Saturday, June 30, 2012
Real quotes from real tweeters. We love to peak behind the curtain. Some of these Tweets are PG-13. All of them keep it real. Easily offended, click here.
Haven't been on my laptop in 6 months.... I love my iPad---K
Happy Parent Day Mom. Thank you for being my mom and dad. #thanksfornotleaving ---V
So many of my tweets don't get posted because I can't figure out the right way to word them---M
Nothing says "mentally ill and proud of it" like stuffed animals in your car window---L
Being attractive isn't an excuse to be a shitty person.---J
I asked my wife to get me a newspaper. She said to get with the times and use her iPad. That spider never knew what f*cking hit it.---C
The biggest threat to an artist is neither piracy nor obscurity. It's dicking around on the internet.---D
I hate when people say smoking isn't cute... Uhh I'm not trying to be cute, I'm trying to get high #stfu -H
Instagram is down. It's like what I'm eating doesn't even matter.---R
Friday, June 29, 2012
The topic was "Is the Medium still the Message?" But rather than lecturing at us, or having those of us who were panelists lecture at the other attendees, Orangutan Swing was a facilitated conversation where all who came were on equal footing as participants.
One of those folks was Karl Sakas, who is a web project manager at Hesketh.com and blogs about marketing in Raleigh at KarlSakas.com. He breaks down this fascinating hivemind moment most aptly.
Why you should be sharing and learning at Orangutan Swing "improv for ideas" events.
by KARL SAKAS
Whether you’re in marketing, design, or business in general, it’s important to take time to think about new things — but it can be hard to get out of your day-to-day routine. You should go to a free Orangutan Swing event organized by Durham creative duo Akira Morita and Dipika Kohli. The regular “salon” is like “improv for ideas.”
At the “media and message” event yesterday, I loved hearing and sharing ideas with people from outside my usual bubble — participants included people in marketing, design, architecture, art, and more.
To me, the biggest themes were Tools (and Change), History and the Future, and Communications. Below, I’ve shared comments that resonated most for me — what stands out to you?
Marketing Theme 1 — Tools (and Change)
1) On needing the right tools: We’re smarter than the tools we have. We need tools that can keep up with our creativity.
2) Computerization vs. doing things by hand: Although AutoCAD is computerized drafting software, it still uses the language of architects and engineers drawing by hand. To use the software fully, you really need to learn to draw first.
3) On the nature of change: When we switched from typewriters to computers, we had the opportunity to replace the circa 1870s QWERTY keyboard, but we didn’t because there was such a huge installed base. Change isn’t just flipping a switch.
4) Changing fast: Some change can be fast, like Steve Jobs decreeing in 1998 that there would be no more floppy drive. He was right — USB flash drives and cloud-based sharing are faster, easier, and higher-capacity than floppy disks ever were — but the radical change was annoying and disruptive at the time.
5) The phone in the iPhone: The actual “phone” on the iPhone is just another app.
6) Perspective on the speed of change: Today, things change so fast — but in the scale of history, they’re changing so slowly.
7) Triggering futurism: To brainstorm about real innovation, think 50 years into the future — what do we do today that would be seen as barbaric in the future? For instance, regarding medicine, just as leeches and bloodletting are now seen as foolish today — why do we still wait until people are sick to “fix” them, rather than healing people before they “break”?
The article continues with:
Marketing Theme 2 — History and the Future...
We are grateful for permission to reprint a portion of this article. You can read the rest of Karl Sakas's fascinating take here at KarlSakas.com.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
courtesy of: the East Side Perspective
As many of you know we have joined forces with the East Side Perspective, an up and coming sports and culture website published in Chapel Hill.
For even more sports articles from the East Side Perspective, check here. For music articles from the East Side Perspective check here.
We will be co-hosting a sports podcast with the co-founder of The Eastside Perspective, Matthew Creatore, this Fall, featuring plenty of special guest appearances.
The NBA Draft is now just hours away and the experts are starting to question, can the NBA's worst teams really alter their franchise by choosing a single draft gem? Every year - no matter the sport - we wonder if just one player can alter the the upcoming season and score a team the magical playoff berth. The teams in the NBA draft top 10 this season mostly are youthful and inexperienced or have lost major talent at some point during the past two seasons; they'll look to rebound tonight night. Here are The Eastside Perspective's projections for this year's NBA Draft.
Pick #1 - New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis - Kentucky
Pro - Shot blocking ability
Con - Offensive game (Relied heavily on alley oops and put-backs)
Pick #2 - Charlotte Bobcats - Thomas Robinson - Kansas
Pro - Rebounding Ability, Work Ethic
Con - Size (6' 9")
Pick #3 - Washington Wizards - Bradley Beal - Florida
Pro - Shooting Range
Con - Needs to learn to create his own jump shot via the dribble
Pick #4 - Cleveland Cavaliers - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - Kentucky
Pro - Size, Work Ethic, Gets easy shots at the rim, Defense
Con - Shooting, Ball Handling
Pick #5 - Sacramento Kings - Harrison Barnes - North Carolina
Pro - Shooting, Defense
Con - Inconsistency
Pick #6 - Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard - Weber State
Pro - Shooting, Scoring, FT Percentage
Con - Poor Ast:TO Ratio vs. poor college competition
Pick #7 - Golden State Warriors - Terrence Jones - Kentucky
Pro - Post Defense, Rebounding, Great Shooter for a big man
Con - Relies on his perimeter game too heavily at times
Pick #8 - Toronto Raptors - Austin Rivers - Duke
Pro - Shooting, Ball Handling, Speed and Agility
Con - Forces the issue at times
Pick #9 - Detroit Pistons - John Henson - North Carolina
Pro - Shot Blocking, 12-foot jump shot
Con - Steady not spectacular, FT Shooting
Pick#10 - New Orleans Hornets - Andre Drummond - UConn
Pro - Athleticism, Height
Con - Bust Potential, Lack of Production
courtesy of: the East Side Perspective
As many of you know we have joined forces with the East Side Perspective, an up and coming sports and culture website published in Chapel Hill.
For even more sports articles from the East Side Perspective, check here.
These are The Eastside Perspective's projections for this year's NBA Draft.
If you missed Part I of their NBA Mock Draft 2012: Picks 1-10, check it out here.
