Tagged: photography Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 08:01:19 on 2019/05/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Frank Robinson, , Jacob's Pharmacy, outsider, outsider art, , photography,   

    “The vitality of the ordinary members of society is dependent on its Outsiders. Many Outsiders unify themselves, realize themselves as poets or saints.”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

     

    Gertrude Morgan

    Sister Gertrude Morgan in her Everlasting Gospel Revelation Mission; some of her work, hanging behind her.  New Orleans, Louisiana, 1974

     

    In a new book, Walks to the Paradise Garden, author Jonathan Williams, editor Phillip March Jones, and photographer Roger Manley gather interviews and encounters with artists they met along their road trips through the American South in the 1970s. Some of the artists they spoke with, like Sister Gertrude Morgan, would eventually be discovered by the art-world establishment, while others they met—like former mechanic Vernon Lee Burwell—continued to labor in obscurity.

    Along with a deep sense of religious wonder, there is a sense of urgency to the work featured in Walks to the Paradise Garden, a compulsion to make more and more of it until it covered the walls of their homes, crowded the hallways, and spilled onto the front lawn. As Williams writes in the introduction to the book, “We’re talking about a South that is both celestial and chthonian,” pertaining to both heaven and hell. “They are often one and the same.”…

    Outsider artists and their work: “Finding Jesus on the Front Yard.”

    * Colin Wilson, The Outsider

    ###

    As we see through different eyes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1886 that a different kind of “outsider” made its first appearance: Coca-Cola was first sold to the public at the soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was formulated by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton, who mixed it in a 30-gallon brass kettle hung over a backyard fire.  Pemberton’s recipe, which survived in use until 1905, was marketed as a “brain and nerve tonic,” and contained extracts of cocaine and (caffeine-rich) kola nut. The name, using two C’s from its ingredients, was suggested by his bookkeeper Frank Robinson, whose excellent penmanship provided the famous scripted  “Coca-Cola” logo.

    Pemberton’s Palace

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:39 on 2019/04/23 Permalink
    Tags: , , , chindōgu, Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, , , , New Coke, photography,   

    “All men know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of the useless!”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    daniel-gebhart-de-koekkoek-a-guide-to-being-better-photography-itsnicethat-13

     

    Chindōgu is the art of inventing seemingly practical but ultimately useless gadgets to enhance everyday life. Popularised in Japan in the 90s by its creator, Kenji Kawakami, it was originally just a comical section that appeared in his monthly magazine, Mail Order Life. From fans attached to your chopsticks that cool your food before you eat it, to a Pritt Stick of butter that allows for easy application onto your toast, chindōgu is the perfect balance between ingenuity and absurdity.

    As such, it instantly grabbed the attention of Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek…

    To date, there are over 1000 official chindōgu items in existence. Poetic and political in nature, they are comments on the state of consumerist culture and the materialism of modern life. They poke at fun at our reliance on technology and inability to carry out basic tasks like administering eye drops. Though humorous, chindōgu has a set of rules – a list of ten commandments, in fact – that must be adhered to. They are as follows: Chindōgu must be (almost) completely useless; must exist (they should be real, useable objects); must represent freedom of thought and action; must be understood by all (its function should not be obscure); must not be sold (they are not tradable commodities); must not be made purely for the sake of humour (it should also be an earnest attempt to solve a problem); must not be used as propaganda; must not be taboo (cheap sexual humour etc.); must not be patented; and must not be made with prejudice (they must be useable by everyone, young and old, rich and poor).

    A perfect fit with the other tongue-in-cheek projects that make up his portfolio, including his Make Alpaca Great Again series… Daniel knew he had to find a way to shoot this phenomenon…

    More at: “Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek recreates the ingenious yet useless inventions of Chindōgu.”

    * Zhuangzi, The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu

    ###

    As we investigate intention, we might recall that it was on this date in 1985 that the Coca-Cola Company, concerned that it had been loosing share to the sweeter offerings of competitors like Pepsi, introduced Coke II (or “New Coke, ” as it was widely known).  Consumer reaction was swift– and profoundly negative.  Three months later, Coke caved, reintroducing the original formula (rebranded as Coca-Cola Classic)– and enjoyed a boost in sales… leading some charitably to suggest that New Coke was just a ploy.  But the company maintained that it was absolutely for real…  and the episode has become a cautionary example of the dangers in tampering with an established product/brand.

