Friday, April 25, 2008

Sketch of new piece in the "Modern Theology Series". I'm still thinking about a primary title...

watercolor, prismacolor and polychromos pencils, pencil and ink on paper. 8 X 14 inches. Copyright 2008 MJAndrade

created by request from the gallery...

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Civil Liberties

Kim du Toit notes that the Justice Department wants to build a DNA data base of anyone "arrested, facing charges, or convicted" who gets their fingerprints taken.

Like Kim, I can see compelling convicted felons to give up DNA samples, but to compel it for every person arrested?

So if you get pulled over for speeding, and refuse to give a breathalyzer sample, that's reason to put you permanently in the DNA database. Or how 'bout this, you get arrested because an officer thinks you are someone else. I worried about this once, a buddy of mine and I got pulled over and surrounded by three squad cars, because he was driving a "black SUV" and I matched the description of one of a pair of guys in a "black SUV" that had been doing break-ins that morning. (After the officers looked at our ID, they gave it back and apologized, saying that we were way to old to be the perps.) And of course, your local DA would never issue an arrest warrant for somebody based on flimsy evidence (sudden cough that sounds like "Nifong!").

This is a bad bad idea.

Here is the contact info, where you should let them know, politely that this is unconscionable.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted on or before May 19, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to
David J. Karp, Senior Counsel,
Office of Legal Policy, Room 4509, Main Justice Building,
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20530.

To ensure proper handling, please reference OAG Docket No. 119 on your correspondence.
You may submit comments electronically or view an electronic version of this proposed rule at

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David J. Karp, Senior Counsel, Office of Legal Policy. Telephone: (202) 514-3273.

Thanks Kim!

But remember, the worst threat to our civil liberties is the evile Bush Administration tapping the cell phones of terrorists...

UPDATE:Bioephemera notes that GINA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act passed the Senate unanimously. More at Scientific American. So write to your Senators and Congresspersons, they may actually be in the mood to deal with stuff like this appropriately.

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Friday Free Ad for Kate

For all those with a sense of entitlement....

"Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap.
Some say that knowledge is ho-ho-ho-ho.

I want to be a lawyer.
I want to be a scholar.
But I really can't be bothered.
Ooh, just gimme it quick, gimme it, gimme gimme gimme gimme!

Some say that knowledge is ho ho ho.
Some say that knowledge is ho ho ho.
Some say that heaven is hell.
Some say that hell is heaven.

I must admit, just when I think I'm king,
(I just begin.)
Just when I think I'm king, I must admit,
(I just begin.)
Just when I think everything's going great,
(I just begin,)
Hey, I get the break,
Hey, I'm gonna take it all--
(I just begin.)
When I'm king--
(-- just begin.)

In my dome of ivory,
A home of activity,
I want the answers quickly,
But I don't have no energy. "

(UPDATE: original video was removed from the web, it's been replaced by one from YouTube.)

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Monday, April 21, 2008

'NETFEED/ART: Artistic Suicide Challenge
(visual: Bigger X at Toronto arraignment)
VO: A guerrilla artist known only as No-1 has challenged the better-known forced involvement artist Bigger X to a suicide competition. No-1’s broadside against Bigger X, which calls him a “poseur” because “he only works with other people’s deaths,” suggests a suicide competition between the two artists, to be broadcast live by “artOWNartWONartNOW.” The one with the most artistically interesting suicide would be judged the winner, even though he or she would not be around to collect the prize. Bigger X, who is wanted by the police for questioning in a Philadelphia bombing, has not been available for comment, but ZZZCrax of “artOWNartWONartNOW” called it “an intriguing story.” '

[Fictional news blurb from the beginning of chapter 21 of “Mountain of Black Glass” copyright 1999, by Tad Williams (Volume Three of “Otherland”, a four volume SciFi novel).]

