we celebrated our first new year's eve in italy by bearing witness to the burning down of the 2013 effigy. which is a watering can. because of course.
we celebrated our first new year's eve in italy by bearing witness to the burning down of the 2013 effigy. which is a watering can. because of course.
it’s incredible to me how everybody always mistakes Apple for a hardware company, what with all the unibody gizmos, the polished reflections, the minimal surfaces, it’s perfectly understandable… but you would in fact never consider a lemon peeler to be in the hardware business, you would consider to be in the lemon peeling business, in other words, about what it can do with lemons, really. and at heart, so it is with Apple, all these machines whether desktopped or mobile are merely functional shells, albeit beautiful ones, for what can be made to happen within. i understand it is easy for lazy journalists and marketing aficionados alike to believe what they are being fed (the ads are always about the hardware after all…) but stop to look at how you use these machines, at what the software allows you to accomplish, and you realize that is the real difference, that is the personality, the rest is just the outfit which, much like us, changes from season to season. this is why apple rarely argues about specs, too much, for they know that at the end of the day, everybody makes computers, tablets and phones, the difference is in what you do with them. that is also the reason why apple has slowly introduced over the past decade, an array of seemingly inoffensive applications never meant to really challenge the almighty Office or Netscape or Avid, at first, but which now find themselves, both on the Mac and iOS, to be the reasons for the 81% on that “use” pie chart Tim cook so loves to talk about as a measure of customer engagement.
and that is why the most significant piece of news to come out of yesterday’s keynote, to my mind, is the change of business model from paid upgrades to just, well, upgrades. simple, pushed, free. that’s because as much as the margins are to be found in polished metals, the addiction is found in the use and that is what apple needs to do, in effect, to give you the most potent hit for free because they know you’ll eventually come back to clothe that hit in newer enclosures every year. yep, this is some straight-up coke dealer strategy. you know, unlike the other guys…
(my favorite slide of the whole show btw)
we fetishes objects, absolutely, sadly, because it often hides the real story…
I, for one, am just happy the linen’s gone.
Kumbh Mela कुम्भ मेला is a mass Hindu pilgrimage in which Hindus gather at the Ganges river. The normal Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 3 years, the Ardh (half) Kumbh Mela is celebrated every six years at Haridwar and Prayag,the Purna (complete) Kumbh takes place every twelve years, at four places Prayag, Haridwar, Ujjain, and Nashik). The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela which comes after 12 'Purna Kumbh Melas', or 144 years, is held at Prayag (also known as Allahabad).
The last Ardh Kumbh Mela was held over a period of 45 days beginning in January 2007, more than 70 million Hindu pilgrims took part in the Ardh Kumbh Mela at Allahabad, and on January 15, the most auspicious day of the festival of Makar Sankranti, more than 5 million participated. The previous Maha Kumbh Mela, held in 2001, was attended by around 60 million people, making it at the time the largest gathering anywhere in the world in recorded history.
this is and will have been my only contribution to the-day-before-the-apocalypse mania. i just wanted that noted for the record…
on 12.10.12, we were invited to the ziegfeld theater to get the first glimpse of the musical that i have been waiting for since i was 11 years old. in september 1980, i was there, on the wooden plank seating of the sports arena that played the first-ever version of the show, slated to run for 2 months and no more. as the show ended and tears ran down my cheeks for reasons i did not, at the time, altogether grasp, i knew i did not quite understand everything i had just seen. rather i knew how i felt and let my imagination take over from there. last night, i realized that what i had imagined then, director tom hooper, show creators alain boublil and claude-michel schönberg and the cast and crew of this literally showstopping fim, put on the screen for me to see.
tonight is a night i have been waiting for for a looong time, the premiere of the movie les misérables, the unhindered-by-stage version of the world’s longest-running musical and one that has meant a lot in my life.
a national hero in france, victor hugo, upon whose work the musical is based, stroke a chord of meaning when i was just a child and in age to understand no more than half the meaning of not only the better known “notre dame de paris” or “les mis,” as he never called it, but also “les chatiments” or “mon fils” as part of a credit list unimaginable today in terms of consistent quality and output.
having been at the premiere of the french show in 1980, when i was 11, i have adopted the show’s songs, lyrics and message as my own and have felt a duty to follow its trajectory through the ages. tonight is the grand unveiling of its latest incarnation at the ziegfeld theater in new york city and i will be posting as many pictures as i can on this forum, provided i can type through the tears… have a wonderful week!