    New_Coke_can source

    Happy Shakespeare’s Birthday!

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:58 on 2019/03/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , history of photography, , , , Office of War Information, photography, ,   

    “Turn left at Greenland”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

     

    FSA photos

     

    After a series of setbacks in the courts that repealed many of the First New Deal’s program, President Roosevelt pursued a new set of initiatives including the Resettlement Administration in 1935. It was charged with aiding the poorest third of farmers displaced by the depression and particularly focused on resettlement on viable lands and providing low-interest loans. Directed by Rexford Tugwell, a Columbia University economist, the RA came under immediate scrutiny. Realizing the battle for public opinion had begun, Tugwell hired his former student Roy Stryker to lead the Historic Section within the Information Division of the RA, which in 1937 was moved to the FSA.

    In order to build support for and justify government programs, the Historical Section set out to document America, often at her most vulnerable, and the successful administration of relief service. The Farm Security Administration—Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) produced some of the most iconic images of the Great Depression and World War II and included photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein who shaped the visual culture of the era both in its moment and in American memory. Unit photographers were sent across the country. The negatives were sent to Washington, DC. The growing collection came to be known as “The File.” With the United State’s entry into WWII, the unit moved into the Office of War Information and the collection became known as the FSA-OWI File…

    Now, from Yale, a web-based platform for organizing, searching, and visualizing 90,000 of those 170,000 photographs created by the United States Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) from 1935 to 1945: Programmer.

    * Ringo Starr, in response to the question “How do you find America?,” asked in a Beatles press conference on the first U.S. tour

    ###

    As we look and see, we might recall that it was on this date in 1931 that Cab Calloway recorded “Minnie the Moocher,” the first jazz record to sell one million copies and the song that cemented the popularity of “scat” singing (which had been first popularized in 1926 by Louis Armstrong’s “Heebie Jeebies.”)

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:51 on 2019/01/19 Permalink
    Tags: Abandoned buildings, Abandoned Southeast, Alexander Woolcott, , , , Leland Kent, photography, The Man Who Came to Dinner,   

    “Reality seems valueless by comparison with the dreams of fevered imaginations; reality is therefore abandoned”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    presidents park

    Presidents Park, near Williamsburg, Virginia

    Birmingham-based photographer Leland Kent travelled the South to document “abandoned places”…

    six flags

    Six Flags Amusement Park, near New Orleans

    jax

    Jax Lanes, Jacksonville, Florida

    See more of these three sites and many others, all with explanatory history, at Abandoned Southeast.

    * Emile Durkheim

    ###

    As we forget to remember, we might send acerbic birthday greetings to Alexander Humphreys Woollcott; e was born on this date in 1887.   A critic and commentator for The New Yorker (and a member of the Algonquin Round Table), he is probably more easily recognized these days as the inspiration for “Sheridan Whiteside,” the main character in the play The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, and for the far less likable character Waldo Lydecker in the Otto Preminger film Laura .  (Woollcott himself was convinced that he was the inspiration for his friend Rex Stout’s brilliant, eccentric detective Nero Wolfe; but Stout denied it.)

    220px-alexander_woollcott_(1939) source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:59 on 2018/11/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , photography,   

    “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary numerals, and those who don’t”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    Guide to Computing

    From a collection of vintage photos of computing equipment by “design and tech obsessive” James Ball…

    Guide to Computing

    More at Docubyte

    [TotH to Kottke]

    * vernacular joke, as invoked by Ian Stewart in Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities

    ###

    As we rewind, we might spare a thought for Christian Goldbach; he died on this date in 1764.  A mathematician, lawyer, and historian who studied infinite sums, the theory of curves and the theory of equations, he is best remembered for his correspondence with Leibniz, Euler, and Bernoulli, especially his 1742 letter to Euler containing what is now known as “Goldbach’s conjecture.”

    In that letter he outlined his famous proposition:

    Every even natural number greater than 2 is equal to the sum of two prime numbers.

    It has been checked by computer for vast numbers– up to at least 4 x 1014– but remains unproved.

    (Goldbach made another conjecture that every odd number is the sum of three primes; it has been checked by computer for vast numbers, but also remains unproved.)

