Entries from September 1, 2010 - September 30, 2010
i battled the westside traffic on sat night to check out the glow event. i really like the idea of transforming a space with temporary installations geared specifically towards nighttime viewing. it's not often one experiences art or the santa monica beach like this. but i have to say, i got this feeling it was a lot of hype over something that didn't exactly pay off in spades. it could be the massive congestion just getting off the freeway and then the crush of humanity walking down fourth street that made the whole effort feel exhausting. or, as a friend of mine reffered to it "tepid man."
nevertheless- there were some neet things to see. like this installation- luminous passages. constructed out of a neon wire cable system it was a passage viewers could walk through and experience the light in a subjective way. from further away, it looked like a vessel made of light floating on the beach. the lines were geometrically elegant and i really like how it both embodied and transformed the space. it was really beautiful.
while la is not quite a town known for it's musem institutions, i've always thought it's strength lies in the unusual and offbeat nature of the somewhat lesser known collections. like for example the museum of neon art- aka mona.
with an emphasis on vintage signage, there is also a focus on contemporary artists who work with light in various ways. i particularly like the historic signage pieces as they represent the mid century style that to me, really defines la. if you get a chance- check it out.
i was walking down broadway yesterday and couldn't help but notice how many of these half mannequins line the street. i never realized trompe l'oeil denim came in so many flavors!
in 1961 newton minnow declared television a "vast wasteland." america was just on the other side of the golden age of television and cable tv had not quite hit our public consciousness. so when i spied wired magazine's latest issue declare "the web is dead," i cynically paused, considered it among the other grandiose comments predicting the demise of one media outlet or another, and moved on.
yet, despite an argument that is nestled deep within incendiary statements, wired magazine is onto something. they make an important distinction between the content of what we know as the internet and the distribution of it on the web. this relationship goes back to a central argument surrounding the discourse of the internet- free and open web browser based systems and their closed paid for counterparts- apps.
all this is interesting and true. but it got me thinking about how it's part of a larger media cycle in general. wired doesn't talk specifically about television or radio or even film, but the pattern is nearly identical. tv and radio both began as mediums that had the potential to develop as open two way user based systems. ultimately commercialization and perhaps america's desire to passively consume and be entertained rather than create content won out. the internet has continued to battle with this tension between user driven content and commerce. for now it's both. but apple and other app driven agendas are very much running counter to this. and our gadget fixated culture is squeezing out the internet by sidestepping it, because apps access the content of the internet without using the web's protocols.
i like my iphone and my kindle and my netflix enabled blue ray player. but as wired points out, these devices while convenient, are sending the internet hurtling towards a closed pay as you play system. and i feel a bit ambivalent about it because while right now we're still in the transsionary stage, eventually these devices and their offspring will contribute to the demise of the free web and thus, it's death. as a consumer i'm part of the problem.
and finally, to confound the entire paradigm, an illustration of the fallacy even of apps- in order to read about how the web had died i tried to download WIRED magazine on my kindle, only to find it is is not available. it is available on the web, but i couldn't be bothered to sit at my desk and read it. so i gave in and bought it at the supermarket while waiting in line. mundane, and analog. perhaps we should hold judgement about the death of anything for a while yet.
labor day weekend marks the last hurrah of summer. and with it, long days, warm evenings, and a certain quality of light. i'll miss you summer... and i'm reminded of this song: