An end of year show is a challenge for artists and attendees alike. The entry point is for the artist confining their conversation to one item or piece. Some find it irresistible to go triptych or expand a theme. Beginning middle and end. Other artists, and I will return to a particular energised and totally consuming piece later, @ERG, distill an immediate point in the journey of creating art by signalling an epic piece they can’t contain or control within a show or gallery devoted to the work they have in the past year or longer. They have created a theme which they are committed to and continue to approach with nuance and exposition of stages or a stage in learning and added towards a very involved and very involving set of conjunctions which are all the better for seeing in the care taken in collating the process.
There are even the individual ease of conscious pieces. The piece that is an expression of the soul at ease and visual visible contentment with the form of making art and communicating across a range of experiences and expectations. In writing this corrective text through up a word close to but not the one you are seeking but the temptation and I do not discard it, is to use it to elucidate on the subject being addressed. There is a common shape to the artists vein and implies that is physical and abundant in its delivery of energy. A compact.
The View Platform Arts Belfast Members Show
Gallerist type paintings appear. The paintings of painting and these are forms of colour which are a difficult ‘oeuvre’ a favourite word Van Gogh used while learning his own use of colour.
There are floor art pieces one being an all seeing robot home floor cleaner and in an attempt to stop sabotage or intended pet surveillance carrying a dash cam which is low strung video no one will ever watch.
The white wall has a screen sometimes awake to show the domestic dust gathering excursions. Belfast City Council will have their eye on this and the leaf gathering and tins, bottles and crisp packets can inform urban and city life. It can become a streaming service and you get to see the poo and street level debris those commuted and conscientious street sweepers deal with on a daily basis is not unreal. One thing it is essential not to do is flatter as sooner or later you will have no critical aim, and it is helpful I think for different views to emerge while bringing more thought and questioning that eventually a higher level of observance and recognition of a work or piece is obtained. So that requires an attitude independent of all others.
Give a dog a bomb.
Seeing sculpture with a beer in your hand can be frightening occasionally. Reading the piece no.14 Gerard Carson – Landarmour 2019 – you alight on the idea of its nearness to primordial warfare. It is a piece so well conceived and directed the balance of this thin animalistic form all bones and little steel junctions animated is pressing ahead, while static, assuming a hatred and visible increasing acerbic intent. In the canine form of a head the delicate touch of a golden bomb is clenched sausage like, a wire leading from behind it to the clenched imposters jaw.
The strain in a heartbeat – for the work is able to throw instant ideas and assemblages of thought at you – is of knowing this is a simple well balanced object created to imitate a widely held fear and up close and personal unintended closeness. You are witness to imminent fatal savageness. Can you recall the piece seems to ask the walk home or in a crowd on a bridge a stranger appear and you see there is a bomb in its jaw. Then there is the white chain. That sign it is danger freed. The white links tethering it broken and the ideas adding layers of unprotection. Clear and present danger. Is there a phrase to capture it? No justice is here? Why me? The work is on the one hand aimed at disconcerting amusement in the sum of its parts while in the other taking that device and throwing at you an immensity of fear. It may not create distress given the location and knowledge art is its collateral, it nevertheless surprises even mildly shocks that the pieces title leads you towards.
Painting is a recurring and thankfully continuing form used by current young artists. There is one of those triptych type installations. no.1 Jill Quigley Funhouse 2019 – being first a dibond print painting unhung but propped with the centrepiece a grid of screen prints on paper of pictures of decorators, with separate primary colour paper taped to each other as a gallery of paint in progress. Then the third elect which was 9 stacked acrylic painted abstracts.
They each were fine small boards but became a very enlivened image as it was apparent each board was not connected to the next unlike the taped middle piece but relying on staggered lines of 3 belonging together as a group but none having any connection other than abstraction to any other. The presence of all 3 is placed in a corner this gallery has history in. A Hugh Mulholland piece simple folded sheet I remember perfectly accepting the genus loci of the space – being around the corner.
The painting element gained a strong presence in 2 expressionist works of places. One no.16 Jess Gunn Midnight panic 2019 – a large room informally defined overview with a empty loom type chair.
The closeness to the lightly flat shapes were warming and inviting a story. The geometry an important and strong lever to getting into this scene. The other is a small and square object based view of a place. The industry of high contrast colour of inhabited space deliver a simple form of shapes that informally suggest a garden corner with brickwork, stool, leaning pad and plant pot giving this impression.
It is a confident and lovely work showing a lightness of touch and some gravitas concerning defining or inhabiting a place possibly to obtain enjoyment. The thing I see most is the discover many new artists take of avoiding decoration.
The absence of fine point pattern, detail, exactness, being a thing of digital images that when joined with painting – Des Edwards is an exponent of that arresting potential – see ERG no.7 Wormhole II – are themselves amazing so this is on the journey that dispels the past and states a local and intimate image that is really the interior mind. That being the imaged observation made by the artist of a place in now or a future seen. Is there a Paula Rego angst waiting to be revealed?
Small room spaces alight
The references are fine transmuting landscapes and figures laden onto a wild physical form. In some you see the trees and building farms with light falling on fields or streams brown on blue. Light coming through as sketched outline and as blurred background. All is calm reflection rather than problematic to look at and the names give some context for the story held. In no.24 Lianna McKinney Riverbank I saw the shapes tell tales of solitude in several rural guises. There are many pieces in the room all worth exploring. no’s. 18 > 25.
In the quest to find a reason for accumulating things – ‘…of a problem of material insistence’. came in work no.11 Damien Magee
An infinite curve showing a collaboration of materials that became a uniform assembly of very separate things. On the wall is a transparent manifestation of a grid as a backdrop to a form of order. In front is an artists easel, clasped in its clamps a series of itemised cassette covers ranges in accordance with size. They create a beautiful frontispiece in this summation of collections things and are posited as art in that easel. The frame is beginning to unfold the narrative of material very conversationally. We all are collectors of something or other. Something or other. The leaden words of hoarding. Here the accumulated elements are set as figures in the world of content. Where are the artists and music of these cassette memories. Elsewhere and alongside to complete the picture is a seat that fascinated me through its obscure though entirely reasonable engineering. I love the use of sustainable constructions and this was the winning element to my consc c
What it is, is a seat or bench made with sourced birch or sandalwood, a strong kiln dried wood which has through the economies of cutting created different sizes – around an inch to two inches and lengths then layered as and bonded to a layer below with the purposed random selection assembled to create a strong flat deck. It is separated by a gap, a split in the centre and the frame it sits on is of the same form of construction. The splayed legs are also timber engineered by bonding with the whole being a piece of fine contemporary furniture.
I once had to recreate a huge Church (hyperbolic paraboloid shaped) roof using the same technology. In that case it was forming the roof edge structures by Glulam beams and rarely used since the popularity of its modernist use in the sixties, 20c. It not only created a lightweight self structuring roof form relatively quickly, it created a large clear floor plan. There is a new mosque in Cambridge (Cambridge Central Mosque £23m) that has a roof supported by a spread of timber columns radiating that do not work in a sustainable way nor excel as a device to create wide spans but are for effect.
A different timber engineering company (Japanese) has recently bought 40% of Manchester’s Urban Splash and that signals the technology growth and this time sustainably. They use a laminated beam to make good design work as residential forms. It’s highly ingenious and brings many types – they don’t use a hyperbolic paraboloid roof but maybe someday as a large span several storey height complex.
There is a theme here which is seen in a similar way in the work here below.
Emery Blagdon was a pioneer of the subjective sculptural and painting combinations that evolved through, in his case a feeling of incapacity to heal himself his ailing mother. This is not a widely held expression of the reasons behind his work but I see it in this and even the Peter Mooney work you will read about further on in this blog.
The ‘Wiki’ on Emery tells us he was born aged 112! This could prove to be correct.
……. Description Emery O. Blagdon was an American artist. Wikipedia
Born: 25 July 1907 (age 112 years), Callaway, Nebraska, United States
‘He added brightly colored paintings with concentric circles and angular lines to serve as generators or reflectors of natural forces, an essential part of The Healing Machine’s overall structure. Blagdon believed the static charges and the emanating aura of these entities exuded curing properties for those experiencing intense physical and emotional suffering.
Blagdon’s artist-built environment makes visible the power of belief and the complexity of human emotion.‘
On Platform and this exhibition
There is undoubtedly in this form of art elements of ‘Raw Art’ I see in this new work. While clearly all the pieces are not in this vein and cannot be extrapolated in a general view like this I found there were works that required some further comparisons. The story is almost always a human reaction to the world and it’s often portrayed in Art History as belonging to the psychotic or disturbing preoccupations of mental illness and often confinement. This could also be described as confinement art. Art of the imprisoned mind. The physical and spiritual fixitude. Nevertheless it destroys the notion of the wider notions and parallels existing in other art. Vincent Van Gogh and other explorative painters and sculptors. Even Pablo Picasso was an enfant terrible in his anxiety of purpose. His furrowed brow told you this.
After WWII, art of the insane gained support from European artists as a reaction against the Nazi condemnation of Degenerate Art in 1937. Dubuffet continued his research and began to look at artworks from prison inmates, psychics, and autodidacts, which had a direct influence on the development of his art. From the 1950s through the 1960s Dubuffet resided in the United States and brought along some artworks from his Art Brut Collection; this lead to the developing American interest in this specific art form.
This is a clear connection of abstraction with in Emery Blagdons case, using materials and forms he called kinetic, from the main body of contemporary work never made connective. Here is an example.
More Emery Blagdon works –
The previous Platform Art exhibition – Paul Hallahan and Lee Welch, reviewed in a previous blog, was not inclusive of installation pieces but it was an example of this essential dilution of thought compressed energetically into work will avoiding the figurative realism and representative interpretation of place or volumes. That is near to the famous work The Healing Machine. It is as if we are locked into, when viewing art the healing machine accessed by and through art and artists.
The Engine Room Gallery
The chance for Engine Room Members and Artists to once again revisit and introduce new work was skillfully displayed as always. There is plenty of space to see the work mostly painting hung in the professional way Cliff Brooks as Chief Curator always provides.
This Gallery has had a huge stable year in producing very good shows and opportunities for long established and young artists alike. The generosity of spirit is a very important conrtributor to the whole of work on these islands and encourages new work to be seen in a democratic setting.
I refered eaelier to a piece which is in touch with the material consumption we are a complicit, some not all authors of. The medium of Gallery Art Work is a constant litmus test. Ranging from the eccentricity of Austin Clarke and his controlled anger at the panoply of values stacked and falling in the worlds destructive direction made real. Marmite is just one outlook.
Peter Mooney should never be underestimated indeed his work should often be lauded as it speaks to us in a rich and provocative while gentle ‘ouerve’ always enlightening to look at and think about. No less this piece. no.37. Construction.
Other work and I will given more time put up further commentary on is in abundance here.
There have been many good shows in Northern Ireland this year and I’ve written only about a few with other responses writing about an artists work in direct communication. What I have to raise is one Exhibition made a lasting impression was at Ps2 part performance and part a work conceived and relating to the interior and location it was presented in on Royal Avenue.
A powerful year Ps2
This is life and no a fantasy by Ieva Rojūtė March/April 2019.
The Lithuanian artist brought a connection across inspiring thoughts on the conditions and lives, and not only the transitory fragile harmful journey of East Europeans but sole for all in these times when political as well as the economic migration Ireland has too long been immersed in, it delivered a radiance and hope of human nature. By focusing on the person and through the experience the Gallery put the artist into was a fantastic enlivening and spiritual recognition of human strengths and resilience while tragedy often overcomes the person sometimes on the slightest thing and finally so.
I was very impressed at how Ps2 and Ieva Rojūtė levered into the space these thoughts and the practice of the artist was very well considered and utterly conscious of the world rstate in this minute space.
The art of the familiar shown as a guide bearing witness on multiple diverse journeys.
Ieva Rojūtė has work that expands and explores this widely on many forms and types of media. A cultural exchange is the process but that itself is a consequence of the today media access and it’s as if the person is as the doors of reconciliation in Dublin’s St Patrick’s Cathedral speak through a door and a hand put through the closed to the other side to symbolise a change and reconciliation. It gave rise to the expression chancing your arm which nowadays is less conciliatory but slang removing the original meaning.
November has come and gone and plans to get a blog out were thawrted and put aside but having started I think it worthwhile to put across what I observed and some reaction to the very good shows is to be put in writing along with some visual elements from the shows.
I take a long external look at the needs of art and how responses are so important to us in this and other times.
First is foremost Whatever you conceive of as a concept it becomes a philosophy by being first ‘a specifically philosophical groundwork acquired through original self-activity, and therewith that firmness of basis, that genuineness of root which alone makes real philosophy possible.’
It is fascinating the syntax of language in forming the above view is heavily grammatically dependant on instilling adjectives which are themselves from nature. The beginning is based in the reality of known things such as ‘groundwork’, ‘activity’, ‘root’. The core is this use age which enables visualisation and connection to an idea which is never seen until the expression of it. Paint is the same in its development and execution of internal ideas. The invisible Kantian standpoint of an a priori point of it existing before the present becomes a transcendency.
Patterns are the evolution microbial atom generator and the invisibility is the lock which holds the structure of existence together and in continual metamorphosis. So many artists are pattern seekers and evolve beyond that to contain pattern by dislodging the media to create another element.
With Athenite precision the artist has got hold of an idea which contains two parts. One is the unseen part and fanciful (not at all used in a derogatory way) but the construction manifesting other events. The Second is the fluid substantial existence of a manifest part. The actual physicality and production of the piece. It is experienced in a time portion while altering through its own structures of connections which Thirdly we stand apart from and linearly observe. When we are gone it continues as something other. So there are in actual fact three not two parts.
