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Thursday, 21 September


Musician Taryn Southern Is Composing Her New Album with Artificial Intelligence: Hear the First Track "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Break Free is a new song by Taryn and Amper. The former, Taryn Southern, is a musician and singer popular on Youtube. The latter, however, is not human at all. Instead, Amper is an artificially intelligent music composer, producer and performer, developed by a combination of music and technology experts and now put to the test, being the engine behind Taryns single and eventually a full album, tentatively called I AM AI.

To understand what is Taryn and what is Amper in this project, the singer talks about it in this Verge interview:

The way it works is to give the platform certain input like BPM, instrumentation that I like, genre, key, etc. The platform will spit a song out at me, and then I can iterate from there, making adjustments to the instruments and the key. I can even change the genre or emotional feel or the song, until I get something that Im relatively happy with. Once I have that, I download all the stems of the instrumentation to build actual song structure.

What Ampers really good at is composing and producing instrumentation, but it doesnt yet understand song structure. It might give you a verse or the chorus and its up to me to stitch these pieces together so that it sounds like something familiar you would hear on the radio. Once Im happy with the song, then I write the vocal melody and lyrics.

The key sentence for cynics is the second to last one. Amper delivers the familiar, or rather, Taryn makes Amper work until she gets something familiar. AI is not at the stage yet where it might surprise us with a decision, except in the cases where it goes spectacularly wrong. Right now its very good at learning patterns, at imitating, at delivering a variation on a theme. (Thats why its really good at imitation Bach, for example.)

We could imagine, however, a future where AI would be able to take a number of musical elements, styles, and genres and come out with a hybrid that weve never heard before. And would that be any better than having a human do so?

By the way, y...


The Rise of Paleoart, and the Artists Role in Our Visions of Dinosaurs "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Charles R. Knight, Charles R. Knight, Laelaps (1897), the predators may represent paleontologists Othniel C. Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope, whose intense competition defined early American paleontology (courtesy American Museum of Natural History)

Earlier this summer, I visited a quiet park in south London, where families pushed strollers around a small lake, and solitary people read books on benches in the sun. Nestled in the foliage by the water is a curious relic from the Crystal Palace Exhibition which gives the Crystal Palace Park its name: a herd of concrete dinosaurs, lazing with gaping jaws, and standing scaly and proud by the trees. The prehistoric creatures were made by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in the 1850s, and are recognized as the worlds first dinosaur sculptures. Yet they dont look quite how we envision dinosaurs today; the Iguanodons appear like rotund iguanas, the Dicynodonts like overgrown turtles, although contemporary knowledge suggests they never had shells.



FART SEXY STYLE: More wildly offensive t-shirts from the streets of Shanghai "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Previously on Dangerous Minds, mcolleague Cherrybomb highlighted the amusing trend in Asia for wearing wildly offensive t-shirts and wondered whether the wearers of such sartorial eloquence knew what their shock tops actually meant?

The answer is: probably not.

These fashion statements are like those


Glimpses of the Future of Architecture at a Chicago Biennial "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Installation view of the installation Vertical City at the Chicago Architecture Biennial (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic)

CHICAGO The Chicago Architecture Biennial is now officially a biennial, with its second iteration open to the public this past weekend. The free event now stands as North Americas largest survey of contemporary architecture. Curated by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of LA-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee, and organized by the citys Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, it brings together over 140 participants from more than 20 countries to showcase projects under the theme Make New History.

IIT College of Architecture + SANAA, Lake 33rd, Bronzeville

A reference to Ed Ruschas eponymous book of 600 blank pages, its a broad topic that explores potential futures for architecture that build on the past. The myriad projects on view manifest in elaborate models, photographs, videos, and more show how architecture can look to history for inspiration to build environments that meet the needs of today.

And thats only at the biennials primary venue of the downtown Chicago Cultural Center, where Johnston Marklee has redesigned areas of the four-story, labyrinthine building to make visitors navigation as streamline...


Baker Creates Cake Pops That Are Tiny Edible Sculptures on a Stick "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Best Cake Pops by Raymond Tan

One of the best things about baking is that anyone can do it. With some basic techniques and imagination, its possible to produce edible creations that enter the realm of food art. Raymond Tan, aka Ray Ray, is a self-taught baker who uses the activity as his creative outlet. About two years ago, he explains, I set myself a challenge to bring a dessert every time I was invited to a party, hence my first cake left my tiny apartment kitchen and the rest was history.

Since the life-changing soiree, Tan has produced many eye-catching treats. His forte is a twist on cake pops; these desserts are typically shaped as small balls affixed to the top of paper candy sticks, but Tan uses wider wooden popsicle sticks that allow him to make more complex pops. With an increased surface design, he layers colors and textures to sculpt cute animal characters, marble surface patterns, and assemble pretty floral designs resembling bountiful bouquets. Like all incredible food art, Tans cake pops seem almost too good to eatbut with flavors like white lotus and chestnut, who could resist?

Follow along with Tans mouth-watering creations on his Instagram. And if youre local to Paris, hell be teaching a weekend workshop with Amourducake on October 7 and October 8, 2017.

Self-taught baker Raymond Tan creates some of the best cake pops.

Food Art Cake Pops...


Kate Bushs charming Japanese TV ad for Seiko watches, 1978 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

As quickly as the young Kate Bush had won over the British public, she was even more of an overnight sensation in Japan where she performed Moving at the Nippon Budokan arena during the 7th annual international Tokyo Music Festival. The performance was broadcast on Japanese television on June 21, 1978 and was watched by...


Recommended: Abisko Lights Abisko Lights "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

  Theres really no sense breaking this album down for you.  This is a gorgeous recording, and theres not a whole hell of lot more to say about it.  The self-titled album from Abisko Lights dishes out a series of melodic visions, possessing form and substance, and yet also an ephemeral quality that allows them []


The Smithsonian Design Museum Digitizes 200,000 Objects, Giving You Access to 3,000 Years of Design Innovation & History "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

John Lennon poster by Richard Avedon

When we think of design, each of us thinks of it in our own way, focusing on our own interests: illustration, fashion, architecture, interfaces, manufacturing, or any of a vast number of sub-disciplines besides. Those of us who have paid a visit to Cooper Hewitt, also known as the Smithsonian Design Museum, have a sense of just how much human innovation, and even human history, that term can encompass. Now, thanks to an ambitious digitization project that has so far put 200,000 items (or 92 percent of the museum's collection) online, you can experience that realization virtually.

Concept car designed by William McBride

The video below explains the system, an impressive feat of design in and of itself, with which Cooper Hewitt made this possible. "In collaboration with the Smithsonians Digitization Program Office, the mass digitization project transformed a physical object (2-D or 3-D) from the shelf to a virtual object in one continuous process," says its about page. "At its peak, the project had four photographic set ups in simultaneous operation, allowing each to handle a certain size, range and type of object, from minute buttons to large posters and furniture. A key to the projects success was having a completely barcoded collection, which dramatically increased efficiency and allowed all object information to be automatically linked to each image."



