Thursday, July 26, 2007

NAME: Feature Jeff and Robin get married

Well our good friend Jeff got married to his betrothed earlier this month in a ceremony with as little unneeded pomp as it was really fun circumstance. Let's face it the couple is supposed to be together for life, a shorter ceremony gives them a quicker jump on that, while giving the guests more time to get super wasted celebrating the happy occasion.
So it was, down in Richmond, VA, two souls came together and formed as one, Though we couldn't help thinking about it from the stand point of single guys with no prospect of marriage in the near future,but Jeff was super stoked and really ain't love grand. For a more detailed picture of the event and the afterparty and the hotel lobby go rt here

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NAME: Interview Jaimie Warren

Call it fate, luck ,God or just coincidence, but sometimes when the cold cold world turns it cold back and the and brightest day turn to the bleakest hours good things happen. Case in point we had tickets to see Morrissey last month at MSG, the day started out full of promise and giddy excitement,but... to make a long story short after we had a bike accident,nearly broke our wrist,found out the MOZ show got cancelled, even GOD is allowed to throat troubles, we went to a little cook out and lo behold who was there ,but one of our fave photogs Jaime Warren. So we gathered up some balls and invited Ms. Warren to submit to a NAME: interview and again lo and behold she agreed. Since Jaimie is a busy kinda lady whose had her work in different magazines and galleries world wide we caught up with her via email to get her perspective on everything from gender relations in the art world to the Kansas City art scene to party pictures.
OK so I came up with a few questions:
1. I felt kinda like a stalker looking for background info on the web, from what I could gauge you went to school in Wisconsin and live in Kansas. Pretty mid-western existence, can you fill in some blanks about where you grew up and did out in the plains?

Well I grew up in Waukesha, WI and left to go to the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri when I was 18 and have been there ever since. I have gotten jobs, internships and grants to go and live briefly in New York City and throughout Western Europe and Tokyo, but really I’ve just been living in Kansas City for the past 8 years. Very exciting, I know. Ha ha.

2. If I got it right you're not from either coasts which are generally seen as starting points for American culture and art, like ya know it starts on the coasts and trickles inward would you say that the internet has helped change that idea or even the notion you have to live in NYC or LA or a major city to become and stay a successful artist?
Well, I do think it’s important to live on the coasts in a lot of ways in order to speed things up. Like meeting people who do big things and having a face to a name, I think that is really important. Plus people don’t really buy art in the Midwest. I’m well aware that in a lot of ways I’m stunted here, but I also think that my comfort level and the community I have here is a huge reason as to why I think my photos would be considered successful, which is also really important to me. The internet, however, is an insanely amazing tool for a photographer. I have been in exhibitions on an international scale and never even printed a photograph! I just email, they print, frame, and show and I will have never even seen the space! It’s allemail and it’s really crazy. I’ve exhibited in books and shows and conversed with curators and art directors and never met them or seen the space. It’s definitely kind of gross in a way, yet extremely efficient, economical, and easy. Having a good website is key and helps immensely. Plus it’s so easy to get your images out to magazines, its quick and free. Plus I think at this point they prefer it as opposed to being swamped with people’s portfolios at their offices.

3. I really don't know anything about the Kansas art scene what's the deal? Is it vibrant?

Well, although no one would believe me, its insanely vibrant. It’s a small-ish community in terms of the arts scene, but in my mind a really good one. The people here work really, really hard, which is what you get when you’re in an art community struggling to get a name for itself. In just a few years here I have run an alternative space with four friends where we brought in artists and bands from other cities on virtually no budget, we have started a public access television show called “Whoop Dee Doo” highlighting the totally weird talents of Kansas Citians (not to mention game shows and dance contests and lots of other cool stuff). I’ve curated KC shows in Miami, Chicago, New York and Osaka, Japan, and we also are really great party-throwers. It’s like a really weird scene here because since it’s a smaller town, you have the craziest parties that are totally nonsensical. Like you walk in and straight ahead is a biker gang, to your left is a group of drag queens, you’ve got a group of people in all prom dresses on your right and someone dressed like a banana on the floor in front of you, not to mention the standard art/punk kid stereotypes blending everything together. It’s sort of surreal and every time I have a friend come in from out of town they’re pretty surprised, for sure. There’s bad things about it, of course, but I think the weirdness is where my aesthetic comes from. Oh, and we all love barbeque and beer which ruleth.

4. Your pictures seem really spontaneous (at the right place at the right time type of thing) not to blow up your spot or ruin the magic of it, but how much planning and editing goes into yr work?

