The Ghost of the Fortress.

The Ghost of the Fortress has become a permanent fixture at the Mark Rothko Art Center and Gallery. Per rq: a sort of monument to warhorses (who quickly became obsolete with the advent of more modern technologies), and thus is wrapped in gauze as a symbol of the uneasy life and death these horses (and, by extension, soldiers who served with them) experienced. As the sculpture concept declares (and I translate loosely from the article): “Usually what remains after war is not medals or grand victories, but crippled and ruined lives.” And for this reason they shied away from a heroic depiction of the warhorse (no bared teeth, flailing hooves, free manes flying in the wind). The authors of the piece drew inspiration from photographs of the wounded from WWI, and as it’s probably the last war that saw active-duty warhorses on the premises, they produced this restless ghost.

Via Delfi Kultura.

Cool Stuff Friday.

Images courtesy the artists.

Take a few moments from your day to get acquainted with Botanica, a blend of music, art, and science.

In 2012, Italian music group Deproducers launched a project of science-related albums, with the first, Planetario, exploring the topic of astrophysics. For their second musical science project, Botanica, Deproducers brought back the design studio Super Symmetry to create a multimedia live performance that highlights the beauty and artistic wonder of plants by merging music and scientific data. All told, there are 30 videos for Botanica, exploring things like plant roots, psychoactivity, and deforestation, amongst other topics, by way of grids, video footage, graphics, information, generative animation, and other visuals. Like Data Garden’s bio-reactive installation, Quartet, Botanica elevates the natural wonder of plants to a plane equal with human creativity.

While Planetario featured a collaboration with astrophysicist Fabio Peri, Botanica includes a collaboration with botanist Stefano Mancuso. During the live show, before the band begins to play, Mancuso gives a brief “science lesson” about the songs, and how each of the topics are interlinked. For each live show, Super Symmetry is tasked with visually integrating the musical and scientific aspects of the project.

There is much, much more at The Creators Project.

We could all use more Mr. Rogers.

Install shot of Topophilia. Image courtesy Wyoming Art Party.

Check out the Wild Wombs of the West!

Martha Wilson performing as Donald Trump in “Art Rising” at Trump Tower.

And don’t miss the art protest performance which took place at Trump Tower.

Lakin Ogunbanwo.

© Lakin Ogunbanwo.

© Lakin Ogunbanwo.

Nigerian-born and based photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo was commissioned by Galeries Lafayette to create a photo- and video– based window installation for the Parisian department store’s ‘Africa Now‘ season. Ogunbanwo’s concept centres around highlighting the multifaceted nature of his experience of Africa, which he realised with a cast of collaborators such as models Toyin Oyeneye and Uju Marshall and the stylist Oyinye Fafi Obi. Certain shots also depict a selection of objects that represent the spirit of his home city, Lagos. “Drawing from the colors and vibrancy of my city serves as a metaphor for the continent, where many people, cultures and realities all mix and interweave to make one beautiful whole,” he explains. The resulting series is cleanly composed, and at once energetic and peaceful, and notable for the sense of joy and exuberance they convey.”

Lakin Ogunbanwo x Galeries Lafayette from Nataal Media on Vimeo.

Via iGNANTLakin Ogunbanwo.

Pollution Popsicles.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Initially appearing to be a new artisanal food trend, these popsicles are actually a creative approach to spreading awareness of Taiwan’s issue of water pollution. The project, entitled ‘Polluted Water Popsicles’, was initiated by Hung I-chen, Guo Yi-hui and Cheng Yu-ti–a group of art students from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. To create the popsicles, the young artists collected water samples from 100 locations in Taiwan, with each sewage specimen then frozen and set in polyester resin for preservation. The project is successful in its innovative and deceptive conceptual approach–each counterfeit ice treat contains waste and domestic refuse extracted from the samples, 90% of which was plastic. The students also designed wrappers for the popsicles, and their work has been recognised by the Young Pin Design Award, as well as being exhibited at Taipei World Trade Center’s Young Designers Exhibition 2017.

All images © Hung I-chen of Polluted Water Popsicles.

Polluted Water Popsicles.  Via iGNANT.

Samurai Age.

Samurai Age.

Have a craving to put Samurai armor on your cat? Dog? Child? Partner? That big bottle of Saké? Samurai Age has you covered.

While it’s been over 150 years since the heyday of the samurai class, the fascination with them lives on. The talented craftsmen at SAMURAI AGE are doing their part to honor samurai tradition with handmade, high-quality samurai armor for you and your pets.

