Thursday, 4 August 2022

7x7 (10. 037)

@artbutsports: juxtaposing scenes from professional sports with classical painting  

nearly right: an intriguing Chinese language t-shirt circulating on social media  

sommelier: a Rube Goldbergesque contraption that we would be far too impatient for  

flying down to rio: a profile of movie star Lolita Dolores Martรญnez Asunsolo Lรณpez Negrette 

requiescat in pace: an obituary of antipope Michael, who believed that there had been no legitimate pontiff since Vatican II  

wikenigma: compiling a compendium of unknowns—via Pasa Bon!  

pop cars: visit an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s colourful automobiles alongside the classic models that inspired them

Friday, 8 July 2022

jellygummies

Another peripatetic, internet caretaker friend, Swiss Miss, directs us to the uncanny portfolio of 3D animation artist Sam Lyon based in Blairgowrie, Scotland whose clients include MTV and Adult Swim in the form of idents and bumpers.

Thursday, 7 July 2022

campi phlegraei

Envoy Extraordinary to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies based in Naples, diplomat, antiquarian and keen vulcanologist William Hamilton spent the majority of his consular career (spanning from 1764 until 1800) in the shadows of Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius and witnessed multiple eruptions, engaging illustrator Pietro Fabris to bring to life his recorded observations of this Field of Fire. Hamilton was also a noted collector of vases and one Roman glass piece acquired from the Barberini family and during a leave of absence in 1884 sold to the Duchess of Portland was an exquisite example of cameo work—inspiring Josiah Wedgwood’s jasperware.  Much more at Public Domain Review at the link up top.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

a quinquennial contemporary art exhibition

Curated and organized under the supervision of art director Harald Szeemann, the fifth edition of documenta (see previously), opening on this day and running through October (a hundred days) in Kassel, West Germany, with the theme of “Questioning Reality—Pictorial Worlds of Today” (Befragung der Realitรคt – Bildwelten heute) established the exhibition’s reputation as the most important, post war modern art show and set the model for future biennials. Wanting to liberate art and artefact from the museum setting, it strove to recontextualise work in politically critical and the provocative milieu that inspired them. documenta 5 also showcased Fluxus and happening art, which had not yet appeared by the last iteration. In all, there were over two hundred thousand visitors and dozens of participating artists and collectives including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Adolf Wรถlfli, Marcel Duchamp and Yoko Ono.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

8x8

cutting-corners: skimpflation and other consumer caveats   

section 30 order: Holyrood to hold second independence referendum in October  

edutainment: a new volume on poet Emily Dickinson concludes with a Math Blaster style game from LitHub  

wade in u.s.a.: protest is the court of last resort  

white rabbits: an unsung group of women sculptors employed during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893—via Messy Nessy Chic  

adobe flash: watch a time-lapse of a luxury villa with pool built out of mud and bamboo via Everlasting Blรถrt  

allons-y alonzo: assonances, alliterations and vowel harmonisation in French and other languages

coffee siren: the origins of the ubiquitous cafรฉ mascot (see also here and here)

Saturday, 25 June 2022

8x8

morning chorus: a suspended hotel suite in Sรกpmi cladded with three-hundred fifty birdhouses 

meanwhile margaret atwood says hold my beer: teach and student, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, spar over which dystopian vision is more plausible  

don’t say g*y: Disney introduces its first openly closeted cast of characters  

makeup and monobrow: a quick survey of the female eyebrow in art 

border and backsplash: the mosaic tile museum of Gifu—over ten-thousands exemplars, many rescued from buildings slated for demolition 

i had hoped that god would work one of his signature miracles and spare me from is also signature “horrible pain in childbirth” curse: the Virgin Mary reclaims her nativity narrative  

stonk-and-go: the US Securities and Exchange Commission weighs sweeping change to curtail meme-driven trades  

a doghouse for eddie: charmingly, Frank Lloyd Wright (previously) builds a home for a canine and his human companion

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

7x7

exascale: the world’s super computer might be surpassing benchmarks in secret  

hub and spoke: a suite of interactive maps that lets one scour the globe with creeping data spiders  


viral nightmares: more trials of an AI text to image generator  

witkar: a ride-sharing demonstration projection that ran from 1974 to 1986 in Amsterdam  

the firth of forth: some of the world’s best bridges for driving  

whiskey war: the fifty yearlong territorial dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island has been settled  

zeroth law: an AI ethicist believes Google’s LaMDA has attained sentience

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

magic eye

Whilst the illusory depth-effect will vary for the beholder and can wax and wane with different strategies, the aberration in colour perception called chromo-stereopsis seems to be caused by the gradient of diffraction caused by the different wavelengths between red and blue which cause the light rays to converge on the eyes sooner does register as proudly strange insofar as it mimics the effect with 3D movies but without the need for separate, polarised images. The same principle is often seen in stained glass windows that take advantage of the same levels of contrast a visual cue to discover size and distance. Much more from Tom Stafford at Mind Hacks at the up top.

