Posts Tagged ‘art’

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Storytelling Sunday

September 15, 2019

“…our relationships with works of art, particularly those that have a massive impact on us, changes as time goes on.  The things that inspire you at 16 probably won’t inspire you or at least in the same way at 26 or 36 or any age past that.  And even if something has soured in your mind, mocking it wholesale seems more a sign that you still need it, and less like you recognize its flaws while appreciating the role it played in your life.”

— Andrew Saladino

I really like what Andrew creates in his video essay on outgrowing movies (and outgrowing art in general).  The whole trope/idea/action of “growing up = trashing what you liked before” is unfortunate.  Perhaps it is a misunderstanding of the phrase “you must leave things behind”?  Either way, outgrow is a much healthier word:  “I used to like that and it used to hold meaning for me.  Now, it doesn’t in quite the same way.  While it may not be perfect as I remembered it, it still shaped who I am, and I can revel in my excitement for it back then.  I can let it lie in the middle ground and go forth boldly.”

And for those times we revisit something and it is everything that we remember it to be — and sometimes revealing itself to be even more meaningful now?  Then its time to dance on the rooftops in unbridled excitement!

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Wonder Wednesday

September 11, 2019

What a powerhouse of a song.  I’ve long loved its oomph, its emotion, and I love how interpretable it is to so many people.  For me it is full of perseverance, verve, and possibility, the choice to take what’s so and to continually strive forward with peace, passion and gusto.  Freddie Mercury had an amazing vocal range and it’s used here to great effect, especially in the tail end as he begins singing in mildly low tones about the butterfly and continuing to build and build, flying ever upward to reach into the stratosphere in the final chorus.  Love it.

What’s even more amazing is the story behind the recording – Freddie was quite ill by that point and could barely walk, and Brian May was unsure if Freddie would be able to sing such a dynamic and difficult piece.  But Freddie just stood up, said “I’ll fucking do it darling” and proceeded to nail (nay, totally kill) it in one take.  Absolutely extraordinary.

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FutureCOT

September 1, 2019

Ohhhh, this is nice. There’s a big push of investment about to be poured into EPCOT at Walt Disney World, and one of the new buildings teased looks like this:

Colour me intrigued!  I love its futuristic/biophilic flair, and I get a very world-expo vibe from it.  Especially with the promotional poster like this:

Very nice!  Fingers crossed it survives intact from these schematic/conceptual drawings into reality…

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Wonder Wednesday

August 28, 2019

Seemingly random Tintin artwork in the public/playground/community area under an apartment building!  Very cool.

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Wonder Wednesday

July 31, 2019

Sometimes, one can only jam along to the glory that is before them:

Yes, the masterpiece that was 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12, officially titled the Pinball Number Count, debuting on Sesame Street in 1977.  Sung by none other than the Pointer Sisters (!) in a delightful funk/jazz/Caribbean melange.  Accompanied by wild visuals with fun themes.  And featuring sequence number 8 (titled Forest Follies) that ends with the best delivery of an “eight” ever recorded.

Great stuff.  It’ll be stuck in your head now* for the rest of the day, and that’s a good thing!

 

(When I used to teach at my previous job, if the class was getting a bit listless I would begin singing the tune and trail off starting around 6… never did it fail that at least a few people would carry the song all the way to 12.)

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Wonder Wednesday

July 24, 2019

From tranquility laced with danger, crammed into a can yet without the comfort of gravity, with no time left to your own devices, yet yearning, aching, needing to share this amazing new vista with everyone, a beauty beyond compare.

Alexei Leonov was not only the first person to walk in space, but also the first to draw in space, this sketch of a sunrise unlike any other:

Using the simplest of media, modified by the most hack of hacks (elastic bands FTW), with those strong strokes it evokes all the wonder and power of that sight.  Love it.

Read more about it in this article by the Guardian and compliment it with this great video by the Art Assignment.

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Everything Thursday: The Aesthetics of Genre

June 20, 2019

“I think it is very important to be able to read media with a critical eye. To parse it in terms of what it is saying, both on its face, and in how it uses the language of its medium (film, TTRPG, whatever) to deliver its ideas. To make its statement.

Genre is not simply a set of aesthetics, full stop. It is aesthetics with a direction, an impetus.

Lots of folks like to forget the reason behind the aesthetic choices, and just sort of, eat and regurgitate them unthinkingly.”

Commuting Crow [Emphasis Mine]

I came across this and I like it a lot, and want to pass it forward for it is very important in storytelling, in gaming, and even in architecture.

The look and feel (ie aesthetics) of any genre is born from a philosophical place.  It was through the examination and exploration of certain ideas, theses, and ideologies, whether that be in support of them (we are interested in this  and think this is a good way to go, let’s explore and invent down that road), in question of them (we see this as a possible way things could go, let’s explore and see what the outcome(s) might be), or in opposition or critique of them (this is something we see happening, and think it is not productive, let’s explore and illustrate the harm).  Genre is more than the style of the world, it is about world building, and all of the aspects of world building.  The way society operates (or doesn’t), the way people think (or don’t), the prevailing truths (or untruths), the direction and inflections of humanity.  It is from there, from that baseline world building from which the aesthetics emerge and are developed into their final form.

So when you use the imagery and aesthetics of the genre as just a stylistic choice, you aren’t operating in the genre.  Your work is not of the genre.  It’s something else in different clothing.*

The same holds true in architecture.  The organization of the Beaux-Arts building, the hyper-detailed nature of the Baroque period, the classical orders, the bold planes of modernism, they all emerged out of philosophies about living (in all senses of that word).  There were values and convictions and ideas and ideologies beneath it all, and it was the exploration into form of all of those that informed and created the style, including how the building is laid out, how one approaches the building, how one travels from room to room, how the façade is proportioned, how and where ornamentation, etc.

So when you use the architectural pieces and aesthetics (the architectural language) of a ‘style’ (or genre) as just a stylistic choice, you aren’t operating in the true nature of the style.  Your work is not of the style.  It is something else in different clothing.

In this way, Using the words  “architectural style” to describe how a building looks turns out to be a misnomer.**

To reiterate, genres (and architectural ‘styles’***) are born of a specific context, in time and space and thought and vision.  From there emerges a look.  If you want your story, your game, or your work to be truthfully of that genre, it needs to engage with that context (again, whether it is to follow, to re-examine, to tweak, to refute, whatever, but it must engage with it), not just the look of it.

It is from there that richness arises and that great works emerge.

 

* Which BTW is fine… there’s some fun in playing around only with style.  Just be honest about it.

** It is also where many more recent buildings fall flat or feel terrible, because they’re importing architectural languages in a copy/paste mode without any thought or understanding of all the ideology and knowledge that underpinned the ‘style’ and so having little design sense poured into them.  Confusing architecture as just the “fancy looking bits” leaves behind the most important aspects that make up what architecture actually is.

*** We really need a better word.  Ok.  This is my game now, to find or come up with a new word for this.