MAY 26, 2006 9:55 AM

Today's New York Times features and article about the Eames Lounge Chair exhibiton GRAM organized. The exhibition is currently on view at the Museum of Arts & Design over in NYC.

The show is a successful design object in its own right. It was organized at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan by Sarah Holian, its assistant curator, and overseen in New York by Dorothy Twining Globus, the design museum's curator of exhibitions. While compact and focused, it branches out effectively. With a vintage example of the chair, rotating regally on a dais, at its center, it examines its subject in terms of design evolution, physical structure, production, assembly and advertising. It also functions (perhaps inadvertently) as something of a time capsule.

GRAM also published a very thorough and interesting book on the Eames lounge chair.

♥ anthony
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MAY 23, 2006 3:05 PM

Today has not been a very good day for my job hunt. I woke up to a report on NPR that talked about how a college degree doesn’t necessarily result in a higher income. Awesome!

Then I scheduled an appointment to take a test that you had to have before being able to apply for a job with Kent County. I helped my sister with some college stuff and then rode down to the county building. I’ll talk about the lack of bike racks some other time.

To make a long story short, I had to take a test on Typing, MSWord and Excel. Oh, and filing, too. No, not any particular type of filing, just alphanumeric sorting. At the end you can see if you missed any questions and go back to fix them, I am sure my screen said that I had all the filing questions right but the lady told me I missed three! She was nice despite the ridiculousness of the test. I passed everything but the typing test. I couldn’t even apply for this job because I couldn’t retype their memo any faster than 45 words per minute. The job apparently requires 50 wpm, even though the job description does not list typing of any sort.

This next section is straight-up whining, so feel free to skip it.

Neither of my degrees mattered. None of my research in Brazil, England and at GVSU was mentioned. My experience working for other government offices came up, but it didn’t help. I felt utterly castrated by bureaucracy.

I am not so mad that I didn’t get the job, I didn’t type 50 wpm, I am clearly not qualified. I am just kind of pissed about how hard it is to find a decent job. Shitty jobs are all around. But good jobs are really hard to get.

Don’t get me wrong, there are great jobs out there. Jobs for clowns jobs (see craigslist), for suckers (craigslist again), and jobs for people who majored in science. Oh, and there are also jobs for that guy who knows a guy who knows a guy. The problem is that people who do the hiring seem to make extra efforts to make people hustle to get them. This is nothing new, but it still sucks to know that you are just a name on a sheet of paper to the HR department.

I have a friend that has applied for 20 jobs since graduation and heard back from one. What is the deal? There are websites, huge websites, for job postings, yet the only people I know with jobs right now, got them from knowing somebody at their current job.

♥ anthony
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MAY 22, 2006 10:01 AM

I thought I would show everybody some of my favorit flags.

This one is from Botafogo. My favorite Brazilian soccer team.

This is Brazil's National flag. It is seriously everywhere in Brazil. Somehow, it doens't get really annoying.

And this, as I am sure a lot of people already know, is portland's flag. I saw this on the URHO main page and was a bit flabbergasted(?). It is so cool and so beautiful. Why does the grand rapids city flag have so much yellow in it? Why was this entry so boring?

♥ anthony
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MAY 8, 2006 12:41 PM

I am a real sucker for big, dramatic museum exhibitions. Can you imagine being at one of those venerable old science museums when naturalists and pre-paleontologists first displayed dinosaur bones? Exhibition preparation is itself, a fine-art in my opinion. Andy Warhol got his start as a window dresser and latter used his experience with the presentation of material culture to challenge our beliefs about art and images.

A while back I had a chance to see a retrospective of Vivienne Westwood. It was a really exciting show not just because of the content, but the presentation was also really interesting. Anyone who saw the Tropicalia exhibit at MCA knows exactly how important the presentation of an exhibit is.

Last Wednesday, Anglomania, opened at the Met. The exhbit, subtitled “Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion,” covers British Fashion from 1976-2006.

The common thread throughout "AngloMania," the new fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, isn't tartan plaid, Savile Row suits or even punk-style slashed T-shirts, though they're all adequately represented. The star of this exhibit is British wit.Source

Obviously there is some punk influence in this one. Johnny Rotten actually recorded a pretty boring and incoherent podcast for the exhibition. It sort of sounds like he wrote a poem about his influence on punk “and pretty much everything else” and then recorded it. Something tells me that this icon of punk probably took a few takes to get his little project sounding just right.

Johnny Rotten’s podcast stream

Johnny Rotten’s podcast download

The British wing of the Met has apparently been transformed from what is normally a muted palate proper British design, to a celebration of the rogues and dandies that keep London streets interesting.

I also found this interesting video that makes me wish hadn’t spent all my money on a trip to NYC a couple of months back.

♥ anthony
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MAY 5, 2006 12:39 PM

Tonight’s opera was written by Verdi, but Toscanini, is definitely my favorite figure in the world of Opera. Not only was he a complete artistic innovator and steward of the performing arts, but he was also pretty bad ass!

Look at how his career began;

While presenting Aida in Rio de Janeiro, the orchestra's conductor was booed by the audience and forced to leave the podium. Although he had no conducting experience, Toscanini was persuaded to take up the baton, and led a magnificent performance completely by memory. Thus began his career as a conductor at age 19. source

Verdi may not have the rock star qualities that Toscanini did (I’m told conductors generally have pretty big egos), he was probably a little cooler. When the people of Italy were fighting to overthrow Napoleonic rule and unify the states of Italy, Verdi’s opera Nambucco, provided the people with an artistic mirror in which they saw parallels of their own struggle.

Revolutionaries used the term “VIVA VERDI” as a sign of support for unification. I watched a video once that claimed this “VIVA VERDI” campaign was the first form of what we now know as graffiti. The “VERDI” in “VIVA VERDI” in this case was an acronym for a pro-unification leader. So this might not have actually had anything to do with the composer, himself, but it is still pretty sweet that he became a symbol of revolution.

La Traviata is an awesome tail of young love, spoiled by cranky old family members that don’t want two people to get married. Sabotage ensues, heartbreak follows, and the ending is as tragic as any. Not the most original storyline ever, but the beauty of Opera is that the whole experience transcends the simple act of story-telling. A lot of movies today depend on supposed shocking endings (What up M. Night Shalaman!).

These are stories that are not developed to shock, but play a part in the performance. It is the complete performance that engrosses. Because I can get discounted student tickets, I have been lucky enough to sit very close. Watching these people make so much sound come out of there voices is pretty close to divine. I know a lot of people have hang-ups about Opera, but all three of next season’s performances are going to be great.

♥ anthony
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MAY 4, 2006 11:10 AM

NY Times article on the auction action.

I started my intenship a couble of weeks after Garcon avec un pipe set the auction record in 2004. Everyone seemed to notice the shift in buyer's tastes from the old masters to modern and impressionist works. Contemporary artists are also fetching huge sums at auction.

Yesterday, another picasso painting sold for $95 million dollars, making it the second highest price paid for a painting at auction, ever.

I have been wondering why buyers purchase the paintings that they do. I think that the recent lust for Picasso works must come from the desire to own art that is easily recognized.

What artist is known better, in terms of visual style than Picasso? Well, probably quite a few, but the fact remains, Picasso has the cache that art buyeers want and the familiarity among non-art scholars to be quite an attractive investment.

Here is an intersting Wikipedia article on paintings sold at auction with historical prices and adjusted prices.

What do you think? Are people buying Picasso because his work has a sort of recognizable "brand" or is it just time for artists of that period to be on top?

p.s. This painting reminded me of a work by one of my favorite painters Francis Bacon.

♥ anthony
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