7/31/2009 4:39:37 PM
Helvetica Man is a fixture of national parks, coffee shops, and airports around the world, helpfully pointing the way to bathrooms, elevators, and wet floors. His bulbous head and shapely figure are easy to understand, no matter what language a person speaks. This innocuous, multicultural figure did not emerge by accident. He was invented by the Austrian philosopher and social scientist Otto Neurath, according to the Smart Set. Neurath believed that language wasn’t the best way to impart knowledge universally, according to the article, and “sought instead a uniform visual communication system that relied on observation and experience.” Helvetica man, as he was later dubbed, became the cornerstone of that system.
The Smart Set
7/31/2009 10:27:29 AM
For today’s classical composer wishing to be taken seriously, writing a film score is a step in the wrong direction: Critics tend to snub those who engage in such lowbrow pursuits. Writing in the classical music magazine Listen (July-August), Damian Fowler assesses what he calls “The Fickle Genre” and points out that it can be hard for even very talented composers to shake this stigma.
One who has succeeded to some degree is John Corigliano, who created the Oscar-winning score for the 2000 film The Red Violin and then adapted it into a violin concerto that was recorded by Joshua Bell and hailed by critics. Another composer who’s still battling perceptions is Elliot Goldenthal, who scored Frida and, more recently, Public Enemies but feels he gets short shrift for his concert works, which include the Pulitzer-nominated opera Grendel. “I would like to change my name when I write orchestral pieces,” he says. Writes Fowler:
A student of both Aaron Copland and John Corigliano, Goldenthal says that people misunderstand the function of a movie composer. “It’s not as strange and different as it may seem, writing for the cinema and for the concert,” he says, pointing out that in the nineteenth century many composers wrote incidental music for plays. “Even Beethoven wrote incidental music, which he adapted for other works.”
Things may be changing. Composer wunderkind Nico Muhly, who has plenty of critical bona fides, wrote the score for the Oscar-nominated film The Reader. He harbors no preconceptions about film music: “I certainly never grew up with any thought that it wasn’t great music,” he says. “For me a culture high water mark is the score to Lawrence of Arabia.”
Source: Listen (article not available online)
7/29/2009 4:02:47 PM
Neuroscientists are unraveling why a Pablo Picasso painting appeals to the human brain. “The job of an artist,” Jonah Lehrer writes for Psychology Today, “is to take mundane forms of reality—whether a facial expression or a bowl of fruit—and make those forms irresistible to the human brain.” Lehrer draws off research by V.S. Ramachandran who found that artists employ “deliberate hyperbole” that makes it easier for people’s minds to decipher what an image really is.
Source: Psychology Today
7/24/2009 2:35:05 PM
In case you haven’t heard the robotic voice announcing its return, the vocoder is back in a big way. From electro-rockers like Black Moth Super Rainbow and Daft Punk to hip-hoppers like Snoop Dogg and Lil’ Wayne, it’s all the rage for singers to haul out this cheesy effect and make themselves sound like cyborgs. Will the same thing happen for the vocoder’s cousin, the talk box? The new issue of the vinyl collectors’ magazine Wax Poetics profiles an artist who helped bring the talk box to the masses in the 1970s, Zapp leader Roger Troutman.
A brief studio lesson: The vocoder and the talk box can make similar sounds, but they employ wholly different processes. The vocoder essentially makes the human voice sound like an instrument by deconstructing and reconstructing it electronically, while the talk box makes an instrument sound like the human voice by directing a note through a tube and into the singer’s mouth. The mouth then acts as a sound chamber.
“You’re shaping the sound,” Lester Troutman, bandmate and brother of Roger, tells the magazine.
If you’re familiar with the vernacular of ’70s radio, you’ve heard the talk box: Think of Peter Frampton’s “Show Me the Way,” Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way,” or Zapp’s “I Want to Be Your Man” and “More Bounce to the Ounce.”
“Talk boxes and vocoders are confused more than good and bad,” writes Wax Poetics, noting that perhaps the talk box would be better known if it had adopted some of Roger Troutman’s or Bootsy Collins’ nicknames for it.
Troutman called it the Ghetto Robot, the Electric Country Preacher, and the Nasty Straw (the drool-drenched tube could be a source of infection), while Bootsy called it the Magic Babbler, the Snake Charmer, and the Cosmic Communicator.
