A quote and a picture of the grand and unorthodoxly wonderful Buckminster Fuller,
A quote and a picture of the grand and unorthodoxly wonderful Buckminster Fuller,
Denise Dresser, Javier Elguea, Claudia Fernandez, Gabriella GÃ³mez-Mont, Gabriel Guerra. Blanca Heredia y Damon Rich:
en Pase Usted, ideas sobre educaciÃ³n.
(O de intoxicaciÃ³n, en mi caso)
(Nos vemos por ahÃ)
(Series by Naomi Harris. Via Women in Photography blog.)
Says the artist:
Swingers. They are your schoolteacher, your doctor, your bank teller, your police officer, and your neighbor. There is no type. They are not deviants. They are not porn stars. If anything, these are the most ordinary people in your community. You pass them every day in the supermarket, on the expressway, in the airport, in line at the post office. There is a growing phenomenon of these soccer moms and super dads who drop their kids off with the baby sitter and shed their persona on the weekend and satiate their sexual appetite by engaging in sex for sport with multiple partners.
According to NASCA (the North American Swing Club Association), the popularity of â€œswingingâ€ is increasing, especially in the suburbs. Currently they estimate there are over 3 million â€œswingersâ€ in the US. And it is this suburban sense of normalcy that attracted me to photograph this group of individuals. The idea that you donâ€™t really know someone just by their outward appearances; that what goes on behind closed doors can be beyond your wildest dreams.
Over the course of nearly five years I photographed nearly 40 parties, crisscrossing the country from Mahwah, New Jersey, to Pleasanton, California, from Big Lake Minnesota, to Washington, Texas. By photographing suburban and rural areas across the states I was able to show how different Americans approach this lifestyle and how their surroundings and community affect them.”
“Saddam’s heads, taken from the roof of the Republican Guard Palace, now located at Al-Salam Palace,Â Iraq 2009″
“Uday’s Palace, Jebel Makhoul, Iraq 2009″
“Birthday Palace Interior, showing dormitories built by American GIs inside Saddam’s Palace architecture, Tikrit, Iraq 2009″
“Birthday Palace, Tikrit, Iraq 2009″
“Saddam Mural, Camp Speicher, Tikrit, Iraq 2009″
Says The Exposure Project:
Richard Mosse‘s series Breach is an investigation of Saddam Hussein’s former imperial palaces in their converted state as temporary housing facilities for the U.S. military. The always insightful BLDGBLOG conducted an interview with Mosse earlier this year regarding his time in Iraq. The excerpt below was taken from their exchange:
BLDGBLOG: The way these structures have been colonized is often amusing and sometimes shockingâ€”the telephones, desks, and instant dormitories that turn an imperial palace into what looks like a suburban office or hospital waiting room. Can you describe some of the spatial details of these soldiers’ lives that most struck you?
Mosse: It was extraordinary how some of the palace interiors had been transformed to accommodate the soldiers. Troops scurried beneath vaulted ceilings and glittering faux-crystal chandeliers. Lofty marble columns towered over rat runs between hastily constructed chipboard cubicles. Obama’s face beamed out of televisions overlooking the freezers and microwaves of provisional canteen spaces.
Many of the palaces have already been handed back to the Iraqisâ€”but where Americans troops do remain, they live in very cramped conditions, pissing into a hole in the ground and waiting days just to shower. Life is hard on the front line, and it seems more than a little surreal to be ticking off the days in a dictator’s pleasure dome.
The most interesting thing about the whole endeavor for me was the very fact that the U.S. had chosen to occupy Saddam’s palaces in the first place. If you’re trying to convince a population that you have liberated them from a terrible dictator, why would you then sit in his throne? A savvier place to station the garrison would have been a place free from associations with Saddam, and the terror and injustices that the occupying forces were convinced they’d done away with. Instead, they made the mistake of repeating history.
Unstoppable seÃ±or William: fellow TED Fellow that I was fortunate enough to meet a few months ago.
His TED talk came up a couple of days ago, and it is a must-see.
Says the TED blog:
To power his family’s home, young William Kamkwamba built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap — starting him on a surprising journey detailed in the new book, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”
See William’s blog here.
And a TED interview here.
