Art

Co Exist, by Michael Marczewski

I just friggen love this video, especially the mirror scene at the 41 second mark, because they're something about artists being inspired by other artists that encourages the hell out of me. 

No competition. No jealousy or envy. No stomping on others in order to get ahead, just simple collaboration, inspiration, and creation.

I love that.

"Stock footage clips are placed within computer generated worlds in this series of animations. The two coexisting elements playfully interact. Oh... and there is also a cave full of boobs.

This compilation film features some of my favourite animations from my collaborative Instagram series. See more here: instagram.com/michaelmarczewski" (via). 

 

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Cracked : by Kristen Meyer

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I cannot stop staring at this saltine art piece by Kristen Meyer, "a multimedia artist currently residing in New Haven CT with her husband and two daughters." And when I discovered that she had two daughters, it made a bit more sense. It may not be true (and probably isn't), but I'd like to think that her daughters are young, maybe one is three and the other just over a year, and that they both love saltine crackers and milk, constantly asking for more but never really eating all of them or finishing their drink. So every day, after every snack, she's left with a saltine cracker mess to clean and sweep and toss into the garbage. 

But not this day. No. Today (or whatever day it was she made this), she put the girls down for their afternoon nap, grabbed the broom, then paused. A few of the crackers were already in place, it just needed to be completed. And she had time.

When it was finished, she stepped back, admired her work, and called it "Cracked." 

Then the kids woke up and ate it. 

I doubt it happened that way, but no matter. I love the piece. You can see more of her work on her website or on instagram.

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I think my daughter would really like hanging out with Kristen Meyer. 

 

Also check out:

Smallest Sushi on Earth  :  Smallest Cup of Coffee  :  Art

Enjoy the day!

Kendrick Lamar wins the Pulitzer. And traditional America isn't happy.

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Kendrick Lamar can now add Politzer Prize winner to his growing laundry list of awards

Shocked? If so, you're not alone. I was too. Because, I always thought that the Pulitzer Prize was set aside for great writers and poets and journalists? That it was for classical musicians, not rappers.

So I did some looking around and found Eatock Daily, a composer based out of Toronto who shared my thoughts and assumptions. But then, I read these words, 

I’ve noticed that some classical types have been careful to sound respectful and inclusive when discussing this issue. Perhaps fearful of being labelled “elitist,” or hoping that just a little bit of hip-hop’s coolness might rub off on them, they praise Damn for its musical craft, sophistication and cultural authenticity, and say supportive things about Lamar’s prize-win (via).

And my "this is bullshit" radar sounded.

Then, when he quoted Norman Lebrecht, who called the decision, “an almighty kick in the teeth of contemporary composition" and added the he, "a classical {himself}" was "alarmed" by this decision because, "Even though the prize has almost always been awarded to a classical composer (with the exception of a few jazz artists) there has never been an official statement of this policy – it was an unwritten tradition", I pushed the panic button, holy shit!

Daily goes on to say that Lamar winning this award is "cultural erosion" and that "only time will tell if Lamar’s prize is a gesture of tokenism, or if the Pulitzers will largely embrace popular musics, and America’s classical composers will find themselves shut out of a prestigious award that used to “belong” to classical music." Damn. 

But also, why? Why does the Pulitzer have to belong to classical music? Because of tradition?

What tradition? 

Because from what I read, the Pulitzer music prize is awarded “for distinguished musical composition by an American", not tradition. 

So why the animosity or frustration?

Probably because Mr. Lamar doesn't fit easily into the image of what many traditional American's consider art, and not only because of how he looks, but because he uses gritty language and raps about a lifestyle and reality many Americans would rather turn away from and ignore.

But if that's the case, why did the staff of Reuters win the Pulitzer for Feature photography? Because their images of "the world to the violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar" (via) are pretty gritty too.

