Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Artist Watch Feature at EIL

Pamela H. Viola, Paper Doll, Pigment Prints, 2013
20" x 20"
© Pamela H. Viola

In my second Artist Watch feature this month, I have the great pleasure to introduce to my and Escape Into Life readers the terrific, award-winning work of photographer and mixed-media artist Pamela H. Viola

A resident of the Washington, D.C., area, Pam, who recently returned from a trip to India that has generated many new images, is represented in many public, private, and corporate art collections, including those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hyatt Hotels, CBS Television, American Chemistry Council, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Currently, Viola is part of "The Nation's River" exhibit at the Gateway Gallery at Dulles International Airport. Trained informally in a range of artistic disciplines, from painting to printmaking, Viola demonstrates an intuitive feel for the inspired image. Her career includes 15 years in the film industry, where she worked alongside such directors as Ridley Scott and Barry Sonnenfeld. 

Viola is represented by Hisaoka Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Washington, D.C.

In today's Artist Watch at EIL, you will find a selection of images of Viola's pigment prints, including the image above, an Artist Statement, more detailed biographical information, and additional links.

a small work a day, Viola's Blog

Pamela Viola on FaceBook, Twitter, and Google+

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interview with Ariel Malka Part 2

I think designers should start coding and creating their own tools
to overcome the limiting metaphors imposed by 
mainstream authoring software.
~ Ariel Malka

Please join me today at TweetSpeak Poetry, where you will find Part 2 of my interview with freelance software designer and programmer Ariel Malka

In today's post, the deep-thinking Malka, who is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, talks with me about the literary texts he wants to explore in digital space, his research and development initiatives, and some prospective long-range implications of his interactive work. He also shares some biographic information about the man behind the software code.

Read Part 1.

Read Part 2.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Once I found it in nature (Cento)

Once I found it in nature

beyond morning glories,
all caught up in the cornstalks.

The oily water on the river mirrored the red sky
indifferent to all that it lacks:

a swaying creeper outside a half-open window
seeking after that sweet golden clime

in a dream,
in the yellow of sunflowers
fantastically far from real.

To what do we owe this
forgetting not to kiss?

The easy eye of the sun, now
blessed by our own.


This is a cento; its lines or parts of lines are, in order, from the following:

Frank Steele "Sunflower"
Mary Oliver "Morning Glories"
Allen Ginsberg "Sunflower Sutra"
Meghan O'Rourke "Inventing a Horse"
Fernando Pessoa "The Book of Disquiet"
William Blake "Ah! Sun-Flower"
Dale Sprowl "Aqua Vita"
David Allen Evans "Girl Riding a Horse in a Field of Sunflowers"
Dale Sprowl "Aqua Vita"
Graham Foust "From a Finished Basement"
Graham Foust "From a Finished Basement"
Aracelis Girmey "St. Elizabeth"
Allen Ginsberg "Sunflower Sutra"

Capitalization and punctuation are my own.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Muse: Mahmoud Darwish Film

The Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) is the subject of a new documentary, Write Down, I Am an Arab, by Ibtisam Mara'ana Menuhin. The film premiered this past May at Doc Aviv, a Tel Aviv film festival. Recipient of an Audience Award, it had its world premiere in Toronto, Canada, at HocDocs.

According to its Website, the film — its title is taken from Darwish's poem of the same name (see text link below) — "unearth[s] the story behind the man who became the mouthpiece of the Palestinian people" and includes information about the poet's love affair with Tamar Ben-Ami, an Israeli Jew with whom Darwish corresponded; Ben-Ami kept Darwish's letters secret for years. Darwish's own voice is heard in the film in a reading of his extraordinary poem "Identity Card" and in a 1996 interview; other interviews and archival footage are included.

Here is the official trailer (also available on Vimeo):

Poems from the documentary: "Rita and the rifle", "Identity Card (Write down, I am an arab)", and "I long for my mother's bread". Additional poems (in English translation) are at Festival Internacional de Poesia de Medellin and Big Bridge

(My thanks to World Literature Today, where I first learned of the film.)

Khaled Mattawa, Mahmoud Darwish: The Poet's Art and His Nation (Syracuse University Press, 2014) Mattawa's book is a highly informed and insightful examination of Darwish and his development as a poet. His interpretations of specific poems and their context are especially valuable.

