Article of the Day, Politics

The history of maps offers an insightful view to how the West’s inhospitable behaviour shaped life’s latest creation: the internet. Going over it extensively would take more than one post and definitely a lot of passion on the subject to type in one sit. Maybe in my senile days I’ll talk relentlessly about it, and hopefully my audience will bare with me, even if it’s mainly the 1 pig, 2 dogs, 4 cats, 8 donkeys, 2 chickens and 6 cows making me company.

Certainly, cartographic maps were not originally made to show peasants the beauty of the planet they happened to be born in. Cartographic maps were (and continue to be) a tool of power.

Back in the day of blue blood elitists, cartographic geographers (not their actual title at the time) were subjects in the royal house and as such, had to produce maps as commanded. During the middle ages, maps were less concerned about scale and more preoccupied with the unknown. As a matter of fact, sea monsters and mythical creatures were drawn like warnings of what could be ‘out’ there. This fear was also funded on the belief that the earth was flat, so venturing too far meant falling in a void of redemption–if not the confines of hell. Maps were also more likely to show illustrations of biblical locations.

medieval-world-psalter-map2

c 1460 Psalter Map of the medieval world

Once the fear to imaginary creatures and free falling became less asphyxiating than the dread of a feudal existence in an overcrowded continent, imperialism saved the day. Idiots like Christopher Columbus didn’t mind getting eaten alive by mermaids, deep inside all he wanted was to get out of the pestilent kingdom he was a part of and get rich fast (Wouldn’t this be a fascinating story?). Exploring the oceans in the search of resources required more precise maps in order to allow rulers know what was actually out there, while also providing a visual reference for navigation.

800px-colombusmap

c.1490 Christopher Colombus map

Had Columbus’ life ended feeding algae and Nemo’s ancestry before reporting back to his queen, chances are another idiot’s name would be taking his place. Or, in a more positive light, ‘indians’ would had never been ‘discovered’ and white guilt would be more honest because it wouldn’t be a thing.

Then what happened? A lot happened. But to make the story short let me just move on to the part where google acquired Keyhole, a company that specialized in geographical information system (GIS) applications that could be run from a desktop computer (aka Earthviewer). However, months later [in June 2005] Google had already launched Google Earth. What is more, Google had also started investing in commercial and aerial imagery from companies like DigitalGlobe. And yet, Google Maps was launched in February 2005. Ever since, both apps continue to evolve as geographical data becomes more available.

There is also something called ‘ray tracing’, which provides a more human like experience (since it uses geometry to mimic the human eye’s peripheral vision). As Ed Parson, geospatial technologist at Google in London, claimed back in 2008:

“That’s not to say the principals of design are not important in the creation of “maps” for screen display, indeed one could argue for the need of a “new” cartography which adopts rather than ignores the capabilities of screen based maps to portray information dynamically.”

In other words, resolution is key in today’s cartography to attain a ‘real virtuality’. Anyone with a computer or mobile device and access to the internet can navigate through virtual chambers of millions of pixels that give the impression of a street view. Due to legal and military constrains, Google continues to rely on terrestrial and aerial imagery to fulfill the real time expectations on the street view option. Although satellites can produce imagery at 10 cm resolution, allowing to identify an person’s face, their use is reserved for billionaires and government agencies.

Geospatial data is not as restricted. We are at the point of tracking our everyday moves, information that is processed, mapped, stored, and partially sold so we can get more personalized ads in our navigation through the web. It’s all pretty cool insight about our existence, and it is also disturbing to see how self-absorbed the human world has turned. We spy on each other for power / monetary accumulation, and we so naively accept any terms and conditions a website pops up on us without reading past the first paragraph (if even). Isn’t it fascinating?

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Art, Article of the Day, Illustration, Inspiration, Politics

Questioning nonsense as Lola makes portraits with glue and paper

Can art be a therapeutic endeavour collectors purchase for status while bored people pursue to avoid going insane? Can politicians be caricatures of society, and can leadership be a social construct idealized by the brain of an ape? Is there such a thing as privilege…or is it a 20 year-old English boy masturbating in-front of his 13-in macbook?

Currently based in Ireland, Lola Dupré made these illustrations by putting together pieces of various pictures of the actual portraits. Indeed, her illustrations are collages she completed by using paper, scissors, and passion…or a lot of time to meditate while creating.

Lola Dupre

David Cameron

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Barack Obama

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Margaret Thatcher

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Kin Jong II

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Pope Benedict XVI

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Art, Article of the Day, Drawing, Illustration, Inspiration, Literature

The echo of the offspring and the visual poetry of Elicia Edijanto

When the night arrives the child comes outside to play with the beasts.

What is there for the children who are not born yet? How will they interact in a world of uncertainty amongst themselves? Will they grow up and turn into drug addicts, junkies, pot heads, whores, womanizers, scum? No matter how little or how much their parents loved them, they will still feel empty and not good enough. Then they will  turn into deformed beings that want to dismantle the lies and trash fed to them like pedigree, and they will roar in the dark under flashing lights of coloured filters, sweat and share the illusion of freedom until it all becomes a part of who they are, who they think they are… they’ll feel happy puking glitter, masturbating because why not? “the gods resemble to us, we created them after all”, they’d say. Then when the day arrives 10 hours late again, they will complain about adults and their own humanity, for they have accepted their species is evil and some have actually embraced the idea…others fight it…others don’t care. The children, what will be of them when they fully grow up? Does that actually ever happen to children? Do they truly grow up or is it just a misunderstanding?

