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Friday, 27 October


A Week of Chaos at Artforum Magazine Following Sexual Harassment Allegations "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A string of sexual allegations against one of Artforums longstanding publishers, Knight Landesman, was made public this week, placing pressure on the magazine to review and improve management of its workplace.

The accusations were first reported by Rachel Corbett at artnet News, speaking with a number of men and women who gave accounts of unwanted behavior from Landesman over the years, from touching to his sending of inappropriate emails. Landesman resigned on Wednesday shortly after Amanda Schmitt, a former employee, came forward and filed a lawsuit against both him and Artforum for acts of harassment received over four years, in both private and public settings. According to the New York Times, the lawsuit includes disturbing accounts from other women unnamed as plaintiffs from fo...


In Ken Burnss Vietnam War Documentary, Claims of Objectivity Obscure Patriotic Bias "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Still from Ken Burnss The Vietnam War (images courtesy Magnum Photos, AP Photos, Getty Images, Doug Niven/Another Vietnam, 2017 Vietnam Film Project, LLC)

The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 17-hour PBS documentary directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, pays plenty of dues to all conventional wisdom about the horrors of war. Nearly all the veterans of the conflict interviewed in the series (from both sides) speak of this  the carnage they witnessed, the horrors they suffered, the nightmares they still have. Narrator Peter Coyote recites words like tragedy and senseless plenty of times. Burns has stated that he sees war as a virus and his film as a vaccination against it. But no matter what he, Novick, or the explicit text of their ambitious project claim, the aesthetics betray a more conventional view of their subject matter.

Burnss various films about American history, including 1990s The Civil War, 1994s Baseball, and 2007s The War, have earned him a reputation as our premier documentarian. His cinematic style has become a template for nonfiction filmmaking (its not often that movie artists get a technique popularly named after them). While it may be easy to dismiss his no-frills construction as boring, there is an art to the standard pattern of the documentary and its use of talking heads, archival footage and photos, and explanatory graphics.

Plenty of filmmakers misuse these elements, failing to make their stories compelling or to properly convey the informatio...


An Incredible Series of Unconventional Domino Tricks and Chain Reactions "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Domino builders Hevesh5 and Kaplamino teamed up to create a series of unconventional domino tricks and chain reactions.

This type of domino video is called a domino screenlink where each clip is built separately, then edited together to make it appear like one continuous chain reaction. Kaplamino and Hevesh5 live in different countries, so it was impossible to do it all in one take. Doing this video as a screenlink was simply a way for them to make a collab video together. The first half the video was built by Hevesh5, then at 1:44 it switches over to Kaplamino.




PASSAGES: David Tang (19542017) "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Johnson Chang on David Tang (19542017)


A Virtual Project Connects Visitors to Holocaust Survivors and Their Stories "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Pinchas Gutter being recorded for <em>New Dimensions in Testimony</em> (courtesy USC Shoah Foundation)Pinchas Gutter being recorded for New Dimensions in Testimony (courtesy USC Shoah Foundation)

Visitors to New Dimensions in Testimony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage are greeted by two screens, and two microphones. By approaching and asking questions, the screens activate with recorded interviews from two Holocaust survivors. Using language processing and hours of video, the experience is designed to be a conversation that feels real, so that in the future these first-hand narratives are not forgotten.

Pinchas Gutter being recorded for <em>New Dimensions in Testimony</em> (courtesy USC Shoah Foundation)Pinchas Gutter being recorded for New Dimensions in Testimony (courtesy USC Shoah Foundation)

The oral history initiative is a collaboration between the Shoah Foundation and the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California (USC). The USC Shoah Foundation already had the Visual History Archive, which has recorded thousands of Holocaust and genocide survivor testimonies. About a dozen of those participants returned to sit beneath a half-dome of lights, microphones, and over 100 video cameras to be recorded in 360 degrees for New Dimensions. This audiovisual material allows recordings to be pr...


A Tree-Like Figure Composed of Natural and Technological Elements by Garret Kane "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The newest sculpture by assemblage artist Garret Kane (previously) combines moss, tree branches, and other natural elements with technological components to create a towering 7-foot-tall sculpture. The tree-like figure is Kanes amalgamation of two protectors from vastly different cultural backgrounds. The first is the ancient Judaic Golem made from mud and sticks, and the second inspiration is the Japanese Mecha, a large protector composed of advanced robotics.

Kane combined elements from both traditions to create the Golemecha, a creature with powers tied to nature and advanced technologies. Using materials from tree roots to 3D printed parts, he built the complex model as a figure who would protect our natural world from the new technologies that threaten its existence. You can see more of Kanes fantastical assemblages on his website and Behance.



Playing with the Privilege to Make Art About Anything "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Dominique Duroseau, A Woman Is Still a Woman, If Shes a Woman (2017) mixed mannequin parts, fabric, paper, rubber; varied dimensions (all images courtesy the artist and Gallery Aferro)

In an article of mine published almost two years ago, I asked colleagues and friends who are researchers, artists, and educators to address the question of how to disrupt the dominance of white supremacy in the mainstream art world. The answers I received were insightful and unsparing and gave me a great deal to think through. On seeing Dominique Duroseaus exhibition, Black Things in White Spaces, at Gallery Aferro, I thought of what Travis Webb had written about whiteness in that article:

Ultimately whiteness is not coterminous with the hegemony of white people whiteness  shorthand for an otherworldly contempt for the body is a habit, a mode, a glamour to conceal these messy, universally non-white bodies.

Dominique Duroseau, Does my Presence Offend (2017) ephemeral installation, vintage stiffened fabric, steel; varied dimensions

I think of this idea of whiteness being an attitude, a world view, a kind of glamour, that is to say enchantment, because Dur...


Artist Turns Discarded Silverware and Scraps into Magnificent Sculptures "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Recycled Junk Art by Ann Carrington

Bouquets and Butterflies

Earlier this year, we introduced you to British artist Ann Carrington, who turns old silverware into blooming flower bouquets. Inspired by fruit garland sculptures and Dutch still life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, her impressive floral sculptures are constructed from silver plated spoons, pewter tankards, silver vases and plates. Carrington sources her materials in junk shops, antique fairs, auctions, and from cutlery dealers.

Carrington reveals to My Modern Met via email that the flower bouquets can take up to three months to make, and they represent modern day memento mori (Latin for remember you will die). They are the the contents of a 16th century Dutch still life, reassembled in another dimension and time, she explains. Carrington believes mundane objectssuch as cutlery, barbed wire, pins, and paintbrushescome with their own history and story which can be unravelled and analyzed if rearranged, distorted or realigned to give them new meaning as sculpture.

Carrington has used everything from buttons and denim jeans to coins and safety pins. In some of her most recent work, she has even used old beer cans to recreate traditional bust sculptures, which she humorously titles Pissheads. In other work, she creates patchworks of hammered beer cans which depict historic members of British royalty, as well as Native American and religious figures. By using so many different materials, Carrington has had to learn many different skills. She tells us: I have to be able to sew, weld, have a knowledge of carpentry, paint , draw, and my next skill to learn is going to be glass blowing.

If youre in London, you can see Carringtons recycled beer can work for yourself at her upcoming exhibitionentitled Super Brewat Paul Smiths flagship store from 15th through 29th of November.

Artist Ann Carrington transforms discarded objects into impressive artwork.



A Salute to North Koreas Dated But Dependable Airline "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Arthur Mebius, photo of a monument to North Koreas former leaders from Dear Sky: The planes and people of North Koreas airline, published by The Eriskay Connection (all photos courtesy the artist)

It has long ranked as the worlds worst airline and yes, its final destination is often within a totalitarian state but to photographer Arthur Mebius, North Koreas Air Koryo offers a bewitching, one-of-a-kind experience. The state-owned airline largely runs on a fleet of Soviet-era planes that rarely fly abroad due to international sanctions and environmental restrictions and when they do, they can only land in cities in China and Russias Vladivostok. Impressively, Mebius has flown on eight different vintage aircrafts and taken over 20 flights, spread across three different trips to the isolated country.

Crew members look out the window of a plane, as captured by Arthur Mebius

Hes documented these trips and compiled dozens of the images in Dear Sky: The planes and people of North Koreas airlinea photo book published earlier this year by The Eriskay Connection. Interspersed with brief, fictional anecdotes that together tell a prideful history of North Koreas national airline, the photographs subtly speak to the countrys notorious, enforced cultu...


Colorfully Embroidered Vintage Photos of Artists and Cultural Icons by Victoria Villasana "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Working with appropriated vintage photographs of artists, musicians, and politicians, Mexican textile artist Victoria Villasana applies a colorfully whimsical layer of embroidery atop each image. Criss-crosses of color and bright highlights around the eyes seem to lend a sense of empowerment to the works which often depict feminist icons from singer Nina Simone to artist Frida Kahlo. Villasana also takes her works into the streets and creates hybrid yarn bomb paste-ups from small stickers to entire murals. You can see more of her recent work on Instagram.



Ryan McNamaras Populist Approach to Dance Falls Short at the Guggenheim "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Ryan McNamara and John Zorn, Commedia dellarte at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (all images courtesy Works & Process at the Guggenheim/Jacklyn Meduga)

It would not be entirely unfair to call the artist and choreographer Ryan McNamara an amateur. Thats how he first caught New Yorks attention, in his 2010 piece Make Ryan a Dancer for MoMA PS1, in which McNamara who had never professionally danced before underwent a public training regimen within the museum, every day for five months, where professional dancers would school him in ballet, contact improvisation, and exotic dancing, among other styles. The culmination of Make Ryan a Dancer was The Finale, a museum-wide choreographic score that would have been impossible for me to do on the first day, McNamara wrote.

Since then, McNamara has emerged as an unlikely figure in the art the world. He is an artist with an earnest love of dance his choreographies are amalgams of many dance styles and has an intriguing navet of the dances he borrows from. Even with prestigious commissions from major galleries and festivals, as well as winning the Malcolm McLaren award for his work ME3M: A Story Ballet About the Internet from Performa 13, his status as an outsider still resonates.

