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Monday, 19 September


Portrait of a Gentleman (aka Cesare Borgia), Altobello Melone,... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Portrait of a Gentleman (aka Cesare Borgia), Altobello Melone, 1st quarter of 16th century


The 2016 Presidential Race and the Failed Art of Balance "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Modern journalism is reliant on the idea of objectivity. Even when truth is elusive, if journalists write a balanced story, they can be said to have done a good job.

But what if a story doesn’t have two sides? Sometimes journalists continue to write as if they do, as they did in regards to human caused climate change for a decade. Other times they do so wholly disingenuously, counterposing authoritative voices against ones they know carry no weight with their audience, as they did and still do with coverage of female genital cutting. At still other times, they abandon objectivity altogether, counting on a national consensus so strong that no one could possibly accuse them of being biased, as many did after 9/11.

I think this is the source of some of the discomfort with the media coverage of this election.

What does a journalist do when the editorial board of the Washington Post calls one candidate a “unique threat to American democracy”; the New York Times calls him a “poisonous messenger” appealing to “people’s worst instincts”; the Houston Chronicle’s calls him “dangerous to the nation and the world,” a man that should “make every American shudder”; and the far-right National Review’s calls him a “menace”? What does a journalist do when conservative newspapers like the Dallas Morning News call him “horrify[ing]” and endorse a Democrat for president for the first time in almost 100 years? Is this still the right time to be objective? Is this a 9/11 moment?

Meanwhile, readers each have our own ideas about whether this election deserves “balanced” coverage and what that might look like. And so do, of course, the thousands of pundits, none of whom are accountable to journalistic norms, and the millions of us on social media, sharing our own points of view.

It’s no wonder the election is giving us vertigo. It is itself out of balance, making it impossible for the country to agree on what objectivity looks like. Even the journalists, who are better at it than anyone, are failing. The election has revealed wh...


Paris from Camus’s Notebooks "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Albert Camus.

Albert Camus.

The myth is tenacious: an unknown writer on the verge of international fame, not suspecting that the scattered pages on his or her desk will become that miracle, a first published novel and a passport to glory. From March to May 1940 Albert Camus was that man, finishing a draft of the book he was calling The Stranger. The city, eerily calm, overtaken with a sense of dread, was weeks from the German invasion. Paris has changed enormously since 1940, but you can still walk in Camus’s footsteps through places that a few literary specialists have put on the map, and come close to a moment of artistic creation.

Camus finished a first draft of his novel alone in a hotel room in Montmartre. The former Hôtel du Poirier on the rue Ravignan sits atop one of Paris’s “buttes” or hills, whose cleaner air might have benefitted the young writer, who struggled with chronic tuberculosis. The site is still about as picturesque a place as Paris has to offer: up a terraced set of steps, on one side of a cobblestone square with its own fountain, the little hotel stood directly across from the Bateau-Lavoir, a beehive of artist studios, spread out like a ship. On this vessel of high modernism, Picasso painted the Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907. The glory days of the Bateau Lavoir ended after World War I, but in March 1940, when Camus lived in its shadow, the place still exuded its bohemian aura. Crowned by the mammoth Sacré-Cœur cathedral, Montmartre was an acquired taste, with its own diehard citizens—pimps and scoundrels, anarchists and poets. Far from the business districts, Montmartre was still, in 1940, practically a separate village, a neighborhood where an artist or writer could get by on almost nothing. 

Camus was unhappy in Montmartre, but it was a productive unhappiness. For the exhausted young man far from home, the long metro ride from his job at the daily paper Paris-Soir on the rue du Louvre in the center of Paris to the Abbesses stop in the north, the cramped elevator rising from the bowels of the metro line to the surface, the walk up the windy hill in slippery March weather, only brought home how alienated he felt. In his first notebook entries he circles around a title for his novel:

What does this sudden awakening mean, in this dark room, with the sounds of a city that has suddenly become strange? And everything is strange to me, everything, without a single person who belongs to me, with no place to heal this wound. What am I doing here, what is the point of these smiles and gestures? I am not from here—not from anywhere else either. And the world has become merely an unknown landscape where my heart can lean on nothing.

Then Camus adds a crucial sentence: “A Stranger, who can know what this word means.”

In French, as in English, a stranger, un étranger, can mean a foreign national, an alienated outsider, or an unfamiliar traveler. In the next entry in his notebooks, he described the reaction to despair that always seemed to enable his best writing, and he began with that powerful, multivalent word: “Strange, admit that everything is strange to me. Now that everything is clear-cut, wait and spare nothing. Work in such a way as to achieve both silence and creation. All the rest, all the rest, no matter what happens, is unimportant.”

He was in that particular frame of mind that seems to enable so many writers, struck with a solitary despair in a new city: “Why is it that knowing how to remain alone in Paris for a year in a miserable room teaches a man m....


