A combination of experimental art and music, the Open Source Festival hits Düsseldorf this Saturday, and two of the city's leading artists will be there peddling the latest issue of their notoriously coveted fanzines. Produced in limited edition, Issue #41—entitled "Das März Heft"—comprises eight evocative images creators Katja Stuke and Oliver Sieber shot in Japan last March. Out of their standard run of 105 copies, 15 pack an extra special punch accompanied by a clear vinyl record from Elektrohorror, a project by Düsseldorf musician Sven Vieweg.
Festival-goers that don't get their hands on the special OSF issue can still take home a unique edition. Stuke and Sieber are bringing enough photographs with them for around 50 people to create their own zine. Once the fanzines sell out and the festival is over, they will release a final batch of 35 copies, still comprised of entirely different photos reflecting their time spent in Tokyo, Sendai and Osaka, which will also be available for purchase online.
The creative duo behind Germany's subversive ANTIFOTO photo show (which this year included Jason Evans, Ted Partin and Olivier Cablat to name a few), Stuke and Sieber are known for their candid portraits and have an extensive roster of international exhibitions in their portfolio along with their self-published zines. Pick one up from their website for €65, where you can check out several other books and projects.
by Joanna Prisco
For the last six months, New Yorkers have been hotly anticipating The Great GoogaMooga, a free food and music festival to take place in Brooklyn's Prospect Park this weekend, 19-20 May. Created by Superfly Presents—founders of Bonnaroo and Outside Lands—the GoogaMooga has sparked much dialogue among summer concertgoers for shifting the spotlight from the stage to the concessions. While food lies at the heart of the inaugural fest there's a focus on design that sets it apart from its ubiquitous predecessors.
Superfly tapped the Rockwell Group to craft the aesthetic of the grounds, marrying a carnival atmosphere with 1960s-era spirit from which the festival takes its name. But at a handful of exclusive gatherings being held inside the Extra Mooga paid-ticketed area, guests will be transported even further back in time to a roaring, golden age.
"There will be four parties inside of the Boathouse," explains Superfly co-founder Jonathan Mayers. "And they will all have a 1920s vibe, with each hosting chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson, The John Dory Oyster Bar, Fedora or Monkey Bar pairing food and drinks to that time period."
To further infuse the ambience with '20s flair, Mayers commissioned Paris-based illustrator Rick Tulka to create posters featuring New Yorker-esque caricatures of the events.
"I was introduced to Rick a few years ago by a mutual friend and I'm a huge fan of illustrations," said Mayers. "So we sent him a bunch of images of Marcus, Gabe Stulman and imagery from the Monkey Bar and let him kind of run with it." Having spent the past 36 years illustrating for publications ranging from MAD Magazine to The Wall Street Journal, Tulka's creative process was uninhibited by the fact that his subjects were across the Atlantic.
"Since I am a humorous illustrator, it really helps when the client has a good sense of humor too," said Tulka. "For me, the 1920s theme added a really nice touch to the feel of the images." In keeping with the look of that decade, Tulka suggested the idea to print the posters in sepia. And since the illustrations were all caricatures with a main subject, he kept the backgrounds more line and less tone.
"I wanted the subjects to pop out," said Tulka, who sprinkled various food-focused details throughout the posters with piles of shucked oysters on the floor here and knife-and-fork cufflinks there. The result is both charming and appetizing. "When the illustrator and the client are on the same page and work well together, it makes for a fun job," said Tulka. "Oh, and listening to 1920s jazz while working didn't hurt either!"
For their fifth annual fall festival, the French Institute Alliance Française turned the average museum audio tour into a mysterious game of fact or fiction. Made in collaboration with the conceptual sound collective Soundwalk, "Crossing the Line" leads listeners on an hour and a half tour of NYC's Museum Mile along 5th Avenue, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Neue Gallerie, the Guggenheim and Central Park. The five remarkable writers narrating the tour devised authentic or imagined stories that ask the question "What do we rely on to determine the truth from fiction?"—this year's festival theme.
Available in French and English, each of the five audio segments can be downloaded from the Soundwalk website and played individually if you're only interested in a particular museum or played together as the full tour.
The tour begins at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with American writer and art historian Teju Cole and then the French novelist and poet Olivier Cadiot. With experimental sounds laying the backdrop to these intriguing stories, the listener becomes entranced with the tales, never knowing if they're real or dreamed up. The tour continues at the the Neue Gallerie's Cafe Sabarsky with writer and professor Phillippe Claudel, before moving on with writer Camille Laurens, who guides you through the Guggenheim. Finally, poet and performance artist John Giorno ends the tour with a collection of poems as you join him just inside Central Park at the reservoir.
