Saturday, 30 November 2019

andreasnacht

The apostle opting to be crucified saltire to differentiate his martyrdom from that of Jesus and patron of Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Scotland, Romania, Barbados, Burgundy, miners (hence the crossed pick and hewer that symbolises the trade), fishmongers, pregnant women, rope-makers, butchers and singers—interceding on counts of sore throat and other respiratory distress and incidence of lycanthropy, this day and evening marks the Feast of Saint Andrews.
Brother of Peter and as fishermen become fishers of men, Andrew is referred to as Πρωτόκλητος, the First-Called, apostolic succession in the Orthodox tradition following him rather than his sibling (Andrew introduced Peter to Jesus), as it does in the Roman Catholic Church.  Syncretically recognised as the beginning of Advent and marking the end of pre-winter slaughter of livestock, before seasonal trappings overtook folk superstitions, this night was especially viewed as an ideal occasion for divination, carromancy—predicting the future by interpreting the form hot candle wax takes cooled in water (see also)—especially, and magic spells. Furthermore, it was believed that from this night until the eve of the Feast of Saint George, it was a particularly active time for vampires and werewolves, with the latter being granted the license to prey on whatever they choose and, natural or supernatural, the power to speak to humans on this night.

tovvangar

Our gratitude once again to Super Punch for directing our attention to a comprehensive and interactive lesson from the LA Times charting out the villages and sacred sites of the aboriginal people of the Los Angeles basin and Southern Channel Islands, the Tongva, who called their world, bound roughly by what today is called Palos Verdes to the San Fernando Valley. In addition to exploring a map with the metropolis overlaid with native settlements, there is a brief language primer that aims to reconstruct the tongue that became moribund in the early twentieth century but never went extinct, thanks to the culture that’s trying to revive it.

Friday, 29 November 2019

history is written by the victors

As a demonstration project to illustrate how potentially fraught our near-future and future historians might interpret our contemporary period and how self-assured we can be ourselves, a team under the auspices of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology present In Event of Moon Disaster, Richard Nixon delivering his counter-factual contingency address prepared had something gone awry with the Apollo 11 lunar mission and the crew were irretrievably stranded on the Moon. Through technology might get better at debunking deepfakes and insulating us from the sound-bite struggle, human brains don’t have the bandwidth often to delve further into a story and uncover a true accounting.

peanuts gallery

Having had this top detail of a comic strip panel inhabiting my image archives for some time now and not really understanding where it was from, I appreciated having it put into context with this nice, grateful recollection of the eminent author and visit to a past exhibition that brought some insight to the interior (both mental and stylistic) of Charles M Schulz’ characters (see also) that particularly underscore questions of generational divides and how perspective is born of attention as much as intention.
One might not have paid much notice to backgrounds of comics (and cartoons) that contemporary eyes might label as sparse and minimalist but they were really couched in a MidCentury Modern sentiment that informed the entire aesthetic. Note the furnishings by Ray and Charles Eames and other iconic designers in the  panel (March 1953) to your right alone, which was faithfully recreated with actual artefacts of the age, and more will creep into focus next time you peruse the funny pages.

uplifting stats

Via Pasa Bon!, we discover a yearlong campaign by Information is Beautiful (see previously), inspired by among other things the disabusing trends illustrated in Hans Rosling’s Factfulness, to release an infographic daily that features enlightening good news and positive trends (trajectories and the headlines not necessarily being the same thing). From their recently featured charts we glean among other things that Iceland had legally mandated equal pay for equal work for men and women, the precipitous fall of the cost of renewable energy, Africa and South America is quashing malaria and there is now a fourth type of chocolate aside from dark, milk and white with ruby.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

a thanksgiving pagent, any number of indians

 
A fairly standard casting-call apparently for children’s plays of this particular genre—via Strange Company.

keydesk and console

A little sad to have read earlier in the week that the future of another local speciality museum might be in jeopardy, I decided it was time to finally make the time to visit a nearby institution whose fate might also be in question should it not attract enough patronage, and I was glad that I did.