Ryan McNamara and John Zorn, Commedia dellarte at the Guggenheim Museum, New York



Blistering Nick Cave & The Birthday Party sets in Pleasure Heads Must Burn 1982/1983 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Birthday Party played the legendary Haienda Club in Manchester once in 1982 and once in 1983, and, per Haienda policy, both shows were videotaped for posterity. The Birthday Partys two most recent releases at that point were also their two best albums,


The Lovingly Crafted Horror of American Haunted Houses "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Misty Keasler, Misty Keasler, Black Thorne Manor, Terror on the Fox, Green Bay, WI (2016), archival pigment print, 60 60 inches (courtesy the artist and the Public Trust)

Photographer Misty Keasler visited 13 haunted houses across the United States, exploring their architecture of horror while they were empty. Without the sound, the smells, and, of course, the spooky characters waiting to terrorize the paying guests, the photographs dont fully capture the experience of a haunted house. However, it was that limitation that drew Keasler to her subject.

The photographs in this series are addressing the same fears that the haunts are focused on, but they operate in completely different ways, Keasler told Hyperallergic. Single images ask that we stop, look, and contemplate. It is a very different psychology to quietly think about, say, a bed with chains and missing-children posters and all the implied horror of a character who created that space, as opposed to being inside that same environment, reacting to it on a biological level, and running away from that same character.

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas is exhibiting a series of Keaslers photographs in Haunt. More are published in a book of the same title, recently released by Archon Projects. Some of the Dallas-based photographers images frame details of blood-spattered interiors, such as a grotesque assemblage of mutilated chickens hanging near a human head served in a pan. Others zoom out to take in a smoky sitting room crowded with taxidermy, or a staircase strewn with broken toys presided over by an unnerving clown. Each asks what we are afraid of, and how that fear is commodified.



Three Huge Volumes of Stoic Writings by Seneca Now Free Online, Thanks to Tim Ferriss "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

"The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today," wrote Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger. "You are arranging what is in Fortune's control and abandoning what lies in yours." That still much-quoted observation from the first-century Roman philosopher and statesman, best known simply as Seneca, has a place in a much larger body of work. Seneca's writings stand, along with those of Zeno, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, as a pillar of Stoic philosophy, a system of thinking which emphasizes the primacy of personal virtue and the importance of observing oneself objectively and mastering, instead of being mastered by, one's own emotions.

The Stoics found their way of life beneficial indeed in the harsh reality of more than 2,000 years ago, but Stoicism loses none of its value when practiced by those of us living today. "At its core, it teaches you how to separate what you can control from what you cannot, and it trains you to focus exclusively on the former," writes self-improvement maven Tim Ferriss in his introduction to The Tao of Seneca, the three-volume collection of Seneca's letters, illustration and lined modern commentary, that he's just published free on the internet. (For instructions on how to upload them to your Kindle, see this page.)

Of all the Stoics, he continues, "Seneca stands out as easy to read, memorable, and surprisingly practical. He covers specifics ranging from handling...


Tokyo Greenhouse Turns into Multisensory Experience When You Touch the Plants "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Tokyo Digital Vegetable Greenhouse by Party

As part of Tokyos 2017 Design Touch event, design studio PARTY has created a technicolor greenhouse installation in the middle of Tokyo Midtowns Grass Square. As part of the month-long festivalwhich focuses on enjoying design through all five sensesthe interactive event combines colorful LED lights with seven different kinds of touch-sensitive Digital Vegetables.

Visitors are invited to observe and learn about horticulture using touch, sight, and sound. When touched, each vegetable emits its own unique color and melody. PARTYs sound engineer Ray Kunimoto explains that he recorded authentic plant noises, such as the sounds of rubbing seeds [and] touching leaves. He then digitally mixed the natural sounds with those of orchestral instruments to make seven different melodies.

The resulting vegetable symphony plays harmoniously within the kaleidoscopic greenhouse. In the woodwind section, cabbages activate deep oboe sounds, radishes cast flutes notes, and and pumpkins pipe clarinet vibrations. In brass, carrots toot trumpet sounds, and in strings, gently touching a tomato releases the tones of a sweet violin, while eggplants generate glittering harp sounds. And finally, sweet potatoes prompt a plinking of piano keys.

If you happen to be in Tokyo, entry to the interactive experience is free, and its open until November 5th, 2017.

Tokyos technicolor greenhouse installation is home to seven types of touch-sensitive vegetables.

Tokyo Digital Vegetable Greenhouse by Party...


Coverage: Ron English Pop-Up @ Toy Tokyo, NYC "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The one and only Ron English made a triumphant return to one of this favorite spots in NYCs lower east side Toy Tokyo where he hosted a day long pop-up shop featuring everything from skate board decks, vinyl toys, prints, clothing, home accessories, and even his music project Delusionville.  Ron in his usual fashion took time out to chat and sign gear for the very long line of fans who made the trip!

The pop-up will run until Monday November 20th.  I grabbed some really great gear at very reasonable prices.  Get there before its all gone!! ...


Nirvana, Yo La Tengo, and Half Japanese meet in the Super Stinky Puffs, 1994 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Stinky Puffs Simon Fair Timony was underground rocks coolest adolescent, according to Trouser Press, which also said the boy had been raised among the Residents. At the age of seven, Timony could have been the subject of his own...


The Rise and Fall of the Viking Allah Textile "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Collaged images of (l.) a tablet woven band and (r.) a mirrored image of what is claimed to be the word Allah appearing in Viking Age patterns found in Birka, Sweden (both photographs by Annika Larsson via the Uppsala University Press Release)

It seemed like something from an episode of the last season of Historys show Vikings: a 10th- century, tablet-woven textile fragment found in a Viking boat grave was said to bear the words Allah and Ali. The textile, an image of which had been published in 1938 following excavation, was rediscovered by Swedish textile archaeologist Dr. Annika Larsson when working on an exhibition on the finds from Viking-age Birka and Gamla Uppsala, in what is now Sweden.

Patterns on the textiles, said Dr. Larsson, reminded her of styles of Arabic script found on mausolea and tombs from Central Asia as well as on medieval Spanish ribbons (presumably meaning tablet woven bands). Based on her findings, Uppsala University, Swedens most venerable institution of higher learning, issued a press release including quotes from Larsson deeming the finding staggering. Within days, dozens of newspapers, from the New York Times, to The Guardian, to the BBC had reported the story, calling it a breakthrough, and the story had gone viral on the internet. Some reports were more measured than others, but the hype extended to headlines asking Were Vikings Muslim?

The truth is, the Viking textile from Birka has no Arabic on it at all. Evidence for contact between the Vikings and the Islamic world is abundant and uncontested, but this particular textile fragment cannot be counted among that evidence. What the rapid rise and fall of this story...


Illustrator Perfectly Captures How an Introvert Likes to Spend the Weekend "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Funny Illustrations by Lingvistov

For an introvert, the weekend is best spent alone. Its precious time to stay home, binge watch Netflix, and snuggle with a furry pal. But what happens when a friend suggests hanging out? The prospect can fill an introvert with dread! Landysh, one half of the drawing duo Lingvistov, perfectly captures this dilemma in her funny illustrations. Her doodles about the weekend are largely centered around the idea that Saturday and Sunday are really meant for catching up on sleep and avoiding plans.

Have you ever wondered, Am I an introvert? If the sentiments in these illustrations sound appealing to you, then chances are that you too prefer solitude to boisterous gatherings. As one of Landyshs drawings suggests, your idea of being busy on a Saturday night is laying in bed and watching TValongside your cat and a bowl of snacks, of course. Or, if you somehow did make it out to a bar, restaurant, or party, by the end of the night you're reminded why it's so nice to have a night in.

This isnt the first time weve admired Lingvistovs witty drawings. Landysh has previously made us laugh with her comics of funny dogs, reasons to love someone, and a deep love of sleep. These illustrations and more are available as stationery, prints, and calendars in the Lingvistov online shop.

Lingvistov is back with funny illustrations about how an introvert likes to spend the weekend. (Hint: Alone.)

Funny Illustrations by Lingvistov...


You can own Frank Zappas Thing-Fish mask "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Heres an uncontroversial opinion: Frank Zappas Thing-Fish is totally insane. Its a 1984 parody of a Broadway musical that attempted to satirize the AIDS crisis, South African Apartheid, the Religious Right, and a host of other social concerns by positing a government conspiracy...


How the CIA Funded & Supported Literary Magazines Worldwide While Waging Cultural War Against Communism "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Over the course of this tumultuous year, new CIA director Mike Pompeo has repeatedly indicated that he would move the Agency in a more aggressive direction. In response, at least one person took on the guise of former Chilean president Salvador Allende and joked, incredulously, more aggressive? In 1973, the reactionary forces of General Augusto Pinochet overthrew Allende, the first elected Marxist leader in Latin America. Pinochet then proceeded to institute a brutal 17-year dictatorship characterized by mass torture, imprisonment, and execution. The Agency may not have orchestrated the coup directly but it did at least support it materially and ideologically under the orders of President Richard Nixon, on a day known to many, post-2001, as the other 9/11.

The Chilean coup is one of many CIA interventions into the affairs of Latin America and the former European colonies in Africa and Asia after World War II. It is by now well known that the Agency occasionally undermined democracies for the sake of fighting communism, as Mary von Aue writes at Vice, throughout the Cold War years. But years before some of its most aggressive initiatives, the CIA developed several guises to throw money at young, burgeoning writers, creating a cultural propaganda strategy with literary outposts around the world, from Lebanon to Uganda, India to Latin America. They didnt invent the burgeoning post-war literary movements that first spread through the pages of magazines like The Partisan Review and The Paris Review in the 1950s. But the Agency funded, organized, and curated them, with the full knowledge of editors like Paris Review co-founder Peter Matthiessen, himself a CIA agent.



Art Movements "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

John Baldessari, NUMANS MORTUARY MEYER Your big ideas bug me. (2017), varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint, 62 1/2 x 54 x 1 1/2 in ( John Baldessari, courtesy the artist, Marian Goodman Gallery and Sprueth Magers; photo by Joshua White)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

Knight Landesman resigned as co-publisher of Artforum hours after a former employee filed a lawsuit accusing him of groping and sexually harassing nine women. Amanda Schmitt, a curator and the director of programming and development for the UNTITLED art fair, filed a claim for $500,000 in damages with the State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday morning. In an earlier report published by artnet, several men and women voiced complaints regarding unwanted touching, groping, and other inappropriate behavior, including requests for massages. The same report indicated that a former employee had filed a claim for damages with Artforum. In response, Artforum stated that the former employees close friendship with Landesman took place well after she left Artforum in 2012, a claim that is directly contradicted by Schmitts subsequent lawsuit, which alleges that Landesmans harassment first began after she was hired as a circulation assistant in 2009. On Wednesday evening, Artnews reported that Michelle Kuo, Artforum&...


