Monthly Archives: September 2010

Untitled (Couple in Red Car at Drive-In Restaurant), Memphis, TN

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William Eggleston
Untitled (Couple in Red Car at Drive-In Restaurant), Memphis, TN, 1965-68
[From Dust Bells 2]

by William Eggleston | Edwynn Houk Gallery

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St. Louis, 1977

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St. Louis, 1977

by Joel Meyerowitz | Edwynn Houk Gallery

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West 9th Avenue, Amarillo, Texas

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West 9th Avenue, Amarillo, Texas, October 2, 1974

by Stephen Shore | Edwynn Houk Gallery

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American Pioneers of Color

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Joel Meyerowitz, New York City, 1974. Image via Joel Meyerowitz, courtesy the artist and Edwynn Houk Gallery.

ZURICH.- For its inaugural exhibition, Galerie Edwynn Houk Zur Stockeregg presents AMERICAN PIONEERS OF COLOR, a collection of modern and vintage prints by Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, and William Eggleston, widely acknowledged as the early masters of color photography in the United States. Their pioneering use of color in the 1970s was a bold departure from the long established tradition of black and white photography, which had dominated the medium from its inception, and laid the foundations for contemporary photography today.

http://www.houkgallery.com/

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Walls of Waterfalls

Walls of waterfalls

at Iguacu Falls in Argentina as seen from Brazil. These falls are remarkable when you consider that there are close to 300 separate falls that are spread over a distance of 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) with a total vertical drop of about 280 feet (85 meters). For comparison, Niagara Falls in North America has a width of 0.7 mile with a total drop of about 170 feet, while Victoria Falls in Africa is 1.0 mile wide with a drop of 360 feet. The view from the end of the walkway (see inset note) gives an Argentine perspective of the falls.

via Walt K

 

Upper Falls, Caney Creek, Alabama

via Wes Thomas

 

 

Silver Falls, Oregon

via Jesse Estes

 

 

 

Ribbon Falls – Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite’s 1612 ft. Ribbon Falls flows mainly in the spring and early summer.

via Patrick Smith Photography

 

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There are so many ways to fall—in love, asleep, even flat on your face. This hour, Radiolab dives into stories of great falls. 

We jump into a black hole, take a trip over Niagara Falls, upend some myths about falling cats, and plunge into our favorite songs about falling.

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Guests:

 Professor Fred CoolidgeDavid EaglemanBrian Greene,Joan MurrayDavid QuammenGarrett Soden and Neil deGrasse Tyson

 

 

 

 

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The dustbin of art history

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There is a pattern typical of these end-phase periods, when an artistic movement ossifies. At such times there is exaggeration and multiplication instead of development. A once new armoury of artistic concepts, processes, techniques and themes becomes an archive of formulae, quotations or paraphrasings, ultimately assuming the mode of self-parody.

Over the last decade, not only conceptualism—perhaps the dominant movement of the past three decades—but the entire modernist project has been going through a similar process. Of course, some important and inspired artists have made important and inspired work in recent years—from famous photographers like Andreas Gursky and painters like Luc Tuymans to lesser-known video artists like Lindsay Seers and Anri Sala. But there is something more fundamentally wrong with much of this century’s famous art than its absurd market value.

I believe that this decline shares four aesthetic and ideological characteristics with the end-phases of previous grand styles: formulae for the creation of art; a narcissistic, self-reinforcing cult that elevates art and the artist over actual subjects and ideas; the return of sentiment; and the alibi of cynicism.

But in order clearly to see what is in front of our eyes, we must acknowledge that much of the last decade’s most famous work has been unimaginative, repetitious, formulaic, cynical, mercenary. Why wait for future generations to dismiss this art of celebrity, grandiosity and big money? To paraphrase Trotsky, let us turn to these artists, their billionaire patrons and toadying curators and say: “You are pitiful, isolated individuals. You are bankrupts. Your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of art history!”