One of the selling points of this Fukuoka-based brand’s armor is how lightweight it is. Unlike traditional samurai armor, which could sometimes weigh over 60 pounds, SAMURAI AGE’s pet armor is constructed from light plastic that they claim can be worn for long stretches of time without tiring out its wearer. So although your pet will probably not be protected from any katana strikes, they will at the very least feel both badass and comfortable.

Samurai Age.

Human-sized armor for adults and children is also available for purchase, as well as helmets and bottle covers. All items are made of the same materials as the pet armor. The website suggests wearing the armor for birthdays or special occasions, but given the stylish, lightweight material there’s no reason not to wear it on a regular basis, too.

For those interested in a more “casual” look, SAMURAI AGE offers samurai helmets fashioned from polyester baseball caps. Customers can choose helmet designs based on those worn by famous Japanese historical figures such as Tokugawa Ieyasu, Oda Nobunaga, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

A cap based on Fukuoka daimyo Kuroda Nagamasa’s helmet. Mustache included. Samurai Age.

You can see and read more at Spoon & Tamago.

My Kind of Study.

It’s long been associated with anger and coarseness but profanity can have another, more positive connotation. Psychologists have learned that people who frequently curse are being more honest. Writing in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science a team of researchers from the Netherlands, the UK, the USA and Hong Kong report that people who use profanity are less likely to be associated with lying and deception.

Anyone who has been reading me for any length of time knows I tend to cuss. A lot. Can’t say I’ve ever considered it to be a possible mark of honesty though.

The international team of researchers set out to gauge people’s views about this sort of language in a series of questionnaires which included interactions with social media users.

In the first questionnaire 276 participants were asked to list their most commonly used and favourite swear words. They were also asked to rate their reasons for using these words and then took part in a lie test to determine whether they were being truthful or simply responding in the way they thought was socially acceptable. Those who wrote down a higher number of curse words were less likely to be lying.

This is interesting, but I have to wonder if the ability to lie was taken into account. Many children in abusive situations learn to lie extremely well. I was one of those, and while I can rarely be arsed to lie in adulthood, I am very good at it. Someone who is a good liar wouldn’t neglect a good intensifier. There’s an obvious tendency for those listening to take someone at their word, too. That would answer for people assuming someone who was cussing to be truthful, because we still have that ‘in polite company’ thing in our heads. We are, well most of us, taught that cussing isn’t polite from a very early age. Our languages are littered with euphemisms in place of cussing, which are considered to be acceptable, golly, darn, geez, etc. A lot of that has to do with so much cussing being religiously based.

A second survey involved collecting data from 75,000 Facebook users to measure their use of swear words in their online social interactions. The research found that those who used more profanity were also more likely to use language patterns that have been shown in previous research to be related to honesty, such as using pronouns like “I” and “me”. The Facebook users were recruited from across the United States and their responses highlight the differing views to profanity that exist between different geographical areas. For example, those in the north-eastern states (such as Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and New York) were more likely to swear whereas people were less likely to in the southern states (South Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi).

As a native Californian, cussing was often heard, and often a part of any conversation. Especially if you were in the surfing crowd. Here in nDakota, cussing is not heard much at all, and it’s frowned upon for the most part. That’s changed a bit over the past 20 years, but not a great deal. The more rural you go, the more frowning it gets.

The full story is here.

Trump Toilet Paper.

Mock-up of Trump toilet paper packaging.

Now, this is a good idea. A shame it won’t be marketed in uStates, I imagine it would be a bestseller.

A Mexican businessman says he is introducing “Trump” toilet paper because he’s “really bothered” by President Trump’s past remarks about his nation.

“My thinking was: We can’t keep quiet, right?” corporate lawyer Antonio Battaglia said Wednesday in a phone call with The Associated Press. “So with this insult that was made, [I figured] I’m going to add my grain of sand in response.”

Battaglia said he has signed a contract for a small initial run worth about $21,400, enough toilet paper to fill two cargo trucks. He added that he hopes to create enough demand to expand production.

The AP reported that the product will be marketed under the slogans “Softness without borders” and “This is the wall that, yes, we will pay for.”

Packages are expected to start rolling off production lines later this year, the AP reported, with 30 percent of the profits pledged to programs supporting migrants.

Battaglia gave the AP a mock-up package that says it contains four “puros rollos” — a double entendre that literally means “pure rolls” but can also be interpreted as “pure nonsense.”

The packaging also includes a cartoon roll of toilet paper with Trump’s iconic blond hair, smiling and flashing a thumbs up.

Battaglia’s trademark for Trump toilet paper was approved in October 2015, according to records from Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property.

