Bounced around from this link about a shoe-gazer documentary called Beautiful Noise, to this one, and eventually to VICE pals' VBS.tv. Apparently, they got Kevin Shields to give the longest interview he's ever given, at a smokey little pub in London. It's a four-part episode of VBS's Soft Focus. Go there and check out the other interviews. To get you on to the Kevin Shields segments, I've embedded them all in this post. Enjoy. (Part 1 above, Part 2 next...)

Part 3.

And Part 4.

Seems like summer 2008 will be one of much nostalgic shoe-gazing.


The Vinyl Frontier

Via BoingBoing, via Laughing Squid, comes news of this:

The Vinyl Frontier, A Documentary Exploring the World of Vinyl Toys

I'm kind of interested in seeing this. If you've ever been to my office, you've seen my collection of Qee Eggs and other assorted goodies picked from the shelves of Kid Robot and Rotofugi. (Qees attracted me early in my [adult] vinyl fascination because of their "blanks" -- non-decorated figures for which you can download templates and embellish with your own design.) For me, designer vinyl represents two important ideas:
  1. You're never too old to collect "action figures", and...
  2. Vinyl figures are a low price-of-entry to the world of collecting "art"; a way for people of all budgets to get in on the action.
What's also fascinating to me is the bigger notion of "nobrow"; what's left between the somewhat-outdated concepts of "highbrow" and "lowbrow" art, which is driven by curated consumption and strategic marketing. That's how we get a category in which skateboard graphic artists and fine artists meet on a relatively level playing field: the canvas of a vinyl figurine, a limited edition T-shirt, or even a post-card sized print (a big money-maker for contemporary galleries which, like small vinyl figures, are easier to produce and stock in large quantities). Almost everything is a limited edition, which makes for volumes of stuff that seems worth collecting. Or creating yourself. You don't even need to be a professional artist to design your own vinyl figures, with all the DIY versions available.

What I still wonder is, where will all this vinyl go when it's no longer in style or in galleries? As far as I know, none of it is biodegradable. If we don't learn to recycle them, we could be looking at some designer landfills in the not-so-distant future. A little disturbing, and easy to ignore when you're bent on collecting toys as an adult, but that could be the real vinyl frontier we're working toward. Unless we find a way to bury our non-degradable trash on the moon. Then that would be the vinyl frontier.