How much water and air we have. Fascinating.
How much water and air we have. Fascinating.
If you open up Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits seeking answers as to who she was, prepare to be disappointed. Even when Maier turns the camera on herself, she doesn't offer much.
In death, as in life, Maier left few clues about who she was, why she pursued photography, or what she was thinking. Four years after her death, and six years after the discovery of her photos (which author Alex Kotlowitz wrote about for Mother Jones), very little is known about her. She was born in New York in 1926, worked as a Nanny in Chicago, and died in 2009. She spent her life compulsively taking pictures. Most of those who knew her never even realized she was a photographer. Then again, she may not have considered herself a photographer.
With this book of Maier's self-portraits, we hope for clues. We want to be a witness to her life. But we're really just spectators, seeing only what she lets us—often just her shadow. Sometimes it's almost like a game of Where's Waldo: You need to find her in the frame, catching her reflection in the corner of a mirror that's secondary to an otherwise great street photo. She is usually alone or with children. Rarely smiles. Mostly out in the world, on the street, experimenting with reflections, composition, shadows and shapes. We get more questions than answers.
The book, compiled by filmmaker and street photographer John Maloof, who first discovered Maiers' work in 2007 while researching a book on the history of a neighborhood in Chicago, contains 60 never-before-published images. Most are black and white, shot with a medium format camera. However, in the '70s and beyond, we see Maier more in color, shot on 35mm film. In the later work we see an aging Maier, generally even more alone than in earlier photos.
It's tempting to approach the book with a modern sensibility of the self-portrait, thinking of these as Maier's selfies. That would be a mistake. As Elizabeth Avedon puts it in her opening essay:
So often contemporary photography needs something…It demands an audience, requires funding. It needs someone to like it, share it or comment to it. Images today are not content to exist on their own, they constantly seek opinion and validation…Vivian Maier's work is extraordinarily different in that it only needed to be made.
According to Maloof, Maier almost never showed her work. Most of it she never even saw herself. The pictures "only needed to be made."
Some people see a particular vanity in photographers' self-portraits. But with Maier's, it seems like a case of the photographer trying to figure out her subject. Given that she died with most of her film undeveloped and negatives unprinted, it's a safe bet that she never found the answers she may have been searching for.
Vivian Maier: Self-Portraits by Vivian Maier, edited by John Maloof, is available from powerHouse Books.
Hummingbird hawk-moth (Richard Hammond’s Invisible Worlds - BBC)
Hey, Flickr, take the hint.
By Street Photographer Eric Kim
Without lifting the pencil from the paper.
these are amazing
Short video on octopus brains and distributed functions.
He was awesome
Phil Hartman auditions for Saturday Night Live:
Excerpts from a lively oral history of SNL auditions:
JIMMY FALLON: In makeup, they go, “Hey, Jimmy, some advice: Lorne Michaels doesn’t laugh when you audition. So don’t let that throw you.” Then the audio guy, he goes, “Hey, little advice — Lorne doesn’t like to laugh.” I’m like, “O.K.” Then Marci [Klein, a longtime “SNL” producer] comes out: “Jimmy, they’re ready for you. But hey, a little advice for you. If Lorne doesn’t laugh, be cool.” I’m like, what is this guy’s problem? He’s doing a comedy show. Why does he not like to laugh?
CHERI OTERI: I felt good because I heard Lorne laugh a little bit. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, laughing his very subtle, subtle laughter. Almost regal laughter.
RACHEL DRATCH: I didn’t get it that year [of her first audition]. They hired Horatio [Sanz], Jimmy [Fallon] and Chris Parnell, and they said: “We’re not taking any women this year. But maybe next year.” I was at peace with it.
SETH MEYERS: They flew me all the way back to New York to meet with Lorne. I realized later that he was doing a final personality vet. He said, “Do you think you can live in New York?” And I thought, “Does anyone blow it at this stage?” Does anybody get this far in the process, and then is like, “It’s definitely New York? Well, if you guys can’t be flexible on that, I’m not sure if I can be flexible on that.”
WILL FERRELL: [Mr. Michaels] never really has a moment where he says, “So, welcome to the show.” He phrases it, “So, we’re bringing you to New York.” And I thought, God, another audition? And he goes, “Cheri’s going to be there, too.” And that’s when it hit me: Oh, my God. I got the gig. But I didn’t have a celebratory moment with him. Then I got self-conscious, like it came across that I didn’t care about getting the job. So I stood up real quick, and I’m like: “Well, gosh, thank you. I just want to shake your hand.” And he said, “Do whatever you have to do.”
A collection of audition tapes viewable online is here.
This kid is my fucking hero.
You must watch this.
RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone else’s salespeople.
That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.
Well, fuck them, and fuck that.
sb5 is dead, thanks to Texas feminists! (via Photo by farrisrachel • Instagram)
I tried to register to vote three times when I was in college. Each time I failed to pass the “literacy" test. Only after the passage of the Voting Rights Act was I registered, and thank God Almighty, my parents voted as well. They were not activists but ordinary folks who wanted the same rights as the white people. Today, I feel the scabs coming off the old wounds and they are bleeding again. I knew people who were asked how many bubbles are in a bar of soap, or how many grains of sand are in a quart jar as part of their literacy test. I remember that the names of those who attempted to register were run in the local newspapers so that, by law, any registered (read white) voter could challenge their moral fitness to become voters. The real reason was to publicize who they were so their employers and Ku Klux Klan neighbors could take actions against them for having the nerve to think they should have the rights reserved for whites.
So much of our focus is on what the law did to help to emancipate generations of African Americans. However, the deep scars are still there in the form of emotional trauma (some friends of mine suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome), loss of family to death, broken dreams, ruined lives, and consigned once again to second and third class citizenship.
This is why I mourn today because the conditions for so many have not changed that much. Moreover, the gains we won continue to erode as we see in the dismantling of the most important piece of legislation on racial equality of my lifetime.”
I have always wondered what would happen with an infinite loop in all directions…
If you think our recent “Single Shot Illusion” was amazing, this one will blow your mind! As you see, this colorful arrangement of household items (created by New York-based artist Bela Borsodi) appears to be a composition of four separate snapshots. Right? But once you see the photo taken from different angle (below) or do some closer inspection on your own, you will notice there is something a little off about the strategically placed lines dividing the image in 4 “separate frames”.
Yes, this deceptive photograph is actually made from a single shot! It was assembled from dozen of random objects, and made into a perfectly constructed optical illusion. I’m quite impressed with Borsodi’s ability to trick the viewer’s eye. The compositions was used for an album cover for the band VLP, their newest album titled Terrain.
I’ve seen a lot of spacey photos in my time. Enough so that I catch myself occasionally making a jaded sigh, saying “Oh neat, another shot of a spacecraft in front of the moon. Been there, done that.“
Then I punch myself in the arm and tell myself to shut up because these are pictures of SPACE.
That’s what happened with Maximilian Teodorescu’s shot of the International Space Station against the face of the moon. At first I was minorly impressed, because it’s a very small thing traveling very fast, in front of a larger thing that is even farther away. But people take pictures of the ISS all the time. Big deal.
Then I realized that this one was taken during the day. At that point I lost my schnoodles. I’m betting a few of you will too.
(via Overthinking It)