Daily Archives: September 30, 2009

The Gentle Seduction

A short story that beautifuly depicts a possible path in our present to future leap. via Fast T | Space Collective

The Gentle Seduction




Marc Stiegler


First Published by Analog Magazine in 1989


He worked with computers; she worked with trees, and the flowers that took hold on the sides of the Mountain.

She was surprised that he was interested in her. He was so smart; she was so … normal. But he was interesting; he always said something new and different; he was nice.

She was 25. He was older, almost 33; sometimes, Jack seemed very old indeed.

One day they walked through the mist of a gray day by the Mountain. The forest here on the edge of Rainier glowed in the mist, bright with lush greens. On this day he told her about the future, the future he was building.

Other times when he had spoken of the future, a wild look had entered his eyes. But now his eyes were sharply focused as he talked, as if, this time, he could see it all very clearly. He spoke as if he were describing something as real and obvious as the veins of a leaf hanging down before them on the path.

“Have you ever heard of Singularity?” he asked.

She shook her head. “What’s that?”

“Singularity is a time in the future. It’ll occur when the rate of change of technology is very great–so great that the effort to keep up with the change will overwhelm us. People will face a whole new set of problems that we can’t even imagine.” A look of great tranquility smoothed the ridges around his eyes. “On the other hand, all our normal, day to day problems fade away. For example, you’ll be immortal.”

She shook her head with distaste. “I don’t want to live forever,” she said.

He smiled, his eyes twinkling. “Of course you do, you just don’t know it yet.”


Art Credit:  Creation of the Birds | La leçon d’anatomie by Remedios Varo  (more here)

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The Aesthetic of Rebellion or Kanye West Got Me Thinking…


Excerpts from the aesthetic of rebellion or Kanye West got me thinking…

by Temporal Flush

Artists have something to accomplish in this society. Regardless of forms or media, our times require the presence of art and the commitment of artists to contest the values of this world. We need musicians and writers, painters and dancers, photographers and actors, web designers and dramatists… We need artists who speak truth to power, who connect us to human realities that technologies shroud and the prevailing forces of political and corporate power would have suppressed. But where are these artists?

Oh, there are an abundance of individuals trained and skilled in the arts. They rush stages and “networking opportunities” everywhere to showoff their chops, to promote themselves to the next level, to grab a headline, to meme their way into fame — or greater fame — and a millionaire lifestyle. They push, they tug, they bully, they whore themselves without limit, delivering work that is as tiresome and irrelevant and vapid as their ethics.


…what is clear is that West, Rhianna and Jay-Z would like us to see them as individualists and rebels. But they are neither. They are outlandish, I’ll give them that. However, individualists and rebels don’t contort and distort and exploit themselves in order to pander to markets and audiences, nor do rebels become millionaires. In fact I will posit an idea that should be obvious but may shock and, even, cause outrage: One cannot become wealthy or maintain wealth and be in rebellion against the forces and values of this society. To be rich, to even be merely “well off” in America today, requires a compromise of ones principles and identity to the point of irrelevancy. We may take this logic one step further: To be rich and powerful in today’s America is to be a slave.

American culture is a wasteland of prosperous “artists” producing little of any enduring consequence. The corrupting influence is money. Whether we look at young successful “artists” or at the repackaging of old successful artists, it’s all the same. Money is the single constant and degrading factor.

So what should the serious artist do? What position should that artist take when counterculture is mainstream and money is the single motivating force in that stream?

(Continue reading)

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Around the Table 1872


Around the Table (Writers), 1872

Henri Fantin-Latour paid homage to the art of painting on two occasions in his work and also felt the need to pay tribute to literature. So enthusiastic was he about this project that he declared: “I am painting for myself.” The central figure was originally intended to be Baudelaire, but a row in the Parisian literary world resulted in a complete change in the concept, and the painting ultimately became a homage to the poets of the nouvelle vague, with Verlaine and Rimbaud as the central figures.

MADRID – This autumn the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is presenting Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), the first major monographic exhibition to be devoted in Spain to this French painter. It has been organized in conjunction with the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, where it can be seen this summer. The exhibition features a comprehensive selection from the artist’s oeuvre comprising 70 paintings, drawings and prints loaned from museums and institutions around the world. Using a chronological arrangement that follows Fantin-Latour’s career through the second half of the 19th century, the exhibition includes some of his most famous paintings, among them group portraits of family members and friends, interiors with figures and realist still lifes, as well as allegorical and musical fantasies.
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