Here’s a 2007 animation of legendary bluesman Robert Johnson’s `Me and the Devil Blues` created by Dutch artist Ineke Goes. The song was recorded in 1937, in only two takes, and cemented the legend around him – that he made a Faustian pact with the devil, selling his soul in exchange for boundless musical talent.
Japanese artist Murayama has found a different use for computer – aided – design (CAD) – a technique he learnt as an architectural student in Japan . We all know that it’s commonly used by architects and animators but what Murayama has done is something quite special. He has started using it on organic materials, specifically flowers.
The flower is organic and is rather different from architecture in that way, but when I looked closer into a plant that I thought was organic, I found in its form and inner structure, hidden mechanical and inorganic elements.
Just over 50 years ago today – February 20th 1962 - Astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. It was a pretty momentous occasion especially when you consider the technology in those early craft was less sophisticated than your average mobile phone and the conditions in his sardine can were pretty basic. All in all Glenn circled the Earth three times before re – entering the atmosphere and splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean.
As veteran space programme reporter, John Noble Wilford, wrote in The New York Times last week;
Perhaps no other spaceflight – all 4 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds of it–has been followed by so many with such paralyzing apprehension
This isn’t what I usually post up but I couldn’t resist showing you this mad video of people swinging off the largest rope swing ever made. It’s so large it’s death defyingingly nuts. Positively crazy. It was put together in Moab, Utah where a few lunatics strung up it up at a place called the Corona Arch.
Thelonious Monk was a jazz legend, an incredible pianist, a musical genius. This list is a must for all musicians and gives a great insight into the man and his attitude about music. The list was transcribed by saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1960.
The transcript of the list is after the image from his notebook.
I love this short one minute animation by Evan Seitz in which each letter of the alphabet represents a famous film. How many did you get, really, honestly? Or rather how long did it take you to eventually get all of them?
This documentary on Francis Bacon and presented by Melvyn Bragg for the South Bank Show is a fantastic testament to an incredible artist.
Bacon was a colossus of the 20th Century, a painter without parallel, a man whose his torturous images are a wonder to behold and in this Emmy award winning film you get the opportunity to follow a single long form conversation between Bragg and Bacon as they move from gallery to studio to café only to end up drunk in the painter’s favorite drinking club.
Throughout their 34 year working relationship, Stanley Kubrick and his personal assistant, Tony Frewin, kept an ongoing, lighthearted list of potential film titles that they called; ‘Titles in search of a script.’ Frewin had this to say about the list:
Stanley once suggested we open an agency called Titles ‘r’ Us Inc — and that’s all we would trade in. There had to be a market for them as the studios were doing such a poor job themselves.
Here is a small selection from The Stanley Kubrick Archives with comments on each title from Frewin himself:
This is what happens when you get obsessed with having and playing musical instruments. Swiss musician Nemoy is a virtual one man band who not only collects and learns how to use a copious number of sound machines but also plays them well. He spends his days incorporating synthesizers, pianos, organs, horns, basses, as well as loop stations, sequencers, lap tops and whatever else you can possibly think of into soundscapes. This method allows him to start a song from scratch and build it into something seriously funky. His passion lies in Jazz, Funk, Reggae and Soul.
I can’t snowboard. I’d love to and have always loved watching it but, to date, haven’t really had the chance. Anyway when I found this video clip I was pretty bowled over. It was made by fashion photographer and filmmaker Jacob Sutton who shot professional snowboarder William Hughes riding the snowy slopes of South Eastern France wearing a suit made up of 100s and 100s of tiny LED lights.
In the opening passage of ’ABC of Relativity’, Bertrand Russell wrote:
Everybody knows that Einstein did something astonishing, but very few people know exactly what it was. It is generally recognized that he revolutionized our conception of the physical world, but the new conceptions are wrapped up in mathematical technicalities. It is true that there are innumerable popular accounts of the theory of relativity, but they generally cease to be intelligible just at the point where they begin to say something important.
Written in 1925 ‘ABC of Relativity’ is still one of the easily digestible, understandable introductions to Albert Einstein’s theories. Russell wrote the book as a companion to his earlier volume, ABC of Atoms. Mainly for financial reasons as he needed the money but also because he was becoming increasingly interested in social and political issues. He believed that many of the social ills of the period, including the rise of nationalism, were consequences of a widespread and entrenched irrationality, born of ignorance and a lack of education. As his biographer said of him:
This Thai Chicken recipe is divinely fragrant and our skills exchange food writer took it straight from a kitchen on the beautiful Thai island of Koh Samui
If you like Oriental cuisine as much as I do, you will enjoy this month’s recipe. As I have told you before, I lived in Hong Kong for many years and grew to love Chinese food. However, I have never had a wish to serve it. It is troublesome to prepare and worse still involves cooking at the last moment, something I always seek to avoid. Chinese cuisine should definitely be confined to restaurants. However, there are very few Chinese eating houses of quality in Ireland and it is thus many years since I have eaten the food of that great country.
I am told that there are excellent Indian restaurants in Dublin these days, but I certainly can’t say that about my corner of Ireland. The preparation of Indian food is also time – consuming but on the other hand, it can largely be prepared in advance and, once I get my teeth into one of my curries, I quickly forget how long it took to prepare! Indian food is thus part of my regular diet and a choice of Indian dishes is always to be found in my freezer.
While living in Hong Kong, we often took holidays in Thailand. Our favourite haunt was Koh Samui, a small island of 228km² just off the east coast of Thailand’s Kra Isthmus. Koh Samui, with its famous Lamai and Chawaeng Beaches, was highly developed even in the early 1990s, when we were around those parts. However, we opted to stay on the quiet, south coast in a charming resort called the Laem Set Inn. Nestling along a sandy beach cove with palm trees, Laem Set comprised a relatively small number of bungalows and huts of varying degrees of luxury (we always stayed in the simplest huts, which made up by their position right on the sea front, what they may have lacked in terms of facilities!) clustered around a swimming pool, a bar and a dining-room. Lurking in the undergrowth, there was also a rondavel, housing a library, where I often sat and read during tropical downpours.
These images of buildings might seem normal, if not a little sci – fi, but if you look closer you’ll see that they’re all structurally suspect. They’re part of a series called ‘Fictions’ by Belgium photographer, Filip Dujardin. As an artist who studied architecture he has always had a natural pull towards buildings, structure, mechanics.
In the history of the MP3 it is written that the creators of the format geared it specifically to reproduce Suzanne Vega’s hit song, ‘Tom’s Diner’. The song has been done so many times and in so many versions; from the original to the DNA remix, the Billy Bragg version to the cover that REM put together that it would be nice to think that the story was true, but, like most history it isn’t quite the truth of the matter. The fact is that when we listen to MP3s we aren’t listening to music compressed by a precision tuned ‘Tom’s Diner’ delivery system. However, the song did influence the technicalities of what MP3s do to turn songs into small, manageable digital files.
One of the key creators behind the MP3 compression algorithm, Karlheinz Brandenburg, did test the format in its early stages of development using Vegas hit song as he needed a ‘warm capella voice’ to help him tweak the technology.
our next DIY arts festival, the Trash Culture Revue, will take place sometime towards the end of the year. So if you want to create, produce, get involved, play, experiment, try stuff out, have fun, design, administrate, organise, volunteer or just come along then let me know
we provide free creative and production skills for your arts projects and events through our skills exchange so you can experiment, fail, make and play no matter who you are, where you are, what you do or when you do it.