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Friday, 20 February

12:41

For the wino who has everything: A realistic baby flask? Dangerous Minds


 
You know when you need to be covert with your boozy needs? What about a baby doll flask? Seriously, your friends and family won’t be the wiser. Okay, of course they’ll know ‘cause A) you don’t have a goddamned baby and B) it’s plastic for pete’s sake. And...

10:42

Robert Irwin Installation to Proceed at Chinati Glasstire Texas

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Installation shot of Irwin’s untitled (Four Walls), 2006, at the Chinati Foundation.

California-based sculptor Robert Irwin has spent 14 years planning an installation for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, and construction for the project is set to begin this summer. This follows a grant for $750,000 from the Lannan Foundation to pair with Chinati’s campaign which raised $3.7 million last year. The budget for the Robert Irwin Project currently sits at $5 million.

The installation will continue Irwin’s exploration of light and shadow and will be housed within an old army hospital and its courtyard. Read more about it here.

 

10:00

Parting Shot ANIMAL

Parting Shot

ME x Clint Mario, Soho. (Photo: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork)

The post Parting Shot appeared first on ANIMAL.

09:08

How Clocks Changed Humanity Forever, Making Us Masters and Slaves of Time Open Culture

In 1983, the Harvard economic historian David Landes wrote an influential book called Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern WorldThere, he argued that timepieces (more than steamships and power looms) drove the economic development of the West, leading it into the Industrial Revolution and eventually into an advanced form of capitalism. Timepieces allowed us to measure time in accurate, uniform ways. And, once we had that ability, we began to look at the way we live and work quite differently. Landes wrote:

“The mechanical clock was self-contained, and once horologists learned to drive it by means of a coiled spring rather than a falling weight, it could be miniaturized so as to be portable, whether in the household or on the person. It was this possibility of widespread private use that laid the basis for ‘time discipline,’ as against ‘time obedience.’ One can … use public clocks to simon people for one purpose or another; but that is not punctuality. Punctuality comes from within, not from without. It is the mechanical clock that made possible, for better or worse, a civilization attentive to the passage of time, hence to productivity and performance.”

It’s all part of the logic that eventually gets us to Benjamin Franklin offering this famous piece of...

09:00

Use your Drone Flying Skills in Humanitarian Efforts with New Nonprofit ANIMAL

Use your Drone Flying Skills in Humanitarian Efforts with New Nonprofit

The mentality of drones-as-death-machines has changed as unmanned aircrafts have rapidly emerged in the civilian airspace in the form of toys to delivery vehicles. So much so that the FAA recently had to release a set of rules for operating your quadrocopter. Furthering this mindset of drones as helpful machines is a new nonprofit under the name UAViators as Gizmodo reports.

UAViators, operating with the mission to bridge humanitarian and UAV communities internationally, is still in the early stages of activity but promises to bring together experienced unmanned pilots for the purpose of aiding humanitarian efforts. Despite no missions posted yet, the organization co-hosted the first ever Humanitarian UAV Experts Meeting at the UN Secretariat last year, with another lined up this year where they will have training and certification courses available for humanitarian professionals.

(Photo:...

08:27

Harlem Singer Petitions Oscars to Perform Gospel Hymn from Selma ANIMAL

Harlem Singer Petitions Oscars to Perform Gospel Hymn from Selma

There is perhaps nothing that can redeem the Oscars for shutting out people of color from this year’s awards, but if the committee has registered any of the criticism, then maybe its members will abide the request of Harlem gospel singer Roslyn Davis. DNAinfo reports that Davis has launched a Change.org petition requesting that Ledisi perform “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” at the 87th annual Academy Award ceremony.

The singer played Mahalia Jackson in Selma, the Oscar nominated biopic about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was Beyonce, however, who controversially performed the song at the Grammy Awards. But the song would take on a special significance at Sunday’s awards show.

This is the first time in 19 years that the Oscars panel, primarily comprised of...

08:23

Creepy organ-playing clown found in sex offender’s home Dangerous Minds

Louie the Clown by KSN-TV
 
Missing for over ten years, Louie the Clown, a 50-year-old mannequin that once ‘played’ a Wurlitzer Military Pipe Organ at the now defunct Joyland Amusement Park in Wichita, Kansas, has been found. As it turns out, he’s been hanging out at the home of Damien...

