A lightweight, packable tripod for traveling photographers
by Josh Rubin in Tech on 19 June 2013
No longer does traveling fast and light also have to mean leaving your camera gear behind. Case in point: the Befree Tripod from Manfrotto. Weighing just over three pounds and standing under 16 inches when folded, we found the portable tripod to be more than manageable on a few recent excursions. Central to the experience is the time-saving quick release switch at the base, which allows for fast set-ups into two level leg positions, as well as speedy breakdowns as the legs can be folded 180º from standing. Then it's easily stashed in the shoulder-strap-ready padded pouch—a handy accessory for location jumping.
While its compact size may ultimately be the Befree's strongest selling point—it's certainly carry-on luggage compatible—the tripod is far from dinky. The Italian-made aluminum body can take a beating and keep on standing, further proving its travel readiness. And, to accommodate a wide range of shooting positions and framing adjustments, an aluminum ball head tops the Befree, which as a whole can be extended to over 56 inches.
The Befree travel-ready tripod can be found at Manfrotto for $233.
Images by Graham Hiemstra
Groundbreaking work across collage and mixed media at the world-renowned art show
by David Graver in Culture on 19 June 2013
With the history of art stretching back to the earliest stages of humanity, it can be difficult to enter unexplored frontiers. The following artists presented work at this year's Art Basel that, whether by means of innovation or refreshing clarity, delivered on the festival's promise of the world's best work. Mediums were mixed, thoughts were refined and never-before experiences were born.
A character study, equal parts outer-space and undersea, Wangechi Mutu's "Second Born" (2013) crafts scene and character blended from 24-carat gold, collagraph, relief, digital printing, collage and hand-coloring. The feminine figure at its center engages and entices, all the while owning her strange, other-worldly identity. Mutu's piece was seen at the Pace Prints booth.
Maxime Rossi dots the Hahnemühle paper backing "Père Lachiase" (2013) with bright pigments, linked together by drips and dribbles. The partnership between the organized musical notes and the droplet disarray allows this Galerie de Multiples piece to sing.
Donald Moffett's "Lot 042313 (second sacrifice)" (2013), shown by Anthony Meier Fine Arts, opens like a present. Incorporating acrylic paint, polyvinyl acetate with rayon and a steel zipper on linen and Duron, this "painting" holds its form across a wood stretcher. The angled striping of the piece's interior has carnival qualities and convey a "what's in that circus tent" emotion when contrasted with its monotone exterior.
Layers constructed via reverse painting on glass, ink and anodized aluminum backing coalesce to form David Renggli's "I Love You (Strub Colour D.W.O.)" (2013) featured at Galerie Peter Kilchmann. Bright swipes of color counter splattering and splotches and the overall experience mixes chaos with structure—begetting a calm freedom.
Perhaps the most challenging endeavor of any artist is landing innovative simplicity. Gottfried Honegger's two color silk-screen, "blanc-vert" (2012-203), accomplishes this with precision. The piece, at Atelier-Editions Fanal, gracefully joins two relatives of a half-circle shape. Modern, crisp and direct, the 96-year-old artist's piece quietly wows.
"Hotel Talabashi" (2013), Franz Ackermann's mixed media on paper and Alu-Dibond collage relishes in pure chaos—shown in detail above. A landscape at the core, photographs have been dressed up with cut-outs and scrawling lines, ultimately yielding a tennis-match-style viewing. Eyes weren't allowed to settle when taking in this piece at Meyer Riegger.
Photos by Alexandre Corda
The LA-based artist shares how skate culture influenced his music
by Mike Giles in Culture on 19 June 2013
San Francisco-born, LA-based Hanni El Khatib's new album Head in the Dirt—produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys—is perfect summertime listening. It contains more of that blues and garage-influenced rock that the singer-songwriter is best known for. Less known, perhaps, is El Khatib's long-standing enthusiasm for skateboarding. With that in mind, instead of typical music-related questions, we asked the musician about the influence skateboarding has had on him—both personally and professionally.
We're assuming you've been into skateboarding for a while now. Can we pick your brains about your first skateboard and how you ended up with it?
My first skateboard I ever owned was in the early '80s. My parents got me this old all-natural finish Nash. The grip-tape had the logo cut out and it had clear red wheels. It was cool. After that I had a couple miscellaneous, random boards. Then I got a Steve Saiz Powell deck. The one with the totem pole graphic. That one lasted a while.
Did you get his aesthetic or did you have another artist you admired?
I loved all those early graphics. They had this very hand-done illustrated style to it, but they all had a very design-oriented way about them. There was a certain order and symmetry to it. When I got a little bit older and skateboarding started to change and evolve I started to really get into Marc McKee. I think it had a lot to do with my age and how the subject matter spoke to me and all my friends. Also, the simple fact that my parents never wanted me to get some of those boards.
Before the internet was common, skate movie soundtracks were a way to be exposed to new (and sometimes old) music. What's your favorite skateboard video soundtrack of all time and why?
This one is easy for me. It's gonna have to be FTC Penal Code. I watched this video almost everyday for a year. Not only was it filmed in SF, but all my favorite skaters at the time had full parts in the video. It also had such an eclectic mix of songs. And at that age, it opened my eyes to classic and important music outside of just rap and current rock. I think that is around the time I started digging into the past to find music. I still have some songs from this soundtrack on my iPod today.
Do you find that you still listen to the bands you did growing up, or has your musical taste changed?
I definitely still listen to some of the same bands that I did growing up. Classic music is classic music, regardless. It stands the test of time. Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Misfits, A Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep—I can keep going—will never get old to me.
It's easy to see the connection between skateboarding and music—look at former pros like Tommy Guererro and Ray Barbee. Do you think there is something about the DIY ethic and fluidity of skateboarding that also translates to being a musician?
I think that it's just another form of creative expression. That's all skateboarding is anyways—or at least that's how I view it. In the early days, it was about going out alone or with your friends and doing whatever the fuck you wanted to do. I think music has a very similar creative process and they are both equally satisfying for me.
For a list of Hanni El Khatib's upcoming shows and more, check his website.
Images courtesy of Thierry Lebraly