Posted on Leave a comment

Play Chess with Marcel Duchamp: A Virtual Online Chess Game

A new software program makes it possible to play chess with a virtual Marcel Duchamp. It is basically a chess program with one intriguing feature: the game features an opponent based on Duchamp’s recorded chess matches.

marcel-duchamp-chess

“I’ve come to the personal conclusion that while not all artists are chess players,
all chess players are artists.” Marcel Duchamp

Earlier this year, Colin Marshall told you how “Chess has obsessed many of humanity’s finest minds over centuries and centuries and Marcel Duchamp seems to have shown little resistance to its intellectual and aesthetic pull.”

His passion for the game led Duchamp to design a now iconic Art Deco chess set, to print an array of chess tournament posters, and to become an adept chess player himself, eventually earning the title of “grand master” as a result.

Continue reading Play Chess with Marcel Duchamp: A Virtual Online Chess Game

Posted on Leave a comment

The First Photograph of a Human Being

Human01D“I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight.”
LOUIS DAGUERRE, 1839

This picture, the earliest known photograph to include a recognizable human form, was taken in Paris, France, in 1838 by Louis Daguerre. The human in question is standing in the bottom-left of the photograph, on the pavement by the curve in the road. He is having his boots shined.

The exposure time for the image was around seven minutes, and although the street would have been busy with traffic and pedestrians, it appears deserted. Everything moving was too fast to register on the plate.

Continue reading The First Photograph of a Human Being

Posted on Leave a comment

Photographer Documents the Death of Real-Life Conversation

convothumbAs our smartphones make it easier to connect with people across the globe, they often can make it harder to connect face-to-face.

London-based photographer Babycakes Romero doesn’t own a smartphone. Instead, he treks along in his beloved city, camera in hand, capturing whatever catches his eye. “As a person dedicated to observation, I just feel I would be missing too much of the world around me if I was staring into the palm of my hand the whole time,” he says.

Continue reading Photographer Documents the Death of Real-Life Conversation

Posted on Leave a comment

Belief, Reason, and the Origins of the World in a Striking Series of 19th-Century Illustrations

naturerevelation13
“Manufacture of coal” illustration from “God in nature and revelation” (1875) (all images via Internet Archive Book Images)

Galileo and other troublemakers aside, science and religion didn’t have such a complete falling out until the 19th century. It was roughly 200 years ago when researchers started regularly digging up archaeological and paleontological evidence that dated the Earth far earlier than Genesis suggested, and then a man named Darwin was publishing some troubling suggestions on the evolution of life in his 1859 The Origin of Species. But that didn’t mean the sides of belief and reason completely split in two. There were those who tried for a middle ground.

One of the forgotten natural theology books to come out of this era was God in Nature and Revelation (1875) by Reverend J. M. Woodman, published in the United States by J.G. Hodge & Co. It proclaims itself a “teacher of natural, mental, and moral philosophy, of natural and revealed religion” on its title page, joined by an illustration of Jesus standing on the planet alongside encircled by man and beast alike. Throughout the text are links between the Bible and the scientific formation of the world, but questionable connections aside, the accompanying images are surprisingly intriguing. The world is shown as a repeating orb, changes in the rise and fall of the oceans and the sediments shaded in, all the while the sun never stops glaring down on the proceedings as a constant reminder of a holy influence. It’s the Victorian romanticizing of science and nature colliding with religion.

Continue reading Belief, Reason, and the Origins of the World in a Striking Series of 19th-Century Illustrations

Posted on Leave a comment

How a Fluxus Pioneer Tuned Televisions to a World of Noise

Wolf Vostell, ‘Endogene Depression’ installation view (all images courtesy of galerie Anne de Villepoix unless otherwise noted)
Wolf Vostell, ‘Endogene Depression’ installation view (all images courtesy of galerie Anne de Villepoix and hyperallergic.com unless otherwise noted)

PARIS — Following on the heels of the Jean Dupuy and Robert Filliou gallery exhibitions, a third radical Fluxus-related artist is receiving a museum-quality gallery show in Paris: Wolf Vostell. Vostell was a German who, as an art student in Paris, was co-initiator of the European wing of the Fluxus art movement in the late 1950s and founder of the European Happening scene based in Cologne.

Continue reading How a Fluxus Pioneer Tuned Televisions to a World of Noise

Posted on Leave a comment

Olafur Eliasson to Show 112 Tons of Ice for ‘Ice Watch’

IMG_MDA100044_1024px
Olafur Eliasson: Ice pavilion, 1998. COURTESY http://olafureliasson.net/

COURTESY GROUP GREENLAND

On Sunday, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing will unveil Ice Watch, an installation that will bring 100 tonnes (equivalent to 112 tons) of ice to Copenhagen’s City Hall Square. Taken from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland, and displayed like a clock, the installation’s twelve large blocks represent the amount of ice that melts every hundredth of a second due to climate change—a number that will only increase over time.

Continue reading Olafur Eliasson to Show 112 Tons of Ice for ‘Ice Watch’

Posted on Leave a comment

Elsa Schiaparelli and the Surrealists

Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dalí
Elsa Schiaparelli (center) with Salvador Dalí (right), 1949. COLLECTION OF MERYLE SECREST

Long before visitors lined up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the Alexander McQueen retrospective, the worlds of fashion and art collided in the Surrealist designs of Elsa Schiaparelli. The Italian-born couturier—as famed in her heyday as Coco Chanel—is the subject of Elsa Schiaparelli: A Biography (Knopf). Author Meryle Secrest investigates the designer’s ties with Salvador Dalí, Francis Picabia, Jean Cocteau, and other members of the Parisian avant-garde in the 1920s and ’30s.

Schiaparelli was particularly close with Dalí, with whom she made the memorable “Lobster Dress,” “Shoe Hat,” and “Tears Dress.” The last is a slender gown and veil patterned with Dalí’s trompe l’oeil rips and tears to give the illusion of lacerated flesh. “Dalí had some pretty crazy ideas,” Secrest tells ARTnews. “One of them revolved around the necrophiliac fantasy of the corpse who comes back to life with all the skin torn off,” as seen in his 1936 painting Necrophiliac Springtime. Yet the fabric Schiaparelli concocted “isn’t macabre at all,” Secrest adds. “In her hands, the concept becomes something unusual and strange, but not sadistic.”

Continue reading Elsa Schiaparelli and the Surrealists