Category Archives: culture

the rise and fall of IEDEI and the death of modern motoring culture.

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(above: NSU TTS rendering source: Virtual R)

I started IEDEI back in 2008 and launched it with the idea of it being an authentic, genuine, and soulful place to indulge in our hobby or motoring as well as everything else gentlemanly and wonderful.  IEDEI continued for many years and i met some wonderful people through the blog.  This blog was cited by much larger websites and media organizations and I continuously received emails from media companies asking me for content or about photos posted or just in general about the site.  I never sold out.  I never put shitty google ads on my pages.  I never tried to sell you anything.  I never wanted to bias anyone about anything all i wanted was a page to share my opinions, share my favourite photos, videos, ideas, designs, and possible future trends as well as lost historical beauties.  IEDEI was a PURE idea and remained pure from start to finish.  Towards the end, the blog had left motoring culture behind as i realised automobiles and motoring were wonderful for me but not something I wanted to write about anymore.

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Motoring culture on the web is completely DEAD AND DECOMPOSED.  When IEDEI was started there were no youtube vlogs, no silly and overdramatic Petrolicious videos, no 50 bazillion versions of Top Gear from every country that nobody watches.  There were some car forums where people shared common ground with other owners of the same cars they had.  There were a few videos around of any car you could think of; but not too many.  There were some mainstream blogs like Autoblog, Jalopnik, Bring-A-Trailer (which was already a propaganda site and has since become a crappy auction site just profiting off opportunistic selling of cars combined with market manipulation).  Back in 2008 motoring culture still had some imagination.  Something to live for…and it wasn’t part of the capitalism landscape it is now.  My friend Bradley, who ran Automobiliac launched at terrific watch company named Autodromo and when he launched it there weren’t scores of watch companies making race-inspired watches.  In fact I remember SCOURING the web looking for race inspired watches that were affordable and they were few and far between.  I used to sit with Bradley sipping on coffees and drinks and daydream about selling gloves and scarves and I remember even contacting a bag manufacturing company trying to find out how much it would cost to make an IEDEI branded racing bag.  It never happened….but it could have.  I used to wake up in the morning, check my friend Drew’s Motoring Con Brio site, check Bradley’s Automobiliac site, the fantastic Blenheim Gang site, check a few random automotive blogs for the latest news, and then go on with my day and move on to music, and science, and news, and art, and everything else i adore.  We went to car shows and meets and not every photo had to be hashtagged and trending.  We were not really involved with social media besides daily blogging.

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Fast forward to 2017.  Things are not pure. If you go to youtube you will find seas and seas of absolutely SHITE vlogs made by piles of NON-car people in order to make plenty of $$$ off subscribers.  I sometimes wonder if their subscription numbers are even real.  These vlogs are so monumentally terrible that i literally cannot make it through 1 minute without cringing endlessly and wanting to smash my laptop under the wheels of an oncoming garbage truck.  Superficial, shallow, gutless, clueless, vile, self-absorbed, useless hosts like Shmee150, Salomondrin, Seen Through Glass, Supercars of London, Joe Achilles, and the list goes on and on and on.  I’m not going to offers links for these clowns as i’d rather you not even watch.  I sometimes click on their videos just to laugh at the state of motoring culture.  How it died a vicious death and was given to the hands of idiots for control.  I recently read somewhere that these are the true influencers of motoring culture these days.  That’s the equivalent of saying that a Gonorrhea infection is the largest influencer on modern sex life.  To me, these idiots have no idea what motoring culture is about.  They don’t know motoring history, they don’t understand the context behind their conversations, and they are simply materialists who feel it’s trendy and profitable to be associated with automobiles.  They will fade away as fast as they arrived.  I will be glad to participate in their demise.  Occasionally i still click on a Harry Metcalfe or Chris Harris video and still find a video worth watching; but they are needles in a haystack of awfulness.  Where are the sites that actually teach you something? Or inspire you? Or have any sense of emotion or enthusiasm?  It doesn’t exist anymore.  Recently Clarkson et al. launched their absurd “Drivetribe” site which was supposed to a social network for motoring enthusiasts.  I joined and was repulsed by the mountains of regurgitated generic nonsense i found at every turn.  Has originality run out?  i believe so.

