Sunday, January 17, 2010

A few finds

SomaFm: These are the people I wrote about over on MOG. Excellent site.

Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas, original design by Stamen, ...

At first, I didn't care for this site in the least, writing of how I had always "hated those javascript things that leave beads or something else hanging off one's cursor" and even, if you can imagine this, gentle reader, questioned the merit of Pollock's work. My eyes were waiting to be opened, as they soon would be.

Ode to Catherine MacKinnon, triptych copyrighted 2008 Joseph Dunphy, all rights reserved, as if that mattered.

Trying out the software on this page, I found that I was, indeed, far too harsh in my initial appraisal. As I created the masterpiece you see above if you're reading this on my blog, I was intrigued by the way in which that Jackson Pollock look (that those truly in the know have come to appreciate) was best achieved was for me not to linger, but to race my mouse around so quickly that I couldn't think much about what I was doing, sending the cursor careening around the screen far more quickly than my eye could follow, or would want to, splashing color as it went.

First black! Then green! Or would it be red? With each tap the color would change, one would never know what to in advance, and the more I embraced the fact that I had absolutely no idea of what I was doing, the more Pollock-like my efforts became. I had arrived. I had found myself as a painter. Fascinated as I was by the power of such a fearlessly randomised aesthetic, I pondered the possible course of my life as a newly made artist, in this brave new world to be made by our love of such unpredictable beauty, a love which I'd let touch everything I did, for that is the path to greatness. Tenure would surely be close at hand.

Ode to Catherine MacKinnon, panel two, see dire warnings above.

I wondered where one would hang a piece as this. I imagined it hanging in a campus library stocked with scholarly works such as these articles (1 and 2) which I wrote with a little help from the Postmodernism Generator, while off in the background one could hear the faint notes of music such as this drifting in from a concert hall across the quad. Huddled over, I would be busy producing enduring works of scholarship such as these, racing through my day because I'd know that a new play by Bryn Magnus of the Curious Theatre Branch would soon open, and I had not yet partaken of recreational pharmaceuticals in sufficient bulk to fully appreciate Bryn's writing. There is a knock at the door. Is that? ... why, yes, it is!

My beloved Lucretia has taken time from her labwork to drop by with a few words of encouragement and a cup of her homebrewed espresso, lightly fermented and seasoned with just a hint of kelp; I smack my lips and savor the briny caffeination. I don't know how I'd get through my day without her. The delicate scent of orchids and overripe durian rises from the gardens below, gently teasing my nostrils, as ...

Ode to Catherine Mackinnon, Panel Three

I shall never know what was to come, for the shorting of my keyboard from the drool accumulating on it has roused me from my reverie, and I have lost my train of thought. Alas, no bathtub full of sea urchins to greet my weary bones at the end of a long day tutoring, no academic recognition of my computer generated brilliance, not even Lucretia, for she is but a dream. But I still do have this lovely, lovely painting and the inspiring thought that I live in a society that would salute the work of a visionary like Jackson Pollock and all that work such as his represents and really, shouldn't that be far more than enough?

Posted December 16, 2007 1:45 am ... More reviews of Jackson Pollock are here.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Just setting up

Original comment: "I don't even know what this blog will be about, yet. Let's work on that." Work has commenced - comment added on October 6, 2010: As I explain in the opening passage of the description in my Flickr profile

"The name 'Ex Nihilo', which that of my blog, ties into the upcoming subject matter. The Flickr groups I've signed up for, intending to try each (as I discover which I enjoy the most and where I wish to develop a long term presence), almost all relate to some of the recurring themes that will develop, which will refer to austerity, simplicity, restraint and often, in one sense or another, emptiness, but not always in a bad sense. I expect that, in visual terms, the emptiness of space and of the desert will often make their appearance on my blog. Both are sources of great natural beauty."

adding on the blog homepage

"What this site and blog will be about is that which is most simple, most austere. Picture camping in the middle of the desert, where the rain has not fallen for a hundred years, looking up at the stars so bright in the clear, dry air, as slowly sips one's iced cinnamon tea, discussing Logic, Epistemology, Astronomy and Physics, and sharing a few brief stories, and one might get some idea of what this will be about, sometimes. Sometimes I'll just discuss what I've found, today, but these are the themes to which I'll keep returning and upon which I'll be expanding.

Oh, and there will be absolutely no politics on this site, ever.

That last one's a guarantee. I'm here to have fun, and I hope you are, too, and isn't getting away from the drama one of the reasons one goes out into the Wilderness, anyway? This is a site review blog, so not everything will be about those themes, but these are themes to which I will be constantly returning, seeking sites about, and be seen in the art work and other creative efforts one will find on this blog, when I'm not reviewing sites - minimal art and photography, very short stories, ...

I do have degrees in Mathematics and Physics, so I am somewhat more qualified to write about these subjects than many of those who writing you've probably seen and suffered through online. In Astronomy, I'm just an interested amateur with a stronger background than most, which I'm working on making stronger. As for art, is anybody a master of that, any more? Actually, yes, I'm delighted to say, and I'll be introducing you to some of their websites, but with as many tchotchkes as one has been able to find in art fairs, in recent years, if one finds my own art to be a little amateurish - and one should, I think - at least I should not be expected to be as embarassed to post such material in public as I might have been, had I been living a hundred years ago. And somehow managed to find a working Internet connection.

This blog will be mirrored on Blogger, and fed over on, where I do have a profile, and is associated with accounts on Flickr and Youtube, and a few other places. I have a fairly solid idea of what I'd like to do over on Flickr. Youtube, I'm not sure yet, in part because I don't have a videocamera yet, and in part because that's one of the things I'll be finding out as I fill in this blog. Oh, and yes, there will be recipes, as always. Links to the feed subscription forms and Myblog communities should be in, sometime early next week. Pardon my sloth, but we're just about out of warm weather in Chicago, right now, and I have some seasonal produce that I have to pack.

Catch you in a few days.