Feb. 8th, 2011

purejuice: (gandalf the white)
"Technology disruption is your friend" use it to rethink the way you work -as a positive, not negative #watech4good @akhtarbad
10:43 AM Feb 4th via CoTweet



Pixelated Canon: NYT Art Critic Roberta Smith Discovers What Google Art Can Do for Her )

This is the effect of real handmade paintings or sculpture or outsider art on me. I think I've also written about the projectile tears which shot from my eyes the first time I saw Magdalena Abakanowicz's Backs or the jacket embroidered with threads from rags unravelled in the mental institution laundry room over decades by an inmate. As a scholar of genocide art, I have seen some of the world's most graphic photographs, from Nick Ut's Pulitzer-Prize-shot of Kim Phuc to the Tuol Sleng mug shots of Cambodians with their death numbers pinned to their bare flesh, and not one of them has elicited any such reaction from me.

While photography reveals -- as Smith notably notes, teeny background skinny dippers she'd never seen before in an iconic Breughel Google now allows her to survey pixel by pixel -- things one did not know before, and it is notable according to its best philosophers for its ability to abstract and embalm its subjects (not to say inherently objectify the oppressed in a way the plastic arts, though just as patriarchal, cannot), the only impact photography has really is photographing people at the moment of their death, or embalming. A photograph is a war trophy in a way even the most swag-generated patron's painting is not.

As we all know, the artist, like Picasso, who assiduously cultivates advertisements for himself, will always be successful. Picasso was also very talented. Not more so than hundreds of others who quietly kept to their studios and painted, like Bonnard. For one. What they achieve is what I can only call "immediate luminosity", which is one of James' three pragmatic criteria for judging religious ideas. Picasso, while brilliant in every way like a camera, sublime in intellectual achievement, like Spielberg/Cameron is a technical genius whose content, notoriously like that of all American movies, is conservative, if not derriere garde aesthetically (Aristotelian tragic hero values, as if history were in fact the story of 300 white guys in Paris), both appallingly simple-minded, racist and sexist (Avatar), really shockingly anti-modern and possibly fascist. Ariel Dorfman on Donald Duck? Is totally correct (one reason the po-mos flip me out: there is no moral dimension or content adjudication to their decon of pop cult).

It is supremely successful in terms of Marxist fetish commodity, but it is not only not immediately luminous, it puts out the light in the ways I've suggested.

Google Art has trophy-fied the 17 works of art they chose to pixelate (Van Gogh's Starry Night, who chose?). As anybody who has actually seen the painting can tell you it is not warm and fuzzy. It is so sad you can hardly breathe, a very disturbing cold and ultimately uplifting massive presence in a room, an object completely different from the one Google has pixelated.

And I think that's what Twittering, and the whole universe of soliciting microloans for starving artists is all about. Multitasking silences utterly the stream of consciousness. Out of which comes art, as we all know, as well as the discernment of the authentic.

I really want not to be a curmudgeon. But I think Bill Gates has brainwashed people and now Google is defining the canon as well as the Gaze and the canonical way of looking at art. No. By God. No.

1972, Nick Ut. I own, and have read, an entire PhD. thesis on the iconographic and religious "composition" of this photograph. Like Roberta Smith says, one of photography's three magic tricks is to reveal attributes and clues which you never saw before, like the murder in Blow-up or the skinny dippers in the background of the Breughel painting. In that case, however, those elements actually exist in the universe, where as the Christian iconographic composition of this photograph is dubious in the extreme, as is any notion that Nick Ut composed it at all. He framed it, and got back to the office alive, with the undeveloped film intact, all of which deserve enormous respect. Compose? No. This is a picture of dead people.
purejuice: (cuba cat)
This person, in typical Fanta Se whiteboy garb, is seeking an "intern" on Craigslist.

You know you wanna.

When the headscarf matches your teeth, you know it's time to up your game.


purejuice: (Default)

January 2012


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