Housed in the fifteenth century Gothic Schloß Hanstein—the manor originally called Kemenate that remains as testament to the past prosperity and importance of Ostheim vor der Rhön, the Orgelbaumuseum presents over nine hundred years of pipe organ history from the court of Charlemagne onward, honouring the nearly four-hundred-year tradition of pipe organ expertise, innovation and manufacture specific to this area.
 There are two factories in town associated with the museum that outfit and offer maintenance services for churches and other venues and it’s a matter of pride to expect that whenever there’s any news having to do with the instrument, installation or repair work, the institution is involved and gets a mention.
There are reproductions of workshops from different eras that illustrate the technical development and mechanics of performance and fidelity, which really makes one appreciate the scope and skill of craftsmanship, and quite a few antique units on display—including a few models that one can play and learn about how the sound is produced and modified. The miniaturisation and mobility that delivered the box organ for use in private homes is also pretty astounding. Try if you can to get out and patronise your local institutions to let them know that they are appreciated.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

how did we get here?

Via a circuitous daisy-chain of links, (which are the best kind), first by way of this site then referred on with a warm hand-off in the form of a post that collected cinematic titles that are synonymous with hypertext markup language tags: body, form, h4 , etc.) we are acquainted with the Monkees movie Head, a plotless and lightly derivative but creative romp and vehicle for the eponymous but well-lauded soundtrack, the screenplay co-written by Jack Nicolson. Here’s a sample below (the third musical performance in) from the rather darkly-themed yet upbeat “Ditty Diego” about deadbeat parents. The movie also featured (once a rarity) the actual Happy Birthday Song, performed by the standard’s authors. Terri Garr and Bela Lugosi also lend their vocal talents to several of the tracks.

this is my last resort

Though we need little reminder of how beastly and gruesome people can be, this day marks the veneration of the sainted martyr James Intercisus (whose name comes from the Latin for “cut into pieces”) tortured by being slowly dismembered before beheading in 421 AD in what is near the present day city of Dezful in southeastern Iran by the Shanhanshah Bahram V, a political counsellor of the preceding King of Kings Yazdegerd, of the Sassanid empire.
The method of maximising suffering is goes by various names and this alleged (possibly greatly exaggerated for dissuasive ends) death by a thousand cuts (James was unincorporated by only twenty-eight) and is representative of the wider prosecution of Christians in Persia (only provoked due to their attacking Zoroastrian temples) and was used as a pretext, casus belli by the Eastern Roman Empire to invade and conscript replacement troops to defend against the raids of the Huns in the north. James’ story is recounted in the Book of Psalms and the Golden Legend. An uneasy treaty was brokered a year later, returning everything to the state it was before the war—or status quo ante bellum.

mootrix

In an experiment that lends credence to the idea that we are living in a massive simulation, we learn via Slashdot that Moscow area dairy farmers have outfitted their cows with custom-made virtual reality headsets to furnish them with nicer scenery and thus boosting their overall welfare.  While the cows’ well-being seems to have benefited, it is yet inconclusive if the experience yields more or better milk—as was the stated goal, and it’s also unclear how traumatic it might be for our bovine friends to be ripped back to the reality of their bleak environs from a pleasant summer pasture.

font specimen

Previously we’ve studied the penmanship of Trump through a typeface called what else but Tiny Hand and rather shied away from this slightly Disneyesque crisp style since it was sort of endearing—that is, until one considers his signature below, which has this sonic quality of a demon screech from some alternate timeline, but with his latest rash of missives, any graphologically (which is a pseudoscience) redemptive qualities have been quite squandered, so we are enjoying this Quid Pro Quo Sans sourced from a variety of exemplars. As an added public service the font will auto-correct a range of particularly Trumpian substitutions and at the link one can experiment with crafting one’s messages on official letterhead.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

terraformering

The Martian Desert Research Station in remote, arid Utah—the experimental living area affectionately referred to as the Hab—has been cleverly and economically (both in regards to cost and space) is being furnished by Swedish homeware and lifestyle giant IKEA. The heuristic exercise is a valuable object lesson on scarcity of materials, durability, sustainability and repurposing and has garnered some important insights and anticipated various challenges.

