This takes an unexpected turn, and I love it!
Since I just mentioned the wonderful, inspiring SF Bay Area font foundry, Emigre Fonts, I should share a link to their geometric wonderland known as Crackly. Not only is it very visually satisfying, but there is “coloring book” PDF you can download, to appreciate it FULLY.
The dedicated Crackly page on the Emigre site is here, and you should have a look at it. Go! Do it! It pleases me on multiple levels, as a fan of geometry, fonts, design, my beloved Bay Area, Zuzana Licko’s work, and the playfulness of coloring books.
The Book of Books: 500 Years of Graphic Innovation
edited by Mathieu Lommen
published by Thames & Hudson
I hand-sew and bind books, I read books, I buy books, I have books printed, I fill blank books, I collect books, I study books, I LOVE BOOKS! So it feels inevitable that I would find this book, which is about the printing technologies, fonts, and design of books, with an emphasis on Europe and/or printing that uses European alphabets.
This is a MASSIVE tome, and has reproductions of MANY books, with remarkable examples of everything from bibles to scientific texts to art books to books on how to break into castles. Which was apparently a really big thing. A thing that was important enough to buy books about. (My gift subscription to Castle Raider Monthly must have expired: I’ve been missing out.) If the term “siege engine” immediately came to mind, you win 500 Geek Points.
The fonts are GORGEOUS. GORGEOUS! I would use some of them today! HOW DID WE EVER STOP USING SOME OF THESE!!! GAAAAAH! Sorry. I’ll pull myself together now. But really – such beauty! The folks who set this type, and who designed it – I hope they were lauded in their day!
Illustrated books and printing technologies are also discussed, and printing of this sort – etching and hand coloring and tipping in scientific illustrations – was once the key way to study sciences and the natural world in a time of limited travel opportunities. Books as a way to transmit key knowledge, not just as entertainment – that is so exciting!
After seeing remarkable samples of so many older works (going back to the late 1400s), thanks to the editor’s access to special collections in the Netherlands, I was beyond delighted that he extended all the way into the 2010s, and included the work of Emigre Fonts , an SF Bay Area-Local font foundry that arose with the Apple Macintosh back in 1984. The work of founders Rudy VanderLans and Zuzana Licko has always been impressive and presented brilliantly (in their magazines, catalogs, and in active use), so I was thrilled to see their inclusion here.
I’ve spent some quality time with this book, and there is so much in it, I need to return to it repeatedly to process all that I’ve seen. It’s quite a work!
(Yes, I also have the Parr & Badger Photobook history, all the volumes, since photo books are their own design challenge…)
This brief earworm keeps getting stuck in my head. It’s CUTE!
There aren’t enough governors receiving rap tributes, to be honest. Perhaps they have only recently started to get press at a level the public can appreciate, as some of them demonstrate much needed leadership during our current global crisis.
(Note: Buffs are a particular model of Cartier sunglasses , which the artist hopes to gift to the Governor. Thanks, Internet!)
I love ART. I especially love ABSTRACT art. Enough to make it in several media! Creating abstract drawings and paintings is liberating sometimes, and a refreshing change from representational drawing or photography, but a lot of it is mental work intended to… solve a conceptual problem. It’s not easy to explain: it is representing something, just not something material.
I’ve loved going to museums, and seeing a grid of pastel colors, and thinking, “YES! This artist was working on the same issue I was working on last month, and s/he solved it a different way! That is fantastic!”
The film Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint from Zeitgeist films is like a delightful visit to a museum, with lots of pleasant, knowledgeable, passionate friends along for the ride.
It’s well paced! The art is amazing! The representational early work by the artist is gorgeous, too! But the abstracts are just fantastic – the colors! The scale! The patterns! It’s the best field trip I’ve been on in ages.
Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting.
While my dear Roxie Theater is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Kino Now link above allows me to watch the films they would be screening at home, and have part of the ticket price go to them. (Other indie theaters are available to support, too!) Go visit!
Tumblr is a site famous for sites/pages dedicated to a single topic, with great enthusiasm. A friend shared this link, in which a fan of David Bowie and the glamorous nudibranchs (which are soft, festive molluscs), found a way to match particular outfits of Bowie’s with a corresponding nudibranch. (And here I’ve just been using software to identify wildflowers!)
I find the site adorable. The author, Hannah Weller, is obtaining appropriate source credits for the images, which is always a good thing!
Pantone predicted this. and now, perhaps the most vital work I will ever do: using colordistance to objectively prove which David Bowie outfit most closely matches a given sea slug.
She is a marine biologist, and of course you can follow her on Twitter.
The latest Tweets from Hannah Weller (@hannahiweller). 🐠 PhD candidate @elbrainerd lab, studying how behavior ↔️ morphology by way of mouthbrooding fishes🐟 image processing enthusiast 🤖 ginger nut 🍪. Providence, RI
I like jelly fish, and I am not ashamed!
