Poplars, 1954, Brett Weston. American (1911 - 1993)
The Devil Never Even Lived in James Siena’s Mesmerizing Typewriter Palindrome Drawings
With the delicate precision of a concert pianist, he tapped out letters, numbers, and punctuation in colored ink to produce eye-teasing abstractions.
This being James Siena, he had a system, so each of his cryptic texts came out reading the the same way forward and back. Reminiscent of medieval micrography, these delirious palindromes illuminate the interior poetry of math.
They’re on view for the first time in a new show at Sargent’s Daughters, which pairs them with Orly Genger’s madcap drawings of abstracted superhero limbs.
Patterns from the inside of envelopes
As part of Superstudio’s Anti-Design Campaign, the Quaderna table formed a striking contrast to the pop design of the late 1960s, opposing all its curvy, colourful forms. Superstudio was convinced that there can be no renovation of design until ‘structural changes have occurred in society’, as Peter Lang and William Menking wrote in Superstudio – Life Without Objects. Thus they developed a matrix to generate objects for a new rational, social and cultural order.
‘The investigation into the essence of the object started in 1969, when Superstudio launched their Istogrammi project,’ Sander Woertman wrote in Exit Utopia – Architectural Provocations 1956-76. ‘The starting point was a square, the surface of a plane consisting of a regular rectangular grid. What Superstudio intended with this quickly became clear: the diagram could easily be translated into a furniture item, architecture or a landscape. A definitive solution for any kind of space or form had been found.’
The Quaderna, a table presented 37 years ago as a utopian statement against design, rebounded a little more than a decade later, becoming the ultimate design icon. Superstudio unconsciously wrote the lyrics for a world-hit and IKEA made it play.
One could say Lack is the ultimate global compromise, the table of all tables. If the United Nations had an assembly to decide what a world table – representing all the cultures and nations on earth – should look like, Lack would be the outcome. It’s square – avoiding the discussions of which culture invented the wheel; it’s average in height – right between the Asian and Western dimensions; it’s endlessly extendable – seating anywhere from one person to all the people in the world.
Lack avoids any reference to any particular culture; it is the common denominator of all tables of all cultures. It is the ultimate success story of the international style, or better: intercultural style, the style of the global middle class. Lack started a world tour and when it’s done, Lack will have globally reformatted the notion of the table. In the end there will be only one table left: Lack.
Lack is unavoidable; it is neither good nor bad, neither ugly nor beautiful and most important of all, it is cheap.
By omitting the Quaderna quadrangles, the table was released from its theoretical burden, it was liberated from the last evidence of culture that Superstudio ‘forgot’ to remove. By doing this, IKEA managed to turn the whole theory of Anti-Design inside out and baptised it, ironically, Lack.
MARK (#13, 2008)
We recently wrote about Bamin, the modular bag that comes in several pieces to be zipped together and swapped around by the consumer. Bringing this model to footwear, PIKKPACK is a range of shoes that use just three pieces of material to enable anyone to assemble and customize them. READ MORE…
German photographer Klaus Leidorf is an aerial archaeologist who likes to observe the human artifacts from a bird’s eye view. Perched at the window of his Cessna 172, he crisscrosses the skies above Germany, capturing images of farms, cities, industrial sites, and whatever else he discovers along his flight path. Since the late 1980s Leidorf has shot thousands upon thousands of aerial photographs and currently relies on the image-stabilization technology in his Canon EOS 5D Mark III which is able to capture the detail of single tennis ball as it flies across a court. Collectively the photos present a fascinating study of landscapes transformed by the hands of people - sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening. (src. Colossal)
© All images courtesy the artist
"To really deepen a question puts you in touch with another part of yourself that your “answers” usually cover over; this is the freedom from the known, that Krishnamurti and others speak about. The great answer is also experienced as a question when a master delivers it to you. The known can be a slave driver.
The other main thing about Socrates is that he was concerned that a man, a woman, a human being needs to know himself—above all needs to take care of what he called the soul, take care of the true self. The first aim anyone should have was what he called “tending the soul.” Unless that’s your main aim, everything else will lead you astray. Those two things are part of where I think this theme, “The Unknown,” is leading. Take care of your true self, your true consciousness and divest yourself from the things you think you know, not only about the world, but about yourself. These two belong together.We dwell in the midst of mystery. Even if our rational mind denies this, we feel it and sense it.”
–Jacob Needleman in conversation with our west coast editor, Richard Whittaker from THE GREAT UNKNOWN IS ME, MYSELF, Fall 2012 |
Photography Credit: Matthew Porter
I wanna make this!
Despite general fear of making life decisions, I’m pretty excited about this right now.