Check out the accompanying Analog Out column by Peter Kim, who traces talk-box history and links to several videos, including Stevie Wonder using the talk box on Sesame Street, Roger Troutman using it in the studio, and a clip about how to make a “ghetto” talk box.
Source: Wax Poetics (article not available online)
Image by daniel spils, licensed under Creative Commons.
7/24/2009 10:38:50 AM
Here’s a twist on the traditional artist residency program: Spend a week or two in the woods, camping out in a vintage trailer-turned-studio, with the sights and sounds of Oregon’s beautiful Mount Hood National Forest as your primary (only?) inspiration.
That’s how the new Signal Fire residency program works, reports The Bear Deluxe, a quirky magazine of arts and the environment published by the Portland-based nonprofit Orlo (article not available online). Husband and wife Amy Harwood and Ryan Pierce—a program director for a forest conservation group and a visual artist, respectively—dreamt up the project, and bought and refurbished a trailer to get things rolling. Thanks to her work, Harwood knows all the best spots at Mt. Hood, and "promises to place artists in a cozy room with an exceptional view of nature."
And what a cozy room it is: an "8-by-18-foot Road Ranger trailer, vintage 1975, sporting the era's requisite sun-bleached yellow and orange racing stripes." Harwood and Pierce have fixed it up, though, sprucing it up with "custom workbenches and cubbyholes to complete the feeling of a studio."
"What I'm hoping," Harwood tells the Bear Deluxe, "is that by putting the trailer as far out as we can get it into the wild places around Mount Hood, we'll be able to capture a little bit of that inspiration and still offer the incubation of a space."
Source: The Bear Deluxe
Image by Darren // DA Creative Photography, licensed under Creative Commons.
7/22/2009 2:44:53 PM
When we blogged about rogue taxidermist Sarina Brewer, we thought we had bumped up against the outer limits of the taxidermist universe. We were wrong. Meet WTF Taxidermy, an online community organized on Livejournal to "discuss and share photos of taxidermy at its worst—funny anatomical abominations, ridiculous eBay auctions, cheesy novelty mounts, and just plain bad taxidermy! We also want to showcase the best and most unusual taxidermy mounts, including highly realistic or imaginative mounts as well as rogue taxidermy and mythological animals."
(Thanks, Art Fag City.)
Image courtesy of
7/22/2009 2:22:12 PM
The art of graffiti: you either see it or you don't. Evan Roth of the Graffiti Research Lab drags us out of that tired debate and shows us the science of tagging. His Graffiti Taxonomy project has just posted its Paris findings and a transfixing interactive demonstration of the lettering of 180 Parisian taggers. Individual letters were extracted using a process that looks something like this:
Here's a short video about the project:
7/20/2009 11:57:22 AM
Review of Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India
by Rory MacLean (Ig Publishing)
Before Allen Ginsberg wrote about his year-and-a-half stay in India in the early ’60s, the subcontinent didn’t take up much space in the Western mind. But like so much in those days, the Western mind was changing, and soon thousands of young seekers were setting off along the road where Ginsberg had posted his existential arrow sign: “Find Thyself, This Way.”
Before long, the old Silk Road had become the “Hippie Trail,” and it changed the world in ways that haven’t been fully appreciated until the publication of Rory MacLean’s wistfully merry Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India.
Nearly 30 years after the trail was cut off by the Iranian revolution, MacLean set out to see what was left of the route, starting at the Pudding Shop restaurant in Istanbul, where travelers piled into smoke-filled buses before rolling east through Iran, Pakistan, India, and finally to Kathmandu, where they stayed while they searched for something like nirvana.
MacLean finds that many traces of the old trail still exist, and he even runs into old travelers looking for the places where they once found themselves, including “Penny,” a woman who claims to be the original flower child. MacLean’s vivid writing shows how much the Hippie Trail changed not only the way we travel (giving us Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, and the budget travel industry), but also the places it passed through and the people who traveled on it.
This review is from the July-August 2009 issue of Utne Reader.