ARTE erfüllt Bildungsauftrag mit nur einem Tweet "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Bildungsauftrag erfüllt. Der deutsch-französische Fernsehsender ARTE hat gerade mit nur einem Tweet bewiesen, dass die öffentlichen Gelder für die Finanzierung gerechtfertigt sind. ARTE 1:0 RTL. *dass 😏 — ARTE (@ARTEde) 18. September 2016   Gesehen bei schlecky

Der Beitrag ARTE erfüllt Bildungsauftrag mit nur einem Tweet erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


Handy des britischen Liberalen Chef Tim Farron klingelt mit „Fuck tha Police“ "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Auch eine Art des kreativen Protestes. Laut englischen Medienberichten hat das Handy des englischen Parteichefs der Liberalen Tim Farron in einer Sitzung mit dem Song „Fuck Tha Police“ von N.W.A. geklingelt. Das nennen wir mal britischen Humor. Farron sagte gegenüber der Presse, dass seine Kinder den Klingelton auf seinem Handy eingestellt hätten. Sollte dem so ein, beweisen die Kinder von Farron bereits jetzt verdammt viel politischen Humor. Titelbild: Gigi Ibrahim (flickr) (CC BY 2.0) Gesehen bei Spon

Der Beitrag Handy des britischen Liberalen Chef Tim Farron klingelt mit „Fuck tha Police“ erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


Is this awesome or terrible? The Smithsfits "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

It’s rare that I’m so flummoxed in determining whether I love or hate a thing, but here it is: The Smithsfits.

I also rarely go in for “mash-ups” unless they are particularly well done or so transgressively stupid that they cause...


GIANT ‘60s and ‘70s vintage-style children’s Halloween masks "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

I’m totally digging these retro Halloween masks developed by artist Doug P’gosh for Retro-a-go-go! They’re just fantastic. From what I understand the masks are more for wall art or home décor because they’re HUGE! Like 2 feet tall!



The Sculptor Who Merged Cherokee and Art Deco Styles "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Willard Stone Tree Dog Torch burned cherry wood 13 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 1/8 in.

Willard Stone, “Tree Dog” (nd), torch-burned cherry wood, 13 3/4 x 3 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches (courtesy Gilcrease Museum)

TULSA, Okla. — Willard Stone’s wood-carving style might be described as Art Deco Cherokee, with a distinct, streamlined movement and natural themes that reflect his indigenous heritage. He’d originally wanted to be a painter, but a childhood accident with a blasting cap blew off his thumb and two other fingers. So he slowly learned sculpture instead, forming figures from Oklahoma’s red clay. His 1940s work in particular responded to the threat and promise of atomic energy, while still including the Native American motifs expected by his patrons. To mark the centennial of his birth in Oktaha, Oklahoma, the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa is exhibiting Following the Grain: A Centennial Celebration of Willard Stone.

Willard Stone,

Willard Stone, “Modernistic Indian Girl” (1946), oak wood, 9 x 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches (courtesy Gilcrease Museum) (click to enlarge)

Stone achieved a measure of national fame in his lifetime — his art was used in the logo of the Cherokee Nation — and his work remains popular in Western museums. However, he never quite got a major commission or exhibition to launch him to greater name recognition. Even in 2012, his bronzes were being sold at a discount to support his widow’s Alzheimer’s care.

Oilman Thomas Gilcrease, the founder of the museum, was Stone’s most significant patron, offering him a three-year residency in 1945. In Gilcrease’s words, Stone was to show the “Indian’s point of view of the 20th century.” During that residency, he had the freedom to create art full time, though the work would all become part of Gilcrease’s collection. It was a museum-building approach that the businessman took with several artists, including Stone’s 1930s mentors at...


Cum Face: Portraits of Women Reaching Orgasm "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Photographer Albert Pocej set himself an unusual challenge. He wanted “to capture the moment of women reaching the highest point of physical pleasure.”

How did he come (ahem) up with this idea? In his wildest dreams, of course.

I simply woke up and I knew...


I Would Like to Be Paid to Write, and Other News "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

This could be you, writer!

  • Ottessa Moshfegh wrote her novel Eileen with a plan: to get fucking rich. As a fiction writer, she thought, there’s only one way to do that—give the people the formulaic drivel that they want. In a profile for the Guardian, Moshfegh explains that “she didn’t want to ‘keep her head down’ and ‘wait thirty years to be discovered … so I thought I’m going to do something bold. Because there are all these morons making millions of dollars, so why not me? I’m smart and talented and motivated and disciplined and … talented: did I say that already?,’ she laughs. ‘I said: fuck it. Which was also: fuck them. I was pretty hostile. I thought: I’ll show you how easy this is … So … it started out as a fuck-you joke, also I’m broke, also I want to be famous. It was that kind of a gesture.’ ”
  • But let’s not get carried away. Writing doesn’t really make anyone rich. Ask Merritt Tierce, whose debut, Love Me Back, came out two years ago to “wide acclaim”—she was interviewed here on the Daily, even. Now she’s broke, because that’s how this industry works: “I haven’t been able to write since the moment I started thinking I could or should be making money as a writer. I haven’t produced a Second Book … For over a year after Love Me Back came out I woke up every day with this loop in my head: I should write. But I need money. If I write something I can sell it and I'll have money. But I need money now. If I had money now, I could calm down and write something. I don’t have money now, so I’m probably not going to be able to calm down and write something. To have money now, I need a job. I should get a job … Because no matter how you do it, no one is paying you to write. They may pay you for something you wrote, or promise to pay you for something you have promised to write. They may pay your room and board for a month or two at a residency. They may pay you to teach, or to edit something someone else has written. They may pay you to come to a university and talk to people about writing. None of this is the same as being paid to write. I would like to be paid to write.” 


Ominous Storms Photographed in Black and White by Mitch Dobrowner "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Regan, North Dakota, 2011

Photographer Mitch Dobrowner travels the U.S. and sets up his camera in front of apocalyptic storms that rise above rural fields in Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Dakota. Inspired by photographers like Minor White and Ansel Adams, he captures breathtaking landscapes that remind us of nature’s raw power by juxtaposing the endless flat plains of the southern and midwest states with dramatic weather formations. Lightning strikes and tornadoes feature heavily in Dobrowner’s black and white images that at times look like moments right out of the first few minutes of the Wizard of Oz.

