Dissective Nostalgia

This blogspace will allow for an ongoing discussion on topics of global and local significance, specifically as they relate to our discussion on 21 October.

It is my understanding that, to date, you have come to understand certain contemporary processes of globalization through the lenses of more invisible structures such as class struggle, nationhood and professional propriety.

Today, I'd like to begin by leaving global behind for a moment, and thinking purely local. I'm going to discuss design in the context of writing and history, and share with you one particular project that has become a catalyst and a conduit for some of my own ongoing questions about visual thinking, cultural disparity and the paradoxical relationship between memory and memorabilia.

By way of disclaimer, let me just say that my comments are unquestionably biased toward my own interests, perspectives and proclivities. I am a designer, a writer, an educator, a mother, a collector and a critic.

To begin, rather than assigning readings, I'd like to direct our conversation to the images here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Traveling Scrapbook

A contemporary exercise in collaborative collage — at once extremely individualized and globally limitless.


Blogger goodtobeglad said...

(This is Jessica Gladstone, aka PKC)

I'm sitting at my desk for the millioneth hour in a row and my back really hurts (pout). But that makes me think of hot tubs and how nice that would feel if I had one. And THAT makes me think of hot tubbing in Whistler/Blackcomb with that fascinating Autrian guy Morritz Gruber and his much-loved leather (notebook) from India.

Morritz and his compelling travel (emporium). Yes that's how I remember it. The emporium had a lot of fascinating goods in it (wink) including an amazing array of dull-nubbed pencils, an icky-sticky pen, pockets of grubby paper bits peeking from behind one another and even a vial of smudgy, blue (paint?). It was all wrapped up in this strange leather pouch of sorts with a long, snakey string that twisted impossibly around and around until all that (vodka) you drank rendered your fingers helpless to untie it.

Morritz made everyone (compose) in it. It was his obsession, and the notebook was bulging with life. I had never thought much of how (other) people drew or wrote or gathered pieces of grass and leaves to put next to their thoughts, not until then.

Morritz was a total nomad, who was traveling the world for a few years skiing here, boozing there and talking/sharing/showing/writing/collecting (moments) of the people he met along the way. And that night, after skiing, tumbling, steaming, spinning, he collected mine.

I painted an American flag in that book. And I wrote a corny poem about New York City. I titled it: "Oh say can you ski" and the stripes of the flag dovetailed to make an impressive ski jump. Morritz was unhappy. He told me get serious, and give it a real (pause).

So I flipped through some more pages, and sneaked peaks at more (appropriate) entries nestled in its' sheaves. That's when I finally got it. This time, humbled from my failed attempt, I was (exposed) the book and it's power, and I was mesmerized. In it, I saw images of dreamed-for tatoos, impossibly awkward descriptions of chocolate, sex, beaches, seahorses, unfinished musings, scribbles, and sad confessions. I saw foreign languages, self-portraits, questions, rants, proposals of sorts, pornography, expletives, and tears.

And thus, my (global) or rather regional entry was (edited), with dovetailing lines to guide my prose. The "Oh say can you ski" morphed to topics that mattered, splattered, shattered my silly world of insular symbology forever.

The end (based on a true story).

4:50 PM  

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