I was reminded today about an amazing performance artist I saw in Boston called The Crutchmaster. He’s a dancer who has to use crutches due to a rare form of arthritis, and can do some truly amazing things on these specialty crutches that he found. He says he’s a performance artist, but his pieces are very dance-like, a modern hip-hop dance ensemble that comments on the nature of disability and society’s attitude towards it. He has a website with some video — it gives an idea of what his performance is like, but doesn’t do justice to the live performance. If he comes to town, you should definitely see him.
He gave a talk at MIT while his show was going on at the Dance Umbrella — it’s amazing to me the opportunities for seeing interesting new art and hearing from artists that were facilitated by MIT. It’s those sneak peeks into the less-familiar territories of the arts that are often the most interesting. Berkeley has similar opportunities — I saw DJ Spooky give a talk on art, technology, and theory in his work just last year. But I wasn’t surprised at the opportunities at Berkeley, and I was at MIT.
By Chip Kidd. This is a very cute novel about how a college freshman discovers graphic design though a course on “Commercial Art” taught by one of the funniest cariacatures of the vicious art teacher, Winter Sorbeck. Chip Kidd is himself a graphic designer, and the book shows it — wide margins, painstakingly chosen typefaces, information all over the cover of the book and so on. Many might say that it sufferes from the excesses of the McSweeney’s crowd, but if you are a designer, one expects your book to be itself a design.
The story is straighforward enough, and although there were very few surprises, Kidd’s writing is so funny and engaging that I couldn’t put it down. It’s a wonderful book for a rainy afternoon or a boring commute — it’ll wake you up and you’ll be laughing.