Posts tagged ‘other people’s stuff’

22 January, 2012

Art and Curses

I love urban legends. I also love art. Hence, when they come together, it’s a good day for me. A Certain Fellow brought this to my attention earlier this evening and I actually thought it was entertaining enough to share, especially because there’s a sequel to the painting, which is really interesting in terms of both form and content. The transformation and reiteration of characters in space is interesting, especially considering how much the style has changed. So, here’s the haunted painting, along with its sequel:

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The original with the little boy, is called “The Hands Resist Him” and the sequel painting is “Resistance at the Threshold.” The urban legend suggests that the figures in the first, known also as the “haunted eBay painting”, get out and/or move around the painting at night. Thanks for the nightmares, right? There’s more to the legend, too–apparently there are a couple of deaths associated with it. The Wikipedia page is pretty informative to that end.

The artist, Bill Stoneham, has a pretty great gallery. He’s a surrealist, and a lot of his work his heavily loaded with myth and symbolism.

Similarly, I ran across the “Curse of the Crying Boy”, which is urban legends at their most ridiculous– tabloids and painting burnings. Apparently, kitschy paintings in the UK have been blamed for house fires. I legitimately like “The Hands Resist Him” as a piece of art, though– it’s creepy, it’s uncanny valley territory, it’s unsettling, and it’s compelling to look at. The legend grows out of a very interesting, creepy painting with an interesting provenance. The legend is almost better because the artist is contemporary, and able to respond to and contribute to the painting’s myth. There’s an indulgent goofiness there that I really find charming.

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12 December, 2011

Another Diversion: Bergdorf Goodman Window Displays

photo from another normal.com (linked below)

Basically the coolest window displays of all time.

http://maisonchaplin.blogspot.com/2011/11/bergdorf-goodmans-christmas-windows_22.html

Even better news: there’s an archive of these gorgeous things.

http://www.anothernormal.com/?page_id=59

9 December, 2011

A few interesting diversions…

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Brilliant Paper and Book Art: the Edinburgh mystery sculptor’s works. I love the notes she leaves with her sculptures.  http://thisiscentralstation.co.uk/featured/mysterious-paper-sculptures/

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Grad School Barbie: wondering where I went and why it takes me so long to upload photos? This is a pretty thorough answer. http://ceejandem.blogspot.com/2010/02/graduate-school-barbie-tm.html

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This, which I can’t explain in more words than just “YES.” http://selfpoptart.tumblr.com/

11 October, 2011

The More We Change…

We are at that point in the semester (called midterms) where I devolve into a disheveled mess (I am currently wearing a sweatshirt in what I am affectionately thinking of as “caveman style”– one arm free, one arm in, zipper about half way up to allow this oddity of fashion to happen.) Dishes are piling, readings are spiraling, and then I find an article that’s basically like a present hidden in the pile of psychoanalytic jargon I’m reading on Edgar Huntly.

In my heart of hearts I am a classicist, and I admit this like it’s a perverse, guilty pleasure. In a conversation with a Nice Fellow, we were talking about classics departments, and how it’s like they’re segregated. There is no Romanticism department. Classicists get routinely deported to their own department though. Granted, you could argue there’s a more interdisciplinary bent to Classics departments, but the same could totally be said for any other era of history and the way we study it.

Anyway, my inner Classicist was thrilled to get to read about Sumer and Egypt briefly today, and loved and demanded to share this sentence:

Also, as in the Mesopotamian system, hieroglyphs were the tools of an elite priesthood expert in medicine and magic. The scribes guarded and boasted of their technological secrets, with a zeal that rivals even Microsoft.

Scott B. Noegel “Text, Script, and Media.”

While I think Apple would be the more appropriate comparison to secret mongering, I love the comparison for its silliness.

That is all. More photos come weekend-time.

27 September, 2011

Metaphor = APORIA

I try to limit the amount of super dense crap I put up on the internet, but this is too beautiful an analysis of the nature of metaphor to pass up sharing.

The rhetoric of metaphor is, after all, grounded in aporia. Metaphor, like its extension, allegory, is resorted to when the proper term is deemed inappropriate or unavailable and a non-proper term is inserted in its place–to the effect of a hovering validity which is held in suspense by the knowledge that the term is not the proper one. The paradox of the wrong term being the only appropriate or possible one accounts for the precariousness of metaphoric speech.

Hofmann, Klaus. “Keats’s Ode to a Grecian Urn.” Studies in Romanticism 45.2. Boston: 2006.

LOVE IT. I love the idea that the effectiveness of metaphor is the very knowledge that the image created through comparison is disparate from the object. It is the paradox of needing to draw weird comparisons to understand what is already understood that just screams Socratic aporia.

