We have a soft spot for creative, playfultakes 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.
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
What tea has to do with critical moments in political history and iconic Russian literature.
In 1942, at the peak of WWII, Japan threw the Allies a formidable curveball — it blocked off the Burma Road, the essential artery supplying China with munitions from India to fight the occupying Japanese forces. Desperate for an alternative, the Allies diverted planes to the Himalayas, but the dangerous terrain and inclement weather caused too many pilots to crash into the mountains. A new land route between China and India had to be found, and two OSS men took it upon themselves to find it: Captain Brooke Dolan, an American explorer, and Major Ilia Tolstoy, Leo Tolstoy’s grandson. To do so, they’d have to cross Tibet and seek the permission of a 7-year-old boy: The Dalai Lama.
Undeterred, the pair proceeded with their mission and came carrying a letter from President Roosevelt. At 9:20 in the morning of December 20, 1942, they were granted audience with His Holiness, establishing for the first time in history direct contact between a U.S. Presidnet and the Dalai Lama and thus bridging two cultures that had never met. Five months later, the two crossed the Tibetan platau and arrived in Northern China, completing the journey of over a thousand miles.
Dolan filmed the entire expedition and rare reels are now held in the motion picture library of The National Archive, who have kindly digitized and uploaded the footage for the world to see — just one instance of the importance of the digital humanities and the open web.
Tibetans are inherently sociable and on the slightest provocation pause their labors to visit over a cup of tea. Native drivers congregate at the ferry crossing. Tea is the chief drink of the country, made of barley, salt and butter. It gives them resistance to hunger and cold. They drink anywhere from 30 to 50 cups a day.”
We love Sigur Rós. But there’s more to Iceland’s music landscape than Jonsi. That’s precisely what Iceland: Beyond Sigur Rós explores. The half-hour documentary, produced by Icelandic nonprofit film collective Serious Feather, celebrates Iceland’s dynamic and diverse independent music scene.
Filmed with beautiful HD cinematography, the documentary features interviews with cultural pundits and music critics like Grapevine Magazine‘s Haukur Magnússon, pop-classical composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds, and Pétur Úlfur Einarsson and Hafsteinn Michael Guomundsson, co-founders of online music distributor Gogoyoko.
Interspersed between the insightful interviews are vibrant performances by Icelandic indie favorites like Hafdis Huld, Berndsen, Mugison, Ólafur Arnalds, Lára Rúnars, Bloodgroup, For A Minor Reflection, Seabear, Sykur and Severed Crotch.
So go ahead and take a look. Because, let’s face it, as phenomenal as the latest Sigur Rós album may be, it might be time to take it off repeat and expand your taste for Icelandic music.
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