Paper Trails

Paper Trail is a very trippy short film from artist Jake Fried. The brilliant animation is created with hundreds of individually constructed individuals pages, which consist of ink drawings, whiteout, and collage. Each image is then scanned to become a single frame of the film. Paper Trail, which took six months to produce, is composed of 1,500 separate images. The multi-talented Fried also composed the music for the animated short.

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Museum Match Game

Vienna-based photographer Stefan Draschan has been having some fun serendipitously capturing museum goers with complimentary attire matching artwork in a clever series. The images, shot in major art museums around Europe, create an amusing, aesthetic dialogue between viewer and painting.

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USA: Word On The Street

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Spooky Stories & Inconceivable Tales

Inspired by pulp periodicals and pop culture, Massachusetts-based illustrator Stephen Andrade creates brilliant retro-style magazine covers for imagined publications. Andrade cleverly incorporates contemporary television, cinema, and literary references in his 40s and 50s style cover art.

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Napoleon’s Kindle

Unlike our maniacal Emperor wanabee, Napoleon Bonaparte was a devoted book lover. He was such a serious reader that in 1803 he commissioned the creation of the wonderful traveling library pictured above to take on military campaigns. The leather-lines, velvet-trimmed mahogany case was designed to carry sixty specially printed and bound volumes. In order to save as much space as possible for the maximum number of titles, the books were printed without margins. Eventually, Napoleon acquired more travel bookcases and employed a full-time librarian to keep them organized and updated.

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Mind Your Metro Manners

The Los Angeles subway system thought it was a novel idea to use a Sailor Moon-inspired anime-like character named Super Kind Girl to star in a new series of PSA videos encouraging good public transportation manners. Each of the bilingual Japanese/English videos also features the furry monster Meiwaku Boy, or Rude Dude, who demonstrates bad metro behaviors, such as blocking aisles, seat hogging, and messy eating.

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

This week, Chinese dissident artist and human rights activist Ai WeiWei launched a multi-site, crowdfunded project in New York City titled “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”. The three centerpieces of the project utilize metal fencing materials and are located in Manhattan and Queens. Ai chose the name from the famous Robert Frost poem “Mending Walls” to provoke public reaction in the U.S. to Trump’s plans limiting immigration and for building a ridiculous border wall with Mexico.

The artist, who spent more than a decade during the last century living and working in NYC, pointedly installed a gold-painted, cage-like structure at the southeast corner of Central Park not far from tangerine Mussolini’s personal tower.

The second major installation is a mirrored passageway framed by the monumental Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village. The powerful piece incorporated the outlines of two human figures embracing.

Located in Queens, the third major component of “Good Fences” is a literal fence that surrounds the Unisphere steel globe that was built for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The citywide project will run through February 2018 and also includes dozens of smaller installations around New York’s five boroughs, such as decorated kiosks, lampposts, and bus shelters also highlighting the plight of immigrants.

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Bookstore Taboo

Tabook is an amusing short film that takes on the silliness of cultural taboos. In Amsterdam-based director Dario van Vree’s animated short a young woman endures the pitfalls of book browsing in a puritanical society. The cheeky film was created with 2d animation and paper art backgrounds. Please note that some may find it NSFW.

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Libraries On Wheels

Rural communities in Zimbabwe seldom have their own libraries, so in 1995 educator Obadiah Mayo founded the Rural Libraries & Resources Development Programme to bring books to the countryside. Today, his organization has fifteen donkey-powered mobile library carts that each carry up to 1,200 books. Three of the rolling libraries even have solar panels to power on-board computers.

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Monsters In Philadelphia

With Frankenstein and Dracula, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker created two of history’s most memorable monsters. Two hundred years after Frankenstein was published, pages from Mary Shelley’s manuscript will make their only appearance in the United States, to be displayed for the first time alongside Philadelphia’s famed Rosenbach Museum and Library’s collection of Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, accompanied by 19th-century scientific, medical, and literary works. These Gothic literary giants emerged from the technological developments, medical breakthroughs, and environmental disasters that characterized the beginning and end of the 19th century, when the novels were written.

Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science will explore the pressing scientific and ethical questions that compelled these authors to imagine their monsters, creating stories that still haunt us today.The exhibition gallery features an interactive experience designed to emphasize the connection between the novels by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker and the scientific and ethical questions of the present day.The experience begins at a kiosk in the gallery that places the visitor in the role of a scientist tasked with defeating one of three modern monsters by creating new technology or modifying a living organism. After concluding an experiment, visitors may opt into learning more about the medical history that influenced Bram Stoker’s tale or about the science and ethics of contemporary epidemiology.

The Rosenbach, which is located on Delancey Place in the Rittenhouse Square district, is an all too frequently overlooked gem. If you love books, be sure to make time for this extraordinary institution.

h/t to the Rosenbach for the information on this special exhibition and the images.

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