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News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

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News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
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Peter Saville Wrote the Source Code

Mike Meiré of design firm Meiré und Meiré, an old friend of Saville’s, likens having a conversation with him to witnessing an act of “social sculpture.” Saville nudges conversation towards performance, and the cigarettes are one small part of the routine. He thinks with his whole body, crumpling to bury his face in his hands when a word escapes him, holding these poses as if choreographed. He reminds me in these moments of a Henri Vidal statue in the Tuileries—Cain venant de tuer son frère Abel—and I wish I had asked him to let me take some portraits.

Saville is still best known for his earliest work: the album covers he designed for Factory Records bands like Joy Division and New Order, which were groundbreaking for their synthesis of punk’s irreverent spirit and modernist design’s formal rigor. Some of them, particularly the cover of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, have transcended their original context to enter a global image lexicon, familiar even to those who have never heard the music they were made to accompany.

Read the rest of this article at: SSENCE

News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Rise and Fall of French Cuisine

News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

In 2006, after years reporting in the Middle East, I moved to Paris. It was an accidental choice, the serendipity of a sublet through a friend of a friend. It was meant to be temporary; at the time I was just looking for somewhere to hole up and finish a book. My friends all said: “Oh Paris, how lovely! You must be eating well.” They were surprised to hear me complain that Parisian menus were dull and repetitive. “Paté followed by nothing but entrecôte, entrecôte, entrecôte. Occasionally roast lamb, duck breast. No vegetables to speak of,” I told them. “It’s a tyranny of meat-in-brown-sauce.” As the rest of the world had begun to (re)discover their own cuisines and innovate, the French restaurant seemed to be stagnating in a pool of congealing demi-glace.

Elsewhere, places such as Balthazar in New York and the Wolseley in London seemed to be doing the French restaurant better than the French. In France, the old guard of critics and restaurateurs remained convinced that French cuisine was still the best in the world and a point of national pride. The bistros cleaved to the traditional red-and-white checked table cloths and chalked-up menus even as they were microwaving pre-prepared boeuf bourguignon in the back. In 2010, when the French restaurant meal was added to Unesco’s list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”, it felt as if the French restaurant had become a museum piece, and a parody of itself.

The perceived excellence of their cuisine and restaurants has long represented a vital part of French national identity. It was too easy to ascribe this decline to a certain national conservatism, complacency and parochialism – facile Anglo-Saxon taunts. The real story is more complicated. The restaurant business always has been subject to changes in society and economic circumstances. Food – what we eat and how we go out to eat it – is constantly evolving, according to trend and time.

I left France for four years between 2010 and 2014. When I returned to Paris, things had changed. Australians had established Italian coffee bars and you could finally get a decent cappuccino. New cocktail bars had appeared and trendy cafes were making mojitos with real lime juice. Le Hamburger was all the rage. Parisians had embraced Asian food in a big way – ramen counters proliferated, a cover article last year for Le Monde Magazine’s gastronomy special was entitled L’Asie Majeure, which can be roughly translated as “the Asian wave”. Even the white-haired doge of French chefs, the great Alain Ducasse, admitted that his ideal lunch was cold soba noodles. New flavours and a new informality to dining were taking hold, but at the same time, more than 200 years of restaurant culture is a formidable and loved institution. The question is how to manage tradition: what to keep and what to update?

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

Tuscany Tote in Midnight

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The 25 Works of Art That Define the Contemporary Age

On a recent afternoon in June, T Magazine assembled two curators and three artists — David Breslin, the director of the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the American conceptual artist Martha Rosler; Kelly Taxter, a curator of contemporary art at the Jewish Museum; the Thai conceptual artist Rirkrit Tiravanija; and the American artist Torey Thornton — at the New York Times building to discuss what they considered to be the 25 works of art made after 1970 that define the contemporary age, by anyone, anywhere. The assignment was intentionally wide in its range: What qualifies as “contemporary”? Was this an artwork that had a personal significance, or was its meaning widely understood? Was its influence broadly recognized by critics? Or museums? Or other artists? Originally, each of the participants was asked to nominate 10 artworks — the idea being that everyone would then rank each list to generate a master list that would be debated upon meeting.

