Curation 2

by Jee Yun Kim

here's another one.

ART

Olga Fedorova’s generic jungle

Olga Fedorova is a Russian artist who has been active in photography and painting and is now holding her first solo exhibition in London. The exhibition is made up by 3D rendered images inspired by modern technology and political state. 

Link to Olga Fedorova's website

Neil massey's the vietnam collection

Something cool I saw about a scene I had no idea about. During his 6 year stay in Vietnam Neil Massey captured the metal and punk scene within Saigon. He found this small minority of Vietnamese youth that has embraced this underground scene to escape family and societal pressure. 

Link to Neil Massey's books

derek ridgers' run to me

Uhhhhh more pictures of underground kids but this time in the UK because you know me. Run to me partially collects photographs by Derek Ridgers taken throughout the 80s and 90s portraying British youth culture. 

Link to Derek Ridgers' website

MUSIC

DR. JOHN - GRIS GRIS

This album makes me feel sweaty. Probably one of the best psychedelic albums I've heard come out of the time period with a cool mix of styles that's pretty representative of the region. Swampy, funky, jazzy, kind of weird.

Favorite Tracks: All favorites because since this is only 30 minutes long

Real good 90s/00s pop inspired album without the cheesiness. It's produced by Clarence Clarity, and you can definitely hear his sound bleed into this project just with less glitch.

Favorite Tracks: they're all pretty good :)

 

MOVIE

videodrome (1983)

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Videodrome is a Cronenberg movie that centers around the idea of the permissiveness of technology and media in our daily lives. Reality is questioned and the characters are pushed to see very literally how connected flesh and technology are. It has bits of great body horror that would be expected from Cronenberg, but it's definitely very story-driven. The original title for the film was Network of Blood which was a much more literal title, and was changed later after script revisions to reduce the violence. Still, it's been said that Universal head, Sid Scheinberg mentioned wanting to stop film production after reading the script. Some of the inspirations for the film include Cronenberg's childhood memory of picking up late night television signals and worrying about seeing something messed up, as well as professor Marshall McLuhan who focused on media theory.

READING

Hexus Press on Horror’s Impact on Visual Culture

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FASHION

Number (n)ine aw09 "a closed feeling

View full collection

sasquatchfabrix aw17 "ethos"

Lucy and Olivio Ferrari

A Film about Architecture and Life by Shelley Martin

Interview by Ethan Bingeman and Austin Ledzian
Article by Austin Ledzian
Photographs courtesy of Shelley Martin and Lucy Ferrari

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Lucy and Olivio Ferrari contributed greatly to the betterment of the School of Architecture
+ Design through their unique and inquisitive methods of teaching. Shelley Martin, an architecture professor taught by Ferrari, became interested in film when she was a student shooting landscapes on a little Swiss Bolex camera. Layer by layer, she has assembled a visual document of the stories of those who have known Lucy and Olivio. It seems that even through brief interaction, people have a story to share. Over the course of its development, the project has come to tell the story of our school just as much as the story of the Ferraris.

The film takes two approaches: one of their professional world and one of their personal world. In the personal realm, Lucy and Olivio had a deep love of American ideals: democracy, the idea of the individual, the character of Appalachia. Lucy collected quilts and locally crafted objects. Olivio could learn just as much from a simply crafted desk as from a modern Max Bill print. Both felt there was merit in learning from objects that could then be applied to their own work. Objects made by craftspeople, not just architects or designers, could be equally relevant.

As an architect, Olivio felt responsible for his environment at every level. He greeted everyone
good morning and treated everyone equally: the faculty, students, staff, the custodians and the shop technicians. In one instance, he was mistaken as custodial staff because he was sweeping the floors. He always looked for ways to improve your thinking, saying things like, “it would be very easy to correct a Le Corbusier house.” He would challenge canonical architecture as something you could learn from, not as an absolute truth. “The students were charged with maintaining a critical atmosphere,” said Shelley, “the challenge to construct and maintain questions and operational outcomes was infectious.”