There is a unique moment of confluence, a meeting of ideas and about the coming together of factors or ideas. With an important harmony in Platform Gallery the works individual and combined of Paul Hallahan and Lee Welch show development is a matter of choice and is able to form from separate choices. How this is effected is not the point but it is neither unimportant this synergy is playing out with the work of different artists. In a busy remorseless cascading visual feast in all media – print and font are implicit in having us observe an image or product. Here there is refuge from overindulgent and a coat of many colours identity crisis projected in abstract expressionism.
The certitude of form and editorial is harnessed with skill and amplitude by both artists. Seeing these paintings has a zen effect and a kind of primordial response as it seems they convey aim the chosen restrictions on marks and even in Lee Welch’s formative native kind of expression leads you on a journey forward but also and more so in the basic origins of pictorial sensitivity. By not approaching the tropes of restoration and period art they employ a vision of familiar participants in art.
Paul Hallahan has developed a water based approach devoid of rush or sudden instant immersion by using that watery transfer of colour in a fluid orchestral way. He has said he often paints with music as a soundscape. It could be fast in tempo or pastoral and it’s not necessary to know but it indicates the phenomenology of painting in a continuity of deliver of what inspires to what we are responsive to. Time is therefore another aspect and the work has a form in advance but fluctuations as it evolves it would appear.
Paul Henry is a reference point as is Grace Henry who is supposed to have combined the paint palette for the condition of colour blindness that only became publicly known sometime after his passing. The implication is that the essence of colour and the loss of sight by Monet and Matisse made them obtain aspects of their art no less beautifully formed as we appreciate those as well as the untroubled – can they be called ‘sight paintings’? They would have painted the tones of the day, where they were in the light preferred as observed and dusk daylight dawn, were in all parts equal.
Choosing to work in minimal ways the exchange of tones is enlivened beyond colour comprehension and maybe stimuli of full colour is set aside for another more subtle and in some sense moving flowing confluence akin to ‘event’ ‘occurence’ and not derivative of symbolic figurative themes. It is in my fires more a case of taking familiar art history themes and advancing current contemporary messages as visual – that word again I’m afraid! – confluences.
This essence is apparent in both artists with the combined work and its admirable the suspect ego often carried in creative work as a driver is confidently never present in canvases that are again taking colour and absences – Lee Welch has as colour the canvas chosen to be worked and both enjoy the informality and microbial speech patterns of canvas. It is even more enjoyed when you realise this exhibition is in a former line house trade building and flax colour is very provocative with the light poring in from the Antrim Hills beyond Belfast where the bleaching process took place to end up as finished damask in these trading and storage facilities.
When you look at the canvas there is a sense of journey intended or otherwise implied where damask and silver tableware is symbolic as it is tiny in the ‘period’ leanings of art history and patronage seen in several paintings. That is remarkable and what Gerard Carson’s recently passed father Cairan would have seen as that complex thing Happenstance. Really remarkable as the work in the Gallery shows. The work is an essay in show – the word show. The directness and need to or not to analyse the work is the appearance for our pleasure and experience to behold. There is communication on many levels in all the work.
In the small space there is the video installation of Paul Hallahan’s dog who has passed away. She is a pure bred Black Labrador retriever and is seen from beyond the grave. It is a homage to a well known and sadly missed and wonderful artist and person William McKeown who passed so young. His partner arranged the showing of a film in his honour of his ‘howling’ dog at a memorial and today his work is on show at Talbot Rice Gallery Edinburgh. Notable simplicity and connections can be made.
Catalyst Arts November
Hyperobjects Catalyst Arts until 5 December 2019
This exhibition has 10 contributors. 1 of which is the archive of Art Research Matters,and artists define the space as a unit of material examinations very attuned to the wastefulness alongside natural productivity of earth’s compass. It is enthralling and exotically bewildering as the newness of each action is absorbed in time. I will not dwell on too many pieces as the whole is comprehensively covered in a Catalyst Arts well written exhibition note as following on from – as a logical exposition of the joint Arts Research Matters (the meaning is fluid) with among others Platform Arts – the Timothy Morton hyperobject Styrofoam. I loath the word while it represents a hideous amalgam of architectural, construction utility devoured in multiple global buildings and often adored homeware pieces.
In the case of Jez riley French a performance of dissolving music into found objects and tailing his own sonic collection was a great event in it arriving as a soft piece of gentle and intrinsic intricate of how sound exists everywhere. In silent places unvisited using his much loved and Attenborough films and multiple geographies of screen and exhibition spaces. The detail is from his dissolving in acid ancient glacier rock and we hear the release of the trapped air from millions of years ago. It is symbolic of the dissolution of our existence and elsewhere in the Catalyst Arts space the combination of objects is the counter and opposite narrative. By hearing this dissolve in the library of other sounds the ecology of our universe is made real again in art form. Matmos is an artist video with the music developed an relayed through video and the plastic contained in an album sleeve alongside for posterity.
Then the glass containers the sound was mixed in are sitting still and some osmosis is carrying on.
of Slime Dynamics II. Jasmin Märker
The opposite narrative is explored by Jasmin Märker has a derivation which is scientific and natural. It’s described limitingly as bio-art. By the combining of elements, some already composed from other chemicals like those combined to make plaster, fertiliser, there is an exploration of what happens when these elements (the list of others contains foraged mushrooms, oat bran, common house spider along with other ‘objects’).
It has the Hyperojects exhibition name, a bit off putting, of Slime Dynamics II. Jasmin Märker is straight to the point. The installation takes the form of preformed tiles and accompanying wall pieces that create a luxurious environment. Much as our own earth is a luxury environment which in no small element remains a luxury.
The installation is in my eyes that ‘platform’ Jasmin creates for the amalgam or organic actions to continue once introduced to each other. It is as a W ord sits alongside another and describes another form.
The object be it of our desire or destruction. In conversation with the artist I obtained recommended reading. In pursuit of silence. Film. Timothy Morton Humankind. It is a book on human nature. This recommendation is parallel and touches on the way the forms we see represent in a way the manner creation happens. The impulsive narcotic behaviours compelling us to think and mutate in art form and in our lives. The geography is changed. Here is a small contemplation in an arts space. Returning to the space after a week or two the evolving matter is alive and well. It proclaims the miracle of existence not only of ourselves but the matter that strings us together and connects us with this unexplained existence. The nature is absorbing and trough their piece which I find to be – after the signs floated in the audio of Jez Riley French totally successful in its object. Hyperobject in many layers of meaning and was seen and continues to put forward notions of what that metamorphosis is dong in the present time.
The actual location is being microbiology at work and even the doors are providing defences and barriers to the installation within.
There is insufficient time or space in this critique to cover the other installations but it is safe to say they all collectively made a deep impression and expanded the means of learning objectively.
Catherine the Great The new subscription series, Catherine the Great delivers a suspect history while illuminating the vestiges of contemporary Political and Sovereignty in Europe. Starring Helen Mirren it is made for her electric acting skills and lineage appropriate for her own history. Some critics have said of it there is no magic sparkle or gold-dust in the drama for an audience expectations of provocative spellbinding theatrical lustre. It is just not hot enough and Potemkin is as near as it gets to a potboiler.
In ‘The Europeans: Three Lives and the making of a cosmopolitaCulture’ by Orlando Figes has formed a theme in his book around three characters one of which is Turgenev; Focusing on the intertwined biographies of a famous French opera singer of Spanish descent, her French impresario husband and one of Russia’s most beloved novelists, and as a historian remarks on the leaders taking forward Europe in this period.
Pauline Viardot – became Turgenevs supporter in more ways than one and mari complaisant where Figes attempts a continent in constant change – technology not being the least alteration.
He has again written in review, his account of his viewing of this tangential series with some ‘warnings’ he describes thus ‘But there are many small errors, a few large ones, and dramatic licences abound (spoilers ahead).’ By his account and depth of knowledge and no spoiler alert needed as I won’t reveal the ‘allegations’ of discrepancy here, The Times 4 October 2019, Review (2 Arts article) does deliver the needed autopsy on the drama and fulsomely, with if it’s anything to go by, a promise of an excellent twist of the History seen in the Banquet of the Vanities often seen through English historians eyes though this is unintentional but my viewpoint given our recent times.
The world of media is a fanfare of opposing histories and no more so than seen in the deliver of a certain kind of meritorious justice, so it is contended by the Judges of The Supreme Court on the material Considerations they avail of in reaching their decision.
It is looking more and more absurd and demonstrative of a blatant lie being conducted on behalf of the people of these islands, GB and Ireland.
How is that so you may ask. The series Catherine the Great is a fine element to attune yourself to history and the ‘Rule of Kings,’ delightful contexturalised by Lady Hale and her Supreme Court colleagues in filling us in on the remnants othering shared history and by dint their authority to preside and pronounce of difficulties of stewarding a country as it conducts itself among neighbours. Naked hubris called out
Orlando Figes has created a context which is invaluable to discerning not decreeing the formulation of the record. The drama series only serves a little recognition of history and its therefore a good question to ask this, Why is this drama altering in effect – it is also a version but without the spoilers of the above article – undoubtably off piste. It is due to the consumption of drama and partially though it was hardly a precedent, Downton Abbey conjecture of lives in smart antiquated buildings. Even they are confiscated of truth in these dramas. Stanley Kubricks red coated drama was an exception to the narrative swirl and conflagration in ‘Barry Lyndon’. The dramatic accounts are seen honestly dishonest in such as Shakespearian drama and No Theatre elsewhere displays of a version of the past. An appetite expects the formula to be as near cognition as the soul allows.
In his writing the review there are facts I wish to consume and add to a following narrative on ‘the rule of kings’ having written immediately previously my analysis of where that history leads us. A new history is upon us. It is no small coincidence Orlando Figes book has the title – ‘The Europeans.’
Catherine the Great he points out was one Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, a minor German state. Arranged Marriage would take her to Russia at 17 where in 1762 she became Empress of Russia. That is a pivotal point in any account of Europeans.
The advance of a form of rule by Catherine the Great is hinged on the male protagonists around her and allies or enemies to the throne she occupies. Several lovers and conquests, tested beforehand by a Countess Bruce who noted their willingness or aptitude for her appetite and patronage seemed a sure common means to stabilise and conquer her peoples willingness to be ruled. The imperial bedchamber is a retreat where she obtained as much male sexual comfort as she could and stayed relatively loyal to some of her consorts. Potemkin being highest in her affections and finding in him an alliance equal to her ambitions of statecraft. By her alliances she was in control of the destiny of Russia and she thought Europe.
By 1773 an heir had been conceived though the convention of the hereditary male becoming Emperor was a minor obstacle to Catherine the Great living up to her reputation and her offspring born in 1754. When Prince Paul the son assumed to be heir where normal protocols to hold but when he becomes 19, Potemkin is now embroiled in a relationship which savoured the expansion and nature of the Russian Empire sought by Catherine. With a historians insightful gaze Orlando Figes notices in the acting the chemistry ‘ – and there is a chemistry between him (Jason Clarke as Potemkin) and Mirren’s Catherine who is tough, tyrannical, emotionally closed, but more vulnerable in his presence.’
That sounds as though it has the convincing, authentic power of period detail in the portrayal of relationships. The mores were not a stricture of guidance to be morally bound to the Ten Commandments for example but a position of realism in turbulent times.
Her quest it seems from Orlando’s reading of the historical records is parallel to the religious one I see in the stewardship becoming more akin to the Lutheran doctrine she had left when becoming – it is perhaps legitimate to call it her arraignment in the sense she was completely and inducted – of the Russian Orthodoxy. It is possibly a century earlier the radical ‘reformation’ in advance of other European Kingdoms including a Great Britain the Bible was no longer an asset confines to elite Religious but now was among the people as an Orthodoxy and template for God and the influence of the Bible.
Emerging Configurations on knowledge.
The Russians had, in this open freedom to consume and debate the virtues of Religious belief systems, been given a tool which subsequently would overthrow the lineage of Sovereign authoriety as practiced by Catherine the Great.
It is a view which would take a lot of persuasion in practice though I put it forward as a possible bridge in the construction of Europe’s state. Were it not for the intervention of Industrialisation and another ‘costume drama’ enters my mind, with Antony Hopkins as an exile torn between the past and his ancestry and the youth testaments of his daughter and friends seeking equality and a positive socialist life ahead. The subsequent fractions and divisions came destructively to a head in the twentieth century. This drama ‘Howard’s End’ fills in, partly in a very apposite way the English dynamism in the abrupt departure of the slave ridden empire; Russia had abolished slavery, substituting it with servitude converting them to serfs in 1725 long before Catherine’s reign.
Unravelling the historical immorality it had perpetuated was in all of Europe a yoke which caused its own internal demise. Catherine the Great sought with Potemkin her long held belief; and it may have been from a uniquely Religious Lutheran Orthodox itinerant perspective been conceived as a role to follow in her sense of herself, the expulsion of the Turkish implantation in Greek and the Volga uprising as establishing an authoritarian based after all is said and done on a Religious philosophy equal and of the same consequence as the Age of Enlightenment. Paradoxes abound and Samuel Rutherford would have been found as not only a dissenter but a deeply flawed reader of The Bible in advocating the intervention, which was already in place in the regime of the Church of England but bound up in ‘rules of the Kings’ a theology requiring the believer to press allegiance to a higher edict and put in place something between them and God.
Orthodoxy did not prevail upon its followers any hidebound sense of Sovereignty but collided instead with the reverse Communism of Catherine the Great. It is an extraordinary complex construct to make but it might bear some examination.
There is a joining of stories in the work of Orlando Figes writing in both, ‘The Europeans: Three Lives and the making of a cosmopolitan Culture’ and the following review in The Times 4 October 2019, Review (2 Arts article) stresses the account drama and screenplays provide a view that conflicts and obscures understanding of history and narratives assumed then thought about. I….the above book for instance Turgenev is honoured with the praise for his toiling on subjects he has no reward for, … Turgenev acted as a peerless cultural intermediary, introducing Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky to western capitals and Flaubert to the Russians. Figes writes of him being an advocate of reason, progress and democracy.’ “a Republic of Letters based on the Enlightenment ideals of reason, progress and democracy”. The plasticity of the literature – not only his but all writers – it can be observed claimed the supremacy of the narrative by its own eloquent reasoning and ease of understanding. This was therefore the conveyance Kings Queens and Revolutionaries clung to and set there compass by.