07:42

Revel in the batshit numerology of the ‘Ancient Order’ flyers! Dangerous Minds


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Reading these flyers, distributed in Chicago in 1999 and 2000, is a very dizzying experience. I think we all have an idea what numerology is and how it works; it’s quite another thing to see it...

07:13

Kandinsky Painting Comes to Life in Interactive Game ANIMAL

Kandinsky Painting Comes to Life in Interactive Game

We’ve seen gifs of paintings and gifs of paintings doing ridiculous things, but the real artistry behind this project, Kill Screen notes, is that it forces our constantly distracted selves to play, engage, and interact with Kandinsky’s work very much in the way he intended it to nearly a century ago. Check it out here.

(Image: Nivikan.itch.io)

The post Kandinsky Painting Comes to Life in Interactive Game appeared first on...

05:55

How to Google for the Dark Web ANIMAL

How to Google for the Dark Web

The Dark Web is getting brighter and brighter each day. The news is abuzz with “Memex,” a Defense Department-developed Dark Web search engine. However, there are already two Tor search engines that you can use on the regular web to take a trip into the deep.

On both you still get the usual suspects of darkweb drug dealing, but Tor is used for more savory reasons, including evading censorship, and reporters anonymously reporting human rights violations in oppressive countries who’d much rather add a new violation than have the rest of the world know.

The first is Onion City, a San Francisco-based search engine, that uses a Google custom search and Tor2web proxy. The Tor2web proxy is an intermediary that sits between Tor’s darknet and the clearnet. The use of Google Custom Search means Google can see all of these as well. Currently there are over 5000 onion sites indexed on Onion City.

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The second is Ahmia, an open source project first developed during Google’s Summer of Code and now part of the Hermes Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights. It too uses the Tor2web proxy, but does not use Google’s custom searc...

05:43

‘Motor City’s Burning’: The incendiary 60’s Detroit music scene from Motown to the Stooges Dangerous Minds

Martha and the Vandellas
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

Below you’ll find Motor City’s Burning: Detroit from Motown to the Stooges, A 2008 BBC documentary that gives a brief summary of the musical trajectory and evolution of Detroit’s music scene through the riotous decade. It’s a little overly ambitious...

05:17

State Cracks Down on Schools That Target Undocumented Immigrants ANIMAL

State Cracks Down on Schools That Target Undocumented Immigrants

Despite instructions from federal and state law enforcement agencies, 20 New York school districts have been effectively preventing undocumented immigrant children from enrolling in school. The state attorney general’s office is now requiring these school districts change their enrollment polices, reports the New York Times.

The Times in October found that Long Island schools were requiring immigrant families to provide proof of district residency before enrollment. The state attorney general’s office and the State Education Department then followed up and found a state-wide problem with enrollment policies. Some schools were asking for “copies of Social Security cards and visa expiration dates, which illegal immigrants generally would not have.” These practices, according to the attorney general’s office, violate a 1982 Supreme Court decision declaring that a student’s immigration status cannot be the basis of enrollment.

The state is now enforcing major reform:

In addition to changing their enrollment requirements, the districts agreed to develop new training for enrollment officials and to report any denials of admission until June 2018.

Many of the 20 districts implicated, which are sprea...

04:37

An Extraordinary Macro Timelapse of Aquatic Wildlife by Sandro Bocci Colossal

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The above clip is a trailer of sorts for an upcoming non-verbal film titled Prograve by Italian filmmaker and documentarist Sandro Bocci. The feature is billed as (translated from Italian) “an experimental film orbiting scientific and philosophical reflections on time and space, and that through various shooting techniques, fields of magnification, and an exciting soundtrack, weaves a web between science and magic.” The section shown here depicts beautiful macro timelapses of coral, sponges and other aquatic wildlife filmed under ultraviolet light. You can see additional stills from the upcoming film here. Music by Maurizio Morganti. (via Vimeo Staff Picks,...

03:37

‘Death Is Their Destiny’: Home-movies of London punks 1978-81 Dangerous Minds

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London 1977: By day Phil Munnoch was a mild-mannered copywriter working for an ad agency in the heart of the city. He was neat, he was clean, he looked smart in his collar and tie, sharp pressed trousers and bright, shiny shoes. But Phil had a secret that he kept from his...

03:04

The stunning ‘otherworldly personas’ of NYC club kid Ryan Burke Dangerous Minds

by Ryan Burke
 

True artistry that truly pushes creative boundaries is a rare thing. Known best for his ongoing series of self-portraits which showcase his visually stunning makeup achievements, New York City artist and photographer Ryan Burke has proven that he’s in a boundary-pushing...

