what was a hiatus I think became a full blown sabbatical. But as it occurs to me that people I thought I could count on to think and act with compassion, have a basic understanding of other people's humanity and generally doing more good than harm are now getting whatever color pilled in all different directions, the whole thing gets more dispiriting. On the bright side we have people like Emilie who gives everything she says and writes a second and third thought and has a great way to sort out some of the stickier details after the fact. The topic of this issue is an article called "The Pain Matrix" published by OneZero she wrote in collaboration with Joy Crane "https://onezero.medium.com/inside-the-social-media-cult-that-convinces-young-people-to-give-up-everything-f3878fbec632" on the phenomenon of this bizarre and insidious social media driven cult that manages to touch on our own complacency in some of the behaviors witnessed here in their most extreme. I guess what im trying to say is that its always a breath of fresh air to talk to Emilie, im glad I have it on tape and im very excited to finally share it. MORE SOON! spread love its the talk way
In these last several days, I’ve been thinking about what to do on this channel. It persists that I feel like I have a responsibility to say something. It’s been in our mandate to include those unheard, underrepresented, marginalized voices from the beginning—not through some attempt at tokenism but because we felt good work and important voices were being overlooked and are necessary to the overall conversation. I have tried in both what I publish and broadcast to keep these voices in mind, to hold Talk as a platform that continues to boost these signals. Black Lives Matter.
So not to take up too much time, here’s a short statement that hopefully at least amplifies our explicit and unmitigated support of this movement, and the people fighting so hard for its goals.
To say that Albie is a multidisciplinary artist shows the paucity of art speak itself. He seems to use whatever tactics are at his disposal. Some of them relate, some of them don’t, although throughout our conversation we seem to find more vectors that connect through work than he was willing to admit to. Albie's practice seems to be about just doing what seems right and feasible at the moment. He works as a graphic designer, he’s done conceptual audio pieces, one we play here, he’s made and shown sculptures and film and until the recent pandemic has split his time between LA—where he’s from—Mexico City and Phnom Penh, a place he has historical roots. His work is about culture but his thinking is political, a nice mix. As in, he’s politically active but his work avoids any of the didactic tropes that have made political art somewhat overstated, and possibly not the right medium for something that’s supposed to have a direct message, an act good art successfully avoids. Here we talk about his interest in style and subculture, and how code switching between his Long Beach home and the LA schools to which he was bussed, along with the multiple cultures he’s both inhabited and lived influence his work as we get into the connection between memory, objects and space. We also grapple with the spike and stasis of identity politics between the 2010’s and now, what were important moments and what areas are being, perhaps, considered with more nuance now. One thing that comes through is his positive use of a kind of natural sociability—perhaps a result of having to live multiple lives as a child—to organize community based art and social initiatives. In other words, he’s hard to pin down, but maybe that's the point?
Albies Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfu5_aU86Q4&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop
Los Angeleno Grotesque: https://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/Los_Angeleno_Grotesque.font
Chinatown Style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa4nKCpteKg
Rancid, Antennas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhFvktaub7k
Brian Lim was a student in my third year communication design class at SVA before—or perhaps while—he became the cult Singaporean R&B icon Slodown. Even back then he had chops, and for our semester long conceptual branding project he developed a full world around a notional high-low porn site called Bodies. So, it's not surprising that as a performer his work barely even pauses at songwriting and recording. If you look carefully at the liner notes of his releases or the end credits of his videos, aside from a few one-off collaborations with people like Tzekin from Eternal Dragonz, Brian, credited as Slodown, conceives and produces almost all of the visual material that give three and fourth dimensional depth to his project. Like our mutual friends in the Eternal Dragonz crew, Slodown is interested in piecing together the fragmented memories of the cultural heritage he internalized growing up in Singapore with the global pop culture that held his attention throughout his youth. The resulting kaleidoscope of sounds, textures, images and ephemera weaves itself through the samples, video textures, typographic choices and even the character's personal style—a mix of cues that brings together 90's New York street fashion, quintessential Asian diaspora archetypes and pieces of his Singapore roots. Here we talk about his songwriting process, which also not surprisingly mostly consists of collaging together bits of highly personal diaristic writing in his iPhone's Notes app, how the proper lens through which to view his practice might be as a total artwork rather than simply a music side project and how his training and day job as a designer and art director gives him the tools he needs to bring this all together. The first in our special pandemic "Through the Wire" series in which we have figured out how to record remotely :) Sound quality could be better but at least its not that Shyne rapping from prison shit.
