM readers who don’t. Are artists and musicians simply behind the times to ask that their music be paid for by large companies? What do you think Whitey’s music IS worth?
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Devo and the dark psychedelia of Bruce Conner’s pop apocalypse


 
MOCAtv is the Museum Of Contemporary Art’s YouTube channel. MOCAtv has been showcasing some well-produced and very hip programs about art and music. One that is of particular interest to me is a series of short pieces on experimental filmmaker and artist Bruce Conner and his collaborations with Devo, Brian & David Byrne and Toni Basil. Conner began creating film collages composed of found footage, newsreels, animation and distressed celluloid back in the early 1960s and his style has been an undeniable influence on the MTV generation of video directors. His 1961 short film Cosmic Ray features Ray Charles singing “What I’d Say” set to a darkly psychedelic montage of go-go dancers, nuclear age imagery, cartoons and war footage that still carries some of the shock value that must have nailed viewers to the floor back in the early Sixties. Punk before punk.

In the mid-Seventies when punk erupted like the mushroom clouds in Cosmic Ray, Conner found a kindred artistic spirit in the subversive, often surreal, high-energy and over-the-top groups that were upending rock and roll in much the same that he himself had done with the visual arts more than a decade earlier. Conner’s creative juices were primed by punk and he spent many nights in the late Seventies hanging out with and photographing musicians at San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens.
 

 
One of the bands that really connected with Conner’s dada sensibilities was Devo. In this episode of MOCAtv, Devo vocalist, bass guitar/synthesizer player Jerry Casale talks about his encounters with Conner and the film that Bruce made for Devo’s “Mongoloid.”
 

 
In 1966 Conner made a film featuring Toni Basil dancing to a Northern Soulish single she had just released called “Breakaway.” It’s an amazing work on many levels—Basil’s dancing is exquisite, her nakedness is taboo-shattering: no female pop singer in the Sixties was so fearless and open—and there’s Conner’s gorgeous black and white photography and trippy editing. The film for “Breakaway” was, and still is, a fucking stunner. Conner’s buddy Dennis Hopper held the lights for the Breakaway shoot and ended up casting Basil in Easy Rider. I wonder if Kate Bush ever saw Breakaway. Basil and Bush are on similar wavelengths and after seeing Conner’s film I’ve become a Basil devotee. This ain’t no “Mickey.”

Toni Basil recounts her experiences with Conner in this episode of MOCAtv.

These presentations of MOCAtv were produced by Matthew Shattuck and directed by Chris Green.
 

 
The photos featured here of Devo in performance and Toni Basil in front of Mabuhay Gardens are both from 1978 and were taken by Conner. This is their Internet debut and they were provided to Dangerous Minds exclusively by the Conner Family Trust. We’re thrilled to be able to share them with you.
 
Watch the uncut (NSFW) version of ‘Breakaway’ after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Alex Jones explains Obamacare dressed as a lizard, continues downward mental health spiral


 
Is it wrong to hold up someone who is so obviously mentally ill to mockery and then sell advertisements against it? Am I a bad person for lampooning someone clearly losing his shit for laughs and banner ads?

Nah. This kind of thing happens on Fox News all the live-long day, doesn’t it?

I think if you showed a younger Alex Jones what he would eventually come to represent, and how the general public would regard him, as they do today, “Winning” like his pal Charlie Sheen, just a sad, pathetic clown, he’d probably break down and start sobbing.

Imagine the sheer, unmitigated hell his wife must go through!

Crack is wack, but whatever Alex Jones is on should be avoided at all costs.

Maybe the Illuminati HAVE already gotten to him. I guess I wasn’t thinking, you know, enough steps ahead!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Glenn Beck: Beware Obama’s Marxist revolutionaries, next stop mass murders!


 
Still trying to live up to his reputation as Glenn Beck, on his program today Glenn Beck insisted that it was really “Marxist revolutionaries” in the Obama administration who were causing national parks and monuments to be shuttered during the GOP-led government shutdown.

Despite knowing fully well which party was to blame for the shutdown, Beck blamed Obama anyway, spinning a yarn about “a secret cabal” in the White House whose goal is to “inflict pain” on Americans.

“I want you to understand you are now seeing what I told you about three weeks ago. I told you they have gone from nudge to shove. Your next step is shoot.”

“Understand they are into shove, every Marxist communist revolution always ends with millions dead. Always, without fail, every time.”

Somehow Beck equates Stalinist and Maoist atrocities to the Washington Monument being closed down temporarily and a supposed starvation endgame of the Obama administration:

“They starved them to death. Why? To teach them a lesson. This is the beginning of teaching the American people a lesson: don’t you screw with us.”

