bragdon

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Gareth Bragdon: Breathing Mannequins

Humans are the only animals in the world to wear clothing.

Perhaps it is something that came as a result of our increasing ability to build and make things with our hands. Or maybe it caught on because it helped us withstand cold and inclement weather and thus conquer the world.

Regardless, over tens of thousands of years, clothing became more than practical: it became symbolic of class, job, status, taste, tribe and so on. In other words, clothing became fashion.

Today it is an industry worth trillions of dollars worldwide. But it is also one of the fastest-changing markets—at any given moment, fashion is not just a signifier of station or taste but also of the zeitgeist.

The fashion worn by subjects in a photograph is one of the surest ways to date a photograph. It is the markers like these that make photography such an important document of our times.

—Gareth Bragdon

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Claude Bragdon (American, 1866 – 1946)

  • Mathematical Abstraction No. 5 “Study in complementaries”, circa 1940
  • Design for Decorative Lighting, circa 1925
  • Mathematical Abstraction No. 14 “The sun by day and the moon by night”, circa 1940

New York City is launching the latest salvo in its never-ending war on rats.

City officials are ramping up efforts to teach regular New Yorkers how to make their streets, businesses and gardens less hospitable to rodents — in other words, to see their neighborhood the way a health inspector would.

When Caroline Bragdon, a rat expert with the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, walks through the East Village, she’s not looking at the people or the storefronts. Her eyes point down, at the place where the sidewalk meets the buildings and the street. “If you look really carefully, you can even see their hairs,” Bragdon says, pointing to a little hole in the sidewalk next to a sewer grate. “When we see something like this, what we say to each other is, ‘This catch basin is hot.’ You know, 'This is ratty.’ ”

Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent 'Reservoirs’

Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron/Flickr