Miscellaneous 01.18

By athletics

Friends of the studio,

The glühwein has gone cold, the champagne flat. The Christmas tree has been wrapped up, taped up, and dragged to the curb like a Mafia hit. (See below for an eco-friendly tree disposal idea). Janus, the two-faced Roman god of passage, looks back on a strange year, while simultaneously casting its hopeful gaze over the tabula rasa that is 2018.

We hope this edition of Miscellaneous — Athletics’ no-frills round-up of the cultural items that inspire us each month — finds you ready to forge into the new year with fresh eyes and a light heart. Join us in starting off on the right foot with an immersive performance of a James Joyce masterpiece, some classic Elvis Costello, Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film (or so he says), and a stranger-than-fiction memoir by American poet Patricia Lockwood.

You’ll be glad to find that Miscellaneous now features a new section — Questionnaire — in which a member of the Athletics team offers a few thoughts on a design they love. From the simplest object to the biggest idea, the most elegant interface to the handiest tool, we’ll ask why they love it, how it works, and what it can teach us as thinkers and makers.

Stay tuned for more editions of Miscellaneous in the coming months.
Interested in contributing? Send us an email!

See
James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ @ American Irish Historical Society
In & Of Itself @ Daryl Roth Theater
He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box @ Theatre for a New Audience
Jim Henson @ Museum of the Moving Image

Listen
Buy Corals Online — Loke Rahbeck & Fredrik Valentin
Metro Riders — Europe By Night
Screws Reworked — Nils Frahm
Armed Forces — Elvis Costello

Watch
Phantom Thread (2017)
Phoenix (2014)
Beuys @ Film Forum (2017)
Battle of the Sexes (2017)

Read
A Time for Everything — Karl Ove Knausgaard
Do Wild Baking — Tom Herbert
Priestdaddy: A Memoir — Patricia Lockwood
The Monk of Mokha — Dave Eggers

Questionnaire
Britton Walker, Creative Technologist and B Boys member, loves his Ableton Push

Why he loves it
“I can jam with myself. It’s easily one of the most beautifully designed products I’ve ever owned.”

How it works
“The Push was designed to mimic the Albeton interface as a controller. The interface is overwhelming at first glance but after watching a few Push tutorials, I was quickly up and making loops. It works in sync with my computer so I rarely have to look at the screen, making it feel more like an instrument.”

What it can teach us
“Ableton is such a good tool for creating music, especially electronic music. However, it’s easy to feel a disconnect for me since I grew up playing instruments you either bang or strum. The Push gives you the best of both worlds: all the benefits of digital sound and manipulation, and the tactile satisfaction of hitting pads and turning knobs. It’s also a very beautiful thing to look at all lit up, blinking like a Christmas tree. I think it’s that kind of feedback of sound and visualization that creates a strong connection between human and machine.”

Poetic Fragment
“New yeare forth looking out of Janus gate,
Doth seeme to promise hope of new delight:
And bidding th’old Adieu, his pass”
Amoretti IV by Edmund Spenser (1552 – 1599)

Bonus Christmas Tree Disposal Idea
Instead of unceremoniously tossing away your tree, bring it to a designated city park this weekend for Mulchfest (01.06 and 01.07), where it will be recycled into mulch that will continue to spread joy by nourishing plantings across our city.

In Solidarity,
Athletics

(Header image by William Abranowicz)