PLACES : AARON ROTHMAN
For almost half a century Robert Adams has been photographing the man-altered landscape of the American West — immersed, as Aaron Rothman says, "in its impossible paradoxes." Inspired by a major retrospective now touring the country, Rothman ponders the enduring power of the photographer's legacy. "Adams does not indulge in the easy, and ultimately hollow, device of opposing the splendor of nature to the despoliation of man," he says. "At the heart of his work is an argument against seeing ourselves — and the places we live — as separate from nature."
OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR
I found the Museum of Broken Relationships by chance in the old part of Zagreb. Who could resist such an intriguing name? So in I went, imagining that it was some kind of art concept. It turned out to be much more straightforward than that. This is a museum about the experience and aftermath of breaking up with someone you once loved or still love, a public space consecrated to a universal experience of sadness and loss.
OBSERVERS ROOM : MARK LAMSTER
Please excuse this impertinence. I know we weren’t friends—who am I kidding: you didn’t know me from Adam, and I was no fan of yours
—but I found myself on Duane Street this morning (don’t ask) and it occurred you might be interested in what’s been going on in your absence.
PLACES : MIMI ZEIGER
In the latest installment of her series on DIY urbanism and interventionist practice, Mimi Zeiger surveys some of the events and exhibitions organized in New York City last year and inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Along the way she analyzes the unfolding dynamic between the grassroots tactics of activist artists and designers and the institutional strategies of the city's cultural leaders.
OBSERVERS ROOM : ALEXANDRA LANGE
A dancer in a liquid, backless dress stares at herself in a horizontal mirror, feet resting on a black square of a checkerboard floor. Also reflected in the mirror: the curving tubular steel of a cantilever chair, its seat daringly upholstered in a tiger stripe. Where are we?
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is vintage clothing labels.
OBSERVERS ROOM : RICK POYNOR
In 2004, I wrote an essay for Eye
magazine about the difficulty that cover designers had interpreting Crash
, J.G. Ballard’s most disturbing novel. A shorter version with pictures was later published on the Ballardian website. Since then, quite a few new Crash
covers have appeared — three in Britain alone. Finding a bizarre Croatian edition on a trip to Zagreb, as well as a new Serbian edition, provides a good pretext for an update.
D-Crit: Design as subject matter.
Criticism as literary genre.Learn at SVA >>
Sappi, AIGA Seattle and 826 National debut The Standard 5: Special Effects and you're invited.Get Seattle tickets >>
Designers and leaders talk innovation in healthcare.Join us >>
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
A new blog speaks to our current interest in shedding material goods.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2007
Gordon Matta-Clark infiltrated the worlds of art and architecture, revealing deep complacencies in each.