MACRO: AN ANTHOLOGY OF IMAGE MACROS curated by Penny Goring + Michael Hessel-Mial
When I think of truly era-defining documents, I think of the really inclusive ones. I can’t really be bothered with a “Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” kind of thing. That singular, suffocating vision is not what interests me. Communities interest me. A book, yeah, that’s exciting and I do read quite a bit. Of late though I have become interested in how communities interact, of how new writers come up, meet with others, and elaborate upon their craft. Particularly as I see a greater amount of these sorts of “all-inclusive” writing projects, the ones where I see the humorous, the tragic, the mundane, the surreal, and so forth brought together as one.
A lot of people might say I spent an inordinate amount of time on this particular book. Honestly I feel like no amount of blog posts would’ve been enough. When this first arrived in the mail I was so excited. The way it is designed is brilliant, the colors dazzle, and the entire thing feels like it embraces so many. Dozens of artists made their way into this singular project. I rarely, if ever, have seen something so lovingly put together. As I put these reviews together, reviewing each and every piece, I kept my intentions a complete secret from everyone until they were fully ready. Since then I have tried my best to “get the word out there” about the sheer scope of the project.
While I was working on the final stages of these reviews (i.e. organizing them all together) I listened to a podcast from Steve Roggenbuck, the founder of Boost House. He was expressing (accurately) how much time and effort was put into this book, the many different time zones it traveled, and the long journey of Boost House. A lot of wonderful things have been put out by Boost House, like the YOLO Pages, a number of poetry collections, some samplers, etc. Even including all those things, MACRO really takes the cake and eats it too. For with this collection I was introduced to a wide variety of new artists, and I really try to stay on top of everything going on but this one sort of outdid anything I could’ve possibly done.
Sadly in that same Podcast Steve Roggenbuck also talked about how this is the end of Boost House, of how people were moving away, getting jobs, getting married, etc. That happens. Actually it happens a lot. Artists tend to find themselves at crossroads all the time, of where their art could go, of what it could be. Even through reading MACRO I saw a few artists I knew where no longer as active, those who had sort of gone on an ‘indefinite hiatus’ and who I do respect.
Art is a tricky thing. It can be hard to capture the exact energy of a specific movement, of a group of like-minded individuals which is what makes “Macro” such a unique creature. Though “Macro” is merely a snapshot, it is easily the most comprehensive sort of collection I have ever seen of an artistic movement. I hope that this book inspires more people to create their own art and to continue toiling away creating new worlds waiting to be discovered.