7/17/2009 11:26:05 AM
You love fonts, you love cars, and you've always wondered how to marry the two. A Belgian ad agency called Happiness Brussels (seriously, that's their name) has done it. Two typographers and a pro race car driver have created a font called iQ. Here's how they did it, with apologies for the atrocious music:
Source: Creative Review
7/16/2009 4:46:54 PM
In 2007, 28-year-old Baghdad resident Firas Adil Saadi got a tattoo. The ornate marking on his right shoulder wasn't an aesthetic decision. Saadi explained the tattoo to an Los Angeles Times reporter:
"The idea came to me after seeing these daily incidents during which some corpses are mutilated and distorted, some were even headless, and the fact that the identity cards are either lost or destroyed," said Saadi, a trader who works in Baghdad's Shorja market, which has suffered numerous bombings. "Even the water of the firefighting equipment is destroying them, so I thought about an irremovable identity card, which is the tattoo."
In those days, identity tattoos were something of a trend. Today, according to a report by IRIN, a news agency affiliated with the United Nations, identity tattoos are on the decline but tattoos of the decorative variety, though they are taboo to many in Iraq, are still in demand:
“Few people were interested in getting a tattoo for the look of it during 2005, 2006 and 2007 as their aim was only to put a mark on themselves to help their families identify their bodies if they were found mutilated,” Abdu, a Baghdad tattoo artist, told IRIN on condition that his full name not be mentioned for his safety.
Today, Abdu said few men come to him for that reason while many youngsters are seeking tattoos for purely decorative reasons. He said he charges US$10 to $200 for all kinds of artwork, such as images of dragons, snakes, tigers, hawks and hearts.
However, Abdu continues to keep a low profile for fear of being attacked by extremists who see his work as being prohibited by Islam or too westernised.
“Turnout is high, but our work is still limited to close friends and people we trust,” said Abdu, a 28-year-old Christian who learned his art as a refugee in Lebanon when he fled there in 2004. On his return to Iraq, he decided against opening his own tattoo studio and instead operates out of a friend’s tailoring shop.
Source: IRIN, Los Angeles Times
7/13/2009 5:21:40 PM
Great art is subjective. Bad art, on the other hand, can be identified by a pigeon. According to the New Scientist, psychologist Shigeru Watanabe taught art appreciation to several birds by rewarding them with food when they correctly discerned good art from bad. To identify the quality of the art work, Watanabe used children’s paintings that had been graded in a class and by a panel of adults. According to Watanabe, “The experiments demonstrated the ability of discrimination.” He added, however, that it did not show “the ability to enjoy painting.”
The pigeons may be smart, but the research “conflates so many different aspects of the human response to art,” Jessica Palmer writes for Biophemera. Palmer questions, “What is the relation between beauty in art and the quality of the art? Specifically, can ‘good’ art be ugly? Can beautiful art be ‘bad’? Can ugly art, paradoxically enough, be beautiful?” The pigeons haven’t been able to account for these subjective art questions. So, at least for now, art critics won’t be closing up shop just yet.
Sources: New Scientist, Biophemera
Image by Ricardo Martins, licensed under Creative Commons.
7/10/2009 4:22:07 PM
Hermas Zopoula is a musician from Burkina Faso in West Africa. In the July-August Utne Reader, writer Frank Bures calls his new two-CD debut album Espoir “a great addition to any Afropop fan’s library.” Zopoula is not yet living the life of a world music star, however: He still works as a translator for Air Burkina at the international airport in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, as he prepares to record his second album and hopes for his star to rise. Bures recently caught up with Zopoula by phone to discuss his music and his life. Here is their conversation. —The Editors
Listen to a sample track from Espoir:
"Companion de Route" by Hermas Zopoula
Hello, Hermas. How are things in Ouagadougou?
I’m fighting with the heat.
Is it hot there now?
Well it’s six o’clock and dark is just coming, so now it is a little bit not hot. But to you it is hot. If you were here at around 12 o’clock I’m sure that you would melt.
How did you get your start in music?
In all my family are what we call griots, people who are singing and praising, giving praises to very important people in the village. My family used to do such a thing. Since when I was born, all my family are Christians, but this mark was still on me. I could still see some people singing and praising each other. I grew up with that. At around 12 years I said I will become a singer. So I started training myself. And in 1999 I moved from Leo to Ouagadougou and I continued in the music. When I was 18 years old I started to do music really well, doing my own songs. And in 2000 I met Jonathan [Dueck] and his wife. OK, I have spoken a lot. Now you must ask me another question.
So are you a still griot? Are there griots still around?
Yes, there are still griots. But with the religion, they are stopped. They are nothing like they used to be in the past. In the past we had our griots and they were using their abilities to sing praises to the idols. So now they are not singing in that same way.
