Twelve years ago, I inadvertently began a literary ritual that I’ve kept alive to this day. It was late in the first term of my freshman year of college, and I’d been assigned to lead a discussion on James Joyce’s “The Dead,” the devastating final story in his collection Dubliners. Never having read it, I was unaware of the symbolic importance of snow in the story. It happened to be the first snowfall of the year, and by the time I reached the book’s end, my romantic, teenaged soul swooned along with Gabriel’s, as he heard “the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.” So, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I now re-read “The Dead” on the first snowfall of every year. … Read More
New York City
For decades, New York City has been a place for artists, dreamers, families full of hope, and those still stumbling to find their way. Photographer Peter Liepke, whose work we discovered on Faith is Torment, wanted to capture the feeling of arriving in the city for the first time and the awe the landscape inspires. His series Above & Beyond, currently on view at Gallery 270 until January 17, might be his most personal yet:
After growing up in suburban Minnesota as an artist, like many before me, and many more who will continually arrive in NYC each day, we embrace the challenge of wanting to broaden our lives by moving into a bigger arena. For this series I wanted to go back and attempt to remember my feelings or first impressions upon arriving in NYC as an outsider for the first time well over twenty years ago.
What makes Liepke’s work so striking is his platinum/palladium and gum bichromate processing. The techniques add an otherworldly feeling to a city that embraces so many different people every day. … Read More
High Maintenance, the web series created by couple Ben Sinclair and Katja Blichfeld, returns today for its “fifth cycle” on Vimeo, and becomes Vimeo On Demand’s first original series. After fielding offers and exploring possible development deals (FX was involved, for one), Sinclair and Blichfeld have decided to stay “handmade,” producing the current set of videos with Vimeo’s funding. In return, the six episodes that make up the show’s fifth and forthcoming sixth cycles will be available as a year-long rental on the site, for $7.99. … Read More
Following last night’s release of 1989–which starts off with the much-maligned song “Welcome to New York”–Taylor Swift has partnered with NYC… Read More
Hell’s Kitchen. Hell Gate. Richard Hell. The signs (and wonders) are everywhere. Abandon all hope: New York City is a living Hell of renegade capital, exploited labor, racial hatred, institutional misogyny, and bodega cats. You must say goodbye.
Or is it a neoliberal paradise, imperfect yet lovable, where capital and culture and rats roam free? … Read More
There is a lot of reading in The 50 Year Argument, a documentary about the venerable institution The New York Review of Books and its 50-year history of being engaged with the world. Notably, the documentary is the work of Martin Scorsese and his co-director David Tedeschi, and the two longtime filmmakers’ imprint on this doc is crucial: you can imagine it being tedious talking-head boredom in lesser hands (it is, at points, even in Scorsese’s hands — more like the 50 year nap, am I right?), but the directors skillfully pull off the trick that, by telling the story of a publication, they’re telling a story of the culture shifts of the last 50 years, in words and in actions. … Read More
We’re coming to the close of a great retrospective of Joe Sarno’s works at New York’s Anthology Film Archives, ending September 26. Sarno was one of the sexploitation genre’s key auteurs, and his films evoke the independent spirit of the underground film movement — movies popularized during the ‘60s that pushed the boundaries of technique and narrative with experimental artistry. These pictures produced outside the commercial moviemaking industry ranged from the subversive to the formless, delighting in explicit subjects and exploring radical in-camera editing. Crucial as he is, Sarno is just one of these 50 underground filmmakers you should… Read More
What makes a “maker”? By definition, the term can apply to artists, crafters, and anyone who creates anything. But the past decade has seen a more specific “maker movement” emerge amongst nerds and techies, one focused on making mediums like electronics, robotics, and 3D printing more accessible for hobbyists, connecting the dots between open-source tech projects and Etsy-centered handmade craft culture. … Read More
Starting with an assignment for Look Magazine in 1977, photographer Stephen Shames captured the comping-of-age of a group of boys growing up in the Bronx, then one of the grittiest and poorest neighborhoods in the United States. It was a magazine assignment that became a life’s work, because Shames followed this group of young men from 1977 – 2000 through all corners of their lives, navigating poverty and drug addiction in beautifully personal, intimate photos about growing up in New York City. … Read More
New York City has undergone some dramatic changes over the past several decades. Landmarks like Kim’s Video & Music are shuttering their doors, and rents are skyrocketing more each year. One neighborhood that has seen a major shift is the East Village. In 1984, photographer Daniel Root, who we learned of on Kottke, documented the area—the way most people think of it, as it appears in the movies. Today, he has made it his mission to revisit the locations in his images to document their current state. The EV NY project reveals some fascinating and dramatic transformations. Gentrification has scrubbed the East Village’s former graffiti-covered walls. See what you make of New York City’s East Village 30 years ago versus today in our gallery. … Read More