Sunday, January 1, 2023

01.01.23

Friday, December 16, 2022

Scorpio Rising, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, and Pariah Among 2022 Cohort Selected for the National Film Registry

Established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, the National Film Preservation Board is an advisory body for the Librarian of Congress. The Board helps shape national film preservation planning policy, and also recommends films for the National Film Registry.

Chosen for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance, the Board's 25 annual selections for 2022 cover a wide gamut of genres and time periods, from such early films as the Mardi Gras Carnival and Cab Calloway Home Movies to such later works as Mingus and Pariah. The full list for 2022 is as follows:

2010s
Pariah (2011)

2000s
Iron Man (2008)

1990s
House Party (1990)

1980s
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Tongues Untied (1989)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Hairspray (1988)
Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1984)
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

1970s
Bush Mama (1979)
Word Is Out: Stories of Our Lives (1977)
Union Maids (1976)
Carrie (1976)
Attica (1974)
Super Fly (1972)
Betty Tells Her Story (1972)
Manzanar (1971)
                                                                                   
1960s
Mingus (1968)
Titicut Follies (1967)
Behind Every Good Man (196)
Scorpio Rising (1963)
Charade (1963)

1950s
Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

1940s
Cab Calloway Home Movies (1948-1951)
         
1890s
Mardi Gras Carnival (1898)
              
Further information on the Registry can be found on the Library of Congress' web site. All 850 films selected for the Registry since 1989 can also be browsed online. In addition, the public is encouraged to make nominations for next year's selections to the National Film Registry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Unburnable Book

To support free expression and fight censorship, author Margaret Atwood has joined forces with Penguin Random House and others to produce an unburnable version of The Handmaid's Tale, which is now being auctioned by Sotheby's. All proceeds go to benefit PEN America. The current bid is $42,000, and the auction closes June 7, 2022. 

Here are the technical specifications for the highly engineered edition of one: 

8vo. Printed on black-and-white-coated aluminum Cinefoils, used in film production to wrap hot lights, which are stable to 660°C/1220°F, textblock hand-sewn with nickel wire, often used in electrical components, which is stable to 1400°C/2,600°F, head and tail bands are woven stainless steel, used in aerospace manufacturing, which are stable up to 1530°C/2790°F. Boards 3mm phenolic sheets, used in electronics manufacturing, which are stable to 540°F/282°C, opaque white and CMYK printing produced on an OKI five-colour digital press, with inks stable to 1200°C/2200°F. 

In the video above, Atwood is demonstrating proof of concept. Of related interest are earlier Common Curator posts on censorship, including Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas

Sunday, May 1, 2022

War Is a Racket, 2022

Major General Smedley D. Butler [1881-1940], who at his death was the most highly decorated U.S. Marine in history, published the anti-war essay, "War Is a Racket," in 1935. Though the examples and expenditures he cites have been far surpassed in the intervening decades, his fundamental points remain salient yet today. The essay can be read online via the Internet Archive.

The broadside above was letterpress printed by the Common Curator at the Iowa City Press Co-op.

Monday, April 18, 2022

President Roosevelt, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, and Wu-Tang Clan among 25 Newest Additions to National Recording Registry


N
ow in its twentieth year, the National Recording Registry has grown to 600 entries with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden having just announced 25 additional sound recordings as the official entries for 2022, stating

The National Recording Registry reflects the diverse music and voices that have shaped our nation’s history and culture through recorded sound. The national library is proud to help preserve these recordings, and we welcome the public’s input. We received about 1,000 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry.”

Under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, selected recordings must be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and at least ten years old.


Spanning the years 1921-2010, the selections for this year are as follows:

  1. “Harlem Strut” — James P. Johnson (1921)
  2. Franklin D. Roosevelt: Complete Presidential Speeches (1933-1945)
  3. “Walking the Floor Over You” — Ernest Tubb (1941) (single)
  4. “On a Note of Triumph” (May 8, 1945)
  5. “Jesus Gave Me Water” — The Soul Stirrers (1950) (single)
  6. “Ellington at Newport” — Duke Ellington (1956) (album)
  7. “We Insist!  Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite” — Max Roach (1960) (album)
  8. “The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole (1961) (single)
  9. “Tonight’s the Night” — The Shirelles (1961) (album)
  10.  “Moon River” — Andy Williams (1962) (single)
  11.  “In C” — Terry Riley (1968) (album)
  12.  “It’s a Small World” — The Disneyland Boys Choir (1964) (single)
  13.  “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” — The Four Tops (1966) (single)
  14.  Hank Aaron’s 715th Career Home Run (April 8, 1974)
  15.  “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Queen (1975) (single)
  16.  “Don’t Stop Believin’” — Journey (1981) (single)
  17.  “Canciones de Mi Padre” — Linda Ronstadt (1987) (album)
  18.  “Nick of Time” — Bonnie Raitt (1989) (album)
  19.  “The Low End Theory” — A Tribe Called Quest (1991) (album)
  20.  “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” — Wu-Tang Clan (1993) (album)
  21.  “Buena Vista Social Club” (1997) (album)
  22.  “Livin’ La Vida Loca” — Ricky Martin (1999) (single)
  23.  Songs in A Minor” — Alicia Keys (2001) (album)
  24.  WNYC broadcasts for the day of 9/11 (Sept. 11, 2001)
  25.  “WTF with Marc Maron” (Guest: Robin Williams) (April 26, 2010)
The full National Recording Registry can be viewed online here. The Registry solicits nominations annually for inclusion on the registry; further information on the criteria and procedures for making nominations for 2022 is available at the Registry website. Individuals may submit up to 50 nominations per year. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

