I just have to start by saying that CACA is an unfortunate acronym for any organisation.
But now that I've got that off my chest, I wanted to share my joy with you at the discovery of the Shroud of Tom Cruise.
To commemorate twenty five years of him being Scientology's reigning queen, the Cory Allen Contemporary Art (CACA) space has commissioned the work alongside other notables including coins that bear that very trademark Cruise profile.
It's part of a whole Pop-up Scientology church that is totally going to change the way we look at spirituality and the earth and all that kind of stuff in St Petersburg in Florida. And like all good religious relics, it will remain beyond the powers of science.
Brilliant! You know how Rome is celebrating an invented jubilee year next year, well...you won't have to trouble yourself with coming on over. You can just totally hang out and get your celebrity/spiritual experience in Florida instead and work on your tan at the same time.
How fabulous I say. Personally I'm really happy that Daniel Edwards is honing his attention on Cruise and the Church of Scientology for an event at CACA. I think it is a holy trinity all of its own. And as much as I love Edwards' sculptures and busts, I think he's done something really fresh and appropriate for this event. Plus, there was always the risk that a bust or a statue could've ended up being taller than Tom Cruise and you know that kind of thing is always frowned upon (see Nicole Kidman).
I'm sure Gwenyth will be with me on this one.
When shopping for second hand furniture and bric-a-brac, it's useful to have an idea of what you're looking for, otherwise you'll find yourself in the middle of a decorator's dilemma: the crucifix or the pinball machine.
Obviously someone needed the wood.
Spotted in Lecce today.
Do you remember back when you didn't loathe Gwenyth Paltrow? It was a really pleasant period. Birds used to sing, flowers bloomed, people lived in harmony.
GP was, like most people, the epitome of cool for about five minutes. I'll pay her her dues. But then things went sour and now there's that GOOP site of hers which apparently no one reads but everyone seems to know about and is up to date with.
Her GOOP proclamations are like those of a new guru and I'm sure there are people who live and die on every word that it offers.
And thank god there's an online shopping element to that site. GOOP continues to tastefully show us the way. As is the case with these recent additions to its store.
I'm sure 2 Pac would've just loved this range of merchandising.
WHEN I was a kid growing up in Australia, I had the best of both worlds. My parents were born in Italy but both of them moved to Australia when they were still club kids.
Growing up in Australia meant that in my house half your sentences came out in Italian and the other half came out in another form of English. There was some hot linguistic bastardization going on at my place and places like it.
As a little tacker, my allegiances were originally with nutella. I used to love that shit! I'm sure my mum used to buy it, not so much because she liked it herself, but because it was something that would keep my mouth shut most of the time.
But, as I grew older, I shifted my allegiance to Vegemite. That stuff was the bomb! I still eat it. I used to hate it when my dad spread it all over my bread though when he made me my school lunch. I've always been delicate. And I like a dollop of vegemite in the middle of my slice of bread, not all over it. I wanna savour it but I don't want to commit to it.
Anyway, although I'm a life long fan of Vegemite, I grew out of my obsession with Nutella. Here in Italy, when you go anywhere that sells pastries or little cakes, you can almost be assured that if the word chocolate is being used, they are referring to Nutella.
Melbourne, being a city of hipsters and professional culture appropriators, has cottoned on big time to Nutella in pastries. Doughnuts to be specific. Not far from where I grew up, there's been some major Nutella action that is pulling in the punters. Two particular places have become crack houses for Nutella addicts and are responsible for basically exhausting the stock of those big ass Nutella containers.
They've been reduced to using the domestic sized jars.
Oh Melbourne, you do first world problems so well that even Sydney is bracing itself for a Nutella craze and shortage.
I'm delighted by this of course. The makers of Nutella aren't going to be able to ship more content to Oz for a couple of weeks, so I've decided that my get rich quick scheme can finally kick in. I'm gonna black market that stuff single handedly and make millions!
If it doesn't make it through Australia's border patrol then, it's not so much a quarantine issue, but the fact that those sniffer dogs are just going to find all the Nutella I send over irresistable.
Send your requests to me via the contact page, and learn more about this horrible sociological turn of events here.
Next year will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Final by Wham!
When I was a kid I was obsessed by Wham! Make it Big was totally my favourite album for a couple of months. I squeezed it into my favourites somewhere between Colour by Numbers and Like a Virgin. One could say it was an eventful and inspiring period for me that would have later repercussions, LOL!
