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28 Dec 14:51

The Daily Edit – Mitch Feinberg: Marie Claire

by Heidi Volpe






Marie Claire

Market and Accessories Director: Kyle Anderson
Fashion Director: Nina Garcia
Editor and Chief: Anne Fulenwider
Photo Director: James Morris
Photographer: Mitch Feinberg

Heidi: How did this project evolve?
I have a wonderful relationship with Marie Claire. It is one of the few American fashion magazines that treat fashion still life pages as an opportunity to advance passionate editorial views on accessories and not simply as a vehicle to please advertisers. Their Market and Accessories Director Kyle Anderson, Fashion Director Nina Garcia and Editor and Chief Anne Fulenwider all take a direct interest in demanding that the pages are strong and fresh. For a still life photographer, this is a thrilling context in which to make new work.

Months before a final art due date, Kyle sends me jpegs of the next accessories story.  The story subject might be based on a color, a design direction, materials or a cultural reference. It’s usually my responsibility to come up with a visual solution, although occasionally he or someone else will have a few suggestions. I pitch just one idea, including swipes from industrial sites or stores that refer to the environments I want to create. I do not like to make drawings or send “finished” images — it is better to keep things loose so that I have room for spontaneity. Once I send the pitch everyone weighs in and we go from there.

For the Haute Tech story, Kyle mentioned that he had a fine jewelry December story in search of an idea. Fine jewelry can be a tedious editorial subject because designs generally do not evolve much from year to year and diamonds are unforgiving in poor lighting conditions — a tough subject to make fresh.

I have been involved with a couple of technology projects and developed an appreciation for a well-designed circuit board. Apple’s boards, in particular, are very fine, all black, with an absolute, maniacal fidelity to minimalism. I immediately thought of making boards that in some way reflected or enhanced the design direction of the jewelry. Kyle worked hard to find pieces that would mesh well with the concept — no animals or organic designs, for example.

How long did the project take and tell us about your process with the engineer?
The editors loved the idea and I got to work in July.  We all figured no one had done this, at least not at this scale. My original intention was to design and order the prototype boards myself. I spent a day or so learning the nomenclature and general design principles. I already knew that board design can be devilishly difficult in the details, but straightforward designs are fairly easily to execute. There is a very large community of amateur board designers associated with platforms like Arduino, as well as many foundries that specialize in prototyping. I downloaded one of the popular free software packages and set to work. I started with a good drawing I had already made in Photoshop for the first design – the black Chopard board. Then I hit an unexpected wall. Circuit board software is designed to make circuit boards, not pretty patterns. Duh. A user first builds a schematic with all the components and only then moves on to “routing”, finding the shortest, most efficient paths to lay the “wires” between all the components. Clearly, I was not going to easily figure out how to build a schematic that would allow me to “route” the wires in a predetermined pattern.

Help was needed. I spent a considerable amount of time on tech blogs and the Web looking for an engineer that had both an aesthetic view on the world and the technical skills required. I came across one man, a fellow in England named Saar Drimer, who had a circuit board design company called Boldport. He had gone so far as to write a program that allowed him to import illustrator files into a circuit board-friendly design environment. I emailed him almost immediately. He quickly understood my project. I had found my guy.

I’d imagine the sketches were fairly in-depth in order to create the final “working boards,” tell us about that exchange.
We encountered many technical difficulties. I had to visit the jewelers and carefully measure the dimensions so that the jewelry would fit perfectly into the designs. This was very difficult to figure out, as cutouts also had to be drawn up for the rings and earrings. The magazine was extraordinarily helpful in opening doors, and we were lucky none of the pieces were sold before the shoot. Saar started with my drawings but soon added his own special sauce, making the boards more credible. By the end, we were going back and forth with very rough drawings and he took it from there. It was a lot of work for him, as he also had to design and solder functioning boards with the LEDs. I was also lucky he had a very good foundry in the UK that was willing to work hard on the quality and color of the shadow masks (the non-metallic surface of the boards). We spent about six weeks start to finish. The shoot took just two days, up in my Connecticut studio. There is almost no retouching, just a little cleaning up. I’m old school, I like my images real. We both feel that we executed something new, perhaps opening the door to new designs with circuit boards as a functional, aesthetic material.

How do your ideas manifest?
I wish I knew. they just pop in unexpectedly. On a long walk, in the shower, at an exhibition, anywhere, really. I read a lot, I look at design blogs,  magazines, many non-photographic sources. Unless there is a specific request I stay away from my colleagues’ Websites; too many voices in a photographer’s head can be deafening.

What was your break, meaning how did you get started?  Everyone has a breakthrough project though we all see you as superstar out of the womb.
Thank you. I do not know if I was a superstar out of the womb; I’ve been told that I produced a lot of spit up in my early years. Unless you are Guy Bourdin, many years of work will be required before you find a strong voice. That might be daunting to hear, but I think the best photographers love the process of making photographs. Your voice will come, sometime soon, hopefully. In the meantime, I suggest you make images simply for the joy of it. I have always felt that way, even during the years when my career was uncertain. As in all creative endeavors, this is a tough business. Do it because you love it. Still life photography has always felt like the best way to express myself, I have enjoyed a lifetime exploring how that happens.

