The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.


Inside Koenigsegg & just cars in general.

I’ve gotten like entirely too into cars. Always been into the brands, etc, but now it’s more about the details - I’ve become obsessed with the melding of design and technology in newer cars - dual-clutch transmissions, carbon-ceramic brakes on road-going cars, “negative” torque-vectoring, turbos vs naturally aspirated, all the tech around quattro, etc, etc, etc. I’m still quite new to it all. Cars are these insanely complex pieces of design and art that we get to interact with every-day. An insane amount of moving pieces need to come together perfectly to get from idea to the street, you know? I actually dug around and researched the designer behind the last car I got, ha. It’s like, I think getting a clothing line designed & manufactured is challenging, think about a car, just totally blows my mind. So yeah, this whole post was supposed to be about this amazing car company, Koenigsegg, and this brilliant little web-series showing behind the scenes of their design, testing, and manufacturing process. The attention to detail and innovation is too inspiring. Sure, the cars are like $1M+ in cost and they’ve only made 100 - but its this guys kind of crazy ambition to be the best super car company in the world that makes it all so fascinating - and with a staff of just FORTY FIVE people?!?!1 The show can be a bit over-the-top technical - best one’s to start with are these two. What if tumblr kids started car companies instead of clothing lines??

***All that said - I’m actually not a fan of the Koenigsegg’s design. Too much engineering, not enough sex. Love the company though.


Don’t sleep!!! CAVEMPT is OUT HERE!!!

Let’s save the chat about how wild it is that since our 3 year hiatus “streetwear” totally did a back flip, came back and has like 3 different meanings depending on who your talking too. Could be a kid on Prince & Mercer, sales woman at a GIVENCHY buying appointment or London stylist. There’s differences from the glory days of ALIFE on Orchard St. and the GLOB days. I’ll get there in some way, I want to do a crazy roundtable interview surrounding it this summer. Back on track, sifting thru the lines that are classified in a broad sense as “streetwear” there is CAVEMPT. It reeks of being slept on. It’s what I call an open brand. Perfect for a rapper or female singer to only wear that to pin their identity against. What strikes me the most about the brand is the embedded art direction of the graphics and garment choices, the fact that its Skatething and the “bubbly” graphics are missing, and the lookbook videos fit in that rare category of fashion videos that don’t put you to sleep. Anyone that knows me know Im basically british and belong in Shoreditch or something. Little digging you’ll find the brand has many of roots there as well as Japan. To top it off producer Zomby is in the brain trust. Basically in this streetwear revival what attracts me to anything is that there is a real concept underneath arbitrary graphics. CAVEMPT. Leaders of a new streetwear.


Keelayjams!! The projects of Kyle Williams

“Digital Collage / Sculpture / Video / Painting” - the main navigation links on artist Kyle Williams’ site. Pretty normal stuff for an artists portfolio…alright, what do we have here, let’s see…”Lindsay Lohan’s 2010 Mugshot In Croutons”, “Classic TEVA Sandal Stuffed With 16 Hotdogs”, “Lana Del Rey Bass Guitar”, and my personal favorite and honestly one of the best things on the internet, “Eating A Salad Out of A Pair of Lady Air Jordans After Winning the Big Game”. (Seriously, click those)
See…this is why I love the internet. Where did this stuff exist before?? Maybe a conceptual artist like Erwin Wurm was doing these sort of blasé, weirdo, dry humor type things which I also really love but it would have been in the gallery realm. This particular brand of creativity exists best on the internet — Tumblr, Vine, Twitter…before all these platforms—just a few years ago, Kyle’s sort of work just didn’t exist to a larger audience. Take “Gummy Worm In A Drill”, one of his newest videos featuring…a gummy worm on a drill set to the theme music from ‘Home Improvement’. Without the immense platform that is the internet to post to, what’s the motivation to make that? Sure it’s funny to you and some friends…yeah…but you KNOW as soon as that goes on Tumblr people are going nuts for it. Anyways, I love what Kyle is doing. And you know we here at THE BRILLIANCE! love a good unchecked spelling while we’re at it, go grab one of his ‘MICHAEL JODRAN’ tees and follow @keelayjams on Twitter. #VERY #VERY #VERY #INTETRNET