racing stripes

A clever artist at a forum dedicated to the aesthetics of Vaporwave (previously) has made the Cybertruck a bit friendlier and less severe with a splash of Solo Jazz, a 1992 teal and purple design pattern created by Gina Ekiss, having since achieved cult status, for paper cups and plates.

mandatory syria

Negotiated and ratified in secret in May of the same year, the Manchester Guardian published an invective report detailing the memorandum of understanding between Britain and French ambassadors Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot (see previously here and here) regarding the partition of a soon to be defeated Ottoman Empire days after it was presented to the Bolshevik government of Russia, whom first exposed it to the public, the arrangement contingent on its assent. With parallels to the present and storied abandonment of the Kurds, the terms of the treaty amplified and circulated to the British readership, the government was embarrassment by its betrayal to the Arabs, whom had been promised an independent homeland in the Levant (which was not on the map) in exchange for their revolt that destabilised the Empire and precipitated a victory for the Triple Entente. The consequences of this line in the sand are still informing and shaping geopolitics more than a century later.

i want to destroy the passerby

Later included on their eponymous first album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, the band’s debut single Anarchy in the UK was released on this day in 1976. Giving voice to a generation of disenfranchisement and poor prospects, this anthem launched the genres of punk- and anarcho-rock, reclaiming and reshaping pop music from its nadir of blandness and timidity, called out in the lyric—“I use the enemy” or NME, the New Musical Express, a rather tame hit digest that would later come to champion the Sex Pistols and similar groups.
 

hanging chad

Though George Walker Bush would not be officially awarded the presidency until the Supreme Court issued its split-decision nearly a month after election day and halted ballot re-count, on this day in 2000 Secretary of State of Florida, Katherine Harris certified Bush as the winner, having purged many voters (felons and other disenfranchised individuals) from the rolls, narrowly defeating contender Albert Arnold Gore Junior and losing the overall popular vote but thus able to carry the majority of the Electoral College. Coverage of the debate and controversy cemented the colour-coding conventions of US political parties (previously), whereas prior media coverage had been inconsistent or idiosyncratic, often following UK schemes which portray conservatives as blue and liberals as red.

Monday, 25 November 2019

6x6

four-score: an exploration how the language of counting might influence numeracy

sundowning: museum visits as therapeutic interventions seem to ease symptoms of dementia

look, a fruit-loop: the actual libretto—you’ve been singing Dies Iræ all wrong (see also)

satellite nyetwork: a retired gentleman elaborately decorates receiver dishes informed by traditional Russian folk art, via Nag on the Lake

dataviz: Information is Beautiful curates the year’s superlative infographics, via Kottke’s Quick Links 

zero-to-sixty: a century of evolving European motorways as part of the Victoria & Albert’s series on Accelerating the Modern World, via Things Magazine 

Sunday, 24 November 2019

musical instrument digital interface

Unless you’re backup keytar, strings and frets are usually the essential parts of the instrument, the exception being this rather clever barcode guitar from designer and musician James Bruton. Scanning chords across the four necks feeding information to a MIDI synthesizer, Bruton is able to create some interesting sounds and shares how you might be able to create something similar.