02:44

‘Mysterious, Incredible, Bizarre’: 80s Florida buttrockers in best/worst local hair salon ad ever! Dangerous Minds


 
“It’s mysterious…”

“It’s incredible…”

“It’s bizarre…”

So opens this brain-melting local Brandon, FL hair salon ad.

Thrash-metal pioneers, Nasty Savage, file out, clown-car style, from a vehicle that is not-quite-a-limo. A slack-jawed hesher in white tie and gloves holds the door...

02:34

Top Five: Feb. 19, 2015 Glasstire Texas

Does this count? Is this good? What is this? Watch Christina and Bill cover their nut, or just read the list here:

 

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1.Kevin Todora: New Photographic Works
Erin Cluley Gallery, Dallas
February 21 – March 28
Opening: February 21, 6–8 pm
A show of new works by Dallas-based artist Kevin Todora that go beyond the traditional matted and framed photography format.

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2. Helen Altman: Cover Your Nut
Moody Gallery, Houston
February 21 – March 21
Opening Saturday, February 21, 2-5pm Artist talk at 3pm
A big exhibition premiering new work by Altman, including sculptures created from found hand puppets and stuffed animals, a 6-foot grid of skulls made from flowers and grasses, and blown eggs filled with hourglass sand.

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...

02:30

What’s the Big Deal About Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel? Matt Zoller Seitz’s Video Essay Explains Open Culture

Toward the end of 2013, we featured a series of video essays by Matt Zoller Seitz on the films of Wes Anderson. They first came out to accompany The Wes Anderson Collection, the critic’s coffee-table retrospective of that auteur of whimsical handcrafted films’ career to date — to the date of late 2013, anyway. Even then, fans had already geared themselves up in anticipation of the then-imminent release of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson’s eighth and latest picture, which at the moment has resurfaced in awards-season buzz.

The diminishing number of you who have proven still impervious to Anderson’s peculiar brand of movie magic might, actually, feel you’ve heard a bit too much about The Grand Budapest Hotel over the past year or so. What, pray tell, is the big deal? Here to answer that question, we have Zoller Seitz’s brand new video essay on Anderson’s tale of that titular once-grand mountain hotel and the 20th-century Europe of the imagination (eventually giving way to the 20th-century Europe of history) that swirls around and through it.

“All of Wes Anderson’s films are comedies,” says Zoller Seitz, “and none are.” Throughout the following fifteen minutes, he analyzes exactly how, with The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson climbs to the top of both of his personal twin peaks of frivolity and seriousness — or seriousness expressed through frivolity, or vice versa. In the director’s “most structurally ambitious film,” we see not just layers of comedy and melancholy but of history, literature, art...

01:34

Kubrick veteran Peter Sellers HATED ‘A Clockwork Orange’ Dangerous Minds


 
In the June 25, 1972 issue of the Chicago Tribune there appears a profile of Peter Sellers written by the paper’s film critic Gene Siskel. The article focuses on some serious health problems Sellers had recently undergone, specifically “eight heart attacks in...

01:31

Honey on Tap: A New Beehive that Automatically Extracts Honey without Disturbing Bees Colossal

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The Flow Hive is a new beehive invention that promises to eliminate the more laborious aspects of collecting honey from a beehive with a novel spigot system that taps into specially designed honeycomb frames. Invented over the last decade by father and son beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson, the system eliminates the traditional process of honey extraction where frames are removed from beehives, opened with hot knives, and loaded into a machine that uses centrifugal force to get the honey out. Here is how the Andersons explain their design:

The Flow frame consists of already partly formed honeycomb cells. The bees complete the comb with their wax, fill the cells with honey and cap the cells as usual. When you turn the tool, a bit like a ta...

01:24

OUTsider Arts Fest to Prove That Sometimes Austin is Still Weird Glasstire Texas

OUTsiderLike many cities, Austin has fallen prey to the same homogeneity created by the constant influx of young, white people with way too much money. That’s why those “Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers seem overly self-conscious, desperate, and basically useless (and usually found on the cars of those rich white kids). Occasionally, though, Austin’s weirdness still pops up its joyful little head. In the next few days, the inaugural OUTsider Film and Arts Festival will provide some genuinely weird (or, at least, less than mainstream) experiences.

