New York City

Knausgaard vs. Wood: Novelist to Face Critic in Lit-Fest Drumming Battle

We know many things about Karl Ove, the “character” featured in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s time-friending auto-epic novel My Struggle. We know, for instance, what his feces looked like as a child. We know, too, the texture of the cornflakes he once ate for breakfast. But we do not yet know that Knausgaard played the drums in a college band called Lemen (“Lemming”). And we also do not know that this band’s previous name was Kafkatrakterne (“Kafka-maker,” like “coffee maker”). The reason we do not know these things: the fifth volume of My Struggle has not been translated. … Read More

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“Pleasure Is the Ultimate Rebellion”: Lydia Lunch on Making Poetry Out of Horror, Uncompromising Self-Love, and Her First Major Retrospective

Lydia Lunch, no wave queen and teenage runaway turned Teenage Jesus, is back in New York City, where it all started for her in the 1970s. Lydia Lunch: So Real It Hurts, her first major retrospective, opens at Howl! Happening May 8 and surveys her photography series The War Is Never Over, the provocative installation You Are Not Safe in Your Own Home, and the many letters, posters, and ephemera from her incredible, nearly 40-year career. Performances and live events accompany the exhibit, which runs through June 5. A contrarian, hysterian, and hedonist, Lunch’s song lyrics, writings, photography, and spoken word performances peel back the skin and peer deep into the chasm of contemporary culture. While she searches for a home for her archives, readies for a new release from her band Retrovirus, preps to teach at a university summer writing program, and sees a vinyl reissue of the powerful Conspiracy of Women on Nicolas Jaar’s label Other People, the iconoclast shared her views on how to be the ultimate confrontationist. … Read More

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An Exhaustively Complete Food Tour of ‘Seinfeld’

Seinfeld’s magical nihilism seems to reach its peak with the juxtaposing of serious dramas with trivialities, the most common of which involve foodstuffs. The show’s gastronomical leaning is often, itself, toward the aggrandizing of the trivial: the gravity with which a food group that can only be described as “light nibbles” is dissected by the characters usually far outweighs that with which they approach larger meals, relationships, friendship, and, just generally: life. The takeaway may not be that Seinfeld is a show about “nothing.” Rather, it’s a show about everything, and how said “everything” is just a little less important than, say, a tiny mint, a very big salad, or the absence of a very delicious chocolate babka. After looking through this comprehensive guide to Seinfeld’s most crucial food references, you, too, might feel as though you’ve just stumbled upon the “meaning of it… Read More

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Four Leads Cast in Baz Luhrmann’s Hip-Hop Netflix Drama, ‘The Get Down’

Baz Luhrmann’s music-driven Netflix drama series, The Get Down, just cast four teenage leads: Justice Smith (who’ll play Ezekiel, “a… Read More

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How to Steal A Mountain: Links You Need to See

Artistic processes are manifold, and hierarchizing the way we create is futile: but artist Oscar Santillon literally did climb to the top to make a recent work of art: he took a piece of England’s highest mountain. Said accomplishment will provide an incredibly impressive line on a resume, but it’s also angered Cumbria Tourism, who wants him to return it. Regardless of the ultimate decision about what happens to this inch of mountaintop, not many other people can put “Mountain Thief” on their list of qualifications. The only artistic feat that may be more impressive is an entire book of poems about Kanye West. Which exists, and is available for purchase on Amazon. Do with that what you will. … Read More

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Finger-Paint Portraits of Patrons From a Times Square Bar in ’80s New York

During the 1980s, Times Square in New York City was a radically different place. A center for sex and sleazy goings-on, the city was economically depressed, and crime rates hit an all-time high. One basement bar in Times Square became a center for artistic expression during one of New York’s darkest times, Tin Pan Alley.

Named after a section of the city where music publishers set up shop, former Tin Pan Alley bartender Cara Perlman created a series of finger-paint portraits of bar patrons — including now-renowned artists like Kiki Smith and Nan Goldin. … 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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WORDLESS! Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston on the Birth of the Graphic Novel

On March 13, The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University will present WORDLESS!, a performance by artist, theorist, and historian Art Spiegelman, and American composer Phillip Johnston. The show combines a score composed and performed by Johnston with images curated and discussed by Spiegelman, who will present a tour of early “graphic novels” by artists like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross. WORDLESS! will also feature new work by Spiegelman made specifically for this project. … Read More

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