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Thursday, 22 September


Watch the Surrealist Glass Harmonica, the Only Animated Film Ever Banned by Soviet Censors, (1968) Open Culture

The Soviet Union’s repressive state censorship went to absurd lengths to control what its citizens read, viewed, and listened to, such as the almost comical removal of purged former comrades from photographs during Stalin’s reign. When it came to aesthetics, Stalinism mostly purged more avant-garde tendencies from the arts and literature in favor of didactic Socialist Realism. Even during the relatively loose period of the Khrushchev/Brezhnev Thaw in the 60s, several artists were subject to “severe censorship” by the Party, writes Keti Chukhrov at Red Thread, for their “’abuse’ of modernist, abstract and formalist methods.”

But one oft-experimental art form thrived throughout the existence of the Soviet State and its varying degrees of state control: animation. “Despite censorship and pressure from the Communist government to adhere to certain Socialist ideals,” writes Polly Dela Rosa in a short history, “Russian animation is incredibly diverse and eloquent.”


Many animated Soviet films were expressly made for propaganda purposes—such as the very first Soviet animation, Dziga Vertov’s Soviet Toys, below, from 1924. But even these display a range of technical virtuosity combined with daring stylistic experiments, as you can see in this io9 compilation. Animated films also served “as a powerful tool for entertainment,” notes film scholar Birgit Beumers, with animators, “largely trained as designers and illustrators… drawn upon to compete with the Disney output.” 

Throughout the 20th century, a wide range of films made it past the censors and reached large audiences on cinema and television screens, including many based on Western literature. All of them did so, in fact, but one, the only animated film in Soviet history to face a ban: Andrei Khrzhanovsky’s The Glass Harmonica, at the top, a 1968 “satire on bureaucracy.” At the time of its release, the Thaw had encouraged “a creative renaissance” in Russian animation, writes Dangerous Minds, and the film’s surrealist aesthetic—drawn from the paintings of De Chirico, Magritte, Grosz, Bruegel, and Bosch (and reaching “proto-Python-esque heights towards the end”)—testifies to that.

At first glance, one would think The Glass Harmonica would fit right into the long tradition of Sov...


‘Dragon Gloves’ with crochet scales Dangerous Minds

I’m digging these colorful “Dragon Gloves” with crochet scales by Mareshop on Etsy. I normally hate fingerless gloves, but these are...


John Deacon of Queen gets his palm read by a Japanese fortune-teller in 1977 Dangerous Minds

Getting to know John Deacon with the help of Japanese fortune-teller Kiyoshibo Yasou in Music Life magazine (Japan), 1977. Larger resolution can be seen here.

“Since the left hand of the index finger is longer than the ring finger, will be...


Le Pont du Gard, Hubert Robert, 1786 The Lion of Chaeronea

Le Pont du Gard, Hubert Robert, 1786


A Colorful Organic Blob Overtakes a 100-Year-Old Building Facade in Lodz Colossal


Hyperbolic, 2016. Wire armature, rip-stop water proof and UV protective nylon, cable ties.

Artist Crystal Wagner just unveiled her latest site-specific installation titled “Hyperbolic” in Lodz, Poland, a piece that creates an unusual juxtaposition of an unwieldy organic growth against the backdrop of a 100-year-old art nouveau facade. Wagner is known for her large-scale mixed-media installations using a variety of materials like braided nylon, wire mesh, and cable ties that create colorful forms affixed to buildings or suspended from galleries. This latest work was created for the UNIQA Art Lodz project curated by Michal Biezynski.

You can see more of Wagner’s work on Instagram and at Hashimoto Contemporary. Hyperbolic will remain on view through December, 2016 and you can see more photos of it on StreetArtNews. (thnx, alley!)






Death and the Lady: Shirley Collins is the Secret Queen of England Dangerous Minds

Photo of Shirley Collins by Toby Amies

This is a guest post by London-based artist and filmmaker Nick Abrahams

“She burns as passionately and beautifully as ever, a fountain of snow and flame, a queen singing over a dreaming land....


Get ready for tedious and predictable aging punker outrage: Converse has Clash Chuck Taylors now Dangerous Minds

It’s hard to say that punk ever died, given that both its distinctly non-hippie anti-authoritarian spirit and its fashion sensibilities have survived over four decades now, but its ongoing vigor doesn’t stop its own lifelong adherents from proclaiming it dead anyway. Some would pin the death of punk on the Sex...


Holy Mashup Bat-fans!: What if Batman and The Joker got genetically spliced? Dangerous Minds

Picture if you will a world where superheroes are genetically spliced with super villains to create freakish hybrids who deal justice and terror out in equal measure. A world where no good deed goes unpunished, and no evil unrewarded. Welcome to the world of BATMAN™: Rogues Gallery….

DC Comics...


#673 The Truth About Lies


After you broke away
I kept finding splinters
in the hall and in the bed
and even in my heart.

But you took the tweezers with you.
Well what would a man do with them?

6 August 1989
It’s been almost seven years since my first wife left me at this point. I had to look it up. I couldn’t’ve even told you the year. This September it will’ve been thirty-five years and I’ve still not got over it; I still get angry when I think about that time. For years after my daughter used to ask me why her mum and I broke up—the same question ever few years—and then one day the question changed; she wanted to know how on earth the two of us have ever got together in the first place. I’m not sure I answered that one any better than I’d answered her previous inquiries but I did my best. I wonder what her mother told her. I assume she asked her the same questions. 

For the record I now own two pairs of tweezers, an ordinary pair and a pair with handles like scissors. Not sure I’ve ever used either of them.


Seven Reasons to Attend the 2016 Common Field Convening, a National Gathering of Alt Art Spaces in Miami Hyperallergic


2015 Common Field Convening at Soap Factory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo Courtesy: Sean Smuda)

350+ arts organizers will come together in Miami, Florida October 20–23 for the 2016 Common Field Convening. This year’s annual gathering of alternative organizations, spaces, and projects will focus on arts organizing in a time of accelerated capitalism. Hosted by BFI (Bas Fisher Invitational), Cannonball, Dimensions Variable, and Locust Projects, #CommonFieldMIA will include panels, breakouts, skillshares, art parties, and more.

Here’s why you should get your tickets today:

7. Miami is a thriving gateway between the cultures of the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe. Beneath the city’s glossy commercial fairs and galleries, Miami is home to a thriving ecosystem of artists’ organizations.

6. Convening panels and breakouts will address themes of gentrification, organizational transitions, collective action, race and gender equity, and critical pr...

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Wednesday, 21 September


Classic covers from ‘The Monster Times’ Dangerous Minds

I couldn’t begin to tell you why The Monster Times failed in only four years. It seems like a great idea—a sci-fi/horror/comics tabloid newspaper with poster quality cover art? It’s not like horror fans are so small a niche, but the paper launched in New York in 1972 as...


A list of the dirtiest-sounding town names in America Dangerous Minds

I can’t stop laughing at this list of the lewdest town names in America. I live in Ohio, so “Pee Pee Township” is the winner for me. But there’s also Wankers Corner, Oregon and Dickshooter, Idaho that give Pee Pee Township some stiff competition.

Now some of these...


The Literate Pigeons, and Other News The Paris Review

He thinks he’s people!

  • I used to take such pride in my literacy. “Look at me!” I would shout, running down the street in my I’M LITERATE T-shirt. “I can read!” But now the pep is out of my step, because apparently even pigeons can learn to read: “Through gradual training, the birds moved from learning to eat from a food hopper, to recognizing shapes, to learning words … After narrowing down to the four brightest birds out eighteen, over eight months of training, the advanced-class pigeons were taught to distinguish four-letter words from nonwords. They were even able to tell the difference between correctly spelled words and those with transposed characters, like ‘very’ and ‘vrey,’ or words with different letters included to make them completely misspelled.”
  • And that means it’s only a matter of time until the pigeons will be texting, too, because that’s what everyone does now. What do you think the pigeons are gonna do, use the telephone? The phone call is dead. Don’t even bother making a friendly call, unless you’re a needy loser. Timothy Noah tells us, “The phone call died, according to Nielsen, in the autumn of 2007. During the final three months of that year the average monthly number of texts sent on mobile phones (218) exceeded, for the first time in recorded history, the average monthly number of phone calls (213). A frontier had been crossed. The primary purpose of most people’s primary telephones was no longer to engage in audible speech … Calling somebody on the phone used to be a perfectly ordinary thing to do. You called people you knew well, not so well, or not at all, and never gave it a second thought. But after the Great Texting Shift of 2007, a phone call became a claim of intimacy. Today if I want to phone someone just to chat, I first have to consider whether the call will be viewed as intrusive. My method is to ask myself, ‘Have I ever seen this person in the nude?’ ” 
  • When people think of the Marquis de Sade, they think of kinky sex. Which is fine, of course. But when Lucy Ives thinks of him, she thinks of office life: “The Marquis de Sade occupies an unusual place in French letters … For all Sade’s aristocratic indulgence of peculiar whims and profligate spending on whips and whores, he is also one of the first major authors of what we might term modern bureaucratic literature. His writings are extraordinarily, pruriently concerned with acts that can be accomplished only by people working in groups who follow, in an orderly fashion, arbitrary rules and regulations … In this sense, they foreshadow the social world of the contemporary office.”


A Sight at the Museum Hyperallergic

Hai-Hsin Huang,

Hai-Hsin Huang, “The MET #2” (2016, detail) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)

Just past the metal detectors at the entrance to the Metropolitan Museum, 11 people cluster together, tablets and smartphones raised in front of their faces, photographing the central information desk and the arches beyond. Just to the right of the kiosk, five people squeeze and half-squat together while one of them angles his selfie stick. On the other side of the desk, a family of six gets its bearings: four by looking at their immediate surroundings through screens; one by queuing up her audio guide; the sixth, a baby in his stroller, by quietly waiting. Right next to them — awkwardly close, in fact — a stylishly dressed man (a local, surely) types on his raised smartphone, possibly sending a friend a mocking message about the device-toting family. Inside the galleries, the situation is even more chaotic — three friends leap amid the Assyrian reliefs while a fourth attempts to photograph them mid-jump; visitors lounge around the Temple of Dendur consulting their phones and ignoring the antiquities; wandering museum-goers, faces bent toward their devices, strike silhouettes eerily similar to the ancient and headless marble statues looming nearby. These are not scenes from a recent Saturday at the Met — though they could be — but details from paintings and drawings in Hai-Hsin Huang’s exhibition A Museum Show at the Chinese American Arts Council.

Hai-Hsin Huang,

Hai-Hsin Huang, “The MET #2” (2016) (click to enlarge)

Huang’s earlier works (one of which, full disclosure, I included in an exhibition I curated three years ago)...


W.E.B. Du Bois Creates Revolutionary, Artistic Data Visualizations Showing the Economic Plight of African-Americans (1900) Open Culture


Few people have done more to accurately foresee and help shape the century ahead of them as W.E.B. Du Bois. And perhaps few intellectuals from the early twentieth century still have as much critical relevance to our contemporary global crises. Du Bois’ incisive sociology of racism in The Souls of Black Folk, Black Reconstruction in America, and his articles for the NAACP’s journal, The Crisis, remained rooted in a transcontinental awareness that anticipated globalism as it critiqued tribalism. Du Bois, who studied in Berlin and traveled widely in Europe, Africa, and Latin America, also became one of the most influential of Pan-Africanist thinkers, uniting the anti-colonial concerns of African and Caribbean nations with the post-Reconstruction issues of Black Americans.


In 1900, Du Bois attended the First Pan-African Conference, held in London at Westminster Hall just prior to the Paris Exhibition. Attendees presented papers on “the African origins of human civilization,” writes Ramla Bandele at Northwestern’s Global Mappings, on African self-government, and on the imperial aggression of European countries (including the host country). Du Bois arrived armed with what might have seemed like a dull offering to some: a collection of statistics. But not just any collection of statistics. Though they’re now an often banal staple of our everyday working lives, his presentation used then-innovative charts and graphs to condense his data into a powerful set of images. 


Once again anticipating global trends of over a century hence, the activist and sociology professor at Atlanta University created around 60 eye-catching data visualizations, “charts and maps,” writes the blog...