What is another creative outlet for you?
Three years ago my wife and I moved to a small farm in Connecticut. I have learned a lot about fencing (not the epee kind), black bears (don’t run), and wild turkeys (not happy when challenged). More than enough new outlets for a guy who spent 28 years in Paris.


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28 Dec 13:54

Galaxies Not So Far Away

by Rebecca Robertson
© Neil Folberg © Neil Folberg © Neil Folberg © Neil Folberg © Neil Folberg

The stars look close at hand in Neil Folberg’s cosmic nighttime photos, made in the deserts of Israel and the Sinai Peninsula and on view in “Celestial Nights,” an exhibition at The Dryansky Gallery in San Francisco up until January 17. Set among ruins and natural landscapes, the images suggest the radiant glow of a world lit by starlight. Like the work of the great 19th century landscape photographers such as Gustave Le Gray, the photos, originally made in the late 1990s and early 2000s, are composites of sky and earth. Folberg used the technology available at the time to create “a “digital negative” which enabled [him] to produce the images as silver gelatin prints,” reads a statement from the gallery. “As a result of new technology, Folberg has been able to revisit and digitally remaster the images bringing them closer to his original vision.”

Folberg was born in San Francisco and studied with Ansel Adams before moving to Israel in the 1970s, and the dramatic landscape of the Middle East has been a recurring theme in his work. The inspiration for the series came from spending time on the Sinai Peninsula while working on an earlier project. “I felt it was the greatest and most wonderful adventure I could imagine, wandering through the wadis, listening to the wind, feeling the stones or sand underfoot, sleeping outdoors below a sky of blazing stars,” Folberg said in a 2009 interview. “It began to feed on my imagination and reveal my inner character. The harsh daylight can often hide things as well as reveal them. During the day we feel all powerful, at night we begin to realize the vastness of the universe and one becomes aware of its scale and one’s limitations and our place in it. Between the finite and the infinite, the known and the unknown…to capture it on film is what drove me to create ‘Celestial Nights.'”

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23 Dec 12:18

The Queens of Botswana’s Metal Scene

by Carey Dunne
The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Vicky” (2014) (all photos courtesy Paul Shiakallis and used with permission)

Beavis and Butt-head, in their AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts, might best sum up the stereotypical metalhead in the popular Western imagination: a young white dude who likes headbanging and hates authority, found mostly in American cities or in Nordic countries with long, dark winters and plenty of old churches to burn. But South African photographer Paul Shiakallis’s series Leather Skins, Unchained Hearts provides a visual alternative to this image. He documents the leather-clad women of Botswana’s metal subculture, called “Marok,” which translates to “rocker” in Setswana.

Last year, Shiakallis met a couple of Queens, as female Marok fans like to call themselves, at a gig in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital. As their Queen alter-egos, these women go by names like Onalenna Angelovdarkness, Amokian Lordess, and Phoenix Tonahs Slaughter. “They had this confidence and freedom about them — they could just let go without feeling they were going to be reprimanded,” Shiakallis tells Hyperallergic.

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Bontle Sodah Ramotsietsane,” 2014

This type of self-expression is rare for women in Botwana’s conservative patriarchal society. Since mainstream culture often perceives metal as “satanic,” many women of the Marok movement wear more traditional clothing by day and only reveal their brutal alter-egos in their Facebook photos, posing in full metal regalia, often in front of trees outside at night. “I believe facebook allows u to be who u are. only girls who believe in themselvs and aint afraid to express themselves can be rockers, [sic]” one Queen, Phoenix Tonahs Slaughter, told Shiakallis. “They don’t tend to pose aggressively like the men do, so I liked that they showed a softer side to the Marok movement,” Shiakallis says.

Shiakallis began photographing these Queens in their homes, a project that proved more difficult than he’d expected. “Every portrait I took almost never happened,” Shiakallis says. “Sometimes, the Queens’ boyfriends or husbands would thwart the shoots,” since they didn’t want their partners to be photographed by, or even in the presence of, another male. “Some Queens were reluctant to pose for photographs, wary about where the images would end up, as they’re still ‘coming out’ as rockers.”

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Debbie Baone Superpower” (2014)

In bullet belts, spiked cuffs, leather jackets, bandanas, and Iron Maiden t-shirts, the women in Shiakallis’ photographs resemble characters from post-apocalyptic cinema, like the road warriors from Mad Max. Marok fashion fuses the styles of 1970s and ’80s heavy metal (specifically, from the cover of Motorhead’s Ace of Spades); the tasseled leather jackets and black boots of Botswana’s sizeable biker community; and the cowboy hats, spurs, and vests worn by many of the country’s rural farmers. Posing against backdrops of rural villages, pastel-painted bedrooms, and cozy living rooms, these Queens highlight how the Marok subculture is a kind of fantasy world, an escape from the confines of tradition and domesticity.  

Skinflint, Metal Orizon, Wrust, Crackdust, Overthrust, and Amok are some of Botswana’s biggest metal bands, but since the Marok scene is very small, they only play shows every few months. “When they do have a show, rockers from all around Botswana make the effort to show up, even if they have to travel 700km from another town,” Shiakallis says. At festivals or shows with big lineups, the Morok tend to unite beforehand to “march for a cause.” They first donate to an elected charity, then march together, led by Marok men dragging chains on the ground as the parade of metalheads mount each others’ shoulders and play fight in “ritualistic dances.” “It’s a very surreal sight,” Shiakallis says.

