April 25, 2013
Keeping it Simple — Gilbert Hernandez who has two new books out, Julio’s Day and Marble Season, talks about his work at the LA Times Hero Complex blog:
“What I’m really trying to do is streamline my work, to make it an easier read,” he said. “I’ve always admired newspaper comic strips that are very simple and direct, don’t have a lot of dialogue, don’t have a lot of exposition. When I look back at a lot of the comics that are overwritten, like the beloved old Marvel comics, I edit them in my head, to see how modern readers might become more interested in following them. When I look at my old stuff, like ‘Poison River’ and the early ‘Palomar’ stuff, I sometimes think it’s too dense to enjoy. For me, anyway.”
Mechanics – Tom Whipple on algorithms for Intelligent Life:
What has changed is what algorithms are doing. The first algorithm was created in the ninth century by the Arabic scholar Al Khwarizami—from whose name the word is a corruption. Ever since, they have been mechanistic, rational procedures that interact with mechanistic, rational systems. Today, though, they are beginning to interact with humans. The advantage is obvious. Drawing in more data than any human ever could, they spot correlations that no human would… Their strength is that they can take in that information in ways we cannot quickly understand. But the fact that we cannot understand it is also a weakness.
Cardboard Boxes – At The New York Times, Dwight Garner on packing up his family’s favourite picture books:
In the past, when I’ve had to pack my personal library, what I’ve boxed are talismans of intense yet essentially private experience. Picture books aren’t like this. When you’re putting away these square, dog-eared, popcorn-butter-stained things, you’re confronting an entire cosmos of collective memory… They occupy places in our family’s shared consciousness as indelibly as do summer vacations, trips to the hospital or injured birds cared for in cardboard boxes.
And finally (but most importantly)…
A profile of Kim Gordon at Elle Magazine:
Sonic Youth is not just revered within the indie rock world; it’s an indelible part of American pop-cultural history, a sort of byword for tasteful and progressive art that’s also popular. “She was a forerunner, musically,” says Kathleen Hanna, of the riot grrrl band Bikini Kill and later the dance-rock group Le Tigre. “Just knowing a woman was in a band trading lead vocals, playing bass, and being a visual artist at the same time made me feel less alone.” Hanna met Gordon when she came to a Bikini Kill show in the early ’90s. “She invited my band to stay at her and Thurston’s apartment,” Hanna says. “As a radical feminist singer, I wasn’t particularly
well liked. I was in a punk underground scene dominated by hardcore dudes who yelled mean shit at me every night, and journalists routinely called my voice shrill, unlistenable. Kim made me feel accepted in a way I hadn’t before. Fucking Kim Gordon thought I was on the right track, haters be damned. It made the bullshit easier to take, knowing she was in my corner.”
(Tasteful is not a word I would necessarily use in association with Sonic Youth, but hey… )