Lucy Ferrari, a former Director of the Center for European Studies and Architecture, is an accomplished weaver and photographer, speaking seven languages and stressing to students the importance of travel to their education. “She equated how travel should be understood as a cultural pursuit, so you could understand the language of how to build, so that you wouldn’t be a tourist,” said Shelley. As an example, she taught German to students so they would understand their architecture a bit better. She was, and still is masterful in her way of doing that.

 Dress woven as a single tube By Lucy Ferrari  

Dress woven as a single tube
By Lucy Ferrari
 

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Olivio brought ceramics, photography, filmmaking and graphics studios into the school, aware of how they could enhance the education of an architect.Though seemingly unrelated, how a wall meets the floor can translate into the section of a bowl. The student can feel the section physically and feel when a bowl is too thick. The lessons film and photography teach to the architecture student are many: the most significant being how to first see and understand the world before you; and then to transform that understanding into precise images that convey an idea through visual means. In the graphics studio, students learn about interaction of color, layers and the deliberate action of printing ink on paper. These practices are exacting and bring about a higher level of awareness and precision, broadening the definition of architecture.

When interviewing the Ferrari’s past students, a common theme rose to the surface: questions,
complex questions. For him, the questions were more important than the answers. Olivio had the ability to identify what a student was after rather than simply expressing his opinions. He had a talent of teaching the individual, critiquing students against their own standards instead of his own so as to catalyze rather than conform. The process was more important than the outcome. To find an individual way of thinking and to find oneself is a journey that begins in the foundation year.

Shelley shared with us a story from when she was a student in the architecture program here.

In studio I was working on this precious little house and the roof was a little bit complicated, it was kind of ignored. Ferrari gave me the keys to his truck and said to me, ‘ Take the keys, here’s the truck, just go out to Glade Road, you’ll find it.’ His house was being roofed with standing seam copper at the time and I got up on the scaffolding to watch Mr. Noonkester use his beautiful old tools and crimp it again and again. Ferrari knew that I had to understand how it was really done, rather than just drawing pictures of it.

The film has evolved beyond a documentary, transformed into something more visually and conceptually complex. Such complexity speaks to the way the Ferraris taught and lived. They have become teachers of students, and teachers of teachers.

Shelley Martin makes films about landscapes. She is a faculty of architecture at VT SA+D, teaching foundation, filmmaking and drawing classes. She practiced architecture in New York, and was once— and remains—a student of the Ferraris.

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[The text and images from this post have been edited and formatted for blog from the Lucy and Olivio Ferrari story of Volume 3]

Visual Memoirs - A Celebration of Photography by Hokies

Last week we visited a photography exhibition collecting works by current and former Virginia Tech students headed by our own team member, Cat Piper.

This was all about making a community for photographers; I wanted to have a yearly exhibition where we as a community came together and celebrated photography. Photography has become this medium where it can be done without thought; a quick snap of the iPhone and it’s proclaimed as “photography.” I wanted to bring it back to the roots, without digital screens but to see a photo printed on paper, to take time to appreciate the photograph.

 by Weiqi Yuan (@suchiham)

by Weiqi Yuan (@suchiham)

 by Amber Baden-Lopes (@amber_kbl)

by Amber Baden-Lopes (@amber_kbl)

 by Billy Clarke (@bclarke007

by Billy Clarke (@bclarke007

 by Geo Min (@geomin76)

by Geo Min (@geomin76)

 by James Fune (@funeforthought)

by James Fune (@funeforthought)

 by Sue Jung (@sueejung)

by Sue Jung (@sueejung)

 by Kaila Nathaniel (@kaila.nathaniel)

by Kaila Nathaniel (@kaila.nathaniel)

 by Tayo Oladele (@tayo_oladele)

by Tayo Oladele (@tayo_oladele)

 by Zack Wajgras (@zjwaze)

by Zack Wajgras (@zjwaze)

