Tuesday, November 18

Untitled , 7


Everyday 300 million plastic shopping bags are thrown away. It takes 700-1000 years for a single shopping bag to break down into toxic bits. What can be done to replace the wasteful cancerous plastic bags?

Now what?

Now Art!

Samuel Beckett is one of the most influential artist of our time (an one of the most important artist of the past century)

Becketts work was in essence about cutting out all the fat and distilling the entire story down to what Henri Cartie Bresson called the "decisive moment".

In Beckett if there is a drama of two lovers in a failing relationship that over years completely falls apart the play will simply be the moment when the lover walks to the front of the stage and screams.

In that one moment all the drama and the entire story is told.

"Not I" focuses on a pair lips and in only 20 minutes tell the story of 70 year old women who is left all alone in the world after a failed abortion and an left for dead.

Sunday, November 9

Who Lied to You?—Vol. #1:

It’s here! The VERY FIRST magically-delicious volume of: Who Lied to YOU?
Now, let me include a short disclaimer for any possibly unhappy ‘victims’:
It is not my intention to hurt anyone’s inner-most, deeply guarded feelings, or downright insult any individual—I am simply here to lightheartedly comment on some down-right-WRONG fashion choices. As we know, there are times when we turn to the mirror, or a friend, or that guy you woke up next to—and say to them: ‘What do you think about this AWESOME _______ that I’m sporting today?? (Insert: outfit, haircut, color scheme, etc.) It is at this moment, after you have been given the dishonest answer to that very question, that I must ask. . . Who the @#!% lied to YOU? Phew, I feel better; now let’s get this party started…
Exhibit 1:

Where to begin? First of all, Ed Hardy is the just-as-unfashionable version of Von Dutch, which we all remember, but often try to forget. See: ‘mesh trucker hat.’ Also, I cringe at the idea of wearing anything that comes in a full over-dose of turbo yellow. Add on some brown sandals, a discouraging fit, and a tye-dyed peach undershirt…and the rest is ‘Who Lied to You?’ history. (More to come next week from your Fashion Editors’ travels to the suburbs, yes—the suburbs! GASP.)

Thursday, November 6

Who Would you rather Wear? #1

Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director of design for Givenchy, presents a sharp, sexy collection, touching softly on the Goth trend, offering a powerful array of dusky looks perfectly balanced aside creamy palettes and girly ruffles.

The Givenchy woman loves a tailored fit, carries herself with confidence and she’s always damn sexy--even if covered from neck to shoe.

Melim Andersson, Chief Designer for Chloe, presents a flirty collection of embroidered organza and chiffon dresses with pretty prints and relaxed silhouettes complete with killer coats and jaw-dropping shoes.
The Chloe woman has a youthful outlook and loves playful prints and quirky details. She may not be as naughty as a Givenchy girl, but shes definitely not that nice.
So the question is…
Who would YOU rather wear?


McQ Alexander McQueen for Target

A Porcelain Perspective:
Please have a seat.
Now read on.
The rumors are true. The gossip is confirmed. Alexander McQueen will be collaborating with super-smart Target Stores to design a version of his collection McQ entitled: McQ Alexander McQueen for Target. Believe it, because I said it. (Oh and also WWD, aka: the Fashion Bible.)
The new endeavor for Target, called Designer Collaborations, will launch in March with the edgy McQueen’s collection crowning its introduction. Not down with the McQueen info? He’s only the guy who was once chief designer at Givenchy, is Creative Director for Gucci, and was named GQ’s 2007 Men’s Wear Designer of the Year. Big whoop. (I kid, Mr. McQueen. And I love you.)
The buzz around this trend continues as retailers find new and inventive ways to battle the economic toilet that we’re currently swirling into. By merging impeccable designers with affordable prices—everyone wins. As the days go on, I find myself growing sprouts of respect for retailers, who not long ago were lacking credibility. Stores like H&M have been sailing through these economic woes with ease, as they continue to partner with designs like COMME des GARCONS, due to hit the floors on November 13. To add perspective, H&M has been one of the retailers continuing to hit sales plans, and often they are selling $20,000-$30,000 over plan on weekends. Not many Michigan Avenue doors can boast such hotness.
So, it is no surprise that in current times, the game is changing. Fashion is becoming more and more accessible to everyone and anyone. H&M outfits a range of clientele these days. The shoppers range from clueless teenage girls with Mommy’s Visa, to Michelle Obama and Jennifer Hudson. Case in point: no one has to sit on the sidelines anymore. Retailers who develop quick innovation and a forward-thinking outlook will succeed in today’s landscape. As our economy continues to swirl, the fashion world continues to evolve.
I’m just waiting to see who’s going down the drain.
-Ryan Beshel

Wednesday, November 5

Yes We Can and Yes, I can

Last night I went to grant park in Chicago determined to get into the Obama Rally-- I could not as hard as I tried get a ticket. Tens of thousands of people came from all over the city-- familiar faces and beautiful strangers.

