I’m back with fresh harangues! I haven’t found any truly worthy candidates in awhile but yesterday the Chicago architecture critic Lynn Becker posted a screed that pleased me greatly in its justifiable outrage. One of Chicago’s last 24-hour newsstands was torn down seemingly overnight by the French firm JCDecaux. Writes Becker:
“It’s another pound of flesh being extracted by JCDecaux S.A., the French firm with which the city signed a 2002, 20 year, $200 million deal for a monopoly on the city’s bus shelters. As with the recent parking meter deal, the Daley administration continues to turn control of Chicago’s streets over to private interests, and now we have things like a new Pritzker Park in the South Loop, where a huge area has been left unlandscaped to provide JCDecaux a place to put one of the food concessions promised them as part of the deal.
Crain’s Ann Saphir reported on Friday that the destruction of the Chicago Michigan newsstand was still another manifestation of JCDecaux’s control, as they will be constructing their own replacement beginning “at the end of the month.”
And, of course, while the city makes sure Decaux is taken care of, the newsstand’s proprietor, Anil Modi, who works long hours to keep his business going, gets screwed. He apparently gets to return, but no matter how long it takes to build Decaux’s stand, he’ll receive not a penny of compensation for all the lost income, no doubt part of the city’s strategy to just make him go away.”
“Let the Televised Bitch-Slapping Begin!” (marshallastor.com).
It has felt like a rather slow week for art news. Here are some of the stories you might have missed this week via our twitter page.Â On this weeks roundup you will find Japan’s bad ass million dollar, robot flying Spiderman, the history of the pubic wig, and one young man’s thoughts on the Walker art Center. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Maybe we’ll see you at the Hyde Park Art Center on Saturday.
- reBlog has a great chart/video of the most common letters and stylistics variations in graffiti.
- Just when it looked like the Children’s Museum could move to Grant Park the economy catches up with them.
- The 70’s intro for the Japanese Spiderman is awesome. Why didn’t the American one have a flying robot?
- The World’s Best Ever has a surprisingly interesting history of the pubic wig.
- I’ve never road a bike down a mountain, which might explain why I have never thought about the history of Mountain biking. Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bike History
- Proximity’s sister publication Pr now has it’s own site. Be sure to check out some of their online content.
- “…art is only for the artist but then if itâ€™s only for the artist why is it on exhibit at the Walker?” Probably the best review of an art museum ever written. (via eyeteeth)
- RT @wired Blind photographers use gadgets as visual prosthetics, and continue making art. This is what it’s all about.
Food, Inc., by director Robert Kenner, made me feel stupid. It reminded me of every reason why I lovedÂ Our Daily Bread, of 2006. Our Daily Bread exercised subtly and restraint, with very still, bleak vignettes of the monstrous places that produce the food we eat around the world. It does this without commentary, just offering a view of what is. Food, Inc. practices neither restraint nor subtlety. Each segment of the film is broken into segments that are announced with a title. As if we couldn’t catch on that hey, now we’re going to learn about corn.
If you have every seen more than one PETA video, or thought about the fact that high fructose corn syrup is in most processed foods, then this film will basically be a refresher for you. I picked up a few good conversation starters, like, if a cow were allowed to graze on grass for (I don’t remember it exactly…) a whole bunch of E. Coli would be naturally eliminated from its gut. However, instead of letting cows graze, we prefer to wash the processed hamburger meat with chlorine, which also kills the virus. The breakdown of who owns what we eat was also interesting, as well as the fact that there are only three or four commercial slaughterhouses left in the entire United States.
The graphics were too cutesy and glossy for me as well. You would think a film that is focus on questioning how “natural” our food is would have more organic and basic feeling fonts and graphics, instead of super processed looking titles and animation. A lot of it felt very Disney-fied. Or maybe thats just me.
The “experts” were entertaining and knew what they were talking about. However, the selection was seriously limited. There was the bad corporation, the good farmer, the victimized small business owners, the granola hippie who went corporate, the sob story.
In general, the film was well researched, and would be great to show in an elementary or middle school. The issues are important and should definitely be given the space to be discussed. But, just a tip, if you doze off during the entire film, the directors conveniently end the film with a few minutes of bullet points of what you should have picked up during the course of the film. To summarize: buy locally, buy organically, eat seasonally, and try not to get E.Coli.
Mike Andrews and Noah Singer of the Chicago-based art t-shirt company Imperfect Articles just let us know that for the next twelve days, they’ll be adding a new t-shirt to their website store every day. Previously, these shirts were only available at art fairs (most recently Basel last month) but for the proverbial limited time only, you can grab one from wherever you are, starting with a shirt designed by Dublin-based artist Atsushi Kaga.Â Here’s what today’s shirt looks like:
The text is printed in Japanese, but here’s a rough translation:
Bear: “I can’t quit smoking pot.”
Bunny: “Yes, you can, you’ll be fine.”
Act now; there’s only a limited number of this edition left in stock. Yeah, I know that’s what they all say, but with Imperfect Articles you can believe it.Â Click here to order. Check back with the website each day to see what new shirt they’ll have up next.
If you want to learn more about Imperfect Articles’ unique blend of art and commerce, IÂ interviewed Noah Singer a few months ago for New City; you can read the article here.