Two Poems by Kit Schluter Hyperallergic

Our new poetry editor, Wendy Xu, has selected two poems by Kit Schluter for her monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

*   *   *


Detail of Sophia Narrett’s “Stars Align” (2014), embroidery thread and fabric, 53 x 33 in (photo by Jillian Steinhauer for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)


A moment when nobody on Earth is speaking


They’re making me balance a plate on my nose

like a seal

but they won’t stop crying

aerial view of a town without color

night of brass & humiliation

the walls are crumbling

we’re in a garden the sky is falling

the plate is hard to balance

scattered with lead shot

it came from nowhere at all

it isn’t a plate it’s too many days

if it falls down

(all the little fingernails)

they won’t hold their candles by my window anymore

that time were slicker than an iris

I loosen my throat prick my tonsils till they burst

my legs are not wicks rising into fire

spell my name twice your ear to my skin

be your own wick no one is behind the fence to talk to

spell my name backward

where is my mother

fix her headache

spell her name inside out

in the corner of some grassy gymnasium

in the concrete zone behind some apartment

distractions: the spider glassing my trachea

the glazier frosting my retina

no one is talking tonight no not on Earth

forget it until you forget about it

I only want to be sung to like anyone



Coign of Vantage


Take my word for it: the salty blue sphere

is the most laughable shape in all of geometry

because, when its shadow arrives, mopey at the threshold,

an unaccompanied poetry spills out—but it’s all been said before

on a broadside, in luscious, azure paragraphs

where clause after clause apportioned ethical contemplation

in a fantasy so habitual it resorted to the asexual:

tears of laughter stream from a fuzzy drupelet of blue paint

as I eavesdrop on the four older men holding court at the round table

as their words turn to pollen, clouding out their mouths

with the tedium of explaining the difference of a 0 and an O

to someone who’s never before seen Roman script.


*   *   *

Kit Schluter is translator of Marcel Schwob’s The Book of Monelle, Jaime Saenz’s ...


Wal Thornhill - Elegant Simplicity - Electric Universe and Thunderbolts of the Gods 2016 Mike Philbin's free planet blog

I've had a lot of contact, recently, with the physics-core of the Thunderbolts Project namely Wal Thornhill, and while I like/love his idea of an Electric Universe, I find Wal very difficult to get on with. I had the same personal reaction to the Growing Earth theorist Neal Adams. But this is probably my own fault, I do tend to 'rub people up the wrong way' as a rule...

People like Wal, and Neal (and maybe myself) are dogged arguers, relentless corner fighters, convinced evidentialists... and that's not a really bad thing. What the RSC or Real Scientific Community needs is more people who will go out and ask seriously dirty and dangerous fundamental questions and argue their contention with as much dogmatic confidence nee arrogance as such characters naturally muster.

We don't need to like these dogmatic characters, we just need to 'let them get on with it' and show us how our universe really works... without personal prejudice.

FREE PLANET RANTORIAL: I'm not such a big fan of Wal's insistence of the positive and negative charged elements, as separate entities within themselves.

My 1985-scribed Hertzan Chimera Unit (sub-atomic particle chaining mechanism) had the negative and the positive of Wal's (ironically traditional) electron/proton pairs BUILT INTO the way it manipulates Universal Equilibrium across the vastness of space. Light actually travels backwards towards the debt-settling focus, in the HC Unit universe, all photons are universe-sized.

Here's how the HC Unit is represented, in graphical format, showing any atom's assumed-physicality as a function of its CLOCKWISE or ANTI-CLOCKWISE excess of the 'the entire universe' at one arbitrary point in space. This is what I call an Hertzan Chimera Unit. This place where 'the entire universe' deals with the debts and costs of 'a universe in flux'. HC Unit excesses can pop up anywhere/anytime in the universe, and unless they are trapped into atomic ring systems, they'll disappear once UE has settled the excess-debt.

For the same HC Unit, the CW and CCW excess can open up any distance across the universe...


Frank Lloyd Wright Designs an Urban Utopia: See His Hand-Drawn Sketches of Broadacre City (1932) Open Culture


As much as we admire buildings designed by genius architects, we have to admit that — sometimes, just sometimes — those genius architects themselves can be control freaks. These tendencies manifest with a special clarity when a maker of individual structures turns his mind toward building, or knocking down and re-building, the city as a whole. The Cartesian grid of lookalike towers on the green of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City stand (or rather, the project having gone unbuilt, don’t stand) as perhaps the best-known image of urbanism re-envisioned to suit a single architect’s desires. In response, Frank Lloyd Wright came up with an urban Utopia of his own: Broadacre City.


“Imagine spacious landscaped highways,” Wright wrote in 1932, “giant roads, themselves great architecture, pass public service stations, no longer eyesores, expanded to include all kinds of service and comfort. They unite and separate — separate and unite the series of diversified units, the farm units, the factory units, the roadside markets, the garden schools, the dwelling places (each on its acre of individually adorned and cultivated ground), the places for pleasure and leisure. All of these units so arranged and so integrated that each citizen of the future will have all forms of production, distribution, self improvement, enjoyment, within a radius of a hundred and fifty miles of his home now easily and speedily available by means of his car or plane.” 


Those words appeared in The Disappearing City, a sort of manifesto about Wright’s hope for the industrial metropolis of the early 20th century: that it would go away. He “hated cities,” writes The New Yorker‘s Morgan M...


James Baldwin and Chinua Achebe’s Forgotten Conversation About Beauty, Morality, and the Political Power of Art Brain Pickings

“Those who tell you ‘Do not put too much politics in your art’ are not being honest. If you look very carefully you will see that they are the same people who are quite happy with the situation as it is… What they are saying is don’t upset the system.”

James Baldwin and Chinua Achebe’s Forgotten Conversation About Beauty, Morality, and the Political Power of Art

“Art,” Jeanette Winterson told an interviewer, “can make a difference because it pulls people up short. It says, don’t accept things for their face value; you don’t have to go along with any of this; you can think for yourself.”

On April 9, 1980, exactly a decade after his legendary conversation with Margaret Mead, James Baldwin (August 2, 1924–December 1, 1987) sat down with Chinua Achebe (November 16, 1930–March 21, 2013) for a dialogue about beauty, morality, and the political duties of art and the artist — a dialogue that continues to pull us up short with its sobering wisdom. Later included in the 1989 anthology Conversations with James Baldwin (public library), this meeting of titanic minds touches on a great many of our own cultural challenges and friction points, and radiates timeless, timely insight into how we might begin to stop accepting a deeply flawed status quo at face value.


Achebe begins by defining an aesthetic as “those qualities of excellence which culture discerns from its works of art” and argues that our standards for this excellence are mutable — constantly changing, in a dynamic interaction with our social, cultural, and political needs:

Aesthetic cannot be fixed, immutable. It has to change as the occ...


No Excuses michaelwrites

language ages adapting to a new young
ignorant as we were when we were smart
it's your life you have to live in the now
moving as it always does in generations;

lay for lie offends me every time I hear it
especially from people who should know
better making who-whom errors in NYRB
on NPR even in Condé Nast's New Yorker

I don't really care I just know what's right
see little charm in being sloppy and losing
structural distinctions I've always enjoyed
I in the objective plain stupid no excuses


White Supremacy’s Strange Skittles Obsession Hyperallergic

(image by the author for Hyperallergic)

(image by the author for Hyperallergic)

The US presidential election cycle has become a hotbed of coded memes and imagery. While the public and the media have proven defenseless against Donald Trump’s barrage of lies — too numerous to count, and by the time you debunk one another three have emerged — this new tactic has been accompanied by the exhausting realization that most voters don’t appear to care about truth, but are content with the reality show drama that is his political campaign. Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton’s campaign even had to publish what was probably a first in presidential history, an explainer about white supremacy and the Pepe meme. But the repulsive Skittles tweet shot out yesterday by Donald Trump Jr. is a new low in a race that has, from the beginning, been mired in reprehensible discourse.

The younger Trump’s tweet rebrands a rather familiar example of what some call the “poisonous M&M fallacy” with a new, racially charged meaning. The logic of the reasoning is flawed, based on an emotional appeal rather than real statistics or facts. As Emil Karlsson, writing on Debunking Denialism — a site “defending science against the forces of irrationality” — explains:

Why is the poisonous M&Ms analogy monstrous?

… What sets the “Poisonous M&Ms” formation apart is that it is tries to defend discriminatory stereotypes by pumping intuitions in people who are statistically illiterate rather than to promote overt absurdities that most people already know are erroneous.

The insidiousness of the image is compounded by the added layers of meaning in switching the M&Ms of the now-familiar image to Skittles, which have come to symbolize...


There’s Always Dairy The Paris Review

Why not?

It’s rough out there for artists and writers right now, I know. There are days when you just want to throw in the towel, say fuck it, fake your own death, give insurance fraud a go, and live out of a Winnebago somewhere in remote Ontario. That’s a good plan—that’s a really good plan—but remember, you’ve got options.

You might just need a little breather, is all. Before you go permanently AWOL, consider Reuben Kadish, the artist, who died twenty-four years ago today. After World War II, when he had a family to support and couldn’t find a cheap place to live in New York, or even on Long Island, Kadish decided to check out for a while: he bought a disused dairy farm in Vernon, New Jersey. Despite knowing nothing about the operation, he ran it, apparently with great success, for ten years. When he moved to the place, he was a painter; when he reemerged as an artist, he was a sculptor, his hands having imbibed the ways of farm life. This could be you. 

Best of all: no one really seems to know why Kadish did this, including Kadish himself. In an interview conducted just months before he died, he remembered the experience:

The main gist of my activity at that particular time, 1945–46, was to find a place to live, and unfortunately I couldn’t find a place to live in New York, so I moved out to the country, New Jersey, and lost and separated myself. I could have been living in Kansas. I think it was one of the really major mistakes in my life—not that I didn't enjoy working with animals, I got a lot out of it … It was a dairy farm, and I became a rather successful dairy farmer, and it said something to me that I think eventually put itself back into my work. And the day came when there was only one thing to do: either forget about being an artist, or else chuck the whole dairy business and rent the farm out. And that’s what happened. There was a public sale, the cows were sold, the machinery was sold, and that was it. And I began to teach.

The artist Herman Cherry, writing in a piece to accompany an exhibition of Kadish’s sculptures that same year, was also unable to discern his motives:

He became a dairy farmer for ten years. Why a dairy farmer? I have not been able to get a reasonable answer from him that explains why he derailed his talent during these years, why he dropped completely out of the art world.

Had Reuben, after so many years as a painter, lost touch with himself and with the inner struggles that had given him so much joy and pain and so much fulfillment? What could take its place? It is my opinion that Reuben used the farm years to reconsider his position … Dairy farming was back-breaking work, but in his spare time Reuben worked on some drawings. In other words, he kept his hand in. After five years he broke the mold and made his first terra cotta—a small nude. It would be five more years before he would give up farming permanently to devote himself fully to sculpture.

I know what you’re thinking: Kadish himself describes the episode, if a decade can...


Street art in Belgium WORDVIRUS


Street art in Belgium
by artist Dzia Krank.
Photo by Dzia Krank

Tagged: graffiti, street art


Chris Hedges on the Role of the Media in Perpetuating ‘Endless War in the Middle East’ WORDVIRUS

Posted on Sep 20, 2016
Screen shot via YouTube

Over the weekend, possible terrorist attacks in Manhattan, Minnesota and New Jersey startled the nation and renewed the political debate on national security and foreign policy. Truthdig contributorChris Hedges, who has years of experience reporting on the Middle East, joined Jaisal Noor of The Real News Network for an interview to discuss the political reactions to this recent spate of violent events.

At the beginning of the interview, Noor asks Hedges how the presidential nominees should respond to these types of attacks. “Their response should be the end of the occupation in the Middle East and the cessation of saturation bombing by drones and military aircrafts and missiles in parts of Iraq and Syria and Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia,” Hedges responds. He goes on to explain how decades of foreign policy decisions made by both parties have created the circumstances for terrorist attacks:

The Clintons, along with Barack Obama, along with George W. Bush, are the people who created this process of endless war in the Middle East. … The rhetoric of a Trump, the rhetoric of a Clinton is largely irrelevant to [Islamic State]. They don’t need it. People in cities like Raqqah are being attacked by sorties of U.S. jets almost on a daily basis. Militarized drones are terrorizing people in whole parts of the Middle East. Cruise missiles [are being] launched primarily from ships onto Libya and other parts of Iraq and Syria. The rhetoric is the least of it. The kind of widespread killing that’s been going on now for 15 years has radicalized whole segments and is kind of the most potent recruiting weapon that the jihadists have.

