27 December 2007

As the US watches coverage of the assassination of former female Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in indignation (during a return engineered in part by the US), let us also ask ourselves how a woman, from 1988 to 1990, led a nation as far behind the US as we perceive Pakistan to be, while we still elect our male-dominated governments smug in the knowledge that we are far more civilized that most nations in the 21st century.

Member of the 80's "Antwerp Six" Ann Demeulemeester is apparently as much of an architectural enthusiast as ever. Owner of the only Le Corbusier house in Belgium (in Antwerp of course -- always another discovery to be made in Antwerp), she's now selling her line in a remarkable new building by Mass Studies in Seoul. Reading an NYT article about her in 2006, I'm flustered at how typically Belgian her attitude is (and how uncomprehendingly the reporter capitalizes on it), and yet how delectably different this makes her as a fashion designer.

To bookmark this entry with another death, Carlos Sousa Jr. left his parents on Christmas Day and didn't come home for Christmas dinner. He was never to come home -- his parents watched the coverage splashed across dinnertime Christmas news about an escaped tiger mauling three people at the San Francisco Zoo with no clue until the next morning, when they were called in to identify the corpse in a body bag, that the victim was their own son. The Siberian tiger Tatiana was shot by police as it mauled on of his two friends -- friends who may have been taunting the tiger to provoke it as the zoo emptied out towards closing time on Christmas Day.

Potentially aggressive young men attacked by a Siberian tiger in California on Christmas Day splashed across the media -- another day in our globalized, violent, voyeuristic society.

13 December 2007

Snow is pouring like heavy rain on pavement that was clear this morning and winter-sun-drenched yesterday. I could have been wearing sunglasses yesterday had my eyes not been raw from nonstop paper writing.

I suppose if I had a fireplace to cuddle beside reading a good book, and I could sustain this activity through the entire winter, the Rochester weather wouldn't seem so dismal to me. Alas, this is not so.

03 December 2007

After three years, I have rediscovered it: The quote that expresses my understanding of and approach to the perceivable world.

"It is the mark of our period that everything can be regarded as a work of art and seen in textual terms. I count this, to vary a title I envy Suzi Gablik for inventing, the re-enchantment of the world. Contemporary art replaces beauty, everywhere threatened, with meaning."
--Arthur Danto, "Art and Meaning" in The Madonna of the Future

This means so much more to me than it did when I first read it, before I had developed a more nuanced and wide-ranging appreciation for art, a sense of my own artistic identity, and a grasp of all the facts needed to understand Danto's arguments. Thanks, Professor Seeley.

It can't be coincidence that while writing this entry I learned of the movie My Kid Could Paint That.

My next struggle: How to apply Danto's claims to music and sound.