Arts & Culture
Garnette Cadogan grew up wandering aimlessly around the streets of Kingston, Jamaica. But then he headed to college in New Orleans before settling down in NYC — places where he lost the freedom to circumnavigate. In this piece, Cadogan examines how being black in America forced him to remain cautious on his walks along the serendipitous path of discovery.
“…walking is an act of faith. Walking is, after all, interrupted falling. We see, we listen, we speak, and we trust that each step we take won’t be our last, but will lead us into a richer understanding of the self and the world.”
William Henry Fox Talbot inspired to create photography to make up for his inability to paint. But photos ended up helping painters and writers make their work in even more detailed. Did you know that French inventor Louis Daguerre took the first street photo in 1838 in Paris of a man getting his shoes shined? Fascinating podcast.
“The thing about photography is that it always records more than the photographer intends. Photography makes the past present at all times. It changed the world. It gave ordinary people access to their own pasts.”
Paintings aren’t supposed to have letters in them. But Cy Twombly broke tradition to bring attention to his favorite letter: “E.” Influenced by abstractionism and his time as a US Army cryptologist, Twombly gave meaning to words in paintings just as they do in written language.
“You can’t really read a painting, Twombly realized, so you have to see the language found in a painting on a different register.”
Philosophy & Productivity
Metaphors help simplify complex ideas. But they shouldn’t apply to everything, as Susan Sontag, especially to the “War on Cancer.” Perhaps we need to reconsider comparing the brain to a computer and the body to a machine. Both are much more complicated than these applied metaphors.
“By linking two disparate things, a metaphor carries some quality from one to the other. It takes the concreteness of something we can imagine (like war) and carries it to something we can’t (like cancer).”
Social Media & Tech
Surely, you must have photographic proof, no matter how quick a moment Snapchat is. It is no wonder Snapchat is developing glasses to make that “tiny protest against time” even shorter. In the social media age, taking pictures of your experience on Snapchat, Instagram, etc. is difficult to resist. It also raises the question: If your experience goes undocumented, does it even exist?
Facebook is uncool. Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr are old news. Who needs YouTube when you have YouNow? However, everybody on the Internet still wants to be naked and famous. YouNow reminds me of Vine; a dozen social media superstars will take it over and then move on to the big screen. However, the YouNow UI is a bit of a mess, a cross between an AOL chat room and widget-happy Myspace.
“This generation was born with screens all around them. Performing live, and being live, is completely natural to them.” – Adi Sideman, YouNow’s founder and chief executive
Thought of the Week
Tunes of the Week
- The Cosmic Children – This Ain’t Livin (Marvin Edit)
- Tycho – Division
- The Bug – Iceman
- Djrum – Abandon Me
- Mieux – Rust
- FloFilz – Dulce
- Synkro – Changes
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