Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Spencer Tunick: Everyone is Unique
Spencer Tunick has made a name for himself by getting people to voluntarily take their clothes off, en masse, in varying public locations. The results are breathtaking.
Since 1992, Spencer has arranged over 75 temporary site-specific installations in urban locations such as Buenos Aires, Rome, Vienna, Mexico City and Sydney as well as in woodland and on beaches. Documenting his subjects' vulnerability through films and stills, the high-impact works intend to challenge audiences’ pre-conceived ideas about the naked human body. Uniting individuals from all walks of life, Spencer's images present incredibly interesting variations of colour and texture created from skins, which blend together to create a collage-like landscape of flesh. Assorted by skin tone, body shape and physical idiosyncrasies, these differences subsequently unite all his subjects as one in each internationally based assembly. i-D Online caught up with the American artist following his recent installation at Festival International de Théâtre de Rue et des Arts de la rue d'Aurillac..
How did you first begin recruiting volunteers to take part in the live art installations before your work was so widely recognised?
In the early days in New York I made flyers that I would hand out on the street. I would specify a location or meeting place at sunrise somewhere in the city. I would hand out a black and white printed flyer in an edition of 1000 or 1500; most often I did it in person to avoid problems with the authorities. From the very beginning I made sure that all those who posed received a print, usually picked up at Mac Fish, a local bar on the Lower East Side. Eventually the police caught up with me and I spent many mornings in police custody; I was in constant fear of myself and/or participants being arrested.
What boundaries and prejudices have you encountered when developing your controversial themes and ideas?
There is the inevitable, albeit absurd accusation that I am making some sort of pornography. Nudity is generally interpreted as being sexually driven and I have been confronted with that association from the beginning. I am trying to make humanist works that challenge some of these assumptions. I haven't been arrested for quite sometime, so hopefully my intentions are more clearly understood.
Do you think your work liberates your subjects?
Many participants have told me that the experience gave them a great sense of joy or freedom. Part of what drives the work is the collaborative nature of the pieces. I could not create the works without the thousands of volunteers that come from all over the world to pose. The act of the work, the scale and the participation of everyone involved is what makes the work a cross between performance and installation. I document this through photography and video but the actual happening goes beyond these devices.
Text Milly McMahon
Photography by Spencer Tunick
Friday, 27 August 2010
My Fashion Body
by Milly McMahon
Effective fashion marketing is a physiologically and emotionally manipulative business. Creating images which exude perfection and supremacy, brands tactfully devise illusions their target audience feel subconsciously obliged to invest in. Subsequently the consumer is reduced to a more insubstantial and vulnerable state, a perfect sphere in which the suitably primed customer - ready to buy - is born. Common practice within the fashion and beauty industry, these tactics are definitely not a foreign concept which evade the general public awareness.
How then are ‘we’ not able to disconnect ourselves emotionally from such false aesthetics? Despite knowledge supposedly representing empowerment, society has become preoccupied with an ideal that now breeds more instances of obsession and depression than ever before. It is too easy to use ‘fashion’ as a scapegoat. The industry is not personable and so blame is perpetually shifted and progress is avoided. How can conceptions move forwards, if there is no understanding of why previous situations were so backwards?
Working as a cultural journalist myself, directly involved in the world of high fashion, l have willingly propelled myself into this fast and ferocious cultural arena. Not one shy of challenges, but very aware of my personal weaknesses, l have come to gain real insight into my own psyche and inadvertent affectation of the imagery presented to me in regards to 'the fashion body'. Those around me seem to be influenced on different levels, leading me to believe that the cause is a combination of nature and nurture.
l have struggled with disordered eating patterns in the past, which reflect my own inability to separate self-esteem from appearance. I believe the exposure to an ideal fashion body was an influence. Sexy women sell magazines; a phenomena which will be employed for eternity. If it's not broken, then why fix it? So what if your body doesn’t fit the fashion mould? A seed is planted. The only way to challenge a regime blindly subscribed to en masse is to fundamentally change how you behave. To go your own way and fight the opposing tides. A battle l lose everyday and wonder if, by working and advocating the fashion business, l too am now partly contributing towards.
Thursday, 26 August 2010
i-ntroducing: The Boiler Room
Platform Magazine is more than just an online resource for forward thinking youths. It's a lifestyle, a mindset and the driving force behind a bubbling subculture, which it kindles, quietly plotting world domination.
