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To check out the entire manual, visit the Flickr set. Clicking on the images below will also take you there, where you can view them full-size to really appreciate the sexiness of that script font.
And then there's this film processing guide that was tucked into the camera bag:
'Eat' by Robert Indiana
On first glance, the book is what it is: a simple collection of one skull after another. But as you start to flip through the pages, each work of art reveals something new about its subject, each material presenting a completely different face. The food skulls are somehow particularly revealing, the skins and flesh of squashes and pepper (and in one case, an entire salad) giving an odd life to such static matter.
It's hard to pick favorites from this book, because there are so many incredibly revealing pieces. I'm particularly drawn to the seemingly simplest ones, like the hotel bed sheet skull, stapled leaf skull, and caution tape skull.
One facet of this project that doesn't get mentioned nearly often enough in all the press Noah's received is the artistry that threads its way through this collection. He clearly takes his cue from his materials, but still manages to give each skull its own personality, shape and even expression. As Martha herself noted when he
As an aside, I owe Noah a thanks for his recent listing of Roughstock's Blog as one of the top 10 blogs covering the intersection of design and activism. He put me among some very good company. Thanks, Noah!
*I don't actually remember if Martha said this to Noah during the show; she was probably too busy interrupting him. But nevertheless, he was on the frigging Martha Stewart Show making skulls with her.
Holga, no less. Keith was showing a wall full of this work, which focused entirely of natural landscapes. Not only does the circular framing amplify the organic shapes within the frame, it combines with the black and white medium to create an almost scientific specimen-like effect. It's beautiful work, almost breathtaking.
Definitely explore his website, as he has several sets of images that are stylistically very different from each other. His sweeping horizons and transparent collection are worth a look-see.
Artists without WebsitesSophia Antipas: A great eye for outside space, architectural and organic details, color.
Don Ross: Not a lot on display, but my favorite was a large-size drugstore diptych of a young boy (kid) and woman.
Beth Schuenemann: The woman I came to see. Really graphic, colorful paintings of San Francisco buildings. I'll get my hands on some of her work and post it soon.
Britt's Baby: Yes, it's wicked corny, but Beth's coworker Britt had her baby with her and the kid was a work of art. Four weeks old, tiny, and very, very serious. Honestly, she looked a little intense. Like, don't mess with me tense. But in a sweet, new baby way.
Imagine a camera that doesn't passively take pictures, but instead creates something that isn't actually there. The Image Fulgurator surreptitiously projects an image onto a photographic subject when tripped by a nearby camera flash or other light. The photographer, the subject, and any passersby are completely unaware of the projected image - until the image is processed. It's a fascinating, creepy and ingenious device created by Julius von Bismark - and though he provides footage of the Image Fulgurator in action, it's hard to believe this thing really works as described:
"...An exposed and developed roll of slide film is loaded into the camera and behind it, a flash. When the flash goes off, the image is projected from the film via the lens onto the object...the Fulgurator looks like a conventional reflex camera. As soon as the built-in sensor registers a flash somewhere nearby, the flash projection is triggered. Hence the projection can be synchronized to the exact moment of exposure of all other cameras in its immediate vicinity. Via a screen (ground glass), it is possible to focus the projection and to position it on the targeted object."Von Bismark created the Image Fulgurator as an exploration into the photographic reproduction of reality, and his examples focus on politically-charged subjects like Checkpoint Charlie and the Reichstag. It's an experiment that seems to owe heavily to the Situationists, and it does beg a few philosophical questions. Although creating a public intervention, the Image Fulgurator interacts on a more personal level, as it makes itself known only after the event - and only to the camera's owner at that. In von Bismark's examples, the projected images draw connections from past to present, across international borders, and between actor and acted-upon. The fact that the device is clearly reminiscent of a gun is not lost, either.
A few interesting results and their implications:
- Result: "The amount of billable hours a freelancer is accumulating accounts for a large percentage of their overall happiness. This is in stark comparison to hourly rates and net income which have no significant impact on a freelancer’s overall happiness."
My take: When you only charge $30-$40/hour on average (the most common rate range across multiple industries), you have to work more billable hours. It's no wonder, then, that the apparent business is what makes these freelancers happier, as opposed to their low hourly rate or their overall income, which will inevitably be lower thanks to their rate. If they were to raise their rates, thereby increasing their income, perhaps they would then respond that their rates or income influence their happiness. I can't help thinking that this boils down to a crisis of confidence.
- Result: "This survey suggests that the following activities have no noticeable impact on your income:
Your age or your genderThis leads me to the only remaining possible conclusion – it’s all about the skills...I don’t think it would be bad advice to suggest that if your income isn’t what you think it should be or need it to be, it might be time to upgrade your skills and worry less about marketing and diversifying."
Where you live
The marketing techniques you use (emphasis added)
The additional goods and services your offer.
