Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Quartet for the End of Time/The Crystal Liturgy

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Simon F.A. Russell writes:

Olivier Messiaen‘s Quartet for the End of Time premiered on 15 January 1941 in the prisoner-of-war camp where the composer was interned during World War Two. To celebrate the 75th anniversary Sinfini Music commissioned me to create an animation around it. Working with Prof. Marcus du Sautoy I used the piece to explore Messiaen’s complex relationship to mathematics, music and religious belief.

Written by Leisureguy

27 May 2022 at 1:12 pm

Posted in Art, Music, Video

Picasso’s self portraits through the years

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Definitely worth a look: a series of self portraits by Picasso, beginning in 1896, when he was 15, and going through July 3, 1972, when he was 90.

Written by Leisureguy

27 May 2022 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life

Comparison of 4 guitars priced at: $200, $2000, $20,000, and $200,000

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The video will allow you to judge only appearance and sound, but (as is pointed out) playability is also very important, and they comment on that.

Written by Leisureguy

20 May 2022 at 11:18 am

Radu Lupu – Schubert – Impromptu no.3 in G flat major D899

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And now, for something completely different:

See also “Happy Birthday, Radu Lupu!” — “Trying to understand his phrasing, timing, or the effect his bear-like posture at the keyboard has on the sound yields only partial results. The whole is greater than the sum of its ingredients.”

Written by Leisureguy

21 April 2022 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Art, Music, Video

Why does this lady have a fly on her head?

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Written by Leisureguy

19 April 2022 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Art, Video

Strange brief videos

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Here’s a compilation:

Written by Leisureguy

17 April 2022 at 4:52 am

Posted in Art, Humor, Video

Strandbeest Evolution

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Written by Leisureguy

15 April 2022 at 7:13 pm

Making a mechanical whale – Short Version

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Long version also available.

Written by Leisureguy

14 April 2022 at 12:33 pm

Why do so many cinematographers prefer this one camera?

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Written by Leisureguy

10 April 2022 at 9:25 am

Posted in Art, Movies & TV, Technology

Bradley University’s game design program continues to stand out, ranking 9th in the world

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Full disclosure: Ethan Ham is my son. But beyond that, Jody Holz’s article for WCBU describes an exceptional program in game design. The article begins:

In 2021, Bradley University’s game design program ranked 9th in the world as one of the best schools to study game design, according to the Princeton Review. It also was crowned as the highest ranked game design program in Illinois.

Receiving this much attention on a national scale for the past seven years has led the program to skyrocket in popularity compared to when it was first introduced on campus in 2000 as a multimedia program under the Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts. In 2009, it became its own Interactive Media department.

Two years later, the game design concentration was introduced, and by 2015 the game design concentration became its own major, with the addition of a few other majors related to designing games. As of now, the game design major has about 150 students in the program, and another 40 students are enrolled in the game art major, which is only two years old.

Ethan Ham is a professor of game design at Bradley University, as well as the department chair for Interactive Media. He said a lot of people get confused on what game design entails.

“It isn’t game art. We have a major in game art…but in the game industry, what game design really means is coming up with the rules to the game, the world of the game, the story of the game,” explained Ham.

Ham said the game design curriculum at Bradley goes even further than that. All students also learn how to program games, as well as become familiar with augmented and virtual reality because that tends to be what lands them a job after college. This becomes incredibly valuable because, according to Ham, landing a job in game design is no easy feat.

“It’s hard, and that’s one thing I always want our students to know because I want them to have the grit to keep pushing and getting it, but our students do pretty well,” Ham said.

In 2021, 97% of game design students either went on to graduate school to continue studying games, or got a job that they reported to be satisfied with. Contrary to what many may think, a . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

7 April 2022 at 7:23 pm

Why Christopher Alexander Still Matters

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Michael W. Mehaff writes in Planetizen:

This week [week of March 22, 2022 – LG] came news of the passing of Christopher Alexander, widely described as one of the most influential architects and urbanists of the last half-century. Robert Campbell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic for the Boston Globe, probably spoke for many when he observed that Alexander “had an enormous, critical influence on my life and work, and I think that’s true of a whole generation of people.”

Certainly, a remarkably diverse group of architects, urban planners and researchers claims to have been influenced by Alexander, including Rem Koolhaas, Andrés Duany, Bill Hillier, and many more. Many other widely known theorists and authors were influenced by him too, including Stewart Brand, author of How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Builtand The Whole Earth Catalog.