Running through 16 October 2011, a full list of events for the fall festival is available from FIAF. The audio tour is available for download or to listen online at the Soundwalk site.
I recently stopped by the 2nd annual Kickstarter Film Festival to do some sleuthing on up-and-coming film makers. The festival screens a collection of curated Kickstarter projects, including documentaries, animation and products. It was a perfect evening to enjoy some video outdoors and Kickstarter's partnership with Rooftop Films facilitated an impressive set up in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. All 16 of the films shown are definitely worth a look, but the four below are standouts.
"The Twelve O' Clock Boyz," a documentary by director Lofty Nathan, follows three different Baltimore City residents, all deeply involved in the illegal dirt-bike riding scene.
This practice of rallying, racing and showboating in city streets has become deeply ingrained in the urban culture of The City That Reads, but the illegal and dangerous nature has made it a contentious issue between the communities involved. Born from a rising tension between social and economic classes within the city, the dirt bike culture has come to epitomize rebellion, release and expression for marginalized communities. Nathan explores these relationships and the deeper issues that gave birth to this subculture in what promises to be a fascinating look inside the contemporary existence of urban communities.
Most of us are familiar with Richard Nixon, as well as Watergate and the infamous tape recordings which emerged from it. Our Nixon takes advantage of another set of recordings from this era —previously unreleased Super-8 footage recorded within and around the Nixon White House by some of his closest associates.
In all, 204 reels of "home movies" were confiscated by the FBI as part of the Watergate investigation. This never before seen material offers an interesting look at the everyday goings-on surrounding one of the more scandalous administrations in American history.
Shot by Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman and Special Assistant to the President Dwight Chapin, the three took to documenting all kinds of seemingly trivial occurrences. Truly believing they were part of a revolutionary turning point in American history, even Easter egg collection on the Front Lawn was deemed worthy of historical import. Delusions aside, the film—which makes use of the footage by way of a campy trajectory and hilarious montages, combined with selected clips from Nixon's recorded phone calls—effectively offers insight into the unseen aspects of the Executive Office. You can support documentarians Penny Lane and Brian Frye by pre-ordering a DVD from their site as the film is still in production.
Extremely touching, The Elders (subtitled "Everyone is a story") explores of life lessons told through the experience of a series of senior citizens. Director Nathaniel Hansen spoke with people all over the country and from a wide variety of backgrounds, from coal miners to engineers. In each portrait, the characters talk about their experiences, and as their stories unravel we get a distinct window on how certain things change with age but many, like love and loss, remain constant through generations. Check out the official trailer above and head to the webpage for upcoming screenings and news.
One of the most visually impressive pieces of the festival, The Beast Pageant, follows Abe on his adventurous escape from his mundane crushing existence. Abe lives in a city where he resides alone, only accompanied by a giant machine that spits out his essentials for survival. A mysterious series of events, culminating in a tiny singing cowboy bursting from his stomach, sets Abe off on an adventure of a lifetime. With an impressive cast of characters and the bizarre world Abe finds himself in, the film is enchanting, engulfing the viewer into a trance-like state of mystery and intrigue.
Shot on a 16mm Bolex that writers and directors Albert Birney and Jon Moses claim they found in a dumpster, the film combines great storytelling with fantastic costumes, animations and set design serving as an exceptional example of what a group of determined people can accomplish with little-to-no cash. The film is available on DVD or for download at Indiepix. Check out the site for more info on how this piece came together in a one-room studio in a Rochester, NY factory.
The Kickstarter Film Festival is an excellent reminder of the importance crowd-sourced funding can play in the creation and encouragement of new media and artistic expression. Be sure to keep up with these emerging filmmakers and explore other creative projects that need help getting off the ground—all these films prove that a little support can go a long way.
Savannah, Georgia may be more well-known for its BBQ, but students attending the Savannah College of Art and Design have helped redefine the Southern city as an artistic hub. In response to its burgeoning local music scene, earlier this year Savannah hosted dozens of bands for a three-day music fest leading up to SXSW. Savannah Stopover, as it's called, brought us down too and in this video we check in with groups from Brooklyn ( Das Racist and Class Actress) as well as The Shaniqua Brown, who hail from Charleston, SC, to learn about life on the road.
by Matt Spangler
A few weeks after Coachella some bands have loaded their gear into buses and are back on the road, while others head to studios to try and capture the energy of the festival for next year's hit songs. I myself have been replaying performances to packed audiences by the likes of Crystal Castles, Cut Copy, Chromeo and Afrojack (with Beatles legend Paul McCartney getting into the fun on the side of the stage) in my head.