2012 Draft Wildcard: The HOUSTON ROCKETS' Action Plan...
Pick#11 - Portland Trail Blazers - Tyler Zeller - North Carolina
Pro - Runs the floor, 8-foot turn around jump hook, Help defense
Con - Strength, Uses left hand well
Pick#12 - Milwaukee Bucks - Dion Waiters - Syracuse
Pro - Shooting, Speed, Length
Con - Undersized SG, Passing
Pick#13 - Phoenix Suns - Kendall Marshall - North Carolina
Pro - Passing, Court vision/Awareness
Con - 1-on-1 Defense
Pick#14 - Houston Rockets - Jeremy Lamb - Connecticut
Pro - 15-18 foot jump shot, Extreme upside potential
Con - Strength, undersized
Pick#15 - Philadelphia 76ers - Perry Jones III - Baylor
Pro - Size, Speed, Athleticism, Rebounding
Con - Emotional issues and Leadership abilities, Low-post skills
Pick#16 - Houston Rockets - Meyers Leonard - Illinois
Pro - Size, Speed, Athleticism, Unselfish
Con - Post skills, Inconsistent desire and motor
Pick#17 - Dallas Mavericks - Terrence Ross - Washington
Pro - Athleticism, Passing, Size
Con - Ball-handling, Defense
Pick#18 - Minnesota Timberwolves - Jared Sullinger - Ohio State
Pro - Post Offense, Strength, Rebounding ability
Con - Defense, Speed, Athleticism
Pick#19 - Orlando Magic - Arnett Moultrie - Mississippi State
Pro - Athleticism, Size, Offensive Post Up, Shot Blocking
Con - Defense in the Lane
Pick#20 - Denver Nuggets - Andrew Nicholson - St.Bonaventure
Pro - Jump Shot, Speed, Size
Con - Rebounding
Pick#21 - Boston Celtics - Moe Harkless - St. John's
Pro - Potential, Quick feet defensively
Con - Passing
Pick#22 - Boston Celtics - Royce White - Iowa State
Pro - Rebounding ability, Strength, Speed
Con - Jump Shot, Trouble with the law
Pick#23 - Atlanta Hawks - Tony Wroten - Washington
Pro - Passing, Size, Speed
Con - Jumper
Pick#24 - Cleveland Cavaliers - Quincy Miller - Baylor
Pro - Size, 12-15 foot jump shot
Con - Speed and Strength
Pick#25 - Memphis Grizzlies - Will Barton - Memphis
Pro - Ability to finish around the rim, Shooting from or near the perimeter
Con - Strength
Pick#26 - Indiana Pacers - John Jenkins - Vanderbilt
Pro - Shooting from beyond the perimeter, Brings leadership, Quick release
Con - Size, Defense
Pick#27 - Miami Heat - Festus Ezeli - Vanderbilt
Pro - Post Defense, strength
Con - Speed, Not much upside potential, Difficult name to pronounce
Pick#28 - Oklahoma City Thunder - Evan Fournier - France
Pro - Passing, Ball-handling, Size
Con - Athleticism
Pick#29 - Chicago Bulls - Doron Lamb - Kentucky
Pro - Spot-up shooting
Con - Size, Potential
Pick#30 - Golden State Warriors - Draymond Green - Michigan St.
Pro - Intangibles-game (Somehow it works REALLY well!), Leadership, Rebounding ability
Con - Future potential, Size
This may or may not happen to your water after local fracking...
As we warned last month, the national debate on fracking is not over, many view fracking through the lens of domestic energy production. We think you will be hearing a lot more about fracking as the presidential campaign heats up.
The Obama administration announced this week its intention to toughen oversight of fracking on federal land. It is widely expected that the Interior Department will issue rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, e.g. fracking, by the end of this year.
Of course, a new President might mean a whole different set of rules than the current occupant of the White House is planning. For example, current regulations do not require energy and mining companies injecting high-pressure concoctions of water, chemicals and sand into the earth to even disclose what chemicals and potential pollutants are in their frothy brew (which may or may not seep into your ground water).
Read more about this political hot potato here at The Hill.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
For this week's edition, our initial link is of both scientific and historical significance. The first man made object in our recorded history is about to leave our solar system. Voyager 1 is about to be the first space craft in our time to enter interstellar space.
Voyager 1, a sixteen-hundred pound space probe launched by NASA and Cal Tech in 1977, is now 11.1 billion miles from Earth and entering the heliosheath, the outer most edge of the solar system. Read the whole story here at The Bunsen Burner.
Next up, something a bit more low tech, but equally unbelievable. Token sucking. That's right, you read that correctly, token sucking. We saw this on William Gibson's Twitter feed. Gibson is a favorite Clarion Content author. His Neuromancer is just as ground breaking and dramatic today as it was twenty-five years ago.
Token sucking is an old school crime according to the New York Times, fortunately/unfortunately, it is over, as the New York Subway System eliminated the last of its physical tokens about eight, nine years past. Token sucking works like something like this,
"The criminal carefully jams the token slot with a matchbook or a gum wrapper and waits for a would-be rider to plunk a token down. The token plunker bangs against the locked turnstile and walks away in frustration. Then from the shadows, the token sucker appears like a vampire, quickly sealing his lips over the token slot, inhaling powerfully and producing his prize: a $1.50 token..."Wild. And that was before the Great Recession. Read the whole article here.
Following about as low tech a crime as we have heard in some while, we have a couple of high tech tip links for you. First, "Five Killer Strategies for Brands Engagement on Pinterest and Linked-In" from Social Media Today. So many companies are wondering what they should do with their social media presence once they sign on, here are some good suggestions.
The second tech article from Kathleen Holmlund, a digital media strategist, dissects search engine optimization techniques for your Word Press site. If you use Word Press, it is worth the read. Check it out here.
Finally, even the main stream Man has gotten wind of crowdsourcing. The Economist breaks it down here with a take from the staid business world that is fascinating for its more measured, reasoned take that stands in strong contrast with the hyperbolic fan-dom on crowdsourcing which often simply assumes, a priori that it is paradigm changing.
by: Aubrey Menard
courtesy of PolicyMic
One of the most difficult things about transitioning from being a student into a full-fledged adult is the loss of summer.
You no longer have the end of the school year to look forward to—a break from the tedium of everyday life, a chance to hit the reset button on your academic performance, throw away the disorganized trapper-keeper, and forget all the math you spent the year learning.
But more than that, if you’re in a permanent sort of 9-5 (or 9-5+) job, you may miss out on the adventure that the lazy, hazy days of irresponsible summers once held. Below are seven ways to try to recapture a modicum of summer’s former glory and have yourself a great few months.
1. Get your feet unreasonably dirty: Remember coming home from a long summer day of playing outside? Your parents might yell at you to go spray yourself down with the garden hose before you were allowed to enter the house. The cold water would run over your body, making mud on your skin because the layer of dirt was so thick. You would go the entire summer never being able to get your feet truly clean because the dirt was so ground into them.
This summer, play outside, often and barefoot. Play wiffle ball, bocce, volley ball, and red rover. Go for walks and feel the grass beneath your feet. Walk on the pavement and hop around looking for shady spots because the bottom of your feet are burning. Black-bottom feet are the sign of a summer well-lived.
2. Stay inside and feel guilty about it: Summer is glorious, but summer is also mind-numbingly hot. Back when we were kids, before air conditioners were ubiquitous, a summer day often meant lying on the cement floor of the basement with ice packs on your body, trying desperately to cool down. If your parents left you alone while they were at work, maybe it meant breaking the rules and playing hours of Mario Brothers inside instead of finding ways to entertain yourself in the boiling hot sun.
This summer, give yourself a little time inside. Pull all your shades down to block out the heat and watch some Netflix. Be lazy. But don’t do it too often, and feel badly about it when you do, because it’s the summer, and your parents were right, you should be outside.
3. Experience the magic of a summer night: In our younger years, the combination of not having to be up for school in the morning and a delayed sunset meant one very significant thing: a later bedtime. Staying up on summer nights meant being enchanted by fireflies, singing songs by a campfire, and laying in the back yard, looking up at the stars.
These wonders cemented our impression that the best things happen after we normally would have to be in bed.
