Brain Pickings has a review of Arabic Graffiti, "an ambitious new anthology by Berlin street culture tastemaker Don Karl and Libyan typographer Pascal Zoghbi exploring the use of Arabic script in urban context."
From Jersey City:
. . . tracks the great graffiti dispersion from styles first created in New York by Lee Quinones, Dondi, Futura 2000 and others and that soon enough made it to Philadelphia, Chicago, the West Coast and the world.
The Los Angeles Times termed “Art in the Streets” a “bombastic, near-overwhelming cavalcade of eye-candy,” a crowd-teasing pull-quote if ever there was one. And while it’s too early to know how the exhibition will fare with critics, there is little reason to doubt Mr. Broad’s assertion that it will likely pull the crowds in and engage a new public, most particularly “audiences that would not otherwise go to museums.”
An exhibition of street art that opened last week has been responsible, the authorities say, for a new wave of graffiti on buildings, lampposts and mailboxes in downtown Los Angeles, forcing a fresh crackdown on an activity that the police thought they had brought under control. And it has put them in the awkward position of trying to arrest people for doing something that is being celebrated by the city’s cultural establishment.
For about forty eight hours I was in full on weirdness mode as I explored a country I'd never been in. Objects, from lights to smells, seemed to float in front of their usual resting places, leering towards me like characters in an Expressionist painting. . . .
Then things began to settle down and I started to see foregrounds and backgrounds again. I started to be immersed in a world. It struck me that the sensual ether of causality floats in front of the illusion of structure. That's why you don't see it. Because you are looking for something behind the structure. The secret is right out in front of it, in your face.
You encounter a friend and notice there is something strange about her, but you don't exactly know what. You scrutinize her and finally realize that, e.g. she changed her hair style. Or perhaps you don't figure out what changed and instead must be told.
The Thatcher effect or Thatcher illusion is a phenomenon where it becomes difficult to detect local feature changes in an upside down face, despite identical changes being obvious in an upright face. It is named after British former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on whose photograph the effect has been most famously demonstrated.
|Image courtesy of Des Pickard|
I had bountiful opportunities to try new stitches and patterns. As long as the negative spaces were densely quilted, it didn’t matter what was in them. I tried various hexagonal-based “snowlflake” patterns, like the one above. In the midst of my experiments, Leah posted this Icicle Lights pattern, which is much easier than hex-based ones. Below it is an homage to DNA molecules, and a “scaly micropebbling” experiment.
David Hays was my teacher. This is the eulogy that I delivered at his funeral in the Summer of 1995.
How DOES LANGUAGE engender love?
Bodies have been discarded less than 100 feet from well-traveled highways and parkways. The dead are close, but not that close. “You just don’t think there’s any place that people can dispose of a body anymore,” said Robert Sullivan, the author of “The Meadowlands: Wilderness Adventures on the Edge of a City.” “You think every place is noticed. But it’s not. There’s so many places that are mysterious. There’s two maps of New York overlapping here. The map of places that are somehow forgotten and beautifully mysterious, and the map of people that are forgotten.”
In the March issue of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Mr. Klein relates an intriguing theory. He says that Mr. Culhane broke the boundaries of his craft when he worked on the Woody Woodpecker cartoons in the 1940s, going well beyond the kind of commonplace puckishness that supposedly led later animators to stitch frames of a panty-less diva into “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” Mr. Culhane’s stunts, Mr. Klein posits, were of a higher order. He worked ultra-brief experimental art films into a handful of Woody Woodpecker cartoons.
“We were just trying to put one over on them,” Mr. Culhane years later told Mr. Klein, who had asked him about the bawdy imagery in the course of a visit and correspondence shortly before Mr. Culhane died.
This book is thus about building blocks. When I was a child I had an extensive pile of wooden building blocks: various sizes of squares and rectangles, with the rectangles coming in several different length-to-width ratios, round rods that could serve a columns or as logs, some triangles, some arches, various relatively flat pieces, and so it. It was a miscellaneous collection, building blocks from various sets, but also odds and scraps of wood my father gave me or that I found here and there.
I loved building things with these blocks. I particularly remember building gasoline stations and ocean-going freighters. I surely must have build forts and castles, and then rockets and space ports. I certainly spent time building the tallest possible tower. In some cases the challenge was primarily imaginative: How do I make something like this? In other cases, there was surely an engineering challenge, e.g. just what is the best way to create that tall tower? No matter what I made, I used the same set of blocks.
Beethoven’s Anvil is about the building blocks and design principles, not so much of music, but of the brains and societies that create that music. My argument is simply that these building blocks—mostly neural circuits and social structures—are necessary. I have no particular reason to believe that I’ve defined the complete set; in fact, I have some some small reason to believe that the set is not yet complete, nor ever will be. The nervous system is plastic, taking the impress of its environment. As culture molds the human environment, so it molds the nervous system. I see no end to culture’s possibilities. Thus, it seems to me quite possible that our descendents a century or two from now will have nervous systems that differ from ours in small but critical ways.
Thus I like to think of this book as an exercise in speculative engineering. Engineering is about design and construction: How does the nervous system design and construct music? It is speculative because it must be. The purpose of speculation is to clarify thought. If the speculation itself is clear and well-founded, it will achieve its end even when it is wrong, and many of my speculations must surely be wrong. If I then ask you to consider them, not knowing how to separate the prescient speculations from the mistaken ones, it is because I am confident that we have the means to sort these matters out empirically. My aim is to produce ideas interesting, significant, and clear enough to justify the hard work of investigation, both through empirical studies and through computer simulation.
These are ephemeral objects indeed, these jams. It's quite precious to have records of them. Anyone can download an mp3 of some “live” performance, with an ease that smoothes over the strangeness and difficulty of playing together, let alone of simply coexisting.
Trying to figure out why jamming is different from classical playing will take me some time. There are obvious reasons. You're not reading music, you're “reading” your inner state and your instrument and the people in the room, and a tune that you may be working on, perhaps a standard that you're reworking. This leads me to the inescapable conclusion, which I hinted at below, that the configuration space of jazz includes “classical” music as a much smaller, rather oddly stabilized and crystallized island within it.
There were a few comic moments in the attorney’s office when it sounded as if we were ordering from a sushi menu: we’ll have the maguro in the event of severe and permanent incapacitation, please, and two ebi with extra wasabi if terminally ill. Hold the intubation, and no blood products, thanks—we’re trying to cut down.
So it occurs to me that one of the more pleasant aspects of a giant nuclear fireball that consumes all life on earth is that it would render all these difficult decisions moot. I have therefore decided to abandon my commitments to procedural liberalism and political left-progressivism, and to begin working for the We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now party. What’s in it for me, you ask? Peace of mind, mainly.
Just as long as we all perish by being vaporized in the bombs’ total destruction radius, and are not left to wheel shopping carts around the ashen, blasted post-apocalyptic landscape like something out of Cormac McCarthy’s latest. Because that would suck.
|Michael Bérubé, Founder of the We Are All Now Giant Nuclear Fireball Party|
To join the We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now party, and achieve the serenity and peace of mind promised by our name and elaborated in our platform (which includes a plank of yummy irradiated Copper River salmon), simply follow the lovely and talented Oaktown Girl’s suggestion in comment 48 of this thread, and finish the sentence,
One of the more pleasant aspects of a giant nuclear fireball that consumes all life on earth is…There’s only one proviso: you must use your captcha word in the completed sentence.