Friday, May 29, 2020

Perfume Genius As Egon Schiele

While we are all still at home, lots of people have taken the opportunity to find or rediscover a marvelous sense of creativity. One of the ways people are exploring creating is by staging recreations of famous works of art. The Getty Museum is one of the institutions encouraging people.

I am a big fan of this concept--I love when people recreate photographs of famous works of art, previously here, here, and here.

So I was delighted to come across these images--from three years ago!--of the extraordinary Perfume Genius (the nom de musique of singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas, previously here) in pitch perfect recreations of self portraits by the Austrian painter Egon Schiele, which appeared in the magazine Dinosaur.

Self Portrait 3 by Egon Schiele

Self Portrait with Peacock Waistcoat by Egon Schiele

Self Portrait as St. Sebastian 2 by Egon Schiele

Self Portrait 6 by Egon Schiele

Thursday, May 28, 2020

"The Day After My Birthday"

The Day After My Birthday

Balloons, cards, cakes, candles, fireworks that won’t explode,
my mom and dad, aunt and uncle, alive again, returned to their childhood homes,
I can visit them if I remember, if I discover the way,
past the neon mall in Rochester where I sat on Santa’s lap when I was five,
strangers pass me on the street, wish me happiness, promise me gifts next time
like puzzling artifacts from dreams, a keyboard, a costume,
Tibetan monks swimming in a perfectly landscaped rock quarry,
the shotgun I told the detective to destroy,
a box of French lemons and Brazilian honey cake,
the sound of some party I can never find,
all tomorrow’s plans are cancelled,
the crossing of the river, the ferryman angel,
an evacuation, a journey.
This new life has begun.


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

"Satie I" by Thylacine

A wave of gentleness in an empty world of distance. Thylacine (previously here) has reworked Erik Satie's "Gymnopedie I" into a lovely track he calls simply "Satie I."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day for remembering the people who died while serving in the country's armed forces. And I want to honor two of my own relatives who died in World War I and World War II fighting Fascism.

I am sure my relatives are rolling in their graves, after giving their lives--on a battlefield in WWI and in the air during WWII--to make sure that Fascism did not spread around the world and to the United States. That was a time when Republicans thought Fascism was a bad thing, unlike today. I know both of these men (one of them an Italian immigrant), if they survived and were alive now, would be appalled and outraged that Fascism is being institutionalized by the current administration and welcomed and encouraged by this administration's supporters. My relatives died so the very thing that is happening now, wouldn't. And it makes me infinitely sad and frustrated that these men seemingly died for nothing...and that segments of the population of this country support the Neo-Fascism coming from The Monster. It's shameful.

I honor my brave relatives and all who fought Fascism. I truly hope that we can turn the tide and ensure that they all died for the noble, uplifting principle of humanism.

"We are always at war. We spend twice as large a share of our GDP on the military as the world does in general. It’s the longest sustained period of open-ended combat in our nation’s history. And yet the country as a whole is barely affected. We have halftime ceremonies honoring the heroes. We let them get onto commercial airlines earlier, but we don’t think seriously about what they’re doing, the missions we’re asking them to undertake.

And, as a result, in my view, we have embarked on a series of unwinnable wars. We call people heroes and then send them to do things they can’t do....

When I was a kid in the ’50s and ’60s and then older in the ’70s, American pop culture reflected a country familiar enough with its military to make fun of it at times. You had shows like 'Gomer Pyle,' or 'Hogan’s Heroes,' or 'McHale’s Navy.'

You had works of art like 'South Pacific' or novels like 'Catch 22' and even movies like 'MASH,' respected the importance of the military and the important things it did that were heroic in the large scale, like World War II, but it was still made of real people with their real foibles.

But we — now we have started to have this artificially reverent view of the military that’s also distant and disengaged."
--James Fallows

Dwight Is Right

He seems to be speaking directly to 2020...

I like Ike.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Meanwhile, back on Earth...

100,00 dead.
More than the Vietnam War plus the Korean War plus 9/11 plus every school shooting ever.

Universal Perspective

And now, for some universal perspective...

Saturday, May 23, 2020

"The Flow" by Markos Kay

Markos Kay is a digital artist who has created the generative short film "The Flow." This astonishing short film tracks the building blocks of our reality from M-branes to Quarks, Quarks to Hadrons, Hadrons to Nucleus, Atoms to Molecules, and finally Biomolecules to Organelles. Although the film tracks concepts in quantum physics and quantum mechanics, you don't necessarily have to understand the concepts in order to appreciate the unimaginable, staggeringly small nature of everything we are seeing. We currently do not possess any ways of seeing things this small and such ideas are based on mathematic models of reality.