But, Hedges argues, the past several decades of U.S. foreign policy are not the only factor behind the increase in domestic terrorist attacks; he says that the media are also to blame. “I think that we’re woefully unaware, and it’s not our fault—it’s the fault of the press,” he says, before arguing that “people who would critique our military adventurism abroad” are “just not heard.”

Watch the entire interview below:


Tagged: america, Chris Hedges, Hillary Clinton, ISIS, Life News, media, Middle East, obama, Obama administration,...


Modernity and the Body: Sascha Schneider’s Bodybuilders A R T L▼R K


Hypnosis (1904)

On the 21st of September 1870, German painter and sculptor Sascha Schneider was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. During his childhood his family lived in Zürich, Switzerland, but following the death of his father, Schneider moved to Dresden, Germany, where in 1889 he became a student at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 1903 he met best-selling author Karl May, and subsequently became the cover illustrator of a number of May’s books including Winnetou, Old Surehand, and Am Rio de la Plata. A year later Schneider was appointed professor at the Großherzoglich-Sächsische Kunstschule Weimar. During this period Schneider lived with painter Hellmuth Jahn. Jahn began blackmailing Schneider by threatening to expose his homosexuality, which was punishable under section 175 of the penal code. Schneider fled to Italy, where homosexuality was not criminalized at that time. In Italy, Schneider met painter Robert Spies, with whom he travelled through the Caucasus Mountains. He then went back to Germany, where he lived for six months in Leipzig before returning to Italy, where he resided in Florence. When World War I started, Schneider returned to Germany again, taking up residence in Hellerau (near Leipzig). After 1918, he co-founded an institute called Kraft-Kunst for body building. Some of the models for his art works trained here.

The foundation of the institute corresponded with the emergence of a new trend in Germany at the time. Strong echoes of Nietzschean philosophy and the spirit of the new century inspired a fresh approach towards the human body and a new interpretation of bodily beauty. New athletic rituals as well as body-cultural aesthetics advocated largely by the press, and consequently by numerous visual artists, were on one hand a means of dealing with the past – especially with the fin-de-siècle ‘nervousness’ – and on the other hand an expression of hope for the new century.  In a 1907 article Der Wille zum Leben [The Will of Life], the cultural reformer Heinrich Pudor stated: “The most important precepts of our vitalist philosophy must be these: do everything that strengthens your will to life and avoid everything susceptible of weakening it. Read Emerson and Carlyle; avoid all pessimists; surround yourself with flowers and children; don’t look down at the pavement, but rather up to the stars; love the spring and enjoy the fresh morning dew; bathe yourself in springs, not in streams and lakes that have grown old; don’t dig around too much in the moldy past, but rather look toward the future.”

41vW6oIuuYL“Uniting bodily training and Kunsterziehung [Art Education], Schneider conceived of his institute’s methods less as training in athletics per se than as training in the new culture of performative beauty. To that end he sough...


A Blimp Floats in a Gallery, Imagining the View from Space Hyperallergic


Installation view of ‘Paul Catanese: Visible From Space’ at the Chicago Cultural Center (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

CHICAGO — The Sidney R. Yates gallery in the Chicago Cultural Center is a large space on the top floor of a neoclassical-style building on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. Its opulent interior, with pilasters of black and wine-red marble rising up the walls to intersect with a coffered ceiling, is no accident of interior design: it was modeled on a hall in the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Completed in 1897, the Chicago room is part of a building that was originally the city’s main public library — an engine of learning, employing machines known as books, supplying a history that provides a way into the strange things that artist Paul Catanese has done to this room during a two-month residency in the gallery.

The entry hallway to the gallery has a small monitor showing grainy black-and-white footage shot from a camera suspended from a small rocket that Catanese fired into the sky over the Amargosa Desert in Nevada. This was one of his first attempts to answer the question: How big would a drawing have to be in order to be visible from space?


Installation view of ‘Paul Catanese: Visible From Space’ at the Chicago Cultural Center (click to enlarge)

When visitors enter Visible From Space, they are greeted by a 12-foot long helium-filled blimp, moored to a pole; a giant video screen showing more bewildering black and white images; a floor covered in reflective mylar, littered with a set of objects also painted in black and white, surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling safety net; and a desk from which the artist periodically manages the flight of the blimp, as it sails through the room within the netted enclosure, recording what it sees on the floor via cameras suspended from its belly.

Speaking to Hyperallergic, Catanese explained that the objects on the floor are all versions of things used in cartography for measuring, delineating, and mapping land, such as flags, stakes, markers, and so on. He constantly rearranges this visual field, adding to it or subtracting from it, so that the blimp records something different...


Interior of a Picture Gallery with the Collection of Cardinal... The Lion of Chaeronea

Interior of a Picture Gallery with the Collection of Cardinal Silvio Valenti Gonzaga, Giovanni Paolo Panini, 1740


A Play Caught Between the Lies and Truth of Storytelling Hyperallergic

Louis Ozawa Changchien as the artist Lin Bo in 'Caught'

Louis Ozawa Changchien as the artist Lin Bo in ‘Caught’ at La MaMa (all photos by Carol Rosegg, courtesy the Play Company, unless otherwise noted)

When I first encounter the artist Lin Bo discussing his work “The Cage,” there is something about him that doesn’t sit quite right with me. He faces the audience at La MaMa theater and confidently relates the story of his development of a consummate conceptual artwork, “rally,” which he says he constructed to “subvert subversion.” It consisted of organizing a mass “imaginary protest” commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre. He tells us that the context for this work is a Chinese contemporary art scene that’s often presented as deliberately provoking the ire of political apparatchiks, but that really only functions as a tourist attraction. He launches into a series of sly allusions to contemporary art failing to be critical or revolutionary, but rather being placating and self-serving instead, and I can’t help but think of other professional provocateur Ai Weiwei and the crowd-pleasing work of Yue Minjun. But Lin Bo is too polished a public speaker. Artists don’t usually have cadences so crisp and unhesitant, don’t pause within their narratives to give expert emphasis to certain phrases. He is too clear and convincing in his tone, has no elisions or oversold emoting. He’s an actor, in other words (real name: Louis Ozawa Changchien).

Advertisements for Miao Jiaxin's

Advertisements for “Jail Seeking Prisoners” at La MaMa (photo by the author for Hyperallergic) (click to enlarge)

A dangling thread made me suspicious from the start: a wall of copies of the advertisement for the piece “Jail Seeking Prisoners” in the area between the box office and the stage. In addition to the ads for a $1-a-night stay in an Airbnb that included a cage, there are photos of people who supposedly stayed there — one of them being Hyperallergic’s own Hrag Vartanian. I recall him mentioning the artist’s name, and it wasn’t “Lin Bo.” Even the most meticulously woven stories often unravel under diligent interrogation (which is why CIA agents do that, and also why we think art has a key role to play in critiquing culture), and Lin Bo’s story is soon subjected to this. It’s the start of a series of fictions like a set of Matryoshka dolls. Each subsequent story...


Riesiges Penis Mural über Nacht in Brüssel aufgetaucht URBANSHIT

In Brüssel ist scheinbar über Nacht ein großes Mural von einem Penis in der Stadt aufgetaucht. In der belgischen Hauptstadt Brüssel haben unbekannte ein großes Bild eines Penis an eine Hauswand gemalt. Das Wandbild an einem Haus gegenüber eines katholischen Institutes im Stadtteil Saint-Gilles ist offenbar am letzten Wochenende entstanden. Seit dem wird in der Stadt gerätselt, wer das große Bild an in schwarz-weiß an dem prominenten Spot gemalt hat. Cool things that won't stay long #brussels #saintgilles #streetart #endofsummer A photo posted by Maddalena Colombi (@mad.colombi) on Sep 18, 2016 at 11:58am PDT Bei Instagram und Twitter sind bereits etliche Fotos von dem Mural aufgetaucht. Wie die Bilder Bild zeigen, ist das Mural offenbar noch an der Wand. Es ist allerdings wohl nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis das Bild von der Stadt oder dem Hausbesitzer wieder übermalt wird. "Zizi morne Annonce l'automne" #saintgilles #arturbain #streetart #penis #zizi #toiaussiegaietonvillage A photo posted by aurelie wehrlin (@aurlwhrln) on Sep 20, 2016 at 5:29am PDT Mehr Bilder und Hintergründe zu der Geschichte gibt es bei den Kollegen von Street Art News. Well, Hello! #thabitessaintgilles #brussels #saintgilles #biggusdickus A photo posted by Jessica Riga (@jessicarigaah) on Sep 20, 2016 at 5:27am PDT

Der Beitrag Riesiges Penis Mural über Nacht in Brüssel aufgetaucht erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


Light Projection Aims to Remind Trump His Tower Was Built by Undocumented Workers Hyperallergic


Movimiento Cosecha’s protest projection on Trump Tower on September 8, 2016 (all images courtesy Movimiento Cosecha)

To protest Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, activists projected 30-foot-tall images of migrant workers onto the gleaming façade of Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan on September 8. The demonstration was led by newly launched nonviolent group Movimiento Cosecha, which advocates for the rights and permanent protection of undocumented immigrants.

Featuring 11 workers in hardhats and neon vests holding signs that read “Sin manos, no hay obra” (“Without hands, there is no work”), the video played for several minutes above the window of the Prada store on Fifth Avenue. It was a reminder of the fact that, despite his professed plans to “build a wall” on the Mexican border to deter immigration, Trump employed some 200 undocumented Polish workers when he built his tower 35 years ago. They were paid $5 a day. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Trump’s real estate company may still be relying on undocumented workers for its building projects.

The action came one week after eight members of Movimiento Cosecha were arrested for chaining themselves to the doors of Trump Tower, where the businessman lives and runs his campaign. Organizer Vera Parra told Hyperallergic that some 400 people gathered to watch the act of civil disobedience. “Most people were very supportive, giving us thumbs up, and many asked for more information about the movement,” she said. “We got a similar reaction during the projection, but there were fewer people on the street.” Protesters also spread their message across social media using the hashtag #BuiltByUs.

“We are the pillars of the economy, and as immigrants, we feel a burning indignation when we listen to politicians, the media, and Trump supporters give reasons why we should be deported; why our families should be separated; why our contributions to this country hold no value,” said Thais Marques, one of the immigrant protesters arrested at Trump Tower, in a statement released by Movimiento Cosecha.

“Our goal is to get the broader American public to recognize its dependence on immigrant labor,” Parra told Hyperallergic. “Cosecha...


Camille Henrot’s Melancholic Mondays Hyperallergic

16. veduta allestimento

Installation view, Camille Henrot, ‘Luna di latte’ at Madre — Museo d’arte contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, 2016 (photo © Amedeo Benestante, courtesy Fondazione Donnaregina per le arti contemporanee, Naples)

NAPLES, Italy — Mondays are meaningful: they represent small beginnings, opening the week with new possibilities and challenges ahead. Mondays can also be dominated by a deep melancholy, as we retreat from spiritual considerations and return to the mundane matters of the week.

“I don’t care if Monday’s blue,” sang the Cure. But French artist Camille Henrot seems to care a great deal.

Henrot explores the complexity of the “moon day” in the exhibition Luna di Latte (“milky moon,” in Italian), at the Museum of Contemporary Art Donnaregina (MADRE) in the center of Naples. The pieces presented here, small sculptures and works on paper, represent a selection of never-before-shown material produced while working on Monday, Henrot’s current solo show at the Memmo Foundation in Rome. There, she is presenting a series of frescos inspired by the day of the week and the iconography of melancholy.

1. Untitled (Study for Monday)

Camille Henrot, “Untitled (Study for Monday)” (2015), pastel on paper (courtesy the artist) (click to enlarge)

The artist’s practice is informed by a voracious appetite for images from and references to popular culture, literature, philosophy, anthropology, science, and art history. An exemplar of Henrot’s hunger is the frantic video “Grosse Fatigue” (2013), which earned her both a Silver Lion at the 2013 Venice Biennale and the attention of the art world. Lasting less than 15 minutes, the video tells the story of the creation of the universe through screenshots and videos that appear in quick succession on a computer screen. “Grosse Fatigue” covers a vast terrain of human knowledge, mixing pictures of scientific specimens and found videos with mythological narration and an array of quoted references to Buddhism, Kabbalah, and Inuit legends.

Collections appear often in Henrot’s work. The artist is fascinated by the different ways that humans attempt to make sense of the world, including the organization of objects and images. The week, of course, is another tool we use to impose order on the chaos of existence. Following its form, Henrot is starting her project with Monday and Luna di Latte,...


