Brutalist Architecture goes Artificial Intelligence “Moullinex, whose real name is Luís Clara Gomes, created two videos that use artificial intelligence (AI) to imagine a series of brutalist buildings. The first video, which the artist shared on his Facebook page, is based on 200 photographs of modernist, concrete buildings. These images acted as the dataset, which was used to train a generative network via the machine learning tool StyleGAN2, to create a string of entirely non-existent buildings with similar characteristics.”
Tim Cook May Have Just Ended Facebook “What happens when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object? In a recent speech at Brussels’ International Data Privacy Day, Apple CEO Tim Cook went on the offensive against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Cook’s speech seems to be a direct response to Facebook’s recent attack on Apple, in which the world’s largest social network took out full-page ads in several newspapers attacking Apple’s new privacy changes.”
Hank Willis Thomas Reimagines Alfred H. Barr’s “Cubism and Abstract Art” Diagram “Alfred H. Barr Jr., MoMA’s founding director, made the initial version for an exhibition of the same name he organized in 1936, tracing what he perceived to be the roots of Cubism and abstraction. Hank Willis Thomas persuasively argues that this diagram (and the art-historical narratives it supports) fails to acknowledge the equally significant socioeconomic, cultural, and political circumstances that inform some of the most beloved and iconic works in MoMA’s collection, from Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) to Henri Rousseau’s The Dream (1910).” Download a PDF of Hank Willis Thomas’s Colonialism and Abstract Art.
Open Call: Photobook Dummy Award 2021 As one of the highlights of the Hong Kong Photobook Festival, the Photobook Dummy Award invites photographers, artists and creative talents from around the world to submit their photobook dummies. The jury will shortlist up to 12 dummies in the first round, from which three winners will be selected. The shortlisted and winning dummies will be exhibited at the Hong Kong Photobook Festival 2021. No submission fee. Deadline: 28 February
Rare Octopus With Transparent Head Caught by Blackwater Photographer Interview with Wu Yung-sen, by Madeleine Muzdakis. “The depths of the ocean are a powerful draw for researchers, experienced divers, and photographers alike. The vast bodies of water which cover over 70 percent of the planet’s surface are still being explored and documented. Lured by mystery, blackwater photographers dive at night into icy, pitch-dark depths. Taipei-based photographer Wu Yung-sen has been deep sea diving and photographing marine life for four years. On a recent blackwater dive – unable to see the bottom and surrounded by impenetrable space – he chanced upon a rare larval Wunderpus octopus. A stunning image captures the encounter; it shows the delicate and transparent baby octopus encasing its own brilliantly red brain, a sight few ever witness in the wild.”
Compiled by the Editors of LensCulture. “Personal favorites and recommendations from 36 people who know and love photobooks – lots of inspiring discoveries from around the world.” – Other best-of photobook 2020 lists from 1000 Words, All About Photo, Vogue Italia, PHmuseum, Smithsonian Magazine.
First All-Sky X-Ray Map from eRosita “The eRosita space telescope, which launched in July 2019, has completed its first full sweep across the sky, mapping both hemispheres and cataloging more than 1 million X-ray sources. This is only the first all-sky map to be delivered: The mission plans to create seven more maps, combining them to achieve unprecedented sensitivity to the whole X-ray sky.”
Filmmaker Wim Wenders Explains How Mobile Pictures Have Killed Photography “Smartphones have made us all photographers – or maybe they’ve made it so that none of us is a photographer. A century ago, merely possessing and knowing how to use a camera counted as a fairly notable accomplishment; today, nearly all of us carry one at all times whether we want to or not, and its operation demands no skill whatsoever.”
What Artists Talk About When They Talk About Their Art. And why it’s hard to say anything truly meaningful By Christopher P. Jones. “When I was at art college – many years ago now – I learnt two things very quickly. The first was that, if you’re going to make it as a practicing artist, you must not only be passionate, but also sociable, canny, eclectic, pompous (but not too much), fierce, shrewd, barefaced and, hopefully as daring as possible. In short, I began to realise that a contemporary artist is measured by his or her mettle, as much as anything else. Well, that had me a little stumped.”
Images without Viewers: Selfie Communism By Jody Dean. “Selfies are a communist form of expression. The critical reflex is to dismiss selfies as yet another indication of a pervasive culture of narcissism. I disagree. The narcissism critique approaches the selfie as if it were analyzing a single photograph. It views the person in that photograph as the photograph’s subject. Selfies, though, should be understood as a common form, a form that, insofar as it is inseparable from the practice of sharing selfies, has a collective subject. The subject is the many participating in the common practice, the many imitating each other. The figure in the photo is incidental.”
Beware the Vanity Gallery – and why they should be avoided “Don’t be dazzled when somebody turns their attention to your art. Be aware, be smart and be astute – and don’t get scammed by a Vanity Gallery. The business model of a Vanity Gallery revolves around extracting money from artists rather than selling artwork to art lovers.”