Author Archive

Ambiancé: A 720 Hour Long Film


720 hours: that’s the entirety of 30 days, a whole month of time. Swedish artist Anders Weberg is currently producing Ambiancé, the longest film ever made. A recently released trailer only 72 minutes long hints of an ongoing montage of ambient sounds intertwined with surreal visuals. From this preview one can infer the eventual film will be devoid of any narrative, offering the cinematic equivalent of waking up from a dream/nightmare with gauzed details dissipating with each passing second.


Eventually the finished movie is planned to be screened as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, all at once at locations across the globe. Afterward, Ambiancé will be destroyed, never to be seen again…fading from memory like the stream of (unconsciousness) the movie embodies.

For now, the 72 hour trailer is one of my favorite things to have playing in the background while I work, creating a relaxing – sometimes too relaxing – environment where music, motion, and color can put me in a transcendental state (put on those headphones if you want the fully immersive effect).

* Update from Anders Weberg: The teaser is now not available anymore. It was decided before and part of the plan. To release it on the day six months after my son died and also to take it down on July 20…”

Another shortened live performance preview of the trailer is viewable below:

Do-Tell: Maceo Keeling of Paisley Socks & Citizens of Culture


Rare is the creative polymath – an individual with seemingly unlimited energy and unbounded interests radiating out like an octopus’s arms – an individual centered by an innate and unquenchable desire to create, share, and connect all at once. My pal (and sometimes stairs of Silver Lake workout buddy) Maceo Keeling is that kind of impressive 20-sided die of unbridled energy, able to flip from the role of prolific writer for his site, Citizens of Culture, easily over to fashion entrepreneur as the founder of Los Angeles brand, Paisley Sockwear, in a heart beat. He also somehow finds time to produce music videos, compete in the art of fencing, and regularly hosts events catering to the LA creative set. I was able to pin him down between breaths to ask him about one of his main passions: socks.


Tell us what inspired you to start Paisley Sockwear. Why socks in particular versus other clothing or accessories?

Paisley Sockwear at its simplest was born from a simple question I was continually asked: “Maceo, where do you get all your cool socks from?” I became known in my social circles as being someone who always wore brightly colored socks. At the time, I was working at American Apparel and I got the opportunity to develop some color ways for additions to their line. During the process I uncovered my own ability to create in that medium and wanted to explore beyond what I was assigned to develop.

Once I was finished working at AA, I knew the only thing left to do was to find a partner that would allow me to realize my own designs. I didn’t want depart from the Made In USA ethos I had become accustomed to at American Apparel, so I searched far and wide for manufacturers and was eventually able to begin production with two factories based in the United States.


For me socks are one small thing that you can take risks on without having to worry about messing up your entire outfit. Socks are rarely seen, but socks can give guys that are usually very fashionably reserved the opportunity to experiment with color and fashionable expression without stepping too far into the deep end. I also love the industry side of things because socks are kind of a collector’s item, so I am not at ends with other sock designers, and there is enough for us all to make a living.


Color and pattern are trademarks of your offerings. Where do you find inspiration for your sock designs?

My inspirations come from the most interesting places. It could be from the combination of colors I notice between a little kid’s hair color and the grass behind them, or simply the hues borrowed from a stack of books on a shelf. I have a specific style called L.E.S., an abbreviation for Lower East Side in Manhattan, a place whose palette was used to paint the colors of one of my socks. But for me it’s not really about “finding inspiration”…more so about remaining open to allowing the inspiration to find me anywhere, any time. Keeping that open-minded perspective allows any sight, sound, taste or other experience to become my muse.

Okay, so then outside of fashion, where else do you seek these “muses”?

I’m very nostalgic and an energetic person, so I find a lot of inspiration and a common spirit from childhood and kids. There is a youthful curiosity I try to maintain, and that mindset really informs me about what space I should be working in. That, along with fulfilling my curiosity with research and experimentation, is what leads me to just about all my ideas. I try to seek out small failures, because I think they provide a context that helps me see the solutions.


You seem like one of those acrobats balancing spinning plates with his arms, legs and mouth. But what’s the common thread running through each of these endeavors, and how do you use them to weave throughout your work?