Led Zeppelin watch a couple have sex on top of their gold records at a Stockholm sex club in 1973 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant back in the day, perhaps recalling some good times at Chat Noir in 1973.
I havent really thought about Led Zeppelin in a while, so the other day I started poking around looking at photos of the band taken...


The psychedelic retro-futurism of Swedish artist Kilian Eng "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A gorgeously vibrant poster Space is the Place by Kilian Eng. The poster was created for a 2015 exhibit called Alien Encounters curated by the Nottingham Contemporary Museum.
Kilian Eng is a digital artist working under the moniker of DW Design in Stockholm, Sweden. Now 35, the...

Monkee Python: Micky Dolenz directs Michael Palin and Terry Jones in The Box "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Micky Dolenz directing the final episode of The Monkees
After the Monkees, after Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, after the stage show of Harry Nilssons The Point!, Micky Dolenz spent a few years working as a TV...


The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript, the 15th-Century Manuscript Written in a Language Linguists & Code-Breakers Have Never Been Able to Decipher "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A 600-year-old manuscriptwritten in a script no one has ever decoded, filled with cryptic illustrations, its origins remaining to this day a mystery. Its not as satisfying a plot, say, of a National Treasure or Dan Brown thriller, certainly not as action-packed as pick-your-Indiana Jones. The Voynich Manuscript, named for the antiquarian who rediscovered it in 1912, has a much more hermetic nature, somewhat like the work of Henry Darger; it presents us with an inscrutably alien world, pieced together from hybridized motifs drawn from its contemporary surroundings.

Voynich is unique for having made up its own alphabet while also seeming to be in conversation with other familiar works of the period, such that it resembles an uncanny doppelganger of many a Medieval text. A comparatively long book at 234 pages, it roughly divides into seven sections, any of which might be found on the shelves of your average 1400s European readera fairly small and rarified group. Over time, Voynich enthusiasts have given each section a conventional name" for its dominant imagery: "botanical, astronomical, cosmological, zodiac, biological, pharmaceutical, and recipes.

Scholars can only speculate about these categories. The manuscript's origins and intent have baffled cryptologists since at least the 17th century, when, notes Vox, an alchemist described it as a certain riddle of the Sphinx. We can presume, judging by its illustrations, writes Reed Johnson at The New Yorker, that Voynich is a compendium of knowledge related to the natural world." But its illustrations range from the fanciful (legions of heavy-headed flowers that bear no relation to any earthly variety) to the bizarre (naked and possibly pregnant women, frolicking in what look like amusement-park waterslides from the fifteenth century).



Jennifer Lawrence - Red Sparrow - new Cold War resurgence? "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Hollywood is the political mouthpiece of the Global Elite Cabal of oil-rich i.e. cash-rish i.e. slave-rich i.e. war-mongering scum who ruin countries to make them profitable, so...

Yeah, MK-Ultra-March2018 is a long way off, but let's not candy-coat the future here. Mankind will only do what mankind has been TERRORised into doing.

Otherwise, peace love harmony mind-expansion real-love real-learnin' chillin' lol...


Caitlin Moran on Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

When cynicism becomes the default language, playfulness and invention become impossible. Cynicism scours through a culture like bleach, wiping out millions of small, seedling ideas.

Caitlin Moran on Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism

There is nothing quite so tragic as a young cynic, because it means the person has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing, Maya Angelou wrote in contemplating courage in the face of evil. In the decades since, cynicism has become a cultural currency as deadly as blood diamonds, as vacant of integrity and long-term payoff as Enron. Over the years, I have written about, spoken about, and even given a commencement address about the perilous laziness of cynicism and the ever-swelling urgency of not only resisting it but actively fighting it defiance which Leonard Bernstein considered an essential countercultural act of courage.

Today, as our social and political realities swirl into barely bearable maelstroms of complexity, making a retreat into self-protective cynicism increasingly tempting, such courage is all the harder and all the more heroic.

Thats what English writer Caitlin Moran examines in a stirring passage from How to Build a Girl (public library) a novel that quenches questions springing from the same source as her insightful memoir-of-sorts ...


A Game Lets You Navigate an Artists Flight from Syria "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Screenshot from <em>Path Out</em> (courtesy Causa Creations)Screenshot from Path Out (courtesy Causa Creations)

Path Out starts in 2014, with your character Abdullah lost in the forest of Northern Syria. Landmines block your route one way, armed patrolmen the other. When you die, the real Abdullah Karam suddenly breaks in through a video box in the game. You just killed me, man, he moans, teasing that he wasnt nearly so clumsy.

In the fall of 2015, Hobmeier met Karam at a theater show in Salzburg, shortly after hed arrived in Austria. Karam discussed his interest in game design and illustration, and he soon began working with the studios associated illustrator Brian Main. The Path Out demo was released this June on as a pay-what-you-wish download for Mac and PC.

The idea for the game came quite organically, when some funding opportunities for projects addressing migration opened up, Hobmeier stated. We already worked on games that took a closer look at migration before, and so we asked Abdullah if he would be comfortable putting his experiences into some sort of game. His answer was, to put it mildly, very enthusiastic, and so we embarked on this journey together.

Causa Creations, started in 2014 by Hobmeier and Tilmann Hars, often develops games exploring issues of social justice, whether ...


Prominent German Artists Object to Arms Manufacturers Exhibition Sponsorship "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A group of artists included in Deutschland 8 German Art in China, an exhibition featuring 320 works by 55 contemporary artists spread across eight venues in Beijing that opened on Saturday, were alarmed to discover that one of its main sponsors is the German weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall.

As artists, we refuse to enhance the image of such corporations, an open letter signed by six of the artists in the exhibition Antje Ehmann, Marcel Odenbach, Julian Rosefelt, Hito Steyerl, Rosemarie Trockel, and Clemens von Wedemeyer and the estate of the late Harun Farocki, reads. We dont support advertisement for weapons manufacturers under the umbrella of German cultural diplomacy and we explicitly protest the instrumentalisation of our work for this purpose.

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Wednesday, 20 September


A Year of Vomiting Color: Sean Price Williams on Cinematography "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Thirst Street, directed by Nat Silver with cinematography by Sean Price Williams

Cinematographer Sean Price Williams has been revered by critics and indie film fans for the better part of the last decade. While drawing particular influence from master filmmakers like Robert Altman and Roman Polanski, his visual thinking stays fresh by constantly seeking fellow image makers whether cinematographers, photographers, or others who make the vulgar and common beautiful.

Williamss singular eye has kept him in-demand; youll see his name in the credits of four movies in 2017 alone. Michael Almereydas Marjorie Prime is a tale of technology simulating humanity and Good Time the latest from Queens natives Josh and Ben Safdie is a sprint through the New York City underworld. Golden Exits (which has yet to receive a theatrical release following its Sundance premiere) marks Williamss reunion with Brooklyn-based director Alex Ross Perry, who has worked with the cinematographer on his four prior features.

However, Thirst Street, directed by Nathan Silver, is the truest visual smorgasbord of the batch. To tell the story of flight attendant Gina (Lindsay Burdge) as she fixates on a one-night stand in Paris, Williams draw...


