Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, June 16, 2021

art chaos theoryWhen I first read about the impressive Dada retrospective in Paris, I knew it would be making its way to New York. I even said at that time, while still living in Florida, that such a show by itself would be an incentive to visit Manhattan.

As things turned out, I’m here in Manhattan now. And so is the Dada exhibit, starting this weekend at the Museum of Modern Art.

Thus the art world persists in, as Max Ernst once put it, “presenting the shrapnel” of Dadaism by distilling the frenzied environment and attitude of the movement into a showcase of its artwork. Hey, short of time traveling back to the 1920s, it’s the best we can get.

I consider the Dada movement to be a forebear of modern pop-art, and even pop cultural, sensibilities:

Art by declaration had replaced art by discrimination. A urinal, a snow shovel, a hat rack and a bicycle wheel fastened to a stool were art because he said so, and who was to say they weren’t? Except that, by the same token, if someone decided the urinal or snow shovel looked aesthetically pleasing, who was he to deny it?

Such became the world of modern art, and either you are the sort of skeptic who thinks that art went to hell in a handbasket, or you see that Dada opened art up to the everyday and we are its beneficiaries. That hat rack looks awfully stylish now, and so does the mobile fashioned out of clothes hangers by Man Ray, never mind if it’s still a little hard to love the silvered plumbing trap that Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and Morton Livingston Schamberg titled “God.” (I wonder if they noticed that the curlicue of the trap spells each of those letters in lowercase?)

Fact is, I’ve yet to have hit MoMA in all the time I’ve been back living in New York. That’s about to be remedied…

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/16/2006 01:56:10 PM
Category: Media, Creative | Permalink | Feedback (5)

If you regularly show off your high-rollin’ rep by popping a few bottles of Cristal, don’t count on doing it with Jay-Z. Thanks to disparaging remarks in The Economist, the President and CEO of Def Jam Records is boycotting the brand of bubbly that’s been so widely celebrated in the rap world.

“It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud, views the ‘hip-hop’ culture as ‘unwelcome attention’,” Jay-Z said.

“I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands, including the 40/40 Club, nor in my personal life.”…

“They’re trying to distance themselves from the hip-hop community,” [Jay-Z spokesman Ron] Berkowitz said.

“The hip-hop world certainly helped elevate the presence of Cristal. At the end of the day, isn’t the goal for any company to sell bottles?” he added.

Fortunately for Cristal producer Louis Roederer, there’s an established method of buying back into the good graces of Jay-Z and the rap industry, literally and lyrically: Brand-name product placement in songs. I’d say the rates just went up for the next booty-shaking Cristal anthem, though.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/16/2006 01:32:03 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Celebrity, Business | Permalink | Feedback

Now that Dan Rather is getting bum-rushed out of CBS News, does he get more votes from those who’d like to see certain media stars turn to professional blogging?

He would certainly pull in the eyeballs. Again, it’s a simple concept: Rather became a household name from years of work on traditional media, so it’d be a case of carrying over that cache onto the online channel. It’s a no-brainer.

I’m not expecting to see a RatherBlog anytime soon. Even if he were so inclined — which I sort of doubt — it’d require a special kind of spam filter: One that deflects maniacal right-wing trolling based on residual RatherGate sentiment.

But if he did take the blogging plunge, I’m sure readers would be treated to many a colorful turn of the phrase.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 06/16/2006 12:17:19 PM
Category: Bloggin', Media, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback