Tag Archives: culture



Or Bar-El‘s graduation film from the Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design. 



Story, Direction & Animation: Or Bar-El

Drums: Dror Goldstein

Sfx: Joni Bar Ilan

Compositing: Tammuz Kay

Rigging and TD: Yair Halpern


Special Thanks

Anat Costi, Yair Halpern, Gilad Kenan



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The Kingdom of Survival


THE KINGDOM OF SURVIVAL explores modern skepticism in America, challenges the status quo and uncovers provocative links between survivalist philosophy, ecumenical spirituality, radical political theory, and outlaw culture. The audience is invited into a thoughtful conversation with the likes of Prof. Noam ChomskyDr. Mark Mirabello, Ramsey Kanaan, and the riveting final interview with beloved author, Joe Bageant. These unique thought leaders cast a rare shadow of doubt over our most blindly accepted American traditions. By remaining observantly agnostic to the subjects, the film is able to honestly investigate the physical and psychological practices of diverse individuals in a conflict-ridden and confused post-modern world. In a time of brainwashing corporate and political propaganda, The Kingdom of Survival reunites us with the life-changing spirit of the outlaw highway. 

by M.A. Littler

An interview with Joe Bageant, author of “Deer Hunting with Jesus” and “Rainbow Pie”

Slowboat Films 


10/13    BABYLON MITTE, Berlin
10/14 – 10/19 SPUTNIK, Berlin
10/15    MOUSONTURM, Frankfurt
10/18 – 10/19 CASABLANCA, Dresden
10/20 – 10/23 MAL SEH’N KINO, Frankfurt
10/20 – 10/26 FILMHAUS, Saarbrücken
10/24   CINEMA/GLEIS 22, Münster
10/29 – 10/30 CINÉMATTE, Bern


2011 Montreal World Film Festival
2011 Raindance Film Festival London
2011 Rappahannock Independent Film Fest

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When Kerouac Met Kesey by Sterling Lord


Photo by Joe Mabel


When Kerouac Met Kesey

The two counterculture heroes, one representing the Beat ’50s and one the psychedelic ’60s, had a lot less in common than you might expect.

by Sterling Lord

Sterling Lord Literistic

via The American Scholar

Related posts:  Kesey, Kerouac

“Sterling, when we hit Manhattan, the city just rolled over on its back and purred.”



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The Art and Influence of Gertrude Stein and Family


Gertrude Stein and Alice Toklas in the apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus, Paris, 1922; photo: Man Ray; private collection, San Francisco; © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights. Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

SFMOMA Announces Exhibition on the Art and Influence of Gertrude Stein and Her Family

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – The Steins are responsible in many ways for the turn-of-the century revolution in the visual arts through their adventurous patronage, deep ties to leading minds of the era, and legendary Paris salon gatherings. As powerful tastemakers, they had a commitment to the new, a confidence in their inclinations, and a drive to build appreciation for the work they loved. From the moment they first dared to admire Matisse’s scandalous Woman with a Hat (1905)—the “nasty smear of paint”1 that gave the fauves their name—the foursome were staking claims for modern art that would heavily influence their peers and transform the careers of several of the most important artists of the century. 

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde reunites the unparalleled modern art collections of author Gertrude Stein, her brothers Leo and Michael Stein, and Michael’s wife, Sarah Stein. Jointly organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris, this major touring exhibition gathers approximately 200 iconic paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, and illustrated books not only by Matisse and Picasso, who are each represented by dozens of works, but also by Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Juan Gris, Marie Laurencin, Henri Manguin, Francis Picabia, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Félix Vallotton, among others. The Steins Collect will premiere at SFMOMA from May 21 through September 6, 2011, before traveling to Paris and then New York. 

Supplemented by a rich array of archival materials—including photographs, family albums, film clips, correspondence, and ephemera—the exhibition provides a new perspective on the artistic foresight of this innovative family, tracing their enduring impact on art-making and collecting practices and their inestimable role in creating a new international standard of taste for modern art. 

