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The Influence of Furniture on Love

A 17th century farmhouse, where artists reside, is transformed into a living art gallery

by Cajsa Carlson in Culture on 19 September 2014

Contemporary Art, England, Installations, Wysing Arts Centre, Exhibitions, Exhibits

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Economist John Maynard Keynes isn’t necessarily the sort of person you think would inspire a contemporary art show—even if he did hang out with the Bloomsbury Group. But at the Wysing Arts Centre outside Keynes’ hometown of Cambridge, a new exhibition, "The Influence of Furniture on Love," draws on an unpublished essay of his to explore the relationship between living space and creativity. The 1909 handwritten essay, called “Can we consume our surplus or the influence of furniture on love?” discusses if it's possible for the rooms we inhabit to “suggest to us thoughts and feelings and occupations.”

At Wysing, those thoughts and feelings would naturally turn to art; the early 17th century farmhouse has been used as artists’ residences for more than two decades. Now, as Wysing celebrates its 25th anniversary, the house has been emptied of personal belongings and filled with works by some of the artists that have lived there over the past 25 years. “Wysing allows for an informal way to create and share ideas around the kitchen table,” says curator Lotte Juul. “This exhibition sees artists responding to the house and what their time here meant to them.”

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Among those who have contributed to “The Influence of Furniture on Love” is Elizabeth Price, who was in residence at Wysing in 2012. Her piece “G.U.N” (1993) is displayed on its own in a room on the upper floor, where the set of drawers with a gun on top creates a new narrative and provokes questions for the otherwise empty room: who left the gun here, and has it been used—will it be used? Some of the artworks included in the exhibition (including “G.U.N”) already existed and were chosen for their suitability, whereas others were made specifically for the exhibition, such as Ruth Beale’s wallpaper entitled “The press, which is a tongue to the eye.”

Seeing the artists’ work on display in a space where they once lived is an oddly immersive and intimate experience, creating a more personal connection between the artist and the viewer than perhaps a gallery show would. “Influence” also underlines the relationship between the artist and the space in which s/he creates. As Florian Roithmayr—who was in residence at Wysing in 2013—says: “The house was always a space of production.”

"The Influence of Furniture on Love" is on view until 2 November 2014 at Wysing Arts Centre, located at Fox Road, Bourn, Cambridge, CB23 2TX.

Gil Leung, Monumentality (2013) photo by Plastiques photography, courtesy the artist and Wysing Arts Centre; Florian Roithmayr, The Y (2013) photo Guillaume Breton, courtesy the artist, Rowing Projects, MOTInternational, London & Brussels and Wysing Arts Centre; Elizabeth Price, G.U.N. (1993) courtesy of the artist and MOT international, London & Brussels; Lisa Wilkens, Prevented portrait myself (2011) courtesy the artist and Wysing Arts Centre

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Tullamore D.E.W.'s New State-of-the-Art Distillery

The first new "from the ground up" distillery in Ireland in over 100 years

by David Graver in Food + Drink on 18 September 2014

Distilleries, Dublin, Irish Whiskey, Tullamore, Tullamore DEW, Whiskey, William Grant & Sons

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Back in 1954, the distillery for Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey shuttered its doors in midland Ireland's town of Tullamore. Production didn't cease, but rather shifted to the famed Midleton Distillery, home of many other Irish whiskies. When the family-run independent distilling organization William Grant & Sons purchased the brand in 2010, they knew it deserved its own home—in its origin city. Some €35 million later, the new state-of-the-art Tullamore D.E.W. pot still and malt distillery opened yesterday on a sprawling 58 acre site, awash with green grass and surrounded by forests of evergreens. And so, production commenced in a new home for one of Ireland's most popular global products.

The facility represents a marriage of the brand's 185-year-old history and an increasing demand for product. While the copper stills are sparkling and new, each is a replica of the original models used to produce the spirit. In fact, all technological advances incorporated into the new location are designed to preserve the taste the brand has become known for, as the latest computer technology simply oversees balance and consistency (first and foremost) across what will become over 1.84 million liters—equivalent to 1.5 million cases—annually.

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Tullamore D.E.W.'s Master Blender Brian Kinsman—the nose behind the consistency and the imagination behind product development—offered plenty of insight into the value of a new distillery, from the ability to master consistency to the opportunity to explore the next great flavor profile for their roster. Balance is what's most important to Kinsman, "We've built this facility to make the spirit quality we need in order to produce the best Tullamore D.E.W., but over the next few months we are going to have to spend a lot of time on each stage making sure everything is just right. By December, we can say 'This is how we will run the distillery.'"

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Longevity, he tells CH, is the end game. "All the new distillate, some of it will be kept for 10, 12, 20 or 30 years. So we need to be doing the right thing today. It's quality control, but with an eye for what we'll need to use it for: interesting things that we think someday someone will want to buy." He further notes that there was a great impetus for having their own distillery for true exploration in flavor—outside the limitations of producing in someone else's location.

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Sometimes the chemical analysis says it's a pass, but sense tells us it's a fail. Sometimes sense tells us it's a fail but the chemical analysis says it's a pass. Sense always wins.

