Monuments and vaguely descriptive plaques are commonplace around cities and heavily trafficked tourist areas, giving just enough insight into an historic event or landmark. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Memorial blends in with these weathered monuments, except for the fact that all details on the work are completely false. The monument, which is located in Battery Park, Manhattan, was created by artist Joe Reginella and honors the 400 victims who perished during a giant octopus attack of a Staten Island ferry named the Cornelius G. Kolff on November 22, 1963, the same day as the assassination of JFK.
The elaborate hoax was six months in the making, and is also seen by Reginella as a multimedia art project and social experiment. The website, and fliers distributed around Manhattan by his team, give a false location for a museum, ironically a place you must get to by ferry. You can see more tourist reactions and find real information about the fake event on the Staten Island Ferry Octopus Disaster Memorial Museum’s Facebook. (via Hi-Fructose)
On July 2, 1978 the New York Times made a significant technological leap when they scuttled the last of 60 manually-operated linotype machines to usher in the era of digital and photographic typesetting. When working at 100% efficiency with an experienced operator the Linotype machines could produce 14 lines per minute cast on the spot from hot lead. That number would increase to 1,000 lines per minute the very next day using an array of computers and digital storage.
Typesetter Carl Schlesinger and filmmaker David Loeb Weiss documented the last day of hot metal typesetting in a film called Farewell — ETAOIN SHRDLU (the obscure title is poignantly explained in the film). This amazing behind-the-scenes view not only captures the laborious effort to create a single page of printed type, but also the the emotions and thoughts of several New York Times employees as they candidly discuss their feelings about transitioning to a new technology. One man decides he’s not ready for the digital age and plans to retire on the spot after 49 years, while others seem to transition smoothly into the new methods of production.
This historically significant documentary was digitized in 2015 and made available online in HD from Linotype: The Film, another documentary about linotype printing that includes portions of Farewell. While I’ve always been somewhat familiar with the history of typesetting and printing, I didn’t fully grasp the absurd mechanical complexity and scale required to print a newspaper before the digital age. Each newspaper page was cast in a 40 lb. block of lead!? A huge number of employees were deaf!? If you’re a graphic design or typography professor, here’s a great way to spend 30 minutes.
If you’re super interested, the New York Times TimesMachine has a complete high resolution scan of the final hot metal typeset newspaper made in the film. (via Reddit)
Photographer and graphic designer Paolo Pettigiani recently took a stroll through New York’s Central Park armed with an infrared lens and took a number of fantastic shots that show the iconic park in a whole new light. The usual green grass and trees are transformed into a bright cotton candy pink which vividly contrasts with the aquamarine sky. The 24-year-old photographer moved to New York from Turin, Italy only two weeks ago and has been busy documenting his views of the city on Instagram. (via Behance, This Isn’t Happiness)
“NYC #19, oil on panel, 30 x 30 inches, all images via Jeremy Mann
Jeremy Mann (previously here and here) paints cityscapes set during the low-lit moments of the early morning or evening, just when natural light has begun to creep in or fade from a city’s car-lined streets. Using oil paints, Mann applies and wipes away areas of the canvas to recreate these hazy environments, adding layers of paint back on top of the slightly smeared works with more detailed strokes. This layered effects makes the works appear like double exposed images, two scenes gently blurring into one.
Mann’s work will be featured in an upcoming June 3 exhibition at John Pence Gallery in San Francisco which will run through July 9, 2016. You can view more of his cityscapes on his Instagram and Facebook.
“Market St., Midnight” (2016), oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches
“The Geary St. Storm” (2016), oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches
“Cityscape – Composed Form Study 13,” oil on panel, 6 x 6 in.
“NYC #20,” oil on panel, 48 x 48 inches.
“NYC #22,” oil on panel, 36 x 36 inches
“Morning Downpour on Market Street” (2016), oil on panel, 25 x 25 inches
There have been countless films set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic New York teeming with wildlife and overgrown with plants, both Planet of the Apes and I Am Legend come to mind. In this animated short titled Wrapped from Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann, we instead see the demise of the city as a vivid time-lapse that blends real footage, CG, and several of its own science fiction twists. The time-lapse begins with the death of a small rat that sets in motion the complete demise of the city’s human-made infrastructure that is quickly razed by super powerful vines. They share about the project:
“Wrapped” is a VFX driven short film by Roman Kälin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann that combines Time Lapse Photography with CG to create a new reality. The short explores the effects of time and change focusing on the the world’s seemingly never ending cycles. The deterioration of one is the foundation for another. This fact takes on new dimensions when the unexpected forces of nature clash with the existing structures of our civilization.
Wrapped was originally released in 2014 and was screened at over 100 festivals picking up tons of accolades along the way. The film was made viewable online for the first time ever today. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Photo © Michele Palazzo. Jonas Blizzard in New York, 2016.
While walking through the Jonas Winter Storm that swept across the East Coast last week, photographer Michele Palazzo captured this incredible shot of the Flatiron Building against a backdrop of swirling snow. With the exception of a few minor details like logos and a food cart, the image looks like an impressionist painting right out of another another century. The cloudy atmosphere and gusty winds create patterns that appear uncannily like brush strokes. You can see more of Palazzo’s shots from the morning of January 23rd on EyeEm.
Update: The folks over at EyeEm have a nice roundup of Jonas storm photos.
Update 2: The snowflakes you see in the window of the Flatiron are part of a paper origami installation by Chelsea Hrynick Browne in the Prow Artspace.