Sarah and Michael Stein’s return to San Francisco with a cache of important Matisse works in 1935, the same year SFMOMA was founded, was particularly instrumental in the advocacy of modern art on the West Coast as well as the making of the museum’s early collection; SFMOMA’s presentation will underscore the Steins’ deep connections to the Bay Area. 

“The Stein family legacy is proof that individual collectors make a huge impact on art history,” says SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra. “I can’t imagine a more timely and inspiring reminder that when it comes to collecting, presenting, and preserving the art of our time, it’s the appetite for risk and intellectual engagement with living artists that brings about the most important and lasting outcomes.” 

“It’s really impossible to overestimate the role of this eccentric American family as patrons of visual art in early 20th-century Paris,” says co-curator Janet Bishop of SFMOMA. “The Steins were true champions of modernism, embracing and defending new art as it was first being made and before it was met with widespread acceptance. They not only avidly collected works when the artists most needed support, but also enthusiastically opened their modest Left Bank homes to anyone wishing to see the most radical art of the day.” 

As American expatriates living in France, the four Steins were pivotal in shaping the city’s vibrant cultural life. Leo Stein (1872–1947) and younger sister Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) were the first to leave the family home in Oakland, traveling to Paris along with millions of tourists to visit the 1900 World’s Fair and then relocating to the city in 1902 and 1903, respectively. Sarah Stein (1870–1953) and Michael Stein (1865–1938) soon followed from San Francisco with their eight-year-old son, Allan, arriving in early 1904. The family established their apartments on rue de Fleurus (Leo and Gertrude) and rue Madame (Sarah and Michael) and quickly integrated into the intellectual circles of the Parisian avant-garde. Gertrude and Leo lived modestly off family investments and had to team up to afford their early purchases. “You can either buy clothes or buy pictures. It’s that simple. . . . No one who is not very rich can do both,” was Gertrude’s legendary quote from Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. 

The Steins also formed close friendships with the emerging artists they championed, particularly Matisse and Picasso, whose works they aggressively collected and promoted to their associates, almost single-handedly creating markets for their work outside Paris. They dined and vacationed regularly with Matisse and his family, counseled Fernande Olivier on her stormy relationship with Picasso, and made countless introductions. Sarah was instrumental in helping Matisse establish his art school and was among his devoted students. 

Along the way, the Steins covered their studio walls with cutting-edge paintings by the most controversial artists of the day and were soon overwhelmed with requests to see the collections. They eventually had to establish regular visiting hours so that Gertrude could attend to her writing in peace. Michael and Sarah decided to open their apartment on the same night of the week and so began the prestigious Saturday evening salons where the brightest artists, writers, musicians, and collectors of the day convened to discuss the latest developments. Anyone with a proper referral was welcome to strain their eyes to see the works by candlelight, as neither apartment was wired with electricity yet. 

Following its SFMOMA debut, The Steins Collect will travel to the Grand Palais, Paris (October 3, 2011, through January 20, 2012) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (February 21 through June 3, 2012). The exhibition is cocurated by Janet Bishop, curator of painting and sculpture at SFMOMA; Cécile Debray, curator of historical collections at the Musée national d’Art moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Rebecca Rabinow, associate curator and administrator, Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and Gary Tinterow, Englehard Curator in Charge, Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A richly illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with new research and original essays from a range of French and American experts in the field. 

Continue reading at artdaily.org


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Trick or treat?

Directed by Thomas Traum

Music by Gustav Mahler

Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor – 04 – IV


via bright stupid confetti

Trick or treat?

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How animals made us human

What explains the ascendance of Homo sapiens? Start by looking at our pets.


A prehistoric painting of a bull at Lascaux in southwestern France.
By Drake Bennett | Photo:  Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images

Who among us is invulnerable to the puppy in the pet store window? Not everyone is a dog person, of course; some people are cat people or horse people or parakeet people or albino ferret people. But human beings are a distinctly pet-loving bunch. In no other species do adults regularly and knowingly rear the young of other species and support them into old age; in our species it is commonplace. In almost every human culture, people own pets. In the United States, there are more households with pets than with children.