Countenance of Religious Affectations
From the essay looking into the Supreme Court Judgement (the previous blog!) I arrived at the observations made in Niccoló Machiavelli’s ‘The Prince’ and again see so much to relate this to. I struggle to remove the image, the appalling image of a ‘judge’ with the fabric spider cobweb around her neck and telling us of the import of rule by – and this is where religion and the misuse of ‘the rule of Kings’ occurs – as an atrocious suppression of the Word. The situation in Italy as seen by Machiavelli is in his gift to repair. The notion the Florentine intelligence can be transported beyond its realm is not seen as problematic but possible.
So it is with Catherine the Great and the bold Potemkin who see their task to rid the world at least in Europe consigned to misfortune and bickering among sensitivities drawn down over thousands of years as surmountable. Little did they know and when discarding the preeminence of what appeared at least in part to exist within them, a dislike based on Religious doctrine, their replacement by royal decree and rule they were discarding with it their soul.
In a Puritan way there is reasonable course to disentangle religion from the methods of men. The reason delivered first to us arrives through light. Age of Enlightenment etc. are the runes of spiritual life. Indian culture is similar in its Diwali hinge. Our spectral vision is limited to the range the human can take in while wavelengths outside that human spectrum lie what in the past have accumulated thoughts subconsciously held and unexplained.
Overtures to 1812
Inspiral spectrums of thought are only realisable by the vast outside influences assembled by the mind. You will a phrase into existence and compose a range of notes to stimulate your life force. It is as though I do my work by sleeping and unconsciously combine possible futures as seen in the eyes of the past. Thought dreaming. Sleep and see the sunsets and act as though your passivity beyond the fact of death as you in that stillness absence of conformity as vers libre, that living octagon of constant revisionism and regularity. When the parameters outside n the daylight side of living exist to produce the combinations of Orchestra, Theatre, Poetry, Organisation of beauty in functionality and use it exceeds our worth and world of ourselves. This accumulation is the stuff of influence and the inspiration is without. Those rays of light and otherness begin to mean things and some cam detect the cosmic influence beyond rejection and elimination.
The modern Culture offered and absorbed seeks to provide an extreme of interest and the literary crime wave is itself a questioning ambiguity and surging by that confusion as artful cold crime analysis.
All contained in the lines of a book and screening of a reality formed of false indicators and misleading trails and analysis. We compose our curation of the world and ourselves by a distortion of self and created illusion. The appetite is growing and the Google super comport can only advance the churn of indigestible form of invisible history.
To join the histories of the ‘Continent’ is by any account a broad sweep using various reference point. For these observational viewpoints I use literature and the arts. The Drama and influences of the body politic often taking its directions from the canvas of Entertainment and visual metaphors sometimes transparently opaque.
The range of European History and its Collisions
Below are a selection of notes from Wiki, Common Eductional websites which are used here as another way to join the dots and see what – if it is at all provable – the actions present a confusion of objections while having some legitimacy and coherence. It asks why the paths taken were so intensely random and happenstance. Was it will by our inner selves?
The French has several Revolutions and the following is an introduction to the French then the connection with Russian and its role on the fervour of Revolution brought about in no small part by the lessons and paradoxes expressed by the literary elite.
Let’s begin with the royals sporting across Europe in aims to modify the world according to their ambition.
* (1494) France and Austria began the Italian wars * (1515) Reign of Francois I began * (1519) Leonardo da Vinci died * (1539) French became the official language * (1559) Cateau-Cambresis Treaty ended Italian wars * (1562) Catholics and Protestants religous wars * (1589) Henry IV was first Bourbon King of France * (1593) Henry IV turned Catholic; religious wars ended 1600s – 1800s * (1610-1715) Reign of Louis XIII followed by absolute monarchy of Louis XIV * (1720) Last outbreak of plague in France * (1756-63) Seven Years War; France lost all colonial possessions and Canada * (1778-83) France assisted the 13 colonies in the American War of Independence * (1789) French Revolution ended rule of monarchy * (1792) Louis XVI overthrown, First Republic created * (1804) Napoleon crowned Emperor of France * (1815) Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo; monarchy reestablished * (1830) The French Revolution (or July Revolution) middle class revolt, King Charles X forced out. * (1832) Cholera epidemics * (1848) Founding of Second Republic * (1851) Coup d’etat instigated by Louis Napoleon * (1852) Louis Napoleon III crowned Emperor * (1870-71) Alsace-Lorraine regions lost to Germany; Napoleon III overthrown * (1875) Third Republic began * (1889) Eiffel tower built.
Then the familiar 20c and wars begin a transformative World Picture begins.
Puskhin and his Literary Genius
The future of uncertainty is it’s certain.
It was something Alexander Pushkin might have thought as his departure from a promising life came in a duel at 37 years old and the malevolent Queen of Spades called three days after his being fatally wounded by D’Antes who had spoken pitiably and grossly of his wife’s family. He had in his dying, sought for his wife to be looked after by the Tsar. In facing into a future where his youth had gone he made some gestural indications in his folly to take comfort in killing an enemy or be killed so reckless was his vision of his future. He fell without his talisman ring having also returned, (never turn back) for a sable coat before proceeding to the duel site on the banks of the Black River outside St Petersburg in his coach, passing unawares his wife returning from sledging in the Winter freshness. It was a tad Byronesce maybe, this disastrous act being a supplicant of the romanticists Greece and Rome had entrapped him in affairs as society had witnessed the malevolence attached to circumstances becoming public. Now the history of Catherine the Great and Alexander Puskhin are intertwined as a people’s History told with an irony of Royals and Revolutionary thinking on both their parts. Some things never change.
The story of French Revolution precedes the overthrow of the Tsars. Known to his entourage as ‘The Frenchman’ his Moscow writing found him by 1820 banished by government who decided his poetry was dangerously subversive. They sent Pushkin out of the capital and into exile in the south of Russia, 1700 kilometres from his family and friends in St Petersburg. He was sent first to Ekaterinoslav (now Dnepropetrovsk in Ukraine) and then to Kishinev (now Chisinau in Moldova), moving to Odessa (now Ukraine) in 1823.
By the time he had formed his thoughts on the wider possibilities history informed him of, at the end of 1825 Tsar Alexander 1 died and in the following year his successor Tsar Nicholas 1 freed Pushkin from exile. Pushkin moved back to central Russia, living some of the time in Moscow, some in St Petersburg and travelling a lot. He became interested in the reformer tsar Peter the Great (1682-1725) and dedicated historical work to him. At this time he also became interested in his own family history and wrote a story Peter the Great’s African based on the life of his ancestor Abram Ganibal. His mother having been of African descent. At the time of her death he bought a grave alongside her for him to rest.
The peculiar interest in tyranny and it’s place in society was a duel in itself within Puskhin. His friends included many who were involved in a political group which was later known as the Decembrists. They were a group of officers who disagreed with the very harsh political system at the time. They are called Decembrists because they had an armed revolt in December 1825 to try to stop Tsar Nicholas coming to the throne. Pushkin wrote Ruslan and Ludmila at this time, a number of beautiful lyrical poems, and also some very political poems like Freedom. This starts with the declaration “I want to praise Freedom, I want to attack the evil of kings” and calls the tsar “Wicked autocrat!”
That extract comes from the above link, a composite view for children so innocently removed from overbalance or overbearance. His innocence of the worlds harsh realities seemed to be distant when in this removal from the turbulence and complete reversals of fortune Politics and the Reign of the Tsar encountered daily. He ought to have discovered through his African aristocratic legacy when only obtaining minor status as part of the elite. Being amongst aristocrats himself much of his life he was neither elite nor poor hence his probable annoyance at exclusion. The expulsion nullified any part in the big events that were unfolding. The only scope was his literary genius. It was Tsar Nicholas 1 who freed Pushkin from exile.
History has it that Puskhin provides a narrative of change while the powers provide the history. The fascination of history was an occupation brought about by his South Russian exile at his maternal homeland.
The fascination of the pre-history is him seeking the organic outworking among races and this is tied to ‘The Frenchman.’ His knowledge is accumulating and in the dramas he filed his own life and visions of depraved rule.
Peter the Great (1672-1725)
Peter was Michael Romanov’s grandson and under his rule Russia underwent many changes. It was Peter who made Russia one of Europe’s great powers and who helped it recover from the scars left by Ivan the Terrible.
He did this firstly by opening Russia to the West. He wanted Russia to be as modern and advanced as Europe and poured all the country’s money and resources into making it a kind of European paradise.
He asked the best Western engineers, craftsmen, merchants and shipbuilders to come to Russia and help him to modernise it. He also sent thousands of Russians to Europe to learn these trades and receive the best education possible. He even went himself – and worked in the shipyards of Holland and England.
In 1703 Peter declared that a town was to be built on the boggy marshlands of the delta of the Neva River. Over several years of frantic and often difficult construction, a city emerged. It was called St Petersburg, and Peter made it the capital of Russia instead of Moscow. St Petersburg wasbuilt to be a work of art, whose beauty would rival that of any European city. In fact, many early European visitors to St Petersburg described it as resembling a theatre set, such was its uniform and somewhat unnatural beauty.
Here are some other reasons why Peter was such a force for change in Russia: 1. He tried to change Russia from what he thought was a deeply archaic, superstitious and closed country into a modern haven of European civilisation. 2. To do this, he took extreme measures to make everything in St Petersburg exactly how he wanted it: he told his nobles how to live, how to build their houses, how to cut their hair, where to stand in church and how to converse politely in society. 3. In one of his most radical reforms, Peter made the Boyars servants of the crown. In this way he laid the foundations of an 18-19 century European-style absolutist state, where the monarch reigns supreme. The new aristocracy was suddenly totally defined by its position in the civil and military service and its rights and privileges were set accordingly. 4. In a surprising twist Peter even banned beards across all classes. This was a particular blow to the Boyars who wore theirs long in the Orthodox style, but all Russian men were subject to the law. To help enforce it, Peter even introduced a Beard Tax, payable if you refused to shave your beard! 5. He also made big changes to improve the economy, education and Russia’s military strength. He built up the army and the navy, making Russia a real military force to be reckoned with. In particular the Russian navy was really created by Peter who had hundreds of ships built by foreign experts.
Lifeline even now
Pascal had written another book for the Church after Pensées he formed another view which liberated him from dogmatic theory. He denounced Christianity by His Vers Libre on mathematics and science reasoning he went towards parthenogenesis and being separate from the need to believe one thing or the other. This magical delusion was Pascals downfall. It lmeant his best thoughts were not received by the populist and staggeringly they are still there even plays we have not seen or heard of all trapped in a bibliographic cemetery. The mocking tones of the authors seen preeminent like Voltaire were very often favoured due to the splendid cloak they gave to Royalty such as Catherine the Great. Delusion is a wonderful thing Pascal thought. His anti-religious thoughts were consistent with the well known maxim, it is better to believe, just in case. Pyrrhonism of living by thought is a paradox sent to sleep and put asunder by scepticism lent by the creator. That creator is the author of all and us.
Seeing the nothingness of belief in it’s unconquerable reason and the formed reality faced of war and dreadful outcomes for the earth’s inhabitants killing to survive among animals and complacency the compact only civilisation can construct to alleviate pain.
Not to question the religious life but know nothing of the other religious life is a nerveless position. The truth is beyond recognition but it’s invisible cloak surrounds and makes us alive.
Although we can see that Peter did much to modernise and empower Russia, we can also see why many did not enjoy Peter’s reforms. After all, by forcibly Europeanising Russian life he was trying to rid Russia of much of her cultural history and heritage. Of course, he was not completely successful and much of the old Russia remained, especially outside of St Petersburg.
The Napoleon part of Russian history is also astonishing in its exultation, it’s compelling act of restructuring, on the part of Napoleon who would not have the same analytical sense of the land he sought to conquer that Puskhin held even greater than the Tsars and this accorded a total clash of cultural values neither religious or colonial but a federal universal purge in the fashion of Alexander the Great and many others before them.
The act of exulting; lively joy at success or victory, or at any advantage gained; rapturous delight; triumph. This is the human failure. The obtaining advantage through warfare. Triumph is a potent word. From sport to self awareness all is in gain or loss while nature dismisses all-comers.
Napoleon invades in 1812 French Emperor Napoleon was becoming annoyed with the Russians and their Tsar, Alexander I. Napoleon had placed a European-wide ban on trading with Britain, mainly because it was almost the last remaining European country that wasn’t answerable to him. But the Russians kept breaking the ban because it was bad for their own trade. So in 1812, to teach the Russians a lesson, Napoleon decided to invade.
It turned out to be a huge mistake. He hadn’t planned for the terrible road network in Russia, making progress slow. The farms didn’t grow nearly enough food to support the gigantic army of 500,000 men and 50,000 horses he had taken with him. Soon they were starving, exhausted, and ridden with disease. As a final blow, the bitter Russian winter came.While Napoleon’s and Alexander’s troops did take part in some fierce fighting, in the end the French army could not cope with the harsh Russian conditions.
Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow Credit: Universal History Archive/Getty Images
Eventually, defeated, Napoleon decided to go home to France. Before he left Moscow he set it on fire. His armies had a terrible journey home and by the time Napoleon returned to France, only a fraction of his men were left alive.
One important consequence of this invasion was that some Russians began to reject the Europeanisation that had become such a large part of Russian life since Peter the Great. They wanted to go back to their roots, and to make Russia Russian once again, rather than an imitation of a culture and history that weren’t even theirs.