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Surely these shitclowns are not the only reason motoring culture died.  The manufacturers forgot how to build proper cars.  People became addicted to instagram and facebook and the manufacturers became addicted to making sure they understood that people’s priorities for driving were to be able to take selfies in cars and read the replies to their instagrammed selfies while they drive.  Hence piles of electronic nonsense were added into the car making it a glorified mobile phone; with people criticizing cars which didn’t come equipped with infotainment satisfaction.  Nevermind the driving experience just stuff a bunch of leather with some big screens and an ‘advanced’ torque converted 19 speed automative gearbox and be happy you can afford your $419 a month lease on your 2017 BMW 328 X Drive M-Sport Competition Pack Sport Pack pile of utter shit!   Audi are building, genuinely, some of the most uninspired and hideous crap imaginable.  Mercedes have cut sausages (literally) in different lengths and raise them, lower them, rebadge them, and shuffle them out of the factory.  Who is inspired these days?  Alfa Romeo have come back to the US with cars that look like a new Kia and are desperately trying to convince everyone that somehow they still matter. Y’know 10 years ago i would have eaten a bowl of my own boogers to drive a ‘new’ Alfa Romeo in the US; but now it seems I just don’t care.   Porsche 911 blah blah Cayman blah blah 4 bangers? Blah blah no thanks blah blah.  So how much is a proper Porsche?  Yeah that’ll be a cool $140k.  Utter nonsense.  Mini sells a range of a bazillion models with some of them that are 3500+ pounds in curb weight (what!?).  Saab is now dead.  Jaguar has no identity, and supercars are super super lame.

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I still want a Lancia Fulvia.  I still scream out in love for an Alpine A110 and Alpine A310. I still feel super dirty when i look at photos of an Alfa Romeo GTA-m.  I just recently bought a book about the unmistakably wonderful Lancia Hyena.  I feel that the best motoring culture is gone and in our history.   No I am not interested in your shitty Tesla Model 3X P44d superelectric 0-60 in 3.blahblah seconds with your 20 inch screen and 3000 pound battery.  I don’t want to drive a battery.  I am 41 years old and assuming i haven’t damaged my body too significantly i probably have a few years left.  For that time, i will drive whatever i want and won’t be force fed by the media or vlogs or any other shitty petrolicious video what i should be lusting for.   Elon Musk is a crusty salesman who makes a fool out of everyone with hyping his underwhelming company up every step of the way.  I would rather install bulldozers into my elbows than to drive a Tesla.  You will never see me in a Tesla.

This brings me to the horror show that is “vintage motoring culture”.  When i launched IEDEI there were very few sites celebrating the old school design and stories and photos with others.  I remember finding Petrolicious once, who used to steal my content in the early days and i wrote them an email telling them to fuck off and stop stealing my content.  Fast forward to 2017 and Petrolicious release the most cliched, full of nonsense ‘vintage’ car videos i’ve ever seen.  An abomination of what this culture became.  Did I play a part in this?  POSSIBLY.  I will, however pretend i didn’t because i can.   I can’t watch 20 seconds of a Petrolicious video without wanting to puke at the 3rd rate hollywood cinematography and generic piano music added for “atmosphere”.  Pukealicious more like it.

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(above: photo of BMW 2002 Turbos being built. Source: M Registry)

At this point you may thinking “oh this IEDEI tosser is a real bitter guy”….well bitter i am not.  Opinionated I AM deal with it!  I’m not going to fluff up my thoughts to please others.  My readers were always smart people with independent thoughts. That being said I still love motoring and i love my cars and i have some real great friends who will agree with much of what i think but are too nice to be so blunt about it.

Things i like about motoring culture in 2017:

  • Alpine is back! they should give me a new A110 for all the Alpine hype i generated.
  • Lancia is dead.  Fiat should be ashamed of themselves
  • Chris Harris is still cool.  For fuck’s sake he drives a BMW 1M.
  • My BMW 1M is the greatest car i’ve ever owned or driven.  Many smiles every mile
  • Underappreciated cars will always exist and i will find them.
  • Modern american muscle cars are much cooler than most european cars now.
  • There are still good people into motoring; but you won’t find them with hashtags.
  • Hatchbacks MAY be making a comeback to the US market (finally!)
  • Volvo is back making wonderful looking cars again.  “the new boxy” as i call it.
  • I wouldn’t mind buying a new Lincoln.  They are stunning.
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Will IEDEI ever come back?  yeah maybe when everybody else is gone….