I made it past the first check point by begging one of the guards, made it through the second check point by borrowing someone ticket, I made it through the third check point by paying off the guard with a tip and the final check point + metal detector I made it though on the kindness of fellow stranger. I could not get through the final gate without being the guest of someone with an official ticket. So I waited at the check point and asked countless people if they could get me through. A really beautiful husband and wife couple happened to have an extra guest pass and brought me in. While in line we swapped incredible stories about door-to-door campaigning in Indiana.

I have never campaigned before and never participated in politics before-- I must say that the experience was absolutely incredible. I had the door slammed on on, people angry that we would approach them about politics, and on the rare occasion an open ear or willing heart.

One of the most inspiring quotes from wives in Indiana " I am going to cancel my husbands vote"

If www.cancelmyhusbandsvote.com does not exist-- IT SHOULD. This is one of the most inspiring shows of freedom and liberty I have seen. It parts of the world or country where the man of house has the last say-- women should make their voice herd in the voting booth.

When it was announced Obama won Indiana, the crowd went crazy in Grant park-- I could not have been more proud.

All these women, all those people who lent us their ear and opened their hearts-- Indiana is a symbol of true change.

I made my way through the crowd last night until I was 20 feet from the podium where Obama spoke. He victory speech was both inspiring and sent shivers through me that "the road ahead is long". It is time to tighten our belts, time to put our nose to the grind stone and work harder than we ever had.

Today I cut up my credit card as a symbol of a new prosperous America built on hard work, innovation and collaboration.

Thank you everyone who reads our blog and I look forward to the full launch of

And the victory is not complete until the Oprah sings.

I LOVE the skin-tissue you’re wearing

Recently, I was sent an email from the ever-exploring Justin Polera concerning a subject matter that, at the time I found quite repulsive. After some friends and I had a gasp at the visuals included in the article, I thought it only right to let this concept sink in a bit deeper before deciding to erupt with opinion.

I glanced back at the subject line to discover that Justin had named this email ‘Ethical Leather: I think you’ll find this interesting…’—and I did. More specifically, the small writing in question is actually titled: Clothes that Grow from Living Tissue. That’s right folks; it has finally come—well, not exactly. The article described the scientific experiment as an art piece, with strong implications that this should be taken seriously as a future substitute for leather!

To sum it up quickly: Researchers from The School of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of Western Australia and a team of scientists, Oran Catts, Ionat Zurr and Guy Ben-Ary, developed an art piece made from immortalized living cells, shaped into what appears to be a small growing coat—in a bubble glass tube. The reality of this repulse shines bright light on the fashion world, as we never think twice as animals are slaughtered, so we can literally wear them.

The question is, why am I repulsed by the site of a small skin-coat in a test tube, but not the leather shoes I was wearing moments before I sat down to type? Often new technologies are shunned by many, only to live through the resistance and become part of everyday life. However, judging from the reaction of the people around me when I opened the email, I don’t see this as being one of those phenomenons.

Now, I get it, researchers—I do. While it certainly would take the winner for Completely Outstanding Science Fair Project, I don’t see this as a wave of the future. Somehow, this process would need to be saturated into culture before I, or most of the people I know, grab their charge cards to get the hot new test-tube grown skin coat that just came out. (Although, Pleather does make a killing—but no one ever said it looks good. Oh right--because it doesn’t.)

The article finishes with a quote: “Some may call it art, some say it’s horrendous yet some will call it science. In any context, it is still thought-provoking.” To me, it is all of those things; an amazing scientific feat, a mind bending art piece--and yes, I’d call it horrendous at the first glance. Though all of these ideas ring true, there is something beautifully provoking about the whole idea.

