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The Valley Boy: An Interview With Jamie Stewart Of Xiu Xiu

Jamie Stewart Xiu Xiu Los Angeles 1

Jamie Stewart sits on a blue velvet couch in his living room. A table of assorted stuffed animals is to his right and a pillow covered with a pattern of naked cowboys in the clouds is to his left. His socks have a cartoon rabbit holding a carrot on them. He sits crossed legged and is very still. It’s a warm sunny day that white curtains try to keep out.

There is a room with a long desk outside of where he sits. It faces an arrangement of plants that spill out of their pots, in all directions, growing and healthily reaching toward the windows and ground and doors and each other. The room beyond this is full of instruments and musical gear. There are synthesizers and keyboards in addition to atypical percussion tools and guitars. A small shelf holds rows of worn effects pedals, some baby pink and others featuring rainbows. One has a sticker of a cat. One is titled “Super Hard On.” One prominently features an upside down pink triangle.

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Costal Symbiosis: An Interview With Will Sharp Of DURKL

Will Sharp DURKL Los Angeles 1

Will Sharp does and doesn’t live in Los Angeles. He runs a streetwear brand called DURKL and has been splitting time between the West coast and Washington, D.C, the city where he founded the streetwear brand. He finds both cities to be valuable and lives a sort of double life in both.

“I’ve been here for two years, which feels like a day,”he says. “It’s nothing! I’m still trying to figure that out.”

The studio space Will occupies is a full service design and distribution facility in Historic Filipinotown, an old brick building that has a historic character to it that most Angeleno facilities lose.  The live/work relationship to Los Angeles and D.C. is quite interesting and necessary: he has to keep both old and new operations alive in order to keep DURKL alive. Both cities are valuable for his business. He’s also readying a new retail concept that he’s very excited about.

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How To Make A Neighborhood Oasis: An Interview with Scott Craig & Peter Alexander Of Akbar

Akbar Silver Lake Scott Craig Peter Alexander 1

Silver Lake was once alternative. Claims that it is still the progressive self it was persist and there are good cases for the neighborhood’s still being revolutionary—but it isn’t. The Silver Lake we know now, the Silver Lake that Los Angeles newcomers arrive to, is just a symbol of its former self. It’s almost a parody of what it means to be alternative, nearing the absurdities places like Williamsburg and Portland personify.

The neighborhood began to be what it is now in the sixties growing through the nineties—and it was a bit like West Hollywood: it was very gay. There was a concentration of bars and clubs for LGBTQ persons and even was home to one of the most influential LGBTQ bookstores. This history has been erased. The buildings have been demolished. The establishments have been flipped. A history of cruising has been lost. To mix metaphors, the area has been hetero-washed and cleaned of its queer history.

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An Artist’s Space: An Interview With David Gilbert

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Artist David Gilbert’s studio feels like a private exhibition, an intimate installation for two or three to visit. Colorful yarn and torn fabric sculptures hang from the ceiling like ceremonial ornaments. Small sticks are placed on wooden painted planks reminiscent of forts built by children but in a pastel color palette. Smears of paint cover the walls which he has placed photos atop of, accents to a natural “mess.” There are odd items that draw you in, demanding you pay them their due attention: a dainty veiled box tacked to the wall, a precarious pair of scissors hangs at eye level, a tiny statue of The Blue Boy has a cardboard roll on its head, and shoe strings, paperclips, safety pins, parts of paint cans, and notecards feel like a chorus of joining tools.

The notecards feel most important. Some have instructive notes like “Paint This” or “Draw Me” while others are more cryptic, making political comments like  “Public Execution” and “Boats.” They talk to each other and let you in on Gilbert’s process: a visitor to his studio feels like they are interrupting a conversation being had by a group of conversation hearts. It’s an exciting, dynamic space few visit.

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Collaging The World: An Interview With Miwa Matreyek

Miwa Matreyek Los Angeles Performance 1

Collage is an art form considered to be two dimensional. It consists of layering images to build a new image, a whole from many disparate parts. Rarely does collage enter different disciplines but elements of the practice can appear in music, film, performance, design, writing, and more. Cutting and pasting—the actions that make collage—are embedded into our culture now: we are all collage artists in our own way.

Then there is the work of Miwa Matreyek, an artist and performer whose work proves that collage is more than the couple of dimensions that we give it. Instead of cutting and pasting one piece of paper to another, why not cut a piece of paper and paste it to a sound? Why not cut a movement and paste it to a lighting effect? Why not cut a concept and paste it to an entire set of physical actions? This is how Miwa approaches collage: it isn’t an art form locked in a binary but is an entryway to experimentation.

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Newsbites

Ghana Must Go Fiber CAFAM Los Angeles

CAFAM is hosting a two day event called Ghana Must Go on November 1 and November 2. There will be a trunk show, West African inspired works, performances, and more.

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Fit, Form, Function Compton

Fit, Form, Function is a new (and first) Compton based arts journal. They’re hoping to explore a few things, their first issue specifically speaking to “objects we do not touch.” If you want to get involved, send in submissions by November 15.

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House Of Modern Horrors Alex Miller Los Angeles Halloween 2014

In case you need more frights this weekend, Alex Miller is bringing an immersive exhibition called the House Of Modern Horrors. It’s a cringeworthy event showcasing “nightmares that haunt our reality.” EEeEeEeeeEE. There will also be some comedians, too.

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