OUTsider will present performances, films, art, and music with a focus on queer artists (full schedule here). Tonight’s VIP opening features at Salvage Vanguard Theater features performance artist Silky Shoemaker’s Gay Wax Museum and performance artist Narcissister, whose act on America’s Got Talent is posted below.

...

01:21

Ken Kesey and the Grateful Dead’s unrealized ballet Dangerous Minds


 
Though The Sea Lion, Ken Kesey’s tale based on the mythology of the Northwest Coast Indians, wound up as a

01:19

How Low Can a Punk Get? Bad Brains in a cheesy local TV segment, 1981 Dangerous Minds


 
In 1981 (it may have been 1980, different uploads of the video sport different dates), many among suburban Washington, D.C.‘s population of normals were introduced to

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Thursday, 19 February

23:00

7 Rock Album Covers Designed by Iconic Artists: Warhol, Rauschenberg, Dalí, Richter, Mapplethorpe & More Open Culture

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The art of the album cover is ground we cover here often enough, from the jazz deco creations of album art inventor Alex Steinweiss to the bawdy burlesques of underground comix legend R. Crumb. We could add to these American references the iconic covers of European graphic artists like Peter Saville of Joy Divisions’ Unknown Pleasures and Storm Thorgerson of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. These names represent just a small sampling of the many renowned designers who have given popular music its distinctive look over the decades, and without whom the experience of record shopping—perhaps itself a bygone art—would be a dreary one. Though these creative personalities work in a primarily commercial vein, there’s no reason not to call their products fine art.

But in a great many cases, the images that grace the covers of records we know well come directly from the fine art world—whether appropriated from pieces that hang on museum walls or commissioned from famous arti...

20:18

Dubai in Flow Motion: A Short Film That Takes Hyperlapses to the Next Level Open Culture

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has become a bustling, metropolis, and a major business hub in the Persian Gulf region. “My first impression of Dubai was that of super-tall buildings jutting out of the desert sand,” writes Rob Whitworth, the creator of the film above. “Dubai may be home to the world’s most outrageous skyline,” but there’s more to it than that. After “3 months of exploration, research and filming,” Whitworth continues, “my lasting impression is of the eternal wonder of the desert and the importance it holds for the Emirati people.” Skyscrapers and desert dunes, they both get captured in the photographer’s fast moving short film called “Dubai Flow Motion” — a film which, as Petapixel rightly notes, takes “hyperlapses to the next level.” Watch and you’ll see what they mean.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

 

Dubai in Flow Motion: A Short Film That Takes Hyperlapses to the Next Level is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter...

12:00

What Books Could Be Used to Rebuild Civilization?: Lists by Brian Eno, Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly & Other Forward-Thinking Minds Open Culture

One particularly distressing hallmark of late modernity can be characterized as a cultural loss of the future. Where we once delighted in imagining the turns civilization would take hundreds and even thousands of years ahead—projecting radical designs, innovative solutions, great explorations, and peculiar evolutionary developments—we now find the mode of forecasting has grown apocalyptic, as climate change and other catastrophic, man-made global phenomena make it difficult to avoid some very dire conclusions about humanity’s impending fate. We can add to this assessment the loss of what we may call the “long view” in our day-to-day lives.

As the Long Now Foundation co-founder Stewart Brand describes it, “civilization is revving itself into a pathologically short attention span,” driven by “the acceleration of technology, the short-horizon perspective of market-driven economics, the next-election perspective of democracies, or the distractions of personal multi-tasking.” Such is the texture of modern existence, and though we may run our hands over it daily, remarking on how tightly woven the fabric is, we seem to have few-to-no mechanisms for unweaving—or even loosening—the threads. Enter the Long Now Foundation and its proposal of “both a mechanism and a myth” as a means encouraging “the long view and the taking of long-term responsibility.”

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Image courtesy of Because We Can

Inspired by compute...

11:00

Let Me Librarian That for You: What People Asked Librarians Before Google Came Along Open Culture

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I often wonder just how I would have done my job(s) before the advent of an internet that puts more or less whatever information I might need right at my fingertips. The answer, of course, applies to any question about how we did things in an earlier technological era: we would’ve had to talk to someone. Some of us would’ve had to talk to a librarian, just like the ones The New York Public Library has employed (and continues to employ) to research and respond to any questions people need answered.

