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03 SEPTEMBER 2014

Umberto Eco: The Virtual Imagination

"But many internet programs suggest that a story is enriched by successive contributions. … This has sometimes happened in the past without disturbing authorship. With the Commedia dell'arte, every performance was different. We cannot identify a single work due to a single author. Another example is a jazz jam session. We may believe there is a privileged performance of 'Basin Street Blues' because a recording survives. But there were as many Basin Street Blues as there were performances. ... There are books that we cannot rewrite because their function is to teach us about Necessity, and only if they are respected as they are can they provide us with such wisdom. Their repressive lesson is indispensable to reach a higher state of intellectual and moral freedom."

(Umberto Eco, 7 November 2000)

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2000authorial signatureauthoritative workauthorship • Basin Street Blues • biographybooks • books-to-be-read • booksellersbookstoresCinderella • closed universe • Commedia dellarte • comprehending languagecomputers • copying machine • e-bookelectronic literatureencyclopaediaend of booksend of print • enriched by successive contributions • every performance is different • evolving formfairy talefatefolioFranz Kafkafuture of the book • god passed over • grammatical rulesheroeshypertexthypertext fiction • hypertextual programme • hypertextual structures • Immanuel Kant • infinite possibilities • infinite texts • intellectual freedom • intellectual needs • jazz jam session • Les Miserables • library catalogue • linear narrative • linearityLittle Red Riding Hoodmanuscripts • moral freedom • Napoleon Bonapartenatural language • necessity • new forms of literacy • obsolete form • open work • Penguin edition • photocopierprint on demand • printed books • printed version • privileged performance • publishing houses • publishing modelreaderly textsreading • reading process • revisionscanningselectionshift to digital • single author • specificity of print • systems and text • tailored consumer experience • texts which can be interpreted in infinite ways • theories of interpretation • tragic beauty • tragic literature • Umberto Eco • unlimited texts • utilitarian value • Victor Hugo • War and Peace • Waterloo • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 SEPTEMBER 2014

Bulgarians repeatedly vandalise Soviet monuments in protest

"The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet–era ally clean up the monument in Sofia's Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take 'exhaustive measures' to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.

The monument was spray–painted on the eve of the Bulgarian Socialist Party's celebration of its 123rd anniversary, the Sofia–based Novinite news agency reported.

The vandalism was the latest in a series of similar recent incidents in Bulgaria – each drawing angry criticism from Moscow.

Early this year, unknown artists painted another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

In August last year, a Soviet army monument in Sofia was painted pink in an 'artistic apology' for Bulgaria's support of Soviet troops who suppressed Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring revolt against Moscow–based communist rulers."

(Anna Dolgov, 19 August 2014, The Moscow Times)

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2013anniversaryappropriationBulgaria • Bulgarian Socialist Party • critical commentarycriticismcritiquecultural critiquecultural insensitivityculture jammingCzechoslovakiadisrespectgraffiti art • Lozenets • monumentpolitical art • political criticism • political protestPrague Springprotest artprotest worksPussy Riotre-purposeRed Armyreimaginedreinscribe • reinscription • revision • revolt • Robin (Batman) • Ronald McDonald • Russian embassy • Santa Claus • Sofia (Bulgaria) • Soviet armySoviet eraSoviet monuments • Soviet troops • Soviet Unionspray paintingstreet artsupermanUkraine • Ukrainian flag • unknown artist • vandalism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 JANUARY 2012

Movie Posters revised: an exercise in visual literacy

[UK designer Olly Moss revises classic film posters.]

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abstraction • An American Werewolf in London • Deerhunter • design exercise • design formalism • Die Hard • Dirty Harry • film poster • Four Lions • graphic designgraphic style • Hydra (TV) • Jackie Brown • movie • Olly Moss • On the Waterfront • pop-cultureposterposter design • Return of the Jedi • revision • RoboCop • Rocky (film) • Source Code (2011) • The Empire Strikes Back • The Evil Dead • The Great Dictator • There Will Be Blood • Thor (film) • visual communicationvisual designvisual languagevisual literacyvisual style • werewolf

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 NOVEMBER 2011

Ophelia re-visited through vacant expressions and alienating surroundings

"In 1851–1852 John Everett Millais painted a canvas that would become his most famous work: Ophelia. This compelling picture of the tragic heroine of Shakespeare's Hamlet, floating in the water, has inspired artists for generations. Striking parallels to Millais's oeuvre are to be found in the work of contemporary photographers, such as Rineke Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. The influence of Ophelia is noticeable in the models' vacant expressions, the hushed atmosphere of the compositions and the alienating surroundings. ...

Ophelia is also referred to in film and pop music. For instance, Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue based their music video where the wild roses grow on the painting by Millais. Another example is the cover picture of PJ Harvey's album To bring you my love."

(Van Gogh Museum)

Fig.1 Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue (1996). "Where the Wild Roses Grow".

Fig.2 PJ Harvey (1995). "Down By The Water".

Fig.3 John Everett Millais (1851–52). "Ophelia".

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alienating surroundings • artatmosphericattention to detailcompositiondeathfigurationfloatingHamlet • Hellen van Meene • Henry Tate Gift • homage • hushed atmosphere • Inez van Lamsweerde • influentialinspirationJohn Everett MillaisKylie Minogueluminositymusic video • Nick Cave • Ophelia • painting • PJ Harvey • pop music • Pre-Raphaelite • remixrevision • Rineke Dijkstra • serious subjects • significant subjects • To Bring You My Love • tragic death • tragic heroine • vacant expression • Vinoodh Matadin • water • Where the Wild Roses Grow • William Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
03 OCTOBER 2011

Rodchenko's revolution: a socialist with true vision

"Painter, photographer, filmmaker, set designer, teacher, metalworker, [Alexander Rodchenko] revelled in the new freedoms thrown up by the Russian Revolution and was fiercely committed to liberating art for the masses.

Whether it was his blueprint for the ideal working man's club showcased at the Paris Exhibition of 1925, his illustrated covers for engineering manuals or his pioneering film poster for Sergei Eisenstein's classic Battleship Potemkin, Rodchenko's experimentation embodied the spirit of the early Soviet era.

But just as he thrived in the intellectual ferment of the Lenin years, like so many other artists–cum–revolutionaries of the period he was to fall foul of Stalin's increasingly paranoid and brutal regime.

Today his influence lives on, not only inspiring modern–day photographers like Martin Parr, but his designs are perhaps best known for the art school chic they afford to the covers of records by the Scottish indie band Franz Ferdinand."

(Arifa Akbar and Jonathan Brown, 2 January 2008, The Independent)

Alexander Rodchenko (1925). "Lengiz books on all subjects!"

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19252004Alexander Rodchenkoanimationart school • artist-cum-revolutionary • bandBattleship Potemkin (1925)design formalism • engineering manuals • figures in spacefilm posterfilmmakerFranz Ferdinandhomageidealism • illustrated covers • indie band • Joseph Stalin • liberating art for the masses • Martin Parr • metalworker • modernist aestheticsmotion graphicsmusic videopainter • Paris Exhibition • photographerphotomontagepioneeringposter design • record cover • regimerevisionRussian artistRussian constructivismRussian design • Russian Revolution • Scottishsequence designSergei Eisenstein • set designer • Soviet era • Take Me Out • typographyvisual communicationvisual designvisual literacyVladimir Lenin

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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