For a long time, this was the most popular picture on Instagram. If the photograph has a single antecedent, it is John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia from 1852. It combines the coiffure of Florentine princesses with the quintessential pose of tragic womanhood from the Victorian era. The cherry on top is the caption: a single, sideways glyph of a heart.

For a long time, this was the most popular picture on Instagram. If the photograph has a single antecedent, it is John Everett Millais’ painting of Ophelia from 1852. It combines the coiffure of Florentine princesses with the quintessential pose of tragic womanhood from the Victorian era. The cherry on top is the caption: a single, sideways glyph of a heart.

Camera-phone Lucida

The historical roots of our instagram obsession

Facebook is Sauron. It’s also your mom’s couch, a yoga-center bulletin board, a school bus, a television tuned to every channel. Twitter is Grub Street, a press scrum, the crowd in front of a bar. Reddit is a tin-foil hat and a sewer. Snapchat is hover boards, Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots and Saturday morning cartoons. Instagram is a garden: curated, pruned, clean and pretty. It lets you be creative, but not too creative; communicate, but without saying too much. No embedding, no links—just photos, captions and hashtags. Elegant. Simple. Twenty-three filters. A crisp square around each frame...

THE POINT


Noma

So where does René Redzepi fit in the new world of food? The nature-worshipping forager cuisine he’s perfected at Noma seems at odds with both Ferran Adrià’s scientific whimsy and Soylent’s austere post-humanism. Redzepi’s focus is on ingredients and on dishes that evoke the sense of a certain place and time.

THE POINT

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Shutter Madness

Garry Winogrand used to say that he took photographs of things to see what they would look like as photographs. He photographed relentlessly: crowds, zoos, dogs, cars, parties, sidewalks and women...

The Awl

 Yosemite, California

Yosemite, California

Sight Beyond Sight, Carleton Watkins' California

How one pioneering photographer captured the American West before its ruin—and before his own. 

Watkins came to the state in 1851 during the Gold Rush, and photographed California as if it were a new planet on which he was the first person to arrive. 

PACIFIC STANDARD


Papyralysis

Are paper books becoming obsolete in the digital age, or poised to lead a new cultural renaissance?

LA Review of Books


Decay Is the Way Dead Things Live 

A universe built out of garbage and rubbish, whose creatures are by turn ridiculous and pathetic, not alive but not dead, and perpetually surprised by the labyrinth of night...

La review of books

 

That Face! The Uncanny Art Of Studio Photography's Heyday

No product of human industry is infinite, but photography comes close. In 1976, John Szarkowski, the longtime curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art...

The Awl

 

New Sounds, Old Voices

Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville wanted to photograph speech. In 1857, after years of experimentation, he succeeded...

New yorker

 

The Aira Effect

About mid-way through César Aira’s novel An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter, its protagonist, the German master of documentary painting Johann Moritz Rugendas...

THE MILLIONS

 
 Carleton Watkins: Yosemite, California

Carleton Watkins: Yosemite, California