Culture


3
Mar 10

Kokoro Studio

Kokoro Studio opening

My dear friends at Kokoro Studio are celebrating the opening of Spir*akasha, their latest exhibition, tomorrow evening. Featuring work by The Crow and the Wolf, the installation will develop over the course of a month. So if you can’t make it to the opening, stop by later in March to see its progression. Otherwise, see you there tomorrow night — I hear there will be live musical performances too!

Spir*akasha at Kokoro Studio
Thursday, March 4
7-10 pm
682 Geary Street
San Francisco


19
Oct 09

Sounds of the Russian Avant-Garde

About a month ago, I stopped by Aquarius Records to pick up Baku: Symphony of Sirens / Sound Experiments in the Russian Avant-Garde. It’s a fantastic a double disc collection of poetry, music, and agitprop accompanied by a 72-page book with detailed notes on the Russian avant-garde movement from 1908 to 1942.

There are works from some of the best known names of the era — El Lissitzky (see his Soviet poster, below), Malevich, Kamensky, even Lenin and Trotsky — though to my great delight, I learned of seemingly countless other groups and their often humorous counter groups:

El Lissitzky
El Lissitzky, “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” (1919)

The somewhat staid Ego-Futurists, mostly in the literary camp, were later superceded by the Imaginists who indulged in long, deeply metaphoric poetry; there were also the painterly Cubo-Futurists, who counted Malevich and Mayakovsky as primary leaders. Then there were the Acmeists, the Suprematists (Malevich at his finest), the Neo-Primitivists, the Rayonists, the Bicosmists, the Luminists, the Electroorganists, the Constructivists and the Productivists.

The funniest groups were the Eggists, who formed as a joke in a newspaper article; the Everythingists, who embraced all styles of expression; and the Nothingists, whose slogan was “Write nothing! Read nothing! Say nothing! Print nothing!”

But these groups seem disappointingly shallow when compared to artists like Iakov Chernikhov, who is worth mentioning here as one of the most imaginative minds in modern architecture — even if his perspective is missing from Baku. Though best known for the Flying City, his body of work (especially his collection of Architectural Fantasies) is well worth a peek.

Iakov Chernikhov, Fundamentals of Modern Architecture (1925-30)
Iakov Chernikhov, Fundamentals of Modern Architecture (1925-30)

One of the album’s highlights is About Two Squares – A Suprematist Story by El Lissitzky (1920-22), a children’s tale about a red square and a black square. They travel toward a red circle (Earth) and smash into each other, creating abstract forms on Earth.

El Lissitzky, About Two Squares (1920-22)
El Lissitzky, About Two Squares (1920-22)

It’s a futuristic narrative that combines experimental typography with the fun of reading aloud “colour-blocks of Word”… a synesthetic experience from one of the Russian greats! View the entire story here.


8
Jun 09

Nick Cave + Wighnomy Brothers

This weekend, I checked out the YBCA party where I caught the Nick Cave exhibition. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, Cave combines Leigh Bowery‘s outrageous fashions with the obsessive embroidery skills of Francois Lésage, brought to life with the sweeping fluidity of modern dance (Ronald K. Brown and Arcell Cabuag performed at an earlier date in the soundsuits).

I met up with my favorite queen — decked in black, sporting a silver wolfhead fingertip and ready to impale new victims — and together we jiggled to Honey Soundsystem under video projections showing the soundsuits in action.

Later, we hit up Kontrol‘s fourth anniversary party just as the Wighnomy Brothers went on. Admist the sea of crappy music out there, the German techno duo still manages to produce some of the best dance music in the industry… Robag Wruhme, the group’s main musical genius, is a longtime favorite and I was most excited to see him live. His solo and extensive remix work are not to be missed.

Wighnomy Brothers

Wighnomy Brothers at Sunset

On Sunday, I went to Treasure Island where the Wighnomy Brothers played a second set at the Sunset party. The two are so cute when they dance, like little techno bears! Robag ended the set by putting on Carmen McRae’s “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” much to everyone’s delight. As we were leaving we paused to look out at downtown San Francisco, framed by the beautiful bay and its two iconic bridges, blissed by the late afternoon sun.


4
Nov 08

A Brighter Future.

Obama poster

It’s official.

Obama has won the presidential election!!! It signals the end of an old, tired era of bigoted politics and the birth of a new one.

I can’t contain the infectious energy that is buzzing across the country… it’s a momentous night, one full of hope and incredible joy.


1
Oct 08

Another Interpretation of Obama

Barack Obama

Snapped this photo at Folsom Street Fair last weekend. It’s San Francisco politics and humor in a nutshell (with a cute red heart to boot!).