by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 24 number 1

Truth & Beauty | Harvey Blume
“…two Cambridge-based scientists — Felice Frankel, a research scientist at MIT, and Eric Heller, a particle physicist at Harvard — couldn’t be farther apart. While Frankel and Heller know and admire each other’s work, they take diametrically opposed positions on whether the imagery they produce is art and what its relationship is to science. […] Frankel’s insistence on — almost a fiercely protective attitude toward — scientific truth, makes her impatient with artists who ransack science for imagery and metaphor without taking time to understand it. ‘I get angry,’ she says, ‘at artists who create one-liners, who take a sentence from a textbook and make an installation out of it.’ […] When it comes to the art world, however, Heller considers himself an outsider. But he’s a savvy outsider who diagnoses art-world behavior as he might a peculiarity of particle spin. ‘The universal thing in avant-garde modern art is newness,’ he says. ‘Many artists think that if they do the next shocking thing, they’re going to be in the history books.’ His point of view is in many ways that of an aesthetic conservative, who respects beauty and traditional values that the art world in recent years has tended to treat as old-fashioned.”

A bastion against cultural obscenity | Robert Hughes
“By the time I first came to live in England, and for years thereafter, the obsoleteness of the Royal Academy as a benign factor in the life of contemporary art was simply assumed as a fact. […] Nevertheless, one went to its shows, which were sometimes complete eye-openers.[…] The chance to see shows like that, I realised, was one reason why I had wanted to leave Australia in the first place. Anyway, as the years wore on, it began to seem a bit absurd to bear the Academy ill-will for things that happened in Burlington House when you were less than 10-years-old, or even not yet born. […]The idea that a revived Academy would or could clamp an iron fist of conformity on English painting and sculpture is simply absurd. It did not do that even in the 18th century. But there are quite clear and to me convincing reasons why we need such a revival today. […] An institution like the Royal Academy, precisely because it is not commercial, can be a powerful counterweight to the degrading market hysteria we have seen too much of in recent years. I have never been against new art as such; some of it is good, much is crap, most is somewhere in between, and what else is news? I know, as most of us do in our hearts, that the term ‘avant-garde’ has lost every last vestige of its meaning in a culture where anything and everything goes. […] The scientific metaphors, like ‘research’ and ‘experiment’, that were so popular half a century ago, do not apply to art. We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water: art that grows out of modes of perception and whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in 10 seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our natures.”

How to Determine the Business You’re REALLY In | Mark Federman
“What haven’t you noticed lately? Determining the business you’re really in requires developing an awareness of the dynamics and effects that emerge from the business when considered as a McLuhan medium. McLuhan’s Laws of Media are a particularly useful tool that provides non-judgemental clarity of perception into these effects. IBM’s initial success, loss of industry dominance and subsequent recovery is a prime example of how the company’s nominal business differs from ‘the business it’s really in’ when viewed through the McLuhan lens, an insight that is applied as well to Microsoft, Amazon.com and GroceryGateway.com. Examples of how ‘creating an culture of innovation’ requires one to use the media law of reversal to break through conventionallytrained business thinking are demonstrated among some of the most successful companies in computer software, food service and electronic component manufacturing. ‘To be able to perceive 21st century dynamics is to … change the tools with which we perceive the world and thereby restructure the way we think about our business.’” NOTE: PDF file (347K)

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 07 June 2004 @ 10:47 PM

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