Because we're all about nostalgia, there's talk that there's a Wham! documentary in the works that will come out next year and that will document their rise and fall. I hope it's full of old footage and not some boring BBC documentary where everyone is wrinkled and grey haired and reminiscing about the good old days. I want original source material, shoulder pads, speedos and bad perms!
But seriously, the eighties were super brilliant. In Australia we had a music show on every Sunday night called Countdown. Man I loved that show! And they'd count down the top ten towards the end of each episode. Tenterhooks!!!
And in the spirit of nostalgia- check out this Top Ten countdown from 30 years ago this week. 1985 was like one of the best ever years for pop music!
And wait for the comments about a film that you just have to see after they count down the top 10 singles in Aus for that week. Amazing! From here.
THERE are certain things that exist in this world that make me scratch my head.
But the sad thing is that there always seems to be a market for any thing. My friends and I often group together for a brainstorming session. We always try to get to the lowest common dominator to work out something that the world (doesn't) need and that will make us rich.
If only we had come up with the idea of a boutique beer for yogis. Damn we would've changed the world, and tapped into the hipster market like no one else before us. But that damn Lululemon have beaten us to the downward dog again. This month they're launching a beer for yogis with a very Japanese looking design. You just know that stuff is going to reek of patchouli and sweat.
A good friend doesn't send you text messages.A good friend doesn't whatsapp you or call you.A good friend sends you photos of street art they've happened to run into.
Be a good friend.
Well, technically it's four.
IF you've spent any amount of time in Italy, you've probably met a million different architects.
They're like ants here you know! So many of them around!
In fact, there has been research that indicates that Italy has one of the highest per capita rates of architects in the world. You can check that out here.
Renzo Piano is one of Italy's (and the world's) most respected architects. His projects are like a map of their own: the Shard in London, The New York Times Building, the Pathe remodel in Paris, the temporary Auditorium del Parco in L' Aquila...they're innovative and bold buildings that have added something new to every context.
I don't know how well it's gone down in the UK, but Piano's recent interview with the Guardian, in which he reflects on the importance of the creative process, and of how building sandcastles is both engrossing and ephemeral, is becoming a bit of a viral hit on Italian social networks.
And let's face it. Italians need something to celebrate. Rome has been getting a hard time in the press and Italians here are up in arms that the NYT have stepped into the fray. Why don't they worry about what is happening in New York rather than bother us, seems to be the bottom line behind the sentiment.
So, how refreshing that in this very hot summer, there's another publication that actually celebrates someone Italian. And perfect, just in time for these long days at the beach.
If you want more specifics, go straight to the source.
I'm off to the beach today, but as I'm heading there with an architect friend of mine, I'm not gonna give it a try. It would be like being pee shy if I tried to follow Piano's instructions with an actual architect watching over my shoulder. I ain't got time for that.
FLORENCE might be getting all the credit for winning over the crowds at Splendour in the Grass, but I'm tipping my hat to Earl Sweatshirt today.
Not just for his brilliant name. But also because while on stage in Sydney he decked a punter.
Story goes that the guy may have been heckling him from the audience, ES called him out for being a douche, so douche then made it up on to the stage, past security and grabbed ES from behind while he was singing.
Personally I hate shows that have an audience participation element to them. I'm always one of those idiots that tries to avoid eye contact so they don't drag me up or into their circus, so I'm glad that Earl Sweatshirt (did I already say how much I love that name even though his birth name - Thebe Neruda Kgositsile- is just as brilliant) punched him one.
Frankly, I'd like to be one of those people that goes to gigs just to punch people. People who talk on their cell phones, people who push me unnecessarily, people who basically act like they're in their loungerooms. I hate people at concerts. I just want to punch them half the time, but I get too distracted by good music, good theatrics and the odd Mexican wave, and then it placates me.
But anyway, today, I love you Earl Sweatshirt. Don't condone violence, but sometimes, douche bags at concerts just deserve a good Doc Marten to the head (yes, that's another nineties reference for you peeps).
On the first of January we made the trek down to Lecce with a hatchback jam packed with belongings. We still don't know how much longer we are going to be here in Puglia for: it could be til the end of the year, another year after that or it could be an endless summer thing if we play our cards right.
