Walker Art Center

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2012: The Year According to Alec Soth

Alec Soth: Ten Things That Gave Me Pleasure

To commemorate the year that was, we invited artists and designers to take part in an open-ended exercise: share with us 2012’s best “things”—artworks, books, albums, political moments, memories, spectacles, failures, etc. The first to take us up on the offer was photographer Alec Soth, subject of the Walker-organized exhibition From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, who weighs in with the “10 things that gave me pleasure in 2012.”

“Joy” by Zadie Smith

Photo: Dominique Nabokov, Penguin Group


As a die-hard fan of soft-serve ice cream, I’m thrilled about the new, self-serve frozen yogurt craze. It seems like every town has at least one of these new outlets. Gaudy and overpriced, yes, but so damn good.

Juergen Teller’s Pictures and Text

I’m always looking for books that combine text and image in interesting ways. My favorite in this category was this aptly titled book by Juergen Teller. Teller’s naturally gifted prose is as sweet as his pictures are crude. The result is laugh-out-loud funny and strangely moving.

Photography In Abundance by Erik Kessels

Elementary Calculus by J. Carrier

AMC’s Breaking Bad

When I watch an episode of Breaking Bad, I feel like I’m going to church. This year they only gave us a half season, but it was enough to keep me faithful.

Frank Ocean on Saturday Night Live

The Queen of Versailles by Lauren Greenfield

Romka Magazine

Described as “a collective photo album in which both amateurs and professionals archive their memories,” Romka Magazine sounds really cheesy. But great curation and beautiful design make this a truly endearing publication.

Chapter marker for the final part of Brad Zellar’s The Envoy: A Christmas Serial

People throw around the term “genius” a little too loosely, but writer Brad Zellar is the real deal. This December he posted a 60,000-word story on his blog that was not only as good as any novel I’ve read in ages, but I’ll be damned if I can find a single typo. Somebody get this guy a MacArthur grant, pronto.