Only a Paper Moon…

Some choice images from Flickr user Sagbottom‘s gorgeous set of “Paper Moon” portrait photographs, accompanied by the First Lady of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald:

I never feel a thing is real
When I’m away from you
Out of your embrace
The world’s a temporary parking place…

TG: A Photographic Archive of the New Flesh

“The mask serves the double function of displaying and concealing; it is at once surface and depth.”- Francette Patceau, The Symptom of Beauty

This image and the ones after the cut come from the book “Torture Garden: From Bodyshocks to Cybersex,” edited by Dave TG. This book, a frozen moment of 90s fetish club culture, mixes party photos with formal studio shots to showcase the personalities and fetishes of TG’s clubgoes, along with inspirational and well-researched fetish-related quotations.

What strikes me about Alan Sivroni’s portraits in the book is that not one person in his images appears to be insecure or uncomfortable. There are images of old and young people of every ethnicity and body type, and the one thing they have in common is that they all project total ownership and control. That’s not what I see when I look at fetish portraits today. It makes me wonder: was the fetish scene really more confident then than it is now, or is it just careful editing?


Anastasia by Inez van lamsweerde.

It’s Mask Day at Coilhouse! A personal favorite topic, and research at the moment. As always, you’re welcome to submit your own additions to the theme.


Navajo Mask, originally uploaded by Coilhouse.

And while we’re on the topic of self-transformation – a photo of a Navaho tribesman in a fur and leather mask, taken in 1904 by Edward S. Curtis. The Navaho typically made these masks specifically for dancing – inspiring, especially when one to feels too lazy to dress up, before a club for instance!

Face Corsets by Paddy Hartley

We previously blogged about Paddy Hartley’s Project Facade, cialis a uniform-sculpture exploration of wartime trauma and facial reconstruction. But before Hartley became known for Project Facade, ambulance he received international acclaim for another project – a series of face corsets focused on exploring attitudes towards plastic surgery and ideals of facial beauty.

The bioglass and cinching invoke Botox, collagen, implants and other techniques that stretch and compress our faces into their ideal shape – but only temporarily. Hartley elaborates on these ideas and more in an excellent interview over at We Make Money not Art.

Any man who puts pictures like this of himself on the internet in order to make an artistic point has our respect forever.

More face corsets after the jump!

She tasted like electricity.

Kissmask, originally uploaded by Coilhouse.

From artist Jill Magid’s site: The Kissmask is designed to be worn by two women. The connecting tube isolates the womens’ mouth and nose creating a heated space between them. A microphone sewn into the connecting tube records the conversation, breathing, and kissing that occurs inside. A CD of these recordings is exhibited with the mask.

Is the idea of this object to satisfy heterosexual curiosity about the lesbian experience by essentially bottling its essence, or is it there to protect the moment while preserving its memory, perhaps without getting too close? I love the photos themselves – fragile and wistful. And the obstruction is, well, hot.

More on this and Jill’s other work here.

1902-1936 German Nudist Magazine

Reader Jarem Morrow has sent over a link to an interesting little community on LJ called design_history. A must for any design junkie! In particular, there’s an interesting post about an all-but-forgotten art magazine from Germany called Die Schönheit (Beauty). Poster Nekokaiju on the community has unearthed some covers, and has this to say:

“Die Schönheit was a German magazine that ran through the years 1902-1936. It dealt mainly with the emerging Nacktkultur, Nudist movement. But also featured articles on modern artists, science fiction and sexual aids. It became well known for it’s racy classifieds section. Needless to say, it didn’t last too long after the rise of Nazi Germany.” I couldn’t find much more information on it online, but a book search reveals that Die Schönheit was also one of the first to publish the work of Erich Maria Remarque.

More Covers Here

Why Doesn’t Alt Culture Exist?

Yesterday, our friend Warren Ellis posed an interesting question: “why doesn’t alt culture exist?” In his weekly column, The Sunday Hangover, Warren points the finger in the same direction as our mission statement, blaming the rapacious mainstream. However, Warren goes a step further, fingering another culprit:

We’re in Reynolds’ “anachronesis” — living in a time of constant, delusional recursion, in a limbo of a dozen different pasts. Re-enactment, like living as a medieval soldier for a never-ending Renaissance Faire. Being Lenny Kravitz. Being the White Stripes. Record collection bands. People who like Amy Winehouse. Reynolds again: “Things under the sway of anachronesis are just nothing. You might as well be dead.”

Here’s another theory: perhaps anachronesis is not the retardant of a burgeoning alt culture, but its catalyst. After all, every subculture has always been a mediated response to the mainstream: punk culture’s rebellion grew out of a disillusionment with the rewards promised by white-collar mobility; Rastafarianism was a subversion of the white man’s religion; both the riot grrls of the 90s and the flappers of the 20s adopted certain styles to reject – or reclaim – certain conventions of womanhood. What, then, is the mainstream culture that today’s alt puts under the microscope?

Roadside Picnic Podcast

Musician/filmmaker Joshua Zucker is one of very few folks whose tastes I trust implicitly. Episode 13 of his thematic Roadside Picnic podcast just went up. As always, it’s an astonishing mix of sounds and genres, lovingly and seamlessly compiled. Put on your best pair of headphones, and drift.

What’s Zo Wearing? October 21, 2007

What’s Zo Wearing? is syndicated with permission.

Fall! Autumn!! Sort of. While I go to sleep each night wishing to wake up freezing, it hasn’t really hit LA yet. In any case, I’m dressing the part. More black, grays, browns, olive, deep purple and dark cherry tones – all on my radar when selecting dailywear stuffs. I’ve dyed my hair a deeper violet-blue, even.

Of late I’m especially fond of loosely draped items combined with fitted ones, and various combinations thereof. To be honest, half the time I just feel like wearing boots, a sheet of fabric pinned creatively, topping it off with a ridiculously priced jacket and calling it a day. I imagine popular fashion’s retro currents haven’t reached the days of alterna-togas just yet, and you’d all roast me. So here is a facsimile! Just know I’d rather be wearing a sheet.