Daily Dose Pick: Nick Cave’s Soundsuits

Artist Nick Cave turns sundry materials, such as cast-off clothing, flea market discoveries, and dyed human hair, into transformative “soundsuits” that double as sumptuous sculptures.

Cave (not to be confused with the musician of the same name) draws from sources as varied as African ceremonial costumes, Tibetan textiles, and pop-culture creatures. His elaborate suits aren’t just objects pegged to a pedestal; they’re meant to be worn, vitalized through movement and the sounds they make. In fact, the dance-trained artist is working toward a 90-suit performance that he’ll take around the world. … Read More

  • 25

Daily Dose Pick: Deb Sokolow

Inspired by mob secrets, conspiracy theories, nefarious politicos, and shady neighbors, Deb Sokolow goes in search of truth and justice in our tricky world.

Whether in her artist books or sprawling, site-specific drawings that cover a gallery wall, Sokolow’s paranoid narrator inevitably wanders into the middle of convoluted intrigues. Two inner voices chime in, too (one scribed in red ink, the other in pencil), expressing doubts and questions as the plot thickens. … Read More

  • 9

Daily Dose Pick: Superuse

True to its slogan, “Where Recycling Meets Design,” online community Superuse.org highlights cool projects by designers and artists working with secondhand materials and cast-off objects.

While some efforts are predictably more inspired than others, the sheer variety is captivating — ranging from pocket-sized productions to ambitious architectural feats, and from straight-up useful to simply fun. Turns out plenty of people have big ideas for old shipping containers, shampoo bottles, and airplane fuselages. … Read More

  • 2

Re-assembly Required: Artists on IKEA

IKEA has had a profound effect on our everyday lives; at the very least, hordes of us have acquired a BILLY bookshelf or gone in search of meatballs after losing our way in the showroom. After coming across an online quiz this fall that asked us to guess whether photos were of minimalist sculptures by Donald Judd or pieces of cheap modern furniture, we started wondering about the ongoing interactions between artists and the affordable design powerhouse.

If IKEA has seemingly digested the forms of Minimalism, what do artists see when they look at the blue-and-yellow behemoth today? … Read More

  • 9

Daily Dose Pick: Actions

Organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, traveling exhibition Actions: What You Can Do with the City proposes 99 clever ways to revamp urban living and prompt positive change on your home turf.

The diverse “actions” encompass guerrilla gardening, savvy reuse of vacant spaces, clandestine civic improvements, and more playful ideas, such as creating temporary parks in metered parking spots. The best part is, it’s not just theoretical: most of the projects have been brought to life before in cities ranging from Tokyo to Toronto. … Read More

  • 2

Exclusive Q&A: Tim Rutili of Califone

Califone isn’t the type of band to knock you out with a hook and drag you along for the ride. Their music wraps itself around you slowly, or sinks in to coat your bones. Earthy, organic-feeling instrumentation (ranging from guitar and mandolin to marimba) mingle with electronic loops, clattering sounds, and textured effects. Over ten years, Califone have honed their distinctive sound and released a substantial catalog; but while they continue to explore every inch of this sonic terrain, they’re not content to float along on the familiar. The band switched labels in July to Dead Oceans, and alongside today’s release of their ninth album they’re unveiling their first feature film. Both titled All My Friends Are Funeral Singers, the film and album are companion pieces that fill out the story of a psychic living in a house full of ghosts. As the band kicks off a national tour this month, they’ll be playing live with the film at most of the stops.

Hear what band leader (and filmmaker) Tim Rutili has to say about pairing visuals to songs, working with cult film star Angela Bettis, and more, after the jump…… Read More

  • 3

Lollapalooza 2009: From Perry Farrell to Passion Pit

Total bedlam with a good soundtrack, that’s Lollapalooza. The last time I was in Chicago’s Grant Park with this many people — estimates show 200,000 bought tickets — we’d all just voted out a malevolent Washington administration that was past its expiration date. This time though, rather than packing in politely to hear a presidential victory speech, the masses and I were there to see as many different bands as humanly possible during a three-day free-for-all. People may not have been crying tears of joy in this case, but spirits were definitely high. It would be nice to think that the world is a gentler place now than it was last November, but it’s not exactly true. Instead, the Midwest’s main music festival just seemed to prove that we’re pretty good at ignoring hard times. As Perry Ferrell himself said, Lollapalooza is recession… Read More

  • 6