"I came here in the early ’60s," recalls Roger Porter, food critic and professor of English. "I asked someone what Portland was like, and he said, ‘It’s the kind of town where if you ask for a bottle of wine by name, they think you’re a homo.’ "
Our car was broken into this morning. A suitcase containing 95% of my zine collection along with my button maker, one inch die cutter, a bunch of OKBB merchandise, a ton of art supplies for zine making and my incredible rubber band ball were stolen. I am sure the thief is super bummed out by this score. I am super bummed out too because I shouldn’t have left a full suitcase in the back of our car. We never leave stuff in our vehicle, but I got lazy. I was tired after packing up my stuff at the studio and I was too lazy to haul the 50 pound suitcase up our stairs. I still had to do laundry and pack for my trip to Chicago the next morning. The suitcase would be fine. Right? WRONG.
"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things."
Cartoon by Saul Steinberg.
Our relationship to the machines of our trade can be surprisingly emotional. That was one of the take-aways from Linotype: The Film which was screened at Portland’s Kennedy School theater last night. The feature-length documentary, by designer and filmmaker, Doug Wilson, takes us into the world of mechanized typesetting enthusiasts and the object of their devotion: the Linotype machine.
A documentary about typesetting history could have been a dull assembly of process and mechanics. But this was not dull (it did provide tremendous clarity to my fuzzy understanding of how Linotypes worked though) in fact, it had us laughing throughout. The filmmakers captured the stories of the Linotype operators, the passion, and the relationships with their now obsolete machines. For 70 years, Linotype operators were highly skilled craftsmen, essential to the production of busy printing operations. But, by the late 1970’s the machines were rendered obsolete by new technologies and most of the machines ended up in scrap yards. That sense of loss is transmitted fully through this film along with the joy and pride the operators feel about their machines. The ability to create an environment that allows us to feel what the Linotype operators feel about those machines is Linotype: The Film’s real achievement.
We recently teamed up with the legendary Hatch Show Print to make this terrific poster announcing that the Rural Studio is now taking applications for next year’s outreach program! Hatch dug a bunch of weights of Franklin Gothic out of their type cases for us! Thanks, Hatch folks!
Apps are due on April 15th, do you know somebody that should apply? If so, get on it!
The Rural Studio, located deep in the heart of Hale County Alabama, is currently accepting applications for their Outreach Program. Auburn University Rural Studio’s Outreach Program was designed as a way to bring students and collaborators from outside Auburn University into the fold of the Studio. Since its establishment in 1999, the Outreach program has evolved from often individualized, community-driven projects to a single team project: the 20K House.
One of the most challenging of all Rural Studio projects, the 20K house seeks to provide a well-built, affordable housing alternative to the ubiquitous mobile home for local clients. The homes are built for $20,000 where around $12,000 is allocated for materials and the remaining $8,000 would cover labor costs and contractor profit. Unlike other Rural Studio projects, the aim of the $20K House is to create a line of homes which could be built by contractors and have a greater impact on local communities.
Approximately 4 positions are available each year, and the program year is August through May/June ($6,000/semester). Applications are due on April 15, 2012 (for the 2012-2013 school year). To apply, please visit the Rural Studio Outreach page and click Outreach Application PDF (in the middle of the page) to download an application. For questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 334.624.4483
To learn more about the Rural Studio, we suggest watching Citizen Architect, and reading Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency and Proceed and Be Bold: Rural Studio After Samuel Mockbee.