“The Wellcome exhibition starts with a quote from Mary Douglas, the great social anthropologist who wrote Purity and Danger. Dirt she defined as "matter out of place". She remains a key thinker, prefiguring many of the bigger, better known French structuralists. In analysing taboos about the pure and the impure, the sacred and the profane, … Continue reading Dirt – is it ‘matter out of place’?
What kind of duty is called for in Call of Duty?
Games have several important effects. One is that they train us to accept the premise of the game. If I don’t accept that a knight moves two spaces forwards and one sideways, I simply can’t play chess. If I don’t accept that mass murder is necessary, I simply can’t play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare … Continue reading What kind of duty is called for in Call of Duty?
Tilt shift: When what you see isn’t what you get
Doesn't tilt shift photography (or the fake photoshop version) look good? Having seen some of these shots it's hard not to look at the world in a slightly different way. Reminds me of Patrick Heron's claim that art doesn't reflect what we see but rather dictates what we see. In the case of tilt shift, … Continue reading Tilt shift: When what you see isn’t what you get
Beyond Enclaves in Palestine (Part 3)
What future can be planned for Palestine? So far in this series we've looked at a nightmare sci-fi segregationalism generated merely from revealing the implications of the Oslo Accords as architectural impressions. We've also looked at a much more positive spatial plan to develop a central north-south transit corridor, linking most of the main settlements … Continue reading Beyond Enclaves in Palestine (Part 3)
Slow Reading and the End of Print
It seems you can do all sorts of things slowly. Why weren't we told? Actually, Slow Reading by John Miedema is a thoughtful consideration of the enduring place of print in our culture. You'd be forgiven for assuming print was dying out under the pervasive i-influence of e-everything. Indeed, the author quotes Jeff Bezos of … Continue reading Slow Reading and the End of Print
Scott McCloud gets the Four Cultures
In this enaging TED talk from 2005, Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, gets the four cultures. It's about 6 minutes in. Also, this is one of the best uses of powerpoint I've seen for a while.
Three questions about religious art for the Archbishop of Westminster
Should religious art be repatriated to churches and other places of worship? According to Ruth Gledhill in the Times, ‘The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, says that The Baptism of Christ, painted in the 1450s by Piero della Francesca, should be displayed in a religious setting such as Westminster Cathedral. In a lecture as … Continue reading Three questions about religious art for the Archbishop of Westminster
Can Wikipedia entries on artists be improved?
Jonathan Jones has been complaining about the banal way in which Wikipedia covers art and artists. He cites the entry for Goya as an example. I thought I’d test this by checking out the entry on Patrick Heron, an artist I’d like to think I know a little bit about. Here’s what I found… Plenty … Continue reading Can Wikipedia entries on artists be improved?
Post-Secular Artist? Nine Reflections on the Art of Patrick Heron
The last few years have seen a deep questioning of the central tenets of the theory of secularisation. Far from growing less religious, as the prophets of the post-war period supposed to be our destiny, the world has become more infused with religious attitudes than ever. It is now intellectually respectable, if not yet fully … Continue reading Post-Secular Artist? Nine Reflections on the Art of Patrick Heron