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Current Topic: Arts

New Memestreams Layout
Topic: Arts 5:06 pm EDT, Apr 27, 2010

Presenting: a newer, more omgoptimized layout for Memestreams.

It's so beautiful it'll make your eyes water.

New Memestreams Layout

Nissan makes EV's sound-themable
Topic: Arts 3:02 pm EDT, Sep 20, 2009

Since there's apparently been a problem with EVs not making enough noise to scare pedestrians back into the crosswalk, Nissan has now decided to add sound effects to their vehicles for conspicuity (and probably to open another revenue stream for the RIAA). Imagine sitting next to the overpass thirty years from now and hearing something that sounds like an Eno soundtrack as cars whizz by.

Nissan makes EV's sound-themable

Wholly bizarre animated grafitti art
Topic: Arts 12:34 am EDT, Jun 20, 2008

I don't know if this is a sign that we should outlaw chalk and charcoal or what... perhaps just running in circles and screaming would be in order.

Wholly bizarre animated grafitti art

David Byrne’s New Band, With Architectural Solos
Topic: Arts 3:35 am EDT, Jun  2, 2008

Oh my this is very cool.

David Byrne’s New Band, With Architectural Solos

Faithless - Mass Destruction
Topic: Arts 3:04 pm EDT, Sep 10, 2007

The "talking to the wall" imagery is great.

No, the talking to the wall imagery is bloody awesome is what it is.

Faithless - Mass Destruction

Q&A with William Gibson - The Boston Globe
Topic: Arts 1:07 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2007

Locative art, a melding of global positioning technology to virtual reality, is the new wrinkle in Gibson's matrix.

It's locative art that leads spooks and counterspooks directly to the cash.


Gibson: I don't think "Neuromancer" was prescient. It's more like trend-spotting. ... The level I work at is at the juxtaposition, say, of Prada and Santeria. But it's not about Prada or Santeria. It's not about having ideas about either. It's about seeing what happens when the two are put together.

Q&A with William Gibson - The Boston Globe

Really, really cool optical illusion
Topic: Arts 12:54 pm EDT, Aug  5, 2007

Seriously. This is definitely above and beyond the usual. No crazy patterns, no violent blinkingness, no creepy face to spring out at you.

Go to the site, and check out the castle by putting your mouse cursor over the image. Notice that it's entirely black and white. Move your mouse pointer off to one side of the image. Now, just like it says, stare at the dot in the center for about 30 seconds, and don't move your head or look away. Relax your eyes even. Then without looking away, move the mouse pointer back into the image.


When you blink and it goes *pffT!* back to black and white is pretty trippy.

Really, really cool optical illusion

Awesome War Shirt -- 'We're gonna free the s**t out of you!'
Topic: Arts 3:35 am EDT, Aug  4, 2007

This is just an awesome T-shirt and I figured I'd point it out.

Oh, yeah, and there's also a ton of rather cracked out t-shirts in the same bizarre category. :)

(It beats looking at shill sites.)

Awesome War Shirt -- 'We're gonna free the s**t out of you!'

King Plow Arts Center
Topic: Arts 12:12 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2007

The Concept: King Plow has been transformed from an antiquated plow factory into an arts community and center for commercial, performing and visual arts. In 1990, the owners designed a plan to build affordable Live/work studios, commercial artist spaces, art galleries, areas designed for the performing arts, and a restaurant within the buildings while preserving their historic and architectural significance. The project started with eleven different buildings. Several of the buildings were built at different periods of time throughout the Plow Company's existence. The oldest, as well as the only two-story building, was built circa 1890. Most of other buildings were built between 1936-38. Because of the different types of architecture involved the renovation of the building created spaces that are truly unique.

The Reality: The King Plow Arts Center has more than sixty-five tenants representing fine, commercial and performing arts. Tenants representing six fine art areas include: photographers, sculptors, writers, painters, metal smiths and printmakers. The commercial arts are represented by a floral sculptor, architectural firms, a modeling agency, graphic design firms, a film production company advertising agencies, a set designer, multi-media designers, art galleries, and several product and fashion photographers. Representing performing arts are a theater company, a dance school and circus arts school Also located in the center is the City of Atlanta's Clearinghouse.

King Plow Art Center is pleased to serve as a model of adaptive reuse of historic structures and a catalyst for the proposed Marietta Street Arts Corridor. King Plow is the largest center of its kind in the city and has become a significant part of Atlanta's Arts community.

King Plow Arts Center

Blindness, by Jose Saramago
Topic: Arts 12:12 pm EDT, Jun 13, 2007

I mention this book as a sort of follow-up on the Doctorow essay in Forbes (part of the Twenty-First Century Cities special feature), where he writes:

The real reason to wear the mask is to spare others the discomfort of seeing your facial expression ... To make it possible to see without seeing.

About this book:

In an unnamed city in an unnamed country, a man sitting in his car waiting for a traffic light to change is suddenly struck blind. But instead of being plunged into darkness, this man sees everything white, as if he "were caught in a mist or had fallen into a milky sea." A Good Samaritan offers to drive him home (and later steals his car); his wife takes him by taxi to a nearby eye clinic where they are ushered past other patients into the doctor's office. Within a day the man's wife, the taxi driver, the doctor and his patients, and the car thief have all succumbed to blindness. As the epidemic spreads, the government panics and begins quarantining victims in an abandoned mental asylum--guarded by soldiers with orders to shoot anyone who tries to escape. So begins Portuguese author Jose Saramago's gripping story of humanity under siege, written with a dearth of paragraphs, limited punctuation, and embedded dialogue minus either quotation marks or attribution. At first this may seem challenging, but the style actually contributes to the narrative's building tension, and to the reader's involvement.

Blindness is in many ways a horrific novel, detailing as it does the total breakdown in society that follows upon this most unnatural disaster. Saramago takes his characters to the very edge of humanity and then pushes them over the precipice. His people learn to live in inexpressible filth, they commit acts of both unspeakable violence and amazing generosity that would have been unimaginable to them before the tragedy. The very structure of society itself alters to suit the circumstances as once-civilized, urban dwellers become ragged nomads traveling by touch from building to building in search of food. The devil is in the details, and Saramago has imagined for us in all its devastation a hell where those who went blind in the streets can never find their homes again, where people are reduced to eating chickens raw and packs of dogs roam the excrement-covered sidewalks scavenging from corpses.

And yet in the midst of all this horror Saramago has written passages of unsurpassed beauty. Upon being told she is beautiful by three of her charges, women who have never seen her, "the doctor's wife is reduced to tears because of a personal pronoun, an adverb, a verb, an adjective, mere grammatical categories, mere labels, just like the two women, the others, indefinite pronouns, they too are crying, they embrace the woman of the whole sentence, three graces beneath the falling rain." In this one woman Saramago has created an enduring, fully developed character who serves both as the eyes and ears of the reader and as the conscience of the race. And in Blindness he has written a profound, ultimately transcendent meditation on what it means to be human.

See also "Seeing".

Blindness, by Jose Saramago

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