Enzo Mari was an Italian designer. He is perhaps best-known for his Box Chair, of which I am the happy owner of five originals.
I bought them from Bill, a Dutch guy who used to sell designer furniture in Antwerp, where I live. He was a big guy who had a shop in the Kloosterstraat. Not so long ago I ran across him in the Bleekhofstraat.
Mari belongs to the generation of Italian designers celebrated by the MoMA in their exhibition Italy: The New Domestic Landscape (1972) which had this to say of him in their catalog:
“Enzo Mari was born in 1932 and works in Milan. Beside his extensive activity as a designer, since 1952 he has devoted himself intensively to theoretical research, especially on the psychology of vision, systems of perception and the methodology of design.”
Quino was an Argentine cartoonist best-known for his satirical comic strip Mafalda which ran from 1964 to 1973.
Mafalda is a 6-year-old girl. On the one hand she is a real child who hates soup and loves pancakes. Yet, at the same time she is very much concerned with humanity and world peace. An political episode of Mafalda that is often cited is the one with the ‘south-up map orientation’.
Umberto Eco wrote a piece on Mafalda when she made her book debut in Italy with Mafalda la contestataria (1968), ‘Mafalda the rebel’.
In the same period, she is also on the cover of another Italian book, Libro dei bambini terribili per adulti masochisti, (Book of Terrible Children for Masochistic Adults), also from 1968.
Michael McClure was an American poet and writer known for his association with the Beat Generation.
Here he can be seen reading poetry to the lions. Apparently the origin of this footage is from the USA: Poetry television series. Michael McClure reads some of his 99 Ghost Tantras in the lion house of the San Francisco Zoo.
“We still have a chance to be cruel. But if we are not cruel today, all is lost.”
What exactly does he mean by being cruel?:
“End Third World aid and asylum for refugees, so millions die. Try mandatory abortions for those with two children. And then find some way to get rid of the extra billions of people. With 2.5 times more humans than earth can support, another world war, he says, would be ‘a happy occasion for the planet.’ Living alone in primitive style here without running water or car, the fisherman likes to compare humanity to a sinking ship with 100 passengers and a lifeboat that can only hold 10. ‘Those who hate life try to pull more people on board and drown everybody. Those who love and respect life use axes to chop off the extra hands hanging on the gunwale.'”
“In His Solitude” (1994)
Next to this there is “Humanflood”, a four-page text of his hand featured in Apocalypse Culture II (2000) which I have been unable to identify.
And then there is his book Can Life Prevail? (2011), a translation of Voisiko elämä voittaa (2004), is still in print.
The metaphor of the lifeboat [above] was probably taken from the 1974 essay “Living on a Lifeboat” by Garrett Hardin, an essay which was the basis for what has become known as lifeboat ethics.