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The internet, as it happens, has loved #letmelibrarianthatforyou, the hashtag the New York Public Library started using on Instagram to identify the unusual such questions it fielded in the 20th century. Their recent discovery of a box of notecards filled with preserved questions from the 1940s through the 80s, photographs of which they now post on a regular basis, has provided a clear window onto the human curiosity of days past — or rather, the instances of human curiosity that librarians found curious enough to preserve in their box labeled “interesting research questions” and kept behind the desk.

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Search technology, of course, hasn’t yet made human consultants of every kind obsolete; there are more Googleable and less Googleable questions, after all. Examples of the former include 19...

09:20

An Animated Lou Reed Explains The Velvet Underground’s Artistic Goals, and Why The Beatles Were “Garbage” Open Culture

Blank on Blank returns this week with another one of their groovy animations. This time, we find Lou Reed recalling the goals and ambitions of his avant-garde rock band, The Velvet Underground. We wanted, he says, “to elevate the rock n’ roll song, to take it where it hadn’t been taken before.” And, in his humble opinion, they did just that, far exceeding the musical output of contemporary bands like The Doors and The Beatles, which he respectively calls “stupid” and “garbage.” If you listen to the complete interview recorded in 1987 (web iTunes), you’ll hear Lou diss a lot of bands. But which one did he give props to? U2. Go figure.

Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.

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06:17

SMU and Pastelegram Team Up for New Texas Art Magazine Glasstire Texas

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Video still from Mary Walling Blackburn’s Son and Father, Konya, Turkey, 2012; image courtesy of the artist.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas and Pastelegram, the non-profit art annual based in Austin, are collaborating on a new online art magazine called Coronagraph. The publication will feature “in-depth interviews between art thinkers and practitioners.”

Says Noah Simblist, the chair of SMU’s art division: “We wanted to create a platform that would allow for deeper conversation about artistic practice… to create a site that was unafraid to be too esoteric, theoretical or political, areas of discourse that are rare right now in Texas.”

The interviews will link Texas-based artists and writers to national and international ones, and feature talent from SMU and UT Austin. The interviews will fall under one of two headings: Objects and Acts, or Practices and Processes. The first three interviews have been posted here.

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06:07

187 Big Thinkers Answer the Question: What Do You Think About Machines That Think? Open Culture

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It’s time, again, for Edge.org’s annual question. The 2015 edition asks 187 accomplished (and in some cases celebrated) thinkers to answer the question: What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

John Brockman, the literary über agent and founder of Edge.org, fleshes the question out a bit, writing:

In recent years, the 1980s-era philosophical discussions about artificial intelligence (AI)—whether computers can “really” think, refer, be conscious, and so on—have led to new conversations about how we should deal with the forms that many argue actually are implemented. These “AIs”, if they achieve “Superintelligence” (Nick Bostrom), could pose “existential risks” that lead to “Our Final Hour” (Martin Rees). And Stephen Hawking recently made international headlines when he noted “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

But wait! Should we also ask what machines that think, or, “AIs”, might be thinking about? Do they want, do they expect civil rights? Do they have feelings? What kind of government (for us) would an AI choose? What kind of society would they want to structure for themselves? Or is “their” society “our” society? Will we, and the AIs, include each other within our respective circles of empathy?

Numerous Edgies have been at the forefront of the science behind the various flavors of AI, either in their research or writings. AI was front and center in conversations between charter members Pamela McCorduck (Machines Who Think) and Isaac Asimov (Machines That Think) at our initial meetings in 1980. And the conversation has continued...

05:21

Hand-painted Ceramic Plate Installations by Molly Hatch Colossal

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Quand on Aime Tout est Plaisir: After Fragonard, USA, 2013

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Quand on Aime Tout est Plaisir: After Fragonard, USA, 2013

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Recite, USA, 2014. 199 hand-thrown porcelain porcelain plates with glaze and underglaze, acrylic paint, hardware.

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Recite, detail.

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Covet Project, 2012.

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Covet Project, 2012.

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Deconstructed Lace: After Royal Copenhagen, USA, 2014. 93 hand-thrown and hand-painted porcelain plates with glaze and underglaze.

Massachusetts-based artist Molly Hatch creates immense installations of hand-built ceramic plates painted with a varie...

