• Architectural waste — and sometimes entire houses — from the U.S. often find unexpected, new lives across the border in Tijuana in a process documented by photographers Laura Migliorino and Anthony Paul Marchetti. Featured in the 2008 Walker exhibition Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes, Migliorino tells Minnesota Photoblog:
The history of United States architectural recycling is pretty old. The first flatbeaded pre-manufactured housing shipping began in the 1940s after World War II: a military housing development in San Diego was shipped over the border and planted in Mexico for reuse, and now it’s a Tijuanan housing subdivision. This process of moving American houses continues still in various forms–most of it is suburban housing now; it’s a thriving business, actually.
• “[A]rt can trigger the emotional memory that often remains strong in Alzheimer’s patients, and can give them access to other memories as well,” says Anne Basting, director of the Center on Age and Community at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in ArtNews‘ look at museum-based programs for people living with the disease. The Walker’s version, the monthly Contemporary Journeys Tours, meets next on Nov. 30 with a tour of Graphic Design: Now In Production for people with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers and families.
• Around 20,000 people worldwide have donated to Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to help pay $2.3 million in back taxes Chinese authorities claim he owes. He’s taken in more than $840,000 in small donations. Ai said Monday, “This shows that a group of people who want to express their views are using their money to cast their votes. It shows that in the Internet age, society will have it own judgment and its own values.”
• Meanwhile, a sculpture of Ai — depicted dead on the floor in a blue suit and titled The Death of Marat — is causing a stir in the German town of Bad Ems: The piece by Chinese artist He Xiangyu is so realistic that “dozens” of people passing the gallery where it’s displayed called the police to report the death.
• Writing that designer Saul Bass turned the movie title sequence into an artform, design thinker Alice Rawsthorn includes a cute tidbit:
To celebrate his engagement to [designer Elaine] Makatura, Bass even allowed himself a joke. The closing credits for “West Side Story” are “written” as graffiti on the New York streets, including the initials “SB” and “EM” inside a heart.
• At Designer Observer, Reinhold Martin looks at how “urbanistic — and to a lesser extent, architectural — considerations have played a key role in the physical occupation of prominent sites in cities and towns.”
• Video: For his show Glenn Ligon: AMERICA, on view now at LACMA, Ligon discusses his “Coloring” series (among other topics), in which he made paintings based on the ways kids he worked with colored pages from late-’60s/early ’70s coloring books made by black educators and featuring civil rights–era leaders:
So a five-year old is doing a drawing of an image of Malcolm X and they give him blue eyeshadow and lipstick, which is a sort like queering up the father figure, which is something I would’ve done when I was five years old…. Looking at that as an adult, you bring all the things you know about Malcolm X to that image, and it’s quite scandalous, in some ways… I was interested in a kind of adult anxiety about images, but also to think about how slippery images are and how they mean different things over different moments.