Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Best Thing About Teaching...

...Is having ex-students send you an email in the middle of the night with the subject of "Hey" and an attachment of a half selfie (of them) next to my name!  I truly love the students I had during the years I taught; they made all the educationaleeze and dealing with the bullshit power structure worth it.  

the wonderful Sara Garner

...Ah yeah, one more blog entry that ensures I'll never again get hired for a teaching job.....

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Particle Cathedrals

In a world that is coming to an end (though it might not be, but certainly feels that way; and in fact, upon close examination, and depending on one’s definition of “world”, many worlds are indeed coming to their ends) my husband (the Ranting Economist who no longer rants, since what’s the point) and I watched a new NOVA episode yesterday on the CERN Large Hadron Collider; or what I learned everyone calls the LHC (hmmm).  We watched as the program described the experimental data and teams that “confirmed” the existence of the Higgs Boson. 

We then we watched the LHC close down for improvements that will eventually allow protons to be accelerated to four times the speed used to tease out the Higgs from the particle soup that emerges momentarily when protons are collided at the speeds possible when the event was filmed (in 2012).  The "new and improved” collider will reopen in 2015 (this year); and apparently “we” will now be looking for particles that might prove something called Supersymmetry, which might explain (or illuminate if you will) the invisible “dark matter” (tuhn tuhn tuhn!) in the visible universe; which to this artist made sense only when I thought of it as some kind of parallel universe we can’t see, but hey, I’m just an artist, and these days most everything sounds like some kind of parallel universe I can’t see....   

Anyway, it was interesting to see how NOVA used cute little graphics to take us through a process we could not see and most mortals do not understand.  And it was nice to see a bunch of physicists get really excited; and to empathize with Higgs, as tears came to his eyes when the existence of a particle proving his theory of a mass field necessary for the formation of the universe was announced at CERN, where, ironically, his first paper about all this was rejected.   Irony I understand.

At the end of the show, when the LHC was being closed down for improvements, The Ranting Economist mused, “That’s it (?)  They spend all that money, find the Higgs and now they shut down....”   The Ranting Economist feeling deflated after a program about physics was surprising to me, since at heart he is a physicist (and a photographer and a guitar player).  His comment prompted me to do a cursory search on the cost of the LHC and I found out that it cost 13.5 billion dollars (or $13.500,000,000) to “find the Higgs” (though if Higgs is correct, and current experiments seem to confirm that he is, the Higgs was always here “in plain sight” in the form of the visible universe...).

Well, in the Middle Ages we built cathedrals; now we build particle accelerators.   People just seem to have to believe in something....

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lessons in Perspective continued in Greenville South Carolina

subtitle: Lessons in Human Anatomy (NOT)
or alternatively: It's So Wrong It's Right!

This blog is a continuation of my blog from July, 2011 "A lesson in Perspective from Ai Wei Wei"  in which I appropriated his act of photographing a certain gesture in front of world famous sites.  Here, I return to have fun at a site fraught with significance for me, well maybe no longer so fraught, and certainly a lot less famous.

I would not be revisiting it had I not driven by it the other day only to encounter a new bronze abomination in a city filled with them.  Per square meter, more bronze is wasted in Greenville SC than in any other city in the world; this alone makes it deserving of universal fame (I heard this puppy cost more than 200 thousand dollars to erect).  As I zipped around the traffic circle in my car, I found myself laughing with glee; and I knew then that whatever connection I had to the place was long gone, and it felt so very good.  I decided to return on foot and commemorate that feeling with one more "lesson in perspective".  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

coming upon Lee Kit's work in one of the art rags

...came upon Lee Kit's work today....  ....It made me think about Katherine Ferguson (or is it Furgeson?)... wherever she might have disappeared to... and how she might like it...

Non-ultra Joy (II)

...this whole blogging thing, such narcissistic crap.... oh well... some days are just that way.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

in da news today

I wake up in the night and usually turn the radio on to fall back asleep.  This morning, when I was about to doze off again, I heard news of a man stabbing 4 people on an Amtrack train somewhere I wasn't conscious enough to follow; I do however remember the newscaster ending the report with the usual "the reasons behind the stabbings were unclear".  I also remember answering the announcer in my head with "Silly, it's obvious, he stabbed them because he did not have his gun with him." ...I then went back to sleep....

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If I had the "Tweetee"

There is bullshit, damn bullshit and this:

Press Release:
Miguel Abreu Gallery is pleased to announce the opening, on Sunday, September 7th, of Jean-Luc Moulène’s Torture Concrete, the artist’s first one-person exhibition at the gallery and in New York City.
On view both at 88 Eldridge Street and 36 Orchard Street, the show is comprised of a variety of ‘objects’ from Opus, a body of work in development since 1995, along with two drawings and four photographs. While the constellation of tabletop, floor-bound, and hanging works take three-dimensional materials and photography as their particular support, they are expressly not sculptures, nor photographs. “I consider my images and objects as tools, articles of use: practical above all else,” says Moulène, a self-described technicien libertaire. He points to the rudimentary idea of a tool: the relaying of tensions implicit to materials by both acting and being acted upon, and thus emphasizes the importance of the manipulable in his practice.
The various works in the exhibition, be they bronze or glass knots, cement sculptures of heads, or photographs, are unified by what Moulène calls his underlying protocols, his working paradigm of topology and dynamic systems. This unique modus operandi enables a non-monotonic entanglement between the producer, the production, and the product, that is between the artist, his imagination encountering the volition of materials, and the artwork. Following a protocol, or certain autonomous directives, implies acting in accordance with the ramifying transits between thought and matter. As Reza Negarestani writes in an essay accompanying the show, Moulène proceeds in “search for integrity in variation,” looking “for opportunities to partake in variations on the basis of their underlying invariances.”
When he employs the physico-mathematical entity of a knot as a protocol of construction, for instance, Moulène transcends the conventional view of art as a transitive between the artist and the world. He rediscovers the task of art in its power to rearrange and destabilize the configurational relations between understanding, imagination, and embodiment, which opens up an amplified field of ambiguity. This space of controlled ambiguity is generative, however, inasmuch as it demands new strategies and produces possibilities for the orientation of thought. Thus Moulène reactivates abstraction as “the art of rendering intelligible the mutual perturbations of thought and matter,” Negarestani continues, “by organizing the space through which their respective forces are expressed.” Here the artist sets out to exercise the emancipatory procedure of liberating thought from the grip of any external cause that might determine it. “The task of abstraction in this scenario,” Negarestani explains, “is to liberate the virtual subject – the designated force of thought.”
Bronze Noeuds installed alongside glass Blown Knots in one room produce the effect of breathing through contracted and dilated space – the knots imploded by pulling a rope, or exploded by blowing into glass. The concrete sculptures made by filling inverted latex Halloween masks with cement are another variation of the knot in its most condensed, simplest form of a single loop surface. With this series, further, Moulène destabilizes and plays with the age-old artistic genres of portraiture and monuments by purchasing pop-culture caricatures and neutralizing their representations, as the two active materials find a kind of uneasy equilibrium. In this sense, he constantly annihilates the sterile dualities of the inside and the outside, the negative and the positive space, as well as of the abstract and the concrete. And the traditional bronze material of statues is now used to make monochrome, standard size two-dimensional pictures installed on the walls, facing the concrete monstrous heads placed on shipping blankets on the floor.

    And I like the artwork Jean-Luc Moulène at Miguel Abreu