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Original author: 
Kim Kyung-Hoon

When I heard that the rate of recycling PET plastic bottles in China is almost 90%, I was surprised. Because I have noticed since moving to Beijing that the Chinese have no real concept of separating...

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Original author: 
Peter Kirn

vladislavdelay

Perhaps part of what you need for laptop music to evolve into an appreciated live performance art medium is simply time.

Finnish artist Sasu Ripatti is a good candidate for mastery of the form. Honing his production and performance skills since the late 90s, he’s become a maestro of digital music. Moments in his music stretch out into shadowy industrial landscapes, as if painting the mysterious worlds that lie between the beats. Others crank the machinery of the dance floor back into mystical frenzy.

Now, I believe the best way to experience a live performance is in the same room as the artist – whether they’re armed with a laptop or a mandolin. But the next best thing is proper documentation, and surely as scholars of music practice, we should sometimes review the tape. In this nearly one-hour HD capture, you can see him tease out a recent live show, armed with mixer and Faderfox controller. This is waveforms and mix as instrument, stuttering journeys through architectural realms of sound. There’s not any noticeable virtuoso performance to look at, necessarily, but in some sense I think you get an impression of him feeling his way through the music, and travel along that walk with him.

Watch, and see what you come away with:

VLADISLAV DELAY from URSSS on Vimeo.

Details.

URSSS.com has done a series of these live performances — too many to mention. Enter only at the risk of getting nothing else done for a bit. I love their brilliant moniker: “mistake television.” Hey, that’s why it makes sense to record live shows.

There’s more news from the artist’s hideaway in the north, too.

He’s in the studio now, with releases promised this summer. (Yes, if you visit his site, you know this, too, but it’s good news worth mentioning.)

And specifically, he’s teaming up with another high priest of archaic sound arts, the terrific Mark Fell.

And, nicely enough, there’s a preview. This is what happens when the dance floor glitches. I dearly want to see people dancing to this / want to get to dance to this myself:

I don’t know why they’re bundling a pencil with the limited release, but they are. (Crayon would have been my choice, but then, okay, the sound design here is a great deal more precise. But, still, crayons are cool. Sharpie?)

For something completely different, this is what a “Wedding Mixtape” sounds like from Sasu and AGF:

Great stuff is also happening when he teams Sasu with Moritz von Oswald and Max Loderbauer for the Moritz von Oswald trio:

And I love that you can find a tightly-curated selection of music that directly supports the artist at his Bandcamp store:
http://vladislavdelay.bandcamp.com/

It seems worth spending the money to suspend your iTunes and spending it there, instead, for things that really matter.

We’ll be watching for more.

http://www.vladislavdelay.com/

Image courtesy the artist.

The post Vladislav Delay, In Nearly an Hour-long Live Performance, Demonstrates Laptops Have Soul [Video, Tracks] appeared first on Create Digital Music.

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Original author: 
Myles Little

What began in 2003 as an exploration of the mundane world of kitchenware has morphed over the past decade into something much more profound for Norwegian photographer Christopher Jonassen.

Devour is Jonassen’s series of still lifes of the bottoms of old frying pans — a series that, despite its quotidian subject matter, manages to touch upon (quite literally) universal concerns.

“When I was studying abroad in Australia,” Jonassen recalls, “I lived in a cheap share house with some friends, and the cooking utensils were banged up in a pretty bad way.” He began photographing the pans as a way to reflect on “the repetitive and mundane actions we do every day.” Jonassen dug through the cellars and attics of friends and family members, looking for likely candidates. But his favorite pans were those used by the local boy scout troop.

“They bring out big iron pans and put them directly into an open fire out in the woods,” Jonassen says. “Heavy iron pans, burnt black and scraped with knives.”

He shot hundreds of pans over the course of several years, all the while refining the vision, and is still working on the project today. While most of the pans look similar to the way they did when he first found them, Jonassen rubbed oil on a few to enhance their texture, and relied on lighting techniques and basic Photoshop to achieve his results.