and now, for something a bit more helpful…
my cousin nathan who hails from cambridge university (yes, in the old country) has just told me of a worldwide effort he is spearheading to raise money for the victims of superstorm sandy in the form of a jog, in which the participants dress as santa claus, i guess to bring out the sexy in all of us… even though i am told any holiday themed costume will do the trick, please go and still dress as santa, please? for me?… so, bring $10 with you on December 2nd and you will be able to run from Columbia to NYU and every cent will go to support Hurricane relief efforts. sounds fun and helpful, doesn’t it?
for those new yorkers who couldn’t run the marathon, it is time to show off your skillz!
so please, help us spread the word, tell you friends and join us sunday 2nd december at 1pm at columbia!
while you and i were sleeping late this morning due to having been over-excited at bill clinton‘s speech last night, other people were making things. people like theaptPEEP peter freudling who spends his time at ars electronica futurelab experimenting with life’s apparent passion for technology in a way electric sheep can only dream of. (yes, extra points for references.) so it was with this incredible display of ingenuity at the klangwolke celebration held last week where peter and his gang rigged 50 quadrocopters to grid the night sky. the result speaks for itself and is just amazing.
sure, there’s a whole load of shit i could bore you with christmas, christ or christians as the magnificent night approaches but as my mentors so often counseled, i will let He who is more apt than me to recount the magic of that holy moment in a way that truly captures what we humans do with such celebrations. ladies and gentlemen, terry gilliam…
and with that, i bid you adieu until such time as the overdue mayan countdown to extinction begins!
(poster above by happycentro)
have you seen the news about this amazing concept in crowd funding a restaurant that’s all over eater, thrillist and grub street?… sure you have, because you know this is no mere gimmick but an honestly clever idea that none other than the apartment’s own former head of design, david lefkowitz (responsible for the back apartment and yelo among too many to count) has dreamed up and launched. i have known that he and his partner, scott kester (ex-avroKO,) have been gestating this project for the last 3 years and i could not be more proud that they have finally opened the virtual doors to their category-busting idea and unveiled not just a wonderful way to do business but a dream team of collaborators: daniel patterson on menu, dale degroff on drinks and scott mou on music for starters and with more surprises to come… and i’m very excited that we’re getting a peek into their process today because i had a chance to corner david and ask him some pointed questions about his plans, dreams and spirit animal…
“being a dreamer, to me, I guess, means to be able to look beyond society and the barriers that have been pushed down your throat by religion, or government, or money; to ask questions, to want more for yourself and your fellow man.”
those are the words of one artist named justin tellian, who is setting up up photo shoot tomorrow, saturday september 30th 2011, in flushing meadows corona park in queens and planning to remind all of us that we are not mere followers of ideas but creators of them too! the plan, as you can see on today’s theaptCOVER, is to set ourselves up in front of something that is greater than ourselves, to give us a goal, something to reach for and then, reach for it. simply, precisely, actively. and the best part? YOU’RE INVITED TOO! after mexico (above,) berlin, tokyo and johannesburg, it’s your chance to help new york city happen!
just follow these directions, show up at 1pm, all dressed in white, with as many people as you can and be part of an amazing project put together by theaptSUPERfriends at trust art! and of course, stay for the dance party immediately following the shoot. so go, be a part of something important, and tell us all about it on your way back. have a dreamy weekend!
there is going to be a lot of apple fodder to digest today so let me add some oil to the pan before we get cooking… what you see above is a simple, if long, conversation that steve jobs took part in at the 1997 developer’s conference, the likes of which he would never again for fear of revealing too much in the unpredictable and spontaneous corners of a q&a session. and that is exactly the reason why i feel it is a perfect palate cleanser for what is to come later; first for the way he describes how he has been server-computing since 1990, a vision that we all hope will be part of today’s iCloud announcement but secondly, and most importantly, to plainly see how the man fashions an answer to a direct question in a time certainly more unguarded than he would today. too much digital ink has been spent presuming and assuming about the man and his fruit company without so much as trying to understand the process behind his decision-making, one that is fully on display here, if you care and can spare the hour.
