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CalArts alumni release new album

March 29, 2013

Breaking Sound Barriers with Fol Chen

By Catherine Wagley

A while back, Samuel Bing and Sinosa Loa, members of the synthpop band Fol Chen, hosted their beta You Will be My Music workshop at artist-run storefront, Machine Project. They plan to do these workshops at as yet undisclosed art spaces while on tour promoting their recently released album, "False Alarms." Each session lasts one hour, and Bing and Loa spend that time helping one person impressionistically "cover" a song of their choosing, using various instruments and digital tools.

One instrument they had with them at Machine was a little red sampling keyboard that can record vocals you make and then play them back to you, more or less syncing them to the notes on the chromatic scale. During the first You Will be My Music session, a soft-spoken Woodbury college student covering George Michael's "Careless Whisper" recorded herself saying "meow" on the keyboard. But whenever Loa tried to play a phrase from Michael's song using the calibrated meows, it sounded off. Read More.

Alumnus Klay Hall directs Disney's "Planes"

March 27, 2013
Huffington Post

Vocal cast for Disney's "Planes" includes a "Top Gun" cameo, top names from stand-up comedy

So how did Klay Hall wind up as director of Disney's "Planes" ? First there was this train derailment ...
Or should I say: First an earlier project that Hall was going to helm -- one built around a talking steam train -- got derailed.
"This must have been June or July of 2009. I was just finishing up directing 'Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure.' And John Lasseter asked me what I wanted to do next," Klay remembered. "As it turns out, John and I are both big train buffs. So for a while there, we knocked around an idea for a movie that would kind of built off of the steam train from 'Dumbo.' Where this train would transport animals that could talk, and you'd only see the people who ran this steam train in shadow. It was a fun sounding concept, but the overall story never really jelled. So our steam train movie idea eventually wound up getting shelved."

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Dean Stephan Koplowitz Creates Performances in LA's Metro Stations

Koplowitz driven underground with “Red Line Time”

March 27 2013

We received an intriguing note from our friend Stephan Koplowitz, the Bessie-bearing, Guggenheim-garnering, Alpert-awarded choreographer, who is also Dean of Dance of the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts. Despite all of Steve’s awards and accolades he’s apparently being driven underground. And he seems to like it!

Writes Steve:

I’m proud to say that the LA Metro has granted us one of the first permits to perform inside their walls at all 14 metro stations on the Red Line. The negotiations were a performance unto itself … but the Metro is looking to the future. Of course, it’s ironic that after living in NYC for 23 years, it’s in LA that I’m making a work in the subways.

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Alumnus to Appear in SciFi Advenure Film

March 27. 2013
The Kansas City Star

Rep. Cleaver's son Evan scoring a ‘Host’ of opportunities


When your dad is U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, people ask if you’re into politics or the church.

But Evan Cleaver, the youngest of the congressman’s children, is an alien. Or at least he plays one in Stephenie Meyer’s sci-fi adventure “The Host,” opening in theaters on Friday. If things go well, this movie could approach “Twilight”-level success — without any vampires. There’s talk of a trilogy.

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Faculty member discusses reinterpretation of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music

March 25, 2010
All About Jazz

Ulrich Krieger: Bringing Metal Machine Music to Life

By John Eyles

Lou Reed's 1975 release Metal Machine Music—often referred to as "MMM"—is one of the most notorious and misunderstood albums in rock history. Its four sides of guitar feedback were not well received by Reed fans used to songs and vocals. The album was critically panned and withdrawn three weeks after release. Many who bought it returned their copies.

In the years that followed, the album gradually acquired cult status, as others listened to the album at length and digested its contents. In 1975, categories such as "noise" and "industrial music" did not exist. MMM spawned them and others, and has exerted a huge effect ever since.

One key player in the increasing influence and rehabilitation of MMM is German-born saxophonist Ulrich Krieger. In 2002 Krieger, then a member of the Berlin-based ensemble Zeitkratzer, transcribed the album for the ten-member grouping. Lou Reed said he thought the task was impossible, but when he heard the results he agreed to appear with Zeitkratzer in a live performance of MMM in Berlin. A CD and DVD of that performance appeared on the Asphodel label in 2007. Read More.

