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Book review: Asylum

November 21, 2009 1 comment

This weekend I got the book Asylum: Inside the Clossed World of State Mental Hospitals by Christopher Payne. I saw a recommendation on Kitzune Noir a few weeks back and I just knew I must have it.

Asylum is a photography album of the inside and outside of many mental hospitals across the United States. The forward, written by neurologist Oliver Sacks, is an interesting review of the entire concept – how it came to be at the beginning of the 18th century and it’s decline after the 1950s. He wrote about the Kirkbride Plan – a special design of the layout of institutes that was meant to promote comfort for patients, but eventually becoming too expensive to maintain. He also discusses how mental hospitals become a place of confinement, rather than a haven.

Payne’s photographs are simply amazing. They show in great detail the outside of hospitals and the inside of wards; untended forgotten gardens and dismal corridors with paint peeling off the walls. Looking at all the abandoned corridors and rooms makes you imagine them busy with strange patients wandering around and doctors tending them. I try to picture people living and working in such a morally questionable environment.

It’s a fascinating book. Browsing it fills me with inspiration and curiosity. I wish there was more stuff to read on this subject, but I guess that’s what Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization is for.

Check out the book’s website: www.asylumbook.com.

What am I up to

November 12, 2009 Leave a comment

I do not write a lot these days. Every spare time I have I spend on building the Darkstage Studio website. It’s coming along nicely, I think, but I have a lot of work ahead of me. I do hope I get back to do some creative work soon. Coding is fun, but animating and drawing is even more.

This is how the site looks so far.

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I’ve finished the main page along with a nice free slideshow plugin called Pikachoose. What’s left is building the rest of the pages, adding content and putting it on the interwebs.

So don’t think I gave up just yet only because I’m writing only This Week’s Discoveries posts. I’m up and well and pushing my dreams forward!

Darkstage Studio webdesign revision

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

What do you think? I changed a lot since the last update. I gave it a more grungy look with more textures, a red sinister background, made changes to the fonts and made sure everything sits well on a grid.

I hope Darkstage will be up and running shortly.

Let me know what you think either here, or at Concept Feedback here.

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Darkstage Studio web design – final draft

November 1, 2009 2 comments

After many changes, I finally upload something I’m quite satisfied with. Let me know what you think either by commenting here or on Concept Feedback.