Sabine Weiss: Observations of French life in the 1950s

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But despite being one of the most distinctive photographers of the 20th century, Weiss insists that she is not an artist. “I am an artisan,” she says. “I don’t create anything: I am just a witness of what I see and what interests me, which has always been human beings.”

Read Sabine Weiss: an accidental tourist at 93

Wave cinemagraphs by Ray Collins

Photographer Ray Collins captures the magic that happens at the intersection of water and light. Each shot in this film was created from a single one of Ray’s original photos. The stills are transformed into cinemagraphs – a hybrid between photo and video – an infinite loop that makes a single moment last forever. The original soundtrack was created by two very talented musicians, André Heuvelman on trumpet and Jeroen van Vliet on piano.

You can see the individual cinemagraphs here. Amazing.

Newsletter: Nappuccinos, audio illusions, and Tesla’s American experience

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The audio illusion

Each week I like to highlight some the articles written on this blog in a condensed format. It reminds me to take a step back and review why I thought it was worth posting in the first place. If you enjoy these reads, you can sign up here to get the weekly newsletter delivered directly to your inbox. 

Interesting Digs

How taking an afternoon ‘nappuccino’ increases productivity. If you start to zone out around 2 and 3 pm (thank you circadian rhythm), you may benefit from a pre-nap coffee. Remember: “The caffeine won’t fully engage in your bloodstream for about 25 minutes, so drink up right before you lie down.”

Tesla: American Experience. Motivated by wonder and awe, he exploited his imagination to foresee the wireless networking and cell phones we have today. Tesla was an artist working with dreams and visions but “his medium was electricity.” Excellent documentary on the magician on PBS.

This is what happens when you reply to spam email. In a hilarious TED Talk, comedian James Veitch details his emails with one spammer who contacted him about a business deal. Into the second week, James got the spammer to start replying in ridiculous code revolving around candy.


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Thought of the week

‘I’d rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph.’

— Tom WolfeThe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Video of the week

Stems by Ainslee Henderson
Watch

Ainslee Henderson takes interesting “stuff” (wood, stick, wire, leaves, broken electronics, etc.) and turns it into stop-motion puppetry.

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musician and band names 🦉

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are a some of my favorite.

From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

When sharing is forgetting

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We are not only taking too many photographs and spending little time looking at them, but we’re also inhibiting in our memory in the act.

In a recent study done by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, those who document and Instagram their images are consistently less likely to remember their experience compared to the camera-less participants.

Across three studies, participants without media consistently remembered their experience more precisely than participants who used media. There is no conclusive evidence that media use impacted subjective measures of experience. Together, these findings suggest that using media may prevent people from remembering the very events they are attempting to preserve.

Just as we outsource our memory to Google — knowing it’s all too accessible with just a click — so to do we our experiential minds.

While we know our digital images will be archived in iPhoto or Google Photo libraries for eternity, we’ll be unlikely to recall vivid details of the event when we return to look at them.

Writes Susan Sontag in On Photography:

“A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it—by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs.”

Externalizing events is not just limited to the camera. We can impair our memories with a notebook in hand.  Similarly, if we take down every note the teacher repeated in class we are less likely to remember the most important takeaways. If we want to better remember the things we experience, we have to remember to look up every once in a while.

We must compel ourselves our see in order to notice the interesting things in the world around us. Perhaps our inner eye cameras are all we need to remember what we want.

Newsletter: ‘Simplicity can produce complexity’

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Hi Friends, below are some of the highlights from the blog this week. 

Interesting Digs

“Musician, artist, thinker” Brian Eno talks Bitcoin, how ‘simplicity can produce complexity’, and moreThe Financial Times sat down with “musician, artist, thinker” Brian Eno in the studio of his Notting Hill home. The link contains my favorite snippets from the interview.

Go Fast and Break Things: The Difference Between Reversible and Irreversible Decisions’. Jeff Bezos has an interesting system for making decisions. He sees them as either irreversible or reversible. The simple heuristic pushed him to start Amazon, knowing that he could just go back to his old job if things didn’t work out.

There is no perfect idea. There is no such thing as the perfect idea. As Rebecca Solnit writes in Hope in the Dark, ‘Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.’ Or as novelist Iris Murdoch instructs, “Every book is the wreck of a perfect idea.”

Thought of the week

‘Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.’

— Leonardo Da Vinci

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Other Recommendations

Sponsor

If you’re serious about blogging and turning it into a legitimate business, then stop messing around. You have to level up with a WordPress Business account.