Slowly and over a long period of time, Russia began to recover its own culture, heritage and style.
The 1917 Russian Revolution The Romanov dynasty came to dramatic end in 1917 under the rule of Tsar Nicholas II, through an event commonly known as the Russian Revolution.
L-R: Maria, Tsarina Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Tsar Nicholas, Anastasia and Alexei. Tsar Nicholas II was married to a German Princess called Alexandra. Together they had five children, four girls – Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia – and a much wanted son, Alexei. Nicholas was a devoted family man and he and Alexandra had a very happy marriage.
Unfortunately however, Nicholas was not a very competent Tsar. He was autocratic but lacked authority and confidence. Too often in the years before the Revolution, Nicholas made bad decisions, such as going to war with Japan in 1904 when the country could not afford it and was ill-prepared. Russia’s subsequent defeat led to riots and strikes, and in 1905, on a day now known as Bloody Sunday, demonstrators asking for changes were shot on Nicholas’ order. The Russian people were poor, hungry and dissatisfied and Russia was ripe for revolution.
In response to the growing crisis, Nicholas first reduced some of his own power by forming a government but this was not enough, and he abdicated in February 1917. A provisional government was formed but in October 1917 a man named Vladimir Lenin took advantage of the weakened state and staged a coup d’état: he took control of Russia.
Catherine Puskhin Voltaire Rousseau Here’s a thing as they pronounce now and again contradictions of their objectives. In currently historical narratives the personalities of the makers of Revolution – or the ones who recognised change as inevitable – the Religious having exposed evil and given moral guidance through various interpretations of ‘The Word’, as Russians sway to Orthodoxy, The Age of Enlightenment and the following outcomes of Democratic will manifesting. In England the King James Bible was a result of the Europeanise and the new ideology brought by Charles II and the recovery of Royal privilege in 1659 when his Europeanism brought about by compelled exile a bit like Pushkin, his thoughts had accumulated wider visions neither Puritan nor Revolutionary but liberal in universality. This is the Cosmopolitanism Orlando Fuge refers to presumably but with Turgenev came a worldly sense beyond perhaps European Enlightenment.
Catherine was also ambitious and ruthless. She dramatically expanded Russian territory in the Crimea and Ukraine, and three times invaded and partitioned Poland between neighbouring empires. Her reformism froze when the French Revolution erupted in 1789, inspired by many of the principles she had espoused, and she joined a European coalition to crush it.
Rousseau’s self destructive personal life saw the burden of the impossibility of perfection laying heavily having rejected his own children and consigning them to the Paris Foundling Hospital. This form of self destructiveness manifested in Pushkin as he floundered on the twin towers of hope and virtue. Power and Powerlessness with the ruthless Machiavelli streak The Prince again seen as humans fatal flaw. Flea bag with wings.
The strange demise of Rousseau is mystifying still. On the Public theorising he was proof of the power of ideas in placing into the domain of autocracy
Catherine the Great’s intellectual pursuits extended far beyond her collection of art. Exchanging letters over a fifteen year period with French writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire, she was spurred to bring Russia into the modern era through ideas raised by the Enlightenment and its supporters.
What is perplexing about Catherine’s relations with the Russian writers of her day – Radishchev and Denis Fonvizin in particular – is that she did not tolerate the kind of free thought practiced by her French protégées, Diderot and Voltaire.
Rousseau was a fierce enemy of Voltaire and he is not mentioned here in the history of Catherine the Greats love and embracing of French ideas. They played into her quest to involve in her project. The Greek project all of Europe so the reading of Rousseau would be bound into the philosophy around ‘The Age of French Enlightenment’.
It has been claimed that Diderot’s thought was a corner stone of the French Revolution, and while Catherine would never support such free thought in her own country, she supported Diderot financially.
To illustrate this contradiction even further, in 1790 during the French Revolution Catherine sent Radishchev into Siberian exile for 7 years after he published his travel diary A Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow which documented the problems in Russia that surrounded her reign. Alexander Pushkin, the 19th century poet, novelist and playwright, was highly critical of Radishchev’s text, claiming that it did not comply with the poetics of narodnost’ – populism.
Catherine seems to be trying to save her image and legacy to force into the Russian psyche thoughts of a broad Europe.
Yet when we look at the content of Rasdishchev’s Journey today we see that Pushkin’s judgment is unfounded. Radishchev’s book is indeed an encyclopaedia of Russian life of the time. Pushkin’s evaluation may have been prompted by the censorship conditions of absolutism which prevailed after Catherine the Great in unmitigated form, demonstrating the impact of Catherine’s rule on not only Russian writers of her own time, but subsequently as well.
Pascal had written another book for the Church after Pensées he formed another view which liberated him from dogmatic theory. He denounced Christianity by His Vers Libre on mathematics and science reasoning he went towards parthenogenesis and being separate from the need to believe one thing or the other. This magical delusion was Pascals downfall. It meant his best thoughts were not received by the populist and staggeringly they are still there even plays we have not seen or heard of all trapped in a bibliographic cemetery. The mocking tones of the authors seen preeminent like Voltaire were very often favoured due to the splendid cloak they gave to Royalty such as Catherine the Great. Delusion is a wonderful thing Pascal thought. His anti-religious thoughts were consistent with the well known maxim, it is better to believe, just in case. Pyrrhonism of living by thought is a paradox sent to sleep and put asunder by scepticism lent by the creator. That creator is the author of all and us.
Seeing the nothingness of belief in it’s unconquerable reason and the formed reality faced of war and dreadful outcomes for the earth’s inhabitants killing to survive among animals and complacency the compact only civilisation can construct to alleviate pain.
Not to question the religious life but know nothing of the other religious life is a nerveless position. The truth is beyond recognition but it’s invisible cloak surrounds and makes us alive.
The Ulster Museum is Home to the Courtauld Institute owned Female Nude 1916 by Modigliani for several months and is currently on display on Level 4. until Oct 28 2018.
In 1916 Amedeo Modigliani made his mark on the roll call of innovative painters and artists by discovering for himself a means of reaching beyond the normal day to day portrayal of figures and in observing their forms and persona. His breakthrough was immense and it presided alongside other expressionist painters as signalling their forging of a method of seeing which hitherto had been associated with the primitive art of African or Tribal representation, themselves suggestions of nation or people in the essence of their existence, in the moment to be taken as informative of them and the way they saw themselves.
There were several parallel ongoing pursuits of these ‘laws of lawless art.’ The extent to which Modigliani was alone in achieving a breakthrough of this magnitude is a debate matching infinity. Races singled out the line and drew on walls or on pottery, or paper symbols of the most interesting thing around them, themselves. The human shape and deportment became a goal of self realisation and the life force found was firstly lent in these simple lines as a record alongside animals and adornments while they often were seen sans clothes or with few garments. It became their projection and mirror.
Beyond the Western ideal and sanctuary of patronage and mostly hierarchal societal record including the religious there was a necessary alteration by the twentieth century, of placing a fresh editorial gaze on the act of seeing humans and how they inhabit a picture throwing new light literally on the viewers perceived recited notions of self and arts role in life. Some later exponents went beyond this as indeed did the practioners themselves. Picasso became an obsessive and many would say a misogynist which is see often in his work.
F. E. McWilliam’s Gallery Banbridge Co. down. Glass cabinet image.
The precious object that is Modigliani Female nude 1916 is in a small room of the Ulster Museum for a short period and the high Victorian windows are draped partially with protective white cloth filtering the streams of daylight found illuminating the pictures within. The filter works and the natural light is subdued. The daylight lamps of the artificial supplementary light is carefully graded in its presence allowing the vivid colour and individuality of this work to convey its communicative self to the viewer. Many have been and return to see it time and again because there is no solitary promised answer in reading the painting and it is continually rich in its candid figurative depiction.
You can see a window reflected in the glass protection of the painting top left.
Other paintings such as the O’Brien do not have glass only canvas and paint between it and the viewer.
What is seen is a figure of a female regards but not regarding by returning a look. She is in a pose which neither is common or contrived. The purpose of line is a first engagement this painter makes with his model figure. She is neither a form meant to reveal a representative body or shape of a female but is a woman whose occupation or purpose is to lead the painter towards the aim of finding a means of conveying more than the body as a form but to imbibe an essence of a human who happens to have the appealing form of a woman in her full force of life.
Woman’s Head. Artist:Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, Livorno 1884–1920 Paris)
Dimensions:26 7/8 × 6 1/4 × 9 1/2 in. (68.3 × 15.9 × 24.1 cm)
Weight: 75 lb. (34 kg), Classification:Sculpture
Credit Line:The Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1997
By the time Modigliani has reached this point in his life he has tried his first love, sculpture but like many artists before him it did not lend him its mystery to enable his thoughts to come out in those three dimensions.
In 1909, after meeting Constantin Brancusi, Modigliani began to produce sculptures by carving into stone, completing about twenty-five works throughout his short career. The style of these abstracted, elongated heads is echoed in his subsequent figure and portrait paintings. Fittingly, this particular head, with its strong connection to African sculpture, was originally owned by the American artist and African art collector Frank Burty Haviland. Haviland lived in France and Modigliani became familiar with his collection. In addition to African art, Modigliani’s sculptures reflect his knowledge of ancient Cycladic, Sumerian, Egyptian, and Greek art. Met Museum text.
The Romanian Brancusi was a favourite and revered friend of Modigliani and the connection is not lost in the application of visual effects as one is now finding the essence of his work accessed through the simple device of line on one plane.
Simple it maybe but it is incalculably intimate in its dynamic.
The piece is regarded as having an unorthodoxy in art taking it back to the primordial instinctive throwback beyond the renaissance and challenged th mores of the world of patronage of the arts while taking out the sensuous and sexualised component and objective servile diminished role played elements often seen band depicted previously in the horizontal form that feminine objectivity Picasso had shown ‘the regard as thief of the jewels of womanhood in his Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Painting by Pablo Picasso and aPhoto by David Bailey
That regard in Les Demoiselles d’Avignon being sent back with spades to the viewer looking into the collective as a band of protective women creating a homogeneous foil and asking questions of the one who seeks insight of them/selves.
At the age of 35 Amedeo Modigliani became the victim of Tuberculosis and died following his earlier periods of poor health. With his frailty he was occupied in hiding the illnesses he had succumbed to by the apparent act of concealment through drug abuse and alcoholism. In order to appear as someone whose outward demeanor may have been taken as a consequence of the behaviours of alcohol and drug consumption among his fellow artists he nevertheless was in a worse state of decline than those afflictions might have has on him. He was know as a poetic and romantic womanizer with his personality and health possibly driving him to those distractions.
In the models flesh tones are seen the blue faint covering of the ground where his technique has built up, through modifications and layers, a semi transparency as flesh is seen damaged and slightly coarse having it seems been achieved by hard bristles and Amedeo stabbing and stippling of the bodies fleshy tones. It is not overly done as the blue tinges are apparent beneath. Also the belly is raised by the luminousity of a white globe of her stomach giving another view and state of fecundity.
White is found in the left arm in the elbow crevice and I took that to signify and it probably is not!, vitiligo as the meaning of her vulnerable working body might be found lacking in minerals and vitamins out of a poor diet. A kind of symbolism entering. Then there are other ‘marks’ and these are widely accepted, as the appear in the lower parts of the painting due to studio carelessness.
They add, do not detract from the vitality and energy coming through the painting. This is itself a derivation of a style which an artist displaying his continued and unsettled enjoyment of his own work is temporarily in a state of transition and wondering where on the next canvas abrushes mark should be made.
The production of his ‘muse’ through this nude figure is strikingly provocative in that it undermines the stasis and unsettles by its uncompromising frankness and the perfect non sexual overtones but the strength of the woman’s body as human strongly over arching the whole of the notion of ourselves as species.
How extraordinarily perceptive and resolved this work has become in complete conflict with its dynamic and continual motion and emotional projection. This surely must have been a component in Amedeo‘s sense of himself as an artist despite his longing to be a sculptor he had reached further than his peers and created a new radicalism in acceptance of flawed beauty in painting.
There is undoubtedly life in this painting after its seemingly resolved completion. It disowns tranquility, it abhors looking as a sexualised object, it resents the act of being regarded, it shows its point of belonging in human form. There seems to be an act disassociated of itself from its locality in the composed space by the organisation of the blue ground which in the higher part is more consistent and less disturbed than the lower segment implying a wall and floor where the red couch is protected in a vague white soiled sheet just visible beneath the buttocks of the model and affording some protection in its placement.
My sketch pastel begins! A2. The next stage is at the foot.
The Painting & Paint colour
What if it were a drawing and without ‘colour’? I imagined it as firstly about the act of line drawing which it has a distinctive attribute. Then I posited the thought that ‘colour’ is only an embellishment. The rendering to produce light and share dynamics. This is a very wrong attitude with which to approach it.
The form of light and shadows is fully realised, in black and white by modern photographers such as one who put this above all other considerations, David Bailey.
The conquest is seeing what the light produces but Bailey’s work is akin to drawing, being in black and white. Here in this painting the evolution from the line element takes many side moves. The hair in the left is seen having been taken in, maybe a bulk of hair existed formerly and was painted back; it certainly appears that way, to effect the outlines flow rather than truly represent it and the right hand, possibly present and visible at one point, is kept hidden to achieve the flow of the line.
Then there is the mystery or discarding of a primary light point. There is only the front universal point of light which negates reasoning as to where shadow is found. The paint itself is the shading element and it’s texture the convenience delivered by brush marks and of a sharp gouging effected in the hair for example giving that plural feeling of it having neither a source but being in sculptural form a third dimension advancing with movement. Under a kind of universal light.
Perfectly flawed it is a hard act to follow and this is as I opined earlier a feature I believe which gave impetus and cause for Amedeo to produce further and more challenging work.
The maturity of the return to painting in a further simplified and reduction of marks is seen in his later work as he is vexed by the ‘treatments’ and beautiful wonderous lines of centuries before and the earlier, the more profound, its own examination rewarded him in discovery.