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Bonolo” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Katie Dekesu” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Distant Hill” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Millie Hans” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “From Mokatse Boulder” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Phoenix Tonahs Slaughter” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Samie Santiago Newsted” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Sierra” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Snyder” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Green Field” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Lonely House” (2014)

The Queens of Marok

Paul Shiakallis, “Backyards” (2014)

23 Dec 12:13

The BBC Creates Step-by-Step Instructions for Knitting the Iconic Dr. Who Scarf: A Document from the Early 1980s

by Ted Mills


When Jon Pertwee reincarnated into Tom Baker in 1974, the Fourth Doctor of popular sci-fi show Doctor Who ditched the foppish look of velvet jackets and frilly shirts, and went for the “Romantic adventurer” style, with floppy felt hat, long overcoats and, most iconically, his multicolored scarf.

Fan legend has it that costume designer James Acheson picked up a load of multi-color wool and asked knitter Begonia Pope to create a scarf, and Pope, perhaps mishearing, used *all* the wool, resulting in a scarf that ran 12 feet long. The mistake was perfect, and suddenly many UK grandmothers were being asked by their grandchildren to recreate their hero’s look.

The above memo isn’t dated, but comes from sometime in the early ‘80s when the BBC sent detailed instructions to a fan’s mother on making the scarf. (Click here, then click again, to view the document in a larger format.) The colors include camel, rust, bronze, mustard, grey, green and purple and should be knitted with size four needles (that’s #9 US size). The requests must have come regularly, because a similar memo is reprinted from many years later to another fan’s family.

The original scarf only lasted a few episodes, then was altered, replaced, and subtly changed as the show went on. There were stunt scarves for stand-ins.

Come Season 18, costume designer June Hudson rethought the entire costume and streamlined the colors to three: rust, wine, and purple, to match the Doctor’s more swashbuckling look. It also became the longest scarf of the series, some 20 feet.

The following year, the Doctor reincarnated again into a cricket-jumper and striped trouser-wearing young blonde man. The Scarf Years were over.

For a very in-depth look at the scarves, including Pantone color references and wool brands, there is nothing better than So, get knitting, Who-vians!

via Laughing Squid

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Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at and/or watch his films here.

The BBC Creates Step-by-Step Instructions for Knitting the Iconic Dr. Who Scarf: A Document from the Early 1980s is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

23 Dec 12:09

Ai WeiWei hand carved marble blades of grass, titled Cao at the...

Ai WeiWei hand carved marble blades of grass, titled Cao at the Royal Academy (at Royal Academy of Arts)

19 Dec 11:34

Hunter S. Thompson Sets His Christmas Tree on Fire, Nearly Burns His House Down (1990)

by Dan Colman

It was something of a Christmas ritual at Hunter S. Thompson’s Colorado cabin, Owl Farm. Every year, his secretary Deborah Fuller would take down the Christmas tree and leave it on the front porch rather than dispose of it entirely. That’s because Hunter, more often than not, wanted to set it on fire. In 1990, Sam Allis, a writer for then formidable TIME magazine, visited Thompson’s home and watched the fiery tradition unfold. He wrote:

I gave up on the interview and started worrying about my life when Hunter Thompson squirted two cans of fire starter on the Christmas tree he was going to burn in his living-room fireplace, a few feet away from an unopened wooden crate of 9-mm bullets. That the tree was far too large to fit into the fireplace mattered not a whit to Hunter, who was sporting a dime-store wig at the time and resembled Tony Perkins in Psycho. Minutes earlier, he had smashed a Polaroid camera on the floor.

Hunter had decided to videotape the Christmas tree burning, and we later heard on the replay the terrified voices of Deborah Fuller, his longtime secretary-baby sitter, and me off-camera pleading with him, “NO, HUNTER, NO! PLEASE, HUNTER, DON’T DO IT!” The original manuscript of Hell’s Angels was on the table, and there were the bullets. Nothing doing. Thompson was a man possessed by now, full of the Chivas Regal he had been slurping straight from the bottle and the gin he had been mixing with pink lemonade for hours.

The wooden mantle above the fireplace apparently still has burn marks on it today. It’s one of the many things you can check out when Owl Creek starts running museum tours in the near future.

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via Gothamist

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Hunter S. Thompson Sets His Christmas Tree on Fire, Nearly Burns His House Down (1990) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

17 Dec 23:50

“The Exorcist” By Way of Vermeer

by Rebecca Robertson
© Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York © Hellen van Meene/Courtesy of the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

Hellen van Meene’s quiet pictures of women and girls posed in mostly empty rooms or among exotic plants suggest undercurrents of fairytale and allegory, drawing from myth, art history, and horror movies to make seductively simple pictures that are by turns unsettling and playful. Her work is on view in “Five,” her fittingly-named fifth show at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York until January 23. The images call to mind classical painting, especially that of fellow Dutchman Vermeer, whose delicate window light van Meene often evokes, along with references to Ingres and Velasquez. Hans Christian Andersen is a source for an image of a woman asleep atop a pile of mattresses. Other references are more modern – in another, a girl levitates above a couch, her dress falling elegantly beneath her in a nod to The Exorcist.