But in the little over half a year that we've been here, we've just loved getting to know this part of the world, which to my mind, has no competition with any other region of Italy (except perhaps Sicily) as the most beautiful region in the country.
Here's a little snap shot of our year to date...
WHAT some people will do to sell some salad.
Around 100 or so foreign 'models' descended on Beijing this week as part of a marketing campaign by Salad Sweetie to promote a new salad delivery service in the capital.
Paying tribute to Sparta and to the ever in vogue bondage inspired gear, these model types generated a huge amount of 'interest' and keffufle and fell onto the wrong side of local law enforcement who eventually detained many of them for creating a public disturbance or whatever it was that they did.
Listen, I've been in Beijing in the summer and it's not pleasant. It's muggy and dusty and your clothes stick to you like a needy lover. I totally get that these guys wanted to feel the fresh air on their skin and to feel the freedom of taking an escalator with everything hanging out, because that is freshness and that is what salad is all about.
I just hope that Salad Sweetie are not those salad snobs that I hate. I hope that they know the value of some crisp, cold iceberg lettuce in the summer months, because if they don't then this whole marketing ploy of theirs was a complete failure and waste of time.
And because this whole thing was earth shatteringly important, I'm very glad that Time magazine covered the story too.
Diplo is in my ancestral home of Mongolia and has been posting a series of brilliant images to social networks that just make me super envious.
But, and file this under where analogue meets digital, Google are also in town, photographing and mapping Mongolia (and even its icy lakes) for street view. They started documenting the landscape in October of 2014.
Just goes to show, that not even the world's hottest DJ is a match for the world's biggest algorithm: even if it too is on horseback. Hotness.
IF WE were still in the eighties, and greats like Whitney were still (alive and) at their peak, then I think we'd have a very different back catalogue on offer from our stars.
Deleted tweets like broken hearts go somewhere that we don't like to ponder.
They disappear from sight, and vanish only after wreaking havoc and emotional damage. A nasty tweet is like a bum boyfriend or a scrub. That's a nineties reference, but whatever.
Anyway, if there was anyone that could've brought justice, emotional range and a Dianne Warren style ballad about tweets to life, then it would've been Whitney.
It would've hung around the charts like that Bodyguard soundtrack and you know that the gal would've made the word tweet an eighteen syllable word.
But with the latest Twitter war between Nicki, Taylor and now Katy, all we get is the edgy, impulsive tweets but none of the real heartbreak that comes with them.
But Whitney would've sang it, Madge would've made a piping hot video to it and J.J would've had the go-to interpretative dance routine for them.
But now that Whitney's no longer here, and no one's that interested in the eighties gals anymore, I guess we just gotta keep our eyes peeled for all the smart barbs on twitter as they come rolling through our feeds and devise our own music videos for them.
IN case you needed any more proof that Japan is the most superior nation on earth then prepare to have your socks rocked.
Okay, so land art is a bit passe you say. Well, fine. I'll take that. But this is not just land art. This is rice paddy art. Take that!
Do you know how amazing that is? That's worth toasting with some rice wine or sake!
I remember when I lived in Kyoto. We had a little rice paddy next to our apartment block. Man the cicadas love that shit in the summer. You don't get a minute's silence with all the racket that those glorified moths make, but it's nice to look over a paddy rather than be forced to stare at someone's little concrete balcony when you're outside on your own.
But I'm so jealous that it didn't occur to me to adapt that paddy into an artistic working space. I could've carved out my favourite album covers each month. That would've been the pop bomb!
But back to the sexy storm troopers.
Basically, in a bid to attract tourists, the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture - it's in the northern part of the main Japanese island, just under Hokkaido) - often stages these kinds of interventions. In the past they've often used iconic images from Japanese art that for art nerds like me just blew me away, but this year they've gone all Hollywood (in a good way, not like the snobby, snooty way your friends sometimes do) and paid tribute to Star Wars among other classics.
So, if that wasn't enough, they contacted the Death Star or wherever these troopers are hanging out these days and had them come and oversee the launch of the new designs (and presumably to promote the upcoming The Force Awakens.
There are so many levels of pop culture genius in this year's edition that I'm going to have to go and have a lie down to get over the excitement.
And, the rice will be harvested and eaten at the end of the summer.
Past images here.
More images and background of this year's here.
Dave Di Vito
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Dave Di Vito is a writer, teacher and former curator.He's also the author of the Vinyl Tiger series and Replace The Sky.
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