Recommended Reading / 30.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Every Monday, words to start the week. 

This week, courtesy of Slate: a glimpse into a series of portraits by fashion photographer Jean Pagliuso, who chose chickens, raptors, and owls as her subjects for nostalgic reasons — her father, now deceased, handled show chickens. Says Pagliuso, "I don't see it as any different at all from photographing people. It's exactly the same to me. I look for the same things. I look for form and the way the frame is filled."

(See also: Angora rabbits — or, as The New York Times calls them, "impeccable living pillows" — as photographed by Andres Serrano.)

Three more, just because:
-The best butter.
-Doors built for babies, packrats, and those backed into corners.
-An oldie from Jim Jarmusch: "Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Monday.

Primary Things.

Friday, May 1, 2015

For Friday: hypnotic words from Eileen Myles (whose book The Importance of Being Iceland is currently sitting on my windowsill), accompanied by equally mesmerizing images from Julia Robbs (whose collages for #the100dayproject have been the highlight of my Instagram feed these days).

Though on the boat, I write, I shoot. On the boat, let's face it, I'm held. In its waves, its vagueness, in its water. I see only water. Water doesn't answer. No land ahead. Just water. So my dilemma shrinks to secondary and abstract. How will I live. I want to stay in this primary thing that moves. (Thanks, Cassie.)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, wherever you may be. Happy May!

Nest We Grow.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Nest We Grow is a wooden structure in Hokkaido, Japan built to encourage community-wide sharing of food. A collaboration between Japanese architecture firm Kengo Kuma and a group of environmental design students from UC Berkeley, the timber framework borrows inspiration from Japanese larch forests, encompassing an environment that allows for the sustainable growth and preparation of local foods.

The team writes, "The program of the Nest is decided according to the life cycle of these local foods: growing, harvesting, storing, cooking, dining, and composting, which restarts the cycle. All members of the community help to complete each stage, allowing the structure to become a platform for group learning and gathering...throughout the year." I'd love to see this in person — and have a seat at that sunken fireplace, pictured below.

See more at Arch Daily. Many thanks to Ignant for the introduction.

Recommended Reading / 29.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Every Monday (or in this case, Tuesday), words to start the week. 

This week, from artist and filmmaker Phoebe Davies: a clip from a project called Extravagant Acts for Mature People, in which residents of elder care homes in London listen — and dance — to a variety of music. I know videos don't exactly qualify as recommended reading material (and this is the second week in a row that I've posted film), but this one was just too beautiful not to share. Learn, see, and hear more, here.

Three more, just because:
-Museums in private homes.
-Obsessions, by state and country.
-How to help those in need in Nepal. (I'd add Doctors Without Borders to the list, too.)

More recommended reading, here. Have a wonderful Tuesday.

POV: Surprise.

Monday, April 27, 2015

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories

Several mornings a week, Jamie wakes up at 3. “When your alarm goes off that early,” she said to me recently, “it feels like there can only be some sort of disaster happening.” In the dark, she takes a near-empty train to midtown Manhattan where she spends the next three hours erecting towering floral installations of grevillea and quince and Japanese Lindera at The Modern, a Michelin-starred restaurant at MoMA. By the time she leaves at 7:30, New Yorkers are crowding train platforms in bleary-eyed droves, and Jamie, already awake for hours, has forged a complete indoor wilderness with her hands.

“It’s surprising where we end up sometimes,” she said to me as we walked through thick fog to a corner bodega. We’ve talked about this before: over the course of our still-young friendship, we’ve worked what feels like a decade’s worth of jobs, found new homes (including one together), and settled deeper into a city that wears a new face every day — and yet feels as familiar and intimate as the hallways of our own apartment. Jamie moved to the city to work in food but years later, has landed in a thicket of blossoms and trees; I started as a nanny and now write stories about golden eggs and hand-knit blackbirds

“I’m surprised every day,” I said. I’d borrowed a coat from her that night, before we’d ventured out into the cold. When I put my hands in the pockets, I found flower petals, dried and half dust, clinging to my fingers.

Dictionary, Doctored.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fascinated by the work of Tokyo craftsman Nobuo Okano, who manages to restore a worn, 1000-page dictionary to its previous glory in the span of an afternoon. Equipped with pliers, paper cutter, and a bubblegum-pink iron, Okano repairs the book entirely by hand, just in time for its grateful owner to pass it on to his college-bound daughter.

See more at Demilked. New POV coming this weekend Monday!

Dreams In Color.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When Megan and I went to Dia:Beacon two summers ago, we spent what felt like hours staring at Agnes Martin's ethereal pastels, which reminded us of sun-faded fabric and the beach. If we looked at this every day, a man nearby wondered aloud, would we start to dream in these colors? I thought about that when I spotted Toshitaka Aoyagi's Color project on Another this weekend. The installations are made using white shelves with neon accents applied in such a way that the surfaces look lit from below, like a sunrise.

More from the artist on Behance, here. More about Color on The Fox Is Black.

And while we're at it, here's a quote from Agnes Martin that I stumbled on yesterday in my googling and loved: My paintings have neither object nor space nor line nor anything - no forms. They are light, lightness, about merging, about formlessness, breaking down form. You wouldn’t think of form by the ocean. You can go in if you don’t encounter anything. A world without objects, without interruption, making a work without interruption or obstacle. It is to accept the necessity of the simple direct going into a field of vision as you would cross an empty beach to look at the ocean. More here, and here, and here.


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