“I think it’s important to notice the beauty in the small things we surround ourselves with everyday,” Jonassen says, and Devour is, in part, his own vivid testament to that belief. Note the rich, molten red of Slide #1 and the gorgeous cerulean blues in Slide # 6. The poet Walt Whitman voiced a similar tenet — a faith in the profound significance of the littlest things — in his 1855 masterpiece, “Song of Myself”:

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars…
And the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery…

Perhaps the most striking thing about the pictures is how closely, and how eerily, these ordinary kitchen pans resemble planets and moons — an effect that Jonassen says was intentional.  “I found that each pan more or less had a planet hidden inside it,” Jonassen says, “and it was up to me to discover it.” Slide #3 resembles Mars, even down to the planet’s polar ice caps of solid carbon dioxide. Slide #8 brings to mind Neptune, whose tranquil blue appearance belies winds that reach 1,300 miles per hour.

There’s something thrilling about how the project threads this needle — from a kitchen cabinet, across the reaches of space, to alien worlds. Thus, Jonassen seems to heed the words of the poet William Blake, who in 1803 asked his readers to “see a world in a grain of sand, / And a heaven in a wild flower.”

Jonassen began the project interested in the cooking pan as an emblem of the ordinary, but he soon became fascinated by “how everyday life was wearing out the metal of the pans, one tiny scratch at a time.” He says he wants to create “a link between the small traces we leave behind every day, [and] the enormous impact this adds up to over time. I am very concerned about the way we are treating this planet. The title also reflects this. ‘Devour’ means to eat up greedily; to destroy, consume and waste; to prey upon voraciously.” Thus, Jonassen draws a subtle, visually compelling link between the destruction of a banged-up pan and the degradation of our blue planet.

To see a world in a grain of sand … and the cosmos in a frying pan. It’s not quite Blake, perhaps, but for photography fans, Devour offers a rare, unexpected form of poetry for the eye.

Christopher Jonassen is an internationally acclaimed artist based in Norway.

Myles Little is an associate photo editor at TIME.

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We all look at things. Loved ones, traffic lights, television, the sky — you name it, we look at it. Along with reasoning, and the conscious use of tools, looking at things is an integral aspect of the human experience. In North Korea, this elemental, quotidian activity has been transformed, ingeniously, into a propaganda device for the country’s regime. The beauty of that transformation, meanwhile, is that one culture’s propaganda is another’s source of humor, and wonder.

Case in point: the popular, uncannily simple blog, “Kim Jong Il Looking at Things.” Launched in October 2010 by a Lisbon-based art director named João Rocha, KJILAT is nothing more and nothing less than what it purports to be: a series of photographs of the Dear Leader looking at things.

Jean Boîte Éditions

A selection of these compelling photos have now been published in a book by Jean Boîte Éditions: Kim Jong Il Looking at Things. The pictures, originally distributed by the official Korean Central News Agency, depict the late North Korean leader, always accompanied by an entourage of compatriots who appear both fawning and terrified, examining objects ranging from machinery to snack food. The images are, one presumes, meant to celebrate the notion of North Korean independence and superiority by illustrating Kim Jong Il’s endorsement of products and services manufactured or offered by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The spare, almost clinical look of the images, meanwhile, coupled with the often profoundly mundane nature of the objects at hand lend the entire portfolio a tone that is one part humorous and three parts crazy.

Visual Culture Blog curator Marco Bohr contributed an essay to the book, analyzing how and why both the blog and the book versions of “Kim Jong Il Looking at Things” succeed on their own, admittedly streamlined terms. Bohr suggests that the blog and book tap into a type of unpretentious humor “by using matter-of-fact captions that, firstly, withhold any subjective opinion, and secondly, do not self-consciously attempt to be funny in the first place.” The success of the meme “relies on deconstructing the ridiculousness of [Kim's] propaganda apparatus.”

The book is the newest installment in Jean Boîte Éditions’ series, FOLLOW ME, Collecting Images Today, which seeks “to highlight another art scene, [one that] establishes the online collector as a creator, and the ephemeral in the perennial.”

A spin-off blog featuring the Dear Leader’s son and successor, Kim Jong Un, was launched hours after the announcement of Kim Jong Il’s death on Dec. 18, 2011. The original blog, which continued to add images for a full year after its subject’s death, posted its final image in late December, as Rocha reached the end of his archive.

Fortunately for all of us, the Dear Leader lives on in Rocha’s book, where we can look at him looking at things to our collective hearts’ content.

Kim Jong Il Looking at Things was published by Jean Boîte Éditions in December 2012.

Tanner Curtis is an associate photo editor at TIME.com.

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