Alexander’s influence also extended far beyond architecture and urbanism. Ward Cunningham, inventor of wiki (the technology behind Wikipedia), credits Alexander with directly inspiring that innovation, as well as pattern languages of programming, and the even more widespread Agile methodology.  Will Wright, creator of the popular games Sim City and The Sims, also credits Alexander as a major influence, as do the musicians Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel. Apple’s Steve Jobs was also said to be a fan.

Moreover, one can also find direct applications of Alexander’s pattern language methodology in product design, engineering, anthropology, sociology, biology, and many other fields. In fact, the chances are that every day, you are using—in your iPhone, on your computer, when you use Wikipedia or Google, or in countless other ways—some form of Alexander-inspired technology.

What is it about Alexander’s work that has made it so useful for all these fields? Moreover, what does his work say about where we are today in urbanism and architecture, and in design and technology more broadly—and where we need to go?

Most people who know Alexander’s work are most familiar with his 1977 book (written with six student co-authors), A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. For many people, this “pattern language” methodology offered a very helpful and appealing tool to help to organize a design process, and moreover, to create a web-like interrelation between the elements of a design. But there was a deeper set of ideas behind this methodology—one that many people found to be revolutionary and inspirational.

For Alexander, we’ve been getting some things very wrong—most centrally in our approach to the relationship between technology and life. In fact, we’ve embraced a deathly form of technology, one that is killing the planet, and certainly killing human habitats. (That goes for financial technology as well as planning and design technology, in addition to other kinds of technology.) The core problem is that we have failed to understand the living processes going on all around us, and instead of supporting them, our more mechanically oriented technology is destroying them. This need not be so, however, if we understand the kinds of mistakes we are making today.

Alexander made a contrast with the remarkably robust and beautiful structures of past societies. Whatever their faults, we can see that there was some kind of “unself-conscious process” at work in creating the richness and beauty of these cultures, and we can learn much from that process.  Indeed, it is now critical that we recapture this life-supporting process, albeit in a necessarily more self-conscious form. Our goal now must be to recapture a “timeless way of building”—and a timeless kind of technology that is more supportive of life.

Alexander believed that a “timeless way of building” is not . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

6 April 2022 at 7:24 pm

Peculiar Characters by Sophie Woodrow Flaunt a Bizarre Array of Costumes and Hybrid Features

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I love these figurines, and an article in Colossal has photos (by Ben Dowden) of many more. Worth a look.

Written by Leisureguy

3 April 2022 at 2:35 pm

Posted in Art

Ukrainian Stamp Design Contest

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The above is one of the entries in a contest to pick a stamp design that illustrated Ukrainians’ commitment to defend their country. The design shown commemorates an event at the beginning of the Russia-Ukrainian war when the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island told a Russian warship “Go fuck yourself”. More information and other designs can be found in Kottke’s post and also in a 20-stamp slideshow on Facebook.

Written by Leisureguy

25 March 2022 at 11:38 am

St. Patrick’s Day with the Gardiner Brothers

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Written by Leisureguy

17 March 2022 at 10:30 am

Posted in Art, Daily life, Music, Video

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Denyse Thomasos, a stunning artist

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Denyse Thomasos, “Sparrow,” 2010
 acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 72″ (© courtesy the estate of Denyse Thomasos and Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto)

The Wife and I just saw a stunning exhibition of paintings by Denyse Thomasos. Some are large, others medium sized, some small. The one above is, you’ll note 5 feet by  feet. Two in the exhibit were enormous — perhaps 6′ x 10′. Click the image to enlarge it, and perhaps click the enlarged image to enlarge it further.

The paintings are intricate and textured, and in person the colors are absorbing and evocative. The lines suggest perspective and depth, and also suggests objects and perhaps structures, but viewing them is a dream-like experience in that what you think you see shifts and changes from one minute to the next. 

I loved it. Portia Priegert, the editor of Galleries West and based in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples, has an excellent write-up of the exhibit we saw, which runs through Sunday. She writes:

Several mesmerizing paintings by the late Denyse Thomasos, a Trinidadian-born artist who grew up in Toronto, bear the names of birds. It’s an emotive gesture, calling to mind diasporic transience and migration – forced transport across the Atlantic, fuelled by the hateful ideologies of slavery, as well as more recent journeys across the Mediterranean by Africans seeking refuge from desperate conditions at home. 

Other avian metaphors can be found in Thomasos’s stunning solo show, Odyssey, on view at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria until March 13. Essentially, her paintings reflect aspects of the built environment, evoking shifting permutations of boats, coffins and prisons, as well as any number of dwelling spaces, ranging from apartment buildings to shanty-town huts. Occupying an ambivalent space between abstraction and representation, these elaborate and layered constructions can resemble floating islands approached from above – a bird’s-eye view. 

