Sunday 28 September 2014

The Procrastinator (Some) Times Sunday 28th September Edition


Hello friends, happy last September Sunday (*long scream in mute*).

In the News section firstly we have an article about Venezuela's almost impossible fall to bankruptcy (almost impossible, sadly does not mean impossible); secondly, an interesting op-ed article in which Paul Mason lists the things that a city needs to be perfect (in his very personal opinion, and to some extent, also in mine); and finally, Julian Assange on Google: "it really wasn't personal, until yesterday". In our Design, Business & Innovation section we reflect on how design have moved from aesthetic realm to the worlds of strategy and collaboration; plus Alibaba, the new worldwide giant; and the digital version of (y)our beloved Post-Its. The Culture & Entertainment section showcases the wonderful collaboration between photographer Sandro Miller and John Malkovich; "A Life Worth Living", Albert Camus and the search for meaning; and the project "Is the New" via The Diagram. In Dog We Trust by La Guía del Perro shares with us 21 facts about dogs that will blow your mind (yes, they will blow your mind like an Upworthy headline), and the influence of Lassie and 101 Dalmatians on our dog preferences. Finally, for Our Weekly Procrastination we visited the Dennis Hopper exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, have a look (:

If you still don't follow us in Twitter, well... you should. And if you still don't have a Procrastinator Tote Bag, well... you could. Just saying.

Happy Sunday and happy reading.


Illustration via The Economist.

"Venezuela’s streets are calmer now than earlier this year, when clashes between opposition protesters and government forces left more than 40 people dead. The reshuffle appears to have strengthened Mr Maduro’s position. Bondholders may well keep getting paid. But the price of the revolution’s survival seems to be the slow death of Venezuela." There is not much to be add, just read full article in The Economist. E.T.P. 3'

Photo via The Guardian.

From a close body of water warm enough to swim in to cab drivers who are banned from giving you their opinion, Paul Mason, the economist editor of Channel 4 news, inspired by George Orwell's great imaginary pub Moon Under Water, lists the 10 (real) things that a perfect city needs. I love his list and his invitation to dream on. "For the Economist, it's Melbourne, Vienna and Toronto; for Monocle magazine, it is Melbourne, Tokyo and Copenhagen; for the global recruitment consultancy Mercer, the index of "most liveable cities" begins with Vienna, Zurich and Auckland. When I read these lists, which are nearly always topped by cities in Australia, Canada and Scandinavia, I imagine them being compiled by a terrified, monogamous young couple dressed head to toe in Uniqlo or Gap. Their typical criteria – low crime rates, cheap private schools and access to world-class outdoor sports – always seem to match those of the stereotypical modern salaryman, not the complex real-world individual." Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 5'

Photo via The Guardian.

James Camp on The Guardian: "How does a wanted man have a book party? On Wednesday night at Babycastles, a Manhattan videogame-art collective, Julian Assange celebrated the publication of his new book, When Google Met WikiLeaks. He was present via videochat. The collectivists projected him on their walls. A crowd had formed to see the shining-haired hacker king – youngish New Yorkers, mostly. They stood or sat and drank beers as Assange talked about the internet.
Assange said: “Compare the mission statements of Google and the NSA – the NSA, who literally say, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, index it, and exploit it.’ Whereas Google says, ‘We want to collect all private information, pool it, store it, sort it, and sell those profiles to advertisers.’ Really, they’re almost identical.” Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P 4'


Poster by François Caspar via The New York Times.

Interesting article by Rob Walker in The New York Times about how design has moved from aesthetic to the strategic and participatory. "The golden age of design has been heralded many times over the past couple of decades — four, by my count. Now, this previous momentum paired with technology, community and big business has fueled something new: an unprecedented belief in the power of design to not only elevate an idea, but be the idea." Read full article in The New York Times. E.T.P. 4'

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to his company’s initial public offering Friday.        Photo: Jason DeCrow / AP via WIRED.

"Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Intel. As of midday on Friday, Alibaba is now worth more than all of them. On its first day as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant shot up by nearly one-third above their initial asking price. The surge put the value of the company at around $228 billion. The only U.S. tech companies worth more by market cap are Apple ($609 billion), Google ($400 billion), and Microsoft ($387 billion).
And even those giants may see Alibaba closing in." Read full article by Marcus Wohlsen in WIRED. E.T.P. 3'

Photo via Design Milk.

Post-it fan? Yes, we too. This is kind of a big deal for you then: Post-it is taking the analog collaboration experience and digitizing it with Post-it Plus App. "The app captures physical brainstorm sessions, storyboards, project plans, and other projects and makes them digital, so you and your team can easily work faster and smarter. With the ability to capture up to 50 Post-it Notes at once, the Post-it Plus App can keep your brains working from anywhere to keep the momentum going, even outside of the office." Read all about it in Design Milk. E.T.P. 3'


Dorothea Lange / Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936) via The Inspiration.

Arthur Sasse / Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951) via The Inspiration.

I didn't know Sandro Miller before, but now after seeing his collaboration with John Malkovich I really want to know his work better... and be her BFF and go for beers with him, and John Malkovich, of course. "At the age of sixteen, upon seeing the work of Irving Penn, Sandro Miller knew he wanted to become a photographer. Mostly self-taught, Sandro relied on books published by many of the great artists canonized in photographic history . . .  In 2013, Sandro decided to do a project honoring the men and women whose photographs helped shape his career. After selecting thirty-five images to emulate, Sandro contacted Malkovich, who instantly agreed to participate.” Read full article and watch more photos in The Inspiration. E.T.P. 5'

Illustration by Wendy MacNaughton via Brain Pickings.

Maria Popova writes in Brain Pickings: “To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy,” Albert Camus wrote in his 119-page philosophical essay The Myth of Sisyphus in 1942. “Everything else … is child’s play; we must first of all answer the question.” One of the most famous opening lines of the twentieth century captures one of humanity’s most enduring philosophical challenged — the impulse at the heart of Seneca’s meditations on life and Montaigne’s timeless essays and Maya Angelou’s reflections, and a wealth of human inquiry in between. But Camus, the second-youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature after Rudyard Kipling, addressed it with unparalleled courage of conviction and insight into the irreconcilable longings of the human spirit.
In the beautifully titled and beautifully written A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, historian Robert Zaretsky considers Camus’s lifelong quest to shed light on the absurd condition, his “yearning for a meaning or a unity to our lives,” and its timeless yet increasingly timely legacy." Read full article in Brain Pickings. E.T.P. 5'

Fragment of the project: "Is the new". Click below to see it all.

Is the new, definitely an interesting form of procrastination: "the project documents every instance of the phrase "is the new" encountered from various sources in 2005. It is intended to map the iterations of a peculiarly common marketing and literary device." See full image in The Diagram. E.T.P. 5'


Photo: (cuteness overload) Milo, via his Instagram.

Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a nice day!

Here are some links you might like:

Video of the week: Run Walter, RUN!

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Milo on Instagram

In Dog We Trust is edited by: Carola Melguizo from La Guía del Perro.  


Double Standard (1961), one of my favorite Hopper's photographs is part of the Lost Album.

Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and David Goodman, 1963. Via Artsy.
Irving Blum and Peggy Moffitt, 1964. Via Artsy.

The Lost Album, a collection of more than 400 photographs, taken between 1961-67, when Hopper was blacklisted by Hollywood, are being exhibited at the Royal Academy until the 19 of October. The photographs are all originals, and so you can not only see but somehow feel the 50-something years that have passed since those moments, stories, and lives were captured by Hopper. Hell angels, poets, artists, Hollywood stars, civil rights fighters, hippies, Mexican landscapes, giant billboards, many subjects of the verge of changing forever, captured without pretensions but with a really instinctive eye by Hopper, a really fascinating character himself and one of Holloywood's enfants terribles.

