An announcement for those following this Tumblr

A longer explanation follows, but if you’re in a hurry simply know this: this Tumblr named Skandalon is not updated anymore. However, if you still want to follow my activities (and see similar content) than you should head over to : it’s a mirror of my Wordpress blog where I’ve been publishing stuff on a weekly basis for the past year and a half. Alternatively, one can monitor this content on Facebook and Twitter.

• • •

Although I haven’t updated this Tumblr blog for a while, I haven’t stop producing content. As I explained a little over a year ago, I moved my activities over a self-hosted Wordpress blog. There, I post entries similar to those one can find here, on Skandalon (see the archive for a quick overlook): vintage photos, movie related images, paintings from past and present artists and occasional quotes from novel or philosophy books. I publish less often (weekly instead of daily), but I try to put more research and thoughts into each post. And just as I used to do here, I systematically provide adequate source attribution (original author, relevant URL, date, etc.).

It’s clear that following a Wordpress blog through RSS syndication is not as convenient as following a blog through one’s Tumblr dashboard. Tumblr users love their dashboard (I know, I was a Tumblr user for more than two years).

Skandalon –the blog you’re currently following– is an indexed blog (Google and other engines are allowed to search and index it). I was not willing to duplicate content from my new Wordpress blog over here: duplicating content is something to avoid (read what Google has to say about this). What to do?

I set up a brand new Tumblr blog which is and will remain and active, unindexed mirror of my main Wordpress blog (I’m using the Wordpress plugin Tumblrize to push a copy of each new post appearing on Wordpress to Tumblr). Since this new Tumblr blog is not indexed, it won’t exist to the eyes of any search engines (one will not be able to find its content through a Google search, for example).

The sole purpose of is to allow Tumblr users interested in doing so to easily monitor new content produced on on their personal Tumblr dashboard.

I’ve already pushed some posts over the new Tumblr blog: there’s a post about Jeremy Geddes paintings, a small comment by photographer Martin Parr about what he calls the “Facebook syndrome”, a quote from artist László Moholy-Nagy, Jason Salavon’s experiment averaging “Every Playboy Centerfold” for the past four decades, a comic strip by Quino and I dug up the story behind the photo showing Dennis Hopper, John Ford and John Huston in the same bed. It gives a good idea of what is coming out of on a weekly basis.

That’s about it! Thanks for reading.

• Mar 08, 2012 link notes 
japan film movie kurosawa disaster catastrophe chaos violence murder
✖ Via

Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa, 1950.

More on Aphelis.

• Apr 03, 2011 link notes tagged: Japan  film  movie  Kurosawa  disaster  catastrophe  chaos  violence  murder 

Tumblr To Wordpress

Tumblr’s users who wish to move their content over to a self-hosted Wordpress blog now have a new solution. Wordpress developer Pete Mall used the existing exporter PHP scripts written by Hao Chen and its “enhancement fork” created by Ben Ward to create a new “Tumblr 2 Wordpress” exporter:

Read more on Aphelis.

[UPDATE – August 2, 2012] I disabled the link to Hao Chen’s website because it was listed as suspicious by Google. One can check the actual status of the link by visiting

• Feb 26, 2011 link notes tagged: Tumblr  Wordpress  exporter  title  generator 

Aphelis Reloaded: Part I

Photo: Skandalon, December 24th, 2010 (CC)

On December 23th, Skandalon celebrated its second year of existence (the very first post was published on December 23th, 2008).

However, as you may have noticed, nothing was published here for the past three months. To make a long story short, the last queue crash messed with the timestamp of all the posts I had stored either in Draft or in Queue. Instead of taking the time to recreate each and everyone of them (I was told to do so by Tumblr’s support team), I decided to work on a project I had in mind for a while: moving everything from Tumblr to a self-hosted Wordpress blog.

Keeping in mind that Skandalon was originally setup to be a usable online archive, I see three good reasons to move away from Tumblr to a self-hosted Wordpress blog: more control over everything, better SEO, better search function. That being said, I see no point at all to launch myself into some Tumblr bashing. I’m still convinced Tumblr is a terrific blogging platform for some users, especially when it comes to its ease of use (it really offers an effortless blogging experience). However, this quality could also be a draw back for some other users.

I’ve read about experienced Wordpress users who decided to move to Tumblr precisely because they were tired of doing server maintenance, dealing with upgrades, struggling with plugins compatibility issues, etc. As it turns out, I’m moving away from Tumblr precisely for the opposite reason: I want more control and I’m more than willing to spend some time coding and fixing things so they fit my needs (and hopefully my taste).

