Bringing Van Gogh back with 56,800 paintings

Loving Vincent – Bringing the paintings of Van Gogh to life

“What is truly groundbreaking about “Loving Vincent” is that every frame of the film is an oil painting on canvas, using the very same technique in which Vincent himself painted. And what makes it a great story to experience is the intriguing, tragic, and inspiring story of Vincent Van Gogh himself.”

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/438026311/loving-vincent-bringing-van-goghs-paintings-to-lif

I’ve never really been tempted by anything on Kickstarter before, but this concept for ‘the first feature-length painted animnation’ on the people and events of Van Gogh’s life, based on his own letters and told through his own paintings, certainly has me intrigued. (Via)

Give Dalí a break

Dalí: the first celebrity modernist
There’s a big problem with seeing the surrealist movement as a pure, serious artistic phenomenon and Dalí as a hack who betrayed it. First, his best paintings are genuinely creepy and beautiful, and Un Chien Andalou, his 1929 cinematic collaboration with Luis Buñuel, is a masterpiece. But second, in taking modern art to the shops and turning it into telly, he recognised a reality. The avant garde in the modern age has two choices: either it is for a wealthy elite or it is for the masses. Dalí is accused, with some justice, of everything from snobbery to fascism, but the paradox is that he made modern art popular and accessible.

I, too, had his posters in my bedroom as a teenager. Whatever we think of the high-ness or low-ness of his art, he made an impact.

“Each morning when I awake, I experience again a supreme pleasure – that of being Salvador Dalí.”
Salvador Dalí

The 5 best punctuation marks in literature

Schulz: The 5 best punctuation marks in literature
The muse gets all the press, but here’s a fact: Good writing involves obsessing over punctuation marks. It’s 1 a.m., you’ve got a 5,000-word piece due the next day, and for the last twenty minutes you’ve been deliberating about the use of a semicolon versus a period in a single sentence. (But should it be two sentences? Twenty-five minutes, thirty minutes … ) As a rule, the effect of all that obsession is subtle, a kind of pixel-by-pixel accretion of style. Once in a while, though, a bit of punctuation pops its head up over the prose, and over the prosaic, and becomes a part of a tiny but interesting canon: famous punctuation marks in literature.

This is a fabulous list, though far too short. (It’s got me worrying over my own punctuation now? Could that comma have been a dash? Do I overuse them?)

1. The parentheses in Nabokov’s Lolita

“My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three…”

The sentence goes on — for 84 more words, eleven commas, one colon, one semicolon, and another set of parentheses. But the reader, like Humbert Humbert’s unlucky mother, stops dead. Nabokov is a daredevil writer, and often a florid one, but what he shows off here is unbestable economy. Like the lightning inside it, this parenthetical aside is swift, staggering, and brilliant. It is also Lolita (and Humbert) in miniature: terrific panache containing terrible darkness.

Dancing with charcoal

Emptied Gestures: physical movement translated into symmetrical charcoal drawings by Heather Hansen
“Splayed across a giant paper canvas with pieces of charcoal firmly grasped in each hand, Heather Hansen begins a grueling physical routine atop a sizeable paper canvas. Her body contorts into carefully choreographed gestures as her writing implements grate across the floor, the long trails resulting in a permanent recording of her physical movements.”

Heather Hansen // Emptied Gestures

This looked very familiar then I realised that there’s some student artwork on the wall in the next building that must have been inspired by this.

dancing-with-charcoal-2

Art as triggers for experiences

Maria Popova selects a great passage from Brian Eno’s diary about the nature of art: nice to see the Professor of Technoetic Arts, his old teacher (and my old teacher!) getting a mention.

brian-eno-diaryBrian Eno on Art, Confidence, and How Attention Creates Value
“Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences. (Roy Ascott’s phrase.) That solves a lot of problems: we don’t have to argue whether photographs are art, or whether performances are art, or whether Carl Andre’s bricks or Andrew Serranos’s piss or Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ are art, because we say, ‘Art is something that happens, a process, not a quality, and all sorts of things can make it happen.’ … [W]hat makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you — so the value of the work lies in the degree to which it can help you have the kind of experience that you call art.”