The Colors of Mister Rogers Hand-Knit Sweaters from 1979 to 2001: A Visual Graph Created with Data Science "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Writer Owen Phillips may be a solid data analyst, but I suspect hes not much of a knitter.

The software he used to run a scientific analysis of 22 years worth of Fred Rogers sweaters ultimately reduces the beloved childrens television hosts homey zip-front cardigans to a slick graphic of colorful bars.

A knitter would no doubt prioritize other types of patterns - stitch numbers, wool weight, cable variationsthe sort of information Mister Rogers mother, Nancy, would have had at her fingertips.

As Mister Rogers reveals in the story of his sweaters, his mom was the knitter behind many of the on-air sweaters Phillips crunched with R code. Whether their subtly shifting palette reflects an adventurous spirit on the part of the maker or the recipients evolving taste is not for us to know.

After Mrs. Rogers death, producers had to resort to buying similar models. Many of her originals had worn through or been donated to charity events.

Not an easy challenge in the 80s and 90s, Margy Whitmer, a producer of Mister Rogers Neighborhood told Rewire. It certainly wasnt in style! But we found a company who made cotton ones that were similar, so we bought a bunch and dyed them.

(A moment of silent gratitude that no one tried to shoehorn Fred Rogers into a Cosby Show sweater)



Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet, Illustrated by David Hockney "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A choral serenade to the building blocks of language starring Susan Sontag, Iris Murdoch, Ian McEwan, Joyce Carol Oates, Martin Amis, Doris Lessing, John Updike, and more titans of literature.

Great Writers on the Letters of the Alphabet, Illustrated by David Hockney

In the final years of his life, the English poet, novelist, essayist, and social justice advocate Sir Stephen Spender undertook a playful and poignant labor of love he asked artist David Hockney to draw each letter of the alphabet, then invited twenty-nine of the greatest writers in the English language to each contribute a short original text for one of the letters. The result was the 1991 out-of-print treasure Hockneys Alphabet (public library) a sublime addition to the canon of imaginative alphabet books, with all proceeds going toward AIDS research and care for people living and dying with AIDS.

The twenty-nine pieces essays, poems, micro-memoirs come from such titans of literature as Susan Sontag, Seamus Heaney, Martin Amis, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oats, Ted Hughes, Ian McEwan, Erica Jong, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Iris Murdoch.



2,800 JFK Assassination Documents Just Released by the National Archives "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Moments ago, the National Archives released a trove of 2,800 documents that will shed more light on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. According to the Archives, the release includes "FBI, CIA, and other agency documents (both formerly withheld in part and formerly withheld in full) identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records." You can find the documents here.

This data dump was meant to include even more documents. But, according to The New York Times, Donald Trump "bowed to protests by the C.I.A. and F.B.I. by withholding thousands of additional papers pending six more months of review." If those ever see the light of day, we'll let you know.

2,800 JFK Assassination Documents Just Released by the National Archives is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.


Kazuo Ohnos Dance Philosophy "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

41w56Bj2l7LOn the 27th of October 1906, the Japanese Butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno was born in Hakodate, Japan. A hundred years later (only four years before his death!), unable to walk or stand any more, Ohno continued to dance with his hands, thus summarising the essence of Butoh as the dance from within. He started dancing before World War II, but it is in the post-war period that his dancing career really flourished. The inspiration came from the new dance philosophy, conceptualised by Tatsumi Hijikata the principal founder of Butoh.

Butoh means dance step and ancient dance. It grew in opposition to both modern Western dance, growing on popularity in post-war Japan, and to Nah a traditional form of dance performed in Japan since the 14th century. Butoh was a direct reaction to European modernism and an attempt of revitalisation of the Japanese art scene. But as much as trying to escape European influences, Butoh inevitably drew from the elements of German expressionism, represented by Mary Wigman, or German romanticism, characteristic for theatrical productions by Max Reinhardt or films by Friedrich Murnau and Frietz Lang. It promotes similar use of light, similar dramatic gesture and similar aura of the surreal. With its intense physicality, haunting theatricality and a ghost-like ap...


An Augmented Reality Coral Reef Thrives or Dies by Your Tweets "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

<em>White Noise</em> AR installation at the Future of Storytelling at Snug Harbor, Staten Island (courtesy Paper Triangles)White Noise AR installation at the Future of Storytelling at Snug Harbor, Staten Island (courtesy Paper Triangles)

The White Noise augmented reality (AR) installation pits realtime data on consumption against conservation, and consumption almost always wins. The AR project uses Twitter API to track different hashtags, such as #recycling or #brunch. Digital animations of fish and trash in a coral reef represent these hashtags, and are digitally layered over a 3D-printed coral sculpture. Created by Paper Triangles in collaboration with Industry Gallery in Los Angeles, White Noise had its world premiere at the Future of Storytelling Festival (FoST) held in early October on Staten Island.

We swim in data every single day, and we dont really register any of that, Frank Shi, cofounder of the Paper Triangles design studio, told Hyperallergic. The idea was to try to use AR to visualize data. They were particularly interested in experimenting with a new way to display data from Twitter, that white noise of content, comments, and endless information. We wanted to use AR to show that in a more tangible way, Shi added. That data is so abstract, and very hard to grasp visually.

They were inspired by the 2017 documentary Chasing Coral to use the visualization to highlight the disappearance of the coral reefs. At FoST, hashtags for #brunch, #sushi, and #coffee were selected, as well as #conservation, #recycling, and #climatechange, and...

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Thursday, 26 October


The Disturbing Force of Early Color Photos of Nazi Camps "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

James Friedman, Mannequin of Nazi SS ocer, Fort Breendonck concentration camp, near Brussels, Belgium (1981). The smudges and drips on the mannequins face and chest are from where a visitor had spit on the glass. (image by the author for Hyperallergic)

COLUMBUS, Ohio It is possible tempting, even to view historical events through a gauzy filter, once which lends a layer of abstraction to the fact that they took place in the same reality as the one we currently inhabit. For an event like the Holocaust, this filter is often created by images exclusively presented in black-and-white film. Much like television of a bygone era, its difficult to imagine that those events happened, when they happened, in living color.

James Friedman, Survivor of three Nazi concentration camps, survivors reunion, Majdanek concentration camp, near Lublin, Poland (1983) (image courtesy the artist)

12 Nazi Concentration Camps, presented by Angela Meleca Gallery, is a body of work by photographer James Friedman who, in the early 80s, took the largely unprecedented step of documenting post-Holocaust era Nazi camps in color photography.

For the first time, photographs of concentration camps are brazenly passionate and hot, rather than detached and cool,' wrote Friedman in his 1983 artist statement. Friedman began as a self-taught photographer, before attending the Ohio State University Honors Program to earn a BFA degree with Distinction in Photography. Later, while earning an MA degree in photography from San Fr...


19th-Century Gothic Church Is Transformed into an Immersive Wonderland Inside "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

AURA Moment Factory multimedia installation in notre dame basilica

Canadian multimedia studio Moment Factory is known for their incredible immersive experiences, having collaborated with everyone from musicians Arcade Fire to the NFL. Recently, they transformed Montreal's Notre-Dame Basilica with AURA, a multimedia installation that paid homage to the church's wondrous art and architecture.

The 45-minute spectacle combined sound, lighting, and projections that beamed across the entire interior of Notre-Dame, immersing spectators in the experience. The visual transformations plotted out by the studio were meant to amplify the feelings already present when one enters the majestic space. By allowing viewers to see the landmark in a new way, they have renewed appreciation for the 19th-century church.

Golden particles evoke the basilicas energy in constant transformation, whispers suggest echoes of its past, its heartbeat flashes as a pulse of light racing across the arches, writes Moment Factory. The basilica is revealing itself through a sensorial language. Everyone will experience something different, will connect with the basilica through their own eyes and senses. AURA inspires a feeling.

In order to use the church's interior as a canvas, the team did a complete 3D scan of the space, ensuring that all details would be perfectly matched to the projections. Due to the multifaceted nature of the project, it took over a year of workincluding sound recording and visual imageryto move the installation from idea to reality. Viewers were invited first to wander the space, taking in the artwork present in Notre-Dame before sitting for a second act and enjoying the visuals and music.

In addition to the 21 projectors, 140 lights, and 20 mirrors used for the lighting and projections, the original soundtrack composed by Marc Bell and Gabriel Thibaudeau used 30 musicians and 20 chorists, as well as the church's organ. The results are an incredible transformation throughout the performance, as light, color, and sound are used to create a unique mood as the minutes pass by.

This isn't Moment Factory's first experience transforming a historic monument. In 2012, they transformed the facade of...


Contemporary Ballet Adventures with Trevor Paglen, Science Fiction, and More "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Translation, Ballet Collective, NYU Skirball, October 2017 (photo by Erin Baiano)

This week at NYUs Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, BalletCollective presents a program of short pieces inspired by works of art from outside of the dance world specifically, those of visual artists Carlos Arnaiz (of CAZA Architects), Trevor Paglen, and Dafy Hagai, and science fiction writer Ken Liu. BalletCollectives inaugural choreographer-in-residence, Gabrielle Lamb, choreographed Orange, the piece inspired by Paglen, while the rest of the program is the brainchild of company founder Troy Schumacher.

The stage lights turn on to reveal a stripped set, where all the backdrops and wings are removed to create an industrial-style atmosphere. The performance begins with The Answer, a short and very athletic piece channeling Arnaizs prints of basketball star Allen Iverson. Schumachers second art-inspired piece, The Last Time This Ended, based on Hagais still-life photographs of the everyday, features an unusual partnering of two male dancers.

Orange, Ballet Collective, NYU Skirball, October 2017 (photo by Erin Baiano)

In between the two Schumacher pieces, Lambs Orange takes its cues from Paglens concept of ...


George Washington Portrait Flips Off Trump in Viral Photoshopped Images [UPDATED] "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

One of the viral images of President Trump, with a photoshopped portrait of George Washington (via @JaimsVanDerBeek/Twitter)One of the viral images of President Trump, with a photoshopped portrait of George Washington (via @JaimsVanDerBeek/Twitter)

A batch of expertly photoshopped images of Donald Trump are making a splash online. Each features Trump in the foreground and one of the stately portraits adorning the walls of the White House in the background, with the images of their historic figures tweaked to ridicule the current head of state.

