October 25, 2003

Look Look, This Is Cool (Hunted)

aka notes from the Look-Look Magazine Launch.

3 observations:

Amateur is in.
Fawns are the new black.
I think there were more cameras in attendance then people.

So Look Look Magazine had a launch party. One of many I suspect, but being the NY launch for an LA mag this is probably one of the better. Art world, fashion flavored, big photos, good party. The mag itself is "amatuer", art and photos from "youth", which now seems to mean under 30. Ok. Its a better looking mag then most of the ones filled with "professional" photos and art. Its a dirty little secret that most "pros" in the 21st just know the tech a bit better then most, talent is optional.

But the event. At some point the spider sense went off, something ain't right. I think it was watching the aging art ladies ogle the 15 year old kids playing live classic rock (really fucking well I might add) that set it off.

Where to begin? As it turns out Look-Look is a trend forecasting (aka cool hunting) firm run by one DeeDee Gordon, who is damn prominent in the field. The whole mag is put together by their "correspondents" aka "cool", "youth", who get photographed, interviewed and probed for insight that can be sold to corporate America for big old checks.

Now I don't want to come off as critical here, because this is not a straight forward situation. Its easy to make a story of Corporate International exploiting youth culture while craftily covering their tracks. And its not like that story would be false. But its important to realize this is a two way communication. Its a bit unclear whether the whole thing is perverse or subversive. Perhaps its the corporations being exploited to support Look-Look's agenda? The balance of the whole situation is hard to gauge. Is this a way to distribute corporate wealth to deserving artists and give new voices a forum to emerge? Or is it a way to sell more Pepsi? Both I suspect. Tread carefully in these waters. Risky but perhaps rewarding.

More soon.

extra bonus, can't quite figure out what this poorly named group is about, but the issues are similar and the spanking new Josh Davis created site is quite beautiful.

Posted by Abe at October 25, 2003 01:30 PM


here here on the murky waters...

i think your right to stave off criticism... selling things, fashion, art, trend, deitch projects, nike, "real", the gallery market, all seem like parts of a formula that is far more complex than just advertising=bad.

having gone to the el greco show yesterday i'm reminded once again of the patron/artist relationship that the church and advertising share... the same promise of salvation and the same reliance on the art maker to create a visual language around those ideas.

it seems like there is an existential hole we need artists to fill that existed before the industrial revolution one that reaches far beyond pepsi, advertising or any other human endeavor... murky waters indeed

honesty will help, darling thats all that i know.
your right about the band though, those kids rocked... XO L.

the only thing i really bother caring about is-

fawns. lot's of them.

every other point can be thrown into a melting pot of art versus commerce to be stirred so "carefully." or shall i say, always is stirred so carefully which is the reason everyone will continue to tip toe. -complex, cyclical vortex. -wait is that a band? lol

existentialism will always be in fashion...no pun and it is so tough to fit something like this into it's little box and place it marked on a shelf. i only hope this continues to be an open forum, a place to hide, a place to be out, a place to listen, a place to say fuck you....

cheers to that. oh, and the band too....rocked!

one question, why no Black Bloc kids in the mag? They're the ones taking the real risks nowadays...

and hi Anna! and is that you Leigh?

Look-look market research teens and their trends. They sit down with them, observe them, and “hunt” for the trend setters. Some believe there job is unethical, they get paid to take cool away from the kids and give it to advertising agents who put it on tv to sell items to kids. I feel they are doing nothing wrong. Our culture is always changing and new trends are started everyday. The teens that sit down with Dee know they are cool. They are willing to give there cool secrets away, and there peers still think they are cool. It is totally ethical form of marketing research.
I would never consider being a cool hunter like Miss Gordon. There are to many new, crazy, lush , and eccentric trends to keep with today I would not be able to keep the yesterday cool separated from the tomorrow's cools.

Where can I follow up for more information

Thanks for posting this

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