The Legacy of Mahmoud Darwish: A Conference (2009), Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thought for the Day

            Your exact errors make a music
            that nobody hears.
            . . . you live on a world where stumbling
            always leads home. . . .
            ~ Poet William Stafford

Quoted from "You and Art" in Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems William Stafford (Graywolf Press, 2014)

William Stafford, 1914-1993, Poetry Consultant for the Library of Congress (1971-1972), Oregon Poet Laureate (1975-1989), Author of More Than 60 Books

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday Short

Today's short is an animation by Ehsan Akbari of "Frog", a haiku by Basho.

My thanks to Silver Birch Press blog for the link.

Friday, July 25, 2014

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Born and raised in Switzerland and now a resident of Houston, Texas, paper cutter Catherine Winkler Rayroud astonishes. View images of her intricate and beautiful work, which has won numerous awards.

✦ The letters of Vincent van Gogh are now online.

✦ Watch a slideshow of 153 beautiful paintings by Sir George Clausen (1852-1944).

✦ Inspired by the sculptures of Elizabeth Catlett, jazz bassist Rufus Reid composed the five-movement suite Quite Pride, recorded and released by Motema Music this past February. 

Read Allison Keyes's interview with Reid, "How Do You Wring Sound from Sculpture? It Takes a 'Quiet Pride'", NPR, May 18, 2014.

✦ Fairy tales rendered in three dimensions are a specialty of Su Blackwell, who also crafts marvelous book sculptures from illustrated volumes of flowers and birds. Blackwell's set designs and installations delight. Read Blackwell's blog to stay informed about her latest creations and exhibitions.

✦ Carter Foster's catalogue Hopper Drawing (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2013) accompanied the first major museum show focused on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper. The exhibition appeared at the Whitney Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, and earlier this spring at Walker Art Center. 

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ Monastic bells, swords, drums, and other figurative pieces are on view in "CAUTION! Fragile. Irish Glass: Tradition in Transition", continuing through September 1 at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington. Organized thematically (history, landscape, sound), the exhibition includes photography, oral histories, and collaborations. The exhibition has its origins in a 2010 visiting artist residency by Irish glass artist Roisin de Buitlear, whose work is featured along with that of other artists who also have had residencies at the museum: Irish master glass engraver Eamonn Hartley ("Meet the Artist" video), Waterford Crystal master craftsman Fred Curtis, and Greg Sullivan.

Here's a brief "Meet the Artist" video with de Buitlear:

Museum of Glass on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭ West Virginia's Huntington Museum of Art is presenting through August 3 "North of Sixty: Canadian Inuit Prints", a selection of 40 prints from the collection of St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York. Offered in conjunction with "Excavations from the Vault" Herman Dean and the Hudson Bay" (continuing through August 24), the exhibition includes work by Pudlo Pudlat, Kenojuak Ashevak, Kananginak Pootoogook, and Kavavaow Mannomee. The prints offer a look both at Inuit life and culture in the Canadian Arctic.

HMOA on FaceBook

✭ On view through August 10 at Minneapolis Institute of Arts is "New Pictures 9: Rinko Kawauchi", a selection of photographs. Kawauchi's exhibition is her first museum show in the United States. Her books include, most recently, Gift (with Terri Weifenbach; IMA Books, 2014), Sheets (Kominek, 2013), and Light and Shadow and Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow, both published in 2012. Watch a video in which the photographer talks about her work in the show.

MIA on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

✭  Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University continues its celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant with "Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums", on view through August 17. The exhibition features 83 original large-format prints from three albums of Watkins's work: Photographs of the Yosemite Valley, Photographs of the Pacific Coast, and Photographs of the Columbia River and Oregon. Included in the show are cartographic visualizations created by Stanford's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis and Bill Lane Center for the American West. A catalogue with 160 photographs accompanies the show.

Here's a preview of the exhibition: 

Cantor Arts Center on FaceBook and YouTube

✭ In Salem, Massachusetts, Peabody Essex Museum is presenting through September 1 "Turner & the Sea", a show of J.M.W. Turner's iconic seascapes. Included are more than 100 works (oils, watercolors, prints, sketches) spanning 50 years, from 1790s to mid-1800s. Works are organized in seven sections: Turner on Show, Charted Waters, 'M' for Marine, Contested Waters, Imagining the Sea, Making Waves, and Atlantic Crossings. A selection of images is available at the exhibition link.

