Tag Archives: Urban Outlaw

Tuesday Video: Kaz: Pushing The Virtual Divide.

By Tim Smith

Tamir Moscovici will probably be familiar to you through his thirty minute documentary, Urban Outlaw. I liked that film. Most of us liked that film. But then I didn’t like it. My reasons were more to do with my politics than any aesthetic consideration. Indeed, Tamir’s film about Magnus Walker is pleasing both on the eye and the ear.

Kaz: Pushing The Virtual Divide is no different. I think it may be a little unfair to attack its lack of coherence, although it should be flagged, perhaps with an emphasis that this was a commissioned piece. Nobody woke up at the beginning of the project with some noble goal of making a film about art or life or machines. But, it does have its moments.

At one point Kazunori Yamamouchi is walking through a wooded area. He kicks a tree to dislodge the beetles that live high up in the branches. There is something significant about this.

Fairly early on, we meet the physicist/artist Robert J. Lang. While describing an origami fold-pattern he states,

‘It’s less than a blueprint, it’s more of the abstract essence’.

You can then watch him run this sentence back through his mind, take pleasure from it.

Bookending the main body of the piece is Dr Michael Gervais. The beginning opens with a short explanation of ‘flow state’. It is something that has stayed with me for the days and weeks after first watching it. Upon the third and forth watches, the note taking stage of this short review, it is his final statement that now sits inside of my thinking, fermenting:

‘The Creative expression, the ability to become so masterful at something, and so thoughtful in the basic elements of how it works, that’s when the artist in all of us can be expressed.’

And that, ladies and gentlemen is the very stuff of life.


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Urban Inlaw

First, and before we commence, I invite you to watch the linked video. It is fairly important to the points I am going to write for you.

Urban Outlaw came to prominance sometime last year, featuring heavily across the online motoring press. I was deeply impressed with it, I showed it to anyone who had the time to spend. All seemed impressed, all that is, until, one Tuesday evening, having consumed a bottle of wine and several Guinness between us, I  showed it to friend and sometimes mentor, Dr Martin Randall. His hostile reaction to the piece was surprising.

I thought on this for months, tried to write about it, failed. Weeks went on, I put on a bit of weight, work got hard for a bit, then easier, I broke up with a girlfriend, started running again, gave it up when it got too hot, made plans to move to Bristol, got drunk a little too much and started saving in earnest for a new car. Life, as it is, went on. Then, two weeks ago, while wading through David Foster-Wallace’s The Pale King I came across a chapter (sub-section) where three tax inspectors are stuck in a lift. One of them is trying to make a point about ‘civics’, about the relationship between citizen and society. His point peeks when he concludes with how he thinks consumerism will play out:

‘No, you’re missing the genius of it. It’ll all be played out in the world of images. they’ll be this incredible political consencus that we need to escape the confinement and rigidity of conforming, of the dead flourecent world of the office and the balance sheet, of having to wear a tie and listen to Muzac, but the corperations will be able to represent consumption patterns as the way to break out – use this type of calculator, listen to this type of music, wear this type of shoe because everyone else is wearing conformist shoes. It’ll be this era of incredible prosperity and conformity and mass-demographics in which all the symbols and rhetoric will involve revolution and crisis and bold forward-looking individuals who dare to march to their own drummer by allying themselves with brands that invest heavily in the image of rebellion. This mass PR campaign extolling the individual will solidify enormous markets of people whose innate conviction that they are solitary, peerless, non-communal, will be massaged at every turn.'(1)

I have, as you may know from an earlier post, already written a draft of this VOTW. That draft contained a breakdown description of the themes and language used in Urban Outlaw that move towards the point made above. That draft is gone. I am not going to repeat that process. I believe, as conscious individuals situated within a chattering community you can make those connections for yourself.

As things go, it is often best to leave a point with a quote followed by some elipses:

‘There’s not a lot of bearded, dreadlocked, tattooed Porsche guys out there… it is part of the mystique, here’s this cool guy that looks like a rock and roll homeless dude that people are not really sure about, but hey, he’s got some pretty cool bitchin’ Porsches that he restores and races…'(2)


1. Wallace, D.F (2012) The Pale King, 1st edLondon, Penguin Books, p148

2. Urban Outlaw (2012) Short Film, Directed by Tamir Moscovici, Toronto: MOS Media


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20/08/2013 · 15:22

Blog Fail

I apologise.

Today would have given you a new post, a post that would have shown you a new and interesting way of looking at Urban Outlaw.


I. Am. An. Idiot.

Instead of making sure that everything is backed up nicely, cutted (that is a word) and pasted to the general applause of all, I instead trusted my work to the ‘save’ draft option of WordPress.

Today’s work is gone.

Do you know what I did? Clearly, I’m going tell you.

I very nearly (although not from want of trying) reduced my router into tiny, as yet undiscovered, particles. I then proceeded to grab the foot of my very lovely iron framed bed and shake it until the wall it backs onto suffered from indentations here to for not impressed on that unblamed and unknowing wall before. I then played Aphex Twin loudly.

I proceeded to shout various unrepeatable words that, if the mood would take them, my neighbours, anyone who owns a working pair of ears who happened to walk up a nice looking street in spa Cheltenham, and possibly the lovely family of peregrine falcons who have take residence on that nice little church up the road could share with your possibly lovely and unblemished minds.

I then went down the pub where I consumed several pints of beer. And ogled the bar staff. I recommend The Railway.

I promise to bring you this full essay and report next week because, as it may have become clear by this point, I am now pissed.



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