My take: I'm not sure I'd agree with the above conclusion based on the actual question asked: "Where do you find work?" Such a question does not measure the efficacy of one's work-finding techniques (which include referrals, portfolio website, internet job sites, social networking sites, blogs, cold calling, and advertising). It simply measures which techniques freelancers are using. If you don't do any cold calling, for example, you won't get any work from it. This is a major flaw in the analysis, as it sends the message that referrals are the only method freelancers should rely on to find new clients. While I know several freelancers who have been successful over the years relying primarily on referrals, I'm not sure how much job security it actually offers.
How'd they swing it? Simple: instead of relying on the magazine's normal use of cluttered stock photography, they dropped a little cash on a one-day photo shoot. And in that single day, they shot 200 covers. And if you need a before-and-after, just check out what the mag looked like before Pentagram got their hooves all over it:
I'm tempted to see what my own bookshelves say about me...
[via Swiss Miss]
I've just pulled the book off my shelf after being reminded of it by the furoshiki instructions posted the other day.
You should see some the stuff in here, it's beautiful:
The idea of packaging something in a reusable container is a brilliant one. It's at once luxurious and—provided the package is produced thoughtfully—sustainable. I can think of several products in the contemporary marketplace that do this...I'll have to pull together some images and do a post dedicated to them.
It's the White Stripes' latest promotional item, and it's a doozy. Hot, ain't she? Meg has one, too, but it's the Diana model. These cameras are fun as hell, take phenomenally wicked shots, and are pretty much what's made toy cameras a cult phenomenon right now.
Funny how it took technology to convince the general public that artistic creation was an accessible, worthwhile pursuit and now everyone's creating with obsolete technology.
The Architecture of Authority, by UCSB professor Richard Ross, catalogs and explores "spaces built to communicate with others." The collection of photographs is thought provoking and occasionally disturbing. You really should check out excerpts from The Architecture of Authority and read the interview with Ross.
[via Coudal, of course]
"The warm reception the Japanese gave Ice Cucumber is just one manifestation of a national obsession with the ephemeral. Millions turn out every spring to view delicate cherry blossoms that open and then fall to the ground in just a week. And a word that sends consumers flocking to stores is gentei, Japanese for 'limited edition.'"But I wonder how much of this attraction is a Japanese thing and how much of it is in response to the ubiquity of Stuff these days. When every experience and information byte and thing that can be purchased is there for the taking, it's not surprising that some people might begin to remember the beauty of the ephemeral.
I was thinking about this very idea a couple of weeks ago while reading about how digital photography has vastly altered the nature of the human experience. The SF Chronicle quotes artist J.D. Beltran:
"It's really changed the way we think of photography to have this literally instantaneous image of something that just happened, and it dramatically changes the way we experience things."That we no longer live in the moment but in the technology is significant. I continue to be stunned by friends and colleagues who feel it's entirely appropriate to answer their cell phone in the midst of a face to face conversation. The sense that human contact should supercede technological experience seems to have been almost entirely lost.
Or has it? Is Pepsi's limited edition schtick a sign of new times, of new appreciation for fleeting moments and unrepeatable experiences? After all, what cell phone feature or computer algorithm can really beat that impermanent burst of flavor from a ripe strawberry just picked? We love the idea of capturing our fading memories, memorializing them in bits and bytes, but what about the warmth that spreads through you when you simply close your eyes and remember your loved ones who've passed on? Is it really possible for the sense of not-there to be so powerful that it trumps the need for constant access? The Japanese seem to think so, and I think they're onto something.
Welcome to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where the mayor has outlawed all outdoor signage. He's been called a fascist for doing so, hailed as a visionary, and generally gotten a whole lot of publicity. But will it work? Will stripping the city bare really mark a "victory of the public interest over private, of order over disorder, aesthetics over ugliness, of cleanliness over trash," as writer Roberto Pompeu de Toledo described the new law?
I can think of three possible arguments against the ban:
- It restricts free speech.
- It ignores the possibility that advertising might actually add to the public good.
- It will put an industry out of work and affect the livelihood of thousands of small businesses.
And what about the second argument? Is it possible that advertising isn't all evil? (Bill Hicks is rolling over in his grave as I type.) Gustavo Piqueira is a designer who "worries that much of the 'vernacular' lettering and signage from small businesses—'an important part of the city's history and culture'—will be lost." I think this is a valid point. Hand painted signs, storefronts and artisan vendor advertising all add to a visual language that is inevitably unique to the community that produces it. Can it be ugly? Sure. Should it be banned? Not so sure.
And, of course, there is the final question of money; only time will tell if the law will put people out of work and negatively impact Sau Paulo's economy. I suspect it will cause more problems than it solves, although the government does expect to slowly allow a more regulated advertising industry back on the streets.
But more importantly, it raises some interesting questions about what is and what isn't culturally worthwhile. Will stripping away ads while leaving the physical framework really look better? And will it impact consumer habits? I have to admit that I'm excited that a city as large as Sau Paulo has actually taken such a dramatic step to find out, regardless of whether or not it's the right step. Some questions you just can't answer without actually acting first.