Archive for the 'books' Category

Futures from the Past

Friday, August 18th, 2017

I discovered a peculiar book store called Future Dreams Books during a long walk on a recent trip to Portland. There, I was met with box after box full of science fiction publications that dated all the way back to the twenties and thirties. Some of the magazines in these boxes were unaffordable, like a seven hundred dollar priced magazine featuring the first appearance of a text written by H. G. Wells, but other instances of the same publication were available for as low as eight dollars. They just didn’t feature anything written by authors of such prominence. But they still featured the same kind of amazing futuristic art in their covers —the kind that still holds a nineteenth century flair to it— and I couldn’t help but purchase a few. Here are two of my favorites.

You can browse through many more book and magazine covers here and here. A small note about this collection: I’ve acquired most of the publications featured on these collections at the basement of the Harvard Book Store, the Brattle Book Shop in Downtown Boston, Pandemonium Books and Games in Central Square (Cambridge MA), Angel City Books and Records in Santa Monica CA. Some of them I scanned after borrowing from the MIT Science Fiction Society Library, and a few more come from random news stands in the streets of Mexico City.

Cartoon Distortion

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Dribnet aka Tom White suggested that we teamed up to submit an application to Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair for next year.

“But this means we will need to make some books for it”, I said. “Exactly”, he replied.

Next thing you know we are talking about hunting down a Risograph printer and figuring out how to go nuts with it.

The LA Book Fair submission required a print oriented portfolio website, so I finally put one together and hosted it at cartoondistortion dot com. Please take a look. It’s nice to see most of my graphical morsels tightly organized and readily available like that.

cartoon-distortion

Tom also had to make his own portfolio page. Hopefully we will get our little table at the book fair next year 😀

Artes Mediales desde Colombia

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

En un comunicado electrónico desde Colombia, Maria Paula Lorgia me acaba de informar que ha presentado al público el Catálogo Razonado de Artes Mediales correspondiente al Seminario Transmedia en que participé hace casi exactamente un año con la charla intitulada Propagación de Ficciones.

Este catálogo incluye mi texto Espacio público y participación narrativa en la era digital, escrito en su totalidad en el zoológico de San Diego, donde hago una reflexión alrededor de los trabajos que he tenido oportunidad de realizar en el espacio público geográfico y digital a partir de mi estancia en el MIT, donde trabajé con Antoni Muntadas, John Maeda y Henry Jenkins alrededor de temas relacionados con los medios digitales, sistemas de participación, y espacio público. Estos trabajos incluyen Querida encogí el barrio y Branches The Nature of Crisis.

El catálogo completo se encuentra disponible como PDF en la biblioteca en linea de la Secretaría de Cultura, Recreación y Deporte de la Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá.

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artes mediales autores

El Billar de Lucrecia & Cielo Abierto

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

I have been designing poetry book collections for a while now. I started in 2005, when Rocío Cerón invited me to design a collection dedicated to showcase latin american poets born in the 1970s. We called the collection El Billar de Lucrecia and decided to pair each book with each one of the 15 different billiard balls in a perfect bijection of number and color. Only 15 titles were going to be produced. Inspired by the Roman tragedy of Lucretia, I created a female avatar for the collection, a shadow-woman that came back from death to avenge injustice against women. My fantasy super heroine hasn’t made it to the pages of a comic book, but she elegantly decorates the colorful sleeves of every book in the collection.

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Eight_Ball_Rack_2005_SeanMcClean-32

After the fifteenth book was published and the collection was closed, Rocío proposed me to design a new collection with a completely different set of curatorial rules. This time Rocío’s intention was to create pairs of territories (cities, countries) and get poets living in different territories of the same pair to translate each other. Each pair would become a book and each pair would always feature a Spanish-speaking territory, thus making sure the collection connects world poetry through the Spanish Language.

This relatively convoluted formula inspired me to devise a similar mechanic to produce the art for the covers. Once I had defined a design template and style, I decided to invite a new artist for every book, send them a couple of notes about the book and a color and ask them for a black and white drawing featuring a human subject. Once I got back the drawing from them, I would design a graphical pattern to finish the book, using the color I had sent them. We called the collection Cielo Abierto to honor the geographical space in which airplanes are held beyond the influence of specific national interests, and gave it a logo representing an airplane reflected in the surface of a human eye.

The books feature drawings by Demián Flores, Ernesto Morales Campero, Luis Alberto Becerril Fonseca and Utamaro García, who made the drawings for the last two books.

I am not sure we will still be publishing any more books for Cielo Abierto. It seems the logistics involved in coordinating so many poets across the world have taken a toll on Rocío and her small team —five after all is a pretty good number for a mini collection of global poetry. I am ready to make more, but I can easily jump into some new thing. Only time will tell.

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Seventeen boxes of books

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

After four years and a half in Boston. Moving them to Los Angeles, not easy.

MIT SFS in PictureXS

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I have recently discovered the MIT Science Fiction Society Library in the 4th floor of the MIT Student Center. I feel like an idiot for not having discovered it before, but giving it a second thought, it was probably better that way. I am not sure if I could have afforded to spend my days daydreaming about telepathic detective gymnosperm plants, steampunk robots that will slaughter you if you don’t speak German, or eighty year long space round trips protecting cargos of a few thousand genetically modified frozen teenagers. Today I am as busy as I used to be when I was a student here, but I am not feeling as challenged, and I can comfortably dedicate some space in my memory and imagination to regularly escape into the fantastic stories collected between the shelves of the MIT-SFS library.

Conveniently enough, I have decided to reactivate the picture collecting mechanism in PictureXS, and I will use it in combination with my simple [and overly buggy] Video2Web picture capturing program to keep a visual archive of all the books I will check out [and hopefully read] from the MIT-SFS library. I wonder if I should scan all the covers, they are so remarkably different from anything you see these days in bookstores, and a definite visual treat.