In one, Andrew Jackson facepalms as he listens to Trump make a phone call. In another, a frowning George Washington gives his 44th successor the finger during a speech. Elsewhere, Alexander Hamilton pantomimes committing suicide during an Oval Office photo opportunity. Rounding out the quartet of fed-up statesmen is Thomas Jefferson, who mocks Trumps self-satisfied behavior in a meeting. In three of the images, Trumps US flag lapel pin has been changed to a Russian flag, a reference to the ongoing investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia during last years presidential election.

A tweet of the four images by Seattle-based wrestling apparel designer...


Want to Live in Italy? The Town of Candela Will Pay You to Move There "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

italian town paying people to move in

Photo: Francesco Pio Delvecchio / Comune Candela

We've seen Italian towns get creative with how they attract new residents, whether it's using street art to bring in tourists or giving away free castles. But if that doesn't catch your eye, how about a little cash? The southern Italian town of Candela is offering up just that2,000 (about $2,300) for anyone that takes up residence.

With this new initiative, mayor Nicola Gatta hopes to bring Candela back to its glory years during the 1990s, when the town boasted a population of 8,000. With only 2,700 residents left, Gatta decided to get creative in attracting newcomers to town. The medieval town is located in Puglia, just an hour's drive from pristine beaches, and surrounded by lush green hills and forest. Since pitching the monetary incentive, which began in 2016, 38 residents have moved into town, bumping up the population and instilling hope that the area can reserve its fortunes.

This is how it works: 800 for singles, 1,200 for couples, 1,500 to 1,800 for three-member families, and over 2,000 ($2,300) for families of four to five people, shares Stefano Bascianelli, the assistant mayor. They are also evaluating possible tax credits for waste disposal, bills, and elementary schools.

Of course, Candela is looking for people to make the town their permanent home, so if you wish t...


Why the Moon Landing Couldnt Have Been Faked "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Why the Moon Landing Couldnt Have Been Faked
Faking the moon landing in 1969 would have been harder than just going to the moon.




Carnival Scam Science and How To Win "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Resident YouTube scientist and former NASA Mars Rover engineer Mark Rober investigates carnival games and shows how we interact with physics every second of the day in a thousand different ways. Rober adds:

I collected data at the carnival for a full day. Then I used that information to figure out which games are the biggest scams using science to analyze them and show you how to beat them. I also figured out how much the carnival actually pays for the prizes so even if you win, you lose. And then I visited the carnival with my professional baseball playing buddy to dominate all the games. It worked well.




Where Did the English Language Come From?: An Animated Introduction "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

If you've ever deliberately studied the English language or, even worse, taught it you know that bottomless aggravation awaits anyone foolish enough to try to explain its "rules." What makes English so apparently strange and different from other languages, and how could such a language go on to get so much traction all over the world? Whether you speak English natively (and thus haven't had much occasion to give the matter thought) or learned it as a second language, the five-minute TED-Ed lesson above, written by Yale linguistics professor Claire Bowern and animated by Patrick Smith, will give you a solid start on understanding the answer to those questions and others.

"When we talk about English, we often think of it as a single language," says the lesson's narrator, "but what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? And how are any of them related to the strange words in Beowulf?"

The answer involves English's distinctive evolutionary path through generations and generations of speakers, expanding and changing all the while. Along the way, it's picked up words from Latin-derived Romance languages like French and Spanish, a process that began with the Norman invasion of England in 1066. So also emerged Old English, a member of you guessed it the Germanic language family, one brought to the British isles in the fifth and sixth centuries. Then, of course, you've got the Viking invaders bringing in their Old Norse from the eighth to the eleventh centuries.

English thus came to its characteristically rich (and often confusing) mixture of words drawn from all over the place quite some time ago, leaving modern linguists to perform the quasi-archaeological task of tracing each word back to its origins through its sound and usage. Go far enough and you get to the tongues we call "Proto-Germanic," spoken circa 500 BC, and "Proto-Indo-European," which had its heyday six millennia ago in modern-day Ukraine and Russia. English now often gets labeled, rightly or wrongly, a "globa...


Europes First Underwater Restaurant Is Being Built Off the Norwegian Coast "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Underwater Restaurant Norway snhetta

If you've ever dreamed of dining under the sea, you may soon get your chance. Norwegian architectural firm Snhetta recently announced their involvement with Under, Europe's first underwater restaurant. The new dining destination will be located on the southern coast of Norway, close to the village of Bly.

The space itself is a tribute to the Norwegian coast and with such close proximity to nature, the restaurant will also serve as a marine life research center. While we've seen underwater hotels and underwater museums in more tropical climates, Under is a unique opportunity to peer below the surface of the icy Nordic waters. Half-sunken into the sea, the structure's 3.2-feet (1 meter) thick walls shield patrons from pressure changes and will stand up to the rugged waters.

More than an aquarium, the structure will become a part of its marine environment, coming to rest directly on the seabed almost 16.5 feet (5 meters) below the water's surface, explains Snhetta. Acting as a sunken periscope, the large acrylic windows give a perfect view into the waters, allowing diners to eat their meal while admiring the circling marine life.

Set over three levels, patrons first enter into a wardrobe room before descending one floor to a champagne bar. It's at this level that the transition between land and water begins. Watching the transformation through the windows, diners move down to the finalunderwaterlevel, where they will enjoy their meal. The muted palette of the interior mimics the aquatic surroundings, immersing patrons in the full experience.

All this is aimed at activating the senses, drawing people below the surface for a greater appreciation of the underwater world. Fittingly, the word under has a dual meaning in Norwegian, as it can also translate to signify wonder. Over time, as the concrete shell transforms into a mollusk reef, part of that wonder will also stretch toward how humans and nature can coexist with respect and harmony.



Activists Splatter Red Paint on Roosevelt Monument at American Museum of Natural History "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The defaced Teddy Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History (all photos courtesy Monument Removal Brigade)

A group calling itself the Monument Removal Brigade (MRB) has claimed responsibility for todays early morning defacement of the controversial Theodore Roosevelt monument that stands outside the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The base of the 10-foot-tall equestrian statue was splashed with red paint around 5:30am, creating a grisly scene at the bottom of the museums steps. MRB, whose members remain anonymous, described the action to Hyperallergic as a counter-monumental gesture that does symbolic damage to the values [the statue] represents: genocide, dispossession, displacement, enslavement, and state terror. It marks the latest in a string of rogue acts around the country to eradicate controversial statues and monuments, which spiked in number after white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to stop the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument.

The defaced base of the Teddy Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History

Now the statue is bleeding, the group of anonymous protestors wrote in a statement sent to Hyperallergic. We did not make it bleed. It is bloody at its very foundation. This is not an act of vandalism. It is a work of public art and an act of applied art crit...


Sundays Season Premiere of Blue Planet II Features Giant Bird Eating Fish "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


BBC has released a clip from this Sundays UK premiere (coming to US in early 2018) of Blue Planet II, featuring the Giant Trevally. Caranx ignobilis are large marine fish and apex predators in most of their habitats.

In this amazing footage we see giant trevallies picking off fledgling terns from the air.




Allora & Calzadilla Confront Puerto Ricos Fraught Relationship with the US "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla: Foreign in a Domestic Sense (photo by Dave Morgan, Allora & Calzadilla, courtesy Lisson Gallery)

It begins with oranges. Shortly after the United States acquired Puerto Rico from Spain, in the aftermath of its victory in the Spanish-American War of 1898, a merchant named Samuel Downes attempted to import oranges from the island into New York harbor. After being forced to pay import duties on the fruit, Downes sued the customs inspector, claiming the tax should never have been imposed, since the oranges came from a territory that was now part of the United States. The case reached the Supreme Court, which ruled against Downes, stating that, while the personal liberties of Puerto Rican citizens were sovereign under the Constitution, laws pertaining to finance and revenue were not. Writing the courts majority opinion in 1901, Chief Justice Edward E. White referred to Puerto Rico as foreign in a domestic sense.

That absurd phrase titles collaborative duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadillas current exhibition at Lisson Gallery in London, which takes as its premise the strange limbo of existence to which Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory, is subject by the United States. Allora & Calzadilla, who both live in Puerto Rico, open the show with Loss (2017), a bag of oranges cast in black wax and slumped on the floor just inside the gallerys e...


Les Vampyrettes perfect Krautrock song for your Halloween party "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Anyone who is looking to celebrate Halloween but insists on being totally Kosmisch (cosmic) about it, theres a curious release that youve got to hear about. Holger Czukay of


Marathon Runner Creates Illustrated Maps of Running Routes Around the World "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Marathon Map Illustration

Phil Thompson is an illustrator who also happens to love running. His dedication goes the distance (literally) and he has completed one of the most challenging types of racesthe marathon. It was during the first of these competitions that he got the idea to create his own illustrated marathon map. Running through the streets of Chicago, I wanted to help runners relive the course, he tells My Modern Met in an email, and help non-runners see the big landmarks from the runners points of view.

Through his studio Cape Horn Illustration, Thompson has drawn routes of marathons including Tokyo, Berlin, New York, and the most prestigious of them all, Boston. These running maps arent to scale by any means, but thats not the point of Thompsons drawings. They are meant to convey the essence of these races, from the most famous parts of the course to the various landscapes runners venture through on their way to the finish line. By getting an insider's look at the marathons, it might just inspire you to lace up your shoes and go for a run.

Thompson sells his marathon maps through the Cape Horn Illustration print shop.

Phil Thompson depicts different marathons around the world through map illustration.

Marathon Map by Cape Horn Illustration...


A French Director Who Turned the Experience of May 68 into Intimate Cinema "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Woman (Nico) and Man/Devil (Philippe Garrel) in <em>La Cicatrice Intrieure</em> (courtesy of the Film Desk)The Woman (Nico) and Man/Devil (Philippe Garrel) in La Cicatrice Intrieure (courtesy of the Film Desk)

In April 1968, Philippe Garrel won the top prize at the Festival du Jeune Cinma at Hyres for a film called Marie Pour Mmoire. When he accepted his award, Garrel, a boyish-looking, floppy-haired 20-year old, announced that he was finished with cinema what he was more interested in now was prophecy. If film was to have any meaning, he noted, it should resemble a brick thrown into a movie theater.