Original Article Source: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/clothes-that-grow-from-living-human-tissue/3162

-Ryan Beshel

Saturday, November 1

Halloween in the biggest party on Halsted

My favorites last night include two men dressed as Obama's Aunties from Africa decked out in huge Afro's and Dashekee's.

The best costume of the night was Palin with a deer hear and shot-gun rifle. A runner up was artist Ben Fain's incredible float with an old man in his bed scared by 100's of rats. Stunning!

Oh yeah and a black man dressed at Aunt Jamima--

Chasing the Devil for Halloween

It is clear that Mishara Canino and Bill Hussung set out to make a fair-minded account of the ex-gay movement, partly because we hear a voice assert this to subjects as they become qualmy or defensive under inquiry. But one has to wonder whether this is entirely possible or desirable with this set of pernicious kooks who profit from the societally-inflicted self-loathing of their “patients”. Certainly, they do their job in providing the subjects with an opportunity to argue their case. Several times we see an empty chair as the infamous Richard Cohen flees simple accountability. At other times, subjects bear his hard-hitting questions and expose us to the absurd and chilling reasoning and farcical faith that drives their mission to rid themselves and their flock of the homosexual desires they find unacceptable yet unshakable. However, the endeavor is clearly skewed towards showing these false prophets for the deplorable jokes that they are. Joanne Highley, a Manhattan minister, doesn’t help her case when she earnestly explains that demons enter the body at the point where homo intercourse occurs, but this line of interviewing is useful in the audience’s assessment of these views. Less useful or unbiased are the filmmakers’ on the fly interviews of leather daddies and a drag queen at New York City’s PRIDE Parade. Revelation: they think ex-gay leaders are idiots. Indeed, these leaders are almost dismissable in their absurdity, except for the fact that they possess great power to ruin lives. The more compelling moments come from the sane but conflicted individuals who are either currently struggling to quell the demons of homo-desire or have emerged from the ex-gay fiasco with fascinating testimonies and battle scars (and diminished bank accounts) to show. One mild-mannered older gentleman who has been in reparative therapy for years and is undergoing training to be a ‘sexual reorientation coach’ under Cohen’s guidance, wistfully considers whether he has actually been ‘healed’, examining both his continued propensity for gay porn (looking is alright, but masturbating to it is a regression) and his yearning for someone with whom he may share the rest of his days (platonically, if it happens to be a man). Moments like this largely make up for some seemingly random selection of visuals and distracting zooms and camera movement (how close to the Jesus sculpture’s face must we get?). Various quibbles can be made about this documentary’s construction, but, ultimately, it is rewarding to get a rare inside glimpse into this segment of the religious right and to hear from those who have survived their remedy.
-Kevin Langson

Wednesday, October 29

The Glow of White Women Yunus Valley

With The Glow of White Women Yunus Valley forcefully and riotously reverses the colonial gaze to comedically consider the erotic imagery and actual white women who have comprised his masturbatory fantasies and his libidinous relationships. Valley, a mixed race Indian/Black artist from South Africa, is an incendiary, unabashed director-subject who races through a confrontation of the sexual racism that made for tense relations and torrid desire during apartheid. With a devious grin and a subversive sense of humor encapsulated in his assertion that apartheid really wasn’t so oppressive because it meant that the black boys could sit at the back of the movie houses and masturbate to the images of white women on the screen, he plays at untangling his voracious appetite and contempt for Caucasian women- as a personal and a cultural phenomenon. Don’t expect conclusions or for every element of this film to be well-realized or logically arranged, but do expect an unusually entertaining social critique. This film exudes the personality of its maker, which is to say it is hyper and playful, with a tinge of artist arrogance. Just as he is perfectly comfortable espousing that women are frivolous and not worth living with/committing to, he seems self-satisfied in the structuring of the film, feeling no need to contextualize or conclude as convention would dictate. And why not, if at the end one has the sense that he is a competent commentator, agitator, and entertainer? In two regards he brings to mind Michael Moore. He is a strong, confrontational personality that will likely earn avid detractors and avid supporters among his audience, and he conjures Roger and Me with his laughable but rather pointless ambush of a beauty queen. On the flipside, it is a beauty queen (the Miss South Africa pageant is a recurring subject) who provides the most chilling moment of the film, as well. When interviewed about her family’s relationship to the African workers who constitute the labor force of the family business, Miss South Africa is a shocking embodiment of the sort of paternalistic racism that is utterly ignorant of itself.

