I studied printmaking in college, at the University of Iowa, and took a lot of book arts classes too—binding, letterpress, etc. We spent a lot of time looking at books in special collections in those classes, flipping through everything from the Nuremberg Chronicle to sifting through reproductions of Marcel Duchamp’s notes and scraps that are housed in his Green Box. There’s a page of the Gutenberg Bible in the collection, and I’ve run my greasy hands all over it. The ability to touch, to interact with items in a special collection make them, in some ways, a far better experience than seeing art and historical objects in a museum.
This morning I saw, via The Paris Review, that a number of detailed, miniature landscapes were discovered “hiding” on the fore-edge of a number of 19th century titles in UI’s special collections. I can’t help but imagine the joy experience by the librarian who found them. And now that they’ve been unearthed, there are gifs.
During one of those book arts classes, I became interested in a sort of benign library vandalism—like the book equivalent of Banksy hanging up his own work in a museum. For an assignment that asked us to remake a book in a way that created a form that matched the content, a printed the entirety of Alice in Wonderland in 1-point font, cut it into strips and stuffed the mini-scrolls into pill capsules. The whole seven-pill novel was housed in a day-of-the-week pill box.
Just before I graduated, I stole a copy of Alice in Wonderland from the library and replaced it with my own repackaged version. Not that my work is anywhere as artful and lovely as the fore-edge paintings, but I hope that someone had or will have a moment of joy in the stacks when they pull it off of the shelf.
9:31 am • 5 September 2013 • 2 notes
LA might still be an agricultural empire. A new interactive map shows the urban gardens (and farms) near you!
Makes me want chickens and goats!
12:39 pm • 27 August 2013 • 134 notes
Pushing through the clear vinyl flaps that hang over the entrance to “Perishable: An Exploration of the Refrigerated Landscape of America,” like stepping into a walk-in refrigerator, you come face-to-face with what could be called Big Refrigeration. The facilities depicted in the show, the photos taken by Twilley and CLUI staff and volunteers, are responsible for chilling a full 70% of what we eat. From the unripe bananas shipped in from the tropics and ripened with ethylene gas in special pressurized rooms to storage facilities for apples, fish, ice cream and even peanuts—it’s all there, chilling in the countless buildings that make up what Twilley’s calls the coldscape.
The Big Chill: A Look at America’s Coldscape
10:47 am • 22 July 2013
In death, separating Toklas from Stein is a complex undertaking—Stein is the author of the Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, after all—but when it comes to cooking, and the evocatively written recipes of the more literarily demure woman (and any chicken recipe, for that matter), it’s wise to keep Stein’s Tender Buttons in mind. No matter where you buy it from, chicken is alas a dirty bird.
Writing about Toklas, Stein and food safety is a good way to make your editor crazy.
11:40 am • 18 July 2013 • 4 notes
Q. “What is the responsibility of the writer?”
A. “To not be boring.”
A great PEN 10 interview with Richard Nash by Lauren Cerand.
Boy howdy is that right…
Interviews with Richard are, by definition, great.
11:04 am • 15 July 2013 • 19 notes
Fortune Favors The Bold: hansonohaver: On the Internet, every NEXT has a BACK, and vice versa....
On the Internet, every NEXT has a BACK, and vice versa. Choice is all. And so it goes, supposedly, with the job market that the Internet made possible. As an ad for jobs.corn says, “Who wants a job where the most you can be is competent? I want to be cool!” And…
Bad jobs are for suckers (so you should take that unpaid internship, obvs.)
2:06 pm • 14 July 2013 • 13 notes
Guess which nectarine(s) came from the tree in my backyard that’s only been watered once in the past 6 months?
2:03 pm • 14 July 2013 • 1 note
Willy Blackmore: #IOWASHAME
In 2009, the Iowa State Supreme Court unanimously struck down a state ban on same-sex marriage. Since the verdict on Varnum vs. Brien was issued, three new judges, all Republicans, all male, were appointed by Gov. Terry Brandstad 2.0 in 2011 (he also appointed Chief Justice Mark Cady in 1998); the other judges are all male, all Democrat, and all appointed by Gov. Tom Vilsack. Despite the rightward shift of the Court, four justices—three of them Democrats, to reiterate—who decided that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional ruled that a dentist could legally fire an employee because he found her to be “irresistibly attractive.”
Reblogging myself here because of this ThinkProgress article, which reports that the IA court ruled today that the firing wasn’t an instance of sex discrimination. I love that my home state allows gay marriage, but really, achieving gender equality in the workplace is difficult enough as it is. This fucked ruiling is especially shameful considering the state’s history on the issue—the University of Iowa has admitted women and men on an equal basis since it was founded in 1855; UI was also the first public university to grant a woman a law degree, in 1873.
1:44 pm • 12 July 2013 • 7 notes