Dobrowner has exhibited in galleries across the U.S. and internationally since 2005 and is represented by Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe and Kopeikin Gallery in LA. You can see much more of his work on Facebook. (thnx, Laura!)

Peckham, Oklahoma

Peckham, Oklahoma

Peckham, Oklahoma

Peckham, Oklahoma



Every Exhibition Held at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Presented in a New Web Site: 1929 to Present "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Images courtesy of MoMA

We all hate it when we hear of an exciting exhibition, only to find out that it closed last week — or 80 years ago. New York’s Museum of Modern Art has made great strides toward taking the sting out of such narrowly or widely-missed cultural opportunities with their new digital exhibition archive. The archive offers, in the words of Chief of Archives Michelle Elligott, “free and unprecedented access to The Museum of Modern Art’s ever-evolving exhibition history” in the form of “thousands of unique and vital materials including installation photographs, out-of-print exhibition catalogues, and more, beginning with MoMA’s very first exhibition in 1929,” a show of post-Impressionist paintings by Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh.


The photograph of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe portraits at the top of the post comes from a much more recent exhibition, 2015’s Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953–1967. But MoMA, of course, didn’t just just discover the king of pop art last year: search by his name and you’ll find no fewer than 128 shows that have included his work, starting with Recent Drawings U.S.A. in 1956. You can track any number of other cultural icons through the museum’s history: Yoko Ono, for instance, a view of whose One Woman Show, 1960-1971, which also opened in 2015, appears above, but whose work you can see in eleven different exhibitions archived online.



Daniel Chluba und Lukas Julius Keijser sammeln #deinGeld für die eigene Kunstkarriere "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Offline Crowdfunding und charmante Kritik am elitären Kunstbetrieb: Performance von Daniel Chluba und Lukas Julius Keijser zur abc Art Berlin Contemporary. Der in Berlin lebende Aktionskünstler Daniel Chluba hat zusammen mit dem niederländischen Künstler Lukas Julius Keijser ein Offline Crowdfunding für die eigene Kunstkarriere gemacht. Bei der eintägigen Aktionsperformance #deinGeld haben die beiden Künstler sich vor den Eingang der Kunstmesse abc Art Berlin Contemporary gestellt und Geld von Messebesuchern eingesammelt. Die Messebesucher konnten so einen Teil der Kunstkarriere der beiden jungen Künstler finanzieren. Geld zum Kaufen eines Artikels in der Monopol, für Facebook Likes, Assistenten, berühmte Freunde, Drogen und Champagner. Alles Dinge, die eine Rolle bei der Entwicklung der Karriere von Künstlern spielen. Bilder: Daniel Chluba und Lukas Julius Keijser (Mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Künstler)

Der Beitrag Daniel Chluba und Lukas Julius Keijser sammeln #deinGeld für die eigene Kunstkarriere erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


How Literature Can Improve Mental Health: Take a Free Course Featuring Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Melvyn Bragg & More "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The great 18th century writer Dr. Samuel Johnson, who suffered from severe bouts of depression, said “the only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life or better to endure it.”

So…is it true? Can a poem help you cope with grief? Can a sonnet stir your soul to hope?

The University of Warwick have teamed up with some famous faces, and a team of doctors to tackle these questions and others like them, in a free online course on FutureLearn.

Poets, writers and actors like Stephen Fry, Ian McKellen, Melvyn Bragg, Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time), Ben Okri (The Famished Road), Rachel Kelly (Black Rainbow) and others, will discuss their own work and the work of famous writers like Austen, Shakespeare and Wordsworth – exploring how they can impact mental health and why works of writing are so often turned to in times of crisis.

Here’s Stephen Fry on the pleasure of poetry:

Plus throughout the 6-week course doctors will offer a medical perspective, giving an insight into different mental health conditions.

The course is offered through FutureLearn which means it’s broken into chunks – so you can do it step by step. FutureLearn also features lots of discussion so you can share your ideas with other learners, which often can be as beneficial as the course material (as one previous learner put it “a really wonderful experience and I’ve loved the feedback and comments from fellow course members”).

Here’s a runthrough of what’s on the syllabus. The course focuses on six themes:

  1. Stress: In poetry, the word “stress” refers to the emphasis of certain syllables in a poem’s metre. How might the metrical “stresses” of poetry help us to cope with the mental and emotional stresses of modern life?
  2. Heartbreak: Is heartbreak a medical condition? What can Sidney’s sonnets and Austen’s Sense and Sensibility teach us about suffering and recovering from a broken heart?
  3. Bereavement: The psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross famously proposed that there are five stages of grief. How might Shakespeare’s Hamlet and poems by Wordsworth and Hardy help us to think differently about the process of grieving?
  4. Trauma: PTSD or “shellshock” has long been associated with the traumatic experiences of soldiers in World War 1. How is the condition depicted in war poetry of the era? Can poems and plays offer us an insight into other sources of trauma, including miscarriage and assault?...


