Posts Tagged ‘humor’
The Artspeak Incinerator Project is an interactive video installation created by artist Bill Claps. This video documents the Artspeak Incinerator in action at the MOMA, Guggenheim, Whitney, New Museum, ARTFORUM, Gagosian Gallery, and other locations.
During Armory Arts Week Claps utilized crowdsourcing and a technology interface connected to Twitter to source examples of artspeak from various art fairs, publications, and institutions throughout New York City. The artspeak was translated into Morse code (representing the art world’s distinct coded language) and digitally incinerated while being projecting onto the facades of art institutions throughout the city, releasing it into the atmosphere in a purified state…
See more– and more of Claps’ other wonderful work– at his site.
* “Ms. Patuto,” season 3 of Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven
As we connect with our inner connoisseur, we might send bold birthday greetings to Willem de Kooning; he was born on this date in 1904. After New York School., de Kooning was the most prominent and celebrated of the painters, and with his wife, Elaine, Pollock, Rothko, and Kline, was at the core of what has become known as the
de Kooning has been the subject of reams of artspeak.
Wittgenstein playing Pictionary with Freud; Russell, Hegel, and Marx as Pokemon characters; Sartre’s birthday party; Greek Hold’em– all this and much, much more merriment (in larger format) at the exquisite Existential Comics. The inevitable anguish of living a brief life in a absurd world. Also jokes.
* Ludwig Wittgenstein
As we get behind the greater good, we might spare a thought for Johann Christoph Denner; he died on this date in 1707. One of the Baroque Era’s leading musical instrument makers, he was renown throughout Europe for his well-tuned recorders, flutes, oboes, and bassoons. But he is best remembered as the inventor the clarinet, a result of Denner’s attempts to refine the chalumeau, the first true single reed instrument. The chalumeau and clarinet are the only woodwinds with a cylindrical bore; others (including the flute) have a conical bore.
“Eclecticism is the degree zero of contemporary general culture: one listens to reggae, watches a western, eats McDonald’s food for lunch and local cuisine for dinner”*…
Say it aloud: Chef Jacques La Merde
What do you get when you cross fast food with fine dining? A brilliant new Instagram account that marries tongue-in-cheek humor with kitchen slang. Chef Jacques Lamerde— a pseudonym for a chef familiar with New Nordic plating techniques — has a penchant for fast junk food and crazy-cool flavor combinations. The chef’s tagline is “small portions | tweezered everything,” but it’s the image descriptions that have us laughing out loud. “Hay-baked Hot Pockets with Hidden Valley Bacon Ranch spheres and a puree of Zoodles” anyone? What would René Redzepi [the king of Nordic cuisine] say?…
As we tuck in our napkins, we might recall that it was on this date in 1531 that Richard Roose (or Rouse), the cook in the household of John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, was boiled to death after being convicted of high treason. It was claimed that Roose had poisoned a porridge (or pottage) served to Fisher and his guests on 18th February 1531. All who ate it became ill, and two people died. King Henry VIII enacted a special law decreeing Roose– who argued that he’d added a purgative to the dish “as a jest”– be boiled alive for the offense. Henry’s decree, with death by boiling as punishment for poisoning, remained on the law books in England until 1863; at least one other person was stewed under its provisions.
n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.
Just one of the sadnesses catalogued in “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows“…
… a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig [c.f., here]. Each original definition aims to fill a hole in the language—to give a name to emotions we all might experience but don’t yet have a word for…
* Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
As we bury our heads in our hands, we might recall that it was on this date in 1920 that Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald were married in the Rectory of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. They adjourned with friends to the Biltmore Hotel, where they intended to honeymoon, but were thrown out that night for rowdiness. (Undeterred, they moved two blocks down 42nd Street to the Commodore Hotel… from which they were ejected, again for rowdiness, a few days later, at which point, they took the party to Westport for the summer.)
Standing at just under 17 inches, Gnome Chomsky, the Garden Noam clutches his classic books, ‘The Manufacture of Compost’ and ‘Hedgerows not Hegemony’ – with his open right hand ready to hold the political slogan of your choosing. His clothes represent a relaxed but classy version of regular gnome attire, including: a nice suit jacket-tunic, jeans, boots, traditional gnome cap, and glasses…
* Noam Chomsky
As we just say “gnome” to imperialism, we might send fabulous birthday greetings to Hans Christian Andersen; he was born on this date in 1805. A prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, he is best remembered for his (often curiously-titled) fairy tales. Those tales– which include “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Ugly Duckling,” “Thumbelina,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”– have inspired plays, ballets, and of course both live-action and animated films.
In Andersen’s honor this date– his birthday– is celebrated as International Children’s Book Day.
These postures and attitudes were meant for 19th-century students to use when practicing speech-giving. Presented as illustrations in Charles W. Sanders’ Sanders’ School Speaker: A Comprehensive Course of Instruction in the Principles of Oratory; With Numerous Exercises for Practice in Declamation, the figures advised students how to use their bodies to heighten the effect of their delivery. Sanders’ 1857 book (viewable via the Internet Archive) is only one of many such elocution primers available for classroom use in the 19th century, when oratory was quite commonly included in curricula.
Sanders’ compendium contains a short section on principles of elocution (how to modulate speech; when to pause) and a section on gesture, illustrated by these images. The bulk of the book is filled with “Exercises in Declamation”: texts that the student could memorize, then use to practice these principles.
Sanders protested in his introduction to the book that true eloquence was not just a matter of silver-tongued trickery: “The prime element in the constitution of the great orator is, and can be, found only in the good man.” To that end, he wrote, he had included only texts that would cultivate “high moral character” in the student speaker. Some of his choices of authors, at the time of the book’s publication the late 1850s, definitively marked the book as Northern: Charles Sumner; Cassius M. Clay; William H. Seward; Lydia Maria Child...
More powerful postures (and larger photos) at the redoubtable Rebecca Onion‘s “How to Captivate an Audience Using Gestures, From a 19th-Century Oratorical Primer.”
* Winston Churchill
As we declaim like Demosthenes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1717 that the Rev. Benjamin Hoadly, the Bishop of Bangor, delivered a sermon to George I of Great Britain on “The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ.” Starting from John 18:36 (“My kingdom is not of this world”), Hoadly argued, supposedly at the invitation of the king himself, that there is no Biblical justification for any church role in “earthly” government at any level. He identified the church with the kingdom of Heaven—it was therefore not of this world.
The sermon was widely published, and initiated the “Bangorian Controversy”– an argument within the Anglican Church over its appropriate role. Most of the established leadership of the Church– the official religion of Britain– enjoyed its political prerogatives and had no interest in eschewing them. George I, for his part, was interested in weakening the power of the House of Lords, in which those same Anglican Bishops sat and voted. In the event, there was no real immediate change.
Highlighting an invisible conversation between hip hop and art before the 16th century…
* Chuck D
As we scratch ’em and sniff, we might recall that it was on this date in 1997 that Robert Matthew Van Winkle— better known as Vanilla Ice, whose “Ice Ice Baby” was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts– married Laura Giaritta. Ice, who’s both a Juggalo and a vegetarian, has recently concentrated on his home renovation reality show on the DIY Channel, but still occasionally performs… though in September, 2013, he rapped at the halftime show of a Houston Texans game; Houston went on to lose the remaining fourteen games of the season, leading some players to blame Ice for the losing streak.