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Posts Tagged ‘The Chipmunks

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”*…

… and vice versa. Case in point: the new Orange County Museum of Art. On the one hand…

[architect Thom Mayne of the firm Morphosis] created something that is as much a civic plaza as it is a building. The outdoor public space seems to sweep up and glide across the top of the museum, taking up a full 70% of its roof, dissolving any sense that it is a closed and private thing; nor is this mere advertising, since admission is to be free for the next 10 years. Access to the rooftop plaza is by means of a broad flight of stairs, which Mr. Mayne says was inspired by that of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In fact, it is less a staircase than an amphitheater. At the same time, the building is handsomely detailed, with textured ceramic panels that give the facade a pleasant sense of physical reality…

The Best Architecture of 2022,” Michael J. Lewis, Wall Street Journal

On the other hand…

Nowhere is the gulf between digital promise and physical fact more spectacularly evident than at the new Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) in California, which stands as a $94m (£77m) hymn to the difference between render and reality. From a distance, its sinuous white flanks buckle and bend with the trademark fractured geometries of its architects, the Los Angeles practice Morphosis. The facade rears up around a corner, folding in on itself to embrace a roof terrace, with a similar wayward energy to the torqued steel plates of a rusty Richard Serra sculpture that stands outside.

But, as you approach the building, you see that the ruptured, splintered aesthetic goes beyond the sculptural moves alone. Sheets of buckled steel are screwed crookedly against the edge of the undulating facade, hastily cut tiles have been fitted with wonky abandon, while other parts of the building are literally held on with tape. A temporary clamp keeps part of a soffit from falling down, while glass balustrades lean at precarious angles, their oversized steel fixing plates bolted with Frankenstein glee. The shop of horrors continues inside, where sheets of painted foam-board stand in place of steel coping, cracked glass floors line precipitous aerial walkways, and suspended ceilings appear to have been cobbled together from whatever leftover bits were lying around. The US construction industry isn’t known for its attention to detail, but this is something else…

‘An unfinished Frankenstein’s monster’: the disastrous new Orange County Museum of Art,” Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian

* Proverb


As we tackle taste, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that The Chipmunks— Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (aka Ross Bagdasarian, aka David Seville)– released “The Chipmunk Song” (“Christmas Don’t Be Late”). The song won three Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Performance, Best Children’s Recording, and Best Engineered Record (that was non classical). It even reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart– the only Christmas record to top the chart spot until Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” dethroned it in 2019.

That said, when featured on American Bandstand‘s “Rate-A-Record” segment, it received the lowest possible rating—35– across the board.


Less is… less…

From The International Institute of Not Doing Much, a manifesto:

There are those who urge us to speed. We resist!

We shall not flag or fail. We shall slow down in the office, and on the roads. We  shall slow down with growing confidence when all those around us are in a shrill state of hyperactivity (signifying nothing). We shall defend our state of calm, whatever the cost may be. We shall slow down in the fields and in the streets, we shall slow down in the hills, we shall never surrender!

If you can slow down when all around you are speeding up, then you’re one of us. Be proud that you are one of us and not one of them. For they are fast, and we are slow. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly. Some are born to slowness—others have it thrust upon them. And still others know that lying in bed with a morning cup of tea is the supreme state for mankind.

Learn more (including “How to Slow Down“) here.


As we feel our blood pressure drop, we might recall that it was on this date in 1958 that Alvin, Simon, and Theodore (aka Ross Bagdasarian, aka David Seville) hit the top of the pop charts with “The Chipmunk Song” (“Christmas Don’t Be Late”)– the last Christmas song to reach #1 on any US single record chart totaling performance of all available records.  (That said, when featured on American Bandstand‘s “Rate-A-Record” segment, it received the lowest possible rating—35– across the board.)



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