Archive for February 3rd, 2012

February 3, 2012

Eduardo Paolozzi

turing image by paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi [pow-laz-zi] (1924 – 2005), was a Scottish sculptor and artist. Paolozzi investigated how we can fit into the modern world to resemble our fragmented civilization through imagination and fantasy. By the dramatic juxtaposition of ideas in his work, he let us see the confusion as well as the inspiration. Paolozzi’s ‘I was a Rich Man’s Plaything’ (1947) is considered the first standard bearer of Pop Art and first to display the word ‘pop.’ Paolozzi showed the collage in 1952 as part of his groundbreaking ‘Bunk!’ series presentation at the initial Independent Group meeting in London.

He established his first studio in Chelsea, London; a workshop filled with hundreds of found objects, models, sculptures, materials, tools, toys and stacks of books. Paolozzi was interested in everything and would use a variety of objects and materials in his work, particularly his collages. He came to public attention in the 1950s by producing a range of striking screenprints and ‘Art Brut’ sculpture. Paolozzi was a founder of the Independent Group in 1952, which is regarded as the precursor to the mid 1950s British and late 1950s American Pop Art movements.

February 3, 2012

Independent Group

bunk by eduardo paolozzi

The Independent Group (IG) met at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA, an artistic and cultural center on The Mall in London). The IG consisted of painters, sculptors, architects, writers, and critics who wanted to challenge prevailing modernist approaches to culture. They introduced mass culture into debates about high culture, re-evaluated modernism and created the ‘as found’ or ‘found object’ aesthetic. Currently the subject of renewed interest in our post disciplinary age, the IG was the topic of a two-day, international conference at the Tate Britain in 2007. The Independent Group is regarded as the precursor to the Pop Art movement in Britain and the United States.

The Independent Group had its first meeting early in 1952 which consisted of artist and sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi feeding a mass of colorful images from American magazines through an epidiascope (early image projector). These images, composed of advertising, comic strips and assorted graphics, were collected when Paolozzi was resident in Paris from 1947-49. Much of the material was assembled as scrapbook collages and formed the basis of his ‘BUNK!’ series of screenprints (1972) and the ‘Krazy Kat’ Archives now held at the V & A Museum. In fact, Paolozzi’s seminal 1947 collage ‘I was a Rich Man’s Plaything was the first such ‘found object’ material to contain the word ‘pop’ and is considered the initial standard bearer of ‘Pop Art.”

February 3, 2012

Eroto-comatose Lucidity

aleister crowley

Eroto-comatose lucidity is a technique of sex magic known best by its formulation by English author and occultist Aleister Crowley, but which has several variations and is used in a number of ways by different spiritual communities.

A common form of the ritual uses repeated sexual stimulation (but not to orgasm) to place the individual in a state between full sleep and full wakefulness as well as exhaustion, allowing the practitioner to commune with their god. The rite may end in one of two ways. The ritualist may simply sink into total sleep. Or they may achieve orgasm and then sink into a deep and ‘undisturbable’ sleep.

February 3, 2012

Erotic Sexual Denial

chastity belt

Erotic sexual denial is a practice in which a heightened state of sexual arousal is maintained for an extended length of time without orgasm, and is commonly practiced in association with BDSM and sexual bondage. Erotic sexual denial can be another name for or variant of orgasm control.

Erotic sexual denial is a form of sexual play. One form of erotic sexual denial is the reduction or deprivation of all genital stimulation. To ensure a complete absence of genital stimulation, a chastity device may be used as a physical barrier to genital touch and/or full erection.

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February 3, 2012

Blue Balls

truck nuts

Blue balls is a slang term for the condition of temporary fluid congestion (vasocongestion) in the testicles and prostate region, accompanied by acute testicular pain, or a prolonged dull aching pain emanating from the prostate, caused by prolonged and unsatisfied sexual arousal in the human male. The term is thought to have originated in the United States, first appearing in 1916. Some urologists call the condition ‘epididymal hypertension.’ The condition is not universally experienced by all males.

Although widely discussed, there has been scant information in the medical research literature until a 2000 article by Chalett and Nerenberg in ‘Pediatrics’ which found little formal data regarding the condition but concluded that ‘the treatment is sexual release, or perhaps straining to move a very heavy object—in essence doing a Valsalva maneuver,’ a moderately forceful attempted exhalation against a closed airway.

