Max Zambelli/Courtesy of Elle Decor Italia

By Design | Industrial Elegance

The primacy of material over form gives de Vincenzo de Cotiis’s pieces a kind of organic intrigue. Some seem almost to grow out of the floor, or to take on anthropomorphic dimensions: armchairs that smile; oxidized-brass suspension lamps that bend and twist, interrogating the spaces they illuminate. Because he uses recycled materials — salvaged wood, reclaimed leather, fiberglass sourced from shipyards — and crafts most of his pieces himself, each is incredibly rare, often produced in a series of no more than 10. He has collaborated with Italian furniture companies like Ceccotti Collezioni, Rossana Orlandi and Busnelli but prefers to work alone. “This may sound a bit undemocratic,” he said, “but I don’t like designing mass-produced pieces.”

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Transformer of the Day:

Starscream (IDW)

For major characters like Starscream, he will be split up into various different days (One for the cartoon, one for the Japanese cartoon, one for IDW, one for Marvel, etc.)

Starscream was a Constructed Cold Cybertronian who would join the Decepticon cause at the beginning, after Soundwave recruited him and his brothers Skywarp and Thundercracker by order of Megatron. This would begin the new unit to be called Seekers. Starscream took part in the Battle of Kaon, the first engagement of the war. During the uprising, Starscream personally killed the 113th Senate of Cybertron with the help of Soundwave and his cassettes. 

Starscream would serve as a Decepticon Recruiter during this time, trying to recruit the likes of Hot Rod and Blurr. Starscream lead a (failed) attempt to assassinate Zeta Prime as well as joined Overlord and Thundercracker in saving Soundwave from the New Institute. Starscream would be part of the forces who took down Zeta Prime in a Battle for Iacon, and was part of Megatron’s government in the administration of the city. Starscream also served under Scorponock when he and Scorponock banished Megatron to Junkion. Once Megatron returned, Starscream took his high-level position once again, and took part in another Battle for Iacon. 

When Starscream was stationed on Earth, he was angry at Megatron for sending him to an insignificant planet. However, he discovered Ore-13 and started a rebellion against Megatron, a rebellion Megatron crushed by shooting a gaping hole in Starscream’s chest. 

Starscream would be reactivated to take on Sixshot when he rebelled. Starscream would then join Megatron in plotting for the Surge, convincing Sunstreaker to surrender Earth to the Decepticons. After the Autobots were exiled, Starscream killed the President of the United States during the occupation. When the Autobots returned, Starscream took command of the defeated Decepticons and fled. During this time on their banishment to an asteroid, Starscream would have an obsession with the Matrix of Leadership, which was then stolen by Hot Rod.

When Megatron was revived, Starscream was beaten back into his place. In 2011, during the Chaos War, Starscream was part of the Decepticons to come through Megatron’s space bridge to fight the Autobots and Galvatron’s forces. However, the power of the D-Void caused all the Decepticons including Starscream to merge into one entity called the Deceptigod. 

After the battle, Cybertron reset itself, and Starscream was captured and put into a pen with the rest of the Decepticons in the barrel of Kimia’s cannon. Starscream would be set free to put down a NAIL riot. 

With his freedom, Starscream got into politics, representing the Decepticons. When Megatron returned and another battle for Iacon took place, Starscream took control and banished the Autobots and Decepticons, and he was proclaimed Starscream I of the Republic of Cybertron. Shortly afterward, the Dark Cybertron Prophecy was unleashed, with the “Chosen One” being Starscream. In the confusion of the mass battle, Starscream himself killed the scientist Jhiaxus. 

Afterwards, Starscream was present at Megatron’s trial, convincing Megatron to plead Not Guilty. Starscream’s administration would often put the Camien representative Windblade as a political rival. 

When the Combiner War began over Starscream’s possession of the Enigma of Combination, Starscream discovered many new colony worlds and he began to set out allying them

The Primacy of Consciousness.
What appear to us as fundamental dimensions and attributes of the physical world—space, time, matter and energy—are but the fundamental dimensions and attributes of the forms appearing in consciousness.

❧  for batchenfall.

Doctoral dissertation in graphic novel form

Columbia University awarded a doctorate in education to Nick Sousanis for Unflattening, a graphic novel about the relationship between words and pictures in literature.

It was published by Harvard University Press and got a starred review in Publishers Weekly the journal Comics Grid wrote that  it demonstrated “the viability of a comic book as doctoral scholarship in its own right, rather than a separate work requiring some accompanying critical paratext.”

The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge.

Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page.

In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls “flatness.” Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott’s novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of “upwards,” Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend. – Unflattening is available from Harvard University Press.

Unflattening [Nick Sousanis/Harvard University Press]

Excerpt [PDF]

Unflattening [Nick Sousanis/Spin Weave Cut]