Monthly Archives: February 2013

Zac Freeman

I have found this amazing artist who creates images from rubbish! No idea how he has the patience to do it.

My work focuses primarily on portraits created by assembling found objects, disposable goods, and the leftover trash of things we consume in our society. I glue the bits of junk to a wooden substrate, a canvas, which forms the image of a portrait. The result is a stunningly realistic portrait at a distance and an interesting array of objects up close.

I am interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and also communicating through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space.

It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself. The result is a time capsule of objects that reflects our culture.

My assemblage artworks have continued to encapsulate cultural change. For example, grey film canister tops used in my early junk portraits are very rare now as our society has moved to digital cameras. An iPhone used as shading on a cheek looks desired one year and archaic the next as society, technology, and consumables continue to change.

I think it’s wonderful that he was asked to do Absolut Vodka artist bottles. I think those special edition bottles look great, and to be approached by Absolut is a huge compliment!

I was approached by Absolut Vodka to participate in their very famous “artist” series. Absolut started working with fine-artists in 1985 when pop icon Andy Warhol created the famous “Absolut Warhol” which quickly led to “Absolut Haring” and “Absolut Scharf.”

The Absolut campaign this time around would pose the question that all creative types are faced with, which is, what would you do with a blank canvas. 18 artists were chosen from all over the world and under the tagline “It all starts with an Absolut Blank,” we were given blank canvases in the shape of the iconic vodka bottle. The campaign, which highlights various mediums of artistic expression, launched in the UK in July 2011.

I was honored to be a part of the “Absolut Blank” campaign and continue the long tradition of Absolut working with contemporary artists. Artists in the Absolut Blank project are Adhemas Batista, Aestethic Apparatus, Alex Trochut, Brett Amory, Dave Kinsey, David Bray, Eduardo Recife, Fernando Chamarelli, Good Wives & Warriors, Jeremy Fish, Ludovica Gioscia, Marcus Jansen, Mario Wagner, Morning Breath, Robert Mars, Sam Flores, Thomas Doyle, UVA, and Zac Freeman.

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Caddisfly larvae build protective cases using materials found in their environment. Artist Hubert Duprat supplied them with gold leaf and precious stones. This is what they created.

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FLEXIBLE PAPER SCULPTURES BY LI HONGBO

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Why carve your sculptures when you could delicately glue thousands of perfectly cut pieces of paper together? Beijing editor and designer Li Hongbo, inspired by tradtional Chinese paper toys and decorations, applied the same methods to create these very cool, flexible paper sculptures. Watch the video below of Hongbo demonstrating his sculptures at a recent solo show at Dominik Mersche Galleryin Australia.

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Amazing!! I’d be worried to touch them, they look so delicate…

Li Hongbo – Pure White Paper from Dominik Mersch Gallery on Vimeo.

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Manufacturers of personal and feminine care products Playtex has introduced ‘intimate wipes’ for you to clean up your “special” parts before and after intercourse. To advertise the wipes called ‘Fresh + Sexy’, the brand came up with a somewhat humorous campaign that contains double entendres. 

“This product was designed to address an important consumer need,” Erik Rahner, a marketing director for the brand, said in a release. “Sex isn’t always a planned event that can be prepared for. With Fresh + Sexy™ wipes, couples now have a way to be clean and ready for even the most spontaneous moments. They can be ready for intimacy whenever–and wherever–the mood strikes.” So these wipes will keep you squeaky clean, both before and after.

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That is pretty funny… Not really what you’d expect from a campaign advertising such a product, so I think it works really well!

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oh my, that is too cute…

Why Evolution Is True

Quick report: I think my talk went okay last night: the audience seemed to like it and there was an hour of questions. Since it was a humanist society, there wasn’t much opposition, but one person in the audience asked me repeatedly if I could explain how evolution could create molecular complexity. I mentioned gene duplication and the creation of hemoglobins, whereupon he responded, “But they’re still hemoglobins!” You’ll recognize this as the molecular equivalent of “sure, microevolution can make different species of cats, but they’re still all cats. Show me a cat evolving into a dog!” I gave him other examples, involving more drastic molecular transitions like lactic dehydrogenase forming crystalline proteins of the eye lens, and he went quiet.

At the end of my book signing, he came up to me and said, “I have just one question for you, Dr. Coyne: have you heard of Pascal’s Wager?”…

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I need to watch this on 4oD!

Why Evolution Is True

by Greg Mayer

No, it’s not an avant-garde staging of Shakespeare, but the actual skeletal remains of the last Plantagenet king of England. Archeologists recovered the remains last summer based on historical accounts of where he was interred following his death at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. The church of Greyfriars in which he had been buried had been demolished centuries earlier and its exact location forgotten, but a body was quickly located, and the strong scoliosis of the spine indicated it might well be Richard.

