How the Company You’ve Never Heard of Made Technology What It is Today

Review of Simulmatics and the Advent of Data-Mining livestreamed via Town Hall Seattle

Written by Teen Writer Leyla Richter-Munger and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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It’s easy to look at the issues of modern technology— privacy, property, misinformation—and assume it’s all a product of the last ten or so years. Before then, it was all clunky computers and waiting for hours for a single file to download, so it’s logical to think many of the philosophical conversations we’re having about our current technological state must be solely unique to this very moment in time. Right?

That’s what Jill Lepore thought too, before she discovered the secret beginnings of all of this “how far is too far?” technology controversy with roots far earlier than she’d imagined. In her new book If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, the author and acclaimed professor of American history delves into the complex tale of the Simulatics Corporation of the early sixties and how it laid the groundwork for much of today’s technological and political landscapes. Through Town Hall Seattle, she and fellow historian Margaret O’Mara sat down over Zoom livestream to discuss her findings and further unpack just how influential this virtually unknown company truly was. Now, I went into this livestream having never heard of Simulatics, or the book, or even Lepore herself, and yet, I was hooked from the get go.

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The October Anthology

Teen Editorial Staff October 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Lily Williamson and Lucia McLaren

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Today, it seems as though nothing is united. The world is a chaotic, nuanced place as always. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing—our local arts venues are exploring how parts of a whole can be complementary, inspiring thought instead of confusion. Whether you’re desperate to know when your favorite show will be reopening or just want some fun art during this fall season, we hope our reviews will help you guide your October arts exploration.

If you’re looking for a true collection of short pieces, then there are plenty of events for you to choose from. There’s The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Rising Star Project’s 10 Minute Musicals, a collection of teen-produced and teen-inspired musicals; Pacific Northwest Ballet kicking off their first online season with excerpts from classic dances like Swan Lake in Rep 1; and Hugo House’s Spotlight Poetry, a show with visiting poets Julia Guez and Tess Taylor. Each of these events provides a plethora of diverse topics, all within the same medium.

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Temporary Occupancy: “Isolation During a Time of Isolation”

Review of Temporary Occupancy at ArtsWest

Written by Teen Writer Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Teen Editor Triona Suiter

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A woman talks to her dead partner, and a man takes an LSD trip that borders on insanity and self-awakening; both of which are a part of the shared experience of Temporary Occupancy, an intimate outlook presented as exploring “isolation during a time of isolation.” It’s a piece that navigates the boundaries of transient living at a time where we all long for something that is more concrete. Based on its claims to “offer us an escape from the confines of our own mind,” I truly expected to be transported to a nether dimension somewhere on my computer screen. Because of the unsettling revelations about loneliness and loss, paired with how the characters interact with the hotel space, I certainly was. As the ensemble acts out the raw, realistic silhouettes of everyday people in a hotel room, you can truly see why this show of pandemic-era theater excels.

Originally intended to be performed live in a Miami Beach Hotel, Temporary Occupancy has been adapted by Philadelphia immersive theater company Die-Cast, in partnership with ArtsWest, to adhere to a more relevant, COVID-centered experience. With the utilization of cameras and technology to convey personal and heart-wrenching experiences to the audience, viewers can engross themselves in the at-home experience by taking an intake questionnaire with the front desk or messaging with an ominous man named Jude. These technical tools are part of the Vicurious Boutique, a special boutique that is the central idea of Temporary Occupancy. It is a simulation-centered, RPG-like interface that allows you to reach within yourself without feeling the negative effects of it on your mental psyche. By offering things like soothing background music to calm you while you take your intake exam and frequent consultation with the front desk, Temporary Occupancy effectively simulates a hotel room without the in-person experience.

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Getting Into Good Trouble

Review of John Lewis: Good Trouble at SIFF

Written by Teen Writer Carolyn Davis and edited by Teen Editor Lucia McLaren

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The documentary Good Trouble, hosted by SIFF, is a skillfully told biography of the iconic civil and human rights activist John Lewis. With a heart of gold and the courage to stand up for his nation, Lewis urges us not to stay quiet, but to get in “good trouble, necessary trouble,” which he says will “redeem the soul of America.” The cinematography in this documentary is unique in that it shows both footage from the current day and the 1960s. Lewis himself said he was seeing footage he had never seen before. The film was an excellent representation of the Civil Rights era, as well as the heroes of that time. It was focused on Lewis’ life, but also incorporated the lives of others who impacted him and the change we see today.