This summer, stay up late and enjoy the night. Instead of going to the club or bar, spread a blanket out in your yard, on your roof, or in the bed of a pickup truck, and stare up at the night sky. Go on a camping trip and sing songs while roasting marshmallows over a fire. Go to a drive-in movie theater. Pack a picnic and watch the fireworks. Get bitten by mosquitoes and catch lightning bugs in a jar.
4. Don't care about your beach body: Corn on the cob. Hot dogs. Lobsters. ICE CREAM. Need I go on? Summer food is delicious. You used to eat it by the pound without ever thinking about it because you were playing outside so much you needed all those calories!
This summer, let watermelon juice drip down your chin, and get buttery, salty corn on the cob stuck in your teeth. Go for ice cream as often as possible—but ride your bike to go get it, or chase the ice cream truck down the block. If you’re heeding the earlier advice, you’ll be so active that you’ll burn the extra calories and look great when it comes time to go to the beach.
5. Get wet: Water defines the summer. As a kid, you were the coolest cat in the neighborhood if you had a pool in your back yard. No pool access? Well, you could always run through the sprinkler, have a water balloon or super soaker fight.
Maybe you were lucky enough to live near the ocean so you didn’t need to experience the torment of a sunburnt, sandy ride home from the beach in a crowded mini-van. Whatever your summer experience, it undoubtedly included water.
This summer, get soaked. Don’t worry about ruining your makeup, hair, or clothes. Go swimming as often as possible. Get caught in a downpour and dance in the rain. Find a swimming hole and rig a rope swing up to a tree. Grab some friends and go tube down a river.
6. Rock out: When you were twelve, your favorite band was probably Hanson or something similarly awful. But, imagine if your twelve-year-old self got to go see said band live in concert? WOW. You would be so thrilled that you’d listen to nothing else on your disc man than MMMBop on repeat until the day had finally come.
Now that you’re an adult, presumably you like better music. And, you have the self-determination to go see this music live without the benevolence of your parents. So, go! Dedicate a few days to, enjoying your favorite songs and discovering new bands at a music festival. If you don’t have that kind of capacity, at the very least get yourself to an outdoor concert. Don’t be too cool for school!—be enthusiastic about it, listen to your favorite band right up until show time, and memorize all the lyrics. If your twelve-year-old self could see you, s/he would think you’re so rock and roll.
7. Fight the ocean: When you’re living summer to its fullest, you will never want it to come to a close. If your parents sprung for Nickelodeon and you could watch The Adventures of Pete and Pete you may remember the iconic scene of Little Pete and his superhero, Artie, violently punching the ocean, trying to prolong summer just a bit by beating the changing tide into submission. As the older Pete narrates, “They’re not crazy, they’re just angry, angry that the summer has to end […] Every year, it seems the summer is over ten seconds after it started…especially this summer.”
Have the best summer you’ve ever had. Go on adventures and act like a child. Enjoy the beauty of the natural world and the company of your friends. If you’re doing it right, the summer will fly by in what seems like seconds and come Labor Day, you will find yourself wading into the tidal waters, fighting the ocean for just a little more glorious summertime.
Monday, June 25, 2012
My what British teeth you have, Dr. Turing...
Tragically, one of the great minds of the 20th century was hounded and harassed until his untimely death at the age of only forty-two. Don't let anyone tell you that prejudice is anything but societal self-sabotage.2 Read some of what this man accomplished and ask yourself what else he might have done for the world if he hadn't been stigmatized, derided and attacked for his sexuality.
Gay is not an insult.
1At the Clarion Content this weekend, we saw another great example of how machine intelligence fails to match human intelligence at the most fundamental levels. Shazam, one of our favorite iPhone apps, struggles with classical music recognition. Shazam is genius when it comes to looking up pop tunes. Hold your phone up to the music playing and it can identify the artist and title track almost every time. But it is not intelligent like a human, it does not recognize tunes. Classical music kicks its proverbial butt.
For example, the ditty playing is the 1812 Overture, if Shazam knows that particular version by that particular orchestra, bam, it has your back and can identify it just like a top-40 tune: the 1812 Overture by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
But if it does not know that recording, it is not intelligent like a human, it does not know the tune. It cannot say, well, that is the 1812 Overture or Beethoven's 5th Symphony, even though I, Shazam, can't identify who is playing it, the music, the notes are quite familiar. No, for the binary machine it is all or nothing. No nuance. No AI.
2Prejudice is societal self-sabotage.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
If your reaction isn't, "No sh*t, that's amazing! We are so lucky, right? I find a way to go at least once every year," you need to read below.
Keigwen + Company
One more reason to be proud to be Durhamanian. Occasional Clarion Content guest columnist and accomplished writer, Amber C. Crews breaks its down.
"ADF: The Real Deal"
-Amber C. Crews
Admission: This is my fourth summer in Durham, a town I love and barely leave, and before last night I had never gone to an ADF performance. Not one. Marked by posters and attractive dancers around town, the conversation always went like this: "So, ADF is here again. How much are tickets? That much? What would we see? Uh – want to go to Dos Perros instead?"
Without anyone personally vouching for a performance and my lack of investment in modern dance (which is not the same as enjoyment), I’ve been unattached and clueless about this really awesome thing down the street. That all changed last night thanks to a mom I babysit for. She called me Wednesday and left a message: Hey, I just saw this fantastic performance and for some reason it made me think of you. If you’re available, I’d love to buy you a ticket.
How could I argue with that? I promptly called her back, thanked her profusely, and picked up my ticket at will-call for the Keigwen + Company show last night. After the jaw-dropping opening dance, my first thought was, Why have I never done this before?! The almost two-hour show flew by. I wanted to push rewind and watch it all over, from the beginning, right away. And that’s the magic – the dancers are so close, there, in tight clothes or naked, so present. No screen, barely any props, just bodies moving in space with indescribably captivating power. I was absolutely blown away.
Until the seal was broken, I had no idea that $30 was a steal for world renowned modern dance companies that you rarely get to see. That, in fact, budgeting a hundred dollars or more to see several shows every summer is well worth the investment in an institution that has been in little ole’ Durham before it was one of the hip, top-of-a-lot-of-stuff cities in America.
The mom knew what she was doing. Now I’m hooked. I just watched all the videos for the other dance companies and am trying to narrow down how many I can afford in the next month. I feel a bit bull-headed it’s taken me this long, but am thankful someone got through to me, even if it meant making it free. Sad how arbitrary money priorities can blind you, but now I know. If you like dance at all, buy a ticket today. You won’t regret it.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
A friend of the Clarion Content's, Tim Woods, the owner of the newly opened Blue Horn Lounge on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, is hosting a comedy event in support of breast cancer research.
You know the Clarion Content is pro-comedy. We are always down for a good laugh and love to support hard-working comics, especially when it benefits a good cause. Carlos Valencia, Mellow Mike Miller, and Steve Brady will be the comedians in the house. The Station, which is across the parking lot from the Weaver Street Market, is a fine little watering-hole with just the right ratio of grit to good service.
Sunday there is a $15 suggested charitable donation at the door along with a raffle to benefit breast cancer research.
Unfortunately, the event is all too personal to Woods, he was inspired to bring this night together because of his own girlfriend's cancer diagnosis. He is excited to help raise money for research.