This project is divided in two parts. Part I is all about setting up a self-hosted Wordpress blog, coding a theme and setting everything up to my liking. Thus my first challenge was to replicate as much as I could from what I’ve come to love here over at my new Wordpress installation. I successfully achieve this task during the course of the last Fall season. If you never visited Skandalon (because you’re used to check new posts via your dashboard) you obviously won’t notice anything about the design. For those of you who are familiar with this website, you should feel right at home over at the new blog. If you wish to give it a try, simply visit

Aphelis is still an online archive and I’m still providing adequate references for each and every post. With Skandalon, the idea was simple: I reblogged content, but doing so I systematically added details about the origin of the content, date and context of production, authorship, URL links etc (that, I would say, is the main difference between a working archive and a place were one dumps things without caring to much about them).

With Aphelis, I’m trying to do a little bit more. Along with the reblogged content, I’ll try to write some notes as often as possible. Why I found the content interesting in the first place? How is it related to the main theme covered by the blog (art, communication, technology)? Is there other related resources online? Etc. As a result, I won’t be publishing as often as I used to do here (around two posts a day for the last year and a half). But hopefully, I will produced more substantial content.

As I wrote above, this is a two parts project. Part II consist of moving every single post ever published here over to, the new self-hosted Wordpress platform. This is a technical challenge. There are different tools out there built for this specific task. But none of them fulfills my needs. One of the main problem lies in the differences between the two blogging platform. For example, Tumblr does not use titles (except for some specific post types, such as text post, like the one you’re reading now).

Ben Ward, the author of the Tumblr2Wordpress export tool (a fork of Hao Chen’s script), is aware of this issue and working to fix it. While I was able to fix some other issues by tweaking the code of his script, the title problem asks for some advanced modifications (I’m not a programer and I’m not familiar with PHP). Truncating can easily be achieve by implementing a small PHP script within Ben Ward’s script (like this one). However, in order to generate a proper title, one will most probably want to get rid of any HTML tags and special characters within the truncated part of the post. I extensively wrote about this problem on Stack Overflow. Since I don’t have much time at the moment, I’ll wait to see if anyone comes out with a workable solution. Otherwise, I may give it another try myself this summer. Until then, Skandalon will remain as it is. I’ll probably update it from time to time, if only to point out to new posts published on Aphelis.

If I’m leaving Skandalon, does that mean I’ll stop following my Tumblr friends? That I’ll stop reblogging them? Fortunatly (for me and for you), Tumblr is not a gated community and the dashboard is not the only way to follow blogs.

Since day one, I found that “following” many Tumblr blogs –using Tumblr’s “follow” tool– wasn’t doing any good to my dashboard. It would become overloaded with posts and information, making it virtually unusable. So I decided to restrain myself to follow only a dozen blogs or so. However, there are more than a dozen interesting Tumblr blogs out there. The solution was simple: I subscribed to as many RSS feed that I wanted to and follow those from within a feed reader (I’m currently using Reeder for Mac 1.0 Draft 8, by Silvio Rizzi). That way I can follow fifty Tumblr blogs without missing anything. I can even flagged the posts I like while keeping this information stored on my computer and synchronized online with my Google Reader account (to my knowledge, there’s no way to backup of all the posts one “liked” on Tumblr: if one loses its account, one loses the archive of the post he or she “liked” in the process as well).

That’s about it. Upcoming posts on Aphelis include, among other things, a more extensive piece on what I’ve been calling “adequate references”, an interview with American photographer Jason Eskenazi and hopefully some more detailed information about a workable solution to export posts from Tumblr to Wordpress.

Happy Holidays to everyone: enjoy the family, the food and the snow.