Fungi and Floral Sculptures Produced From Recycled Paper by Kate Kato Colossal


All images via Kate Kato

Influenced by a childhood fascination with botanical illustrations and collecting bits of natural ephemera, artist Kate Kato crafts detailed sculptures of the various mushrooms, flowers, and beetles found within the Welsh valley where she currently resides. The sculptures are typically built to accurately reflect the size of their subject, each constructed out of recycled bits of paper that Kato tints with natural dyes.

For me my work can be very nostalgic, taking me back to my childhood and the curiosity that fueled my creativity,” said Kato in her artist statement. “I like to use recycled paper as it reflects that nostalgia, and gives the sculptures a history and narrative. I like people to be able to see where the materials have come from, as well as what I have turned them into, evoking that childish curiosity we all have somewhere inside!”

Kato’s work will be a part of the upcoming exhibition “Paper” at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington from October 15th through November 19, 2016. You can purchase Kato’s sculptures either online through her Etsy, or in-person at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds, UK. (via Lustik)





Elements The Paris Review

Dan Walsh’s exhibition “Prints and Multiples” is at Pace Prints, in New York, through October 22. “I always regarded the space in a painting as the soul of a painting,” he told the Daily in 2011. “I’m working to find a space I can interact with on a day-to-day basis, something neutral and malleable: one of the goals of minimalism was to experience qualities of materials, forms, colors and remove psychological space.”

Dan Walsh, Axis, 2016, reduction woodcut, 22" x 22".


Elements I, 2016, monoprint, 28 5/8" x 28 5/8".

Elements II, 2016, monoprint, 28 1/4" x 28 1/2".

Elements VII, 2016, monoprint, 28 5/8" x 28 5/8".

Walsh at work.

The post Elements appeared first on The Paris Review.


ArtRx LA Hyperallergic

Lorenza Mazzetti,

Tony Richardson and Karel Reisz, directors of “Momma Don’t Allow” (1956) (via

LOS ANGELES — This week, a sports-themed show opens at an Eastside arts space, a French artist unveils his project along the LA River, the performance festival Live Arts Exchange kicks off, and more.

 Eat the River

When: Opens Wednesday, September 21, 6–9pm
Where: Please Do Not Enter (549 S. Olive St., Downtown, Los Angeles)

Long derided as a barren, concrete-lined trough, the LA River is now the focus of a major revitalization plan, and a popular site for artworks, from the Bowtie Project to the recent Current LA Public Art Biennial. On Wednesday, French artist Frédérick Gautier will unveil the results of his two-month investigation into the history and landscape of the LA River, “Eat the River.” As part of his residency at Please Do Not Enter, Gautier inventoried the holes, cracks, and imperfections in the man-made riverbed, creating 100 ceramic objects that reflect the interaction between the industrial and natural worlds. RSVP to 213.263.0037 or

Frédérick Gautier,

Frédérick Gautier, “Eat the River” (via

 Live Arts Exchange

When: Thursday, September 22—Sunday, October 2
Where: Various Venues (Union Station, Automata, Bootleg Theater)

Kicking off this Thursday, Live Arts Exchange (LAX) is a 10-day celebration of innovative LA-based performance, including theater, dance, film, and opera. Taking place at three venues — Union Station, Automata, and the Bootleg Theater — offerings include the interactive sound experience Among Us, Brian Getnick’s fantastical theater piece Moonchops, a play about contemporary Iran starring noted stage and screen actor Roger Guenveur Smith titled White Rabbit Red Rabbit, and more.



Ndunga mask of the Woyo people, Kingdom of Ngoyo (in the... The Lion of Chaeronea

Ndunga mask of the Woyo people, Kingdom of Ngoyo (in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola).  This type of mask, distinguished by its painted stripes and triangular chin, would have been worn by a member of the male society known as ndunga at funerals and other ceremonies.  Now in the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium.


Whipped cream, bullfights, James Bond, Tijuana taxis & other delights: A taste of Herb Alpert Dangerous Minds

When I was young, copies of Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass‘s chart-topping album Whipped Cream & Other Delights could be found nearly everywhere you looked. In record stores, in every garage sale, and most probably in your...


Hear 75 Free, Classic Audio Books on Spotify: Austen, Joyce, Bukowski, Kafka, Vonnegut, Poe, Shakespeare, Kerouac & More Open Culture


Here’s a little known tip. If you open Spotify, click “Browse” (in the left hand nav), then scroll way down to “Spoken Word,” you will find a number of free audiobook collections–readings by Sylvia PlathLangston Hughes, and Dylan Thomas; old time crime and sci-fi dramas; a big H.P. Lovecraft compendium and more. But that way of navigating things really only scratches the surface of what Spotify has to offer.

If you rummage around enough, you’ll find many quality recordings–everything from Christopher Lee reading Dracula and Frankenstein, to Kurt Vonnegut reading four of his novels, to a 68-hour playlist of Shakespeare’s plays being performed by legendary actors. We’ve found 75+ recordings in recent months and gradually added them to our collection, 700 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free. But they seemed worth highlighting and calling to your attention here.

If you need Spotify’s free software, download it here. And if you find any other gems, please list them in the comments below and we’ll add them to our list.

  • Austen, JanePride and Prejudice Spotify
  • Beckett, SamuelWaiting for Godot (Theatrical performance with Bert Lahr) – Spotify
  • Bukowski, Charles – 4 Hours of Bukowski Readings – Spotify
  • Bukowski, CharlesHostageSpotify
  • Bukowski, CharlesMaster Collection Spotify
  • Burroughs, William S.Call Me Burroughs (his first spoken word album) –...


Slick Replica of Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch Arrives in New York, Prompting Questions Hyperallergic

(all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

The Institute for Digital Archaeology’s recreation of Palmyra’s Arch of Triumph in New York City (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

A replica of Palmyra’s ancient Arch of Triumph, built by Romans and destroyed last year by ISIS militants, is on a world tour. The scaled-down copy, a project by the UK-based Institute for Digital Archaeology, made its New York City debut yesterday morning following its initial unveiling in London by Boris Johnson at a packed, fanfare-filled ceremony. Its introduction on American soil at the center of City Hall Park was an equally official but less crowded affair, attended mostly by an invited group of two dozen guests in suits who watched from their reserved seating (among them, government officials of the United Arab Emirates). They just outnumbered the gathering of reporters, who, though confined behind barriers, still received a better view of the arch than any members of the general public, who had to remain behind yet another row of barriers. A trio of musicians played an array of Syrian compositions while everyone witnessed the grand, suspenseful reveal: the arch was hidden beneath a translucent plastic covering, as if its appearance is a mystery, and organizers removed it with flourish. Selfies were quick to occur, but many people remained baffled about why exactly a copy of a 1,800-year-old arch from Western Asia was standing in downtown Manhattan, where it will remain until September 23.

Detail of the recreated arch (click to enlarge)

Detail of the recreated arch (click to enlarge)

One such individual was Jake Stavis, a graduate student in Columbia’s art history and archaeology department who visited the park with the intention of seeing the arch. “We’re here, but we’re all a little confused,” he told Hyperallergic. “You can gain something from the experience of walking through a Triumphal arch, but there isn’t a lot of didactic material surrounding this. I’m still a little lost, not having the context of how this relates to the conservation of cultural heritage.

“The whole thing felt, ironically, a little exclusionary, given this whole narrative about how they’re trying to bring people together.”



Hear George Orwell’s 1984 Adapted as a Radio Play at the Height of McCarthyism & The Red Scare (1953) Open Culture

“If you want a picture of the future,” George Orwell famously said, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.” Since his ominous warning of coming tyranny, and the publication of his dystopian novel 1984, Orwell’s grim vision has been put to various partisan uses. Conservatives lamenting the policing of speech invoke Orwell. So too does a spectrum of voices speaking out against violent authoritarianism in actual policing, and in the politics of the right—related phenomena given the willingness of police and secret service to become enforcers of a campaign’s will at rallies nationwide. The state and corporate mass media have both become complicit in fostering a climate of outrage, mistrust, and insecurity in which there seems to be, as Orwell wrote, “no loyalty except loyalty to the Party.”

How did this happen? If we, in the United States, are ever inclined to learn from our history, we might avoid falling victim to the paranoid blandishments of demagogues and fearmongers. While one current threat to democracy comes from outside the political system, in the 1950s, an insider used several of the same tactics to hold the nation in thrall. The repressive postwar climate of anti-Communist panic in which Joseph McCarthy rose to power in the late 40s and 50s entrapped even Orwell, who “named names” in a list he sent to the British Foreign Office, suggesting certain acquaintances “were not fit for writing assignments” with the government because of supposed Soviet sympathies.


This secret act would have seemed like a bitter irony to many dissidents in McCarthy’s America, who surely read 1984 with increasing alarm as the Red Scare took hold of Congress. For their part, readers fearing the Communist threat heard echoes of Orwell’s warnings in McCarthy’s propaganda.

In whatever way it was interpreted, 1984 had an immediate impact on the culture. Its first radio dramatization, starring David Niven, premiered in 1949—the year after the novel’s publication—aired by the NBC University Theater. This was followed just four years later with another radio adaptation produced by The United States Steel Hour, a radio and TV anthology program that employed Rod Serling as a scriptwriter and featured notable guest stars like James Dean, Andy Griffith, Jack Klugman, and Paul Newman.

The program’s radio dramas, called Theatre Guild on the Air, adapted classic novels like Pride and Prejudice and plays from Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. Its 1953 radio play of 1984 starred...


Artist Annalù Boeretto’s Explosive Liquid Sculptures Cast in Resin Glass Colossal


Italian artist Annaluigia Boeretto (aka Annalù) imagines a world filled with liquid, where the pages of books or the petals of flowers seem to splash in every direction. The Venice-based artist works primarily with a form of resin to cast the delicate pools of water and glassy elements that comprise each sculpture. Annalù has an upcoming solo exhibition at East West Fine Art starting October 1, 2016, and you can see more of her work on Instagram. (via Lustik)







1980s footage from a California new wave synthpop club is mesmerizing and awesome Dangerous Minds

Isabella Ibarra at the Southeast Career Technical Academy deserves a big round of applause for these excellent compilations she put together featuring the patrons of the Stratus Dance Club in the San Diego area (actually Spring Valley) in 1986 and 1987 dancing their asses off.

This was East County, and Stratus was...


We Are All Suffering Equally The Paris Review

Artists reclaim the cells of England’s Reading Prison.

Artists and Writers in Reading Prison. Photo: Marcus J Leith, courtesy Artangel, 2016.

Photo: Marcus J Leith. All images courtesy Artangel, 2016.

Outside each cell at Reading Prison, there’s a small metal frame screwed into the wall. The cell number sits in the bottom section, and the top has a card that keeps track of graffiti before and after prisoners are moved: NONE, SOME, or LOADS. The most popular form of vandalism is a wry ROOM SERVICE often scrawled next to the cells’ emergency buttons for calling warders. In one cell, the dated corner of a tabloid newspaper clings to a piece of chewing gum: presumably the rest of the page involved nudity. Stickily, it fossilizes a moment—July 5, 2013—in the year the prison closed.

Elsewhere, on the red glossy paint of an internal doorpost, there’s a lengthy autobiography in ballpoint, including a guilty plea for seven armed robberies, a “shout out to all the mandem” in postcodes across England, the anticipation of a release date—16.04.2016—and a final motto: RIDE OR DIE. Rather more tersely, cell C.2.2. has CUNT! scratched into the wall. From 1895–97, under the different number C.3.3., this was where Oscar Wilde served his sentence for “gross public indecency”—homosexual acts. The number became his identity. 

The prison was built between 1842 and 1844 by the architectural firm Moffatt & Scott. Scott would go on to design the gilded Albert Memorial, opposite the Royal Albert Hall in London, and the grandiose Midland Hotel, by the Saint Pancras railway station. By the early 1840s, though, many of the firm’s commissions had been punitive workhouses for the destitute poor, and it shows. Reading was designed according to the principles of the “separate system,” in which prisoners were banned from interaction with one another. The toilets in each cell were removed when prisoners were found to have been communicating by tapping on their pipes. Wilde, suffering from dysentery like many of his fellow inmates, had to spend nights with an open, overflowing pot, emptied only in the mornings.

