I went to the Takashi Murakami show at the MOCA in LA last weekend, and in addition to a ton of paintings and giant sculptures, they also had some animation that his company, KaiKai Kiki did - a Kanye West video, and also a cartoon where Murakami's characters are animated and have adventures. They were really cute and funny. ( oh, and 1) KaiKai Kiki has a New York studio and 2) they employ an artist called "Mr." )
I was looking for one of the KaiKai Kiki videos online, and I found this animated short they did for Murakami's first collaboration with Louis Vuitton. It's so rad!
Here's the trailer for the KaiKai and Kiki cartoon they showed at the exhibit. I guess the whole thing isn't online, but to sum it up, Kiki and KaiKai get really excited about planting some watermelons, and learn about the concept of fertilizer.
And here's an interview with Marc Jacobs ( artistic director of Louis Vuitton ) where he talks about his collaborations with Murakami. * note - this is not a good interview, but it's fun to watch because of Marc Jacobs pronunciation of Vuitton, and his delivery in general.)
There were some cute Austrian wafer cookies in the package, and a little note. So far, everything I've gotten from Etsy has come in really cute packaging, with a handwritten note of some sort. I don't get many handwritten notes, so it's nice to see that people can still write. ( full disclosure - I don't write many handwritten notes either, so I guess that could be why I'm not raking them in. )
My esteemed colleagues have started a blog called Tranny Android, which i have added to my blogroll. One of the authors is a candy-addicted diabetic ladies man, while the other is a bourgeoisie nantucket-red-pant-wearing connoisseur of tufted leather furniture. ***
A more unlikely pair I've never met, but they are adorable together. And the logo they've commissioned is funny:
***This post is pretty much meaningless to you unless you know these particular gentlemen, but at the very least, you use it as fodder to make fun of people who think their inside jokes are hilarious to everyone.
This post stems from a conversation I had at dinner tonight; Amy, Alex, Johanna and I were eating at an Italian restaurant, and there was a map on the wall of Italy, which prompted me to wonder aloud about exactly when people figured out Italy looked like a boot. Since maps existed long before airplanes, we assumed that cartographers must have figured it out just by sailing around the coast, or something.
This, in turn, lead to us talking about cartography as a dying (or dead?) profession. This wasn't a new topic for me, as I'd started co-writing a short story/script about a year ago called The Last Cartographer, about a cartographer and his son, who has been an apprentice to his dad all his life, then suddenly had to find a new profession because there just weren't any more maps to make.
( I don't even really know much about cartography - I can only assume that the majority of the earth, at this point, has been mapped over and over. Maybe they've begun to map other planets? I'm not sure. )
We then started talking about other professions that were extinct, or becoming so. When I got home, I did some research, and one of the dying professions I stumbled upon was a cobbler ( fixer of shoes). The article I found painted a picture of American throwaway culture today, and how rather than getting things fixed, we tend to just get new things.
This wasn't always true, I guess - there was the Depression era, when no one ever got new stuff, and even after that, people patched and repaired clothes rather than getting new ones, and scissor-sharpening trucks would come around and, uh, sharpen your knives and scissors, prolonging their lives. Did people, at some point, come to the conclusion that it was cheaper or easier to replace something rather than get it fixed?
I guess the new green-mania could reverse this trend. Now we're looking more closely at how much waste we produce, and how we can consume less overall - and repairing things, rather than throwing them away certainly helps with that. So maybe the cobbler in the article does have a shot after all.
Another profession that is sometimes referred to as dying is Journalism. Now that everyone is a reporter, equipped with the equipment to capture and spread news as fast as any traditional journalist can, is there as much of a need to wait for a professional to tell you what's going on? I would argue that it isn't really journalism that is dying, because I believe journalism can evolve to include vigilante news-capturers, but rather, the idea of reporters as a select group of people qualified to bring you news.
Sorry, this post was sort of rambly - are there any other dying professions out there? Or what professions do you think are sure to die in the near future?
hi. i decided to not publish my del.ici.ous links as posts anymore, because:
a) it made me look really really lazy, and it made it really evident that I was like, not writing anything for a week. which is true, but I felt like people thought I was a slacker.
b) i catalog a lot of links that are ridiculous, and really of no use to anyone but myself, unless you happen to a person who is interested in squid knitting patterns, interior design, Olivier Theyskens, cute animal videos, and James McAvoy* ( although Charles does like them, apparently )
c) i thought if i took them away, it would make me write more.
If you do like the randomness of my del.ici.ous links, they're on the sidebar of the blog, or you can subscribe to them in del.ici.ous, i guess. and if you don't, then I can't be responsible for the Olsen-twin related news that you'll be missing, or the stuff on Etsy that you won't get to not buy because I already bought it.
* god. who ISN'T interested in that stuff? i should have picked better examples of uselessness. I mean, who can't use cute animal videos? or James McAvoy?
There's a store in Soho called Kiosk, which features a rotating collection of not-mundane-to-us items from other countries. While the real life store has one nation's goods at a time, they now have a large international, ongoing collection of stuff on their website, in addition to the current featured country ( which, at the moment, is Finland.)
I was poking around on there, looking for would-be holiday gifts, and I noticed a few really interesting bike accessories.
One is a net from Japan, which you attach to your bike basket, so things don't fly out of it if you hit a bump. I've never seen one of these here (have you?) but it seems like a pretty good idea!
They also have a Finnish bike reflector that you can swing out when it's dark, or in traffic. Riding a bike in New York is incredibly dangerous, in my opinion, and it's rare that you even see reflector lights on rider's bags, let alone something like this.
This reminded me a little of last weekend, when Johanna and I did our AWNY conference thingy, and she mentioned that a friend had told her about bike culture in Holland, and she was really interested.
Seriously, have you ever been in an auto store? like where they sell tires? The range of these products is astounding. Maybe it's because pretty much everything you put on a bike has to be functional because it's taking up valuable space, whereas in a car, you can fill your back window with Beanie Babies and action figures and still have room for a few well placed boxes of Kleenex.
Something tells me we should re-focus our efforts as traveling Americans on items that make sense, like the bike accessories above.