iTunes Update? Nahhh! *Chief Keef Voice*

iTunes updates. For real. I avoid them like the plague. Usually out of a rush every time I plug in my phone into my laptop its a quick ‘cancel’ outta habit. The other day I hopped on Mike Will’s eardrummas…. laptop trying to navigate that new iTunes update…. whoa. It’s like super PC #vibes in there. That search function?? Who said the last update was broke by the way? In all those smart-kid conversations with the friends about wehter or not Apple has taken a downward spiral since Steve Jobs passing away I have always been the one to say, “Steve obviously left a roadmap for how the company should run for the next 10 years” and I have ignored the things like the weird ad campaigns and lackluster updates. But this one is gonna be hard to get over. Keep iTunes easy. Focus on making an all black skin of iTunes or something. Oh shit. I’m sounding like those crazy kids that comment on internet blog posts that I laugh at. I’ll stop LOL.


Young Scooter! Columbia Video!! FREEBANDZ!!

Man, the amount of hip-hip videos have we seen throughout our lives… It’s funny to think in like 50 years it is gonna be a genre of film-making that we grew up with. Thank the lord for Canon 5D’s. Of course there are like 30 per week and theres almost no rhyme or reason why one is amazing and why ones not. All it takes is an amazing shot or refreshing treatment and a video is amazing in my book. Like that Trinidad James puppy probably has its own twitter account. Google it. There has to be one… But Young Scooter Colombia has a magic to it. For me its that shot in the jungle. Of all the realistic drug visuals, this one is new. No extra people in the jungle, no extra people on the jet, no extra people in the pool. Nabil once told me, screw spending budgets on crazy sets, just buy a plane ticket instead. With that said, watch this video was shot in Miami. #whocares


No home internet, duh!

There’s a post forever ago I made on here, 2006, it was about how I was using one of those PCMCIA (ha!!!) cards on my laptop that was basically a little cellphone from Sprint that gave you a web connection wirelessly. I was obsessed with this whole concept of properly wireless internet. Even since I was in high school when I wanted to make a Packet Ham Radio modem for my TI-80whatever calculator. Wow…nerd out. Google “packet radio”. Anyway, like 2 years ago I actually committed to this whole thing - cancelled internet at my condo and added the “tethering” service on my iPhone and bought a cellular iPad too. My friends were like?!!? It seemed silly until LTE became commonplace and now my cellphone has faster internet than most coffee shops and offices - everywhere I go. iPad and iPhone combined I go through like 16-18GB per month, so its not the most cost effective - but whatever - its not that far off in price. Remember when people were like “man, I don’t think I need a landline anymore…”??? #always #internet #everywhere



It’s cool to be posting again, first off…second off, all 3 of us - Chuck, Benjamin, & Virgil, have our own individual Twitters. But…we have the Twitter name @THEBRILLIANCE now too, and it cost us a TON of money, so help us recoup the costs by following us. You get paid every time you get a follower on Twitter right? That’s how it works right? I’m not seeing any more info about this anywhere…hmm…well, we’ll have to figure that out. We might be out like a million dollars…Let’s recap:

•Follow @THEBRILLIANCE on Twitter
•Benjamin on Twitter: @benjaminedgar
•Virgil on Twitter: @virgilabloh
•Chuck on Twitter: @nopattern


Erin Benach, fashion: The Place Beyond The Pines

I mean, I want to write a whole post about the movie. Don’t know if I’ve even processed it yet, you know? And I hate reading the little synopsis things about movies like these - its like, yeah, he was a stunt motorcycle rider, bank robber, trying to take care of his kids, etc, - but those are just the physical things that happened to carry a simple and in my opinion super elegant story of humanity. Top 5 movie. Anyway, this whole post is around that fashion in this film. My goodness - was like a character itself. It’s like Ryan Gosling’s outfits in 2 hours did better at painting the picture Balmain has been trying to do for 3 or 4 years. Just brilliant. And, Dane DeHaan’s character, that baggy sweater he was wearing in the woods, with the slim jeans and black sneaker, the chain wallet, etc. Oddly perfect. Sorry - these are the details that make a story so much better - even when you don’t notice them. Everything about the wardrobe was just perfect, perfect. And new! Like it was something new - I suppose that is my favorite part.

