November 22 ‘22

There is a glossy blackish bird poised on a stone. The stone is isolated and cleaving a deep brownish blue current. The interruption is causing morphing, oily vortices. The slowly unfurling swirls are dotted by star-like bubble clusters.

It is extremely hard not to attribute a certain attitude to the bird. It feels dignified and comedic somehow. This is ridiculous though, as it is a predator obeying inner commands encouraging it to survive.

About 10 yards away, further downstream, the placidity has changed to lacy drama. The water is shallower and cobble stoned, making a ruffled stretch of tiny standing waves. It is extremely hard to say whether these tiny waves are an ephemeral effect or are substantive — or, whether the question itself is only a meaningless linguistic ripple.

As the riverbed becomes deeper again the standing wave’s froth breaks apart, making those star-like bubble clusters seen earlier.

Another bird, or the same, we haven’t wholly been paying attention, sits on a low branch of a rotted tree. The branch and the bird are jaggedly mimicked on the surface below them. Next to the bird, branch and tree is a small sandy beach of a lovely and tender aspect. When we cup a single hand and put it like a little spyglass over our eye, the scene is totally idyllic. We get a light, brief thrill, wanting to interact with it. But we can’t.

Sites in Use

Having been freelancers for much of our pasts, we know how difficult it is to secure nutritive and rewarding work. As well, we know how hard it is to be stable in meeting such projects with high aptitude. So when we see a continual stream of great, high-order projects, spread over years, and coming from a single designer like Claire Mason here, we move through a kind of sequence: first there’s admiration, then a kind of over-the-fence curiosity, then dark jealousy, then self reproach, then back to a sturdy/stable admiration.

Elliot Barnes

Joana Coelho


Graphic Design


& Design





Shops on Cargo

The Silver Table Book

Rough Version
Blue Flower Texts

Spring Summer 2002 Poster
Offbrand Library

Workshop No.5
In Form Library

Sound Scrub
Social Species

Always Time
Mega Press


An offering of pieces and projects from around the web.

Hart Crane, The Broken Tower, 1932
David Novros at Paula Cooper Gallery, 2022
Edward Yang, A Confucian Confusion, 1994
Nancy Holt at Sprüth Magers, 2022

Rifat Ozbek, Fall/ Winter, 1997-98


Each week we consult both the Tarot and the I Ching.
To submit your own question, send an email to

These first few lines are the general aphoristic returns for the week. They are raw and uninterpreted; there to use how you’d like. (The specific readings follow.)

  • It may be time to break significantly with a major aspect of your past.
  • Some aspect is dangerously close to the breaking point; use measured reason to monitor it and prevent collapse. 


L.M. asks: What is art’s place today? Other than Instagram, please.
How can art be relevant out of the internet?

The internet is a medium, and art is a human expression (or exploration) residing in or pushed through a medium. 

There have been many types of mediums: paint, food, body movement, curation, video, sculpture, cut-up/randomly reassembled words, found objects, light, space, to name a diverse few.

As for what has been expressed that is as equally varied: politics, eros, banality, abstraction, “pure” ideas, spaciality, time, beauty, horror and so on.

Very plainly, we believe psychology to be biology, so we view a consistent human activity like “art” to be part of a system. That is, “art” is not an abstract gift bestowed on humans that, were we not to behave, would be taken away from us; “art” has very real functions, the baseline of which is something like an alternative conception. By this we mean that art is kind of like sleep in that both sleep and art give complex psychologies a break from what would be an endless barrage of repetitive perspective. There are of course many reasons for art; but the one discussed here, to us, seems foundational and maybe hidden from general perception.

So, we believe that art can exist anywhere and cannot be removed from human behavior. That is not to say that all make or consume fine art — some people prefer sports or drugs or games — though analytical minds (of a fantastical bent) will always seek out or make art (or maybe in your case, struggle to locate it in turbid times such as these).

“L.M.” maybe there is an opportunity for you to reconsider your definition and possibly break with your past conceptions of art, welcoming a new feeling for it. As we said, “art” is mainly a foil for complex pychologies — your brain may need to find an alternative before it “collapses” into ennui or anger or rigidity.

Complete Reading: 

This week we pulled the Nine of Swords. There’s an opportunity to consider a kind of fulcrum point. Conditions could be such that no more can be added to a load, or similarly, that a point has come where breaking with the past is the best way forward.

Our first and only hexagram this week (there were no changes) is #43, Break-Through (Resoluteness).  Here, a few contingent images — a sequence illustrating the release of tensions (both good and disastrous): a cloud filling to the brink with water yielding to a welcome downpour, but resulting in a river swelling and breaking its banks. A release of tension has occurred or is in the offing. It is implied that the tensions here are that of reason and passion, incompatible forces; of the two passion is the more damaging. Passion or “flood” can only be controlled by reasoned, meticulous and ongoing supervision.