Tim humbly confessed, "I just don't want to be embarrassed by a small turnout."
An opportunity to enjoy some laughs for a good cause, Sunday night 7pm to 9 pm, at the Station, #201 East Main Street, Carrboro.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
If not, you should.
It is one more fabulous, innovative, concerned group of Durham citizens. Four Durham School of the Arts graduates, Eliza Bordley, Reid Rosemond, Ellen Duda and Dylan Hammond are taking a biofuel1 powered bus that they converted on a six month, 9,000 mile, nationwide tour. They are fiscally supported by Zomppa, a food education and advocacy non-profit(and your Kickstarter cash).
This is the roof of the bus...
It is planted as part of a scheme to regulate the temperature inside the vehicle.
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour
The Clarion Content sat down with this fascinating foursome for an interview yesterday, on the bus that will serve as their home and sleeping quarters, as they prepared to embark on their nationwide tour. They depart from their south central Durham farm base today, first stop Asheville.
Their journey will include ten workshops and as many fifty expos. It is a non-paying gig so the group will be working as many farm trades, farm stays, and farmer's markets as they can. They will also be growing herbs, vermacomposting and stocking up on staples like beans, corn meal and polenta as they hit the road.
During their workshops they will construct community gardens with local children and interested adults. The Sol Food Farm team already has experience in this arena. They partnered with several Durham school of the Arts teachers, including another DSA alum and high school pal, Victor Cadilla, now a DSA history teacher, to found the school's Urban Farm Club. Together with students they built eight raised beds and planted an herb and vegetable garden.
The Sol Food team has amazing plans. They are headed for some fantastic destinations and wonderful collaborations, including, in Maine with renown agricultural researcher and educator, Elliot Coleman, author of The Four Season Harvest.
One of their goals is to bring the message to adults and kids alike that local agriculture exists. Urban farming is possible. Food does not have to be massed produced and shipped across country. As Rosemond put it, "We are doing it out love, it is what we are into."
They are also partnering with an incredible Durham start-up called In R Food that analyzes, among many other things, the distance a product has traveled to market, what's in it and what are the locally produced alternatives.
Left to right Ellen Duda, Dylan Hammond, Eliza Bordley and Reid Rosemond.
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour
Durham, you never cease to amaze.
Sol Food Mobile Farm will be filing more dispatches from the road. We wish them well. The Clarion Content will keep you updated on their fabulous journey. We will be running a full length feature on the crew, their bus and the mission next week. Stay tuned.
For now, check out more pictures of the Sol Food Mobile Farm bus and crew at Scenes from my Lunch Hour.
1 Technically waste vegetable oil, which is even better than a many a regular biofuel, because it never goes through processing, it just goes straight from the restaurant's fryer into the fuel tanks.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Don't feel too bad, neither had we...
But we are all in luck, because there is one last fabulous opportunity to check it out.
Update, update... "The Dwelling" will be up for another week. It is a must see. Wild lifesize voodoo dolls, locks of hair pinned to the wall, bones and candles in dishes, painted sagging floors. It is interactive, participatory and spooky.
This past spring, the Durham Storefront Project partnered with Scientific Properties to fill an unoccupied house at #1102 Taylor Street with an art installation by Julia Gartrell and Julienne Alexander. Aptly called “The Dwelling,” the empty house has been transformed into a magical workshop from another era. The installation is comprised of 1,000 square feet of site-specific artwork and furnishings revolving around themes of alchemy, superstition, and magic. Tonight in a celebration of the start of Summer, and what Alexander calls a “psycho-social-spiritual alignment,” the artists are hosting an open house on summer solstice eve.
Visitors can stop by to view the installation – oversized voodoo dolls, raw painted floors, strange edibles, bones and human hair – and celebrate the first moments of Summer. Local musical celebrities will be on hand with moody tunes beginning at 8:30 PM. Alexander also mentions, “There will be a bonfire to promote goodwill with the lords of summer, as well as beer, wine, and herbal cocktails for balancing the humours.” The open house and celebration are free and open to the public.
“The Dwelling” exemplifies the Durham ethic; artists and the community working together to create a more dynamic place for us all.
As part of the development of Golden Belt, Scientific Properties acquired several historic houses in the surrounding neighborhood, restoring the exteriors, but leaving the interior as raw space for the future owner to design and restore. The Durham-based real estate development company connected with the Durham Storefront Project after seeing art installations the group organized in downtown Durham and recognizing the opportunity a vacant interior presents to an artist.
The Durham Storefront Project was started in 2010 to connect artists with empty spaces. The volunteer-run initiative continues to organize installation series in underutilized spaces, highlighting the history and architecture of Durham, providing new opportunities for artists, and adding vibrancy to downtown. Support from many local organizations, including Preservation Durham, the Durham Arts Council, The Scrap Exchange, Scientific Properties, Greenfire Development, Center Studio Architecture, Self Help Credit Union, Through This Lens, have helped make the project a success.
This Fall the Durham Storefront Project will present a new series of windows focusing on the past, present, and future of Durham. For more information on the artists and businesses involved, visit www.durhamstorefrontproject.org.
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour
Thanks to our beloved, Scenes from my Lunch Hour, and a creative display arranged by, friend of the Clarion Content, and the curator of The Carrack, Laura Richie, you can see.
The halls are lined with promotional posters from a year's worth of fabulous shows...
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour
Photo credit Scenes from my Lunch Hour
Monday, June 18, 2012
The talents of the artists that make up Liberty Arts were on full display.
One of Mike Lupa's perception bowls, "Vein"
Renee Leverty's "Liberty"
Renee Leverty's "Circle"
Durham turned out in force...
And if that wasn't enough to send you scurrying to #923 Franklin Street, you can check out a photo of Robin Holmes breathtaking bronze piece here.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
you may be interested a use for all that overflowing basil. Check out this guest post on a lightened up version of pesto, courtesy of Scenes from My Lunch Hour.
With all the rain we've had of late, my herb garden has exploded. Seeing all that basil of course created an instant pesto-craving. Since pesto is kind of a fattening recipe, as far as sauces go, I decided to try to lighten it up a bit.
First I gathered a bunch of basil and parsley from my garden. I figured having a bit of parsley in there mellowing the basil would help to counteract the fact that I was going to add some sharp tastes (garlic and lemon, among others). Into the food processor went basil, parsley, garlic cloves and walnuts (they are cheaper and healthier than pine nuts and work just as well!) In addition to zesting the lemon, I also squeezed a few tablespoons of lemon juice into the food processor to replace some of the oil. Then the ever-delicious parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Instead of using a cup of extra virgin olive oil (like these proportions would normally call for), I only used about 2/3 of a cup (maybe even a little less) because of the lemon juice. Rather than just dump this in, I poured it in slowly through the mouth of the food processor while the herbs, nuts and cheese were spinning. I think this helped me be more stingy because it made use of the liquid as needed. The finished pesto came out to the perfect consistency:
While I was assembling the pesto and boiling the pasta, I had decided I needed to add some veggies so it was not all carb, nut and cheese. I quick trimmed some green beans and halved some cherry tomatoes, tossed them with salt and pepper and a teensy bit of olive oil, and threw them in the oven for 13 minutes at 400 degrees. Here’s a before and after shot:
And here's how the whole dish looked when put together:
Here's the full recipe for the pesto:
Ingredients (pesto): - 3 cups fresh basil - 1 cup fresh parsley - four garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and cut in half - zest from 1 medium lemon - 2 to 3 tbsps lemon juice - 3/4 cup shelled walnuts - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated - 1/2 tsp salt - 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Directions: blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. stop a few times and push the non-blended herbs down from the sides of the processor with a spatula. This will make 2x the sauce you need for the pasta & veggie portions below. My friend Jeff cleverly recommended using the extra on sandwiches, in dips, or (my personal fave) on a homemade pizza.
