This post goes out to my friend Tom Boucher, who gave a memorable "Tom Talk" to my experimental type class several years ago. He spoke for an entire hour about finding a bell hanging on a hedge and in short, relating it to a philosophical approach to design; to always be open to wonder, and to discovery, as this can lead to creative solutions.
Historical fragments are found everywhere, just as illustrated in this lovely animated poem. This video fragment was found by way of Peter Mendelsund's site, Jacket Mechanical. It is the animation work of his new right-hand man, Pablo Delcán. The two minute video, Historical Fragment was written by Éireann Lorsung and included in her book of poetry entitled Her book (real name, no kidding) from Milkweed Editions. With story credits by Pablo Delcán and Brian Rea (who also has drawing credits), this animation is a lovely story about finding cards; or that lucky charm and historical fragment which ignites wonder. Designers take note: this should be a lesson and reminder to continually explore; be receptive; and be a vessel for new discoveries; as you just never know what juju will fuel creativity.
Many years ago, I stumbled upon this juju on a wooded trail in my neighborhood: two different series of trading cards. One with Christopher Reeve as Superman; Man of Steel, Man of Action and Man of Lycra, issued by DC Comics in 1978, and another of 1977 Star Wars cards with a puzzle on back. Both series were originally part of a Topps Bubblegum package of photo cards which included ten cards, one sticker and one lousy stick of bubblegum. While they never triggered any creative solutions—yet—there is no reason they couldn't. I may yet design a series of trading cards for Letterology. Who knows? And to whomever discarded these lost or stolen trading cards; I surely hope you enjoyed the stick of bubblegum.
Turning to other serendipitous fragments just discovered as I write: For those of you in my hood...the poet, writer, and designer Éireann Lorsung will be doing a reading from Her book at Seattle's Elliot Bay Bookstore in Seattle this Tuesday, July 30th at 7pm. Find out more details about this event and other readings here.
Designer Pablo Delcán's recent work is also not to be missed. As one of his first exercises at Pantheon Books, aside Peter Mendelsund, Delcán took on Vladimir Nobokov's The Tragedy of Mr. Morn with great success. Read more about it on Jacket Mechanical where you can follow links to many more fascinating fragments.