1,000-Year-Old Illustrated Manuscript of Herbal Remedies Available Online "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

british library digitized manuscript

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Seeking natural remedies outside of chemical pharmaceuticals isn't just for Eastern medicine. In fact, plant-based health cure also has a long tradition in Western medicine, as evidenced by a beautifully illustrated book in the British Libary's collection. The Cotton MS Vitellius C III is a 1,000-year-old illustrated manual to plant pharmacology, and has now been digitized for online viewing.

The beautifully illustrated 11th-century book is filled with herbals, natural plant-based treatments to cure everything from body odor (simmer artichokes in wine) to easing chest pain (licorice root does the trick). Zooming in on the high-resolution scan, it's incredible to see the Old English script and detailed drawings of the plants and animals used for their healing properties.

Though herbals were quite common in Anglo-Saxon medicine, the British Library's manuscript is the only surviving illustrated Old English manual. No one knows for sure how this manuscript was used or even where or by whom it was made, project curator Alison Hudson shares. Its production has been associated with monastic scriptoria at Canterbury and Winchester, due to its style of decoration and script, but this is by no means certain. Monasteries in those areas functioned both as centers of natural and supernatural healing and also as libraries and centers of learning.

Medieval Herbal Remedies Online

Each entry in the manual lists the plant's...


Apply Now for an MFA at Stamps School of Art & Design "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan is currently accepting MFA in Art applications for Fall 2018 (deadline: January 6, 2018). Stamps MFA students join an intense, supportive, curiosity-filled culture of makers and scholars. Idea and material work together at Stamps, as students create culturally relevant work and gain a clear understanding of theory and context.

Without the constraints of media-specific boundaries or disciplines, Stamps MFA students immerse themselves in the rich research community of the University of Michigan to conduct real cross-disciplinary inquiry and create cogent and transformative art. Learn more about the Stamps MFA program and the new Stamps Gallery through the thesis work of our 2017 program graduates: Carolyn Gennari, Ruth Burke, and Shane Darwent.

Graduate Program Open House
Learn more about Stamps graduate programs and meet faculty, current graduate students, and graduate program directors and cohort leaders at the Stamps Graduate Student Open House on Friday, November 17, 2017 from noon-6 pm. (RSVP is required). Highlights of the day will include:

  • Guest lecture by visiting designer
  • MFA and MDes program presentations
  • Tour of Stamps facilities and graduate studios
  • Reception with Stamps faculty and graduate students

2017 Graduate National Portfolio Day Events
Visit the Stamps School of Art & Design booth at 2017 Graduate Nation...


Book Lovers Remodel Brooklyn Home as a Secret Playground for Their Two Shy Cats "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Architecture for Cats by BFDO Architects

People who live with cats know that their furry friends are the ones that truly rule the householdthe humans are simply guests. Many folks are happy with this arrangement, and they go as far as to accommodate their favorite felines with elaborate scratchers and toys; however, one couple in Brooklyn took it a step further and made their abode into a true cat house. Combining their desire to please their two shy but inquisitive cats with a passion for literature, the House for Booklovers and Cats was born, designed by BFDO Architects.

The entire house got an interior face lift. One of the biggest changes was to the first floor living space. At 20 feet by 50 feet, its a sizable area that now includes bookshelves created with cats in mind. The structure lines one wall of the room and feature steps for the kitties to easily access the top and observe their kingdom below. Additionally, there are trap doors that make it easier than ever for them to escape to another room. From the top of the elongated shelves, the cats can hop into the second floor.

The timid felines are certainly happy with the new space, and there are many perks for the humans as well. Other unique elements also pertain to shelving, one of which was designed by the owner, who is an artist. Its an inset wall shelf (guarded by another trap door) that contains a diorama of a living room. The special nook is accompanied by other recessed areas that hold small collections of objects.

Although this home was built with cats in mind, there are some spaces that are off limits from fur. In the basement, its a cat free zone. Part workout space and part guest suite, the area has access to the yard out back and is an inviting place for visitors to stay.

BFDO Architects have created the perfect cat house that humans will enjoy, too.

Architecture for Cats by BFDO Architects

The book shelf on the first floor is made for cats to watch the world below



30 km Long Art Project for Train Passengers in the German Countryside is Wonderful "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


The art project Bewegtes Land transforms Germanys Saale valley into a 30 kilometer long stage, entertaining passengers in passing trains. Some 500 residents and volunteers take part along the Jena-Naumburg route.




Their gender has everything (and nothing whatsoever) to do with what made the Slits so great "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Typical girls?

Everyone has somethingthat ONE THINGfrom their youth that they wish they had kept and still had today. Mine? The most regrettable thing Ive ever loved and lost? A nearly lifesize cardboard cutout standee advertising the Cut album by the Slits. All three of them, covered in...


The Print Legacy of Louise Bourgeois Unfolds at MoMA "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Installation view of <em>Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait</em> at the Museum of Modern ArtInstallation view of Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait at the Museum of Modern Art

Louise Bourgeois remains best known for her spider sculptures, cell installations, and uncanny sewn figures, but print- and book-making sustained her practice for decades. Beginning with tightly composed, precise, and Surrealist-inspired etchings and engravings in the 1940s, through the illustrated books and fabric prints she created in the ensuing decades, to the airy and virtually abstract drypoint prints and etchings she created in the last decade of her life, the printing process enabled her to work through and develop some of the core themes and symbols of her career.

The Museum of Modern Art owns about 3,000 printed works by Bourgeois, and a selection of 265 of them are on view in the new exhibition Louise Bourgeois: An Unfolding Portrait, alongside contextualizing drawings, paintings, sculptures, and, naturally, a couple of bronze spiders.



Ridley Scott Walks You Through His Favorite Scene from Blade Runner "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


The opening Voight-Kampff test that turns explosive, the flight over the high-rise rooftops and past the tower-side video geisha of 2019 Los Angeles, Roy Batty's dying monologue on the rainy rooftop, Deckard picking up Gaff's origami unicorn: like any other movie meriting classic status, Blade Runner less possesses memorable scenes than comprises nothing but memorable scenes. Fans have, of course, argued for their favorites, and if you have one yourself you can now compare your judgment against that of the film's director Ridley Scott, who talks about which Blade Runner scene he holds in highest esteem in the new video from Wired above.

Scott picks the scene when Deckard, Harrison Ford's hunter of the artificial human beings known as replicants, visits the offices of the colossal Tyrell Corporation that invented them and interviews an immaculately put-together young lady, almost a vision out of film noir, named Rachael.

But that's no lady that's a replicant, at least according to the Voight-Kampff gear he breaks out and sets up for the procedure. "To Rick Deckard, it's just a job," says Scott. "He appears to be oblivious to the beauty and is unimpressed by what he sees. At the end of it, he says, 'How can it now know what it is?' He calls her 'it.' So obviously she's a race apart."

But how to signal that to the audience, showing without telling? Scott speaks of modeling Rachael after Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian-born star from the golden age of Hollywood "who had a severity which was spectacular." Still working at a time in cinema when "digital doesn't have...


France Offers U.S. Scientists 4-Year Grants to Study Global Warming After Paris Agreement Withdrawal "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

After the United States' June 1 withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreementan international pact acknowledging the threat of global warminggovernments and citizens around the globe were up in arms. But in France, they are taking concrete action to ensure that American scientists, teachers, and researchers have a place to go and continue the fight against climate change.