Check out Scenes from My Lunch Hour for more pics.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Their glass blowers have been busy, you will be able to feast your eyes on their wares including really unusual ornaments signed by visiting artist Phil Vinson. Not only did he blow them into metal molds that created fantastic patterns, he blew them in Durham and then signed and dated them prove it! Created Durhamanian-style!
There is also a collection of small, delightful bowls in fabulous patterns. Simply adorable.
Artist Renee Leverty is displaying a collection of her signature steel and brass sculpture that is both thought provoking and arresting at once.
Mike Lupa is sharing more of his marvelous ceramic work.
Robin Holmes has literally a HUGE surprise in bronze that may be the highlight of the show. Breathtaking.
Tripp Jarvis has a sculpture that is all wrapped up and waiting to be unveiled for your viewing pleasure.
And dear friend of the Clarion Content, Jackie MacLeod, has made a waterfall from small metal rectangles that have been treated.
A section of "The Waterfall" by Jackie MacLeod
On top of all that wonderful art to soak in, the folks at Liberty Arts have a newly redesigned T-shirt (courtesy of Mike and Leah Waller-Foushee) and pint beer glasses, all in the Clarion Content's favorite color: ORANGE!
Keep in mind too, Liberty Arts many classes on the calendar. Art Walk is great opportunity to find out more.
There are a variety of glass blowing classes with George, an amazing aluminum mask casting class with Tripp and a welding class with Jackie coming up. Of course, you can sign up online, but if you sign up at the studio and gallery you can meet some of the instructors and chat with them about your ideas.
Check them out this Friday, from 5.30pm to 9pm on the Durham Art Walk. While you are there it is easy to pop over and visit the LabourLove Gallery, the Scrap Exchange and the Golden Belt Artist Studios. Also don't miss Tony Waldron's amazing door mural at The Platform at the Cordoba Center for the Arts.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
If you read our profile of The Real Laww and his pal, Toon, you know what this man is about: he is an artist who focuses his energy and ability on giving back to community and causes he believes in.
Thursday will be a celebration of his nomination for The Carolina Music Awards Male Hip Hop Artist of the Year, as well as "International Laww" being nominated for Music Video of the Year.
Doors at 7pm, the festivities begin at 7:30pm. Enjoy live performances, art by Vanilla Gorilla, and food by Latoya Newsom of C’est Ma Joie. Like all events at The Carrack Modern Art, The Real Laww's "Be A Laww Abiding Citizen" is free and open to the public.
Check out the "International Laww" video below.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
special to the Clarion Content
from The Eastside Perspective
Doesn't this all sound a bit like it was made for television? The stories leading up to this coveted Finals series, the high drama, and the fact that the two teams that made it all the way to these 2012 NBA Finals are, now at the end of the season, the two most intriguing teams to watch?
Flash back to this Christmas - December 25, 2011 - many were saying that this Heat vs. Thunder Finals series was a shoe in. The major headline? None other than who will be the better overall player when all is said and done: Kevin Durant or LeBron James.
Flash back now to July 8, 2010, the day that changed the course of the career of one LeBron James.
The moment James stated his decision on national television was the immediate moment that he undertook such high expectations - certain feats that he is starting to show that he can do. But can he, Wade, and Bosh get the monkey off of their back? Time will tell.
On the other side you've got this team of youth, in OKC, that has proven time and time again that they carry the clutch gene when the game is on the line. Winning in San Antonio is no easy task folks - in fact, in these playoffs, there is only one place harder to play... Oklahoma City.
Clearly the Thunderous scoring trio of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden poses more of an offensive threat yet not to say that they are the better 'big three.'
I would have to say that OKC's interior may be a big factor in the series. Miami had a tough time guarding KG early on in the Conference Finals however when they went small they were able to get up and down the floor and play "Miami Heat Basketball." An advantage that they may no carry into these Finals.
Will Miami hang their first banner since 2006 and for the first time in the "Big Three" era? Or can Oklahoma City - the favorite with home court advantage - silence the Heat and hang their second banner in franchise history and first in Oklahoma City?
Let's dive right into the dissection of the match up:
Russell Westbrook vs. Mario Chalmers:
Matt's Advantage: Russell "I'm no fashion adviser" Westbrook
Stephen's Advantage: Russell "No Lenses" WestbrookI recently read an article on the B/R, that said Mario Chalmers is a top 15-20 PG in this league, that's ludicrious. Chalmers is a good player, no doubt, but he is not a top 15-20 PG. Westbrook will more than likely dominate this matchup. Westbrook's elite athleticism coupled with his deadly mid-range jumper, will be too much for Chalmers. He won't be able to sag off on Westbrook, like he did on Rondo, which I think will tire him out.
Thabo Sefolosha vs. Dwayne Wade:
Matt's Advantage : Dwayne "I'm sleeping with the refs" Wade
Stephen's Advantage: Dwayne "I don't show up until the 4th" WadeWade is going to be very aggressive in this series. He's coming off an awful sreies against the boys in green, and I believe he doesn't excatly want to play the role of Robin on this team. However, Thabo plays eilte defense and is coming off a series where he absoutely shut down manu giinobli AND Tony Parker. I wouldn't be surprised if Thabo holds Dwade to 20ppg on 30-35% shooting.
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James:
Matt's Advantage: LeBron "Not 4...Not 5...Not 6..." James
Stephen's Advantage: Kevin "KD" DurantTHIS HAD TO BE THE BEST FINALS MATCHUP IN THE PAST DECADE! The best part of this matchup, is that they will actually guard each other. It's the two best players in the game, going head to head, in a epic battle for the Finals' trophy.
THE BIG MEN
Kendrick Perkins vs. Udonis Haslem:
Matt's Advantage: Udonis "Thug-Life" Haslem
Stephen's Advantage: Kendrick "Perky" Perkins
Neither team has outstanding low post scorers, but both teams’ big men bring different things to the table.
Serge Ibaka vs. Chris Bosh:
Matt's Advantage: A Draw between "King Congo" and "Bosh Spice"
Stephen's Advantage: Serge “Iblaka”The Thunder; Ibaka and Perk bring possibly the best defensive frontcourt in the league. I wouldn’t expect too much offensive production from the Thunder big men, but expect plenty of defense and toughness, similar to the Celtics frontcourt. Bosh and Haslem on the other hand are undersized PF’s playing the C position. They aren’t going to be called upon to guard legit offense scorers in the post, so their size shouldn’t hurt the Heat. On the offensive side of the ball, both Haslem and Bosh can make the mid-range shot. The only question is whether or not they can make that outside shot consistently to open it up for their superstars.