A year or so ago I wrote this on the predicament of the model whose anonymity is transparent as she is neither the object of the completed work nor a character assumed from the past. The aloneness and emptiness is striking now when I think of the Modigliani pursuit of his art when consumed by this painting.
Some negative aspects relating to the curation.
If there are some criticisms of the room and it’s interpretation of the lineage and common approaches to be made, it is the use of very tenuous art held by the Gallery in its own collection as a stark contrasting difference. The delivery is failing in many places. Using the ‘theme’ of the model is the route taken, not the act of the mark and the line. The servile component of life modeling is a trope and not what the painting is primarily about. Ratifying it by using a ‘portrait’ by a local artist even a twentieth century one is laying claim to small connections. So what if the artist in the glass mosaic is featured herself within the work shown?
Being in the work as model is neither near or revelatory in the nakedness sense giving a threadbare tribute? To artists, imagined scoping is outside the context and in fact a distraction of quite harmful presence. There is in the ‘life model’ comparisons, only one showing the contrast between a vertical nude and horizontal nude; the latter being the previous approach taken all through and since the renaissance. A wandering connection again is made and it is a mighty problematic one, conflicting and not a complementary distraction.
In the O’Brien Life model with a barely visible child, as with the laundry woman, there is no substantive connection whatsoever in setting it alongside, in the room as a ‘relief’ of emphasis or anything else. An allusion is taken in respect of ‘women in 1918’ which is quite facile and out of kilter with the main work. This phenomenon goes back centuries and still exists. It is wholly utilised in this way I find, because of what the UM has in its collection and is clutching at straw metaphors.
The best thing to do is to ignore the room’s additional works and concentrate on the immensity of the work and avoid this distracting padding. The abstraction of colour and choices made to effect a flow had gone missing in all other work. I found myself sketching one, the face below for example, merely to find the quality of line. I also looked at the effect of a pastel line drawing on blue paper to see the effect of the colours magic within the painting and it is obvious the line and oil is a combination which is spectacularly successful here because of it’s transparency, luminosity, roughness and eveness in parts as handled and dispersed here.
It ended up as this. I believe the reason it became so different and colour, which is such an incredible thing to realise in seeing the actual painting with the blue and flesh tones coming out at you from the canvas means it needed something entirly different in approach when using something other than oil paint. This is pastel on an A3 size pastel textured blue sheet.
Science is made fiction and the body is altered. In the NI Science Festival a co-operative installation by Rachel Steinberg of SOHO20 Gallery Brooklyn is commissioned by The Naughton Gallery Belfast to produce the exhibition Speculative Skins. Known in the festival under the title Science Fiction and the Body it explores the boundaries of ‘where does a body end and a piece of technology begin’. I found one piece in particular engrossing and integral in the open thought bringing those boundaries which are constantly under revision as our potential futures are explored by art investigations in media, propositions of artists in music word and the visual arts, while along with scientists bring new meanings and alterations to our perceptions. The exhibition is supported by The British Council.
It is itself. The artist. From Orgasmic Exhalation Device for Body Spray #11 (2014), Amanda Turner Pohan recorded her CO2 emissions during orgasm and used the data collected to algorithmically compose a formula for scent – a perfume that is wafted into a space periodically through an atomizer. Using the same data she plotted a form to print with a CNC@ router the physical body Orgasmic Exhalation Form #01 (2014).
The form occupies a Gallery space as a body might. Onto the Gallery wall beneath shared text of four lovers conversations found on google are adhered. The wall is grey. For Amanda Turner Pohan this replaces the components of our own stand-ins for the body, self-consciously attempting to synthesize a formula for human empathy, that even the best of our current technology can’t quite master.
With the distance between the two spaces – the one it resides in, in New York and this Naughton Gallery installation, curator Rachel Steinberg came up with the idea of the projection presented on the Gallery Wall as an active moving image floating over the text and the emitting Orgasmic Exhalation Device for Body Spray #11 (2014) which is not a substitute but a transfiguration of the concept. It when seen in conjunction with the atomizing device creates a distinctive correlation. The atomistic choice with the projection is almost to a transuding state. The tenuous relation is very apposite. A body is acting in the space and this is the figure raised and floating in as a projection in space. I likened it to a future state where the body is capable of space travel without a protection and the/our ‘speculative skin’ is developed to withstand the elements of space and take the cubist form and then develop the instruments of our dexterity when summoned.
Atomic signals possess us and this installation is miraculously astute. It has a synthesis of elements composed to bring down, breakdown structures from their complex abstraction as entities to a body which in the true sense of legacy similar to Picasso and masters of the cubist collage and self figurative genre would call pictorial self analysis. Here the artist is present in more ways than one. It is a beautiful piece of art in every sense. The assembly is from an orgasm and height of excitation intense and female. For both male and female it is release. One both giving. There is a reassurance in the act of future spoken. When one happens in the presence of another the conjoining is a unity of purpose over and above the physical spasms of its engagement. The artist expresses like hot milk a olfactory stimulus.
The work is part of a series delving into the self. From her perspective Amanda Turner Pohan asks many questions of the reality of our lives and the future we patrol and expect through exploring the limits and boundaries and pushing them out in separated forms awaiting their return as something reconfigured. The series is know as The Signals are Caressing us. The accompanying exhibition literature (italicized) explains the body’s complicated relationship to technology is her source material. Other works digital and physical are extensions of the themes.
Using present materials as they are on our and the artists journey of utilization the work is contemporary reality. The simple forms of chemistry are bold and defining. To this synthesis Amanda Turner Pohan seeks to unfold her continued speculative encounter with in creating further work some of which can be seen at the originating gallery.
The eyes are sharp and clear. Blue and perceptive. This is an encounter of introspection. You cannot explain the world in metaphors. You can see it though for what it is or is not. The imagination is your strongest ally. From where it came only your atomic composition of phosphate and deoxyribose. The explosive actions inside you of this miraculous helix of dna is what drives each of us and collaborates to creating a being. Amanda Turner Pohan is a practioner of the exploration on the edge of discoveries made known through her incisive clawing into the self awareness which makes u# identify as somehow spirits in transition. Awareness is to regard the self as a simple helix form from which to evaluate all other entities. By taking chemicals and enclosing them in a liquid the container is fed a tube and it exhales and gathers in from its presence as we do. Our presence is engineered by our gathering techniques and by our exhilarations.
The simplest form which profoundly touched me was the image of a body form which had itself been edited back to a point where it remained recognisable as limbed breasted form like a woman in an anthropomorphic state. I live next to a former bakery. It must be nearly eighty years since last made bread but I see and sense it’s past life. The energy of others resides inside and it resting like a process of manufacturing awaiting its recall. The people who made bread have moved on and others take on the task elsewhere. This function is therefore displaced and the building awaits repurposing. It is not empty but vacant. The Bakery in Brooklyn is where Amanda Turner Pohan shows her work and collaborations. Consciousness expels from the rooms of the repurposed Bakery. It’s food is nutrients for all to imbibe. You will not eat it but will consume it. Not in a materialistic fashion but as spiritual nourishment.
The grey carpet ‘receptor’.
Our society has this duality of materialism. The lotus on the water is separate but recognisable as difference. Combinations are sent to us in the bakery we visit to feed our lives. In this space the artist has found something for us to see and experience. A sightless person can have the surroundings described to them, a deaf person can feel the vibrations and sense the place as we cannot. On the floor of The Bakery is a the white anthropomorphic form I see as cubist reality. It is still but in the transport of the idea to the Naughton Gallery here in Belfast it’s projected as a floating digital image onto a nineteenth century university wall. The wall bounds The Great Hall and beneath is the colonnade which keeps the rain off its visitors for the grand occasions in its calendar. In it Presidents and Queens, Senators and Religious leaders have been. The white spirit of the anthropomorphic shape spirals on the wall oblivious to the past accolades it now surmounts.
Form takes precedence over notions of form. The cubist reality was a symbolic stripping back of form striving to distill the watery world we occupy. The fluidity of essences are sought and combined with allegory and space shifting determinism. The form I see floating on the wall is much more than this unsettling presence and is without any external attachment when I view it. The attachments would come later. Instead it is transportive. It has layers in its movement which halt and talk of its otherness. It is a piece which is cubist in every sense. It is an evolving piece also. It allows the medium to give you another dimension through its movement and gentle soliloquy like a ballet in space. The artist of this is conscious of the newness of the relocation by means other than its physical presence. It is after all back in Brooklyn a three dimensional object. There it is similarly venerated and casting out senses of its organised form.
Here it conveys passage and future. Where the spaceships of Star Wars and science fiction remain harnessed to familiar tropes this object speaks of other things. Instead of a protecting shell the body is itself protection as if in a future world travel will be as humans in an anthropomorphic vessel which when required and elegantly, from its cubist shape, evolve the dexterity fingers to touch feel and caress, hold other things. The mind itself within the shell of its form – unlike the pod capsules of Altered Carbon – carries memory and learning and skills forward in a peaceful receptivity. The way the work conspires to throw ideas out is both alarming and satisfying in a way that is beyond the measure o& its parts. That itself is metamorphosis of some kind as art. How can art convey such things time after time. Like an antelope in a cave painting it is meant to be nourishing – for the artist and the viewer.
Today’s modernity is stated here and it is projecting more than a cave painting as criticism is since Aristotle and probably further back, as art it is subject to diverse opinion and thought.
Braque and others created the form of cubist art and a local Irish Artist Mainie Jellet -Death of Procis shown here (below), also created in her work interpretations via. very methodical line graphs and preparatory drawings – much the same as the collection of data to form the piece here dealt with.
Mainie Jellet -Death of Procis
This is a ‘new’ age renaissance kind of work as it puts up our future kind for us as conjecture with meanings and an infinite range of imaginings. I see it as a symbol of the human in the future as a continuing evolving entity capable of reinvention and containing all pasts. The chemical composition of your atomic composition of phosphate and deoxyribose will be taken away an reconfigured as memory which is laden with crossed out errors and the empathetic result is forging frontiers beyond out wildest imaginations. Perhaps even as an earth world no longer in existence except as new stars and elemental dust particles. The richness of art presently is to be seen and appreciated for its presenting us with such imponderables.
This work has much more to convey and is one I have still not reached the apogee of.
From The Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto
I. The Village of St Ovide
”For Sun and Moon supply their conforming masks, but in this hou4 of civil twilight all must wear their own faces.”
“ ‘Show me, dear Christ, thy spouse, so bright and clear.’ “ (Donne)
“ ‘Here is the shadow of truth, for only the Shadow is true.” ((Warren)
from chapter 6.
. . . If we propose
A large-sculptured, platonic person,
free from time,
And imagine for him the speeech he
A form, then, protected from the battering, May
Mature: A capable being may re-
Dark horse and walker walking rap-
“The Pure Good of Theory”
Speculative Skins is on at The Naughton Gallery from Thursday 15 February through to Sunday 25 February 2018. May extend. Hours 11am to 4.00pm (closed mondays) and features artists Loney Abrams & Johnny Stanish / Salome Asega & Ayodamola Okunseinde / Brice Dellsperger / Nora Khan & Steven Warwick / Son Kit / Katie Skelly / Naoko Takeuchi / Amanda Turner Pohan / Katie Torn
Director and Screenwriter Emer Reynolds. Camera (color, widescreen, HD): Kate McCullough. Editor: Tony Cranstoun. Music: Ray Harman. Duration 2hrs 1min. Genre. Film feature Documentary. Completed 2016. Ireland. Rating PG.
A Crossing the Line production, in association with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, The Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán Na héireann, in co-production with ZDF, in cooperation with Arte, BBC, RTE, PBS. Distributed by Abramorama. Producer: John Murray, Clare Stronge. Executive producers: John Rubin, Keith Potter, Sean B. Carroll, Dennis Liu.
The Farthest – Worlds away
How do you tell a complex story? This film achieves it by following the most precious measure of all. Time. They do it chronologically. From the launch within two weeks of each other in August 1977 to today forty years of knowledge has been accumulated giving us insights and tools needed to survive. In providing an extraordinary and educational insight to the Voyager Missions, the Irish Writer, Director, Emer Reynolds propels the viewer through an array of adventures in space, planet to planet. It is the story of Voyager 1 which set off second to Voyager 2 and soon went by its slower less functional twin, into our Solar system, setting a course for the Planets in a mission, confined in planning, to visit with no stopover, Jupiter, Saturn but by the technical and intellectual thrust of the missions authors and controllers, succeeded in going on further with some deft reprogramming to Uranus and onward to the 4th gas planet Neptune. Voyager 1 apparently is 12 billion miles away currently though you would need to check with NASA to be accurate.
Each journey on flight was a discovery beyond the NASA teams wildest expectations. Even now in this film the achievement is under appreciated. The team participants – descriptions, titles of their respective roles are displayed, are telling the story in screened interviews, talking heads with brains planet size, while often emoting humuorously with visually amazement of what in meant and now means. Eyes are popping in aghast of some telling a story.
On “The Farthest” Emer Reynolds explains: “We wanted to speak to a general audience, not just super science geeks like myself.” It is enhanced by his structure, honed while writing it and the steady intuitive grace of Kate McCullough’s excellent cinematography. As you might imagine the photography at cinema screen 4K interpolated, from 2K is stacked full of outstanding display of the NASA images. We see a computer – like Excel infant – table frequently and it looks like a child’s bookmark. The layout is 1. A box with a picture in it. Top tag header is VG1 and across Saturn or whichever it relates to. Beside that image 2. are two small boxes one on top of the other giving a ‘wav’ – radio wavelength file – of the incoming signals which are transported to the first box as images. This is rudimentary but this is what we or the boffins/brains in Building 102 gets back from that distant small object which punches out extrodinary visions which are packed full of information it will take years to analyse wth much future help expected via. AI.
