Fridays — Talk is Cheap is a show by Harry Gassel, Editor of Talk, a magazine about commercial art focused on the politics of style.
Episode 20 with Emilie Friedlander
what was a hiatus I think became a full blown sabbatical. But as it occurs to me that people I thought I could count on to think and act with compassion, have a basic understanding of other people's humanity and generally doing more good than harm are now getting whatever color pilled in all different directions, the whole thing gets more dispiriting. On the bright side we have people like Emilie who gives everything she says and writes a second and third thought and has a great way to sort out some of the stickier details after the fact. The topic of this issue is an article called "The Pain Matrix" published by OneZero she wrote in collaboration with Joy Crane "https://onezero.medium.com/inside-the-social-media-cult-that-convinces-young-people-to-give-up-everything-f3878fbec632" on the phenomenon of this bizarre and insidious social media driven cult that manages to touch on our own complacency in some of the behaviors witnessed here in their most extreme. I guess what im trying to say is that its always a breath of fresh air to talk to Emilie, im glad I have it on tape and im very excited to finally share it. MORE SOON! spread love its the talk way
Episode 19 — Black Lives Matter
In these last several days, I’ve been thinking about what to do on this channel. It persists that I feel like I have a responsibility to say something. It’s been in our mandate to include those unheard, underrepresented, marginalized voices from the beginning—not through some attempt at tokenism but because we felt good work and important voices were being overlooked and are necessary to the overall conversation. I have tried in both what I publish and broadcast to keep these voices in mind, to hold Talk as a platform that continues to boost these signals. Black Lives Matter.
So not to take up too much time, here’s a short statement that hopefully at least amplifies our explicit and unmitigated support of this movement, and the people fighting so hard for its goals.
Episode 18 with Albert Samreth
To say that Albie is a multidisciplinary artist shows the paucity of art speak itself. He seems to use whatever tactics are at his disposal. Some of them relate, some of them don’t, although throughout our conversation we seem to find more vectors that connect through work than he was willing to admit to. Albie's practice seems to be about just doing what seems right and feasible at the moment. He works as a graphic designer, he’s done conceptual audio pieces, one we play here, he’s made and shown sculptures and film and until the recent pandemic has split his time between LA—where he’s from—Mexico City and Phnom Penh, a place he has historical roots. His work is about culture but his thinking is political, a nice mix. As in, he’s politically active but his work avoids any of the didactic tropes that have made political art somewhat overstated, and possibly not the right medium for something that’s supposed to have a direct message, an act good art successfully avoids. Here we talk about his interest in style and subculture, and how code switching between his Long Beach home and the LA schools to which he was bussed, along with the multiple cultures he’s both inhabited and lived influence his work as we get into the connection between memory, objects and space. We also grapple with the spike and stasis of identity politics between the 2010’s and now, what were important moments and what areas are being, perhaps, considered with more nuance now. One thing that comes through is his positive use of a kind of natural sociability—perhaps a result of having to live multiple lives as a child—to organize community based art and social initiatives. In other words, he’s hard to pin down, but maybe that's the point?
Albies Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfu5_aU86Q4&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop
Los Angeleno Grotesque: https://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/Los_Angeleno_Grotesque.font
Chinatown Style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wa4nKCpteKg
Rancid, Antennas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhFvktaub7k
Episode 17 with Slodown
Brian Lim was a student in my third year communication design class at SVA before—or perhaps while—he became the cult Singaporean R&B icon Slodown. Even back then he had chops, and for our semester long conceptual branding project he developed a full world around a notional high-low porn site called Bodies. So, it's not surprising that as a performer his work barely even pauses at songwriting and recording. If you look carefully at the liner notes of his releases or the end credits of his videos, aside from a few one-off collaborations with people like Tzekin from Eternal Dragonz, Brian, credited as Slodown, conceives and produces almost all of the visual material that give three and fourth dimensional depth to his project. Like our mutual friends in the Eternal Dragonz crew, Slodown is interested in piecing together the fragmented memories of the cultural heritage he internalized growing up in Singapore with the global pop culture that held his attention throughout his youth. The resulting kaleidoscope of sounds, textures, images and ephemera weaves itself through the samples, video textures, typographic choices and even the character's personal style—a mix of cues that brings together 90's New York street fashion, quintessential Asian diaspora archetypes and pieces of his Singapore roots. Here we talk about his songwriting process, which also not surprisingly mostly consists of collaging together bits of highly personal diaristic writing in his iPhone's Notes app, how the proper lens through which to view his practice might be as a total artwork rather than simply a music side project and how his training and day job as a designer and art director gives him the tools he needs to bring this all together. The first in our special pandemic "Through the Wire" series in which we have figured out how to record remotely :) Sound quality could be better but at least its not that Shyne rapping from prison shit.
Slodown & Tzekin (Eternal Dragonz) https://music.apple.com/us/album/skyline-death-sunset-spot-single/1373318275
"Khaled" [Official Music Video] https://youtu.be/L3ODnS_su0w
For the Night feat. Yllis [Official Music Video] https://youtu.be/oZWg0F-N6x0
Episode 16 with Mike Tully
In this special pandemic quarantine ep, I talk to graphic designer, art director, overall fascinating creative thinker and friend Mike Tully. We get into a few of his works and how type design can act as a form of film critique and how distribution effects the reading of an artwork. We also briefly relate this to the recent, botched, Jordan Wolfson takedown by Dana Goodyear in the New Yorker and how an artworks funding and circulation can or cannot be read as integral to the understanding of the piece. This all somehow relates to the response (or lack thereof) to COVID-19 with the backdrop of the many deadly atrocities looming or impending in our culture as reference for scale. But don't worry, we had fun too! Lol, no seriously this was a relaxed and balanced chat taking on some of the BIG questions swirling around our generation of designers and the need for a new, possibly better form of criticism for the work we're making all in the wake of the very eery day we were both having. So kick back, relax and in the absence of true human interaction, listen to me and Mike having one. And if you last through the whole thing—and this is a big one folks—Mike has a surprise deep cut world premier that we drop at the end, which in and of itself is worth the wait ;)
Mike Tully: http://mike-tully.com/
Dog Star Man: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb5Ko_sTwlc
Mike's Dog Star Man: http://mike-tully.com/content/projects/10-dog-star-man/dogstarman_booklet_1.jpg
Go F**k Yourself: https://wanelo.co/p/2931609/vintage-hebrew-letters-go-f**k-yourself-judaica-jewish-humor-baseball-3-4-sleeves
Jordan Wolfson: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/16/jordan-wolfsons-edgelord-art
Darcy Wilder: https://thecreativeindependent.com/guides/how-to-put-yourself-online/
The Museum Interface: https://www.artnews.com/art-in-america/features/the-museum-interface-63033/
Chloe Scheffe in Defense of Generalism: https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/in-defense-of-generalism/
Talk Magazine: http://talk-is.cheap/
Episode 14 with Erik Carter
In this episode I chat with the one the legendary DJ SWEATPANTS aka Erik Carter. We get his take on the MTV moment, on what and how designers should focus their time, our back to back editorials on the Walker blog and what it REALLY means to DESIGN HARDER (and who actually coined that, hint: it wasn't Erik). Great guy, great ep, feel the flow.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I love keeping up with all my design friends.