 Tyler Park (@pylertark)

Tyler Park (@pylertark)

 by Cat Piper (@catpipes)

by Cat Piper (@catpipes)

 by Richard Randolph (@capitolcaptures)

by Richard Randolph (@capitolcaptures)

I’ve always talked about how cool it would be to have my work along with others in a gallery, but it was all just talk until this year. This summer I decided I would plan a gallery that showcased all the diverse talent in Blacksburg. The idea went through many iterations, and at first it was primarily myself making all the decisions. However, soon after both Jun Yu and Jake Sells volunteered to help me plan. From then on we started working as a unit, which helped tremendously. I’m hoping to make this a yearly event where we feature more and more photographers and begin to carve our place out in Blacksburg.

 by Austin Scherbarth (@ascherby)

by Austin Scherbarth (@ascherby)

 by Jake Sells (@thejakesells)

by Jake Sells (@thejakesells)

 by Gogo Zhu (@gogochoo)

by Gogo Zhu (@gogochoo)

 by James Shackleford (@jamesthe_fifth)

by James Shackleford (@jamesthe_fifth)

 by Jason Hall (@visualconscious)

by Jason Hall (@visualconscious)

 by Loren Skinker (@loloskinks)

by Loren Skinker (@loloskinks)

 by Calvin Tran (@calvintranman)

by Calvin Tran (@calvintranman)

 by Armahn Rassuli (@armahn)

by Armahn Rassuli (@armahn)

 by Chris Tucker (@the_n0torious_c.r.t)

by Chris Tucker (@the_n0torious_c.r.t)

 by Tobin Foster Weiseman (@tweiseman)

by Tobin Foster Weiseman (@tweiseman)

 by Helen Westerman (@heleneasterman)

by Helen Westerman (@heleneasterman)

 by Jun Yu (@junyu.us)

by Jun Yu (@junyu.us)

Written by Cat Piper

Photography taken from Visual Memoirs

Curation 1

by Jee Yun Kim

I've decided to start a series of posts where i put together things i think are cool.

MOVIE

menashe (2017)

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Menashe gives a very personal view of the life of Menashe, a widower, and his son living in a haredi community within New York. It's supposed to be this sweet movie about a dad trying to cope with his wife's death while also raise his son, but it's definitely a lot more than that. Throughout the movie Menashe continuously rejects pressures to remarry, but still makes a sincere effort to stay a devout member of his community. It's about maintaining an identity within such a small and specific community while also being part of an even larger picture, which in this case would be NYC. It's pretty common for people to make generalizations of those in smaller communities, but I think this movie reminds you that people are individuals even if they blend into some kind of crowd. It's definitely worth a watch even though it's very dialogue heavy. I'm pretty sure it's not showing anymore so watch it somehow I guess.

MUSIC

ariel pink - dedicated to bobby jameson

Ariel Pink's followup to his 2014 album Pom Pom. He continues his lo-fi take on 80's new wave on this album as well. Pretty uhhhh pretty good man.

Favorite Tracks: Feels like Heaven, Time To Live, Bublegum Dreams, Kitchen Witch

 

The buggles - The age of plastic

I kind of just picked this album because of the reference Ariel Pink makes on "Time To Live" to "Video Killed The Radio Star." But this is still a pretty solid album even though it gets pretty overlooked since they're usually regarded as a one-hit-wonder.

Favorite Tracks: Video Killed The Radio Star, I Love You (Miss Robot), Clean, Clean, Astroboy

 
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PHOTOGRAPHY

Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee's XING

'XING' was put together by Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee as a collaborative project intended to explore identity and sexuality of Asian women through satirizing and subverting stereotypes.

FASHION

rick owens ss18 "DIRT"

ETC.

Iglooghost

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Wes Wilson: “Buffalo Springfield, Steve Miller Blues Band, Freedom Highway at the Fillmore Auditorium.” 