The skeleton also exhibited numerous wounds, especially on the back of the head, consistent with death during a medieval battle. Osteologists also estimated the age of the male skeleton to be late 20’s to early 30’s (Richard died at 32), and radiocarbon analysis dated it to 1455-1540. The piece de resistance was the matching of mitochondrial DNA from the skeleton to a…

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Why Evolution Is True

If you’re of a certain age (an age even bigger than mine, but I read old stuff), you’ll know about the amazing and amusing inventions—most of them imaginary—of cartoonist Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg (1883 – 1970).  Here’s one example of his imaginary devices: an alarm clock triggered by the arrival of the early bird catching a worm:

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Nowadays a “Rube Goldberg” machine refers to any excessively complicated contraption that, in the end, performs a simple task.

Here’s a real Rube Goldberg machine: a pancake-making device, cooked up by the UK’s Happy Egg Company, that begins when a free-range hen lays an egg. The YouTube notes describe it:

The Pancake-omatic took a team of four design engineers more than 200 hours to construct and a further 100 to test. The device which will go on display at the Design Museum later this month, uses a wide selection of household…

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Tory MP condemned as homophobic after he claims being gay is just a short-lived phase

Conservative MP Sir John Stanley has been branded homophobic after claiming that being gay was just a passing fad.

The married MP said homosexuality was a ‘normal phase’ for youngsters before they became heterosexuals in later life.

Sir John, 71, made his comments following the the controversial Commons vote which legalised same-sex marriages

In a letter to constituents in his Kent seat of Tonbridge and Malling, he explained why he was one of 175 MPs to vote against the bill.

The legislation was passed with a majority of 225 votes on Tuesday.

Sir John, a former minister in the Thatcher governments in the eighties, is married with two children. He is retiring at the next general election.

Among the three reasons Sir John gave for his opposition to the bill were Government interference over the issue and his belief that gay marriage would not achieve equality in law.

But he caused controversy when he wrote: “Enshrining gay marriage into law will be unhelpful and positively damaging to young people going through the perfectly normal phase of being attracted to other young people of the same sex before arriving at a heterosexual orientation subsequently.”

Nic Evans and his partner Steve who own The Swan pub in Edenbridge, Kent, had a civil partnership ceremony last August. They were horrified by their MP’s views.

Nic, 49, told the Daily Star: “I find it really disappointing when I discover comments which I believe are homophobic.He’s been there since 1974 and is obviously one of the old guard of the Tories.”

He added: “We’re just lucky we’re part of a community here in Edenbridge where it’s never been an issue.”

“He’s stepping down at the next election – so good riddance to him, I say.”

 

Yes, those words are actually real. People actually think like that. I am baffled….

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Iran’s 1960s-Era Space Program

Photos have surfaced showing a visibly terrified monkey crudely strapped into a restraint device in which he was reportedly launched into space by the Iranian Space Agency (ISA).

Back in 2011, PETA U.K. urged agency head Dr. Hamid Fazeli to ground the misguided mission, pointing out that nonhuman primates are no longer sent into space by the American or European space agencies.

It appears that Iran is repeating the wasteful and cruel mistakes that marked the darkest days of the space race. Monkeys are smart and sensitive animals who not only are traumatized by the violence and noise of a launch and landing but also suffer when caged in a laboratory before and after a flight—if they survive.

NASA ended the use of primates in space radiation experiments in the early 1990s, following protests by PETA. In 2010, NASA’s plans to restart the program were canceled after PETA and others voiced strong ethical and scientific objections to the ill-advised plan.

Similarly, the European Space Agency (ESA) has a very active space exploration program and has publicly stated that it “declines any interest in monkey research and does not consider any need or use for such results.” The ESA instead employs modern technology such as state-of-the-art simulators to assess health risks for astronauts.

Whether it happens in Iran or Ireland, in an underground laboratory or in outer space, cruelly exploiting animals for specious science is indefensible.

 

I know I’m a bit late, but … what the hell?! What century are we living in? No idea what they hoped to gain out of this. I feel so so sorry for that poor monkey, they are such intelligent, alert, emotive beings.

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Gospel of Intolerance

The filmmaker Roger Ross Williams reveals how money donated by American evangelicals helps to finance a violent antigay movement in Uganda.

This is awful. I usually know quite a bit about what goes on within religious sects, but I had no idea that people in the USA actually raised money to promote homophobia because it’s a ‘sin’. The most disturbing part is the Americans mumbling bullshit into the children’s ears, trying to brainwash them.

And that is why you should never give money to charities (especially religious charities) unless you know EXACTLY what it goes towards.

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