***Ehhhh! I messed this one up, originally I said it was Meghan Corea behind these looks, then my dude @MikeCarson hit us up with THIS link. Thanks man.


THE BRILLIANCE!!! A trip down internet memory lane.

“Man…we should start a blog that’s basically these emails we write to each other. I know it sounds egotistical but whatever - I feel like people would be into reading our take on all this stuff we talk about pretty much every day and probably think it’s pretty funny too…” “Ha, yeah. We could call it The Brilliance.” “Dude… is available…” “You think we should??”

And so we did. That was basically the conversation between Benjamin and myself all the way back in 2005. Benjamin and I have known each other since 1999 and really started becoming friends around 2003. Neither of us went to college, both of us loved computers and art and the internet, and we just started talking over email at some point like..every single day. When you write an email to a friend and you’re simply shooting the shit, talking about music and weird websites and life and whatever, you don’t overthink it, you don’t ‘curate’ your email, you don’t use spellcheck, you just write. We sought to carry that exact mentality into a website and boom. THE BRILLIANCE! was born. We argued with each other in the beginning about if it was ‘cool’ to post about Carmex, edamame, Scrabble, and Chanel on this site (all some of the very first post topics). Would people ‘get it’?!? What’s the ‘theme’ here? Are we a ‘streetwear blog’?? (NO)... Ultimately we both agreed - who cares?? The goal is to write freely and openly and in our own voices. If it’s cool, people will enjoy it. Simple as that. In the beginning, we never really wanted to bring a 3rd writer on board but in the beginning we also didn’t know Virgil. Virgil was as perfect a fit for the site as a person could possibly be - equally passionate about art, music, culture, the internet, Chicago, traveling, and everything else Ben & I were. He came on board and it was seamless. Years went by and we kept at it, kept posting, and all 3 of us kept doing our things. Eventually we hit a spot where we all weren’t posting as much as the site deserved and we agreed to take an indefinite hiatus. That was almost 3 years ago to the day. Well, we all got the itch at the same time to start writing again recently and felt like it was just time. We had to bring it back. Felt like the internet just had this big Times New Roman-shaped hole in it and so here we are again…some dudes just sort of writing about whatever and hoping you dig it. And if you don’t!? SO!??!?! THE BRILLIANCE!


ONE OF THOSE POSTS. Still deciding!!!

Whoa. Writing is like riding a bike… right? I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hated english class in school. 12-page papers? Whatever. First post back. WE OUT HERE. Argh I can’t decide what to actually post about. My first idea was to talk about how ill this latest SUPREME collection is. Talk about a team designed to win. Season after season. Have you seen that editorial with James’s crib in it? Sheesh. Perfect. Tumblr? Its so omni-present why make that the first post. What a powerful tool that still doesn’t make you an Art Director cause your desktop is full. What is an Art director actually? Music? That new James Blake record ‘Retrograde’ should just come looped. Art? I now collect art from my friends. Way better outlet for a materialistic kids like me. Alexander Wang for Balenciaga? That kid popped off! He did it. He is the TRUTH. Cars. Never bought one. Just decided I need that G wagon right? How did “Started from the Bottom” instantly work in the club like 24 hours after hitting the internet. We are what… 3 years older now right? Feels right just like Benjamin was saying. My thing with the internet is its so easy to find out what is what but where can you go on the internet to get a sense of why whats-what? Stay tuned. THE BRILLIANCE… where images aren’t the idea just these random thoughts and grammatical errors.