On the face of it, this doesn’t make sense: Pets take up resources that we would otherwise spend on ourselves or our own progeny. Some pets, it’s true, do work for their owners, or are eventually eaten by them, but many simply live with us, eating the food we give them, interrupting our sleep, dictating our schedules, occasionally soiling the carpet, and giving nothing in return but companionship and often desultory affection.

What explains this yen to have animals in our lives?

An anthropologist named Pat Shipman believes she’s found the answer: Animals make us human. She means this not in a metaphorical way — that animals teach us about loyalty or nurturing or the fragility of life or anything like that — but that the unique ability to observe and control the behavior of other animals is what allowed one particular set of Pleistocene era primates to evolve into modern man. The hunting of animals and the processing of their corpses drove the creation of tools, and the need to record and relate information about animals was so important that it gave rise to the creation of language and art. Our bond with nonhuman animals has shaped us at the level of our genes, giving us the ability to drink milk into adulthood and even, Shipman argues, promoting the set of finely honed relational antennae that allowed us to create the complex societies most of us live in today. Our love of pets is an artifact of that evolutionary interdependence.

“Our connection with animals had a very great deal to do with our development,” Shipman says. “Beginning with the adaptive advantage of focusing on and collecting information about what other animals are doing, from there to developing such a reliance on that kind of information that there became a serious need to document and transmit that information through the medium of language, and through the whole thing the premium on our ability to read the intentions, needs, wants, and concerns of other beings.”

Shipman’s arguments for the importance of “the animal connection,” laid out in an article in the current issue of Current Anthropology and in a book due out next year, draw on evidence from archeological digs and the fossil record, but they are also freely speculative. Some of her colleagues suggest that the story she tells may be just that, a story. Others, however, describe it as a promising new framework for looking at human evolution, one that highlights the extent to which the human story has been a collection of interspecies collaborations — between humans and dogs and horses, goats and cats and cows, and even microbes.

Shipman, a professor of biological anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, draws together the scattered strands of a growing field of research on the long and complex relationship between human and nonhuman animals, a topic that hasn’t traditionally warranted much scholarly discussion but is now enjoying a surge of interest. The field of so-called human-animal studies is broad enough to include doctors researching why visits by dogs seem to make people in hospitals healthier, art historians looking at medieval depictions of wildlife, and anthropologists like Shipman exploring the evolution and variation of animal domestication. What they all share is an interest in understanding why we are so vulnerable to the charms of other animals — and so good at exploiting them for our own gain.

The traits that traditionally have been seen to separate human beings from the rest of the animal kingdom are activities like making tools, or the use of language, or creating art and symbolic rituals. Today, however, there is some debate over how distinctively human these qualities actually are. Chimpanzees, dolphins, and crows create and use tools, and some apes can acquire the language skills of a human toddler.

A few anthropologists are now proposing that we add the human-animal connection to that list of traits. A 2007 collection of essays, “Where the Wild Things Are Now,” looked at how domesticating animals had shaped human beings as much as the domesticated animals themselves. Barbara King, an anthropologist at the College of William & Mary, published a book earlier this year, “Being With Animals,” that explores the many ramifications of our specieswide obsession with animals, from prehistoric cave art to modern children’s books and sports mascots. King’s primary interest is in the many ways in which myths and religious parables and literature rely on animal imagery and center on encounters between humans and animals.

“[W]e think and we feel through being with animals,” King writes.

Shipman’s argument is more specific: She is trying to explain much of the story of human evolution through the animal connection. The story, as she sees it, starts with the human invention of the first chipped stone tools millions of years ago. Shipman, who specializes in studying those tools, argues that they were an advance made for the express purpose of dismembering the animals they had killed. The problem early humans faced was that even once they had become proficient enough hunters to consistently bring down big game, they had the challenge of quickly getting the meat off the corpse. With small teeth and a relatively weak jaw, human beings couldn’t just rip off huge chunks, it took time to tear off what they needed, and it rarely took long for bigger, meaner predators to smell a corpse and chase off the humans who had brought it down.

