Apparitions

Buried below all which came after they lay, still existent in some nebulous manner but hidden and changed and forgotten, like the tiny little child’s bones which were once, and in some way continue to be, inside all of us. Beneath the surface is a second face, the rejected or reformed one which was actually the first. The first face, the first gesture, the first straining motions toward harmony and beauty; The first chase after that most wily wild-goose. Though willfully obscured and subsumed within what’s judged more glorious, these presences haunt their old corporeal boundaries still. In just the right light you can see them appear like apparitions.

10.31. filed under: art. ideas. 3

Campi Phlegraei

or: Hamilton’s Flaming Fields

Paraphrased: The area around Naples was known locally as the Campi Phlegraei, or ‘flaming fields’, owing to the frequent and violent eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. William Hamilton (Britain’s envoy to the Spanish court at Naples) from his country house at the foot of the volcano, was ideally placed to witness and investigate the eruptions of the 1770s. The prevailing view at the time was of volcano was a purely destructive force. Hamilton sought to show that in a broader time scale, volcanoes had been responsible for the mountainous landscape and rich, fertile soils that characterized the area. Hamilton employed the Anglo-Neapolitan artist Peter Fabris to create sketches in situ to illustrate the work (Hamilton himself is pictured in many of the plates as the figure in the red coat). These were then reproduced in prints that were hand coloured individually by local artists by the application of gouache. The resultant work was published in 1776 (with a later supplement describing the great eruption of Vesuvius in August 1779) as Campi Phlegraei: Observations on the Volcanos of the Two Sicilies.

Take a closer look at this beauty at Glasgow University Library, Georgetown’s Campania site, Ingenious UK, Nortwestern’s Campania Felix, and Stromboli Online. Also Hamilton’s Apparatus.

10.30. filed under: art. history. people. science. 3

B-flat In The Dark Heart Of Perseus

Quote: “In the dark heart of the Perseus galaxy cluster, 300 million light-years from Earth, a supermassive black hole has been singing the same note for 2.5 billion years. Its tone registers 57 octaves below middle C and, according to scientists at NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Center, is a resounding B-flat. Yet, how is this possible in the vacuum of space? When relativistic jets, which contain material moving at close to the speed of light, slam into the hot gas that pervades giant elliptical galaxies and clusters of galaxies, they beat a ‘galactic drum,’ as it were. The jet acts as the stick, whereas the surface of the gas is the drum.”

There is currently a vote before the Galactic Senate to rename the entire area “The Ringo Quadrant.” Check out this Scientific American article for more. The image was adapted from here.

10.29. filed under: science. space. 1

Robot Folktales

Have you ever found yourself, sitting there at the office or behind a neighbors shrub, wondering, “What would a robot tell me if I weren’t so self involved and just gave it the chance to talk about itself?” I think we all have. It’s one of the great burning questions. Yet even in this magical age of information and technology, in which we enjoy the benefits of rocket ships and self-raking litter boxes, the answer has not been forthcoming. Or at least that’s what I thought before meeting Bluebell and Hector, a couple of genteel robots with tales to tell.

Tips for greater efficiency for example:
 
#2. Don’t waste time on decisions. Always choose the third from the left.

#3. Think about the bees. If they can succeed so can you.

#4 Get a nickname, preferably “The Colonel.” This will save you years of effort.

Hearty kudos go to Emma Payne for dragging our sorry asses into the red-wallpapered, naturalist illustrated, future. Because truly… any future in which I can’t listen to a robot recount its dreams or read me its latest poem is not one I want to spend a hell of a lot of time in. Brilliant.

 

 

10.28. filed under: bits&bytes. play. 5

What’s Funnier?

1) The fact that ABC news took James Lipton’s biography, read about the man’s entire life, his hopes and dreams, his accomplishments and tragedies, and took away from it one single fact which was deemed newsworthy. Quote: “James Lipton, the host of U.S. talk show, Inside the Actors’ Studio, once worked as a pimp in Paris, France.”

2) The fact that James Lipton, the host of U.S. talk show, Inside the Actors’ Studio, once worked as a pimp in Paris, France. If the Lipton of youth was at all similar to the Lipton of age, these must have been some of the most hysterically tumescent and malapropos transactions in the history of prostitution.