According to Mark Brown in The Guardian, "Marin Hopper, who discovered the boxes after her father's death in 2010, knew about the 1970 show but had no idea he had kept all the photographs. "It was extraordinary," she said. 'I was surprised he kept them at home because he had art storage and also that he never really mentioned it to anyone.' "

"Hopper took around 18,000 pictures with his Nikon F; the ones in the show are both a personal visual diary and a document of the wild and freewheeling cultural life of 1960s America.
Marin said when she first went through them they seemed like movie storyboards. 'If you look at them from beginning to end, you feel like you've travelled in a time capsule of America.'"

The exhibition was curated by Petra Giloy-Hirtz, organised in co-operation with The Dennis Hopper Art Trust, and you can see it at the Royal Academy until the 19th of October. Absolutely meaningful procrastination.

Sunday 14 September 2014

The Procrastinator (Some) Times Sunday 14th of September Edition


Hello fellow procrastinators! Hope everything is going awesome. In this edition our news section is solely focused in the Islamic State through Vice's eyes in 5 really good dispatches and an op-ed article in The New York Times. In Science & Technology, the latest developments of the ATLAS humanoid robot, and an article that maybe belongs to our non-existent philosophy section: Megan Heuer's review of Jonathan Crary's book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the End of Sleep. In Design, Business & Innovation, how to get rid of that "free" U2 album that you probably didn't know you have in your iPhone, the disappointing design of Apple's new gadgets, New York Fashion Week SS15 collections made GIFs, and why people love paying for Netflix but hate paying for the BBC. In Culture & Entertainment, a couple of great articles, one about Susan Sontag and another one about Joan Rivers. Also Metronomy's new video: A Month of Sundays. In Dog We Trust introduces us to 15 dogs whose best friends are wild animals. And finally you can have a look at Our Weekly Procrastination in the Photographers' Gallery here in London.

Hope you enjoy this edition. Happy Sunday and happy reading!


Screenshot of VICE NEWS report on the Islamic State Part I.

The most recent dispatches of the Islamic State produced by Vice are and amazing introduction to the latest developments (if you haven't been following the news), or an excellent complement to any news that you have read as you can see IS members in action; their logic, their rational, and their pledges.

"VICE News reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings." In part one, Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army's division 17 base." In the second part he meets an Islamic State member from Belgium in charge of indoctrinating some of the youngest members of the group. In the third part they joined their daily patrols during Ramadan and witnessed prisioners' punishments. In the fourth part they visit the Sharia courts that handle crime and all sorts of citizens' complaints, and finally in the fifth part "Dairieh journeys 200 miles from the the group's power base in the Syrian city of Raqqa to the border with Iraq. There, after defeating the Iraqi army manning the checkpoint, Islamic State fighters work further to bulldoze the border.

As they clear apart a barrier that divided Iraq and Syria, Islamic State fighters declare an end of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a nearly 100-year-old pact between France and Britain that divided up the Middle East. For now, that area between Iraq and Syria is part of a new territory: the Islamic State." Each video is 9' long (in average), so your Estimated Time of Procrastination is 45' Absolutely worth it. Have a look in Vice News.

President Obama at a 9/11 observance. Credit Stephen Crowley via The New York Times

Serge Schmemann, member of the editorial board of The New York Times writes the op-ed piece 13 Years After 9/11, the ‘War on Terror’ Has a New Focus. "Thirteen years later, the anniversary of 9/11 was observed this past week on the day after President Obama announced another fight against the various manifestations of Islamic extremism that have evolved from Bin Laden’s. This time it was a vicious Sunni offshoot calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and referred to variously as ISIS, ISIL or simply I.S. The core of Mr. Obama’s announcement was that American airstrikes against ISIS would be extended to its bases in Syria.
Mr. Obama, who tried so hard to end American military involvement in the Middle East and to avoid it in Syria, did his best to differentiate the open-ended air operation from the two ground wars launched by Mr. Bush, repeatedly promising that there would be no American boots on the ground, only airstrikes. Still, the echoes were unmistakable as the president declared, “We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.” Read full article in the New York Times. E.T.P. 4'


Photo via Gizmodo.

