Residents of NYC's Lower East Side are no strangers to the virtually ubiquitous graffiti tattooing the walls you encounter between the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges. Indeed, graffiti is as characteristic of the Lower East Side as chic restaurants and boutiques.
But rewind back to the late ‘70s, take out the trendy shops and eateries, and you have a very industrial, working-class area of Manhattan. And it’s during that time that artist/photographer Sol LeWitt, living on Hester Street, took out his camera and started documenting the area.
LeWitt took thousands of photographs of “streetscapes, storefronts with their gates pulled down, political posters, graffiti art,” says curator Adam Shopkorn.
The photographer died in 2007. Eventually LeWitt’s photographs were collected into a book: "On The Walls of the Lower East Side." But the images were never shown collectively in New York. That is until now.
Shopkorn, who works with the Paula Cooper Gallery and LeWitt's estate, mounted 120 vinyl prints in a grid-like presentation along the side of the Mondrian Soho hotel on Lafayette Street.
“[LeWitt] was simply documenting works on walls. And I think the people who were putting those works on walls I don’t know if they really considered themselves street artists either,” added Shopkorn.
Some passersby stop to admire the large array of photos. Others don’t. Either way is fine with Shopkorn. “I’m hopeful that means it was put in the right place. That’s means it blends in,” says Shopkorn.
The permanent display does seem like a natural fit, quietly fusing old and new into something indelibly characteristic of the Lower East Side.
For more "Next List" videos about graffiti, check out our profile of artist Tristan Eaton.
By Scott Snibbe, Special to CNN
Editor's Note: Scott Snibbe is a media artist, filmmaker, computer app developer and researcher in interactivity. Snibbe’s artwork is on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art. Some of his large-scale interactive projects have been incorporated into concert tours, Olympics, science museums, airports, and other major public spaces and events.
Snibbe was recently profiled on CNN's new show, "The Next List," which airs Sundays at 2 p.m. ET.
For those of us buying music 20 years ago, the process was much like asking someone out on date. We’d carefully look over an album in the record shop, staring down its cover to imagine how the music on the disc inside might sound.
Then, sometimes after hours of deliberation, we'd nervously take the plunge at the till, glancing up at the clerk to see what he or she thought of our choice in his subtle body language: the roll of eyes, a sneer or a nod. If you’ve never experienced it, go rent "High Fidelity."
After bringing the album home, we’d walk it into our living room, slip the record out of its sleeve, and press it onto the turntable. Now, captive for an hour, we’d sprawl on the carpet before the speakers and let the sound wash over us. While listening we’d hold up the 12” album, getting lost in the cover art as we tried to decipher its codes, then poring over the liner notes and lyrics sleeve for further clues to its meaning. FULL POST
Every 'Next Lister' sees the world differently. They innovate and solve problems in divergent ways as well.
Here at "The Next List," CNN's new show about innovators, we lift the hood and let you see how these change agents are transforming the world. And we hope they're an inspiration to you.
Our most recent 'Next Lister,' Tristan Eaton, is an extremely prolific artist whose work ranges from graffiti art to graphic design to custom-designed toys. In this 'TNL Extra,' Eaton describes how painting motorcycles has informed his art.
"With painting motorcycles you have to wrap a 2-D graphic around a 3-D surface that you can see at 100 mph," he says. "Same thing with a toy – it's gotta pop off the shelf in a similar fashion."
Scott Snibbe, our new 'Next Lister,' creates new worlds. Through the magic of technology, he transforms walls, floors, tables, even ceilings into fully immersive, interactive canvases.
In museums, airports and public exhibitions, his installations bring audiences together, encouraging us to interact with his enormous displays - and each other - for maximum impact.
For those who prefer interactivity at their fingertips, Snibbe’s apps can literally put the cosmos in the palm of your hand, allowing you to draw with stars or make music with bubbles. With the release of perhaps the first-ever "app" album, Bjork's "Biophilia," he allows users to explore the natural world through a revolutionary combination of music and technology.