Owned and edited by a team entirely in their twenties, this online resource was created to satirically ponder the socially influential phenomenas which play an important role within society today, both affective and defective. A few months on and this entrepreneurial outfit is playing host to massively oversubscribed warehouse raves, talent-packed 'Boiler Room' sessions and, of course, the hit online magazine which currently has 150,000 monthly readers in the UK. The Boiler Room has become the focus of music bloggers as well as broadcast DJs and performers, who spin their stuff in a dark room, hidden within a derelict warehouse.
Professional friends of the sessions including Young Turks, Oneman, Hessle Audio, Hold Box Flat, Deviation, Nonsense, Livin' Proof and Brownswood, have all featured on previous broadcasts. i-D Online hung out with Hudson Mohawk at the latest jam session and caught up with Platform Director Blaise Belville, to find out what's getting hot in his back room.
How have things developed as you have hosted more?
I started the show with Thristian (The bPm) and Femi (Mr Wonderful) as a bit of an experiment. About six weeks in it started getting really busy, both in terms of the amount of people listening, and the amount of people coming down and wanting to play records. Now the show is booked up until November and we're looking at hosting second rooms at club nights and festivals; trying to move the whole thing forward continually.
What's been the most memorable session to-date?
The Gaslamp Killer show was amazing - anyone who's seen him play can appreciate how good being in a tiny room with a big sound system, watching him do his thing must have been. We had a power cut in the building the other night when Young Turks were down (with Sampha, Jamie xx, Kwes) and we had to run off a generator, there were absolutely no lights anywhere apart from the Boiler Room itself. It was properly moody and everyone's sets were incredible.
To listen to more click here
Text Milly McMahon
Photography Adam Tickle
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
TOPSHOP LONDON FASHION WEEK SS11
** NEW VENUE **
For SS11 the Topshop Show Space will be the Old Eurostar Terminal, Waterloo Station, SE1.
** NEW LINE-UP **
Continuing Topshop's support of the British fashion industry, new designers showing in the Topshop Show Space for SS11 will include the first solo show from Michael Van Der Ham and Peter Pilotto. Topshop is also delighted to welcome back Meadham Kirchhoff, Richard Nicoll and Mary Katrantzou, and will be hosting the Fashion East 10th anniversary show.
** NEW SEASON **
Topshop Unique will return for its twentieth season, created by Topshop's in-house design team.
** NEW ACTIVITY **
For the first time, customers will be available to watch all the shows from the Topshop Show Space *live* on topshop.com, alongside unparalleled behind-the-scenes footage.
Additionally, the Oxford Circus store will be screening the shows in 3-D, bringing customers closer than ever before.
Topshop currently sponsors the NEWGEN and Fashion East schemes, supporting the best of London's fashion design talent.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
Band of Skulls
How long have you been together as a band? Band of Skulls has been a fully-fledged band for about two years, however Russell and I have been playing music together since we were ten years old. We met vocalist Emma at art school - one day she brought her bass along to a rehearsal and it developed from there.
Describe your sound to someone who’s never heard your music: We are a Rock ‘n’ Roll band.
What musical influences are prominent in your material? The Rolling Stones and much more. Emma was brought up on Eta James and Billie Holiday; for Russell it was Pink Floyd and Queen and I was bought up on Dire Straits.
Where can we find you next and what will you be doing? Kentish Town’s Forum on 7 October will be the final show before the album and then we’re back in the studio recording.
What other new music can you recommend we keep our eye on? Thomas Tantrum from Southampton, England, Turbo Fruits Nashville, Tennessee, The Whigs from Athens, Georgia and The Portico Quartet from the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Photography by Nik Hartley
How long have you been together as a band? Over a period of eighteen months we have spent twelve to fourteen in close proximity. Shortly after writing the single we approached Alexis who added her vocal melody, which caught the ear of renowned producer Youth.
What musical influences are prominent in your material? Currently Vangelis, Giorgio Morroder, Dissident Recordings and Joachim Sherylee.
Where can we find you next and what will you be doing? We will be stalking the shadows of this year’s Offset Festival.
What other new music do you recommend? Passions, Xeno and Oaklander and a lot of great sounds are coming out of Brooklyn New York City, Cosmetics from Canada, dreamcrusher, Ghosthunter and the amazing Factory Floor. Also keep an eye on Alexis and her Plus Ultra sounds.