03:30

40 Years of Saul Bass’ Groundbreaking Title Sequences in One Compilation Open Culture

A good title sequence tells you everything you need to know about the world of a movie. As it unspools the credits for a given film, it can also convey the movie’s mood, its sense of place, its story’s theme and even a few of its plot points. Saul Bass invented the modern title sequence with Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). Consisting largely of moving white rectangles on a black background set to a jazzy score, the piece feels like a Blue Note record cover come to life – perfect for a gritty tale about heroin addiction. The opening was so striking that Hollywood took note and soon title sequences became the rage, especially ones made by Bass.

Above you can watch a long compilation of Saul Bass titles, starting with Man with the Golden Arm and ending with Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995). Along the way, the montage illustrates the evolution of style over the course of those 40 y...

02:59

2015 TX Sculpture Symposium: Part I Glasstire Texas

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Perhaps it’s because we fail to correctly identify our geographical location, or maybe because we are 5 solid hours from more populous areas – but it seems that Lubbock gets overlooked.  Obviously Texas Tech plays a major part in shaping the nature of emerging artistic attitude in Lubbock, but that’s not all we have on our plate up here.  Here in the Panhandle (that’s right, not West Texas) of the Lone Star State there is a thriving art community where thousands of potential patrons are ferried to dozens of galleries each month, where successful artists can come to a residency with solid facilities available in clay, metal fabrication and print, and where a large number of sculptors, sculpture professors, and students recently melded together at the Texas Sculpture Symposium 2015.

On the first evening of the symposium, Judy Pfaff started her presentation to the packed Firehouse theatre at LHUCA. Seeing her new work was akin to having a precognitive glimpse of the cover of ICS Sculpture mag–surely coming to a newsstand near you next year. I was struck by formal choices that echoed my own affinity for circular and spherical themes.  It was pleasant to be gently guided through a menagerie of images of recent ambitious projects by such a humble presenter.

At one point she mentioned her MacArthur Fellowship and showed the fruits of receiving such an honor. My ignorant bliss of the MacArthur Foundation was only shown later when I asked fellow sculptors of the process of nomination and was rewarded with their dumfounded scathing.  At any rate, her keynote address was an attenuated glimpse into her studio practice culminating in images of finished installations and grandiose media gestures.  As a teacher, I gravitated t...

02:22

Menil to Honor Bill Camfield’s Picabia Work Glasstire Texas

PicabiaBill Camfield may have retired from teaching at Rice University in 2002 (where he had taught art history since 1969), but he hasn’t quit working. Over the years, Camfield has published a number of books and articles and now, in celebration of his recently published Francis Picabia: Catalogue Raisonné, Vol. 1, 1898–1914, the Menil Collection is hosting a book signing at 7pm tonight, with a short talk by Camfield at 7:30.

warhol_camfieldHoustonia magazine notes that Dr. Camfield, along with a team of French art historians, and in close collaboration with Picabia’s family, has been working on the catalogue since 1992. Camfield, who wrote his graduate school dissertation on Picabia, has four more volumes to publish, which he expects to happen at about the rate of one a year until the entire endeavor is finished around 2019. (A fifth volume dedicated to Picabia’s drawings is also planned.)

At Rice, Camfield originated the internship course that sends a number of students to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (and sometimes to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston) each semester. The well-loved professor emeritus should have plen...

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Wednesday, 18 February

09:45

What Makes Us Human?: Chomsky, Locke & Marx Introduced by New Animated Videos from the BBC Open Culture

When Plato defined humans as two-legged animals without feathers, I suspect he was only half serious. Or if he was as humorless as some suppose, his antagonist Diogenes the Cynic certainly picked up on the joke, pointing out that the description sounds pretty much like a plucked chicken. The ancient back and forth illustrates a question that has occupied philosophers for many thousands of years: what separates humans from animals? Is it a soul? Rationality? Tool-making? Most accounts, especially most modern accounts, settle on one crucial central difference—language. Although animals can communicate with each other perfectly well, they do so without this amazingly sophisticated faculty we so often take for granted.

In the animated video above, part of the BBC and Open University’s A History of Ideas series, Gillian Anderson, in her British rather than American accent, explains the well-known theory of language acquisition proposed by linguist Noam Chomsky in the 60s. Chomsky argued for what is known as a “universal grammar,...

05:59

New Three-Dimensional Figurative Collages Encased in Multiple Layers of Glass by Dustin Yellin Colossal

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

Photo by Andrew Romer Photography courtesy the artist

The Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin (previously) was commissioned by the New York City Ballet to install a new series of his figurative collages. The artist refers to the sculptures as Psychogeographies because “they feel like maps of the psyche.”