There has been a lot of commentary about the Aliza Shvarts/Yale Shock Art Thesis incident. Roger Kimball has an essay well worth reading, Yale, Abortion, and the Limits of Art. There is another piece at The American Digest. The Volokh Conspiracy has an excellent post on Yale's attempt to close the barn door after the horse left.

One thing in the comments section on that last really struck me. "Dre", responding to an earlier commenter, posted the following;

"I think this Yale thing is terrific. The artist's work has provoked wild-ass reactions all over the place, just as much of our art must do. "

It is only a short distance to this:

Karlheinz Stockhausen on the 9/11 attacks: “What happened there is—they all have to rearrange their brains now—is the greatest work of art ever. . . That characters can bring about in one act what we in music cannot dream of, that people practice madly for 10 years, completely, fanatically, for a concert and then died. That is the greatest work of art for the whole cosmos. . . I could not do that. Against that, we composers are nothing.” "

The passage at the top of this post is from a science fiction book written in 1999, but is a follow-up on a passage in an earlier volume of the series (I think volume one, [I'm not sure, I lent it out] City of Golden Shadow released in hardback in 1996) where Bigger X causes a car wreck with fatalities as a type of "forced involvement" performance art. This fiction predates the Stockhausen quote by at least five years.

The nihilistic direction of modern performance art (and the avant guard in general) has been easy to predict for a long time. That knowledge has in fact been a part of the popular culture.

Too bad that the artists haven't noticed it. It tends to put the lie to their "groundbreaking" and "transgressiveness" if everyone can see it coming.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Free Ad for Kate

the Man With the Child In His Eyes from The Kick Inside

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fossils in Shadowboxes

One Trilobite, 360 Kilobytes

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Conceit

the Artist as a Steampunk

the Artist as a Steampunk

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Friday Free Ad for Kate

this is one of two videos for "Don't Give Up" by Peter Gabriel, with Kate. The other version shows just the two of them in an embrace, singing (although that version on the web comes with a larger viewer).

Hmmmm... it seems that Blogger hasn't adjusted to the change from Daylight Savings Time. It says I posted this at 11:00 PM, when I started the post at Midnight....

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Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

The Torah says, Love your neighbor as yourself. The Buddha says “There is no self.” So, maybe we're off the hook.

The sayings of a Jewish Buddhist at Maggie's Farm


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Monday, April 07, 2008

Bombing of London, by Charles Andres

Sad News

I heard today from an old friend, who told me the the illustrator, Charles Andres, who had been my first art teacher in high school, passed away on Friday.

Some of his work can be found here. The interface is a little clunky, but it's worth a look. Choose a 'room' at the top of the image, then you can view the images in that area.

I remember the painting above, Bombing of London from his classroom/studio at Berwick Academy. He used it as an example of how to make contrast and composition work, since it had no color to distract the eye.

He was a man of humor and patience, an excellent teacher whom I did not listen to nearly enough, and from whom I learned more than from any other artist.

image copyright held by the estate of Charles Andres

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Go Now and Read!

Jessica Palmer at Bioephemera has a wonderful post on Medieval Astrolabs

Quadrant, January 3 1775, "M. H.", Danvers, Massachusetts, inked paper over wood

I've had the opportunity to see and photograph some of the Octants, Quadrants, Astrolabes and Sextants at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA. (click here for Flickr photo set then scroll about halfway down the page) These are truly marvelous and elegant bits of history.

Go and read Ms. Palmer's post. For one thing, her images are clearer than mine.

Planespheric Astrolabe, mid 17th century, attributed to Maquim Muhammed (active 1644), possibly Lahore, Pajistan, brass

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Friday Free Ad for Kate

What may be the most disturbing song Kate Bush song...


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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bobby Does Not Read

I had previously blogged about the work of Len Cowgill. He is a wonderful artist, and a very generous man.

I am very grateful to be able to say that his work is far more amazing in person than in photos.

Hmmmm.... I guess this makes me a collector as well as an artist.

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