The Make Our Planet Great Again initiative offers four-year grants to researchers, students, and teachers looking to further their studies or instruction in the field. In addition to the fully funded grant to private citizens, businesses and NGOs are encouraged to apply for government funding.

According to the website, which also provides information about obtaining a work visa and residency permit, you will be able to stay in France at least for the duration of the grant, and longer if you are granted a permanent position. There is no restriction on your husband/wife working in France. If you have children, note that French public schools are free, and the tuition fees of universities and grandes coles' are very low compared to the American system.

emmanuel macron and donald trump

French President Emmanuel Macron and American President Donald Trump in Paris, July 2017. (Photo: U.S. Embassy France

Since President Emmanuel Macron won the French elections in May, he's made a point to make American scientists who feel alienated by the Trump administr...


How to Butcher an Entire Pig: Every Cut of Pork Explained "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Butcher and author Bryan Mayer shows Bon Appetit how to butcher an entire pig at Wyebrook Farm and explains every cut of pork. There are five sections of the pig that yield edible cuts: pork shoulder, pork belly, pork loin, pork butt (or ham), and the head.

From those sections, the butcher can offer sausage, bacon, spare ribs, brisket, ribs, steaks, pork chops, pork cutlets, coppa, presa, secreto, and tenderloin.

If you found this video interesting and informative be sure to check out, Jason Yang Breaking Down Half a Cow and Explaining Every Cut of Meat in the Process.

Video produced by Bon Appetit




Remembering Greg Escalante, a Gallerist and Friend to Artists "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Jon Swihart Greg Escalante: Selfie in Heaven (2017)

One of the illusions that we live by is that we can really know anybody else, and were often surprised by traits in people that we thought we knew very well.

Thomas McGuane

When the news began to spread, on the morning of September 8th, that gallerist Greg Escalante had died, the shock was resounding. A much-loved figure in the L.A art scene he was dapper, generous, and quick to smile Escalante once stood in the center of his Chinatown gallery during a crowded opening, handing a sharpie to anyone who wanted to draw on his white suit. This gesture was, among other things, a ritualized way of letting others into his life while empowering them to create. Recognizing, encouraging, and supporting the creativity of others was what Escalante lived for. His great reward in life was his circle of devoted friends, many of whom were artists.

Robbie Conal signs Gregs suit, (2016) (photo courtesy of Heidi Johnson / Hijinx PR)

Greg had more friends that loved him than anyone Ive ever known, says artist Jon Swihart. When public confirmation came from his brother, Joe Escalante, that Greg had taken his own life, the shock deepened, turned to sadness and generated a difficult question: How could such a beloved public figure a man who meant so much to so many have been in so much private pain?  The answer soon appeared in a Facebook tribute from his sister Mary Ann Escalante Nasser: My brother Greg was bipol...


AC/DCs Back in Black Played on the Gayageum, a Korean Instrument Dating Back to the 6th Century "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Every now and again, we check in on what's happening in the musical world of Luna Lee--a musician who performs Western music on the Gayageum, a traditional Korean stringed instrument that dates back to the 6th century. Over the years, we've shown you her adaptations of Jimi Hendrixs Voodoo Chile; David Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World; Leonard Cohens Hallelujah; blues classics by John Lee Hooker, B.B. King & Muddy Waters; and Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb, Another Brick in the Wall & Great Gig in the Sky. To keep the tradition going, we bring you today Luna's take on AC/DC's 1980 classic, "Back in Black." Enjoy these four minutes of metalized Gayageum.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox....


Artist Uses Chainsaw to Carve Giant Octopus into a Fallen Redwood Tree "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

redwood tree octopus sculpture

American chainsaw artist Jeffrey Michael Samudosky recently transformed a redwood snag into a magnificent giant octopus. Carved to perfection, its giant tentacles stretch out, tapering off in refined detail.

Working out of Gig Harbor, Washington, Samudosky is a self-taught carver who started his company, JMS Wood Sculpture, in 1998. Since starting his career, Samudosky has appeared on the Discovery Channel and participated in competitions around the world.

The massive sea creature, which has influenced art from large-scale octopus installations to sculptural candies, gives off an impressive air, as it looks to almost be swimming through water. The trunk, which was provided by Redwood Burl, dwarves Samudosky, who painstakingly worked to chisel out the animal's final form.

Interestingly, Samudosky began his journey with chainsaw art after a snowboarding accident left him without feeling in his legs for eight months. After regaining his mobility, he decided to conquer his fears and begin snowboarding again. It was during a trip to the mountains in Vermont that he spied wood carvings on the side of the road, and from there he taught himself the artistic skill.

Now, carving is his full-time career. Focusing on animals and Native American motifs, some pieces have taken up to four years in order to reach his desired level of perfection.

Expert chainsaw carver Jeffrey Michael Samudosky used part of a dead redwood tree to create his incredible octopus sculpture.

JMS Wood Sculpture - Chainsaw Art...


When the legendary Hipgnosis did fashion shoots for classy porn mag Club International (NSFW) "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Its a fair bet that a large part of many (most?) record collections includes a good percentage of covers by the legendary London-based graphic designers Hipgnosis.

Storm Thorgerson and ...


Get your very own David Bowie life mask "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger
Before the advent of photography as a widespread practice available to common citizens, it was not unusual to take casts of the faces of prominent personages in the moments after death. For those who had logged noteworthy accomplishments, it was a way to fix...


The Creative Chemistry of a Photography Duo from the 1840s "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, David Octavius Hill and Professor James Miller. Known as The Morning After He greatly daring dined (1845), calotype print (courtesy Scottish National Portrait Gallery)

In 1843, the painter David Octavius Hill was confronted with a seemingly impossible challenge: how to capture the faces of over 400 ministers who had dramatically walked out of the Church of Scotlands annual General Assembly in Edinburgh, thus forming the Free Church of Scotland. Although he was an established artist, Hill could only sketch so much in the brief time the men were all available. As luck would have it, the Scottish city had a newly arrived photographer  Robert Adamson  who was experimenting with the calotype process, introduced to the world by William Henry Fox Talbot four years prior. Hill and Adamson would not just complete the portraits for Hills painting, they would spend the next four years creating thousands of calotypes. Together, they helped establish photography as an artistic medium, until one of them met an untimely death.

Hill and Adamson were among the earliest photographic partnerships in photography, not just Scottish photography, Anne Lyden, international photography curator at the National Galleries of Scotland, told Hyperallergic. Lyden curated ...


Terrifying Footage Shows the Moment a Dam in Laos Collapses "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


In this dramatic footage, the under construction Nam Ao Dam in Phaxay district, Xieng Khuang province of Laos bursts on September 11, 2017, causing severe flash flooding. People are seen fleeing as the collapsed dam succumbs to the power of surging water and debris.

