Monday various

  • Zombie Font Generator. Presumably, when the zombie apocalypse comes, all correspondence will be written in this. It’ll be like Dawn of the Dead meets The Postman. [via]
  • Clint Eastwood’s family will star in a reality show. And, in other news: Wait, wha–?!
  • Willard Asylum Suitcases:

    In 1995, the New York State Museum staff were moving items out of The Willard Psychiatric Center. It was being closed by the State Office of Mental Health, and would eventually become a state run drug rehabilitation center. Craig Williams was made aware of an attic full of suitcases in the pathology lab building. The cases were put into storage when their owners were admitted to Willard, and since the facility was set up to help people with chronic mental illness, these folks never left.

    I’m really not sure how I feel about this. Are these photographs art? [via]

  • Dubai: come for the human rights violations and widespread corruption, stay for the sewage trucks and typhoid and hepatitis!
  • And finally, Theodora Goss on H.P. Lovecraft’s racism and the World Fantasy Award:

    Did Lovecraft intend that message? I seriously doubt it, and yet it’s there. The story is not the writer. The story is always, if it’s a living story, smarter than the writer.

2 thoughts on “Monday various

  1. The Willard suitcases are interesting. As far as “is it art,” I’m not sure what you mean. Documentary work is often recognized as artistic, and can be done with attention to aesthetic detail and narrative structure. It looks to me like the contents of the cases can be opened and re-arranged, so there’s a still life quality. And it takes some effort to decide how to light the artifacts so they retain their texture and color. So, like, why would it not be art?

    • I’m not really sure myself, to be honest. It’s just a nagging question of appreciating these photographs on an aesthetic level divorced from their very real, and often very sad, history. I don’t know that the project or photographer is doing that, necessarily, although a lot of the responses have been along the lines of “these are beautiful,” as one might with a still life, but I’m not sure you can or should remove these objects from their context, which isn’t particularly beautiful. And people who packed the suitcases didn’t exactly intend them to be art. Are these interesting, and art, because of the context, or in spite of it? Does it matter? Does everything become art if you photograph it?

      I’m not really troubled by the photographs, or the response. I just think they fall into a weird gray zone that makes me wonder about them.

Comments are closed.