The way the film highlights non-violence is very impactful to me because it is about getting into “good trouble.” The fact that peaceful marches and sit-ins get the most screen-time shows how the movement for the lives and rights of Black people has always been peaceful—whether it was the March on Washington in 1963 or the Black Lives Matter marches today. Photo Credit: Magnolia Pictures

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Welcome to the Moulin Rouge!

Review of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!
Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Disha Cattamanchi and edited by Teen Editor Mila Borowski

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It’s a dark night—so dark that the clouds seem to eat the stars. Yet, you stumble forward until you are in front of a scarlet windmill and a towering elephant. It’s a place where the bohemians revel in their ways of truth, beauty, freedom and love. Where men gaze upon the layers of frills and ruffles that dress the can-can dancers. You can hear the singing of “Sparkling Diamonds” and a heartfelt love ballad echoing throughout the night. Welcome to the glamorous Moulin Rouge!, a romantic drama that follows the poet Christian (Ewan McGregor) and Moulin Rouge courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman) in their attempt to conceal their love from Satine’s suitor, the Duke (Richard Roxburgh). Directed and written by Baz Luhrmann, this jukebox musical exceeded expectations when it came to the production of movie musicals.

Those who have watched Moulin Rouge! fall into one of two groups; they either love it or hate it. Ever since I first watched this whimsical drama, I fell in love with the costumes and characters. But above all, this movie’s use of editing and cinematography is what makes it great. Jump cuts and fast panning shots are frequent throughout the first act. These shots feel psychedelic with their haphazard movement through velvet curtains, waves of ornate dresses, and drunk men. The cinematography captures the Moulin Rouge’s eccentricity, an aspect that contrasts with newcomer Christian’s lifestyle; the Moulin Rouge is truly unlike anything the aspiring poet from England has ever seen. During his arrival, we see the Moulin Rouge as Christian sees it: a flamboyant dreamland of vivid colors. The jarring cuts that capture his experience ease up as the film progresses and Christian gets used to the Moulin Rouge’s outlandishness, though the eccentricity does not lessen. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge! (2001) Photo by Sue Adler, 2001 - 20th Century Fox - All Rights Reserved

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An Ode to Childhood, Memory, and Fatherhood

Review of Our Time Machine at NW Film Forum

Written by TeenTix Newsroom writer Yoon Lee and edited by Teen Editor Mila Borowski

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The first scenes when watching Our Time Machine are of shadow puppets, held up to a light against a translucent screen. The warm, gentle light filtering through the yellowing paper; the lifelike, flowing movements of the son puppet pedalling on a bicycle as his aging father chases after him; the soft glow highlighting the son in bed; the tinkling of toys and bikes; this whole opening oozes of nostalgia, the memories of being a child. Much like Papa’s Time Machine, the play this scene is taken from, this movie is an ode to a child’s memories of his father.

Directed by Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang, and Shuang Liang, (and produced by Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang), Our Time Machine follows an artistic photographer, Ma Liang (Maleonn) on a journey to create, fund, and ultimately perform his play Papa’s Time Machine, a tribute to his father who is ailing from Alzheimer’s disease. Our Time Machine is a phenomenal movie. Most documentaries are built on going from one idea or fact to the next. In the context of the genre this is not a bad thing, documentaries are meant to convey information in an understandable manner to an audience. However, Our Time Machine is unique in how it is built like a true movie. It has unique pacing and plot points that keep you interested in the story of Maleonn as he struggles to create and fund his project as a tribute to his father. The sampling of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage are deliberate and well-used. Not a single scene is unnecessary. For example, there is a scene in the latter half of the movie where Maleonn's parents are moving to a retirement home. This is payoff to an earlier scene with Maleonn wishing to buy a house for them, but his mother expressing how she is being overwhelmed by his father’s deteriorating state. There is a scene where the mother and father are in a car, and the mother is declaring their moving to the home. Although short and without explicit dialogue, one can feel the emotion behind the scene. In addition, there are many scenes without explicit emotional reconciliation, and are upsetting emotionally; these examples demonstrate how reality is unkind, and oftentimes unforgiving. Maleonn with bird puppet. Photo credit: Maleonn Studio

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Don’t F**k With Cats Is a Brilliant Documentary That Never Should Have Been Made

Review of the Netflix documentary Don't F**k With Cats

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Valentine Wulf, and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Content Warning: This review contains description of murder and animal violence. Not recommended for younger readers.