6th Man Matchup
Shane Battier vs. James Harden:
Matt's Advantage: James "Fear the Damn Beard" Harden
Stephen's Advantage: James "The Bearded Wonder" Harden
Harden has the clear cut advantage in this match-up. The Heat’s bench averages like 0.1 points per game. If the Thunder’s superstars, Westbrook and Durant, have trouble scoring, Harden comes in and injects the team with energy. If Lebron, Wade, and Bosh are struggling, who comes in to let some of the load off? Nobody.
Matt's X-Factor for the Oklahoma City Thunder: The play of the Interior (Serge Ibaka, Perk, and Collison)
Stephen's X-Factor for the Oklahoma City Thunder: Kevin Durant's defense on Lebron (Prince James dominated that Celtics series - KD will not to shut him down if they want to take the series)
Matt's X-Factor for the Miami Heat: The Clutch Gene (No Surprise here, their play in the 4th will decide the series)
Stephen's X-Factor for the Miami Heat: Norris Cole (Cole could make D-Fish work with his quickness and athleticism)
FINALS SERIES PREDICTIONS -
Matt's Prediction: Miami in 7
Stephen's Prediction: Thunder in 7
T-minus 24 hours.....
Monday, June 11, 2012
And, it is not just the power numbers, although, those are abysmal as well. The story is told in his career 162 game averages, the one's which brought him his $30 million a year contract, versus this season's projected numbers.
This is the face the guy who scratches the checks should be making...
Career over 162, A-Rod averages 42 hrs and more than 120 runs scored and 120 runs batted in.
This season in a projected 159 games, he is on pace for 25 hrs, 88 runs scored and 66 runs batted in.
Over career 162: 187 hits and 33 doubles.
This year: 162 hits and only 14 two-baggers.
Over career 162: .564 slugging
This year: .427 slugging
by Clayton Tinkle
special to the Clarion Content
from The Eastside Perspective
This year’s conference finals provide us basketball fans with an age old matchup; The Young Guns versus The Veterans. Let's step back, anyone recall the 92’ NCAA tournament? The “young and immature” Fab Five from Michigan vs. the experienced Duke Blue Devils. Grant Hill and Christian Laettner came out on top in a demolition of the Wolverine’s “Young Guns” . There are other examples, but let’s stick to the games at hand.
While both of the semi-final series pertain the same basic matchup, they couldn’t have started any different. The Miami Heat embraced the role of the Young Gun and jumped out two games to none lead over the Veteran Boston Celtics. On the other side of the country, the exact opposite happened. The San Antonio Spurs spoiled the energetic Thunder’s chance of taking an early lead. The Spurs used flawless fundamentals and execution to take a commanding two game lead of their own.
“That’s why they play the game” -Anyone who ever got a prediction wrong.
Using its youth and fast paced tempo, OKC jumped back with three high scoring wins over San Antonio. In both wins Kevin Durant showed why he was the scoring champ as the Thunder scored over a hundred points in both recent wins. On the other hand, Boston used its nitty gritty toughness and veteran leadership to claw back and tie its series with the youthful Heat at two games a piece - both at home.
We've seen both generations can flex their muscles in different ways. However, my final thoughts are that both sets of Young Guns will outlast the Veterans - Youth will prevail in a best of seven series format. As much as I would like to see Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett square off, I think Kevin Durant and LBJ will be better for the game - headlines will be taken and eyes will be all over the Finals.
Both series go six games, with OKC closing out at home and the Heat will win two straight to close out on the road. However, The Celtics could join the Thunder as the only other teams in NBA history to win games 3, 4 and 5 after losing the first two games.
Then again who knows what’s going to happen? It's the playoffs..
Thursday, June 07, 2012
by Stephen Varnum
special to the Clarion Content
from The Eastside Perspective
So we are down to 4 teams left in the NBA playoffs: Thunders vs Spurs, Celtics vs Heat. How did they get there? Well, of course, the best players usually step up their game in the NBA playoffs. You can usually expect your veterans, your all-stars, and your superstars to bring all they got in the playoffs. One of the major question marks a coach has to worry about in the playoffs is what am I going to get from my rookies?
Rookies can be unpredictable. Some contribute right away and show incredible promise during the season, but when they being their playoff career...they sometimes tend to crack under the pressure. Some didn't contribute all that much during the season, but provide excellent minutes to a coach in the playoffs. Either way, it's unclear what to expect from their rookies in the playoffs.
But this year, most of the rookies have shined in the playoff spotlight and have provided great performances for their coaches:
5) Norris Cole's unexpected output keeps the Heat in the game -
On a night where Dwayne Wade couldn't buy a basket and Lebron James and Mario Chalmers both picked up 4 quick fouls, Coach Spolestra decided to lean on his rookie PG Norris Cole. Cole came in and contributed immediately with 5 pts and 2 assists, and forcing a crucial foul on Rajon Rondo in the third quarter. He helped the Heat close on a major run and gave the Heat a chance in the 4th quarter by closing the Celtics lead to 5.
Cole started the NBA season on fire, but Mario Chalmers ate up more and more minutes and outplayed Cole the whole second half of the season. Maybe Cole can provide beneficial minutes off the bench the rest of this 3 game series.
4) Lavoy Allen's big time defense -
Fresh off a great series win, the athletic 76ers were set to take on the "old" Boston Celtics. The series ended up going 7 games, and it was a very, very, ugly series. The teams averaged about 70-80 ppg, thanks to the great defense on both sides. I believe the 76ers wouldn't have lasted too long without the defense of Lavoy Allen. He clearly helped the 76ers hold the Celtics to a horrible average of 39% shooting.
KG clearly had an advantage against both Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young. Coach Collins saw this and decided to put in the defensive Lavoy Allen. And every NBA fan was like, Lavoy Who? Lavoy Allen, who only averaged 15 minutes in the last series, provided great defense on the future HOF KG. Although, KG still had some great games, Allen did his best both offensively and defensively to tired out the big man. Allen had averages of 7.5ppg 5.5rpg 1spg 1bpg and 23mpg. Allen definitely earned some minutes thanks to his fantastic postseason.
3) Greg Stiemsma's perfect performance -
The Steam Machine as they call him in Boston, is only averaging 8 minutes a game, but boy have they been effective minutes. He's blocking shots, grabbing rebounds, and providing the Celtics with an important interior presence when KG is on the bench. One game in particular was game 5 in the 76ers series.
In game 5, Stiemsma came off the bench and put up a much needed boost of 10 points on 5-5 shooting. He also added 3 blocks and 2 rebs. What was the best part of his performance is that he did it in only 14 minutes. The one knock on Stiemsma is that he does tend to foul a lot. He picked up 4 fouls in 5 minutes in game 2 of the Heat series. If he can stay on the floor for the Celtics, we might see Boston in the finals.
2) Kenneth Faried's rebounding prowess -
Down 2-0 to the Lakers, the Nuggets needed their unit to step up. The starters were not getting it done. The Nuggets had their backs against the wall and needed an early spark. That spark came from the Manimal! The Manimal had 10 rebs in the first half and got the crowd in to it with highlight dunks and posterizing moves. He also held Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum with some lock down defense.
He finished the game with 12 points and 18 rebounds and he certainly earned the starting PF spot for years to come in Denver.
