Thursday, 26 January 2023

statistical breviary (10. 499)

Currently on exhibit at the National Arts Club in New York City, we are finding ourselves preoccupied with the presentation of Greg Colson and his studies in pie charts that reflect our collective and dissected anxieties and fear, surveyed as they are suggesting that each wedge might be susceptible to reduction or expansion in a way that’s wiser than the format seems at first glance. More at Hyperalleric at the link above.

money to burn (10. 497)

Once seized as the counterfeiting scheme of a mysterious Frenchman, Public Domain Review contributor Dorinda Evans reassesses the hyperrealistic paintings of Victor Dubreuil of US paper currency as a social critique of capitalism and exploitative working practises at a time when few were openly questioning the status quo. These still lives with dollars and trompe l’oeil paintings of legal tender enjoyed some contemporary popularity in addition to scrutiny by the US for the starving artist but most missed the anti-imperialism, anti-kleptocractic allegory of Dubreuil. Find a whole gallery of his works at the link above.

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

8x8 (10. 495)

super 8: Kodak background orchestral ensemble for home movies (1961) would make a good soundtrack for any clip  

memory hole: unearthing—with surprising difficulty—an iconic, defining moment of 90s US political pop culture  

the fourth plinth: what becomes of statuary exhibited temporarily in Trafalgar Square—via Things Magazine  

whw: an interview with the ousted Kunsthalle collective who wanted to showcase all sides of Vienna  

poissons de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires: exquisite disco fish (1719)  

geyser relays: a rather pie-in-the-sky proposal for irrigation using a series of water canons  

parade route: revisiting the would-be arrival and presentation of Ganda the Rhinoceros  

sympawny № 4: a short arrangement to pay tribute to a beloved cat

ukiyo-e (10. 493)

Before gaining renown for his iconic series of woodblock prints of the Great Wave off Kanagawa, Katsushika Hokusai (่‘›้ฃพ ๅŒ—ๆ–Ž) published three comprehensive volumes of “Quick Lessons in Simplified Drawing,” which are really fun to browse and remarkably build figures from the same rudimentary figures that all art teachers seem to employ, with the first book breaking every conceivable subject into geometric shapes, the second book fragmenting their curves and contours and the third book diagramming stroke order. Much more from Kottke at the link above.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

artist spotlight (10. 488)

Via Booooooom, We appreciated the introduction to the portfolio of works by printmaker Sophy Hollington through her linocut reliefs that conjure and confound elements of future-facing visions and the arcane, divinatory and superstitious with magical sigils and cyphers, whose particular visual language is the constrained writing (see also) that is the rigid manner of the medium. Much more, including commercial commissions, at the artist’s website at the link above.p> 

Saturday, 31 December 2022

colour-by-number (10. 376)

Among the first detailed satellite views of an extraterrestrial planet came in the form of telemetric data from the Mariner IV probe as it passed over the surface of Mars, but absent a technique to quickly encode and render that information as a picture—for a public eager to confirm or be disabused of the prospect of Little Green Men—mission engineers plotted the imaging data on a grid and buying a set of pastels from a nearby arts and crafts shop (told that their desired shaded chalk was for hardware stores), in preternaturally accurate tones of sienna, umber and buff, and filled in the landscape nearly instantaneously from the point of view of the awaiting, at-home audience—something we take for granted today. More to see from Kottke at the link above.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

8x8 (10. 350)

gadgetbahn: displacing solid public transportation networks with amusement park rides won't address underlying traffic problems 

senior superlatives: the most interesting fonts and typefaces of the year  

๐Ÿ‘: the ten best films of 2022  

seneca falls: the altruistic act that is said to have inspired It’s A Wonderful Life and other festive adventures in audio with Josie Long  

fรฆรฐingarsaga: listen again to an eleven-year-old Bjรถrk Guรฐmundsdรณttir recite the Nativity Story in Icelandic  

as it was: some the most popular songs of the year  

shot sage blue marilyn: the most expensive works of art trading hands this year  

chief twit: abiding by results of a poll, Elon Musk announced he will step down as CEO of the social media platform as soon as a replacement can be identified