    Goldbach’s letter to Euler (source, and larger view)

    (Roughly) Daily is headed into a Thanksgiving hiatus; regular service will resume when the tryptophan haze clears…  probably around Monday, November 26.  Thanks for reading– and have Happy Holidays!

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:43 on 2018/10/22 Permalink
    Tags: André-Jacques Garnerin, avaition, , Google Earth, , , photography,   

    “There is only one perfect view — the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    7 sq miles

    (Clockwise, from upper left) Seven-square-mile views of Manhattan; Chaganbulage Administrative Village in Inner Mongolia; Venice, Italy; and farms in Plymouth, Washington

     

    Spending time looking at the varying and beautiful images of our planet from above in Google Earth, zooming in and out at dizzying rates, I thought it would be interesting to compare all of these vistas at a fixed scale—to see what New York City, Venice, or the Grand Canyon would look like from the same virtual height. So, the following images are snapshots from Google Earth, all rectangles of the same size and scale, approximately three and a half miles (5.6 kilometers) wide by two miles (3.2 kilometers) tall—showing seven square miles (18.1 square kilometers, or 4,480 acres) of the surface of our planet in each view…

    The Atlantic‘s Alan Taylor takes us a remarkable tour of the earth:  “Seven Square Miles.”

    * E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

    ###

    As we gaze groundward, we might recall that it was on this date in 1797 that André-Jacques Garnerin accomplished the first successful parachute jump.  He ascended to 2,230 ft. above the Parc Monceau, Paris, with a balloon, then released it and unfurled a silk parachute.  Lacking any vent in the top of the parachute, Garnerin descended with violent oscillations– as a result of which, he suffered the first case of airsickness.

    Garnerin releases the balloon and descends with the help of a parachute, 1797. (Illustration from the late 19th century.)

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 05:01:10 on 2018/10/11 Permalink
    Tags: absolute zero, Amontons, control panel, , photography, , thermometer,   

    “I’ve never seen contraptions with so many dials and knobs before”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    control panels

    Control room, Klingenberg Power Station, Berlin, 1928. Photos by E.O. Hoppé.

     

    Just one selection from the plethora of “dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs” at “Control Panel.”

    * “Lampy,” in The Brave Little Toaster

    ###

    As we twist and turn, we might spare a thought for Guillaume Amontons; he died on this date in 1705.  A physicist who made formative contributions to the understanding of friction, he was also an accomplished designer of scientific instruments– perhaps most notably, the air thermometer, which relies on increase in volume of a gas (rather than a liquid) with temperature.  His approach led to the emergence of the concept of “absolute zero.”

    amonton thermometer source

    Amontons source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:34 on 2018/08/03 Permalink
    Tags: , , found photos, , , Magnum Photos, photography, photojournalism,   

    “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    banana

    Doug Battenhausen spends much of his working hours searching for pictures no one else cares about.

    They’re the kind taken by people would never be considered ‘photographers’, the kind that no one has even thought about for years, where any sense of artistry is purely accidental.

    Instead they’re pictures of drunk friends at grotty house parties or silly sleepovers, landscapes snapped from car windows on boring drives, and assorted images that Doug can only describe as “strangely mundane”…

    drunk

    relection

    Learn more– and see more abandoned images– at “The internet’s forgotten shit pics are accidentally amazing,” and then visit the motherlode: Battenhausen’s Tumblr, Internet History.

    * Henri Cartier-Bresson

    ###

    As we smile at serendipity, we might spare a thought for the source of today’s title quote, Henri Cartier-Bresson; he died on this date in 2004.  A master of the candid and pioneer of street photography, he was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.  With other luminaries (Robert CapaDavid Seymour, and others), he founded Magnum Photos. a photographers’ co-op that covered the world for news outlets and other publishers.  His Magnum coverage of of Gandhi’s funeral in India in 1948 and the last stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 brought him international acclaim.

    View his Magnum portfolio here.

    220px-Henri_Cartier-Bresson source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:24 on 2018/05/17 Permalink
    Tags: Chuck E. Cheese, Dorothea Lange, , Gordon Parks, , , Nolan Bushnell, photography, , ,   

    “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    From his office at the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in Washington, D.C., Roy Stryker saw, time and again, the reality of the Great Depression, and the poverty and desperation gripping America’s rural communities. As head of the Information Division and manager of the FSA’s photo-documentary project, his job was to hire and brief photographers, and then select images they captured for distribution and publication. His eye helped shape the way we view the Great Depression, even today.