Each large-scale sculpture is individually embellished with bizarre found objects—cut-up books, magazines and trash found on the street—which are then sealed within layers of glass. “Imagine if you were to make a drawing on a window,” said Yellin, explaining his process. “And then you were to take another window and glue it to that window… until you had a window sandwich. I make window sandwiches.”

The resulting forms resemble dancers striking various poses: their multi-dimensional bodies encapsulated in suspended animation. A grand total of 15 of these “window sandwiches,” each weighing in at 3,000 pounds each, were installed in the atrium of the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The installation is on view for all performances through March 1, 2015 but there’s also free public viewing through February 22. If you can’t make it you can always follow Yellin’s activities on Instagram.

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03:14

No Signal: Bontrager Installation Gets Only Two Bars. Glasstire Texas

Bontrager waiting

Nick Bontrager’s Signals at Aurora Picture Show in Houston is an interactive video installation where you send text messages to the artist (hidden away in a secret bat cave somewhere) and he replies via Morse code. The messages are less important than the communications equipment, which is good, because little if any communication actually takes place.

bontrager set upVisually, what you get is this: a video projection of a bearded man in army-green coveralls standing next to a cylindrical piece of tripod-mounted equipment that turns out to be an army-surplus signal lamp- basically a spotlight with shutters that allow it to be opened and closed rapidly to make discrete flashes of light. At different points in the video, he’s in a forest, on a beach, or in the desert. A similar lamp stands in the gallery, pointed at the movie screen. The guy on the screen is waiting for us to make the first move. A gallery attendant from Aurora led me to stacks of message forms on clipboards and gave me Bontrager’s phone number.

No doubt signal lamps are an effective means of communication in wartime, when radio silence is necessary. I appreciate the irony: I tapped out little letters on my phone, which were translated into little dots and dashes of light, substituting a cumbrous process for today’s all-too instant messaging, but the absurdity doesn’t make it more fun. If Bontrager had been there in person, I might have asked about his work, or commented on the weather, just to be polite, but  I...

01:51

Architectural Letterforms Come to Life for ‘Deepblue Networks’ Colossal

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For a recent promotional campaign, German creative firm Deepblue Networks collaborated with illustrator and graphic designer Florian Schommer of Kjosk Collective to create a series of animated b...

01:24

TONIGHT! Weigh in on the Future of Houston’s Arts & Culture Glasstire Texas

Rendezvous Houston, 1986. Photo by Patrick Burke via Wikipedia

Rendezvous Houston, 1986. Photo by Patrick Burke via Wikipedia

The City of Houston is seeking input from residents on its Art & Cultural Plan, a 2-year initiative begun in early 2014, through a series of “Community Conversations.” There are three of these Conversations left:

Tuesday, February 17th, 6:30–8pm
Charlton Community Center
8200 Park Place Boulevard
Houston 77017

Wednesday, February 18th, 6:30–8pm
White Oak Conference Center
7603 Antoine Drive
Houston 77088

Thursday, February 19th, 6:30–8pm
Sharpstown Community Center
6600 Harbor Town Drive
Houston 77036

The last cultural plan was made more than 20 years ago and Mayor Annise Parker has directed that the plan be finished before she leaves office at the end of 2015. When she named Philamena Baird and Rick Lowe to serve as co-chairs of the Arts & Cultural Plan Advisory Committee (for the full member list, go here), she stated, “It’s time for a new plan that will position Houston as a leader and destination for arts and culture.”

The City’s...

00:21

Sponsor // A’ Design Awards 2015—Deadline February 28 Colossal

The A’ Design Award & Competition is the world’s leading international annual juried competition for design. The A’ Design Accolades are organized in a wide range of creative fields to highlight the very best designers from all countries in all disciplines. Entries to the competition are peer-reviewed and anonymously judged by an influential jury panel of experienced academics, prominent press members and established professionals.

The A’ Design Prize, given to award winners, includes PR, publicity, and marketing services, in addition to an exclusive invitation to the glamorous Gala-Night and Award Ceremony at Como Lake, Italy, where award winners are presented their exclusive trophies, hardcover yearbook of best designs, and certificates.

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Tuesday, 17 February

11:49

Tomorrow: ‘Tuesday Evenings’ Kicks Off With Janet Zweig and Dan Maginn Glasstire Texas

Modern-Art-Musuem-Fort-Worth-Ando_9The excellent and popular long-running artist talk series, Tuesday Evenings at the Modern in Fort Worth is starting up its new season this week with guests Janet Zweig and Dan Maginn.

