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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CultureLab: Celebrating the real Einstein

From Evernote:

CultureLab: Celebrating the real Einstein

Clipped from: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/03/celebrating-the-real-einstein.php?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=online-news

Celebrating the real Einstein

13:30 14 March 2010

Amanda Gefter, Books & Arts editor

Einstein_young.jpgToday is Einstein's birthday - and it's time to celebrate.

Everyone loves to celebrate Einstein. He's a movie, an opera, an asteroid, a cartoon. He's an advertisement for a Danish beer. Rock bands exist with names like Einstein's Sister and Forever Einstein. He graces the periodic table of elements--Einsteinium, atomic number 99. People have designed religions around Einstein. His brain was stolen, sliced up into nearly two hundred and fifty pieces, and sent bit by bit through the mail to the curious around the globe.

But as we celebrate his genius, do we exacerbate the spirit of the man who insisted we shouldn't "worship the bones of the saint"? Einstein never desired to become a t-shirt, an action figure, or a friendly greeting card. (Full disclosure: I own all of the above.) "As punishment for my contempt for authority," he said, wearily, "fate has made me an authority myself." If we want to pay proper tribute to Einstein, we must find inspiration in what he actually stood for: no holds barred intellectual rebellion.

To do that, we need to get beyond his usual public image. There seems to be a psychological need to mold Einstein into a cartoonish creature--the saintly, humble, white-haired professor. Perhaps his intelligence is so intimidating that people need to balance it out with a silly disposition. The real Einstein--the 26-year-old patent office Einstein--was soulful, with a dark side. He was handsome and mischievous. A starving artist, a brooding genius, a bohemian. A rebel with a remarkable cause.

Einstein had earned his doctorate in physics, but just barely. He had dropped out of schools, cut classes, failed exams. It wasn't that Einstein was incapable. He just figured he was smarter than all of his professors, and that he would be better off studying philosophy and physics his own way. He so infuriated his teachers that, at the Swiss Polytechnic Institute, from which he eventually graduated, they would lock him out of the library. In the photograph of his graduating class, while all his classmates are sitting up straight and proper, Einstein is lounging back, legs crossed, staring off into the distance as though he had better places to be. You can tell from that photo that he was on a different level than his peers - and that he knew it.

His cocky attitude did not endear him to his colleagues, and he was the only one of his classmates who didn't have an academic post awaiting him upon graduation. He spent two years fielding rejections from every university job he applied for. Eventually he got a day job, working as a third class clerk in the Swiss patent office in Bern. The scientific community had shunned him. He was, as he had always been, a dissident, an outsider. And that allowed him to take some of the greatest risks ever taken in science--to question everything.

Einstein took nothing for granted. Nothing was sacred, everything subject to shatter. His isolation prevented the commonplace mentality from contaminating his rebel psyche. With every equation, he mocked everyone who hadn't believed in him. "My apologies to Newton," he later wrote, when he decided to overthrow nearly three hundred years of physics with the brush of his hand.

He tossed everything out, and rewrote from scratch. Space and time were sewn together by the constant speed of light into a four-dimensional spacetime. Mass and energy warp the metric properties of spacetime, laying a landscape of slopes and valleys that we call the gravitational field. What appears to us as the force of gravity is the hidden geometry of space. While we are confined to experience the universe in pieces, as three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time, the true universe, in some higher level of reality, is a unified spacetime. Einstein saw beyond the bounds of this world to one that is more perfect. Spacetime is a symmetry, but the universe of our perception is a symmetry broken, and we are living amongst the shards.

Reality is a bizarre situation. We wake up in the world with no explanation, no instruction manual, no welcome brochure. We are surrounded on all sides by sheer mystery. So we have two choices: accept or question. How did the universe begin? Did it begin at all? Does time exist or is it another illusion? Is reality infinite? What lies behind things? What that one thing connecting everything? And--the big one--why is there something rather than nothing? (What's something? What's nothing?)

If we are not to worship the bones of the saint, what can we do to celebrate Einstein's birthday - and his legacy? We can continue to look deeper. To ask questions. To follow our art and our instincts. To re-imagine the world. "The important thing," he said, "is to not stop questioning".

Happy birthday, Albert.

Morning sun on Pelican ...

Art Beast - The Daily Beast

more about "Art Beast - The Daily Beast", posted with vodpod

Art Beast - The Daily Beast

more about "Art Beast - The Daily Beast", posted with vodpod

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mr Chippy "on watch" from the top deck...

The Kings of Kodachrome - The Daily Beast

From Evernote:

The Kings of Kodachrome - The Daily Beast

Clipped from: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-02-18/the-kings-of-kodachrome/full/


A vibrant new show at the Cincinnati Art Museum celebrates William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz, and other pioneers of color photography. VIEW OUR GALLERY.

