Bankers, b-boys, and why diversity and solidarity are not NYC’s strangest bedfellows.
New York City. Was there ever a more diverse, colorful and eclectic hub of humanity? Fascinated by the incredible hearth of culture that is NYC, strategic planner and hobbyist photographer Friko Starc set out to document it at its rawest, most candid form. For three years, he took portraits of strangers and passers-by at five Manhattan corners in what became The Corners Project, an inspired cross-section of New York’s living matter.
The five corners where the candid, spontaneous portraits were taken — Clinton & Rivington, Chrystie & Grand, Wall & Broad, Lex & 116th, 19th & 8th — stretch all across the island, from Chinatown to Wall Street, Lower East Side to Chelsea to Spanish Harlem.
From hipsters to homeboys, executives to entertainers, the project spans the entire social spectrum, with all its vibrant richness and charming quirk. Often presented in pairs, the portraits bespeak a unique blend of diversity and solidarity, the unmistakable we’re-in-this-together-ness of New York.
The project is part Ari Versluis’ fascinating Exactitudes, part Jason Polan’s wonderful illustrated Every Person in New York, with its own gritter, more unfiltered take on the ambitious goal of cataloging NYC’s incredible diversity and energy.
Explore The Corners Project and find it on Facebook, then go stake out a street corner of your own and marvel at the living runway of urbanity.
Intelligent insight, the fountain of youth, or what’s love got to do with it.
A couple of months ago, we raved about photographer Andrew Zuckerman‘s extraordinary series, Bird. Turns out, Zuckerman had a much more ambitious project in his back pocket.
Driven by the insight that the greatest heritage of a generation is the wisdom gained from life’s experience, Zuckerman rolled up his sleeves and went wisdom-hunting among 50 of our time’s greatest thinkers and doers — writers, artists, philosophers, politicians, designers, activists, musicians, religious and business leaders — all over 65 years of age. (Though Zuckerman himself is just over 30.)
You don’t stop doing things because you get old. You get old because you stop doing things.” ~ Rosamunde Pilcher, writer
He posed 7 questions, recording his subjects’ candid responses in a way that unearths a landslide of intelligence, inspiration and invaluable insight.
Against the plain white backdrop and in the signature crispness of Zuckerman’s shot, the subjects are stripped down to their core essence, decontextualized and thus democratized in a way that truly captures a cross-cultural cross-section of our era, with all its burdens and triumphs.
From Nelson Mandela to Jane Goodall to Mary Quant, the list of wisdom-dispensers reads like an all-star pickup game between TED and the Nobel Prize, a treasure trove of our greatest heritage and our most precious human capital.
It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another. Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any people can have.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Take your profession seriously; don’t take yourself seriously. Don’t take yourself seriously in the process, because you really only matter to a certain degree in the whole circus out here. If a person is confident enough in the way they feel, whether it’s an art form or whether it’s just in life, it comes off — you don’t have anything to prove; you can just be what you are.” ~ Clint Eastwood, filmmaker
The project was also reincarnated as a breathtaking and impactful exhibition in Sydney’s State Library of NSW Galleries.
Love something. I think we’ve got to learn to love something deeply. I think it’s love. It sounds sentimental as hell, but I really think it is.” ~ Andrew Wyeth, artist
Succinct and brilliantly curated, Wisdom is a living corpus callosum bridging the creative and intellectual hemispheres of culture’s collective brain, as close as we can get to an ideological and philosophical timecapsule of our era.
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Pokemon meets Mother Earth, or what preschoolers have to do with the life of life.
The UN has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. And while we’ve seen a number of smart, ambitious scientific and creative efforts inspired by and advocating nature’s bounty, the fact remains that preserving the incredible natural variety of species is in the hands of the future generations. So raising children with a biological sensibility and getting them excited about biodiversity is at the root of any viable effort.
When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all. ~ E. O. Wilson.
Phylomon is a web-based initiative for creating Pokemon-like cards, using real creatures and nature’s own “character design” genius. The project was inspired by a recent study that found young children have the remarkable ability to identify and characterize more than 120 different Pokemon characters, but fail to name more than half of common wildlife species. So Phylomon has set out to broaden children’s natural characters vocabulary, drawing inspiration from the clearly successful model used by “synthetic characters” like Pokemon.
Submissions will be crowdsourced from a variety of creatives, with the scientific community weighing in on the content, game designers invited to brainstorm innovative ways of using the cards, and teachers participating to evaluate the educational merit of the cards.
Best of all, the hope is that this will all occur in a non-commercial-open-access-open-source-because-basically-this-is-good-for-you-your-children-and-your-planet sort of way.
Because Phylomon depends so heavily on the creative community’s contributions, we urge you to submit yours. Use this Flickr pool if you’re a designer or illustrator, this one if you’re a photographer, or this one if you come from the education community.
And if you still have doubts about the momentous importance of biodiversity, take it from Ban Ki-moon, the UNSYG himself — it’s important, alright.
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