“It is the artist’s mission to penetrate as far as may be toward that secret ground where primal law feeds growth. Which artist would not wish to dwell at the central organ of all motion in space-time (be it the brain or the heart of creation) from which all functions derive their life? In the womb of nature, in the primal ground of creation, where the secret key to all things lies hidden? …Our beating heart drives us downward, far down to the primal ground.”
TED talk by neurologist and author Oliver Sacks: What hallucination reveals about our minds.
“But film material can be joined together in another way, which works above all to lay open the logic of a person’s thought. This is the rationale that will dictate the sequence of events, and the editing which forms them into a whole. The birth and development of thought are subject to laws of their own, and sometimes demand forms of expression which are quite different from the patterns of logical speculation. In my view poetic reasoning is closer to the laws by which thought develops, and thus to life itself, than is the logic of traditional drama.
Through poetic connections feeling is heightened and the spectator is made more active. He becomes a participant in the process of discovering life, unsupported by ready-made deductions from the plot or ineluctable pointers by the author. He has at his disposal only what helps to penetrate to the deeper meaning of the complex phenomenon represented in front of him. Complexities of thought and poetic visions of the world do not have to be thrust into the framework of the patently obvious. The usual logic, that of linear sequentiality, is uncomfortably like proof of a geometry theorem. Associative linking allows for both an affective as well as rational appraisal. It possess an inner power which is concentrated within the image and comes across to the audience in the form of feelings, inducing tension in direct response to the author’s narrative logic.
When less than everything is said about a subject, you can still think on further.”
-Andrei Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time–
And bees directed by Studio Libertiny.
Making its debut at Droogâ€™s booth in Milan, the vase was made by 40,000 bees over the course of one week. Studio Libertiny constructed a vase-shaped hive that the bees then colonized, building a hexagonal comb to encompass the existing form. And in the usual dry yet oh-so-clever Dutch manner, Studio Libertiny calls this process â€œslow prototyping,â€ a more time-consuming, yet much more poetic alternative to CNC rapid prototyping.
Beautiful in its ephemeral nature, Libertinyâ€™s â€œcollaborationâ€ with honey bees pushes the boundaries of so-called conventional design by defying mass production and enabling nature to create what would typically be considered a man-made product.
(Saw it myself in London a month or so ago, at the V&A. It is even nicer than in the picture.)
SÃ sÃ. JosÃ© Luis Cuevas won Honorable Mention at Blurb’s International Photo Book Competition. There were almost 2,500 entries from all over the world, and so we are celebrating at TÃ³xico…Â JosÃ© Luis started working his fabulous “Average Man” series into a book during the TÃ³xico Workshop by Amy Stein, and it was Amy who let us all know about Blurb’s competition.
(And a few new projects to come between JosÃ© Luis and TÃ³xico. Updates soon, on the Toxi-blog.)
And this, by the way, was the first prize winner in the Blurb International Photo book competition. Says the Blurb website:
“Rafal Milach, a professional photographer from Warsaw, Poland, was awarded the $25,000 Grand Prize for Black Sea of Concrete . Mr. Milachâ€™s work, shot on the coast of Ukraine, was chosen as the most creative, most innovative and finest self-published photography book by an esteemed panel of judges led by Darius Himes, a co-founder of Radius Books.”
Great work. What can we say.
Take a look at the whole book right here.
Ayer en la noche se presentÃ³ un nuevo libro de RubÃ©n Bonet, lleno de de “aforismos salvajes”, “manifiestos introducibles” y toda una serie de ingeniosos espasmos verbales.
Felicidades al estimadÃsimo Bonet, endiablado prÃncipe de las azoteas. Y para ustedes, una probadita mientras encuentran el libro:
fundaciÃ³n adopte a un escritor
de rubÃ©n bonet*
la FundaciÃ³n Adopte a un Escritor es una organizaciÃ³n de carÃ¡cter situacionista vital, rubeniana e irresoluble. desdeÃ±amos lo binario. y un par de cosas mÃ¡s.
la FundaciÃ³n Adopte se declara situacionista porque despuÃ©s de tantas y tantas posturas y actitudes ensayadas en la vida y despuÃ©s tambiÃ©n de haberlo pensado mucho no hemos encontrado ninguna otra organizaciÃ³n en el mundo a la que nos gustarÃa pertenecer. todas son un asco. de manera efervescente nos declaramos primordialmente situacionistas. y sabemos de antemano que esto no significa nada. nada que valga la pena me refiero.