Photography Niko Mitrunen
Monday, 23 August 2010
A second cut from his self-proclaimed “space opera” Cosmogramma, ‘MmmHmm features renowned bassist Thundercat (Sa-Ra Collective, Erykah Badu, Suicidal Tendencies), who contributes vocals and bass to the track and stars in the video. Directed by Special Problems and produced by Warp Films.
Brainfeeder London — line-up announced!
Three very different and special London shows in a week — two of which are already sold out — we are delighted to now announce the full line-up of future-bass leading lights for the Brainfeeder club night, (curated personally by Flylo) which opens the series:
Kutmah — Amazingly the first ever London show for the UK-born Kutmah, one of the most influential and accomplished DJs and inspirations in the LA scene and key contributor to the renowned nights Sketch Book at Little Temple and Low End Theory at Airliner.
Lorn (LIVE) — After the massive response to his debut album Nothing Else (the second release and first ever full length album on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint), Lorn appears for the first time in London with a new live show.
Actress (LIVE) — Representing this side of the Atlantic, London’s Darren Cunningham is likely to air cuts from his thrillingly innovative second LP Splazsh and the stunning debut Hazyville.
Kode 9 — Hyperdub label boss. Needs no introduction!
Teebs (LIVE) — Debut London show after his amazing live contribution to this year’s Brainfeeder Radio 4/20. Will soon release his debut album on the Brainfeeder label.
Dr Strangeloop (LIVE) — Having released a mini-album of electronic psychedelics Are We Lost Mammals of an Approaching Transcendental Epoch? on Brainfeeder, Strangeloop (Dave Wexler) is also a long-term visual collaborator with Flying Lotus, performing Heaven & Earth Magic with FlyLo at the Tate Modern (16th) as well as Brainfeeder on this trip.
Flying Lotus / London / August 2010
SHOW 1 — Line-Up just announced!
Saturday 14 August
Flying Lotus presents BRAINFEEDER
@ Hearn St Car Park, 9-5am
Flying Lotus (live)
Dr Strangeloop (live)
+ special guests
Tickets available now at Bleep.com / Seetickets
SHOW 2 — SOLD OUT!
Monday 16 August
Flying Lotus LIVE FILM SCORE: Harry Smith’s HEAVEN & EARTH MAGIC (1962)
@ Tate Modern Starr Auditorium
SHOW 3 — SOLD OUT!
Wednesday 18 August
Flying Lotus presents INFINITY
@ Institute of Contemporary Arts
Featuring contributors and players from Cosmogramma including:
… and more
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Challenging, forward thinking and iconic, MAN provides a platform for the next generation of menswear designers. The Topshop-sponsored initiative is now entering its eleventh season on the runway and the candidates showing their S/S 11 collections will be New Power Studio, Felipe Rojas Llanos and Martine Rose. Directly representative of London’s cutting edge fashion talent, each label has been carefully selected to reflect important aspects of the diverse trends prevalent in British culture right now. From the more unisex relaxed cut of Thom Murphy's sports luxe look, to the luxuriously couture-like outfits from Felipe Rojas Llanos’ collections and the ambitious live art-like self-titled label of Martine Rose.
Click the name for more:
New Power Studio
Felipe Rojas Llanos
Friday, 20 August 2010
Name: Gemma Slack
What are you wearing in the photograph head-to-toe?
Tesco’s tights, Gemma Slack dress and black jacket, fake YSL shoes from a New York market, loads of silver jewellery
When and why did you first appear in i-D?
An interview by the lovely Milly before my S/S10 show
What has been favourite i-D cover of all time?
The Horror Issue (Black and Red one)
What’s been your best birthday ever? How did you celebrate and who did you celebrate with?
I’m not a birthday fan. I spent my last birthday watching fireworks on a roof I Hackney.
Who would you like to see on the cover of i-D and why?
Siouxie Sioux wearing Gemma Slack
What has been the best thing about the noughties?
Reality TV and Steel Panther
What are your hopes for the new decade?
To be shot by Nick Knight again?
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
Talented beyond his years, leading the way monumentally with his independently coined lo-fi DIY garage punk sound, Nathaniel has inspired a movement which has perpetuated mass following. Since the most popular and initial release of his first infectiously tuneful single So Bored online in 2009, bands such as Best Coast, No Age and Atlas Sound have also finally begun to receive the attention they deserve. Having spent their college days writing, producing and performing their music to local crowds, these laid-back all-American kids are now celebrated as lo-fi punk legends in their own right.
