Walking in Memphis

Fiorucci, 1984. Via It’s Nice That.

This essay was originally published in the inaugural issue of August Journal as “Learning from Milan.”

In the eleventh grade, at a small Quaker school in Durham, North Carolina, I wrote a history paper about Memphis. Not the city some ten hours away, but the seven-year-old Italian design movement known for its subversive combination of plastic laminate, abstract pattern, and totemic shapes. The cover of my report was blue, and on it I attempted my own hand-lettered version of a jazzed Memphis typeface. Its contents have since been lost to history, as has my teacher’s reaction to the celebration of plastic, color and artificiality at a school where the wind whistled between the vertical siding and, when the wood stove proved inadequate, we just wore our coats inside. Style was not one of the virtues taught here—critical thinking was—and yet a previous generation of upper schoolers had included a boy who thought he was David Bowie, and one of my lunch companions dressed as if she were about to appear in a Guns N’ Roses video.

I repost all FOOD-related content but this may have been my scan originally

An advertisement for FOOD, the artist-run restaurant in SoHo, featuring Carol Goodden’s dog, Glaza, in Avalanche, issue no. 5, summer 1972.

Gina Telaroli on Twin Peaks, 2017

In the 1970s, the experimental filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos wrote a piece called “Complete Order of the Temenos.” In the years that followed, he began to take all of his previously made films and tear them apart frame by frame, taking the pieces and parts — along with newly shot footage and black and white leader — to create what would be his final project, ENIAIOS. The career-spanning contents of the film were combined and alternated to form an epic flicker film encompassing a lifetime of materials and ideas. The project, an eighty-hour cycle of films, was completed but not printed for screening when Markopoulos died in 1992. The terms of his magnum opus did not end there, though. ENIAIOS was specifically designed to be screened only in the Temenos, a field near the village of Lyssaraia where his father was born in Greece. Since Markopoulos’s death, his partner Robert Beavers has somewhat miraculously screened a few cycles at the sacred space every 4 years. It has become a pilgrimage of sorts for interested viewers. In between viewings, he raises money and elicits help from interested people to splice and print the necessary cycles.

Duration is key to the singular experience as the length of the cycle (usually in the neighborhood of 3 hours) and the amount of time you can look at one image or scene (mere seconds), create a transfixing reality that feels unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. The rhythm of your body seems to change as time loses its usually too well known meaning. There is no soundtrack save the sound of the projector and the nearby cicadas.

Storage boxes arranged and labeled by Girard. Photo: Andreas Sutterlin/Alexander Girard Estate, Vitra Design Museum.

Hemingway, the Sensualist

From “The Garden of Eden” (1946-/1986)

On this morning there was brioche and red raspberry preserve and the eggs were boiled and there was a pat of butter that melted as they stirred them and salted them lightly and ground pepper over them in the cups. . . . He remembered that easily and he was happy with his which he diced up with the spoon and ate with only the flow of the butter to moisten them and the fresh early morning texture and the bite of the coarsely ground pepper grains and the hot coffee and the chickory-fragrant bowl of café au lait.

Studio Ghibli food appreciation thread

'Sites of Knowledge' at Jane Lombard

They left out an important “apparently”


518 West 19th Street
June 8–July 28

The opaque construction of meaning in art has long posed itself in opposition to more direct performances of verbal language. Both practices can resemble board games, as units of visual or linguistic significance can be reduced to tokens that can be lined up and rearranged. This group exhibition, featuring works from Guy Laramée, Enrico Isamu Ōyama, Michael Rakowitz, Karen Schiff, and Sophie Tottie, among others, surveys the variety of atomic units that make up words, or art, or word art.

A sequence of Henri Chopin’s works from the late 1970s and early 1980s, which he called “dactylopoems,” are assembled from typewriter characters that form shapes through repetition and color sequencing. The flickering quality they achieve at scale is echoed in Kristin McIver’s Indebted To You, 2017, in which a projection scrolls through spelled-out numbers that represent the incomprehensible ebb and flow of the US national debt—from a distance, the letters appear as indistinct as the reality of the figure they represent. Jen Mazza’s oils, including // Aria )) ), 2013, bracket existing reproductions of prior artworks, quite literally, with punctuation marks.

Appearing as a corrective to Richard Artschwager’s uncharacteristically pat floating wooden Exclamation Point, 1970, the most arch (or oblique) work in the show may be Simone Douglas’s Promise, 2014, an eleven-foot-long assemblage of yellow pine that resembles the skeleton of a giant beast picked clean, or the torn-open spine of a book. Its vertebration resounds, suggesting that a topology of variance in wood might be as articulate as any string of Latin letters.

Arctic Char

Positioned on a rocky outcropping in Coldstream, British Columbia, Jon Friesen and Silping Wong’s home presents a paradox: The glassy box, cantilevered into space, suggests lightness and pure form, while the cladding of burned Douglas fir and raw steel gives the impression of solidness, utility. The house, designed by D’Arcy Jones, has an air of being at once rugged, broken-in, and effortless. “It was built to be very tough, like a farmer’s post,” Jones says, “but also delicate relative to the site.”

Marigold harvest, Los Mochis, Mexico, c. 1967. Photo W.E. Garrett.