Thank you to all the kind, honest, and interesting people out there.  I do miss interacting with many of you.  I hope you are happy and full of life.  Life is more interesting than any object or ‘scene’.

I still live in NYC and this is my 1M being used as it was intended to be used; as a motor car driven by a madman!

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IEDEI’s new daily driver.

yes a few months ago i picked up a bright Valencia Orange BMW 1M.  740 cars brought to the US market. Mine is #374.

I will be doing a full review and photo-post about the car at a later time.

All i can say for right now is:  It is the most fun car I have ever driven….the best car i have ever driven—and i’m still shocked that i own it and drive the pants off of it every single day.  Worthy of all the hype and more!  Live the dream, my rock and roll people!

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jagwar ma.

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Anyone who knows my musical history knows my own music as well as what influenced was DEEPLY entrenched in Madchester and the baggy sounds of the early 90s.  Jagwar Ma have recently brought back some of that bagginess with their debut album “Howlin”.  Well worth a listen and a purchase, in my opinion.

Jagwar Ma play Glasslands in Brooklyn on October 2nd.  I will be there.  Come say hello. 

“The Throw”

“Come Save Me”

 

 

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i8.

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There are very few automobiles which capture my attention, new or old, these days.  My interest in automobiles has faded aside from a few select cars which i’m always chasing.  i am, however, BLOWN AWAY by this car.  the fact that it is a production car that looks like a concept.  The fact that is totally a current car embedded with current technologies capturing the spirit of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ without copying anything else before it.  The fact that it’s the first hybrid sports car that is somewhat attainable  (still expensive though…at $135k USA price).  But most of all I love this car because it pushes and opens an envelope into the current times.  No retro here.  No celebration of the past.  The BMW i8 is a celebration of the future.

If i had the money…i’d order this and drive it every day!!

Forget 0-60 times (4.4 seconds here), forget curb weight (3200+ pounds here), forget cost for a second, forget the badge, forget the insane aero design features— this car is a pioneer and a real innovation in this realm.  It’s rare in these generic modern times of automotive engineering that we see a true beginning, but i have a feeling the i8 is the first of many coming in this realm.

(I don’t count cars like the Porsche 918, because of price and uber-exclusivity)

Live photos from Frankfurt (courtesy of greenCarReports)

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promo photos from BMW in Black:

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Videos:

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crashingWaves.

I have never been to Iceland, but i would like to go.  It doesn’t get much better than cold, oceans, ice, and snow.   This series of photos makes me feel like i’m standing right there.  Beautiful simplicity.  No material object could ever match it.

photos by Jan Erik Waider

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streetArt.

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I got my introduction to ‘street art’, as many people did, from Banksy and his extravagant street installations of art work—however it is important to remember that he is merely one of thousands of brilliant street artists across the world.  He happened to become famous, however street art is one of the newest and most exciting forms of art around.

I think what makes street art most fascinating is that it doesn’t exist in isolation (e.g. in a picture frame hanging from the wall).  It takes the best aspects of installations and art, and inserts them into a live setting where it can interact with its own surroundings and create something contextual, yet still enlightening.  I am a fan of learning how to see things differently; street art shows an alternative version of reality in the mundane, the every day, and the structures we take for granted.

To those into street art, some of these photos may be more ‘popular’ works seen, but i found them to be nicely compiled at this page on Memolition

 

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meditations.

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For the past few years—my favourite bands have all come from Sweden.  This week i’ve been listening to a lot of Holograms.  Their new record, “Forever”, was released this week.  Their 1st album was sort of a simple, straight forward affair—while the new album is darker, more complex, and dare i say Broder Daniel-influenced? (Broder Daniel is one of my favourite bands of all time).  They even titled the album “Forever”, just like Broder Daniel titled one of their records “Forever”. Hmm.

Holograms are playing 285 Kent Ave. on December 6th in Brooklyn.  you will find me there, lurking in a dark corner.

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The Monocle Guide To Better Living

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Just received this Monocle book entitled “The Monocle Guide To Better Living”.  If you’ve never read the magazine Monocle, then i would strongly advise you to pick up a copy.  For people such as me with an imagination that finds itself wondering about different places, ideas, people, and ways of living—Monocle is sort of like the ‘ultimate’ magazine of sorts.  It focuses on culture and society—but not in a way you would pick up from the news or from regular every day information outlets.  It focuses on the small details of things that really captivate and interest people such as myself.