As executive producer of "Biophilia," Snibbe collaborated with the wildly inventive singer-songwriter to blow up our notions of an album, delivering a complete, all-sensory music experience that demands your full attention. And he’s not stopping there.
After working with director James Cameron on an interactive exhibition based on the blockbuster film, “Avatar,” Scott’s ultimate dream is to create a feature-length interactive movie. He envisions a fully participatory experience, one where your movements will actually change the story and affect what happens around you. It may sound far-fetched, but Scott says all he needs is the right partner.
“Just keep your eyes on our website,” he says. “You’ll see what comes out in 2012.”
CNN's "The Next List" will feature interactive artist Scott Snibbe this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Tune in!
By Doug Gross, CNN
A trillion exposures per second sounds amazingly fast. But that capacity is what you need in a camera if you're going to capture images of the speed of light.
A team of MIT researchers say they've created a revolutionary camera system that can, literally, render the speed of light in slow motion.
By Tristan Eaton, Special to CNN
Editor's Note: Tristan Eaton, former street-tagging juvenile delinquent, is now one of the leading contemporary artists in the country. He designs toys, has a permanent collection at the MOMA in New York and is developing art for the masses. Tristan is currently president and creative director of THUNDERDOG STUDIOS, INC, based in Brooklyn, New York.
Eaton was profiled on CNN's new show, "The Next List," which airs Sundays at 2 p.m. ET. He sat down with us for this chat:
What are your current projects??
Currently, I'm working on a new book of my art. I'm hoping to put all my worlds of toys, digital design and painting into one big book. Outside of that, I have a new series of paintings planned and an animated project with Disney in the works. Very exciting stuff!
By John D. Sutter, CNN
Busan, South Korea (CNN) - Cwi Nqani doesn’t drive. He doesn’t have a phone. And even if he did, the nearest place he could charge it would be a 10-mile walk from the thatched hut where he lives in southern Namibia.
But against all these odds, the 32-year-old who wears bracelets made of ostrich eggs and a loincloth competed last week in a car-racing video game - played on mobile phones - at the World Cyber Games here in South Korea.
Nqani didn’t win a single match in the game, "Asphalt 6." But the experience of attending the Olympics of video games, along with 600 of the best video gamers on the planet, was eye-opening and humbling, he said.
“I will take the experience and maybe next time I will be the winner,” he said, “because I will learn from others.”
Nqani’s journey to this video-gaming tournament is nothing short of incredible. FULL POST
Heather Knight is an intelligent, outgoing, bubbly tech geek. Oh, and did we mention she's also a social roboticist?
So, what's a social roboticist, you ask? Heather says the best way to explain what she does, is to show you herself. So take a look at "The Next List's" amazing profile of Heather Knight and her robot, Data. She'll dazzle you with her ability to merge techy robotics with inspiring art, acting and choreography. Plus, she and Data, make a terrific standup comedy duo.
Together she and Data explore the roles of how humans and robots interact. And Heather's using that information to make better technology that can help people flourish — now and for years to come.
Historically, graffiti artists have not been shy in operating outside the realm of legality to get their work shown. In some cases, "tagging" a forbidden wall or other public space is even seen as a rite of passage.
Our newest 'Next Lister,' Tristan Eaton, was no exception. In his early days as a tagger, Eaton took many risks to get his graffiti art up on prime urban real estate.
Times have changed and Eaton has grown up. He's now a commercially successful artist and illustrator whose work is in high demand (he even created original art in 2008 for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).
Eaton is no longer jumping fences and climbing fire escapes, but he's talking about it. Here he takes us back to the perilous days of his "street punk" youth, when people occasionally pulled guns on him. This particular story involves an old paint building, the police, some dogs, and a lot of conniving.
Art for art's sake is a phrase easily spoken, but in Eaton's case not easily done.
Don't forget to watch the full 30-minute profile of Tristan Eaton on "The Next List" this Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on CNN.