El-P and The Bots Celebrate CONS Project: Brooklyn with Intimate Performance

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CONS Project: Brooklyn came to a close Friday night with performances by El-P and The Bots at Converse Rubber Tracks. The three-month creative workshop offered emerging artists the opportunity to learn from the best in the fields of audiovisual, production and recording.

Hailing from Los Angeles, the young punk-blues duo known as The Bots rocked the Williamsburg performance space for the better part of an hour. Their gritty, wise-beyond-its-years repertoire included a song about a girl from their school that used to cut her feet and put her blood in the cupcakes she sold on campus.

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Weekend Links

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Friday is here again!  If you’re looking for inspiration and advice on creativity, here are some more weekend links.  Next week a couple of new features will be introduced, namely a music playlist.  Until then, keep the creative energy going!

1.  The Art of Famous Book Covers

2.  Artists We Love React to Spike Jonze’s Her 

3.  The Postcard is a Public Work of Art

4.  In Praise of the Creative Support

5.  The Secret Phrase That Sparks Creative Solutions

6.  Animated Classical Paintings

The Body as a Canvas, Process, and What is Art?

The human body has been used as art many times before; sometimes in the form of performances, prints, or installations.  In the TED Talk above, Alexa Meade discusses how she came to use the body as her canvas.  After painting on food objects, such as fried eggs and toast, she eventually moved on to her own body and then the bodies of friends and strangers.  Meade paints live human bodies and the areas around them so that they look like paintings.  She captures her works in the form of photographs and videos, transforming a 3D work into a 2D one.  There are hardly any traces of any 3-dimensionality in the photos of her work, mainly because of the nature of the medium and because the intention of the final product is for it to look like a painting.

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Photos via Alexa Meade

My initial response to Meade’s work was that it was impressive but after reflecting on it further, I thought of some questions.  Unless the audience of her work sees or understands some of the details of how the work came to be, what they see is a flattened version of what was a live 3D painting or a photograph of one.  Then process comes in.  Is it important for the viewer to know about the process of the work?  Is it only important for the artist on a personal level?  There is a school of thought that believes everything a viewer needs to know about a piece of art lies in the artwork itself.  These questions and issues can also be applied to hyperrealistic works of art, such as paintings that appear to be photographs. [Read more…]

Weekend Links

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Are you ready for a three day weekend?  Even if you’re not, here are some links to explore throught out the weekend while we come back on Monday.  In the meantime, we’ll be on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.  As always, stay creative!

1.  10 Paradoxical Traits of Creative People

2.  Breathing In vs. Spacing Out

3.  Take Four Minutes to Reflect on Your Place in the Cosmos

4.  Expensive Cities are Killing Creativity

5.  Jay Shell’s “Rap Quotes” project hits L.A. (NYC Edition here)

6.  Alain de Botton Shows How Art Can Answers Life’s Big Questions in Art as Therapy

The Prison Poetry of Ceschi Ramos

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Drawing by Ceschi Ramos

In December 2010, rapper, singer and multi-instrumentalist Ceschi Ramos was arrested when a vehicle carrying 100 pounds of marijuana wrapped up like Christmas presents parked outside of his New Haven home and an informant pinned Ceschi as its intended recipient. Police tackled Ceschi to the snow and drew guns to his head, refused to allow his 98-year-old grandfather to contact a lawyer, threatened to arrest his entire family and seize their home and ultimately coerced Ceschi into signing a confession. Following three years of legal battles, he accepted a plea deal for an 18-month sentence. There was no evidence suggesting he was anything more than a scapegoat aside from the signed confession and by the time his sentence began in September 2013, marijuana was no longer illegal in Connecticut.

To keep the record label he co-founded with his brother David in 2008 afloat, Ceschi and Fake Four, Inc. launched an indiegogo campaign in the fall. Their modest initial goal of $15,000 was met within 24 hours and the final tally sat north of 52 grand. Approximately four months into his sentence, Ceschi was released on parole over the holidays.

“We’re pretty confident that the noise everyone made helped put me on the fast track for release,” says Ceschi. “It was even hard for me to believe but the public nature of my case had every C.O. in prison pointing and talking about me, they seemed utterly annoyed by the amount of mail and books and visits and overall attention I was getting – and that really helped push me out into the program faster.”