WFMU Marathon 2022


Love freeform radio? Take the leap and consider supporting independent station WFMU during its annual fundraising Marathon that runs March 7 to March 20, 2022. WFMU first hit the airwaves over sixty years ago on April 24, 1958 at the now-defunct Upsala College and has never looked back. Currently based in Jersey City, New Jersey, WFMU broadcasts at 91.1 Mhz in New York and via a second signal at 90.1 Mhz in the Hudson Valley. WFMU has long been an Internet pioneer, and has multiple online streams, as well as an extensive archive of past shows.

What is freeform radio you might ask? WFMU describes itself as follows: 
WFMU's programming ranges from flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as country and western music. 
And because the station is listener-supported, WFMU DJs have for years maintained complete autonomy and control over their own programming, which is extraordinarily eclectic. Check out the current WFMU audio smorgasbord, and see for yourself. Apps available for both iOS & Android. 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Random Generator: The 2022 PS1 Art Auction


Random Generator is the non-thematic theme for this year's Public Space One Art Auction. Held annually to help support the extensive programming of the artist-led community arts organization, this year's fundraiser will feature over 75 artists. Bidding will be entirely online, and will commence on Thursday, March 3, concluding with a reception at Close House (Iowa City), 7-8pm, Saturday, March 12, 2022. Further details are available at the PS1 website

The Common Curator is offering "Protopseudocryptoplasm" in this year's auction, and also designed the image above for the use of PS1 in a series of promotional materials. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Year of the Tiger

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Cross-Hatching: the fearsome beast pictured above is a four-color print made from woodcuts created circa 1960 by the artist John Kerner of the Enquirer Printing Company (with text added digitally to mark the lunar new year). The print measures 26" x 40" and the design employs extensive cross-hatching to simulate full-color printing, with the resulting poster once used to promote the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus. The Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum acquired the Enquirer's collection of printing materials in 2015, and now offers prints newly produced from the original woodcuts. The Digital Commonwealth of Massachusetts also contains a high-resolution scan of one of the early posters as used by the circus. 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Slidin' into Twenty-Twenty-Two


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Lord of the Rings, Pink Flamingos, and Cooley High Among Selections to National Film Registry


Established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, the National Film Preservation Board is an advisory body for the Librarian of Congress. The Board helps shape national film preservation planning policy, and also recommends films for the National Film Registry.

Chosen for their cultural, historic, or aesthetic significance, the Board's 25 annual selections for 2021 cover a wide gamut of genres and time periods, from such early films as the Ringling Brothers Parade Film and The Flying Ace to such later works as Stop Making Sense and The Watermelon Woman. The full list for 2021 is as follows:

2000s
WALLE (2008)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

1990s
Selena (1997)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)

1980s
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)

1970s
The Wobblies (1979)
Chicana (1979)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
Cooley High (1975)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Sounder (1972)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Requiem-29 (1970)                                                                                                    
1960s
Evergreen (1965)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

1950s
Strangers on a Train (1951)

1930s
Flowers and Trees (1932)
Hellbound Train (1930)
           
1920s
The Flying Ace (1926)

1910s
Jubilo (1919)

1900s
Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
              
Further information on the Registry as well as the films themselves can be found on the Library of Congress' web site. All 825 films selected for the Registry since 1989 can also be browsed online. In addition, the public is encouraged to make nominations for next year's selections to the National Film Registry.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

2022 Seed Savers Exchange Catalog


The latest tantalizing annual catalog from Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), featuring open-pollinated, untreated, non-hybrid, and non-GMO seeds, is now available online; a print copy of the 2022 catalog can also be requested free of charge.

Founded in 1975 by Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy, Seed Savers Exchange is now the largest non-governmental seed bank of its kind in the United States. With over 13,000 members, SSE conserves and maintains heirloom seeds for thousands of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Its mission is: 

. . . to save North America's diverse, but endangered, garden heritage for future generations by building a network of people committed to collecting, conserving and sharing heirloom seeds and plants, while educating people about the value of genetic and cultural diversity.
Located on the 890-acre Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa, SSE is open to visitors from April to October, and sponsors special events such as seed starting, grafting, and gardening workshops. It also hosts an annual conference and campout. To learn more about Seed Savers Exchange and the benefits of membership, visit its website.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Miya of the Quiet Strength

 
Miya of the Quiet Strength is a documentary about the life of Miya Rodolfo-Siosin. Directed by Daniel Julien, the film premiered in January 2009, one month after Miya died of breast cancer at age forty. Miya was a prominent, longtime advocate for human rights and disability rights, who lived in Berkeley, California beginning in 1996. She herself was grievously injured in the mass shooting that occurred on the campus of the University of Iowa on November 1, 1991--thirty years ago today. The documentary is available from Swift Productions

Miya was also a supporter of Whirlwind Wheelchair International, a non-profit social enterprise which produces durable, low-cost, highly functional wheelchairs for the disabled in over 60 countries. Donations are welcome. 

