art

29: Dana Haim

dana_haim50duotone

In this episode, I talk to artist and textile designer Dana Haim about the magic of nature, losing our sense of time, remembering to be grateful, getting into an exercise groove, and the joy of making pom poms!

Dana’s mission is to spark joy through the creation of ethical, hand-made goods. She achieves this and then some through her instructional workshops across the U.S. and strategic partnerships with local organizations in Mexico and Colombia (where her family is from), which allow her to weave social and environmental consciousness into her craft.

“I feel most true to myself, and my inner child feels most alive, when I’m outside, surrounded by nature’s beauty.”

—Dana Haim

Dana received her BA in textile design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and her MA in design for Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins in London.

You can learn more about her social good projects, whimsical wallpapers and one-of-a-kind hanging sculptures at Dana Haim HQ.

13_MulticolorSpeckle_Hanging_2_700
quilt, small version-700
1_Surreallydreaming_deerantler_1-700

Photos: Dana portrait. Multi-color Pom Pom Mobile. Martin Cole Memorial Quilt. Surreally Dreaming Deer Antler Mobile. All courtesy Dana Haim.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Pom Pom Play Girl (Session Highlights) [Instrumental Mix With Backing Vocals] – The Beach Boys
Shake It Like a Pom Pom – Missy Elliot
Pom Pom – Mozart La Para
I Slept With Bonhomme At The CBC
Pom Pom – Matthew Dear
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure, by James Redfield
The Wes Anderson Collection, by Matt Zoller Seitz

Watch List
Wes Anderson: The Criterion Collection

 

25: Oded Ezer

OdedWorking

In this episode, I talk to experimental typographer Oded Ezer about animated gifs, Arctic Monkeys, retreating to the sea, painting the moon, and eliminating nationalities in the name of living in harmony.

Oded is a graphic artist, “mad type scientist” and conceptual artist (known as “Cat Chap”) based in Tel Aviv. His notable typographic works are wide-ranging in their investigations, touching on technology, religion, politics, pornography, mythology, the Middle East, and even chewing gum.

“I use typography in order to say things about our life.”

—Oded Ezer

He founded the Hebrew Typography type foundry in 2004, and has exhibited widely, most notably a series of short films at the V&A in London and MoMA in New York.

Ezer_WAF_45-700
OdedEzer_Tipografya-700
CatChap_EssentialsOfSocialisation1-700

Photos: We Are Family (2015). Typography / Tipografya (2004). The Essentials of Socialization, by Cat Chap (2015). Oded Ezer.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Typography – Jim Dandy
Miles from Nowhere – Cat Stevens
The Smile On Your Face – Little Ann
Ludlow St. – Julian Casablancas
Left Hand Free – alt-J
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Oded Ezer: The Typographer’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Oded Ezer
On Yona Wallach
The Medium is the Massage, by Marshall McLuhan
Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, by Gilles Deleuze

Watch List
5 Films About Christo and Jeanne-Claude

 

23: Timothy Goodman

Timothy-Tupac-duotone

In this episode, I talk to designer, illustrator and art director Timothy Goodman about Lena Dunham, Chris Rock, Kanye West as a disruptive innovator, personal mentors as catalysts for discovering your life’s work, and breaking out of boxes that limit you.

“If it feels too ridiculous or too scary, then I know I’m onto something.”

—Timothy Goodman

Timothy recently exhibited his artworks from “Memories of A Girl” at Colette in Paris, collaborated with Jessica Walsh on 40 Days of Dating, and wrote Sharpie Art Workshop: Techniques & Ideas for Transforming Your World.

QOS_15
QOS_06
Memories_36-700

Photos: Timothy hand-lettering FlexFit 2Pac mural. Quotes on Shit, by Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh. Memories of A Girl, by Timothy Goodman. All images courtesy Timothy Goodman.


Music
Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
Highly Suspicious – My Morning Jacket
Greenfield Morning/Seed of Joy/Life is a Struggle – RZA & Yoko Ono
Colette – Orchestra Baobob
Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac
On Sight – Kanye West
All My Love – Led Zeppelin
Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

Reading List
Sharpie Art Workshop: Techniques and Ideas for Transforming Your World, by Timothy Goodman
40 Days of Dating: An Experiment, by Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman
The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
Significant Objects, by Jason Grote

Watch List
40 Days of Dating

 

Art for Our Sake

From the now defunct DESIGN 21: Social Design Network, an online community that explored the connection between design and society. It was a joint venture between UNESCO and Felissimo. I was the resident blogger.

It’s popular today to talk about the power of design, and the responsibility of design, and its potential to spur social innovation. This post, for a change, gives design a time-out and calls upon the transformative power of art.

