To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea--"cruising", it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
What does a man need---really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in---and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all---in the material sense.
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
From the archive:
Perhaps the most powerful way in which we conspire against ourselves is the simple fact that we have jobs. We are willingly part of a world designed for the convenience of what Shakespeare called “the visible God”: money. When I say we have jobs, I mean that we find in them our home, our sense of being grounded in the world, grounded in a vast social and economic order. It is a spectacularly complex, even breathtaking, order, and it has two enormous and related problems. First, it seems to be largely responsible for the destruction of the natural world. Second, it has the strong tendency to reduce the human beings inhabiting it to two functions, working and consuming. It tends to hollow us out.
The spread of Enterprise Systems has resulted in a declining emphasis on creativity and ingenuity of workers, and the destruction of a sense of community in the workplace by the ceaseless reengineering of the way businesses operate. The concept of a career has become increasingly meaningless in a setting in which employees have neither skills of which they might be proud nor an audience of independently minded fellow workers that might recognize their value.
The evidence suggests that from an executive perspective, the most desirable employees may no longer necessarily be those with proven ability and judgment, but those who can be counted on to follow orders and be good "team players."
"Being in the water alone, surfing, sharpens a particular kind of concentration, an ability to agree with the ocean, to react with a force that is larger than you are."
If Schnabel is a surfer in the sense of knowing how to skim existence for its wonders, he is also a surfer in the more challenging sense of wanting to see where something bigger than himself, or the unknown, will take him, even with the knowledge that he might not come back from the trip.
When an art form or genre once dismissed as kids’ stuff starts to get taken seriously by gatekeepers – by journals, for example, such as the one you are reading now – respect doesn’t come smoothly, or all at once. Often one artist gets lifted above the rest, his principal works exalted for qualities that other works of the same kind seem not to possess. Later on, the quondam genius looks, if no less talented, less solitary: first among equals, or maybe just first past the post. That is what happened to rock music in the late 1960s, when sophisticated critics decided, as Richard Poirier put it, to start ‘learning from the Beatles’. It is what happened to comics, too, in the early 1990s, when the Pulitzer Prize committee invented an award for Art Spiegelman’s Maus. And it has happened to science fiction, where the anointed author is Philip K. Dick.
It is a short step from discovering that the world we know is a fake or a cheat to discovering that human beings are themselves factitious: that we are robots, ‘simulacra’ (the title of one of Dick’s novels), ‘just reflex machines’, ‘repeating doomed patterns, a single pattern, over and over’ in accordance with biological or economic ukases. Where other SF asks whether made-up entities (aliens, androids, emoting computers etc) deserve the respect we give real human beings, Dick more often asks whether we ought to view ourselves as fakes or machines.
Anathem is a magnificent creation: a work of great scope, intelligence, and imagination that ushers readers into a recognizable—yet strangely inverted—world.
Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside "saecular" world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent's walls. Three times during history's darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.
Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent's gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious "extras" in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn't seen since he was "collected." But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.
Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.
“Untitled (UFO)” is an art project conceived by and created for established New York artist Peter Coffin. Coffin had for a while been wanting to create a public UFO flight performance, but it was not until he met Cinimod that he had the confidence to proceed with making his vision a reality. After an intense period of structural and electrical design, and fabrication, the UFO made its inaugural public appearance on 4th July 2008 as a part of the Gdansk Festival of Stars.
In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.
I did this video for a Russian Metal Band called ANJ. It is pretty crazy. When I saw the lyrics it seemed to be an earnest tribute to Mikael Gorbachov (that's how the Russians spell it), so I was a bit confounded about what the video concept should be, but then I had a brainstorm to take it way over the top and I think it was just the thing. Suffice to say it's half Russian History allegory as told through an old zombie movie made in the Soviet Union, and half animated Soviet Propaganda posters. It's in HD, so let it load a bit before you play it and then click the little "four arrows" symbol on the lower right part of the viewer to see it in true HD.
The culture of cars is an inseparable part of American life. Whether used for functional purposes or recreation, automobiles are expressions of our personality. They also represent the American ideals of freedom, mobility, and independence, providing a unique personal space that is at once private and public.
Andrew Bush examines this tension between private and public in his remarkable series of photographs of individuals driving cars in and around Los Angeles—a city famous for its car culture. By attaching a camera to the passenger side window, Bush made these pictures while driving alongside his subjects—often traveling at 60 mph. Taking notes on the speed and direction he was going, Bush created extended captions for the images and called the series Vector Portraits. Published here for the first time, this portfolio is accompanied by an essay by culture critic Patt Morrison and an interview between the photographer and Jeff L. Rosenheim that discusses the Vector Portraits in the context of Bush’s photography as a whole.
Steam locomotives gripped the imagination when they first appeared in 19th-century Europe and America. Aboard these great machines, passengers traveled at faster speeds than ever before while watching the scenery transform itself and take on new forms. Common notions of time and space were forever changed.
Through vivid illustrations and engaging texts, The Railway: Art in the Age of Steam captures both the fear and excitement of early train travel as it probes the artistic response to steam locomotion within its social setting. Featuring paintings, photography, prints, and posters, the book includes numerous masterpieces by 19th- and 20th-century artists, including J. M. W. Turner, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Charles Sheeler, and Edward Hopper.
With its wide variety of themes—landscape painting, the conquest of the West, Impressionism, issues of social class, Modernism, the aesthetics of the machine, and environmental concerns—this work promises an exhilarating journey for both train and art enthusiasts and for anyone interested in one of the industrial age’s defining achievements.
The Telegraph has a slideshow which accompanied an article back in April, when the exhibition opened.