T H E A R T S P O R T A L
The arts are a very wide range of human practices of creative expression, storytelling and cultural participation. They encompass multiple diverse and plural modes of thinking, doing and being, in an extremely broad range of media. Both highly dynamic and a characteristically constant feature of human life, they have developed into innovative, stylized and sometimes intricate forms. This is often achieved through sustained and deliberate study, training and/or theorizing within a particular tradition, across generations and even between civilizations. The arts are a vehicle through which human beings cultivate distinct social, cultural and individual identities, while transmitting values, impressions, judgments, ideas, visions, spiritual meanings, patterns of life and experiences across time and space.
Prominent examples of the arts include architecture, visual arts (including ceramics, drawing, filmmaking, painting, photography, and sculpting), literary arts (including fiction, drama, poetry, and prose), performing arts (including dance, music, and theatre), textiles and fashion, folk art and handicraft, oral storytelling, conceptual and installation art, criticism, and culinary arts (including cooking, chocolate making and winemaking). They can employ skill and imagination to produce objects, performances, convey insights and experiences, and construct new environments and spaces.
The arts can refer to common, popular or everyday practices as well as more sophisticated and systematic, or institutionalized ones. They can be discrete and self-contained, or combine and interweave with other art forms, such as the combination of artwork with the written word in comics. They can also develop or contribute to some particular aspect of a more complex art form, as in cinematography.
By definition, the arts themselves are open to being continually re-defined. The practice of modern art, for example, is a testament to the shifting boundaries, improvisation and experimentation, reflexive nature, and self-criticism or questioning that art and its conditions of production, reception, and possibility can undergo.
As both a means of developing capacities of attention and sensitivity, and as ends in themselves, the arts can simultaneously be a form of response to the world, and a way that our responses, and what we deem worthwhile goals or pursuits, are transformed. From prehistoric cave paintings, to ancient and contemporary forms of ritual, to modern-day films, art has served to register, embody and preserve our ever shifting relationships to each other and to the world. (Full article...)
- Spiderland is the second and final studio album by the American rock band Slint. It contains six songs played over 40 minutes, and was released by Touch and Go Records on March 27, 1991. Slint's lineup at the time of recording were Brian McMahan on vocals and guitar, David Pajo on guitar, Todd Brashear on bass guitar and Britt Walford on drums. Spiderland was engineered by Brian Paulson and recorded over four days in August 1990. The music and vocal melodies were written over the summer of 1990, with lyrics composed in-studio.
Formed in 1986 in Louisville, Kentucky, having met as teenagers playing in the Midwestern punk scene, they soon diverged from their hardcore roots. By the time they recorded Spiderland in late 1990, the band had developed a complex, idiosyncratic sound characterized by atypical rhythmic meters, harmonic dissonance and irregular song structures. McMahan's vocal delivery alternates between spoken word, singing and shouting. The lyrics are presented in a narrative style, covering themes and feelings of unease, social anxiety, loneliness, and despair. (Full article...)
Peveril Castle (also Castleton Castle or Peak Castle) is a ruined 11th-century castle overlooking the village of Castleton in the English county of Derbyshire. It was the main settlement (or caput) of the feudal barony of William Peverel, known as the Honour of Peverel, and was founded some time between the Norman Conquest of 1066 and its first recorded mention in the Domesday Survey of 1086, by Peverel, who held lands in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as a tenant-in-chief of the king. The town became the economic centre of the barony. The castle has views across the Hope Valley and Cave Dale.
William Peveril the Younger inherited his father's estates, but in 1155 they were confiscated by King Henry II. While in royal possession, Henry visited the castle in 1157, 1158, and 1164, the first time hosting King Malcolm IV of Scotland. During the Revolt of 1173–1174, the castle's garrison was increased from a porter and two watchmen to a force led by 20 knights shared with the castles of Bolsover and Nottingham. The Earls of Derby had a claim to the Peveril family's estates through marriage, and in 1199 William de Ferrers, the fourth earl, paid 2,000 marks for the Peak lordship, although the castle remained under royal control. The closest Peveril Castle came to seeing battle was in 1216, when King John gave the castle to William de Ferrers, but the castellan refused to relinquish control. Although they were both John's supporters, the king authorised the earl to use force to evict the castellan, who eventually capitulated, although there is no evidence that the castle was assaulted. (Full article...)
