sitting and listening

Last night, I went to a symposium put on by the Parsons illustration department on the topic of illustration in motion.  At the last minute, I decided to go, and was exhausted since I had taken two antihistamine pills to combat my severe allergies.  I sat there in the back, and was falling asleep, until the lights went off, and the symposium began.  I can honestly say that this was the best panel discussion I’ve listened to, and I was wide awake the whole time, taking in everything that the guest lecturers had to say.  It was just fascinating, and it was like those events where you are grateful to have been there and couldn’t imagine having missed it.

The moderator for the symposium was Lauren Redniss, who I had as a teacher a couple of years ago. Lauren has so much knowledge of history, and the desire to unveil and share personal stories of fascinating people.  She has such a wonderful sensitivity and respect for her research, and subject. Last night, she discussed the nuanced details of the history and application of camouflage.  She is currently working on a book about the topic, and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

The first guest to speak was Jody Rosen. He gave a great insight into the world of the London cabbie. He has a book in the works about the topic of The Knowledge, which is the intense course that the cabbies enter in order to become a London cab driver. I never knew the sheer amount of information that they are required to know. At the end, he talked about the threat of technology via GPS programs, which could possibly take over in the future. I think with an institution like The Knowledge, there’s no replacing it with technology. I was looking online, and found this site, which provides pedestrians with a phone number to call for directions given by licensed taxi drivers. The London cabbies are resilient people, and this goes to prove that they can evolve with the times.

On the topic of Saul Steinberg, Joel Smith shared pages of sketchbooks, which showed just how prolific Steinberg was. He curated the Steinberg show at the Morgan Library, which I attended on a class trip in Lauren’s class. It was mind blowing how clever, and beautiful his work was. I remember being in awe of everything there, and seeing the originality and sense of humor that he exuded.

The last guest to speak was Richard McGuire.  Like Steinberg, he has such a wonderful and clean aesthetic to everything he creates. His sense of humor is wonderful, and the animation he directs are so amazing. Definitely take a look. You will recognize his work from all sectors of the illustration industry.

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