Well it’s really spontaneous, for sure. Except for cases where my friend Sean Ward squishes weird things together to make something gross and holds it in front of my camera, or if I tell someone to smile, everything’s spontaneous. I don’t like setting up photos. It’s cool when other people do it, but I don’t feel good about it in terms of my work. It’s like I’m cheating or something and it never turns out good anyway. I think it’s why I’m so bad at fashion photography.
5. I have a photographer buddy who can't stand party pictures, something about cheapening the art of photography or blah blah blah. In many of yr pictures there is a festive sense and it is really playful, but would you say you take party pictures? What do you think of the cobrasnakes and last night's parties out there?

Well, I think a good amount of my images are in a party setting, and even if they aren’t they still have that high energy party-esque feeling to them, so I can see why I might get stuck in that category. But I try to present my work in series, where you will see a party pic next to a tree or a plate of food, as I am trying to show my appreciation for all of these varied subjects. I think if I present an image, it’s because I see something weird or funny or pretty about it. In my mind I’ve never had a photo up just because a girl looks really hot or someone is peeing on his friend or snorting coke off their own wiener or something. I think that controversial stuff is really overdone and boring. But yeah, in general party pics are just party pics unless something about the photo is odd or off or unique in some way. Hopefully the ones I show stand out for those reasons.

6. I have another friend who is a painter and she used always talk about the gender inequalities in the art world, you seem pretty successful, so do you see that or is she just barking up the wrong oil stick so to speak?

No offense to your friend, and I know I probably have no idea as to what I’m talking about, but I think at this point the gender equality thing is a load of poopy. I’ve never experienced it, and at that, if I’ve experienced anything it’s been getting benefits because I’m a girl. Then again, I generally deal in email and I have a name that could be both genders so maybe I’m talking out of my butt. But I think people who say that are big crying baby girls. It’s simply way too vague of a generalization.

7. Any exciting projects or plans we should look out for from you. Is yr website back up or where can folks at least see yr work?

Oopsies! Caught me not paying the bills. Yes it’s back up and I’m poor and the world knows it! It’s at Oh! And see my self portraits on Tiny Vices at, and my newest video I’m in by my great buddy Cody –, and this older one Oh and Check Cody’s amazing other stuff And check that Kansas City public access show I was talking about yessssssss (which we totally STOLE the idea from Chic-a-go-go in Chicago!!)
(all images copyright Jaimie Warren)

Why Intelligence? by Jacques Laroche

OK Jacques is one the smartest cats we know. A good friend with a lot of ideas that sure don't get stuck in the box, and to top it off homes is stoked on the fact that his facial hair and glasses resemble those of Isaac Asimov... now honestly if you could beat that with a stick it would have to be a redwood, so when we asked Jacques to contribute to NAME: we knew it was gonna be some heavy, dense, deep stuff and man did he not disappoint. Jac thinks about a lot of stuff all the time. So he gave us his piece on intelligence

A stranger approaches you while you are waiting for the bus and makes you the following offer: “I can make you a multi-billionaire, unbelievably attractive, the sole ruler of a world power or exceptionally brilliant.” Which would you choose? Being part of a group confronted with a similar hypothetical, I was not surprised that the majority chose capitalism, materialism and megalomania (American values through and through) over my unexciting choice of intelligence.

I can understand why the others chose the way they did. After all, money has the ability to purchase anything one might desire, including affection. On the other hand, beauty can feed one’s self-esteem and its hypnotic charm wondrously bends the will of others. Finally, unbridled power inspires obsession because in it, one sees the chance to obtain what they desire through indisputable force. It’s not that these attractions are lost on me; I want to be rich, beautiful and powerful just as the next guy… So, why choose intelligence when it offers so much less of a good time?

In order to answer this question we need to dig a little deeper: What is intelligence, what are its virtues and what are its failings? Isaac Asimov, one of the great notables of science fiction, highlighted an important aspect of the first question in his essay “What Is Intelligence, Anyway?”. In it, he points out that the common view of intelligence - great minds can easily perform any task someone with poor intelligence routinely performs – is completely false. What makes this commonality incorrect is the fact that these ‘great minds’ only do well on general intelligence tests. When scrutinized, these assessments prove to be biased because they only ascertain academic knowledge. As a result, we have academics that can easily pass an SAT or GRE, but could never pass a truck driver’s or sanitation worker’s examination. In essence, Asimov was saying that there are many types of intelligence, but is this all there is to it?

