Tuesday January 30, 2007
Like, for instance, my new Samsung Blackjack smartphone. Now that I have Windows Mobile again, I can get back to reading free ebooks from Project Gutenberg and elsewhere. Now playing: Conrad’s The Secret Agent. … Erica Harris’ collages, now on display at Object Image Gallery in Park Slope. Beautiful stuff. … Everyone should see Who Killed the Electric Car? We watched it this weekend and it made us crazy mad. … For you ad types out there, I wrote about niche sports—and the sponsors who love them—in this week’s issue of Ad Age. (reg. req’d.)
The Park Slope Barnes & Noble has (finally) decided to take a hardline in the neighborhood’s ongoing stroller wars. As you can see here, the bookstore has banned strollers from the kiddie section downstairs “due to overcrowding.”
That’s right, Manhattanites—toddlers are so thick on the ground out here it has become a humanitarian crisis. I don’t expect the mommied masses to take this well. Anticipate riots.
Friday January 19, 2007
Mayor Bloomberg announced Wednesday in his State of the City Address that 911 and 311 will soon be equipped to receive digital photos and videos from cellphones and computers. Great news for the poor call center worker who’s going to have to sort through all those cat photos and lip-synch videos in a futile attempt to discover if a crime is going on somewhere. But for Bloomberg—ever the entrepreneur—the plan might not be all about public safety.
According to the Times, John Feinblatt—the mayor’s criminal justice coordinator—“said the popularity of text and photo messaging and Internet services like Google and YouTube made this initiative a natural next step for emergency services.” Which, if I’m reading this correctly, sounds like they’re planning to rollout the service, then sell it to Yahoo! in 18 months.
(Thanks to A. for actually reading the paper.)
Thursday January 18, 2007
Our friend Heidi Cody will have some work in a group show that opens tomorrow at the Front Room gallery in Williamsburg. Her offerings will include a poster of the brilliant “American Alphabet”—all 26 letters of the alphabet swiped from corporate logos—the letter “I” from the same series, and editions of her “Ads on TP,” which is exactly what it sounds like—ads on toilet paper. I won’t be able to make the opening reception (A. will likely be there), but it gives me an excuse to talk about Heidi’s work. We visited her studio in Bushwick a few months ago, and she’s got some great things cooking.
On the logo front, she’s been creating giant (6’ x 6’) plexiglass details of corporate logos. As with “American Alphabet,” each panel strikes a familiar chord, but in this case the allusions are pushed to the point of abstraction. Heidi has also done some clever (as opposed to, say, ham-fisted) projects about the intersection of industry and the environment. She’s replaced birds with spray bottles for her “Audobon Series” and she’s created visual haiku out of cleaning supplies.
More recently (and most whimsically), she’s sent the Eskimo Pie eskimo on an expedition to visit landscapes depicted in the packaging of other well-known brands, like Poland Springs (pictured) and Swiss Miss. It’s sharp, amusing stuff that kind of reminds me of the title story in George Saunders’ In Persusion Nation, in which he rips a band of spokes-things out of their natural environments. Go click around on her website.
Monday January 15, 2007
Alexandra has posted an online tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.—an invitation to listen to one of his lesser-known speeches on mp3. It’s sort of like a holiday card for a holiday that doesn’t do cards. Check it out.