1) Kawhi Leonard's steadiness -
Of this whole list, only Leonard and Steimsma are still in the playoffs. The Spurs started this year's playoffs 8-0 thanks to a team effort. Leonard has certainly contributed to that 8-0 with his steady production. He didn't really contribute that much in the Jazz series, but since the Spurs' series with the Clippers began, the SDSU product has posted averages of 11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.3 spg and 1.0 bpg. Not to mention he is called upon every night usually guarding the team's best player.
Leonard will have to help slow down KD, if it's even possible to, in order to avoid elimination in game 6.
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Special to the Clarion Content
from esteemed guest columnist: Al G. O. Escritor
Warning piece includes PG-13 language...
For the first time the other night, Johnny Ryall made me feel sad instead of joyously celebratory.
I am still trying to contextualize the death of Beastie Boy Adam Yauk.
I say contextualize because I don't think I will ever just get it and put it behind me. Our understanding of death has a time lag that drags well out behind our own relative age.
I remember my parents telling me that John Lennon had died. I didn't really know what that meant. I still had four grandparents and my first dog. Death hadn't really brushed up against me yet.
What does it mean when a great musician dies?
Not much when you're nine.
In high school I used to tease my friend Wheeze, a bassist and a huge Led Zeppelin fan, I would come into the cafeteria for lunch at least once a week and announce that I had just heard Jimmy Page had perished in some horrible mishap, car, plane, train accident, poisoning, lightning strike, et al. Wheeze's reactions ran the gamut over time from horror, to faux horror, to distaste, to boredom.
I don't think either of us really understood then what it means to lose a great musician permanently. You have to see "Almost Famous" a few times first. You have to read some Chuck Klosterman talking to, with and about musicians. You have to get f*cked up a few times and think about your relative place in the universe.
I had the Beastie's "Paul's Boutique" on cassette tape. It was revolutionary, powerful.1 The music was revolutionary for its time because it had so many samples, mad stuff of a length and variety that could never be duplicated in today's copyright happy environment. The drop that is the first twenty seconds of "Car Thief" was like nothing our suburban Jersey minds had every heard.
I even actually played "Paul's Boutique" to my little brother and sister, who were eight and six at that time. I have a distinct memory of having driven them somewhere in our parents Dodge Caravan and we were waiting outside somewhere to pick up our other sister. I switched off my mother's classical WQXR and popped in the tape. I have never brought this recollection up to them, so I have no idea what if any impression it made. To me it was seminal.
But I wasn't thinking about that moment a few years later watching The Beastie Boys at the Free Tibet Festival in Golden Gate Park. I was there with some 200,000 of my closest friends. I remember it being a beautiful warm, mild day for San Francisco in the Summer.
The two day long event was amazing. It included everyone: from Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Foo Fighters and A Tribe Called Quest. Fortunately, Golden Gate Park's splendid, lush, plant life and stately architectural features were behind fenced off areas. Because, during the Beastie Boys set, there appeared the biggest mosh pit I have ever seen.
This mosh pit or mini riot, depending on your perspective, involved easily 1,000 people charging around kicking the sh*t of each other in a swarming vortex that had to be 100 yards deep by the width of the stage.
During Heart Attack Man, as the crowd from behind us surged, we were jostled every closer to the mosh pit. People would literally suddenly want to be done and they would run out of the mosh pit pitch, sprinting past us, often battered, bruised, discolored and panting. It was a concert experience unlike any other before or since.
It was not long before, while living in San Francisco, that I had received with great sadness the news of Jerry Garcia's death. It had come like a bolt from the blue. Wait, what? Jerry's dead? I am still in single digits in Dead shows was one of the first things that went through my head. At the time I had two stickers on my American made clunker, a Dead head's Steal Your Face and the Beastie Boys.
Jerry was dead and I am still trying to contextualize it. I have never seen the Grateful Dead again. Neither has anybody else. My Dead shows still number in the single digits.
I did see the Beasties again, years later in Madison Square Garden from the sump comforts and safety of a luxury box. They were just as cool and perhaps even cooler than I remembered them. My buddy and I went over how epically legendary and revolutionary they were for us in an era where there were no songs we knew more daringly anti-parent than "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" and "Fight for your Right." We pointed out the Beasties had toured with freaking Madonna. We reviewed how even in the era after college when we were the uber-cool club kids rolling to NYC hot spots like, "Match," "The Limelight" and "The Wetlands" we rocked Paul's Boutique and Ill Communication.2
As the horizon gets shorter and the days blow by faster, I don't know if I would have gone to that Beatles re-union tour. I do know I sure wouldn't have minded having a chance to... and the Grateful Dead would still be touring today if Jerry's body could have held up to it.
But the conclusion I want you to take away from this tour down memory lane isn't maudlin.
Rest-in-Peace Adam Yauch.
Am I crushed that I will never see the Beasties again?
But the message?
I have a friend, uber-professional, buttoned down, works at one of the local business schools. She tells the story of being a twenty-one year old undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill, and seeing none other than Dave Matthews with about ninety other people in the Cat's Cradle.
By the time I saw Dave Matthews, he was playing amphitheaters.3
The message is get your ass out there and see some live music. Now. Check out some up-and-coming local bands. Is the word of mouth good? Is there an act from out of town coming through one of our many fantastic music clubs that people are raving about?
See them while you can.
Adam Yauk, I am glad I saw you while I could.
I know one day I will again jam out to Johnny Ryall.
1The Sergeant Pepper's of hip-hop.
2It didn't matter to us that they started as a punk band. We were stoked Kate Schellenbach was sampled on Shadrach. The Beasties and their label Grand Royal had introduced us to Luscious Jackson, whom we adored.
3Interestingly enough, he also played that huge Free Tibet show in Golden Gate Park.
Real quotes from real tweeters. We love to peak into those teen lives. (PG)
Deleting all my texts makes me feel like I have no proof of anything---Christy
Dear girls who take a pic in slutty clothing & glasses & label the caption "nerddd lol" You're not a nerd, you're a whore who found glasses---miilkkk
Tumblr speaks the words that your lips tremble to get out.---McKenna
Deleted the Facebook app from my phone, got a job, and woke up early today. Come at me summer.---Sarah
one day your life will flash before your eyes...make sure its worth watching.---Jillian
My family is so twofaced its unreal...my mom will never grow out of her popular high school life…---Andrea
Hilary Duff had a baby. Zack and Cody graduated. Miley and Liam are engaged... My childhood is officially over.---Veronica
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
I walk up to the Carrack Gallery on a Friday in downtown Durham at high noon, to be greeted by Jon Wendelbo, sitting on the church pew-like bench outside with a tiny, fluffy white dog attached to the leash in his hand. He smiles when he recognizes my face. We sit and small talk about their smashing birthday party until a bright-eyed woman walks up the street, commanding the space as she moves. Laura Ritchie is one of those people you are intensely aware of when they are around you, their presence and energy almost palpable. We head upstairs, where Sarah Goetz is already above, putting the final touches on her installation, ‘just between us’. As we open the door, I see the most beautiful, dream-like mobile hanging from ceiling to floor, dappling shadows over Sarah as she walks around the space, making sure everything is as it should be, and telling her story in this comfortable welcoming environment.
