Spirits playground
June 8, 2009 8:54 AM   Subscribe

The Brakhage Scrapbooks. Jane Wodening, then Jane Brakhage, assembled three remarkable scrapbooks in the early 1960s, when she was the wife and muse of experimental film maker Stan Brakhage [previously 1, 2] ... Wodening created the scrapbooks from literal “scraps” of their family life, Brakhage’s creative process, and the artistic communities of which they were a part. Pages are covered with the widest array of verbal and visual materials including but not limited to letters, manuscripts, photographs, original art, clippings, pamphlets, filmstrips, and flyers.

See selected high-res scans here, and listen to a podcast about the scrapbooks by Yale University lecturer Richard Deming here. (mp3 link)
posted by Horace Rumpole (15 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
Dear world of suburban moms and county fair enthusiasts who think that scrapbooking involves cute framing of a series of pictures and occasional captions that tell us how precious your children and grandchildren are:

This is how you scrapbook.
posted by mikeh at 9:07 AM on June 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

I happened upon The Daily Scrapbook the other day and enjoyed the scrapbook stories found by the author. She says, "Identifying the principals is the easy part — but who were these people, really, and how can we tell? Some scrapbooks are tapestries. Others are minefields. Most are somewhere in between, and the more you familiarize yourself with the stories, the more you want to know."
posted by netbros at 9:36 AM on June 8, 2009

Yeah, this is lovely. Eye-catching and really jarring. And we find the inspiration for Tom's Diner:

I am sitting
in the single
upstairs room of the part of our cabin
It was built in 1890's
round log walls and split log ceiling
And I overlook a forest
it is made of pine and aspen
so blue mountain range in background
And I'm so tired today.

Do-do do-do, do-tah-do-do.
posted by furious at 9:38 AM on June 8, 2009

I'm a photo-montage artist and I used to keep a journal strictly made of daily ephemera - these are absolutely inspiring and make me want to resurrect that particular project. Thanks for this!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:36 AM on June 8, 2009

After a brief period of appreciation, suddenly I find it kind of depressing that people go gaga over these scrapbooks - it rams home what vapid garbage the norm must be.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:12 AM on June 8, 2009

Reminds me of Dan Eldon
posted by fire&wings at 11:24 AM on June 8, 2009

I'm a big Brakhage fan and I'd love to see these. And man oh man:
Writers and artists who are, in some way, “contributors” to the scrapbooks include: Kenneth Anger, Wallace Berman, Joseph Cornell, Robert Creeley, Guy Davenport, Ed Dorn, Robert Duncan, Jess, Robert Kelly, Gregory Markopoulos, Michael McClure, Jonas Mekas, Carolee Schneemann, and Louis Zukofsky.
Talk about a time capsule!
posted by languagehat at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2009

Pretty much all of modern media design owe a debt of gratidude to Stan Brakhage.
posted by xjudson at 12:46 PM on June 8, 2009

Thanks for this. Good stuff. Love to see every page at some point.
posted by Rashomon at 2:01 PM on June 8, 2009

These are wonderful, thanks for the post.
posted by nickyskye at 2:48 PM on June 8, 2009

This is great. Thanks for the post.
posted by pasici at 8:48 PM on June 8, 2009

Dog Star Man!
posted by Wolof at 1:05 AM on June 9, 2009

Look! Wolof went on wikipedia and brought back three words with him!

All by himself!
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:26 AM on June 9, 2009

These were on display in the Beinecke Library when I was there in March - not sure if they're still on view, but they're beautiful to look at.
posted by with hidden noise at 12:00 PM on June 9, 2009

Look! Wolof went on wikipedia and brought back three words with him!

Look! Bobsled went on Youtube and thinks he had a cinematic experience!

All by himself!
posted by Wolof at 2:36 PM on June 9, 2009

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