Last weekend Mark Kamins died of a heart attack at age 57. The legendary DJ and producer—who worked with David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Sinéad O'Connor—was best known for producing Madonna's first single, 1982's "Everybody," and helping sign her to Seymour Stein's Sire Records. Around that same time, Kamins produced another popular single, the dance-rap track "Jam Hot" by Johnny Dynell. (The song was featured in the iconic 1983 graffiti documentary Style Wars, and its lyrics—"Tank Fly Boss Walk Jam Nitty Gritty/You're listening to the boy from the big bad city"—were sampled in the #1 U.K. single "Dub Be Good To Me" by Beats International, the 1990s [...]
Did you read the excerpts from the forthcoming collection of Susan Sontag's journals in the Times this past weekend? I really liked the part where she said, "Most of the interesting art of our time is boring." I agree with that a lot. I don't know if I'd say "most of," but I like a lot of boring art, and boring things, and often find myself defending the benefits of boredom. (This post could quickly devolve into a semantical discussion of the precise definition of "boredom," but I will elide that. I also liked the part in the article where Sontag said, "I don’t care about someone being intelligent," [...]
Kenneth Goldsmith (born 1961) is an American poet. He is the founding editor of UbuWeb, teaches Poetics and Poetic Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and is Senior Editor of PennSound. He hosted a weekly radio show at WFMU from 1995 until June 2010. He has published ten books of poetry, notably Fidget (2000), Soliloquy (2001) and Day (2003) and Goldsmith's American trilogy, The Weather (2005), Traffic (2007), and Sports, (2008). He is the author of a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age (2011). As editor he published I’ll be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews (2004) and is the co-editor of Against [...]
Druggy Harlem rapper ASAP Rocky plays Jean-Michel Basquiat to fashion designer Jeremy Scott's Andy Warhol on the cover of this month's Complex magazine. And here is his new video, which has some fun with familiar rap-video tropes. (Be careful if you're at work right now, it may not be entirely safe for you to watch there.) The song, an echoey, ethereal number, was produced by the wonderfully-named Clams Casino, who should make a song for Jay-Z called "Oysters Roc-a-Fella." It could be about diamonds and pearls, or just having lots of money, or maybe something sexual.
"The band is the Warhol of pop—apolitical, fond of mechanical reproduction, and almost creepily prescient. While Warhol, with his silk screens and lithographs, was criticized for ignoring the idea that an art work is a unique object, traditionalists decried the anonymity of Kraftwerk’s machines, and implied that using synthesizers was somehow cheating. But, for both artists, it was not limiting that anybody could paint a soup can that someone else had designed, or that anybody could push a button on a keyboard that someone else had made. One could modify the image of mass-produced objects as needed, and both Warhol and Kraftwerk did, repeatedly. Making copies of things made them [...]
Great news! Awl pal Greg Allen has launched the Find the Warhols Project. You can help fund it, by making a donation now! Your donation will go to spread information about the cache of eleven Warhols stolen from Richard Weisman; the information will be distributed to the richest people in the world, who are, of course, the only people who will ever come in contact with these missing Warhols. Greg proposes to help people understand, for instance, which of these nearly-identical and decidedly over-valued Warhols is which. We should all pitch in to help Richard Weisman, who has been trying to unload these puppies for a while now, [...]