February 6, 2014 |
Kota Ezawa's re-creations of photographic images in flat, solid areas of color look as though they were run through a Photoshop filter, à la Shepard Fairey. This expressionless, deadpan aesthetic, evoking fashionable illustration techniques, has become a signature for the Japanese German artist. It might feel like a formula if it weren't so effective. Ezawa's success owes in large part to his judicious choice of subjects, which in the past have included the Kennedy assassination and the O.J. Simpson trial.
December 11, 2013 |
Over at Essay Daily (which calls itself “A Filter for and An Ongoing Conversation About Essays and Magazines About Writing”), John D'Agata offers a brief meditation on Ansel Adams - and the moment he understood that photographs were not taken so much as made. The year was 1927, and Adams “hadn't figured out yet how to make photography work, how to render with light and luck and dark the deep and powerful truths that he felt when in the mountains.” He was in Yosemite, shooting images of Half Dome, when, as an experiment, he decided to use “a heavy red filter that immediately darkens the sky, transforms it even darker than the cliff face itself, so that an abyss opens up on the left side of the cliff, as if the brooding shelf of Half Dome has torn straight through it like a cleaver made of light.” This, D'Agata suggests, is the turning point: when Adams stopped merely being someone who shot pictures and became an artist, with all the intentionality it implies.
December 1, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - The cultural ecology of any great city is a complex organism, its shape shifting over time. But in the modern era, always it starts with the same ingredient. It starts with artists, the yeast that makes the dough rise. Without them, money and talk are all there is. Since the 1990s, after several decades of relative stasis, Mexico City's cultural ecology has experienced an efflorescence. A cosmopolitan mix of important Mexican and expatriate artists - Britain's Melanie Smith, Belgium's Francis Alÿs, Mexico's Silvia Gruner, Gabriel Orozco, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Teresa Margolles, Eduardo Abaroa and scores more - has been accompanied by significant growth in art's essential critical, curatorial and commercial apparatus.
October 11, 2013 |
If your pollen allergies are acting up and getting you down, don't despair. There are steps you can take that can make a real difference. Avoiding pollen altogether is probably impossible (unless you live under a dome, in which case you have plenty of other problems). But there are ways to limit your exposure. Keep your doors and windows closed and run a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Keep your car windows closed and run the air conditioner. Check the pollen count (one good site is http://www.pollen.com/allergy-forecast.asp )
October 4, 2013 |
Google Glass has been hogging the spotlight when it comes to eyewear, but get ready to see new technology designed for those stuck with old-fashioned prescription eyeglasses. About 64% of Americans wear glasses to improve vision. Many can't stand them, complaining that glasses are cumbersome, headache-inducing or don't work in all situations. Meanwhile, the growing amount of time people spend in front of computers and mobile devices has also raised concern about the potential damaging effects on eyesight.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 2013 |
As state air pollution officials step up inspections of diesel exhaust from big rigs, some of their best allies are truckers themselves. They are pushing the Air Resources Board to enforce pollution rules more aggressively for trucks in advance of a Jan. 1 deadline. Truckers are also the No.1 tipsters, placing anonymous calls and sending emails to finger competitors they say are gaining an unfair advantage by not upgrading their engines or installing expensive filters that capture harmful diesel particulates before they are released into the air. Diesel exhaust is the worst remaining pollution source on roadways.