Bookmarked: Pages Being Shared in the Picador Office
Elizabeth gives you literary Legos! (Spoiler alert: They are super awesome times the biggest number ever.)
While enjoying her staycation, Gabrielle came across a mashup of Daft Punk’s new single, “Get Lucky,” and Soul Train. It speaks for itself.
Daniel enjoyed Bret Easton Ellis’ AMA on Reddit, and finally got around to Steven Soderbergh’s takedown of the current state of filmmaking in his keynote at the San Francisco International Film Festival.
Message to a Graduate
Image: Francis Alÿs, Paradox of Praxis 1 (Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing) Mexico City 1997 4:59 min.
Francis Alÿs (Belgian, born 1959) trained and practiced as an architect in Venice before moving to Mexico City, where he has lived since 1986. Alÿs’s artwork ranges in scale from simple, ephemeral actions such as pushing a block of ice through the city streets until nothing but a puddle of water remains, to epic and complex events—for example, inviting 500 volunteers to collectively move a mountain in Peru. With allegorical and poetic gestures, Alÿs confronts issues critical to contemporary societies: urbanism, economic cycles, and differing concepts of modernity and progress. Alÿs produces many of his works in and around Mexico City, commenting on the patterns of development and crisis that persist in Latin American society. The artist documents his projects extensively in a number of mediums, providing a variety of perspectives on the work through drawings, paintings, videos, sculptures, and texts.
For When Faith Moves Mountains, Alÿs recruited 500 volunteers in Ventanilla District outside of Lima, Peru. Each person moved a shovel full of sand one step at a time from one side of a dune to the other, and together they moved the entire geographical location of the dune by a few inches.
This work presents an investigation into methods of social action and communal participation where the culmination of many small acts achieves mythic proportions.
That the participants managed to move the dune only a small distance mattered less than the potential for myth-making in their collective act; what was “made” then was a powerful allegory, a metaphor for human will, and an occasion for a story to be told and potentially passed on endlessly in the oral tradition. For Alÿs, the transitory nature of such an action is the stuff of contemporary myth.
quote via MoMa and Guggenheim
Alys makes almost all the videos of his work available for free (under creative commons) on his site. Unfortunately they can’t be embedded in tumblr, but viewing the videos of the work gives great insight into the way Alys directly engages and folds the participation of local communities the events of his work.
Mark Tansey, The Key, 1984
I have made a new letterpress print.
You can order it here: