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The Viewer • Hand-picked video recommendations to surprise and delight you

Flea-Market, Tetris, Monobloc, Lolita, Nothing

Fine art detectives, the joys of Tetris, a ubiquitous chair, the philosophy of beauty, and the heat death of the universe.


The Mysterious Origins Of A Flea-Market Painting

The New Yorker | YouTube | 1st May 2020

Brooklyn hardware-store owner Peter Guppy's quest to ascertain whether a cheap flea-market painting that fell into his hands is actually the work of Russian Cubist icon Kazmir Malevich. If it is, he can flip $400 into tens of millions. However, this quest is difficult given the boarded-up nature of Soviet Russia. Lots of interesting tidbits included, like the process of microscopic brushstroke examination. Recalls the colorful panache of Wes Anderson (10m59s)


Tetris | Philosophy Of A Perfect Video Game

Gonz Media | YouTube | 2nd May 2020

A love letter to Tetris, which originated (as did the flea-market painting) from deep behind the Iron Curtain. Tetris is the chess of video games – it has very strict rules and a reduced number of variables, producing an infinite amount of possibilities during gameplay. "A real space invader that has never interacted with a human could probably play Tetris." Somehow very moving by the conclusion (2om13s)


How This Chair Conquered The World

Neo | YouTube | 27th April 2020  

The story of something simultaneously obscure and omnipresent – the Monobloc, a chair you have definitely sat in and probably dislike. "It is an object so ubiquitous that if you saw one laying around at a beach, you couldn't be sure whether someone brought it there or if it's flotsam from a different part of the planet." Breaks down the dispute over whether the chair represents peak market evolution or the pitfalls of globalization (7m31s)


Beauty In Ugly Times

Philosophy Tube | YouTube | 24th April 2020

How can we be creative when the world is falling apart? An intoxicating lesson in the philosophy of aesthetics, drawing from Nabokov's Lolita and Ada, perfume, Plato's Symposium and the world of haute couture. Ultimately, a vindication of in-the-moment beauty over the sublime. "Like perfumers, or blues musicians, or Van and Ada Veen, artists take a little piece of the ugly world and they hold it up and they find pleasure in it anyway." (42m55s)


Breathtaking Video Of The Week

Alan Watts narrates the inevitable spaghettification of Earth


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