Thursday, 7 August 2014

The “ART” of the Internet

by Stephanie Muir         

For many college-aged students, surfing the web is both a veritable skill and treasured past time. While you can attempt to find the bottom of your News Feed (It doesn’t exist — I’ve tried!), you can also use these skills to “peruse” the collection of your favorite museum. Nothing compares to seeing a work of art in person, but some amazing initiatives exist that combine art and technology in ways revolutionizing how we access visual art. Far from your typical museum website, these projects demonstrate a commitment to public education by providing inventive opportunities for personal discovery. It doesn’t matter if you’re an art history expert or know nothing about the subject, the following websites promise hours of enjoyment to anyone with an Internet connection and a sense of curiosity:
Google Cultural Institute

The Google Cultural Institute makes available online cultural exhibitions through its partnerships with a variety of arts institutions and heritage organizations. Within the institute, the Google Art Project publishes extremely high-resolution photographs organized for maximum browsing potential. Zoom in to see textures and brushstrokes not easily visible to the naked eye. You can also use the site’s compare feature to simultaneously contemplate works located in, say, Italy and Brazil (and basically defy the limitations of time and space, nbd).
Just as Google Maps’ Street View famously enables users to view panoramic images of streets around the world, the Google Cultural Institute employs similar technology to allow users to virtually visit a number of cultural sites and institutions. Check out the Taj Mahal in 360-degrees or use Museum View to virtually walk through the galleries of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. No longer must art viewed on the Internet be removed from its architectural context or separated from the surrounding works with which it converses.   

Source: Google Cultural Institute


With a collection of over 140,000 artworks, similarly commits to making art accessible to the masses. Partnered with over 1,800 galleries and over 250 museums/institutions, Artsy seamlessly brings together the cutting edge and the historical via fresh editorial content and extensive archives. You can even buy original works off the site and start your very own collection. The site’s real gem, however, is the Art Genome Project headed by Matthew Israel ’99. Often compared to Pandora Radio, the “recommendation engine” enables you to find art similar to what you already like by categorizing works and placing them in an easy-to-use format.



In my opinion, posts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Instagram account can easily be considered works of art themselves. From #tbt posts depicting crowded, early 20th century gallery walls to their recent #emptymet campaign, technology is allowing users to see the museum in ways otherwise impossible. Better yet, since the posts automatically enter your feed, following @metmuseum ensures you have an art-filled day with little to no effort on your part.  

And the Met’s not alone; art museums, auction houses and artists alike now run Instagram accounts regularly giving followers behind-the-scenes information and updates. A highly visual medium, Instagram proves to be perfect for sharing visual art.

Source: @metmuseum on Instagram

So what do you think?  Does viewing art this way detract from the experience or do these projects mark an exciting new era of open access in the arts?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Kind of Girl

After being sent Pitchfork’s interview with Greta Kline there was a lot of me talking to myself saying, “Yes, okay so how do I be her? How do I be her best friend? She’s the coolest. That girl rules.” The final No-ViCE show answered my prayers and featured Frankie Cosmos, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Thea Ballard, and Del Water Gap. It was all happening.

I was initially magnetized to her because there was someone playing great music that looked like me. When I was little, I thought I would turn 20 and look like Beyoncé. I’m still little and will never look like Beyoncé. It’s comforting and encouraging looking up to someone I can relate to.

Frankie Cosmos vocalizes a lot of the Ping-Pong thoughts bouncing in our heads. Zentropy is delivered to us in a trinket box. Each bauble inside is something different to the listener. It’s like listening to the diary you wish you wrote.

I knew that Greta and her band would have a distinctive style with plenty of personal narrative. So I Facebook messaged Frankie Cosmos (as professionals do) and Greta charmingly accepted.

I met Greta and her band outside of the Mug on the backdoor steps. We sat down outside and after introducing ourselves we got serious about Frankie Cosmos’ passion for fashion.

Click below to see photos from the show.