Garrels statements were very much of the moment. This was a month after students at Nanterre University occupied administrative buildings in protest of the Vietnam war, and two months after the ouster of Cinmathque Franaise founder Henri Langlois, a decision that was reversed following vocal criticisms from many in the film community. A few weeks later, student demonstrations would stream through the Latin Quarter, where barricades would be erected by the police. In other words, the rumblings of May 68 were already reverberating through the streets of Paris.



A Ballet Inspired by a Western Finds Shape in Artist Elana Herzogs Layered Designs "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

One of the dancers performing with a design by Elana Herzog in rehersals for Martha (The Searchers) (all images courtesy Norte Maar)

This weekend at Brooklyns Mark Morris Dance Center, choreographer Julia K. Gleich and visual artist and 2017 Guggenheim fellow Elana Herzog present the premier of their new collaborative project, a full-length ballet titled Martha (The Searchers).

Inspired by a strong female character named Martha in Alain LeMays Western novel, The Searchers (1954) and John Fords 1956 movie based on the book the new ballet is allegorical, a series of refractions of imagery from the American West and the Martha story, Gleich told Hyperallergic. The name Martha conjures up a grown woman, sturdy and productive. I think of all the Marthas in history and literature: Martha Graham, Martha Washington, Marthas in The Handmaids Tale (cooks), Calamity Jane (real name Martha Jane Canary). And most of all, Martha Sherman, whose death at the hands of the Comanche in 1860 was a tipping point in the violence and genocide of the Comanche.

Martha (The Searchers) is a product of a very deliberate interdisciplinary collaboration. Every year, local arts organization Norte Maar presents a project called CounterPointe, pairing female choreographers and visual artists, who work together to create new works for the stage. When Herzog was paired with Gleich last winter, it was the first time shed ever worked with a choreographer. Id never done theater before either, she told Hyperallergic. My work has potential to be theatrical, but Ive always made a point of keeping it open, non-narrative, and non-specific.



6,000 Letters by Marcel Proust to Be Digitized & Put Online "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Quick fyi: Next year, an archive of 6,000 letters by Marcel Proust will be digitized and made freely available online. The letters come from the collection of Philip Kolb, a Proust scholar from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. According to The New York Times, "the first tranche of the letters, several hundred related to the First World War, are expected to be published online by Nov. 11, 2018, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the war." We'll update you when the letters actually appear online.

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16-Year-Old Marcel Proust Tells His Grandfather About His Misguided Adventures at the Local Brothel

Marcel Proust Fills Out a Questionnaire in 1890: The Manuscript of the Proust Questionnaire



College paysif youre white "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The staff at How Much recently visualized summaries from a Federal Reserve analysis showing how much a college degree can matter for your net worth. It turns out education can really payif youre white.

This illustrates an important sociological point. When we talk about structural inequality, critics often note that we shouldnt disregard individuals efforts to work and earn a better life. Getting a college degree is one of the centerpieces of this argument. These gaps show its not that effort doesnt matter at all, but that inequality in social conditions means those efforts yield wildly different outcomes.

Want to read more on higher education and Americas wealth gap? Check out Tressie McMillan Cottoms Lower Ed, Thomas Shapiros Toxic Inequality, and Dalton Conleys Being Black, Living in the Red.

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

(View original at


A Major Collection Considers New Ways to Tell the Story of Latin American Art "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

No black / No white (no and) installation view. From left to right: Alana Iturralde, Pottery work (2017), ceramics; Boading Balls (2017), video on loop; Ulrik Lpez, Paisaje apilado (Piled Landscape) (2017) (all images courtesy CIFO Collection and the artists; all photos by Oriol Tarridas unless otherwise noted)

Currently on view at the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), No black / No white (no and) is the nonprofits 2017 Grants and Commissions Program exhibition. Its also an anniversary celebration: for the past fifteen years, the foundation has granted funds to over 120 artists from Latin America, nominating and exhibiting their work. As such, this show isnt curated in the traditional sense its part showcase, part exhibition and, coincidentally, a mini-retrospective of the work of Daniel Joseph Martinez, a recent grant recipient.

The shows title comes from a statement by John Cage, written in response to Robert Rauschenbergs White Paintings. As Phaidon writer Catherine Craft explains, Cage viewed the White Paintings less as images that projected the artists expression, than backdrops against which the flux of the world might stand out The White Paintings reflected light, converged with their surrounding space; they were not individualistic or personally expressive, but part of an environmental whole. Cage wrote this homage in 1953:

To Whom / No subject / No image / No taste / No object / No beauty / No message / No talent / No technique (no why) / No idea / No intention / No art / No object / No feeling / No black / No white (no and) / After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in these paintings that could not be changed, that they can be seen in any light and are not destroyed by the action of shadows. / Halleluj...


A Wedding Ceremony Takes the Shape of an Art Exhibition "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Zachary Z. Handler and Nick Horans wedding at Miami Is Nice at SpaceCamp, Baltimore (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic unless otherwise noted)

BALTIMORE The global wedding market is a $300 billion industry where romance has been manipulated to such a high degree that getting married is often the most expensive endeavor of ones life, aside from buying a home. Although wedding traditions appear to be governed by an iron (or platinum) fist, its shocking to realize that major retailers invented most of our customs including the white dress, diamond ring, and gift registry in the past 80 years. What is most alarming is how little Americans deviate from capitalist heteronormative wedding practices, despite the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, and how divisive weddings remain for couples, extended families, and all who believe that love, not your gender or race, determines the right to marry.

Who better than artists to challenge and reclaim this oppressive system as a unique declaration of love? In Baltimore, two artists have upended the traditional wedding, realizing it as a month-long gallery exhibition and queer performance series. Miami is Nice, hosted at SpaceCamp, a cavernous artist-run gallery, features work by 45 artists from across the country and looks nothing like a traditional wedding, except for the cheesecake station, but manages to celebrate the aesthetics and values of grooms Zachary Z. Handler and Nick Horan in a variety of unique ways.



Photographer Takes 3,200+ Photos Capturing the Vibrant Diversity of Portugals Windows "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Andre Goncalves Windows of The World Portugal


Previously, we introduced you to Portuguese photographer Andre Goncalves and his Windows of the World series. In this body of work, Goncalves traveled to Italy, The Alps, England, Romania, and Spain, where he documented a variety of colorful facades and architectural details. He then combined his individual images into large collage grids, grouped by location. Now, in his most recent series, he has returned to his home country of Portugal to capture over 3,200 charming, colorful windows, from 100 locations. From these images he has made more than one hundred new collages.

Goncalves believes windows can be enigmatic and very revealing when it comes to history, culture and a multitude of hidden nuances. His new collages capture the charming vibrancy of cities such as Porto, Lisbon, and Aveiro, as well as places with a more muted color palette, such as Ponta Delgada where the windows incorporate local volcanic rock. Goncalves views windows as the source of a buildings personality, and he certainly exhibits this in his work.

The photographer plans to release a new photo bookentitled Windows of the World Portugalwhich will be the first of a series featuring his window photographs. However, he needs to reach his funding goal before they can be put into print. If youd like to help Goncalves share his window passion with the world, you can support his campaign through Indiegogo.

Andre Goncalves photographs colorful windows from one hundred Portuguese locations.

Andre Goncalves Windows of The World Portugal




Bookworm by Artez in Lecce, Italy "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Artez has just finished another mural in Europe called Bookworm. This mural is located in Zona 167 of Lecce, which was famous as one of the most dangerous areas in the whole southern part of Italy because of its high criminal activity and mafia presence in this particular district. In the past few years the area became much more safer and now its going trough the process of revitalisation, with the mural project initiated by the local church and organised by 167ArtProject.

The idea behind this mural is promotion of education and knowledge two things that can help us to constantly keep developing. You can lose your cup of tea, but never drop the knowledge that youre carrying!


Besides Artez (Serbia) who painted Bookworm mural, few more artists took part in the project and painted another 3 walls Chekos (Italy), Bifido (Italy) & Julietta (Spain) and Mantra (France).

The post Bookworm by Artez in Lecce, Italy appeared first on StreetArtNews.


The Social Lives of Trees: Science Reveals How Trees Mysteriously Talk to Each Other, Work Together & Form Nurturing Families "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

In addition to its ham-handed execution, maybe one of the reasons M. Night Shyamalans The Happening failed with critics is that its premise seemed inherently preposterous. Who could suspend disbelief? Trees dont talk to each other, act in groups, make calculations, how foolish! But they do, forester Suzanne Simard aims to convince us in the TED video above.

Trees arent just trees. They are the visible manifestations of this other world underground, a world of infinite biological pathways that connect trees and allow them to communicate, and allow the forest to behave as if its a single organism. It might remind you of a sort of intelligence. One shared not only by trees but by all of the beings that live in and among them. Forests are alive, though perhaps they are not plotting their revenge on us, even if weve earned it.

Simard tells the story of growing up in British Columbia among the inland rainforests. Old wet temperate forests crawling with ancient ferns like giant green hands; cities of mushrooms growing around centuries-old fallen trees; whole planes of bird and insect existence in the canopies, American megafauna, the elk, the bear. On a recent hike deep into the Olympia National Forest in Washington, I found myself thinking some similar thoughts. Its not that unusual to imagine, in the throes of forest bathing, that trees are natures internet, as Simard says in a Seattle TED talk.

The difference is that Simard has had these thoughts all her life, devoted 30 years of research to testing her hypotheses, and used radioactive carbon isotopes to find two-way communication between different species of tree while being chased by angry grizzly bears. Likewise, most of us have noted the glaring scientific absurdities in the book of Genesis, but few may se...


25 Amazing Optical Illusions That Illustrate the Magic of Makeup "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Illusion Makeup Tricks Optical Illusion Art Cool Makeup

With an interest in originality, many contemporary artists forego traditional materials for more experimental mediums. From artistic edibles to pieces made entirely out of flowers, these avant-garde creations demonstrate an innovative and imaginative approach to art. Recently, this passion has materialized in the realm of body art, with optical illusion makeup at its fascinating forefront.

Using human faces as canvases, these makeup masters use trompe-l'il techniques to fabricate eye-catching and mind-bending works of art. Ranging from unsettling contortions to clever camouflage, these makeup masterpieces showcase the artists' jaw-dropping skills and fresh-faced creativity.

In this extraordinary selection of optical illusion art, artists showcase the cool makeup tricks behind the mind-bending trend.