Fortunately, other women articulate different shades of interracial relations. He gets some refreshingly candid interviews from white women who were young during apartheid and speak about their racial fetishes and their gleefully defiant miscegenation. As the filmmaker comments, colonial women often had rather repressed sexual relationships with their white husbands; when they connected with Africans they felt free to unbridle their primal libido. Likewise, this topic could be handled in a staid, politically sensitive manner, but the hard-hitting humor and honesty that this anti-racist rascal offers is a viable and delightful alternative.

-Kevin Langson

Monday, October 27

The WAY of Yoga

Yoga teaches that learning is a lifelong process. Doing the same
poses week in and week out, you learn them ever more deeply. There's
always more to learn, more to let go of, more to be aware of. At the
same time, as in any long process of work, it sometimes becomes
routine. I've gone through the ashtanga sequence a countless number
of times. I have to remind myself that each practice is a fresh
start, another opportunity for growth, and that even in the simplest
things, there subtleties to be discovered and rediscovered, that the
road to mastery is long.

Nonetheless, a change in routine can be refreshing, and I was caught
off-guard by the class I had last week. Leading a yoga class is an
art in itself--one has to be aware of the students and their needs,
maintain an aura in the room, give feedback in a way that reaches the
subconscious rather than the ego. It is also an improvisation, no
different from that of a jazz musician's, with all the attendant
surprises and pitfalls. The beauty of the class was one of those
unexpected joys that enter one's life unannounced. We did an
exquisitely choreographed sequence involving warrior poses and
balances and shifting back and forth between them. We did several
variations of dolphin pose and even some dolphin push-ups. We tried
some one-legged vinyasas for challenge. But it was less what we did
than how it flowed, so naturally, seemingly inevitably. It was a work
of art, found in the least likely of places.
-Ian Le

The Hypocrites' Awesome production of Our Town!

The Hypocrites' recently reprised their production of Thorton Wilder's
"Our Town" at the Chopin Theater, which first ran last spring to rave
reviews. Performances were once again sold out, and I hope they
remount again in the future. I haven't seen the play in years, though
I'll never forget how it hit me in the gut the first time I saw it.

"Our Town" is often criticized as sentimental in its portrayal of
small town folk. Wilder doesn't shape the characters fully, partly
because he wants them to serve as everymen and everywomen. While a
play like "Long Day's Journey into Night" acheives universality
through the specificity, the realness of its characters, whom we
relate to despite our differences with them, "Out Town" acheives
universality through prototypes through which we can see ourselves.
The triumph of this production is in infusing these prototypes with
immediacy, so that in Wilder's deftly sketched characters, we see
flashes of recognition.

I had never realized before how skillfully chosen Wilder's vignettes
are, illustrating experiences we all know--the magic of teenage love
as Emily and George admit their attraction to each other; George's
anxiety in growing up as he must find work and become responsible to a
family; Emily learning to negotiate her way in the world, doing well
in school, but insecure about her appearances (her conversation with
her mother about her looks is touchingly tender); Emily's mother
wisely holding back her pride at her daughter's accomplishments; the
way Emily shakes her head when her father treats her as younger than
she believes herself to be; the gossip among the town women; the way
George's sister looks up to him; the small talk between Gibbs and the
chaos of parenting as they decide whether to let George marry Emily,
also the difficulty for parents of letting go; Mrs. Gibbs' desire to
see Paris; Mr. Webb's quixotic dreams of owning an incubator. Though
the third act is devastating, each scene in the first two acts glowed
with such import that I always almost moved to tears before the

I had forgotten, too, the richness of the play, not only dealing with
domesticity, but situating it within genealogy, geography, geology,
meteorology, astronomy. It aims, perhaps a bit ambitiously, at cosmic
siginificance, something Viriginia Woolf acheived, but more quietly.
And it is easy to overlook how daring the play is--it is minimalist in
its staging and storytelling, deconstructive in the stage manager's
commentary, foreshadowing and flashbacks. In this production the
stage manager takes a more cynical tone, which both anticipates and
serves to undermine the first reaction of a jaded urban audience to
rural life. Perhaps the great feat of imagination occurs in the last
act, which Wilder labored over, when he tries to imagine how the dead
would look back upon the living. It was only after the play that it
occured to me that perhaps the reaction of the dead in the play was
unrealistic--might not the ecstatic glow of life outweigh the tragedy
of our blindness to it? But while you're there, the thought doesn't
cross your mind. And the decision allow the audience to smell the
bacon in the third act is a brilliant one, reminding us, as did the
great animated film Ratatouille, that smell is the most Proustian of
our senses. One never sensed the act of living so intensely.

