Aaron filling in today with Christina Ramberg; More from that Austin English TCJ Essay; Post-Text Futures (According to the NY Times); Desert Island’s 10-Year Anniversary


Christina Ramberg

Dan Nadel on the Art of Christina Ramberg

Curator Jenelle Porter nicely summarizes the breadth of Ramberg’s interests: “To browse the over 1,000 slides Ramberg left behind is to gain a foothold on how she looked at the world. Slides of Buddhist hand mudras echo the elongated fingers in [the 1971 painting] Hand. Patterned asphalt shingles, hand-painted signs, wig shop displays, the homes of outsider artists, a twisted and frayed awning—one can begin to decipher how Ramberg translated quotidian visual experiences into highly ordered paintings.” Ramberg and Hanson also created a scrapbook of comic-book clippings with examples of explosions, word graphics, and dreams, among other categories. The scrapbook, Ramberg noted, was “valuable as a sourcebook of comic conventions or shorthand methods of depicting various themes and objects.” She did not, however, employ collage and comic-book imagery in her paintings, as some of the artists Ramberg admired—Öyvind Fahlström, the Swedish master of reconfiguring comic-book elements; San Francisco’s symbolist painter and collage-master Jess; and Yoshida—did in their own. For Ramberg, these fragments revealed modes of rendering and moments of accidental strangeness, such as when a speech balloon hovers above a house to indicate an interior conversation. Taken out of sequential context, as in Ramberg’s scrapbook, the house appears to “speak,” as if in a Magritte painting.


Where I’m Coming From (Part 2)
Juan posted about this yesterday, but here’s another look at the 2nd part of Austin English’s personal exploration into zines and mini-comics. There’s a lot of ground covered here.

Clara Bessijelle, from A Butler Named Hawk, 2008
[Clara] Bessijelle made this zine on a home printer, and stapled it at the edges—everything about the assemblage of this comic is worked out by the author on a system of their own. A heartfelt pride in its making comes through, which is augmented immeasurably by the purposefully labored over work within. The author made the art according to their own principles and found the images to be powerful, thus making reproduction and dissemination of the work essential. But how to go about that? Like some of the most uniquely beautiful zines, the printing is as personal as the drawing within, and if the reader brings themselves to it, a total work of art can be seen. Unlike self conscious art zines that stress their expensive production values, this work’s quiet features make it priceless.

Annie Murphy’s I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is an extremely important project. Murphy is a hard-to-do-her-artistry-justice cartoonist who isn’t extremely prolific, so each new work is worth studying. More then that though, Rose Garden is a historical work that is more vital then that description usually suggests in zine culture. Instead of a ‘historical’ zine that is concerned with the changing storefronts of main street, Murphy’s subject is no less than the history of mood, the underground itself, sordid half-truths, and tragedies involving all of the above within her home of Portland, Oregon. Murphy is a cartoonist like no other, more emotionally precise than  most artists who work in comics. Murphy’s feelings are clear to her but unique in spirit: she communicates them to the reader without noise and we are left with new heartbeats.

Annie Murphy, from I Never Promised You a Rose Garden


‘The thing you’re doing now, reading prose on a screen, is going out of fashion.’
At The New York Times, Farhad Manjoo contemplates a ‘Post-Text Future’.

The internet was born in text because text was once the only format computers understood. Then we started giving machines eyes and ears — that is, smartphones were invented — and now we’ve provided them brains to decipher and manipulate multimedia.

Suddenly the script flipped: Now it’s often easier to communicate with machines through images and sounds than through text.


Hey Desert Island, Happy 10-Year Anniversary!


Suzy and Cecil – 2-23-2018 – by Gabriella Tito


Joanie and Jordie – 2-23-2018 – by Caleb Orecchio

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