Kickoff „Walls of wir“ von Jägermeister in Hamburg (Anzeige) "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Jägermeister hat in Hamburg die Serie „Walls of Wir“ gestartet. Den Auftakt haben Anna T.iron, Ojey80, Heis und die Alphabetboys  mit einer Wand in der Detlev–Bremer–Straße 55 in St. Pauli gemacht. In den nächsten Wochen folgen drei weitere Städte, Köln, Berlin und Stuttgart, mit je einer Wand. In jeder der drei Städte werden drei bis vier lokale Künstler eingeladen, um gemeinsam ein frei interpretiertes Auftragsmural zu malen. Walls of Wir ist eine Kooperation von Jägermeister und Montana Cans. Der Sprühdosenhersteller hat für die Aktion eine auf 3.480 limitierte Dose in der Farbe „knall orange“ herausgebracht, die es im Dosenladen und online gibt. Mehr Infos zu Walls of Wir gibt es unter Immer mehr Firmen setzen auf handgemalte Werbung. Anstelle Plakate und Planenbanner zu drucken, engagieren Firmen Maler und Künstler, um ihre Kampagnen umzusetzen – ein Trend, der in us-amerikanischen Städten wie New York schon seit einigen Jahren zu beobachten ist. Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um einen gesponserten Beitrag von der Firma Jägermeister. Einen Teil der Einnahmen spenden wir zur Förderung künstlerischer Arbeit in Hamburg.

Der Beitrag Kickoff „Walls of wir“ von Jägermeister in Hamburg (Anzeige) erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


A New Refutation of Time: Borges on the Most Paradoxical Dimension of Existence "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”

A New Refutation of Time: Borges on the Most Paradoxical Dimension of Existence

“If our heart were large enough to love life in all its detail, we would see that every instant is at once a giver and a plunderer,” the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard wrote in contemplating our paradoxical experience of time in the early 1930s. “It is the insertion of man with his limited life span that transforms the continuously flowing stream of sheer change … into time as we know it,” Hannah Arendt wrote half a century later in her brilliant inquiry into time, space, and our thinking ego. Time, in other words — particularly our experience of it as a continuity of successive moments — is a cognitive illusion rather than an inherent feature of the universe, a construction of human consciousness and perhaps the very hallmark of human consciousness.

Wedged between Bachelard and Arendt was Jorge Luis Borges (August 24, 1899–June 14, 1986), that muscular wrangler of paradox and grand poet-laureate of time, who addressed this perplexity in his 1946 essay “A New Refutation of Time,” which remains the most elegant, erudite, and pleasurable meditation on the subject yet. It was later included in Labyrinths (public library) — the 1962 collection of Borges’s stories, essays, parables, and other writings, which gave us his terrific and timeless parable of the divided self.



Back to Vietnam "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


I’m heading off tomorrow for a two-week stint traveling up and down the length of Vietnam–from the Mekong Delta to the mountains of the far remote north–for a new travel/tourism client. I get back to the country nearly every month, but this project will be something different. Something I can really sink my teeth into. Dive in. Wander around both aimlessly and not. On planes, trains, and automobiles. I’ll try to post some photos from the road. So until then.


Impressionism in Photography: George Davidson "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


The Onion Field (1890)

On the 19th of September 1854, English photographer, and a proponent of pictorial or impressionistic photography, George Davidson was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England. He is noted as one of the most important figures in the development of Pictorial photography at the end of the nineteenth century. Born into a comparatively modest family – his father was a shipyard carpenter – he was the only one of his siblings who was lucky enough to receive a secondary education. Davidson first took up photography in about 1885 and joined the Camera Club when it opened in November that year, becoming honorary secretary the following year. He first exhibited his work in 1886, showing six pictures at the Photographic Society of Great Britain Exhibition. He became a member of the society in November 1886.

An advocate of naturalistic photography, Davidson experimented widely with different techniques and processes in his efforts to achieve the impressionistic effect which he desired in his work. In actual fact, he was one of the first to use a pin-hole camera for pictorial photography. In 1890, one of his pin-hole images, An Old Farmstead (later retitled The Onion Field) was awarded a medal at the Photographic Society of Great Britain’s annual exhibition. A prime example of the ‘fuzzy’ school of photography, this picture provoked considerable comment and discussion. “Impressionistic photography aroused fierce controversy, just as Impressionist painting had done before. The most vituperative attacks came from P. H. Emerson [British writer and photographer], for Davison had not only gone too far in his interpretation of naturalistic photography; he had dared, Emerson claimed, to lecture on ‘Impressionism and Photography’ without giving credit to the master’s fundamental theo913qia60Z3Lries on which impressionism was based. Emerson was enraged by Davison’s assumption of leadership, and his renunciation of naturalistic photography in January 1891 in a black-bordered pamphlet entitled ‘The Death of Naturalistic Photography’—Emerson was always inclined to theatrical gestures-was largely the outcome of violent egotism and offended vanity.” (Helmut Gernsheim, Creative Photography: Aesthetic Trends, 1839-1960)

The emergence of the impressionistic trend in photography changed the overall attitude towards the medium. Whilst advocates of impressionist painting defended rapid brush work as the means of recording transitory phenomena, the photographer could hardly argue this necessity, for the camera could instantaneously capture a scene with detail and precision.  “Some photographers were content with ‘Impressionism’ as defined by George Davison. Blurring the image by optical means (a ‘pinhole l...


Still Life with Porcelain and Sweets, Juan van der Hamen, ca.... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Still Life with Porcelain and Sweets, Juan van der Hamen, ca. 1627


Street art in Detroit, USA "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


Street art in Detroit, USA,
by artist Birdcap.
Photo by Birdcap.

Tagged: graffiti, street art


Edward Albee, 1928–2016 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A manuscript page from A Delicate Balance. Click to enlarge.


If one can talk at all about a general reaction to your plays, it is that, as convincing and brilliant as their beginnings and middles might be, the plays tend to let down, change course, or simply puzzle at the end. To one degree or another this complaint has been registered against most of them.


