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Tracks of the Year

 

Lists are one of those things that just are, things few think to improve the experience of — ever-changing content with little change to the framework. With a simple layout and clean design, Tracks of the Year is a definite format upgrade. Billing itself as a “collection from those best-of lists, minus the reading,” it’s exactly what we want from a music best-of list: less words, more sounds. Each track was selected and illustrated by Montreal-based art director Michael Hagos

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Chris Burkard’s Breathtaking Photos Of People Surfing Among Glaciers And Snow

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Chris Burkard is a photographer based in Central Coast, California. He captures lifestyle and action sports, and some of his most compelling works are these pictures of people surfing among the snow-covered mountains in places liked Iceland, Norway, and Alaska. There’s a cognitive dissonance that comes from viewing these photos – surfing is typically a warm-weather sport that doesn’t seem like it’d mix with the cold temperatures. But here, Burkard’s subjects are traipsing among glaciers and a white landscape in their head-to-toe wet suits.

Despite the initial reaction of “buuuurrrrr,” there’s a palpable bliss in Burkard’s idyllic photos. The natural beauty is undeniable no matter the temperature. Skies are clear, the water is blue, and it’s all made even brighter with the peppered throughout. Burkard purposely searches for wild, remote destinations, and, according to him, “portrays the humble placement of the human in contrast to nature.

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Annie Needham’s Empathetic Attachments

Annie Needham is a speculative designer, fiction writer, architect, knitter, and… empathetic attachment maker. Have you ever wanted to feel something, or some experience, that was completely out of reach? What could it be like to stand in a shark cage? Feel colors? Go Okie-Noodling? Well, with these “Empathetic Attachments,” you can. The devices create the experience for someone who wanted to feel the same stress, anxiety, and excitement of the event without necessarily doing it.

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Camilo José Vergara Documents Camden New Jersey’s Crumbling Economics

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Camilo José Vergara’s 40-year project, “Tracking Time,” chronicles urban transformation in some of the poorest and most segregated communities in the Northeastern United States. In Camden, New Jersey, one of the poorest cities he regularly visits during his documentation, he captures what he calls “Paired Houses”: two dwellings that share a wall, one of them occupied, the other empty. Because each dwelling is part of the same building, Vergara is able to capture the stark contrast between deteriorated and maintained habitats, reflecting the declining state of Camden’s housing market. For some of the photographs, Vergara returns to a building he’s previously documented in order to chronicle the absence of formerly dilapidated buildings.

In his photo essay for Slate, Vergara writes,”If a resident of a middle-class neighborhood dies or moves to a nursing home, or if a dwelling burns, the empty house is usually guarded or secured by the owner’s family. The police keep an eye out for it. Neighbors, well-aware of the impact of a deteriorating eyesore on property values, alert city officials whenever they see a house falling into disrepair. The situation is quickly brought under control.

It’s different in a crumbling inner city like Camden. Even Walt Whitman’s old house at 328 Mickle St.—the only home he ever owned—was by the 1980s adjacent to a vacant three-story dwelling and just two houses away from a ruin. House values in Camden are low and likely to remain so since the population of the city is declining, unemployment is high, and there is little new demand for houses. The number of vacant houses is likely to increase; many will eventually be acquired by the city, which is too poor either to board them up or to demolish them.”

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The Surveyor Tape Installations of Megan Geckler

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The slick site specific installations of Megan Geckler beam and bounce of walls like lasers.    Her installations’ ultra clean geometric forms and bright colors nearly hide the personal quality to the work.  The plastic rays are actually made of flagging tape – the kind you find just off the sidewalk typically used by surveyors.  Her installations intentionally bounce between art and design, industrial and hand made, cold and personal.  Also, just as her work shifts conceptually, it also shifts in shape from angle to angle.  Strands at one angle interact with strands at other angles as a viewer moves through the space. [via]

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Eric Valli’s Honey Hunters

High in the Himalayan foothills, fearless Gurung men risk their lives to harvest the massive nests of the worlds largest honeybee. Photographer Eric Valli tagged along to document one of the most dangers jobs that is just business as usual to the people who live in the Himalayas. (via)

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Design for Mankind – New Mag

We here at B/D are always fans of independent publishing. Anyways, Erin from Design for Mankind has created a lovely creative inspired zine with a best of list for 2009 and a ton of artists. 

Visit her site to pick up a copy for yourself!

Design for Mankind

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Orestes Grediaga’s Paintings And Drawings Of Black Holes

Black Hole is a project by Stockholm-based artist, Orestes Grediaga. A feeling of “void” and “emptiness” had struck the artist almost instantly – a feeling he had yet to experience. That day, the artist was drawn to a large piece of paper, on which he drew a black hole. “When it was dry, it seemed to absorb all of me as I looked at it. Inside, there were no thoughts nor feelings, no memories, no physicality, nothing. It was like a black hole. At that moment a sense of abiding calm came over me from inside, from the very same place this enigmatic void was coming from.” – Orestes Grediaga

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