"This is sometimes another stumbling block, particularly to the Romantic notion of the practitioner whose aim is the expression of the self. We need to differentiate between activities that are to do with the personal development of the practitioner and his or her creativity, and activities that are significant for others in the field. It is only an activity that is significant for others that can be regarded as research. Personal development does not make a contribution to the 'advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight', except in the most parochial sense, i.e. my advancement. To illustrate this let us consider the discipline of arts therapies. It is the purpose of arts therapies to improve the well-being of the client through an intervention involving the client doing some kind of arts activity such as painting, music or drama, etc. Whether the client produces art, in the sense of 'a work of art' mentioned above, is irrelevant to the process. The activity is aimed at the personal development and self knowledge of the individual and not at the advancement of knowledge, understanding and insight into some issue shared by others. Of course, the client's case may contribute to the advancement of knowledge in arts therapies, but this would be an outcome for the therapist and not for the client. In addition, the client's productions may subsequently achieve the status of 'works' but this would be incidental to their original function in connection with improved well-being. Thus I would distinguish between (1) art as therapy (for the individual), (2) art as cultural practice (the production of works of art), and (3) art as research (meeting certain criteria under discussion). It is my claim that (1) and (3), that is, art as therapy and art as research, are mutually exclusive. I should emphasise that this does not mean that I deny that there is such a discipline as arts therapies research!"
(Michael A. R. Biggs, 2003, Practice as Research in Performance)
"The French poet and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, is usually given the credit for the title by which the neoclassical revival of the 1920′s and early 1930′s is known. Le Rappel a l’ordre or the Call to Order summoned the civilized world to its senses. These were the very organs, you will recall, that had been ripped away by a shell fragment in Dix’s Skin Graft.
This 'call to order' actually had its roots in French wartime propaganda. The virtues of France’s Latin-based civilization were ranged against the Teutonic brutalism of the Germans. Before the war, néoclassicisme had languished like a discarded stage prop. In 1918, with the 'Huns' surging for a second time toward the gates of Paris, Cocteau and others summoned the cultural icons of Greece and Rome to join the Allied ranks. That year, Cocteau published a book, Le Coq et l’Arlequin, which he revised and renamed in 1924 as Le Rappel a l’ordre. The message was the same, without the 'us versus them' jingoism of the war: civilization must look to its ancient past to regain its bearings and enhance its vitality.
Cocteau’s thesis found an appreciative audience in many circles, including the United States. According to French writer Jacques Maritain, 'what makes the purity of the true classic is … a subordination of the matter to the light of the form.' The discipline and dedication of the artist would admit only the essential elements of art into the work being created, excluding anything that would 'debauch' the senses of the viewer."
(Ed Voves, 4 October 2010)
"Sven Birkerts, a modern-day Luddite, is feeling uneasy about all this rapid cultural change. He longs for the slow elegance of print culture. So much so, in fact, that the cover of his new book, [The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age], features a fuzzy caramel-colored snapshot of a naturally-lit library which houses the endangered species of digital modernity: a leather armchair draped with an afghan, droopy lace curtains, and shelves of softened leather hard-backs coveting thick yellowed pages and the tidy, immutable thoughts of yesterday's literary prophets.
Birkerts is terrified that his warm dusty paradise is being ransacked, and the remaining rubble is merely forgotten or misunderstood in a world distracted by garish, pulsing iconography."
(Amanda Griscom, 1996)
Amanda Scott Griscom (1996). "Trends of Anarchy and Hierarchy: Comparing the Cultural Repercussions of Print and Digital Media", Brown University.
"Despite the global awareness of our fragile relation with nature and the countless projects initiated to restore the balance, almost no one has asked the question: What is our concept of nature? And how is our relation with nature changing? ...
This website explores our changing notion of nature. How nature has become one of the most successful products of our time, yet much of what we perceive as nature is merely a simulation: a romanticized idea of a balanced, harmonic, inherently good and threatened entity. How evolution continues nonetheless. How technology – traditionally created to protect us from the forces of nature – gives rise to a next nature, that is just as wild, cruel, unpredictable and threatening as ever. How we are playing with fire again and again. How we should be careful in doing so, yet how this is also what makes us human."
Fig.1 Aaron Koblin (2008). 'Video capture of SMS visualization tool looking at the city of Amsterdam on New Years Eve 2007. Data from KPN Telcom.'
Fig.2 Julia Müller, Arjan Groot and Menno Wittebrood. 'Birthmarks tattoo', Identity Matters magazine.
"Sutherland was commissioned by both Houses of Parliament to paint a full-length portrait of Churchill in 1954, for which this is a study. The finished painting was presented to Churchill. It was destroyed by his wife Clementine.
...The destruction of Sutherland's painting is one of the most notorious cases of a subject disliking their portrait. This painted sketch of Churchill's head, a study for the lost, full-length painting, suggests why. It's not simply that Sutherland's modernist tendencies irked the conservative tastes of the Sunday painter prime minister. This is a very unhappy painting. Old, grumpy, with an anger that no longer seems leavened by the humour and verbal creativity of the Churchill of legend, this is a reactionary curmudgeon surrounded by the shades of night.
The painting is black and rough, as if burnt, as if Churchill were emerging from the ruins of Europe, from a world not saved but shattered. The man himself still has a stoic authority; he might be the ancient Roman Cicero waiting to be murdered. There's a sculpted quality to his sturdy bald head that reminds you of Roman busts. There's also a sadness and sense of defeat, rather than the assertion of indomitability in the Churchill statue outside the Houses of Parliament. This is a man alone, in the real wilderness years."
(Jonathan Jones, 3 November 2001, The Guardian)
Fig.1 Winston Churchill, by Graham Vivian Sutherland, pencil and wash, circa 1954, 22 1/2 in. x 17 3/8 in. (570 mm x 440 mm), Purchased, 1990, NPG 6096, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Fig.2 Churchill in 1954 - portrait by Graham Sutherland (imperfect reproduction).