While the subjects of van Meene’s photos seem to reveal something about themselves, her aim is not represent each individual. “People keep asking me if portraiture is what I really do,” van Meene has said in an interview. There are people in her photos, “but they’re not really ‘portraits’,” she says. “It’s not that I am aiming to make a precise document of the person in front of me. It’s rather more like a translation of someone I see in front of me, and whom I translate into something different.”

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19 Nov 12:31

Designing the Hippie Modernism Exhibition Catalogue

by Emmet Byrne
Olena Bulygina

need one


The catalogue for Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia is edited by curator Andrew Blauvelt and contains new scholarship that examines the art, architecture, and design of the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. The catalogue surveys the radical experiments that challenged societal norms while proposing new kinds of technological, ecological and political utopia. It includes the counter-design proposals of Victor Papanek and the anti-design polemics of Global Tools; the radical architectural visions of Archigram, Superstudio, Haus-Rucker-Co, and ONYX; the installations of Ken Isaacs, Joan Hills, Mark Boyle, Hélio Oiticica, and Neville D’Almeida; the experimental films of Jordan Belson, Bruce Conner, and John Whitney; posters and prints by Emory Douglas, Corita Kent, and Victor Moscoso; documentation of performances by the Diggers and the Cockettes; publications such as Oz and The Whole Earth Catalog; books by Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller; and much more.


While the turbulent social history of the 1960s is well known, its cultural production remains comparatively under-examined. In this substantial volume, scholars explore a range of practices such as radical architectural and anti-design movements emerging in Europe and North America; the print revolution in the graphic design of books, posters and magazines; and new forms of cultural practice that merged street theater and radical politics. Through a profusion of illustrations, interviews with figures including: Gerd Stern of USCO; Ken Isaacs; Gunther Zamp Kelp of Haus-Rucker-Co; Ron Williams and Woody Rainey of ONYX; Franco Raggi of Global Tools; Tony Martin; Drop City; as well as new scholarly writings, this book explores the conjunction of the countercultural ethos and the modernist desire to fuse art and life.


While designing the publication, one of the tensions we were interested in exploring was the relationship of the hippie as popularized by the media and its authentic counterpart, if such a thing existed. As Andrew describes in his preface to the catalogue, “The hippie was and remains a highly mediated figure, one used rhetorically within this project as the same kind of empty signifier to which accreted many different agendas. Or, as the Diggers once said, the hippie was just another convenient “bag” for the “identity-hungry to climb in.” If the publication could illustrate both the hippie as utopic countercultural agent and the hippie as “devoted son of Mass Media,” we might begin to emulate a Hippie Modernism.


117Typographically, we responded to lo-fi publications such as the Whole Earth Catalog, How to Build Your Own Living Structures, Be Here Now, and the Foundation Journal on one hand, and the iconic, corporate advertising language of the ’60s and ’70s on the other. Bridging these two registers came quite naturally to many of the artists and designers of this era, who understood that envisioning a utopia meant performing it, broadcasting it, projecting it, publishing it, and advertising it. Creating the future meant co-opting the strategies of mass communication.





One obvious example of this was “Advertisements for the Counter Culture,” an insert in the July 1970 issue of Progressive Architecture magazine, in which representatives of the counterculture were invited to create advertisements for their various projects and efforts. In the preface, editor Forest Wilson wrote, “The following pages reflect deep discontent with things as they are. We should be concerned when such options cease to be advertised, for it is when those who seek change despair of its realization that violence becomes inevitable. The public notices that follow are put forth to offer alternatives to our way of life, not to destroy it.”



In addition to reprinting the insert in our catalogue, we created a 16-page reimagining of it through the lens of Hippie Modernism, interspersed throughout the essay section. Some of these pages feature real ads, publication covers, and layouts from the period, while others are fictional recreations (the McLuhan ad, for example, required restaging a photoshoot in order to translate an ad that was originally black-and-white into full color). The pages are printed on Constellation Jade Riccio, a dreamy, pearlescent paper embossed with a wavy pattern that brings to mind the organic psychedelia of certain hippie projects such as Elias Romero’s oil and ink light show experiments, while also reinforcing notions of mass production and surface, by way of it’s highly artificial nature. (I first saw this paper used beautifully by Laurent Fétis and Sarah Martinon in the design of the catalogue for the 23rd International Poster and Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont 2012.)




The book also includes an extensive plate section, featuring images and descriptions of the projects featured in the exhibition.


Finally, the image on the cover of the book depicts the US Pavilion for Expo 67 (Montreal), designed by Buckminster Fuller and Shoji Sadao, as it caught fire on May 20, 1976. As a signifer, the photo by Doug Lehman seems to perfectly encapsulate the friction implied by the term “hippie modernism” and, more explicitly, the counterculture’s utopian agenda being subsumed—and deemed a failure—by the conservative era that was to follow. With each passing year, though, this reactionary characterization of the counterculture moment rings more and more hollow, as contemporary practitioners revisit the revolutionary strategies these artists, designers, and activists deployed.