Alumus' paintings expose the "realities of the so-called American dream."

March 22, 2013
Contemporary Art Daily

Henry Taylor at Blum & Poe

Blum & Poe is very pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor. This exhibition marks Taylor’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and continues his exploration of portrait painting, while delving deeper into the history of oppression, exposing realities of the so-called American dream. His portrait subjects typically consist of friends or historic figures, which are painted with an unmediated sense of spontaneity and happy accidents throughout.

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CalArts cited in discussion of on-line education provider

March 22, 2013
Inside Higher Ed

Coursera's Contractual Elitism

By Ry Rivard

If you wonder why your university hasn’t linked up with Coursera, the massively popular provider of free online classes, it may help to know the company is contractually obliged to turn away the vast majority of American universities.

The Silicon Valley-based company said to be revolutionizing higher education says in a contract obtained by Inside Higher Ed that it will “only” offer classes from elite institutions – the members of the Association of American Universities or “top five” universities in countries outside of North America – unless Coursera’s advisory board agrees to waive the requirement.

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Alumnus writer explores the how the development of the digital world affects the real world

March 22, 2013
AV Club

Douglas Rushkoff on Khaleesi Lady Gaga and why Sopranos’ end works but Lost’s doesn’t

by Dan Solomon

Since the mid-’90s, Douglas Rushkoff has been writing books of media theory, works of fiction, and graphic novels in an attempt to explain the ways the development of the digital world affects what we might have once referred to as the real world. (His 1996 book, Media Virus!, helped popularize the term “viral media.”) His recent work with DC Comics’ Vertigo line—including the short-lived series Testament and the original graphic novel Adolescent Demo Division—has explored similar themes using the form of mainstream comics. In his latest book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, Rushkoff offers what may be his most sweeping critique of the current culture: the theory that we live in a “presentist” culture that, thanks to the immediacy of digital technology, keeps us obsessed with what’s happening now, at any given moment. In the first section of the book, Rushkoff posits that one of the forces responsible for this is what he calls “narrative collapse,” or the idea that our most popular films, television shows, and more encourage us to live in an eternal present. The A.V. Club caught up with Rushkoff during a busy SXSW appearance to learn how Lost and Game Of Thrones perfectly capture our desire to see unending narratives, why the hipster archetype has endured for so many years, and how Lady Gaga is the Khaleesi.

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Alumnus Chris Sanders co-wrote and directed The Croods

March 21, 2013
Time Out Chicago Kids

The Croods directors Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco | Interview

by Web Behrens

Co-writers and -directors of The Croods, Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco have put years into bringing their comic vision of how a family of cavepeople cope with environmental upheaval. (Hint: When volcanoes and earthquakes threaten, you move.) DreamWorks Animation’s newest 3-D film features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman and Emma Stone as members of the title family navigating the perils of the prehistoric “Crood-aceous Era.” The inspiration for the story came from a different idea originally developed a decade ago by De Micco and comedian John Cleese.

Sanders (who has a seven-year-old daughter) and Di Micco (the father to newborn twins) arrived in Chicago earlier this month—on the day of the biggest snowstorm the city had seen in two years. From their vantage point in a hotel overlooking the iconic Water Tower, the pair delighted in filming the falling snow with their smart phones using a time-lapse app. Once we finished talking about the weather, we got around to the matter of movies, cartoons and kids.

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Alumnus hacks digital cameras to create woven art

March 19, 2013
California Home+Design

Design Daily: Glitch Textiles by Phillip Stearns

By Sarah White

Textile designer Phillip Stearns was on track for a career in engineering when he veered into the uncharted waters of electronics, sound imaging and design. Fast-forward to his MFA at the California Institute of the Arts and some experimentation with rewired cameras, and the result is Glitch, a collection of woven art that Stearns generates from short-circuited cameras.

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