Friday, 20 May 2022

6x6

from juno to jupiter: famed composer who championed the synthesizer Vangelis passed away, aged 79  

of angel and puppet: an exploration of innocence through the finger puppets of Paul Klee—see previously

the pรบca of ennistymon: a sculpture of a mythological chimera almost gets cancelled  

fern gully: spelunkers in China discover a massive ancient forest in a sinkhole  

capable of completing the kessel run in less than twelve parsecs: the Millennium Falcon was the last ship build at the Royal Pembroke Dockyard  

v’ger: Voyager 1 beaming back usual telemetry to mission control—via Boing Boing

Thursday, 19 May 2022

assunta

Dedicated and presented to the public for the first time on this day in 1518, the larger-than-life altarpiece by Renaissance artist Tiziano Vecellio (known mononymically in English as Titian) created for the Venetian Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari established the master as leading painter on par with contemporaries Michelangelo and Raphael (coming to be called “The Sun amidst small stars,” after the last line of Paradiso). This aspect of Marian theology, that the Virgin Mother was taken up into Heaven, was counted among various albeit popular adiaphora in the sixteenth century and not made an article of faith until 1950 and still unsettled whether she was raptured while still alive or assumed after a normal death—a difference of opinion that the artist acknowledges with a barely visible stone sarcophagus at the base of the image that allows parishioners to take it or leave it. Though bold and potentially scandalous for its departure from the conventional artwork of Venice, the work was ultimately well-received and earned him further commissions for the Doge. Though unplanned and a result of the chaos of the plague which killed him, Titian was interred in the same church in 1576, aged eighty-eight.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

salon des refusรฉs

A counter-exhibition with the official sanction of Napoleon III despite his traditional tastes in the arts opened on this day in the Palace of Industry in 1863 with a gallery of the rejected submissions received by the Paris Salon of the Acadรฉmie des Beaux-Arts, relenting to pressure by spurned painters and the public alike, who were finding the acceptance process increasingly fraught and favouring conservatism. Those showing the alternate exposition included many now-famous works by ร‰douard Manet, Camille Pissarro, Johan Jongkind and James McNeill Whistler.

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

el tres de mayo de 1808 en madrid

Considered by many to represent the first modern work of art for its departure from convention stylistically and in its message, the 1814 commission for the provisional government of Spain by Francisco Goya, The Third of May, depicts and commemorates resistance to the forces of Napoleon during the occupation and Peninsular War over access to the Mediterranean—the French garrisons originally invited under the pretence of jointly conquering and dividing Spain and award the Spanish prime minister the principality of the Algarve and not realising the ruse until it was too late. Picturing in media res the suppression of the junta uprising against the soldiers of the First French Empire, the rebels and their ranks facing the firing squad on Prรญncipe Pรญo hill portrays war as bleak and unheroic—in vast contrast to the usual posed compositions of charging victory and unflagging patriotism—and inspired Pablo Picasso’s Guernica and Massacre in Korea among other revolutionary and edifying works of art.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

rapunzelstiltskin


Though off-the-shelf as it were an under-nuanced in my hands, we are finding this text-to-image generator inexhaustibly engrossing (previously), especially once we were able to get a better feel of how it operated and could choose an accessible subject and prompt equally familiar thematic variations. We selected a coquetry of “Disney Princesses” with each panel filtered through the style of commercially popular, ideally mononymous, artist. Here is an assortment of some of the better and less nightmare-addled results, and mouse over the images to see the influencing painter. I think Rembrandt is my favourite.  Give Latent Diffusion a try yourself and be sure to share the outcome. 


 

 

 

Saturday, 30 April 2022

soft construction with boiled beans

Via Super Punch and Web Curios, we are directed to more composite artistic stylings of the next generation of Dall·e (see previously—try your own hand at a version open to the public here) with some incredible machined responses to human prompts: like enthralled forest animals around a campfire, Darth Vader on the cover of Vogue magazine (see also) or this IT-guy laying cable, coded “Hellenistic,” that came out looking like tortured Laocoรถn under assault by sea serpents. 


Try feeding the title (one of surrealist Salvador Dalรญ’s paintings, with the parenthetical premonition of civil war) into Latent Diffusion at the link above and see what you get. Results will vary.

