The Faces Behind Craigslist’s “Strictly Platonic” Personal Ads

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It remains an essential paradox of the city—that a place with so many people living so close together can also be so isolating. This is one of the phenomena that the photographer Peter Garritano hoped to explore in “Seeking,” a series of portraits of New Yorkers who have posted advertisements in the Strictly Platonic personals section of Craigslist. The world has acclimated to the fact that people might go online to find a mate, but there are fewer formal avenues through which to find friends, perhaps because friendship is not always acknowledged as something that people have to go out in search of. “We already know everyone’s looking for love,” Garritano told me in an e-mail. “I’m more concerned with our social requirements beyond romance.”

Garritano contacted his subjects through their ads (he got no response to “90 or 95%” of the messages he sent, he told me) then arranged the sittings, where he would come up with the mood for the shots more or less on the spot, based on the subjects’ personalities and his interactions with them. “Seeking” presents each portrait alongside the subject’s Craigslist ad, which, taken together, convey a dizzying range of interests, personalities, desires, projects, anxieties. Many of the people posting are new to town, hoping to get a foothold in New York life. “I’m not sure exactly how to approach the city,” a young man writes, adding that he figures that his chiselled looks could earn him some fast cash working in adult entertainment, if only he had a friend to advise him. Others are veteran New Yorkers in need of a change of pace.

Darkly Humorous Paintings Critique Society’s Relationship with Technology

Excerpt from this article (note that some may find the opening image NSFW):

After resisting technology’s pull for a long time, artist John Jackson gave in to buffering, dwindling memory, and social media, which inspired a series of nude figurative paintings that, in turn, interrogate society’s obsession with all things tech. The Nashville-based artist produced this Technology Series, and it features things like Apple’s spinning wheel painted onto a landscape, Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring holding a pearly cell phone instead, and, in Facebook Sunset, a couple on a beach who may be thinking about their News Feed, or instead actually on Facebook thinking about the beach.

via WhatleyDude

‘Instagram’ for 18th-Century Tourists

"The Palio Race in the Campo in Honor of Grand Duke Francis of Tuscany and Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria" by Giuseppe Zocchi, 1739

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As a mantra, “pics or it didn’t happen” carries a clear whiff of internet-age modernity. But in many ways, the sentiment behind the phrase precedes smartphones, Snapchat, and selfie sticks by some 275 years. Eyewitness Views: Making History in 18th-Century Europe, a new exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, looks at the Enlightenment-era phenomenon of vedute, or view paintings: astonishingly detailed cityscapes of Venice, Rome, Paris, and other tourist hotspots. These canvases were highly collectible luxury souvenirs, pictorial portals that would later transport the visitor (and friends back home) to that faraway place and moment. Their strict perspective lent itself to formal gardens, neoclassical arcades, and canals lined with palazzos.

But vedute were more than glorified postcards, the Getty curator Peter Björn Kerber argues in his sumptuous exhibition catalog. They also served as proof that one had personally encountered the cultural and architectural marvels of Western civilization—a kind of proto-Instagram. Many vedute included portraits of the tourist or diplomat who had commissioned them. Others depicted newsworthy events the visitor had witnessed firsthand, from royal weddings to volcanic eruptions. Though dwarfed by their surroundings, the figures in these paintings are identifiable by details of dress or by their positioning, slightly larger than life or perhaps illuminated by a strategically placed shaft of light.

Three artists who find art in the finger smudges on device screens

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Wired recently featured Tabitha Soren’s project, Surface Tension, for which she photographed the fingerprints and smudges left on the screens of devices.

The marks on the glass screens that technology users normally try to ignore or get rid of are the focal point of SURFACE TENSION. The textural conflicts in these pictures record how we now spend our lives. They’re not just grime; they’re evidence of the otherwise invisible.

In an earlier project (also, weirdly, titled Surface Tension), photographer Meggan Gould took photos of her and her husband’s smudged iPad screens.

 

When Pixels Collide: How a million strangers on the Internet turned a blank canvas into art

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Last weekend, a fascinating history of humanity played out on Reddit.

For April Fool’s Day, Reddit launched a little experiment. It gave its users, who are all anonymous, a blank canvas called Place.

The rules were simple. Each user could choose one pixel from 16 colors to place anywhere on the canvas. They could place as many pixels of as many colors as they wanted, but they had to wait a few minutes between placing each one.

Over the following 72 hours, what emerged was nothing short of miraculous. A collaborative artwork that shocked even its inventors.