The Golden Record
Look and Learn
The last photographic signals we know that will come from Voyager are back here on earth. The vessel carries on with radiosignals returning information of it going ever more distant at a speed of 10 miles per second through interstellar space. Going Farthest. The science is laid out here in a layman terms but you require and are pulled into it by the – if you had been paying attention to the story so far – the what happens next fix. Jeopardy exists everywhere. In the beginning was a Government, in the beginning there was a budget. Then they had to recruit the best minds to build it from its concept, inception, a vessel with three enormous arms that would unfold once through the Asteroid belt, like a lotus flower exploring the sky and seeking its life from beneath in the mineral mix of its own body and payload – the Human representing the nutrients – to the light it engages with as energy for the Sun our own life source.
The vessel is like a brain and inside it is what is called the Golden Record. This gets a lot of airtime and coverage mainly due to the fact journalists and non-geeks love to know how Johnny Be Good will be accepted and appreciated in the far of extra-terrestrial zone Voyager ventures into. It is literally a half speed long playing record with boxed alongside a stylus and IKEA kit diagram of operating instructions without words. In order that we keep with the complexity, as the film continues, short paragraphs appear and extend, dissolve as something needs clarified in the written word. The big picture paragraphs the author has highlighted above the spoken word. When the unexplained happens language requires stillness and read. There are no excuses or reasons why this film cannot fill the void of knowledge of non-geeks as those who have been ask to put their own words to their part of it advance thoughts which have been gathere, been dissected, altered and polished in their heads for forty odd years. It is full of stimulating beautiful phraseology and delivered with enormous gravitas while being so matter of fact about it which it clearly emphatically is.
I interrupt this message
To any alien species Voyager could seem like, it is just a container of entrails, maybe of a body the vessel itself might seem only the outer form of an inner wonder. It is animal like though one scientist will not allow himself to anthropomorphise the Voyagers 1 and 2. Maybe the ‘encountered’ will have destroyed Voyager 1 as it is taken to be itself alien. Then in its coat tails along comes another. Voyager 2 which ‘they/it’ we haven’t been introduced properly, might be less antagonistic to Craft 2 and take it for what it is – a vessel of minerals constructed and assembled of the earths finest skills, put together back in 1977 symbolic of our progress since inhabiting the earth. The Golden Record is an ambiguous pictorial and written record. Not available through Amazon or other outlets. It is unlikely it contains war or weaponry photos though one photograph is of a human stalking an animal with a spear. No images of the Gamehunter slaying a tiger or Elephant form the back of a Land Rover Discovery or other SUV on their holidays. Only one quote will go down here in this review – and only part – ‘if they even have heads!’ which obviously is regarding the unknown destiny.
The Golden Record is our message apparently of our place in the universe diagrammatically configured with the known universe laid out in a linear diagram.
It is this composition of Earths minerals and knowledge which will travel beyond our time and earths time into the interstellar universe of possibilities. As the naysayers preceding Galileo/Copernicus’s theories may have had it, requiring modification of the Bible. (Galileo Galilei) 1564–1642, the Italian physicist only partially solved the solar systems behaviours. Voyager on the other hand could come to the crunch as it hits a wall of termination and its progress it halted with the unknown on the other side multiples of billions, trillions, in a world away outside our Solar system. Quantum physics tells us Neutrons pass through us and the globe is transmutable while the electron exchanges we only glimpse, possess us in our temporality. They engage and construct us and we are each separate assemblies of their manifestations.
Much is given over in the film to the reasoning and compilation of this and many conjectures, as it is the missions task to learn and then inform of our limited time as a planet. 5 million years left!
Voyagers power is tiny in comparison to the surrounding atmospheres. The reach of its plutonium powered lights are on a trajectory taking it further than the 2 billion miles, 3 billion at Neptune, it has put between us and its current location. Outer outer space is where it has gone. That is known as the interstellar cosmos. As Galileo once redefined our vision, so this tiny Voyager full of the modern technology available in April 1977, is on a mysterious journey. It is the mysterious traveller those wonderkids of the seventies thought would provide new possibilities they Part imagined and described as of the infinite kind. The achievement went to the boundaries of their dreams and beyond their expectations of its capacity to enlighten. Light is emitted from the battery but the darkness it enters is dense and un-encountered and it no longer is live.
Part of the understanding developed with Big Bang theory is that everything has Big energy (dark matter) passing through it. Neutrons bouncing through us and everything else. The darkness of space is an energy unknown but ultimately our survival is reliant – other than the human self-destruct button of climate and a habitable world being activated – appears as a possibility of being in reach of accessing its mystery.
Voyager is this composition of Earths minerals and knowledge which will travel beyond our time and earths time into the universe of possibilities. All 735kg approx of it.
Its progress if not halted with the unknown on the other side multiples of billions, trillions, of a world away outside our universe it could inform again. The intuition of it recalibratingbis already charted. For humans to conceptualists the earth there has been scientists such as the late, unique and contributing scientist, Carl Sagan. His son is a frequent visitor and contributor to the story telling. His contexturalisation of what we see is the most convincing made and does not tolerate high blown speculation.
Something’s are beyond us
The scientists insist frequently that the Voyagers will be the only record of us beyond our extinction. They have set up an experiment to find out the composition of the nearest gas planets and then find themselves looking at the bigger philosophical questions to fill the outskirts of their mind. The talk of sling shots, meaning mathematical continuance of the voyage, was decided upon by careful planning. Each trajectory is explained in detail with never imaged results we can access through this film. Yet it is on to the next discovery. Each scientist explains and though the press conferences at each ‘staging’ post for public consumption is populated it seems, by mainly if not exclusively, men whereas the imbalance is treated by Emer Reynolds in the inclusion of very well informed women whose life work this also is. Imagining Science is an institute contributing and currently relaying information openly about the mission and while the journey goes on the small in the big gets smaller as more miles are travelled.
There is a juncture when the Voyager team all turn to the Challenger Mission. On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after take-off and killed seven astronauts. It was the 25th shuttle launch since NASA started service in 1981. For the first time a teacher was a member of the crew. Christa McAuliffe had won a contest against thousands of other teachers. When they speak of it and Voyager is without that human element, the scientist loose their capacity for coherent language, one for example who can’t think straight, said of TV coverage, ‘replaying the event over and over again repeatedly.’
The Voyager mission was constructed by Caltech Engineering and Applied Science Department of Aerospace (GALCIT) with the context of origami a filed attribute. Based in Pasadena California – where two weeks ago the indomitable and beautiful human in her 84th year, Julie Newar attended her Catcon 2017 ahead of her birthday – as sublime as ever. She never made it as an image onto the spacecraft so remains hidden. That is the history post Homers Odyssey of time travel with a return in mind of a feline leveller of our naivety played for laughs and adventure escapism. After lift off and landing on the moon another generation of escape was projected onto screens but none so realistic or measured as what this film documentary delivers, even if it is only on the flat fourth wall.
This object, as google will tell you, is The Voyager spacecraft weight, including hydrazine, at launch was 815 kg or about 1797 pounds. It was almost the weight and size of a sub-compact car. The current approximate weight of Voyager 1 is 733 kg and Voyager 2 is 735 kg. This was launched with the computer power of a car key fob and before the internet on which you can see the stars projected to your LED lit screen form NASAs data.
On the Golden Record their is one side of music. A collection made within six weeks of launch comprises recordings from such diverse places as Zaire, India, Mexico, China, Japan, and an Indian raga from native America one of many. On the space shuttle set up using decommissioned ballistic missiles, the film shows the words United States of America as a tiered advert for earth consumption. After the asteroid belt this is thankfully gone. Maybe a small Stars and Stripes lurks on the body of the craft. A message might have come back – What does United mean? – otherwise.
Voyager has a brain and is minded to correct anomalies. When perplexed at its own behaviors it goes back to the manual, the data programmed within it which has failsafes and parameters and extraneous what devices built in. It is more reliable than our own manual the Bible and contains only logical prognosis. Metaphor is out. By doing a reset it has survived numerous times. When launched it literally had birth pains as it – didn’t enter the world but entered space. If you imagine sitting on the outside of Voyager what you would se would be changing infinitely. If you looked then at what you were sitting on as a reference point it would be the familiar and static. The spacecraft itself and its unavoidable familiarity. Space cannot be weighed and densities are gravitational forces we cannot see or gauge in space yet Voyager is clean and clear of collision simply because of the unlikelihood of it ever colliding with any ‘thing’. What is realisable is that in, as one scientist puts it the chances of a collision are fifty years of a billion years, the chance of collision amounts to just that. Latin speaks otherwise. Tempus Edac Rerum – Time devours all things.
The revelations from incoming data has put into visual context and most ‘gratifyingly’ reaffirms that all our known minerals exist in space. What is also very apparent is that they obey in kind, gravitational forces. In two for example : The Great Red Spot is a persistent zone of high pressure, producing an anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter, 22° south of the equator. It has been continuously observed for 187 years, since 1830. Also it conforms to a circular gravitas as an amorphous cloud of greater density as does the other clear example, making it no coincidence, the Great White Spot, also known as Great White Oval, on Saturn, named by analogy to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, are periodic storms that are large enough to be visible by telescope from Earth by their characteristic white appearance. The spots can be several thousands of kilometers wide.
The Cassini orbiter was able to track the 2010-2011 instance of the storm, also known as the Northern Electrostatic Disturbance because of an increase in radio and plasma interference, or the Great Springtime Storm. What is read into that is our connectivity and when Carl Sagan asked as Voyager 1 was about to go beyond – to + 0.00.00 our time, and penetrate the globule which surrounds us and every gas planet a request to turn the camera around and position the spacecraft in a location to look back at the entire distance of its journey. When it was initially rejected by the Jet Propulsion Agency for one, he went as far as he could to achieve that and did. What is shown is extremely and of the most significant image probably ever taken. A selfie of ourselves as a planet n space. Then it left the globe of atmosphere the our universe exists in and continued as a straight line not like a mouse, (very short sighted, see Nature.com Through the eyes of a mouse) Voyager goes blind into space without hugging the skirting around the big room, it carries on with faith in the humanity that propelled it in a straight unfettered and unending line. When it reaches a border and is asked Where do you think your going? it will have some time working out how to to reply.
Emer Reynolds. Juis sui en RockStar Writer Director.
Space is spectacular and it is Voyager 1- 2 that conveys new discoveries of that wonder, all from the vessels trailing through space at 10 miles per second. Seeing this enormous subject in a Cinema adds a vital level of understanding. Even then the images are only shorthand for reality. Only around 735 kg, these craft are continuing now, on their own, with 2 trailing way behind. As there is no clue so far, movie discusses, we don’t know if we are ‘alone’ in the universe and if anything exists in a time experience – back to that great utterance – ‘even if they have heads’ in the pathway of it on a fantastic journey which is described beautifully with an easy to follow chronological narrative. It is told by the people who put the mission together and those who maintain contact and analysis of it speaking back to us. I described how the data arrives, the grid ‘Excel’ like boxes and the narrative it tells is from simple zeros and ones interpreted by spectroscopes and out come images in astounding detail of the composition of the Gas planets it has encountered. The majesty of a human constructed instrument, which if alien life encountered seems now more like a foreign object – an animal with eyes, the cameras tilting 26 and 200mm lenses on their arm, the plutonium charger which is the heartbeat and energy source and the strange antenna which talks back to the folk at home.
It is a spectacularly effective insight to our world and Solar system.
The film is relaying – ‘special effects’ get a credit – projections of space travel but the vast majority of the film involves telling the story through contemporaneous images of the assembly, launch, public updates and the teams descriptions of what it all means at least potentially. The special effects utilised – it is so smooth an edit – are where I think the fly by digitally generated flights, which come in over the top of the frame and sail sublimely into an ocean of stars with the Voyager seen clearly with its unmoving unshifting composite self , travelling as that mysterious traveller obedient to its final instruction in finding, orbiting, the planets, instructed from within, then setting a new course to another, to the point where it goes beyond the globe protection of the planet Neptune. That point is where all presence of it diminishes. It is there now in another vast space journeying in a straight line for possibly (in terms of) billions of years. The other factor informing theory is the formation of this expanding universe. The talk of black holes at the formation of ‘multi-verse’ cosmos has an ‘event horizon’ commonly interpreted – at the boundary around a black hole on and within which no matter or radiation can escape. Where the beginning and end is is unknown and even the question of them being the same point is what the film explores as a philosophical aspect of these discoveries. For thousands of years the conjectures have been gathered by Astrologers informing our lives. I have put a footnote which I hope expresses a nod to the ancient mariners of the Stars who stimulated all these participates interest in their own valued exploration.
Our knowledge is being acquired at a very fast rate. One hundred years of information and discovery in the 20th century is equivalent to the acquisition of the same quantity/qualities ty of discoveries made in as little as 12 years or even less. That is to say what was learnt in 100 years is now learnt in a tenth of that period and that is also being compressed. The time it takes to discover things is itself reaching an apogee where we will be funtioning through reasoning taught via. artificial intelligence.
The next world altering discovery is very close.
The film has a dedication in the closing titles to Rhea Strong Fanning.
31 August 2017
On at Queens Film Theatre from Friday 1 September through to and including Thursday 14 September 2017. There are exceptions when there will be no screening on either Sunday 10, Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13.
The 6.00pm screening on Mon 4 Sept will be followed by a Q&A with director Emer Reynolds.
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Mankind has come a long way. For more than two thousand years the sky has been laid out in a Planisphere of the heavens. The Planets names themselves speak to us in those radiant perpetual homilies stimulating inspiration beyond us. The sky is in mankinds eye a cast of astrological myths laid out in constellations. I have extracted (from The Witness of the Stars E.W.Bullinger) the interpretation given in the astrologers from Albumazer, Ulugh Beigh whose Arab astronomy laid out the principality taken on by Greek astronomers and more modern sciences.
