Month: December 2015

Digitized Fabrics Could Turn Your Wardrobe Into Wearable Touchscreens

While smartphones that bend and flex under pressure are just now coming onto the market, Google and a handful of scrappy startups are imagining a future where sensitive, connected surfaces will make the jump from the phones in our pockets to the shirts on our backs. Literally. Tech Startups like Athos have been working towards this goal for years, creating Bluetooth-enabled fabrics that operate through a series of integrated Bluetooth sensors. But Project Jacquard, a new initiative from Google, is taking the technology to the next level with an experimental conductive fabric that has “technology woven in.” Jacquard allows potential smart clothing startups to weave conductive yarns made from metallic alloys blended with traditional mediums like polyester and silk into regular fabrics, essentially turning the finished yards of fabric into giant woven touchscreens. Motion capture and touch sensitivity paired with an arsenal of integrated electronics allow app developers to “hack” the resulting garments on an intimate level. While current consumer tech “wearables” like the Microsoft Band enable users to track their physical stats through their …

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Painting for Paris: Art World Response to the Paris Attacks

    The aftermath of the November terrorist attacks against the French people saw the world light up with support and solidarity. #prayforparis sentiment still runs strong weeks later, as citizens of the world react against the senseless violence on exhibition across Europe, America, and the Middle East. While no amount of hope can bring back the 100s lost at the Bataclan concert hall, artists across the world have struck back through their work and brought the world together around symbols of peace and togetherness; most notably the Eiffel Tower peace symbol, now as common a sight on canvas as spray-painted in the streets. We’ve gathered some of the most inspiring drawings, paintings, and Internet artwork created in response to the Paris attacks. In a particularly intriguing comic response, cartoonist Joann Sfar broke the fourth wall of his regular slice-of-life comic Instagram to share his vision of France with his national audience. “I am so sad many English speaking friends did not understand my cartoon. I did not write against your beliefs or against spirituality.” — …

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Christmas Gets Weird And Messy With Cassie Ramone’s ‘Christmas In Reno’

Coming of age in 2015 is a weird and complicated thing. I avoid the phrase “becoming an adult”, as no one’s really sure where adulthood begins, or ends. For most people in their 20s, 30s, and probably 40s, “adulthood” is exactly the same as adolescence, full of libidinal angst, existential confusion, social insecurity, and a weird mixture of egotism and self-loathing. This is never more apparent than during the Christmas season. For many/most 20- and 30-somethings fortunate enough to be living in the First World, Christmas-time finds most people doing whatever is the modern version of circling your wishlist in the Sears Catalog in Crayola Marker. We’re overgrown children, with outsized pocketbooks and desires. But adulthood will not be deterred, even if we don’t know what it is. Obligations begin to sneak in, as we begin to have extended families, friends, office parties. Our friends start having kids, and, oh so gradually, it stops being about OUR wish list, as the torch is passed to the next generation (lucky, ungrateful ducklings!). Cassie Ramone, formerly of …

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Eyewriter Brings Grassroots Tech to Urban Streets

What happens when an artist looses their hands? A new tool from a unique creative team at Eyewriter.org allows disabled artists to literally express their eye for design. When LA graffiti artist Tempt One was diagnosed with the degenerative disease ALS, it seemed that hope was lost. The once-prolific artist became completely paralyzed, with his only connection to the outside world the eye-tracking computer systems available to the profoundly paralyzed. But the story doesn’t end there. By partnering with a collection of arts and technology organizations including OpenFrameworks, FAT Lab, and the Graffiti Research Lab, Tempt One has grasped onto eye-tracking technology as a life raft and begun the development of a new medium: an open source, widely available eye-tracking system to allow paralyzed artists to share their visions with the world. “Art is a tool of empowerment and social change, and I consider myself blessed to be able to create and use my work to promote health reform, bring awareness about ALS and help others.” —Tempt One For a pop culture whose only exposure …

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Sunn O))) – Kannon album review