Previous related Common Curator posts include: Twenty Years After and The March for Our Lives Against Gun Violence.

Friday, September 17, 2021

National Book Festival 2021


The 21th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held September 17-26, 2021 in Washington, D.C. The festival is free and open to the public.

More than 100 authors, poets, and illustrators will be making presentations throughout the festival on stages for Children, Teens, Fiction, History & Biography, International, Poetry & Prose, Genre Fiction, Science, and other themes & genres. Speakers include such writers as Kazuo Ishiguro, Roxane Gay, Nikki Giovanni, Joy Harjo, George Saunders, and many others. 

Further information, including a schedule of events and an FAQ can be found at the festival website. 

This year's poster was designed by Dana Tanamachi; a gallery of all Festival posters from 2001 to 2021 can be viewed here.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Edison, Louis Armstrong, and Odetta among 25 Newest Additions to National Recording Registry

Now in its nineteenth year, the National Recording Registry has grown to 575 entries with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden having just announced 25 additional sound recordings as the official entries for 2020, stating

“The National Recording Registry will preserve our history through these vibrant recordings of music and voices that have reflected our humanity and shaped our culture from the past 143 years. We received about 900 public nominations this year for recordings to add to the registry, and we welcome the public’s input as the Library of Congress and its partners preserve the diverse sounds of history and culture.”

Under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, selected recordings must be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and at least ten years old.


Spanning the years 1878-2008, the selections for 2020 are as follows:


  1. Edison’s “St. Louis tinfoil” recording (1878)
  2. “Nikolina” — Hjalmar Peterson (1917) (single)
  3. “Smyrneikos Balos” — Marika Papagika (1928) (single)
  4. “When the Saints Go Marching In” — Louis Armstrong & his Orchestra (1938) (single)
  5. Christmas Eve Broadcast--Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (December 24, 1941)
  6. “The Guiding Light” — Nov. 22, 1945
  7. “Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues” — Odetta (1957) (album)
  8. “Lord, Keep Me Day by Day” — Albertina Walker and the Caravans (1959) (single)  
  9. Roger Maris hits his 61st homerun (October 1, 1961)
  10. “Aida” — Leontyne Price, et.al. (1962) (album)
  11. “Once a Day” — Connie Smith (1964) (single)
  12. “Born Under a Bad Sign” — Albert King (1967) (album)
  13. “Free to Be…You & Me” — Marlo Thomas and Friends (1972) (album)
  14. “The Harder They Come” — Jimmy Cliff (1972) (album)
  15. “Lady Marmalade” — Labelle (1974) (single)
  16. “Late for the Sky” — Jackson Browne (1974) (album)
  17. “Bright Size Life” — Pat Metheny (1976) (album)
  18. “The Rainbow Connection” — Kermit the Frog (1979) (single)
  19. “Celebration” — Kool & the Gang (1980) (single)
  20. “Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs” — Jessye Norman (1983) (album)
  21. “Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814” — Janet Jackson (1989) (album)
  22. “Partners” — Flaco JimĂ©nez (1992) (album)
  23. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”/”What A Wonderful World” — Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1993) (single)
  24. “Illmatic” — Nas (1994) (album)
  25. “This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money” (May 9, 2008)
The full National Recording Registry can be viewed online here. The Registry solicits nominations annually for inclusion on the registry; further information on the criteria and procedures for making nominations for 2021 is available at the Registry website. Individuals may submit up to 50 nominations per year. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

WFMU Marathon: Freeform Station of the Nation


Love free-form radio? Take the leap and consider supporting independent station WFMU during its annual fundraising Marathon that runs March 6 to March 21, 2021. WFMU first hit the airwaves over sixty years ago on April 24, 1958 at the now-defunct Upsala College and has never looked back. Currently based in Jersey City, New Jersey, WFMU broadcasts at 91.1 Mhz in New York and via a second signal at 90.1 Mhz in the Hudson Valley. WFMU has long been an Internet pioneer, and has multiple online streams, as well as an extensive archive of past shows.

What is free-form radio you might ask? WFMU describes itself as follows: 
WFMU's programming ranges from flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as country and western music. 
And because the station is listener-supported, WFMU DJs have for years maintained complete autonomy and control over their own programming, which is extraordinarily eclectic. Check out the current WFMU audio smorgasbord, and see for yourself. Apps available for both iOS & Android.