Notes on Design

Shirley Kurata

As our lives become more and more immersed in a virtual world, where photos and documents are archived in a cloud or on a hard drive, images exist only so long as we have the technology to store and update them digitally.

The ephemeral existence of such images has always interested me. The photos taken on my first digital camera, and loaded to a computer that no longer works, expired long before the physical photos from my childhood and teenage years. I similarly wonder if the photos collecting on my current laptop will be around twenty years from now. So when I was invited to design this edition of Zoetrope: All-Story, I saw it as a chance to create a printed, physical scrapbook of memories and works by those I hold dear. And I knew how special this opportunity was.

Many of these images were shot on actual film, including most of the pictures by photographer Autumn de Wilde and my husband, Charlie Staunton. Some were taken long ago, found on forgotten rolls; others document my collaborations and travels. A few of Autumn’s photos chronicle my years working on runway shows with Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the fashion house Rodarte. I’ve also included pictures from fashion editorials and stills from short films I styled, artfully captured by Julia Johnson and Jimmy Marble. And then there are photos I had nothing to do with, but that occupy a warm place in my heart, such as those by Mimi Haddon.

A sincere thank-you to the She Chimp for the hand-painted signs used for story titles, to artist Olimpia Zagnoli for the cover art, and to Nagisa Kamae for the custom portraits of my cats.


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