The Sign Leo. (The Lion) note. The Lion is a maternal animal. Messiahs consummated triumph.
Here we come to the end of the circle. We began with Virgo,(1) and we end with Leo. Belfast one who has followed our interpretation can doubt that we have here the solving of the Riddle of the Sphinx. For its Head is Virgo and its Tail is Leo!
In Leo we reach the end of the revelation as inspired in the word of God; and it is the end as written in Hea the heavens.
Bailly (Astronomy) says, “The Zodiac must have first divided when the Sun at the first Summer solstice was in the first (degree) Virgo, where the woman mans head joins the Lions tail”.
(1) Virgo. The Sign Virgo. (Coma as it is also called – is referred to in some texts as the coming of Jesus under the Star of Bethlehem.) The Promised Seed of the the woman.
Here is the commencement of all prophecy in Gen. iii 15, spoken to the serpent :-” I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed : it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise His heel”” …….. it lies at the root of all the ancient traditions and mythologies, which are simply the perversion of corruption of primitive truth. Virgo is represented as a woman with a branch in her right hand , and some ears of corn in her left hand. Thus giving a two fold testimony of the Coming One.
Everyone has a piece of the Stars and are in their own constellation.
So it’s apparent the Stars as first seen and interpreted were based on quasi religious affiliation. With superstitious though nevertheless philosophically imaginative and therefore believable to the ‘faithful’ followers of Astronomy the guides are still with us as is the mystery.
Director Julia Ducournau Writer Julia Ducournau Stars Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurent Lucas, Joana Preiss, Bouli Lanners, Marion Vernoux.
Jean-Louis Sbille as the professor Rating 18. Duration 1h 39m Genres Drama, Horror.
Probing the flesh
Raw is War in tooth and claw. Red is cinemas greatest asset in showing in glorious technicolor our raw emotions that inhabit our conscious. From the premise that within us is a primordial guilt and we seek revenge for the ills of our ancient past back to the dawn of existence we have been fascinated with the bloodlust of others and sometimes ourselves. The driven kind features heavily and their appetite is satiated in a campus of post-revolutionary Europe. In a University campus that of L’Universite de Liege, filmed over one summer, writer, Director, Julia Ducournau, in her debut feature film sees humans in a structure of hierarchy. Garance Marillier playing Justine is dropped of by her affluent parents in a sprawling University campus. They are past students of the same place and are perhaps aware of what lies ahead in more senses than we are initially lead to believe. I couldn’t help thinking if they were in part authors or this rite of passage, being from the output from ’68, for their virginal daughter. In a horrific incestuousness leading all back to the beginning. Already at the University is sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) a year ahead.
Journey to self
At the opening frames which we go back to later there is a similar opening to many films. A open large perspective of a rural connection of a tree lined road seen anywhere in Europe. There occurs an unexplained event. Cut to the car wth the dog lapping the cheeks of the open eyed Justine whose move from childhood to adulthood is officially stamped. No longer at home she is on an adventure called life. This is an enclosed tale of rule making and conformity layered with the very present hormonal discharges of Justines sexuality. Into this is added the self image and her beliefs which are more or less intact. As a vegetarian she is setting herself out as having a love of animals which is taken to the point of her enrollment and the family belonging to an ethic of helping all creatures on this earth.
In this environment it is easy to see the disgust of meat eating and it is but not questioned here, a method of exploring whether we are indeed carnivores or as the ancient history will tell us after the ‘original’ sin we became sinful in killing and eating animals. The proteins of other sources being accommodated only by locational advantage. The China Study is a book which shows us how to remove meat as a protein source and also shows us how location, China can support a food structure in balance while others hunt and fish plainly because they have an abundance of wild animals, rivers, forests in which flight is not sufficient to save birds, nor speed a reason to escape an arrow. The Masai will eat from nomadic cattle by slicing off a piece of hind while they walk, covering the wound with mud and eating it raw. Their choice is confined to an existence without much plant growth. So how is it God our creator has it in mind meat is a legitimate source of our diet.
Justine is confronted by the meat eating fraternity without the family protection. As a set up we see the family enroute at a roadside cafeteria and out of her ‘veggie’ choice – her parents have moved onto meat eating – probably by obliging the instincts to masticate on flesh cooked into unchained protein as a demonstration of the common predication for eating meat. In the school of Veterinary Studies there is a ritual and it is a basic condensing of human rules and conformity writ large. In it the Upper year students in the Dead of Night ambush the entire intake and involve them in a series of initiation subjections which are both a release and an imprisonment. Mindsare pliable and Alex, Justines sister is already into the camp of the meat eater. This is despite her own beliefs and she suppresses what Justine still holds as a basic right to decide what she puts inside her body.
The initiation I won’t describe as too many writers on this film have drawn out all the little details which make it a full on exploration of human instincts. First time Director at 33 when she made it (at some critics take a youthful age apparently though it is not an age thing, directing chops!) is giving this story an arch violently expressive with some tremendous scenes setting out with accomplished subtlety at times – in the Student clinic for instance there is a great piece of observational writing, then there is the location itself with its optimistic, bunker like, confrontational raw materials of architecture, stubborn forms plain and as the film afore mentioned – ‘What you see is what you get’. Julia Ducournau has this locked down into Form follows function in excruciating bodily functional detail. In Train to Busan which is a brilliant zombie movie from a South Korea from last year I took it on to seek more references to the human condition which explored along very similar lines what were its driving forces. I found it to be the backward launch of the human, back through their mothers, birth a journey to ancient loss. That read is found by putting into the top right – search box – Train to Busan. http://wp.me/p2R05n-Hh
There are scenes which see Justines sexuality spawn a million seeds. The male leads in the film are similarly stuck by the new circumstances they find themselves in and their preconceptions are not so much challenged as replaced by alternatives. Love stories, strange as it may seem develop. Within this – it is not – mash up – there are several failed relationships and new ones. All concerned with orgasm lust which draws into the equation love and ritualized belongin, hurt and betrayal. This is another strand not obvious at first but it’s very much there. From what I’ve so far implied and set out strands of story direction I’ve gotten onboard with the liking community for this film. At times it will irritate the chops off you, make you cringe at the banality of some use of others tried and rested cinema scoping – the entry frames are so often followed it is tedious to see them range into view again. I won’t name them but I do have favorites of this intro and they are totally memorable putting this so far below in the lower deck it’s below the plimsol line. Annoying. There are other beautiful scenes held flowingly with one or two faults, camera hungry playacting, like in the first dance/techno sequence. The music is by Williams, (son of John?) and it once becomes too much as it is used to ratchet up a particular moment. It could have blurred out sound or disfunctional sound but it chose the conformity.
Progression towards ….
The story develops over one year at University and takes on a form utilizing the group without elder supervision other than a few Professorial types who are strangely not equipped or bothered to set anything other than experiments and pick up on grammatical error while also giving Justine further concerns about her outstanding alacrity, skills, understanding of veterinary techniques. Unlike her fellow rookies who begin to detest her or at least some of them. Alex and Justine become strongly connected and share similar demons. They get into extreme bother and trouble, inviting the entire college to come down on them in their interactions with them. It keeps ramping up in its violence and portray of the communal internalization while setting out no answers or analysis of the behavior. Critics so far have placed it in boxes to suit their view and none inclauding myself were able to fix it in a frame of mutual understanding.
Doctors daughter Julia Ducournau!
Julia Ducournau has composed an odyssey through a young woman’s journey from childhood to adult and survival. She has used a very able crew and set of young actors who fail nowhere in convincing us of the, beyond recognition, behaviors they portray while putting more than many young actors should in order to be faithful to the task. The experience must itself been ground breaking on the minds of these young people and Julia Ducournau has probably learnt through it of the many potential pitfalls and erroneous steps, some life changing that enter people’s lives. The ground breaking element nearly stretches it out to become a genre free film though it is not long enough or dig into the medical, psychological straits of the human pathway. It is gloriously rich in detail, too much in many people’s minds and plays the willfulness and inevitable harm inflicted mentally on the sisters as in faith. Julia Ducournau holds the characters hands throughout without being exploitative. It crosses many lines but being Cinema it’s not a dilemma for anyone. Of course there is revulsion and sickening components but that’s Cinema story telling unleashed with a courageously minded group.
27 April 2017
On at Queens Film Theatre from Friday 28 April 2017 and on general release.
Just this past week the Hinckley Point, Somerset, Nuclear reactor was given the go-ahead on behalf of the United Kingdom population, by Theresa May, Prime Minister, following a false standoff with Chinese and French providers since her elevation internally by a group of her party seeing her fit to govern us, a new found ability to take decisions. This is a decision which should never have been made to be taken. With the daily occurrence advances in battery technology and solar power retention and storage from that huge object we know as the Sun, it is within a very short time very likely we will individually at our homes or collective of homes have our own power stations. Nano transformation of energy which allied to similar advances in motive power shall also have an effect of reducing carbon output. Berlin is now a zero carbon city for example so where are the British in this revolution?
Containment A Film made in 2015 by Directors, Peter Galston and Robb Moss. It is film documentary on Nuclear waste production and storage. The USA/Japan co-production brings forward the extent of Nuclear waste currently abroad in what is basically a state of deadly toxic limbo.
Getting to screen it.
Interested in bringing Containment to your community, conference, festival or campus? Share your details here at containmentmovie.com or email us (them!) at email@example.com, and we’ll (they’ll!) be in touch right away!
The first frames show Fukishima and a woman walking alone seen by the cameraman/woman surveying the limbo state this empty city has become. It alone needs a containment scenario this film addresses elsewhere in the Art graphic animation discourse for a place in the USA. New Mexico. When did the first scenario arise?
It begins by pointing to the Cold war period after the second word war, when nuclear warheads were accumulated and agreements placed to disarm these weapons of destruction by putting them into vast radioactive ‘landfill’ sites comprising mainly a site in New Mexico whose irrational acceptance as a location for a nuclear waste dump defies logic. The terrain was chosen primarily because of its geological fingerprint. It was a location with a vast unique strata of salt which millennia had proven stable and a medium in which a frozen ‘time’ capsule could be maintained. It had the hallmarks of having the capacity of being an enevelope for storing the radioactive sludge. However the bunds and lagoons created on top of it were and still are reservoirs of storage for a hundred million gallons of toxic waste. This means of storage is but one part of the cycle which includes other non-associated methods which involve inward shipping of nuclear waste in vessels – carefully checked when transport protection is removed for leaks. Each vessel is thoroughly x-rayed for casing integrity. Watching the magic gieger-counter being waved by an operative circling each container begged the question had they replaced the batteries in it. From this part of the process it then went sub-strata via. a long passage of tunnels by vehicle to hopefully it’s final resting place and presumably back filled at some juncture. Other processes included pouring liquid nuclear waste via. robotic arms manually operated into glass containers. Giant Kindle jars of high tech composition presumably.
The only problem is they remain mostly in their last location since a shut-down after a freak accident when a material failure allowed leakage to occur from a container – it’s past x-Ray and scrutiny failing to identify ahead of time any possible flaws or defects – which in turn jeopardized operatives and future containment activities. The decision was to put the entire site under lockdown and begin a clean up operation estimated at the time to be in the region of $300 million dollars or was that billions? In any event nowhere on earth is capable of storing the material waste China America Middle Eastern and European countermoves have plans to accumulate never mind that already stockpiled and in state of transition limbo.
The film is concerned with not only the accumulation as well as a key part the Fukushima meltdown catastrophe which we are shown in its raw elemental state as a no-go locality but with the figurative signaling beyond our times into periods frankly inconceivable, ten thousand years hence and multiplications thereof. The means of alerting ‘others’ unaware of the backstory our history are explored in real time exercise a of futurist projections. Cockamamie American pawn brokering is one way of describing it. Put it in as a trade and see if any idiot will buy it.
The film becomes cartoon depictions crudely fascinatingly naive ventures of our humanity expressed as a vent diagram and delineation of rogue versus alien versus well the ordinary Joe or Jane whose curiosity got the better of them. Pictorial semaphore signals as used by pirates might have easily substituted or maritime signals heralded by symmetry as unnatural presence of danger put in place by those previously occupying earth. Ie. Humans.
How do you plan 10,000 years in advance? Containment asks whether we are adequately caring for future generations with current storage methods for radioactive waste. A visit to the nuclear ghost towns of Fukushima shows what will happen if we fail.
—Karl Mathiesen, The Guardian
Peter Galison and Robb Moss remind us of the lingering threat of radioactive waste. What to do with it? How can we warn people centuries in the future about the danger of waste disposal sites? With inventive animation and incisive reporting, Moss and Galison aren’t going to make it any easier to sleep at night.
—Peter Keough, The Boston Globe
The film…attempts to articulate the beautiful and complicated problem of how to render the future a part of the present. It offers glimpses of a future beyond our societal imagination…and goes beyond ordinary documentary filmmaking to bring forward this future image into the minds and sensibilities of its viewers. It is in attempting this communication with the audience beyond the here and now that the film has its greatest success.
—Zoe Jones, Spook Magazine
I admire Containment for its zealous questioning of a situation that is ignored, misunderstood, and obviously—thanks in part to this film—urgent. I’ve been thinking about 10,000 years from now ever since.
—Erin Trahan, WBUR’s The ARTery and The Independent Magazine
The way we tell stories about who we are, what we did and how we considered the consequences of our actions is moving and profound in Containment, told with investigative care, sadness, fury and poetry.
—Andrew Lattimer, heyuguys.com
Three titles making their world premieres at Full Frame garnered plenty of buzz…Containment, Peter Galison and Robb Moss’ latest documentary, also taps into another controversy magnet—nuclear power. The directing duo aren’t strangers to hot-button topics. Their 2008 Sundance hit Secrecy chronicled the massive efforts by the U.S. government to classify data from the general population. Containment, about the scientific, moral and philosophical problems that surround the disposition of nuclear waste, is sure to spark a national debate.