Black and white photography is such a relic of another age that it is hard to imagine, as recently as the 1970s, the art world's hostility to color. William Eggleston's Color Photographs, for example, the first one-man show of color work at the Museum of Modern Art in 1976, was considered the worst exhibit of the year. Hilton Kramer repudiated John Szarkowski, the museum's curator of photography, for throwing caution to the wind when he spoke of Eggleston's work as "perfect." "Perfect?" Kramer wrote in The New York Times. "Perfectly banal, perhaps. Perfectly boring, certainly." Of course Eggleston would become one of the most influential photographers of the era.

Click Image to View Our Gallery of "Starburst"

Article - Gefter Starburst - Gallery Launch

Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980, the comprehensive new exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum through May 9, shows just how remarkably far we have come in three decades. Starburst features approximately 200 photographs by Eggleston, Stephen Shore, William Christenberry, Joel Meyerowitz, Joel Sternfeld, Mitch Epstein, Helen Levitt, Jan Groover, and Eve Sonnemann, among others who began to explore color as a descriptive element and first established the use of color as a standard of photographic art-making practice.

"Color photography of the 1970s happened in a starburst," writes Kevin Moore, an independent curator who organized the show with Dr. James Crump, curator of photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum. "As any astronomer can tell you, a starburst is an intensely destructive and creative environment, caused by a collision or close encounter between two or more galaxies, resulting in the formation of stars. New Color was, on the surface at least, a promiscuous photographic enterprise, a flirtation with numerous practices and ideas occurring simultaneously in other art movements and the popular culture."

The resistance in art circles was due to the myriad commercial applications for color photography and the technical processes that intensified colors to garish and artificial effect. In a 1969 essay on photography, Walker Evans wrote: "Color photography is vulgar." By 1975, he was using the Polaroid SX 70 to make his own color pictures.

In addition to the cultural explosion of the 1960s—no longer was it possible for the psychedelic spirit of that era to be contained in black and white—new technical processes and materials gave photographers greater control over color printing. And Photorealism in the late 1960s was a potent, if still unacknowledged, influence upon the introduction of color in photography, as well. Photorealist painters brought a color palette to the 35-millimeter universe they rendered on canvas with lens-sharp clarity, viewfinder-like cropping and snapshot simplicity. The photographic interpretation of the American vernacular—gas stations, diners, parking lots—is foretold in Photorealist paintings that preceded many of the Starburst photographers' work.

In the early 1970s, Shore set out to make pictures across America. Two elements distinguish his work with a view camera from Evans' in the 1930s and Robert Frank's in the 1950s: One is technical—the use of color as a descriptive element; his chromogenic prints were more nuanced than those produced by commercial laboratories and his use of color was truer to what things actually looked like. The other element is perceptual—a kind of stoned contemplation, if you will, that could have emerged only from the 1960s and that typifies so much of Shore's work. He used the view camera in a state of heightened awareness that might be likened to the ''expanded consciousness'' of the age of Aquarius. In the parlance of the day, he achieved the photographic equivalent of ''grokking'' his subjects.

Contemporaneously, Joel Meyerowitz made a series called Cape Light in which he photographed what might have been viewed as postcard-like clich├ęs like sunsets, beaches, and vacation cottages on Cape Cod. When his controlled, super-saturated color prints were exhibited in the late 1970s, Andy Grundberg wrote in the Soho News that they bordered on "reactionary," but concluded that what Meyerowitz had done was "to redefine and update the picturesque." The work of several women represented in Starburst is more conceptual: Eve Sonnemann explored the passing of time between paired images of the same scene; Jan Groover's concerns were more art historical in her exploration of formal traditions of painting and Constructivism; Barbara Kasten's Constructs drew most pointedly from 1920s Constructivism and the work of Laszlo Maholy-Nagy. She referred to her work as "50 percent sculpture and 50 percent photography."

By the 1980s, color had become an integral part of the photographic vocabulary, from Nan Goldin's personal chronicle of the downtown Manhattan demimonde, to the staged spontaneity in images of domestic life by Philip-Lorca di Corcia, Tina Barney and Larry Sultan. Jeff Wall grew the size of the photographic print in images that reference 18th-century tableaux in painting. And in the 1990s, Gregory Crewdson constructed wall-size tableaux that reference the cinematic image.

Today, color is no longer the point of photographic investigation as it was in the 1970s, when fluency in this new visual language was still tentative. Color is now a native visual language. Perhaps that is what the nostalgia for vintage black and white photography is all about.

Plus: Check out Art Beast, for galleries, interviews with artists, and photos from the hottest parties.

Philip Gefter writes about photography for The Daily Beast. He previously wrote about the subject for The New York Times. His book of essays, Photography After Frank, was recently published by Aperture. He is producing a feature-length documentary on Bill Cunningham of the Times, and working on a biography of Sam Wagstaff.

For more of The Daily Beast, become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Tea Partay-From Eli

more about "YouTube - Tea Partay", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skewered beef heart on the grill and fresh Olympia oysters for dinner

Alice in Wonderland (1903)

more about " Alice in Wonderland (1903)", posted with vodpod

Friday, March 5, 2010

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