Thankfully nobody was injured and all workers were able to escape to safety. The dam was at 85% completion before bursting. [source]




Underground Cave in Mexico Houses the Worlds Largest Crystals "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Giant Crystal Cave - Chihuahua, Mexico

Photo: Alexander Van Driessche [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mexico is a beautiful country boasting incredible landscapes, which not only includes a underwater river, but also a cave growing the world's largest crystals. Almost twenty years ago, miners stumbled upon an incredible discovery in Chihuahua, Mexicoa hidden underground cave that housed some of the largest natural crystals ever found. At a depth of 980 feet (300 meters) below ground, the Giant Crystal Caveor Cave of Crystalsis an incredible feat of nature.

Located below the Naica Mine, the cave produces jaw-dropping crystals that dwarf humans who enter the area. Containing selenitegypsumcrystals measuring up to 39 feet (12 meters) in length, the cave is a relatively hostile environmentwithout proper protection, people would only survive about 10 minutes inside. And with temperatures reaching up to 136 degrees Fahrenheit (59 degrees Celsius) and humidity over 90%, the same environmental factors that make the crystals thrive, also make the Cave of Crystals an unfriendly home for humans.

Though the cave is currently floodedwhich is good news for crystals, as they deteriorate in airfor many years the mining company pumped water out of the cavern, allowing scientists to document and study the giant mineral formations.

cave of crystals naica mine

Photo: Paul Williams

How did the Cave of Crystals develop such large formations?



How a Recording Studio Mishap Created the Famous Drum Sound That Defined 80s Music & Beyond "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Its not a subtle effect, by any means, which is precisely what makes it so effective. Gated reverb, the sound of an airbag deploying or weather balloon suddenly blowing out, an airy thud that pervades eighties pop, and the work of every musician thereafter who has referenced eighties pop, including CHVRCHES, Tegan and Sara, M83, Beyonc, and Lorde, to name but a very few.

Before them came the pummeling gated drums of Kate Bush, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Depeche Mode, New Order, Cocteau Twins, David Bowie, and Grace Jones, who turned Roxy Musics Love is the Drug into a strict machine with the gated reverb of her 1980 cover.

Roxy Music caught up quickly with songs like the lovely More Than This on 1982s Avalon, but Jones was an early adopter of the effect, whichlike many a legendary piece of studio wizardrycame about entirely by accident, during a 1979 recording session for Peter Gabriels eerie solo track Intruder.

On the drumsVoxs Estelle Caswell tells us in the explainer video at the topwas Gabriels former Genesis bandmate Phil Collins, and in the control room, recording engineer Hugh Padgham, who had inadvertently left a talkback mic on in the studio.

The mic happened to be running through a heavy compressor, which squashed the sound, and a noise gate that clamped down on the reverberating drums, cutting off the natural decay and creating a short, sharp echo that cut right through any mix. After hearing the sound, Gabriel arranged Intruder around it, and the following year, Collins and Padgham created the most iconic use of gated reverb in pop music history on I...


Whats Trending? The Crime Drop "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Over at Family Inequality, Phil Cohen has a list of demographic facts you should know cold. They include basic figures like the US population (326 million), and how many Americans have a BA or higher (30%). These got me thinkingif we want to have smarter conversations and fight fake news, it is also helpful to know which way things are moving. Whats Trending? is a post series at Sociological Images with quick looks at whats up, whats down, and what sociologists have to say about it.

The Crime Drop

You may have heard about a recent spike in the murder rate across major U.S. cities last year. It was a key talking point for the Trump campaign on policing policy, but it also may be leveling off. Social scientists can also help put this bounce into context, because violent and property crimes in the U.S. have been going down for the past twenty years.

You can read more on the social sources of this drop in a feature post at The Society Pages. Neighborhood safety is a serious issue, but the data on crime rates doesnt always support the drama.

Evan Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter.

(View original at



Jesus appears on designer shower curtains as Satan, a surfer, his holiness Tom Waits & MORE! "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The lord and savior, Tom Waits, striking a Christ-like pose on a shower curtain by artist Hilan Can. The bible held by Waits contains lyrics from the musicians 2004 single, Dead and Lovely
Sometimes one is fortunate enough...


Korean Illustrator Perfectly Captures the Small Romantic Moments of Falling in Love "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Cute Couple Illustrations by Hyocheon Jeong

There are many ways to let someone know you care, and it doesn't have to include sweeping grand gestures. If you're looking for inspiration (or even guidance), artist Hyocheon Jeong highlights different forms of amorous expression through illustrated love stories. The wordless images feature couples as they navigate their relationships with tenderness and kindness.

Often intimate, Jeong focuses her compositions on small moments. Her characters enjoy quiet candlelit dinners, cuddling on the couch, and taking a whimsical twirl in the privacy of their home. Cloaked in dreamy purples, golden yellows, and blushing pinks, the illustrations are reminiscent of pleasant memories you'd cherish for a lifetimeand what made you fall in love with that special someone in the first place.

Jeongs images might feel otherworldly, but they are grounded in reality. The sources of my inspiration are always stories of people, she explains. Most of them are the stories of me and my boyfriend. I also get my ideas from the conversation with my friends. By drawing from these real-life moments, her illustrations are romantic without feeling too cheesy.

Artist Hyocheon Jeong creates cute couple illustrations that depict the quiet moments of being in love.

Cute Couple Illustrations by Hyocheon Jeong Cute Couple Illustrations by Hyocheon Jeong...


How a Mark Twain Travel Book Turned Palestine into a Desert "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Sacred to the Memory of Adam The American Publisher vol. 3 (1872) (all images are illustrations in the public domain)

Years ago a lifetime ago, it seems I lived in Israel.  For three years I called the city of Ashkelon home. I was an archaeologist, and while I lived there I occasionally served as a tour guide to the site of ancient Ashkelon, now a national park within the modern city. Once I led a group of women from Hadassah, who had come to Israel in solidarity during one of the Gaza wars . (The group had their own Israeli guide with them, and he had brought them to Ashkelon.) As we toured the site, I mentioned something about the Early Islamic period, and one of the women in the group asked if there had actually been Muslims living there. Before I could tell her that we were standing on what had for centuries been farmland of the Arab village of Jura a village depopulated in 1948 and subsequently bulldozed the Israeli guide jumped in: 1066 I mean, 1866.

Actually it was 1867.

And, in a scene worthy of The Innocents Abroad, he proceeded to tell of the emptiness and ruin and disappointment that met Mark Twain when he traveled to the Holy Land that year.

The Pilgrims Vision

1867 was a milestone year in Western interactions with Palestine. It marked the beginning of Charles Warrens groundbreaking excavations in Jerusalem for the Palestine Exploration Fund. And that summer, Twain set sail on the...


Intimate Photo Goes Viral for Quietly Celebrating a Nurse Who Helps Deliver Babies "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Birth photos are primarily centered around the parents and baby, but there's a whole side to this life-altering experience that isn't as well documented. What's often missing are portraits of nurses and doulas that act as a vital source of support before, during, and after the baby has arrived. One striking imagethat has since gone viralpays homage to the amazing staff who help bring life into this world. Shot by Katie Lacer, the photograph depicts an intimate moment between a nurse and a mother who has just given birth.

