Björk, always one to innovate, is back again with yet another mind-blowing music video. The song is called Mutual Core from her last album Biophilia and the video was directed by Los Angeles resident Andrew Thomas Huang. Though Huang is a relatively new to directing, this video stands at equal level to some of Gondry’s finest work for the Icelandic siren. The video starts with Björk buried nearly to her waist in sand, with odd creature-like things swirling around her. From there the video becomes explosive, dripping with magma and sexual suggestions. I’m also surprised by how great the song is, for some reason I don’t remember it from the album. Huang does well to match the mood, rhythm and tone of the song to make one of the finest videos I’ve seen this year.
Street art is no new thing to most of us, but is that true for all parts of the world? This last summer painter and street artist Conor Harrington took a trip to Vardo, “a half abandoned fishing village” off the coast of Norway. He was followed by filmmaker Andrew Telling who documented not only Connor’s work but the landscape itself. Conor sums up their journey quite nicely.
I was invited to the far reaches of Norway during the summer and I took the opportunity to make my 3rd film with film-maker supremo Andrew Telling. I think this is by far our best film. Pared back and super minimal he really captured the atmosphere of one of the most Northerly and isolated parts of Europe.
I think it’s a lovely portrayal of what street art can be. It seems like a lot of people think of street art as graffiti, not art, but Conor’s work definitely fits into the category of art, painting these huge sword fighting gentlemen. While watching the film I wasn’t really sure what Conor was painting or how it would turn out, but I think his imagery and influence work superbly with such an ancient town.
Not all architecture is above ground. Architecture can happen under the dirt and pavement, or even throughout its pliable surface. This week, we’re looking at recent work by architects who manipulate the ground to achieve different effects. Yesterday, we saw Dutch bunkers sinking in verdant quicksand and today we’re looking at a Danish quilt that pieces together objects from 60 different parts of the world along a half-mile stretch in Copenhagen.
The quilt is really an urban park deigned by BIG, Superflex and Topotek1 that stretches through Nørrebro, Copenhagen’s most diverse neighborhood. The new park celebrates this neighborhood’s diversity by collecting objects from disparate parts of the world and sorting them into a curious display of familiar and unfamiliar objects. If you’re from LA, you may recognize free-standing exercise equipment modeled after Muscle Beach, if you’re from the UK, you may recognize cast-iron trash cans, and if you’re from Russia or Qatar, you may recognize neon signs that have found a new home in Nørrebro.
But before these foreign-but-familiar objects were bolted in place, the Architects and designers did something much less complicated: they painted the ground. The treatment of the ground divides the park into three major regions: the part with grass, the part with stripes and the bright red/orange/pink part. The park doesn’t try to recreate vignettes from the different countries where it has borrowed objects (that’s how Epcot works, right?) but rather the park sets them up as solitary or clustered objects on unfamiliar ground. The project leader from BIG, Nanna Gyldholm Møller, describes the project this way.
“Rather than plastering the urban area with Danish designs we decided to gather the local intelligence and global experience to create a display of global urban best practice comprising the best that each of the 60 different cultures and countries have to offer when it comes to urban furniture.”
There must be something in the air at this time of year that makes people want to listen to more folk music. In last week’s podcast of The Build Up Bobby talked about listening to a lot of folk acts over the last few weeks and now I too have caught the bug, tuning into all sorts of folk, country and Americana.
I was recently introduced to the beautiful sounds of Hurray for the Riff Raff through an old episode of NPR’s All Songs Considered and since then I’ve been listening to their album Look Out Mama pretty relentlessly. Hurray for the Riff Raff is the music of Alynda lee Segarra and her band.
The album, which was released back in August, is the result of almost two years of touring across the US in small bars and clubs. It’s an album filled with a variety of influences ranging from Motown, soul, country, surf-rock and even a bit of psychedelia. Yet despite this eclectic mix of sounds the whole album is pinned together beautifully by Alynda lee Segarra sweet vocals and the band’s unmistakable love for classic Americana. The album’s stand-out track for me is the short-but-sweet Born to Win, Pt. One which really comes alive with a rollicking sing-a-long chorus. It’s a beautiful uplifting track!
Not all architecture is above ground. Architecture can happen under the dirt and pavement, or even throughout its pliable surface. This week, we’re looking at recent work by architects who use the ground to achieve different effects.
This time, the concrete bunkers stay intact and it is the ground that is cut and shaped. While the ground is moulded into an amphitheater infront of a new “fort” (designed and built by these guys) some of the former concrete bunkers find themselves submerged in the lawn as if they were sinking in a kind of verdant quicksand. It’s probably more correct to think of these bunkers as being partially excavated instead of sinking. This is, after all, a Dutch historic site and there’s probably plenty of stuff hiding below the sculpted surface of the earth. Thanks to Rietveld and the Atelier, visitors to the site can interact with the former barracks in two ways distinct ways. For the tourists, the ground has become an expansive piece of grassy furniture, and for the history buffs the ground reveals and frames fragments of a fortified past.