Monday, February 28, 2011

Audio Cousins: 'The Social Network' & 'In Treatment'

The last Netflix disc I returned was the Gabriel Byrne-as-therapist HBO series, "In Treatment." So the theme was fresh in my ears last night when I heard the Oscar-wining theme for "The Social Network." I know this sounds ridiculously paradoxical, but except for the notes, the two are exactly the same.

Based on superficial Googling, I have not found any over lap for "In Treatment’s" composer, Israeli musician, Avi Belleli, and "The Social Network’s" composers, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Belleli’s music for In Treatment was actually written for Hagai Levi's Israeli series, Bitipul, on which "In Treatment" is based.

Listen to the first 40 seconds of each …

I know, I need to get a life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Black History Charts, 1900

The stunning charts you see here were hand drawn and colored at the turn of the 19th century, by Sociology students at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Their professor at the time, African American activist W.E.B. Du Bois, was organizing the upcoming “American Negro” exhibit for the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris.

Over 60 charts and maps, along with specially commissioned photographs were prepared for The Georgia Negro Exhibit, which was part of the larger display. Only three of these infographics are available in color from the Library of Congress. Click on them to view them larger. There are black and white reproductions of the entire group (see selection below), at the extensive online archive created by Professor Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr., of the University of Miami. There, you will find an enormous amount of information and visual material pertaining to this important historic exhibit.

The following excerpts from Professor Provenzo’s site offer more detail about the information graphics.
Du Boise described the project in his autobiography:
In 1900 came a significant occurrence which not until lately have I set in its proper place in my life. I had been for over nine years studying the American Negro problem. The result had been significant because of its unusual nature and not for its positive accomplishment. I wanted to set down its aim and method in some outstanding way which would bring my work to the notice of the thinking world. The great World's Fair at Paris was being planned and I thought I might put my findings into plans, charts and figures, so one might see what we were trying to accomplish. I got a couple of my best students and put a series of facts into charts: the size and growth of the Negro American group; its division by age and sex; its distribution, education and occupations; its books and periodicals. We made a most interesting set of drawings, limned on pasteboard cards about a yard square and mounted on a number of moveable standards.

From an official report provided to the Exposition:
Finally should be mentioned the results of the special studies carried out by Professor Du Bois. These consisted of a series of charts showing the condition of the colored race in the State of Georgia. This State was selected as being the one with the largest negro population. These charts showed first the general distribution of the negro race in all parts of the world, then the distribution in the United States by States, and finally the conditions in Georgia in great detail. These latter charts indicated the growth of the negro population in the State by decades; its relative increase in comparison with that of the white race; migration to and from the State; the distribution of the negroes according to age, sex, and conjugal condition; the occupations of the negroes; the number who could read and write; the value of the property owned by negroes; the number of acres owned by them or being cultivated by them as owners or tenants; the value of farm implements, horses, and stock owned, etc.

The variety and inventiveness of charting devices used, is quite impressive, especially for undergraduate Sociology students in 1900. Unfortunately, the quality of reproduction is not very good. I’ve uploaded the files here, as I found them. Some will enlarge when clicked, and some won’t. Once again, to view the entire series go here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shop till you ...

Herbert Matter’s "Surreal Shopper" appeared in a 1939 Harper's Bazaar cautioning shopper's not to lose their heads to fashion. (Via bits&bites, via The Eclectic Eye)

Face it; nothing says President’s Day like a good sale. It used to be that Washington’s Birthday was when stores made final markdowns on Winter’s leftovers, in order to make room for the Spring line. Alas, the holiday is now called President’s Day, Winter merchandise went on sale before Christmas, and gauzy florals have been hanging in stores for at least a month or two. And even though, the mere act of shopping, in itself, is downright American, gone is that reverential moment of handing over presidential portraits in exchange for our purchases. Somehow, swiping a credit card just doesn’t make me think of George.

Lacoste windows, Rockefeller center, the first week of January.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cool Collage: Vintage Refrigerator

Reading a refrigerator is usually a semiotic/archeological affair that involves decoding brands of gourmet mustard and carbon dating takeout containers. Well, here’s a fridge you can read without even opening it.

Up for auction next month is a circa 1960 classic GE model, plastered with some 50 years of bumper stickers. Daniel Donnelly, the Alexandria, Virginia furniture dealer and architectural salvager, admits that its intrinsic value might not measure up to its size, but he just couldn’t resist the "liberal-minded" monolith. He described its original home just as you would imagine it—mid-century Knoll, Eames, and Danish furniture, and packed with accumulated artifacts from the family's years of foreign travel.

Up with People!

And yes, it works! Also in this auction is a great assortment of Steve Frykholm posters for Herman Miller.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Soviet Book Jackets

Krasnoznam, Balt Flot (Red Banner Baltic Fleet).

There are 656 “Russian bookjackets, 1917-1942” digitized on the site the New York Public Library. So though it may look like I got carried away, it was really with great difficulty that I limited myself to the selection here.

While going through these, I was struck by how the cover designers did not confine themselves to the vertical rectangle we see when a book is closed in front of us. Instead, the entire horizontal expanse of the fully unfolded jacket was utilized as designable space. I’m not sure why this was, but perhaps it had to do with the absence of the capitalist mentality that considers every available square inch of printable surface as an opportunity to “sell.”

The entire collection is presented in a “wide screen” format, as opposed to the American and European dust jackets, which are displayed with a squarer aspect ratio of cover-plus-flap or a vertical format of the front cover alone. That is a collection of over 2,000. Something to look forward to …

Bezymenskii, Stikhi (Poems), 1934.

Sel'vinskii, Pushtorg (Fur-Trade), 1931.

Kuznetsov, Tsirk (Circus), 1931.

Chukovskii, Skazki (Fairy-Tales), 1935.

Sovetskoe iskusstvo za 15 let (Soviet Art over 15 Years), 1933.

Boitsy pervogo prizyva (Soldiers of the First Call).

Skazki Severnogo kraia (Fairy-Tales of the Northern Region), 1934.

Sobolev, Kapital'nyi remont (Major Repairs), 1933.

Dos Passos, Tri soldata (Three Soldiers), 1934.

Voenlety, Rasskazy o voenno-vozdushnom flote (Military Pilots, Stories about Air Force.), 1933.

Blagoi, Tri veka (Three Centuries), 1933.

Boitsy pervogo prizyva (Soldiers of the First Call).

Sto let Aleksandrinskomu teatru (A Hundred Years of the Aleksandrinskii Theater), 1932.

Lidin, Idut korabli (Ships are Sailing), 1928.

Gornaia promyshlennost' (Mining Industry), 1932.

Koster (A Campfire), 1934.

Chetyre pokoleniia, Kniga o Narvskoi Zastave (Four generations, A Book about the Narva Gate) 1933.

Slavin, Interventsiia (The Intervention), 1933.

Belyayev, Pryzhok v nichto (Jump Into Nowhere), 1932.

Lapin, Podvig (A Heroic Exploit), 1934.

Permitin, Kogti (Claws), 1932.

Chekhov, Vishnevyi sad (Cherry Orchard), 1933-35.

Shternberg, Giliaki (Giliaks), 1933.

Maiakovskii, Groznyi smekh (A Menacing Laugh) 1932.

Panferov, Bruski, t.2 (Bruski, Vol.2) 1933.

Bibineshvili, Kamiu (Kamiu), 1934.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Murano Monologues

These Murano glass bowls, or ones like these, can be found on eBay.
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