Fuck: Word Taboo and Protecting Our First Amendment Liberties is a nonfiction book by law professor Christopher M. Fairman about freedom of speech, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, censorship, and use of the word fuck in society. The book was first published in 2009 by Sphinx as a follow-up on the author's article "Fuck", published in 2007 in the Cardozo Law Review. It cites studies from academics in social science, psychoanalysis, and linguistics. Fairman establishes that most current usages of the word have connotations distinct from its meaning of sexual intercourse. The book discusses the efforts of conservatives in the United States to censor the word from common parlance. The author says that legal precedent regarding its use is unclear because of contradictory court decisions. Fairman argues that once citizens allow the government to restrict the use of specific words, this will lead to an encroachment upon freedom of thought.
The book received a mostly favorable reception from news sources and library trade publications. Library Journal described the book as a sincere analysis of the word and its history of censorship, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries called it stimulating, and the San Diego Law Review said it was thought-provoking. One reviewer said that the book, like the article, was a format for the author to repeatedly use "fuck", rather than actually analyze it from a rigorous perspective. After the book's release, Fairman was consulted by media sources including CNN and The New York Times, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union, on issues surrounding word taboo in society. (Full article...)
Gustav Theodore Holst (born Gustavus Theodore von Holst; 21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed many other works across a range of genres, although none achieved comparable success. His distinctive compositional style was the product of many influences, Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss being most crucial early in his development. The subsequent inspiration of the English folksong revival of the early 20th century, and the example of such rising modern composers as Maurice Ravel, led Holst to develop and refine an individual style.
There were professional musicians in the previous three generations of Holst's family and it was clear from his early years that he would follow the same calling. He hoped to become a pianist, but was prevented by neuritis in his right arm. Despite his father's reservations, he pursued a career as a composer, studying at the Royal College of Music under Charles Villiers Stanford. Unable to support himself by his compositions, he played the trombone professionally and later became a teacher—a great one, according to his colleague Ralph Vaughan Williams. Among other teaching activities he built up a strong tradition of performance at Morley College, where he served as musical director from 1907 until 1924, and pioneered music education for women at St Paul's Girls' School, where he taught from 1905 until his death in 1934. He was the founder of a series of Whitsun music festivals, which ran from 1916 for the remainder of his life. (Full article...)
- Revival is an American horror–science fiction comics series created by writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton. The pair worked with colorist Mark Englert and cover artist Jenny Frison to produce the series, which was published by Image Comics as 47 monthly issues released between July 2012 and February 2017. It has since been reprinted in both paperback and hardcover editions that contain multiple issues.
Set in central Wisconsin, Revival follows the aftermath of the dead coming back to life. The story is centered on detective Dana Cypress and her revived sister Em as it touches on religious, moral and social themes. As they investigate, they find Em's murder to be closely linked to the revival. Although the creators always knew how the central mystery would conclude, the exact length of the series was determined by sales. (Full article...)
The Monster is an 1898 novella by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). The story takes place in the small, fictional town of Whilomville, New York. An African-American coachman named Henry Johnson, who is employed by the town's physician, Dr. Trescott, becomes horribly disfigured after he saves Trescott's son from a fire. When Henry is branded a "monster" by the town's residents, Trescott vows to shelter and care for him, resulting in his family's exclusion from the community. The novella reflects upon the 19th-century social divide and ethnic tensions in America.
The fictional town of Whilomville, which is used in 14 other Crane stories, was based on Port Jervis, New York, where Crane lived with his family for a few years during his youth. It is thought that he took inspiration from several local men who were similarly disfigured, although modern critics have made numerous connections between the story and the 1892 lynching in Port Jervis of an African-American man named Robert Lewis. A study of prejudice, fear, and isolation in a rather small town, the novella was first published in Harper's Magazine in August 1898. A year later, it was included in The Monster and Other Stories—the last collection of Crane's work to be published during his lifetime. (Full article...)
- Tornado over Kansas, or simply The Tornado, is a 1929 oil on canvas painting by the American Regionalist painter John Steuart Curry. It depicts a dramatic scene in which a family races for shelter as a tornado approaches their farm, and has compositional connections to Curry's earlier 1928 painting Baptism in Kansas. The artist was influenced by Baroque art and photographs of tornadoes. He developed a fear of natural disasters and a reverence towards God during his childhood, both of which seem apparent in the painting.
Following its 1930 debut, Tornado over Kansas was considered a notable Regionalist work, but native Kansans disliked the choice of subject matter. Although the painting won awards and was lauded by some, others criticized Curry's amateur style of painting. Curry's work attracted criticism from contemporary painters Stuart Davis and Thomas Hart Benton, and logical inconsistencies and technical errors in the composition have been noted. (Full article...)