Perhaps because my sense of reality and logic is different from most people’s. The answer could be as simple as that. Some things that make sense to me don’t make the same degree of sense to other people. Analytically, there might be other reasons—that the plays don’t hold together intellectually; that’s possible. But then it mustn’t be forgotten that when people don’t like the way a play ends, they’re likely to blame the play. That’s a possibility too. For example, I don’t feel that catharsis in a play necessarily takes place during the course of a play. Often it should take place afterward. If I’ve been accused a number of times of writing plays where the endings are ambivalent, indeed, that’s the way I find life.

Edward Albee, The Art of Theater No. 4

The post Edward Albee, 1928–2016 appeared first on The Paris Review.

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IndyWatch Arts and Culture Feed Today.

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Sunday, 18 September


Socialism in one galaxy? Star Trek. "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Fifty years after it debuted on network television, Nicole Colson considers the legacy of Star Trek–and the idea of a society that meets the needs of the many, not just the few.

Uhura and Kirk during the classic Star Trek episode

Uhura and Kirk during the classic Star Trek episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”

ON SEPTEMBER 8, 1966, a new show debuted on American television.

Billed by creator Gene Roddenberry as “Wagon Train in space,” for its loyal viewers–and legions more to come over the following five decades–the voyage of the starship Enterprise and its 23rd century crew, as it carried out its mission “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no [one] has gone before,” would permanently alter the landscape of popular culture.

Star Trek‘s cultural staying power came despite its failure to last on television. The “five-year mission” of the Enterprise lasted just three years–until 1969, when the show was canceled by NBC because of low ratings after 79 episodes.

In fact, the show barely made it to the air at all: In 1964, NBC passed on the first attempt at a pilot, declaring it “too cerebral.” A second attempt was filmed in 1965 when comedy legend Lucille Ball, who owned the studio that employed creator Rodenberry as a producer, personally intervened to persuade NBC to give the series another shot.

Despite its cancelation, the series–which was worked on by some of the premiere science fiction writers of the day–became a hit in broadcast syndication, firing the imagination of a wide audience.

Today, the original series continues to inspire legions of Trekkers, one of the most rabidly loyal fandoms in all of popular culture. It has spawned four syndicated spin-offs (with a fifth planned for next year)–and endless debates about the relative merits of each show’s captain in comparison to William Shatner’s James Tiberius Kirk.

Along with 13 movies (and counting), a complete language, and a rather unique brand of fan fiction, Star Trek stands as a testament to the desire of people for a vision of the future which is both recognizable to them, and better than the present.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

STAR TREK’S vision of the future was, in a word, cool. Geek toys and tech like tricorders, replicators and transporters suggest a future where technology has been harnessed to make life vastly better for the majority of people.



Ancient Egyptian funerary stele in the shape of a small pyramid... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Ancient Egyptian funerary stele in the shape of a small pyramid (pyramidion) for Ptahmose, High Priest of the god Ptah.  The deceased Ptahmose is shown seated at left, receiving offerings from his assistant Ptahankh, Choirmaster of Ptah (right).  Artist unknown; 18th Dynasty (New Kingdom).  Now in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence.  Photo credit: Sailko/Wikimedia Commons.


Required Reading "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (aka CATS) paid for a bizarre ad takeover in the London Tube. Sure, it's adorable but definitely odd. It was funded by ~700 people on Kickstarter. (via Bored Panda)

Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (aka CATS) paid for a bizarre ad takeover in the London Tube. Sure, it’s adorable but definitely odd. It was funded by ~700 people on Kickstarter. (via Bored Panda, image CATS)

This week, CATS in the London tube, Shriver’s cultural appropriation heard around the world, Clinton’s white supremacy explainer, normalizing Trump, Gawken, and more.

 The opening keynote for the Brisbane Writers Festival was delivered by the American author Lionel Shriver and it caused outrage among those who felt she was dismissive of other cultures in her treatment of minorities. Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who is an Australian Muslim, penned a powerful response:

Her question was — or could have been — an interesting question: What are fiction writers “allowed” to write, given they will never truly know another person’s experience?

Not every crime writer is a criminal, Lionel said, Nor is every author who writes on sexual assault a rapist. “Fiction, by its very nature,” Shriver said, “is fake.”

There is a fascinating philosophical argument here. Instead, however, that core question was used as a straw man. Shriver’s real targets were cultural appropriation, identity politics and political correctness. It was a monologue about the right to exploit the stories of “others”, simply because it is useful for one’s story.

Shriver began by making light of a recent incident in the US, where students faced prosecution for what was argued by some as “casual racial and ethnic stereotyping and cultural insensitivity” at a Mexican-themed party.

“Can you believe,” Shriver asked at the beginning of her speech, “that these students were so sensitive about the wearing of sombreros?”

The audience, compliant, chuckled. I started looking forward to the point in the speech where she was to subvert the argument.

It never came.

Another writer, Suki Kim, also...


Christ Child with Passion Symbols, unknown Peruvian artist, late... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Christ Child with Passion Symbols, unknown Peruvian artist, late 17th century


Weekend Words: Stair "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, “Old Man in an Interior with Winding Staircase” (1632), oil on panel, 29 x 33 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris (image via Web Gallery of Art)

On Thursday, Ted Loos of The New York Times reported that a “$150 Million Stairway to Nowhere” has been proposed as supersized work of public art for the Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s Far West Side.

As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn’t there.
He wasn’t there again today.
I wish, I wish he’d stay away.