Early chopping tools sped up the butchering process, making hunting more efficient and encouraging more of it. But this also placed early humans in an odd spot on the food chain: large predators who were nonetheless wary of the truly big predators. This gave them a strong incentive to study and master the behavioral patterns of everything above and below them on the food chain.

That added up to a lot of information, however, about a lot of different animals, all with their various distinctive behaviors and traits. To organize that growing store of knowledge, and to preserve it and pass it along to others, Shipman argues, those early humans created complex languages and intricate cave paintings.

Art in particular was animal-centered. It’s significant, Shipman points out, that the vast majority of the images on the walls of caves like Lascaux, Chauvet, and Hohle Fels are animals. There were plenty of other things that no doubt occupied the minds of prehistoric men: the weather, the physical landscape, plants, other people. And yet animals dominate. 

Continue reading

via The Boston Globe 

hat tip:  berfrois


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Words who walk by: what drives the universe…


More About Poets from the preface of First Stirrings

The poet is not the dreamer amongst us, whose head is in the fog of clouds, unable to face reality.

It is the crowd around him, walking past on the busy streets, in a hurry, driving their cars, working their machinery, watching their television sets in perpetual re-run who are asleep in dreams. Those of us who walk through our days repeating in our heads the dialogues of yesterday’s lunch meeting, last night’s encounter with a loved one, yesterday’s argument with a co-worker, or a parent, or a child; those of us who project into the future our fears and expectations, rehearsing scripts of what we are going to say whenever we get to where we are going, what we should have said, what might be said to us, what we should say in reply to that… It is those of us who are asleep.

Reality exists only in the present moment. The past and the future do not even exist, except as dreams, whether they be the dreams of memories or the dreams of anticipation.

It is possible that poetry in our western culture has been dead for many years, ever since it was first bludgeoned in Ezra Pound’s train station about a century ago. It came very close to death certainly when it was dismembered by well-meaning hippies who, unable to find the universe in a grain of sand, attempted to elevate that grain to mythic proportions and then scoured fields and bedrooms for anything minuscule and ordinary so far untouched with poetry or prose which they could celebrate in epic free style sagas and quaint, well-meaning haiku. It suffered its last gasp, I believe, at the hands of inept academics who, unable to create beauty themselves, derived their own derivative works based on the derivative works of previous academics who long to touch our souls as Shakespeare, as Keats, as Byron, as Williams, but sadly had only thumbs where their fingers might have been.

Thankfully, there are exceptions. And for those exceptions to the hoards, I can say with confidence that poetry is not quite dead. It is still in a coma, but still faintly breathing, on life support in the farthest back corner of of the bookstore, on the bottom shelf where the occasional hopeful student of a poetry workshop night school class still checks in to make sure it is still there. And it is beginning to stir.

But while poetry may be near death, the poet is very much alive. And therein lies our hope for our future. Make no mistake: this is what drives the universe. Unlike any other art form, it is poetry that can remind us to be awake to the present moment and nudge us out of our sleep-walking daily lives. Gently and carefully, certainly, because you can not just jolt a sleep walker from his daze.

Give it a try today. Step outside, onto the street and watch those who walk by. Watch their eyes as they dream about where they came from and where they are going, but have closed their eyes to where they are this moment. Watch their lips move slightly as they replay yesterday’s lines or rehearse their scripts for tomorrow. And then look around to see if anyone else is watching too, or even watching you. If he has a pen in hand and if you have difficulty focusing on his face, it could be the poet.

See if he winks.

by David Weedmark

Art:  Heel Bruise


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A Revival of Rural Craft, With a Modern Twist

“There were so many differences in color, texture and finish even in the same small area,” said Ms. Sterk, who works together with Ms. van Ryswyck as Atelier NL. “Clay is such a rich, beautiful raw material, and we’d never known that, even though we’d been walking on it for years.”

They made bowls and plates from different types of clay, so that each vessel could be used to eat fruit and vegetables grown on the same patch of land. But the Atelier NL designers are not the only ones to be experimenting with rustic styles, techniques and traditions. Other designers are also drawing inspiration from rural life, which appeared again and again in this summer’s design graduation shows.

