April, 2016 Archive

Street Art Fixes Everything

Street Art

To cure what ails you, we prescribe a walk through the city. I have always loved traveling, but my perception about visiting new places used to be different than it is today. What changed the way I see everything? A short trip to one of the most beautiful Spanish cities: Barcelona. Many people might believe that its multicultural atmosphere, delicious food and people’s desire to enjoy life give the city a special vibe. Yes, all of these are refreshing and inspiring, but the most compelling part of Barcelona is the art. And no, I’m not referring to the outstanding museums and galleries but to the street art. The happy people painting on the streets, selling their portraits to travelers, the colorful walls that used to be gray and even dirty before they were brought to life to add to the exuberance and personality of this city. I’ve visited museums my whole life,        …read more

Art or Artisanal: Craft Beer Is Killing It, But What Is ‘It’?

Craft Beer Brewery

Can we talk about this craft beer trend? In a world overwhelmingly dominated by global corporations and profit-based consumerism, craft goods have been growing in popularity. Craft goods provide an opportunity to move out of the Walmart aisle. But, a bit like art, they’re also a split between something that can help us think differently about the world and something that still abides by the logic of the market: they’re bought and sold and, what’s more, they certainly ain’t cheap. Spawned out of our age-old barley fetish, with the main torchbearers being the bearded, hipster hordes of the US West Coast, the craft beer revolution has arrived, and it warrants a few questions. As with most things, there seem to be advantages and disadvantages. Let’s think through these and why you might tolerate the bitterness of an IPA until you learn to love it and eventually become a raving fanatic. Principally,        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Shrimp ’n’ Grits Recipe for 1

shrimp grits recipe

Welcome to my laboratory. Muahaha. I have been conducting some experiments and am ready to share them with the world, starting with my simple shrimp ’n’ grits recipe. Live alone? Me too. But I love to cook and I love to eat. And I hate math. Which is what I have to do every time I go to make a recipe. Recipes for four or six people? Get out the calculator and start dividing. So mine are smaller-size recipes. And if you manage to troll up a friend or two, or more, adding and multiplying are easier than division. In my world, anyway. Or skip the math. Just make more. (This works for most things except baking. Baking is not Mad Science; it's exact science.) These recipes are also relatively simple. Relatively foolproof. And fast. And, best of all: totally sexy. All these things mean you won't mind a bit making        …read more

Fashion That Gives Back: 10 Charitable Fashion Stores

Luna Avalon

The concept of ‘buying things that give back’ has always been wildly appealing to me. I’m buying a gift for you, they’re giving a gift to someone else, and I end up feeling like a keyboard humanitarian, just clicking away in the name of materialistic philanthropy. But in a world of high advertising, of shopping malls and Targets (don’t get me wrong, Tar-jay is my jam spot) it takes some serious digging to find the small companies really pulling through for the greater good. Fair trade is wonderful, but unfortunately not everyone loves hand-beaded bangles and gorgeous Batik shawls. So, in the name of shopping for your friends and family who don’t dress like gorgeous hippies, here are 10 charitable fashion companies I am absolutely stoked to have found. From glasses to bags, dresses to jewelry, these businesses bring it hard and donate gloriously. Satya Jewelry ($$-$$$) Founded by Satya Scainetti, Satya Jewelry        …read more

The Imminent Rise of the Synth — AMC’s ‘Humans’ and Our Fascination with Robots

Cast of Human Synths

Mankind remains fascinated by robots and the vast potential that artificial intelligence will bring. The idea that robots lurk and take over our hegemony in the world is anchored in our pop culture —  think Metropolis, Blade Runner, Cherry 2000, A.I, or I, Robot. In most stories the trust between humans and robots is reduced to zero —  technology as the ultimate form of self-destruction. Sci-fi allows us to visualize a world where robots are part of our everyday lives. Robots will make our existence easier and we don’t have to worry about ethics and the burden of physical labor on the machine. Or do we? Humans is a co-adaptation from Channel 4 and AMC of the Swedish series Real Humans. The show is renewed for a second season in the UK/US and will air later this year. In Humans, “Synths” resemble real people. However, they are “mindless” robots that are        …read more

