art & perception

Virtual Boring Agent

I’ve seen this Virtual Boarding Agent a couple of times now at Orly Airport in Paris. A It’s a life-sized, life-like, two dimensional human figure that talks pleasantly about liquids and gels. It’s spooky, clever, and very well executed – and most people seem to ignore it after a first casual glance. I therefore feel […]

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Collapse of civilization tango

They say that the last days of Rome were culturally rich – and the same seems to be the case in our own times. Choreographer Valerie Green and Dance Entropy, a New York City-based experimental dance troupe, will shortly premier a new work, Rise and Fall, that’s about collapsing civilizations, the raw ugliness of industrialization, […]

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Can thermal perception change behaviour?

A premise of Joseph Giacomin’s new book Thermal is that global warming is hard to ignore when you view the world through thermal eyes. Hard, but not impossible, to ignore. We humans are skilful evaders of uncomfortable truths. The premise of the author’s reseach group at Brunel University in the UK, Perception Enhancement Systems, is […]

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Bangkok Cable Ways

On of the reasons we underestimate the sheer physical mass of our power and information networks is that they’re hidden from view. But not in Bangkok. The German photographer Thomas Kalak has spent ten years decade capturing images like these.They feature in an exhibiton at Munster Art Museum from 19 March to 3 July.

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Ultra Modern

I dislike the word ‘glocal’. It’s an ugly word used by high altitude thinkers to add zest to another word – local – that they find tedious on its own. I also dislike the word ‘creative’. It tends to be used by uncreative people to describe people like themselves. Its bastard child, ‘cultural creative’, is […]

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The economics of attention

(Summer re-run: first published 8 October 2006) In his review of Richard Lanham’s new book The Economics of Attention, Adrian Ellis says that “its core argument (is) that everyone is straining for distinction in a late capitalist global economy jammed with commodities and information, and that culture and creativity are what affords the producer the […]

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“Only connect…”

Global flows of money Global Thermohaline Circulation

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The Abbotshaugh Sentinel

Could you create an earthwork of significant scale using excavated spoil? The site is in Falkirk, Scotland (56 01 20.95 N / 03 44 30.74 W). Christian Barnes and landscape architect John Kennedy have written a thorough and thoughful brief on behalf of Falkirk Council. The document is a good example of how artists can […]

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Polish Art in Beirut

An underground exhibition of Polish art in Beirut looks like a specialised event, even for me – only it features the work of the Polish photographer Nicolas Grospierre which makes it definitely worth a visit. Grospierre’s modified architectural photographs were a highlight for me of the last Venice Architecture Biennale: a persuasive portrayal of what […]

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