â€œIn 1980, Lebbeus Woods proposed a tomb for Albert Einstein â€“ the so-called
Einstein Tomb â€“ inspired by BoullÃ©e’s famous Cenotaph for Newton.
But Woods’s proposal wasn’t some paltry gravestone or intricate mausoleum in
hewn granite: it was an asymmetrical space station traveling on the gravitational
warp and weft of infinite emptiness, passing through clouds of mutational
radiation, riding electromagnetic currents into the void.â€ (Geoff Manaugh)”
(Via But Does it Float)
PHotoEspaÃ±a convoca a fotÃ³grafos nacidos o residentes en AmÃ©rica Latina a presentar su trabajo fotogrÃ¡fico a un panel internacional de comisarios y editores.
Los visionados se llevarÃ¡n a cabo los dÃas 6 -7 de noviembre de 2009 en Ciudad de Guatemala y los dÃas 4 -5 de diciembre de 2009 en SÃ£o Paulo.
El Instituto Cervantes nombrarÃ¡ a un comisario que seleccionarÃ¡ a algunos de los participantes para formar parte de una muestra colectiva en la Sede del Instituto Cervantes en Madrid dentro de SecciÃ³n Oficial de PHotoEspaÃ±a 2010. La muestra intinararÃ¡ a otros centros del Instituto Cervantes en el exterior.
Un jurado reconocerÃ¡ a un participante de Descubrimientos PHE, Madrid, Ciudad de Guatemala y SÃ£o Paulo con el Premio Descubrimientos PHE Epson, que consiste en una exposiciÃ³n individual incluida en la programaciÃ³n oficial de PHotoEspaÃ±a 2011. Las inscripciones se realizan a travÃ©s de la pÃ¡gina web: www.phe.es/descubrimientos.
Tienes hasta el 1 de octubre de 2009 para inscribirte. Los fotÃ³grafos seleccionados para participar en los visionados de porfolios tendrÃ¡n la posibilidad de solicitar apoyo para cubrir los gastos de viaje y alojamiento.
Images by Olivia Arthur, a Magnum Nominee.
Says the Magnum Website:
Olivia was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing. In 2003 she moved to Delhi to work as a freelance photographer covering assignments around the Indian Subcontinent. In 2006 she was invited for a one year residency with Fabrica in Italy, where she began work on â€˜the middle-distanceâ€™, a project about the lives of young women along the border between Europe and Asia. This work was exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris as part of a Fabrica group show and later travelled to the Milan Triennial, the Shanghai Art Museum and the Shiodomeitalia Creative Center in Tokyo. For the past two years she has continued to work on a long-term project about women and the east-west cultural divide. This work has been supported by the Inge Morath Award from Magnum, a Bursary from the National Media Museum and the OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values.”
(Oh, these other ex-Fabrica‘s pop up everywhere.)
(Her website still needs a stronger edit I think, but some very nice images to be found. More here.)
In January 2010Â TÃ³xico CulturaÂ andÂ Blok DesignÂ launch a new grant:Â The Blok+Toxico Film Project, created to support young talented filmmakers and visual artists working in Mexico with professional video and audio equipment, free film stock, help with the design of titles, posters etc, plus the possibility of being part of a mentorship program with experienced filmmakers.
And good news starts coming in, even before we have officially started. We just received news from Vanessa Eckstein–the wonderful woman behind the logo and print design, plus our accomplice in this new adventure– that the project’s image won an award at the comingÂ Coupe International Design Competition. It seems the competition is usually quite fierce: last year’s 10 winners includeÂ Stefan Sagmeister–one of the world’s most admired designers, a TED speaker and also TÃ³xico’s first international guest. So needless to say we feel honored and are very happy indeed to be included in this year’s top-ten list.
(More news on this soon, and a bilingual website too.)
(Tantas felicidades Vanessa y Paty)
Between 1998 and 2005 I traveled through the fringes of the former Soviet empire, exploring the oblique stories of half-forgotten enclaves and restless territories. Many of these places are somewhat obscure, but as I came to discover, they offer stark proof that the breakup of the Soviet Union is still a work in progress.
And a “Magnum in Motion” essay here
It rained and thundered madly last night in Mexico City. And Oh! The lightning, as G.K Chesterton would say.