—Hughes Mearns, “The Psychoed”

Clandestine steps upon imagined stairs
Climb through the night, because his cuckoos call.

—Wallace Stevens, “Asides on the Oboe”

All rising to a great place is by a winding stair.

—Francis Bacon, “Of Great Place”

I came upstairs into the world; for I was born in a cellar.

—William Congreve, “Love for Love”

When they come downstairs from their Ivory Towers, idealists are very apt to walk straight into the gutter.

—Logan Pearsall Smith

You shall find out how salt is the taste of another man’s bread, and how hard is the way up another man’s stairs.

—Dante, Divine Comedy, Paradiso

Clocks cry: stillness is a lie, my dear;
The wheels revolve, the universe keeps running.
(Proud you halt upon the spiral stair.)

—Sylvia Plath, “To Eva Descending the Stairs”

Time was away and somewhere else,
There were two glasses and two chairs
And two people with the one pulse
(Somebody stopped the moving stairs)
Time was away and somewhere else.

—Louis MacNiece, “Meeting Point”

I don’t have a photograph, but you can have my footprints. They’re upstairs in my socks.

—Groucho Marx, from A Day at the Races

A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time — pills or stairs.

—Joan Welsh

The so-called science of poll-taking is not a science at all but mere necromancy. People are unpredictable by nature, and although you can take a nation’s pulse, you can’t be sure that the nation hasn’t just run up a flight of stairs.

—E.B. White

History is only the pattern of silken slippers descending the stairs to the thunder of hobnailed boots climbing upward from below.




Reader’s Diary: Denis Johnson’s ‘Jesus’ Son’ "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


“I must approve the sentence that destroys me.” Somewhat incongruously, this line from Joseph Addison’s eighteenth-century smash Cato came to mind as I was reading, 24 years behind schedule, Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. This is a fragmented modernist novel whose deliberately misleading subtitle, Stories, is just the first of its sly tricks: the parts are even more devoid of unity or conclusion than the whole. Addison’s enlightenment era’s vision of the moral sublimity of a man who willingly submits to the law in preference to the preservation of his own life inspired, among others, our own Founding Fathers. Two hundred years later — the book is set in the 1970s — Johnson’s drug-addled characters discover an equal but opposite sublimity in submission to the self-destructive dictates of anomie. As indifferent to other people’s lives as they are careless of their own, they aimlessly wander the blank American landscape wedded to bad luck and grasping after worse luck as if it were their last hope on earth. The novel could be speaking of itself when its narrator describes one of the various unspeakable dive bars to which he repairs, where “only the demons inhabiting us could be seen. Souls who had wronged each other were brought together here. The rapist met his victim, the jilted child discovered its mother. But nothing could be healed, the mirror was a knife dividing everything from itself, tears of false fellowship dripped on the bar.” Reflected in sentences of throbbing beauty, the blind urge to self-destruction becomes a visionary quest. Every car ride is a manifestation of the Freudian death drive, as the nameless protagonist shows on the very first page when he recalls how, picked up while hitch-hiking, “the traveling salesman had fed me pills that made the linings of my veins feel scraped out. My jaw ached. I knew every raindrop by its name. I sensed everything before it happened.” Knowing somehow that he is stepping into a car bound for an accident, “I didn’t care. They said they’d take me all the way.” Of course, as the use of the first person suggests, the narrator doesn’t quite go all the way — he has to survive to tell the tale. Still, I’ll admit to having been just slightly let down when, in the penultimate chapter or story or episode or whatever you want to call it, he outs himself as a writer-to-be, and still more so when in the last one, he finds Antabuse, a job at a rest home where part of his job is “to touch people,” and a glimmer of potential redemption. The thing is that when Johnson depicts the unredeemed, I realize I know them, though I wish I didn’t, and I begin to wonder if their vacancy is a reality I’ve merely succeeded in repressing. But I approve the sentences that destroy them.

Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son: Stories (1992) is published by Picador and is available from Amazon and other online booksellers.


The Left-Handed Woman "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

The Plot Never Thickens – title of a New York Times article on Handke


I rewrote the film script in the form of a narrative for the following reasons: after several books in which “he thought” “he felt”, “he perceived” introduced many sentences, I wanted to make full use of a prose form in which the thinking and the feeling of the figures would not be described, where, therefore, instead of “she was afraid”, we would have “she went”, “she looked out of the window”, “she lay down next to the bed of the child”, etc. And I perceived that this kind of limitation with regard to my literary work was liberating. – Handke quoted in June Schlueter, The Plays and Novels of Peter Handke, p.154.

So, essentially, an experimental novella then and, as we all know, experiments can go badly wrong and yet so many artists insist on doing this: typing, dancing or painting with one hand tied behind their back. Sad to say the novel was not received as enthusiastically as the film.

Ultimately one might argue that the inadequacy of this particular novel follows from just these austere limits which Handke chooses to impose on his language – for it seeks to convey an imagistic order which, by definition, can never really be made apparent in the novel and which, as a function of the work’s conception, has preceded it. – Timothy Corrigan, Film and Literature: An Introduction and Reader, p.261 quoted in Martin Brady and Joanne Leal, Wim Wenders and Peter Handke: Collaboration, Adaptation, Recomposition, p.237

Or as Leal and Brady put it, “an arresting presence in the film can only remain an absence in the text.”

At the centre of Handke's work (be it prose or film) stands a specular subject: "Seeing is being for Handke's protagonists." Looking, watching, observing, are their primary occupations; hence, they position themselves almost in such a way they can look on as spectators or pure outsiders. – Gerd Gemünden,...


