Two interesting articles passed the transom recently. Bruce Sterling started it all with a post on the NewAesthetic - a tumblr that has been collecting visual examples of our current age under the non-manifesto title the “New Aesthetic.” Most of these images are inspired by computer imagery, data mining, and new GIS technologies. Part of what they have in common is recording the breakdown of the digital and the unexpected appearence of the digital in the analog world.
I was listening to Siamese Dream today by the Smashing Pumpkins while out running errands. It’s a perfect piece of early 1990s sugary pop music. A quick search on Google convinces me that others agree. I think ‘sugary’ is the perfect world to describe the music; it’s overdriven and overlayed guitar insanity.
I first heard it from a friend who brought the CD home from college during summer break and played it for me while we were hanging out.
Late last week was the nadir of my despair about current events. It’s hard to imagine how the images and stories of abuse from Iraq could be worse. When I heard yesterday about the beheading of an American I just felt sick. If American exceptionalism is to have any real cachet it must be because we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world.
While wallowing in despair about current events last week I was listening to Steely Dan and the Gang of Four, two items that perfectly captured my sense of decadence and despair.
Found via Corante Apple Matters is this item on grid computing with Apple computers at larryhalff.com.
Larry also has some interesting tastes in music that appear to jibe quite nicely with my own. Check out his compliments to the Fax label, Maintoba (a new one to me), and Matmos and the Rapture (with a nod to Interpol for last year). I was disappointed by the Rapture but I loved Turn on the Bright Lights, so I’ll have to check his recommendations more closely.
Arts Journal, one of the best art news sites on the web, started a group of weblogs a few months ago. My two favorites are by Kyle Gann and Greg Sandow, both on classical music. Gann, especially, targets my favorite era of classical music, the twentieth century. He also writes interesting reviews for the Village Voice.
His recent entry on Morton Feldman will give you a sense of Gann’s work and the appeal of Feldman.