The series’ organizer Terri Thornton, the Modern Art Musuem of Fort Worth’s Curator of Education, says this of the New York and Kansas City-based artists: “You may or may not be familiar with Janet Zweig’s work or that of Dan Maginn but what they have to offer in the realm of ‘public art’ defies the stereotypes that can give the noble effort of making art available in public spaces a bad name. Work like Zweig and Maginn’s stands to change attitudes and communities as it appropriately challenges us in order to include us.”

This season lasts until April 21 (Laurie Simmons that night!). The lectures are free and open to the public (seats are first come first serve) and usually begin at 7 p.m. and end around 8 p.m. For the full season program, please go here.  Remember: tomorrow evening is the first installment.

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07:36

Strong Winds Carve Otherworldly Towers from Frozen Sand on the Shore of Lake Michigan Colossal

DSC_8956 photo by Joshua Nowicki

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IMG_9048 photo by Joshua Nowicki

While exploring the shores around St. Joseph, Michigan last week, photographer Joshua Nowicki stumbled onto a bizarre phenomenon: dozens of small sand towers rising out of the beach, some over a foot tall. The strange layered sand castles are formed when blasts of wind slowly erode layers of frozen sand, much like how a river might slowly create a canyon. Nowicki returned yesterday to shoot more photos, but found that sunny skies were enough to melt them away. You can see more of his photography here. (via...

05:30

Lifelike Galvanized Wire Animal Sculptures by Kendra Haste Colossal

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Working only with layers of painted galvanized wire atop steel armature, UK artist Kendra Haste creates faithful reproductions of creatures large and small for both public installations and private collections around the world. A graduate of the from the Royal College of Art, Haste says she is fascinated by how such a seemingly ordinary medium, chicken wire, is capable of suggesting “the...

03:26

The Horrifying Rise of the “Death Cult” of ISIS – and Its Occult Roots The Vigilant Citizen

WARNING — GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING PHOTOGRAPHS AND DESCRIPTIONS. U.S. President Barack Obama has denounced the jihadist group known as “ISIS” as [...]

The post The Horrifying Rise of the “Death Cult” of ISIS – and Its Occult Roots appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen.

02:45

Handmade Candy: Watch as Giant Blobs of Melted Sugar are Embedded with Tiny Designs Colossal

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This video from La Confiserie CandyLabs in Montreal demonstrates the labor-intensive process of rolling traditional hard candy. Each design starts with colored and flavored strips of heated sugar which are precisely rolled together into an increasingly large log-like shape. Despite reaching a final diameter of nearly 6″, the form is then stretched impossibly thin to create hundreds of pieces of tiny hard candies. From start to finish the entire process takes about three hours, during which the candy (and candy maker) never stop moving for more than a few seconds. You can see more of their candy designs over on Facebook. (via Neatorama)

02:39

Wars Fought With Art, Latest Battleground: Garland, TX Glasstire Texas

Photo: American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Photo: American Freedom Defense Initiative.

After last month’s shootings at the Charlie Hebdo Paris headquarters, the remaining staff continued publication and the issue sold out seven million copies in six languages, in contrast to its typical French-only print run of 60,000.

Then, earlier this month, NBC news reported that a global cartoon competition based on the theme of Holocaust denial was launched in Iran in response to the magazine cover that featured a caricature of the Prophet Muhammad. All cartoons must be submitted by April Fools’ Day because “April 1 is the day of big lies, and the Holocaust is a big lie that the Zionists invented to suppress the Palestinians,” said Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, head of House of Cartoons and one of the competition’s organizers. A total of $25,000 will be awarded to three winners.

This Valentine’s Day, a gunman fired into a Copenhagen café, where a debate on freedom of speech featuring Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was being held. Vilks is the creator of a number of controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. He has been living un...

Monday, 16 February

01:09

Painted Pedestrian Views of Dark, Urban Scenes by Cristóbal Pérez García Colossal

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Iron Raining. Oil on canvas. 89 x 146 cm

Iron Raining. Oil on canvas. 89 x 146 cm

Lights at the Bus Stop. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm

Lights at the Bus Stop. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm

5ª Avenida.195 x 195 cm

5ª Avenida.195 x 195 cm

Empire State. 146 x 146 cm

Empire State. 146 x 146 cm

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