-Ian Le


Watch from around minute 53 to minute 57:


New Works by Esteban Schimpf

Esteban is our new correspondent to hipness in all ways. Look forward to his videocasts and post comming soon. in the meantime, here are some killer previews of the man at work.

While he wasn't looking!

Pin Pong Culinary Experience

I've had a soft spot for Ping Pong ever since I came to Chicago,
because it was one of the first restaurants I tried. At a time when I
was still adjusting to big changes in my life, it was an island of
stability where I'd go with my friend Justin. Back then it was a
start-up with four tables, the same white walls and small white
tables, mismatched plates and silverware, and awkward waitstaff who
would stop to have conversation. It has changed a lot in the last few
years, expanding, and now extremely popular.

The restaurant now oozes style--the orange sign, the green lighting,
black stripes on the windows, candles at every table, Sex in the City
projected on Tord Boontje wallpaper, techno music blasting, and
attractive waiters that have turned it into a place where you want to
look good, just in case that guy at the next table might be looking at
you (the likelihood of this never prevents us from having this
fantasy). The over-the-top sensation both charms and titillates.
There are smaller touches as well: the cherry wood bowls, the
soapstone on which the chopsticks rest. But most of this is faux
idiosyncracy, easy thrills. As far as food goes, Ping Pong has lost
its way.

Ping Pong has always been at its best when it's offering twists on
traditional favorites. Salt & pepper calamari is one of their best
dishes, with the calamari served on a generous bed of onions,
jalapenos and garllic. The sashimi tuna dip, made with basil,
cucumber, sesame mayo, white and black sesame and served with wonton
crackers, is another classic, though it contains less tuna than it
used to. These were solid dishes made to please.

The sections of the menu used to be labeled by verbs--share, eat,
drink--but are now labeled more predictably--starters, sides, chicken,
etc. And though more extensive than it used to be, most of the menu
is various permutations of basically the same dish. It's always
exasperating to go with a white person to an Indian restaurant only to
have them order chicken tikka masala. I felt the same way when a
friend ordered orange chicken, which was lacking in orange peel, spice
and tanginess. The sauce on the Yu-xiang eggplant with pork was
similarly generic and the eggplant was undercooked. The classic fried
rice, one of the better dishes because of the novelty of making fried
rice using brown rice, was well executed, but, like the other main
dishes, was ungenerous in its portion of meat.

I was heartened, though, by a couple of things. Before the meal, the
waiter brought out warm moist towelettes for us to clean our hands, a
nice variation on the tradition of bringing hot towels to the table
after the meal. And the wheat gluten salad, with shitake, bamboo tips
and tree fungus, stayed true to this classic Buddhist vegetarian dish.
It was even charmingly served on the cheap knockoff dishware you'd
find in Chinatown. And when the fortune cookies came at the end of
the meal on a ping pong racket, I was reminded of the Ping Pong I knew
three years ago.

The best Chinese restaurants find their roots in family, and the pride
of feeding a loved one. While it was never authentic, the tastes at
Ping Pong used to be richer, more unusual and surprising. Judging
from the crowds and the wait time, most people don't seem to mind.
They're young people looking for pleasure after a day's work, carrying
with them the anxieties and insecurities of any young person. They're
willing to be lulled by the sensory overload. After my meal, I walked
across the street and passed by Wakamono, which has the same owner as
Ping Pong. Outside the restaurant was a moment of magic--a table and
some chairs, surrounded by potted plants. Right next to Broadway St.,
this little patch of space seemed to have been transported from Paris,
oblivious to the hustle and bustle around it. I then realized that,
while Ping Pong was never about food made with love and care, Ping
Pong isn't (or shouldn't be) about hedonism either. At its best, it
offers a place of refuge, an escape from our chaotic world. If it has
recently lost some of its soul, it would do well to remember this.

