Ephemera

Ghost Army

The Ghost Army was a United States Army tactical deception unit during World War II officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops. The 1,100-man unit was given a unique mission within the U.S Army: to impersonate other U.S. Army units to deceive the enemy. From a few weeks after D-Day, when they landed in France, until the end of the war, they put on a "traveling road show" utilizing inflatable tanks, sound trucks, fake radio transmissions and pretence. They staged more than 20 battlefield deceptions, often operating very close to the front lines. Their story was kept secret for more than 40 years after the war, and elements of it remain classified. [wikipedia]

Olga Poláčková-Vyleťalová

A Gentle Woman, 1969

Affection, 1974Escapes Home, 1980Tristana, 1972Krehké vztahy, 1980

Born August 8th 1944 in Hradec Kralove.  Painter and graphic artist. Private studies (1963; Antonin Kybal), Art school (1968) and Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague (1968-1969; Karel Svolinsky). She showed her works on collective exhibitions from 1974, on her own from 1980. She designed 76 movie posters between years 1969 and 1989. (Terryposters.com)
(See more here)

✆ EXTINCTION PHONE

Nicholas Monsour
Extinction Phone, 2014

Aluminum, thermoplastic, PVC, plywood, paper, refurbished pay phone, crystal oscillator timer circuit, Arduino control circuit, audio circuit, lead-acid batteries, recordings of extinct species, phone book containing scientific names of extinct species.

The extinction phone rings every time a unique species goes extinct on Earth, which is 73,000 times per year, or 200 times per day, or every 7.2 minutes.

This project is a site-specific, interactive art installation.  The phone is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller, and uses an AdaFruit Waveshield to playback audio.  The phone also includes custom built timer and interaction circuitry.  The recordings of extinct animals were gathered from various libraries and collections around the world.

The directory that hangs from the pay phone contains the most up to date and comprehensive list of identified species believed to be extinct.  The phone book can be purchased here.

ANTIQUE MICROSCOPE SLIDES, PART 2

Taken from www.victorianmicroscopeslides.com

 

Arranged Exhibition Slide comprised of Diatoms, Sponge Spicules, and Plates and Anchors of Synapta; Imaged using Darkfield lighting technique.

Arranged mount of Sponge Spicula by A.C. Cole, imaged using Darkfield lighting.

 

Arranged slide, Watson & Sons "Eggs of Butterflies, Etc." shown in detail.

Three arranged slides on opaque backgrounds for incident lighting

OSPAAL Poster Art

The Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, África y América Latina), abbreviated as OSPAAAL, is a Cuban political movement with the stated purpose of fighting globalisation, imperialism, neoliberalism and defending human rights. It publishes the magazine Tricontinental. The OSPAAAL was founded in Havana in January 1966, after the Tricontinental Conference, a meeting of leftist delegates fromGuinea, the Congo, South Africa, Angola, Vietnam, Syria, North Korea, the Palestine Liberation Organization, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Chile and the Dominican Republic. Mehdi Ben Barka, the Moroccan leader of the Tricontinental Conference, was murdered the year before, allegedly with complicity of the CIA.

One of the main purposes of the organisation is to promote the causes of socialism and communism in the Third World; for example, OSPAAAL strongly supported Hugo Chávez and demands that the Cuban Five be released. Social development, which the organization says is a human right, is a recurring theme in OSPAAAL publications.

From its foundation until the mid 1980s, OSPAAAL produced brightly coloured propaganda posters promoting their cause, however, financial difficulty and ink shortages forced the organization to stop producing these posters. However, in 2000, these posters began to be printed again.  These posters, as they intended to be internationalist, usually had their message written in Spanish, English, French, and Arabic. As opposed to being put up on walls around Cuba, these posters were instead folded up and stapled into copies ofTricontinental, so that they could be distributed internationally. This allowed OSPAAAL to send its message to its subscribers around the world.

All OSPAAAL-Posters from the beginning until 2003 are documented and indexed in the book The Tricontinental Solidarity Poster.

Comprehensive archive of OSPAAAL posters created by librarian/archivist Lincoln Cushing

These are some of my favorites:

Austin Osman Spare

Austin Osman Spare (30 December 1886 – 15 May 1956) was an English artist who developed idiosyncratic magical techniques including automatic writing, automatic drawing and sigilization based on his theories of the relationship between the conscious and unconscious self. His artistic work is characterized by skilled draughtsmanship exhibiting a mastery of the use of the line, and often employs monstrous or fantastic magical and sexual imagery. (Wikipedia)

BHUTANESE PHONOGRAPHIC STAMPS

Bhutan issued these phonographic stamps in 1973.  The first of their kind, the records contained recordings of folk songs, facts about the country and the Bhutanese national anthem.  They have adhesive backs for use as postage.  In 2008, Bhutan issued a CD-ROM stamp as an update to this design.

