Reactor

Required Reading

by Kyle Chayka on March 27, 2011

Brendan Scott Carroll's captioned Polaroids documenting New Jersey (image via beautifuldecay.com)

Every Sunday, we bring you a list of links from around the web. This is all the stuff we’re reading when we’re not writing stuff on the blog for you to read! Got that? This week pulls together video game criticizin’, magazine illustratin’, apartment decoratin’ and wine makin’. No matter what the topic, we’ve got you covered for weekend web hits.

From Kill Screen magazine comes a particularly insightful review of DIY RPG Space Funeral. This game’s set to a background of 70s Japanese post-rock and has the player fighting dreaded Squid Pirates. Yet writer Filipe Salgado takes it all seriously, dissecting the game’s aesthetic piece by piece.

Samantha Henig has a blow-by-blow explanation of how Christoph Niemann’s most recent New Yorker cover, a minimalist ink-brush tree losing nuclear-symbol leaves made from flower petals, came to be. Turns out, the first draft of the cover had a white background — too sunny for the magazine’s editors.

China’s JUE Music + Art Festival, held in Beijing and Shanghai, is kind of like the (far) eastern version of South By Southwest. Tech, indie bands, artists and youth collide in these cross-genre events, lasting from March 11 to April 3. Hyperallergic pal An Xiao will be there, will you?

In the New York Times, Holland Cotter writes on two exhibitions of medieval reliquaries. Reliquaries are a fascinating and oft-overlooked corner of art history that Cotter describes as “Facebook for saints.” To figure out why, you’ll have to read through.

Charting an interior decorating style much on display in our Brooklyn environs, Emily Weinstein tackles American Rustic with all the vintage club chairs and weird Adirondack furniture you could possibly want.

Over at The Rumpus, illustrator Wendy MacNaughton has a jaw dropping series of watercolors documenting a day in the life of winemaker Sean Thackrey. Luscious and sun-drenched, these drawings are pure Spring. They come accompanied by Thackeray’s own lovably gruff explanations. As a friend described it, MacNaughton makes “a picture book for adults.”

An eerie combination of nostalgia, Americana and paranoia, Brendan Scott Carroll’s captioned Polaroids document the people and places of New Jersey. Poetic, yet poignant and funny at the same time (pictured at top).

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning at 7am-ish EST, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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