Lem was born in 1921 in Lwow, Poland which is now Lviv, Ukraine. He died in 2006 in Krakow, Poland.
He was a Jew who survived the Holocaust, which in Poland was bracketed by two Soviet invasions. He went on to become one of the greatest science fiction writers in the world. His best-known work (in America) is the novella “Solaris,” which became a 2002 film directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney. Lem sold more than 40 million books worldwide.
If you want to see Annmarie Geniusz’s original artwork, it’s a “right place, right time” situation. She works in chalk on the sidewalk, and the next rainstorm can carry away the masterpieces in minutes. This week in Selective Focus, Annemarie fills us in on the appeal of doing public, temporary artwork.
AG: I work in illustration, stained glass, and chalk art. This time of year (and since the start of quarantine) my main focus has been chalk art. This is a form of street art that involves drawing murals and 3D illusions with artist pastels on pavement. It is considered a performance art, and is often the focus of summertime “Chalk Art Festivals” across the country.
Rich Hoeg is a naturalist, photographer and children’s book author. His blog, 365 Days of Birds, provides daily updates on the birds and animals he follows, as well as an occasional post about his human activities. In Selective Focus this week, he talks about how his other interests have influenced his wildlife photography.
RH: Unlike most photographers who like to use DSLR’s and big lenses which are heavy with lots of reach, I chose to use a “super zoom / bridge” camera. I wanted a camera setup which allowed for easy portability whether birding, bike touring or cross-country skiing. This decision was driven by a decision to retire from the traditional work world (I was a software techie) at the somewhat young age of 57. My wife and I had planned a 2,500 mile self-supported two month bicycle tour of northern New England, the Canadian Maritime Provinces and the St. Lawrence River from its mouth to Quebec City. A large camera would have been impractical and heavy in my bike panniers.
Eight years ago the concept of neighborhood book exchanges made its way to Duluth. The original Little Free Library was built in Hudson, Wis., in 2009. Duluth had its first in 2012, and by 2013 there were about 20 in the city. Today there are roughly 40.
It’s a global movement. The nonprofit Little Free Library organization estimates there are now more than 100,000 registered book exchanges in more than 100 countries worldwide.
If you’re unfamiliar with these little libraries, their appearance consists of a bird-house looking box, around 20 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches, typically with a Plexiglas door. Inside is an array of books assembled for the purpose of sharing. Anyone is welcome to take a book or leave a book.
There are 38 book exchanges in Duluth cataloged on littlefreelibrary.org, and several more are in surrounding communities. If you’re interested in where to find them, visit the Little Free Library website and search “Duluth,” “Superior” or the area of your choice. The locations will pop up and you can find the one closest to you.
My friend Erin Tope and I collaborated on these pictures in the French River a few years ago. From the first they suggested characters and supernatural narratives, which I initially put to a series of four wordless video shorts set to music. That sparked years of subsequent imagining about who these ghosts are. Words have now been joined to pictures to form the final iteration of the project. In the absence of an actual physical publisher, I have posted them at their own site where I consider it a free 16-page e-book. I post them here as well for your enjoyment — although you may want to leave the light on.
Allen Killian-Moore is a filmmaker who recently released a new experimental project in collaboration with the music of Minneapolis-based Humbird for her new single, “On the Day We are Together Again.” His work takes advantage of the imperfections of film and video — the grain, dust and scratches, pixels, flickering, varied frame rates, and they become an important part of the images. This week in Selective Focus, Allen talks about his process and the experiences that have influenced his work.
“On the Day We Are Together Again” Music by Humbird, film by Allen Killian-Moore
AKM: I am a Neurodivergent moving image artist (film and video), writer, curator, still photographer, visual artist, and performer. For this interview, I’ll be focusing specifically on my moving image film and video art.
“Bar Fight” is a Duluth-centric science fiction vignette in the style of William S. Burroughs. It reads like a hard-boiled noir tale of a private eye tailing a crooked cop to the bad part of town, ending in a scene of shocking violence — except the private eye is an interdimensional traveler in a space suit, the crooked cop is the god Osiris (now a beat cop for Jehovah), and the bad part of town is a bar in Limbo (modeled after the Pizza Luce bar). I performed this through a megaphone while speaking very quietly because it gives the feel of a distant transmission. I recorded this a couple years ago late at night, but abandoned it because I thought it was silly and I was a mess. Now I’ve viewed it again and it is making me laugh, so I’m posting it. There is a gap of a few seconds in the middle as I scroll my page down. This is the first video release on our podcast, which you can see if you click through but it’s just me reading at a table. The video has a surreal shuttering effect which was unintended but I like it. This story originally ran in the Transistor.
Duluth-born artist Wing Young Huie uses his photography to explore what shapes our view of the world. In this video, produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Art and directed by Mike Dust, the artist examines his work among community in the Twin Cities, as well as projects in China, where his family is from.