19 25 October
- Went to Mona Hatoum’s show at White Cube in Bermondsey. You should go too. It’s on until November 3rd and just look at the photos1. I’m already planning on going back to spend more time with it.
- The best piece is Remains To Be Seen2 which uses a sort of similar device to Fiona Banner’s Harrier3 at Tate Britain a few years ago. But where Banner was dropping a hard-as-fuck statement of emasculating intent in a building devoted to great white men, Hatoum’s piece is all calm and self-controlled. It’s like walking around a synchronised dance group frozen in mid-routine, but brutalist and concrete. Ugh I love it.
- I’m warming to BAM’s update of the White Cube identity4 too.
- One of the nice things about not working is just getting do things like watching TV without feeling guilty. Been rewatching Miami Vice and it occurred to me that I’ve only ever watched the series stretched out on a 16:9 aspect ration from its original 4:3. Same goes for The Wire. Weirdly, even though the picture is obviously stretched, the actors body shapes actually look pretty normal. The men just look stacked, and the women all have bodies like Kim.
- I did a little test, stretching a photo of Don Johnson to same proportions as a TV image being stretched from 4:3 to 16:9 — and yes his stretched body dimensions roughly match Chris Hemsworth’s un-stretched dimensions5. Lot of complicated stuff gets written about evolving body shapes and male body dysmorphia etc, but maybe the world is simpler than that and we’re all just copying what we grew up seeing on TV in the wrong aspect ratio. Interface theory etc etc.
- “I don’t mean to alarm you, but your boyfriend has recently become interested in activism.” Niloufar Haidari’s Vice article is fucking funy.
- I’m a bit late to this Simon Reynolds essay about the rise of conceptronia despite it giving half my tl a mild freakout when it was published. I mean of course I like it he’s writing about my people. Like fashion magazines, imo electronic music is a way more insightful space for technology criticism than respectable fields like academia or thanktanks seem to be able to manage. Maybe the death of the single progress narrative means we can’t pretend the world is simple enough for non-specialists to meaningfully critique anymore? Maybe practitioners and their users are the only worthwhile voices to listen to now that the internet has fractured out shared sense of identity?
- In that vein and as a regular user of cup noodles, I’m excited that Nendo have designed a spork for Nissin noodle cups. Which yes is more plastic the world doesn’t need, but also is gorgeous6 and why can’t people who eat cup noodles have beautiful Nendo-designed things too?
- Took a shortcut through the local John Lewis earlier on my way to the asian supermarket and discovered they have a whole big display cabinet full of brand new, latest XL model iPhone/Pixel/Samsung/whatever phones on clearout. Market blogs are always banging on about smaller phones being essential for asian markets, but it doesn’t exactly look like giant phones are selling well here in London either.
- Also passed H&M and saw that they have a new range of NASA worm branded clothing7. If you’re into the whole NASA thing but aren’t making that Heron Preston money then check them out, the designs are good!
- Another good thing — my iPhone reminded me that a year ago today we’d just arrived on a tropical island in Mexico8. Its easy and funny to point at stuff when it doesn’t work, but honestly its also wonderful when things work well.
- I miss being in Mexico tbh.
- Oh yeah, and thanks for the notes about last weeks notes. Enjoyed hearing all your reactions to that Netflix show :)
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