Video

This week’s archival videos goes back in time to San Francisco, 1939. Heed the motto: “San Francisco by the Golden Gate. City upon memories and visions of progress for tomorrow.”

WATCH: Golden Gate City: San Francisco (1939)

Video

This hover backpack will make you jump, jump! gifStudents from the University of Tokyo developed a hover backpack that frees you from gravity’s pull so you can jump and hang in the air like Michael Jordan. The rotors in the device thrust downward, allowing humans to jump 3 times higher than normal.

WATCH: A Backpack Multi-rotor for Jump Augmentation

Cool Product

In our ever increasingly fast-paced world, it’s nice to slow down every once in a while and plan something out. And these pages look huge!

FIND OUT MORE: Slow and simple notebooks with BIG TYPEFACES

Rogue lines, a photoset

The square lines represent a movement.

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Sometimes lines appear infinite.

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On different occasions, the lines blur.

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Lines also run diagonally.

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Lines can get squiggly, as in life.

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Lines like to find the holes, blurring their objects.

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All lines are nonetheless imaginary, even arbitrary, a simulation of code drawn from the head.

PS. ‘The map is not the territory‘ and ‘This is not an apple

All photos by Wells Baum


Newsletter: Think on your feet, not your seat

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@irdor

Hi Friends, below are some interesting links I discovered this week. 

Summary: Yet more evidence that standing at work is better for you than sitting. Millennials love their house plants. Meet the woman who never forgets anything. Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London. Tyler, the Creator gives us a throwaway track entitled “Okra.” Check out all these links and more after the jump. 

Sponsor

WordPress.comI’ve tried all the writing platforms (Squarespace, Tumblr, Weebly, etc.) but if you’re a blogger, there’s no better platform than WordPress. You can also snag a .blog domain name instead of the usual “.com.” The folks at BlueHost also make setting up on WordPress crazy easy with one-click installation.

Interesting Digs

To Focus Attention, Think On Your Feet, Not Your Seat. A recent study done by researchers at Tel Aviv University validates standing desks. Not only is standing better for your health, it also strengthens your focus. This is because the stress of holding your posture improves selective attention.

Millennials are turning their apartments into “house jungles”. Hilton Carter keeps 180 plants in his house. Apparently, he’s part of a millennial trend that’s obsessed with houseplants. Says houseplant author Tovah Martin: “I think the current cycle has a lot to do with people hunkering down. A houseplant is therapeutic. It gives you something to nurture.”

The woman who never forgets…anything. Imagine having a “highly superior autobiographical memory” (H.S.A.M). That’s the case for Australian Rebecca Sharrock who remembers everything from the time she was born to what she did on any particular Saturday a decade ago. ALL in clear detail.

Thought of the week

“Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.”

— Rebecca SolnitHope in the Dark


Other Recommendations

Book

Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London

Alex Bartsch spent the last ten years photographing the original locations of some of his favorite UK reggae vinyl covers from 1967 to 1987. Holding each sleeve up to arm’s length, he meshes the past and present of London’s surroundings.

READ: Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London

Music video

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Just ran across the new Tyler, the Creator track in Benji B’s radio show. Apparently, the new tune “OKRA” is a ‘throwaway song’ per the video’s YouTube page. Yet, it’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year. And the music video is equally delicious as the juicy bass and spit-filled rhymes.

WATCH: Tyler, the Creator — Okra

Video

Go inside the apartment of graphic communicator George LoisRenowned graphic communicator George Lois takes us on a tour of his apartment. Located in Greenwich Village, what he calls “the best part of Manhattan,” the apartment is full of art. Even the chairs.

WATCH: Go inside the apartment of graphic communicator George Lois


Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London

Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London

3 new vinyls p/mo based on your music tastes 💕, Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London
3 new vinyls p/mo based on your music tastes 💕

Alex Bartsch spent the last ten years photographing the original locations of some of his favorite UK reggae vinyl covers from 1967 to 1987. Holding each sleeve up to arm’s length, he meshes the past and present of London’s surroundings.

While Googling came handy, what he found in his research was that most of the shoots took place outside the record label offices themselves. He told Huck Magazine:

“It often starts with the information on the record sleeve but many of them don’t offer much to go on. I have learned through doing this project that a good place to start is the area where the label was based. Sometimes it was just outside the door of the record label.”

Some of the artists included in his book Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London include Bob Marley & The Wailers, Alton Ellis, Peter Tosh, Delroy Wilson, and more.

Snag a copy on One Love Books here or on Amazon UK.

Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London, peter tosh

Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London

Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London

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Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London

Photographer Alex Bartsch retraces reggae record sleeves in London