15 Nov 14:24

Hand-Colored 1860s Photographs Reveal the Last Days of Samurai Japan

by Colin Marshall

Samurai Japan 1

Any fan of samurai movies knows the elaborate lengths some productions can go to in order to recreate the look and feel of old Japan, but globetrotting Italian-British photographer Felice Beato (1832 – 1909) actually managed to capture those days on celluloid first-hand. He arrived in Japan in 1863, at the very twilight of the era of the samurai, a time he documented evocatively with a series of hand-colored photographs of subjects like “kimonos, parasols, baby’s toys, basket sellers, courtesans at rest and a samurai gang ready for action,” as the Guardian lists them in their gallery of Beato’s Japanese work.

Samurai Japan 2

“After spending over two hundred years in seclusion, Japan was being forced by the Americans — under a mission led by Commodore Matthew C. Perry — to expand its trade with the west,” writes Dangerous Minds’ Paul Gallagher, describing the unprecedented moment of Japanese history in which Beato found himself, one that provided the opportunity to photograph not just the last of the samurais but also the courtesans they loved. But all this had its risks: “Travel was dangerous in Japan,” Gallagher adds, “with many of the Shogunate samurai warriors killing westerners,” a fate Beato narrowly avoided at least once.

samurai in color

Having photographed in Constantinople, India, and China before Japan, Beato moved on after it to other parts of Asia, including Korea and Burma, before returning to his native Italy at the very end of his life. But his pictures of Japan remain among the most striking of his entire career, perhaps because of their artistic use of color, perhaps because of a historical time and place that we think we’ve come to know through so many sword-and-suicide epics. Their characters, from the honor-bound samurai to the sly courtesan to the simple merchant, can seem to us a bit theatrical as a result, but Beato’s photographs remind us that they all began as very real people. Who might they inspire to make a film about their real lives?

Samurai Japan 4

Samurai Japan 5

Samurai Japan 6

via The Guardian/Dangerous Minds

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Colin Marshall writes elsewhere on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, the video series The City in Cinemaand the crowdfunded journalism project Where Is the City of the Future? Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Hand-Colored 1860s Photographs Reveal the Last Days of Samurai Japan is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

15 Nov 14:21

ASX.TV: A Conversation with Alec Soth (2015)

by The ASX Team
On 'Gathered Leaves' at the Media Space, Science Museum The post ASX.TV: A Conversation with Alec Soth (2015) appeared first on AMERICAN SUBURB X.

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28 Oct 21:56

Picturing the Marathon

by Rebecca Robertson
© Andrew Hinderaker / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Adrian Kinloch / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Dina Litovsky / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Dina Litovsky / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Jeffrey Aaronson / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Ramin Talaie / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York © Richard Chung / Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

On the first Sunday of November, 50,000 runners dressed in their best sweatpants and Spandex are expected to take part in the 45th New York City Marathon; the number of photos generated by their 26.2-mile trip through all five boroughs will be almost certainly upwards of that. Since the first race in 1970, when 127 participants ran laps around Central Park, the race has grown into a massive event that attracts more than a million spectators along its route, cheering family and friends and photographing the colorful blur that sweeps past them. On view in time for the race is “The New York City Marathon: The Great Race,” the first exhibition focusing on photography to explore the history and experience of running the city’s race, on view until March 2016 at The Museum of the City of New York.

The exhibition includes images made by both amateur and professional photographers who responded to the museum’s call for images. From several thousand entries, 120 were selected, taken on devices ranging from cell phones to state-of-the-art digital cameras. Among them are Dina Litovsky’s study of a drift of green water cups left in the runners’ wake in Queens, and Adrian Kinloch’s composition framing participants against the face of an empty brick- and plywood-fronted building in Brooklyn. Spanning locations along the marathon route from the starting line, through diverse neighborhoods, across five bridges and ending at the Central Park finish line, the photos record the struggle and pride the race inspires.

Curated by Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs at MCNY, the show mirrors the inclusive spirit of the race by combining photos from professionals with those from fans and participants. “With this exhibition, we hope to celebrate the Marathon as an event that brings all five boroughs and anyone who visits them together in truly inspiring fashion,” explains Corcoran in a statement. Meanwhile, photos for this year’s race are already accumulating on social media – five days before the big day, hashtag #nycmarathon has close to 90,000 posts on Instagram, and growing.


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05 Oct 15:09

Doom Running On The Apple Watch

This is a video of doom running on the Apple Watch, this was created by Libor Tubi who work’s for Facebook in Tel-Aviv."So we had a 10-hour hackathon in our Facebook Tel-Aviv office, and the idea was to hack around iOS stuff. Apple has released beta versions for watchOS 2 that lets you run native apps on the watch and we thought it could be fun to port Doom over to it! (not to mention the fact that JOHN CARMACK is a colleague OMG!!)" The next video shows Doom running on the Apple TV, this was put together by developer Mehdi Mulani who also works for Facebook...(Read...)

04 Oct 13:24

New Service Will Preserve and Frame Your Tattoos After You Die

by Claire Voon
(all images courtesy NAPSA)

A framed piece of preserved skin art (all images courtesy NAPSA)

You may now bequeath your tattoos to your loved ones to frame and display, just like any other work of art that you value or that may be a family heirloom. Save My Ink, a new professional service offered by the National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA), treats body art as a work of fine art and is the first to offer such preservation on a mass and professional scale.