For the first five decades of its existence or so, heavy metal was perceived as one of the most primitive musical forms, second perhaps only to punk. It was the soundtrack of tall boys, tight pants, raised trucks, and torn denim – the exact opposite of cultured. Metal has gotten downright cerebral in the 21st Century, as a number of brainy individuals sought out to blend the brawn of downtuned guitars through eight-foot amplifiers with any number of intellectual pursuits. The cowled duo of Gregg Anderson & Stephen O’ Malley, as Sunn O))), are largely responsible for the intellectualization of heavy metal, without ever losing the force, the pure beating power of the electric guitar. Rather, they turned metal on its head, slowing it down to a tectonic crawl, transforming bestial Black Sabbath riffs into an unholy black mass of bass frequencies that are more like weather patterns or continental drift than songs. Over the course of their career, Sunn O))) have incorporated the atonal minimalism and repetition of 20th Century classical composers, like Ligeti, …

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Girls, flowers, food and a few places in Paris by Alex Brunet

French-photographer Alex Brunet, long-time VAGA contributor, has been exploring different sides of photography for a while. Starting as a sports photographer and then landing glossy editorial pages for fashion magazines such as POP, Italian Vogue, TANK or Dossier Journal, among many others. Below is a selection of his personal work, part of an exhibition recently shown at Galerie Very Art Space, Paris. Where did you grow up? Alex: I grew up in a small city in the countryside called Chartres (1h 20min train ride, South Paris),  very quiet city. I was quite bored there when I was kid but now somehow I appreciate to come unwind and enjoy the silence there… What are your favorite places to eat in Paris? Alex: I love eating and food in general… I really appreciate Japanese or Italian food, If I have to pick a few I would recommend Sapporo for their Ramen, or Kunitoyara for Udons, for some great pizza and Italian food.. I would say Grazie in the 3rd of Paris. It’s difficult to choose only a few places …

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Reflections by Paul Rousteau

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin. He was lying on his back as hard as armor plate, and when he lifted his head a little, he saw his vaulted brown belly, sectioned by arch-shaped ribs, to whose dome the cover, about to slide off completely, could barely cling. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, were waving helplessly before his eyes.” The Metamorphosis – Kafka Photography by Paul Rousteau

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“Some Call It Hard” a men’s style editorial by Ramon Spaeti

Photography Ramon Spaeti, Stylist Debora Giugno, Grooming Philipp Heusen – Thanks to Waldraud, Model Tobias Klanner Sweatshirt Peter Jensen x Peanuts Sweater Peter Jensen x Peanuts, Jeans Mads Noorgard, Sneakers vintage Adidas Shirt Wait, roll-neck pullover and trousers American Apparel Hooded coat Wait, roll-neck pullover stylist‘s own, jeans vintage Wrangler Parka and trousers Brownie and Blondie, socks American Apparel, Sneakers vintage Reebok Sweater Wait, trousers vintage Adidas

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A Little Distorded, A Little Foolish style editorial by Sebastiaan Pagano

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” — Hermann Hesse.  Photography by Sebastiaan Pagano Mirani,  Styling Giuliano Bolivar, Model Lotte Timmer @ Ulla Models. Royal blue silk jumpsuit by Individuals AMFI, velvet shirt by, loafers by TOD’S. Brown silk dress by Gucci, boots by Filippa K Gold chain pearl pendant and necklace by Jane Kønig, pants by Xander Zhou. Double face leather jacket by Gianfranco Ferré, pearl earrings by Jane Kønig. Royal blue silk jumpsuit by Individuals AMFI, double pearl earring by Jane Kønig. Black silk scarf worn as choker by Rika, top by “2” long sleeve leather dress worn as wrap skirt by Rika, earrings by Jane Kønig.

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Strelka Press: Architecture, Design, and a New Kind of Book

Strelka Institute has its headquarters on an island in the Moscow river — but for all that their programs resemble the troubled city surrounding them, they may as well be on an island in the middle of the ocean. Design is business; Strelka operates as a nonprofit. Academia is fractured into specialized niches; Strelka students reject discipline, sharing a single course of study with roots in architecture and art, but calling itself by neither title. And most importantly, while Publishing is dying, Strelka Press is thriving. Since launching an initial series of print and ebooks in 2012 from a curated group of writers with urbanism backgrounds, the press has continued to produce a steady stream of beautifully designed books — touching on subjects as diverse as the Internet of Things and the linked histories of Soviet architecture in Russia and China. I’ve never thought that I need to study only to get a profession. —Natasha Kupriyanova, Strelka student While the books themselves are engaging on their own merits (and bound by a minimal 2.0 graphic …