The AP reported that the Trump Organization failed to obtain a trademark on what is called “hygienic paper” in Spanish.

It seems that the branding company that is the Trump family forgot to trademark Trump in the hygiene products sector. Hmmm, someone, quick, trademark Trump Ass Wash™, and get some cheap soap in a bottle on the shelves.

Via The Hill and The Guardian.

Oooh, Cry Some More, Boys.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Greg Rucka said Wonder Woman’s queer identity was important to the narrative. Photograph: Frank Cho/DC Comics.

Time to get drunk on tears once again. Some screenings of Wonder Woman have had a Women Only night, and all the dudes are upset.

“Wonder Woman” may be a feminist icon, but some male moviegoers aren’t happy about some scheduled women-only screenings of the film.
The controversy began when the famous Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Austin, Texas, announced it would be hosting a screening of the new movie, which stars Gal Gadot as the superhero.

“Apologies, gentlemen, but we’re embracing our girl power and saying ‘No Guys Allowed’ for one special night at the Alamo Ritz,” the announcement read. “And when we say ‘People Who Identify As Women Only,’ we mean it. Everyone working at this screening — venue staff, projectionist, and culinary team — will be female.”

That didn’t go over well with some men, judging by the comments on the theater’s Facebook page.
“Apparently ‘equality’ is only selective nowadays,” one person wrote. “How about a ‘men’s only’ showing of a movie or is that not how equality works?”

Why no, that is not how equality works, you crybaby of a cupcake.

The Alamo responded to many of the negative comments, pointing out that they have hosted screenings for select groups before, including veterans for military films, and that it’s about a celebration of the Wonder Woman character.

Hmmm, I’ll just bet there wasn’t any leaking of man tears over a veteran’s screening. So, cry some more, dudes, cry enough for us all to get drunk!

Full story at CNN, beware autoplay. Hat Tip to Saad.

White Genocide In Space!

Oh, the moans! The whines! The cries of the incredibly privileged white dudes! Will no one think of the bros? I can answer that one: No. You’re free to fuck off and not watch the new Trek, which, horror of horrors, is not stuffed to the starship ceiling with white men.

The new series Star Trek Discovery stars Asian actress Michelle Yeoh as the ship’s captain and black actress Sonequa Martin-Green as her first officer — and this has caused some Trekkies to fret about the lack of white men in charge.

While the overall reaction to the new Star Trek trailer has been positive — although there are the usual complaints from Star Trek fans about continuity errors — one group of fans is particularly upset about the show’s diverse cast of characters.

As both Heat Street and Daily Kos point out, the series’ YouTube page has been bombarded by comments labeling the show a “SJW” plot aimed at shoving “political correctness,” “forced diversity,” and even “cultural Marxism” down viewers’ throats.

Additionally, some angry Twitter users have even proclaimed that the show’s diverse cast is evidence of a “white genocide” conspiracy aimed at eliminating the white race from the face of the Earth.

Trailer from here.

Hee. Oh my, it’s a day to get drunk on tears. Via Raw Story.

Yuki James.

Stevie.

Absolutely wondrous portraiture by Yuki James, who does everything except conventional. I like ‘unconvential’ portraits of people, which simply means capturing people as they actually are, and how they wish to be portrayed, rather than the stiff, dressed up, traditional type of portraits. Just a few here, and most under the fold, possibly NSFW, so have a care.

The portraits feature a mélange of individuals caught in domestic moments to capture a provocative, elegant otherness that defies commonly accepted notions of race, gender, age, and individuality.

“Portraits are my passion and this show is a collection of my favorites,” James tells Creators. “I only shoot fashion or commercial work if the commissioning publication or client feels that what I do, and my voice, works with their brand. Or if I’m asked to collaborate with another artist or designer that I truly admire.” James recently collaborated with Jeremy Scott for Rollacoaster Magazine. “I love beauty in the unconventional. I love sensuality in those not expected to express it.” The portraitist says, “Emotions and feelings appeal to me. The things that tie us together as humans even when we seem so different.”

Tawan.

“An element of intimacy is something I strive to have with every person I shoot,” explains James of his process. “I take my time and ease into a space that feels comfortable and open, and then look for what they will give me. What poignancy can we tap into? In that way, each shoot is a collaboration.” Okachan, a picture of an older Japanese woman with a silk scarf covering her hair and a ball gag in her mouth, speaks to the contradictions of domesticity. The image is from a series of portraits the artist shot of Japanese women who are all over the age of 50, showing that modesty does not preclude tendencies like rough sex at any age.

[Read more…]