“You would never burn a Picasso or any piece of art you invested in and had a passion for,” said NAPSA’s executive director Charles Hamm, who also co-owns a tattoo studio outside Cleveland. “Your tattoo is also art with a unique story, just on a different canvas.”

The process is open to only members — 18 years old and up — of the nonprofit association, who pay an initial fee in addition to yearly dues. Those ready to pass along their dermis for posterity identify the piece they wish to preserve (which cannot be inked on the face or genitalia) and designate a beneficiary; within 18 hours of one’s passing, the beneficiary then alerts NAPSA who will overnight send a removal kit and paperwork to the funeral home. The embalmer has to then remove the tattoo — or tattoos — within 60 hours, place it in a “nontoxic temporary preservation compound,” and send it back to NAPSA, who will preserve the tattooed skin and return it to the beneficiary within three to six months. According to NAPSA, most funeral homes and embalmers are willing to follow through with the fairly easy removal process, although the organization also has a master embalmer who is building a network of funeral home providers for the service.


A framed piece of preserved skin art (click to enlarge)

The idea of framing a slice of your loved one’s skin is a little creepy and stomach-churning — and Save My Ink will undoubtedly face its share of critics — but beneficiaries won’t end up with a framed maggot-magnet. The process, which took a year to perfect, according to NAPSA, is “essentially a chemical and enzymatic process that permanently alters the chemical structure thus permanently fixing it against decomposition (while preserving the integrity of the art).” The process also touches up and enhances the work, returning it to its original look — making the procedure quite similar to the conservation of a priceless painting.

“These pieces should be treated as what they are, fine art,” Hamm told Hyperallergic in an email. “If one frames the piece according to NAPSA guidelines and keeps it out of direct sunlight, the piece should last forever.”

In terms of legality, NAPSA says that challenges arise depending on how regulators classify tattoos at various steps of the process – although, since it firmly believes that “recovered” body ink is, in fact, simply art, Save My Ink is merely “fulfill[ing] the wishes of many art collectors in the country.” The service will, however, work on behalf of its members around the world to overcome any possible regulatory hurdles.

The launch of Save My Ink emphasizes the increased perception of tattoos as fine art  — likewise indicated by the language tattoo enthusiasts increasingly adopt that was once reserved for non-body art (such as “collector”). Many tattoo artists also work on mediums beyond skin and participate in gallery shows (this November, some will even have original work auctioned off). This past weekend, NAPSA even exhibited its own gallery of preserved skin art at the Las Vegas Tattoo Convention, and Hamm tells Hyperallergic that the association plans to have the art in a museum one day.

The display of tattoos in museums is an ancient tradition, and many institutions have centuries-old specimens: London’s Wellcome Collection, for example, is home to the world’s largest collection of preserved body art; the French National Museum of Natural History also has over 50 pieces; and the Musée du Quai Branly’s soon-to-end exhibition, Tatouers, Tatoués, features an entire marked arm. Such historic works, however, are artifacts, originally saved to be studied, and are now often placed in glass cabinets for public viewing. Save My Ink instead preserves body art for its artistic worth, and its eventual display in private homes is a much more intimate (if not unusual) gesture.


A framed piece of preserved skin art


A framed piece of preserved skin art


A framed piece of preserved skin art


A framed piece of preserved skin art


A framed piece of preserved skin art

Member certificate

Members also receive a highly embellished member certificate, which is itself a work of art.


01 Oct 17:37

The Dreslyn – “Lost In Translation” Winter Lookbook @ The LINE Hotel (Los Angeles)

by wheeler
PastedGraphic-1 PastedGraphic-2 PastedGraphic-3 PastedGraphic-4 PastedGraphic-5 PastedGraphic-6
22 Sep 22:27

The Martian's Official Mission Guide

For each mission, NASA does a considerable amount of work publicizing their efforts to bring awareness of their mission to the general public.  The same would be true for a manned Mars Mission, as the official Mission Guide for The Martian demonstrates.The guide looks like a slick magazine with a whole bunch of facts and pictures about the Ares 3 mission. This mission? Study the geology and sedimentology of Acidalia Planitia to learn about the planet’s recent geologic history.  The document also talks about the background of each of the characters. Download the official Mission Guide here...(Read...)

20 Sep 13:39

Discovered: First Use of the “F Word” May Date Back to 1310

by Dan Colman


We previously thought that the first use of the “F word” dated back to 1528 — to when a monk jotted the word in the margins of Cicero’s De Officiis. But it turns out that you can find traces of this colorful curse word in English court documents written in 1310.