Read the article:

 

The dustbin of art history

by BEN LEWIS 

 

Why is so much contemporary art awful? We’re living through the death throes of the modernist project—and this isn’t the first time that greatness has collapsed into decadence

Art by John Campbell via Comics Alliance

 

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Geräusch, crackle of the universe, angels dancing in the static

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The pinnacle of literary modernism, its most sophisticated and extreme achievement, is Joyce’s final novel, Finnegans Wake, published 17 years after Ulysses as the world stood on the brink of a new orgy of technology and death. Impossible to summarise in a sentence, the Wakehas been variously interpreted as the babble running through a dreamer’s head, a disquisition on the history of the world, ditto that of literature, a prophetic set of runes for our age, and a scatological tract so obscene that it had to be written in code to escape the censorship that had befallen Joyce’s previous novel. But whichever way you read it, two things are certain: first, that (as the word “Wake” would suggest) it’s a Book of the Dead, dotted with tombs and rites of mourning; and second, that the technological media people it at every level – telephones and gramophones, films and television and, above all, radio. We have “loftly marconimasts from Clifden” beaming “open tireless secrets . . . to Nova Scotia’s listing sisterwands”; we have a “contact bridge of . . . sixty radiolumin lines . . . where GPO is zentrum” (the post office was the site of Radio Eireann); we have “that lionroar in the air again, the zoohoohoom of Felin make Call”; we even have disembodied voices shouting to each other to “get off my air!” According to the Joyce scholar and poet Jane Lewty, co-editor of Broadcasting Modernism, “theWake can best be understood as a long radio-séance, with the hero tuning into voices of the dead via a radio set at his bedside, or, perhaps, inside his head.” Perhaps, she concedes when I push the point with her, the “hero” might even be the radio set itself.

Listening to deathly voices in the dark, from Quixote’s moment on the hillside onwards, technologics has suggested, to those who want to listen to its broadcasts, a new, dynamic way of understanding literature – that is, of understanding what it is to write, who (or what) writes, and how to read it. Where the liberal-humanist sensibility has always held the literary work to be a form of self-expression, a meticulous sculpting of the thoughts and feelings of an isolated individual who has mastered his or her poetic craft, a technologically savvy sensibility might see it completely differently: as a set of transmissions, filtered through subjects whom technology and the live word have ruptured, broken open, made receptive. I know which side I’m on: the more books I write, the more convinced I become that what we encounter in a novel is not selves, but networks; that what we hear in poems is (to use the language of communications technology) not signal but noise. The German poet Rilke had a word for it: Geräusch, the crackle of the universe, angels dancing in the static.

Read the article:

Technology and the novel, from Blake to Ballard

Writers have long been fascinated by machinery – what it gives and what it takes away. Tom McCarthy, whose experimental work has been hailed as the future of fiction, charts literature’s complicated relationship with technology, at once beautiful and menacing

  • The Guardian, Saturday 24 July 2010
  • Photo:  Futureworld: a still from Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

 

 

 

 

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Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation

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“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789. This notion, carried down through the years, underlies everything from humble political pamphlets to presidential debates to the very notion of a free press. Mankind may be crooked timber, as Kant put it, uniquely susceptible to ignorance and misinformation, but it’s an article of faith that knowledge is the best remedy. If people are furnished with the facts, they will be clearer thinkers and better citizens. If they are ignorant, facts will enlighten them. If they are mistaken, facts will set them straight.

In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?

Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation evenstronger.

 

 

This bodes ill for a democracy, because most voters — the people making decisions about how the country runs — aren’t blank slates. They already have beliefs, and a set of facts lodged in their minds. The problem is that sometimes the things they think they know are objectively, provably false. And in the presence of the correct information, such people react very, very differently than the merely uninformed. Instead of changing their minds to reflect the correct information, they can entrench themselves even deeper.

“The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.” ()

Continue reading:

How facts backfire

Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains

via Boston.com | hat tip aldaily.com

 

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House over the Bridge

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House over the Bridge. / Casa sobre el puente. c. 1909

by Diego Rivera

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