In a database called Photogrammar, Yale has just released 170,000 searchable photos of the Great Depression. Previously stored away in the government archives, these are the unseen images taken by great photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein, all of whom were assigned by the Farm Security Administration to document the effects of the declining economy on the population. The database consists of a nation-wide map with clickable counties, each one leading to a gallery of snapshots from the region. Using the information from the Lot Number and Classification Tags systems developed by Paul Vanderbilt in 1942, the collection is searchable by photographer, lot number, and subject heading.
The result of Yale’s efforts is a fully interactive and fascinating glimpse into America from 1935 to 1946. Photogrammar tells the story of the Depression as it has never been seen before; from east to west (and including Hawaii and Alaska), we see rural laborers and townsfolk navigating the daily challenges of economic turmoil; there are signs of the oncoming war, as well. Despite being separated by a vast geography, each image is joined by a similar backdrop of hardship, endurance, and recovery.
Click here to explore Photogrammar for yourself. (Via Gizmodo)
Dutch artist Michiel Schuurman creates designs in which typography fully replaces the need for imagery with his high-contrast, intricately patterned pieces. Schuurman’s mind-bending work might be straining my little eyeballs, but in the best sort of way. Like, whatever is wrong with my vision is not something I want to get fixed, which, is great because I don’t exactly have insurance anyway. Schuurman’s vision is a fantastic, technicolor trip down the rabbit hole. With an amazing attention to detail, he designs down to the pixel.
In the middle of the California desert (Slab City) there is a pretty cool collaboration and installation work checking out. Graffiti artist Christina Angelina has teamed up with Ease One to work on a impressive, emotional project called Kinetoscope. Taking over an abandoned water tank in the middle of a dusty plain, they have painted a massive circular mural reflecting on the ideas of women, intuition, gender, and the current zeitgeist.
Combining many different elements, the installation is a multi-sensory experience. After climbing up a 15 ft ladder, visitors then descend into the middle of the empty water tank to find themselves surrounded by larger than life faces and will hear amplified sound echo around the structure. While in the middle of the space and turning around, the visitor will experience a certain type of magic inspired by photographer Eadweard Muybridge. He was the originator of the Zoetrope – a machine and technique that animated still images, and would bring them to life, by quickly spinning them on a circular form.
The women’s faces Angelina has painted reflect on her own magical, personal moments when she has used her intuition – an attribute she feels is undervalued and overlooked by society. Additionally, she has painted a type of mysterious font around the border of the tank in a striking combination of Eastern and Western script. The words spell out lyrics to Society by Jerry Hannan and Eddie Vedder:
It’s a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won’t be free
Society, you’re a crazy breed
I hope you’re not lonely without me
Kintoscope was sponsored by Starfighter Studios. They have kept a diary of sorts reading more into the experience of being based in the desert, away from society, while putting the installation together. You can read more of their insights here.
Dimitri Karakostas is a hard working photographer from Toronto, Canada. He’s made a whole pile of new work since we last checked in. His sometimes beautiful, sometimes beautifully garish images are the result of his dedication to the analog medium. Rejecting common digital editing has opened his work to a whole world of great tactile manipulations and experimentation, techniques often overlooked by other young photographers.
And hey, Dimitri also co-founded Blood of the Young Zine in ’08. Its a great project aimed at promoting and publishing new photographers, creatives, and troublemakers. If you’re in Toronto until Dec. 10th make sure to check out his work in the Dying Breed group exhibition at 285 Dundas W. This Canadian doesn’t quit!
This is the unbelievable survival story of a young skateboarder named Ross Capicchioni from Detroit. I don’t want to ruin the story but if you only do one thing today watch this video. I promise that you’ll forever be changed. Watch the 2 part video after the jump.
Etienne de Crecy’s video for their single No Brain is a pixelated, psychedelic, electro trip through 80’s digi-visuals with just the right amount of crazy old man dancing at the end. Watch it after the jump.
In 2006, “Looking for Lost History” traveled in the form of a 19th Century American Traveling Show. This was Alison Pebworth’s first tour in a continued series of traveling exhibitions, exchanges and happenings exploring what it means to be American. The investigation continues with “Beautiful Possibility” launched first in San Francisco at Southern Exposure coinciding with a intimate exhibition of drawings and a video by Chris Sollars at Michael Rosenthal. The project will then travel May through October from California to South Dakota across the northern United States and Canada. Pebworth seeks to discover a new understanding of our past, present and future through research, conversation and survey’s comparing and contrasting opinions of those living and working in the various regions she visits along the tour.
Pebworth writes: “This interactive project combines art, history and anthropology for an investigative look at obscured people, places, stories and myths and how they contribute to our collective understanding of who we are as Americans. Venues for the traveling show are pre-scheduled and will serve as headquarters for conducting research on local histories and culture. I will be physically touring the show and living in a travel trailer for this solo journey, interacting directly with regional audiences and gathering source material for new work to be included in the second tour and culminating exhibitions in 2011 and 2012.”
‘Dirds’ is a series of Photoshopped images that combine the heads and bodies of birds and dogs. We’re not sure exactly who started this new internet craze but we have to admit that we can’t stop looking at these perplexing creatures.
Although they are incredibly cute, you might still find yourself thinking about how these flying pup hybrids are actually quite disturbing.
Photoshop allows us to have more power than ever before. We can literally make anything come to a tangible existence.