New York

Michael Massaia’s ‘Signals Crossed’ Photos Reveal Natural Secrets in LED Billboards

If you happen to raise your eyes to the ubiquitous LED billboards in Times Square while you’re trying to push your way past the giant amoeba of tourists, you might see a flashing, building-sized advertisement for Kodak or Pepsi. But there’s more to those corporate images than you think. … Read More

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For the First Time in 150 Years: Walt Whitman’s Civil War ‘Drum-Taps’

“I intend to move heaven & earth to publish my ‘Drum-Taps’ as soon as I am able to go around,” Walt Whitman told his friend William O’Connor in 1864, after a mysterious illness, likely contracted from the hospital where he nursed soldiers, claimed his health for a time. The American Civil War was in its third year, and Leaves of Grass in its third edition. With his new book of Civil War poems, Whitman meant to advocate a re-union, a reconciliation, an end to the war, and a continuation of the spirit of democracy set in motion by his earlier work. He wanted Drum-Taps to “express in a poem…the pending action of this Time & Land we swim in…with the unprecedented anguish and suffering, the beautiful young men, in wholesale death & agony.” The following January, as the war neared its conclusion, Whitman wrote again to O’Connor, explaining that the now fairly completed Drum-Taps was “superior to Leaves of Grass — certainly more perfect as a work of art.’’ Adding that although it may appear that the poems were ‘‘let loose with wildest abandon, the true artist can see it is yet under control.’’ … Read More

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Intimate Portraits of ’90s New York City Squatters

During her time as an art student in 1992, Ash Thayer was kicked out of her Brooklyn apartment and found herself living in the See Skwat on New York City’s Lower East Side. Thayer photographed her fellow squatters as they lived and worked to make the community more habitable, learning about demo, electrical work, and more in order to build a home. The images are now part of the fascinating book Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000, the “true untold story of New York’s legendary LES… Read More

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Your Favorite Indie Record Stores Explain Why a Global Album Release Day Is a Bad Idea

A few weeks back, it was announced that the record industry had decided that from August, all albums around the globe will be released on Fridays. Well, some of the record industry had decided. For independent record stores in North America and the UK, though, the shift from Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively, doesn’t make much sense. “Friday and Saturday are your busy days anyway,” says Josh Madell, cofounder of Other Music, one of lower Manhattan’s last great indie record stores. “Why concentrate everything at the end of the week?” … Read More

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Alec Baldwin Will Be the Next NYC Mayor… on HBO

Alec Baldwin’s first role since he parted ways with the oddly endearing ultra-conservative capitalist Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock doesn’t seem… Read More

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Cool Girls Do It Better: On Kim Gordon’s Juicy, Modest Memoir, ‘Girl in a Band’

In the final paragraph of her memoir, Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon details a makeout session with a man who is most certainly not Thurston Moore. Emergency brake pulled, the two sat in front of a house on a hill that Gordon had rented in LA for several weeks last year while getting back to her visual art roots in a post-Sonic Youth, post-Thurston world. The anecdote starts kind of bumpy because it is apropos of nothing, but it ends somewhere fitting — hopeful, even. “I know: it sounds like I’m someone else entirely now,” she writes after pulling away from this man’s “full-on grope” for reasons of practicality, “and I guess I am.” … Read More

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Flavorwire Exclusive: A Lesson on Art School by Chris Kraus

The work of Chris Kraus — the American novelist, critic or fictocritic, professor of film, filmmaker, and editor — is irreducible to a single mode of artistic output. Nevertheless, in recent years, Kraus has been known more in her capacity as “the art world’s favorite fiction writer,” or, as  Kate Zambreno put it, as a writer who “radicalized a vernacular criticism that involves the self” and “[is] influential in re-innovating the idea of the nonfiction novel.” In whatever mode, Kraus draws fearlessly from her life as an artist. In the below short excerpt, taken from Phaidon’s new Akademie X: Lessons in Art + Life, Kraus does the same, effortlessly combining biography and criticism to deliver a sui generis lesson on art school. Included at the bottom is Kraus’ selection of reading, viewing, and other assignments for would-be students. … Read More

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‘All Our Happy Days Are Too Expensive': Is Sheila Heti’s New Psychodrama an Exercise in Self-Immolation?

“I think I learn less every time it is performed,” Sheila Heti confessed after the second night of All Our Happy Days Are Stupid at The Kitchen in New York. “It’s a terrible play,” she murmured. Heti’s confession had a twin effect: it presented a low-key staging as superfluous — even decadent — and it somehow made the whole spectacle more endearing. … Read More

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‘Vogue,’ ‘New York’ and ‘The New Yorker’ Win Big at the National Magazine Awards

Vogue won Magazine of the Year at last night’s National Magazine Awards dinner. The New Yorker and New York Magazine also took home… Read More

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