low poly

In addition to the all-terrain mobile unit as an accessory to Elon Musk’s newly released prototype Cybertruck—which people joke looks like a computer rendering from a time when graphics processing with polygon mesh wasn’t nearly so advanced as it is presently—will have the optional package outfitting the cargo bed as a pop-up camper for exploring the actual outdoors and not CGI side-scrolling.
What do you think? Critics are bashing the design, forgetting about the experimental wedged wonders of the Italian automotive tradition that were all the rage not so long ago, but we’d seriously support getting such a car for our next vehicle—especially considering a range of nearly eight hundred kilometres to a charge and over-engineered performance that allows the truck to zip about faster than finest luxury cars, not to mention the target price that’s half of the suggested manufacturer’s asking-price.

lama glama

Via Pasa Bon! we are treated to designer and carpenter Ashley Fuchs’ Llama bookcase with detailed instructions on creating one of your own with some plywood and a jigsaw. I think the project and figuring out the pattern would also be an intensive study in llama anatomy, heel, fetlock, pastern, elbow, flank, barrel, gaskin, hip and hock. More library bookshelf and bookshelf-adjacent ideas curated here too.

Saturday, 23 November 2019

buena vista distribution company

Though I can’t say that all of these titles are exactly deserving of our nostalgia, we did appreciate this list of cult classics on offer from the newest entrant in the walled-garden-secret-garden-bridge-to-terabithia of streaming television—especially for the recommendation of the Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) and sequels and Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959), both which were quite affecting for an impressionable child. Wanting to be both Tony and Tia, I am just learning that the actress portraying one of the preternaturally gifted orphans of the the former is Kim Richards, a future Real Housewife (see also) of Beverly Hills.

post-production

Though feeling far less cinematically informed than in previous years, this rundown of 2019’s Box Office portrayed in Simpsons’ screen captures brilliant curated by Hannah Woodhead (via Kottke) taught me everything I need to know to catch up. The Lighthouse from Max and Robert Eggers starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattison was one I got right away (and the treatment reminded me of these memes of last year’s Academy Award contenders) but be sure to check out the whole thread at the link above.

maclunkey

From the Hollywood script writers’ podcast Story Break (previously here and here) who’ve imagined and pitched such properties as Jar-Jar: A Star Wars Story, we’re treated to their signature treatment of another subtitle re-mastering of the franchise and how such a directorial decision could have larger implications—including not in the least the opportunity (nay, duty) to explore what the change signifies. In the original edition of Star Wars: A New Hope, a pivotal, expository scene Greedo, a bounty-hunter from the planet Rodia commissioned by Jabba the Hutt, encounters his target, smuggler Hans Solo, at the cantina of Mos Eisley (“a wretched hive of scum and villany”) and girds himself to deliver Solo to Jabba dead or alive.
Originally, Solo is depicted as killing Greedo, a decision which the director later recants, fearing it portrays one of the Rebellion’s unwilling heroes as cold-blooded and alters footage to reform Solo’s moral ambiguity by initially in 1997 having Greedo fire his blaster first and then in another special edition, portraying both firing simultaneously in 2004, in 2012 owing that the original portrayal was canon and then just within the past week debuted another edit to mark the occasion of its intellectual heirs’ premiere of its streaming service, this time with the exchanged subtitled except on Greedo’s last words before dying which audiences transcribe as either the title or possibly a Huttese phrase “ma klounkee.” Those last words still a mystery one fun tangent that the storyboarding session explored early on was that the Bounty Hunter’s Tale was a Star Wars-Groundhog Day mash-up and Greedo was caught in a Force temporal loop—the only escape being to finally kill Han Solo and we’ll go through an infinite number of variations, the same day repeated over and over again, accompanied by the musical stylings of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes. Do check out the whole episode at the link above and find out where they ultimately took this idea.

areopagitica

With the extended expository title, A speech of Mʳ John Milton (previously) for the Liberty of Vnlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England, published this day in 1644 during the height of the Civil War is one of most impassioned and enduring appeals to the freedom of expression and invective against censorship.
Referencing a speech delivered by fourth century BC Athenian oratory Isocrates from the Areopagus hill facing the Acropolis arguing for restoration of the power of the council for conducting tribunals, John Milton’s thirty page pamphlet criticises the government for refuting the works of authors without due examination and quashing publication before allowing the public to weigh on the merit of an article or essay. “A good Booke is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, imbalm’d and treasur’d up on purpose to a life beyond life.” Though not immediately securing press freedoms with parliament continuing with its pre-publication censorship with the intent to suppress what it deemed libelous or seditious, Milton’s polemic communicated to the public the importance of publishing houses being independent of government influence and how their methods were arbitrary and prone to backfire.

