In a way mourns the state of Civilization At That Moment As This Book at that moment As this book many years worth of drawings it provides a fascinating timeline over at least 20 years This isn t a book for someone looking for a light easy happy read years This isn t a book for someone looking for a light easy happy read has humor and fun to be sure but it the point made is definitely to be serious and think harder about the things we use and the way we use them There is a lot of waste in the world and there s just no need for it This is a great book for the environmentally or design conscious or politicos who need a break from MSNBC Although they work in slightly different genres I would put Ben Katchor in the same category with James Howard Kunstler Their subject is the b I have been plowing my way through dozens of experimental art comics many of them awesome by several artists including Jesse Jacobs Jesse Moynihan Hans Rickheit formally interesting and innovative and clever But then we have MacArthur Award winning Katchor who is perhaps not as experimental in design but is as original a thinker whose work you will ever read And Katchor maybe has bigger fish to fry than just play and aesthetics although he also does this too with a dry and absurd sense of humor Katchor has in mind here contemporary material culture and our obsession with objects and inventions in an economic context It s wonderful and wonderfully inventive and very often uirkily funnyLike any great artist he forces us to look anew at the word in which we live His primary focus here is architecture urban planning product design He creates one page comics about what we take for granted and explores their uses with humor and insight and sometimes something a little surreal such as crumb catchers on toasters built in tissue dispensers tv light hand drying Bizarre relocations of stuff so we can see them in a new light Non seuiturs The intersection of capitalism and architecture or just stuff objects the materiality of American culture which is I guess what capitalism is all about If you are an inventor you have to read this book because he wonders about what purposes exist for all these things we choose or would rather not choose to live withThis work was serialized in Metropolis magazine from 1998 2012
"And Is 160 Pages Of "is 160 pages of sized pages a gorgeous and sometimes overwhelming collection of pages Almost too much You can t just sit down and read it all the way through it s too challenging and rich and contemplative and bizarre and dryly ironic to take in except at a page or so a time The opening and closing at the front and back covers is a reflection on the waste and absurdity of book production itself an environmental disaster that book readers have chosen not to think too deeply about and we I let me speak for myself here want these pretty coffee table uality objects in our okay my hands as forests disappear across the planet The paper manufacturing process causes acid rain Buy American Most of the work we read is made affordable by being produced overseas destroying American printing jobs And then look at the energy to ship all this to us The printing industry is one of the largest consumers of fossil fuels What are the working conditions of the people in printing factories in China Ach Oy And this Katchor relates to us in a gorgeous book he publishes hoping we buy lots of them You see Katchor makes you think and feel and laugh and get angry and consider how you live your life with all its absurdity It s literature as cultural analysis in the mode of Chris Ware Richard McGuire and Adam Hines. Ts are marketed to lonely people as a method of getting noticed With cutting wit Katchor reveals a world similar to our own lives are defined by possessions consumerism is a ind of spirituality but also slightly fabulously askew Freuently and brilliantly bizarre and always mesmerizing Hand Drying in America ensures that you will never look at a building a bar of soap or an ATM the same way. .
Katchor is the curator of the #petty grotesueries of urban life and capitalism The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption Almost awkward his trembly #grotesueries of urban life and capitalism The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption Almost awkward his trembly The Brotherhood of Immaculate Consumption Almost awkward his trembly encase a sedate wash of darker colors Nothing is truly bright and shadow is ing I m impressed by his diction mallow pink and his background tongue in cheek smart assery But his artifice and modern pretense is stripped down via his over the top jokery to the downright lie Each gambit in his metaphors is built on real emotion a curmudgeon s hate of uselessness a nail biter s fear of betrayal and the lazy lackadaisical adventure seeking dreams of those in white collars or receiving retirement checks Throughout the book the power of architecture is held up ridiculed and worshipped even as he mocks it the syntactical translation of artistic an historic beauty cannot be denied My favorite strips or vignettes are The Miniature Trash Can The Body Heat Snatcher The Tragic History of the Oversized Magazine Fayoum s Finger Peabald s Field Guide the Oversized Magazine Fayoum s Finger Peabald s Field Guide Air Conditioners of North America and Forbidden Rooms A large approximately one suare foot book jam packed with stories one extends across the front and back endpapersIt is almost impossible to discuss Ben Katchor s work without using words like innovative and surreal The stories are almost hyper real as they involve small ideas taken to absurd extremes and the world that creates A man whose job is to break wobbly chairs by sitting in them An epidemic of people trying to cross rooms without touching the floor A house whose roof reflects the state of the bed inside The time when comfy feather elbow pillows almost lead to the eradication of television A chuckle for every page of this hefty coffee table collection of graphic essays I thought to myself freuently Yes I feel that way also about various annoying contemporary events like the systematic downgrading of fabric uality and uantity in trousers I notice that women s pants pockets have become non functional due to their shallow or totally fake nature On the pretense of showing a clean hip line the company is actually saving a lot of money on fabric In the attempt to save money the place where I buy lunch per pound gives me a stack of napkins that are so thin that I save them to use as tissues Meanwhile at my gym they have supplied tissues that are so thick they are in reality paper towels meant to dry a counter top And a sad architectural observation of the book itself The heavy wide covers caused this library loan to rip off from the leaves much like when many years ago the overly heavy wide doors of my 1976 AMC Gremlin came undone from their own hinges causing me to rope myself in Maybe a paperback edition will survive better and when that comes out I might have to get my own copy to remind myself that there is one sane mind out there looking at and processing every cultural danger Ben Katchor So we ve reached this curious point where we ve got graphic novelcomic collections of an artist s take on urban planning architecture and modern culture But seriously most of this book revolves around architectureI m excited to see the medium get to this pointPossibly a little less excited by the book itself It was just a slowish read And frankly often the pictures were not terribly descriptive I found it to be exactly like those vague yet brilliant architectural statements you hear The architect was hoping to infuse a sense of the unmade bed when he designed this structure Kind of hilarious Kind of weird Kind of necessary to have captions May. From one of the most original and imaginative American cartoonists at work today comes a collection of graphic narratives on the subjects of urban planning product design and architecture a surrealist handbook for the rebuilding of society in the twenty first centuryBen Katchor a master at twisting mundane commodities into surreal objects of social significance now takes on the many ways ou.