Fingers are an easy place to start. And arrows.


FIST AND FINGERS
March 26th, 2015

Finding the body in signage

directional arrows

How much visual communication is based on parts of the body and the gestures we make with our bodies? Fingers are an easy place to start. And arrows. Arrows are pretty abstract these days. Nobody uses a fist (or manicule: picture of a pointing hand) anymore unless they are putting on an old timey look or want to be cute. But most of the arrows in use remain reminiscent of a pointing finger.

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So yes, one should imagine some secret ethereal essence moving between various physical states for different purposes.


CRAB AND WORD
March 23rd, 2013

Mojibakeru
A word transformer

Crab Embodiment

Another example of the many toys which demonstrate the seemingly endless Japanese fascination with not exactly multi functionality, but the ability for one thing to also be another thing. The translation for this process is “transform”, as in Transformers. The word “transform”, to me, seemed somehow inadequate since it carries with it a spiritual connotation, the sense of leaving one state for another, usually better, other state. A worm transforming into a butterfly comes to mind.

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An abiding tension between the shared work and the individual's desire.


AN EMBODIMENT
November 2nd, 2012

Gutai: The Spirit of an Era
The National Art Center, Tokyo
July 4 – September 10, 2012

Gutai Poster

Exhibition Poster

The title of the show, sounding like vague hyperbole, is surprisingly accurate. There is a great overall sense of an intense dialogue, and embodiment, by this group of Japanese artists beginning in the early fifties with what was going on the rest of the art world of the time, the era, and further, having the same kind of resonance and lasting affects as the other builders and shapers of this same world.

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The technique is documentary while the subject and overall result is evocative and atmospheric.


THROUGH THE LOUPE
March 19th, 2012

Roy Lichtenstein
Landscapes in the Chinese Style
at Gagosian Gallery Chelsea
March 1 – April 7, 2012

detail: Landscape with Grass

Integrating some of the thinking inspired by Kenya Hara’s “White” I continue to work toward gaining the habit of seeking graphic and artistic works that exhibit as much indefinition as definition, places where things might, will, occur, rather than a documents of decision, renderings of completed acts.

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This is the greatness of white, alive with the thrilling anticipation of a mark about to be made


MAKING A MARK
February 2nd, 2012

A review, or glimpse into,
the book “White” by Kenya Hara.

White

white paper with black tape (Illustration: Williams Trent)

The slight unease about what this is exactly, how it should be placed, where it is pointing, is one of this book’s more edifying qualities. It is not exactly a design book, although this is much of it’s main focus and probably it’s audience. It’s a sort of visual philosophy. Hara says he has “attempted to find the source of a Japanese aesthetic.”

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near indecipher- ability creates a kind of inclusivity for those who are connected and ready to receive the messages on offer


A SUPERABUNDANCE
December 20th, 2011
Telebi Kun Sept. 2011

Telebi Kun (てれびくん)Magazine September, 2011

Each month these magazines pack nearly all of their contents onto the cover. All of the heroes and headlines and slogans jostle and press to the front like an unwieldy and overexcited crowd bursting through a tight doorway. A riot of color and contrast and photo and text. Including fluorescent ink.

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Its availability is stately. One feels the power of the radiant breeze that has swept away shades and veils and the cobwebs of superfluity.


BABY FACE
December 9th, 2011

Windows looking out to the Park.

A look at the outside
of the Richard Meier building
at 1 Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

The Richard Meier apartment building, On Prospect Park, is now apparently 70% full. When they were building it I was hoping that it would have a swank bar, like in a hotel, on the ground floor. Or some store. Something that would allow some direct engagement with the neighborhood. Even if it was a high-end, imperiously sedate, design or clothing store. Something to break through the glass wall a little bit.

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From a utilitarian perspective the boat is essentially a colossal trinket.


OPULENT UTILITY
October 18th, 2011

Taking a closer look at Firmship,
an austere pleasure craft.

A strange and marvelous case of excess and restraint meeting in one object is the Firmship, a 42 foot boat from the Netherlands. The Firmship is a luxury item in the sense that it is a rare and expensive object residing well beyond the reach of the needs and wants of the average consumer.

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In many ways it is not simply his climax, but the climax of a cultural moment. He says it first, claims it first and so is able to own it and sidestep it at once.


YOKOO TADANORI
September 25th, 2011


The Complete Posters of
Tadanori Yokoo seen at the
National Museum of Art,
Osaka in August 2010.

Tadanori Yokoo
国立国際美術館
横尾忠則全ポスター

“Having Reached a Climax at the Age of 29, I Was Dead.” This, in English and so addressed to the world, is what is written on, and is the subject of, the first poster in the exhibit which is from 1965. It is a provocation. This placement in the exhibition. And the fist signing a fuck you. And the little man hanging from a rope holding a little flaccid bouquet. But it’s also pretty hard to argue with this assessment once you’ve seen everything else.

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It is meaningless, useless and without much value. It is a symbol that signifies almost nothing at all.


WHY BAUBLE
September 14th, 2011

A little bit more about
the name and direction
of the publication

A bauble is probably most commonly imagined as a cheap trinket — a small decorative object, a gewgaw. It is meaningless, useless and without much value. It is a symbol that signifies almost nothing at all. Or like a currency that has lost almost all connection to any real power or strength, a penny.

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