Friday, 22 November 2019

a domestic political errand

Concluding the last scheduled day of public testimony, former top Eurasian advisor to the White House, Fiona Hill yesterday echoed the ominous warning that Robert Mueller issued at the end of his investigation regarding election interference and the internecine political distrust that has been engendered all around and demanded, unflinchingly and in no uncertain terms that Republican representatives and those supporting Trump stop peddling the false narrative that Ukraine, to the exclusion of Russia, was behind the meddling in the 2016 election.
Discounting the irreproachable evidence gathered by foreign and domestic intelligence services and corroborated by the press in order to put a legitimising spin on Trump’s criminal behaviour, they have embraced an incendiary and disproven conspiracy theory and turned to rumour mongering—propagated by the same Russian Agitprop machine, to denigrate and disparage Ukraine and those connected with it and construct a reason to withhold military aid other than Trump’s smear campaign against the Bidens. Ukrainian ombudsman David Holmes also appeared before the panel as a witness, reaffirming previous testimony regarding incriminating telephone calls between Trump and the EU ambassador.

unser sandmännchen

While production had already commenced at a West Berlin studio for release to coincide with the beginning of Advent on 1 December, East German television (previously) debuted its own, arguably pirated version of the beloved Hans Christian Anderson character on this day in 1959.
From then on, until reunification in 1991, two versions of the children’s show were broadcast—the above for Eastern audiences and “Das Sandmännchen” for the West. The Eastern version was ultimately far more popular and widely embraced, especially by a population who saw corporate misappropriation of a beloved character to promote a capitalist message. Aired in the evenings, just before bedtime, the closing verse went: “Kinder, liebe Kinder, es hat mir Spaß gemacht. Nun schnell ins Bett und schlaft recht schön. Dann will auch ich zur Ruhe gehn. Ich wünsch euch gute Nacht.” During the 1980s, there was a regular circulation of companion characters, Pittiplatsch, Herr Fuchs, Frau Elster, from the show assigned to give the Abendgruß according to a set schedule.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

chicken kyiv

Clearly recalling a college professor explaining to the class the nuance of how Kosovo was stressed was a political issue, this highly glommable extract from the impeachment hearings on the native pronunciation of Kyiv (Київ) really appealed to us. Exonymy is potentially problematic enough on its own but is doubly compounded with the introduction of geopolitics and proxy warfare. If anything good comes of annexation and awkward alliances, it would be the dropping of the definite article the and that the capital is unnuanced more pronounced as Keeve.

u.c., unwilling companion

Our gratitude once again to internet custodian Everlasting Blört for reacquainting us with the illustrated reflections of Art for Housewives.
Do hang out there and surely you’ll find something resonant, insightful and engrossing immediately but as good a gateway as any are the author‘s impressions of intrepid journalist Martha Gellhorn (*1908 – †1998), whom referred to her first husband, Ernest Hemingway by the above term of endearment. I want to know more about Gellhorn, especially after reading the three lessons that the author gleaned from her autobiography: without memory, experience is useless, perseverance is our excellence and sadly no matter how celebrated a woman is in her own right, society accords her helpmeet extra attention.

as I testified previously, with regard to the requested white house call and white house meeting, the answer is yes