“Ryan Holguin”
I feel like there is a certain point when you’re little and you realize you want to look a certain way. What point was that? When did you start dressing yourself?

Greta Kline
”Frankie Cosmos”
I actually was not little when that happened. I honestly just wanted to wear my brother’s clothes throughout high school and past that and then I made this friend. These two friends. Leonie and Joanna who are just really fashionable and they’re from Germany and they came to America with just like suitcases overflowing with amazing clothes. And my friend Joanna was like, “You could just wear a costume and be like a different person everyday. And I always think about that. That inspires my uh, my passion for fashion. Ron?

Aaron Maine
”Ronnie Mystery” or “Ron”
I guess I’ve always been picky. My mom said I used to just do this little finger test when I was younger for the material and say like “no” or “yes.” I mean, I don’t know when I started dressing myself. I don’t know. Maybe I was, I was in fourth grade or third grade or fourth grade or something.

Gabrielle Smith
”Gabby Teardrop”
I think I started dressing myself when I was in third grade. Because I got this like velour—no—ya, a crushed velvet like blue leopard print suit [laughs] that I wore like every day for the second half of third grade. So that’s when I started dressing myself.

Greta: That’s awesome.

David Maine
”David Mystery”
Um, I’d say like early college. I started buying my own clothes. Before my mom would just like take us to Kohl’s and I didn’t really care but then I had some cool new friends in college [Half-sarcastically] And I had to get skinny jeans to fit in with them. So…

Greta: Where’d you go to get the cloooothes, David?
David: Oh, was that the question?
Me: Ya, sure!
Greta: I wanna know
David: Dude, Levi’s all the way and then Uniqlo. And then Starbucks.
Greta: We’re sponsored by Starbucks by the way. If you could just add that.
Ron: Ya we have to plug
Greta: Ya we have to plug stuff in about how we’re sponsored
Me: Wait, are you guys serious?
Greta; No no
Ron: No
Ryan: Okay, I was just like “I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that”
Greta: We like to lie about sponsorship. If you could just put that we’re sponsored by [laughs] Starbucks.
Aaron: David gets his jeans from Starbucks.
Greta: David is inspired by the fashion scene surrounding Starbucks.
Me: Barista scene.
Greta: Ya totally.

Me: Okay, do you guys have any style influences? I know like being in the city you have fashion week and every day is like a fucking fashion show. Any style influences?

Greta: I would say the movie Clueless
Aaron: Ya, I would just say looking around in New York. Like all sorts of fashion.
Gabby: Uh, Starbucks… [laughs]
Greta: [laughs]
Gabby: I think… Actually, Greta is a big one
Greta: Shut. Up. Gabby.
Gabby: It’s, it’s true!
Greta: Come on! You’re my idol.
Gabby: And also, Susanna.
Greta: Yeah, Susanna honestly since I was like in eighth grade is my fashion icon probably
Gabby: Susanna is our friend who looks amazing even on days when she isn’t going to leave the house. She just looks so good.
Greta: When I laid eyes on her I was like, “I’d like to wear a dress sometime.” I saw her and I was like, “Maybe I could wear a dress one day!”
Gabby: Me too! That’s exactly what I thought.
Greta: And be cool. Yeah, she’s definitely an icon. I had a couple of friends like that.
David: I’d say my bro… Aaron.
Aaron: Oh, no. Don’t! Stop!
David: I dunno. My friends in college. Leon Fraun. Very fashionable guy. Starbucks. That’s it.
Me: Just Starbucks.
Greta: The Starbucks logo
Aaron: Such nice colors.

Me: So how has your style changed through touring? Are there any things that you gotta bring every day?

