Archive for orwell

We Live In Public opening @ IFC Center

Posted in film, talk, tv with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by thebrooklynsocialite

Last night I saw this completely tripped out documentary called We Live In Public, check out the site, but do it during off hours ’cause it looks like their sever is crashing (ironically). Too many hits! That could be the subtitle of this Orwellian film about a time in the late 90’s, yes back when I was living in NYC as a 18-year old activist kid, in fact going to some of these parties, but having no idea what it was all about, this Internet mogul, dot-comer, Josh Harris was throwing crazy art projects parties and doing psychological and social experiments on people by way of Internet reality tv.

One might even venture to say that he created reality TV, but did it on the internet, before The Real World NYC, before Big Brother and before it morphed into the present day manifestation of completely scripted, un-real, reality TV shows like The Bachelor and The Real Housewives of NYC.

This guy actually did an experiment called “Quiet” in 1999, in which he housed 150 people for 30 days in an underground bunker, pimped out as a “Pod Hotel.” He dressed them in orange jail-chic jumpsuits and required them to sign their commitment to being filmed 24 hours a day, in every possible position, including showering, having sex, going to the bathroom, eating, fighting, and obliterating themselves with drugs and alcohol if they should chose to do so.

Everything was provided free of charge, free food, booze, what have you, but they would have no rights to the video that was taken of them and they wouldn’t be allowed to leave, once they committed to the project.  Where this begins to get even more grotesque, is that the underground, lower Manhattan, created-world, was complete with a shooting range, large collection of guns and an interrogation chamber. This M.O.D. style interview room, was where people would go to confess all of their psychological and historical messes. Think the “confession room” on The Real World crossed with Guantanomo Bay. This was sick shit. But the most fascinating part is that the people involved were all volunteers, many of whom were artists, friends, part of a larger social scene. It was meant to be fun.

In a way I suspect it was fun, the simulation of freedom, followed by a realization of the fundamental trap. Something like the philosophy of re-living pain in a safer-feeling environment, in order to exorcise the trauma. It reminds me of RENT crossed with Lord of the Flies. This was an experiment with human guinea pigs and it had an aim. The film, and the Quiet project itself records this fascistic, capitalist, gold-rush project of exploitation, an attempt to rush down the slope into internet addiction, and total lack of privacy.

As a prediction it proves to be quite true, our lives have changed enormously as a result of the Internet. In 1999, I didn’t own a phone didn’t really know how to use the computer and everything operated on this slower delivery system called word-of-mouth. I remember the New York of that time being a really vibrant place, but I  have doubted whether that’s true. It could just be me glorifying a left past. This film seems to corroborate my memory though. Perhaps since facebook, and myspace, blogs and online-newspapers have taken over our lives, we know about infinitely more things, yet there is less passionate and exciting fun to be had out there. New York does feel flat.

Beyond asking some very frightening moral questions, this film lovingly reminds us our city past.

Inkblot Kelly, NY2022, Obama/Baldwin, Bitch, Edgar Keret

Posted in art, Book, Guide to What's Good, Music, The bad list with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

I want to talk about the futuristic performance art piece that accompanies the AnySpaceWhatver exhibition.

The performance, entitled NY2022 combines Balenciaga dresses, with the Staten Island , Richmond County Orchestra, 82 year old singing actresses and a shower, a bicycle and a hot plate. Based on the 1973 Sci-fi film Soylent Green, the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster creates an image of New York in the future. Apparently it is a place where people lovingly pour water over each other in lieu of actual showers, and where music and clothing, although beautiful (Balenciaga dresses) and lackadaisical, are gradually dissipating.

On the Subway downtown, I was wedged between the Russian members of the Staten Island Orchestra, although this environment was decidedly less glamorous then the Guggenheim, I felt a kindred connection with my fellow Brooklyn Socialites. Yes they live in Staten Island, but the point is that they are subway riding, comfortable shoe wearing, down to earth recessionistas like me.

When I arrived downtown, I was just in time to see Bitch and Feron at Joe’s Pub, which was a little folksy slice of the west coast from Daniela Sea’s lovely female folk singer girl-friend. The show was quite sweet, it made me feel like camping, and watching lakes. At one point, Ferron commented that new Yorkers view trees as concepts, that they are not in fact real to us. It was a joke, but I want to shout “Hey, I resemble that!” (which is a play on ‘I resent that’ For other fun pun’s in the sun dig this little gem of a site

And, it’s about time that I rail off about a few books and publications that I have been perusing these past few days. First of all did anyone else read the epic comparison of Barak Obama with James Baldwin in the NY Review of Books? What the? This brings to mind other “well matched” personages such as Orwell and Waugh. Until Barak comes out and publishes something with a little more literary merit than his “touching” autobiography provided, I will have to maintain my gasp. I love our next president, but don’t mess with Baldwin.

Speaking of writers, I caught Edgar Keret at Housing Works. He read from his latest book, A Girl on the Fridge. I really can’t speak volumes about his work, although it is very popular and often recommended to me. Its conspicuous lack of political choices, for a collection of stories set in conflict rich Israel/Palestine is a bit off putting. The style and subject matter is also v. male and seems to neutralize violence. However, the lady poets, who read before him, presented well crafted verse. Housing works still rocks!

I am also proud to share my new clothing website, Yay! The BS is also a Designer x www.InkblotKelly.com That lovely model is sporting IK gear below x

Loulou’s, Winners, Gowanus Harvest Fest

Posted in Guide to What's Good with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

Wow, I meant to post last night, but staying up until 5am at and after the I heart Brooklyn Girls party, translated to falling asleep at 8pm last night, while watching the Making of the Spice Girls DVD. Yes, people who are under the misconception that I’m pretentious will be pleased to know that I am not too cool to get a few kicks off watching Posh back when she was a chubby Spice in training. That was one of the fun prizes that came in my Aly Fourney benefit gift bag. But…

The point is that now I have a lot to say. First of all the answers to the Trivia question and winners of Brideshead Revisited are Shannon and Angie- yes it was a sad showing of competitors so Ang you are now officially eligible. The correct answers are:

George Orwell’s real name is Eric Blair, he was an imperial policeman in Burma for 5 years after finishing High School at Eton. When he struck a Burmese child with his cane, for some small slight, and was taunted for this by other children, he realized fully the ills of imperialism and resolved to commit to socialism and writing. Congratulations winners!

I have a new recommendation for the GL, Loulou’s in Ft Greene on Dekalb, is a great little brunch spot (especially if you have fun company like i did). In typical petit panam style, they have pretty decent crepes and all the other necessary ingredients like Mimosas, lattes and cake. The best feature is the garden. Have a long convo out back, suggested topics are education, misfired relationships, intresting court cases and Ashland vs Portland vs Brooklyn (Booklyn wins!)

After my much edited preview on Flavorpill, I won’t bother to link to it cause it won’t even sound like me—the review is that, unless your a city hippy with ten kids, you should probably skip it next year. The yard is a great space though, as I suspected (GL). Go there and bliss out in the sun, while looking at a 5 mile/hour bridge over the Gowanus canal