Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Civility! Calle Mateu Morral

In 1906 Mateu Morral threw a bomb concealed as a bouquet from his hotel window at the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII, and his bride Victoria Eugenie as the wedding procession moved along the Calle Mayor in Madrid, Spain.

25 people were killed and over a hundred injured. After he was captured he killed his guard and then killed himself. 

Fast forward about 30 years :
During the Spanish Civil War, Calle Mayor was renamed Calle Mateo Morral by the Republican Madrid council.

Monday, January 26, 2015

movie notes : Interstellar

The future has incredible disappointing robots. Metal cereal boxes that wobble
Cap'n Crunch box has very similar proportions to the robots in Interstellar

Star Wars WobbleBot
spoilers below

Sunday, December 21, 2014

losing perspective on Futurama

From the Futurama episode A Taste of Freedom (season 5 episode4) :

Did the Decapodians have a secret anti-perspective weapon or maybe a shrink ray is involved?

In this cross-section, the DOOP's (Democratic Order of Planets) Nimbus appears to have 14 levels.

Here, the same section of the Nimbus as seen just before it crashes to Earth with cloud of smoke after having apparently shrunk to the size of a Central Park tree (well, the size of the canopy of a Central Park tree). All the while, buildings with fewer than 14 stories loom in the background.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Notes : Hitler's Willing Excutioneers by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

endnote book note 
Hitler's Willing Excutioneers by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen p506 footnote 95 
Mosse, in "From 'Schutzjuden' to "deutsche Staatsburger J├╝deischen Glaubens,'" Writes that during the 1880s and 1890s, "there can be little doubt that without [the state's] neutrality and [its] maintenance of law and order, where necessary by force, a wave of pogroms would have swept Germany with incalculable results"' (p90). For a vivid account of a man bursting to assault Jews physicall, but who was restrained by the limits imposed by the state, see Erich Goldhagen, "The Mad Count : A Forgotten Portent of the Holocaust," Midstream 22, no 2 (Feb 1976). Goldhagen writes "Mere words, however, did not satisfy the Count – he thirsted for action. But the pleasure of striking at Jews physicaly was denied to him by the Imperial Government which, while condoning barking against Jews, would not tolerate the beating of them. Count Pueckler, therefore, chose to vent his passions through make-believe gestures. At the head of a troop of mounted peasants, whom he had especially arrayed for the occasions, and to the fanfare of trumpets, he would lead cavalry charges against imaginary Jews, striking them down and trampling them under foot. It was a spectacle affording a psychic equivalent for murder. It was also a remarkable prefigurement of the FinalSolution" p61-62

Sometimes we presume people are rational beings and think there must be some logic or reason behind things but sometimes people are just nuts.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Chuck Close at work part 2

(see also the post Chuck Close at work part 1 that showed the process of his post-photorealistic, prismatic grid work)

 Painting of John 1971-72 progression of various sections of the painting. The painting's size is 100 x 90 inches (8' 6" x 7' 6")
from Chuck Close Work page 78

 Chuck Close painting Mark 1978-79 (108 x 84 inches or 9 x 7 feet)
from Chuck Close Work page 86

Notice the 5 reference photos : magenta color separation, cyan color separation, then magenta+cyan color separation so he can check his progress, yellow color separations and magenta+cyan+yellow (the full color photo).

Chuck Close's approach to photorealistic painting is not what I expected. To achieve a slick photorealistic you pretty much have to approach it from a strict mechanical process but this wasn't what I expected. But it seems like a sensible approach : simplification and the use of technology.

He appears to begin, from top to bottom dividing the image into sections. A section is then painted from the magenta separation and once that is done that section is painted from the cyan separation with the magenta+cyan proof as an added reference. Then the section is painted guided by yellow separation. Only once the section is completed does he move on to another section

By painting one color at a time he is essentially doing 3 monochrome paintings albeit the second and third are atop a previous painting. Copying each color separation and using the magenta+cyan reference photos he reduces the problems of mixing colors correctly and consistently. Instead, he only has to do faithfully copy each color separation using a selection of values from light to dark of only a single color and the final color should come out correct.

Personally, I prefer his later "prismatic grid" works. Once you've seen a couple giant portraits they lose their uniqueness. They become enlarged photos. Photos enlarged by a very time consuming mechanical process like Chuck Close is an Epson printer. That is the point some might say but …

Pictures from the book Chuck Close Work by Christopher Finch (2010).