At Pentonville, in London, prisoners were masked to prevent them from recognizing one another outside their cells: contemporary engravings look like a grim masked ball. At Reading, there were separate, walled-off booths in the chapel, and a silent exercise hour in the yard. Richard Ellmann, Wilde’s biographer, tells the story of C.3.3. hearing C.4.8. mutter, “Oscar Wilde, I pity you because you must be suffering more than we are.” Wilde replied, “No, my friend, we are all suffering equally.” They both got two weeks’ punishment, but Wilde later told the poet André Gide that it was this interaction that stopped him from wanting to kill himself.

Either way, Wilde had effectively been given a death sentence. The consensus is now that an untreated ear infection took advantage of his ruined health, swelled into meningitis, and killed him in 1900: a cruel irony for the son of a pioneer of modern ear, nose, and throat surgery. Ellmann’s account has been disputed, but he gives some idea of the pain Wilde died in by describing a torrent of compressed fluids exploding out of his nose, eyes, and ears shortly after death.


In her 2014 book, The Consolations of Writing, Rivkah Zim lays out a long, international tradition of prison writing from Boethius to Primo Levi. Like any prison population, h...


Can Design Enrich Human Experience? Discover Innovative Graduate Programs at Parsons Hyperallergic


Students at Parsons School of Design challenge conventional design to explore disruptive ideas from a human-centered perspective. Through focused training, experimentation, and exploration, they draw on all disciplines, harnessing innovation and creativity to design for a world that doesn’t exist yet.

Here are four highlights from the 17 master’s programs offered at Parsons:

Communication Design (MPS)
Can digital interfaces enrich human interaction? In this one-year professional program, students create solutions for an increasingly digital world by creatively relaying messages, information, and ideas. Graduate with a forward-looking aesthetic, anchored in leadership skills that set you apart in the professional world.

Design and Urban Ecologies (MS)
Can urban growth fuel social justice? Transform urban environments by redesigning processes alongside the communities that live there. Gain a broad understanding of urban development, executing projects that transform community organizing, public space, housing, infrastructure, and more.



Jorge Luis Borges Creates a List of 16 Ironic Rules for Writing Fiction Open Culture

borges-personal-art of poetry

“Jorge Luis Borges 1951, by Grete Stern” via Wikimedia Commons.

When we first read the work of Jorge Luis Borges, we may wish to write like him. When we soon discover that nobody but Borges can write like Borges, we may wish instead that we could have collaborated with him. Once, he and his luminary-of-Argentine-literature colleagues, friend and frequent collaborator Adolfo Bioy Casares and Bioy Casares’ wife Silvina Ocampo, got together to compose a story about a writer from the French countryside. Though they never did finish it, one piece of its content survives: a list of sixteen rules, drawn up by Borges, for the writing of fiction.

Or at least that’s how Bioy Casares told it to the French magazine L’Herne, which reprinted the list. Instead of sixteen recommendations for what a writer of fiction should do, Borges playfully provided a list of sixteen prohibitions–things writers of fiction should never let slip into their work.

  1. Non-conformist interpretations of famous personalities. For example, describing Don Juan’s misogyny, etc.
  2. Grossly dissimilar or contradictory twosomes like, for example, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sherlock Holmes and Watson.
  3. The habit of defining characters by their obsessions; like Dickens does, for example.
  4. In developing the plot, resorting to extravagant games with time and space in the manner of Faulkner, Borges, and Bioy Casares.
  5. In poetry, characters or situations with which the reader can identify.
  6. Characters prone to becoming myths.
  7. Phrases, scenes intentionally linked to a specific time or a specific epoch; in other words, local flavor.
  8. Chaotic enumeration.
  9. Metaphors in general, and visual metaphors in particular. Even more concretely, agricultural, naval or banking metaphors. Absolutely un-advisable example: Proust.
  10. Anthropomorphism
  11. The tailoring of novels with plots that are reminiscent of another book. For example, Ulysses by Joyce and Homer’s Odyssey.
  12. Writing books that resemble menus, albums, itineraries, or concerts.
  13. Anything that can be illustrated. Anything that may suggest the idea that it can be made into a movie.
  14. Critical essays, any historical or biographical reference.  Always avoid allusions to authors’ personalities or private lives. Above all, avoid psychoanalysis.
  15. Domestic scenes in police novels; dramatic scenes in philosophical dialogues. And, finally:
  16. Avoid vanity, modesty, pederasty, lack of pederasty, suicide.

The astute reader will find much more of the counterintuitive about this list than its focus on what not to do. Didn’t Borges himself specialize in non-conformist interpretations, especially of existing literature? Don’t some of his most memorable characters obsess over things, like...


The Annunciation, Masolino, 1423-24 The Lion of Chaeronea

The Annunciation, Masolino, 1423-24


How an Imaginary Island Stayed on Maps for Five Centuries Hyperallergic


Thomas Jefferys, “Chart of the Atlantic Ocean, with the British, French, & Spanish settlements in North America, and the West Indies” (London, 1768) (courtesy Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library)

A tiny blot of a landmass off the western coast of Ireland is curiously labeled “Imaginary Isle of O Brazil” on cartographer Thomas Jefferys’s 1768 “Chart of the Atlantic Ocean.” A 21st-century viewer might wonder: why include a fictional island on a map of the known world?

O Brazil, or Hy-Brasil as it was frequently was labeled, had haunted maps since the 14th century, first as a mistake, then as a mythological tribute. Its size and shape often morphed, its location wandered from Ireland to North America, and its name varied, but for five centuries it endured in Western cartography.


Abraham Ortelius, “Europae,” from ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ (detail) (Antwerp, Belgium, 1570) (courtesy Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library) (click to enlarge)

“There were a number of mythical or imaginary places that appeared on maps, beginning in the early 14th century,” Stephanie Cyr, assistant curator in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, told Hyperallergic. “In the north Atlantic Ocean, the islands of St. Brendan, Hy-Brasil, Maida, and Bus all appear on early maps. Local legends and oral folklore spread to merchants and seafarers, and folk stories gave way to accounts of actual sightings of these places, which accounted for their appearance on maps. After a number of failed attempts at finding islands like Hy-Brasil, and disputed reports, these places were eventually removed from maps.”

Hy-Brasil: Mapping a Mythical Island, a small display in Boston’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, explores this history through archival material and contemporary art by Caoimhghin Ó Fraithile. A larger online component includes 40 maps from the 14th to 19th centuries charting Hy-Brasil. Recently a floating sculpture by Ó Fraithile called “South of Hy-Brasil” was installed in the Fenway section of Boston’s Emerald Necklace park system (aka the Fens). Bobbing behind Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the temporary island is on view through mid-October as part of Medicine Wheel Productions’s Tír na nÓg, or Otherworld, series in collaboration with the...


Wild images of vintage ‘Hell Drivers’ fearless car stuntmen from the early 1900s Dangerous Minds

Lucky Teter (or perhaps one of his stuntmen) jumping over a truck, 1930s.
Back in the early 1930s a man by the name of Earl “Lucky” Teter formed a troupe of eager thrill-seeking stunt-drivers for his daredevil extravaganza “Lucky” Teter’s Hell Drivers....


In Denver, a Rare Chance to See Clyfford Still’s Works on Paper Hyperallergic

193 PW-1, 4/19/16, 11:26 AM, 8C, 5996x7992 (2+0), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/15 s, R111.2, G90.8, B90.0

Clyfford Still, “PW-1” (1931), watercolor on paper (all images courtesy Clyfford Still Museum © City and County of Denver / ARS, NY)

Known mostly for his paintings, Clyfford Still drew prolifically, producing thousands of works of paper throughout his 60-year career as an artist. Opportunities to see them, however, are rare: outside of Denver’s Clyfford Still Museum, only seven drawings are known to exist in public collections. The museum itself boasts a collection of over 2,300 — it actually owns most (94%) of the Stills in the world — and this fall, it will mount the first-ever exhibition dedicated entirely to Still’s works on paper, featuring over 240 of them.

1972 PP-606, 11/19/14, 11:13 AM, 8C, 5420x7262 (141+261), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/15 s, R112.2, G91.9, B90.7

Clyfford Still, “PP-606” (1972), pastel on paper (click to enlarge)

Organized chronologically, many of the works will be on view for the first time. While oil and pastels were his media of choice for painting, Still explored a full range of drawing material: he did work with oils and pastels, but he also created colorful, dynamic works with watercolor, gouache, graphite, pen and ink, charcoal, crayon, and tempera, too.

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper features early graphite drawings that are more akin to sketches, but there are also expressive line drawings that may stand as subject matter in their own right. Other works are studies for later and larger paintings; some are drawings Still made after his paintings. Many are predictably abstract creations, but accompanying them are also landscapes and portraits of Still and his family that the artist produced in the mid-1920s.

“Still’s drawings were sometimes a preparatory step towards making a major painting but were also works executed after a related painting in which the artist continued to work out his ideas,” the museum’s director and exhibition’s curator Dean Sobel told Hyperallergic. “Drawing was both a continual wellspring for summoning ideas as well as a means for further development of ideas that Still first executed in other media.” Still’s fond use...


Stencil Art That Blends Graffiti and Decay by Martin Whatson Colossal


All images via Martin Whatson

Norwegian born artist Martin Whatson produces stencil art that lashes out at the mundane, interrupting grayscale scenes with explosions of vibrantly painted graffiti. The works often focus on a singular matte subject, one that is seemingly unaware of the bright words and marks that have surrounded their bleak environment. Whatson’s inspirations come from a variety of urban origins, interested in everything from decaying walls to the graffiti and posters that cover them.

Currently Whatson has a work in the group exhibition “LAX / ORD” at Chicago’s Vertical Gallery. You can see more of his indoor and outdoor work on his Instagram and website.





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Tuesday, 20 September


Jack Kirby’s unpublished adaptation of ‘The Prisoner’ Dangerous Minds

Jack Kirby was the man who imagined our world of superheroes. In partnership with Stan Lee and Joe Simon, Kirby created the likes of Captain America, Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Thor, Doctor Doom, the Black Panther and many, many others<...


German Vote: Women Did That Thing Again! Celtic-Anglo Press [Scotland]

German Vote: Women Did That Thing Again!:

“Men were 40% more likely to vote for AfD than women. Despite the party’s two women leaders. This is almost identical to the way the Aryan Princesses Jewed us like kikes in the Austrian election, voting against Hofer.“


The Internet Keeps Regurgitating You, and Other News The Paris Review

Just another day online!

  • On a similar note, Francine Prose responds with aplomb to what I can only describe as Shrivergate (or Literary Sombrerogate?): “It’s not the responsibility of art to make us better people, but some works of art can (if only temporarily) increase our compassion, sympathy, and tolerance … Even if we acknowledge (as Shriver does not) that we live in a society in serious need of repair, it’s still possible to ask whether the protest against cultural appropriation constitutes the most useful and effective form of political activism, whether it addresses our most critical and pressing problems. We could insure that not a single rock star or runway model ever again wears corn rows or dreadlocks—and not remotely change the fact that a black person with the same hairstyle might have trouble finding a job … We could prohibit writers from inventing characters whose backgrounds differ from their own without preventing even one young black man from being shot by the police.” 
  • While we’re feeling bleak: stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I have good reason to believe that the Internet is positively riddled with pornography. It’s true! Look it up. After decades of growth and innumerable controversies, though, the porn industry is still a mystery to most us, and the effects of pornography are hard to pin down—or even to study— without bias. Katrina Forrester writes, “Not only what we consume but how we consume has changed since the porn wars. Porn is abundantly more, in every way: there are more people, more acts, more clips, more categories. It has permeated everyday life, to the point where we talk easily of food porn, disaster porn, war porn, real-estate porn—not because culture has been sexualized, or sex pornified, but because porn’s patterns of excess, fantasy, desire, and shame are so familiar … The consequences of seeing sex before having it are as unclear as those of Facebook’s colonization of our leisure time. Pornography isn’t hermetically sealed from the rest of culture, and today it sits on a continuum with other problems of technology that we don’t yet know how to address.”
  • Of course, it might not be just the porn that makes the Internet...


Framing Cindy Sherman Against a Hollywood Backdrop Hyperallergic

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #512, 2010/2011, chromogenic color print © Cindy Sherman, courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures

Cindy Sherman, “Untitled #512” (2010–11), chromogenic color print (© Cindy Sherman, courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures)

LOS ANGELES — I have not always been an unalloyed fan of Cindy Sherman. I came to know her work through the Untitled Film Stills, black-and-white images in which she made and remade her own appearance in order to play with Hollywood tropes of female representation. It was the 1970s, a moment when groups of women artists (whether they called themselves feminists or not) and academics were beginning to use a feminist analysis of film culture to theorize about gender representation and its political consequences. A plethora of these new ideas seemed to coalesce in Sherman’s modestly scaled, 8-by-10-inch Untitled Film Stills. This distillation was recognized immediately by feminists, curators, and critics and has made that early body of work a favorite among many, including myself. For Sherman, it was the beginning of a long career examining artifice and masquerade in the construction of female identity as mediated by film and advertising.