• Dec 25, 2010 link notes tagged: Tumblr  technology  communication  Skandalon  blog  platform  export  Wordpress 
art artist painting painter film movie culture science_fiction realism photo image representation
✖ Via Damian Loeb: “Enhance 34 to 36 (Center In, Pull Back, Stop)” 2003

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 29, 2010 link notes  [via] tagged: art  artist  painting  painter  film  movie  culture  science fiction  realism  photo  image  representation 
technology photograph vintage bw oil oil_spill history disaster nature machine man catastrophe natural_catastrophe
✖ Via Wikimedia Commons: Lakeview #1 oil gusher, Kern County, California, USA, after the well had partially subsided, the derrick removed, and the well surrounded by a sandbag berm. Photo by W.C. Mendenhall, US Geological Survey, 1910
The Lakeview Gusher Number One was an immense out-of-control pressurized oil well in the Midway-Sunset Oil Field in Kern County, California, resulting in what is regarded as the largest oil spill in history, lasting 18 months and releasing 9 million barrels (1.4×106 m3) of crude oil. In what was one of the largest oil reserves in America, pressure built to an extreme due to the quantity of crude oil in the area. (wikipedia)

• Oct 29, 2010 link notes tagged: technology  photograph  vintage  BW  oil  oil spill  history  disaster  nature  machine  man  catastrophe  natural catastrophe 
art photograph photographer photomontage hack manipulation image simulacrum meat woman girl face anatomy bw vintage
✖ Via Higher Pictures: “Untitled” by Alfred Gescheidt, vintage gelatin silver print, 1970
Alfred Gescheidt is a professional photographer born in Queens, New York on December 19, 1926. He won a scholarship to the Art Students’ League and studied with Will Barnet and Harry Sternberg. He served briefly in the Navy during World War II, then went to the University of New Mexico and studied with Raymond Johnson. He decided to become a photographer and transferred to the Los Angeles Art Center School and here studied with George Hoyningen-Huene. In the 1950s he documented life on city streets and beaches of America. (Escape Into Life: Alfred Geischeidt)

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 21, 2010 link notes tagged: art  photograph  photographer  photomontage  hack  manipulation  image  simulacrum  meat  woman  girl  face  anatomy  BW  vintage 
art photograph photographer junk wire network texture surface bw biology ecology
✖ Via John Clendenen: no 2 from his Early series [click for hi-res]

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 20, 2010 link notes tagged: art  photograph  photographer  junk  wire  network  texture  surface  BW  biology  ecology 
art photograph photographer fall falling lost young youth body sky sunset space
✖ Via Ryan McGinley: Photographs, “Falling Sunset”, 2006

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 19, 2010 link notes tagged: art  photograph  photographer  fall  falling  lost  young  youth  body  sky  sunset  space 
art vintage ad technology communication television future past evolution consumption shopping girls woman
✖ Via

x-ray delta one photostream on FLickr: “Shopping by TV” from the Populuxe album.

• Oct 19, 2010 link notes tagged: art  vintage  ad  technology  communication  television  future  past  evolution  consumption  shopping  girls  woman 
art design designer poster color
✖ Via Mitsuo Katsui: Pleats Please, Issey Miyake:Elfin Light poster, 1997
Born in Tokyo in 1931. After graduation from Tokyo University of Education, joined Ajinomoto in 1956. Went freelance in 1961. In addition to engaging in the full spectrum of graphic design, served as art director of the Japan World Exposition in Osaka (1970), International Ocean Exposition in Okinawa (1975), and International Exposition of Science and Technology in Tsukuba (1985). Also created the symbol for the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in Osaka (1990). Pioneered new forms of communicative expression enabled by new technologies. (more over at Change Thought)

• Oct 18, 2010 link notes tagged: art  design  designer  poster  color 
poster_t art design echnology turing computer machine interaction interface humor
✖ Via 9 0 0 0 photostream on Flickr: “” (Alain Turing In Da House), October 2010
The future has already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 07, 2010 link notes tagged: poster,t  art  design  echnology  Turing  computer  machine  interaction  interface  humor 
art communication history technology geography space united_states history vintage representation collection ressource map territory frontier rumsey_map_collection
✖ Via David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: “United States” by David H. Burr, 1833, published by J.H. Colton (reference: Ristow, p. 315, P-Maps 888)
This is the first year of Colton’s map publishing business. Ristow says that Colton published his first map in 1833, Burr’s map of New York State; this U.S. map must be as early. The graphic style is similar to Burr’s Universal Atlas maps, engraved the following year. With six detailed and elegant inset maps showing the environs of Albany, Boston, New York, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Baltimore & Washington; plus a small inset map of South Part of Florida. Outline color, folded into dark teal leather covers 13.5x8 with “Burr’s Map of the United States Published By J.H. Colton & Co. New York” and a decorative border stamped in gilt. Prime meridians: Greenwich and Washington.

About this collection:

The David Rumsey Map Collection was started over 25 years ago and contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children’s, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1700 to 1950s.