-Ian Le

Friday, October 24

Leyomi Vs. Jenny Holzer


Jenny Holzer is one the hottest artist today, she crosses the barriers of art, advertising and the everyday. She is an art superstar who anyone can talk with or appraoch. She is actively on mayspace and facebook and twitter-- so friend her and became an artist citizen.

Holzer's work has paired playful and cunning language with a mindful placement of text which inescapably draw your attention underline the emotional and scoietal concerns and fears.

With the active and growing concern for media voices and opinions, Holzer highlights the contradictory voices which shape contemporary life both here and the world. The 1990s heralded a turn in Holzer's practice toward greater visual and environmental presence. In this exhibition, which centers on her work from the mid-1990s to the present, Holzer joins political bravura with formal beauty, sensitivity, and power.

The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Smith, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the MCA. It is accompanied by a publication with essays by Smith and other authors and will tour the United States and Europe.

Projection works by Jenny Holzer
For the first time in Chicago, artist Jenny Holzer presents a series of temporary outdoor projection works in conjunction with the exhibition Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT. Texts selected by Holzer, who is renowned for her compelling use of language in public space, will be projected on the facade of the MCA on three nights:

Wednesday, October 22

Gallery: 400 Biological Agents

Eco-friendly and green things are all the rage as of late. Since art does not exist in a vacuum, it should be no surprise that the green trend is also reflected in the art world. In Gallery 400 There recently opened an exhibition “Biological Agents” Artists Brandon Ballengee, Caitlin Berrigan, and Natalie Jeremijenko collaborated making geodesic viruses and biologically hazardous confections as well as informative zines some of which you can take with you. The show is engaging issues regarding how we interact with the world, biologically and socially. The show will be running until November 22nd, 2008.

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Tuesday, October 21

Bailout Package Summary, A goodnight Kiss

Is it going to fail?

Well, it might. The basic idea is that we can buy up all the bad mortgage debt and banks will lend again. It's the equivelant of killing the boogey-man that keeps rich Americans from sending money to Bank of America: boogey man might take away all of our money!

Then add in $200 billion directly to the banks by buying stocks, which creates $2 trillion in new lending because banks lend out more than they have, and you have yourself a cool anti-recession prescription.

But it all depends on how big we think boogeyman is. All the mortgage-related stuff might be tens of trillions of dollars in size. A $700 billion goodnight kiss from Mommy Pelosi might not be enough.


Get Palinized.

Congratulation Joe, You're Rich!

Joe the Plumber might be an artist at work too. Regardless, at least he is rich.

The Art of Life and Inspiration

On a recent blog post the photographer Zoe Strauss wrote an homage to William Eggleston one of her inspirations. She has created many photo in his honor and created creative copies of his work. Not least of all the beautiful photo she took of a red motel ceiling.

Zoe Strauss writes:

I don't work in a vacuum, no artist does, and I look to always pay homage to works that have had a significant impact on my life... and by default, my work.

I am a huge William Eggleston fan. Man, I could look at his photos all day, every day. He is a quintessential American photographer, who's impacted American photography from both sides of the camera... he changed the way many make photos and changed the way people look at America.

On this point I want to take a moment to talk about the Art of Life. Some moments you will catch a glimpse of someone totally lost in their work. They are so absorbed in what they are doing that they forget where they are and they don't have a goal in site. It is often about opening yourself and your heart to the materials you are working wit the process of using them. Matisse the great turn of the century master was found of saying that when he was painting he would ask the paintbrush what strokes it wanted to make. The great writer Virgina Wolf said she would get so lost in her writing that if a tornado where to come hit the house she would still have to finish the sentence she was working on before fleeing.

Today in the blueline Jackson stop subway I saw a wonderful singer-- if he was on American Idol he would be a finalist for sure. Go see for yourself and let me know what you think. When I came onto the platform he was in the middle of a conversation with himself on a old telephone that didn't work--but as soon as he 'hung-up' the telephone he broke into Barry White's " I can't Get enough of Your Love Babe".

And I can't get enough of how great his voice was, it still resounds in my ears. His song might have been an homage to Barry White, but he was so lost in singing the song that it became truly his own. Here is to inspiration, where ever you find it.

Monday, October 20

Sarah Palin

Rhona Hoffman and Musings on a Green World

The new exhibition “SERGIO VIEIRA DE MELLO: RALLY PARIS-DARFUR” by New Catalogue is a celebration and attack on free market capitalism. By turning the art gallery into a showroom for an brand new motorcycle we are at once taken by our desire for the beautiful object and also repelled. The team imagines a rally from Paris to Darfur a new take on the Paris to Dakar Rally.