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

8x8 (10. 365)

synthetic cubism: an exhibition of the cut paper figures of Pablo Picasso, a medium rarely shown—via Messy Nessy Chic  

set in stone: a tutorial on reading ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs 

spa-day: new research suggests that Christian modesty (see previously) may not have been the cause in the decline of public bathing  

carbon capture: Microsoft-backed start-up is using limestone powder to pull CO2 (previously here, here and here) out of the atmosphere

illuminated addresses: a graphic design studio rediscovered in Manchester that pre-dates the traditional 1922 beginning of commercial arts 

ั‰ะตะดั€ะธะน ะฒะตั‡iั€: a Ukrainian choir performs Carol of the Bells (see previously) a century after it debuted at Carnegie Hall  

varly’s swiftwater cafรฉ: a fish and chips in operation for two decades in remote Whittier, Alaska—a small village in one building  

picassanta: annual tradition of giving a village phone kiosk a makeover, reminiscent of Guernica for this fractious year

Friday, 2 December 2022

8x8 (10. 352)

fomites: turns out that COVID virus can stay of some grocery items for days—see previously    

fabulous fakes: an engrossing documentary about a Chinese painter whose specialty is creating pictures in the style of Van Gogh (see also) and travels to see the originals  

baguettes, bell-ringing and bee-keeping: UNESCO inscribes more human treasures  

foghorn: a celebration the floating lighthouses called lightvessels  

geopolitics is for losers: the infectious idea was concocted to account for defeat and hold influence  

gen-x studs terkel: the death of boredom is the biggest loss of a generation—a conversation with Joe Hagan  

viva magenta: Pantone announces its colour for the coming year—previously here and here 

such freedom: social network drops policies in place to limit the spread of misinformation on COVID

Thursday, 1 December 2022

dwa (10. 349)

Organised by VisualAIDS in New York City in 1988 and first observed the following year, Day Without Art (corresponding with World Aids Day), now a global event observed by art institutions, is a day of action and mourning for those who have died of the disease. Museums close their doors and send staff to volunteer at AIDS services centres or sponsor special exhibitions that confront the visitor with the chilling prospect for a future without art or artists, one of the most arresting displays hosted in 1991 by the Museum of Modern Art that featured a gallery of empty frames and pedestal.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

8x8 (10. 321)

yotta, yocto: prolific data generation drives the need for uniform names for extremely large and extremely small numbers—see previously—via Marginal Revolution  

quarantine caper: narrow escape from Jingdezhen just before lock-down  

a classic non-equilibrium thermodynamic reaction: a demonstration of a Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillation in a Petri dish—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

don’t copy that floppy: an overview of a few anti-piracy schemes of the late 1970s and early 80s  

jpeg morgan: the rise and fall (and broader fall-out) of crypto bank and exchange FTX 

infantry: Academy Award winning Czechoslovakian animated short Munro (1960) about a four-year old drafted into the army  

fangcang: artist, after being identified as a “close contact” is confined in a remote hospital and transforms room into exhibition space  

euler equations: computers make break-throughs in understanding fluid dynamics

Saturday, 19 November 2022

cairo circle (10. 317)

Via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump, we are introduced to the circle of creatves of the Art et Libertรฉ ( ุฌู…ุงุนุฉ ุงู„ูู† ูˆุงู„ุญุฑูŠุฉ) Surrealist movement that flourished for a decade in pre-World War II Egypt that embraced the appellation “degenerate” (see also here and here) in its stance against emergent forces of fascism, British colonial rule in the region and the conservative art establishment Salon du Caire. Informed by Ancient Egyptian and Coptic influences as well as other surrealism styles, this work entitled Nature Adores a Vacuum by Ramses Younan is typical of the collective. More to explore at the links above.

Sunday, 13 November 2022

recursive centaur alert (10. 301)

We quite enjoyed perusing this growing gallery of bad book covers (see previously) from our friends at Pulp Librarian. This omnibus post has too many choice works to pick favourites but we did quite like this anthology from author Ray Bradbury, referencing the Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass collection—whose title was not added just over a decade later, as which each poem, though in this case being that the term was not yet common currency. Originally in turn entitled “My Beautiful One is Here,” the eponymous story accounting a family selecting a robotic grandmother as a surrogate nanny to a brood of recently motherless children and their revelation that they won’t again be abandoned.  Much more to explore at the links above.