Slodown & Tzekin (Eternal Dragonz) https://music.apple.com/us/album/skyline-death-sunset-spot-single/1373318275
"Khaled" [Official Music Video] https://youtu.be/L3ODnS_su0w
For the Night feat. Yllis [Official Music Video] https://youtu.be/oZWg0F-N6x0
In this special pandemic quarantine ep, I talk to graphic designer, art director, overall fascinating creative thinker and friend Mike Tully. We get into a few of his works and how type design can act as a form of film critique and how distribution effects the reading of an artwork. We also briefly relate this to the recent, botched, Jordan Wolfson takedown by Dana Goodyear in the New Yorker and how an artworks funding and circulation can or cannot be read as integral to the understanding of the piece. This all somehow relates to the response (or lack thereof) to COVID-19 with the backdrop of the many deadly atrocities looming or impending in our culture as reference for scale. But don't worry, we had fun too! Lol, no seriously this was a relaxed and balanced chat taking on some of the BIG questions swirling around our generation of designers and the need for a new, possibly better form of criticism for the work we're making all in the wake of the very eery day we were both having. So kick back, relax and in the absence of true human interaction, listen to me and Mike having one. And if you last through the whole thing—and this is a big one folks—Mike has a surprise deep cut world premier that we drop at the end, which in and of itself is worth the wait ;)
Mike Tully: http://mike-tully.com/
Dog Star Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5Ko_sTwlc
Mike's Dog Star Man: http://mike-tully.com/content/projects/10-dog-star-man/dogstarman_booklet_1.jpg
Go Fuck Yourself: https://wanelo.co/p/2931609/vintage-hebrew-letters-go-fuck-yourself-judaica-jewish-humor-baseball-3-4-sleeves
Jordan Wolfson: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/16/jordan-wolfsons-edgelord-art
Darcy Wilder: https://thecreativeindependent.com/guides/how-to-put-yourself-online/
The Museum Interface: https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/the-museum-interface-63033/
Chloe Scheffe in Defense of Generalism: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/in-defense-of-generalism/
Talk Magazine: http://talk-is.cheap/
In this episode I chat with the one the legendary DJ SWEATPANTS aka Erik Carter. We get his take on the MTV moment, on what and how designers should focus their time, our back to back editorials on the Walker blog and what it REALLY means to DESIGN HARDER (and who actually coined that, hint: it wasn't Erik). Great guy, great ep, feel the flow.
Here I talk to editor and writer Matthew Shen Goodman. Long time Talk fam, Matt contributed to our first issue for which I will forever be grateful. Matt is an editor at Triple Canopy and frequent contributor to Art in America among a fistful of other cultural and critical platforms. Here we talk about why he dropped out of not one but two prestigious grad programs, circle around the question of the space for idiosyncratic style and interiority in critical writing and why fiction is starting to feel more and more relevant in the early days of 2020. We also get into some thoughts about the distinction between cultural appropriation and cultural exploitation, and what this whole coerced performance of identity really seems to yield. Also did Daniel Lopatin steal or borrow from the Akira soundtrack? Finally we settle into our shared identity as native New Yorkers and how those rougher edges can sometimes make it difficult to navigate less confrontational cultures, and why he finds MMA to be a specifically satisfying outlet for that gap. Matt’s a fascinating guy and this was a great chat. If you haven’t yet, definitely dive into his deep and continually growing archive or writing.
In his reletivly short career (so far) Kurt has accomplished a lot and certainly made his mark on culture. As art director of the new Interview Magazine he, along with Richard Turly defined a new and experimental look, one of the freshest of any legacy titles that I know of. He also runs a zine publishing house called TXT Books that continues to innovate graphic language and push everyone's vocabulary forward. And like several other guests on this show he worked on Turley's experimental video graphics department that did some of the the most energetic, demented and avant garde television ever produced by a big network. We get into all of this and more, including how he came up with the Civilization Magazine angel where it came from and how he keeps it fresh. A great chat with a designer I truly admire.
