On the flight to Miami I sat next to an off-duty pilot who tried to insist that I use his uniform jacket as a blanket. After we landed, he read all of my texts over my shoulder and tried to make small talk based on the information he had gleaned. "You like the Kardashians?"
Goal for Basel: see a Kardashian—preferably Kourtney, the most underrated Kardashian. I'd also enjoy Khloe. I'm scared of Kylie and Kendall. Rob doesn't count.
I was nervous about forcing myself to participate in so much culture in such a short time. I fearfully got up and went to Pulse, a satellite festival. Pulse was the perfect way to ease into Basel; it had a grassy lawn with hammocks and free Perrier (I felt sad for the Perrier girls who had to dress in head-to-toe green). The best installation was Watch Some Movies by Casey Neistat, because you could sit on a couch and watch movies or Keeping Up With The Kardashians while he served beer and grilled cheese sandwiches, aka feel like you never left home. Perfect for the shut-in.
No Kardashian sightings today. Several times I thought I saw one, but it was always just a random girl dressed as a Kardashian; long dark hair extensions, fake eyelashes, an outdated bodycon dress. Basel Barbies.
Beyonce spotted at Basel: she looked perfect and was looking at the art the way a parent would indulgently look at their child's kindergarten drawing, lots of nodding and head tilting. There was a lot of internet art and I wish her Tumblr had been included in Basel somehow. No Kardashians still, which makes sense; Kim is notoriously afraid of Beyonce so unless Kanye dragged her, she wouldn't be anywhere near this Beyonce field trip.
I met a group of Northern expats. I asked what Miami was like, and if they ever shop at Dash, the world-class Kardashian boutique. They came up with a litany of bizarre information and ignored my Kardashian questions. "There are a lot of beautiful people, but keep in mind 1 in 6 people in South Florida have HIV." "When I first moved here there was an underground horse-meat smuggling ring in the news, so I became a vegetarian." "Christmas decorations here are just really depressing and ruin the summer fun state of mind." "Iggy Pop lives in a mansion in the suburbs." "No apartments have hardwood floors, it's all tile. I feel like I've been living in a bathroom for the past 3 years." "My seventy year old real estate agent told me to lighten up when I refused to rent an apartment where the entire bedroom was mirrored. She told me it was sexy and that I didn't know what I was talking about."
This last thing actually sounded like something a Kardashian would say, if she worked in real estate.
Having fulfilled my art duty, I spent my last days at the beach. I got a really good tan all over from just my 1.5 days at the beach. The tropical sun is so much better than the Chicago sun. In Chicago I will get a really intense tan on, like, my knee and nothing else after a hard day lying in the sun, rotating hourly. In Miami it was effortless. There were peacocks walking around and the beach was empty. It was heaven. I felt like a Kardashian.
The airport on Monday morning was my last chance to see a Kardashian but I was in a crowd of hungover French DJs and my celebrity spotting was sabotaged. I'm sad I didn't see a Kardashian in the wild. But really, Kardashians were everywhere, even if I didn't see the Kardashians. Everyone was drunk, wearing false eyelashes, whining loudly, and talking about how Kanye West is actually a really good designer. That is the beauty of Miami.
For some of us the aughties were all about the emergence, or re-emergence, of dance punk (summed up by James Murphy as "live drums and synthesizers") and no one did it better than DFA, the New York record label founded by James Murphy, Tim Goldsworthy, and the often unsung Jonathan Galkin. Directed by Max Joseph, the vid does a nice tidy job of summing up the label and its sound, artists, and attitude with brevity and a sense of humor—and also gives us a gimpse inside the label offices and studio.
From the same technology that is used to design buildings, Hot Pop Factory, the jewelry line known for its 3D-printed style, has produced yet another interesting collection. The Boreal collection is made with recycled cherry and polymer wood from the Boreal forest in Canada. The collection is as unique as the forest itself; the chain and closure on each necklace appear exceptionally delicate when paired with the bold design of the wood pendant. There are eight different styles available from $74-$98.
Folks who play with flowers for a living haven't always been on the radar of forward-thinking visual culture vultures—cue nightmares of the most expected arrangement in the whole world ever: stark red roses surrounded by the sweet white buds of baby’s breath. But when a group of young, cool, Brooklyn-based florists cropped up, it marked a sea change in the world of floral arrangement. Now, it’s becoming the norm to expect artful, inventive, overflowing arrangements and bouquets, often for magazine photo spreads, and sometimes for picture-perfect weddings. Our favorite of the bunch is Amy Merrick, who spends her time arranging overwhelmingly beautiful bouquets for both high-end events and favorite publications like Kinfolk (she was the mastermind behind the flowers-as-ice-cream shoot from the magazine’s latest issue.) She documents everything on her beautiful blog, which helps us feel a little more connected to visions of natural beauty, even while in front of a computer screen. And when she's not styling for editorial shoots, Merrick is imparting her skills to aspiring arrangers, teaching flower classes in Brooklyn and on a Washington state flower farm. Keep an eye on her blog and Twitter feed for updates.
Marvel at Merrick's portfolio online.
Ice cream flower photos by Parker Fitzgerald
Confessionals are inherently uncomfortable spaces. The very purpose of their existence, to allow parishoners to privately unload their transgressions to a member of the clergy—and God—is a tense and awkward premise. While modern places of worship have brighter and more inviting spaces to confess, the confessionals photographer S. Billie Mandle shot for her "Reconciliation" series come from classic church design: dark and intimidating spaces with dramatic light pouring through privacy screens. [via Wired]