Mesmerizing Manipulations by Mimi Choi

Illusion Makeup Tricks Optical Illusion Art Cool Makeup Illusion Makeup Tricks Optical Illusion Art Cool Makeup...


Neuer Anti-Graffiti Sensor erkennt den Geruch von Lack in der Luft und schlgt Alarm "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Aktuell macht mal wieder eine Meldung ber eine neue Technik aus dem Bereich der Graffiti-Prvention in der Presse die Runde. Konkret geht es um einen mobilen Sensor, der den Geruch von Lack in der Luft aufsprt und dann Alarm schlgt. Die Technik dazu liefern der Telekommunikationsanbieter Vodafone zusammen mit einer Technikfirma aus Mnchen. Das kompakte Gert, das an Wnden, Decken von Gebuden und Tunneln angebracht werden kann, ist mit einem Geruchssensor ausgestattet, der Farb-Partikel in der Luft aufsprt. ber den neuen Narrowband IoT Funkstandard im Mobilfunknetz sendet das Gert dann automatisch ein Signal an eine Zentrale, die eine Sicherheitsfirma oder den Grundstckseigentmer kontaktiert. Durch das spezielle Funknetz soll der Sensor auch in S-Bahn-Tunneln und an Orten mit wenig bis gar keinem normalen Handyempfang funktionieren. Laut dem Technikmagazin Wired sollen die Batterien, die das Gert mit Strom versorgen, bis zu 10 Jahre lang halten. Bild  Vodafone Ob es bereits Interessenten, wie zum Beispiel die Deutsche Bahn, gibt und ob das Gert berhaupt jemals zum Einsatz kommen wird, ist ist bekannt. Die Idee selber ist nicht neu. In Australien wurden bereits vor mehreren Jahren Zge mit vergleichbaren elektronischen Nasen ausgestattet, ebenfalls zur Graffiti-Prvention. Symbolisches Titelbild: Daniel Naish (CC BY 2.0)

Der Beitrag Neuer Anti-Graffiti Sensor erkennt den Geruch von Lack in der Luft und schlgt Alarm erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


A Guide to the Worlds Most Intriguing Cemeteries "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC (photo by Allison C. Meier)Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC (photo by Allison C. Meier)

Loren Rhoads, author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die, out now from Black Dog & Leventhal, had her first transporting cemetery encounter by chance. She was stranded with her husband in London on their way to Barcelona during the first Gulf War in the early 1990s.

Cover of <em>199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die</em> by Loren Rhoads (courtesy Black Dog & Leventhal)Cover of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die by Loren Rhoads (courtesy Black Dog & Leventhal)

We kept missing connections because the security was heightened, so we stayed there, and while there I found John Gays book Highgate Cemetery: Victorian Valhalla, Rhoads told Hyperallergic. It has these gorgeous black-and-white photographs of this cemetery which was abandoned, and the friends of the cemetery group had to step in and rescue it.

They decided to explore Highgate Cemetery, and found it as atmospheric as in Gays images. It was full of angels everywhere you looked, just spectacular, standing and covered in ivy with their arms and their fingers broken, she said. They were so beautiful, and it occurred to me that we were the only people there that day; the caretaker had let us in. Here was this spectacular beauty that nobody was appreciati...


Surreal Architectural Collages That Float Above Serene Landscapes by Matthias Jung "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Artist and designer Matthias Jung (previously here and here) collages unique elements of architecture to create imaginary homes set in isolated landscapes. The works float above environments on the outskirts of civilization, appearing like a mirage above rolling plains or an arctic glacier.

The details Jung chooses for his compositions are selected based on the feelings they elicit. For example, the German designer might select latticed windows to convey a sense of coziness in a work, while including concrete to provoke a certain coldness. When combined, the homes serve as short poems, collaged emotions packaged into surreal structures.

Jung began the series of houses in early January 2015. You can view more of his past architectural collages by visiting his website gallery here.



Quaintly amusing vintage Halloween greeting cards "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

I do like sending and receiving greeting cards and letters, but then again I am a tad old-fashioned. Its always such a delight to receive a missive in the post from friends, lovers, or family and think of the effort and care they have taken in putting pen to paper...


Dancers Demonstrate the Perpetual Mechanics of History in a Performance by Yoann Bourgeois "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Visitors to the Panthon in Paris earlier this month have been encountering an unusual sight. For about ten days in October, multi-disciplinary movement artist Yoann Bourgeois installed a rotating circular stairway with a discrete trampoline at its center, and a small cast of anonymously clothed dancers trudged up the steps, each one falling in succession onto the trampoline and seamlessly rebounding back on to the stairs.

The installation was strategically placed over the Panthons Foucault Pendulum, which was devised by French physicist Lon Foucault and offers an easy-to-understand demonstration of Earths rotation. Commonly replicated at science museums around the world, the Panthons pendulum has been the most well-known since its inception in 1851. According to co-producers Thtre de la Ville, Bourgeoiss work is a meditation on Earths gravity.

Entitled La mcanique de lHistoire (The Mechanics of History), the performance is a part of the Monuments En Movement series at the Panthon. Video by Tony Whitfield.


Undead Tedszombie teddy bears for when your inner child is too fucked up for words "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Edgily debasing childrens toys is one of my least favorite underground art moves. With vanishingly few exceptions, its incapable of provoking any reactions deeper than a predictable OMG A BLEEDING BABY IN S&M GEAR from normals who wandered into the wrong gallery, or seen-it-all shrugs from the jaded. While...


Trouble Under Water: Unreleased music from Seattles legendary U-Men "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Bands like The U-Men dont come along often. A Seattle band at a time when the phrase Seattle band carried zero cultural cachet, The U-Men kitchen-sinked Gun Club rootsiness, classic garage rock verb-and-twang, punk sneer, gothic darkness, and Ubu/Beefheart artiness into a single coherent sound that galvanized a hinterlands underground scene...


Freddy Krueger commands you to dance (or else!) on his 1987 novelty record "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

What would be really surprising, in retrospect, is if there had been no Freddy Krueger novelty records at all. But most of us will do much worse things for money. Aside from the Fat Boys rappin Freddy single, Are You Ready for Freddy, the big...


Every Academy Award Winner for Best Cinematography in One Supercut: From 1927s Sunrise to 2016s La La Land "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A list of chronological Oscar winners often tells you more about the state of the culture than the state of the art. That is very true when it comes to Best Picture, with musicals and epics taking home the Academy Award during one decade, but being largely forgotten the next. So too is the award for Best Cinematography, as seen in the seven-minute supercut above. Showing every Academy Award winning cinematographer and their films, the supercut's choices for the one or two shots that sum up a brilliantly lit picture do make the Academys decision at least justified. But it is surprising how quickly so many of these films have slipped from the publics consciousness. (Like 2003s Master and Commander--whens the last time you thought about that film?)

When the Academy first started giving awards for cinematography, it went to the person first, not the picture and the person involved. So when Karl Struss and Charles Rosher were nominated for--ostensibly--their work on F.W. Murnaus classic Sunrise--they also got credited for the five other films they had shot that year.

The current system was worked out in 1931, although up to 1967 awards went--and I think rightly so!--to color and black and white separately. (And, to further complicate things, the color award was considered a special achievement award for a while until Gone with the Wind pretty much necessitated a change in priorities.) After 1967, the only black and white film to win was Schindlers List.

Somebody with way more viewing experience should weigh in on what makes a lot of these films Oscar-worthy in their cinematography, but it does seem that at least through the 1960s, the Academy loved bold use of saturated colors for one category, and an almost abstract use of high contrast shadow and light for the other.

Other notables: Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief (a rather minor work) and Rebecca (a much better one) were his only two films to get the nod, with awards going to Robert Burks (but not for his work on Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest) and George Barnes r...


Albert Einsteins Elegant Theory of Happiness: It Just Sold for $1.6 Million at Auction, But You Can Use It for Free "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Albert Einstein had a theory of general relativity. Turns out, he had a theory of happiness, too.

While traveling in Japan in 1922, Einstein learned that he had won the Nobel Prize. Suddenly the object of unwanted publicity, he secluded himself inside the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. And while there, explains NPR, "a courier came to the door to make a delivery." In lieu of giving the courier a small tip, Einstein handed the courier two handwritten notes, one of which read: "A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness."'

Einstein also gave the bellhop another useful piece of advice: Don't lose those handwritten notes. They might be worth something someday.

Sure enough, Einstein's scrawled theory of happiness sold for $1.6 million at an auction on Tuesday.

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Albert Einstein Tells His Son The Key to Learning & Happiness is Losing Yourself in Crea...


Curator Nato Thompson on Politics and the State of Social Practice Art "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Nato Thompson (photo credit: Alyssa Maloof)

A prominent voice in public art, Nato Thompson announced this week that he will be leaving the Creative Time arts nonprofit to take on the role of artistic director of the still unbuilt Philadelphia Contemporary. Its an exciting project that is sure to build on his decade of experience at Creative Time, which he joined in January 2007.

Thompson is moderating a panel on Thursday, October 26 at the Hirshhorn Museum with artists Laurie Jo Reynolds, Pedro Reyes, and Paul Ramrez Jonas about Awareness, Action, and Dissent. The series, one that partners with the Newseum in the nations capital, complements their current Ai Weiwei exhibition and builds on his commitment to drive social and political change. To get a taste of what to expect on Thursday, I interviewed Thompson about socially engaged art, which is no longer the newest kid on the art world block, and its role in society today.

*    *    *

Hrag Vartanian: Youve been really pivotal in terms of promoting socially engaged and political art. Im wondering what you think the state of the union is in terms of those types of art?

Nato Thompson: If you do take 10 years as a marker, just for the sake of something, I would say that you certainly see more institutional interest in the field. I would say not only institutional in terms of art museums per se, or even galleries, but also city governments. I think theres a certain kind of interest, and its complex because I dont want [to] play into some boosterism around it. Ill just say those invested in these conversations have grown infrastructurally.

Youve got everything from Art Place, and a certain kind of language around placemaking, to more conferences on political art and open engagement. Different things like that.

Also, its a commercial embrace again, Im not saying thats good or...


NYC Wants Citizens Input on Public Monuments and Markers That May Support Hate "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Columbus Column monument at the center of Columbus Circle (photo by bones64 via Pixabay)

New Yorkers, its time to share your thoughts on your citys public monuments. Today, Mayor Bill de Blasios Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers launched an online survey to help his administration review all possible public symbols of hate across the five boroughs. The commission was announced in September amid a national debate over the presence of Confederate symbols on public land, which flared after white supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to stop the removal of a Robert E. Lee monument.

