Contemporary Art’s Midlife Crisis

If contemporary art has started out as a mission to democratise and demythologise art, a viewer of TraceyEmin’s bed has every right to ask: ‘Why can’t I make a million quids out of my even messier bed?’ Continue reading →


Hong Kong Yesterday: The Pearl of the Orient in the 1950s

Absolutely brilliant. Between the black and the white, those million shades of grey has captured the distinctive flavour of old Hong Kong.

Here’s the wiki link to Ho Fan, and more of his masterpieces here.

The Aesthetic of Big Data (2)

In my last post on big data, I lamented the looming threat big data is posing on our dominion over the world, and suggested that something be done to  reassured our mastery position.

The trouble is, in a post-humanistic world, it is absurdly out of fashion to think that we are the only intelligent species on the planet that can single-handedly shape its future. The celebration of technology also ushers us into an era of post-human ideas, threatening our long-held beliefs of human nature – autonomous, rational, capable of free will – which unified in our being as the apex of existence. Post-human requires fluidity not only in human identity but physicality, turning the ultimate fantasies of sci-fi fictions into reality: artificial intelligence, bionic replacement, uploaded consciousness, cyborgs and all their cousins. But a closer look will reveal that by assuming a ‘shared sovereignty’ between human and technology, we are assuming a concession of power to our products. Continue reading →


Le Corbusier’s aesthetic function

As a champion of modern architecture, Le Corbusier’s advocacy of ‘form follows function’ is now being curated from a new perspective in MoMA’s New Corbusier Exhibition – Reveals a Life Led By Landscapes. In seeing Le Corbusier’s fascination with natural landscape and the integration of it into his works, one needs to ask if vista can be considered as a topic of ‘function’ in architecture? Here are a few references back to early Roman buildings. Any thoughts?

vista pro buraco_905


The Aesthetic of Big Data (1)

There is a zombie email address that I use for nonessential site registrations to avoid aggressive marketing strategies. But a few months into using this email address I noticed that they began ‘customising’ my login page with inane fashion news of Kate and Gaga. No doubt this was the work of an algorithm programme gone wasted on an individual. But there are millions of other active users out there whose every Google search, every click on a link, and every private communication or transaction is recorded and fed into all sorts of algorithms, which in turn generate information to dictate the behaviours of the real owner behind them. >


Forget about the Flashy Names. The Biggest Player in Contemporary Art is …

North Korea!


Works from Mansudae Art Studio exhibited at Queensland Art Gallery

From city fountains to national monuments; from classical to socialist realism, from souvenir painting to quake-proof museums; from rock and bronze sculptures to 3D simulations, Mansudae Art Studio, a North Korean Colossal Monument Factory makes them all. Their works even appeared in the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art curated by Queensland Art Gallery!

 of Bloomberg has the story here. (Now I have my blog linked to a N Korean website, they’re going to track me down for [funny] business)!


Does sexy sell more?

Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian that “Red is the colour of sex – and the colour of money when it comes to selling art“. While empirically it might be right – though we are yet to see the evidence and historical record of the highest priced, adjusted for inflation and historical context – Mr Jones might be overusing the sexual concept desire and possession. Continue reading →