PLACES : ARTURO SOTO & AARON ROTHMAN
Photographer Arturo Soto, who lives in Mexico City, is especially interested in what he calls "the visual infrastructure of the street." Soto tends to avoid, as Aaron Rothman says, the "big, recognizable views, focusing instead on the unremarkable spaces of ordinary life, where physical form is determined by patterns of everyday use and the accumulation of individual actions, more than by formal planning or design." We're pleased to present a selection of Soto's recent work.
OBSERVATORY : BEN LERNER
Ben Lerner is known for writing deeply serious poems behind zany exteriors. This discrepancy — between our values and the cheapness of how we represent them, between, in his fiction, feeling for someone who watched someone drown and the AIM chat that mediates the empathy, lines broken to look like that other cheap medium, the poem — this discrepancy presents itself in most of his work as emotions far too nuanced and strong for the idioms and cliches that represent them.
NEWS FROM DESIGN OBSERVER GROUP SPONSORS
What are you doing this summer? How about studying design history, theory and practice in Italy the birthplace of Western typographic tradition. You can at the Masters Workshop in Rome May 26-June 9, 2013.
Learn More >>
MFA Design Program >>
SVA Website >>
PLACES : JAMES BARILLA
How do you transform your backyard into certified wildlife habitat? Environmental writer (and new homeowner) James Barilla finds the process is more like being ordained online as a minister than registering a LEED home. As he opens his yard in Columbia, South Carolina, to owls, termites, cockroaches and legless lizards, he reconsiders the meaning of urban ecology.
OBSERVATORY : JOHN FOSTER
Chakaia Booker strikes a dramatic a figure when you see her. Her elaborate and oversized headdresses of patterned African cloth might be imposing to the uninitiated, but people who have met her say she is a quiet and reflective woman. In many ways, Booker’s clothing is like her art and connects her to centuries of traditional African costuming. Each morning, before starting her day, she goes through a time-intensive procedure of wrapping and clothing of her body. It is a ritual that serves to remind her of her daily mission — that living creatively and making art is a process in which she has dedicated her life.
OBSERVER MEDIA : DEBBIE MILLMAN
On this episode of Design Matters, Debbie Millman talks to Sara Blake about being a weird child, getting fully tatooed, collaborating with her sister, creating portraits of 100 girls and illustrating NBA players. She spoke with Debbie Millman in the member's lounge of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
CHANGE OBSERVER: PROJECT ARCHIVE
While environmentalists debate the ethics and effectiveness of carbon offsets, designers work to make them appealing.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2007
Gordon Matta-Clark infiltrated the worlds of art and architecture, revealing deep complacencies in each.