The picture struck a chord with Jill Krause, a writer and mom of four. She shared it on Facebook with a personal message celebrating doulas and nurses for their kindness and compassion in these challenging, but ultimately amazing, times. The minute I saw that photo pop up in my personal Facebook feed, I was flooded with emotions, Krause later remarked. Each and every nurse was an angel.

Krauses post resonated with moms across the world, and many of them shared their own positive experiences with support staff. My delivery nurse grabbed my cellphone without me asking and snapped pictures of my boyfriend and I when they first put the baby on my chest, one woman said. It was honestly one of the sweetest things anyone could've done for me that day. I'll always be thankful for that.

Another mom recalled a story that epitomizes the passion that nurses and doulas have for their patients. When I was pushing, she wrote, I'll never forget pulling my face away from my nurse's chest to see her scrub top SOAKED with my sweat and tears. I was like, Oh my god I'm so sorry! And she went, Baby, this is life all over my shirt. Nowhere else I'd rather be. Now let's get that baby out.

Read more heartwarming stories in the comment section of Lacer's photo. With over 7.5K comments, there are...


Recommended: Tephra Sound Horizon "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

  Where it all went down was in a living room.  It started that way when Helen Gillet got together with some friends and played out.  Some other friends showed up, and they joined in, too.  It was like a potluck, but, yknow, with instruments.  The recording session went down in that same living room.  []


Earliest Known Zero Symbol Identified in Ancient Indian Manuscript "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Deatil of the Bakhshali manuscript, with a dot used in the bottom line, a placeholder that is recognized as the earliest zero symbol (courtesy Bodleian Libraries/ University of Oxford)Detail of the Bakhshali manuscript, with a dot used in the bottom line, a placeholder that is recognized as the earliest zero symbol (courtesy Bodleian Libraries/ University of Oxford)

Radiocarbon testing has revealed that an Indian manuscript thought to date to the 9th century is actually centuries older and contains the earliest known zero symbol. The discovery was first reported by the Guardian on September 13, which noted that hundreds of zeroes are included on the 70 pieces of birch mark that make up the Bakhshali manuscript.



Einfach so adbusten ganz legal Wahlplakate in Berlin "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Die Aktionsgruppe und friedlich-kreativen Protestler Einfach So aus Berlin haben einen rckstandslos wieder entfernbaren Add-On-Aufkleber fr Wahlplakate verffentlicht und diesen auf Wahlplakate aller Parteien geklebt. Mit der Aktion hinterfragen sie erneut die Inhalte von Wahlplakaten, in dem sie Teile der Inhalte durch das Wort kleben ersetzen und zeigen eine weitere Mglichkeit auf, Wahlplakate legal zu adbusten. Wie bereits bei ihrer vorherigen Aktion, handelt sich laut eigenen Angaben der Gruppe um eine legale Aktion, da es sich lediglich um eine vorubergehende Veranderung des Erscheinungsbildes handelt, die somit keine Sachbeschadigung im Sinne von StGB 303 II darstellt. Die Aufkleber lassen sich alle rckstandslos wieder ablsen. Dazu haben sie einen offenen Brief an die Werbeagenturen der groen Parteien verschickt. Ob die Sache vor Gericht Bestand hat, wird sich im Zweifelsfall noch zeigen. Bereit vor kurzem hat die Gruppe mit der Aktion #bitteWenden17 ber hundert Wahlplakate in Berlin umgedreht und so weie Flchen zur kreativen Gestaltung geschaffen. Die Aktion sorgte fr viel Berichterstattung im Netz und den klassischen Medien. Auch Die PARTEI hatte vor ein paar Wochen ebenfalls einen Add-On-Aufkleber in verschiedenen Variationen zum Download verffentlicht. Letztes Jahr hatte die Gruppe bereits mit einer Aktion fr mehr Spa im ffentlichen Raum fr viel Aufsehen gesorgt. Dafr haben sie im Sommer mitten in Berlin 30 Guerilla-Schaukeln aufgehngt. Um auf dem ...

Der Beitrag Einfach so adbusten ganz legal Wahlplakate in Berlin erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


Rachel Carson on Science and Our Spiritual Bond with Nature "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity.

Rachel Carson on Science and Our Spiritual Bond with Nature

The exceeding beauty of the earth, in her splendour of life, yields a new thought with every petal, the nineteenth-century English nature writer Richard Jefferies wrote. The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we really live.

The most fertile seeds of cultural sensibility can take generations to bloom. In the twentieth century, Jefferiess ideas became a major inspiration for Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907April 14, 1964) the pioneering marine biologist and writer who catalyzed the modern environmental movement and ushered in a new literary aesthetic of writing about science as something inseparable from life and inherently poetic.

Carson examined the question of beauty as a lens on comprehending the universe in a stunning speech she delivered before a summit of women journalists in 1954, later published under the title The Real World Around Us in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (public library) the indispensable volume that gave us Carsons prescient 1953 protest against the governments assault on science and nature.



Hear the Pieces Mozart Composed When He Was Only Five Years Old "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A preternaturally talented, precocious child, barely out of toddlerhood, in powdered wig and knee-breeches, capering around the great houses of 18th century Europe between virtuoso performances on the harpsichord. A young boy who can play any piece anyone puts in front of him, and compose symphonies extemporaneously with ease. Few scenes better capture the mythos of the child prodigy than those reported from the childhood of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

If Milos Formans Amadeus is any reliable guide to his character, if not his history, Mozart may never have lost his boyish charm and exuberance, but his musical ability seemed to mature exponentially as he composed hundreds of sonatas, quartets, concertos, and operas, ending with the Requiem, an astonishing piece of work by any measure, despite remaining unfinished in the year of his death, 1791, at the age of 35.

While those feverish scenes of Requiems composition in Formans film may be tenuously attached to the truth, the stories of Mozart the preschool and boyhood genius are well attested. Not only did he play with unbelievable skill for emperors and empresses in the courts of Europe, but by the time he was six he had composed dozens of remarkable pieces for the keyboard as well as for other instruments,...


9/11 - I was surprised by this connection - how the future is made "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

I was personally surprised that certain footage in this following video has started to reveal the GLOBAL ACTORS in the 9/11 scam... what we don't know is more than we can take.

Seriously, disturbed by this...

Trump, Netanyahu, Silverstein, Giulliani... is there really that tight a connection?

Remember, Mike, "Politics is too dangerous," and only a Free Planet will save our collective sanity.


Satanic Fashion Show Inside a Church at London Fashion Week "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

This post Satanic Fashion Show Inside a Church at London Fashion Week appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen.

Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglus presented her Spring/Summer 2018 collection at London Fashion Week and it was nothing less than a satanic Black Mass. Indeed, the event took place at the altar of St Andrew Church in London and incorporated heavy occult and satanic symbolism. In short, the event summed up everything the fashion world is truly []

This post Satanic Fashion Show Inside a Church at London Fashion Week appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen.


Underdog Artists and Publishers at the NY Art Book Fair "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Lugemik: Digital poster for Too Good To Be Photographed (courtesy of Lugemik)

Celebrating its 12th year, Printed Matters annual NY Art Book Fair lands at MoMA PS1 this weekend. With more than 370 participating artists, publishers, and booksellers, the fair also features a series of events including P!DF by Prem Krishnamurthy, in which the local designer and curator presents his genre-bending, interactive app, a create-your-own-adventure performative monograph that changes according to the whims and desires of its audience.