Andrew Liszewski writes in Gizmodo: The first videos we saw of DARPA's advanced ATLAS robot it was just an infant, learning to walk and balance on its own. During the DARPA Robotics Challenge the humanoid robot handled itself like a capable child. And now almost a year later the folks at MIT are happy to announce that ATLAS has finally reached the level of a lazy, shiftless teenager. Read full article in Gizmodo. E.T.P. 3' And learn about DARPA's plans and future challenges in this article of Humanoïdes (in French). E.T.P 8'

GIF by Zoe Burnett via Rhizome.

Not precisely a very recent article, but these past days I came across the review that Megan Heuer wrote of Jonathan Crary's book: 24/7: Late Capitalism and the End of Sleep. Megan analyzes the book really well highlighting Crary's most interesting arguments (as some other of his claims sound like something a crazy man with a megaphone would shout in a public square, and I personally think that is not necessary "capitalism" but "industrialism", but well, that's the subject of a different book, ain't it?). Anyway, here's an extract of Megan's article: "Offering a genealogical account of the reformatting of time from the beginning of the Industrial Revolution to the present, 24/7 is relentlessly negative: sleep is the last unleveraged form of human activity and it is violently threatened by a world in which the divisions between night and day, between rest and work, are disappearing due to mutations in the experience of time produced by unceasing digital networks, new metrics for productivity, and ever-expanding forms of control and surveillance . . . As he elaborates the specific textures (or lack thereof) of this new temporality, signaled with the shorthand 24/7, Crary ties the disruption of sleep to an emerging and intensifying set of demands around our productivity as workers." Read full article in Rhizome, and please (I've been reading a lot about this: sleep at least 7 hours every night). E.T.P. 7'


Image via Yahoo!

You might not have noticed yet, but if you have an iPhone the new U2 album is sitting there in your Music Library. Thanks to Daniel Bean now you can learn how to get rid of it. "During the company’s iPhone and Apple Watch event Tuesday, Cook was joined on stage by the band and explained that the collection of 11 songs, which you know by now is titled Songs of Innocence, would be “going out for free” on iTunes. What wasn’t explained at the time was that it would be gifted to us whether we liked it or not and be a son of a gun to get rid of if we didn’t feel like looking at it on our iPhones." Read it in Yahoo! E.T.P. 3' (absolutely worth it, of course).

PS. BTW, apparently Apple spent US$ 100 million to buy you that U2 album... and they say that musicians don't sell albums anymore. 

Photo via WIRED.

And since we are on it, let's have a look at Wired's article: The Disappointing Design of Apple's New Gadgets by Gadi Amit. "Apple’s software environment is innovative and clearly superior in cohesion and experience, but its industrial design is what we were all watching for this week at the launch of the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The centrality of Apple’s industrial design is Steve Jobs’ legacy; it is what dictates Apple’s brand dominance, its marketing storyline and its strong effect on every one of us. And it is here where Apple went slightly wrong." Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 6'

Great selection of New York Fashion Week SS15 collections made GIFs: From Proenza Schouler's country club vixen to Wang's love letter to sneakerheads. Links to photos of the collections included. Have a look in Dazed Magazine. E.T.P. 7' 

Photo: BBC's Sherlock via Quartz.

Leo Mirani writes an intersting article in Quartz: Why people love paying for Netflix but hate paying for the BBC. The key might be as having the choice. " It is the voluntary nature of Netflix that makes subscribers feel like they’re getting value. If they spend hours browsing, they conclude it is they who are indecisive, not the service that is lacking in choice. If they don’t like it, they can stop paying. Perception of the BBC is tainted by its compulsory nature. Despite the tremendous news-gathering, Sherlock, Planet Earth, and all the other flagship shows, the British public resents not having a choice in the matter. Yet that is what makes the BBC what it is; without the mandatory fee, it would slowly crumble. It is this dichotomy that both the network and the public must live with." Read full article in Quartz. E.T.P. 3'


Susan Sontag captured by photographer Peter Hujar in 1975. Photo via Humanities.