And so I remembered the Lightning Field as I looked out my window: a land art piece created in 1977 Walter De Maria, American sculptor. “Isolated in and interacting with the high desert of southwestern New Mexico, the sculpture consists of 400 stainless steel poles situated in a rectangular grid array one mile by one kilometer… a cabin adjacent to The Lightning Field provides shelter and simple meals during your stay. It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and a common room. Linens are provided.”
(More on the field here)
(Note to self: must go someday)
Animal Wall, a site-specific Ecological Artwork by artist Gitta Gschwendtner.
â€˜Animal Wallâ€™ is part of a 50 metre long wall, running along the south-western edge of â€˜Strataâ€™, a new residential development in Century Wharf, Cardiff Bay. The environmental impact of Cardiff Bayâ€™s extensive development is an ongoing concern and various measures have been put in place to mitigate this. The approach taken for this artwork is to assist wildlife in the area and encourage further habitation. The new housing development of Century Wharf which provides approximately 1,000 new apartments and houses; Gschwendtnerâ€™s design for the â€™Animal Wallâ€™ will match this with about 1,000 nest boxes for different bird and bat species, integrated into the fabric of the wall that separates the development from the adjacent public riverside walk.
Through consultation with an ecologist, four different sized animal homes have been developed, which have been integrated into a custom-made woodcrete cladding to provide an architecturally stunning and environmentally sensitive wall for Century Wharf. The animal wall also transcends the barrier between the private and the public, with the wildlife roaming freely between the two areas.
Via Denzeen. More here
‘Perspectiva Corporum Regularium‘  –featuring engravings by Jost Amman after designs and drawings by Wenzel Jamnitzer: Perspective of the Regular Solids: that is, a diligent exposition of how the five regular solids of which Plato writes in the Timaeus and Euclid in his Elements are artfully brought into perspective using a particularly new, thorough and proper method never before employed.
Jack Kerouac wrote an introduction to The Americans, Frank’s legendary book. (“That little ole lonely elevator girl looking up sighing in an elevator full of blurred demons, what’s her name and address?”)
50 years later a woman walks into an exhibition and is completely surprised to find herself staring at her 50-years-younger face. Yes, it was her, elevator girl, with a name and an address and even a few blurred demons still walking besides her, probably.
She remembers those times, working the elevator of a Miami Beach Hotel. But she does not remember Frank: “Tourists where always taking pictures of me”, she says. And seÃ±or Robert Frank was just another one of them.
(Listen to an interview with her here.)
(Via Lens Culture.)
(“Blasts”, by Japanese artist Naoya Hatakeyama)
(“I will construct a life, my little world, and wait for something outside myself to then throw all my planning and conniving into thrilling chaos.”
-Barbara Ess, I Am Not This Body)
Images by Elizabeth Felicella.
Uneasy Spaces is about the landscape of security â€” about how public places are divided and marked to be shared or protected. Although the project is in part a catalog of public space and recognizable security measures, such as lighting and fencing, ultimately it is more concerned with an emotional register of territoriality, security and even fear as it is manifested in our urban environment.
Via Design Observer.
More on this project here.
(Reminds me a bit of the series “Architecture of Authority”, by Richard Ross. See past TÃ³xico post on him here.)
On conventions, familiarity, strangeness and limbs
“Completely conventional movie making doesnâ€™t make sense to me. Why would anyone want to do a film that someone else could have done? Unless you want a commercial film. An art-house film wants to say: I am a little different from what youâ€™ve seen. And I will not bore you, trust me. Art-house movies should experiment more. We have less expectations to contend with. So make something interesting and personal. How can we cut a scene to contain different emotions? How can we twist a theme, make it both familiar and strange? But the more stylized or quirky your movie, the more natural the acting has to be. There has to be something to connect with, an anchor that you can relate to and that drags you into a strange world. Because if there is a certain point of departure that seems understandable, then the movie can twist and turn you, from this gravitational point onwards and take you out on a limb. But you need something to lure people to the limb first. Actors are one of the strongest anchors in movies. So they have to be very real. I am only conventional in the picking of my actors. I only choose the very best; it is that simple. I have used some of the best European actors in my films.”
(Boe gave a fabulous TÃ³xico Workshop in 2008. We were supposed meet again, a month ago, in Copenhagen. But, alas, life had it otherwise. Hopefully soon. Plus a new TÃ³xico interview. His thoughts on cinema still swim in our heads.)