Downtown Manhattan’s Vibrant Scene Crystallizes with a New Launch from the Best-Selling Bremen Brewery
An assortment of 21st-century transplants channel the energy and nightlife of their native Germany into the bakeries, beer gardens and bars of New York’s Lower East Side in this film celebrating Beck’s Sapphire, a new pilsner brewed from rare “saphir” hops. From pretzel street vendors to electronic music, the film explores the rich culture that has contributed to the Manhattan scene since the first wave of German settlers in the 19th Century. Casting the likes of DJ and downtown master of ceremonies Arman Nafeei, co-founder of The Journal magazine and gallery Julia Dippelhofer, sought-after model and actor Paul Boche and director and fashion photographer Sebastian Mader, the work reimagines and recreates the pulse of Germany—itself known today as an international hub for artistic output and, of course, the home of some of the best parties in the world—in these contemporary creatives’ ever-happening adopted city.
The Renegade Artist Spreads His Work Around the Globe in Filmmaker Matt Black’s Latest Portrait
Young people stare up at the sky from a Hong Kong bridge and a meters-long nude odalisque reclines along the banks of the Seine in artist JR’s infamous posters, explored in a new short from NOWNESS regular Matt Black. The massive, iconic images can be found hand-pasted to crumbling buildings, trains, garbage trucks and bridges, whimsically reclaiming the urban landscape. Now a TED Prize-winner, semi-anonymous JR grew up in the suburbs of Paris and began tagging and “exhibiting” on the streets as a teen. When he found a camera on the Metro, he started taking photographs. Now he’s shaking things up with a new system that allows everyone to print and post works in their own neighborhoods, all for free. “It’s true art. That’s why people want to participate,” says Black, who caught up with the self-described “photograffeur” as part of his Reflections series. Today JR, who views the city as “the biggest gallery in the world,” also shows in more traditional spaces, including Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin and the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Los Angeles MoCA, collaborating with artists such as Jose Parlà and Takashi Murakami. “He’s creating this monster project,” reflects the director, “showing that we’re all human—all equal.”
A Poetic New Film Celebrates the Launch of a Galactic Telescope in Chile
Jonathan de Villiers’ The View From Mars: Part One takes an expressive look at ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter Array), a vast international telescope project that was inaugurated in Chile this week, after decades in the making. When NASA wants to test a Mars rover or figure out how to detect life in the most inhospitable of environments, they go to the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth and an area that bears a striking resemblance to the Red Planet. With an utter absence of moisture and altitudes reaching 6,885 meters, the area is a magnet for astronomers seeking the clearest skies on the globe and the least atmosphere between their telescopes and space. ALMA’s moveable group of 66 giant antennas—planted on the remote and harsh 5,200-meter high Chajnantor Plateau—do not detect visible light like conventional optical telescopes. Instead they work together to gather emissions from gas, dust and stars and make observations in millimeter wavelengths, using radio frequencies instead of visible light—with no need for darkness, so the stars can be studied around the clock. With these tools, astronomers will soon be able to look billions of years into the past, gazing at the formation of distant stars and galaxies. “In doing so,” de Villiers reveals, “they’ll build a clearer picture of how our sun and our galaxy formed.”