Sparrow, for instance, painted two years before the artist’s death in 2012 at age 47 from an allergic reaction during a diagnostic medical procedure, feels aqueous. It offers a

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

10 March 2022 at 5:46 pm

Posted in Art, Daily life

A Digital Archive of Hieronymus Bosch’s Complete Works: Zoom In & Explore His Surreal Art

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Open Culture has a column by Ted Mills on how to access the work of a very interesting artist. The column begins:

Very little is known about the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. And I am going to suggest that is a good thing. Would it help to know that this man who created truly inspired, endlessly fascinating views of heaven and hell, of creature-filled gardens of debauchery, had a particular point of view on humanity? Or that he thought there was a “correct” way to understand his paintings? Perhaps it’s the mystery of the man that brings us closer to these works, to study them in detail, and to delight in their playful horror. And for those who really want detail, the Bosch Project is the place to find it.

The Bosch Project (aka the Bosch Research and Conservation Project) began in 2010 as a way to bring together the artist’s 45 paintings “spread across 2 continents, 10 countries, 18 cities, and 20 collections” for in-depth research, available to everyone.

The year 2016 marked the 500th anniversary of Bosch’s death, with celebrations in the artist’s birthplace of Hertogenbosch and a revolutionary exhibition in Noordbrabants, which stirred controversy when it disputed the authenticity of several major works in the Prado Museum in Spain, added two new attributions, and restored nine works. . .

Read the whole thing.

About Ted Mills:

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

Written by Leisureguy

5 March 2022 at 11:34 am

How to read ‘Ulysses’? With gratitude.

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With gratitude and with others, it would seem. Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite writes in The Harvard Gazette:

Four years ago, Sorcha Ashe ’22 enrolled in the seminar “Complexity in Works of Art: Ulysses and Hamlet” with a lofty goal: read one of the most challenging novels in the modern English canon.

“‘Ulysses’ has kind of a lore around it as being an impossibly complicated book, and I definitely thought that it was going to be beyond me when I started,” said Ashe, an integrative biology concentrator from St. Paul, Minnesota. “But I had always wanted to read it because my father is Irish and it’s his favorite book.”

Guided by instructor Philip Fisher, Felice Cowl Reid Professor of English, Ashe and her classmates journeyed together through James Joyce’s Irish modernist classic, which was first published in book form in February 1922. The rewards were equal to the task.

“I found it to be one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I’ve ever had,” Ashe said. “To get to talk about those challenging parts and the enjoyable parts with other people made the experience so much more valuable than it would have been if I had read it on my own. It was such a joy to hear different people’s takes on the same set of words.”

Ashe’s struggle and delight with the novel echo century-old refrains from Joyce’s contemporaries. Fellow modernists including Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot reacted with confusion and envy to the author’s combination of rich prose, shifting perspectives, and Homeric allusions in a meandering interior story that spans but a single day.

“Virginia Woolf was quite defensive about ‘Ulysses’ when it came out, because she said it was boring and overrated,” said Beth Blum, an assistant professor of English and Joyce scholar. “But after sitting with it more, she saw what he was trying to do and appreciated it. She began to see that Joyce was, as she put it, trying to get thinking into literature.”

Eliot lamented: “It is a book to which we are all indebted, and from which none of us can escape.”

The book’s hold on literary culture is matched by few others, Blum noted. Internet searches yield multiple “how-to” guides for reading the novel, numerous essays debating whether one should even try, and arguments about which version should be read — with or without typos. All of these elements have coalesced into mythology, said Blum.

“Reading a book like ‘Ulysses’ represents a form of cultural capital and education, but the novel is also associated with a more democratic experience of humanity through the common man, Leopold Bloom,” she said, referencing Joyce’s protagonist. “Approaching the novel as a personal challenge allows you to reckon with difficulty and learn to persevere in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty. I think that is part of the reason why it continues to appeal to people and endures.”

Reflecting on her College experience with “Ulysses,” Ashe said the novel altered . . .

Continue reading.

Note this post on which edition/printing to read. The inexpensive Kindle editions, for example, are generally from the first printing and riddled with typos.

Written by Leisureguy

28 February 2022 at 9:02 pm

Using colour to tell a story in film

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27 February 2022 at 7:37 am

Epitaph on a Tyrant

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Epitaph on a Tyrant

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after,
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

— W.H. Auden (1907-1973)

Written by Leisureguy

24 February 2022 at 10:39 am

Posted in Art, Daily life, Ukraine

The giant chainmail box that stops a house dissolving

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Wow.

Written by Leisureguy

21 February 2022 at 4:58 pm

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