When an artist gets a lot of attention early in her career, the work that follows is carefully scrutinized; the most important question becomes what to do next. After the Film Stills, Sherman moved into color photography, working on a larger scale and eventually veering toward the grotesque, with photographs of dismembered mannequins and creepy clowns. The work referred less specifically to Hollywood, and I found that I became less engaged. The images looked somewhat generic and free-floating, which made them feel slightly arbitrary. In retrospect, the lack of an immediate target may have seemed more egregious at a time when the feminist critique of media felt so new and urgent.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #47, 1979, gelatin silver print, 8x10 inches. The Broad Art Foundation, courtesy of the artist and Metro PIctures.

Cindy Sherman, “Untitled Film Still #47” (1979), gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 inches, the Broad Art Foundation (courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures)

In 2012, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) mounted a survey of Sherman’s work. The show seemed somehow underwhelming — I remembered every body of work and knew roughly when it had been made, but the exhibition as a whole never cohered, and I wasn’t sure why. The answer cam...


You can buy two locks of Marilyn Monroe’s hair. Seriously. Dangerous Minds

Few actors have come to symbolize glamor qua glamor for generations like Marilyn Monroe. Her icon status is unassailable, and was already pretty much cemented during her lifetime—basically a female Elvis; her pop culture penetration is such that one needn’t have even seen any of her movies to have her most...


Move over Jesus: Face of Charles Darwin spotted in patient’s eye scan Dangerous Minds

Tired of all those Jesus sightings in things like Cheetos, rusty drainpipes or even a dog’s butt? Well here’s an apparition for the other side: Charles Darwin was found in a patient’s eye scan. Clearly it’s...


ArtRx NYC Hyperallergic

Marela Zacarías, “Mannahatta” (detail, 2016) (photo by Elisa Wouk Almino/Hyperallergic)

This week, learn about Ad Reinhardt’s travel slides, consider sound as public space, watch 3D-printed boats race in Red Hook, and much more.

 Distill Like It’s 1799

When: Tuesday, September 20, 7–9pm
Where: Old Stone House of Brooklyn (336 Third Street, Gowanus, Brooklyn)

Have you ever longed to see a demonstration of early American baking and whiskey distillation techniques? No? Why not?? Well, tonight’s your chance, anyway, thanks to the Aaron Burr Society, aka artist Jim Costanzo, who will use a hearth and a copper still while offering “radical revelations” about economics and freedom of speech. Samples will be available, but brace yourself: from what I’ve heard, whiskey distilled by early American methods is not for the faint of heart.

Chloë Bass, “Gather the house around the table” (2016) (via (click to enlarge)

 Sharing a Poetic Meal

When: Wednesday, September 21, 6:30pm
Where: James Gallery, CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Avenue, Midtown, Manhattan)

Artist (and Hyperallergic contributor) Chloë Bass makes work about the ways that people interact in public space, refocusing our attention on the decisions we make and the motions we perform without even noticing them. As part of an exhibition celebrating Alison Knowles’s early computer-generated poem “The House of Dust,” Bass has created “a line of domestic materials” that she’ll use throughout the run of the show. On Wednesday night, visitors will be i...


Watch Jimmy Page Rock the Theremin, the Early Soviet Electronic Instrument, in Some Hypnotic Live Performances Open Culture

It can be frustrating for Led Zeppelin fans to hear the band reduced to plagiarism lawsuits or the quintessence of sexually-aggressive rock-star entitlement (though much of that is deserved). For one thing, Zeppelin’s occult songwriting tendencies, courtesy of both Page and Plant, play just as prominent a role as their blues-rock come-ons (as several generations of fantasy metal bands can attest). For another, their studio productions and live shows are renowned for pioneering mash-ups of modern rock, folk, and classical instrumentation, courtesy of both Page and Jones. And finally, the band’s recording techniques were—for the time—demonstrations of technical wizardry.

Thus it should come as no surprise that technical wizard Jimmy Page would play the Theremin, though he does play on it the kind of screaming, feedback-laden bends he unleashed from his Les Paul. Introduced to the world by Soviet inventor Leon Theremin in 1919, the early electronic instrument emits high-pitched singing when a player’s hands come within range of its invisible electrical fields. “It hasn’t got six strings,” Page says in his demonstration at the top of the post, from 2009 film It Might Get Loud, “but it’s a lot of fun.”


Page used a Sonic Wave Theremin in his Zeppelin days in a very guitar-like way—running it through a Maestro Echoplex and Orange amps and cabinets. (Watch him revive the technique in a 1995 French TV broadcast above.) For several months in 1971, writes fansite Achilles Last Stand, Page “used a double-stacked Theremin” for twice the sonic assault.

Though he seems to have gone back to just the one Theremin in the solo above, the effect is no less electrifying, if you’ll excuse the pun, as he sends echoes of ray-gun noise cascading around the theater. Well over five minutes into the hypnotic affair, Page takes to his Les Paul, creating more ragged patterns with violin bow and Echoplex. Even if you aren’t in a dazed and confused state, you’ll feel like you are if you give yourself over to this piece of performance art. Heroics? Yes, and...


The Street Style of Armenian Women Hyperallergic


Anush Babajanyan, “Lora” and “Gayane” (all photos courtesy the artist)

Since 2008, the Armenia-based documentary photographer Anush Babajanyan has captured, in her words, “the brightest strangers in Armenia.” These are women she’s approached while walking the streets of Yerevan. She’s drawn to them for their bold and unique outfits that, in marrying items from different eras, seem otherworldly.

Armenian women, Babajanyan says, are “often restrained” in their dress, with many following fashion trends strictly. Given the ways her subjects blend materials and accessories, colors and patterns, it’s hard to imagine them not standing out in most settings. But Babajanyan notes that these women particularly surprise her in light of the traditionally conservative position of women in Armenian society.


Anush Babajanyan, “Sveta” (click to enlarge)

“These women are role models of self expression,” she told Hyperallergic. “Their looks symbolize a visual action against restrained, subdued behavior and feeling, which many women have when in a relationship or married to men in Armenia. The women in this series have no relation to that expectation of submissiveness — this is how their public appearance is an act of empowerment for other women.”

Inlandish originally began as a project while Babajanyan was studying at the Caucasus Media Institute. The title is a made-up word, a deviation of “outlandish.”

“So much of these women’s outer world is connected with their inner spirit, this inside-out living made me think of the word ‘Inlandish,‘” Babajanyan said. The images are classic street-style portraits, featuring individuals against backdrops that offer glimpses of Yerevan, from an entrance with peeling paint to a graffiti-covered wall to a large advertisement for Coke. After approaching the women, Babajanyan typically spends about an hour with them to learn more about their lives; she then takes their portraits, by which time most women are pose with comfort. A recap of each conversation accompanies the corresponding photograph on her website. From a politician to a painter, to a pen vendor who paints her nails to match her pens, the women touch upon their life choices; stitched together into a series, the images and stori...


A New Machine The Paris Review

Don Buchla with one of his instruments.

Don Buchla invented some of the first electronic instruments—not synthesizers, he insisted, but electronic instruments. To him, the word synthesizer implied some attempt at emulation, as if these new machines could do nothing more than imitate preexisting sounds. Buchla believed that his inventions offered an aural palette every bit as distinct as a trumpet’s or a clarinet’s. It was only marketing that made listeners hear something derivative in them.

An instrument has to exist long before performance techniques can be developed and a repertoire arises,” he told Keyboard Magazine in the eighties, explaining why there are so few new sounds in the world:

Because of this, the market for the instrument doesn’t exist for many years after the R&D that goes into developing a truly new instrument. With short-term profits a primary motive, the big corporations are simply not interested … When you open up those other possibilities, you'll alienate the people who are coming from a rock-band orientation and want instant gratification. They don’t want to have to figure out some other relationship between their actions and the instrument’s response. 

Buchla died last week at age seventy-nine. In the early sixties, he invented—independently, but at roughly the same moment as Robert Moog—the voltage-controlled modular synthesizer. You have seen these instruments: they’re hulking contraptions with a seemingly excessive number of wires and knobs, often encountered in the homes of audiophiles, Germans with pencil-thin mustaches, and that one quiet pale kid from your freshman hall.

The difference between Buchla and the more famous Moog was as much conceptual as it was technical. Jon Pareles’s remembrance in the New York Times gets at a key distinction by way of nomenclature:

While the modules of Moog synthesizers had straightforward names out of electrical engineering—oscillators to generate tones, filters to modify them—Mr. Buchla’s instruments had modules with more colorful names, like Multiple Arbitrary Function Generator, Quad Dynamics Manager and, for his random-voltage noise generator, Source of Uncertainty.

Buchla’s design philosophy encouraged uncertainty: he wanted his instruments to help us shed our musical preconceptions. In a great interview with Polyphony Magazine, he said, “We’re tradition bound … Music as we know it is rooted in a great deal of tradition, and is resistant to change on many levels: the instrumental, the performance, and the listening levels … I’d like to investigate the sonic experience in a very general way.”

His friend Morton Subotnick, an avant-garde musician who commissioned the first Buchla machine, conducted exactly those sorts of investigations. And investigations feels like the only apt word; it explains why compositions like “The Wild Bull” still have the dangerous, bumptious air of the frontier about them, decades later:

Subotnick remembered Bucha in a conversation with the Guardian’s Geeta Daya...


The Magazine that Unflinchingly Chronicled LA’s Nascent Punk Scene Hyperallergic


‘Slash’ magazine cover featuring Blondie’s Debbie Harry (all images courtesy Hat & Beard Press)

Most people don’t associate Los Angeles with a thriving punk scene. But Slash magazine, in a short run from 1977 to 1980, offered proof of a gritty punk subculture teeming in the balmy Southern California climate.

The weekly publication started as an art project by then-couple Steve Samiof and Melanie Nissen, Slash’s co-founders. They were deeply entrenched in the punk and new wave scene, and wanted to showcase Nissen’s photography that chronicled it. So in 1977, they founded Slash, combining Nissen’s documentarian lens with original interviews, album reviews, flyers for upcoming shows, as well as other artistic contributions from their friends.


‘Slash: A Punk Magazine From Los Angeles, 1977–80’ (click to enlarge)

After nearly 40 years, the print issues of Slash have been anthologized into a book, Slash: A Punk Magazine From Los Angeles, 1977–80, released by Hat & Beard Press. The book includes reproductions of all 29 print covers, featuring punk icons such as Debbie Harry, Johnny Rotten, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as well as noteworthy interviews and reviews. New essays and Q&A’s from former writers and people in the scene have been added for context, and so has a folder filled with reproductions of flyers of 77 notable bands like Germs, Screamers, Weirdos, The Bags, X, Catholic Discipline, The Zeros, The Go-Go’s, and others.

Slash discerned itself and the Los Angeles music scene by introducing an unlikely optimistic vision of punk with an opening statement published in the first issue of the magazine:



When Art and Design Got High on Hippie Utopianism Hyperallergic

Clark Richert, Richard Kallweit, Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky, and Charles DiJulio, The Ultimate Painting (1966/2011)

Clark Richert, Richard Kallweit, Gene Bernofsky, JoAnn Bernofsky, and Charles DiJulio, “The Ultimate Painting” (1966/2011) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Sometimes, taking a wider view of art history can create a more expansive curatorial vision. Previously the senior curator of Design, Research, and Publishing, and later the curator of Architecture and Design at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Andrew Blauvelt developed a wider take on which elements of cultural production contribute to art movements. He brought this perspective to Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, an exhibition that was five years in-the-making before it expanded into the Walker’s 14,000 square-foot floor plan in 2015. Hippie Modernism (with the exception of a few artworks) is now at the Cranbrook Art Museum, following on Blauvelt’s heels in his new appointment as the director of the museum. The exhibition offers a fascinating look at the merging of hippie values with a modern design sensibility and how it sparked unique cultural production far outside the highly commoditized art market inflamed by Pop Art.