Chopping it up with designer and creative director, the insanely prolific Joel Evey. We get into trying to be a pirate in the corporate world, how to stay in and out of sync with your audience, and the habit and training designers have to continually generate new ideas rather than exploring things in depth, and why it may be important to revisit old projects. We then get nerdy on art direction strategies and the political side of aesthetics. And finally, we quickly touch on the question: are troll farms the new Bauhaus? Good ep, great chap, great chat. This ones definitely for the true heads.
Artist, curator and man about town, Jesse started and ran the iconic 247365 gallery that ran in the donut district alongside Primetime and Know More Games, which if you were around was definitely a moment on the New York scene between 2012-2017. We get into the relationship between his obsession with the malleability and seductive qualities of plastic as sculpture, we avoid the polemic political connotations between the material and the global market and network structure ;) We also think through the comparison between that and the seduction process and the slippery performance of self that goes into curating and selling art. Jesse now works as the director for Hesse Flatow in Chelsea. He also sings some original show tunes adjacent original songs which somehow is the thing that makes it all make sense. Maybe that relates to our conversation around the important space art provides in the unspeakable abstraction of the lived experience. Great ep, Jesse is nothing if not a talker.
Ted is a poet and professor in town to give a reading at Artists Space, he also happens to be one of my oldest friends. Here we discuss the relationship between government, fascism and free speech, how to disrupt networks through writing and his time living on trains and in the back of a truck as a physical form of the same network defying protest. He also reads from his new manuscript "The Economy Disappears" and soon to be published book "Thanksgiving" coming out on Golias Books this spring.
Getting into it with photographer and Talk fam and collaborator Tim Schutsky. We talk about his transition from pro-skateboarder to film DP to photography, growing up working on cars with his dad and how that informed his current views on contemporary masculinity, and the need to find personal grounding in order to push yourself into a more vulnerable space creatively. We also get into the joys and frustrations in the space between commercial, editorial and personal work. Our longest ep yet! Great way to round out the year, and thanks to Tim to being so open to going deep. A great chat.
You can find more of his work here: http://www.timschutsky.com/
The W magazine piece we discussed is here: https://www.wmagazine.com/gallery/18-photographers-portraits-dads-fathers-day
Shira is an interdisciplinary designer with a focus on motion, we talk about her interest in the political implications of mapping, what her childhood in Israel means in the modern context of us both being relatively anti-zionist, her time working with the experimental design team at MTV and the importance of working intuitively and having fun doing it. She also somehow got me into my personal life so this one goes deep. Another good one!
Check out Shira's work here: https://shira-inbar.com/
The music from the show, Tomer Baruch: https://tomerbaruch.bandcamp.com/album/four-lullabies
Björk clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A78yTvIY1k&feature=youtu.be
Teder FM: https://teder.fm/en/live
Jeffrey Shaw, Legible City: https://vimeo.com/138116261
We get into dance, the hidden history of black graphic design and what the hell we're all trying to do in this crazy field. Great ep.
One note, the artist I was thinking about from the Greater New York show at PS1, I got wrong, it was a piece by Glenn Ligon not David Hammonds. Shout out to Vance Wellenstein (https://vancewellenstein.com/) who did a great little book on it too. You can find that book here: https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Ligon-Housing-History-Greater/dp/0989985962. I know Amazon, not ideal but I think its sold out most first market places. I have a copy that I bought at PS1 and its great. Highly recommended.
To find out more about Jerome's practice here: http://www.jwhgd.co/
Find out more about the exhibition here: https://www.instagram.com/asnotfor/
Find out more about 32 counts, Jerome's dance practice here: https://www.instagram.com/32counts/
aka @marsmaiers aka @wilsondotfm
Brendan Griffiths is a graphic designer, programmer, and educator living and working in New York City. He is a partner in the design practice Zut Alors!, and currently serves as Assistant Professor of Interaction Design at Parsons School of Design, where he directs the Master of Professional Studies in Communication Design. He holds a BFA in Multimedia Design from the University of Oregon and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University.
In this ep we talk about how sound is the new graphic design. Some very radical shit!
Sally is a designer, illustrator and design professor with an interest in bootlegs and open source intellectual property. Here we talk about the fine art of restoration. This ones gonna be good!
Here is a link to the reader: http://sallythurer.com/RestorationReader.pdf
It's inspired by this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v34RNOwcNY
Here Chris shares his music based in iPhone recorded found sounds, and talk about how this might act as testing ground for a his visual practice.