Musically, which artists are your influences?
We have some musicians in Burkina that are really loved much, but I don’t use the style they are using to play their instruments. I can say [Ivorian reggae star] Alpha Blondy is the first one. [Late South African reggae star] Lucky Dube is another one. And we also have some old musicians that are really—I liked the way they play. Pepe Kalle. You know how he dances and how he sings?
Yes, I know Sam Mangwana.
We have so many of them here in Burkina Faso.
Like how many musicians?
Wow. That is a great question. I really cannot figure it out. Because each year we have something we call the Musicians' Festival. And we can see on the television that they have more than 80 musicians registered.
Will you be in it?
I’m not sure because you have to have two albums for sale before you register. So maybe in the coming year I will be able to.
Are there many music venues around Ouagadougou?
We have so many places. Sometimes we don’t even need to go to a very remarkable place. Even you can just play on the corner. But if you want to organize a very big concert and we have places you can go to. And if you are a very, very well-known musician you can hire the stadium. Alpha Blondie. Lucky Dube.
So do people do in Burkina Faso like music?
Yes, they do. But in the past, Burkinabé people, they like music but they are not trying to play music by themselves. They were buying cassettes from Abidjan. We have more than 6 million people in Abidjan. So going and coming back they would just buy some tapes from there, and they don’t care about other musicians here in Burkina Faso. The new music from Burkina Faso is there in Abidjan, and we also have theirs here.
So is the music from Ivory Coast and Mali and Niger and Mali different from Burkina Faso’s music?
Yes, yes. Very different.
In Burkina Faso you’ll see that people are saying we are singing warba. Most people in Burkina Faso are Mossi people. And Mossi people used to dance warba. But if you go to Mali, it’s madang. And now in Abidjan, it’s very mixed. I can’t tell you what kind of music they’re dancing to there because they have a very mixed population. You will see Ghanaians. You will see Burkinabé. You will see Malians. You’ll see people from every country living there. They have everything: reggae, madang, and since they have more than 6 million Burkinabé there, if you bring a cassette, they can start dancing warba.
Are those dance styles or music styles?
They are dance styles, but all styles of dance are coming with their own style of music.
What is your dream as a musician?
I want to be a very well-known musician. And I want to have my own team and my own studio. If you have your own studio is very easy for you to perform songs. Very easy! Because you’ll have all the time to mix and remix them to review all that you have been doing before you let it go out. And I want to move around the world.
Do you want to fill the stadium like Alpha Blondy?
Yes, I want to fill the stadium! I want to have many fans on my back when I am moving across the city, and people say, “Here are the artists. Here are the artists!” (laughs)
Do you have any concerts coming up soon?
No, not here in Ouagadougou. Not yet. My plan is that I’m looking to go to the U.S., where I will be making my second album. But now it is the period when people are going on vacation, so at the airport where I am working, we have so many flights. So I don’t have any time to organize anything during this period. Maybe from October to February, something can be organized. Now I’m working seven days a week. So that leads me to being not able to accomplish something of my desires.
Are you married and have children?
No, I don’t have any. I am free. I’m open.
I’ll put the word out. That is all of my questions. Was there anything else you wanted to say?
Yes. I had another thing to let you know: Out of 36 brothers and sisters I am the last born. My father was married to six wives. I’m the last one of the family. I was born when my father was nearly 80 years. Some people say he was 90 years.
So you still have time to have children.
Yes, I have to live more than my father! He lived more than 120 years before he passed away. I have a lot to do, because we have a saying here in Burkina Faso: Every child is supposed to do better than his father. So maybe I’ll be looking to make 40 children. (laughs) I’m joking. And maybe 10 wives, or 20. I don’t know. (laughs)
, courtesy of
Asthmatic Kitty Records
7/9/2009 1:10:00 PM
Using the View-Master as her medium, Portland-based artist Vladimir weaves intriguing “28-picture tales of train chases, missing steam shovels, disastrous dinner parties, and overly adventurous cockroaches.” She crafts each scene using teeny toys, objects, and random paraphernalia. When set to music and narration, a Vladmaster performance has more potential for magic than any movie theater. Instead of staring at a screen, audience members click through the story as one, each using their very own View-Master.
Vladimir is not currently touring, but you can experience the whimsy at home. Visit her website for information on how to buy reels of her Franz Kafka parables and other thoughtful tales.
