Posts filed under “Art”

CAPSULE REVIEW

LAST NIGHT’S PERFORMANCE of the Symphonie Plague No.3 by Ruthven Mophandle Heyser was disappointing: nothing was outlandishly poor, but the Duck Hollow Philharmonic is capable of better work. The bassoons, marked pianissimo in the score, nearly drowned out the rustling tissue paper, which is marked fortissimo. The Krummhorns were so badly out of tune that at one point a distinct effect of harmony was produced where, needless to say, none was intended. The concluding explosions were ill-timed and ruined the rhythmic effect of the finale. Much praise is due, however, to Miss Una Corda, the notoriously shy concert pianist, whose faint melodic tinkling was not audible at all.

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

CAPSULE REVIEWS

By Our Roving Critic.

The so-called Moving Sale at No. 1721 Featherstone Avenue in Dormont was—there is no kinder way of putting it—a disappointment. The goods on display were pedestrian and unimaginative. The cookware section was typical: granted that some of the items, notably the sauté pan with lid, were useful, where was the emotional impact? We looked in vain for any trace of a pattern in the boxes of VHS tapes, but they seemed to have been thrown together at random. The children’s clothes on sale had the same old story to tell: once our children were small, and now they are bigger, and their clothes no longer fit—there is not a triter trope in the book. The blandly adequate furniture spoke of no tragedies; there was no hidden sadness in the garden tools. In short, the sale was not moving at all, and to advertise it as such straddles the line between hyperbole and consumer fraud.

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

TWO-COLOR WORLD.

Interior of the Grand Concourse, Station Square, Pittsburgh.

Do you wish the world were more like an old postcard? Then you will want to visit Father Pitt’s new Two-Color Worlda silly photographic experiment in which every picture is presented in old-fashioned two-color printing, like an old postcard or a two-strip Technicolor movie from 1929.

You may notice from the URL that our friend Bozar the Clown has graciously donated Web space for this enterprise, and in fact we are interested to see how his Web host responds to the demands of running WordPress. Mr. Bozar’s site uses a tiny and simple blogging script that places very few demands on the host, but WordPress takes some oomph.

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

THE STATE OF AESTHETICS IN NORTH AMERICA TODAY.

If you wish to understand the state of aesthetics in modern Western civilization, the site of the Monument Builders of North America is all the education you need.

It is simultaneously depressing, horrifying, and hilarious, a kind of Doctor Strangelove of Web sites.

From it we also learn that the Funeral and Memorial Information Council has claimed “Have the talk of a lifetime” as a service mark for the pre-need-planning business. Evelyn Waugh could not have invented that slogan.

Nevertheless, the site does tell us that people still desperately want representational art for their cemetery monuments—an observation confirmed by our friend Father Pitt, who reports that there is not a single monument dealer in Allegheny County who does not have a gravestone shaped like a motorcycle prominently displayed in front of his shop.

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

AMAZING, CLEVER, AND HORRIBLE THINGS GOOGLE DOES WITH PHOTOS.

We shall all belong to Google sooner or later, unless Google, like Microsoft, clings to outdated technology once it is clear the world is headed somewhere else. So we might as well know what it is like to live in the Google world. Since he manages Father Pitt’s little corner of the Web, Dr. Boli has been privileged to observe firsthand what Google can do with several thousand pictures and a few clever algorithms. We have already seen the dancing mushroom and the nodding statue. But there’s more! So much more.

By continuing to read, you agree that you accept the risk of animated GIFs, and take full responsibility for whatever they may do to your computer or your soul.

(more…)

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

HORROR OF THE DANCING MUSHROOM.

Addendum: See also the Nodding Faceless Statue below.

Experimenting with Google Photos, our friend Father Pitt discovered that Google will automatically do certain things with your pictures, especially if you have a lot of similar pictures. Father Pitt always takes several of the same shot, just to make sure he gets one usable photograph in the bunch. The secret to being a good photographer is to take hundreds of pictures and expect to use a dozen or so of them. (And Father Pitt never throws out the failures, because—who knows?—they might be useful for something.)

Sometimes Google decides that what you wanted was an HDR version of the image. HDR—“high dynamic range”—images use more than one photograph of the same thing to capture detail both in the shadows and highlights; in sunlight, for example, one might otherwise have to settle for either featureless white highlights or featureless black shadows.

But often Google decides that, since the pictures are only subtly different, what you wanted was an animation. So it dutifully animates your multiple shots of the same stationary object. The result is usually just a jiggly picture; but every once in a while, Google’s automatic animations come out, well, terrifying. And you may see an example of the latter only if you promise not to hold Dr. Boli responsible for your psychiatrist’s bills:

(more…)

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page

CRAFTING THE PERFECT MISSION STATEMENT.

Like most organizations today, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has a mission statement:

PAFA promotes the transformative power of art and art making.

It also has a vision statement, because (we must admit) the mission statement is not very specific:

PAFA will inspire the future of American art by creating, challenging, cultivating, and celebrating excellence in the fine arts.

Now here is your challenge: Given the current climate of thought in the art world, try to think of any plan, program, exhibition, or any other activity a museum and art school could engage in that would not satisfy one or both of these statements.

Drunken revelry in the hall of statuary—celebrates excellence in the fine arts and, depending on how drunk people get, may be considerably transformative.

Shooting paintballs at the eighteenth-century collection—challenges excellence in the fine arts and promotes the transformative power of art.

Blowing up three blocks of urban Philadelphia—as transformative as all get out, and there certainly are blocks of Philadelphia that would be rendered more artistically excellent by a giant explosion.

Even hanging old paintings on the wall and letting people look at them could conceivably be justified by both statements, as much as it might be frowned upon by true devotees of Art with a capital R.

No, Dr. Boli cannot think of a single thing the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts could do that could not be justified by its mission statement and vision statement, which he therefore must regard as perfect in their kind. He would be happy, however, if someone else could prove him wrong.

Social media for a socialist paradise.
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponDigg thisBuffer this pageEmail this to someonePrint this page