August 30, 2011
Find and share your favorite works of art with Artfinder. Information such as artist, location, and date is provided with each artwork along with the option to create your own art profile. Search for specific art pieces, browse via Art Shuffle or take a Magic Tour, an art tour generated from your choice of three different works of art. Have fun with the tour and pick different works, especially ones you may not feel inclined to choose, and you may discover some new and interesting types of art!
August 23, 2011
Need to identify a photo or want more information about the landmark you saw on vacation? Google Goggles allows you to search by image rather than text keywords. Simply upload an image from your smartphone and choose a category from logos, wine, artwork, contact info, books, landmarks, and text. Without typing, images of texts in different languages can be translated, artworks identified and contact information added to your phone. Get creative and see what you can find using Google Goggles.
August 18, 2011
"Ajanta" (video review)
Cave Temple, Ajanta, India
© Robert C. MacLaurin
Source: AAEL Digital Image Collection
Ajanta: Written in the Stone
Laurence Castle Productions
Laurence Castle presents the work of Univerity of Michigan’s professor emeritus Walter M. Spink who studied and proposed an entirely different dating system for the caves of Ajanta. Re-discovered after years of abandonment in 1819 by British officer John Smith, the Ajanta caves are richly decorated Buddhist temples located in the Sahyadri Mountains of India. From the time of their re-discovery the cave temples were the subjects of a great debate concerning the date they were created. Over time general consensus held that the majority of the caves were from the 7th century. However, Spink refutes this theory and supports the much earlier date of the 5th century. He provides evidence by examining the dedicatory inscriptions of figures such as Varahadeva, the prime minister of Emperor Harisena and the events of Harisena’s reign. Details in the caves such as candle soot, unfinished works and the style of door hinges also provide clues for the dating of the caves. The film, set amongst the caves themselves, presents detailed footage of everything from the construction to the elaborate decoration of these incredible temples.
August 09, 2011
"Alice Neel" (video review)
Andrew Neel, the grandson of Alice Neel, creates a portrait of his grandmother by exploring the events of her life with the people who knew her. Throughout this film he raises the question of why artists paint and the guilt that Alice felt throughout her life about the impracticality of painting to make a living. In interviews, Alice’s sons share the difficulties of growing up in a transient environment but also the balance their mother achieved between her work and supporting her children to pursue their own dreams. Andrew also includes footage of interviews with Alice Neel in which she relates incidents in her life and her creative process. She expresses how she creates portraits, what it is she wants to portray about mankind and the importance of psychology in her paintings. Finally art historians such as Jeremy Lewison and Robert Storr assess her work and its place in the contemporary events surrounding her life as well as her final recognition as a great artist in the later years of her life.
August 04, 2011
"Unfinished Piece" (video review)
Unfinished Piece for the Player Piano
Directed by Nikita Mikhalkov, Written by A. Adabashian, N. Mikhalkov
Based on Anton Chekhov’s works, Nikita Mikhalkov’s film adaptation is set at a summer party in the lush countryside of Russia where a gathering of gentry play out their games of love, intrigue and politics underneath the glamour of wealthy entertainments. Amidst their lively games a drama unfolds as the teacher Platanov meets a figure from his past and fights to reconcile who he was with who he has become. With Platonov’s struggle the illusions of the party members’ happy and rich lives fall apart as they question each other’s values and address issues of class difference and the changing world around them. The film also features a forward with the film writer Alexander Adabashian explaining their vision and development of this project.
August 02, 2011
Visuwords™ is a free online dictionary that draws upon the data in WordNet to create a graphical "neural net" of word meanings and associations. Enter a word in the search box: the color-coded results yield synonyms, antonyms, and a variety of relationships to other words. The dynamic interface allows for infinite exploration of terms and relationships.