Spent Your Night Binge Watching & Gaming Again?

binge watching tv

We can explain. Here are 5 examples of title sequences to blame. You’re in your favorite chair. The kids are finally asleep. And the only way to appease Jerry, from two cubicles over, is to give this Game of Thrones a whirl. The volume was left a little too high from the kids binge watching SpongeBob SquarePants, but you decide to leave it because the booming kettledrums and melodic strings are just so terrific. Clockwork castles grow from the map, the limbs of trees with faces snap to length like telescoping spyglasses. As the camera zips over the concave globe, the names of exotic places dot the landscape. The stage for this Westeros place has been set. You know what you need to know, the tone well-established. “Okay,” you say, “I can get into this.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7L2PVdrb_8 And it all started with a hook. A rousing theme, an explosion of visuals that        …read more

8 Must-See Hotels for Art Lovers

Did someone say art hotel? Yaass, please. There’s staying in a hotel and then there’s experiencing a hotel. You experience a hotel when you walk into a space that’s so perfectly designed that you feel calm, welcomed and a little excited. What is that? you think as you are drawn to something big and bold across the lobby, only to have your curiosity rewarded with a work of art that’s dramatic, clever and maybe thought-provoking. It’s rare to have that sort of interaction, but several hotels are embracing art as a way to entice the creative-minded traveler. In an art hotel, you are invited to live amidst museum-quality art for a few days; revel in the unexpected details that aren’t apparent the first, second or even third time you look at an artwork; energize and inspire yourself and your own creativity. An art hotel can be pricey, so if staying in one        …read more

World Premiere of Short Film ‘Tiny Ocean’

tiny ocean short film

A short film about hope. Luchi (Jaclyn Strez), a struggling painter in Detroit, is out trying to find rent money to avoid getting evicted at sunrise. Instead she finds Sembene (Langston Fishburne), a graffiti artist trying to find his own way home. Tomorrow seems bleak. But the night is young.   Directed by Peter Skorupskas (left). Peter is a director and producer in Detroit, Michigan. He started his career on the lower end of the ladder, working on many of the most notable films of the era as a crew member. Soon enough, he broke out working on his own, directing a handful of award-winning short films and commercials, including Valhalla Blues, which was written by his brother Adam. Currently the brothers are developing two feature films. Screenplay by Adam Skorupskas (center). A native of Detroit, Adam “Skruppy” writes novels, short fiction and screenplays. His story “Invisible Graffiti” appears in Burnt Tongues edited by Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Thomas and Dennis Widmyer. When not writing, he        …read more

Kids Get Lit — On Poetry

Get Lit Poetry Slam

Mila Cuda is a student like many other students. She goes to high school at iLEAD North Hollywood (NoHo), a public charter school in the city of Los Angeles. Sometimes her classmates stop her in the hall to talk. But sometimes they ask her for help with their poetry. After all, it’s not every high schooler who’s been a finalist for the Youth Poet Laureate of her city or invited to share her poetry at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, or is a regular poetry slam participant. And it’s also not every high schooler who, when asked how she does it, smiles and says, “I Get Lit!” Get Lit is not what you might think. It’s a program that connects youth to classic poetry as a means to self-expression. It urges young people to “Get Lit” in a different way—not through drugs or alcohol or crime but through        …read more

‘Undertale’ Dives Deep into the Human Condition

Undertale Game

Can a role-playing video game change how we treat each other? Entertainment often reveals truths about the world around us. A category of entertainment that has taken great strides in recent years in commenting on societal interactions and the breadth of human emotions is the video game industry. Mass-produced, big-budget, upscale titles typically revolve around one common element: fun. However, in the independent game subcategory, passion projects created by small teams set out to explore the ways in which we interact with our environment and the people entrenched in our own small worlds. There is one recent game in particular that stands above the rest within this definition. Undertale, conceived by one man, Toby Fox, is an interactive experience that not only entertains but teaches us about how art is a reflective mechanism of life and, perhaps more importantly, the interactions we have with others. Undertale is a unique take        …read more