Until I watched the BBC documentary “Moominland Tales: The Life of Tove Jansson”, I had never really known about the artist and author Tove Jansson nor the context for her work. I’m so glad to have come across the film. She was an impressive and talented woman that lived through some devastating times. The documentary is enhanced by quite a bit of original footage, images, and quotes from her journals and other writings. It also includes interviews of her friends and family. My only criticism would be that the tilt-shift effect on some of the shots of contemporary Helsinki and the Finnish countryside felt a little heavy-handed.
The scene above was likely filmed by Tove Jansson’s partner and great love Tuulikki Pietilä, a Finnish graphic artist. Her nickname was Tooti. For nearly 30 summers, Tove and Tooti lived and worked in a cottage that they built together on a little remote island called Klovharu. It sounds like they were quite the independent adventurers, and their time on the island seemed idyllic. This moment was rather heart-wrenching.
Last summer something unforgivable happened: I started to fear the sea. The giant waves no longer signified adventure but fear. Fear and worry, for the boat and all the other boats that were sailing around in bad weather. We knew it was time to give the cottage away.
Once they had left, they never wanted to come back. They didn’t even want to talk about it. It was the end, and that was it.
A side note: Sophia Jansson’s comment reminded me of a moment in a recent episode of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me when Peter Sagal asked Norman Lear if he had any tips “for those of us who would like to arrive at 93 as spry and as successful and happy as you are”.
What occurred to me first is two simple words, maybe as simple as any two words in the English language – over and next. We don’t pay enough attention to them. When something is over, it is over, and we are on to next.
An essay by Karol Berger from The Medieval Craft of Memory: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Relevant to an upcoming Musarc performance conceived by Hefin Jones for an Up Projects event.
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Edit 20 May 2016 — Photo from last night ↓
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Edit 24 May 2016 — Even more photos on upprojects.com
Databases are generally associated less with open-endedness than with the muted horrors of bureaucracy, in which the fear and pain and misery of human experience is reduced to data and evidence.
Off the back of some recent thoughts regarding the archiving of websites, SB sent me a link to “Digital Preservation in the Artist’s Studio” by Ben Fino-Radin. The article provides an extremely thorough overview of what steps might be involved in digitally archiving studio output, along with a few real-world examples. Love this stuff.
The other evening, a friend introduced me to Maria Blaisse’s work as well as the lovely book The Emergence of Form published by nai010. The dedication evident in her output is incredible, and her canal-side studio in Amsterdam sounds pretty great. Wish I could find one of the images from the book online, it’s a black and white photo possibly taken in the 70s of her working on a woven piece with an enormous knot in the middle that’s easily twice her height. Will just have to buy the book (like I need an excuse).
Sidenote, Augenweide (source for the image) is a very enjoyable browse, glad to have come across it.
I asked SB about people/studios that push the offset printing process when we were discussing a potential litho print last week, and he mentioned Berlin-based collective Maximage. The 2013 interview in the Walker design/art blog (linked above) sheds light on their interest in intervention.