    Professionally, Stryker was known for two things: preserving thousands of photographs from being destroyed for political reasons, and for “killing” lots of photos himself. Negatives he liked were selected to be printed. Those he didn’t—ones that didn’t fit the narrative and perspective of the FSA at the time, perhaps—were met with the business end of hole punch, which left gaping black voids in place of hog’s bellysindustrial landscapes, and the faces of farmworkers.

    In 1935, the Resettlement Administration (RA) was established as part of the New Deal to provide relief, recovery, and reform to rural areas. The FSA, created in 1937, was its spiritual successor. The FSA’s duties included, but were not limited to, operating camps for victims of the Dust Bowl, setting up homestead communities, and providing education to more than 400,000 migrant families. Communicating about its efforts was also part of its mandate…

    Stryker sought out photographers, among them Dorothea LangeGordon Parks, and Arthur Rothstein, and made their images readily available to the press. Given the lack of new photography and art being produced during the Great Depression, the photos regularly appeared in magazines such as LIFE and Look. He also had them displayed at the 1936 Democratic National Convention, the 1936 World’s Fair, the Museum of Modern Art, and other prominent venues. The publication of a series of early photographs, including Lange’s Migrant Mother, proved instrumental in pushing the federal government to provide emergency aid to migrant workers in California.

    In the effort to represent the FSA and Roosevelt’s signature domestic achievement in a positive light, the chosen photos captured how the idealistic views of farm life were being tainted by poverty, and how the FSA programs were helping farmers reclaim their dignity. Common elements were decrepit housing conditions, the lack of food and clean water, and harsh work environments.

    It was government propaganda, and there were certainly some within the government (both supporters and detractors) who saw it that way, and more who considered both the FSA and its photography project as communist and un-American. In a 1972 Interview, Stryker admits to having felt political pressure from the Department of Agriculture to portray the effectiveness of the New Deal. “Go to hell,” was his response. His photographers “were warned repeatedly not to manipulate their subjects in order to get more dramatic images, and their pictures were almost always printed without cropping or retouching.”

    But there is a way to manipulate the story being told without altering the images themselves—the process of photo editing, of choosing which images to highlight and which to discard…

    The fascinating story of one man’s (materially successful) effort to galvanize social and political opinion: “How a Hole Punch Shaped Public Perception of the Great Depression.”

    And for an equally-fascinating consideration of how emerging new visual technologies might similarly be used to sway sentiment, read Fred Turner‘s “The Politics of Virtual Reality.”

    * Richard Avedon

    ###

    As we celebrate skepticism, we might recall that it was on this date in 1977 that Nolan Bushnell (co-founder of video game pioneer Atari) opened the first Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre, ultimately a chain of family destinations that served pizza and other menu items, complemented by arcade games, amusement rides, and animatronic displays as a focus of entertainment (and often, birthday party celebration).  It took its name from its main animatronic character Chuck E. Cheese, a mouse who sang and interacted with guests.  Over 600 outlets are operating today in the U.S. and 17 other countries.

    Chuck E. Cheese and Nolan Bushnell (Bushnell on right)

    source

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:36 on 2018/05/13 Permalink
    Tags: , daggers, explosions, , Ken Hermann, kitchen knives, knives, , photography,   

    “To explode or to implode… that is the question”*… 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77

     

    From Danish photographer Ken Hermann‘s series, “Explosions“; more mesmerizing mayhem here.

    * “To explode or to implode – said Qfwfq – that is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to expand one’s energies in space without restraint, or to crush them into a dense inner concentration.”
    ― Italo Calvino, The Distance of the Moon

    ###

    As we reflect on eruption, we might recall that it was on this date in 1637 (or nearabouts, as closely as scholars can say) that Cardinal Richelieu introduced the first table knives (knives with rounded edges)–reputedly to cure dinner guests of the unsavory habit of picking their teeth with the knife-points of the daggers that were, until then, used to cut meat at the table.  Years later, in 1669, King Louis XIV followed suit, forbidding pointed knives at his table; indeed, he extended the prohibition, banning pointed knives in the street in an attempt to reduce violence.

     source

     

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel

Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/pb/wp-content/plugins/feedwordpress/syndicatedlink.class.php on line 302