The Brilliance!


#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

Hiccup, my favorite Hulu show: Three Sheets!

That ‘Hiccup’ thing in the title is kind of corny. Hulu is like the American Apparel of TV isn’t it kind of?  Hipster Voice: “Oh dude, I love Hulu.  It’s just so much better compared to like TV or like cable or whatever.  I hate TV.”  I’m like a little guilty of that statement right there myself man.  Anyway, yeah man, I don’t even know how I found this show, Three Sheets, but I’m quite a fan.  And maybe a little jealous of this guy’s ‘job’, ha.  Quick gist: Zane Lamprey travels around to different cities, towns, etc all around the world to immerse himself in their local drinks and drinking culture.  At first I thought he had kind of a corny vibe - but he’s actually quite funny after you’ve watched a couple, he’s got good snaps - kind of the perfect guy for a show like this.  Yeah, not too much more to detail on this one - informative, funny, entertaining.  I like how its shot/produced as well - like, one camera guy, super simple, etc.  Perfect to waste a Sunday away on.  I’m watching the Scotland one right now.  ***I love how in this one he makes fun of the fact the Camera is already in the place he’s walking into.  Always super corny when they do that on ‘reality’ shows.


So, kids are wearing black for a year straight and crazy blogs are taking over. As a kid that can’t wait for something new I am digging this new “badass” era I see bubbling. I am into creative-edgyness. Perfect example of articulating dark randomness the THEM THANGS blog. As you can imagine its so not safe for kids. Pure 18 & up designer/photographer inspiration. Yo, where do you image blogs guys get your pics from. Are your sponsored by a scanner company and work at a Salvation Army? Either way you rock, thanks for the hardwork.

Zap! Benz confirms they’re doing an electric Gullwing!

Alright, now I should really only have positive things to write about with something like this. And trust me, I think its super cool that MB is doing this. But I’m going to be honest - I think its too abstract. The Gullwing is iconic - a super classic - and I don’t really think that’s a good place to start for Benz with an exploration into electric cars. Fair enough, they’re following the same path as Tesla doing something super hi-end first to grab public attention - but Mercedes isn’t a start-up like Tesla - so I’m not sure if thats teh best approach. Could you imagine them being like ‘oh yeah, we’re doing the new E-class couple in a fully electric version for 2011’??? People would flip out - the orders would be in the 1000’s right off the bat. Seriously, LA would be literally covered with them. I’m stoked on this electric Gullwing - but somebody, please, come out with something thats an entry-level luxury priced purchase and isn’t super over-the-top design wise. Like - let’s just get things rolling, let’s make it normal! Again though, this car is going to be pretty amazing.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.