“From a design perspective, it’s all the creation of artifacts, the creation of the lifestyle — so all the accessories or the props, in some cases, that would be necessary to stage post-revolutionary life,” said Blauvelt, defining Hippie Modernism as a movement, in an interview with Hyperallergic. “As a designer, I understand that design is always prototyping things — it’s a modeling exercise, basically. Your building is going to look like this, your brand will look like that — and it’s the same thing here, except it’s done for everyday life.”

Archigram (Michael Webb), Cushicale—Opening Sequence (1966)

Archigram (Michael Webb), “Cushicale—Opening Sequence” (1966)

The first seeds for the show were planted by Blauvelt’s chance encounter with the term “Hippie Modernism,” mentioned in passing by Lorraine Wild in the context of the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s design program of the 1970s. Blauvelt revisited the concept as he became interested in the Italian radical architecture movements, with well-known contributors such as Archizoom and Superstudio, as well as other, more fringe, activity. “You [only] get so much space, as a curator, and the Italian radical architecture was sort of going to be a smaller show,” said Blauvelt, “And then they just kept adding more galleries [at the Walker].”

Hippie Modernism is a far-r...


Gertrud Arndt: Photo Pioneer of Female ‘Self-Disguise’ A R T L▼R K

51zi7gBPR3LOn the 20th of September 1903, German Bauhaus photographer Gertrud Arndt was born in Hantschk Ratibor, Upper Silesia. Arndt studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau (under Klee, Gropius and Itten), where she subsequently also taught. Her primary discipline was weaving, her textile designs showcasing the rigid geometric pattern-making typical of the Bauhaus aesthetic.

“She must have felt so optimistic. When Gertrud Arndt arrived at the Bauhaus school of art and design in 1923, she was a gifted, spirited 20-year-old who had won a scholarship to pay for her studies. Having spent several years working as an apprentice to a firm of architects, she had set her heart on studying architecture. No chance. The Bauhaus was in tumult because of the long-running battle between its founding director, the architect Walter Gropius, and one of its most charismatic teachers, Johannes Itten, who wanted to use the school as a vehicle for his quasi-spiritual approach to art and design. Arndt was told that there was no architecture course for her to join and was dispatched to the weaving workshop. Not that she was alone. Most of the other female students had been forced to study the supposedly “feminine” subjects of weaving or ceramics too. The Bauhaus Archive in Berlin is now trying to make amends to the women like them, who felt marginalized at the school, by celebrating their work in the “Female Bauhaus” series of exhibitions, the latest of which is devoted to Arndt.” (Alice Rawsthorn, ‘Female Pioneers of the Bauhaus’, The New York Times, March 22, 2013). Why did a supposedly progressive school turn out to be so misogynistic? The Bauhaus, which ran from 1919 to 1933, was not always unfair to women. It was only in the early years that female students were relegated to particular courses, despite Gropius’s claim in the school’s manifesto that it welcomed “any person of good repute, without regard to age or sex.” The situation improved after Gropius succeeded in ousting Itten in 1923 and replacGertrud 1ed him with the radical Hungarian artist and designer Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; unfortunately Arndt was too late to directly benefit from these changes.

In her private photographic studies, however, Arndt revealed a completely different, unique and confident style. “The photographic work of Arndt was relatively unknown until she first exhibited her self-portraits in 1979 at the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany. Although her photographic period lasted less than five years, Arndt ended up taking portraits, photographing herself and her friends in a range of costumes, hairstyles, facial expressions and stage settings. Creating various atmospheres in these works, ranging from severe to absurd to playful, these photographs were to become her Masked Portraits and are considered by art critics to be the predecessors to the works of Cindy Sherman.” (Angela Connor, ‘Before Cindy Sherman came Gertrud Arndt’, Berlin Art Link, Mond...


L’Hermitage in Summer, Pontoise, Camille Pissarro, 1877 The Lion of Chaeronea

L’Hermitage in Summer, Pontoise, Camille Pissarro, 1877


A Survey of Art from the Middle East and North Africa Puts Geometry Before Politics Hyperallergic

Rokni Haerizadeh,

Rokni Haerizadeh, “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise” (2014), gesso, watercolor, and ink on inkjet prints, 18 parts from a 24-part work, 30 x 40 cm each, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Guggenheim UBS MAP Purchase Fund 2015.89 (© Rokni Haerizadeh, photo by Ramin Haerizadeh) (click to enlarge)

Taking its title, But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, from a painting in the exhibition by the exiled Iranian artist Rokni Haerizadeh, the third edition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative focuses on contemporary art from the Middle East and North Africa. Curator Sarah Raza refers to her lean exhibition in the press release as an “intricate jigsaw puzzle,” bringing together pieces by 17 artists from regions that include Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The show examines issues of migration, colonialism, and history through the prism of geometry. Raza claims, also in the press release for the show, that its “confluence of narratives thus ‘smuggles’ certain inconvenient truths about history and memory into the realm of the exhibition.” However — Haeirzadeh’s subversive painting notwithstanding — the choice of works stays clear from the more violent concerns of territory, nationalism, and identity that have rocked the Middle East and been central to the work of many artists from the region. Shielded under the canopy of geometry and architecture, the show is a tame though aesthetically pleasing display of art that refers to the turmoil of Middle Eastern politics only tangentially.


Recommended: Anonimus Big Band – “Mar Rojo” Bird is the Worm

  The Anonimus Big Band doesn’t hold back at all, displaying an eager willingness to toss around the weight of its 17-member outfit’s huge sound.  So, it’s a nice surprise to hear just how tuneful Mar Rojo reveals itself to be.  The melody of “Snake” unfurls lightly and is carried away on the shoulders of […]


Skinheads, Patterned Sweaters, and Other Favorites from the NY Art Book Fair Hyperallergic

Blood on Paper, by Elena Foster and Rowan Watson

‘Blood on Paper’ by Elena Foster and Rowan Watson

I made the bold decision to venture into the NY Art Book Fair presented by Printed Matter at MoMA PS1. There were throngs of people examining books, chatting about books, buying books, and having books thrust upon them. I wandered about for a while, letting the spirit take me where it willed. I found the fair to generally skew to the young hipster vibe: lots of asymmetrical hairdos, errant bits of face metal, and plenty of naked ankles showing. It also seem suffused with a vibe of curiosity, an attitude that’s more, “Well, this looks interesting and non-canonical; I’ll give it some time,” rather than the stuffy, almost mercenary air of typical large-scale art fairs. I found a few objects that were intriguing and even captivating.

Charted Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back by Lisa Anne Auerbach

Charted Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back by Lisa Anne Auerbach

‘Charted Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back’ by Lisa Anne Auerbach

Charted Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back by Lisa Anne Auerbach

‘Charted Patterns for Sweaters That Talk Back’ by Lisa Anne Auerbach

Where: Printed Matter, New York (Main Hall, Main Building)

I really appreciated this book, because the patterns are funny, snarky and unapologetically political in sensibility. From what I read elsewhere, Auerbach’s artistic practice consists of zine making, photography, and knitting — she’s evidently combined them in this project. It’s difficult to toe the line of being funny without being disposable, political without being tedious, and educational without being boring, but Auerbach does all of the above.

She gives the step-by-step instructions on how to knit sweaters and skirts featuring a variety of pointed slogans, which are generally positive and indicate that the author is woke AF. There are instructions for making the “If nothing changes, it changes...


Street art in Denver, USA WORDVIRUS


“The Tortoise & Harriet”
Street art in Denver, USA,
by Spanish artist Dulk.
Photo by Dulk.

Tagged: graffiti, street art


Photographers Win Grant for Documenting Underrepresented Communities on Instagram Hyperallergic

Ronny Sen (@RonnySen): “The symbol of Indian bureaucracy, the iconic white ambassador car waits inside one of the coal mines in Jharia. Whenever the coal thieves see this car coming they run away from the mines.” (2016) (all images courtesy Getty Images Instagram Grant)

Documentary photographer Ronny Sen sees the region of Jharia, India, which is near his hometown, as a vision of “doomsday.” Jharia is the site of some of the world’s longest-burning fires: Its coal fields have been flaming since 1916, when two mines were improperly shut down. The fires have since swallowed up homes, temples, and schools, burned through millions of tons of coal worth billions of dollars, and caused severe health problems for workers and families in the region.

For three months this year, under the Instagram handle @WhatDoesTheEndofTimeLookLike, Sen posted his cell phone photographs of this post-apocalyptic landscape. Now, Sen is among three just-announced winners of the Getty Images Instagram Grant, which supports photographers using Instagram to document underrepresented communities around the world. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, and their work will be exhibited at photography festival Photoville in New York later this week.

A contractual labour inside one of the coal mines in Jharia. He will make two dollars after loading almost five trucks with coal in Jharia.

Ronny Sen (@whatdoestheendoftimelooklike): “A contractual labour inside one of the coal mines in Jharia. He will make two dollars after loading almost five trucks with coal in Jharia.” (2016)

The winners’ work showcases how, when it’s not being used for posting selfies, Instagram can serve as a platform for a new kind of democratized DIY photojournalism, broadcasting perspectives on stories not usually found in...


I Came to San Francisco to Change My Life: I Found a Tribe of Depressed Workaholics Living on Top of One Another WORDVIRUS

Hacker House Blues: my life with 12 programmers, 2 rooms and one 21st-century dream.
By David Garczynski / Salon September 18, 2016

I might have been trespassing up there, but I would often go to the 19th-floor business lounge to work and study. Located on the top floor of the a luxury high-rise in the SOMA district of San Francisco, the lounge was only accessible to residents of the building. Yet for a while I found myself there almost every day.

Seventeen floors below, I lived in an illegal Airbnb with 12 roommates split between two rooms. There were six people packed into my bedroom alone — seven, if you included the guy who lived in the closet. Three bunk beds adorned the walls, and I was fortunate enough to score a bottom bunk. Unfortunately, though, it was not the one by the window, which, with the exception of one dim lamp, was the only source of light in the room. Even at midday, the room never lit up much more than a shadowed cave. At most hours of the day, you could find someone sleeping in there. Getting in and out of bed was a precarious dance in the darkness to avoid stepping into the suitcases on the floor, out of which most of us lived.

In the shared kitchen, the sink more often than not held a giant pile of dishes, and the fridge, packed with everyone’s groceries and leftovers, emanated a slightly moldy aroma. Mixed in there were the half-eaten meals and unfinished condiment jars of tenants who had long since moved out — all left to rot, but often too far buried in the mass of food to be located.

Let’s just say the room was not as advertised.

The Airbnb posting did boast of access to a 24-hour gym, roof deck and bocce courts. The building has an indoor basketball court, an outdoor hot tub and even a rock climbing wall. The 19th-floor business lounge alone comes with a pool table, a porch, several flat-screen TVs and an enviable view of much of San Francisco. For $1,200 a month, it all seemed worth it. The post did say it was a four-person apartment, not 13, and included a picture of a sunny room with a pair of bunk beds, but I figured for a short sub-lease while I attended coding school, it wouldn’t be so bad. The reviews, after all, were pretty positive, too: mostly 5-stars. However, none of them mentioned the fact that I wouldn’t even be given a front door key.

I’d have to sneak into the building every night. The only way I entered the building was by waiting until someone exited or entered, and then I’d slip through the door before it closed. From there I’d walk straight past the front desk guard and head to the bank of elevators. Despite my nerves, that part was surprisingly easy. The building caters to the young tech elite, so a backwards hat and a collegiate T-shirt practically made me invisible. When I got to my floor, I’d make sure none of the neighbors were watching, and if no one was around, I’d stand on my tiptoes and grab the communal key hidden atop the exit sign. Once the door was unlocked, I’d return the key to its perch for the next tenant to use.

I had moved to San Francisco to break into the tech world after being accepted into one of those ubiquitous 12-week coding boot camps. I had dreams of becoming a programmer, hoping one day I could land a remote contracting gig — a job where I could work from wherever and make a good living. My life would be part ski bum and part professional.

In my mid-20s uncertainty, the coding route seemed to have the most promise — high paychecks in companies that prized work-life balance, or so it seemed from afar. I knew the road wouldn’t be easy, but any time I’d mention my ambitions to family and friends, they responded with resounding positivity, affirming my belief that it was...


Castration Squad: The unsung heroines of Alice Bag and Dinah Cancer’s early deathrock band Dangerous Minds

Back in the Canterbury Apartments days of Los Angeles’ punk scene Alice Bag, of the Bags, met neighbor Shannon Wilhelm whom she eventually ended up living with. After the end of the Bags—and more or less the end of...