A Different History "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Kyle Staver, “Adam and Eve and the Goats” (2016), oil on canvas, 54 x 64 inches (all images courtesy Kent Fine Art)

The title of the painting I had been looking at, “Adam and Eve and the Goats” (2016), surprised me. I had thought it was retelling of a classical myth, a subject that Kyle Staver has explored with verve and humor before. Instead of encountering a painting suffused with sin, shame, and guilt, Staver envisions a pagan world free of such burdens, which means she has transported Adam and Eve to an alternate universe of her devising.

Kyle Stavers, “Bathers” (2016), oil on canvas, 58 x 53 inches (click to enlarge)

Staver, who has similarly reconceived many encounters from Greek myths, has, in “Adam and Eve and the Goats,” expanded her realm of possibilities, bringing on more challenges. She wants to re-envision our legacy, which is no small thing. “Adam and Eve” is one of the large oil paintings featured in her current self-titled solo exhibition at Kent Fine Art (September 9 – October 22, 2016), her first with this gallery, which also includes monotypes alongside terracotta bas-reliefs mounted in shadowbox frames. While she has had exhibitions at Tibor de Nagy and at Steven Harvey Fine Art Project, (both of which I reviewed), this one is both her largest and most ambitious.

One sure sign of her ambition is the inclusion of the triptych “Hero and Leander” (2014), which is being shown in New York for the first time, most likely because th...


A Heap of Broken Bodies "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Clintel Steed, “Rubens, Diana Returning from the Hunt” (2016), oil on canvas, 76 x 66 3/4 inches (all images courtesy Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects/SHFAP) (click to enlarge)

I want to start my review of Endymion: Recent Paintings by Clintel Steed at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects/SHFAP (September 7 – October 9, 2016) with a statement the artist made to Jennifer Samet in an interview that appeared on her blog, “Beer with a Painter,” dated September 24, 2012 (Note: Samet’s blog now appears monthly on Hyperallergic Weekend):

There are certain things you can’t get rid of in life.  Like storytelling: we always have had to tell about our experiences – write them down, paint them.  We, in our entities, are storytellers.  And it goes from a text message, to an email, to the actual moment of being with the person.  People say painting is dead, but you can’t get rid of the magic of paint itself, paint on a surface, and how paint translates into some thing. Whatever it becomes, it is something that is sustained, held in time, and held in paint, which makes it magical.

This is one of many statements about storytelling made by an artist whose work I have been turning around in my mind for some years. When I reread this statement recently, two painters came to mind. One, of course, was Philip Guston, who, in the late 1960s, said: “I got sick and tired of all that Purity! Wanted to tell stories.” He seems to be the artist who broke the ice when it came to storytelling after Abstract-Expressionism and Minimalism seemed to prove that paint was just paint.

Clintel Steed, “Robots and Jesus Christ” (2015), oil on masonite, 18 x 24 inches (click to enlarge)

The other artist who came to mind was Kerry James Marshall. In an interview that appeared in...


James Oschman - The Human Story - interconnected neuro-electric matrix penetrates all of time and space. "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

this is what happens when a biologist (Dr James Oschman) finds himself comfortable at an Electric Universe conference... intriguing stuff dealing with our psycho-medical relationship with Nature and our place in the electric Cosmos.

"Barefoot is natural," and allows us to reconnect ELECTRICALLY with our home planet.


Freibier für die Wahlstimme "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Liebe Berliner, geht wählen. Es ist wichtig und dauert nicht lange. Für alle aus der Ecke Weser Straße unter 30, gibt das Bohemian Browser Ballett heute Nachmittag nach dem Wahlkreuz setzen einen aus. Bild: Bohemian Browser Ballett Gesehen beim@wahl_beobachter

Der Beitrag Freibier für die Wahlstimme erschien zuerst auf URBANSHIT.


A Jolly Bounce "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

art is unexpected combinations
a post-postprandial nap slump
check writing record balancing
rain coming in through the roof
produced a jolly bounce in time
for company pingpong cooking
and a movie before time for bed



Recommended: Jon Crowley – “I Walk Amongst the Humans” "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

  The way that a sunbeam paints a thick streak of light across the room, with a sharp, controlled explosion upon the window pane and unfurling a blanket of warmth across the floor, that’s how trumpeter Jon Crowley paints melodies upon the surface of songs.  It has the presence of something tangible, something that can […]


"Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect..." "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

“Men have sacrificed and crippled themselves physically and emotionally to feed, house, and protect women and children. None of their pain or achievement is registered in feminist rhetoric, which portrays men as oppressive and callous exploiters.”


Camille Paglia reviewing Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power. (via de-rervm-natvra)

Correction, replace “Men” by “European Men” and you understand why feminist hate them

(via le-chant-du-diable)


"All of the world’s physical currency, gold, silver, and bitcoin is worth $12.7 trillion. The size of..." "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

“All of the world’s physical currency, gold, silver, and bitcoin is worth $12.7 trillion. The size of the national debt is nearly $20 trillion.”


(via wotan1488)


Franco Moschino: Anti-Elitist Haute Couture? "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

A1Ark-v0tuLOn the 18th of September 1994, Italian fashion designer Franco Moschino died in Annone di Brianza, Italy. He is still seen as “the irreverent enfant terrible of the fashion industry who poked fun at the excesses of the 1980s with his “tongue in chic” designs, most memorably creating suits festooned with cutlery, jackets with faucet handles or dice used as buttons, coats and hats made from teddy bears, expensive linen shirts embroidered with outrageous puns and slogans, dresses that looked like shopping bags, and ball gowns assembled from plastic garbage bags. After studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, Moschino started in the fashion industry as a freelance illustrator.” (Britannica).

