Wednesday, 4 May 2022

time out

Today marks the informal celebration of jazz pianist and composer and proponent of the cool jazz genre Dave Brubeck, the date expressed in US-format (see also) as 5/4 recalling the quintuple time-signature from the lead single “Take Five” from his best-selling 1959 album. Brubeck and his quartet (the song was composed by saxophonist Paul Desmond) were inspired to make this record after touring Asia and Europe at the behest of the US Department of State as cultural ambassadors the year prior and incorporated the exotic, intricate meters and motifs encountered abroad.

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.

Monday, 2 May 2022

the sinking of the general belgrano

Originally built as a Brooklyn-class cruiser for the US Navy and surviving Pearl Habour and sold to the regime of Juan Perรณn in 1951 and named after Argentine naval instructor and founding figure and with a loss of life totalling almost a third of the casualties of the entire campaign, a UK submarine torpedoed and sunk the warship, with a three-hundred and twenty-three members of its full compliment of eleven hundred perishing at sea, on this day in 1982. Following the April invasion of the Falkland Islands in response to occupation by the Junta, the UK declared a Maritime Exclusion Zone around the Malvinas and any armed vessel entering those waters would be subject to attack. Though outside the zone of exclusion, signals interception and a change in bearing suggested that the Belgrano was a threat and a legitimate target, though the fateful decision in this senseless war is still debated and whether the act was a war crime or the target was a lawful one is a matter of controversy, although most in the Argentinian navy concede the ship had taken an offensive tack. Whilst most media outlets maintained a neutral stance, the British tabloid The Sun reported on the story with the incredibly tasteless headline “Gotcha!” in early editions, arguably toning it down a bit with the front-page re-titled to “Did 1 200 Argies drown?” Tensions escalated and two days afterwards, the HMS Sheffield was sunk by a missile strike with a truce called after seventy-four days of fighting.

fan mail from a flounder?

Given the MST3K treatment for the first time on this day in 1999 in their tenth season, the surpassing bad 1971 sci-fi horror film also released under the titles ZaAt (the name of the chemical compound), Hydra and Attack of the Swamp Creatures relates the plot of a mad scientist first to transform himself into a catfish-like monster (sort of like the hybrid God-Emperor primate-sandworm) then drug an entire town’s water supply with the same serum to create a community of merpeople. The mad scientist then turns his focus to revenge on his fellow researchers who ridiculed his work.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

sama merdo

The group hailing from Kherson and active from 1993 to 2007, Piฤ‰ismo is a hard core punk band notable for performing in Esperanto (see below). In July of 1995, they organised and participated in a music festival in Hola Prystan’ called a “Concert of Loud Music in Incomprehensible Languages” and invited other Esperanto- and Volapรผk-speaking bands. In 2002, the again headlined a fest in Saint Petersburg called “Bored of the Conlangs” (see above). The title of their demo track translates to “Suddenly Crap.”


chairportrait: thirty iconic designer styles of seating depicted minimally by Federico Babina  

der pate technos: a celebration of the career and legacy of Klaus Schulze (RIP)  

recursive: vending machine gachapon—see previously  

the wretched, bloody and usurping boar: architecture and monumental authoritarianism in places like the Battersea Power Station—via Things Magazine with more on the property 

reverspective: the illusory paintings of Patrick Hughes   

eye-chart: JWST is now fully-focussed and calibrated and primed for new discoveries (previously)  

lookbook: a collection of sculptural furnishings that match their residence


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. 




family federation for world peace and unification

Founded on this day in Seoul in 1954 by controversial entrepreneur and messianic claimant Reverend Sun Myung Moon (†1920 - *2012 and hence the colloquial name “Moonies”), the Unification Church has its origins with the family of ์ƒ์‚ฌ๋ฆฌ converting to Presbyterianism whilst under Japanese occupation around 1930 and mostly abandoning traditional Confucianist beliefs (though there is a degree of syncretism with the departure from Nicene teachings) and took up Sunday school education and later instruction. Then visited by Jesus Christ, according to church lore, on Easter 1936, Moon was personally tasked with finishing the work left undone by the crucifixion—a commission Moon accepted after a period of prayer and contemplation, evangelising after the war ended in 1945. Venturing north of the DMZ with his gospel got Moon arrested as a spy for South Korea in 1946 but was released as fighting between the northern and southern factions started in earnest and authored the movement’s scripture and theological basis, Divine Principle, which limned the church’s core beliefs of remission of debts and indemnities to restore balance with God. Though some see its publications, activism, subordinate businesses as a sort of prosperity gospel, the Unification Church’s network and holdings are minuscule in comparison with the Catholic Church or the Church of Latter Day Saints.