In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Poetics app, which allows you to create word and picture poems, is calling for postcard submissions. Download the app, make your art, and then send it to the below address. It’ll be displayed on a rack in Kickstarter’s new gallery (did you know that we have a gallery?), waiting for someone to pick up and begin a correspondence. More info here.
1) Antarctic Moss, (5,500 years old; Elephant Island, Antarctica) 2) La Llareta (Up to 3,000 years old; Atacama Desert, Chile) 3) Spruce Gran Picea (9,550 years old; Sweden) 4) underground Forest (+3,000 years old; Pretoria, South Africa) DECEASED 5) Dead Huon Pine adjacent to living Population segment (10,500 years old; Mount Read, Tansania) 6) Jōmon Sugi, Japanese Cedar (2,180-7,000 years old; Jaku Shima, Japan)
Mex and the City is an online collective and creative agency based in New York. One of its founders, Marina Garcia-Vasquez, wanted to create a tangible glimpse of the “new global Mexican identity,” so she, along with photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero and other contributors, put together Racial Profiling. The book collects photos and profiles of Mexicans in New York and elsewhere, along with interviews and photos of the work they’re producing, with the goal of showing the diversity of contemporary Mexican identity.
Why did you decide to put this book together?
We first started Racial Profiling as an editorial to build out our online community for Mex And The City. I always knew I wanted to have authentic portraits that celebrated individualism, but it wasn’t until I met the photographer Carlos Alvarez Montero in person and we spoke about ideas of identity that Racial Profiling was born. Since then we’ve hit Mexico City and Los Angeles to represent current culture. The book project is at once a photo art book, an homage to these large cities, and a recognition of the relationship between Mexico and the United States.
How did you decide who would make it into the book—are there any thematic ties?
Thematically, we curated the portraits with individuals whose work has them moving between cities. We found that many NY Mexicans went back and forth between Mexico and California for work. We wanted to acknowledge that movement. This is how the idea of the new global Mexican identity came about.
Did the idea for the book arrive fully formed, or did it start to take shape as you accumulated profiles?
When we first started the project, everyone asked what our goals were. If we were going to publish a book or develop the series into an exhibit? Because we are more of an art collective, we always agreed that it would be an organic movement through time. And because producing the portraits is actually a lot of work!
This book is just one facet of a larger project. Could you talk more about that?
Racial Profiling, the portrait series, is the basis for Mex and the City developing real community and marking our identity as a brand. We are now a creative agency and a movement. Our goals are to promote a contemporary Mexican identity through arts, culture, and design.
You describe this book as a “tool for communication.” What would you like to communicate?
Most of our work is found online as a blog or events captured by photos or video. We are a digital community but wanted to create something tangible and timeless, something you could find in bookstores or in a library. The book as a tool for communication is a means to show that migration does not have to be taboo, that there is strength in individual passions, and that as a culture and collective we contribute beautiful work to society.
Will the book be similar to the profiles on the site?
Yes the book will feature the portraits by Carlos Alvarez Montero on the site as well as newer collections not yet published. It will contain intro essays and Q&As. But I am also very excited to include a catalog section to show individual creator output. So that when we feature an artist, a hotelier, and a scientist we also have an example of their work to refer to: a piece of art, a designed hotel, a theoretical module. It’s an art catalog and historical record.
When he visited Manhattan for the first time, photographer Brad Sloan was immediately struck with the way that the modern metropolis skyline interacts and connects with everything around it. These are images from Inceptualized Reality, his project that explores those lines.
Photographer Gerd Ludwig has been documenting the uninhabitable landscape of Chernobyl since 1993, and is finishing up work on a photo book of his experiences there. In a recent interview with National Geographic, he shed some light on the project:
"After each entry into the reactor I undergo a careful cleaning process: leave the protective gear behind, take a long, hot shower, and change into clean clothes. When I asked a safety specialist to check my equipment after my last visit deep into the reactor, I could read in her face that she thought I was being paranoid. Reluctantly she checked my gear, but then her facial expression completely changed, and she kept repeating again and again ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! You need to clean your cameras. You need to wash them.’ "
Our Project of the Day is the Bronx Documentary Center, which hosts film screenings, photo exhibitions, book signings and after school photo classes. They want to keep doing all of these things, and more — the focus of the project is a full year’s programming.
Multimedia artist Von Cotu has created something he’s calling “pyro chemography” — creating images on photo film using fire and chemicals. The images that result feel like colorful alien universes. See more here.
Project of the Day — City of Darkness Revisited is a book of photos that tell the story of Kowloon Walled City, which was, before its demolition in 1993, the world’s most densely populated place. The creators, Ian Lambot and Greg Girard, are putting out a new edition of the book, and further filling in the story of this strange 0.01 square mile structure. If you are interested in how it worked architecturally, scope out this video.
150 Years Underground is a collection of 150 portraits of Londoners at 150 different Tube stations, and it commemorates 150 years of the London Underground. Now, it’s up for public viewing at Camden Collective until March 10th!
We love this pic from the hanging of the exhibition, and even if you can’t make it to Camden, you can see more pictures at the Facebook page.
Images are from issue #3 of Mossless magazine, which just reached its goal and features documentary-style photos snapped all over the US from 2003-2013 by the photographers listed above, among many, many, many others.
We’re currently obsessing over these images from Phillip Stearns’ High Voltage Image Making. The pictures explore the use of strong electrical currents in photography, and they are illuminating. They are powerful. They are positively shocking.