Digitization of the collection began in 1996 and there are now over 21,000 items online, with new additions added regularly. The site is free and open to the public. Here viewers have access not only to high resolution images of maps that are extensively cataloged, but also to a variety of tools that allow to users to compare, analyze, and view items in new and experimental ways. (About)

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 07, 2010 link notes tagged: art  communication  history  technology  geography  space  United-States  history  vintage  representation  collection  ressource  map  territory  frontier  Rumsey Map Collection 
✖ Via XKCD no 802: “Online Communities 2”

XKCD updated his famous Online Communities map (the first one was released in 2007). Tumblr appears North of the Photoblogs island, in the Sea of Opinions. About this map:

Communities rise and fall, and total membership numbers are no longer a good measure of a community’s current size and health. This updated map uses size to represent total social activity in a community ― that is, how much talking, playing, sharing, or other socializing happens there. This meant some comparing of apples and oranges, but I did my best and tried to be consistent.

Estimates are based on the best numbers I could find, but involved a great deal of guesswork, statistical inference, random sampling, nonrandom sampling, a 20,000-cell spreadsheet, emailing, cajoling, tea-leaf reading, goat sacrifices, and gut instinct (i.e. making things up).

Sources of data include Google and Bing, Wikipedia, Alexa,, StumbleUpon, Wordpress, Askimet, every website statistics page I could find, press releases, news articles, and individual site employees. Tanks in particular to folks at, LiveJournal, Reddit, and The New York Times, as well as sysadmins at a number of sites who shared statistics on condition of anonymity.

Previously on Skandalon

• Oct 06, 2010 link notes  [via] tagged: art  technology  design  poster  data  visualization  map  representation  social  community  Internet  statistics  illustrator  XKCD  humor  Tumblr  census 
✖ Via Life ― Hosted by Google: “Full frame of movie audience wearing special 3D glasses to view film “Bwana Devil” which was shot with new “natural vision” 3 dimensional technology.” photo by J.R. Eyerman, Paramount Theater, Hollywood, California, November 26, 1952.

This photo is well known, though it’s origin is not. It appears on the cover of the English translation of Guy Debord La Société du Spectacle (The Society of the Spectacle, tr. by Fredy Perlman and Jon Supak, Black & Red, 1970; available online). It was originally taken by Life photographer J.R. Eyerman (1906-1985) at “the premiere screening of film ‘Bwana Devil,’ directed by Arch Oboler, the 1st full-length, color 3D (aka ‘Natural Vision’) motion picture” ( I don’t know for sure if it ever appeared in Life Magazine itself, though it was later used in 1984 on the cover of the brochure that accompanied an exhibition of photographs from Life Magazine held at the International Center of Photography (New York) and entitled: The Second Decade, 1946-1955 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984; used copies still available online).

Here’s what Thomas Y. Levin has to say about this photo in his essay “Dismantling the Spectacle: The cinema of Guy Debord”

This picture, taken by J.R. Eyerman, has since become a veritable cliché not only for the alienation of late consumer culture but also for the ten years following World War II: it appears, for example, on T-Shirts, bags, and buttons as well as on the cover of the brochure that accompanied an exhibition of photographs from Life magazine held at the International Center of Photography (New York) and entitled: The Second Decade, 1946-1955. Few realize, however, that this depiction of the latest stage in the drive towards cinematic verisimilitude exists in at least two versions: the one, employed for the cover of the Society of the Spectacle (Detroit, Black & Red, 1970, repr. 1977 and 1983), depicts its elegantly attired audience in a virtually trance-like state of absorption, their faces grim, their lips pursed, in the other shot of the same audience, however, the 3-D spectators are laughing, their expressions of hilarity conveying the pleasure of an uproarious, active spectatorship.

(‘Dismantling the spectacle. The Cinema of Guy Debord’, in On the passage of a few people through a rather brief moment in time. The Situationist International 1957-1972, MIT Press : Cambridge 1989, pp. 72-123; available online at the Media Art Net website.

I first found the reference to this photo via Beetle In A Box Tumblr blog, though it needs some correction : the photo did not appeared in any of Life Magazine November issues of 1952.

• Oct 06, 2010 link notes tagged: art  photograph  photographer  film  movie  cinema  3D  vintage  BW  crowd  audience  spectator  spectacle  Debord  entertainment  America  50s  technology  vision  Debord  society 


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