2010. A video appears on Youtube titled “1 boy 2 kittens.” In the video, a man in a blue jacket, the hood obscuring his face, places two kittens on the ugliest wolf blanket you ever did see. He pets them briefly, before placing them in a vacuum bag. He attaches the vacuum to the bag. He turns the vacuum on. The internet loses its mind. After all, as internet sleuth Baudi Moovan said herself, “There’s one unwritten rule on the internet. Don’t f**k with cats.” The Netflix documentary, aptly named Don’t F**k With Cats, covers the story of the kitten killer and the scramble to catch him before he makes the leap from killing cats to killing humans.

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A NFFTY Artist Feature

Interview with filmmakers from the 2020 NFFTY Film Festival

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Kyle Gerstel and edited by Teen Editor Eleanor Cenname

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Barb Hoffman just wanted to draw on clouds. Now, her film, What We See in the Clouds, is up for a jury nomination at NFFTY, the largest youth film festival in the world. This week, I had the privilege to speak with her (virtually) as well as the young artistes behind God is a Lobster, another film debuting at the festival, to discuss their experience making films safely in the age of COVID-19. Let’s see what they’ve been up to:

In Hoffman’s What We See in the Clouds, she has her friends describe what they see in various pictures of—you guessed it—clouds. Then, Hoffman expresses the descriptions visually by drawing on top of the images, blurring the line between reality and imagination. Essentially, she crafted a cloud-centric Rorschach Test and conveyed her results through mixed-media animation. She chose this technique because “telling stories with actual imagery that we’re used to, plus images on top of it gives [the film] a sense of magical realism that I’m very intrigued in seeing.”

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Lost in Lasers: The PacSci Laser Dome

Review of Pacific Science Center Laser Dome

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Linda Yan and edited by Teen Editor Anya Shukla

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Built in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome—or the Spacearium, as it was known at the time—is the world's oldest operating laser dome. Standing at 105 feet long and 100 feet wide, it is also the world’s largest. Its recent upgrade to a new laser system with nine Rainbow FX laser projectors, which helps create a more vivid and full experience, also makes it the Laser Dome with the greatest number of permanently installed full-color lasers in America.

The Laser Dome’s mesmerizing laser shows are created by the beams of photons shot out by specially made laser diodes. Prior to the laser upgrade, the PacSci had used gas lasers, which produced beams of bright light with carbon dioxide and compounds of noble gases that were regulated by electrical currents. However, the PacSci’s current lasers operate in a manner similar to that of an LED light, but at a far higher intensity. The Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome, photo courtesy of Pacific Science Center.

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Announcing the TeenTix Arts Podcast!

Listen up to find out “What’s on TAP” in the TeenTix Arts Podcast!

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We are thrilled to announce our very first podcast, the TeenTix Arts Podcast! A team of three Press Corps teens have been hard at work for months, (both pre and post-COVID!) to bring you this three-episode series. Stay tuned to hear "What's on TAP" as Ava, Huma, and Katherine go behind the scenes with TeenTix Partner Mirror Stage about their production, Expand Upon: Gun Control. You’ll hear from the Mirror Stage playwrights, actors, and director as we release one episode every Thursday, for the next three weeks. The podcast will be available to stream for free on TeenTix's Soundcloud and YouTube channels. Be sure to follow us on both platforms for the latest updates!

To find out more about Mirror Stage check out their website or listen to their podcast, and be sure to make your calendars for Expand Upon: Gun Control, October 3-4, and 10-11, on Zoom! Episode 1:

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Announcing the 2020/2021 Teen Editorial Staff!

Meet the leaders of the TeenTix Newsroom!