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Monocle as a magazine is a challenging, but captivating read.  I have spent a few breezy minutes flipping through this book thus far and my only description would be to say that the book continues where the magazine leaves off—but with a more concrete and themed presentation.  Beautiful old-school yellow cover and binding and lovely matte pages.  400 pages.  Wonderful for my bookshelf.  Highly recommended.

ORDER HERE

 

 

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“Exit Through The Gift Shop”

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I watched this a while ago, but was for some reason reminded of it today when i saw an article about Banksy.  Most people have seen Banksy’s work somewhere at some time either in person or online or on a record cover…and didn’t even know it.  Whatever you think of him, he is definitely iconic!  This documentary is less about Banksy, and more about the scene around him and prominently the french guy who tried to make a documentary about Banksy! ha.

90 minutes well spent watching this though! HIGHLY recommended!

 

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Wilderness.

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Been listening to this all week….can never get enough Joy Division.

 

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‘The” icon.

Should the word “the” have an icon?  The same way “and” has an icon (&)?  Fascinating proposal by Australian Paul Mathis.  What do you think?  Here is his proposal for the icon (i think it’s lovely):

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src:  huh

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Pangea w/ borders.

What did the Earth look like 300 million years ago?

Well if we kept the current country borders, might it have looked like this?  Some fascinating new neighbours in this schematic!  I, personally, would love to go from Brooklyn to Morocco for dinner in the evening! ha!

Illustration by Massimo Pietrobon via bored panda

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murmur: a dialogue between a human and a wall.

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This is spectacularly cool.   Using technology, an interface has been made for people’s voice to be made into a physical entity and interact with a dynamic graphics display on the facing well.  What results is something I would really like to try.  A collaboration between multiple studios including Chevalvert, 2Roqs, Polygraphik, and Splank.  More details at Design Boom and make sure you watch the video at the bottom of this post to understand what this is all about!

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Video:

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structures and scaffolding.

wonderful series of illustrations by Atelier Olschinsky.

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unnamed soundsculpture.

This is beautiful and fascinating.

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by Daniel Franke and Cedric Kiefer:

The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating
a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For
our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by
Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was
recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the
images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud),
so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process.
The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the
digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts
to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the
performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the
random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering
a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality
of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer,
as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective.

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Studio Zimoun.

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These days i’ve been really appreciating installations.  As I enter my 2nd wave of minimalism (my original minimalism phase was back in 2000-2002 where i literally lived with nearly no possessions), the idea of specific isolation seems more important than absolute reduction.  These installations by Studio Zimoun are fascinating for the detail they transfer when a specific object is placed in an organized manner in a limited space.

src: minimalissimo

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history of typography.

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I am in love with fonts.  In a different life, i would sit in a studio all day designing fonts.   I am perpetually looking at fonts: on signs, on websites, in films, on cars, on badging, on artwork, in books, in magazines, old, new, ugly, beautiful—they just fascinate me!

Here’s a wicked and creative video flashing the history of typography in  5 minutes, by Ben Barrett-Forest:

src: huh

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TR6 and dog.

Came across this fantastic photo taken by Mark Thomas of a Triumph TR6 and a big dog….

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Screengrab.

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This is SUCH a cool video!

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fotografer: mario pucic.

I really dig these fotos by Mario Pucic.  The stark minimalism, the soft colours, the framing, and the sense of space.

to see more lovely fotografic adventures,  check out Mario Pucic’s Flickr

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The Boulevard.

“The Boulevard” by Gino Severini (c. 1911).  A part of the glorious Futurism movement.

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src:  jacobcharleswilson

 

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Gods are bored.

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I saw The Datsuns live several years ago in Chicago and they absolutely blew my mind.  Easily one of the finest live bands i’ve ever seen…..fierce and full of raw power.   If you have a chance to see The Datsuns play live…GO.

This past week….”Gods Are Bored” has been looping around my headphones.

In session:

here’s a clip of them playing “Gods are Bored” LIVE:

as a bonus, “Sittin Pretty” from the same show LIVE:

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