It’s not only the mind-boggling technical skill, physical strength, personal style, or obvious lifelong commitment to dance that makes overnight YouTube sensation Nonstop (previously blogged on Coilhouse last September) so stunning to watch; it’s the unique narrative he builds for each performance. Scott’s not just an incredible dancer and choreographer; he’s a gifted storyteller as well.
Plenty ofwebsites have been reporting/debating/parsing the National Defense Authorization Act controversy for weeks now. In a nutshell, the NDAA contains provisions that have been worded so broadly, they’ll give any future president the power to imprison American citizens and legal residents of the U.S. indefinitely and without trial on the basis of accusation (even without proof) of a “belligerent act”.
Indefinitely. Without trial. This situation is not merely about politics; it’s about our most basic and precious civil rights.
If you can find a minute in the next 24 hours to call (202) 456-1414 to ask President Obama to change his mind, he still has until tomorrow (Dec 26th) to veto the bill.
It’s worth a shot.
[EDIT: Sunday, Dec 25. Apologies, folks. Looks like the office is closed until Tuesday. But, by all means, write a letter (even if it's too late): http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call#write ]
Switched to a YouTube playlist because the VICE video would auto-play. You can see the full-length version at the link at the end of the article.
Perhaps not the best thing for the week of Christmas, but history cares not about holidays. Last Saturday, as I’m sure you all know, Kim Jong Il, the iron handed dictator of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, died from an apparent heart attack at the age of 69. The past week has seen a continuous outpouring of grief (some real, some staged) from within the Hermit Kingdom, while the rest of the world seems to look on with trepidation, waiting to see what his heir apparent, Kim Jung-un, will do.
Less than a week before Jong Il’s death, VICE News ran another of their fascinating looks into North Korea. Shane Smith, accompanied by freelance journalist Simon Ostrovosky, traveled to Siberia to investigate North Korean logging camps located deep in the forests. Here, North Korean citizens are contracted as laborers for up to 10 years, during which time they are housed, fed, and paid a pittance for their work. The North Korean government, meanwhile, was paid handsomely for what basically amounts to slave labor.
Smith’s interest seems to be twofold: to expose these camps, and to try to talk to North Korean citizens, a feat nearly impossible in his visits to the country itself. If you’ve seen Smith’s past work, then you’ll know what you’re in for. The reporting is solid, but there is a Gonzo aspect to it as well. A decent chunk of the forty minute documentary is spent on a crowded, sweltering train where the only thing to do to numb the boredom is drink. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to be rather difficult to get near these camps, but he and his crew manage to at least talk for a bit with some of the laborers.
Regardless of your feelings on the style, VICE has done a stupendous job exposing yet another facet of the horror that was Kim Jong Il’s regime. In the closing minutes of the piece Shane reveals that much of the scrutiny they found themselves under was no doubt due to the fact that the Dear Leader was visiting the same area of Russia at the time to meet with President Dmitry Medvedev and broker another labor deal, to sell more of his people. If that isn’t evil, I’m not sure what is.
Clothing designer Mother of London (previously on Coilhouse here and here, and many times in the print magazine) is getting ready to release a ready-to-wear line of clothing and an online shop. The new collection consists of the designs seen here, as well as limited-edition leggings and t-shirts that have not yet been photographed. The inspiration for this line, says designer Mildred Von Hildegard, comes from wizards. “What would a modern wizard wear?”
Much of the collection is unisex. “Gender plays a little bit too much role in the outside world,” says Mildred, “so I’m kind of dismissive of it [in my own work].” Some of the pieces are specifically cut for men or women, “but the men’s stuff in particular can be pulled over by either gender.” Like much of Mother of London’s past work, much of the clothing has a past-meets-present, out-of-time quality about it. There are feathered jackets, bad-ass biker-babe dresses with sleeves that resemble medieval suits of armor, skirts that look like they’re made out of a dozen belts, and wide-brimmed sorcerer’s hats. And if that wasn’t enough, Mildred is also working on a more elaborate, couture collection for 2012. No photos have been released, but Mildred refers to it as “Mother of London… on crack” and alludes to the fact that it’s highly tailored and detailed.
After the jump, more final images, concept sketches, and “making-of” shots from the new Mother of London collection. It’s amazing how much the concept drawings match the final pieces.
In case you weren’t sure if there was a contest for everything, Metropolis TV is here to assure you that yes, indeed there is. The above preview of their new season on masturbation spotlights Masanobu Sato who one both the 2008 and 2009 Masturbate-A-Thon, held by the Center for Sex & Culture in San Francisco. Both times he set a record, the current being 9 hours and 58 minutes, a time that sounds as impressive as it does painful.