Image from P!DF a interactive monograph/memoir/manifesto (courtesy of Prem Krishnamurthy)

Like every year, youll find many booths populated by creative people from New York, California, the U.K., and Germany. In an effort to promote the underdog, we decided to focus on some booths from some of the smaller states and countries, specifically the artists and publications that will be their state or countrys sole representative at the Art Book Fair. I communicated with all the representatives via email.

*   *   *

Extra Vitamins (Colorado)

Extra Vitamins is a two-person art and design studio based in Denver. Julia Belamarich and Kyle Warfields often-playful projects include artist books, installations, design, and even clothing. Our work explores the inner kid, primitive expression, visual synchronicities, and pos...


Gertrud Arndt: Photo Pioneer of Female Self-Disguise "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

51zi7gBPR3LOn the 20th of September 1903, German Bauhaus photographer Gertrud Arndt was born in Hantschk Ratibor, Upper Silesia. Arndt studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau (under Klee, Gropius and Itten), where she subsequently also taught. Her primary discipline was weaving, her textile designs showcasing the rigid geometric pattern-making typical of the Bauhaus aesthetic.

She must have felt so optimistic. When Gertrud Arndt arrived at the Bauhaus school of art and design in 1923, she was a gifted, spirited 20-year-old who had won a scholarship to pay for her studies. Having spent several years working as an apprentice to a firm of architects, she had set her heart on studying architecture. No chance. The Bauhaus was in tumult because of the long-running battle between its founding director, the architect Walter Gropius, and one of its most charismatic teachers, Johannes Itten, who wanted to use the school as a vehicle for his quasi-spiritual approach to art and design. Arndt was told that there was no architecture course for her to join and was dispatched to the weaving workshop. Not that she...

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Tuesday, 19 September


Minecraft Mapping One of Europes Last Primeval Forests "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The centuries-old, towering trees in some of Europes last remaining primeval woodland are swiftly falling.

Covering over 1,100 square miles, the Biaowiea Forest in Poland has witnessed increased logging over the past year under order of the Polish government, which passed a controversial law to approve a tripling of the deed. While its environmental minister, Jan Szyszko, had argued that felling trees was necessary to fight an infestation of spruce bark beetles, many scientists, environmental groups, and conservation organizations from Greenpeace to the World Wildlife Fund have condemned the policy as a dire threat to a rich and ancient ecosystem. Seeking an immediate halt to the logging, the European Commission took Poland to court over the policy earlier this summer.

Isometric view of the entire digitized area (image courtesy

As part of the escalating protests, which have also occurred in the forest, Greenpeace Poland launched a creative campaign to increase global awareness of the threats facing the Bialowieza Forest, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the Last Tree Standing allows you to explore about 270 square miles of the 10,000-year-old forest through a custom-built Minecraft map, where its verdant trees, streams, and quiet clearings have been d...


Your Concise New York Art Guide for Fall 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Soda_Jerk, still from Astro Black: We are the Robots (2010), two-channel video installation with four episodes, 25:24 min (image courtesy apexart)

Overwhelmed by all the art to see this fall? Us too. To make it all slightly more manageable, weve compiled a list of fun, insightful, and very New York art exhibitions and events in our yearly fall guide. In addition to perusing this online version, you can look out for print copies of our guide in bookstores, coffee shops, galleries, museums, and nonprofit art spaces around the city.

*   *  *


Sanford Biggers: Selah

When: September 7October 21
Where: Boesky East (507 W 24th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Whether working in textile, video, sculpture, or performance, Sanford Biggers unflinchingly tackles issues of race and representation in American culture. The centerpiece of this show, Seated Warrior, continues his series of bronze sculptures based on traditional African statues, which he collects and then dips in wax or pierces with gunshots. It will be framed by textile works assembled from fragments of antique quilts.

Fellow Travelers

When: September 7October 21
Where: apexart (291 Church Street, Tribeca, Manhattan)

Space is the place where we stage allegories of earthly drama....


DIARY: First Times a Charm "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Louisa Elderton at the 1st Art Berlin


Aerial Images of Vibrant Landscapes by Photographer Niaz Uddin "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park (all images via Niaz Uddin)

Niaz Uddin is a photographer, director, and filmmaker that explores a variety of natural landscapes from high above. His color-saturated photographs explore crowded beaches and remote tide pools, capturing each of the scenic environments from a birds eye view. One of my favorite images is the picture above, which provides a rare perspective of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park. You can see even more sky-high images on his Instagram, and buy limited prints on his website.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach



How to Use Crowdfunding to Launch the Creative Project of Your Dreams "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

crowdfunding for artists

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

As artists and creatives, innovative ideas and projects are some of the most precious currency we possess. But for all the ideas in the world, execution of these visions can often seem daunting. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is often getting the funding needed to get the project off the ground.

Luckily, raising funds has become more democratic in the past 15 years, with the rise of crowdfunding. First used primarily to fund small businesses, artists are increasingly turning to these platforms to make their dream projects a reality. While many people associate crowdfunding with projects like the Flow Hive, high powered artistseven Neil Younghave been using the system to take their ideas to the public.

As crowdfunding has evolved, so have the platforms. Time has given rise to websites catering specifically to creatives, while different systems even allow for ongoing payment and support. It just takes looking at what's right for the specific artist and situation.

But once you've settled on a crowdfunding platform, how do you make sure your campaign is successful? Part of this goes into the selection of where you'll be doing your fundraisingcertain platforms have higher success rates than othersbut the rest will go into your ability to successfully market your ideas.

Let's take a look at some of the best options for making your creative dream a reality and how to set your campaign up for success.

Which crowdfunding platform to use?

You should never underestimate how important this decision is. Do you go with one of the big fish and risk your project getting lost in the stream of ideas? Or do you venture into a niche platform that caters only to your sector, but may not have as much visibility? Other questions to ask yourself: do you want to risk a winner takes all campaign, where you only receive the money if you meet your goal, or would you prefer a platform t...


15 Highlights from the 2017 Nat Geo Nature Photographer of the Year Contest "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


National Geographic invites photographers from around the world to enter the 2017 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. The grand-prize winner will receive $10,000 (USD), publication in National Geographic Magazine and a feature on National Geographics Instagram account, @natgeo.

Eligible contestants can visit to submit photographs in any or all of four categories: Wildlife, Landscapes, Underwater and Aerials. The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant. The contest ends Friday, Nov. 17, at 12 p.m. EST.

Our friends at National Geographic were kind enough to let us share some of the standout entries from the contest. Enjoy!





Mixing Camp and Classical Myth in a Play About War and Repression "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Philip Littell and Paul Outlaw in Sorry, Atlantis: Edens Achin Organ Seeks Revenge (photo by Ian Byers-Gamber)

Calling Asher Hartmans theatrical works plays is like calling Joyces Ulysses a novel. Technically its correct, but they are so much more expansive than is implied by those limited terms. Drawing on sources as diverse as Greek drama, Shakespeare, slapstick, camp, and sometimes puppetry, Hartmans performances are richly layered, totally absurd, and wholly original. His latest piece, Sorry, Atlantis: Edens Achin Organ Seeks Revenge, is no different.