New Installation by Brian Bress Has World Premiere at Chrysler Museum of Art Hyperallergic

Brian Bress
(American, b. 1975)
Video still from Man with Cigarette (on black), 2016 High-definition three-channel video (color), four high- definition monitors and players, wall mounts, framed, 40.25 x 91 x 7 inches
(Total Running time: 15 min., 48 sec., loop)
© Brian Bress
Image courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

Brian Bress 
(American, b. 1975) 
Video still from Man with Cigarette (on black), 2016 High-definition three-channel video (color), four high- definition monitors and players, wall mounts, framed, 40.25 x 91 x 7 inches
(Total Running time: 15 min., 48 sec., loop) 
© Brian Bress 
Image courtesy of Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles

A new installation by artist Brian Bress will have its world premiere at the Chrysler Museum of Art, located in his hometown of Norfolk, Va.

Man with a Cigarette” (2016) is the artist’s first work to present a full-scale human figure using a video wall. Over the last decade, Bress has won critical acclaim for innovative video-based works featuring an array of eccentric, humanoid characters the artist handcrafts from foam and found objects.

Bress’s new piece was inspired by a pen-and-ink drawing in a thrift store depicting a man wearing a fedora-like hat, a broad tie and a jacket with wide lapels. The unknown artist used an array of techniques — from hatch marks and ragged shading to pointillistic dots and checkerboard patterning — suggesting to Bress the piece was “an artist’s love letter to drawing.” The thrift store wouldn’t sell the drawing, so Bress decided to recreate it as a life-sized sculptural costume.

Bress’s work is disarmingly lighthearted but deeply insightful, says Curator of Exhibitions and Acting Curator of Photography Seth Feman. “He addresses complex questions about representation, perception, and cognition, but he does so in a totally accessible way. It’s a little bit like watching ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’ or Saturday-morning cartoons,” says Feman. “The work is endlessly engaging because it’s always unexpected.”



Bronze statuette of Aphrodite clutching a dove.  Artist unknown;... The Lion of Chaeronea

Bronze statuette of Aphrodite clutching a dove.  Artist unknown; ca. 460-450 BCE.  Now in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University.


Cosmic Hand-Painted Animal Gloves by Artist Bunnie Reiss Colossal


Artist Bunnie Reiss enjoys transforming the old into new, and has spent her life as a collector of weathered objects with rich stories. Reiss’s ongoing project turns her collection of old leather gloves into bright works of art, utilizing symmetry and cosmic imagery to connect both the past and present. The gloves are not obvious references to animal faces, but subtle gestures that reference eyes, ears, and noses within their design.

In addition to painting smaller works, Reiss also creates large installations and mural walls. Her most recent work is a 3,500 square foot mural painted on the east side of Milwaukee for the Black Cat Mural Alley. You can see more of her large and small-scale works on her website and Instagram. (via The Fox is Black)






A Map of Chicago’s Gangland: A Cheeky, Cartographic Look at Al Capone’s World (1931) Open Culture


Modern day Chicagoland gang activity does not inspire quippy cartoon “wonder maps.” Back when Al Capone ruled Chicago’s underworld, the public viewed gangsters with movie magazine breathlessness. Their violent crimes and glamorous lifestyles sold newspapers and movie tickets.

Today? Gangsta rap—a genre not known for its whimsy—glorifies the hardcore existence of kids whom the system has failed, trapped in a cycle of poverty, compounding the social problems that were heaped on them at birth. 

But back to 1931, the year Capone was sent to prison for tax evasion, and local firm Bruce-Roberts published Chicago’s Gangland map, above, from “authentic sources.”

As any civic minded reformer knows, the best way to “inculcate the most important principles of piety and virtue in young persons” is to pack all “the evils and sin of large cities” into something resembling a large-scale comic book. 


If the 30 execution orders posted on Dead Man’s Tree doesn’t scare ‘em straight, perhaps 1750 cases of government booze and some scantily clad dancing girls will!


Naturally, the site of 1929’s Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre gets star treatment, with a graphic depiction guaranteed to stir the imagination far more than a visit to the actual site itself.



Super-abusive ‘cute’ greeting cards (NSFW) Dangerous Minds

Greeting cards are a dicey affair, either they’re sentimental or there’s a joke with a big—often unfunny—punchline. This is why I prefer my messages with a little black humor in them. You know the person giving you the card loves you, so it’s just fine if you give...


Sponsor // Get 50% Off the Craftsy Online-Video Class ‘Dynamic Detail in Pen, Ink & Watercolor’ Colossal


Depict the world around you in fascinating detail using a relaxed, methodical approach. With artist and instructor Steven Reddy as your guide, capture highly detailed scenes as you learn techniques for creating contour drawings, grisaille underpaintings, beautiful watercolors, and more. Enroll in the online Craftsy class, Dynamic Detail in Pen, Ink & Watercolor, for 50% off today — a special offer for Colossal readers.

In these online-video lessons, you’ll learn how to break down a complex scene into an initial sketch that’s light and loose. Then, create contour drawing and a grisaille underpainting that will bring extraordinary dimension to your work, before using a limited watercolor palette to enhance your piece with harmonious color. Finally, finish your work by using contour lines to suggest shaping and hatch marks to create texture.

Visit today to get 50% off lifetime access to the online class, Dynamic Detail in Pen, Ink & Watercolor, and give it a try risk-free with Craftsy’s 100% money-back promise. Offer expires September 26, 2016 at 11:59pm MT.


The Quotable David Salle The Paris Review

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey, cropped, 2002, 36" x 32".

Dana Schutz, Frank as a Proboscis Monkey (detail), 2002, 36" x 32".

Recently, thanks to heavy wait times at the twenty-four-hour Genius Bar on Fifth Avenue, I found myself killing an evening at the Plaza with nothing to read but the galleys of a book of art criticism, How to See, by the painter David Salle. It turned out to be perfect company—witty, chatty, intimate, sharp. And slightly exotic (at least for this reader): you rarely see novelists write so knowingly, on a serious first-name basis, about each other’s work. Soon I was dog-earing and drawing lines in the margins next to favorite passages, as for example:

On recent paintings by Alex Katz:

Some of the color has the elegance and unexpectedness of Italian fashion design: teal blue with brown, black with blue and cream. You want to look at, wear, and eat them all at the same time.

On Dana Schutz:

She’s especially adept at handling a range of greens that aren’t found in nature but are often used to describe it, and she has a no-nonsense, unfussy way of building images that used to be called plasticity. The scale of her brushstrokes is almost always right—the marks suit what they describe, and gesture is most often harnessed to the painting’s internal architecture, not just surface decoration.

On Roy Lichtenstein:

It may look as though a painting, especially one as tidy as Roy’s, is the result of a set of decisions, but those decisions are in fact made at the end of a brush.

On Jeffrey Koons:

If abstract painting expresses the idea “You are what you do,” and pop art expresses the idea “You are what you like,” then Koons’s art says, “You are what other people like.”

On John Baldessari:

At least three generations of artists have had themselves photographed doing dumb stuff in banal settings. This is largely John’s fault. What the aesthetic embedded in John’s work accomplished was to give the everyday-Joe artist a way to embrace and lavish a little love on the everyday-Joe visual culture that is all around us, especially if one is stuck in the provinces and doesn’t really have access to the ethos or the rationale of a more highbrow style.

On Jack Goldstein’s films:

It’s like walking through dried leaves on a chilly fall day—you keep your hands in your pockets, kicking leaves into the gutter, all the while hoping someone will see and feel sorry for you. The self-consciousness of the act doesn’t necessarily diminish its poetry.

On André Derain:

Continuity is the dialogue a painter carries on with himself in the guise of his precursors. It’s what stays left after the novelty burns down.

On Francis Picabia (“c’est moi”):

When Picabia turned his hand to realism—basically a system in which volumetric form is defined by contrasts of light and shadow—he kept his penchant for outlining as a kind of graphic stimulation, and the mash-up of volume plus outline gives the paintings of the ’30s and ’40s a brazen, provocative feeling ... The work is so undefended—it was exhilarating.

On Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate:

It’s a giant baby toy, something that would be suspended over a crib, like a silver...


Looks like some early Hüsker Dü demos are coming down the pike Dangerous Minds

We’re a little short on details, but on Saturday afternoon the Chicago-based archival record label known as Numero Group—you’ve seen


Meet the Artist Running for State Rep in Rural Pennsylvania Hyperallergic

Kate McGraw,

Kate McGraw, “Chouffe Mountain” (2013), mixed media paintings and drawings on canvas, panel and paper, wall-drawing, and rug showroom, New York (all images courtesy the artist) (click to enlarge)

I always remember Kate McGraw’s artworks as a colorful sprawl of integrated textures — equal parts playful, abstract, and socially aware. During an open studios event at Brooklyn College, when she was a Master’s candidate in Fine Arts, McGraw’s studio stood out from her cohorts’ by being a work of art in itself; her walls were meticulously pencilled over, creating a ever-evolving lattice of iridescent hues. Readying a space where art could emerge, she said, was as important as making individual works of art. Now she’s running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 92nd legislative district, applying a similar methodology to the campaign trail.

Kate McGraw (photo by Dreaming Tree Studios)

Kate McGraw (photo by Dreaming Tree Studios) (click to enlarge)

The regional issues that most affect voters in McGraw’s district are agricultural and educational. The area is predominantly rural, comprised of Cumberland and York counties in southern Pennsylvania, and boasts a wealth of public schools. McGraw, running as an Independent for the newly opened seat, is hoping to appeal to both Republicans and Democrats, while her opponent, Dawn Keefer, is running on the Republican ticket. With only two candidates on the ballot, could the election turn into a showdown? McGraw’s opponent bills herself as a businesswoman, but McGraw has over 14 years of experience as the independent proprietor of a successful studio practice.

I recently spoke with McGraw via Skype, inquiring into the particulars of her platform, her political inspirations, and how her campaign for State Representative of Pennsylvania could be considered a work of art.

*  *  *

Jeffrey Grunthaner: What are some of the issues you’re addressing in your campaign?

Kate McGraw: My platform focuses on agricultural issues, preser...


Floral Cross-Stitch Street Installations by Raquel Rodrigo Colossal



Set designer and artist Raquel Rodrigo brings the macro details of cross-stitch embroidery to building facades around Madrid. Her colorful installations are prepared beforehand with enlarged cross-stitch techniques utilizing thick string wrapped on wire mesh before each is unrolled and affixed to a surface. The decorative pieces create a fun, pixelated texture that looks completely different close up versus at a distance. You can see much more here. (via Lustik)






John Austen’s Haunting Illustrations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: A Masterpiece of the Aesthetic Movement (1922) Open Culture


We’ve popularly come to think of the Victorian era as one in which a prudish, sentimental conservatism ruled with imperial force over the arts and culture. But that broad picture ignores the strong countercurrent of weird eroticism in the work of aesthetes like Dante Rossetti, Oscar Wilde, and Aubrey Beardsley.


Beardsley’s elegant, bawdy illustrations of Wilde’s erotic play Salome scandalized British society, as did the play itself. His penchant for occult subjects and a wickedly sensuous style resonated well into the 20th century. Salome was a highlight of the Aesthetic movement,” writes the Met, “and an early manifestation of Art Nouveau in England.” By the 1920s, Beardsley was perhaps one of the most influential of literary illustrators.


Irish artist Harry Clarke took directly from Beardsley in work like his richly-detailed 1926 edition of Goethe’s Faust. And in 1922, British artist John Austen modernized Hamlet by drawing on Clarke’s earlier work, as well as, quite clearly, on Beardsley. As artist John Coulthart remarks, “If you’re going to borrow a style then you may as well take from the best.” Like Beardsley’s Salome and Clarke’s...


Super-early video of The Police performing at legendary Boston rock club the ‘Rat’ in 1978 Dangerous Minds

The Police circa 1978.
A huge tip of my hat goes out to the excellent Boston-based music and culture blog Vanyaland and their equally excellent editor-in chief Michael Marotta for posting this previously unseen footage of The Police performing at legendary Boston...

Friday, 16 September


Symbolic Pics of the Month 09/16 The Vigilant Citizen – Symbols Rule the World

This post Symbolic Pics of the Month 09/16 appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen - Symbols Rule the World.

In this edition of SPOTM: Elle Fanning, Jonah Hill, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey and a bunch of pics proving that the One-Eye sign is ruling the world. Yes, all of these pics only appeared in the last few weeks. Thanks to everyone who sent in pics!

This post Symbolic Pics of the Month 09/16 appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen - Symbols Rule the World.

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