"The evolutionary play of quarks and electrons resulted in nuclei and atoms. The computational outburst of atoms resulted into molecules and star systems. The intricate relationships between molecules created the fascinating entities of DNA, proteins and membranes. The interplay of which created the many species of cells, which through an inherent need to reduce their entropy and ensure their propagation would congregate into organs and advanced interacting organisms. These organisms would grow interfaces that would mirror their predecessors, and in a game of survival of the fittest would evolve complex processing capabilities creating virtual worlds, artifacts and cultural codes.

The Flow looks at the supervening layers of reality that we can observe, from quarks to nucleons to atoms and beyond. The deeper we go into the foundations of reality the more it loses its form, eventually becoming a pure mathematical conception. The Flow visually imagines physical processes that we are unable to directly observe with any imaginable medium, while referring to modern physical theories and scientific visualisation processes. It alludes to ideas of digital physics, complexity and information theories as well as the concepts of universal Darwinism, emergence and supervenience. The Flow is Bohm’s holomovement, the universal flux.

These visualisations are not based on actual scientific data, but are visual representations of scientific theory. The aim is to challenge current scientific iconography by presenting a more complete picture of physical processes, based on current theory. The form and movement of these visualisations is generated by 3D computer simulations of particle systems, fluid/soft body dynamics and spherical harmonics. These simulations create an unpredictable dynamic motion that is recorded by a virtual camera, that refers back to the stochastic processes that drive complexity theory.

Using biomorphism to evoke a sense of life, the microscopic-biological visual language portrays these invisible entities as active organisms, as embryonic processes of reality and life. They are presented as a seamless stream of interacting information, each layer building the next in a continuous everchanging state of flux. We ourselves are made out of these interweaving layers of reality, which makes us informational entity complexes.

The Flow proposes a paradigm shift, from a fragmented understanding of reality to a conceptually unified viewpoint of the inner workings of the universe. Through this new viewpoint one can discover patterns within the stream of reality but also raise the question of whether reality stems from a single unified field, like the implicate order or a holographic projection. This viewpoint also allows us to postulate how this flow unfolds into increasingly complex levels of interaction and how it gives rise not only to genetic information but also to entire cellular systems, consciousness and culture."

Friday, May 22, 2020

Harvey Milk Day 2020

Today is Harvey Milk Day, an international day of remembrance and celebration of the life of political pioneer and gay rights activist Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978), organized by The Harvey Milk Foundation.

Harvey Milk, who was known informally as "The Mayor of Castro Street," was the first openly gay candidate elected to political office in California, and the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States, winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. His presence, life, and tragic assassination at the hands of a homophobic murderer (an event that triggered the White Night Riots) changed the texture, pulse, and meaning of life for gay men and women everywhere. Cleve Jones, a friend of Milk's and intern for Milk at the time of his assassination, put it succinctly: "His murder and the response to it made permanent and unquestionable the full participation of gay and lesbian people in the political process." The progress we have made and the continued success of gay rights was certainly helped by Milk and his courage. Anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him: "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us."

Thursday, May 21, 2020

"Wave" by d'strict

South Korean digital design firm d'strict has just created a startling LED project in Seoul entitled "Wave." It is shown on the largest high-definition outdoor advertising screen in South Korea. The anamorphic illusion is completely convincing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

BEAUTY: Glass and Neon--Laura Hart and Steve Archer

These beautiful and startlingly lifelike orchids are made from glass by English glass artist Laura Hart--but of course the neon centers give them away as a man-made object.

"Several years in design and development, the Orchis Exotica sculptures are the result of a union between 3D virtual sculpting, CAD (Computer Aided Design) and traditional glass making techniques. With tolerances of only 3mm between the petal layers, the advantages of 3D design technology and rapid prototyping come into their own. The sculptures begin life as virtual models, from which individual petals and the supporting ‘cradle’ are 3D printed in durable resin. The most complex lip petal shapes are reverse engineered in pliable silicone in order that they can be safely removed from final plaster moulds.

The bicoloured neon centres, created by Steve Archer, represent the flower’s reproductive organs and are themselves representative of a rare skill.

Having designed several neon art installations, I endeavoured to safely hide the unsightly electrodes, wires and transformers that are synonymous with neon, whilst ensuring the safe running, maintenance and longevity of the light source.

The resulting Orchis Exotica sculptures are simple to construct, maintain and situate as single artworks or as multiples for larger installations."

Unexpectedly, the scale of the orchids is quite large! Here, the artist stands below one of her creations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

BEAUTY: Man--Zebedee Row

I'm loving this fashion spread from Spook Magazine of Bohemian/hippie fashion featuring the lovely actor/model Zebedee Row. I do love me some hippie boy...