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TeenTix is proud to announce the 2020/2021 Teen Editorial Staff. This year's Teen Editorial Staff (TEDS) is comprised of six teens: Anya Shukla, Eleanor Cenname, Lily Williamson, Lucia McLaren, Mila Borowski, and Triona Suiter. The TEDS are the leaders of the TeenTix Newsroom, and work to curate reviews and arts coverage for the TeenTix blog. Teen Editorial Staff members decide which TeenTix Arts Partners' events to cover each month, write an editorial about their curatorial choices, and assign Newsroom writers to review each event. TEDS members interface with TeenTix Arts Partners to set up press tickets for each review, and edit all Newsroom writing before it is published on the TeenTix blog. The Teen Editorial Staff is a group of skilled writers, editors, and leaders, who keep the pulse of the TeenTix Press Corps and the Seattle arts scene.

Statement from this year's Teen Editorial Staff: “The goal of the Teen Editorial Staff is to promote our local Arts Partners while amplifying the perspectives of the next generation of arts patrons. The TeenTix Newsroom fosters arts journalism by teens, for teens. We are dedicated to elevating youth voices and encouraging them to think critically about the arts and media they consume.” About the Teen Editors Anya Shukla

Anya (she/her) is a 12th grader at Lakeside School, where she sings acapella and writes for the newspaper. She joined TEDS to support teens interested in arts criticism and find others who love writing just as much as she does. Beyond the Newsroom, Anya also serves on the TeenTix New Guard and is the co-founder of The Colorization Collective, an organization that supports teens artists of color. Eleanor Cenname

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A Socially Distant September

Teen Editorial Staff September 2020 Editorial

Written by Teen Editorial Staff Members Anya Shukla and Triona Suiter

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This is a strange time for the arts world. Art is a community effort, a group-bonding experience… yet right now, we’re all watching these pieces in separate locations, isolated and alone. We hope our reviews provide the connective tissue between your viewing experiences and someone else’s—a chance for you to reflect on artwork alongside our writers. If nothing else, we’ll offer you arts recommendations to brighten your socially distant September.

If you want to get dressed up, grab some snacks, and make the most of your at-home viewing with pieces that would have been shown physically in any other year, then sit down to watch Pacific Science Center’s online footage of Laser Dome 360, Whim Whim’s XALT, or NFFTY 2020. Extra points if you bring $5 and your TeenTix pass!

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Am I Totally Buggin’?

Review of Clueless

Written collectively by the Teen Editorial Staff

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This year's Teen Editorial Staff spent an evening watching the film Clueless, and brushing up on their review writing as they prepared for the launch of the 2020/2021 TeenTix Newsroom. Read on to hear what today's teens think of the '90's teen classic! ANYA

One could argue that the film’s haphazard plot structure serves to emulate Cher’s ditziness. Unfortunately, her character also confuses me. Near the beginning of the movie, Cher holds up a test to a picture of her mother, who died during a routine liposuction, and cheerfully says, “98 in geometry; pretty groovy, huh?” Cher is smart enough to get 98% of her answers correct… and she uses words like “impotent” and “capricious” in her everyday speech. But, at the same time, her logic leaves much to be desired in her other classes; she thinks her El Salvadorian housekeeper speaks Mexican. There’s a distinct disconnect here that is left unexplained. How can Cher be a brainiac but at the same time be so utterly clueless? How can she be logical enough to write proofs in geometry, but fail to structure a coherent argument in debate??

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Calling Teen Artists of All Disciplines!

Apply to have your work featured at the 2020 Teeny Awards!

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This year, TeenTix is offering an opportunity for teen artists to present their work in a virtual showcase at the Teeny Awards Ceremony on October 10 and 11. This is an incredible opportunity for teen musicians, dancers, visual artists, creative writers, and more to take the stage and perform for their peers and TeenTix Partner organizations.

In addition to featuring teen artists’ work at the Teeny Awards, TeenTix will showcase their art online after the event. Applications are due by Sunday, September 13. Apply here! Email [email protected] for more information.This project was supported, in part, by an award from 4Culture.

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Introducing Art as Activism: TeenTix Summer Sessions

Join TeenTix for a series of workshops on how art can be an act of resistance, of protest, and of activism.