Oddly, considering his animus for the “Marxist” President, at the clips end, Beck admonished his listeners to support his “Defund the GOP” campaign before “it will be too late.”

Seems like odd logic, but it’s Glenn Beck so why bother asking why?

How senile would you have to be to willingly choose to tune into Glenn Beck’s radio show??? His audience must have a collective IQ of approximately one peanut… The folks at Rightwing Watch, they at least get paid for this torture!
 

 
Via Rightwing Watch

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
follow us in feedly
War and Pixels: The complete Tolstoy archive goes online
09.06.2013
08:39 am

Topics:
Literature
Media

Tags:
Leo Tolstoy
Russian Literature

yotslotoel.jpg
 
If you’ve never read War and Peace or Anna Karenina—which is often described as the greatest novel ever written—then soon you will have no excuse, as all of Leo Tolstoy’s works will be available free on-line.

The Tolstoy.ru website will feature the 90-volume edition, which has been scanned and proofread, no less than three times by more than 3,000 volunteers from 49 countries. The texts, along with personal letters, and comprehensive biographical information is available in Russian, and will shortly be available in English.

The writer’s great-great-granddaughter, Fyokla Tolstaya told RIA Novosti:

“We wanted to come up with an official website that will contain academically justified information. Nowadays, it’s very important [to know] who posts information online.”

All of the novels, short stories, pamphlets, children’s stories and letters will be available for download onto all e-book readers and computers from Tolstoy.ru.

Below the only known film footage of Leo Tolstoy.
 

 
Via RIA Novosti, H/T Paris Review

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Bill Murray as The Human Torch in ‘The Fantastic Four’ radio series, 1975
09.05.2013
01:10 pm

Topics:
Media

Tags:
Bill Murray
Stan Lee
The Fantastic Four

yarrumllib4naf.jpg
 
A young Bill Murray stars as The Human Torch, aka Johnny Storm, in this 1975 radio adaptation of The Fantastic Four, narrated by Stan Lee.

This episode is #4 “Dreaded Doctor Doom.” You can listen to the whole series (10 eps) here.

‘Nuff said?
 

 
Via Scheme 9

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Art Garfunkel is really, really into ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’
09.05.2013
05:15 am

Topics:
Literature
Media
Music

Tags:
Art Garfunkel
E.L. James

Art Garfunkel
 
Back in the day, like when the Internet was first a thing, one of my unexpected joys was discovering that Art Garfunkel, who had a very well-developed website early on, dedicated a section to updating the books he was reading. Not just the books he’d been reading lately, but every book he had read since 1968. (Here’s how it looked on November 3, 1999.) The guy went through a great many books a year, and his preferences were pretty high-minded for the most part, like Voltaire and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Lord Chesterfield and cats like that. And he’d mix it up too, there wouldn’t be any runs of every Philip Roth book in a single year or anything like that, he’d jump around from Thomas More to E.L. Doctorow to Martin Heidegger as it pleased him. At the time I thought that the idea of a famous musician like Art Garfunkel parading his erudition in public like this was high-larious, but in retrospect (I’m older too) I find it rather sweet and admirable. He has good taste and he clearly enjoys his reading. In truth I probably wasn’t all that nice to ol’ Art, having an inherently funny name like “Art Garfunkel” and being a prominent example of someone who hadn’t been that productive musically in the recent past and all.

It’s something a shock, then, to discover lo these fifteen or so years later that Art has kept the list current through 2012—and presumably will keep updating it. I noticed that Art keeps a separate list of “Favorites,” which list currently has a substantial 157 selections on it, just to give you an idea of just how much the man reads—those are just the favorites.

Looking at the list, it’s hard not to notice that the most recent entry is E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, and some British journalist must have noticed too because there’s audio of him talking about it:
 

I love that book. Unlike so many people, I think it’s quite well written. It’s not only spicy, this writer can write. I thought it was a very well written, hot book. It’s spicy!

 
The quote sounds spliced together and I wouldn’t trust it for a second, but Art’s enthusiasm does sound legit.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Marshall McLuhan on the dangers of television and the rise of the one-liner
09.03.2013
06:23 pm

Topics:
Media
Pop Culture
Television
Thinkers

Tags:
Marshall McLuhan

dfcvghjhgf
 
Marshall McLuhan explaining how the “one-liner” is symptomatic of the shortened attention-span of children. It’s all to do with television, which McLuhan claims, has a negative effect on the nervous system.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
follow us in feedly
Page 3 of 42  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›