In an especially surreal moment we get to watch Soto begin his day with a 2 hour “practice session”. There he sits, cross-legged on the floor, peacefully watching the news while his girlfriend sews, all the while casually working an artificial vagina over his turgid member. His girlfriend, for her part, sees this as a hobby, not unlike her sewing, She even helps him “train” by timing him, a decidedly different reaction than I would probably get from my girlfriend if I decided to jerk off on the couch in front of her every morning. There is also a harrowing moment in which their cat climbs on his leg to investigate, running the risk of being pulled into the thresher like vortex created by Sato’s inexorable pumping.
Things turn even weirder, though not unexpectedly, when we accompany Soto to his favorite adult video store. Here he explains his particular taste in pornography: specifically adult anime, explaining that a “real female” can be both smelly and/or dirty, whereas, conversely, the women in anime are nice and clean. Which is true, but really, it’s not something we should be saying out loud. Just let those dirty, stinky women live in ignorance. Better to suffer in silence like a gentleman than complain aloud like a man best known for stroking his dick for nearly 10 hours at a time.
Credit where credit is due, though. A lesser man than Soto would no doubt collapse around the one hour mark, exhausted, frustrated, and horribly, horribly chafed. There are worse things, I suppose, than being known as the world’s premiere practitioner of the autoerotic arts. Better to be recognized for a talent than have none at all.
It’s been a fun-filled, illuminating, topsy-turvy rocket ride, but over four incredible years since we launched Coilhouse, the time has come for me to move on. The need to focus on creating versus curating has been nagging at me for the duration of this endeavor, first softly and then louder, until it grew into a din which could no longer be ignored. And why should it? It’s been an amazing four years and six issues – years and issues I’ll always be proud of, especially now that our fated Constructivist installment is out in the world. Listing all my fond Coil-memories would take ages, but here are a few that immediately stand out:
The fateful meeting of The Three at SDCC 2007, while I was posing for Dr. Sketchy’s
Sticking home-made Coilhouse labels to bottles of two-buck-chuck at our launch party after taking a dive from my roof onto my balcony to make it there in time
Climbing over the velvet rope at The Edison with Nadya to assail Ron Moore for an interview
Wandering through Clive Barker’s home studio with my husband and Coilhouse contributor, Ales Kot, and plopping into his canopy bed overlooking a blooming hillside
Over-caffeinated red-penning of massive Kinko’s printouts before going to print
Merch design marathons
Three-hour conference calls devolving into fits of cackling and fart jokes
Receiving LA’s Best Design Aesthetic award with Courtney Riot
Grant and Kristan Morrison’s photo shoot with Allan Amato for Issue 04, which resulted in a beautiful friendship
Tea and Cookies with Coilhouse over at Whitechapel
At the risk of death by pigeon poop, exploring a beautiful crumbling Downtown building with Andrew Yoon for our Issue 05 Shoes shoot
Carpal tunnel-y signing of I-don’t-know-how-many issues of #05 on our Circulation Director’s floor
Hours upon hours of fevered Googlemancery, always
In addition to being an immensely emotionally rewarding experience, the Coilventure was an invaluable learning experience of everything from the thorny path of publishing to the intricacies of collaboration. I’m leaving a different person than when we began, with vastly expanded horizons, vocabulary and skill-set, for which I’m grateful. And while we’re on the topic of appreciation, I want to extend a heartfelt Thank You to the entire Coilhouse family – my co-editors, our brilliant design team, our steadfast interns, our dedicated ad manager, our circulation director, our numerous, generous friends and the entire Coilhouse readership for their encouragement, insight, contributions and when need be, honest critique. Your support through this experience means more than I can express.
As for The Future, it’s open wide. I recently returned from the Amazon jungle, where I taught an art workshop and created a mural at a school. Now I’m weighing options, regrouping, and, much to my heart’s relief and gratitude, finally working on a new series of paintings dedicated to beastly flora.
So that, as they say, is that. I wish Mer and Nadya the best of luck in keeping the Coilship a-chuggin’ while I board a rocket of my own and zoom into uncharted worlds. See you all in space and/or the future!
Rob & Ben Kimmel’s collaborative father-and-son “lunch comics” (recently blogged on io9), which they’ve been making together since Ben started kindergarten over three years ago, are basically the best thing since sliced Lunchables™ processed pressure-molded bologna product. Better, actually! By leaps and bounds! If you’ve got some time to kill today, head over to their website, Wandermonster, and get your warm (geeky) fuzzies on.
Our dear and charming and preternaturally intelligent friend Mister Thomas Negovan was recently invited to give a TED talk in the midwest United States wherein he shared, among more personal revelations, “how unearthing obsolete technologies teaches us about our future.” Here it is:
Thomas, in addition to making music and running the Century Guild art gallery, regularly lectures all over the world on subjects ranging from Art Nouveau to Weimar-era Berlin cabaret; his talk on the subject of populism and technology is both informative and self-assured.
As one who shares Thomas’ interest in archaic technology and antique musical instruments, and as a fellow wax cylinder experimenter, I found the live/real-time demonstration of the wax cylinder machine especially intriguing!
Thomas’ sexy wax cylinder player, playing to the crowd at our fundraising Ball last summer in NYC.