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Join us for a series of FREE online TeenTix workshops exploring how art is a powerful tool for activism and the fight for racial justice. Each Summer Session will focus on a different genre of art including theater, dance, and performance art. You’ll learn about the history of social justice movements and how art has played a role in both the past and present movements.

Use the links below to sign up for individual workshops, or all three! Theater as Protest with Jasmine Mahmoud

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Left of Revolution

Review of the Left at London Live Concert at KEXP

Written by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras and edited by Press Corps Teaching Artist Ma'Chell Duma

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Pointed, sarcastic, political, trans, Left at London, the stage name of musician and comedian Nat Puff, is a leftover gem of the Tumblr generation, what happens when the formerly silenced of us get a platform and a little bravery. With little effort, she’s remained stuck in my head ever since I heard the fated words, “nobody asked for this and nobody wants this, but here’s 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in a major key!” At the risk of sounding too much like a “kids these days be on the internet” kind of statement maker, Left at London, her music mixed with her brazenly political Twitter and effortlessly hilarious Tik Tok, has formed the perfect storm of persona.

Left at London’s KEXP concert represents a small and tender piece of the puzzle of her as a performer. Channeling the legacy of punk girls with sparse and biting lyric the likes of Le Tigre or Sleater-Kinney, Left at London is a force armed with a laptop and a guitarist. Dressed in a painted jumpsuit and glitter, Left at London is a reminder of all Seattle punk should be: loud, a little messy, political, and mostly, unapologetic.

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Calling Teen Artists of Color!

Apply to a Summer Arts Mentorship and have the opportunity to show your artwork!

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Are you interested in creating art under the guidance of a professional mentor? Would you like to showcase your work at a local, teen-led arts event? This is the opportunity for you!

TeenTix is excited to announce its collaboration with The Colorization Collective, a teen-led organization which promote diversity in the arts, to present a Summer Arts Mentorship opportunity as part of this year’s Teeny Awards. Teen artists of color are invited to apply to the Summer Arts Mentorship to have the opportunity to workshop or create a new work with the guidance of a professional artist/mentor of color. Teens will work within a cohort of peers and receive individual feedback and guidance from their mentors over a five week period. Their artwork will then be showcased at the Teeny Awards on October 10-11, 2020. This is a great way for teens to better their craft, build connections in the arts community, and present their art! Applications are open now: APPLY HERE!

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A Unifying Jazz Experience

Review of Duende Libre presented by Town Hall Seattle and Earshot Jazz

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Mila Borowksi and edited by Teen Editor Tova Gaster

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My experience with jazz, or any music where vocals take a backseat to instrumentals, is extremely limited. Before attending this event, my exposure to jazz had mainly consisted of the soundtrack to La La Land and the songs played by my school’s jazz band between long orchestral performances. While my newness to the genre did not lessen my appreciation for the Duende Libre Trio’s performance, none of my previous experiences were able to aptly prepare me for such a musical journey.

Presented by Earshot Jazz and Town Hall Seattle, Earshot listed Duende’s inspiration as including “Afro-Cuban Jazz to Brazilian Samba.” The result was a creative and authentic concert that was exciting to behold. This jazz band truly explored the vastness of the many cultures they draw from through their own melodies, and produced a work that displayed their creative talent. Unfortunately, the health concerns that we are all too familiar with resulted in this concert being performed in a livestream format, affectionately referred to as a “digital stage.”

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Community Art in COVID Times

Written by TeenTix Newsroom Writer Joshua Caplan and edited by Teen Editor Kendall Kieras

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Historically, art has been used to interpret surroundings, and reflect those surroundings back to us in an encouraging, enlightening, or thought provoking way. This type of art allows for introspection, discussion, and a sense of resonance. A more immediate type of art, without a topical focus, can simply please the aesthetic part of our minds, distracting from the gloom of our surroundings and ourselves. A chance encounter with art, in these distressing and occasionally dull times, can add a small pocket of reflection or joy to one’s day.

In this period of pandemic and glaring inequity, creativity has flourished in many corners. When businesses were forced to close to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and board up their windows to protect their vacant properties, Seattle-area visual artists saw these expanses of plywood as an opportunity to create community-centered public art..

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