—Addie Morfoot, Variety
Alarmingly frank but refreshingly optimistic, Containment tells a great many inconvenient truths but its coda assures us that all is not lost. The future will come, but we will endure.
—Phil W. Bayles, oneroomwithaview.com
Where did I see it? – this list shows its progress.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Remembering Hiroshima, Imagining Peace, Pittsburgh, PA — August 5, 2016
Pilgrim Legislative Advisory Coalition, Jones River Landing, Kingston, MA — August 20, 2016
CBK Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands — September 3–November 27, 2016
Virginia Tech Research Center, Arlington, VA — September 8, 2016
Case Western Reserve University, Physics Department Colloquium, Cleveland, OH — September 15, 2016
Queen’s Film Theatre, Belfast, UK — September 17, 2016
Department of History, Brown University, Providence, RI — September 21, 2016
Willard Straight Theatre, Cornell Cinema, Ithaca, NY — September 27, 2016
A loose three is attributed to this as the central theme of Containment is heavily here approached using an Art based form of narrative. This in itself is a very lame element. It practically philosophies about different advanced and abstract notions. It focuses while doing this on the processes involved in capture storage and transportation to a location with interviews, protocols of public meetings and the personalities in ‘local’ politics making huge global impacting decisions. Maybe the highest rank of Government was County Official. No Presidential, No Congressman, No State Govenor is addressed. Why not? Didn’t want to speak? Unsuprisingly? So instead why not make cartoon versions of supposed dialogue and their answers to the Containment question so artistically examined? Except the artistic endeavors are in my mind not even at the level of a third year student of Architecture whose grasp would no doubt evaluate the obvious pros-cons of symbolic gestural, linguistic, extra-terrestrial scenarios and much more as established throughout mainstream sci-fi non-fictional examinations and the plethora of commentary overloading the Internet from one campus to the Daily News in Singapore or Daily Comet in New York.
Point Blank Failings
I am afraid it lets the fundamental differences of responsibility being attributed to the decisions made in Nations which ignore this Containment issue. The commentary is not validated while a ‘Nuclear’ Authority speaking as a Police(woman) whose role oversaw protocols and practices came nowhere close to the target. A question of where possible ‘dangers’ – the plain direction of the conversation marked out terrorism as a principle if not top concern, – got lamely tossed back as ‘Couldn’t possibly answer/speculate!’ kind of moderation the film should not even allow as any direction of investigative informative journalism.
Take a look at the website for additional and valuable source material as the film is only part of a projected discourse and is a beginning – as far as ‘multiple locations’ arise by example through the stark reality of Fukishima. Mr Nissan is interesting and in a semi-comatose state as his life is Groundhog Day – this is an insight in itself but only, only a miniscule part of what is required to be examined and dealt with by Governments and activists post UN interventions which are of a Human Disater reactive kind not fundamentally addressing ongoing Nuclear exploitation for Billions of dollars/yen/euros of Business. It’s about the money stupid.
(from Greek optikós, meaning “seen, visible”) is a biological technique which involves the use of light to control cells in living tissue, typically neurons, that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels.
Here is an astonishing insight from The Expotential Investor whose interests are frequently science based and explore the direction of travel in pioneering research and hopefully advances of universal benefit.
Here goes with an example text. I thought I should share it with you. The words in italics are the authors and are a a Money Week subscribed free e-mail to which you can subscribe. See footer.
Exponential Investor A step into the unknown…
24 February 2016
By Nick O’Connor
Deep breaths everyone. In today’s Exponential Investor we’re going to take a step into the unknown – and explore an emerging branch of science with vast potential (both for the world and for us as investors).
It’s called optogenetics.
Never heard of it?
Don’t worry. By the end of today’s letter you’ll not only know what it is – you’ll see why it’s causing such a stir in the scientific and medical communities and why March could be a breakout month for this hitherto unknown branch of science. Let’s dive straight in.
Our story starts, rather strangely, with the study of algae. The fact that algae give off light has been known for thousands of years. As Charles Darwin put in his diary while travelling aboard the HMS Beagle: The sea presented a wonderful and most beautiful spectacle. There was a fresh breeze, and every part of the surface, which during the day is seen as foam, now glowed with a pale light… As far as the eye reached, the crest of every wave was bright, and the sky above the horizon, from the reflected glare of these vivid flames, was not so utterly obscure, as over the rest of the heavens. That was nearly two centuries ago. Yet it’s only in the last hundred years or so that we’ve learnt how algae do this. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that we made a breakthrough that led to the birth of optogenetics. The details of the discovery involve the kind of science that makes my brain ache, so I’ll give you the short version. Scientists found that certain algae contain proteins that respond directly to a light source. This enables them to detect and move toward light. Put simply, we found that light itself can be the catalyst for cellular change, rather than a chemical reaction. That opened the door to the idea of using light as a kind of wireless transmitter to bring about biological change. But it wasn’t until this idea converged with the advent of genetic therapy that the field of optogenetics was born. See, genetic therapy allows us to transplant the gene responsible for responding to light as a stimulus in algae into other living things (first animals like mice, and more recently humans – we’ll get to that in a second). This is all a rather long winded way of explaining what optogenetics is, which is essentially modifying genes so that they’re responsive to light. That may not sound like a big deal. But the implications are immense. It means we can use light – or certain frequencies of it – as a catalyst for biological change in the human body. That goes far beyond making your skin glow when you shine a light on it. Take, for instance, your brain. Making a change inside the human brain is complex and dangerous. For a long time it involved using electrodes to trigger cellular change. But that wasn’t precise enough for many procedures. According to a special report on optogenetics by Nature Methods: In 1979 Francis Crick suggested that the major challenge facing neuroscience was the need to control one type of cell in the brain while leaving others unaltered. As electrodes cannot be used to precisely target defined cells and drugs act much too slowly, Crick later speculated that light might have the properties to serve as a control tool, but at the time neuroscientists knew of no clear strategy to make specific cells responsive to light. Optogenetics is the solution to that problem. It means we can make very precise changes to cells within the brain by using light as a catalyst. For example, in one experiment at Stanford University, researchers found that they could switch off the sensation of fear in mice by shooting light through a fiber optic cable at specific cells in their brains. Put aside whether it’s useful to switch fear off, for a second, and just think about that as a scientific achievement. It means we can manipulate complex cellular actions wirelessly, using light as the sole trigger. Which, as you can imagine, has made optogenetics one of the hottest emerging technologies of the last decade. For a graphic illustration of that, take a look at the explosion of uses of the term in scientific literature below:
Source: Optogenetics by Keith Deisseroth, Nature Methods
There are myriad ways in which the field of optogenetics is developing. I’ll return to the subject again in the future and look at some of them. But before I leave you, I wanted to highlight one particular optogenetic study likely to make headlines in the next month or so. Teaching the blind to see
You see, one particular use of optogenetics could be to restore the sight of blind people.
In fact, the very first human test of optogenetics involves a team of researchers in Texas transplanting the DNA of light sensitive algae into legally blind patients. The idea is to use the light entering the eye naturally to trigger a response within nerve cells and send electronic signals to the brain. MIT Technology Review has the story: The study, sponsored by a startup called RetroSense Therapeutics, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is expected to be the first human test of optogenetics, a technology developed in neuroscience labs that uses a combination of gene therapy and light to precisely control nerve cells. The trial, to be carried out by doctors at the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, will involve as many as 15 patients with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease in which the specialized light-sensitive photoreceptor cells in the eye die, slowly causing blindness. The aim of the treatment is to engineer the DNA of different cells in the retina, called ganglion cells, so that they can respond to light instead, firing off signals to the brain. According to reports, that trial should get under way very soon. The results are expected to be “a gold mine” for future studies, according to neuroscientist Antonello Bonci. I’ll keep an eye out for the results. But in the meantime, keep a lookout for any other optogenetic breakthroughs. This is an emerging new discipline with vast potential. There are likely to be some major opportunities – and ultimately a lot of money – to be made as it matures. Just remember – you heard it here first!
All the best,
Publisher, Exponential Investor
P.S. We haven’t talked much about genetics and biotechnology much yet in Exponential Investor. But we’ll be ramping up our coverage a lot in the coming weeks and months – there’s a huge amount of potential here. If there’s any particular topic you think is worth us looking at, just get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exponential Investor is published by MoneyWeek Research Limited.
MoneyWeek Research Ltd
This is the Stanford University USA research paper synopsis.
Musician charity Help Musicians headed this discussion forum. Formed a panel for a discussion on the need for Musicians and Audiences to be aware of the potential risks to their hearing if disregarding the levels of sound they expose themselves to. It was a part of the Outreach programme Output which on Thursday last showcased local musicians as well as introducing audiences and musicians to industry professionals whose experience could bring to bear new ideas and experiences on several levels.
The title of the event was long-winded so I prefer to use the core strategy of HelpMusicians which is the leading charity in the field headed by the panel chair and representing his charity, Richard Robinson, next is Shauna Tohill of the band Ruse. Then Will Fenton a sound engineer and lecturer based in Surrey. Then last but not least a Record Produce and Band Manager Declan Legge from the provinces Big Studios. Some further contact details follow at the completion of this post.
For the most part it involved a day for several venues to set up a platform, stage for the 4 acts they were to host in the ‘what the musicians called’ the fun part. Each of 4 would do a stint giving it there best shot.
At Altier & Echo it was to include Ruse who also recorded a live track in the afternoon for Radio Ulsters Arts Show. Also in the duos busy day was a member, Shauna Tohill participating in the panel on Hearing loss at the afternoon session in the Oh Yeah Centre in Gordon Street.
The panel comprised the aforementioned with a review of where the music industry is with protection from damaging sound levels experienced across many platforms. From in ear buds with which a later chooses to play at very high decibels into their own ear canals music which if sustained for even short periods of twenty or thirty minutes will cause irreprible damage. A survey of musicians carried out in a widespread comprehensive GB study found that 78% of Musicians had found themselves suffering hearing loss and damage.
First of was a description of the levels, the decibel range at which sound becomes audible and how it is delivered. At normal conversation levels we are at around forty to fifty decibels and in a microphone speech is delivered around seventy decibels and eighty is around city traffic levels. At concerts sound is delivered at around 120 decibels where the damaging levels kick in big time. The Health and Safety laws are very obtuse and for industrial purposes mostly. They range from noise in Children’s Nursery’s to Nuclear Fusion Plants.
Occurrences – The enjoyment of music comes not without its hazards and everyone must be made aware of them.
Latency is a word used in the context of hearing loss which I take to mean the accumulative effects lasting after the event and is in physiological terms in my mind the interval between stimulus and reaction. The enjoyment of music comes not without its hazards and everyone must be made aware of them. There’s probably not an older musician around who will not confess to some hearing damage. It is not an occupational hazard but a preventable manageable entity as the discussion was to find out.
Panel Experiences and heads up
Richard Robinson of Help Musicians has been profoundly deaf, with no hearing since birth. Nevertheless it has not stopped him from being an active band member with the aid of technology. His history will unfold on the charities website no doubt. He could notice other band members experiences and the loss of hearing he reckoned came at around 6 hertz frequencies upwards. He was able to advise that the conventional orange builders earplugs are non discriminatory as they allow frequencies through and dampen others meaning some damaging ones certainly will get through.
Our hearing, it was pointed out by Will Fenton is not wholly dealt with by our ear functions but he noted if you excuse the pun (there might inadvertently be several – astonishingly we caught Declan Legge use the oft used phrase ‘some band members and sound engineers just like to whack it up to Eleven! It illustrated his stronger very valid point of which will follow) the bass notes come in through our bones chiefly through our flesh and muscle structures. I found that astonishing. It also explained why you feel the sound vibrating in you in some small room or large room resonating venues specially when blue or jazz modular ions literally flex their muscles.
This is the bodily immersive state perhaps the sub-conscious seeks and is an auditory delight and immersive experience. It is similar in a sense, those puns again, to the dance room venues where the whole body vibrates and endorphin rush, (not a pun – as a band they were rubbish to me) penetrated and bass creates a mind body electric experience. The brain sending the electric stimuli to the brain at the root of consciousness in waves of directions pulsating memory responses back not everyone’s system in a cyclical trancelike deliverance. Euphoria is the word we all know and are blessed with at times. To be in the centre of a crowd away from the known expected forms of sound delivery are found resonances, puns again.
Take for instance the type of song and singing at the Millenium Stadium on a Rugby match day and to be in the middle of the Welsh crowd surrounded by thousands of magical Welsh singing voices is a enthralling experience from top to toe. There is nothing so instructive about sound delivery as it also fills the body in a 360 degree circle. Or also the experience of being in a very accomplished choir whose sound is interspersed in ranges which are chiefly all of human origin.
Ear protection is being advanced for all noose environments and huge advances are seen with ear moulded hearing protection devices and utilized by top musicians.
There needs to be venue participation. Open or closed performance has on occasion information such as decibel levels. These are some times prominent and other times absent. The requirement to have levels displayed at high level even on the monitors the,selves seems a good way forward. On the source in other words and the overall combined level not just the output from one set of monitors.
The music sites need in my view an overall music level overseer. To each venue a Sound Marshall should be appointed with complete authority and responsibility for advising and ensuring the gig or event has fully identified its levels and capabilities in their (confined) space with them then adhering to the protocols. Warnings should be issued to audiences to be aware of their exposure times to sound as being their own responsibility and ‘this event will have a maximum level of #### over the duration of the concert #### hours. Please ensure rest times of around #### and #### between events.
Here are some random products not endorsed by this website but showing just part of the various options.
Check with suppliers what degree ear mould or headphone protection brings. Some in ear monitors may not be designed to remove all or most of external sound and delivery the bands/performers sound only. So,e may want some external sound as part of the audience reaction and the engineer is best placed to advise how this is achieved. It is not best achieved by having one ear on and one ear off!!!