It is 2015 and, as I do every year, I attempt to map out our future for the upcoming months. With the recent past being fairly quiet (i.e., scant posting), this leaves Los Angeles, I’m Yours in a very peculiar position: what is our future? Where are we going? How does the current run affect the future?
During PERFORMANCE, a recent production at REDCAT by Rashaun Mitchell, Stephin Merritt, and Ali Naschke-Messing, the staging of chance,(or making chance look like happenstance) the mundane-ness of tasks as movement and the mechanizations of the theater as theater was a welcome but puzzling, nothing to hide behind subterfuge to overabundance, overproduction and over-stimulation in the contemporary 1st world. The effective and gradual lighting by Davison Scandrett heightened the audience’s awareness to where and to when to pay attention whether or not we knew the subliminal light changes were happening. Even though the stage was stripped bare of backdrops and the few props of suspended, gold leaf papers, bars, and tentacle tall, glittering, lightweight ropes created a sparseness that you could see around, the minimalized simplicity of the hollowed out theater was quickly filled with the present tense of all participants’(including the audience’s) subtle to drastic movements, musical stylings and even breathing.
In the world of cool, young chocolatiers in the United States, only a handful of names will come to mind because those are the only chocolates you see in stores. You have your Brooklyn old schoolers Mast Brothers, cool, mini-makers Woodblock Chocolate, glorified toffee treaters Alma, and the real San Francisco treat TCHO. One of the most important (and somewhat under the radar) makers is the homegrown Compartes, an undoubtedly luxe and incredibly hip brand that eschews artisanal annoyances for no-hype-all-flavor sweets.
The brand has big news, too: they very recently expanded from their Brentwood storefront, adding a Melrose Place cubby hole hidden from street view (and technically within coffee shop Alfred). It’s an interesting triangular space that is most befitting of a chocolate store. The goods are a limited selection that include a wall of Love Nuts, a display of chocolate bars, and a glass case of truffles. Yet, that is irrelevant: the shop is an exercise in brevity and beauty, a quick stop into considered foodie charm.
With all the technology available to us today, the limits of the music video—or any video—as an entertainment devices are extremely limiting. Undoubtedly an excellent medium, these little visual interpretations of songs can sometimes feel without an immediacy or a demand from the audience, leaving them as a one-time, calorie free form of entertainment that you pop into and pop out of. You often watch a music video once or twice, eventually leaving it behind for the easier to consumer song: that’s the nature of the format.
This in mind, artists like The Great Nordic Sword Fights are looking beyond the bitesized and into more productive productions. The opportunity to direct the music video for Groundislava‘s song “The Girl Behind The Glass”: instead of making a little movie, TGNSF made a video game.
With a name like The Great Nordic Sword Fights, you would assume that Highland Park based Kristel Brinshot and Ricky Jonson Jr. are either leading manufacturers in authentic viking arms and armour or experts in Late Medieval longsword technique. Unfortunately, the two are neither: their working alias is an appearingly lo-fi, foreign pseudonym for technological, highbrow art available online and off.
Kristel and Ricky are video artists. The two are collaborators who create everything from music videos to installations to video games, works dug into an aesthetic and rooted in an emerging Los Angeles artistic community. Their work is difficult to define—and there are few like them.