The seven-question survey will influence the commissions 90-day review of landmarks to ensure that the citys public spaces remain open and inclusive. Questions range from, What do you think is the role of public monuments in our citys public spaces? to, What factors should the City consider when reviewing a monument? Participants also have the option to comment on any specific, existing monuments of concern, and include a proposal for how they think the city should handle them whether that idea involves removing, recontextualizing, or keeping them. Notably, the survey also presents an opportunity to propose a new idea for a monument.

Responses will play a critical role in shaping the co...


The Coogan Act: Hollywoods First Child Star "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

On the 26th of October 1914, Jackie Coogan was born in Los Angeles, CA. From infancy, his actor father enrolled him into roles in vaudeville and film. He was discovered by Charlie Chaplin at the Orpheum Theatre, L.A., where Jackie charmed him with his shimmy dancing and miming talent. Chaplin soon cast him in various roles, the best known of which, as the first child actor to play in a full-length movie, is the silent comedy drama The Kid (1921). Jackie played the little partner-in-crime of Chaplins character, a lovable tramp, who rescued him from the streets as an abandoned newborn. In the dawning era of advertising, he became one of the first children to be extensively used in screen commercials for various merchandise from peanut butter to music records.

Having been privately tutored for most of his childhood, at the age of 10, Jackie enrolled into the Urban Military Academy, trying various higher education establishments whose courses he never finished due to poor grades. At the age of 19, he was said to have been involved in the revenge lynching of a gang who had kidnapped and killed his university friend Brooke Hart. Two years later, he was the only survivor of a fatal car crash, in which his father and fellow child actor friend Junior Durkin died. In 1941, Coogan enlisted in the U.S. army and became a glider pilot. In 1944 he flew British troops in India; one particularly interesting incident in his military career was documented in Donovan Websters The Burma Road: The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II (2003), according to which Coogan performed a night landing in a small jungle, clearing 100 miles behind Japanese enemy lines. After the war, he returned to acting, mainly in television series, his most famous role being that of Uncle Fester in ABCs ...


A New Dawn for an Italian Modernists Book About the Night "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Pages from <em>In the Darkness of the Night</em> (courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)Pages from In the Darkness of the Night (courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)

Books were a major part of Italian artist and designer Bruno Munaris seven-decade career, and now one of his elegant publications is available in a new English edition. First released in 1956 as Nella notte buia, the translated In the Darkness of the Night is published by Princeton Architectural Press, with all its mixed media details in place.

Pages from <em>In the Darkness of the Night</em> (courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)Cover of In the Darkness of the Night (courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)

The 60 pages of the slim hardcover take readers on a journey through three stages, from night to morning to a liminal cave space. Princeton Architectural Press also recently released a compilation of Munaris Square, Circle, and Triangle books, which explore the visual history of shapes, and In the Darkness of the Night likewise respects h...


NYC Mayor Proposes New Protections for Loft Tenants, Pledging Support for Arts Workers "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during today's press conference announcing proposed revisions to the city's Loft Law. (screenshot by the author via Periscope)New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during todays press conference announcing proposed revisions to the citys Loft Law (screenshot by the author via Periscope)

This afternoon at 475 Kent Avenue, a former manufacturing building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, now filled with live-work lofts, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled a proposal to overhaul the citys Loft Law. The revisions which will have a public hearing before being put before the citys Loft Board by the end of the year include closing a longstanding loophole related to pied-a-terre lofts and extending rent regulation for loft spaces after tenants have been bought out.

This is really about keeping New York City New York City, its as simple as that; this is about making sure that the people who make New York City great can afford to live here, the mayor said during a press conference in the live-work studio of artist Eve Sussman. I hear all the time from folks in all of the arts, in the entire cultural field, that its harder and harder to live here, and they have to think about whether they can hang on or not. And we dont want to lose one of the most essential parts of New York City.

The mayor added that nearly 30% of the citys rent-regulated lofts have been lost in the last 15 years, blaming, in part, former mayor Michael Bloomberg fo...

Wednesday, 25 October


In Puerto Rico, a Dedicated Arts Community Commits to Hurricane Relief "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Beta-Local facade in old San Juan, with the sign for the meals distribution (all images courtesy Beta-Local)

I was in radiant, tropical Puerto Rico in February this year, sharing writing workshops with the artists from La Prctica, a research initiative developed by Beta-Local. This artist-run nonprofit started in 2009, and is currently co-directed by Sofa Gallis, Pablo Guardiola, and Michael Linares. In old San Juan, they run a welcoming ground floor space and library. For the local art scene, Beta-Local is a connecting hub and a support system. Its hard to exactly pinpoint what they do, as it includes residencies, educational programs, financial and logistical support for art projects, and an overall commitment to connecting Old San Juan with the rest of the island and the world. Little did I know then, however, that Beta-Local would be reshaping its mission to help with hurricane relief just months later, and that instead of getting back in touch with Gallis about a show we had discussed, it was to know how they were dealing with life in the aftermath of the strongest hurricane in Puerto Rican modern history.

The island is in dire straits. The economical recession has hit hard since 2006 Puerto Rican government debt now exceeds 70 million dollars  which has pressured its 3.7 million population to a sustained exodus to the US. The island still bears the marks of the colonial hold it came under in 1898, when the US acquired it from the Spaniards (along with Guam and the Philippine islands) following the Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American war. The Philippines became independent in 1946, but Puerto Rico and Guam have remained under the sovereignty of the US. In 1917, the Jones Act granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans (who then were drafted to World War I), restricted its ports to US ships only, and barred the territory from statehood, thus from participating in presidential elections or having congression...


Apply Now For the International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management (ILPVAM) is an exciting and unparalleled advanced art and business executive certificate program offered by three leading institutions with specialties in visual arts, global markets, and business: the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (New York University, US); Deusto Business School (University of Deusto, Spain); and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (Bilbao, Spain).

ILPVAM comprises two five-day modules taught in English by experts in their respective fields, and is conducted in Europe and America. The location of these intensive modules, in Bilbao and New York, provides an exceptional immersive on-site experience.

Module 1
Bilbao: March 19-23, 2018
Understanding the Environment: Global Trends and Strategic Vision

Module 2
New York: June 18-22, 2018
Leadership in the Global Art Sector

ILPVAM offers a global scope and local knowledge of markets, a high-level forum for debate, discussion, and engagement with an international network of senior practitioners and experts, and international networking as key elements in the development of knowledge among participants.

The program is aimed at professionals with at least five years of relevant experience in the field of visual arts or related arts disciplines. Candidates with significant work experience in other areas, and interest in advancing their career in this field, will also be considered.

Completion of the two modules leads to the award of a Program Certificate by the University of Deusto and New York University.

Tuition: 4,200 Euros
Register by December 11 and receive a 10% early bird discount

Final application deadline: January 15, 2018

A limited number of scholarships for up to 20% of the tuition fee are available, thanks to the support of Fundacin Vizcana Aguirre and Fundacin Gondra Barandiaran. Priority will be given to those applying before November 20.

ILPVAM is limited to 25 participants.

If you would like further information on any aspect of the Progra...


The Emotional Pull of Metal, Paper, and Light "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Installation view of Christopher Wilmarth (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

Christopher Wilmarths sculptures do not speak volumes, but individual lines of poetry. His visual vocabulary is sparse, gentle, and considered; its preciousness telegraphs Wilmarths minimalism with an aura of affection, a unique warmth that alludes to the linguistic dexterity of Mallarm. Like the French poet (a translation of whose work Wilmarth illustrated in 1978) Wilmarth endeavors to abstract the formal elements of his medium to capture the essences of light, space, and time. And despite the artists reliance on rugged industrial materials like folded steel and opaque glass, Wilmarths sculptures exude a quixotic weightlessness that is absent from the work of other steel benders (like Richard Serra, whose massive structures loom heftier and more hulking.)

Christopher Wilmarth Gift of the Bridge (maquette) (1975), etched glass and steel, 36 x 36 x 29 inches (courtesy Betty Cunningham Gallery)

During the 70s and 80s, Wilmarths talent for the intangible catapulted him to minor celebrity status in the art world. Critics proclaimed him the sculptor of his generation. Before he was 30, major museums (e.g. MoMA, SFMoMA, and the Wadsworth Athaneum) had purchased his work. But Wilmarth was uncomfortable with such quick, gran...


A Palestinian Plays Gutting Portrayal of Fighters Besieged in the Church of the Nativity "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Faisal Abualhayjaa and Hassan Taha in the Freedom Theatres The Siege, October 12 -22 at NYU Skirball (photo by Ian Douglas)

Most of the discussion around The Siege, a play created by Nabil Al-Raee and Zoe Lafferty that made its American debut in a production by Palestines Freedom Theatre last month, has been vituperation about the plays indifference towards balanced perspectives. This has detracted from serious critical discussion of its formal merits, which is a shame, because The Freedom Theatre has a wildly ambitious goal: to reveal in one 90-minute act what it is like to survive a siege, and to explain a reality that most Americans cant comprehend.

The actual events behind The Siege are too implausible to be fiction. During the Second Intifada in 2002, a group of poorly equipped Palestinian combatants found refuge in one the holiest sites in the world: the Church of the Nativity, traditionally considered the birthplace of Jesus. Israeli forces, unwilling to destroy the holy site, besieged it instead. The combatants survived for 39 days, not by dint of their numbers, but because they entered a building no one was willing destroy.

To show what it was like to be trapped in a church surrounded by snipers and tanks, the play rapidly swings between machismo and tenderness. This emotional compression creates a sense of claustrophobia that mimics the reality of the siege. The combatants were surrounded by bodies they could not safely retrieve, with no food, little information, and no sense of how long the siege would last.



Rodin Bust of Napoleon Discovered in New Jersey "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A bust of Napoleon Bonaparte, engraved Napoleon envelopp dans ses rves (Napoleon wrapped in his dreams), by Auguste Rodin. The piece sat on a pedestal at the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, Madison, New Jerseys borough hall, for the last 80 years (photo by Flickr user enalnomis, 2017)

In 2014, 22-year-old Mallory Mortillaro, whod recently graduated with an art history degree, was hired as an archivist at the borough hall of Madison, New Jersey, a municipality of 16,000 people. In the second floor meeting room, she discovered, sitting innocuously in a corner, a genuine Rodin: a bust of Napoleon Bonaparte, carved of marble and weighing 700 pounds. A. Rodin, the signature read, faint and nearly lost to time. Itd gone so unnoticed for the past 80 years that its accompanying pedestal was often leaned on during meetings.

