Monday, May 2, 2011

that's the way you do it

Wow. Some big things happened this weekend. First, what I think has got to be one of the coolest art openings in DC occurred at Irvine Contemporary. Second, as part of the Sweetlife Festival, one of the greatest American rock bands rocked DC at Merriweather Pavilion. And third, United States special forces rooted Osama bin Laden out of his cave mansion and killed the motherf*cker. And although at first I felt a bit conflicted about people celebrating a man's death, after watching this video posted as part of The Daily Beast's Daily Dish written by Andrew Sullivan, I remembered (which means, oh no, I forgot!) that bin Laden is was actually a monster. And, well, as the song goes, ding dong... 

But enough of that. I know you don't come here for international political analysis. You don't want to hear me blab on about how bin Laden's death, while not a bookend to the "War on Terror," will hopefully act as the motivational reminder we need to start wrapping this bad boy up. You don't want me to say that hopefully, the fact that bin Laden wasn't living like some sufferer for the cause in a cave, but instead like some rich old bastard in a mansion will disallow him from becoming a modern-day martyr. And I know no one wants me to analyze how this makes President Obama nearly untouchable in the next election. (I'm assuming Donald Trump reads my blog.)

And so I'll shut the f*ck up about that now and move on to the art and music I mentioned. This is America, after all, and thanks to 25 Navy Seals and the Joint Special Operations Command, I continue to have the freedom necessary to randomly change subjects. Or something.

So yeah, I went to Irvine Contemporary at 14th and P St. on Saturday night for the opening of Dataklysmos, a new exhibition by an artist named [dNASAb], which by some strange power is pronounced like Disney. And like his aural homonym, dNASAb's creations compose a magic kingdom of their own.

My first impression? "Holy Seamonster McGee!" Hanging from the ceiling of Irvine's stark interior were just under 10 chandeliers composed of LCD screens, fiberoptics, melted plastic, glass rods, crystal balls and lightbulbs. For someone who prefers the often minimalist lines of Bauhaus in her three-dimensional objects, I was initially a little turned off by what seemed like the excessive use of (and brace yourself for a real technical term here) do-dads. I like the idea of infusing modern technology -- and specifically embedding video like you'd do on a blog, for example -- with a classical genre like sculpture, but I didn't get the artistic decision to almost totally disguise it with so many proverbial bells and whistles. I thought it would have made a stronger impact had it all been simpler.

But then I spoke to the artist, whose beard was styled not unlike the protruding light rods on his work. Talking faster than most people think, he said something along the lines of the growing importance of interoperability between technologies and that it wasn't a neat subject; he said technology was messy and everywhere and constantly changing and moving. His gesticulations echoed his words.

I took another look at these bizarro chandeliers. The idea behind it now made more sense. It wasn't about aesthetics and showcasing technology as a building material, as much as it was about the evocation of a feeling that technology is a living organism. Alas, "Holy, Seamonster McGee!" was more right on than not. This very inorganic material looked very much alive. And while it may still not be my specific taste as far as what I'd want to look at in my home, it certainly made me think about technology and its effect on us in new ways. And sh*t, how often do you get to watch TV like this? See it for yourself through June 4.

So, we went from killing terrorists to contemporary art. Obviously, the next subject I want to talk about is your butt cheeks. OK, well, not your butt cheeks (hopefully), but the butt cheeks of several young twenty-somethings at this year's Sweetlife Festival, which happened yesterday. Look, I'm not a hater. If it's hot, by all means, air out your ass the best you can. But yesterday it was cold and rainy. I was even a bit chilly in jeans, boots, a sweater, a jacket, a scarf and gloves, so I can't imagine the amount of liquor necessary to keep warm the lady in a tube top, booty shorts, and flipflops, or the young woman wearing a miniskirt, gladiator sandals and a one-shoulder top. I mean, are the kids these days a whole helluva lot tougher than we were at 21 or just a lot dumber? If any young ladies read this blog, please, I'd love to know what the reasoning is behind such weather-inappropriate ensembles. YOU'LL CATCH A COLD!

But perhaps, I should take a break from talking about butt cheeks and explain what the Sweetlife Festival is to people who either don't live in DC or hate doing fun things. It's a day-long music fest run by the entrepreneurs at Sweetgreen, a company I fully endorse and frequent quite often because I love eating food that doesn't want to slowly kill me. These people also have incredible taste in music, having invited two of my favorite groups, Crystal Castles and The Strokes, to perform, as well as Cold War Kids, Lupe Fiasco and everyone's favorite wedding DJ, Girl Talk. And despite the rain and not because of the beer, I -- even in my now official old-fart status -- had a really good time. I was slightly peeved with the sound mixing of Crystal Castles and that their set was all of six songs long, but the others made up for it, especially The Strokes. What a motherf*cking great American rock band. God, the USA ruled this weekend.

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