Here is a list of favorite book cover designs from 2008. Surprisingly, Rodrigo Corral’s work is absent from the list this year.

(via kottke)

This posting is to congratulate a friend and one of the brightest minds I know. Craig Arnold is a poet and a professor at the University of Wyoming in the MFA program. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including: a Yale Younger Poets Selection, the Rome Prize, a Fulbright and most recently a US-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship. He has just released his second book, Made Flesh with Ausable Press. Best of luck in Columbia; next stop Japan. I wish I could be with you guys for the book release party, but am so glad I got to see you this weekend. We are truly fortunate to have friends like you and Rebecca. Damn Robin is getting tall; I wonder if he and I might one day join forces and start a very loud garage band.

 

Doug Aitken is a renowned multimedia artist who has worked with video installation, sculpture, and photography.  In 2006, he published Broken Screen: 26 Conversations. The book compiles conversations with artists in which they discuss their desires to work outside of conventional linear narrative forms. Aitken engages his fellow artists—including Werner Herzog, Ed Ruscha, Robert Altman, Kenneth Anger, Claire Denis, Amos Vogel, and Alejandro Jodorowsky—in discussion, as opposed to critical interviews. Below are some choice quotes:

“I almost feel like the process of filmmaking is a performance itself. The act of filmmaking becomes an extension of the performance on-screen.—Matthew Barney

“…I got fired again and again because people like Jack Warner, the cofounder of Warner Brothers, would say, ‘who has actors all talking at the same time?’ Well I haven’t had many experiences in real life where people don’t talk all at the same time. People don’t wait around for each other to shut up before they speak.”—Robert Altman

“…the notion of a beginning and an end is a rational formulation that I don’t use anymore. For me, life is not continuous. If I have a beginning and end in one of my films, its not a real beginning or end. These things don’t exist.”—Alejandro Jodorowsky

 

Just how well do you know where your food comes from? Before your meal made its way to your plate, how did the ingredients start out? Everyday, it is highly likely that you are ingesting food that can be traced back to a very large and unfriendly corporation called Monsanto.

The company controls a large majority of the seeds that are used in this country for farming. Through the influence of money and intimidation techniques, this company has re-written our laws and claims patents on some of the most fundamental parts of our food chain. Like the use of seeds for planting. Monsanto historically has been a chemical company. In the 60’s they were makers of agent orange, a dangerous cancer causing pesticide. Gradually, the company shifted into the agriculture business consolidating competition under their roof. Now Monsanto is moving in on our dairy supply.

Who is paying the price? American farmers are absolutely suffering and being bullied about. These genetically modified unnatural seeds are ending up in the greater portion of what we eat. What are we to do? First, get to know Monsanto. And secondly, eat less packaged food and purchase more local food from local green markets.

What would the earth be like without humans? Journalist Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us explores how traces of civilization would crumble and nature would take over. There is quite a bit of interesting stuff on the book’s website including a time line of the decay of NYC.