I do so because I’ve recently come from a free 12-hour contemporary art party in Toronto called Nuit Blanche. It was the second annual, inspired by the Parisian precedent, and it succeeded in bringing out hordes of people from sunset to sunrise: young, old, goth, punk, scenesters, rockers, tourists, locals. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

The downtown core was divided into three zones. Each carried a theme. The themes were brought to life through more than 190 site-specific exhibitions, independent projects and resident galleries whose doors remained open long-after-hours. (Mass transit and local bars adapted too, extending the hours of their service.) All in the name of art.

nuitblanche-albumcovers
nuitblanche-map

I set out to photograph my journey through the zones (from B to A to C – just because it worked out that way), with comfortable shoes, layered clothing, and plenty of water. After five-and-a-half hours of powering through performance art, video projections and interactive installations, I was invigorated, but realized my goal to see it all was overly ambitious. (Some of my friends knew better and selected only a few stops, staying long enough at each to more deeply appreciate the effects). Consequently, my third zone experience was tempered, as my tired feet gave way, and comfortable hotel bed beckoned. So I missed out on the pom-pom exchange, chocolate stag in the park, and 34-meter-long locust installation by Noburu Tsubaki and Hishashi Muroi. Drat! But what I was able to stick around long enough for was plenty rousing. Some highlights:

  • Noite de São Joãó (Night of St. John), by Brazilian installation artist Laura Belém, who imported a tropical street festival along one of Toronto’s ritzy shopping corridors;
  • Ground Loop Alibi, by superstar DVJ Charles Kriel, who mixed sound while projecting imagery onto the Royal Ontario Museum’s Michael Lee-Chin’s crystal;
  • Watcher, by multimedia artist Millie Chen, who choreographed 10 video vignettes inside three separate residences, which appeared as silhouettes across colorfully-lit windows;
  • ThunderEgg Alley, by po-mo artist Swintak, who turned an alleyway dumpster into a high-end micro hotel and spa for the night;
  • Everybody Loves You 2, by Japanese artist Daisuke Takeya, who invited 100 people to declare their love to the camera as neutrally as possible;
  • Midnight Mirage, by Vessna Perunovitch, who served Serbian food to an audience of 12;
  • City Glow, by Chiho Aoshima, who created a mesmerizing anime-inspired film of anthropomorphized urban life;
  • Incursion 43:38:36.19 N / 79:25:19.89 W°, by Craig Walsh, who installed a storefront video to outstanding effect: a window became a prehistoric aquarium, drip by drip; and
  • Magical World, by Johanna Billing, who filmed children at a cultural center outside Zagreb, Croatia, rehearsing the lyrics of the same-titled song.
  • And that’s just the short list of art I came to love at first sight. Some made me laugh. Some made me cry. Yet, beyond the art, there was something else clamoring to get my attention. Something that felt a lot like social innovation. Although some of the works on display were clearly “art for art’s sake” the cumulative effect of the exhibitions was transformational.

    Each of the thousands of us in attendance was at once observing the art and making the art. Alone, or with friends, knowing or unknowing, we became one giant art beat. Nuit Blanche succeeded because its effect was more powerful than the sum of its parts. Together, we shared a social slice of time. As individuals, we left positively changed.

    Art is not dead, folks. It’s as important as ever. As imperative as design. For, if design is about coming up with the right answers to our shared problems today, art is about raising the right questions and motivating us to celebrate colorfully, loudly, and all through the night.

     

    20: Hillerbrand+Magsamen

    In this episode, I talk to collaborative husband and wife artist team Hillerbrand+Magsamen about suburban fluxus, Wes Anderson films, carpet crop circles, and the complex (and often comedic) dynamics of family life within consumer culture.

    “It seemed crazy not to be making work about our family, and folding that into our dialogue together, artistically.”

    —Hillerbrand+Magsamen

    Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen met while pursuing their MFAs at Cranbrook Academy of Art and now live in the Houston suburbs with their two children and three dogs. Their work draws upon the rich Fluxus practice of incorporating humor, performance, video and everyday objects.

    unnamed (3)
    unnamed (1)

    Photos: Family portrait. DIY Love Seat. Higher Ground. Hillerbrand+Magsamen.


    Music
    Show Opener: Salt-n-Pepa, Pharrell Williams (with Justin Timberlake), Melanie and Kanye West (feat. Rhymefest)
    Once In a Lifetime – Talking Heads
    We Are Family (Single Version) – Sister Sledge
    Stranglehold – Ted Nugent
    O Superman – Laurie Anderson
    Show Closer: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Tricky, Dusty Springfield and Isaac Hayes

    Watchlist
    Whole, Hillerbrand+Magsamen. High Definition Video with Sound, Duration: 2 min 30 sec. Loop, Aspect Ratio 16:9, 2 Ch Stereo, 2012
    DIY Loveseat, Hillerbrand+Magsamen. High Definition Video with Sound, Duration: 2 min 30 sec. Loop, Aspect Ratio 16:9, 2 Ch Stereo, 2012
    Higher Ground, Hillerbrand+Magsamen. High Definition Video with Sound, Duration: 10 min 30 sec. Loop, Aspect Ratio 16:9, 2 Ch Stereo, 2015
    Accumulation, Hillerbrand+Magsamen. Performance & Single Channel, High Definition Video, 16:9, trt 4:00, 2010