Dr. Paul Booth, a former lecturer in medieval history at Keele University, was looking through court records from the age of Edward II when he accidentally stumbled upon the name “Roger Fuckebythenavele.” The name was apparently used three times in the documents, suggesting it was hardly a mistake. According to The Daily Mail, Booth believes “Roger Fuckebythenavele” was a nickname for a defendant in a criminal case. And, going further, he suggests the nickname could mean one of two things: ‘Either this refers to an inexperienced copulator, referring to someone trying to have sex with the navel, or it’s a rather extravagant explanation for a dimwit, someone so stupid they think this that is the way to have sex.’ Booth has notified the Oxford English Dictionary of his discovery.

via The Daily Mail

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The Very First Written Use of the F Word in English (1528)

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Medieval Cats Behaving Badly: Kitties That Left Paw Prints … and Peed … on 15th Century Manuscripts

Discovered: First Use of the “F Word” May Date Back to 1310 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

05 Aug 12:05

The Artist Statements of the Old Masters

by John Seed


“If the great European artists of the past were alive today, what kinds of statements would they need to write to explain and justify their work?”

This summer I asked myself that question over two dozen times for a small, humor book that I have been developing. I hope you will find the sampling of seven statements below funny and even a bit poetic. Five of them were written specifically for Hyperallergic and two are from my new book.








John Seed’s Artist’s Statements of the Old Masters (2015) is available on Amazon.

14 Jul 16:27

Insanely Cute Cat Commercials from Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s Legendary Animation Shop

by Jonathan Crow

Back in 2010, Hayao Miyazaki’s company Studio Ghibli produced a commercial for the massive food conglomerate Nissin Seifun. The spot centers on a rotund cat named Konyara who bats lazily at a red butterfly – Nissin’s logo. Konyara is rendered in simple thick, black lines that recall Japanese sumi-e painting.

Miyazaki reportedly didn’t have much to do directly with the piece but his influence is all over it. The commercial was produced by Miyazaki’s long time collaborator Toshio Suzuki and animated by Katsuya Kondo, who did the character design for perhaps Miyazaki’s most cat-centric movie Kiki’s Delivery Service. Another Miyazaki collaborator, pop legend Akiko Yano, did the music. More to the point, Konyara looks like some of Miyazaki’s most enduring characters from Totoro to Ponyo to the Kodama from Princess Mononoke. Adorable, elegant and vital.

The commercial was so successful that Nissin commissioned two more. The second one aired in 2012 and featured a sleepy Konyara struggling to grab 40 winks while her offspring, named Ko-Konyara (trans: Little Konyara), insists on cuddling. The calligraphy on the side reads “Always together.”

The most recent Ghibli/Nissin commercial came out a few months ago. Konyara’s brood has expanded to three – the two new cats named Kuroneko and Buchi. All three tumble into the frame as Konyara presents them with a fish while text appears reading, “I’m hungry.” When the little black kitten, who looks a lot like a soot sprite from Totoro, runs off with dinner, Konyara gives a resigned sigh. It’s an expression that anyone who has spent long periods with very young children will recognize.

You can watch all three above or here.

via Cartoon Brew

Related Content:

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Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring lots of pictures of vice presidents with octopuses on their heads.  The Veeptopus store is here.

Insanely Cute Cat Commercials from Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s Legendary Animation Shop is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs. is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Insanely Cute Cat Commercials from Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s Legendary Animation Shop appeared first on Open Culture.

29 Apr 10:38

Large Format Photographs Capture Ornate Opera Houses From Around the World

by Kate Sierzputowski

All images © David Leventi, Margravial Opera House, BAYREUTH, GERMANY, 2008

David Leventi photographs the interiors of world famous opera houses, capturing the ornate design of the architecture found inside. Using 4×5″ and 8×10″ Arca-Swiss cameras, Leventi captures each opera house from the vantage of an operatic singer, photographing the space from the very center of the stage.

Leventi is not just aesthetically inspired by the opera houses he photographs, but also holds a familial connection to their structures. He is the son of two architects, and the project was started in remembrance of his grandfather Anton Gutman, a cantor trained after World War II by a famous Danish operatic tenor. Gutman performed for prisoners and officers while interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in the Soviet Union, and Leventi’s photographs are a gesture that aims to examine the spaces he was never able to perform.

Leventi’s photographic process imitates with light what a performer would do with his or her voice, light waves bouncing off of each architectural element and bringing the vast space back to the detailed image. Each photograph captures a view impossible to the naked eye, combing both line-of-sight and periphery imagery to produce images that wrap the viewer in the experience of each world famous theatre. Leventi is not just capturing the depth of the space, but also the extensive history lived within each performance hall.

Leventi received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and is represented by galleries internationally. Leventi’s exhibition “David Leventi: Opera” will open May 7 at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City, and his first monograph by the same name (published by Damiani) will be released this spring. (via Arch Atlas)

All images © David Leventi, Romanian Athenaeum BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, 2007

Romanian Athenaeum BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, 2007

La Fenice VENICE, ITALY, 2008

La Fenice VENICE, ITALY, 2008

Curtain, Palais Garnier PARIS, FRANCE, 2009

Curtain, Palais Garnier PARIS, FRANCE, 2009

Palais Garnier PARIS , FRANCE, 2009

Palais Garnier PARIS , FRANCE, 2009

The Metropolitan Opera NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, 2008

The Metropolitan Opera NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, 2008

Teatro di Villa Aldrovandi Mazzacorati BOLOGNA, ITALY, 2014

Teatro di Villa Aldrovandi Mazzacorati BOLOGNA, ITALY, 2014

Mariinsky Theater ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, 2009

Mariinsky Theater ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, 2009

Teatro di San Carlo NAPLES, ITALY, 2009

Teatro di San Carlo NAPLES, ITALY, 2009

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía VALENCIA, SPAIN, 2014

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía VALENCIA, SPAIN, 2014



Curtain, Royal Swedish Opera, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2008

Curtain, Royal Swedish Opera, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN, 2008

29 Apr 06:43


by JX
Olena Bulygina

summer 2012, 99% dressed.

