Canadian makes very cool map of United States
This map uses dirt from every state, and it’s made by an 85-year-old retired ad agency art director. His favorite soils came from Colorado (“quite reddish”), Maine (“pale and sandy”), and Mississippi and Alabama (“deeply colored with iron oxide”). The soils have varying degrees of acidity, and each is a slightly different color.
Read more about the map and Les Gregor’s process. If you like it, you can purchase one! Personally, I love how gritty and ‘American’ it feels (yes, including the irony of the artist’s home country) and would LOVE to own one…
This machine allows anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they like. Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.
This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary. Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.
Really great piece. Though, I wonder, what amount would be the tipping point that makes cranking the minimum wage machine worth it? Does minimum wage ever feel worth it? And, is there a way to re-frame / enhance / change the piece to change how people perceive minimum wage jobs?
I am SO EXCITED by my new custom-made kicks courtesy of guicemann (aka Charlie)! When I was recording Flee The Scene, Kasey and Dave told me about their own spiffy sneakers, and I loved the idea. I asked Charlie if he could possibly do a pair with all of my favorite Brooklyn things, and he surpassed my expectations. I love how unique they are and how perfectly suited they are for me. I highly recommend getting a pair of your own perfectly-you shoes; I’m happy to connect you! Such a great small business.
(Fun Fact: You might notice the black bike on the sneakers. I’ll never forget you, bike!)
Johnathan Lopes, a Brooklyn native, built a LEGO replica of Brooklyn, complete with the Fairway in Red Hook, the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank, and the rickety A train. It’s amazing. Check out the story and gallery. I can’t believe he’ll be eventually disassembling it!
I was mesmerized staring at this fountain outside of the Brooklyn Museum last Friday. Its patterns were in perfect symphony with the rest of the environment - the people, the traffic, the ice cream vending - that it felt as though the water were moving in agreement instead of on a pre-programmed track.
Check out Arts for Transit (the app or the website) to learn more about the incredible artwork in the NYC subways. There are a lot of gems and significance; read up on your favorite stations to appreciate them even more. As an example, here’s what I see as I arrive at work every day:
and here’s what they have to say:
57th Street - 7th Avenue
Carnegie Hall Montage, 1994
Ceramic tiles on north and south mezzanine walls; porcelain enamel on north mezzanine wall
Carnegie Hall Montage is a colorful arrangement of images in porcelain on steel that shows the range of artists who have performed on the world-renowned stage. Some depict Carnegie Hall’s classical pedigree, such as Leonard Bernstein and Marian Anderson, for example, while others portray the Beatles, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Eleanor Roosevelt, as testament to the importance of the stage. Nearby, hundreds of white tiles with text commemorate the names, professions, and appearance date of notables who graced Carnegie’s stage. In the words of Carnegie Hall activist Gino Francesconi: “I have always felt that the subway station directly below Carnegie Hall should reflect the history of the building just as the subways of Moscow and Paris do their own cultural institutions … It reminds one of the connection between the city and its art.”
He puts up a Christmas tree once a week and decorates it, then takes it down the next morning.
A voracious reader of history, he’s been known to clip favorite words from books and eat them. Sometimes he’ll eat whole paragraphs. His New York Public Library card has been permanently revoked.
He doesn’t observe Tuesdays. He wears a watch that he smashed on purpose at exactly twelve o’clock. As a result, scheduling is not his strong suit. He famously missed his own birthday by three months.
Typographer’s Glossary by Playtype: Click through to view letterform anatomy, type classification, information on kerning, and other vital facts for typographers.
This is a lot of information that I’ve always been curious about packaged neatly and comprehensively.
Keep doing what you like to do. That’s all it is.
Interview with Lyndsay Rae Meiklem, Small Business Owner and Artist
For weeks, I’ve been excited by the national Mission Small Business contest sponsored by Chase and LivingSocial, which will award up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses. The business application calls for a thoughtful essay and community (online) support, and the project with my vote (and hopefully yours! It’s easy!) is Lyndsay Rae Meiklem’s Meiklem Kiln Works / Centerspace Wellness Studio. With just under two weeks left to vote, I sat down with Lyndsay to learn more about her business philosophy and share it with you.
Jen Bokoff: When you started Meiklem Kiln Works in 2002, did you have any idea that it would be more than just a small pottery studio?
