sunday, august 26, 2007
- Bonsai trees, tiny succulents, fertilizer for carnivorous plants, buckets of polished glass gravel (like Vetrazzo for the ground), and a garden in the back.
- Ceramic tea cups with pretty glazes and jars of loose-leaf tea, with a little kettle and sampling cups in a corner — reminding me of the tea room at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.
- Taxidermied mice and bigger mammals, the skeletons of various creatures, and arrays of preserved beetles and butterflies.
- Trilobite fossils, sand hit by lightning (see also), railroad date nails, ammonite fossils, odd dried pods, fossilized poop, etc.
- Books about zoomorphic architecture and photography as remembrance, along with the requisite Haeckel collection.
- Shirts with snake skeletons.
The only problem with seeing a bunch of my aesthetic interests in one place is re-encountering the fact that I’m not terribly special, but I like that kind of problem. It is nice to belong to a city.
tuesday, august 21, 2007
While I rewrite unfinished posts about information and the web, here are things I have posted elsewhere in the past few months:
- Limited time offer on the del.icio.us blog — everybody likes free stickers.
- Small multiples on Waferbaby — tagged “photography errors toys color amusing”.
- Core herring on my Livejournal — an animated GIF mashup.
- This happened on Waferbaby — tagged “trains california stories relationships”.
- Stakkaly on my Livejournal — about a graphic novel titled Stagger Lee.
sunday, august 05, 2007
Poking around William Stout Architectural Books, I picked up Representing the Passions because “passion” is a loaded word and the cover looked pretty, and I skipped to “Observations on the Natural History of the Web” by Horst Bredekamp, which traces a connection between early modern engravings of personified Nature (including the Leviathan) and late-90’s net art gardens: Nerve Garden, TechnoSphere, and Life Spacies II. I like that connection, and it reminds me of the plant-related net art that Petra Cortright has made recently. Horst Bredekamp has also written a book titled The Lure of Antiquity and the Cult of the Machine: The Kunstkammer and the Evolution of Nature, Art, and Technology, which means that he is my kind of academic.
Then I flipped around in a big square book of public art, and I liked this gilded staircase in New York:
The typography books were generally bland, but Dimensional Typography included amusing bits like “The circumflex and the circumcision are both forms of marking. The three-dimensional extrapolation of the circumflex reveals a distinct homology.” and a connection between crowns of thorns and rhizomes.
When I saw Art Deco Bookbindings on a shelf, I knew I would like the subject:
There’s more here; most of it is nicely geometric, and I especially like the typographic ones near the end.
Then I looked at the industrial design books and found a neat ad:
It reminds me of The Architecture of Happiness, page 86:
The next page continues, “If we can judge the personality of objects from apparently minuscule features…it is because we first acquire this skill in relation to humans, whose characters we can impute from microscopic aspects of their skin tissue and muscle,” which goes back to the book about passion, since it included an essay about systematized representations of strong emotion in faces. Books are annoyingly physical objects though, so I can’t re-read it right now and include more detail. Of course, the most annoying thing is that the contents of books can’t be bookmarked on del.icio.us, so I have to write something about them.