RECORD 1:

RECORD 2:

IAMPETH

 

IAMPETH (the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting), which describes itself as "an international, non-profit association dedicated to practicing and preserving the beautiful arts of calligraphy, engrossing and fine penmanship," has an absolutely wonderful, treasure-trove of a website at www.iampeth.com.

Highlights of the IAMPETH's website include the gallery of Master Penmen from the Golden Age of Ornamental Penmanship (replete with biographies and work samples), but by far the greatest thing this site has to offer is a PDF library of dozens of scanned, downloadable rare books filled with beautiful calligraphic designs.

 

Le roman de renard

Le roman de renard (or The Tale of the Fox) By LADISLAS STAREVITCH — 1930

(from Wikipedia:)

In the kingdom of animals, the fox Renard is used to tricking and fooling everyone. Consequently, the King (a lion), receives more and more complaints. Finally, he orders Renard to be arrested and brought before the throne.

This is the legendary feature film by Wladyslaw Starewicz (or Ladislas Starevitch, or Ladislas Starewicz, or Ladislaw Starewicz, or Ladislas Starewitch, or Ladislaw Starewitsch). It is also his only one, and he directed it with his wife, Irène Starewicz. The story is an adaptation of a compilation or medieval French legends called "Le roman de renart". It's an entertaining story, a social satire, but most of all a landmark in early animation. I find the stop-motion truly remarkable, even by Starewicz's standards. The facial expressions and the movements are very smooth and fluid.

It had a good reception when it was first released, but as it was wartime people quickly forgot about it. They later exploited in under the form of shorts, since it contains many independent stories with one linking narrative.

The Light Fantastic

Untitled (Girl) by Zabka Britton. White light transmission, film. 5 in x 4 in. 1980-1981.

Tigirl by Margaret Benyon. Reflection hologram, glass. 16 in x 12 in. 1985.

The Kiss by Lloyd G. Cross. 120° integral stereogram (Multiplex), film. 9 1/2 in x 30 in. 1973.

Lindow Man by Richmond Holographic Studios Ltd. Reflection hologram, glass. 12 in x 16 in. 1987. Green image showing the remains of a mummified, Iron Age man, dating to approximately 55BCE, found in a peat bog near Wilmslow, England in 1983.

Parc des Folies a la Villette by A. P. Holographie. White light transmission, film. 38 in x 40 in. Circa 1983. 3-D architect's model, produced to promote this science park in Paris; rainbow-colored image.

Selections from the MIT Museum exhibit: Holography: The Light Fantastic, "an awe-inspiring sampling of twenty-three historic holograms from the MIT Museum holography collection—the world's largest. Scientific and artistic applications of holography in diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, and retailing as well as architecture, portraiture and abstract art are represented."

Early Crystallographic Models

Colored glass models, Unsigned, first half 20th century

Wooden models of twinned feldspar crystals, G.E. Kayser, Berlin, 1834

Wooden models, Unsigned, late 19th century

Wooden models, Unsigned, mid 20th century

Porcelain models, Unsigned [John Joseph Griffin], England, ca. 1841

There are far too many beautiful examples of glass, porcelain and wooden crystal models from the 18th and 19th century to display here — much more information can be found at The Virtual Museum of the History of Mineralogy.  These once functional objects have long since been replaced in the teaching of mineralogy by computer models, but their present-day obsolescence only heightens their mysterious and sublime aura.  Such interactive sculptures surely must have been seen and relished by the Surrealists, as Taglioni's Jewel Casket by Joseph Cornell reveals.  Outside of their scientific context, there is even a prefiguration of minimalist sculpture — an unironic yet non-literal juxtaposition of organic processes and geometric perfection.  There is, for me, a fascinating contradiction in the innocence of their toylike size and sentimental presentation given that crystallography — though largely esoteric and academic in its early phases — became the foundation for the most impactful material sciences of chemical and molecular engineering in the twentieth century, as well as the more potentially transfiguring twenty-first century developments in application of topography, virtual three-dimensional modeling systems, rapid prototyping and nanotechnology.  The early crystallographic model is the self-anachronistic object par excellance.