Death and American Magazine Photography

By way of major procrastination, I found a paper I wrote a year ago about Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus. It's kind of good and no one has read it besides my prof so I thought I would share it with you (if you felt like reading 23 pages about commercial photography and death).

Here it is: Newsstand Momento Mori, The Magazine Work of Richard Avedon & Diane Arbus

NB: I do not have permissions to reproduce the photographs in the document. Fair dealing?

Photo: A very young Anderson Cooper by Diane Arbus



Best day of 2010 so far... the Shiba Inu puppy cam is back. Hours of cuteness to come.

Free TV : Ustream


Canadian Magazines Could Use Your Help

Canadian magazines received a big hit this week with the announcement of the rules for the new Canadian Periodical Fund. Under these new eligibility rules, we will lose literary mags (maybe not all but some). I could go into a lot of talk about what the details of the new program actually are but I won't. Please just know that your government is blatantly going against their word to support small and medium-sized magazines. They've dropped all support for small literary and poetry mags but are boosting funds for farm magazines. Is "farm magazines" a fancy word for a special type of magazines?, you ask. No, they are simply magazines about farming because obviously they contribute to Canadian arts and culture in a big way.

The Harper government isn't listening to the thousands of people who spoke out online and asked that Heritage Minister Moore honour the promises made in the past. What we can do now is support the magazines that still stand and read them.

Do you love Canadian magazines? Here are a few things you can do:
Stillness is the Move



Sit down and stay a while

Required Reading:
  • Clay Shirky's unfortunately titled post, "A Rant About Women" is another way of saying, how can you win the lottery if you don't play?

    Also, note that men in general were handed a ticket... might win, didn't even have to pay to get it. (Are you following me? Is this analogy working?)

  • Feministing gives Mad Props to Hillary


This post is evolving....just arrived at procrastination station. It's going to be a while.

Can't read French

Apparently they call it VO UE in Paris.
Did Tom Ford make Hollywood cry? And did Kate Moss have an affair in a bag?

I don't know but I love this.

via Fashion Gone Rogue



The Olympic Clean-up

Hubert Chan: "For those who don't pass through the area much, a few weeks ago, the wall murals on Beatty Street (between Georgia and Dunsmuir) were painted over by a graffiti clean-up crew hired by the city. Why? The fucking Olympics. The parking lot there is slated to be an Olympic entertainment venue, so the city felt the need to eradicate any semblance of culture and personality in the area before we showcase our city to the world. So this morning on my way to work, I was very happy to see someone had spray-painted a response: the Olympic rings, with the statement: 'WITH GLOWING HEARTS, WE KILL THE ARTS.'"

A picture of the original artwork which was
commissioned by the Steve Nash Foundation in 2007 and were created by 16 artists under the direction of Milan Basic.
can be found on the Georgia Straight website.

Photo credit: Trevor Lupick, Georgia Straight

Nothing Good Can Come of This

Recipe for the McNuggetini

Agar and Sandy, Big Sur
Photo by Hunter S. Thompson

via Waxin' & Milkin'

Megan Reads and Ish Likes Books

Ooh yes! The best (I don't know how to qualify that - it's just what I feel) and fastest reader I know is not the kindle (HA! publishing-industry jokes are funny and illogical).

It's Michelle. She has a new blog on books and I know it will be full of thoughtful, clever, and unexpected insights into the best books you've never heard of.

Love you, Ish. Love the blog.

Here it is: Ish Reads Books

The Children of Cyberspace

Chelsea just sent me an article from Saturday's New York Times about "kids these days." "The Children of Cyberspace" hits the nail on the head by noting that the adoption of new technology happens naturally and fast for people under 20. I've always had the nagging feeling that people just three or four years younger than me could use technology in ways that were far more sophisticated than anything I could conceive of doing. As Brad Stone argues, there are micro-generational gaps between people born in the same decade. So while us "old fogies" - the twenty-somethings - feel wired and hip using twitter (while still reading books), our younger siblings, nieces, and nephews are just taking every new invention as a natural part of their world. The author's daughter won't be the only little girl who considers a kindle to be a book!

We had a discussion in class today about what it meant to finish a book and put it on your shelf. And the particular arrangement of magazines and books on your coffee table or night stand when guests are over. Sure, they say something about you and lend a sense of accomplishment--but maybe your LibraryThing account could replace that. The kids surveyed in this article would certainly agree. It doesn't sound like they are too attached to their books. (But oh, what would happen if you took their laptops away?)

My feeling is that you'll part ways with your DVD collection (ok, maybe you already threw that out) and your library (if you have to move again), and that you'll define your cultural and intellectual identity to others by customizing your tablet to display what you're watching, reading, and listening to at the time. And you'll keep your copy of The Catcher in the Rye/On the Road/The Bell Jar/Catch-22/The Prophet (har) with you forever.

Agree? Disagree? Shoot.