Per my previous post indeed, we’re wondering if that minor (comparatively) diplomatic gaff that involved first diminishing and dissing the European Union at the beginning of the year before quietly re-credentialing the supra-national organization was not some sort of premonition, previsioning of how the testimony of his own ambassador to the EU (the slightly amnesic and fellow billionaire hotelier appointed by Trump himself) might lead to downfall of the whole regime, pulling all his creatures of the court under with him. The undeniable implication that all were party and privy to the motivations behind Trump’s conditional and transactional foreign policy, driven on self-interest alone, leaves the administrative completely exposed and defenceless. Just as superior orders (Befehl ist Befehl) is not an exculpatory argument, placing wrong-doing out in public does not make it right or more palatable.

climate emergency

Collegially following the lead of its peer (though ever peerless in many regards, the Oxford English Dictionary (previously) defines its above selection as Word of the Year as “a situation for which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and to avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it.”  The nomination, backed up with irrefutable scientific evidence as well as trending tracking, is attended by other shortlisted terms including ecocide and eco-anxiety.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

indians of all tribes

Under the terms of surrender in the 1868 Treat of Fort Laramie negotiated between the United States and the Arapaho Nation and the Lakota peoples all federal holdings declared surplus were to revert to Native Americans (see also) and the prison island of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay closed since 1963 should have qualified for repatriation.
And while there was significant advocacy and agitation in the interim, issues of social justice and representation came to a crescendo when on this day in 1969, a group of eighty-nine protestors embarked for what would become a nineteen-month, peaceful occupation of the island—spurred to action in part due to the loss of a community centre to a fire a month earlier. Activists hoped to establish a residential institute of Native American studies, a museum, an ecology centre and a spiritual retreat. Despite the tenacity of leaders like Mark Martinez, Garfield Spotted Elk, Adam Fortunate Eagle and Kay Many Horse and celebrity support from Jane Fonda, Marlon Brando and Credence Clearwater Revival, the occupiers were ultimately removed, power-cuts and the blockade by the coast guard ultimately making their situation untenable. Bureau of Indian Affairs employee and amateur film-maker Doris Purdy captured some of the scenes early during the event. The island and its historical buildings subsequently were designated as part of the Golden Gate Recreational Area and managed by the National Park Service, though groups of protesters return annually to commemorate Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Unthanksgiving.

☔️

Via Kottke‘s Quick Links and quite resonant of a couple of recent demonstrations (here, here and here) of coding and data visualisations in real-time, we are introduced to this Emoji Storm from programmer and software engineering Robert Lesser which culls characters and decontextualises Twitter reactions as they happen.  Off-hours, it can be a meditative, steady downpour but during peak hours, it can be a real torrent.  Après nous le déluge.  Methodology and full instructions given allowance—as well as other empowering tutorials—at the link above.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

8x8

mudras: nifty exercises for your hands and wrists

holy rollers: A reformed, formerly anti-LGBTQ fast food franchise announces it will make amends

konmari: life style guru and evangelist of de-cluttering now wants to fill that tchotchke-shaped void in your soul

flea circus: the marvelous performing Savitsky cats, via Everlasting Blört

between two ferns: eight-two famous and infamous interviews animated

anti-archiv: a massive cache of photographs and home movies from the DDR, via Things magazine

discerning audiences: light entertainment from 1972

self-policing: a browser extension uses machine learning to highlight AI generated content, via Waxy

chaîne de télévision

Coinciding with the Principality’s National Day (La Fête du Prince) chosen by the reigning sovereign, Albert II, to mark his investiture ceremony in 2005, his father Rainer III on this day back in 1954 held the inaugural broadcast of the oldest extant private television network in Europe (the first, the regional Télé Saar started broadcasting in February of that year and was also funded by the Prince and his backers), Télé Monte Carlo, established to showcase his upcoming wedding to Grace Kelly—nearly two years in the planning.  Due to an arrangement with then French president François Mitterand, the joint Franco-Monégasque venture reached viewers as far away as Montpellier in south-central France. Though the airwaves are far more crowded these days, TMC continues to show a variety of programmes, including quite a bit of original material covering the royal family and aspects of politics, culture and economics in Monaco.