Aporia, incidentally, is not understood simply as the definition in the dictionary– an irresolvable internal contradiction in a text or argument– but also as the poignant Greek literal meaning: to be in a state of loss. Aporia is what the Socratic method reduces its “victims” to. A weird logical limbo, where the old understandings of a thing have been torn down. It is, literally, to “be at a loss.” Slack-jawed.

Metaphor as a state of aporia. LOVE. SO. MUCH.

 

12 September, 2011

Adventures on the Internet: Knite

Realizing that the guy in my photo had a card stuck in his hat made me go read Lackadaisy, which inevitably collided me with something else rather lovely: Knite.

Yes. This is a full color comic, and it’s free, and every page is this breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Really, really gorgeous work. Three chapters done, with roughs for chapter four, as well. (Which you should read, because artist yuumei’s/Wenqing Yan’s commentary is hilarious.)

Chapter 1 Knite

You can check out the first three chapters and the omakes, as well as the roughs for chapter 4, by following the link above. It’s really a privilege to find talented artists who want, and make a conscious effort, to share and keep their stories free of charge.

Knite does have a publisher, 4DE. That website is here.

11 September, 2011

Mapping the World

“Different maps tell very different stories, and assume very different forms, according to their function, or their point of view. Ptolemy mapped the heavens by standing on earth. Galileo remapped them by imagining that he was standing on the Sun.”

–D.F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts, 44.

I stumbled awkwardly through a mire of hilightings and underlinings until this sentiment and I ran headlong into each other on page 44. Yes, it might have been my nerd senses tingling at the mention of a Ptolemy (not, in case you’re wondering, a Pharaonic Ptolemy, but still an Alexandrian), but I also have a pronounced interest in maps and cartography.

Maps are essentially attempt 90 billion on the part of humans to put the universe into nice, neat boxes (or nice, neatly drawn grid squares, in this case), and our need to understand through cataloging is something of a source of perpetual entertainment for me.

One of the strangest realizations is that maps don’t have to be objective. They can show whatever they want to know. They are a reflection of a reflected reality. By this I mean, they are an imperfect written record of an imperfect and biased view (the cartographer’s) view of the world.

I have a character in the project I’m (re)working through right now who’s a cartographer. I wonder what form of imperfection his maps have?

Anyways, onward with the photo project…

Sept. 6: So much rain this weekend. While I was walking to campus from the T stop, I happened to look down. I like sidewalk cracks. Looking at them reminds me that nothing’s forever, and that sooner or later, everything is fragmentary. Sorry, there was no way to phrase that without sounding emo/heavy handed.I could talk more about sidewalk cracks, but I’ll spare you.



Sept. 7: I walk by several goofy signs every day, and while there is nothing inherently goofy about the phrase “Not a through street” in and of itself, I love how squished it looks on this big yellow diamond, like it’s outgrowing the constrictive size of the sign. Think of it like a typographical sumo wrestler trying to wedge himself into skinny jeans.

Sept. 8: This was my day of discovering enormously odd tiny things. Like this guy, hanging out on the concrete steps by the main library. You can tell it rained a little, looking at the discolored concrete.

Sept 9: My city’s library is cooler than your city’s library. Just saying. Beyond those paneled wooden doors? That’s a courtyard. With sculptures. And a fountain. And a garden. And chairs. Just saying. Sorry for the lousy photo quality.

Sept. 10: Today was a pretty productive exploring day. I went to two street festivals, through Quincy Market, and bookstore hunting. More bookstore hunting is in my future. I bumbled into an outdoor concert down by Quincy at the Boston Arts Festival (ahts festival, if you like) and stayed until the group finished their set. I read my book history book. I wonder if the fellow with the card in his hat is a Lackadaisy lover?

Sept 11: I, in fact, didn’t leave my apartment today, so you get a picture of something weird in my room, namely, a sculpture that I now use to keep my hair sticks in check.

 

Until next time, friends.

7 September, 2011

Keeping the time with ghosts

“Above all else, you must show respect for the ghosts that linger in your department.” 32

“Be protective of your time; no one else will protect it for you.” 51

Graduate Study For the 21st Century, Gregory Colon Semenza

 

There were some other gems, too, but these two were pretty resonant.

More pictures in a few days. Until then, think deep thoughts and try not to walk into signs.

15 August, 2011

Prepping for the Big Move

In two weeks I pick up, move to a new state, and begin the adventures of an English grad school student. I’m knee-deep in preparation work, and I need to remember to take pictures of my room at home before I completely dismantle it. Already, parts of it are starting to look pretty spare. While I meditate on that, have some music, some words, and some peace of mind.

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Spun silk of mercy,

long-limbed afternoon,

sun urging purple blossoms from baked stems.

What better blessing than to move without hurry

under trees?

–from “Last August Hours Before the Year 2000,” You & Yours by Naomi Shihab Nye

1 May, 2011

The Madness of Art

We work in the dark–we do what we can–we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.

–Henry James