Ravishing Beasts

Nothing to do this weekend except work. Also managed to check out the Museum of Vancouver - which is totally awesome! Who knew they had all the city's old and icon neon signs?

The museum's fairly recent rebranding by Kaldor makes the whole institution so much more accessible to young people. Yes, I thought, sans serif fonts speak to my generation.

No really, quite a fabulous job done. The whole move to capture a new audience is working well. They've managed to take Kaldor's aesthetic and meld it into their current and upcoming exhibits (Art of Craft looks fun too). The current feature exhibit, Ravishing Beasts, is in fact, ravishing. It's the first showing of the museum's taxidermy collection. The scale, the staging, is like a magnificent film set... with a little bit of hipster old-library/apothecary/lab-fetish thrown in. I'm interested in buying the lion. It's for sale, they say.

The Straight wrote a lovely piece about guest curator Rachel Poliquin and the exhibit:
"Discovering the vast, forgotten collection prompted guest curator Poliquin—a Vancouverite fresh out of a post-doctoral history fellowship at M.I.T. who’s also writing a book called Taxidermy and Longing—to mount a decidedly contemporary show that would raise the kinds of questions she had about the practice. “I grew up in Vancouver and I never knew this taxidermy collection existed. And I think it’s a wonderful allegory for taxidermy itself: it was hidden away not because people hated it so much but because they were not sure about it,” she explains. “Hopefully, this show allows people to think about it. Taxidermy is no longer something just to look at but to think about.”

"Exploring the bowels of the institution, where the animals and birds were carefully lined up on shelves, all packaged in blue boxes with clear plastic coverings, Poliquin admits she felt emotional. “There were just rows and rows of these little animals. I think it’s sad to ignore these creatures once you’ve made them your responsibility,” she says. “There’s hardly any information now about them and who they came from and how they got here.”"
The exhibit will inspire questions, and maybe extreme emotions. Either way, an interesting, off-the-beaten path way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Ravishing Beasts closes Feb 28

Ravishing Beast blog by curator Rachel Poliquin


Joy in a Flowchart

via Thad McIllroy @ thefutureofpublishing.com

The Notebook: Changing Fashion History

A word on Ryan Gosling's beard (and other style moments on film from the decade past) on the T Magazine blog

Where the Wild Things Are [trailer]: The Best Short Film of 2009

The movie was awful. These 2 minutes and 6 seconds are all we needed.

Says Jeff Martin, "The same way a tight little pop song can be more effective and memorable than a lengthy concept album, this trailer captured the spirit of Maurice Sendak’s book in its entirety."

Fall in love again:

commentary on The Millions


Are you following? The Awl calls it "the Internet's greatest long-form, scanned-written-word website."



Cartoon Families

Tom Elrod on "Pixar's Small-c Conservatism":
"...over the years, Pixar has made a number of films which return again and again to the anxiety of familial dissolution. Monsters, Inc. does this through the small family unit of Scully and Boo; Finding Nemo is about a father's inability to let his son go; in Up, an old man learns to live after his wife's death. In the (unfortunately) much-maligned Cars, the modern world's loss of small communities (exemplified by Radiator Springs) is a tragedy, and the film (despite the restoration of the community at the end) is mostly a lament for lost values. None of these films may be overtly political, but the moral message is innate: The family (or small community) is central, and it is failing, so we must do what we can to preserve it."
This essay is very good.

Paris, 1962

a Flickr set by Tom Palumbo


One little tablet, so many haters

There's much speculation that the Apple tablet will ship in March.

There's been so much hype about the tablet--about what it could do for the future of publishing, how it could change the way that we read, how we interact with the written word.

Something with so much promise, something developed by the unstoppable vision of Steve Jobs, must. garner. cynics.

Today, Matt Yglesias wrote that it wouldn't fit in his back pocket so it probably wouldn't be useful to him.

On TechCrunch, Paul Carr noted that the tablet would likely have the same "retina-burning screen" as the iPod to better display movies and web content, and therefore, this device would probably be pretty useless for reading, and also fix none of the problems with the Kindle.

Slate's Jack Shafer says that tablets will eventually morph into ultra-light laptops and your magazine will just be a website.

I most agree with Carr, who writes his criticisms of the notional tablet (remember-it doesn't even exist yet) by prefacing his disapproval with this note:
Predicting that something is going to fail before it’s even launched is like betting against the future: easy to do, but likely to end in embarrassment.

Image from Wired.com


Oh, and see this video from 1994... creepy.


Best Wishes

Happy 2010, everyone. I hope this new year brings you joy and new inspiration.

Before getting my party gear on last night, I put together this little chapbook for my magazine course. This week, my brother and I visited Main Street and Granville Island, and then had dinner with our parents at the very cute (and dark) Les Faux Bourgeois restaurant. This is a photographic journal of our day.

Most of the text in this book links to websites for more information about the locations I visited, some to music on Hype Machine. Explore and enjoy! (and leave comments as before).

Best to read in fullscreen