Images courtesy of
7/7/2009 5:35:44 PM
In a recent Utne Reader article, I wrote about crate-digging bloggers who are posting all kinds of obscure and fascinating world music on the web. But I only scratched the surface of the websites doing this kind of excavating. Nathan Salsburg at the self-described music “blob” Root Hog or Die has gone deeper and come up with an amazing list of websites and blogs that run a huge gamut of sounds. Visit the site to check out the whole smorgasbord, but here are a few of my favorite nutshell descriptions:
: Outfitted like that one site with all the videos, Farsitube also has a prodigious music section, with tunes running the gamut from classical, folk, rock (from killer psych to the chintziest and most vapid of ’80s material), to contemporary pop. You kinda just have to jump in and start clicking …
: A digital hillbilly goldmine of banjo-hyper-collector Jim Bollman’s stacks of 78s.
Iranian.com: America might be Ahmedinejad’s “Great Satan,” but he should keep an eye on the electric guitar riffs gracing some of the unbelievably guiltily-pleasurable pop tunes available here.
Juneberry: The Roots Music Listening Room
: Lock yourself in your room with a Coleman camper stove and some cans of soup and an internet connection and this website and maybe we’ll see you later.
Public Domain 4 U: The title’s an anticipation of how Prince’s catalog will be described in 50 or so years, but this totally sketchy looking site is actually a nice little stop for some wonderful old-time and blues tunes.
Source: Root Hog or Die
, licensed under Creative Commons.
7/7/2009 3:56:19 PM
It’s hard to imagine music that’s much happier than juju, the Nigerian-born style with peppy, repeating guitar lines, honeyed vocals, and an army of talking drums inviting—OK, imploring—you to dance. King Sunny Ade is its primary exponent, and back in the late ’80s he was my entry point into African music. Vaguely interested in African sounds from my Talking Heads records (what can I say, I was a white kid from the Midwest), I picked up the Ade album Live Live Juju and was swept up in the cascading drums and sweetly unfurling melodies. My ears took me further and further into African sounds and eventually led me to the legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo Kuti, also a Nigerian but a much more complex, controversial character with darker, denser music and strongly political lyrics. In a sense they were the bookends to my aural African sojourn: the easy and the hard, the gentle and the ferocious.
I never saw Fela perform before his death from AIDS in 1997, and I never caught Ade on tour—until last week, when I caught both the King and Fela’s banner-carrying son, Femi Kuti, on an amazing double bill at the Minnesota Zoo. The concert was everything I expected and more, with Ade’s juju as vibrant as ever and Kuti’s music just as intense and forceful as his father’s.
Ade’s set came first. As the sun sank low in the summer sky, his band members, more than a dozen strong, took the stage in their brown patterned African dress, and then Ade entered, his sparkling blue gown and regal comportment announcing his arrival. (My 5-year-old son said, “I can tell which one is the king by his uniform.”) The band let its full force be known immediately, with the drummers—entirely half of the band—constructing a wall of rhythm that within minutes had rib cages shuddering and feet fidgeting. If there were any doubts about the health and humor of the 60-something bandleader, Ade soon displayed that the King is alive and very well, deftly dancing and stepping to the beat and commanding his band with a mere wave of his finger. Singing in Yoruba, Ade led the band through a blissful series of songs that reminded me just how powerfully his music had grabbed me 20 years earlier.
A small segment of the crowd were Yoruba speakers, standing out not just for their African dress but for their hearty responses to Ade’s call-and-response lyrics and their inspired dancing. Their enthusiasm was infectious and helped the somewhat staid Minnesota crowd get their Africa on. By the end of the set, after a particularly hearty sing-along, Ade himself seemed thrilled by the response: “I love you all,” he said, and the crowd responded in kind.
After a short break, Femi Kuti’s band Positive Force took the stage, distinguishing itself with far fewer drums, a five-man horn section, and three rump-shaking dancers. (Ade briefly had two dancers onstage.) Kuti appeared at the forefront with a serious, calm but piercing gaze that would seldom leave his face, and he established set the tenor of his set by leading off with “Stop AIDS” from his Fight to Win album. The song’s edgy horn bursts, driving rhythms, and blunt English lyrics announced that things were getting heavier—though, as the dancers proved, there was still a lot of shaking going on.