Thinking about what acts might take the stage at Coachella 2012, we based the following predictions on the festival's history of sticking to what they know—successfully blending electronic, dance and indie rock, with a sprinkling of eclectic stadium-selling artists for the masses.
At The Tents
Opening for Coachella faves Cut Copy and on the powerhouse label DFA, look for Holy Ghost to easily bag a Gobi tent spot. If the guys in the band are anywhere near as charismatic as their dads, who appear in their latest video for "Wait & See," they're a lock.
Diplo's label Mad Decent has been putting out some crunky dance music lately with artists like Major Lazer and Rusko, and newcomer Dillon Francis follows suit releasing his EP “Masta Blasta” on the label. His sick remixes and dubstep sound are the perfect fit to satisfy the drum-and-bass crazed fans in the Sahara tent.
Considering the prominence of Montreal-bred music this past year at Coachella, including Chromeo, A-Trak and Duck Sauce (though they're all from the same family), it seems logical that next year will produce a representative from just across the border. On their third album Young Galaxy (pictured above right) had the help of Dan Lissvik to produce their best record yet, and a dance-inflected pop sound that's pitch-perfect for the Coachella crowd.
Record label Modular Recordings is no stranger to Coachella bands and it's likely that next year the Sydney dance duo, Bag Raiders (Chris Stacey and Jack Glass, pictured above) will represent the imprint in the Mojave tent. Their remix prowess has given them additional exposure to the dance crowd, and they're in Europe now honing their live sound. Now it's just a matter if anyone can tell the difference between them and their Melbourne brethren and label-mates, Cut Copy.
Like Two Door Cinema Club this year, Morning Parade (not pictured) is a popular dance-driven rock band with a sound that appeals to the tents. Hailing from Essex, the boys should get a push from EMI this year leading up to the fest and a tour that could build enough stateside buzz to book them an appearance.
The Naked and Famous
With catchy hooks filling in around pretty vocal melodies, New Zealand quintet The Naked and Famous (above) make this an easy call. Signed with Fiction Records—alongside Elbow, one of the more talked about acts from this past year—The Naked and Famous are ones to start loving now.
After an old-fashioned bidding war for their major label debut and an inspired run of small shows in NYC last winter, it's likely that you'll see the foursome behind Mona (not pictured) appear on a Coachella stage in 2012. While their rockabilly look and southern religious roots make it tough to escape Kings of Leon comparisons, Mona's sound borders more on Jack's Mannequin than that of the Followill brothers. They're scheduled to play bigger and more diverse festivals in the U.K. this year, but they'll need more buzz stateside by early next year to get a booking.
Like Beach House before them, Dom has a chance for an early day tent slot. Grungy electro sound, check. Dance-y synthesized beats and hooks, check. Female lead singer, check…wait..no, that's actually a guy singing those parts. Color us surprised as well. All signs point to this trio from Massachusetts taking the stage with the help of their booking agency Ground Control Booking, who has a history of booking acts at Coachella, including four bands from this past year.
The Japanese Popstars
Insanely catchy dance music beats, tripped out video animations and a collaboration with Robert Smith from the Cure seems like the perfect pieces to add up to a Coachella appearance. With a new label deal on Virgin as well as a well-crafted and talked about live show experience, we predict The Japanese Popstars will be getting a prized night-time slot in the tents in 2012.
The Sleepy Jackson
If its one thing that Coachella loves it's its lead singer spin-offs. Two years ago it was Thom Yorke's Atom's of Peace collaboration with Flea and this past year it was Brandon Flowers. After Luke Steele gave Empire of the Sun a triumphant tour of the US in 2010, he'll take his solo project, The Sleepy Jackson out on the road in 2011…likely ending with an outdoor stage appearance at Coachella 2012.
At The Outdoor Stage
The perennial Coachella favorite haven't hit the Festival in two years, nor had a new album in nearly the same amount of time. With their new record already garnering solid reviews since dropping yesterday and a tour sure to follow, they're a likely sure thing for either the main stage or a headlining slot at the outdoor stage.
With her Wounded Rhymes just starting to get some buzz and a summer tour around the U.S., it's likely that Lykke Li (not pictured) will make a return to Coachella since her last appearance in 2009.
Justin Vernon was the only guest star of note that Kanye West trotted out during his Coachella performance…perhaps a calculated nod to the audience. With his latest release For Emma slated for a 21 June 2011 release, it's likely that a year from now Bon Iver will be making a victory lap with significant billing at the 2012 Coachella lineup
Nothing the Coachella crowds like better then dance driven electro-rock bands led by charismatic female singers. With their new album likely out in early 2012, you can bet on Metric (not pictured) being on next year's bill.