February 3, 2012

Indiana Pi Bill

3.2

The Indiana Pi Bill is the popular name for bill #246 of the 1897 sitting of the Indiana General Assembly, one of the most famous attempts to establish scientific truth by legislative fiat. Despite that name, the main result claimed by the bill is a method to square the circle, rather than to establish a certain value for the mathematical constant π (pi), the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. However, the bill does contain text that appears to dictate various incorrect values of π, such as 3.2.

The bill never became law, due to the intervention of a mathematics professor who happened to be present in the legislature. The impossibility of squaring the circle using only compass and straightedge, suspected since ancient times, was rigorously proved in 1882 by Ferdinand von Lindemann. Better approximations of π than those inferred from the bill have been known since ancient times.

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February 3, 2012

Hyperthymesia

unforgettable memories

funes el memorioso

Hyperthymesia [hi-per-thy-mee-zee-uh], also known as piking, is a condition in which the individual possesses a superior autobiographical memory, meaning they can recall the vast majority of personal experiences and events in their lives.

The term ‘hyperthymesia’ is derived from the Greek words thymesis, meaning ‘remembering’ and hyper meaning ‘excessive.’ As first described in a 2006 ‘Neurocase’ article, the two defining characteristics of hyperthymesia are ‘the person spends an abnormally large amount of time thinking about his or her personal past, and the person has an extraordinary capacity to recall specific events from his or her personal past.’

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February 3, 2012

Larry Cuba

Larry Cuba

Death Star

Larry Cuba (b. 1950) is a computer-animation artist who became active in the late 1970s and early 80s. Born in Atlanta, he did his Master’s Degree at California Institute of the Arts which includes parallel schools of Dance, Music, Film, Theater, Fine Arts, and Writing. In 1975, early computer animator John Whitney, Sr. invited Cuba to be the programmer on one of his films. The result of this collaboration was ‘Arabesque.’ Subsequently, Cuba produced three more computer-animated films: ‘3/78 (Objects and Transformations),’ ‘Two Space,’ and ‘Calculated Movements.’ Cuba also provided computer graphics for ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope’ in 1977. His animation of the Death Star is shown to pilots in the Rebel Alliance.

‘3/78 (Objects and Transformations)’ (1978) was created in Chicago with Tom DeFanti’s Graphic Symbiosis System GRASS, and consists of sixteen ‘objects,’ each composed of 100 points of light, some of them geometric shapes like circles and squares, others more organic shapes resembling gushes of water. Each object performs rhythmic choreography, programmed by Cuba to satisfy mathematic potentials. ‘Two Space’ (1979) consists of full-screen image- patterns which parallel the layered continuities of classical gamelan music (Indonesian). Using a programming language called RAP at the Los Angeles firm Information International Inc. (III), Larry was able to systematically explore the classic 17 symmetry groups, a technique used by Islamic artists to create abstract temple decorations.

February 3, 2012

John Whitney

arabesque

catalog

John Whitney (1917 – 1995) was an American animator, composer and inventor, widely considered to be one of the fathers of computer animation. Whitney was born in Pasadena, California and attended Pomona College. His first works in film were 8 mm movies of a lunar eclipse which he made using a homemade telescope. In 1937-38 he spent a year in Paris, studying twelve-tone composition under French composer Rene Leibowitz. In 1939 he returned to America and began to collaborate with his brother James on a series of abstract films.

During the 1950s Whitney used his mechanical animation techniques to create sequences for television programs and commercials. In 1952 he directed engineering films on guided missile projects. One of his most famous works from this period was the animated title sequence from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film ‘Vertigo,’ which he collaborated on with the graphic designer Saul Bass.

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February 3, 2012

Spirograph

spirograph

Spirograph is a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical curves of the variety technically known as hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. The term has also been used to describe a variety of software applications that display similar curves, and applied to the class of curves that can be produced with the drawing equipment (so in this sense it may be regarded as a synonym of hypotrochoid).

The name is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Drawing toys based on gears have been around since at least 1908, when The Marvelous Wondergraph was advertised in the Sears catalog. The ‘Boys Mechanic’ publication of 1913 had an article describing how to make a Wondergraph drawing machine. An instrument called a spirograph was invented by the mathematician Bruno Abakanowicz between 1881 and 1900 for calculating an area delimited by curves. The Spirograph toy was developed by the British engineer Denys Fisher, who exhibited it in 1965 at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair. In 1968, Kenner introduced Spirotot, a less complex version of Spirograph, for preschool-age children, too young for Spirograph.

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