They are a beautiful feature of many aquariums here on the West Coast of the USA, and so this isn’t surprising. You can often find children AND adults staring, mesmerized by the peaceful movement of jellyfish in a tank with a vivid background, pretty lighting, and a slight current to keep the jellies swimming. [soft sigh here]
But I hadn’t heard of a “comb jelly,” until this article appeared in the UK Guardian: Warty comb jelly, scourge of fisheries, also eats its young. (Note to self: don’t call your comb jelly mother on mother’s day – it could lead to trouble!)
So that led to this Wikipedia article:
Ctenophora (; singular ctenophore, or ; from Ancient Greek: κτείς, kteis, ‘comb’ and φέρω, pherō, ‘to carry’; commonly known as comb jellies) comprise a phylum of invertebrate animals that live in marine waters worldwide. They are notable for the groups of cilia they use for swimming (commonly referred to as “combs”), and they are the largest animals to swim with the help of cilia.
So I learned that Ctenophora are different from cnidarians (jellyfish, among others), and somehow, wound up reading about salps, which are also not jellyfish (I swear, my search was not, “not jellyfish,”), and which also look really awkward to swim into when they form long, slippery, transparent chains. The photos are wild:
A salp (plural salps) or salpa (plural salpae or salpas) is a barrel-shaped, planktic tunicate. It moves by contracting, thus pumping water through its gelatinous body, one of the most efficient examples of jet propulsion in the animal kingdom. The salp strains the pumped water through its internal feeding filters, feeding on phytoplankton.
I still like my local jellyfish (which I understand a little better), but knowing that there are salps further north along our coast, and that they are carbon-fixing, means I’ll keep an eye out for information about them on future marine biology research tagents.
I’m still reading Olafur Eliasson In Real Life, which is fantastic through and through, and got to his interview with Fab 5 Freddy (Fred Brathwaite).
F5F reveals how it was German TV (!!) that gave him the start up money for his street culture film, Wild Style (1982); OE reveals that he was a breakdancer with a crew in the Netherlands, who took the crew to see the film in Copenhagen, and the crowd went wild; F5F is talking about how moving it is to see kids around the world still influenced by this movement in art and culture… They are each giddy to be discussing these topics, and the giddiness is contagious.
Oh, F5F is/was a painter!
OE refers to 80s era early rap as “electric boogie,” and I burst out laughing each time.
(Aside: Wild Style features rappers wearing v-neck sweaters. Because: the 80s. )
At 5:30 a.m. in the kind of godforsaken industrial crevice of Queens where mob bodies are probably buried, Daniel Dorado recently waited in a line of mostly undocumented restaurant workers before the opening of Restaurant Depot, a wholesaler like Costco on steroids available only to the industry.
Feeding people who need food is meaningful social work, and the Migrant Kitchen NYC is doing it in a socially responsible way: producing thousands of meals daily for healthcare workers and people who are ‘food insecure,’ while paying the workers properly (“They pay wages of $20 to $25 an hour in their kitchen, Jaber said, and with the four other kitchens pooled 40 largely undocumented workers from Make The Road, a civil rights group…”), AND ensuring that any gig workers delivering to homebound folks are also fairly compensated (“Migrant Kitchen’s attention to empathy and generosity operates even at the courier level: Its DoorDash deliveries are filed so that the couriers get $35 per trip.”). It’s meaningful work being done in a meaningful way.
They are cooking serious dishes with foodie love:
The containers would soon be packed with sumptuous entrees: citrus garlic salmon with Cuban black beans and coconut herb rice, or moussaka-stuffed zucchini with dirty rice and beans, or mojo chicken with chimichurri and roasted potatoes with grilled shishito peppers.
And the kitchen is nut-free and halal, to look after a wide range of clients with care.
Dorado put it succinctly: “It’s pure New York. Every kitchen I’ve ever worked in this city has been a mini U.N.”
This article got me misty this morning: it describes a wave of Irish donations to help Native Americans currently suffering in the pandemic in remembrance & thanks for a generous donation made by the Choctaw during the famine in Ireland in the 1840s:
“Ireland has never forgotten the Choctaws’ generosity. The tribe had endured a forced 600-mile trek that left thousands dead from hunger, cold and disease, and then impoverishment in Oklahoma, yet somehow rustled up $170 – which today translates to $5,350 – to help the Irish.”
The list of recent donors reads like an Irish phone book. Aisling Ní Chuimín, Shane Ó Leary, Sean Gibbons, Kevin Boyle, Kevin Keane, Clare Quinn, Eamonn McDonald, on and on down a GoFundMe page that by Friday had raised $3.15m of a $5m goal.
I support several charities that feed people already, and so this theme – EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ENOUGH FOOD – is close to my heart.
Depending on when you read this, the campaign may be over, but I already had donated (thanks to a great local journalist I follow on Twitter, who has a great heart), and want to post the link so you can also, if it’s still timely. The official non-profit sponsor is the Rural Utah Project Education Fund.
The Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation are extreme food deserts with only 13 grocery stores on Navajo to serve some 180,000 people and only 3 small grocery marts on Hopi to serve some 3,000 people. These communities also have high numbers of elderly, diabetic, asthmatic, and cancer-afflicted (i.e., high risk) individuals.