This is a radical departure for design, which has been steeped in urbanism since the Industrial Revolution. After two centuries of prizing industrial efficiency over the folksy idiosyncrasies of craftsmanship, why has design gone country?

If you rewind through design history there have been occasional glimpses of the countryside. During the 1930s, the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto designed furniture to be made from silver birches in a nearby forest, and the work of the French designer Charlotte Perriand was inspired by Alpine peasant life. In 1950s Italy, Gio Ponti upholstered his spindly Superleggera chair in rustic straw, while Achille Castiglioni added a tractor seat to his Mezzadro stool.

But these were rare exceptions. Design, as we now know it, is a product of industrialization. For centuries, objects were conceived and made by the same artisans, but those processes were separated when production was mechanized during the Industrial Revolution. The new role of “designer” was invented for the people who then developed the concepts, such as John Flaxman, the British sculptor who designed ceramics for Wedgwood in the late 1700s.

A century later, industrial culture was demonized by the Arts and Crafts Movement, which condemned it as soulless and destructive. But by the early 1900s, the Modern Movement was celebrating the speed and convenience of the “machine age,” and dismissing craftsmanship as drearily archaic.

The balance is changing again. One reason is that the environmental damage caused by industrialization is so severe that it is impossible to ignore the consequences. Another is the backlash against globalization, which is making us critical of its blandness, and more amenable to the quirkiness, sensuality and frailties of craftsmanship. There is also our immersion in digital technology, which, according to the American sociologist Richard Sennett in his 2008 book, “The Craftsman,” encourages us to favor things that seem intuitive and personal, over chilly uniformity.

“The Craftsman” also called for the definition of craftsmanship to be broadened to include software design and computer programming as part of an intellectual reassessment of craft. This process had already started in industrial design, where Hella Jongerius and Jurgen Bey have experimented for over a decade with using craft motifs and techniques to “humanize” mass-manufacturing.

But design’s antipathy to rural culture is now being reassessed too. This is partly because, as the environmental crisis deepens, cities seem less appealing, and the country more so, at a time when digital technology is erasing many of the old constraints of living and working there. Li Edelkoort, the Dutch design theorist, has described the result as “a new romantic yet also realistic” vision of rural life.

By ALICE RAWSTHORN Published: July 25, 2010


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Pie Lab

Project M, the graphic design and communication “boot camp” for the greater good led by John Bielenberg, has conceived of the Pie Lab as a brick-and-mortar node for community engagement in rural Hale County, Alabama. Through the act of simply bringing people together, Pie Lab is a design idea with a real stake in a community’s co-creation. (Emily Pilloton)

PieLab is a pie shop meant to gather communities together. It’s founded on the idea that simple things, like delicious pie and good conversation, can bring us together and spread joy.

Pie+Conversation = Ideas.
Ideas+Design =Positive Change

Pie Lab



Project M Lab

Photos by Brian W. Jones

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Farming increasingly popular with young and hip

People are ditching the city life to pick up organic farming

— City Farmer News

By Carol Costello
July 23, 2010

(CNN) – Every week, at the University Farmers Market in Baltimore, Maryland, 28-year old Roy Skeen sells greens, squash and other vegetables. All of his produce came from his small, urban farm. He planted the vegetables, picked them, and hauled them on his bike to University Market.

It’s not the kind of life he had in mind for himself when he graduated from Yale University in 2004. He majored in History and thought he’d land a job in a minute. He didn’t.

“The story that’s told about Yale,” he says, “is you’re an intelligent person if you go to Yale. But I graduated and I didn’t know how to do anything useful. I could go make green pieces of paper with dead presidents on them, but I couldn’t do anything practical.”

Skeen tried to “do something practical.” He headed to New York to work in investment banking, but he found that life stifling. After a trip to the Caribbean, he found his calling: farming.

“It exposed me to culture that grows food and lives in one place. It was pretty simple, but it was nice and I liked it.”

Skeen moved back to his hometown, Baltimore and is now working the land on an urban farm.

Continue reading: http://www.cityfarmer.info/2010/07/23/farming-increasingly-popular-with-young…

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