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MATTEmatters: Give us a twirl, luv

By Marcela Filomena

This edition of matters comes chockfull of easter-egg hyperlinking in the music section.  I just couldn't help myself- I've been wanting to feature this musician since we began, and readers, since she's coming out with a new album soon, it's finally time!  Be sure to hover your arrows over the text, as you never know which will take you where, but rest assured all are amazing.

design - In delicious shades of chocolate brown and honey, Steffie Christiaens gives us dervish-inspired fall fashion.  A former member of the teams at Balenciaga and Maison Martin Margiela, Christiaens knows how to build a story.  Each garment fits perfectly within a progression that combines warm sensuality with industrial geometric sharpness.  The whirling monk theme comes from the muse for the collection, modern Sufi dancer Ziya Azazi, and she interprets the swirling skirt movement as rounded volumes controlled at a certain point in the seam; in her own words, "chaos reaches an ending point".  But Christiaens doesn't limit herself to the organic, incorporating industrial, structured accessories and geometric textile graphics representing an abstracted city constantly in movement.  I would live in her clothing until it fell off me, (especially that coffee-colored jacket from the third look), it's that good!

music - Thank god for Juana Molina! Love falls short as a description of what I feel for that woman's music- and she's made us wait, collectively holding our breaths, for five years to release a new album (out October 21).  I had the distinct privilege of seeing her live a few times in Buenos Aires- and if you think she's fantastic just from listening to her records, wait till you see her perform.  The layered, loopy, captivating soundscape is built melody upon rhythm upon melody to become a beautiful bricolage of parts.  And her voice is just as pitch-perfect as you think it is.  I could wax lyrical about the complexity in her deceptively simple melodies- the sheer talent it requires to plan out, let alone perform, the instrumentation and singing on her songs, the clever prettiness in her lyrics- but I'll let you discover those particular pleasures for yourselves.  What's more, do yourself a favor, stop reading this right now, go buy her record and prepare for amazement.  For a preview of her latest- here goes a single off Wed 21

film - And then there's Saman Kesh.  Humorously self-deprecating little bio on his website aside, Kesh makes fantastic shorts.  I found his latest, Controller, thanks to Furry Vowels (shout-out); and it's a little gem of a low-budget film. It has an Akira vibe to it, a love story, with an awesome office fight scene a la Matrix in the middle. The action is choreographed well, the romantic side of it is sweet without being saccharine, and the take on apocalypse is intriguing.  Definite must-see short of the summer and a kick-ass start to the week!

art - In a move both stalker-ish and clever, Paolo Cirio trolls Google's Street View for the most visible human figures, prints them out and affixes them at the exact spot they were photographed, "exposing Google's realm of private, misappropriated data".  Just as the publicly accessible pictures are taken without consent, Cirio takes the images without Google's consent and posts them on public walls. The result, "Street Ghosts" are otherworldly figures that blur the line between public and private, another battle drawn in the war for privacy in our intimacy and habits.  So keep your eyes open! Street Ghosts hasn't ended, and the next one captured might just be you.

Indeed, Cirio's work is well known for courting controversy in dealing with the emergence of digital media in fields related to privacy, copyright, transparency, geopolitics, advertising, democracy and fiction: they are paeans to the power of information.  His most recent work was an international act of piracy in which he hacked into the governmental servers of the Cayman Islands and stole a list of the companies incorporated in the island, publishing it on  On this website, for the modest price of $.99, you can purchase a certificate of incorporation for a real company, and for $49, a mailbox in the offshore country with physical rerouting.  The point of all this is the performance of a major act of global disobedience, in which small businesses and middle-class citizens can invoice from major offshore centers and avoid unfair taxes & legal responsibility in their own indebted home countries.  With the money generated, the idea is to expand into Bermuda, Jersey, and the Seychelles, among other business hubs.

item - What an exercise in pointless nostalgia!  The Museum of Broken Relationships documents lost love, having amassed a very weird collection of bric-a-brac to the memory of past relationships.  The museum collects objects and descriptions by request, and in its travelling exhibition you can find the likes of Divorce Day Mad Dwarf, thrown out of a moving car and suitably distressed; An Ex Axe, used to systematically destroy an ex's furniture after she ran off with a woman; and A Cell Phone, given in order to avoid being called.  So, any and all of you looking to unburden yourselves of emotional baggage, feel free to submit your particular aide-mémoire!