Saturday, January 22, 2011

Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu (1980) 1/2

Farewell Etaoin Shrdlu

Filmed at The New York Times during production of the last edition that used centuries-old hot-metal typesetting. Editors, printers, stereotypers and pressmen are seen working with traditional letterpress printing. The printers are later seen, retrained, composing images by electronics and running computer-driven videotype-setters. Clearly shows how a newspaper is put together by old and new methods and how some workers feel about adapting their skills to the change. ("ETAOIN SHRDLU" was formed by striking the first twelve keys on a Linotype machine keyboard. The operator hit these keys to quickly finish a line which had an error in it. The line was then discarded.)

Guernica / Detroitism
Michigan Central Station appears to be a potent symbol of decline and the inevitable cycles of capitalist booms and busts. But there’s also money to be made on destruction. The decrepit station has been owned for years by the city’s most notorious real estate mogul, Matty Moroun, a politically-connected, Teflon-coated trucking magnate who owns the bridge to Canada and covets land near the city’s major transportation hubs. Alas, a photograph can tell us little about the city’s real estate industry and the state’s cheaply-bought politicians. All it can do is show the catastrophic results. Taken together, all the images of the ruined city become fragments of stories told so often about Detroit that they are at the same time instantly familiar and utterly vague, like a dimly remembered episode from childhood or a vivid dream whose storyline we can’t quite remember in the morning: Murder city! Unemployment! Drugs! White flight! Crime! Because the ironic appeal of modern ruins lies in the archaeological fantasy of discovery combined with the banality of what is discovered—a nineteen-eighties dentist’s office is not implicitly fascinating for anyone who inhabited one in its intact state—a ruin photograph succeeds in providing the details of a familiar story whose major plot points we can’t piece together...

& VHS from Jamie Tolagson

Cape Town Nightclub Photographs by Billy Monk

Michael Stevenson is pleased to present a selection of 47 images by the legendary photographer Billy Monk taken in Cape Town nightclubs in 1967-9.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Morrissey's Code

for RA

Adjusted the rain
for rheostatic intervention,
to walk so far so slowly
was never my intention.

I had arrived
at Bentall station
by unknown forces
& monstrous motivations.

By the time I got out
of the Octagon
the Broadway bus
had come & gone.

In the bustop gravel
I dug a pit
into which I dropped
a cigarette.

Consonants interrupt
alluvial flow
that's where
the letters go.

Annulled immediacy,
a cloud with eye holes
a blunt expediency
dispensed in vials.

A shadow falling
on the snow
that's where
the letters go.