Unsurprisingly, the system fell apart. It was impossible, some argued, to rank art. It was also impossible to select just 10. (Rosler, in fact, objected to the whole premise, though she brought her own list to the discussion in the end.) And yet, to everyone’s surprise, there was a significant amount of overlap: works by David Hammons, Dara Birnbaum, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Danh Vo, Cady Noland, Kara Walker, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger and Arthur Jafa were cited multiple times. Had the group, perhaps, stumbled upon some form of agreement? Did their selections reflect our values, priorities and a unified idea of what matters today? Did focusing on artworks, rather than artists, allow for a different framework?

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times Style Magazine

News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Dirty Business of Hosting Hate Online

News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sometime in the three years before he murdered nine people at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Dylan Roof sat down at his computer and typed “black on White crime” into Google. According to Roof’s online manifesto, something about the death of Trayvon Martin sparked his curiosity. Roof knew George Zimmerman, who killed Martin, was the real victim, but he wanted statistics to prove what he felt in his gut.

“The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens,” Roof wrote. “There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong.”

Roof pointed to his discovery of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens website as the beginning of his journey into radicalization. Its end was a massacre he hoped would spark a race war with millions of white Americans following in his bloody footsteps.

In the weeks leading up to the church attack, the site that inspired Roof featured story after story portraying blacks as uniquely dangerous threats—a “racial spree shooting in Texas,” dozens killed in a single weekend in Chicago, and Jay-Z allegedly “funding violent protests in Baltimore and Ferguson.”

Four years later, the Council of Conservative Citizens’ website is still online, pumping out stories about “black serial murderers.” Those pieces are now slotted between odes to nationalist politicians like Nigel Farage, advertisements for a white supremacist conference at a Tennessee state park, and a widget tracking the progress of a crowdfunding campaign to help build Donald Trump’s border wall.

All of that content is still out there, waiting to be found by the next Dylan Roof. But the people behind the site aren’t able to spread their message without some help: The group’s website is hosted by a Michigan-based company called Liquid Web and registered by web infrastructure giant GoDaddy, a publicly traded company currently valued at over $12 billion.

Read the rest of this article at: Gizmodo

Kanye’s Second Coming: Inside The Billion-Dollar Yeezy Empire

News 07.17.19 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

For a company that makes Lamborghini-inspired sneakers, Yeezy’s headquarters are remarkably nondescript: a blocky blue-and-gray building just off the main drag in Calabasas. It’s not far from where he’s been hosting his recent Sunday Services—gatherings where popular songs are repurposed with Christian themes by gospel choirs and famous guests from Katy Perry to Dave Chappelle.

When I meet up with West after his return from San Francisco, he doesn’t even mention the investor meeting—already fixated on something else enormous out back. In the parking lot behind his office, laid out in concentric circles, is the sum total of West’s creative output at Adidas: a trove of sneaker prototypes baking in the midday sun, variants of his 350s in a rainbow ranging from blood orange to creamy pistachio alongside a few yet-to-be-released gems like the almost triangular Yeezy basketball shoe (which, he adds almost proudly, has yet to be approved by the NBA—echoing the days when the league fined Michael Jordan for wearing his eponymous sneakers because they violated uniform rules).

West scoops up a 1050 Vortex Boot, which debuted in prototype form at Madison Square Garden in 2016. “I just looked at this line right here,” he says, motioning to a thin strip of blue masking tape on the sole. “I’m going to make this part of the boot. The inside of this will be blue. And I just go with the flow.”

There are about 1,000 pairs laid across the lot, it seems, but when I ask West for the exact tally, he seems almost offended at the notion of reducing his creations to numerals. “You can’t calculate love,” he explains. “If you get a surprise cake from your grandmother, and you didn’t know she was in town, do you start asking her about the batter and specifically the frosting?”

Grandmother?

“These things are made to bring incalculable joy,” he continues. “So to ask me to somehow translate this to numbers is to ask your grandmother exactly what the recipe of the cake was.”

West claims to not be a “numbers guy,” but he has reached an inflection point where someone in the Yeezy orbit needs to be. His brand built its following through its limited releases and surprise drops, much like Air Jordan. The latter, according to NPD retail analyst Matt Powell, has lost a bit of its cachet in recent years as Nike moved to fill declining volume in other areas of business with its iconic sub-brand. “What makes celebrity products sell so well is scarcity,” he says. “So if they make it too broadly available, I think it crashes the business model.”

Read the rest of this article at: Forbes

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