- Control is the third studio album by American singer Janet Jackson, released on February 4, 1986, by A&M Records. Her collaborations with the songwriters and record producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis resulted in an unconventional sound: a fusion of rhythm and blues, rap vocals, funk, disco, and synthesized percussion that established Jackson, Jam and Lewis as the leading innovators of contemporary R&B. The distinctive triplet swing beat utilized on the record is also considered to be a precursor to the new jack swing genre. The album became Jackson's commercial breakthrough and enabled her to transition into the popular music market, with Control becoming one of the foremost albums of the 1980s and contemporary music.
Containing autobiographical themes, a majority of the album's lyrics came as the result of a series of changes in her life: a recent annulment of her marriage to singer James DeBarge, severing her business affairs from her father and manager Joseph and the rest of the Jackson family, hiring the A&M executive John McClain as her new management, and her subsequent introduction to Jam and Lewis. The album has been praised by critics as both an artistic feat and as a personal testament of self-actualization. It has also been regarded as a template upon which numerous female artists have modeled their careers, particularly Black women. (Full article...)
- Katie Joplin is an American sitcom created by Tom Seeley and Norm Gunzenhauser that aired for one season on The WB Television Network (The WB) from August to September 1999. Park Overall stars as the title character, a single mother who moves from Knoxville to Philadelphia and tries to balance her job as a radio program host with parenting her teenage son Greg (Jesse Head). Supporting characters include Katie's niece Liz Berlin (Ana Reeder) as well as her co-workers, played by Jay Thomas, Jim Rash, and Simon Rex. Majandra Delfino guest-starred in three episodes as the daughter of the radio station's general manager.
Warner Bros. Television produced the series, and its premise was developed from a pitch that Overall gave to The WB. The network initially optioned the show as a potential mid-season replacement for the 1998–1999 television season, but it was delayed for a year due to production issues. Production on Katie Joplin was halted in October 1998 because The WB and Warner Bros. Television were disappointed with its development. (Full article...)
- Hunky Dory is the fourth studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on 17 December 1971 by RCA Records. Following the release of his 1970 album, The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie took time off from recording and touring. He settled down to write new songs, composing on piano rather than guitar as on earlier tracks. Following a tour of the United States, Bowie assembled a new backing band consisting of guitarist Mick Ronson, bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Mick Woodmansey, and began to record a new album in mid-1971 at Trident Studios in London. Future Yes member Rick Wakeman contributed on piano. Bowie co-produced the album with Ken Scott, who had engineered Bowie's previous two records.
Compared to the guitar-driven hard rock sound of The Man Who Sold the World, Bowie opted for a warmer, more melodic piano-based pop rock and art pop style on Hunky Dory. His lyrical concerns on the record range from the compulsive nature of artistic reinvention on "Changes", to occultism and Nietzschean philosophy on "Oh! You Pretty Things" and "Quicksand"; several songs make cultural and literary references. He was also inspired by his stateside tour to write songs dedicated to three American icons: Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, and Lou Reed. The song "Kooks" was dedicated to Bowie's newborn son Duncan. The album's cover artwork, photographed in monochrome and subsequently recoloured, features Bowie in a pose inspired by actresses of the Hollywood Golden Age. (Full article...)
- Blonde on Blonde is the seventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released as a double album on June 20, 1966 by Columbia Records. Recording sessions began in New York in October 1965 with numerous backing musicians, including members of Dylan's live backing band, the Hawks. Though sessions continued until January 1966, they yielded only one track that made it onto the final album—"One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)". At producer Bob Johnston's suggestion, Dylan, keyboardist Al Kooper, and guitarist Robbie Robertson moved to the CBS studios in Nashville, Tennessee. These sessions, augmented by some of Nashville's top session musicians, were more fruitful, and in February and March all the remaining songs for the album were recorded.
Blonde on Blonde completed the trilogy of rock albums that Dylan recorded in 1965 and 1966, starting with Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Critics often rank Blonde on Blonde as one of the greatest albums of all time. Combining the expertise of Nashville session musicians with a modernist literary sensibility, the album's songs have been described as operating on a grand scale musically, while featuring lyrics one critic called "a unique mixture of the visionary and the colloquial". It was one of the first double albums in rock music. (Full article...)
St Botolph's Church is an Anglican place of worship in the village of Quarrington, part of the civil parish of Sleaford in Lincolnshire, England. The area has been settled since at least the Anglo-Saxon period, and a church existed at Quarrington by the time the Domesday Book was compiled in 1086, when it formed part of Ramsey Abbey's fee. It was granted to Haverholme Priory about 1165, and the Abbey claimed the right to present the rector in the 13th century. This right was claimed by the Bishop of Lincoln during the English Reformation in the early 16th century, and then passed to Robert Carre and his descendants after Carre acquired a manor at Quarrington. With capacity for 124 people, the church serves the ecclesiastic parish of Quarrington with Old Sleaford and, as of 2009, had an average congregation of 50.
