Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Photo Sam Beebe/Ecotrust, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Although the first artist to come to mind after our discussion about mindfulness in art practice was Wolfgang Laib, I decided to go with this recent performance by Terence Koh instead. It struck me as interesting because it is a departure in tone from his usual practice, and because the location was Mary Boone, which is not the first place I think of when I'm in a meditative mood.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Peter Baldes, Associate Professor in Painting & Printmaking at VCU, will be giving a public talk tomorrow at 4pm in the Jarrell lecture hall in Jackson Library. I know it will include YouTube, probably some Legos, and definitely some art. Should be fun.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Take a look at the two images in this post. Which do you prefer? Which do you think is by a professional artist? (See the answer here.) For a paper in press at Psychological Science, Angelina Hawley-Dolan and Ellen Winner of Boston College collected 72 undergrads, 32 of which were studio-art majors, and showed them 30 paintings by abstract expressionists. Each painting was paired with a painting by a child, a monkey, a chimpanzee, a gorilla, or an elephant. The images were matched on superficial attributes such as color, line quality, and brushstroke, and subjects were asked which piece they personally liked more, and which they thought was a better work of art.
While class discussion might go to griping about abstract expressionists doing tenure sit-ins for their whole lives, this study reminds me that in the larger culture--even the larger culture of academia--as staid a thing as abstract painting can still be seen as threatening, childish, or a form of monkeying around.
Monday, March 7, 2011
Here's part of recent conversation with our poet laureate, W.S. Merwin.
Michael Silverblatt: I have a final question. It would once have been impossible for a poet to easily accept the invitation to be a country's poet laureate, this country's poet laureate. It certainly once would not have been possible for you. What makes it possible now?
W.S. Merwin: When I was invited to do it the terms of it were--we talked about that--and I was asked whether there was a theme that I would want to have to string the whole thing on, and I said, yes, if I accept to do it that will be one of the main reasons why I would do that, and the theme would be something I want to talk about. My words won't change anyone's behavior but the connection between the human imagination, which I think is the one really distinctive thing that humanity has, not intelligence or language--both of which are dubious in different ways, but imagination--the thing that allows us to sit here in the Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles and be distressed about the homeless people and Darfur and the whales dying of starvation in the Pacific and elated by a little girl getting a prize for playing Mozart in China when she's seven years old. Other animals have this quality but it's not primal in their lives. It's not the center, and it's what makes us. Each one of us is here in our imaginations seeing the world a little bit differently. I think this is our great talent. It's the source of compassion and it's the source of our respect for the rest of life and for our, oh I would say more than that, our gratitude for it, our love of the rest of life. And if we don't have that, we are in every sense deprived. We're narrowed down to little selfish blobs destroying the world around us and in so doing destroying ourselves.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Slack is extra – extra line in the rope. Slack is not keeping things tight. It means not pulling, or at least not pulling so much that you use up all the slack.
In animal training, slack is a reward. When a horse does what you want, you give it slack in the reins... (CONTINUE READING HERE - just copy and cut in your browser. Wasting too much of my "slack" time trying to figure this out.. )
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
While it had the biggest audience among political junkies and other followers of the Chicago mayor's race, this account in the Atlantic makes a good case for the groundbreaking achievement of the epic fake Twitter account @MayorEmanuel. While there have already been a number of interesting works looking at Twitter as a communications medium, @MayorEmanuel is a work of literary art created from within the medium, taking advantage of its brevity, its real-time nature, and its serial distribution to a core audience of followers.
It didn't hurt that @MayorEmanuel was often riotously funny, taking great and inventive advantage of former Obama Chief-of-Staff/next mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel's reputation for baroque profanity.