Ritchie and Wendelbo’s personalities are part of what brings this air of openness to the Carrack. Their zero-commission policy sets the stage for frequently changing shows and encourages work in a multitude of mediums. The responsibility can put a lot of pressure on the artist to stage and carry out their exhibition in as little as three days, but it allows the creator to take full control of the space, breaking it down and building it back up in the way that best serves them.
“Every artist has surprised me in some way,” Ritchie said of the past year. “That’s the beauty of having this open-ended space where the artist has complete freedom.”
Many of the installations have taken advantage of the no-rules environment by building multi-form installations combining music, art, film, performance, and more. Last September, Louis Franco’s installation involved spoken word performance during the reception. Aimari and Alex Young’s ‘SOLA’ installation this March; combining dance, body art, display, sculpture, and music was on a level the likes of which Durham really hadn’t seen before.
“They (Aimari and Alex} completely took over, and created this place that didn’t have a linear narrative, and no boundaries,” Ritchie said. “They completely changed the space, and in hand, what they created was changed by each visitor.”
After many doubted and spoke skeptically about their business model and the prospect of letting outsiders have complete control of the space, it is the validation that gives the two founders the most joy. Looking back on a year of trusting a Durham community that has not only confirmed their faith, but also given back time and time again, nourishes their spirits.
“Creative energy just feeds more creative energy,” Ritchie said, telling the story of how multiple musicians simply walked up to the Carrack on the eve of their birthday celebration, offering to play their instruments for the event.
The Community Art Show, held during the last weekend in April, ended up exhibiting thirty-one local artists. There was an almost bohemian theme to the reception, as artists brought their own mediums to the event.
“One person brought some wine, and another brought some canvas and started painting, and then this whole thing just sort of kicked off,” Wendelbo said of the night.
Clearly, our Durham community has been building this sort of energy for some time, as the response generated by The Carrack Modern Art demonstrates. Having a space where creativity is welcomed and a vital part of the institution is something we need and value.
“Each show has gotten bigger and bolder as they’ve seen examples of the shows before them,“ Ritchie said of the building cloud of no-holds-barred artistic stimulation surrounding #111 West Parrish Street, “It’s been incredible to watch what happens when you just trust someone.”
The quickly changing schedule of artists exhibiting at the Carrack has lead to involve heavy hours on Wendelbo and Ritchie’s part, but as the artist’s take on the set-up and take down responsibilities, their shorter shows only concern the two in the sense that some artists may be better served in a longer format.
“The three day shows work well for pop-up art intention, like the community show, but there are some artists that I think would be better served by a long period of time.” Ritchie explained. Even the Durham community sometimes struggles to keep up with the whirlwind of exhibits.
While, the word is that they may slow down the pace for 2013, giving the artist’s more time to show and the community more time to absorb and appreciate, the Carrack is not changing its basic model. It will continue giving artists a chance to have access and control like never before and continue giving the arts community opportunities to see the innovation and feel the creative pulse.
“It’s like a mirror,” Wendelbo said. “We are reflecting the energy of the artist on the community, and the community’s energy is reflected back to the artist, and so on.”
In true collaborator fashion, Ritchie is already following his thought process along the way, and finishes his thought for him.
“We’re just holding the mirror.”
For more information on the Carrack, it’s past shows, how to donate, and more, visit their website at www.thecarrack.org.
And for long time observers of the Triangle milieu, here is another signifier. The Post's article which ostensibly covers Raleigh and Chapel Hill as well, starts with Durham. Moreover, it does not even mention the other's cities culinary delights until you continue to page two of the story. It highlights Durham institutions and up-and-comers from Whiskey, to Parker and Otis, to Only Burger and Counter Culture Coffee.
Read the whole article here.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
We find and you, the readers, submit good stuff that might not otherwise cross our radar.
Like Dutch here...telling us how he really feels.
First up, a piece from the site Real Clear Politics challenging whether or not liberals and Democrats are prepared to debate their positions this coming election season. The thesis is that they are so cocooned, so hostile and unwilling to give any merit to the other side's thoughts and beliefs that they are unable to muster winning arguments against them in the public forum. It is a fascinating take. It is the underlying premise as to why supreme strategists say, 'read your enemy's writings.'
Next, from the New York Times1, is an evisceration of the myth that a businessman makes a good president for tough economic times. The examples for their argument may be a bit thin, almost anecdotal, referring to the Roosevelts, Eisenhower and Reagan as great non-businessman presidents, with Herbert Hoover and King George II serving as the examples of businessmen who made lousy presidents. The more compelling critique is their indictment of the foolishness spewing out of Mitt Romney's mouth,
I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birth place of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.2
And you thought, Sarah Palin was a rocket scientist.
Our next article comes from the Economist. Two veteran political analysts, Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of Brookings Institute, argue that partisan Congressional gridlock is even worse than it looks. They say that America’s political parties have become as vitriolic and vehemently adversarial as the parties are in a parliamentary system. Unfortunately while a parliamentary system allows the majority to rule, as the opposition waits and plots for the next election, America’s separation of powers hardly gives one party the power to rule unconstrained. The result is disastrous gridlock surrounding many, many real time problems.
In addition to the carping typical of so many political tomes, Mann and Ornstein do offer some solutions. Sadly, they are very pessimistic about the likely outcomes of the 2012 election. Quoting from the Economist,
They fear that the coming election will neither affirm the existing order nor accomplish sweeping change "in a way that will recreate a functional and legitimate political process". If President Obama is elected he may still be hobbled by a divided Congress, or one in which the Republicans have a majority in both chambers. Even if the Democrats recapture the House and hold the Senate, the Republican minority could continue to use filibusters and other measures to block the majority's business. And even if the Republicans captured the White House and both chambers and embarked on sweeping change, the changes "would come to a country that is deeply divided politically, and more than half of whose citizens would likely strongly oppose these moves."
Finally, a block of three interesting articles highlighting the strong anti-incumbent sentiment still prevalent in this election cycle. First from Fox News, the story of sixteen year Democrat Congressman, Sylvestre Reyes, who lost his primary race in southwest Texas. This second one is not a joke, or if it is, it is a bizarre and foreboding one. 41% of those who voted in the Democratic primary in West Virginia, selected a Texas prison inmate over President Obama. This was probably worse for the Obama re-election bid than "none of the above" giving the president a run for his money in the Kentucky primary. Keith Russell Judd, from his cell in Texarkana, Texas without any organized support, was simply not Obama.
The good news for the White House is that the Republicans are fielding a milquetoast weakling of a candidate. The even better news for President Obama, given the fever pitch of anti-incumbency; the Tea Party and Occupy are dormant not gone, is no viable third party or independent candidate has emerged. It felt to the Clarion Content like this was a year when a Michael Bloomberg or Simon Cowell (jk) could have grabbed the baton and made things interesting. Americans Elect, who spent the last several years organizing and attempting to draft an independent candidate, admitted last month that their efforts have come to naught. No candidate cleared the threshold of required support, not even the darling of rabblerousers everywhere, Ron Paul.
What does this all mean, dear readers? Well you know we are lousy at the predictions business, so we won't hazard a guess at the election's outcome, but we do think voters will be choosing between two choices they are not thrilled by, and turnout will be much lower than in the last presidential election.
1Occasionally worthy, though you won't see us going over that pay wall.
2Yes, we believe he was serious, not kidding.