A couple of songs into his set, Kuti popped a quiz on the crowd. “Do you know Dizzy Gillespie? Do you know Miles Davis? … Do you know John Coltrane? Do you know Duke Ellington? Do you know Billie Holiday?” The crowd’s affirmative answers set up his own: “Then we won’t have any problem tonight.”
After several jazz-informed solos, he had one more question: “Do you know Fela Anikulapo Kuti?” The roaring response left no doubt that his father’s legacy was hovering in the cooling night air.
Jazz indeed proved to be one of the magic components in Kuti’s music, as he switched between vocals, saxophone, trumpet, and keyboards, always pushing the band toward raw and emotive sounds with an improvisatory edge. But there was also some house, hip-hop, and techno in the mix, adding a modern, sexy shine to the Afrobeat sound. Throughout it all, social messages leapt out from the lyrics: “Why all this fighting? Why all this suffering?” “The African man and the African woman find it very difficult to succeed.” “All in the name of peace we fight and kill to find justice.” The overall impression was that of a party whose host had an awful lot of his mind.
Kuti’s last number mixed up all these contradictions in one big mishmash. Singing “Beng Beng Beng” from his album Shoki Shoki, he gave a long mid-song lesson in sexual restraint—“don’t come too fast,” goes the song’s refrain—that took on an almost scolding tenor. But after he delivered his message, the band kicked in again, the big beat started up—and hips resumed swaying.
7/6/2009 4:29:57 PM
It’s not that it hasn’t been said before, it’s that it bears repeating: It’s not about the photograph. In an essay that bears that title, written for Matrix, Ian Orti laments the intrusion of Flickr culture into the live music experience, and indeed, into life on the whole:
For some reason these days it’s not enough to get onstage and rock out with your favourite band; instead this experience has to be documented at the expense of the experience itself. Strike a pose. Of course there was the stretched arm snap of his face in the foreground while the band played on in the background. And then came the snaps with his girlfriends who stopped their dancing to pose for that perfectly candid shot, followed by the painful few seconds of waiting for the photo to load on the viewfinder so he could show them and then maybe pose for another one just in case that one perfectly candid shot wasn’t candid enough.
Image by Byflickr, licensed under Creative Commons.
7/2/2009 2:05:21 PM
Invite-only film downloading clubs hide in the darkest, most exclusive corners of the internet. Writing for Film Comment, a writer known as Quintín ventured into a clique he pseudonymously calls “Black Crow” and discovers the hidden cost of a place “where all cinephilic fantasies can come true.”
Though Black Crow grants access to all the 1940s Hungarian cinema that a film buff could ever want, members must contribute back to the community in uploaded material. “The goddess of Black Crow demands that the faithful pay tribute,” Quintín wrote. The community’s obligations were nearly impossible for the writer to fulfill, and he began obsessively checking his upload to download ratio. “From feeling like a billionaire, I began to act like a high-stakes speculator who bets his last penny on Wall Street during a financial crisis.”
Unable to sate the demands of Black Crow, Quintín was eventually kicked out of the illegal downloading community. “I learned that there is something worse than being denied entry into an exclusive club,” Quintín wrote, “and that is to enter the club only to be kicked out.”
Source: Film Comment (article not available online)
7/2/2009 2:02:24 PM
Afghanistan's epic battle against Soviet occupation spawned an unusual genre of war story: the war rug. It's a tradition that continues to this day, with Afghan weavers telling the story of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent American invasion.
Max Allen is a curator of a war rug exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada. Here’s what he has to say about the rugs:
During the Afghan wars which have gone on from 1979 to the present the whole country is full of war equipment. You can hardly avoid seeing it. And just like television or newspapers these rugs report what’s going on in Afghanistan. Before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan there was nothing anywhere in the world like this. It came out of the blue. Are the rugs pro-war or anti-war? I don’t know. You can read a message into them but whether the message was put there by the weaver, I don’t know.
Hear more from Allen and to see some of the work in this short audio slideshow:
(Thanks, Strange Maps.)
7/2/2009 12:52:34 PM
It's the Fourth of July! Buy some fireworks, give them to a group of small children, and just sit in front of your easel and paint what happens next. That's probably not the genesis story of this particular piece of firecracker art. All the same: Wow.
The always linktastic Coudal Partners has added CRACKERPACKS, an archive of firecracker art, to their Museum of Online Museums.
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