Olena Bulygina by Anastasiya Lazurenko


(c) Anastasiya Lazurenko @ cargocollective

27 Apr 11:55

Extreme Drawing

by Lauren Purje


23 Apr 12:57

See the First Known Photograph Ever Taken (1826)

by Josh Jones


In histories of early photography, Louis Daguerre faithfully appears as one of the fathers of the medium. His patented process, the daguerreotype, in wide use for nearly twenty years in the early 19th century, produced so many of the images we associate with the period, including famous photographs of Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, and John Brown. But had things gone differently, we might know better the harder-to-pronounce name of his onetime partner Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, who produced the first known photograph ever, taken in 1826.

Something of a gentleman inventor, Niépce (below) began experimenting with lithography and with that ancient device, the camera obscura, in 1816. Eventually, after much trial and error, Niépce developed his own photographic process, which he called “heliography.” He began by mixing chemicals on a flat pewter plate, then placing it inside a camera. After exposing the plate to light for eight hours, the inventor then washed and dried it. What remained was the image we see above, taken, as Niépce wrote, from “the room where I work” on his country estate and now housed at the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center.


At the Ransom Center website, you can see a short video describing Niépce’s house and showing how scholars recreated the vantage point from which he took the picture. Another video offers insight into the process Niépce invented to create his “heliograph.” In 1827, Niépce traveled to England to visit his brother. While there, with the assistance of English botanist Francis Bauer, he presented a paper on his new invention to the Royal Society. His findings were rejected, however, because he opted not to fully reveal the details, hoping to make economic gains with a proprietary method. Niépce left the pewter image with Bauer and returned to France, where he shortly after agreed to a ten-year partnership with Daguerre in 1829.

Sadly for Niépce, his heliograph would not produce the financial or technological success he envisioned, and he died just four years later in 1833. Daguerre, of course, went on to develop his famous process in 1829 and passed into history, but we should remember Niépce’s efforts, and marvel at what he was able to achieve on his own with limited materials and no training or precedent. Daguerre may receive much of the credit, but it was the “scientifically-minded gentleman” Niépce and his heliography that led—writes the Ransom Center’s Head of Photographic Conservation Barbara Brown—to “the invention of the new medium.”

Niepce Reproduction

Niépce’s pewter plate image was re-discovered in 1952 by Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, who published an article on the find in The Photographic Journal. Thereafter, the Gernsheims had the Eastman Kodak Company create the reproduction above. This image’s “pointillistic effect,” writes Brown, “is due to the reproduction process,” and the image “was touched up with watercolors by [Helmut] Gernsheim himself in order to bring it as close as possible to his approximation of how he felt the original should appear in reproduction.”

Related Content:

See The First “Selfie” In History Taken by Robert Cornelius, a Philadelphia Chemist, in 1839

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Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye, a Revealing Look at “The Father of Modern Photography”

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

See the First Known Photograph Ever Taken (1826) is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post See the First Known Photograph Ever Taken (1826) appeared first on Open Culture.

23 Apr 06:29

High-Tech Japanese Camera Proves That the Shape of a Wine Glass Affects the Flavor of Wines

by Dan Colman
Olena Bulygina


Japanese scientists have developed a camera that confirms what we’ve long sensed: “wine glass shape has a very sophisticated functional design for tasting and enjoying wine.” That’s what Kohji Mitsubayashi, a researcher at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, told Chemistry World.

It’s a little complicated, and I’d encourage you to read this Chemistry World article, but the upshot is this: Mitsubayashi’s team used a special camera to analyze “different wines, in different glasses – including different shaped wine glasses, a martini glass and a straight glass – at different temperatures.” And they found that “different glass shapes and temperatures can bring out completely different bouquets and finishes from the same wine.”

In the video above, you can see the new-fangled camera in action, demonstrating how wines at different temperatures (something that’s affected by the geometry of the glass) release different vapors. And those translate into different flavors. Get more on this at Chemistry World.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn and  share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

Related Content:

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High-Tech Japanese Camera Proves That the Shape of a Wine Glass Affects the Flavor of Wines is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post High-Tech Japanese Camera Proves That the Shape of a Wine Glass Affects the Flavor of Wines appeared first on Open Culture.

26 Mar 23:03

wmagazine: Gone Girl Photograph by David Fincher for W. 


Gone Girl

Photograph by David Fincher for W

26 Mar 23:02


Olena Bulygina

this is literally a piece of me

26 Mar 23:01


26 Mar 23:00

isbsh: Nike x sacai | Dazed

20 Mar 17:37

Anairam ©

Anairam ©

19 Feb 10:09

krabbydon: gerrycanavan:understanding art, lesson one this...



understanding art, lesson one

this will never not be funny

13 Feb 08:50

Stephanie Gonot Insult Cakes 2014

Stephanie Gonot Insult Cakes 2014