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Posts Tagged ‘Calder

Everyday heroes…

 

Over the years (R)D has considered action figures of all types, from the political (e.g., Barak Obama) to the cultural (e.g., Shakespeare and Jane Austin).  But heroism isn’t always an epic proposition; and it doesn’t always accrue to recognition, much less fame.  In the end, these smaller and more anonymous acts of leadership, courage, and sacrifice are the lifts that elevate life-at-large.

Jesse Weiss, an assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of the Ozarks, has pioneered a way to redress the bobble-head balance:

A pop culture enthusiast and inveterate collector of kitsch, Weiss saw that the head had come off one of his collectible action figures: the professional wrestler, Rhino. “I guess it was kind of serendipitous,” said Weiss. “One of the heads popped off and I realized you could take them apart and put them back together”…

He has created more than 100 action figures modeled on fellow professors, administrators, students, community members and even the college’s president…  Sean Coleman, an associate professor of biology who teaches interdisciplinary courses with Weiss, said he keeps his action figure next to the nameplate on his desk…

… [Coleman] praised the evident attention to detail, down to the mole on his figure’s lip and the color of his belt. “We’re academics, but we’re quirky a little bit,” he said. “Everyone I know would like one of those things. It’s definitely part of the campus culture.”

Find the full story– and more pix– at Inside Higher Ed.

As we strike heroic poses, we might might wish an animated Happy Birthday to sculptor Alexander Calder; he was born in Pennsylvania on this date in 1898.  The son of a sculptor and a painter, Alexander studied engineering before following in his parents’ footsteps.  While he painted and drew, he is best remembered for his wire and his motor-driven sculpture– dubbed “mobiles.”

Alexander Calder (source)

Calder mobile (source)

“A screaming comes across the sky”…

Long time readers know of your correspondent’s abiding affection for the works of Thomas Pynchon.  So readers can imagine his delight at discovering The Thomas Pynchon Fake Book, an online collaboration among 37 people (and three animals) that yielded 29 songs, all with lyrics appearing in Gravity’s Rainbow (a positively ditty-packed volume).

Readers can listen to streaming renditions of “Loonies on Leave,” “Byron the Bulb,” “The Penis He Thought Was His Own,” “Herman the German,” and over a score more.

Every weirdo in the world is on my wavelength.
– Thomas Pynchon

UPDATE to yesterday’s XXL:  MK reminds your correspondent that all readers might enjoy the exhibit, a collaboration between London’s Serpentine Gallery and EDGE, in which Kai Krause’s “Africa to Scale” features.  It can be found here or here.

 

As we stay alert to Inherent Vice, we might recall that it was on this date in 1959 that The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opened in New York.  Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned and designed the building in 1937; but construction was delayed until 1957.  The resulting gallery, which features a spiraling six-story ramp encircling an open center space lit by a glass dome, is home to a powerful contemporary art collection, strong in Klee, Kandinsky, Calder, Chagall, and Brancusi.

The Guggenheim (source)

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