Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘art’

11 FEBRUARY, 2011

The Universal Now: Vintage Book Plate Collages

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What London landmarks have to do with quantum physics and vintage photography.

Nearly two years ago, we looked at examples of exploring layers of the present through images of the past in Photographic Time Machine. In The Universal Now, UK artist Abigail Reynolds takes this approach to an entirely new, more conceptually elaborate and aesthetically sophisiticated level. She collects vintage tourist guides, then search for photographs taken from a similar vantage point and printed at similar scale. When she finds these matching book plates, she cuts and folds the pages into a single surface, arranging the images in chronological order based on the publication dates of the books, with the first serving as the “base” of the collage.

Tower Bridge 1946 / 1979

Piccadilly Circus New Years Celebrations 1951 / 1961

Sibelius 1985 / 1973

The Universal Now works operate as a resurrection of the unregarded book plates and forgotten photographers that have stood in the same places at a different times, bringing these moments into a dialogue and into the present.” ~ Abigail Reynolds

Big Ben 1935 / 1982

Post Office Tower 1989 / 1999

Waterloo Bridge 1948 / 1966

Olympic Stadium Tower 1951 / 1961

The Universal Now takes its name from the world of quantum physics and its debates about the nature of the time continuum, which only adds to the project’s thoughtfulness and conceptual merit.

More of Reynolds’ inspired work can be found in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography, a fantastic anthology you may recall from pickings past.

Thanks, Amy

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10 FEBRUARY, 2011

Saul Bass on Money, Quality Work & Creative Legacy

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We’re big fans of iconic designer Saul Bass. This triad of interviews, filmed shortly before Bass’s death in 1996, offers a rare peek at the machinery of his creative genius as he shares priceless and often unexpected insight on the tradeoff between making money and doing quality work, his legacy, and the fundamental competency responsibilities of young designers.

I don’t give a damn if the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it IS worth anything — it’s worth it to me. It’s the way I wanna live my life. I wanna make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.” ~ Saul Bass

Learn to draw! If you don’t, you’re gonna live your life getting around that and trying to compensate for that.” ~ Saul Bass

The full 90-minute documentary is available on 2-disc DVD from the filmmaker and designer Archie Boston’s site. Meanwhile, don’t miss Bass’s absolutely fantastic Why Man Creates animated feature, a deeper investigation into the origin of creative impetus.

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09 FEBRUARY, 2011

Panorama: A Woodcut Fold-Out Travelogue Promoting Biodiversity

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We have a soft spot for creative, playful takes on the book medium. So we’re head-over-heels with Panorama — an astounding fold-out children’s travelogue by author Fani Marceau and illustrator Joelle Joviet, originally published in France in 2007.

A journey from Bangladesh to Scotland to Antarctica unfolds, literally, in stunning black-and-white woodcut illustrations across 15 magnificent spreads, each a whimsical portrait of a different exotic locale. Underlying the narrative is a subtle yet thoughtful message about sustainability and biodiversity, adding a richer context to the pure aesthetic joy of the experience.

Panorama is as much an engrossing educational experience for young readers as it is an absolute masterpiece of design for aesthetic poeticism aficionados of all ages.

Thanks, Kirstin

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09 FEBRUARY, 2011

The Future of Art: An Immediated Autodocumentary

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Last week, we featured Aaron Koblin’s insightful thoughts on the digital renaissance. The interview, produced by futurism exploration outfit Emergence Collective, was actually part of a larger “immediated autodocumentary” — a full-length documentary short and edited in an extraordinarily short amount of time — on the future of art, released this week. The film features interviews with 13 leading digital artists and creative entrepreneurs, interviewed at the 2011 Transmediale Festival in Berlin, and explores everything from remix culture to the role of content curators to collaborative creativity.

That is the role that we [curators] play — making connections between things that might not otherwise be obvious connections.” ~ Heather Kelley

The idea of originality and proprietariness also contributes to the whole Great Man Theory, which is slowly disintegrating — the idea of the genius, the Freud, the Marx, the Leonardo, the Einstein… They’ve come up with an idea that’s completely related to the man that came up with it. Whereas, today, the ideas just get thrown out there and used, and it’s that use that in a way is the art, rather than the person who comes up with the idea.” ~ Ken Wahl

via Swiss Miss

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