 

Friday, 15 April 2022

universal day of culture under the banner of peace

Observed annually on the anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments—or short-form the Roerich Pact after its chief sponsor Saint Petersburg painter and philosopher Nicholas Roerich—in Washington, DC on this day in 1935 (incidentally the first international treaty to be signed in the Oval Office, Roerich I think is seated to the left of FDR) with the underpinning idea and legal standing that the defence of cultural heritage and artefacts is above their exploitation as nationalistic or propaganda purposes or wanton destruction and that the protection and preservation of cultural is always more important than military necessity. Lightly influenced by the Neo-Theosophical movement, the signatories’ wish was that this day would be “consecrated to the full appreciation of national and universal treasures” and hoped that it would become a secular catechism to remind us all of “creative heroic enthusiasm, of improvement and enhancement of life” through the edifying arts. The icon is of the artist’s design and has been flown at the poles and the world’s highest peaks and incorporated into the coat of arms of many institutions working towards world peace and conserving the culture of all humanity.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

narkotyki

We thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the artist, novelist and political theorist of the inter-war period in Europe Stanisล‚aw Ignacy Witkiewicz (*1885 - †1939, known professionally as Witkacy), witness to quite a bit of history, through the lens of his portrait factory, with many of his commissions documenting his drug intake—even if just the dregs of caffeine from a cup of coffee—with coded annotations whist painting, usually under a course of self-medication of synthesised mescaline, cocaine, nicotine and alcohol, aggressively marketed to the masses at the time, despite addiction and substance abuse being acknowledged problems, as relief for those broken by World War I. Wikiewicz died by intentional overdose after fleeing to eastern Poland after learning of the Nazi invasion on the western border when he heard reports of the Soviets approaching from the opposite flank. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.

saponification

Accomplished French chemist and professional skeptic whose research and work had a immense influence in several disciplines of science, mathematics and the arts as well as helping to establish the field of gerontology with himself a subject of study, Michel Eugรจne Chevreul (*1786) passed away on this day in 1889 in Paris, aged 102. Revolutionary work with vegetable oils and animal fats fundamentally changed the manufacture and availability of soap and candles—incidentally leading to an understanding of the pathology and treatment of diabetes. Having first honed his acumen as chemist in a dye and pigment manufacturing plant, Chevreul expounded several volumes regarding the theory of colours and their compliments which particularly informed Impressionist and Pointillist styles, after his career with oleic experimentation, he set his focus on disenchanting, disabusing the public of popular charlatanism and mysticism and raging against seances and table-turning, giving one of the first explanations of the ideomotor effect for mediums and dowsers. Having lived through the French Revolution, Chevreul was one of the seventy-two scientists and engineers commemorated on the first balcony of the Eiffel Tower and was only one of two honorees alive to see the Tricolour raised at the top of the structure.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

midjourney

Via Waxy who is beta-testing the site too, we are directed towards Parker Malloy’s playing around with a text-prompt art generation tool that’s netted some truly mind-blowing, dreadful excellence of a neural network’s ability to produce the stunning and arresting results. The instructions that produced these works are as follows: “Chicago skyline by Andy Warhol,” “Spider-Man-themed silkscreen,” and Shakespeare’s line from The Tempest, “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” Much more to explore at the links above—Joe Biden as a Grant Wood portrait is uncannily on point as well. 




 

stanze della segnatura

Born on this day (or possibly 28 March) in 1483 (†1520—on the same day), the artist mononymously known as Raphael—Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino—would go on to become one of the trinity of Italian High Renaissance art alongside Leonardo and Michelangelo, prolific despite his relatively early death, working in Umbria, Florence and finally in Rome under the patronage of two popes, the majority of his creations on display in the Vatican. Reflecting his Neoplatonic ideals, arguably his best known, commercially duplicated work is The School of Athens (Sculoa di Atene, complemented by The Parnassus and the Disputa on opposite walls), a suite of frescos commissioned between 1509 and 1511 to decorate the rooms of the papal palace with a celebration and revival of the arts and sciences and cameos of philosophers portrayed by contemporaries.

Friday, 1 April 2022

7x7

health officials warn of “second wave” of immersive van gogh exhibitions: symptoms to be on the look out for include a flattening of the artist’s legacy and an intense desire to watch Emily in Paris  

a book by its cover: the absurdist collages of Paperback Paradise  

match game: flawless digital recreations of classic TV game show sets  

111 west 57th street: super tall, slender residential tower tapering from Steinway Hall is an homage to the piano-maker  

earendel: the Hubble space telescope images the oldest, most distant star  

old dutch master: a series of fifteenth century Flemish style portraits recreated in an airport lavatory—see also—via Things Magazine  

achieve hover status—everyone else will want to hover but can’t: an AI (see previously) comes up with pranks to play on the user