Notes on blindness

Via BOOOOOOOM, a beautiful video from the New York Times illustrating the audio diary that the writer and theologian John Hull kept after he became completely blind in 1983.

I found the mine cart sequence very affecting — I’ve read How Late It Was, How Late and Blindness and had been disturbed by their depictions of agoraphobia, but I hadn’t really thought about the link between blindness and claustrophobia before.

Exit visas

At that point Gilels drew out of his purse a piece of yellow newspaper cutting in which a few words were underlined in red. It was a cutting of the New York Times from 1962 describing the press reception given to Stravinsky on his returne back to the US from his visit to Russia, his first visit in 48 years. To the question by the press was there anything he liked about the USSR Strvinsky replied there were indeed two things he did like about it, namely “the vodka and the exit visa”

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2010/12/the_secret_torments_
of_emil_gi.html

Via Robert Brook, a timely thing about exits, given my impending exit the day after tomorrow.

4 steps to an effective Enterprise Information Management business case

"The most interesting trend I saw last year from the perspective of our content technologies consulting practice was the increase in clients asking us — rather than vice versa — to provide them with an enterprise information management (EIM) strategy (rather than an enterprise content management, records management, content management, business process management, e-discovery, mobile, social content, or any combination therein strategy)."

http://www.cmswire.com/cms/information-management/4-steps-to-an-effective-enterprise-information-management-business-case-023774.php

An upcoming change of job means these records management links may not be as useful from next week, as I’ll be moving away from the topic back towards a more general student admin role. But I’m finding these things interesting nonetheless.

What's your favourite Records Management joke?

"ViaLumina President Barclay Blair interviews 30 leading Information Governance experts, asking them 5 Questions About Information Governance in 5 Minutes. In this segment, Barclay asks What’s Your Favorite Records Management’s Joke?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DBjQ-o3C5I

I think this is great. As he says on his website, “it shows that this community has a great sense of humor and does not take itself so seriously – a sure sign of health.” Funny guy who knows his stuff. I liked how he managed to sneek in some of our favourite pie charts in a presentation he did on the information governance.

15 technologies that were supposed to change education forever

“Every generation has its shiny new technology that’s supposed to change education forever. In the 1920s it was radio books. In the 1930s it was television lectures. Here in the second decade of the 21st century, it seems the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) is the education tech of tomorrow. Let’s hope it pans out better than previous attempts.”

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/01/15-technologies-that-were-supposed-to-change-education-forever/

Rosy prospectuses ‘misleading’ students

“Paul Temple, reader in higher education management at the Institute of Education, University of London, said that Dr Bradley’s basic argument was correct. “Universities do sometimes bend the facts to breaking point, and that should stop,” he said. But he cautioned that some of the paper’s criticisms “imply that he’s setting the bar very high” in terms of how data are presented, and that some of the points it makes “verge on the pedantic”.”

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/rosy-prospectuses-misleading-students/2010522.article

Pedantic or not, someone should develop a truth app that we could point any website to, to easily highlight these ‘inaccuracies’.

Important: how to write a to-do list

"You have a limited number of decision-making ‘points’. Starting your day with an unprioritized to-do list can also undermine your ability to make productive decisions as the day goes on. Ego depletion refers to the amount of decision-making ‘points’ we have. As we use up our points our ability to make “smart” decisions becomes impaired"

https://medium.com/better-humans/77800bb2c788

Start making sense

Beware techies talking gobbledegook
But while those dramatic stories grab public attention because they cost millions (if not billions) of pounds and dollars and cause political embarrassment, computing failures in our offices, homes or on our tablets and phones are also pervasive – and pernicious. We rely on computers more than ever, which makes us increasingly vulnerable when they let us down.

Spreading bad news

Oxford University apologises after list of low-grade students is made public
How would you feel if your worst exam results were emailed to hundreds of your coursemates? Students at University College, Oxford had to put up with just that when a list of the 50 worst performing students was sent around one of the colleges.