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Summertime Soundtrack: Brooklyn-based Savoir Adore’s, Our Nature

Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore's Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro performing at the Echo in Los Angeles on August 7, 2013.

Savoir Adore’s Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro performing at the Echo in Los Angeles on August 7, 2013.

I was able to catch one of my favorite Brooklyn-based bands, Savoir Adore playing their first ever headlining show at the Echo in LA last week. Dressed in all white and sounding as blissed out as ever, the band performed both old and new songs to the intimate sing-a-long crowd. Stand out songs included, “Dreamers” and “Imagination”that are both on their recently re-released second full length album, “Our Nature” on Nettwerk Records after releasing it last year with a successful Kickstarter campaign which of course I supported.

The band recently premiered their new video, “Regalia” with our friends over at Buzzbands.LA and are about to perform their biggest hometown show to date next month at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sep. 21st. You can also check them out at DC9 in Washington DC on Sep. 24th, at Philadelphia’s Boot & Saddle on Sep. 25th, and at Great Scott in Boston on Sep. 29th. Check out the video for “Regalia” and make sure to catch them next month on the East Coast!

 

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Grégory Chatonsky Creates An Endless Mountain Range Of Kim Kardashian’s Face That Critiques Meaninglessness In Social Media

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The psychological effects of social media—seductive vortexes that they are—are well discussed. Every day, we are saturated with idealized bodies and enviable lifestyles—unreasonable standards of happiness and fulfillment that are based purely on constructed images. Seeking to criticize this culture of obsession and apparent emptiness, French artist Grégory Chatonsky has created a bizarre amalgam of Kim Kardashian’s face featuring more than 51,000 photos of her tagged on Instagram. Using a software program he designed using Unity3d, images of Kim K’s face are pulled and generated into a sea of amassed and distorted flesh. The effect is overwhelming and somewhat nauseating; facial features sink, expand, liquefy, and solidify like crushed and melted Barbie dolls. Chatonsky has literally transformed the celebrity’s face into an endless, empty landscape.

This project comes at a funny time, with Kim K’s book of never-before-seen photos, entitled Selfish, hitting the shelves last May. Chatonsky’s choice of her face is rooted in a blunt criticism, as he views her image as the benchmark of meaninglessness in the self-serving application of social media: “She has no talent, she has nothing exceptional, she is none other than our own design, that is to say the way she [is] represented to us,” he told The Creator’s Project. “It is simply an extended skin, everything is on the surface. There is nothing to look behind” (Source). Terrifyingly, the digital collage continues to grow and morph on its own. With intensity, humor, and a heavy dose of dizzying insanity, Perfect Skin II jabs us with a postmodern critique that visually demonstrates how the image—while highly valued in our digital culture—is a flat, empty simulacrum empowered by obsession and replicated beyond meaning or logic.

Check out Chatonsky’s website to view other fascinating and speculative projects, such as a contemplation on the photograph as a desperate—but finite—imprint of our times on Earth, and the discovery of the data humans will leave behind post-apocalypse. This latter project, entitled Extinct Memories, is made in collaboration with Dominique SiroisChristophe Charles, and Jussi Parikka and will be opening at Brussel’s Interactive Media Art Laboratory in September of this year. (Via The Creators Project)

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David Welch’s Material World

David Welch’s photographs document sculptural assemblages that form pseudo monuments, or totems of consumer goods and debris. The totems speak of accumulation and materiality and encourage debate about consumption, media, class, gender and the ways in which we feel compelled to consume.

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Nicholas Hughes- In Darkness

Nicholas Hughes Photography

Nicholas Hughes photographs of luminous desolate landscapes.

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Andi Schreiber Documents Middle-Age And The Need To Be Desired

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Andi Schreiber refuses to disappear. In her ongoing series, “Pretty Please”, she documents life as an aging suburban mom in a youth-obsessed culture. “Middle-aged mom” must be one of the least sexy descriptors around, redolent of yoga pants and stretch marks and sun-damaged skin. Yet as the years have passed, Schreiber has continued to feel young and sexual, even as she’s felt that society has closed those roles to her. She says:

“When I was in my thirties I heard the expression “Invisible Forties.” I couldn’t imagine how sexually inconsequential I’d feel throughout this decade.”

The powerful documentary style photos in “Pretty, Please” beg you to look. Honest and vibrant, they are not always comfortable. Victoria’s Secret has trained us to expect sexy lingerie on a young, taut body, not on folded and stretched skin. And yet, why isn’t this just as beautiful? Grow old or die, those are the only options. Why can’t we appreciate the child-scarred body of a woman who wants to be seen?

Self-portraits are interspersed with images from Schreiber’s life. A drop of blood on the toilet seat symbolizes her ebbing fertility; the lit interior of her closet holds neatly hung clothes and shelves of shoes, but also, stashed up and away, naked kewpie dolls, whimsical and eerie.

“You get into your 40s and things are very different, your perspective changes, and the way the world looks at you changes as well.”

In “Pretty, Please” we’re looking at Andi Schreiber and she’s looking back. This is definitively her — her life, her body, her blood — and yet this desire to be seen, to be valued on her own terms, could also represent the scores of middle-aged women who chose family and stability and have had their sense of self sacrificed to their suburban houses, and diapers, and carpools.

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Brian Jungen

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Brian Jungen turns every day objects on their heads, revealing the potential for magic and mystery in even the most mundane moments. Above, baseball mitts become a punk-rock mannequin, or a warrior’s armor. Plastic lawn chairs become the hulking exoskeleton of a whale. Hundreds of trash bins become the building block for a sci-fi geodesic dome, or a giant turtle’s vacated shell. His ability to transform is nothing short of alchemical!

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Andy Prokh’s Playful Series Captures Love And Friendship Between A Girl And Her Cats

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Russian-based photographer Andy Prokh captures images of his 6-year-old daughter, Katherine, and her pet cat, LiLu, as they grow up together. With the recent addition of a new feline to the Katherine and LiLu friendship, Prokh has now been photographing the friends as a trio. The threesome play chess, do homework, have tea, and play games with each other. Each photograph tells a story, each story resonating with childhood’s creative imagination. Prokh’s use of black and white enhances the whimsy and nostalgia evoked by his images. Prokh says he takes photographs of the friends because he loves them and believes “a photographer must love what he shoots.” Equally as impressive as his playful, fine art aesthetic is Prokh’s ability to stage and pose his pets, as cats are creatures not generally known for their obedience of human commands. You can check out Prokh’s full gallery of this series on his website. (via my modern met)

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Thanksgiving!

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I’ve always felt like it was the Jan of the Brady Bunch in terms of winter holidays…

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