words without pictures

I’ve been looking at WORDSWITHOUTPICTURES, an interesting online journal and discussion space hosted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. True to its name, the site is a big pile of words without a single picture, an action that’s particularly willful since the topic of the site is photography! Actually, since the real reason for the site’s existence is criticism and discussions about photography, the decisions to suppress the imagery might actually be appropriate.

Even without pictures, the site is no visual slouch. Designed in just black and white, using three fonts in compelling, graphic ways, the site calls to mind Bauhaus, De Stijl and Constructivist experiments filtered through contemporary web stylesheets. What can you do with a few horizontal borders mixed with helvetica, times and courrier using bold font weights and -1 to -3 letter spacing? Take a look!

And yes there is a garden connection with all this. There was a recent interview with Charlotte Cotton, the new Curator of Photography at LACMA and the main person behind the site. In it, the interviewer described her apartment in a building in the Wilshire District near the museum, an apartment that was decorated tastefully as you might expect. But the apartment also included a collection of carnivorous plants!

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