dreaming of a life after cubicles

French psychiatric hospitals, 1950s photos
January 26, 2007, 10:05 am
Filed under: photography, retro

Cory Doctorow: These remarkable photos of French psychiatric hospitals from the 1950s have just been published — some for the first time:  In 1954 Jean-Philippe Charbonnier documented French Psychiatric hospitals and this exhibition includes rarely seen photographs from the series. Some of the photographs were first published in Réalités in January 1955. Here a selection of the original reportage is shown followed by the magazine layouts – published in the magazine with two fluffy cats on the cover. It is interesting to see that a number of most most powerful images were not published due to the sensitivities of the 1950s and that the eyes of the patients are at times masked to protect their identities.

In 2006 a 24 page booklet Jean-Philippe Charbonnier: HP hôpitaux psychiatriques was published by Le traitement contemporain n°4 in conjunction with gallery Agathe Gaillard.

Link (via We Make Money Not Art)

Record album to deter burglars
January 11, 2007, 10:42 am
Filed under: retro, streaming media

David Pescovitz:  Dp 2007 01 Images 010 Img 1 WFMU has posted an MP3 of this fantastic 1972 record titled “Play It Safe! Vol. 4.” It’s 47 minutes of conversation between a couple that’s meant to be played when you’re away from home to make thieves think your place is occupied. The record originally came with a pack of twist-ties to rig up your phonograph to replay the record over and over.
Link (Thanks, Coop!)

You’ll shoot your eye out!
December 27, 2006, 9:08 am
Filed under: graphic design, retro, xmas

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Emile Cohl “The Hasher’s Delirium” (1910)
December 7, 2006, 12:39 pm
Filed under: animation, retro, streaming media, video

Check out this cool animation from 1910

Vintage Chinese pamphlet: How To Shoot an Airplane
December 6, 2006, 8:43 am
Filed under: graphic design, print, retro

David Pescovitz:  At Institute for the Future‘s Virtual China blog, Jason Li points to scans of a 1965 pamphlet titled 怎样打飞机 (“How to Shoot an Airplane”).

 Photos Uncategorized 20061205 Hitairplane

The Art of the Soviet Montage
November 23, 2006, 9:45 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

0lepremiermaiWe Make Money Not Art has posted a great review of a current exhibit at Paris’ Passage de Retz,A Visual Weapon: Soviet Photomontages 1917-1953. When 70% of the country can’t read, photomontages became a powerful form of propaganda… so powerful that even the Nazis took notice.

During the WWII, the photomontage becomes the main propaganda weapon inside the country but also outside of it to demoralize the enemy. Jitomirski, for example, designed thousands of propaganda leaflets during the war. So many of them were thrown to German troops that Joseph Goebbels put the name of the artist on the list of the “Ennemies of the State” with a commentary that said “Find him and hang him!”

A hell of a thing, to end up on a Nazi murder squad list just because you’re good and cutting and pasting pictures onto pieces of construction paper. Despite the fact that these photomontages were used to propagate a political system that led to tens of millions of deaths in the Twentieth Century, some of the work is truly beautiful in a way both industrial and dystopian. Maybe one will come to a coffee shop near you!

Soviet Montages 1917-1953 [We Make Money Not Art]

Old engravings of animals are charmingly strange
November 23, 2006, 9:13 am
Filed under: art, graphic design, print, retro

Mark Frauenfelder: Bibliodyssey has an excellent gallery of 18th century engravings from ‘Die Saugthiere in Abbildungen’ at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon (named as ‘Histoire naturelle des quadrupèdes’.

The absurd rendering of many of the animals comes about because the engravers/artists working on the project did not actually see the animals. They had to rely on descriptions and their imagination and, as was the fashion of the time, the animals were placed in contrived settings and often given human facial qualities, which only serves to heighten the sense of bizarre. And thankful we are too.