  Rohingya siblings fleeing violence hold one another as they cross the Naf River along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Palong Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 1, 2017. (photo from Pulitzer.org)

Rohingya siblings fleeing violence hold one another as they cross the Naf River along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Palong Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 1, 2017. (photo from Pulitzer.org)

  Hamida, a Rohingya refugee woman, weeps as she holds her 40-day-old son after he died as their boat capsized before arriving on shore in Shah Porir Dwip, Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. (photo from Pulitzer.org)

Hamida, a Rohingya refugee woman, weeps as she holds her 40-day-old son after he died as their boat capsized before arriving on shore in Shah Porir Dwip, Teknaf, Bangladesh, September 14, 2017. (photo from Pulitzer.org)

 Mohammed Shoaib, 7, who was shot in his chest before crossing the border from Myanmar in August, is held by his father outside a medical centre near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 5, 2017.  (photo from Pulitzer.org)

Mohammed Shoaib, 7, who was shot in his chest before crossing the border from Myanmar in August, is held by his father outside a medical centre near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 5, 2017. (photo from Pulitzer.org)

Why are these stories more valid than Lamar's? Why are these atrocities seen as "shocking" and move our hearts while Lamar's offend?

Why are photographers praised for their voice and style and Lamar criticized and considered a tainting of tradition?

Because he curses? What?

Mr. Daily actually beat me to these questions when he wrote, "It was only a matter of time before someone rhetorically asked,  “Hey, wait a minute, if the Pulitzer is for ‘distinguished musical composition by an American,’ why shouldn’t hip-hop be considered?” And it is his answer that I find most troubling. He writes, "the Pulitzer Prize for Music must now be shared among (presumably) all genres of American-made music. And the small and marginalized contemporary classical music world just got a little smaller and more marginal."

Damn. Presumably? Marginalized?

Really?

Kendrick Lamar is unfit for this award because allowing more non-traditional music into the discussion will leave classical musicians feeling marginalized? What about musicians of the past hundred years who were never recognized because they didn't follow "tradition"? Where is their contribution to music and society and mankind's story?

Marginalized?

Because right now, as Mr. Lamar is being celebrated as the first rapper to win the Pulitzer, CEO Kevin Johnson's is trying to salvage the Starbucks image by closing 8,000 stores in May for "racial-bias education day" after two black men were arrested for not buying anything.

Do you know how many times I have sat in Starbucks and not bought a damn thing but just sat and read or wrote or waited for a friend? Not only that, do you know how many of those times I've asked for a free glass of ice water AND used the bathroom? Countless. And never was I questioned, denied, or even remotely suspected of anything other than sitting and doing nothing. 

Marginalized? Really?!

This is exactly why it is so important that Mr. Kenrick Lamar won the Pulitzer Price for music, because now traditional America has to take him and rap and all those stories of how the other half live seriously. Because now traditional America can no longer use the argument, "That ain't music" or categorize it as, "black people music" and turn the station and their attention to something more agreeable to their ears. Because now (as it already has been for many years) it is truly part of America's music and a crucial component to America's story.

Damn. by Kendrick Lamar isn't a gesture of tokenism or a kick in the teeth to tradition and for sure it isn't a cultural erosion. It's progression in American storytelling, in American poetry, and in American voice. It's a piece of distinguished musical composition written by an American and recognized as "a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life" (via). And Kendrick Lamar deserves an applause, not a patronizing pat on the back.

"Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession." And whether Mr. Daily or traditional America likes it or not, so is Kendrick Lamar. 

Hot Damn.

 

You can listen to the full album on Spotify

 

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Gerhard Haderer's art reveals us

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"Art isn't created just to please our eyes; it also transfers ideas and provokes thought. Austrian cartoonist Gerhard Haderer has been producing satirical illustrations for decades now, highlighting why today's society is nowhere near perfect" (via).

I really appreciated these illustrations by Gerard Haderer because although some were a bit funny, some were also desperately on point. 

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As a collection (of which you can see more here), I quickly noticed a running theme of greed, distraction, and altered reality. All of which, at any given time, are exactly what my heart and mind wrestle with. Which is why, I think, I connected with these images. Because they illustrate the absurdity of what my mind can easily mask and camoflage. 