Susan Sontag, Essayist and So Much Else. "How to capture a life? A problem of biographical projects, especially those involving subjects who left behind multiple books and interviews and hours of film footage, is that ten edits of the same story will yield ten different lives. This raises a further question with which every biographer must contend, even for lives much less complex and ecstatic and varied than Susan Sontag’s: How much space should be given over to the messy details of the private life—the love affairs, the children, the fraught relationships with family—how much to the public life, and beyond that, how much to the environment and the era by which that life was shaped?
Nancy Kates’s new documentary film, Regarding Susan Sontag—a fascinating, moving, and often gorgeous entry into the canon of works produced about Sontag since her death—doesn’t neglect the time and the social forces that shaped Sontag’s life, but, for the most part, the narrative that emerges is deeply personal. It’s a close portrait of a woman who was, in the words of her son, “interested in everything”: Wittgenstein, but also sci-fi B movies; John Cage, but also Fred Astaire." Read full article by Emily St. John Mandle in Humanities. E.T.P. 8'

Photo via Biography.

Nice article Chelsea Leibow's piece on Joan Rivers that will bring a new vision to those who only knew Rivers as the mean hostess of Fashion Police: "Traditionally a boys club, insult comedians run the gamut from old timers like Don Rickles and Jackie Gleason, to modern-day incarnations like Seth MacFarlane and the “Roast” specials on Comedy Central. Joan rose to stardom in 1965, where her brash, unadulterated comedic chops made her an instant hit as a guest star on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She went on to host her own rival program,The Late Show, and remains the only woman to host her own late night talk show on network television. Let me state that again for the cheap seats: it’s 2014, and Joan Rivers is the only woman to host her own late night talk show on network television. While the laughability of Joan’s more scornful jokes is debatable, her longevity and influence is certainly not. It’s paramount to remember Joan for her path-forging efforts for women — not just in comedy, but in the media as a whole." Reaf full article in Nerve. E.T.P. 7'

Still from A Month of Sundays.

Thanks to our friend Mariana we discovered Metronomy's new video: A Month of Sundays. Directed by Callum Cooper in one of my favorite places in London: the Barbican. I think this is the perfect soundtrack for the place and how Cooper plays with the video is great and new and all that, but I think it also reflects -and this is the magic part- how I felt when I experienced the Barbican for the very first time. Maybe if you grew up in London, and the Barbican is part of your visual repertoire since you're a kid, it's different. But when you enter that gigantic brutalist maze for the first time as an adult I can swear that what Cooper beautifully filmed and edited is an exact record of how your brain is feeling that place. The device used to record the video was also developed by Cooper as part of his work in sculpture for moving image. Go ahead and watch A Month of Sundays in Callum's Vimeo. E.T.P. 3'30''


Photo via Lucielle's Instagram.

Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a fantastic weekend!

Here are some links from around the web:

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Lucielle on Instagram

In Dog We Trust is edited by: Carola Melguizo from La Guía del Perro. 


Dmitri Baltermants Stalin’s funeral, Moscow, 1953 © via The Photographers' Gallery
Primrose installation, 2014 © Kate Elliott via The Photographers' Gallery.
Boris Mikhailov's Suzi Et Cetera @ The Photographers' Gallery.

Every time we are around Soho we like to go into the Photographers' Gallery as usually they have really nice exhibitions and events, and so we did a week ago to find the wonderful Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia curated by Olga Sviblova, Director of Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow / Moscow House of Photography Museum.

"Primrose showcases the appearance and development of colour in Russian photography from the 1860s to the 1970s. It presents both the history of Russian photography and the history of Russia in photography, depicting life over the course of a century, as the country endured unprecedented upheaval."

Among the great documents, exhibited chronologically, depicting the evolution not only in color but in the Russian society in general (politically and culturally), we really loved discovering the work of Boris Mikhailov, one of the photographers that back in the 1970s had to exhibit his work underground using slideshows. The photographic series were only accessible to "a small circle of like-minded people for home viewing," and so in the gallery you have a mini dark-room to see Mikhailov slideshow titled Suzi Et Cetera from the late 1970s early 1980s.

Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia is on until the 19th October, along with other exhibitions, at The Photographers' Gallery, 16 - 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW and the admission is free. Go and have a look!