Moschino was always eager to express his views of the world. His first boutique in Via Sant’Andrea in Milan allowed the designer to use a very effective means of communication: the shop window, which was a natural extension of the shop, the venue for regular mise-en-scène and a chance for direct contact with the public He used it to share messages, moods and opinions. He did the same with with designs which were paraded during eccentric fashion shows. “Mr. Moschino was as much social commentator as designer, delighting in ridiculing the excesses of the 1980’s with whimsical appliques, logos and slogans. His humor often took the form of outrageous sendups of fashion icons like the Chanel suit, which he once parodied by embroidering the words “This is a Waist of Money” where the traditional gold chain belt would have been. (…) The designer himself became easily recognized after his mustached, crew-cut image was used in advertising campaigns that pictured him in a variety of guises including Popeye, a Mafioso, a child and a transvestite.

51_infoStrongly influenced by the Surrealist art movement of the 1920’s, Mr. Moschino was known to decorate a dinner suit with real cutlery, to use dozens of miniature teddy bears as a hat and scarf, to fashion the bodice of a strapless dress totally of gold safety pins and to make a skirt that was nothing but vertical rows of zippers. He covered the backs of jackets with images like a pair of women’s eyes or an oversize playing card. He once showed a man’s white shirt with exaggeratedly long sleeves that were wrapped around the body to simulate a straitjacket. On the back were the words “For Fashion Victims Only.” He also made totally wearable, well-cut suits and dresses that he showed with wildly crazy hats fashioned like a bishop’s miter, an airplane, a giant light bulb or an assemblage of life preservers. “I’m not a fashion designer,” Mr. Moschino was quoted as saying in a 1991 article in The New York Times. “I’m a painter; a decorator. I’m...


Maternity, Dorothea Tanning, 1946-47 "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Maternity, Dorothea Tanning, 1946-47


Street art in Saint Petersburg, Florida "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


“The Temple”
Street art in Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA,
by artist JADE
(for SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival).
Photo by SHINE.

Tagged: graffiti, street art


The crisis of the Democratic Party: Clinton’s poll numbers "IndyWatch Feed Arts"


16 September 2016

The presidential contest in the United States has tightened considerably, with Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Republican Donald Trump by the barest of margins. Trump has erased most of the lead of eight to ten points Clinton enjoyed a month ago.

Thursday’s New York Times headlined the results of the latest CBS/Times poll, “Clinton, Trump Locked in Tight Race,” with its survey showing Clinton with a two-point lead over Trump head-to-head, 46 percent to 44 percent, and tied with Trump at 42 percent each in a four-way race, when Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are included.

Statewide polls showed Trump closing the gap or taking small leads in such battleground states as Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Florida and New Hampshire, although Clinton remained ahead in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina and was competitive in previously Republican states like Arizona and Georgia.

It is significant that the trend in the polls is at least as much a decline in support for Clinton as it is a rise in support for Trump. Clinton is doing particularly poorly with younger voters, who flocked to support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries. A Gallup poll last week found Clinton’s approval rating among voters age 18 to 29 was only 33 percent, the lowest for any age group.

There is enormous disaffection with the choice that the two-party system presents to the American people, particularly among younger voters and those not affiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties. In a Quinnipiac poll, 52 percent of independents and 62 percent of young people aged 18 to 34 said they would “consider voting” for a third-party candidate.

The obvious question is why, in the face of widespread popular revulsion, particularly among young people, against the racist bigotry and bullying authoritarianism of Donald Trump, the most unpopular figure ever nominated by one of the two major capitalist parties, the Clinton campaign is so obviously struggling.

The answer is that the Democrats—and Clinton in particular—are themselves deeply reviled. As a political organization, the Democratic Party represents an alliance between dominant sections of Wall Street, the military-intelligence apparatus and the most privileged sections of the upper middle class. Behind its empty rhetoric, the attitude of these layers to the working class is one of hostility and contempt.

Clinton, in an unguarded moment before wealthy donors last week, let slip the outlook of the Democrat Party when she said that half of all Trump supporters made up a “basket of deplorables,” speaking of broad sections of the population as if they were another species. Those backing Trump, she said, were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it.”

There is no question that Trump has appealed to all those forms of bigotry in the course of his campaign. However, he has also made an appeal, in an entirely demagogic way, to deep-seated economic grievances. Among white men without a college education, he leads Clinton by as much as 50 percentage points.

If there is unrest among white workers, the apologists of the Democratic Party claim, it is due entirely to racism, exacerbated by eight years of the administration of the first black president. President Obama repeatedly asserts that conditions in America are “pretty darn great,” and liberal pundits hailed, falsely, the latest Census report on income as proof that claims of widespread economic distress in America had no factual basis (see: “Further considerations on the household income report: Poverty and inequality in America”).


Saturday, 17 September


Ancient Egyptian funerary amulet in the shape of a plaque,... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

Ancient Egyptian funerary amulet in the shape of a plaque, depicting a jackal, representing Anubis, resting upon a chest or shrine.  Made of faience with green and blue glaze.  Artist unknown; ca. 400-250 BCE (Late Period or Ptolemaic).  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.


St. Martin of Tours and St. Nicholas of Bari, unknown German... "IndyWatch Feed Arts"

St. Martin of Tours and St. Nicholas of Bari, unknown German artist, ca. 1450

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