Through viewing the new motorcycle in the gallery space we are transfixed as consumers both consuming the art experience and imagining ourself as shoppers. The consuming experience is darkened by the realization that the motorcycle is a memorial to Sergio Vieira de Mello, a well known and widely respected Brazilian United Nations diplomat who was killed by a car bomb at the UN headquarters in Baghdad in 2003.

Sunday, October 19

Roots and Culture Pizza Dog party

Last night Roots and Culture hosted and incredible evening of Pizza Dog.

Some things: that art is/isn't

Art is more than just a bunch of pretty pictures, paintings, sculptures or videos. Art is another language which dwells beyond words and still within. Art is another way of knowing. Art is conveying experiences particular to any given person/artist. Art is a dialogue of ideas and concepts which have been around, and inserting a new point of view into the discussion, or reinforcing an old point of view with new information. Art is a reaction to a cultural occurrence. One example is the advent of the photographic camera. Painting used to function as a means of recording images. Once the camera was invented, painters could move forth to really explore all the other ways of knowing paint could explore. Art is not thoroughly idiosyncratic. It has a life of its own. Art is not made in a vacuum. It is informed by when it was made and everything that was made before it.

Art is making meaning.

Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza

Friday, October 17

Caroline, or Change at the Court Theater

I could not help but jump out of my seat and join everyone last night in a standing ovation for Caroline, or Change. There was a cascade of applause that moved through the audience with the lasting impact of Caroline’s last song. The musical is fantastic, one that is centered on loving and forgiving—two of life’s most important principles. The story begins with an older Black maid named Caroline who serves the family of young but not innocent 8 year old Jewish boy named Noah who is infatuated with her.

The Jewish /Black relationship is a rich one, step in history because they are both persecuted. In my experience a lot of Jewish people have a thing for Black or African people some I know have a black fetish.

The Black / Jewish dynamic is played out in Caroline. The young Jewish boy Noah is obsessed with Caroline, he is in love with her and he is only 8.
The issues surrounding money bring out the most dynamic relationship. In stereotype, black people spend money and Jewish people save it.
Around money Caroline and Noah come together—both are steep in heritage and change. With money comes pride and around money they part ways—leaving both broken hearted.

The moment Caroline leaves by condemning young Noah it is the pinnacle of pride and judgment.

The story is OK, and it takes on important social issues—but what hits you in the gut is Kushner’s way of telling a story. Down south in the 1960’s social issues are hotter than hell and they are all in the family. In Caroline, or Change we see the family life as the force behind politics.

There is an interesting juxtaposition between the two families, Noah’s family and Caroline’s. Especially in their attitude towards violence at home and violence in the public sphere. Where at times the Jews promote public violence and condemn private violence towards family and visa versa.

Interesting contrast between the personal and the political , Caroline depicts the violence

Kushner doesn’t let the musical ever climax into a catharsis—like life the high drama seems never ending.

Thursday, October 16

New Program Untitled ( Portriat of Health)

Staring Dasha Polyakova and Jess Wood. Jess is a personal trainer and skin expert at a spa in Chicago. Dasha is a dancer and a sexual and relationship expert. Every-week they are tag teaming to bring you the best in skincare, makeup, fitness, food, health and sexual well being advice.

Please send Dasha and Jess your health-care and wellness questions.

Dr. Daniel S. Berger who is a primary care physician in Chicago will be answering any additional health questions.

Send questions to pulpistaken@gmail.com

This collection is Bananas-- Our Fashion Editor

Fashion Editor Obsession: Volume 1
Be still my freaking heart. This collection makes me want to cry…in a really-good way. D&G has managed to design a collection that would make me want to wake up every morning, just to get dressed. Can you say bow-tie? As my future boss Rachel Zoe would say, “I DIE--Brad, do you die?” And we all know his answer. Check it out. It’s Bananas…

-Ryan Beshel

Wednesday, October 15

post-debate inspiration


short list: edgar gonzalez

Scott Treleaven

Pansy Division

Stephen Lapthisophon

Jason Lazarus

Fringe of the Fringe

Outcasts to the outcast

Li Wei

Haunting memories

Ghosts of social justice (or lack thereof)

"Ghostly Matters" by Avery Gordon

Watchout! There's Ghosts

Purple Hearts

Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza

In welcoming our new editor of Art , Mr. Edgar Gonzalez-Baeza I am posting an incredible video from one of our favorite artists Latham Zearfoss. ENJOY! And more to come from Latham in the near future.