Sunday, 6 November 2022

7x7 (10. 276)

aeiou—red, green, yellow, purple, blue: the virtuosity of polymath Francis Galton and his 1883 work on synaesthesia—see previously  

toots, blorts and kerflunks: alternate social media network Mastodon grows a pace—via Language Log

wwjd: struggling corporations should look to the Jesuits as models of stability and longevity  

tragedy of the commons: a look ahead to COP27—more here  

momentum i: a 1983 synth compilation for runners by Matt Sullivan—see also  

kant generator: programmer Giacomo Miceli’s Infinite Conversation between interlocutors Werner Herzog and Slavoj ลฝiลพek   

sensory world: crossed-wires result in great art

Thursday, 3 November 2022

7x7 (10. 269)

memorymoog: Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo shares his synthesizer collection  

erry & merry: the portfolio illustrator Walter Schnackenberg whose subject and style was informed by Toulouse-Lautec’s Parisian cabarets 

unalloyed: scientists discover a way to synthesise a cosmic compound that may be a cheap and abundant substitute for rare earth elements  

star-bellied sneech: verification for sale 

astronomicum caesareum: an exploration of an intricate, antique tome commissioned to prognosticate one’s destiny  

waverly abbey: an ancient yew in Surrey is accorded the UK Tree of the Year title  

ondioline: a demonstration of this precursor to the synthesizer from Jean-Jacques Perry—via Pasa Bon!

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

the portrait of dorian grey (10. 236)

The writing staff at Hyperallergic to spookify iconic works of art for the scary season—like Christina’s World (here’s another frightful adaptation) as imagined she’s hiding from Michael Meyers—and is a bit regretful about what nightmares that they’ve conjured into existence. What costume would you give a work of art? More to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 1 October 2022

dall·e (10. 185)

As NPR informs, there is no longer a waiting period and assigned window of time for lab use of OpenAI’s text-to-image generating software (previously here, here and here). Pictured are a few responses to prompts about the blog itself. Although the open-source, mini version was fun too, I like how this platform (registration required) curates and saves your put-it-on-the-refrigerator-door history—in all its surprise, serendipity and dread uncanniness—and reminds one of past iterations, whereas before I felt obligated to save a copy in some folder full of errata, feeling guilty I had summoned such things into existence. What computer-aided masterpieces can you dream up?

Friday, 30 September 2022

7x7 (10. 180)

ron’s house: a bid to save an immersive, eccentrically decorated apartment—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

hermetic students of the golden dawn: an honest-to-goodness magic duel between William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley—via Boing Boing  

there’s a hole in my head where the rain gets in: medieval wound man, a medical diagram meant to assist surgeons of yore—see also  

it’s been zero days since the last catastrophic hurricane: more stats from Neal Agarwal (previously)  

self-paced: an AI powered language learning tool—via Web Curios  

photosculpture: a century before 3D printers, there was the rotoscoping technique M Franรงois Willรจme  

mid-management mezzanine: a tour of the S.C. Johnson Wax Headquarters building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Saturday, 24 September 2022

sub tuum praesidium (10. 163)

The veneration of the subject of art in late medieval Europe and other personalised in the form of a votive portrait—that is, when donors or patrons are included in the painting as with this work by Francisco de Zurbarรกn commissioned by a fraternity of monks, depicting a group of people sheltering under the outspread pallium of Mary, mother of Jesus (previously) is observed on this day in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar. Our Lady of Mercy is known as Madonna della Misericordia in Italian, Virgen de la Merced in Spanish, Notre-Dame de la Merci in French and Schutzmantelmadonna in German with various local customs.

Monday, 19 September 2022

subgenre (10. 149)

Via two of my favourite internet caretakers, Everlasting Blรถrt and Fancy Notions, we are introduced to a very niche and delightful trope in still life paintings: cats stealing food. All the posts in this thread are terrific but we were especially impressed by this work by Dutch Baroque artist Abraham Hendriksz van Beijeren (previously), a virtuoso of the category of pronkstillevens—that sumptuous portrayals of luxury goods, particularly of fish—for the cat’s obvious and feline lack of remorse. See a whole gallery at the link above.