It’s true, I do have a lot of creative outlets! I try to approach everything I do from a variety of angles and perspectives because I believe learning from a single direction can cloud seeing truly creative solutions. I like to throw out templates or guidelines! For me it is far better to analyze the task at hand and find an approach uniquely my own, which may not seem as efficient initially, but will achieve higher quality results in the long run. That said, the common thread that runs through all my endeavors is a commitment to a learning journey, and to do my best to show people the parts of a project before it is complete.

In other words, too often we only note the finished product, but people really learn from the behind-the-scenes experiments and failures. Information these days is mostly free anyway, but information alone is not enough. It’s discipline or dedication that will make the difference between two people starting with the same knowledge. I want people to know that everything that I produce has been thought about to a high degree and labored over. It’s not magic, but exploration, refinement, practice, and plenty of failure – all are part of the creative process. Art, like science is for everyone and that is probably why I spread myself out across different mediums.


What’s keeping you busy lately…besides challenging yourself to fence or run up the Silver Lake stairs with me in the mornings?

I have a lot of hobbies, but on the work front I am really pushing sales of my socks line, Paisley Sockwear, notably a recent collaboration I did with The Essential Man. I’m also working on new music material; music has always been a passion, and I’m feeling like I have a real shot at this point to pursue it further.

Tell us two things you’re excited about right now.

1. Music is the most exciting thing I have brewing at the moment, all my stuff is at I am having a ball and it is kind of a dream to be able to pursue making my living doing what I love.

2. I am also really excited about the next season of House Of Cards. I’ve already finished this season, but I think I might watch the whole thing again because I love it so much!

My neighborhood guide to Los Angeles (mostly) east of the 101


Urban sprawl is like the MSG that seasons Los Angeles: it’s so bad, yet oh-so-good. What I mean is because LA is so geographically expansive, there’s an ever refreshed list of places to see, taste, and explore across all corners of neighborhoods falling within the designation of “LA County”. I live in the tiny corner of Silver Lake, but as a born and bred Angeleno who has lived in various sections of the county, I think much of what makes my hometown inspiring for locals and visitors alike are the neighborhoods east of what is typically highlighted as Los Angeles. Here is a very whittled down list of some of my favorite spots mapped out using Jauntful, viewable and downloadable as a print-out to guide you on your next LA adventure.

p.s. Looking for more of our city picks? Check out Brooklyn, PhiladelphiaSan Francisco and San Diego.

The Building Blocks of Failure Are Worth Stacking

Failing sucks. But there’s an important difference between identifying the sort of fail which defines an internet meme and those missteps C.S. Lewis once called “the finger posts on the road to achievement”. Those of us in the creative field tend to focus on the pinnacles of success, the moments of eventual accomplishment. But what is all too often imagined as the process of plucking ideas from the great æther and into a fully formulated accomplishment is actually more comparable to the wobbly journey a toddler makes transitioning from crawling to walking: countless hours of failure which test not only the idea to dare to lift ourselves upright, but also the fortitude to complete each unsure step forward after tumbling down onto sodden diapers time after time.

“Failure is instructional in the process…”

– Diana Laufenberg and the importance of experiential learning at TEDxMidAtlantic

Whether it’s due to fear or pride, the documentation of failure as a roadmap to our success is often erased…but it shouldn’t. These wrong turns should be highlighted. Embracing and owning our failures is recognizing the courageous leaps we’ve attempted into the unknown, the investigation beyond the baseline. Sometimes what is deemed a failure today is actually an idea awaiting the right problem tomorrow, while other times a misstep backwards is a necessity for a great leap forward, illuminating a course of action previously obfuscated by ignorance only revealed after crossing out the wrong turns like a real life, Choose Your Own Adventure.


As a friend once quipped, “I’m happier I tried my first kiss awkwardly rather than kept my lips closed worrying about whether I was going to do it wrong. I’m a great kisser now…and it sure was fun practicing!”

More on failing successfully:
10 Lessons I Learned from A Magnificent Failure
Following Your Bliss, Right Off the Cliff
Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together
Secrets of The Phantom Tollbooth: Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer on Creativity, Anxiety, and Failure

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