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Giant Snow Art : Simon Beck

"It started as a bit of fun. But gradually, it's taken over my life."

For the past decade, Simon Beck has been decorating the Alps with his stunning mathematical drawings, created by running in snowshoes across freshly laid snow. Each image takes him up to 11 hours to make and covers an area about 100m x 100m, requiring him to travel up to 25 miles as he marks out the pattern (via).
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Recently, he's diversified into beach art. 

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Watching artists being artists is always inspiring and encouraging to the heart and soul. It reminds me that the purpose of art is to express the beat and conscious of humanity and, if possible, to make or turn that beat into something beautiful, something that makes us stand and wonder of life, of possibilities, and of the greatest things about ourselves we have yet to reveal. Things that could quite easily take over our lives.

Like images in our minds, stomped out on a mountainside, for the world to see.

 

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff   :  Inspiring Art  :  Great Big Stories

Pow Surf to classical music

Mixing the arts is truly beautiful, especially the more drastic they are in their differences. I tried doing it myself Sigur Ross and bouldering, but I think this is better. Mainly because they use Clair de Lune, which is clearly better.

Brilliant.

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  Inspiring Art  :  Rock Climbing  :  Classical Music

The sound of history, from trees.

A record player that plays slices of wood : Year ring data translated into music.

A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently (via). 

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A limited edition recording of ‘Years’ can be found here.
A regular 12″ vinyl LP edition of ‘Years’ can be found here.
A digital album consisting of seven different recorded trees can be downloaded here.

And more of Bartholomäus Traubeck works can be found here.

 

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-N- Stuff  :  Creativity  :  Inspiring Art  :  Music

 

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Sigur Ros and Desert Classic highlights, a perfect dance

Loved this short clip of the 2017 Desert Classic Finals, and when you mute the video and press play on the Best of Sigur Ross mix, the experience becomes somewhat magical.

A sort of perfect dance of the arts. 

 

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-N- Stuff  :  Real Rock 12 Official Trailer  :  Alex Honnald

 

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89-Year-Old Japanese Grandma Discovers Photography, Can’t Stop Taking Hilarious Self-Portraits Now

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Kimiko Nishimoto, an 89-year-old Japanese grandma has been snapping and editing her own pictures for the last 17 years, and her pictures are fantastic.

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"Her son was teaching a beginner's course and so she decided to enroll, unaware that she was about to awake a passion and a talent she never even knew she had" (via).

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"She had her first solo exhibition ten years later, at a local museum in her home town of Kumamoto, and now she's about to have her work exhibited at Tokyo's Epson epsite imaging gallery. Titled “Asobokane" - meaning "let's play" - the exhibition will feature previously unseen work from the octogenarian artist" (via).

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There are so many things to love about this woman and her work, but one that sticks out to me most is her love and joy of artistic expression.

After 72 years, Kimiko Nishimoto hasn't given up on offering her spirit and joy to the world, she's investing - perhaps more than ever - to the soundtrack of humanity. 

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For seventeen years she's been enjoying and playing with photography. Seventeen years. For me, that's half a lifetime. For her, it's a whole new beginning.

And after 89 years, the voice of her new beginning, her gift to the world, is a smile. 

And that is both inspiring and encouraging.

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Movies Inspired by Art

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Vugar Efendi has put together "three chapters" that explore the relationship between films that have been inspired by famous paintings.

Some of them are spot on perfect, others are beautiful adaptations, but all show a deep and strong respect for the craft, the artist, and the long held understanding that good artists borrow, but great artists steal.  

"An aspiring filmmaker with immense love for film, music and art in general," Vugar Efendi has  been acknowledged by the likes of: Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Vanity Fair, Elle, BBC, Canal +, and Indiewire.

You can see more of his inspiring work here, or follow his blog and catch Trailer Tuesday where he, you guessed it, posts trailers of different movie from all around the world. 

 

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-N- Stuff  :  Creativity  :  Inspiring Art

 

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