One of the many perks offered by Fake Four’s indiegogo campaign included the opportunity to receive original poetry penned by the artist behind bars. My girlfriend, one of the 1,046 individuals who donated to the Free Ceschi campaign, received one of his pieces last week, entitled “Bori, Niantic”, which Artlux is proud to share with you below.

Click each image for a larger version

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Editor’s Letter: January 2014

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The start of the year for Artlux has already presented many opportunities and with those some challenges have also appeared.  This is a relatively new venture that is taking shape and has much room to grow.  We’re in an exploratory space right now where things are tried and some of them work while others don’t and sometimes even cause delays in providing content for those who are supporting us.  In other words, we’re still figuring things out but the path Artlux is taking is starting to be navigated with less and less detours.

At the moment, a site redesign is in the works and will be unveiled this week.  We also started our first giveaway last week with hopes of growing our readership and giving something to devout visitors.  This is the start of a monthly giveaway that will coincide with a relevant article.  The rest of January will bring even more things: another post in Travelogue, the first of a music playlist (also every month), a special piece of literature, an expansion in ways to connect with readers, and other new features.  One aspect we’d like to look into further is how Artlux can be more creative – that is, after all, something we focus on writing about.

As always, thank you to those who have supported us since we began in October of 2013.  We hope to and will work hard to reach and maintain more readers in the Artlux community.  Let’s keep on navigating this not-yet-defined creative territory!

Always exploring,

April

January Giveaway: Somebody’s Strange Blackout Poetry Story by Jessie Roth

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We are excited to announce the first Artlux giveaway!  On Monday, Jessie Roth wrote an article about her experience doing a blackout poetry project, which took the form of a book called, Somebody’s Strange Blackout Poetry Story.  Since readers were inspired by it we will be giving away a soft cover copy signed by Jessie (and maybe another little surprise) to one lucky winner!

The Details (U.S. entries only please)

To enter, retweet the contest tweet by January 2o, 2014 at midnight EST.  Bonus entries: if you retweet the contest link and follow us on Twitter you’ll receive another entry.  Also, leave a comment here telling us anything about blackout poetry – what it was like to do it, if you would like to try it, what you know, etc. and you can have up to three entries!

We’ll randomly select and announce a winner on January 21st.  At the moment we can only accomodate U.S. entries but we hope to open giveaways internationally in the future.  Best of luck to everyone!

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Somebody’s Strange Blackout Poetry Story

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Photos by Jessie Roth

Read Part I – Blackout Poetry: A Case Study in Artistry, Originality, and Creative Genius

A few days ago, I watched a great Netflix documentary about the National Film Registry called These Amazing Shadows. One of the librarians of Congress quoted in the film said something very simple, and very powerful, that stayed with me: “Stories unite people, theories divide them.” I often struggle to articulate what it is that interests me most, both academically and otherwise, but I think what it all boils down to is stories. You know, the sweeping and unclassifiable compilation of human experiences and the many ways it can be recounted. In other words, I’m fascinated by how and why we tell stories, as well as what can be salvaged, repaired, or gained in the process. Stories are universal and the desire to share them is among the most primitive, archetypal human instincts.

Sophomore (last) year, I concentrated my final project for a photo class around the theme of storytelling, using blackout poetry and photographs. I always wondered: what would happen if a group of people were given the same exact materials – a page of a book and a black sharpie marker – then asked to make a poem? This idea stewed in my brain for years before I finally decided to manifest my curiosity in the creative experiment that came to be called “Somebody’s Strange Blackout Poetry Story.” Over the course of three months, I distributed a randomly-selected spread from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to several people I met on the streets of New York City and asked them to make poems for me, taking pictures of each person as I progressed. What ensued was a simultaneous examination of human perception and expression.

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A New Year

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Image made using Cartolina

2014 has arrived!  We learned so much in the first three months of Artlux and are preparing for the relaunch on January 6th.  Below is a list of 10 websites that post about art, creativity, and other fascinating topics to keep your art souls fed until we’re back.  Here’s to yet another new year!

Beautiful/Decay

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Austin Kleon

Juxtapoz

The Jealous Curator

Booooooom

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Art Ruby

Explore