intelligent unilateralism is how i would characterize his style of thinking. he knows exactly where he is going but understands the value of looking at the landscape on his way there. in agreement with columnist doug larson who once said that “establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours,” the very best logic to apply to one’s understanding of the world, single-minded but diversely-aware. when put together with a diligently earned bank account, there should be no wonder the man will go far into willing his vision to life; that is what loners do, that is what mavericks do, that is what storytellers do… the thing of it is, i do not believe he is special, smarter or better-networked than we can ever hope to be, he is simply willing to take the risks on his own belief system required for execution to fully fail or succeed. that is not something you and i are used to, for we have too many times been taught that the middle is the right landing zone for us, that the extremes are too dangerous to aim for. balls! if you reach for safety, whether it is by asking too many what they think thereby buying into the focus group delusion that if most in a small group of people like it then most in a large group will as well or dividing up your time into all the things you want to do so as not to gather your proverbial eggs in that single inadequate basket, you will never fully learn for you will never fully fail and you will never fully fail if you do not go all in. don’t be timid, have opinions, as steve prides himself at the very beginning of his session, change those opinions when you grow out of them, fearlessly, with purpose and commitment and you will have invested in the very best stock available in the market, yours.
i wish you an extraordinarily fruitful week!
if you need something to widen your sphere of consciousness as you attempt to put in perspective the death of your grandmother, there is no better place to go than at le grand palais in paris right now to see anish kapoor’s leviathan… there are few words that can be used to adequately describe what you see invading one of the world’s most beautiful industrial buildings, a beach ball, a whale, a blown-up nave, all inconsistent with the feeling you have either walking around or within the thing. best to let pictures do the talking…
tonight, i am taking a break from being my own family’s charity case to worshipping at the altair 8800 of the music world’s, namely, mr. chilly gonzales. and when i say “charity case” i do mean that in the most superficial and complimentary way, in that the man looks like he just stumbled from the highway median and found himself at a piano, as you can see above. but unlike ted williams, the seat in front of dr. phil’s is far away indeed. a not-so gentleman troubadour, he apparently wanders the earth in search of melody and rhythm, sometimes finding it while producing records for feist, peaches or lidell but altogether even more entertaining when at work for himself. whether in piano solos or in dance formation, as below…
as we speak, 100% design has wrapped up in london with new york and helsinki behind it and valencia and guadaljara design weeks coming up. with design going mainstream, a lot of urban centers are hoping to attract a sophisticated demographic to their cities by organizing product-centric conferences like these that are a wonderful way to find new talent. but are they great for design?
now, don’t get me wrong, i find nothing dishonorable in setting up a design wares market in every corner of the world where each and every individual with ideas, regardless of color, creed or liquor sponsorship can rightly present them to an audience in order to make a living. but that is rarely what happens. take it from someone who has consistently thrown one of the most attended events of the week in the past, and believed his own hype but been so violently repelled by it the last few years that he preferred to stay away. and by he, i mean me. every year evolves, in my not-so-humble opinion, in the wrong direction and keeps furthering no other agenda than that of increased consumption, something we have little reasonable excuse to engage in.
i believe the ray of light at the end of this tunnel to be the increasing engagement of designers everywhere designing for solutions as opposed to themselves, for conversations to be had and not solely for effect. to wit, the work of fuseproject which focuses on the needs of others. the work of dieter rams which focuses on the needs of the appliance-minded. the work of ross lovegrove which follows function with form. i would be ecstatic if these global design weeks would, instead of product souks, be markets of ideas. imagine what we could solve by putting all these brilliant heads together and forgetting about another chair, another carafe, another clever update on the doily but rather focusing on the more pressing matter at hand, designing life for the better…
there must be a rallying cry among those who turn bits into things to care enough to look around themselves, even in their own homes, and fix what doesn’t work. at the next convention center-sized exhibition, i need to see plungers and water jugs and pool alarms. stat.
i went and attended the unveiling of theaptFRIEND yves béhar‘s new project for lauded herman miller last night at tadao ando’s morgan library addition and it was a winner. touted as the first unframed chair of its kind, the mesh supports one’s vertebras whoever one might be, from duplicitous manhattan ladder climber to hunted former nazi in argentina, you can be sure you lower back will be in safe in its hands, and in yves’. see for yourself in the very few pictures above which eventually take a turn for the leggy at the standard’s le bain rooftop bar…