Gabby: On our last tour I brought so much clothing and I only wore like one shirt and one pair of pants like every single day.
Greta: I changed every day. Oh no I didn’t
Aaron: You wore tights every day.
Gabby: Ya you wore the same outfit.
Greta: No but I changed my shirt every—no actually what I did do I would wear an outfit two days in a row and then change.
Aaron: You wore the Scooby-Doo pants every single day.
Gabby: They were Joe-cool.
Greta: They were Joe-cool.
Aaron: I’m just sayin’
Greta: But I only own like one pair of pants. I just changed like my shirt. Cause it’s stinky to wear the same shirt.
Gabby: I always get shirts from the bands we play with and that replaces what I thought I would wear.
Greta: Yeah and you end up with a really heavy suitcase.
Gabby: Yeah!
Aaron: We go to like Salvation Army if we have hours to kill.
Greta: My go-to tour packing thing is just like definitely more underwear than days that we’re gonna be away and also I—I always wanna wear—I always bring three pajama shirts that I know I can also use as a face towel. Like that’s actually how I think of it like, “Oh I’ll bring this soft shirt so I can wipe my face with it every night.” It’s really weird but that’s how I pack. Ya it’s sort of a fashion influence. Ron? Ronnie picked up these glasses on tour.
Aaron: Yeah I like going to try to find a thrift store if there’s time to kill.
[. . .]
I just feel like on tour you have more of an excuse to be adventurous with what you’re wearing cause you are going to a new place every day and maybe finding new clothes and people expect to—you know, you already look kind of crazy cause you’re driving around and stuff. But it’s funny going back to New York. It’s like every piece of clothing has a different meaning in that context. There’s like such a weird unspoken code of what to wear whereas if you’re in Ohio you can like you know, wear absolutely anything and look totally crazy.
Greta: Also, you have no friends with expectations of what you’re gonna look like whereas when you’re in somewhere like Ohio. You’re not going to run into someone and them be like, “Whoa! Weird shirt,” which happened the day we got back to New York.
Gabby: But it also changes depending on whether it’s cold on tour. On the first tour we did, I only wore like those fleece leggings with those socks and this really huge t-shirt. That was like my whole outfit the entire time.
Greta: Cause you thought it was going to be warmer I feel like.
Gabby: Well because that’s like the best thing to put things on top of. So I just kept like—but then this tour I got to be a little bit—well I guess I did just say I wore one outfit for this tour too so maybe I should just own it.
Greta: Ya, I feel like I was trying to be like versatile, I was trying to bring versatile clothing. Because it was April I was like, “Well it could be freezing or it could be warm like burning hot so I’ll just bring shorts and like this long johnny type pants and wear them under the shorts on days when it’s not hot.” And then it was cold every day so I was very Joe-cool pants every day under shorts. That is true, okay I forgot. Anyway. Alright next question. Uh “my client will take the next question.”

Me: What is something you would never wear?

David: Uuhh, so many things. Colors, that aren’t grey or blue. Blue is pushing it. Shoes. I can’t wear most shoes. I’ve been trying to find a new pair of shoes, that I do not hate, for the past three months.
Me: What shoes are you wearing now?
David: These are—I borrowed these from Aaron cause I had my work sneakers on that I was too embarrassed to wear out. Cause I’m a freak! And I can’t pick out shoes so…
Greta: They’re a little too colorful for you David.
David: They’re black. Black on black. Too much color. So ya, just shoes. And colors.
Greta: Gabby? What would you never wear?
Gabby: Um, I would never wear a tube top. I like… That’s so freaky to me. [Laughs] I can’t deal with that. I think that’s it. I think I would wear most other things.
Aaron: I never wear yellow.
Gabby: Well, I wouldn’t wear fur either.
Aaron: Hmm.
Gabby: Cause that’s like… That’s gross.
Greta: I feel like for me it’s just like anything itchy. I would just never wear anything itchy. Ever. But especially not a feather boa. [Laughs] When you say “What would you not wear” like feather boa cause it’s not comfortable! And cause it’s creepy.
Me: I love when you can’t tell if a skirt is a tube top or a tube top is a skirt.
Greta: Oh I know. Oh my god.
Gabby: But then you put it on and then it’s obviously a tube top.
David: Also, a fedora.
Gabby: Ya, I would never.
Greta: None of us.
Me: Ya, all around.
Greta: The one thing none of us would ever wear: A yellow fedora.
Me: Fashion faux pas.
Greta: With fur.
Gabby: With feathers on the brim.

