An Open Letter to Upstate New York.


Hi RIT,  AIGA, et al.
In about a week—if all goes well—we’ll be talking to/at/with each other about all manner of things. To say I’m looking forward to our date would be an understatement; I’ve tweaked and rearranged and redone my little presentation countless times in the past couple of months and will doubtless continue to change it in the run up to next Thursday.

In advance of time together, here are a couple things to spend some time with at your leisure (fear not, there’ll be no test on the material.)

The Oera Linda book has a contentious history (from suddenly appearing out of nowhere in the mid 1800s to finding its way into Atlantis mythology.) Regardless of it being a fake or not, it’s a fascinating object in service of a bizarre tale. The Wiki entry is here.
The scans of it, here.

Have you ever heard of or seen the 1972 Chouinard Equipment catalog? I hadn’t either but I recently starting working with some fine people at Black Diamond (the modern-day manifestation of Chouinard Equipment) and they made no small effort to make sure we understood the importance of this little book. It had a tremendous impact on an industry, multiple sports, and the lucky few thousand people who came into contact with it back in the day. I’m attaching a PDF of the 1972 catalog (built of scans made by Robert Hutchins about 10 years ago) for your perusal. Don’t get caught up in the odd ragging, the widows, image quality, etc. The magic of this book lies in its combination of “audience as author” authenticity, its revolutionary call-to-action directives, and its mix of commerce and esoteric culture references.

1972 Chouinard Equipment catalog (pdf, option-click on the word “catalog”.)

Not a design piece, per se, but well-designed and composed, nonetheless. This is a video by Spike Jonze for the band Wax. Despite the fact that I have many friends who live there, I am no real fan of a life lived in southern California. If it works for you, great, have at it.
In the meantime, dig on this: Southern California

Okay, enough of all that. See you soon!

XOXOXO

Cris

1 Comment

  • LG

    May 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Thanks for posting the Chouinard piece. I’d seen bits and pieces of it, but never the whole thing. Amazing bit of climbing history.

DaBica