Lyndsay Meiklem: My vision of the studio when we first began in a tiny 700 sq foot building was that we would eventually outgrow the space and need to move into a bigger facility. At that time, I had not envisioned the yoga and wellness studio although I knew I wanted to gather a community of like-minded individuals who could collaborate and help one another to grow their businesses. The business wallet has not been as large as my vision through the years, but still, in 8 years we managed to grow from that original space to a two building, 6000 sq. ft. property housing our entire arts and wellness facility! Now, we’re thriving and that original community I had envisioned has encircled the property; we all embrace one another’s strengths and support one anothers dreams.
JB: Besides your parents, you credit the motto “Conceive, Believe, Achieve” for your success. Can you walk me through what each of those components mean to you?
LM: I’m a fan of motivational speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer and Carolyn Myss, who speak often about the inner obstacles that can hold us back and prevent us from achieving our dreams. I have always been a visual learner, when I think of an idea, I think of it in pictures in my mind first; this is the conceive part for me. I conceive of what it is that I want to design, create, or set in motion, and then I take a step back and truly stand strong in the faith that it can happen; this is the believe part. You have to have a clear picture of what you are reaching for, and then BELIEVE you can get there. Once those two pieces of the puzzle are in place, there is a certain amount of surrender that needs to happen in order for the universe to create space to provide, which is the achieve part.
JB: You wear a lot of hats including business owner, instructor, potter, and event planner. What’s your favorite hat?
LM: It’s easy to narrow that list to three things that I love: creating artwork, teaching pottery, teaching yoga. I’m not sure I can honestly pick a favorite among those three, but each one feeds a different part of my soul.
JB: What’s the toughest challenge you face in running a small, creative business?
LM: Time. There is never enough of it. Every day, I wish the day were 10 hours longer so I actualy have time to create art, teach a class, AND get office work done. Many times, the office work consumes all of the daytime hours and this is a huge challenge. Even though I’m ready to delegate more of the ‘running the business’ work, the business can’t afford to hire full time employees right now.
JB: If you had a day to do absolutely whatever you wanted (and control the weather and other hindering factors), what would your day look like?
LM: Easy. Wake up and practice yoga with friends. Sit down to the potters wheel and create pots. Take a long lunch and lunchtime hike by a river. Spend some more time creating artwork. Shop for veggies at a local farmers market and make a wonderful vegan dinner for family! Finally, get a good night sleep of 8 hours!
If you’re inspired and have a spare minute, please add a vote in this contest for Meiklem Kiln Works (just search ‘Meiklem’ and vote; don’t worry, there’s no Facebook spam), and share with your network. I support this because I so admire how Lyndsay had a dream and went for it; isn’t that what we all want? And, it’s difficult to stay above water in a creative field, but it’s immeasurably important to have businesses like these in the community. Paradoxical, yes; doable, absolutely! You can also support the business and do some great yoga or pottery making (or other things, too!) by stopping by!
As you walk down this shadowy street of my (your) memory, pay attention to your body and the breeze going past, the way I (you) shudder as a leaf blows or a shadow rolls past – from the car, a train, a carousel in the distance. Reach into my (your) pocket for a trinket or a token from that time – when was it? – long ago yet not so long, for this object is right here in my (your) hand. How does it feel? The imprint of it in my (your) palm, its weight in the fingers. Gaze out and see shadows…nothing is very clear in this dim light, but still it feels familiar and I (you) can make out shapes and mood at the sound and the presence of my (your) body. My (your) hand in someone else’s, but you (they) are no longer there. What is that like?
I had the privilege of enjoying Adrienne’s performance piece Record, to which this is the preamble, last night at One Red Arm (a very cool performance space in DUMBO). The piece was beautifully composed and played with memory, symmetry and asymmetry, framework, and participant experience.The work made me feel calmly grounded in the surreal collective memory and experience of the performers and audience; even when we frantically fumble for the truth and reality, we hold on to the recognizable and feel like we’ve been there before, which returns us to a comfortable, rhythmic calm.
A flipbook made for this performance was available before the show. This moving video, of sorts, was another source of recognition during the performance, even though i had temporarily forgotten about it, as the recognition only flashed after we had moved together as one audience through three pieces and sets into a fourth. This is one example of the meticulous attention to detail and pacing of the piece.
I’m not a dance critic, so I can’t be as scholarly as I’d like, but I thought this was a beautiful piece to experience and I look forward to following Adrienne’s work.
A lot of neat murals to discover! This is a very much incomplete database, but those available on the map are fun to explore. Also, you can submit murals that you have seen. Let me know if you do!