mc recommends

The *NEW* new housing market (and I don't mean Mc Mansions)

While the rest of us wring our hands over rising inflation, unemployment and the precipitous state of the housing market, some unshakeable folks are still contributing fresh-faced to development; namely, of domiciles, in locales and for "clients" typically overlooked once the pavers roll off the steaming lot of urban sprawl.

Los Angeles based artist and architect Fritz Haeg explores the implications of our global refacing and the potential for ecological amends in his current body of work, titled Animal Estates. Collaborating with zoological and ecological consultants on specific, art org. commissioned sites, from habitat-hammering shopping plazas to foliated, yet ecologically insensitive neighborhoods, Haeg investigates alienated local species, which he refers to as "animal clients" (e.g. New York's northern flying squirrel). Using field lab techniques, historical data and observation, he then designs and constructs dwellings condusive to welcoming that population back into the environment from which it has been dethroned due to the encroachment of human development.

Fritz Haeg: Animal Estates Project

As part of the 2008 Whitney Biennial, which opens tomorrow at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, Haeg will be installing model homes for twelve disenfranchised native animal "clients" in front of the venerable contemporary art institution. Guided tours of the model homes will be conducted by local scientific and cultural stakeholders, such as Michael Crewdson and Margaret Mittelbach, authors of Wild New York.

If you are interested in learning more about the artist and his project for all creatures fine, furry and feathered, NPR radio show Day to Day aired a lovely interview on March 4th, which you can listen to on their website. 

The sweet, sweet sound...(of inanimate objects)

As if we don't already have an overwhelming array of online time-wasters (I mean, ahem, enriching online activities), now I discover the new online networking community of "ItSpace".

ItSpace - where objects play -

A clever derivative of the now ubiquitous MySpace, ItSpace makes its mark on cyberspace by allowing inanimate, household objects to "network" with each other via the beautiful music trapped just beneath their shiny (or soft) surfaces.

And just HOW does this apply to reality (cyber or no) you might ask? Users are asked to record the sounds made with a household object, and to create a musical piece using just these sounds. Then, by uploading the musical clip along with a photograph of the object, a profile is created. Objects may then "befriend" other inanimate objects whose profiles are already included on the site. Another means of enjoying ItSpace is to remix existing objects (or, better yet, create a mashup! Blender, anyone?)

If anyone from the 9yds. days has a recording of that infamous '00 kitchen appliance and powertool jam at 40 Newcastle, please send it my way!


See this. Now.

Just a quickie on the MC recommends circuit today. Ever the last-minute romantic, I hit the Avon Theatre back on V-Day when I saw that Persepolis was on a short run there. I always miss the movies I want to see at the Avon, so I was in a hurry to catch this!

"Persepolis" an animated film by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parannoud

Based upon the brilliant, auto-biographical graphic novel by the ever-sassy Iranian ex-pat Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis is a fantastic example of an artist/animator collaboration that crosses cultural divides like a knife through butter. I was struck pie-eyed by Satrapi's recount of her middle-class Iranian upbringing as an only child during the turbulence of the 1970-80's, even morso by the unexpected familiarity of her depicted struggles with authority and culture.

Still from "Persepolis" an animated film by Marjane Satrapi and VIncent Parrounaud

Of course, in regards to revolution-era Iran, nothing could be further from my safe (yet sullen) upbringing in Regan-era Massachusetts! Regardless, the narrative angle, conveyed through brilliantly stylized animation (by Satrapi's collaborator Vincent Parannoud) bridges the implied cultural divide to draw the viewer into a place and time that must be told. Through suprisingly versatile, black and white design and at times hysterically funny vocal and visual dialogue, Persepolis breathes a familiar and sympathetic spirit into a population and culture that is so often completely misunderstood by outside audiences.

While an English version (featuring the voiceover talents of Geena Davis and Iggy Pop) is forthcoming, I highly recommend catching the original, French language version. With voicing by Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Danielle Darriux, you will not regret it.

Goodies from Boston - Go Sampler

We had some family business "up noath (north)" last night, so we decided to take the scenic drive up 95, to 93, to Storrow Drive, up JFK and down Mass Ave to catch the CitySampler: Boston release party at Spark Craft Studios. (If you are studio-less, Spark is a place to buy your supplies and work on your projects. I hear that on Friday nights, they give you wine to go with your projects. Fancy!)

To celebrate the wicked pissa-ness of Boston, our hometown, Crostini contributed some special, 2-color gocco prints and "Circolo" earrings. Although the initial batch of Boston CitySamplers sold out yesterday, Alison has made a few more available at the Sampler Shop. It's a wicked steal at only $18. Pick yours up today before they are all gone! (If you are lucky, you might get one of 30 limited edition prints of "It Came on a Grey Day" by Egg-a-go-go's Sarah Coyne.)

Crostini Designs: "Pieces of Angels" 2-color limited edition gocco print

It Came on a Grey Day - by Sarah Coyne for Boston CitySampler

I'm in love...(with evil)

I'm not sure why Valentine's Day brings out the evil in me. After all, I'm safely married off, so I can no longer play the "I'm so sad/lonely/bitter/ *locked in my house because the doorknob on my front door just broke off in my hand" card.

In any case, let's get back to the evil. I have a special appreciation for evil, especially when disguised within otherwise innocent looking artwork. And so, when I came across today's Design*Sponge post on Wilhelm Staehle's "Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre" (via jared and eryn’s site), I clapped my little hands with evil glee, and decided to show them some evil blog love. I'm particularly fond of these:

Wilhelm Staehle's Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre: "Hi bear, bye bear"

Wilhelm Staehle's Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre: "For Miles"

*One Valentine's Day, not so very long ago, I was celebrating a week-old traumatic horrorshow breakup. To cheer me up, my wise girlfriends had plans to take me out for single, bitter drinks and laughs at the expense of others. I pulled my tearstained face off of the floor, put on a breakup revenge outfit, and headed for the door...only to find that I was locked inside my apartment as the faceted crystal doorknob rolled uselessly in my hand. To make a long story short (too late), I had to call my landlord, at home, on Valentine's Day evening, and plea with him to release me from my lonely, bitter trap. He promised to send over the live-in super. Meanwhile, I called my dad, who instructed me in detail how to fiddle with the errant doorknob. After several minutes of fiddling, I triumphantly wrenched open the door to my freedom...only to find Sherrod, my live-in super (a six-foot-five bodyguard type with no sense of humor) hulking on the other side wearing a bright red leather suit with matching fedora. Apparantly, I had interrupted his hot Valentine's Day date with the lady. Not happy, was he...sorry Sherrod! I miss you!


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