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Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

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Ellen Braaten

Ellen Braaten joined the faculty of the School of Architecture + Design (formerly the Department of Architecture) in 1971. Charles Burchard and Olivio Ferrari hired her as an editorial assistant and pottery teacher. She served the college as Assistant to the Dean for three deans and as Director of Student Affairs. She is an emeritus professor and currently teaches an independent study class in pottery and advises fifth year architecture students. She studied pottery with famed potters Alexander Giampietro and Vally Possony.

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You have two houses in Blacksburg, one in the country and one in town. Can you tell us a little about them?

When I first came to Blacksburg, my daughter and I made close friends with some architecture students. We decided to live in the same house together and I bought a beautiful Victorian home at 409 East Roanoke Street. It had only one previous owner and was in pristine condition. It was a shotgun house with rooms on either side of a central hall, leading to a kitchen at the back. The second floor had four large rooms with high ceilings. The basement was dirt and the attic was unfinished. We started with three roomers and my daughter on the second floor and I lived on the first floor.

The house became a fixture in the school during the 70s and 80s. I cooked and served dinner and we worked together to make an environment that supported everyone’s interest in design and architecture.

Shortly after moving in we undertook kitchen renovation. Architecture students and myself worked tirelessly completing the project. During this time, Mr. Ferrari was instituting a visiting architect program and these individuals stayed at my house. The environment was lively and beneficial to all who lived in the house. Eventually we took on other projects: rewiring the house, digging out the basement and making a pottery studio, designing furniture for the second floor bedrooms which had no closets, and finally, in the late 80s we redid the attic. Finding roomers for the house was no problem. They came willingly and we had the added dimension of successful architects living among us. 

My “boarding house” became a place where faculty would constantly visit. Mr. Ferrari was a frequent visitor and we initiated a “Friday Night Seminar” which was open to the entire school. We had speakers and discussions that continued into the night.

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Can you tell us about what it was like to work with Ferrari?

Ferrari was a charismatic leader. He was demanding. His death was devastating to the Architecture program, and it has taken a long time to begin to recover. He demanded excellence from the faculty, and was always engaging us in conversations about art, music and philosophy. He attended to the entire faculty, bringing out the best in them. His vision of a European studies program was finalized with the purchase of the Villa Maderni. For him, travel for students and faculty was essential, and he made sure that many of us had that opportunity.

The very first international programs were organized by the architecture department and for that matter, the first offerings in pottery were through the architecture program. Even when he and Lucy spent a great deal of time abroad, he was in constant touch with the school. I was his editor. My job was to listen, take his ideas and writings and put them in proper editorial style. I was very lucky to call him and Lucy my close friends and he was my mentor. What I know about teaching I learned from him. Teachers mentor teachers. Over the years I am so grateful for the skills he gave me. As you add on years of teaching, the better you are at perceiving what students need and how to help them excel. Ferrari was a master at that.

Could you tell us about the house you currently live in?

Well, as you may know, I am a survivor of the poliovirus. When I first started teaching, I was walking on crutches, in fact, I walked on crutches for fifty years. I remember well, on a trip to Paris with the Ferraris, they insisted I use a wheelchair. Long distances in Europe overwhelmed me. Once in Venice, Ferrari pushed me all over the city, carrying my chair over the bridges while I walked over them—that was amazing. At any rate, I was having trouble walking and the house on Roanoke Street was becoming burdensome. It was also about this time that Charles Worley died. He was a professor in our school and he designed and lived in a beautiful mid-century house situated in an area called Dunstan Heights. At his death, his widow called and suggested I buy the house. It would be perfect for me and so I did.

The house was built in 1962; it is part Prairie style and looks from the exterior like a barn. It is sited so that it follows the tract of the moon. When I moved in there were no trees, no plants, just a green yard that backed onto other green yards. Worley and Herschel Elarth had houses in the same neighborhood and devised plans whereby everyone’s back yard was a interconnected greenway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house is a beautiful place to live; the central core is a double cube with the second floor being a mezzanine opening to that cube. Surrounding rooms are at the height of 7’6”— the height of the rooms in La Tourette. All exterior walls are double brick with the brick on the interior. The small details are numerous. It is interesting to note that Worley came from Chicago, studied at IIT and had Mies Van der Rohe as his master’s thesis advisor.