Me: Does anyone have any family heirlooms that are very dear to you that you wear or that you’re so scared to wear because they’re so important to you.

Greta: Honestly, I just found out today that my dad’s mom left me a gold bracelet and my mom’s friend borrowed it and has it still. And you know cause I never met her, “I want some day for Greta to have this chunky gold bracelet. Like from her grandma.” And I just never got it. My mom’s friend has it so we’re gonna try to get it back. That’s the only heirloom I can think of.
Gabby: My grandma tried to give me her wedding dress. And she was like, “You will never believe it but I used to be your size!”
Greta: That’s so cute.
Gabby: But then I tried to put it on when I was like fifteen and it was like, it was actually too small, which is so crazy! I feel like she must have been wearing the craziest corset ever to fit into that.
Greta: Do you still have it?
Gabby: No.
David: My mom gave me one of her wrist supports once. [laughs] I use that sometimes.

Me: What about like favorite pieces? Or good luck charm clothing? Or things that you find yourself wearing over and over.

Greta: I have a necklace that Aaron gave me for my 18th birthday that I wear almost every day but which I put on Gabby at a show a couple weeks ago and I keep forgetting to ask her to give it back.
Gabby: I look at it every day. And I’m like “Oh man, I have to give that back.”
Greta: It’s like a really good luck charm. Like my life is pretty much in shambles since I gave it to her since it’s like my Zen good luck charm.
Me: What does it look like?
Greta: It’s like a piece of quartz like a Zen quartz.
Gabby: It also has an opal or moonstone.
Greta: Yeah, it’s kind of is funny that whole thing.
Gabby: No, it’s really pretty.
Greta: It’s cool. Basically Ronnie made me this necklace when we were first dating that was just like an actual piece of quartz that he found in a wood pile that he glued to a chain and it was really beautiful but it broke a bunch of times and finally we lost it for good and then he got me a weird fancy version of it for my birthday and that’s the one that we share. It’s a good luck thing.
Aaron: I like your (Greta) dad’s green sweater a lot. It’s probably the thing that I wear the most. It’s a nice Scottish sweater company.
Gabby: I think that—Well I mean I wear this vest every day.
Greta: It’s true
Gabby: And it has all the pins from tours on it but it’s not really a good luck thing, it’s just a utility belt. It has my wallet in it.
David: I had a little packet of Frankincense that my teachers at massage school gave me that I kept in my pocket forever and then my pants went through the dryer. So it’s gone now. So my life has been spiraling out of control ever since.

Me: Alright last thing. What is something, anything, that’s got you really happy or excited lately?

Greta: I met my teacher’s baby today who is five months old and it made me so excited and I can’t stop thinking about him ever since I left their house.
Aaron: Emmmm, I need to think about it for a second.
Gabby: My puppy Frankie. Who is not named after Frankie Cosmos. [Laughs]
David: I was at work today and saw a baby and thought it was hysterical and locked eyes with it and I laughed cause I was like, “hah that’s a cute baby,” and it had the same thought as me and was like, “Hah!” and it started laughing back at me. It was so amazing.
Greta: So pretty much puppies and babies.
David: Puppies and babies.
Greta: Ron, what do you say? [sarcastically] Drugs? Cigarettes? It would be funny if Aaron was like  [drops voice] “I’m so excited to smoke weed later.”
David: We don’t do that!
Aaron: I’m just happy to be like making music constantly with Frankie Cosmos and Porches.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Vassar Eating Club (#3) Adds Some Heat to Kale and White Kidney Bean Salad

Whether you're in the thralls of final exams or just down right home sick, Sautéed Kale and Bean Salad  is a great meal to make when you've got a hankering for some home-style comfort food. Not only is it a quick and easy vegan-friendly dish, but it is also chalk-full of protein, iron, and other key nutrients!