3) The fact that no matter what we make of our lives, no matter the peaks we climb, no matter our achievements, in the quiet hours, or in the twilight, we look back on the reckless and depraved things we’ve done, the things mothers immemorial have assured us we should be ashamed of, with such a smirking swell of romantic pride… that we act as if the person we once were, the one who did all those “stupid” things and who made all those crazy “mistakes,” were a dead ancestor who through sheer force of nostalgic time-refracted longing remains more alive than we the living… or that we cherish so sweetly the dead pimps inside of ourselves.

10.25. filed under: inquiries. 5

As The Sun Goes Down…

at the close of another hard day in the life, people can not help but indulge in some melancholic reverie. It is our nature. In pubs and gentlemen’s clubs and living rooms and on park benches, the drinks drunk and the songs sung, our eyes become distant as we think privately on all that we’ve had and lost. On this evening it’s Giornale Nuovo which occupies our thoughts, as its proprietor Mr. Aitch closes its doors for the final time and walks off toward parts unknown. Goodbye Giornale!

Just wanted to wish a fond farewell to Aitch. A classier and more gentlemanly blogger I have yet to come across. Giornale Nuovo will be missed. Here’s hoping his next project, whatever it may be, brings him happiness. 

10.22. filed under: personal. 4

Quote: Beginning in the early 1860s, Plains Indian men adapted their representational style of painting to paper in the form of accountants ledger books. Traditional paints and bone and stick brushes used to paint on hide gave way to new implements such as colored pencils, crayon, and occasionally water color paints. Plains artists acquired paper and new drawing materials in trade, or as booty after a military engagement, or from a raid. Initially, the content of ledger drawings continued the tradition of depicting of military exploits and important acts of personal heroism already established in representational painting on buffalo hides and animal skins. As the US government implemented the forced relocation of the Plains peoples to reservations, for all practical purposes completed by the end of the 1870s, Plains artists added scenes of ceremony and daily life from before the reservation to the repertoire of their artwork, reflecting the social and cultural changes brought by life on the reservation within the larger context of forced assimilation. – Enjoy the 1021 plates spanning 15 ledgers at Plaines Indian Ledger Art.

For more see: Tribal Arts, Kiowa Drawings, Fort Marion Artists, and Picturing Change.

10.22. filed under: art. history. humanity.

Above is an update of a piece created by Black Panther Minister of Culture Emory Douglas over 30 years ago. In the original it’s Gerald Ford being tugged into life by those puppet strings, and the companies are different, smaller really, with fewer banks and investment firms and conglomerates and LLC’s in evidence. On the whole though, the times… they aren’t a changin’. Check out Emory Douglas’ work at It’s About Time and at the MOCA who are exhibiting his work through January 08. For a bit more check out The Revolution Will Be Visualized. Previously: The Black Panther Coloring Boook.

10.22. filed under: art. design. history. ideas. people.

Butoh, Dance of the Dark Soul

“But by an altogether Oriental means of expression, this objective and concrete language of the theater can fascinate and ensnare the organs. It flows into the sensibility. Abandoning Occidental usages of speech, it turns words into incantations. It extends the voice. It utilizes the vibrations and qualities of the voice. It wildly tramples rhythms underfoot. It pile-drives sounds. It seeks to exalt, to benumb, to charm, to arrest the sensibility. It liberates a new lyricism of gesture which, by its precipitation or its amplitude in the air, ends by surpassing the lyricism of words. It ultimately breaks away from the intellectual subjugation of the language, by conveying the sense of a new and deeper intellectuality which hides itself beneath the gestures and signs, raised to the dignity of particular exorcisms.”

–Antonin Artaud, from The Theater of Cruelty (First Manifesto): The Theater and Its Double, 1938.

10.21. filed under: art. history. people. play. 4

Quote, “I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces, than make another trip over the Falls.” So said the impoverished 63 year old widow Annie Edson Taylor, who ought to know of what she spoke, being the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The clever kitten pictured with her here, not hearing the word “food” in the pronouncement, had no opinion.

More on her and the long line of Niagara Falls daredevils: Extraordinary Voyages, A History of Stunting at Niagara, Daredevils of Niagara Falls, How Going Over Niagara Works, Stunters and Daredevils, Niagara Falls Daredevils Ephemera, Anna Edson Taylor, Niagara Falls Daredevil Postcards, Stereoscopic Views of Niagara Falls, Stunts and Stunters, Watercolors of Stunts and Stunters, The Complete Guide to Niagara Falls

10.20. filed under: history. humanity. wtf. 2

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