Category Archives: Articles

Weather Forecasting Far Beyond and Close to home

Berndnaut-Smilde

Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus D’Aspremont, 2012

There is  a lot of talk on  a special kind of weather forecasting these last days fueled by Stephen Hawking and his recent paper published online about Black Holes titled “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes“, which as they say claims that Black Holes and their surrounding Event Horizon are not what we used to think they were. I hardly understand anything  in this field but I am always intrigued. So I wait for scientists who are good at popularizing scientific thought to translate to people like me what this is all about. Here is a comprehensive article from the New Scientist. But there is another point that makes me interested in this development and it has to do with the will and frankness quality needed in the ability to change your mind. If I am not mistaken it is the 3rd time Stephen Hawking is changing his mind about the nature of Black Holes. At first he said that there is no information escaping a Black Hole. Then, he admitted there was (and paid off a bet), and now he strikes with another proposal saying that there is no event horizon at all or singularity in a black hole. I may be sooo mistaken in what I say here I have understood so I will stop at this point. But still the main point is that he feels his understanding of the world, of his field of research is always in process, is always evolving, therefore defending his theory contrary to his results is absurd. I hope I can be open enough in my life to be able to change my mind so profoundly if that is what I should do for the sake of honesty.

960px-Black_Hole_Milkyway

Sticking on the weather issue though, earth weather, on a rainy day like today in Corfu, I share here links to the Nimbus series, by Berndnaut Smilde. Smilde is a Danish artist working around the idea of weather, among other things. He created this beautiful series of clouds in indoor spaces, temporary creations that result in lasting photographs.

Nimbus-by-Berndnaut-Smilde-yatzer-6

Berndnaut Smilde, Nimbus Green Room, 2013

Here is a short BBC video interview on how Berndnaut Smilde makes his clouds.

Watching this video and works reminded me of visiting Olafur Eliasson‘s ‘The Weather Project‘ some ten years ago at the Tate Modern.

Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, Tate Modern, 2003

Olafur Eliasson, photo from The Weather Project, Tate Modern, 2003

This was a massive work made of so little and it had an effect equivalent I guess to a common hallucination. In the grim London weather some lights, mirrors and misty smoke in the Turbine Hall created a warm and safe environment for us visitors, for us sun missing people, to agree that the sun was real and warm, and that the sunset hour was soothing and cosy.

The work was commissioned for the Unilever Series and presented in Tate Modern in 2003.  Ten years later they made a Remember The Weather Project project and here is a video about the idea and impact of this work.

The term Weather Forecasting for Black Holes sounds to me as literal and as metaphorical as the creation of mini clouds and sunset atmospheres on earthly indoor spaces. Hence the post. One is chosen for the qualities attributed to its scientific relevance while the others for their aesthetic resonance. All three though grow in the prosperous lands of Wonder.

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Sartre and Beauvoir in Love

Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir

Jean-Paul Sartre & Simone de Beauvoir

I bumped today into the www.brainpickings.org website which seems very interesting. Having said that, let me just clarify that I haven’t really explored it yet, I have just glanced over some articles, but they were all interesting. Good start for a new fav website!

Anyway, it had two articles about Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Sartre and Beauvoir had an open life long relationship that was intimate yet at times had space for other lovers to home in….

Here are links to reviews by Maria Popova on two books that give insight into these literary lovers’ way of love; one being a collection of his love letters to her and the other a collection of women’s breakup letters, including some of Beauvoir’s to her various lovers.

I had to share two of their quotes, one from his letters to her and the other from a breakup letter written by her to one of her other lovers, found on the above mentioned books (via links)….

“I am mastering my love for you and turning it inwards as a constituent element of myself.”

Jean Paul Sartre (in a letter to Simone de Beauvoir)

“I can still feel warm and happy and harshly grateful when I look at you inside me”.

Simone de Beauvoir (in a breakup letter to Nelson Algren)

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The Union

Enosis, by S Skordos. Photo by D Dimouitsas

Text by Spyros Skordos. Photo by D.Dimoulitsas. EN mag, issue 3 (spring, 2010), pp. 9 and 11

And a bit of Greek on this blog….

Today is the anniversary of the union of Corfu (and the other Ionian islands) with the modern Greek State (1864). In Corfu town we have a public monument to physically mark this event in our large, green and flowery central town square, the Esplanade. Every year on this day this stone monument gets decorated but for the rest of the year it is left in peace and in darkness for teenage lovers to discover each other, in equal distance between seclusion from and proximity to public life. This monument seems to be sitting comfortably there awaiting them to mark their Union.

Thinking of that a few years ago, when, some dear dear friends of mine – Dionysis Dimoulitsas and Vasso Kotsi, among others – and I were producing a free press magazine about Corfu, called EN, we felt we had to connect those dots. To make a note of this personal and social union. The Spring issue of 2010 would be in circulation during this anniversary, so we asked from our witty editor, Spyros Skordos, to remind us all what ‘The Union” really meant for our Corfiot generation. I am sharing this lively article here. To access it, click on either images (above or below).

The text is in Greek. Whoever can, enjoy it!

en3

ΕΝ magazine, issue 3 (spring 2010), cover. Cover photo by D.Dimoulitsas

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Investing in the Arts

The Scream (1895) by Edvard Munch

The Scream by Edvard Munch became two days ago the most expensive painting to be bought. It was sold at a Sotheby’s auction to a private, unknown to the public, collector for $119.5 million. This painting, which makes a part of our collective art heritage and pop culture is officially out of sight for all of us (as an original) for now and out of reach for any public institution to obtain for its collection, if not for ever, definitely for a very very long time…

There is a market side to art, there has always been one. Auction Houses these days seem to be doing pretty well even in these shaky times. I guess this means that art is still considered a safe investment. It is said that the world of Auctions is a business that may ‘make’ artists but it kills the artwork, because they generate superstars, while they deprive artworks from their ‘reflective dimension’.
Following this, here are two interesting articles that have a different standing point when it comes to the Auction House’s performance:

On the Market‘ by Alice Gregory.

Alice Gregory was a ‘Sotheby’s girl’ and as an insider she sheds some light into the psychology and strategy behind the operations of this world famed Auction House. It is especially interesting as to how the House locates and  introduces its auction items to possible collectors and vice versa. The article was published on n+1 magazine

Quotes from the article:

‘Property often comes to auction under conditions that the specialists list with alliterative delight: death, divorce, debt. But in the end, the process by which any work of art changes hands is singular—there are as many reasons for selling a piece as there are for buying one…. Collectors are people, with insecurities and egos of varying size. It’s the specialist’s job to psychologize his clients and devise ad hoc strategies that ultimately earn him a commission.’

‘Meanwhile, the specialists have been looking for clients, listing potential bidders in an “interest list” prepared for each individual lot of the sale…. The length and seriousness of the interest list is the private metric specialists use to guess how well a lot will perform, rather than the more empirically determined estimate.’

This Is Why I Hate Big-Money Art Auctions‘ by Jerry Saltz

Snapshot from the Scream sale. photo by Mario Tama (via vulture)

Jerry Saltz is the senior art critic for the New York magazine. In this article he comments on the selling of the Scream at the recent auction and gives us an insight on the staging of a sale. Article found at www.vulture.com

Quote from the article:

‘Auction houses inherently equate capital with value. The price of a work of art has nothing to do with what the work of art is, can do, or is worth on an existential, alchemical level.’

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