In 2003 when I retired from my full-time position, I built a pottery studio in the backyard of the house. A close friend, an architect from Skidmore, Owings, Merrill, Brigitte Peterhans, helped me with the design. It is from this studio that I teach my Independent Study class. It’s an evening class so that it does not interfere with studio time. Students can use the studio at other times so it’s not unusual to find them here on other days and weekends.

The changes I have made to the house have been minimal. It’s such a strong, intact object, beautifully detailed in every way. There are trees now and gardens, but little has changed. Students who do use the studio have an opportunity to be away from their desks and enjoy the seasons.

You have another house in the Catawba Valley. Can you talk about why you chose that location?

It’s interesting to see the full circle of circumstances that have led to the Catawba house. Our friends call this The Sisters House. My sister and I have lived together for almost ten years now and when she moved from California we decided to build this house. Robert Turner, my closest friend, was very instrumental in the purchase of my first house, the one on Roanoke Street. He was behind the kitchen renovation in that house and we shared that house with my daughter and two others until he accepted a job with Ezra Stoller. We stayed very close friends, spending our holidays and other times in New York, Chicago, London and Paris and finally in our houses in the Catawba Valley on Paris Mountain. He went on to be a partner at SOM and then retired and practiced privately in Paris. He died recently and has generously donated to our school. At any rate, on one of our trips from the airport, we started discussing the possibility of buying land together in our favorite valley: Catawba Valley. I found a beautiful parcel and along with another architecture alumni, Robert Reuter, we purchased the land in the 80s. We built three houses on our property and dedicated the rest of the land to the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. We all have homes there on top of the hill.

The main objectives of the house in the Catawba Valley are to be accessible without looking so and to commune with nature. We sited the house so that it opens to the face of a deciduous mountain—one that is a green wall in summer, red-orange in fall, and can be snow covered in winter. The house has oversized corridors, large doorways and features a NanaWall system that opens it to the mountain from the living area and from my bedroom. Being able to feel the outside, being a part of nature is so important. You can’t be a potter without loving nature. My sister and I wanted a house that opened to the embrace of the mountain and I think we achieved that. Our terrace follows the curve of the mountain and when our NanaWall is open our house has no size, it is one with the outside. At night with the wall open (and the screen closed!), we can hear all the forest sounds, the tree frogs and the coyotes. You realize then that you are a visitor. The exterior of the house is board and batten, a nod to that construction evident in our valley and throughout the area.

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Can you tell us a bit about the interior of the house?

Again, we come full circle with the Roanoke Street house. John Burcher lived in the house on Roanoke Street for four years in the 70s. He went on to be an Associate partner at SOM and now heads Interior Design at SmithGill Architects. We have remained very close friends and oversaw the interior design, specifically my bathroom which is open to my bedroom. He picked the tile for our bathrooms, the paint colors for the house and selected the cabinetry that makes the house usable for me as well as my sister. We took into account the limited motion I have now and this became a real issue in the design, but I think we were successful in making the house accessible without feeling accessible. As Ferrari once said: if it is designed well and it works for the differently-abled then it works for all of us. I am paraphrasing, but you understand what he means.

The Catawba house, like the others, is a joy to live in. I have been so lucky to live in such beautiful and enriching environments. Wherever I am, I go to sleep in a beautiful environment and wake to a beautiful space, inside and out. I don’t take my love of good design lightly; I am enriched by it. My wheelchair, my Gropius china, the Lauffer Stainless I eat with, all of these objects contribute to my well being.

[The text and images from this post have been edited and formatted for blog from the Ellen Braaten story of Volume 3]