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Friday night at Alt-J I leaned over to Jeso and told her I had no idea what any of the members of the band looked like before they walked out on stage around 9pm. She squealed, “me neither!” The show was awesome. Live music is the best, no? Listening to them live was lysergic acid diethylamide for my ears. Also, the song Fitzpleasure (so conveniently featured in the Youtube video above) was amazing live + a movement masterpiece. Gwil Sainsbury totally rocked out while playing the castanets (also featured in the video!). It was one of those times in life when you’re like “yeah, that person is really into this and it is awesome.”

Music weekend continued Saturday night with Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly and Bryce Dressner at BAM for their concert, Planetarium, inspired by the solar system.

It was incredible.

It’s incredible to see talented musicians that are making serious and intelligent work without the sarcasm and cynicism that seems to come with art created by young artists. To see something that is so well crafted, that seems so much bigger than you, and comes from a level intelligence and brilliance that most of us will never reach… well that shit is incredible.

Did I mention there were lasers and a beautiful video projected on a globe and perfect lighting? My fear is that this show was so good that it has ruined me for all other shows.

At the end of it all, after that end-of-concert clap-a-thon surprise-we’re-coming-back-onstage-for-one-more-song, Sufjan sang an acoustic “Over the Rainbow” and Jeso and I lost our shit.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me

So. Effing. Amazing.

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My thesis topic has morphed into a monster. From an innocent inquiry into how dance could be related to design, I’m now looking at public speaking and presentation. Friday in class we discussed Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer who has a book coming out in a few weeks. I only read the beginning of the Times article while I was in class and what I took away from it was that Sheryl Sandberg was maybe a little bit more of a feminist than I wanted to deal with. I told my professor and classmates that I was uncomfortable with the idea of my thesis becoming some platform for feminism.

Today I was doing research on Sandberg and watched her Barnard College commencement speech from 2011. She is discussing what I believe is the basis for her book “Lean In” by proposing that women immerse themselves in work that they love instead of pulling back to accomodate other areas of their life – like having children or being a homemaker.

She acknowledges, in her speech, that for her audience, having a child and returning to the workforce will likely be an option. I understood that she said this because her audience is a bunch of highly intelligent women at an ivy league school who will probably go out and get high paying jobs. But I also wondered if in addition to their high paying jobs if they will also marry a person who makes bank and therefore, the cost of childcare is a non-issue.

There is a part of her speech when she suggests that women may take less interesting jobs in order to accomodate the future life that they want (i.e. children) but don’t actually have. She says “women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there.”

I was happily only half listening to her. And then that part came along and I nearly choked and did an Amanda-chin out-hand slam onto the table. I am so guilty of doing that! Then I realized I could maybe get behind her as I respect the idea of forging ahead in your career/life until you have to make a life decision. She also said ” I know I need to believe in myself and raise my hand, because I’m sitting next to some guy and he thinks he’s awesome.” And really, that is the truth about most things that I’ve had to do in life.

So, I’m sorry Sheryl, for thinking that you were some old school feminist who had nothing to offer me (or my thesis). Maybe 1% of my change in heart had to do with the somewhat People.com-esque, but humanizing tidbit that she founded Harvard’s aerobics program in the ’80s, wearing blue eye shadow and leg warmers.

It’s Ray from Girls!

Saw this in an email from MUG this morning.

Alex Karpovsk’s film “Red Flag” is about a filmmaker who ends up kind of lost and in somewhat of a downward spiral. I had to laugh at the bit when his friend says “I love her and I want someone to discover my body relatively early after I die. I think River could be that person.” Dark, but, there’s a little bit of truth in that, no?

Cheap #beer and (cup)#cake(s) for Valentine's Day from Katherine after informing her last week that it is one of the best combinations ever.
True romance is rolling a cigarette for your lady after a long day.
This is how we celebrate people groping on the L on one day a year.
Just unveiled my #tattly #valentines surprise for RG. It's not real, Mom! Thanks KRobik for your hand lettering! He loved!

Yesterday was pretty special, even though there was nothing out of the ordinary about it. Ok, well, that’s a lie because I definitely drank a PBR at the studio around 2pm. But, it was a day well spent being around people I adore, and at least interwebz communicating with the ones I couldn’t spend time with.

I also watched Debo’s film “Where Have You Been?” which focuses on her nostalgia and lessons learned in New York. The opening is an excerpt from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which is a book that Debo and I share a great love for. While watching, I was thinking about my own experiences living here and really coming to realize, New York is very much my Valentine even though damn… sometimes it is some tough f*cking love.

At the end of the day, standing on the L, I watched girls carrying bodega wrapped flowers from their man friends and everyone kinda looking a little red faced like they had a lot of wine at dinner and maybe some sloppy kissing on the platform. Instead of this conventional Valentine’s exchange, Dominic cooked steak, and I surprised him with a Tattly temporary tattoo. I customized it by cutting out the text in the banner and having Katherine write “Dominic” on my arm with marker. I was so excited about showing him that I laughed maniacally for like, 5 minutes before exposing my shoulder. He wasn’t immediately sure that it was fake, which was evident in the semi-horrified but also thrilled look on his face.

I consider this a Valentine’s success story.

Optical Poem Study from Elle Chyun on Vimeo.

There are no excuses for saying “I’ll be back tomorrow with more details about my Rwanda trip” and then me disappearing for a week. But, if there were excuses, I’d say that it’s because I’m juggling a few things in my life right now, mainly, this cakeface show that’s coming up and being a 12 credit carrying graduate student.

But, no excuses.

Here’s what I’ve been doing. This is not a masterpiece, but, it is a study that’s due for class on Monday inspired by this. Please enjoy the Easter egg palate.

I saw this video on swissmiss earlier today. I have a fascination with outer space, so I got a little bit excited at the prospect of seeing a toy train launched into the stratosphere. I actually thought it would be more like, the dad was an astronaut but the video is still cool.

I found myself making this face while watching (and yes, this totally happened while I was procrastinating at school).

Photo on 2012-10-02 at 13.47

I kept wanting to know what happened when the balloon popped. WHAT IF THAT SHIT FELL AND HIT SOMEONE IN THE HEAD WHEN IT LANDED? I was perplexed and horrified. This video is supposed to be about a cool dad doing something cool for his kid and all I could think about was the impending doom. Real nice.