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Holly Herndon: Home

The electronic musician questions the intimate relationship with her laptop

by Nara Shin in Culture on 16 September 2014

Electronic Music, Holly Herndon, Music Videos, NSA, RVNG, Sound Art

As an electronic musician, Holly Herndon spends more time than most with her laptop. And, though this relationship is serious, she's indignant about the possibility of a threesome with an unknown surveillor—a sentiment felt by many after Edward Snowden triggered the ever-growing snowball of NSA spying revelations in 2013. The issue of being anonymously joined is directly addressed in her new single "Home," released today. This feeling, as she has found it—as have many other artists—has made her aware of how "our relationships with these interconnected devices are still so young, so naive." Her laptop, she writes in a statement, "is my instrument, memory and window to most people that I love. It is my Home.” And so, Herndon drafts a musical response to this unknown NSA agent, featuring her characteristic vocal processing and complex, skittering percussion, that is simultaneously a love letter and a break-up song. The trippy video, created in collaboration with Amsterdam-based design and research studio Metahaven, makes it rain NSA symbols.

As an artist who spent her early career in Berlin's underground club scene and is now pursuing a PhD in composition at Stanford University, Herndon has taken concept-based electronic music from its esoteric academic context and made it more accessible to a larger audience. Through this, she intends to make live Max/MSP software processing just as engaging as musicians bringing their synths and samplers to the stage.

Purchase an MP3 version of "Home" for $1 from RVNG. Also check out the unusual landing page of GIFs and short clips (what you could call the sonic version of GIFs) that Herndon and Metahaven created together.

Images courtesy of RVNG

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Complements Portrait Project

A relationship creatively explored by way of odd and playful original images

by David Graver in Culture on 16 September 2014

Blogs, Photography, Photos, Portraiture, Surrealism

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When artists (and real life couple) Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski decided they wanted to collaborate, an idea arose that allowed them to explore their symbiotic relationship. Having long complemented each other's independent work, and with both being intrigued by the onslaught of eccentric "couples photography" online, they embarked on the Complements Portrait Project. For the project, a Tumblr page houses images of the couple, made by both of them from start to finish. The work is sometimes cinematic, at other times grotesque, but always inspired and enjoyable. While both are considerably busy outside of this personal project, they've each dedicated every Thursday and Saturday night to shooting and experimentation in their own home. As they share with CH, "Our goal is to maintain the project for the next year so we can create a considerable number of portraits. We aren’t sure about what will happen from there, but we are excited to keep moving forward." And they have a view in mind to update the site weekly.

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As for how they work together, Sobierajski notes that their "brainstorming is completely collaborative. Usually, we both send each other ideas, sketches and imagery throughout the week leading up to our shoot. We’ll chat about it over breakfast, or over email when we’re doing our own studio projects, and during the evening when we’re relaxing at home. We think similarly, but still have different ways of interpreting our concepts. This helps us both improve upon our already existing ideas. It’s completely complementary, if you will." Execution is also accomplished together. "Our living room is very versatile and becomes our photo studio as needed. We set up our lights, camera [and] backdrops," Sobierajski continues. Jeffree sits and poses as Sobierajski focuses the camera and perfects the angle. Then the shooting process begins.

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"Nostalgic, cringe-worthy and completely awkward '80s photography is awash on the internet," Sobierajski furthers, regarding inspiration. "It does not take one long to come across something that is hilarious yet somewhat uncomfortable at the same time." (Both share that they have "a real affinity with anything '80s.") The duo built a collection of images first, before realizing that they themselves could recreate them all, in their own style and with their own complementary voices. Even in the strangest iterations there's something charming about the couple working together to make something they both love, that's a little offbeat but plenty of fun.

Images courtesy of Leta Sobierajski and Wade Jeffree

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Harry's Foaming Shave Gel and After Shave Moisturizer

The razor experts now offer a full shaving experience with herb-infused accessories

by Hans Aschim in Style on 16 September 2014

Grooming, Harry's, Health, Men's Grooming, Shaving, Shaving Supplies, Toiletries

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Shaving can be an uncomfortable experience—anyone who's felt the burn of the razor can attest to this—yet it doesn't have to be. Quality shaving products were once niche and, as a result, had the price tag to match. With the launch of their simple yet well-designed razors just over a year ago, the team at Harry's sought to make quality shaving products more affordable and accessible. Co-founded by one of the minds behind innovative eyewear outfitter Warby Parker, Harry's is today launching their Foaming Shave Gel and After Shave Moisturizer. Both products equally live up to the reputation of the brand's razors, only now Harry's is concerned with the entire shave process—with focus on both protecting and moisturizing the skin during and after shaving. Each item draws largely on natural ingredients, including licorice root extract to reduce redness and Marula oil for natural rehydration. The scent is surely masculine but errs on the side of herbaceous without being overpowering.

Pick up a 4 oz container of shave gel for $8 and 1.7 oz after shave for $10 from Harry's to turn your morning shave from a chore into a delight.

Image by Cool Hunting

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