Absolutely crazy, an 800 horsepower electric engine that makes it 50 miles on a charge and could run 750 homes.
On downloading music without consequences: David Lowery, an alt-rocker best known for his bands Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker, wrote an epic letter to an NPR intern who recently claimed that, despite having 11,000 songs in her collection, she only paid for 15 CDs in her life. Here's the part that got us:
On a personal level, I have witnessed the impoverishment of many critically acclaimed but marginally commercial artists. In particular, two dear friends: Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) and Vic Chestnutt. Both of these artists, despite growing global popularity, saw their incomes collapse in the last decade. There is no other explanation except for the fact that “fans” made the unethical choice to take their music without compensating these artists.
Shortly before Christmas 2009, Vic took his life. He was my neighbor, and I was there as they put him in the ambulance. On March 6th, 2010, Mark Linkous shot himself in the heart. Anybody who knew either of these musicians will tell you that the pair suffered from addiction and depression. They will also tell you their situation was worsened by their financial situation. Vic was deeply in debt to hospitals and, at the time, was publicly complaining about losing his home. Mark was living in abject squalor in his remote studio in the Smokey Mountains without adequate access to the mental health care he so desperately needed.
I present these two stories to you not because I’m pointing fingers or want to shame you. I just want to illustrate that “small” personal decisions have very real consequences, particularly when millions of people make the decision not to compensate artists they supposedly “love”. And it is up to us individually to examine the consequences of our actions. It is not up to governments or corporations to make us choose to behave ethically. We have to do that ourselves.
Lowery’s pointing out of these edge cases really grabs you. His other point here revolves around the relative cost of music. Breaking down the price point of how much it’d cost to buy every song in her collection legally (read up on her collection here), he notes that while it’d be a couple thousand dollars to pay the royalties for artists, if you break it down month-to-month, it’s really not all that much. Lowery asks pointedly, “Why do we value the network and hardware that delivers music but not the music itself?” While we don’t agree with every point he makes (he points the finger at Google for making it easy to find sites like MegaUpload), clearly he speaks honestly and touches on real issues that rarely get a voice from musicians. It’s a real argument delivered with honest consideration. (thanks Bryan DeVasher)
Press one to be patronised; press two to be directed to the wrong place; press three to listen to the entire Ring cycle while holding for an operator.
Two interesting things happened this year. First, doctors in Belgium performed the country’s first face transplant. Second, Asher Levine, a young avant-garde fashion designer for the likes of Lady Gaga, produced a pair of radical sunglasses on-site during his New York Fashion Week show. What do a surgical procedure and a line of shades have in common? Both were made possible by additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing or rapid prototyping, a technique whose quickly expanding accessibility may have as much of a revolutionary influence on how we relate to manufactured objects as Ford’s assembly line.
It’s a space-age sounding process: The same way a printer produces a document based on a computer file, additive manufacturing devices create made-to-order objects based on a CAD file. There are a few variations to the technique, but they all operate by building an object layer by individual layer in a single process. Some 3-D printers pipe melted plastic through a nozzle in a process called fused deposition modeling (FDM); higher-tech methods, like stereolithography (SLA) run lasers through a vat of powdered material — metals, nylons, concretes — solidifying anything they touch; and then there’s selective laser sintering (SLS), which similarly runs a laser through a resin and solidifies it into a single object by binding each layer together. All of these allow for the creation of extraordinary complex designs with extraordinary ease for the average person.
Hailing from the 1980s, the technology isn’t exactly new, but it has been making inroads lately in both art and engineering, being used to manufacture prosthetic limbs, car parts, furniture, and jewelry. It’s also subject of “Print/3D,” an exhibition of objects at New York’s Material ConneXion that opened this week. “3-D Printing breaks away barriers in design that are challenged by the constraints of standard manufacturing or manual production,” show curator Susan Towers told ARTINFO. While the process still has some definite kinks to be worked out, it’s already being put to revolutionary use.
To see objects manufactured by Shapeways, Materialise, and MakerBot, click the slide show, or visit Material ConneXion’s ”Print/3D,” on view through May 11.
Nike Flyknit… you won’t see me rocking them, but I can’t deny the innovation.
Inside B&H conveyor system… by Lense
Just say NO-PA to SOPA!