Based on his recent surprise opening for Emmylou Harris in Los Angeles, Ryan Adams has a slate of new songs and could be ready to release them this year. He is a near-perennial at Coachella, having been one of the acts purported to play who canceled when he broke up with The Cardinals.
At The Main Stage
If there is a band that currently defines the Coachella audience, then Justice might be it. With their crossover appeal and club kid cred, there is little doubt the French duo would draw some of the biggest crowds at the Festival. Their new album is slated to drop in late 2011, with its single "Civilization" recently featured in the Adidas brand campaign directed by Justice collaborator Romain Gavras, so they should be primed and ready for a headliner appearance. We're calling it for Saturday night.
File this under automatic. With Hot Sauce Committee Vol. 2 out soon, and their viral celeb-studded films "Making Some Noise" to promote their new album blowing up the Internet, there's no doubt that the boys from Brooklyn will be ready to commandeer the Sunday night headliner spot next year.
Thumbnail image by Jason Lester Photography
Speeding through Miami in a 1992 Toyota Corolla after midnight is just another day on the job for mastermind and self-proclaimed "Minister of The Interior" of the Borscht Film Festival Lucas Leyva. Leaving his own after party, the head of the city's premier independent film event was on a mission for Miami's rapper-turned-mayoral candidate, Unkle Luke Campbell, who told Leyva that he wouldn't go onstage without three bikini-clad women to back him up—totally normal for a festival the Miami New Times calls "a wildly creative three-week event akin to Sundance on psychotropic mushrooms."
Semi-nude performances aside, the films included works by award-winning director and Miami native Barry Jenkins, up-and-coming sketch comedy dynamo Duncan Skiles and recent Guggenheim Video Biennale winner Jillian Mayer, who collaborated with indie powerhouse directors Rakontur Films. ("La Pageant Diva" pictured above.) In a city of excess, Leyva's unassuming disposition and generosity have made him an unlikely candidate for an independent cinema impresario, but his efforts prove that the 305 area code isn't always synonymous with South Beach debauchery.
We sat down with Leyva to learn more about the independent film festival and his role in making it all happen.
How many of the films in Borscht did you have a hand in personally?
All of them. I was really involved in "Play Dead" from the concept stage throughout, but I had a hand in every film screened.
How was it possible for you to create Miami's serious foray into independent cinema?
It wouldn't have been possible without grants, like the one from the Knight Foundation or the support of individuals who really understand the cause. In Miami, until recently, people didn't get it. They liked watching movies, but for people to invest in Miami cinema, they would expect to see Michael Bay films or "Burn Notice" type of stories. There's been a huge brain-drain here and because of that typically really talented film makers from Miami have left to L.A. or New York as soon as they had the opportunity.
How long was the process to get the festival to where it is now?
This is the seventh year. Borscht was really started in high school, when a group of my friends and I wanted to make movies, but needed a place to show them. Since then it has grown by leaps and bounds, and become a launching pad for Miami artists to show their work at festivals around the world, including Cannes, Sundance and South by Southwest.
The Bicycle Film Festival is back for its eleventh year. Started in 2001 by Brendt Barbur after a bus hit him while riding his bike in NYC, the event invites films across all genres and styles as long as it contains a bike-related theme. The program will travel to over 25 cities this year including New York, Paris, Liverpool and Milan. Check out the trailer for this year's festival—a true representation of the global scope of the fest and bike culture—below.
Not just for cinephiles, the BFF also includes rock shows, street parties, art shows, dinners, bike rides and more. You are guaranteed to see some fantastic work ranging from drama to documentary, as well as to learn about new artists and see work from some big names. (Spike Jonze produced one of the documentaries last year.) Submission is free so get your films in by 1 April 2011 to be considered.
Walking into the recent Onedotzero Festival, you might be forgiven for thinking you're walking into a romanticized version of the future. Celebrating the best in digital creativity, this year the London event presented a diverse program within its Adventures in Motion subset—such as the stimulating talk from Information is Beautiful's David McCandless, as well as radical moving images and beautiful audiovisual installations.
The festival's Robotica category featured a selection of short films "exploring the ethics and social effects of a world shared with robots and androids." While mostly dominated by boys with toys and exploding phallic robot animations, Robotica's exception was the fantastically-conceived video of simple machines making music entitled "Instrumental Video Nine."
Ultimately capturing everyone's attention at Onedotzero was an incredible audiovisual installation of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano created by Joanie Lemercier of AntiVJ. Giving the impression of a 3D volcanic wire-frame landscape by light mapping the wall's 2D surface, Eyjafjallajökull's power pulled from the fact it never exploded—instead just pulsating with light, energy and sound.