Watch this preview:

Peabody Essex on FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday's Three on Art

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, an event that is being commemorated all over the world. Today's Thursday's Three spotlights a trio of centennial exhibitions, current and future, in the United States.

✭ In Norfolk, Virginia, the MacArthur Memorial is observing the centennial with "Under the Rainbow: The 42nd 'Rainbow' Division in the Great War". The exhibition, which continues through September of this year, relates the story of one of the first National Guard units to reach the battlefields of France. Among items on view are the dog tag of poet Joyce Kilmer, killed in 1918 at the Battle of the Marne; German trench armor; and the uniform and equipment of the commander of the 151st Machine Gun Battalion, Lt. Col. Cooper Winn.

In November, the museum and research center will host a two-day symposium with an international group of authors and scholars. It also is producing a series of short films covering the global conflict. Its first is The Road to War, which may be seen on YouTube.

MacArthur Memorial on FaceBook

✭ On view at the National World War I Museum, Kansas City, Kansas, is "Over by Christmas: August-December 1914". Continuing through March 29, 2015, the exhibition on the first five months of the war features a 1914 Prussian flag, a lithograph by French artist Georges Scott, the uniform of a French colonial zouave infantryman, "The Road to Berlin" game, and a German cigar box for Christmas 1914.

The museum is continuing through September 14 "On the Brink: A Month That Changed the World", a special exhibition examining the assassination in Sarajevo of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the events that unfolded subsequently. Items from nine countries, including the United States, are on view.

✭ The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts plans to mount "World War I and American Art", the first major exhibition examining American artists' responses to WWI; it will open in November 2016, to coincide with the centenary of United States involvement in the war, and continue through April 2017. Work by George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Man Ray, Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sergeant, Edward Steichen, and others will be featured. A fully illustrated scholarly catalogue will accompany the show.

Hugh Henry Breckenridge, The Pestilence (formerly War), ca. 1918
Oil on Canvas, 65-3/16" x80-1/4"
Gift of the Artist 1928.10
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Numerous informative resources are found at these sites:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Interview with Curious Autodidact Ariel Malka

Reinventing the wheel is often necessary when you want
to create something original. . . .

I refuse to see a separating line between art
and technology. Learning to program is likely
only a matter of motivation.
~ Ariel Malka*

Please join me today at TweetSpeak Poetry blog for Part 1 of my two-part interview with the ever-inspired and inspiring Ariel Malka, whose work has been described as "a fantastic, multidimensional way to get out of the rut of single-perception thinking." A self-taught software designer and programmer of inordinate curiosity, Malka, who was born in France and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, shows himself to be one of the most creative of off-hours creative coders now exploring the fascinating  realm of interactivity in digital space. 

In today's feature, Malka talks with me about his experiments in "Chronotext" and app-building. Next week, he discusses some of the literary texts that he wants to explore in digital space and his research and development initiatives, including mobile phone and tablet apps. He also shares some biographical information that shines a little light on the man behind the software code.

* Quotes are from my interview, which I conducted via e-mail.

Ariel Malka on Twitter

Malka and his innovative work have been the subject of a number of articles, including: Dafna Arad, "An App for Deciphering Ulysses", Haaretz, July 1, 2014; Dan Nosowitz, "Ulysses Is More Fun to Read as a Game", Fast Company, June 10, 2014; and "Ulysses App Lets You 'Literally Wrestle' with Joyce", The Guardian, June 11, 2014

He Liked Thick Word Soup at iTunes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Syntax of Distancing (Poem)

Syntax of Distancing

Your hand over my mouth
betrays that rush of I ams

irrupting deep within this red
sore throat. A vocal landscape,

littered with its consonants
and vowels you will not make

your own, collapses, high ridge
of old amalgam fillings once

more no bridge to borderlands
between teeth and tongue.

On the map of my sharp jaw
bone you sketch dropped Rs,

flat As, no me. I let you stutter,
the percussive hisses of air

beyond our lips, a shushing syntax
of distancing, not one word said.

2014 © Maureen E. Doallas