Alex Dodge is a painter who uses 3D design software to digitally sketch raised patterns of oil on traditional canvas using laser-cut stencils and airbrushed backgrounds. Most of these tools are also used in game development. That’s me paraphrasing Design Milk’s description of his work. That a design blog would have a feature on his work says something about how he is using these tools. There are more interesting, conceptual details to his work as well, like calling the ghostlike bodies underneath the clothes “autonomous drones.”
Below (and above) is a sample of his work, which is on display right now at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York.
Nelson George moderated this C-SPAN BookTV panel 20 years ago on the emerging topic of “hip-hop literature.” (SB: Bring back BookTV!) The 90 minute panel is quite a time capsule for me – and a bit humbling – since at the time I had just graduated college and had only just read Black Noise. Most conversations start before we get in the room.
There are as many jewels as disses dropped in this panel – the disses a product of someone having “thought it would be funny” to put notorious critic-hater Stanley Crouch on the panel, to quote Mark Anthony Neal when he posed this link on Twitter recently. Many of the jewels are from Nelson George, who connects the dots among early music journalists covering not only hip-hop’s emergence but the particular style of hip-hop DJing developing in the Bronx. Nelson weaves this point all through the panel, coming back to it and amplifying it throughout. Before this panel, I hadn’t picked up on his attention to DJing and turntablism in his book writings. But he’s right there in the panel.
He anchors this dot connecting to an article by Robert Ford, Jr. writing in Billboard magazine in July 1978. Here is the article.
It was a nice play to run an ad for Downstairs Records on the lower right corner of the same page. You can see the full magazine page here, which has all kinds of throwback goodies on it.
As it would be, Ford passed away this summer. The New York Times ran a nice story on his contribution to poplar music journalism.
Schools have been doing “more with less” for a long while now. Many states had barely returned to pre-recession funding levels before the pandemic hit. And now in-person classes are supposed to be smaller. Schools need more nurses and teaching aides. And there just isn’t the money for it. So what happens?
Technology offers itself as the solution. Wait. Let me fix that sentence. Technology companies offer their products as the solution, and technology advocates promote the narrative of techno-solutionism.
If schools are struggling right now, education technology companies — and technology companies in general — are not. Tech companies are dominating the stock market.
That’s Audrey Watters guest speaking to a collage class at the start of the semester.
Here is Albert Parsons, writing in 1884 in the Chicago anarchist newsletter The Alarm. The Anarchist Library always sends little treats like this to my inbox.
One man has no right to live on the profits of another man’s labor, under any excuse whatever. He who stands on what another man produces, stands on that man. No matter what the pretext, he is standing on him wrongfully. The under man should knock off the burden and not be longer bamboo-zled with the idea that he should be patient, for perhaps by and by he may be on top. Down with such nonsense!
Reading: Started Monday’s Not Coming, a YA lit novel by Tiffany D. Jackson about an African American girl in DC who goes missing for a year – and nobody but her best friend seems to notice. I’m still on my grind to lock down this reading list for the YA lit class I’m teaching next semester.
Writing: Still deep in some external tenure review letters. Almost out of the woodshed.
Listening: And yet again, Sault is back in the rotation with a new album that came out last week, their second this year. (Thanks to subscriber Jay Spliff for the early tip!) One review said that Sault now has the two best albums of the year. I do agree. The album is UNTITLED (Rise), which takes on different meanings as you move through the album. Early on, it’s a mother greeting her child in the morning telling the child to “rise…the sun’s shining just for you.” Later on – like in Sault’s other albums – rise is connected to movements for racial justice. Children seems to be the imagined other in certain parts of the album as the singers (who are still officially anonymous, but one sounds a lot like Cleo Sol) speak directly to them about what will be required for them to join the movement. There’s no shipping cost from Europe too high for this vinyl.
Teaching: Week 3 of Learners and Learning in context is in the books. The non-indictment of Breonna Taylor’s killers came out a few hours before class. It’s never easy to know how to pivot in the classroom in response to high-profile moments of racial violence, at least not for me. But pivot we must. I wrote something on micro.blog right after class explaining what I did. Maybe it will be useful.