To Make, To Catch Up from Latham Owen Zearfoss on Vimeo.

Fall Program at Joffrey Ballet Opens Tonight!

Check out the new season at the Joffrey under new artistic direction of Ashley Wheater.

The evening program is Postcards, In The Night and the premiere of the Age of Innocence.

A nod to the late great Robert Joffrey and Gerald Alpino who is stepping down (sadly) from artistic director.

Choreography by Robert Joffrey
Music by Erik Satie
Postcards will be presented in honor of our co-founder, Robert Joffrey. This romantic piece was his last choreographed work for the company and is considered one of his best.

Did I mention. I am a MAC :) ( thank you steve jobs)

short list: gonia rejnowska

Our co-CEO Gonia is currently multitasking at least 4 tasks.

I asked her for a shortlist of what is on her mind at this moment:

JavaScript -
with a code
of music -
and chords
(my project -
apply tango music
to Nosferatu movie)
and macro economics
(and dance

(have you seen exhibition at MoCP?)

the chicago council on global affairs

Check out the lecture series on the credit crunch coming up:

With the Dow Jones plummeting to a new low for the first time since 2004, the Wall Street Crisis has entered a new phase, sending shockwaves across world markets with panic selling, credit tightening, and growing fear of a global recession. In the words of the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso “no country is immune from this crisis.” European banks have provided guarantees on bank deposits, financial and banking institutions have been nationalized, stock exchanges in Russia and Brazil have intermittently suspended trading in an effort to stem steep losses, and growth in emerging economies is now starting to trend significantly lower. United States legislators have approved a $700 billion rescue package and in a move of unprecedented scope, the world's major central banks lowered their benchmark interest rates in a coordinated fashion to restore global confidence and avoid further damage to the economy, but will this be enough?

nothing could be more important...

than to vote ( for obama).

The debates tonight promise too bring us more McCain uptight and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I am not a Dr. but when McCain said "My fellow Prisoners" it seemed pretty clear to me that he needs therapy and hasn't faced all his demons.

Notice how McCains points to Obama and says ( with his stubby hands shoulder shrug) "uhh...that guy". McCain is still pissed at the world. There is so much pent up anger he can't even relax his shoulders.

There will be a follow up post by our political correspondent Madge Weinstein after tonights debates.

DO THE RIGHT THING. vote. (obama)

the credit crunch: captain meltdown

Over my captain crunch cereal this morning I couldn't help but thinking. Is the world ending? And than I went a head and had my normal cereal and soda.

But, what is happening in this economic downturn? How did we get here? I asked our resident expert and economist and blogger Robert Olson to give it to us in the easiest to swallow terms.

He choose to make the meltdown simple through this dialog:

Guy 1: “Hey guys, it seems house prices have been going up for a while. Let’s go buy something!”
Guy 2: “But we don’t have any money.”
Banker: “That’s alright, we’ll just won’t charge you any interest for the first year, then you can get a new loan and repay off the old one!”
Investor: “And I’ll buy that loan and add it to a bunch of others. Then I’ll go buy insurance from Goldman Sachs in case you don’t pay.”
Everyone: “Yay! Free money!”

One Year Later:
Guy 1: “Uhhh…I need a new loan”
Banker: “Sorry, the loan is worth less than the house. Prices went down. Can’t give you a new loan.”
Investor: “That’s alright, I still got my insurance!”
Goldman Sachs: “Uhh…I kinda sold that AIG…and he doesn’t know where he put that little contract…”
Everyone: “Where did all the money go…”

I hope this helps clear things up. More to come from Robert as he tracks the economic crisis 2008 and helps us all navigate these waters for the better.

Send any economic or financial questions to

Our other expert Elizabeth Schwarzkopf gives the smackdown on H's

Tuesday, October 14

short list: look and listen( in no order)

El Greco:
Assumption of the Virgin
Painting with a Green Center
City Landscape

Mi Tradi aria
Backwoods Barbie
Sugar in My Bowl
In the Dark
Domino Dancing

Final Trio

Humming electronics
procrastination "napping"