Archive for October 18th, 2011

October 18, 2011

Cool “Disco” Dan

cool disco dan

Cool “Disco” Dan is the pseudonym of graffiti artist Dan Hogg (b. 1969). His standard mark, a particularly styled rendering of his name, has proliferated in the Washington metropolitan area, notably on surfaces along the route of the Washington Metro Red Line.

He has been spraying his tag since 1984. Part of the Go-Go scene of the 80’s in Washington; he managed to avoid being jailed or killed unlike a lot of his contemporaries by devoting himself to graffiti rather than becoming involved with drugs or gangs. The pervasiveness of his mark was reported frequently in the local press.

October 18, 2011


fucking serious by borf


Borf was a graffiti campaign seen in and around Washington, D.C. during 2004 and 2005, carried out by John Tsombikos while studying at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. This four letter word was ubiquitous around the Northwest quadrant of Washington, and ranged from simple tagging to complete sentences to two-color stencils to the massive defacement on an overhead exit sign from the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge to Constitution Avenue. Tsombikos was arrested after tips led police to his latest tag.

The campaign attracted widespread attention without first explaining its motivations. According to Tsombikos and subsequent Borf communiqués, both the nickname ‘Borf’ and the Borf face belonged to Bobby Fisher, a close friend of Tsombikos’ who had committed suicide. In a video shown in 2006, the Borf Brigade – the group claiming responsibility for the graffiti spree – asserted that capitalism and the culture of aesthetics created alienation and feelings of worthlessness that contributed to the 16-year-old’s suicide. The group said that they used other peoples’ property to commemorate and pay homage to their deceased friend. The graffiti usually had overtones of anti-authority sentiments and youth liberation.

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October 18, 2011

Multistable Perception

Multistable perceptual phenomena are a form of perceptual phenomena in which there are unpredictable sequences of spontaneous subjective changes. While usually associated with visual perception, such phenomena can be found for auditory and olfactory percepts. Perceptual multistability can be evoked by visual patterns that are too ambiguous for the human visual system to recognise with one unique interpretation.

Famous examples include the ‘Necker cube,’ ‘structure from motion,’ ‘monocular rivalry’ (two different images, optically superimposed), and ‘binocular rivalry’ (perception alternates between different images presented to each eye), but many more visually ambiguous patterns are known. Since most of these images lead to an alternation between two mutually exclusive perceptual states, they are sometimes also referred to as bistable perception.

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October 18, 2011


The Bangle Seller by Devajyoti Ray

Pseudorealism is an artistic and a dramatic technique in which an apparently unreal matter is presented in a fashion that makes it appear real. Though use of pseudorealism has been in practice for sometime in theater, film, fashion, textiles and literature, as an art genre, it was initiated in Indian art in early 21st century by Devajyoti Ray.

The idea that something unreal can still give the impression of the real has a parallel in mathematical field of representation theory. The idea has also often been used to describe certain set of movies, TV programs, and video games where special effects, computer generated imagery and 3D animation are used to create a fantasy but which has the impact of a reality based image. However in this context the word has a negative connotation.

October 18, 2011

Plop Art

sol lewitt

Plop art (or Plonk art) is a pejorative slang term for public art (usually large, abstract, modernist or contemporary sculpture) made for government or corporate plazas, spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atriums, parks, and other public venues. The term connotes that the work is unattractive or inappropriate to its surroundings – that is, it has been thoughtlessly ‘plopped’ where it lies.

The very word ‘plop’ suggested something falling wetly and heavily in the manner of excrement — extruded, as it were, from the fundament of the art world, and often at public expense. Plop art is a play on the term pop art. The term was coined by architect James Wines in 1969. Wines was critical of the failure of much public art to take an environmentally-oriented approach to the relationship between public art and architecture.

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October 18, 2011

Digital Mashup

yellow by dennis knopf

A digital mashup refers to digital media content (e.g. text, graphics, audio, video, animation) drawn from pre-existing sources, to create a new derivative work. Digital media have made it easier for potential mashup creators to create derivative works than was the case in the past, when significant technical equipment and knowledge was required to manipulate analog content. Mashups raise significant questions of intellectual property and copyright. While questioning the law, mashups are also questioning the very act of creation. Are the artists creating when they use other individuals’ work? How will artists prove their creative input?

A major contributing factor to the spread of digital mashups is the World Wide Web, which provides channels both for acquiring source material and for distributing derivative works, both often at negligible cost. Web or cloud computing based applications are a combination of separate parts brought together with the use of the open architecture of public Application Programming Interfaces (API). For example, a mashup between Google Maps and could be made available as an iphone application, where the content and context of that content are drawn from outside sources through the published API.