Elicia Edijanto is an extraordinary artist from Indonesia who specializes in watercolours to create beautiful illustrations that recite silent verses of hope, like reminders to not discard one’s inner child because innocence is never lost. She introduces each illustration with curated quotes mainly from authors such as Hemingway. The illustrations is also titled so that the narrative is even more straight forward, reinforcing the message to avoid misunderstandings. Nostalgic notes are observed in the composition of the paintings, each protagonized or antagonized by a human offspring and an individual of another species. The nature of life is rendered in black and white while both creatures share a moment, a reflection of the goodness that persists regardless of nihilism and the food chain.

Here is the link to Edijanto’s website, followed by a recompilation of her work, which can be also purchased here.

Elicia Edijanto

“Glowing Sun”

You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.

-Ernest Hemingway-

Elicia Edijanto

“Warriors”

And after all the falls are done, we must rise again –

Elicia Edijanto

“Glory”

Elicia Edijanto

Untitled from “The Animal Stories” collection

Elicia Edijanto

“Comforting Sounds” from the “Safe” collection

Elicia Edijanto

“Going Home”

I’m the blood, I’m the key
Let them born into this world,
Let them sing into the sky

-Nidji-

Elicia Edijanto

“Echo (3)” from the “Echo” collection

Oh, this is her, by the way. A beautiful woman with a beautiful craft.

Elicia Edijanto

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Art, Article of the Day, Illustration, Inspiration, Science

Passing by to say hi and to share Paolo Čerić’s work, why not?

I stopped feeding this channel for a while. Life got out of my hands, like when water overflew your fists as a child trying to hold it. I’m still trying to put it back in order, as if there was any before falling in this void. I no longer know whether it’s going further down or the other way. In fact, I feel like floating in space while hearing the tic-toc of an old clock. A clock that is so ancient I can’t dare to question. Not because I don’t want to do it, I’m just exhausted at this point. Life is great…it sure is…keep telling that to yourself, maybe it will become true some day. Hopefully, when “some day” comes you will be riding a wild horse in the prairies. It is Napoleon’s white horse taking you to the horizon where the sun sets at dusk (as if possible). Why not?

A facebook acquaintance shared Adel Abidin’s Life is Short, Let’s Have an Affair installation with me, which I planned to publish originally. Of course, I changed my mind. I found Paolo Čerić instead, a Croatian artist whose talent with Processing kept me from weeping as I typed this text of adulation for his mastery of the medium. Paolo, if you are reading this, please note that I admire your good taste in graphics. Not knowing what to select from his exquisite collection, I finally ‘curated’ the following set he published on Behance. Paolo named it Single Stroke, and it came out when I looked up for the word ‘rape‘ on Behance’s searcher. 

Programming, Digital Art, Paolo Čerić

Programming, Digital Art, Paolo Čerić

Programming, Digital Art, Paolo Čerić

Programming, Digital Art, Paolo Čerić

He created them with Processing, which, as some of you may know, requires the artist to code. Numeric beauty, certainly.

Programming, Digital Art, Paolo Čerić

Here is a link to his tumblr! Visit him and like his stuff if you think it worth your effort, or as you prefer. Thank you for passing by.

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Art, Article of the Day, Inspiration, Photo manipulation

Michel Lamoller likes layers

Michel Lamoller likes layers.  Layerscapes (sculptures) is one of his most recent collection, where he creates the illusion of a 3-dimensional image with varying depth. His cities are harmoniously crafted, as you can see in the pictures below. Tautochronos is another project of his currently on the making and, layers, once more, are primal. However, for this post I only selected pieces from Layerscapes, including those he produced back in 2013 and 2012.

To synthesize his technique Lamoller explains, “I work with many layers of photographs create a new space. This space, still containing photographic information, gets photographed again. In my work I play with the reality of the image, and also with its space by turning the space-illusion into real space again.”(via artistaday)

Don’t forget to visit his website to discover more of Michel Lamoller.

2014

2014

2014

2013

2012

2012

2012

2012

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Art, Article of the Day, Inspiration, Painting

Denzler’s nostalgia

It is somehow romantic to look back into the history of television and consider the fact that there was a time in which its transmission was terrestrial. This also brings into consideration the notion that for a few years the world was seen in black and white, and signal disturbances were common. In comparison to the sleek body of the modern T.V., it once resembled a heavy box with dipole antenna or ‘rabbit ears’ that just enhanced its archaic form. Swiss painter Andy Denzler explores the concept of images disturbances in his 2014 collection, “Between the Fragments”.

«In terrestrial transmission, it was a matter of course that there were also image disturbances.» he explained.

Denzler collaborated with Swiss photographer Lukas Mäder by using selected pictures of his portraits depicting celebrities. In the paintings, however, Denzler distorted the images to reflect them conceptually into the abstract realm, bringing out the sentimentality of an obsolete world through warm colours that recalls their nostalgic antiquity.

Here are the pictures:

Girl with a Peach

Vreneli vom Guggisberg

Nevus

Burgäschi See I

Touch

Decision

Have a look at his website for more of his work!

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Art, Article of the Day, Illustration, Inspiration, Politics

The Leśniak portraits

Portraiture, turns out, is not dead. And it won’t be. What is more, it will continue evolving with the upcoming generation of artists and requests, for where there is demand, there is supply. From the depiction of power through the arrogant form of monarchs and imaginary creatures in ancient times, to the acknowledgment of existence through ‘selfies’ taken in washrooms, alas, portraits prevail.

Piotr Leśniak, an illustrator from Warszaba, Poland, came up with these for different magazines:

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak
Those, of course, are very different from these, which he made for Playboy:

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak
And the ‘selfie’, of course:
Piotr Leśniak

Piotr Leśniak, check out more of his work at http://www.behance.net/lesniak…It’s worth it!

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