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.

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Book report: “Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft”!!

Actually, I lied - this isn’t a book report cause I’ve only read like 15 pages of this book. But - it’s a start right?? Seriously though, this was one of those books I was quite looking forward to starting - what a cool topic right? All (or most) of the largest art thefts in history. I don’t read much, if any, fiction so books revolving around the ‘romantic’ crimes such as these always grab me. Chuck and I talked a while back - and didn’t I make a post?? - about art theft and how weird it is. It’s different than bank robbery, jewelry theft, etc in that the product stolen immediately becomes worthless in the public market as its an obvious one-of-one and reported stolen - but, where it gets interesting, is the private market of truly obsessed collectors who don’t mind owning a piece of stolen art that basically can’t be shown to anyone again ever, you know? Anyway, I scored the book on eBay super cheap - I’ve skimmed through quite a bit of it past the first 15 pages, ha, and it’s quite good.

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iPhone video: “An NYC vacation, or whatever.”!!

I’ve never really shot video before, never edited it either. Never had a reason as I wasn’t too into carrying around a Flip or even a video enabled point and shoot. And I really didn’t think getting the new iPhone would change that much. Wrong. It did. Super impressed with how easy it is now. So I was in NYC for a vacation with my friend Neil - and instead of my usual uploading a photo to Flickr to document the scene - I shot like a 120 short videos, 22 minutes worth, and made this in iMovie:

AN NYC VACATION, OR WHATEVER. from Benjamin Edgar on Vimeo.

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Ryan McGinness’ ‘50 Parties’

From - “In New York City, there has never been a shortage of parties. Parties celebrating a new product or publication or development have been rampant. Those celebrating or nurturing a meaningful social exchange, on the other hand, have been noticeably absent. I decided to create the 50PARTIES project in response to this void: to bring back the artist’s studio space as an environment for social exchange and revitalize the practice of artist’s studio as salon. With this project, I’m endeavoring to create genuine parties with no hidden agenda, parties for the sake of parties, with absolutely no sponsorship. I’m interested in the idea of party as medium and vehicle for creating content. To that end, each party will be based on a different concept or theme, aimed at creating real interactions between guests.”

Love love love this! You know we here at THE BRILLIANCE! love art, creativity, parties, fun, new ideas, and fresh ways of bringing people together to promote progress in art in whatever way possible. The fact that Ryan McGinness himself is the brains behind this is huge. It will attract a ton of attention and probably be incredibly fruitful for birthing new projects and ideas from tons of talented people. Honestly, would really love to go. Ryan - if you’re reading this, any of us here at THE BRILLIANCE! would love to go! Plus Ben’s about to be in NYC next week…

“50 parties. 50 themes. 50 weeks. In a row. In the studio. No sponsors. No strangers.”

Super cool.

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Pitted, so pitted, like that!!

I love THE BRILLIANCE! for all sorts of reasons, but one of my favorites is having a public outlet to show the crazy stuff Chuck and I send via email, and what it turns into etc.

So like, 4 years later the famous ‘surfer dude’ video came out on YouTube or whatever. So, for who knows what reason, I got back into the video and was like ‘this is the theme video for July man.’ And so far it has been. Trips to the beach are pretty much entirely focused on ‘getting pitted, so pitted.’ And its just the general vibe this month - surfer duded out. So two things:

1 - Chuck made me this for me, yes, its a high quality print, ha.

2 - Chuck emailed me this today:

From: Chuck Anderson
Date: July 1, 2009 3:46:34 PM EDT
To: Ben Gott
Subject: oh

oh bra

its just like

you get the best barrels ever dude

just like, you get pulled in and you get spit right out of em

and you just drop in , smack the lip


drop down


and then after that you just drop in, ride the barrel and get pitted

so pitted

like that
NoPattern / Chuck Anderson

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I’m about to be in NYC, whats up??!

I haven’t taken a vacation in a while - this really isn’t an actual vacation as I’ll be doing a bit of Boxed Water business while in town, etc, but I’m hitting the museums this time. And eating better too. And hitting Topman’s. I’m headed out there with a good friend of mine here in town, Neil Hubert (check his work), he’s never been to the Big Apple so it should be a good look. And, and!! Virgil and I’s friend Gabe is opening his new restaurant Joseph Leonard too, check the link below. Crazy - I can’t even wait for the behind the scenes look on that one. So yeah, I’m going to be somewhat busy - but hit me up on twitter or here and we’ll see what’s up. We’ll be staying in the Lower East Side so we’ll be around all those spots, etc. Yeah - direct flights from Grand Rapids, kind of excited about it.

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JAK and JIL went to a Fashion Show!!!

