“What? You’ve Never Heard of ____?? ”

Five Significant People You Should Know To Impress Your Indie Culture-Climbing Elitist Friends

By Jefferson Sporn

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Known to cinephiles as “Joe,” this Thai director is one of today’s best and most innovative artists, blending the many diverse aspects of Thailand with a penchant for meditation and ethereality. Few directors have ever been able to capture the universe’s chaotic beauty as well as “Joe.”
Where to start?
His movie Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the top prize at the 2010 Cannes Festival. It’s one of the most beautiful and fascinating films of the last 10 years.

Pauline Oliveros
An accomplished accordionist and composer, few people have made a bigger impact in electronic classical music than Pauline Oliveros. She is best known for her concept of “Deep Listening,” an innovative way of listening to not just music but also the world around you.
Where to start?
“Bye Bye Butterfly” is a 1965 piece that deconstructs Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, through a tape-loop improvisation. It’s hands-down one of the coolest pieces of electronic music, ever.

Doug Wheeler
Probably my favorite living artist, Doug Wheeler’s art cannot be seen; it must instead be experienced. His most famous artworks are his “infinity environments,” site-specific installations featuring a light-saturated, all-white, rounded room with no corners or sharp angles, rendering one unable to fix their eyes on any definable surface. The room looks like it could go on forever. It’s a disorientating experience, but one like no other.
Where to start?
As said before, his art must be experienced first-hand. His art is held in many major contemporary art museums, including MOCA in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim in New York.

John Zorn
When it comes to experimental jazz music, few artists have been as prolific and acclaimed as saxophonist John Zorn. His massive oeuvre mixes genres as diverse as blues, hardcore punk, contemporary classical, extreme metal, and klezmer.
Where to start?
The 1988 album Spillane jumps from one musical genre to another to create a narrative akin to the musical equivalent of a film noir.

John Berryman
A central member of the “Confessional poetry” school, Berryman’s intensely — and often uncomfortably — personal poems often deal with topics such as alcoholism, deep depression, and suicide. His poetic voice is like no one else’s.
Where to start?
Considered his magnum opus The Dream Songs follow a lonely, depressive character “Henry.” The poems, despite often being abstruse, are, when taken as a whole, beautiful and deeply affecting.

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