Despite all advances though, Kinsman makes something very clear: "We do a lot of analysis on the whiskey before bottling. Sometimes the chemical analysis says it's a pass, but sense tells us it's a fail. Sometimes sense tells us it's a fail but the chemical analysis says it's a pass. Sense always wins," he shares. As for their offerings, Tullamore D.E.W.'s core expressions are the only in Ireland to be triple distilled, triple blends. The latter means that most of their core expressions are combinations of three types of whiskey: a very fruity malt whiskey, a sweet and oaky grain whiskey, and the spice of pot still whiskey. (Each of which has been aged for at least four years in either an American oak bourbon cask or a Spanish Sherry cask.) He explains the process behind blending as "thinking of each flavor as a spike, when you want to build a ball. You place them opposite one another and then you fill in the gaps and build on that."

Tullamore D.E.W. produces six expressions: four core offerings, one available only in their Bonded Warehouse visitors' center and one limited release accompanying the distillery launch. Of their four widely available offerings, bothTullamore D.E.W. Original and Tullamore D.E.W. 12-Year-Old Special Reserve most closely embody the true spirit of traditional Irish blended whiskey—spicy with citrus notes, complex yet smooth. Last year's warm, rich release Tullamore D.E.W. Phoenix, one of our eight favorite fall expressions of 2013, clocks in at a much higher proof, but doesn't sacrifice any of the complexity. The fourth, the Tullamore D.E.W. 10-Year-Old Single Malt, foregoes the other two base spirits and impresses with a remarkable four cask aging process.

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Irish whiskey is not Scotch. Ireland's offerings are generally lighter, leafier and fruitier, with greater notes of green apple and cream. As worldwide interest in Irish whiskey continues to revitalize, Tullamore D.E.W. has invested in their longterm future with an eye for production, innovation and quality. That's something whiskey drinkers can raise a glass to all around the globe.

Images by David Graver

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Trek Bikes' New Commuter-Focused Model: Lync

Powerful built-in head and taillights for a more convenient and safe ride

by Nara Shin in Design on 18 September 2014

Bike Lights, Bike Safety, Commuter Bikes, Cycling, Urban Cycling, Commuting, Trek, Wisconsin

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For those looking for an excuse, a laundry list of potential struggles certainly exists when commuting by bike: weather, reckless drivers, flat tires, the looming fear that your accessories or bike itself will get stolen. Though Trek Bicycles' new urban commuter-focused model, Lync, aims to tackle many of the aforementioned issues—and make the ride to and from work (or anywhere) as enjoyable, low-maintenance and safe as possible, reminding riders why they love cycling in the first place.

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We recently tested out the feature-filled Lync 5 model (an entry-level version is also available)—which hit bike stores at the end of last month—on the unforgiving streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The Lync's most marketable feature is its weather-resistant integrated LED lighting system. The powerful headlight illuminates the road ahead, making it easy to avoid potholes, gravel and the other unfriendly debris, while two taillights embedded in the rear drop outs (where the back wheel connects to the bike) make your presence known. Though clip-on lights have come a long way in recent years, they still need to be removed after each ride. Built-in lights, on the other hand, eliminate the opportunity for thieves with zero added effort by the rider.

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The wires are hidden inside the frame, for a seamless look. Underneath the top tube are two buttons: headlight can be set to low or high mode, while the two tail lights (three lumens each) can be set to on, off or flash. The 550 lumen front light—whose angle is adjustable with a common bike tool—creates a pool of light brighter than the average 200-300 lumens found in popular consumer bike lights, but isn't overkill (at above 700 lumens, you'd blind oncoming traffic).

In lieu of a self-recharging dynamo hub, a removable and rechargeable (via micro-USB) lithium ion battery pack is docked on the lower end of the down tube, near the bottom bracket. On its brightest mode, the battery will last for at least two hours. While some might argue that this isn't theft-proof, a Trek Lync-specific battery is probably not as attractive (or recognizable) to thieves as universal bike lights.

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"Our mantra is 'We ride the ride our riders ride.' That usually starts with interviews with people riding a bike for a specific motivation: fitness, utility or commuting. While the concept of Lync was born from observation around 'the ride'—in this case, commuting," Darren Snyder, Product Manager for Trek city bikes, tells CH. "The problem we solved is an age-old one. Through our observation, it was very easy to understand where we could improve this [lighting] experience. The research phase of this project went quickly while the design, prototype and refinement were arguably the longest parts of the process. In its entirety, Lync is the culmination of more than two years of R&D and engineering. 'The ride' in the end is the decision-maker. We don’t settle until it is defined by 'the ride.'"

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It's comforting to know that Trek designs and develops each and every bike at their US headquarters or Netherlands design facility—and manufactures more bikes in the US than any other company. In fact, the Wisconsin company manufactured roughly half of the total 56,000 bikes made in the US last year; though this is still only about 1% of their entire production.

As a bonus, the Lync is compatible with Bluetooth and ANT+ devices. Though it's somewhat heftier than the sleek single-speeds you'll likely see ripping by in the bike lane, it makes up for it in stability. Plus, the Lync is still light enough to carry up and down a flight of stairs without a sweat. Ultimately, the Lync made us look forward to hitting the road at night, and solidified our bike as a go-to source of transportation. Night rides—evidently—really let riders experience a city from an entirely new perspective.

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The Lync comes in to two models: the Lync 3 ($990) or Lync 5 ($1320). The latter upgrades from mechanical disc brakes to hydraulic, from 1x9 to a 3x9 speed drivetrain and has a custom rack with a U-lock mount. And with multiple frame sizes available, the unisex models are designed to fit most any adult. Visit Trek's online store locator to find a nearby independent bike shop to find the nearest Lync.

Images by Nara Shin

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