Fashion blogs are a dime a dozen now. The runway shows are glittered with a group of street photographers. In my mind none as good as Jak and Jil. Their motto is “HERE AT JAK & JIL, EVERYDAY IS FASHION WEEK.” genius. Superbig-well-compositioned photos go along way in telling a story. Even in the photos where someone is wearing something totally crazy, this sites lense somehow makes it make sense. Also it looks like JAKandJILL went to the same school of design as CHUCKandBEN. Bookmark business!

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Build something! I’m pro-manufacturing 2.0!!

Ah, the lost art of actually making something. A physical product. And even more so, doing it here in the US. Let me clarify that in no way do I feel any other country is less superior than ours - its quite obvious that when it comes to production of products, its quite the opposite, you know? Anybody remember that line in Back To the Future 3 where Doc Brown was like ‘Here’s your problem Marty! All these circuit boards were made in Japan!!’ And of course Marty quickly explains to him they’re known as the best, etc. Anyway, I’ve been really consumed with the idea that we simply don’t make enough stuff here in the US (duh, I know). But more so that my generation and under doesn’t seem to think its possible. I grew up ‘hustling’ html and code like a lot of other like minded people in the late 90’s cause it was super easy to make money doing it - you didn’t even need a computer, you could borrow one and start making sites, apps, etc. Basically out of thing air. It was a pretty amazing thing. But somewhere in there I think the concept of manufacturing seemed to become old and archaic almost, right? So yeah, I’m obsessed with it - making things. I love software to death, and I don’t I’ll ever step away from it - its got an almost magical thing about how it can be created from nothing but knowledge. That said - I’d love to see kids start exploring the creation of physical products more - dreaming that way a bit more. Want to make an eco-friendly fridge? A beautiful USB key-fob thing? A new bike seat? A faucet you’ve been dreaming of? A car?! A tablet computer (crunch tablet!)? Even food products, etc. Whatever you want!! Whatever it is - we’ve still got some amazing resources here in the US, plants, etc, that could use the work and can are more likely to help you with small runs in this current economy. I’m not sure if this post was as concise as I wanted it to be - just one of those things thats on my mind. So yeah man, manufacturing 2.0, as Jeezy says: lets get it.

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Super good interview with A.P.C.‘s Jean Touitou!

Hypebeast did a really good job on this one - and by the way, I’m loving the huge new interview header thing they have on their site, great design. So yeah, I’m pretty fascinated by brands like A.P.C. that seem to keep things so simple but maintain such a ‘rich’ or ‘thick’ brand, you know? I think sometimes the smaller (not that APC is super small) brands rely so heavily on some crazy cut, or cool graphic, or something that is super temporary to set their tone instead of really kind of letting the clothing simply represent the image/idea that they started with in the first place. Does that make sense? Anyway, funny cause Jean Touitou touches on this a bit in regards to ‘rock and roll’ based brands. I love this guys candor too, just very matter of fact, very to the point. His comments about why they do collbaroations, specifically with Nike are so nice to hear - they did them so they could have a shoe people could afford to buy instead of doing all the work themselves at a smaller scale of economy. Love that. No cool guy answer, no ‘synergy’ stuff, etc. So yeah, check the interview - full of really great insight.

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OJ Da Juiceman!!1

Man, I know how it works with me now - if I think something is ‘weird’ I’ll probably like it a week or two later. Fashion, music, etc. OJ Da Juiceman is the latest iteration of this. “I tell my car to make a phone call - it does it!” Hip-hop is such an ever evolving thing isn’t it?? I’m sure they’re kids mad I’m even calling OJ ‘hip-hop’ but seriously…whatever, get over it and have more fun!! He is hip-hop. Hip-hop was built on getting your thoughts/scene out there and having fun with it. I think OJ Da Juiceman is having fun, and I’m having fun listening to him. So there you have it, right? True story, Virgil and I were requesting him at Tonic room or wherever we were in Chicago like 2 weeks ago. I love the evolution, I respect dudes who do whatever they want (his adlibs?!!?), and half the time all I want to do is dance and vibe out anyway, so dig it!!! I don’t have much more else to say, thats my post. I actually have to drive home from my office now and I’ll be chirping out my AYE’s and OKAY’s on the way!! Have a good Saturday everyone.

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Thom Browne Short Suit is on my Must Have List!!!

So I am in the midst of “upping” my taste level of designers. Going beyond the knee-jerk reaction of saying “that’s weird” and really studying what they are trying to say. Coming from adolescent-Polo growing up, you figure Purple Label is the epotime of American “dressing up”. I had always known Thom Browne’s take on menswear but no I see how it is super revelant in this moment in time. The “suit” is no longer the working uniform… why not have fun with it. Thom Browne is made famous by his “short-suit” flooded trousers, shorter sleeves and little tweaks to a traditional suit. The end esult is something refreshing. If you have the confidence to pull it off, you get to have all the fun. Isn’t that what fashion is about? Wierdo or status quo. Word on the street is the company is in limbo, I have a feeling that won’t be the case for long.