BasicallyThis week, consider leaving bacon on the coffee table, going out, and seeing what the dog does. Plus Trump refuses to shake Angela’s hand. We learn that a quarter of the Canadian military is obese. The We-Vibe smart vibrator is fined for tracking user data. And MIT promises $250K to she who takes a personal risk for greater good. Poor Snowden.
But also, hey Buckslip reader: Thank you.
In short: Fuck cancer. Longer: Jayson Greene’s Pitchfork conversation with musician Phil Elverum – about the death of Geneviève Castrée, his wife and the mother of his infant child, and the album that Elverum recorded in the subsequent months – is one of the most intimate and confronting music interviews you’ll ever read. From the opening, where Greene scrubs the built up crud from Elverum’s kitchen stove, this piece treads a scarily fine line between talking openly and honestly about grief and becoming an uncomfortably intimate voyeur to it in its purest form.
We sit for a moment in his living room, in front of the unlit wood stove. He tells me about a spontaneous trip he took with his daughter one month after Geneviève died: “I was like, ‘I’m going to grieve! Throw some rope in the car, an axe, a tarp, and a baby! Let’s go!’” They went to Haida Gwaii, a far-flung archipelago some 500 miles northwest of Anacortes. There, Elverum found himself at the fringes of society, camping with a five-month-old. He soon came down with food poisoning. And then he threw his back out.
Classic case of the hat wearing the man.
Vertical farms, a misguidedly utopian/Sim City application of industrial thinking to unstable ecosystems, are a bad idea that won’t die. Perhaps, though, there’s a way to harness all of that sensor-driven big data and enhance food production in more positive, sustainable ways?
There was something beautiful about Genius in its pure form – it could have been the annotation layer the web was meant to have built in. Except almost as soon as the VC money began to flow, chaos reigned, and now the pivot is on. To… video? Cue the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ business strategy death spiral, and pour one out for a genuinely great idea gone astray.
Norway’s crowd-sourced banknote design is perfect and begins circulating later this year. Theme is “the sea”.
Brands should never say bae, but Gucci’s new #TFWGucci campaign on Instagram doesn’t leave the same bad taste in our mouth. This is largely owing to Gucci’s smart collaboration with a range of Instagram personalities, from global meme-pusher @beigecardigan (2.9M followers) to @gothshakira (53.5 K followers), whose account feels like it could belong to your coolest friend-of-a-friend. But the campaign also works because creative director Alessandro Michele has cultivated a brand image that is of the moment: a colourful and surreal bricolage of excess.
Not every global fashion house has such confidence in their creative director’s singular vision. Helmut Lang has embraced the current trend of brand partnerships as an opportunity to distribute creative responsibility and thus mitigate the risk of relying any one individual. This collaborative strategy will be coordinated by an “editor in residence” rather than a creative director. What’s more suspicious than the distinction between editor and creative director is the “in residence” qualification. Welcome to the precariat, executive class!
Adam Curtis questions the interacting forces of art, individualism, power, freedom and myth in the always fantastic The Creative Independent. “You’ve got to let people still feel they’re independent individuals, yet they are giving themselves up to something that is awesome, greater, and more powerful that carries them into the future beyond their own existence.” To minimize the psychic trauma of a more political interpretation, we’re choosing to read this as a direct response to meme-ads and fashion-collabs.
Just a fun (and smart) look at emojis as swearwords and why, for now, they just don’t work as a well as the real thing. Nicely done, Philip Seargeant.
Sorry this one was late, but we were out tapping maple trees. Tell your friends we wanna give them some sugar.