Here's what you're gonna need:

  • 1/2 Cup White Onions
  • 3 Tb Garlic
  • 1 Cup Kale
  • 1/2 Cup Beans
  • Enough Olive Oil to Cover Pan
  • Red Pepper to Taste
  • Salt to Taste

  1. Heat olive oil in pan.
  2. After several minutes, add red pepper, garlic, onions on medium heat until onions are golden (Be care to NEVER EVER EVER EVER burn the garlic; from one chef to another, it will ruin your dish).
  3. Throw your beans in the pan and cook for about five minutes or until they become slightly browned.
  4. Add kale and cook until it becomes soft.
  5. Add salt to taste.
  6. Empty your fry pan onto your plate, place pan on cleaning station, return to table and enjoy the fact that you have once again successfully avoided the Deece once again!

Peace, Love, and Bacon Grease,
VC Eating Club

Prepared by: Michael Gambardella, Amy Sullivan, and Saskia Comess
Photography: Michael Gambardella

Friday, 9 May 2014

Volume 7 Issue 2

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Vassar College Eating Club #2 Deece Stroganoff

Deece Stroganoff

Alright all you Deece-goers, ready to shake things up? Well, here's a recipe that's guaranteed to make your tastebuds think they've died and gone to heaven. We decided to prepare this dish using beef, but you can easily substitute it out for chicken, tofu, or some of your favorite veggies. Also, we used a reduced tomato-based soup as the sauce's foundation, but you can use any soup available at the deece–the creamier the better!


Cook time: 13-15 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy/Medium
Vegetarian: No
Course: Main 


  • 1 Bowl of ACDC Hungarian Mushroom Soup
  • 5-7 Strips of beef from carving station
  • 1/3 cup of half and half
  • 10 halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Mustard seed
  • Pinch of Red pepper
  • Pinch of Paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

1) Reduce soup in a preheated pan on high. Although we used Hungarian Mushroom, many soups can be substituted based on what is available at the Deece.

2) When soup begins to thicken, stir in 1/3 half and half, cherry tomatoes, and olive oil.

3) After the half and half is thoroughly and evenly mixed in, add salt and black pepper to taste. Stir in one pinch of mustard seed, red pepper, and paprika.

4) After a minute or two, reduce heat to medium-high and add beef to pan. Let this cook for 5-8 minutes. Although this recipe uses beef, you can substitute in chicken, tofu, or some stir-fried veggies based on your dietary preferences.

5) Remove from pan when the meat has absorbed some of the sauces's color. Serve over a bed of rice, quinoa, or other grain or with a simple side salad like we did.

6) Glance around at the other Deece goers who didn't cook their own food; revel in your accomplishment and find solace in the fact that you have lived to deece another day.

If you are interested in getting involved with this column, would like to help cook and photograph, or have any scrumptious Deece recipes you'd like to contribute, please email Michael Gambardella at or send a message to the Vassar Contrast Facebook Page. The more the merrier!

Peace, Love, and Bacon Grease,
VC Eating Club

Prepared by: Michael Gambardella, Amy Sullivan, and Saskia Comess
Photography: Amy Sullivan

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Vassar College Eating Club #1: The Menu

All Campus Dining Center (ACDC, aka "the Deece"), photo:

Hello Hello Students,

Ever feel like the our All Campus Dining Center has let you down? Are your Deece meals more appropriate for Tumblr's Dimly Lit Meals for One than they are for human consumption? Well then does Contrast have just the fix for you!

Our newest column, the "Vassar College Eating Club", is a weekly publication committed to bringing you quick and easy recipes that transfigure basic ingredients from the Deece into delicious and nutritious meals. 

Our goal is to bring the student body an alternative to campus-cuisine that is:

  • Cost and time efficient
  • Tasty and delicious
  • Fun and simple
  • Healthy and diverse
  • Guaranteed to make you stop uttering the phrase "I feel full, but not satisfied" when describing your dining experience

Retro Vassar Dining, photo:

The VC Eating Club will be experimenting with a variety of ways to utilize those asymptotic remaining meal swipes that never seem to approach zero. Our recipes will use both the hot plate stations at the Deece as well as your dorm/TH/TA kitchen, so get ready to cook no matter what your culinary situation may be!

