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~ Friday, September 19 ~


Accidentally on Purpose – The beauty of jazz-like improvisational quilting

Accidentally on Purpose: The Aesthetic Management of Irregularities in African Textiles and African-American Quilts
by Eli Leon
2007, 176 pages, 9.4 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches (paperback)
$60 Buy a copy on Amazon

There are a handful of other books about African-American quilts, particularly quilts from Gee’s Bend; each have beautiful quilts to show, but this obscure exhibition catalogue remains my favorite. Whereas other books tend to position the quilts in the context of modern art and abstract painting, scholar and collector Eli Leon focuses on the connection with West and Central African textile traditions.

Leon’s thesis is that African-American quiltmakers, much like jazz musicians, were drawing on the aesthetic traditions of Africa when they began to make quilts to keep their families warm. “[Afro-traditional quiltmakers] favor ‘flexible patterning,’ in which the design is conceived as an invitation to variation; rather than repeat, the pattern may materialize in a sequence of visual elaborations.”

This contrasts sharply with the standard American quilt-making tradition and it’s attention to precise measurement and exact pattern repetition. Instead, afro-traditional quilters “maintain a generous attitude towards the accidental.”

What makes the essays so great is that Leon is a passionate observer of process, using diagrams to describe variations on a single block pattern and exploring at length the design choices used in specific quilts.

With the help of extensive interviews with African-American quilt makers, Leon creates a language to describe these design techniques. Subtitles like “accumulative creation,” “bimodality,” and “integration of accidentals” hint at what this book has to offer to designers and improvisers of all stripes.

Also worth checking out is Talking Quilts, a series of conversations between Eli Leon and quilter Sherri Lynn Wood about his collection.
Reanna Alder

September 19, 2014

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The cruelest thing you can do to Kerouac is reread him at thirty-eight.

Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (via devilduck)


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~ Thursday, September 18 ~


Some Notes on Stranger Than Paradise (by Jim Jarmusch, March 1984)

"While shooting the film someone outside the production asked me what kind of film we were making. I wanted to tell them that it was a ”semi-neorealist black-comedy in the style of an imaginary Eastern-European film director obsessed with Ozu and familiar with the 1950’s American television show ‘The Honeymooners’”. Instead I mumbled something about it being a minimal story about Hungarian immigrants and their view of America. Neither answer is right, but the question made me aware that its easier to talk about the style of the film than ‘what its about’, or what happens in the story.

I wanted the film to be very realistic in its style of acting and the details of its locations, without drawing much attention to the fact that the story takes place in the present. The form is very simple : a story told in fragments, with each scene contained within a single shot, and each separated by a short period of black screen. (This form was originally ‘inspired’ by financial limitations, and limitations in our shooting schedule—but these were known before the script was written, and we wanted to turn these limitations into strengths.) Carl Dreyer, in one of his essays, wrote about the effect of simplification, saying that if you remove all superfluous objects from a room, the few remaining objects can somehow become ”psychological evidence of the occupant’s personality”. Instead of applying this idea just to physical objects in STRANGER THAN PARADISE, it is applied to the formal way the story is told. Simple scenes are presented, in chronological order, but often independent from one another. Only selected moments are presented, eliminating, for the most part, points of ‘dramatic action’. Films must find new ways of describing real emotions and real lives without manipulating the audience in the familiar, maudlin ways, and without the recently fashionable elimination of all emotion.”

I’ve never read this quote before. Wish I had before I wrote some thoughts of my own about the film. One of my favorites from the 80s, still.

Tags: Stranger Than Paradise Jim Jarmusch films of the 80s
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John Oliver

John Oliver - 2 for 2 this week.

(Source: -teesa-)

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~ Tuesday, September 16 ~
You can get all A’s and still flunk life.

Walker Percy (via devilduck)

so true

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~ Monday, September 15 ~

John Oliver begs Scotland to stay. I lol’d.

Tags: John Oliver scottish independence satire bagpipes last week tonight
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~ Monday, September 8 ~

Dear Students,
Can you top this?
Electric Skeleton painting by Lucian (3rd grade)
Professor Bootsy



Dear Students,

Can you top this?

Electric Skeleton painting by Lucian (3rd grade)


Professor Bootsy


(Source: southshoreart201)

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~ Friday, September 5 ~


Little comics everywhere.


Pawel Fabjanski


"Untitled" series prepared for "Powidoki | Afterimages" album released by Polish National Film School

This pretty much how I see life, inside my head.

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~ Thursday, September 4 ~



Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best - S02E01

Rest peacefully, Ms Rivers

Icons are forever.

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Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.
— Theodore Roethke (via devilduck)

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