After searching through the buildings archives, Mortillaro consulted the Paris-based Comit Auguste Rodin, the leading authority on Rodin. They had, in their collection, a photo of Rodin with the bust. In 2015, Rodin expert Jerome Le Blay traveled to Madison to authenticate the piece; even before doing so, he knew the bust was genuine at first glance.

The piece dates back to 1908; engraved with Napoleon envelopp dans ses rves (Napoleon wrapped in his dreams), it features the military leader cloaked in swaths of billowy fabric and is worth between $4 and $12 million. As of this month, its on its way to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it will be donated on an extended loan in commemoration of the centenary of the artists death in November.

Madisons borough hall, officially named the Hartley Dodge Memorial Building, was built by heiress Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge and filled with art f...


Every One of These Geode-Inspired Jigsaw Puzzles is Completely Unique "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Best Jigsaw Puzzles by Nervous System

Design studio Nervous System is known for their twist on convention. Last year, they introduced the world to the Infinite Galaxy Puzzle, which is a space-inspired, shape-shifting jigsaw with no beginning or end. Theyre now back with another fiendishly difficult puzzle that boasts a similarly organic shape to its predecessor. This one, however, focuses on the beautiful bounty of Earth. Called Geode, it's a series of jigsaw puzzles that are modeled after agate, a colorful banded stone.

Nothing about the Geode is cookie cutter. Each puzzle is unique, Nervous System explains, emerging from a computer simulation that creates natural variations in the shape, pieces, and image. The result is hundreds of plywood pieces that form a slice of rock and a maze-like puzzle.

While the Geode resembles a piece of agate, the conceptual basis for how each puzzle is created is also akin to how the real thing is made; agate typically forms by bubbles of gas that leave pockets in volcanic stone. As it begins to crystallize from the outside in, concentric layers of minerals produce the colorful bands for which the crystal is known.

Our computer generated agates emerge from a similar process. First, we grow a chamber (this will be the shape of the puzzle). Then we progressively grow the edge inward, perpendicular to the boundary, until the chamber is filled. The color is determined from a pool of photographs that the studio takes as they traveleverything from coral reefs to the New England coast.

Nervous System has created two varieties of the Geode puzzles. One iteration, bearing the same name, is approximately 180 pieces, while Orbicular is larger at 370 pieces. Both are now available in their online shop.

Design studio Nervous System makes some of the best jigsaw puzzles.



Chinese Scientists Develop Saltwater Rice That Could Feed Over 200 Million People "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

commercial saltwater rice developed in china

Photo: Ronald Tagra

In a stunning agricultural breakthrough, Chinese researchers have stated that they have developed a system for growing rice in saltwater. It's a revolutionary breakthrough that could help feed over 200 million people and boost China's rice production by 20 percent.

In the spring, over 200 types of rice were planted in a coastal town in eastern China. The researchers flooded the area with diluted seawater to see which varieties could thrive in the environment, and they were stunned by the results. The test results were way above our expectations, said Liu Shiping, professor of agriculture at Yangzhou University.

For decades researchers have been attempting to produce commercially viable rice in water with high saline levels. Lead researcher Yuan Longping, who is known as the godfather of rice in China, has been developing hybrid rice varieties since the 1970s, when it became apparent that China was due for a population boom. Over the years he has created hybrids that now account for 20% of the rice varieties on the market.

With rice as a staple of the Chinese diet, yet huge swathes of land unviable due to high saline levels, this is a promising sign for a new way to feed the growing population. Growing rice varieties with saline tolerance will open up new areas of cultivation within the country and hopefully incentivize farmers to plant more rice.

There are some varieties of wild rice that tolerate salinity, but they typically produce a low yield of about 1.12 to 2.24 US tons per acre (1.125 to 2.25 tonnes per hectare). Instead, this new rice yielded between 2.9 and 4 US tons per acre (6.5 and 9.3 tonnes per hectare) during the experiment.

If a farmer tries to grow some types of saline-tolerant rice now, he or she most likely will get 1,322 pounds per acre (1,500 kilograms per hectare). That is just not profitable and not even worth the effort, said Yuan. Farmers will have enough incentive to grow the rice if we double the yield.

And though the rice is priceycosting about 8 times more than traditional varietiesit's already making its way into kitchens across China. The dis...


The Coincidence Project: Carefully Timed Photos by Denis Cherim Make You Look Twice "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

As part of his ongoing series titled the Coincidence Project, photographer Denis Cherim (previously) seems to find the miraculous amongst the mundane in his exquisitely timed and positioned photos that align the world in strangely satisfying ways. Playing with perspective, scale, and certainly a bit of luck, Cherim places himself at the precise vantage point where moments of synchronicity seem to appear out of nowhere. Most recently the photographer traveled through London, Madrid, Valencia, and Plovdiv, and is now taking part in a 3-month residency in Taiwan at the Pier-2 Art Center. You can follow his work on Instagram.



Paper Engineer Designs Incredible Pop-Up Cards That Bloom and Burst Before Your Eyes "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Pop Up Cards by Peter Dahmen

Germany-based paper engineer Peter Dahmen takes the art of pop-up cards to the next level. In a new video showcasing his extensive portfolioentitled Most Satisfying Video of Pop-Up Cards designed by Peter Dahmenhis intricate hand-crafted objects are revealed, unfolding from pages and boxes to the music of Johann Strausss Blue Danube.

In a short film by Christopher Helkey, Dahmen explains that he first started making paper pop-up cards during his third semester studying graphic design in college. He was asked to create a 3D object entirely out of paper, and while he enjoyed the challenge, he faced the problem of transporting it on the train ride home. To avoid damaging his paper creation, he decided to design it in a way that allowed it to collapse into a flat pop-up book. Since then, 3D paper art has been his focus.

For Dahmen, the most interesting thing about pop-up cards is the movement they create. He describes opening the cards as a magical moment. This is clearly evident in his portfolio video. The intricate paper masterpieces range from large-scale architectural structures that erect themselves between white card, colorful ornamental flowers that seem to bloom before the viewers eyes, and a perforated peacocks tail that fans out as the card is opened.

Dahmens work may look complicated, but is fully accessible to try yourself thanks to free online tutorials on his website.

Paper engineer Peter Dahmen creates impressive sculptural pop-up cards.

Pop Up Cards by Peter Dahmen


Illustrations Of J. R. R. Tolkiens The Hobbit from the Soviet Union (1976) "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Until I read J. R. R. Tolkiens The Lord of The Rings, my favorite book growing up was, by far, The Hobbit. Growing up in Russia, however, meant that instead of Tolkien's English version, my parents read me a Russian translation. To me, the translation easily matched the pace and wonder of Tolkien's original. Looking back, The Hobbit probably made such an indelible impression on me because Tolkien's tale was altogether different than the Russian fairy tales and childrens stories that I had previously been exposed to. There were no childish hijinks, no young protagonists, no parents to rescue you when you got into trouble. I considered it an epic in the truest literary sense.

As with many Russian translations during the Cold War, the book came with a completely different set of illustrations. Mine, I remember regretting slightly, lacked pictures altogether. A friends edition, however, was illustrated in the typical Russian style: much more traditionally stylized than Tolkiens own drawings, they were more angular, friendlier, almost cartoonish. In this post, we include a number of these images from the 1976 printing. The cover, above, depicts a grinning Bilbo Baggins holding a gem. Below, Gandalf, an ostensibly harmless soul, pays Bilbo a visit.



Photographer Takes Then & Now Photos of Women Met on London Streets 30 Years Ago "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Street Photography by Anita Corbin

Margie and Samantha

In 1980, Anita Corbin trekked around London capturing revealing street photography along the way. Venturing into the citys pubs and clubs, she captured portraits of 56 women from different local subcultures. Her searching culminated into a project called Visible Girls, which documents the various attitudes and attire of groups like the mods, punks, rockabillies, rastas, and others who defied mainstream sensibilities. The women appear confident and proud as they pose in groups of two outside of bathroom stalls and darkened street corners.

Visible Girls was a touring exhibition in the 1980s and 1990s, but eventually, Corbin lost touch with the women in her photos. Thanks to the power of social media, however, some of the women eventually started to resurface in Corbins life; BuzzFeed had published a collection of the images in 2014, and it was the catalyst for their reunionmany of lost girls were now found.

Finding the subjects was something that Corbin had always hoped for. It was a bit of a dream that I had, Corbin explained. I did try to do it in 1991 but I couldnt find any of them. All the numbers had changed or theyd moved away, so I let it go dormant for about 25 years.

Since making contact, Corbin has interviewed and rephotographed many of the women as they are nowand even facilitated gatherings between friends who have lost touch. So theyre now reconnected through the Visible Girls project, which in a way is what its all about, Corbin reports. You know, rekindling those old friendships, those strong bonds of young women, that idea of me and her against the world.'

With the fantastic development in Visible Girls, Corbin is about to launch an exh...


Love Found: A Diverse Illustrated Collection of Classic Poems Celebrating Desire, Longing, and Devotion "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Sit. Feast on your life.

Love Found: A Diverse Illustrated Collection of Classic Poems Celebrating Desire, Longing, and Devotion

The alternations between love and its denial, suffering and denial of suffering constitute the most essential and ubiquitous structural feature of the human heart, philosopher Martha Nussbaum wrote in contemplating how we know we love somebody. How unsurprising then, and how inescapably human, that we should try to steady ourselves through these oscillations violent, beautiful, disorienting on the armature of language, on poetrys precision of sentiment.

To curate a corpus of poems that stretch across loves vast spectrum of joy and suffering with resonance that edges on the universal is a Herculean task, but that is what editors Jessica Strand and Leslie Jonath have accomplished in Love Found: 50 Classic Poems of Desire, Longing, and Devotion (public library) a collection plumbing the depths of the commonest human experience in the most uncommon and arresting of verses, alongside vibrant illustrations by artist Jennifer Orkin Lewis. Among the fifty poets, who span an impressive range of epochs, sensibilities, and cultural backgrounds, are Pablo Neruda, Adrienne Rich, Langston Hughes, Mark Strand,...

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