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Art

‘Full Page Editorial’ Sand Sculpture by Toshihiko Hosaka Implores Japan to Reduce Plastic

June 3, 2019

Johnny Waldman

May 30 is Zero Waste Day in Japan (The name is derived from the numeric pun for 5 (go) 3 (mi) 0 (zero), which can be read as gomi zero, or zero waste). On this day, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper ran a full-page editorial made to look like a front-page headline titled “Plastics Floating in our Seas” and highlighting the devastating impact that plastic is having on sea life. Everything from the article headline to the images and text were actually carved into sand on a beach in Japan and photographed from above.

The actual editorial that was carved into sand is the work of artist Toshihiko Hosaka (previously), who specializes in sand sculptures. Hosaka worked with local residents and students at Iioka Beach in Chiba prefecture to create the massive sand sculpture. It took 11 days to complete and measures 50 x 35 m (164 x 115 ft). Below is a brief excerpt from the text:

The sea does not speak. So, I will speak in its place. Currently, the lives of many creatures in the sea are being taken. The cause is plastic. Plastic bags, plastic bottles, styrofoam… 8 million tons of plastic used in everyday life are dumped in places like rivers and the ocean every year, and remains floating as garbage. By swallowing or being entangled in plastic garbage, about 700 species of animals including sea turtles, seabirds, seals, and fish are harmed and killed.

The editorial also calls out Japan as for its addiction to plastic:

We Japanese are also largely responsible. Japan produces the second most garbage per person. In order to rectify this, we have to take a good hard look at what is happening in the ocean. We need to think about things we have been ignoring as a result of prioritizing economic growth, everyday convenience, and such.

You can red the entire text in English here. Below are some behind-the-scenes photos and a video from the “newspaper” being created. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

 

 



Art

Elaborately Collaged Newspapers by Myriam Dion Transform Current Events into New Visual Narratives

December 27, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

In the patient hands of Myriam Dion (previously), daily newspapers become timeless works of art. The artist reads each newspaper she transforms from cover to cover before envisioning an entirely new visual identity for the inexpensive yet information-dense material. Using a combination of collage, X-ACTO knife cutting, gilding, and painting, Dion forms intricate patterns, often adorning and emphasizing a single image across the broadsheet.

“By crafting thoughtful mosaics out of the world events, I question our appetite for sound-bite news and sensational art, showing the quiet power of a patient hand and an inquisitive eye,” she explains in an interview with Huffington Post. “I am creating a new newspaper that can be interpreted, that encourages people to think more deeply about the news that we consume too easily.”

In addition to working with current events, Dion also engages vintage printed materials, like a 1953 issue of The Gazette that lauds a young Queen Elizabeth, and fact sheets from mid-century beauty pageant contestants. The artist is based in Montreal, Quebec, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Quebec. Dion is represented by Division Gallery, and her work will be part of the group exhibition “Pushing Paper” at Museum London in London, Ontario from January 26 to May 12, 2019. You can see more of her work on her website.

 

 



Art

Abstracted Alterations to The New York Times’ Front Pages by Fred Tomaselli

March 14, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

“Sunday, October 4, 2009” (2016) Acrylic and ink on paper. 72 1/4 x 43 in. (183.5 x 109.2 cm) Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

Since 2005, artist Fred Tomaselli has been altering the front page of The New York Times, highlighting the day’s catastrophes and nightmares with layered collages and detailed paintings. The series, simply titled The Times, focuses on the tactility of newsprint in a hyper-digital society, as well as the absurdity our contemporary political climate.

The displayed works are large-scale reproductions of the paper’s front page, each titled based on the date of which the original newspaper was published. Tomaselli views these artistic interventions as abstract editorials, just another decision made in the production of the news and its byproducts.

Tomaselli’s works will be featured in the solo exhibition Paper at White Cube gallery in London opening March 17. The exhibition will continue through May 13, 2017. (via Creative Boom)

“Wednesday, July 23, 2014” (2016), acrylic and photo collage over archival inkjet print, 43 x 47 1/2 in. (109.2 x 120.7 cm) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

“Wednesday, March 4, 2015” (2016), acrylic, photo collage and leaves over archival inkjet print, 50 3/4 x 81 3/4 in. (128.9 x 207.6 cm) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

“Thursday, May 12, 2011” (2016), acrylic over archival digital print, 43 x 54 in. (109.2 x 137.2 cm), 56 x 67 x 2 in. (142.2 x 170.2 x 5.1 cm) (framed) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

“Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014” (2016), acrylic over archival inkjet print, 43 x 59 3/4 in. (109.2 x 151.8 cm) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

“Thursday, April 2, 2015” (2016), acrylic over archival inkjet print, 72 1/4 x 43 in. (183.5 x 109.2 cm) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

“Bloom (Dec. 17)” (2017), acrylic and ink on paper, 44 x 65 1/2 in. (111.8 x 166.4 cm), 52 3/4 x 74 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (134 x 188.6 x 6.4 cm) (framed) © Fred Tomaselli. Photo © White Cube (Max Yawney)

 

 



Design History Photography

The Rise of the Image: Every NY Times Front Page Since 1852 in Under a Minute

February 22, 2017

Christopher Jobson

The New York Times published its first issue on September 18, 1851, but the first photos wouldn’t appear on the cover until the early 1900s over 60 years later. This visual timeline by self-described data artist Josh Begley captures the storied newspaper’s approach to layout and photography by incorporating every NY Times front page ever published into a single one-minute video. The timelapse captures decades text-only front pages before the newspaper began to incorporate illustrated maps and wood engravings. The liberal usage of black and white photography begins a century later and finally the first color photo appears in 1997. What a fascinating way to view history through image, over 60,000 front pages in all. If you liked this, don’t miss Farewell — ETAOIN SHRDLU. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art

Animal Sculptures Comprised of Densely Rolled Newspaper by Artist Chie Hitotsuyama

October 17, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Japanese paper artist Chie Hitotsuyama deftly creates textured sculptures of animals using a technique involving rolled strips of wet newspaper. The compact application of each newspaper segment proves to be an elegant method of forming the wild fur of snow monkeys or the density of scales found on the back of an iguana. For Hitotsuyama, these details are critical as she seeks to create the most lifelike sculptures possible.

“More than anything else, I’m particular about the realistic feel of the animals,” she shares with Kokusai Pulp & Paper. “Animals that live in nature are equal to us in the sense that we live together on this planet. Sometimes they sleep. Sometimes they eat. They are living ordinary everyday lives just like us. I would like keep insisting on reality and producing my life-sized work as much as possible in order to convey their lives.”

Hitotsuyama is currently showing several pieces as part of a residency and exhibition at MOAH:CEDAR in Lancaster, California through January 7, 2017. You can watch a video of her at work included below, and see much more on Strictly Paper and on her website.

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Design Documentary History

A Fascinating Film About the Last Day of Hot Metal Typesetting at the New York Times

September 7, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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)

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