Monday, 18 November 2019

rabbit redux

Reminiscent of those murderous bunnies found in the marginalia of medieval manuscripts and ever successive cottontale congress thereafter, Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Lewis Carrol’s White Rabbit and the Killer Bunny guarding the Grail, artist YiMiao Shih plumbs UK politics with a tapestry in the tradition of Bayeux reimagining pivotal moments as Rabbrexit.

de scrutarius

Having just had an exchange with my landlady over an email missive reputedly from myself having landed ceremoniously in her spam box (albeit it’s a bit tangential to the topic but I’m noticing that the circle of people that I care about are getting a lot of junk, phishy correspondence from each other disguised as earnest and heartfelt messages from one another—a dialogue that would make the occasional dip into that holding area worthwhile all on its own) and assuring her that I would dispatch a text message if there were an actual emergency, this thoughtful essay on the nature of urgency and authenticity in the lost art of correspondence, appreciating that communications are bi-directional and not just artillery for firing demands from Adam Gopnick struck as especially resounding and true. Not only do we concur with the assessment that there are distinct gradations when it comes to insistence versus aspiration that separates texting from email (or even those soul-shattering seconds of an unexpected telephone call), we moreover found the observation deliciously ironic that the protocols of the algorithms and filters that consign suspect mail (rightly or wrongly but usually erring, on balance, to segregate junk from everything else) are informed by the letter-writing etiquette and structure that we’ve been taught as polite and correct. A sincere form of flattery, the automated guardians of our inboxes target that which follows the structure of salutations, surprising developments (something worth writing home about), a detailed proposal and a proper closing for our epistle whereas less formal spam might find its way through to the recipient.

nagai go manga gaiden

Via Miss Cellania, we are graced with the musical stylings of Italian show-master and performer Stefania Rotolo (*1951 – † 1981) in her fantastically choreographed number of the theme song to the Super Robot manga series known to audiences familiar with the artist as Goldrake—or as its title for English-speaking export markets, Force Five: Grandizer, the inspiration for Voltron, Thunder Cats, etc.

Confusingly and roughly contemporaneously, the title also referred to an adult comics series. Those are fantastic costumes and look like Flash Gordon surplus. Rotolo was best known for hosting a popular television music programme called Piccolo Slam—Little Hits—in the late 1970s and launched her recording career with studio album, Uragano Slam (1978)—referencing the show and her nickname, “Hurricane Girl.” Her rising stardom was cut tragically short by cancer, but she is still fondly remembered and a dance prize has been awarded annually since 2011 in her name.

triadic ballet

In keeping with the theme of all the pieces featured in this year’s Performa in New York City that paid tribute to the Bauhaus movement on its centenary anniversary, Kia LaBeija’s contribution takes the outline of the third act of Oskar Schlemmer’s 1922 experimental choreography (previously here and here) and expands it as a showcase not only for her talent but moreover as a reappropriating of a school which for all its subsequent influence and resonance was rather still a product of its age and the domain of the few—not representative of the reach that the members’ aspired for.  The costumes not only exaggerate the dancers’ figured and invites one to think on the function that belies our conceits but also what sort of prosthetics and inventions we can avail ourselves of, not just in terms of image and health but also as something enhanced beyond human weaknesses.  Much more to explore at the links above.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

courtesy ensign

Recently trending on a well-visited webring focusing on the vexillological arts, we are delighted to discover a number or national and sub-national banners reflagged in the style of that of Kazakhstan, the template designed by Shaken Onlassynovich Niyazbekov (*1938 – †2014) in deference to the flag of the Soviet Socialist Republic. Charged with the emblem of the Sun or some other guiding principle, a bird of prey soars beneath with the hoist decorated with a complex ornament. Variants pictured include the United States of America, Canadian, Prussia, Brazil and South Korea.