Inspired in part by classical mythology and cartoons of the 1930s, Hartman was moved to create a comedy about such timely themes as war, race, power, and sexual repression. The play is meant to be funny, raunchy, and stupid, yet supported by a complex text, Hartman told Hyperallergic via email. The adults-only performance has two levels of seating: $20 for general admission, and $40 for the coveted Apex Bitch Balcony Seating, which provides an optimal viewing spot accessible only via ladder.

When: September 21November 19, ThursdaySunday, 8:30pm nightly ($2040)
Where: Machine Project (1200 D North Alvarado, Echo Park, Los Angeles)

More info here.

The post Mixing Camp and Classical Myth in a Play About War and Repression appeared first on Hyperallergic.


Watch Bjrks Hypnotic Music Video for Her New Song, The Gate "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

FYI. Bjrk has just released a new track, "The Gate," from her forthcoming album. And, with it, comes a hypnotic new video, the product of a collaboration between Bjrk, artist Andrew Thomas Huang, and Guccis Alessandro Michele.

About the video, Andrew Thomas Huang has this to say:

The Gate picks up where 2015's Vulnicura left off. It is the first glimpse into Bjrk's utopia. The doorway lies within the wound from Vulnicura, which now appears transformed into a prismatic portal channeled between the chests of two lovers. Not lovers in the quotidian romantic sense, but in a broader cosmological way. As a throughway into Bjork's new album, The Gate is a declaration of hope sung by a woman refracted and re-formed into a luminous whole.

Bjrk's new album, Utopia, is due out in November. The new video is made available by Nowness.

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Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in! "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Heres a drink ticketenjoy the post!

If youve been standing here for more than ten minutes youre not coming in announces Richard Boch in a stern but cute, almost teenaged stoner way. Dont get me wrong, he means it. This was how normal people were greeted much...


Spectacular Light Bouquets Captured From Japans Summer Fireworks Festivals "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Japan Fireworks Festival Photography Hanabi Taikai Keisuke

Every year in Japan, springs cherry blossoms burst into summer's colorful flames known as hanabi taikai, which partially translates to flowers of fire. The 200 fireworks shows are part of an annual tradition dating back to the 18th century. Pyrotechnics across the country compete to create the best spectacle, lighting up the nighttime skies with utter beauty.

Luckily, 25-year-old photographer Keisuke attended several of these events this past summer and captured some of the most spectacular shots around. His extraordinary photos encapsulate the energy, joy, and visual delight of fireworks. The sparkling scene is set within each frame as bouquets of light burst in the air.

If you want to see more of Keisukes photos, check out his Instagram.

Each year, Japan puts on a spectacular fireworks festival.

Japan Fireworks Festival Photography Hanabi Taikai Keisuke

Luckily, photographer Keisuke was there to capture the show-stopping display this summer.

Japan Fireworks Festival Photography Hanabi Taikai Keisuke...


How a Simple Email Survey Pulled Scripts Out of Hollywood Purgatory & Turned Them Into Award-Winning Films "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

How did the Black List get started? Not the Hollywood blacklist that ruined the careers of countless directors, actors and actresses during the 1940s and 1950s. No, we mean the Black List, created by Franklin Leonard in 2005, which has allowed more than 300 scripts, once stuck in Hollywood purgatory, to get turned into feature films--films like Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech, Argo and Spotlight.  This all started when Leonard created a simple survey, asking nearly 100 movies executives to name their favorite scripts that had not yet been made as feature films. The new Vox video above tells the rest of the story.

Follow Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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Jean-Paul Sartre Writes a Script for John Hustons Film on Freud (1958)

When Aldous Huxley Wrote a Script for Disneys Alice in Wonderland



The Male Figure: Bruce of Los Angeles and the perfection of midcentury beefcake "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

When you ponder improbable destinies for high school chemistry teachers, its likely that almost everyone reading this would instantly think of Walter White, who went from being a lowly chemistry teacher to a major drug kingpin in the U.S. Southwestat least in the fictional narrative that is


Think You Can Do This Olympic Freestyle Skiers Balance Course? "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Swiss freestyle ski sensation and Olympic-medal hopeful, Andri Ragettli, recently uploaded an ankle-quivering video of himself completing a homemade balance/Parkour course in his training facility.

Were not sure how many attempts it took but his balancing skills are top-notch! Im not sure I could even land the first jump.




Dwelling on the Metaphor of Home "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Gigi Scaria, Shadow of the Ancestors (2015) Single-channel projection with sound, 4:00 min. (all images courtesy Aicon Gallery unless otherwise noted)

Buildings can seem tedious and boring, especially in their repetition in a city like New York. But they are an enduring sign of our species survivability and perseverance. It was only 12,000 years ago (in an approximate 200,000-year continuum of existing as human beings in our current forms) that the Neolithic Revolution took place and we transitioned from hunting and gathering to become farmers, create settlements, and domesticate our helper animals. It might be around this moment, at the beginning of becoming sedentary people that we imagined what constitutes a house, or a home. Our homes now are fraught with the ambivalence thats rooted in the fundamental question of whether that was a good choice.



Architects Transform Grain Silos into Africas Largest Art Museum "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Zeitz MOCAA Capetown - Heatherwick

At 100,000 square feet, the Zeitz MOCAA is set to be the largest museum to open on the African continent in more than a hundred years. This landmark museum, which will exhibit contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora, is more than deserving of a grand architectural monument to house the collection. By hollowing out a historic grain silo, British architect Thomas Heatherwick has created a piece of architecture worthy of the museum.

Following in a long tradition of museum architecture as art, started by Frank Lloyd Wright and continued by Zaha Hadid, Heatherwick's contemporary structure will surely be a talking point for visitors. Set to open on September 22, 2017, the architecture and design firm has revealed new images of the tubey structure. By carving out the interior of the 1920s building, Heatherwick's team has cleverly created 80 gallery spaces.

The result of the team's work is an elaborate labyrinth of spaces that stimulate museumgoers to imagine what the space was prior to its transformation. We realized we needed to do something that your eye couldn't instantly predict, Heatherwick explainsOur role was destructing rather than constructing, but trying to destruct with a confidence and an energy, and not treating the building as a shrine.

By using the existing architecture, Heatherwick's interior seems rather organic, almost Gaud-like in its use of rounded forms. As bright light filters through the tubes, casting rays through the galleries, the building becomes a brilliant reminder of what adaptive reuse can bring to the table.

The museum is just on...

Wednesday, 13 September


Butterfly Effect or How Travis Scott Got Recruited by the Industry "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

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Behind the psychedelic visuals of Travis Scotts video Butterfly Effect is a hidden message, told through symbolism: Travis Scotts introduction to the elites entertainment industry and the Monarch mind control system. Travis Scott is a rapper and producer who began his career behind the scenes, collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Madonna. He []

This post Butterfly Effect or How Travis Scott Got Recruited by the Industry appeared first on The Vigilant Citizen.

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