Since antiquity, many great minds have pondered these questions. But, it is only now, after more than two thousand years of technological progress, that science has been able to make great strides in its pursuit. Remarkably, a great deal of this insight has occurred in the short span of ten years – 1990 through 1999, “the decade of the brain.” Though this time is traditionally viewed as the beginning of the computing revolution, the real revolutionaries seem to have been the neuroscientists. While corporations were rushing to cram more circuits into less silicon, brain researchers were using MRIs to explore our biological circuitry. Researchers like A discovered B and ANOTHER RESEARCHER discovered X. As a result, a clearer picture of the brain and intelligence began to take shape and the field was taken to a new domain where our three questions could be seriously addressed.

In a recent New York Academy of Sciences publication, Palm Pilot creator and neuroscientist Jeff Hawkins earnestly approaches the question of intelligence by probing the differences in brain structure between human and non-human animals.

The reptilian brain has sophisticated sensing mechanisms that propel behavior, but lacks a neocortex that allows it to recognize patterns that predict behavior. In humans, the neocortex is very large, and makes predictions very quickly. Iron it out and it would be the size of a dinner napkin, but it contains 30 billion neurons in six folded layers. Those 30 billion neurons ‘are you,’ for from their interaction come all your ideas, memories, knowledge and skills. Our perceptions are all merely matters of pattern recognition, because the neocortex only knows patterns. It has a complex memory system that stores sequences of patterns, and recalls them.

So, if knowledge and understanding of certain domains (say, differential calculus or growing organic sweet potatoes) constitutes intelligence in that specific field and knowledge and understanding arise from stored patterns within our neocortex, then it follows that the essence of intelligence is the ability to recognize and comprehend patterns. Taking another step up the cognitive ladder, we can see that the more information a person commits to memory (either from firsthand experience, books, word of mouth, etc.) the more chances they have to recognize meaningful patterns between all of that data.

Unfortunately, simply amassing knowledge doesn’t guarantee intelligence. One still has to be able to work effectively with their stored knowledge; extrapolating it in order to determine the effects of new inexperienced realities. Without extrapolation, one’s knowledge only applies to parallel situations and can never be put to good use. Put another way, if you acquire knowledge but can’t put it to use in new situations you have booksmarts, not streetsmarts.

Stepping back from patterns and extrapolation, why should anyone choose intelligence over beauty, wealth and power? Simply put, it’s the only one of the four choices that has the power to give you all four. With intelligence, one can earn wealth without the aid of luck, amass lasting power through strategy and even shape the very concept of beauty through reason (beauty is in the eye of the beholder after all). Conversely, wealth, power and beauty can not be amassed, secured or maintained without a certain amount of intelligence.

So if intelligence – the ability to recognize and analyze patterns - is so versatile, what are its shortcomings? Well, for starters, cognition can easily be trumped by emotion. Just think about the last time you got angry about something despite knowing emotional fireworks couldn’t solve the problem? Aside from anger, our emotional palette includes a host of sensations such as jealousy, contempt and fear, each with the ability to overpower logic, reason and intelligence.

Another blow to intelligence comes from is its emptiness; it does not come prepackaged with spirituality or morality. The act of amassing large stores of information and extrapolating new facts from that data does not ensure that one will love their fellow man or champion our environment. Generally, most of us hope that people will come to the conclusion that not loving their fellow man, or disregarding our environment will inevitably lead to trouble ranging from altercations to a massive climate crisis. Unfortunately as modern times show this is not always the case.

Despite its shortcomings, it would be beneficial to society if intelligence and its cultivation held a special place in our hearts. At a time where its importance seems to only receive rhetorical lip service, society mainly addresses its biggest problems – climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism and global pandemics - with its contending counterparts: money and power (if at all). If these issues weren’t bad enough, our short-term future promises to hand us a new list of existential threats: unforeseen issues with biotechnology and nanotechnology.

Maybe the problem is intelligence just needs to be revamped. If so, we could jazz it up by coupling it with morality or by somehow assuring its power over our emotions. Interestingly enough, it will take the ‘great minds’ of our day to do this, but something tells me they may need a little help. Since no one can amass enough knowledge to become an expert in all fields, everyone’s intelligence will be required to adjust our view of intelligence and to solve the intricacies of our present and future dilemmas. That means you; the truck drivers and sanitation workers of Asimov’s famed “other intelligences” will need to be on board as well. Photos by A. Harris

Saturday, July 7, 2007

NAME: interview Rob Deguzman

Rob has been a good friend of ours for a really long time. Always down to get deep on subjects, talk shit, play guitar, Kickit with ladies and straight dine on some of the softest, yummiest foods we’ve tasted. Rob makes music and gets a lot of money to do magic on computers. So he has it pretty right on and since he’s living at the beach this summer we thought an iCHAT interview with him from his beach residence would be a good vicarious vacation.

NAME: Interview Rob DeguzmanI+II

NAME: Interview Rob DeguzmanIII+IV