Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Another Married Couple

Real wedding pictures by the wonderful Francine Kontos are up at last.

Maybe these should be our Halloween costumes...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Red and Blue or Purple

After looking at so many maps of the United States lately with the typical red state blue state highlights that basically divide the country into what the red candidates have come to call "real America" and the rest that question them are somehow un-American or part of "Fake America". So much of the focus of the election from both sides is on small rural towns which make up a great deal of physical space but not population. Everything looks clearly divided along state lines and each state is characterized in one way or another. Fortunately things are not so clear cut and if you add just a little more information to the typical maps maybe you can see what real America is made of. Not something that you can just cut down to a single message or soundbite. Adding information such as a more generous scale to the subtleties of voting and population density to redraw the map, maybe this is more what America really looks like:

As Barack Obama said back in 2004 and this map shows, "there's not a liberal America and a conservative America - there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America."

I do believe we will be either voting for or against America this election, it's just a matter of if you believe in red and blue or purple.

more maps here

Friday, October 17, 2008

Non Verbal Communication

About 6 years ago, a graphic design professor introduced me to the work of Luba Lukova - a Bulgarian illustrator who manages to create profound and thought provoking messages almost entirely without words. The thought of graphic design not only functioning but thriving without the help of written language was an amazing concept to me, then only a year into my studies, and something I have never forgotten.

Last night *boy and I went to see Luba speak about her work. I don't know what I expected from an artist lecture by a woman who relishes in not using words but it was a wonderfully succinct experience. Although her work is often associated with politics and many pieces are highly relevant to the current political scene, she views her work as universal and human.

It was refreshing to hear someone give voice to the truth that we so often forget - especially amidst these frustrating and uncertain times when its hard to see past the end of our own noses. Although we have plenty and so many others have so little, although we have our differences in religion and government, we are all the same, no better or worse than our neighbor and we must all live on this earth together. These works are not Democratic or Republican, they are the thoughts of a person, put forth for a public and open to all interpretation.

Isn't it nice to think for yourself?

More on Luba Lukova's Social Justice series here.

Love Carrot

Auntie Fran the Photographer is coming down this weekend with the official pictures but I wonder if any will truly be able to rival this one. We shall see...

For now, more here.