Signed to independent record label Bella Union, Nathaniel has released his first studio-recorded album. Previously self-recording the first two albums on his laptop, this development has benefited all twelve new anarchic, multi-layered tracks. Defiantly refusing to refine the ‘noise’ and aspiring only to simply widen his capabilities, album King Of The Beach is a successful sunshine-like anthology of self-deprecating optimism. Bravely expressing delicate feelings of angst and doubts with his music, Nathaniel honestly admits, “I think everybody feels that way sometimes. It wouldn’t make sense to not write about the way I feel; there are songs about hating myself, but there are also songs about driving in a car with a balloon and playing Nintendo.”
Pushing his generation forward, challenging everyone to find ways to be recognised, however equipped or restricted they might materially be, this musician simultaneously explores and finds himself within this music. This is a journey of identity that audiences of all ages and cultures can identify with. Wavves creates the soundtrack to coming of age.
Text Milly McMahon
Film Edit Peter Ohs
For more see i-D Online
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
I was to initially stain my paper 'hospital property' pants when my assigned doctors wandered in, rubbered up and the big bad one came at me full throttle. Tool in hand, brandishing a significant syringe - this was the first cause of my concern. "Do you think you might want to sedate me first" .
"I'm not qualified in anaesthetics and this is an NHS treatment, so, the short answer is no" was her less than accommodating response. My wise Father had once told me that continuing to tick the 'benefits' box when, in fact, l am not on benefits would one day come around and serve me my just desserts. This was to be my Tiramisu of Government karma for telling financial untruths. Joe public might be more than pleased to know I now most definitely tick the employed box. l have fully learned the truly, excruciatingly, traumatisingly hard way. You can keep that portion of my undeserved tax money from here on in, l'm out.
Annnnnnd you're back in the room, or more specifically, l was and more awake at this point than l have every been in my whole entire existence. As the second buxom surgeon entered my personal space with the glistening shard of liquid filled pain, to inject the roof of my mouth, l heard the nurse behind announce to my fellow patient sat adjacent to me 'you just take your time, if the bleeding doesn't stop within the hour try and find someone you can alarm…” I didn’t feel reassured by overhearing this shit advice and was beginning to feel a bit miffed at the prospect of hemorrhaging to death on my plastic chair following the mouth rape. The next moments of horror were surpassed by me desperately waving my arms and crying to indicate 'PAIN' whilst a nurse grappled flailing limbs to my side. Once fully restrained a plastic bowl shaped guard was inserted to lodge my jaw open wider than the perimeter of my whole head. I didn't feel at my best and the op took a proportionate turn for the worse when the booblicious n blood thirsty doc gave up on the manual knee to stomach technique of tooth removal to force my foot long denture from the angry gums . Thus, she summoned ‘head support.’ To me this conjured an image of some reassuring contraption to steady procedure. In medical terms it translated to the arrival of a small trainee to grip my head between his sweaty palms. With my quivering brow steady and doctor now fully flexing muscular power over my merciless body that last bastard wisdom tooth of doom popped out and l sprouted a fountain of molten rouge. Not an eyelash was battered, my bloody sockets stuffed with tampons and l was chucked out my chair and into broad daylight. That was it. Jobs a gudden. And weirdly it was. A couple hours later and the pain was nowhere near as bad the seven weeks spent waiting on a list to be willingly tortured an oral facial sadomasticit. All l can say is, if you lie, don't brush your teeth and get referred to a shit orthodontist prepare to hurt, a lot.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
After the previous two seasons spent on Parisian runways, Giles brings it back home to London to present his debut accessories line.
Bearing the marks of Giles' trademark witty design aesthetic, the ninety-piece collection features a host of adorable and sinister critters; The Eek Mouse, Gizmo and Goink the Gremlin pendants, wing-nut and monkey wrench studs, paperclip clumped necklaces and Man trap anklets. Each piece has been delicately handcrafted from unique pastel tinged sunshine and rose coloured golds. Combining Giles' multi-layered cartoon like references with the simplicity of a plain chain or basic stud, the iconic London designer has created pieces that work as well with his own high-impact designs as they do with simple, utilitarian look.
Also recently confirmed as the creative director of tumultuous French fashion house Ungaro, Giles is looking forward to his ever-expanding design future with optimism, "I'm totally aware and respectful of the pressure but at the same time, I've run my own business for eight years and worked in lots of places."
Giles' accessories collection will be available in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols from October.
Text and Photography Milly McMahon
Friday, 13 August 2010
Pop down to No6 on Newburgh Street and check it all out for yourselves.