Monday, 28 June 2021

icty

Established by the United Nations Security Council in 1993 with special jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity incurred in the territories of the former Yugoslav Republic since its dissolution in 1991, on this day in 2001, Serbian president Slobodan Miloลกeviฤ‡ was extradited to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague to stand trial for genocide. The date coincides with Miloลกeviฤ‡’s 1989 presiding over the sixth-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo, commemorating the rather pyric victory of the Serbian army against Ottoman invaders and enflaming an already tense situation between different ethnic groups that shared the constituent republics. The date also coincides with assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by a conspiracy of the Black Hand secret society, the Bosniak and Serb group hoping to foment unrest and outrage and secede from the Austro-Hungarian empire with the provinces reconstituted as an independent Yugoslavia.

Friday, 23 April 2021

halfway between the gutter and the stars

Featuring Bootsy Collins, the accompanying music video for the Big Beats artist Fatboy Slim’s 2000 “Weapon of Choice,” reprised on the occasion as a stand-alone single, directed by Spike Jonze, was first aired on this day in 2001. Depicting Christopher Walken dancing around an empty lobby, the choral refrain of “You could blow with this or you could blow with that” references the Native Tongues’ “The Choice is Yours”—the titular album an homage to Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan (“some of us are looking at the stars”) and the lyric advising to “walk without rhythm and it won’t attract the worm” quotes Frank Herbert’s establishing novel.

Friday, 2 April 2021

i wanna hear those sugar bells ring

Reaching top spot on the American Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song charts on this day in 1988, Wishing Well from singer and songwriter Terence Trent D’Arby—now known as Sananda Maitreya having meditated for a new identity after the slow, agonising albeit noble death of his former self in October of 2001. Expressing high opinion of his debut album, D’Arby said it was the most significant recording since Sgt. Pepper, ultimately paid off.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

de twee bruidegommen

Passed by the Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer) of the States General and affirmed by the Senate during the December before, same-sex marriage (Homohuwelijk) became legal in the Netherlands on this day in 2001, the first country in modern times to sanction and recognise marriage equality. Registered partnerships were introduced on New Year’s 1998 as an alternative for homosexual couples, which under the law convey the same rights, duties and responsibilities as matrimony, and have since become nearly as popular as civil marriage among heterosexual couples as well.

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

deorbit

After fifteen years of service, funding running out its orbit degrading and the International Space Station crewed for the first time, on this day in 2001 over the course of five hours, Mir (previously) was decommissioned by a series of manoeuvres that caused the craft to graze the upper atmosphere and break up over the southern Pacific Ocean. Though no significant debris hit land or populated areas, residents in New Zealand and Japan were told to stay indoors as no object of this size had been subject to re-entry prior.

Friday, 11 September 2020

deceptive cadence

Back during the early 1980s composer William Basinski heard a snatch of music on the airwaves and quickly recorded the melody that it inspired and filed it away for use in a later project. Sitting forgotten until the summer of 2001, Basinski rediscovers the recording and plays it back.
The tape, however, was old and brittle and playing it back, it began to disintegrate both visually and audibly—Basinski, fascinated, captured its vanishing. Nearly finished remixing his Disintegration Loops at his New York studio on 11 September, his epic became an elegy. Fast-forward to the summer of 2019, Robin Sloan just acquainted with the moving orchestral piece—we discover courtesy of Things Magazine—had a neural network interpret the work with some surprising results and invites others to listen and contribute to his Integration Loop project.

blick von williamsburg, brooklyn, auf manhattan, 11. september 2001

Captured by photojournalist Thomas Hรถpker with five people sunning, relaxing along the shore of the East River in the foreground while a cloud of smoke billows over the World Trade Center in the background—seemingly oblivious is not the callous portrayal that controversy after it was first shown to the public in 2005 as part of a retrospective of fifty of his works but is a chance juxtaposition caught at just the right moment.
View the whole frame here—respecting the artist’s rights and the fact that it again seems provocative without context. The composition has been compared to works like Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s 1558 Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (that is actually a trope and the subject of several paintings at the time—not of Icarus’ actual crash but of the 1560s). Hรถpker was en route to Manhattan, having abandoned his car and proceeded on foot, continuing to take pictures.