Curious as to what our first recipe's going to be? Well here's a riddle:

What starts out beefy and saucy, yet becomes thick and mushroom-capped before it reaches your mouth? What is tender and pink to the eye, yet smokey and savory to the tongue?

No clue? Well, I guess you'll all just have to wait and see what's cookin' next week here at the VC Eating Club!

Peace, Love, and Seasoning,
Michael Gambardella, Amy Sullivan, and Saskia Comess

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Sneak Peak: Stepping Off Campus

Behind the Scenes of Contrast's Latest Photo Shoot

Exec Board recently took a cast of models and photographers to the Poughkeepsie train station to get a few shots for Contrast's upcoming magazine; this semester's theme is getting off campus. Here's a sneak peak of what you can expect to find in the Spring 2014 edition.

So we took to Poughkeepsie,
Adorned in neon and black.


After some waiting around and a transportation hiccup or two, we started to shoot.

Photographers: Rachel Garbade, Jacob Gorski, and Jake Solomon.

Women's Style done by Margot Mayer and Olga Voyazides

Editor & Chief, Emilia Petrarca

Men's Style done by Christopher Farrell

Photography: Michael Gambardella

Thursday, 13 February 2014

VC Voice: Valentine's Day Reclaimed No Longer a Couple's Holiday

Photo Credit:

If the thought of Valentines Day makes you nauseated, youre far from alone. For years, generations of us singles have groaned at the sight of chalky candy hearts and corny Hallmark cards. For those of us seeking romance, V-Day serves as a glaring reminder of  our solitude, rubbing salt into an already aching wound. And for those of us who happily choose to fly solo, it always seems to give the nagging feeling that we’re doing something wrong.

In elementary school Februrary 14th was the best day of the year, but there comes a time when we all have to dismantle those little paper mailboxes filled with love notes, sticky cherry-red heart lollipops, and pink tinfoil-wrapped chocolates and accept the harsh fact that we don't get goodies in the real world. Instead, we just throw boxes of chocolates at the TV screen (Legally Blonde style).

Photo Credit:
But, WAIT; it doesn’t have to be like this. Isnt Valentines Day supposed to be about love? Who says that love has to be limited to romantic affection? Maybe Parks and Recreations Leslie Knope had the right idea when she coined the term Galentines Day,a day to celebrate the love between you and your closest friends with food, dancing, and laughtera day to clink your glasses to the eternal bonds of camaraderie! Even more importantly, why not celebrate the love you have for yourself rather than fixating on someone elses validation? What could be a more appropriate time to celebrate the fact that youre single, free, and happy?

Vassar students are starting to catch on to this feel-good V-day wave. First-year Anna Blum could not be more excited to be a single lady this February 14th, saying, Single [students] take on a defeatist attitude around this time of year. They deny a lot of positive energy and love they receive if its not romantic [] I think [they] are doing themselves a disservice by worrying about finding a romantic partnership, thinking that the most important thing is having a date for Valentines Day. Sometimes, the happiest and most full-of-love encounters can be found in friendships.” 

This sentiment is being echoed around campus, resulting in manifold celebrations of different kinds. Some choose to go the festive routeSamantha Guss, 17, says shes hosting a Galentines Day bash with her girlfriends. We wanted an excuse to eat cheese, sans hookup anxiety,she laughs. Others choose to stay in and enjoy the time to themselves, savoring a welcome chance to relax. Im so looking forward to just ordering in food and watching movies,says first year Rachel Marklyn. To be honest, that sounds better to me than any conventional Valentines Day date.” 

  Come February 14th, we will all be celebrating Valentines Day in our own wayand it deserves to be a good one, regardless of relationship status.

Photo Credit:
Written by: Faith Hill
Edited by: Michael Gambardella