Fred

This blog's dead! Head over to fredspears.tumblr.com instead.

Anonymous asked: It's a hot nite the mind races you think about your nife the only frend that hasnt betraed you

Anonymous asked: Saw a dang stranger

Dang! Be careful.

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Brock Lefferts (brocklefferts.tumblr.com)

Central Arizona is the most psychedelic place I’ve ever visited. Phoenix, Sedona, and Jerome form a kind of triple heart of (respectively) increasing weirdness. The heat, quasi-Martian colors, lack of typically “terrestrial” life, and the abundance of otherworldly geology all…well, they do things to your head. Amazing, inspiring things.

Brock Lefferts' art is representative of this current. A Phoenix native, Lefferts' digital collages, illustration, photography, and music all channel the kind of towering aesthetic inhumanity of his home. It's all deeply imaginative, abstract, and dips into wry humor as often as fiery intensity—and that's just his illustration. Check out Brock's main site, Facebook, and SoundCloud for more.

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Tumblin’: An Interview with Erin O’Malley

Despite its compositional complexity, Macrophotgraphy is one of the most accessible currents in contemporary art. It doesn’t require an interpretive vocabulary, and the images themselves are—in most cases—the very opposite of referential. Sure, understanding the staging, lighting, and technology involved in the work does enrich its consumption, but macrophotography is a monomanical, primally visual thing—it’s pure representation, at a state of being that escapes classical definition.

Erin O’Malley’s macrophotography is perfect in its depth of engagement and accessibility. Rather, it’s perfect in its balancing of those two important factors. Her work plunges into ethereal pearlescent clifftops, blasts into the hearts of storming nebulae, and melts into Venusian waterfalls. But the best thing is that Erin’s macroimages are also none of those things: it’s pure light and surface, and never so defined as a particular scene or subject. The viewer is in a state of complete vulnerability, captive to the work’s indeterminacy and disorientation. It’s no-thing and anything simultaneously, and that anarchic vitality imbues each piece with a totally singular depth. And its this representation of pure phenomena make O’Malley’s work electrically unique within macrophotography and art as a whole.

She’s also super cool and even more dryly funny than I expected. I spoke with Erin over the last few weeks, about her work, plans, odd memories and her unfortunate ignorance of 70s television superheroes. Enjoy.

What’s the worst food/meal you’ve ever eaten, and under what circumstances?

My ‘worst food’ experience happened a long time ago but I’ll remember it forever. My sister created a concoction of hot sauce, mud, soap, and mustard, and proceeded to convince me it was a smoothie. I swallowed a decent gulp before realizing the treachery.

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Blogs We Like: Matthew Wade

Wade’s work is a marriage of styles and media that I’ve been hoping to see for some time. “Surrealist pop art” comes close, but barely begins to scratch the surface of the deep, undulating sea of references and concepts at play in his work. It’s an inconsistent metaphysics, of constantly shifting creatures and bizarro realities. One of the few threads running throughout it all, though, is a sense of immense concentration, discipline, and experimentation.

Some things about Matthew Wade: he makes all his own bread, only drinks black coffee, and holds his pen in a contorted monster-claw. He’s also incredibly approachable on Twitter, and totally unlike the psychedelic-soaked father of Zardoz-demons you might expect from his work.

While his Tumblr focuses mostly on presenting his illustrative work, Wade’s been working in animation and film for quite some time too, as well as expanding into comics territory over at Neon Plusultra. He’s also recently created a Kickstarter (with a slew of awesome and unique donor rewards) to fund “How the Sky Will Melt,” his most ambitious film project so far. And unlike many other multimedia artists, there isn’t a single wing of his work that outshines the others—it’s all remarkably mature, flawless art that consistently grows and reshapes its many intersecting worlds. Wade’s art is provocative in just about every way, and it’s endlessly entertaining to consume. 

In addition to all the above, you can also throw the man some ducats for prints and wares at his Society6 page.

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Georg Nickolaus  (der-gorgonaut.tumblr.com)

Even here on the West coast of Canada, it’s now proper summer. Back sweat starts to do its weird rorschach thing on everyone, and staying inside to hydrate and swab sand out of your ears becomes a necessity.

While you’re doing that, soak up the cool desolation in Georg Nickolaus’ photography. There’s landscape and macro work, much of it black and white, and all of it masterfully shot. Icy, crispy stillness for the dog days.  

Thanks to our comrades at Lensblr for introducing us to Georg’s work.

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Snowden, PRISM, and the Realms of the Unreal
With Edward Snowden’s abrupt entry into Moscow two weeks ago, National Journal writer Matt Berman totally nailed the strange unreality that was beginning to unfold: “If the Edward Snowden saga is a Michael Bay movie that we are all just living in, on Sunday morning it would have passed over the believability abyss.”
That’s the weirdness that’s been hanging over the situation from the beginning, really—so much seems remarkably implausible. From our perspective as designers and developers, it’s often the structure of situations that captures our attention, and this inverting of the normal logic of events captivated us. More importantly, we’re a tech company, and our industry is often remarkably inert in responding to situations like this, despite our futures as businesses and individuals being tied to them.
All this led us to our comment: the PRISM scandal is an event that quite drastically inverts reality. We romanticize events that “change everything” in a situation, but rarely do we witness one which turns so much so completely upside-down. The Snowden/PRISM story does this in two central ways, which are both worth examining.

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Snowden, PRISM, and the Realms of the Unreal

With Edward Snowden’s abrupt entry into Moscow two weeks ago, National Journal writer Matt Berman totally nailed the strange unreality that was beginning to unfold: “If the Edward Snowden saga is a Michael Bay movie that we are all just living in, on Sunday morning it would have passed over the believability abyss.”

That’s the weirdness that’s been hanging over the situation from the beginning, really—so much seems remarkably implausible. From our perspective as designers and developers, it’s often the structure of situations that captures our attention, and this inverting of the normal logic of events captivated us. More importantly, we’re a tech company, and our industry is often remarkably inert in responding to situations like this, despite our futures as businesses and individuals being tied to them.

All this led us to our comment: the PRISM scandal is an event that quite drastically inverts reality. We romanticize events that “change everything” in a situation, but rarely do we witness one which turns so much so completely upside-down. The Snowden/PRISM story does this in two central ways, which are both worth examining.

Read More

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Blogs We Like: The New Inquiry

Thanks to the spread of academic cultural studies in the 1990s and early 2000s, most popular writing on arts and culture has become about as engaging as a chorus of dog farts. Humor and novelty all but disappeared as people repeatedly trotted out the same tired theses on postmodernity, from the same class-unconscious perspectives. The New Inquiry is one of very few publications to shirk that trend of irrelevance and sophistry.

Co-founded and currently co-edited by Mary Borkowski, Jennifer Bernstein, and Rachel Rosenfelt, The New Inquiry is completely free, online, and brilliant. Currently celebrating its 1-year anniversary, TNI has recently covered topics as diverse as Ai Weiwei, police mortality, sexual economies, and plastic. TNI is every bit the “space for discussion” it aims to be, expertly “putting all available resources—both digital and material—toward the promotion and exploration of ideas.”

In addition to following TNI on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter, consider spending a measely $2/month for a subscription, which gives you early access to articles and full archive privileges.