Recognised for its age and tracery, the church has been designated a grade II* listed building. It has a tower and spire with a nave and north aisle ending at a chancel at the east end. The oldest parts of the building date to the 13th century, although substantial rebuilding took place over the following century. Renovations followed, and the local architect Charles Kirk the Younger carried out restoration work in 1862–63, when he added the chancel in his parents' memory. The high interior's three bays of arcading correspond to the three windows in the nave's south wall and the north aisle wall; those on the south wall are unusual for the hexagons and trefoils in the reticulated designs. (Full article...)
- Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) is the fourth studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson. It was released on November 11, 2000, by Nothing and Interscope Records. A rock opera concept album, it is the final installment of a triptych that also included Antichrist Superstar (1996), and marked a return to the industrial metal style of the band's earlier work, after the glam rock-influenced production of Mechanical Animals (1998). After its release, the band's eponymous vocalist said that the overarching story within the trilogy is presented in reverse chronological order: Holy Wood, therefore, begins the narrative.
In the aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, national news media reported that the perpetrators were wearing the band's T-shirts during the rampage, and had been influenced by their music. As their first release after the massacre, the record was Manson's rebuttal to the accusations leveled against him and the group, and was described by the vocalist as a "declaration of war". It was written in the singer's former home in the Hollywood Hills and recorded in several undisclosed locations, including Death Valley and Laurel Canyon. His ambitions for Holy Wood initially included an eponymous film exploring its backstory—a project which has since been abandoned and was modified into the as-yet-unreleased Holy Wood novel. (Full article...)
- Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow is a 2005 action-adventure game developed and published by Konami. It is part of Konami's Castlevania video game series and the first Castlevania game released on the Nintendo DS. The game is the sequel to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and incorporates many elements from its predecessor. Dawn of Sorrow was commercially successful. It sold more than 15,000 units in its first week in Japan and 164,000 units in the United States during the three months after its initial release.
Dawn of Sorrow continues the story of Aria of Sorrow: Dracula has been defeated, with his powers assumed by his reincarnation, Soma Cruz. With the help of his allies, Soma avoids becoming the new dark lord. A cult forms to bring forth a new one by killing Soma. Soma and his allies move to ensure that does not happen. (Full article...)
Western Chalukya architecture (Kannada: ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಚಾಲುಕ್ಯ ವಾಸ್ತುಶಿಲ್ಪ), also known as Kalyani Chalukya or Later Chalukya architecture, is the distinctive style of ornamented architecture that evolved during the rule of the Western Chalukya Empire in the Tungabhadra region of modern central Karnataka, India, during the 11th and 12th centuries. Western Chalukyan political influence was at its peak in the Deccan Plateau during this period. The centre of cultural and temple-building activity lay in the Tungabhadra region, where large medieval workshops built numerous monuments. These monuments, regional variants of pre-existing dravida (South Indian) temples, form a climax to the wider regional temple architecture tradition called Vesara or Karnata dravida. Temples of all sizes built by the Chalukyan architects during this era remain today as examples of the architectural style.
Most notable of the many buildings dating from this period are the Mahadeva Temple at Itagi in the Koppal district, the Kasivisvesvara Temple at Lakkundi in the Gadag district, the Mallikarjuna Temple at Kuruvatti in the Bellary district and the Kallesvara Temple at Bagali in the Davangere district. Other monuments notable for their craftsmanship include the Kaitabheshvara Temple in Kubatur and Kedareshvara Temple in Balligavi, both in the Shimoga district, the Siddhesvara Temple at Haveri in the Haveri district, the Amrtesvara Temple at Annigeri in the Dharwad district, the Sarasvati Temple in Gadag, and the Dodda Basappa Temple at Dambal, both in the Gadag district. (Full article...)
Did you know...
- ... that the United States Class II 1804 Silver Dollar (pictured) is alleged to have been struck over a Swiss Shooting Thaler?
- ... that a heckling comb is used when hand processing flax to comb out and clean the fibers?
- ... that between 1970 and 1984 the WE Seal of approval program aided in an estimated US$100,000 in restitution being made to collectors of comics and other memorabilia victimized by mail fraud?
In this month
- 4 October 1974 – American poet Anne Sexton dies by suicide at her home in Weston, Massachusetts
- 10 October 1881 – London's Savoy Theatre, built by the impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte to showcase the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, opens with a production of Patience
- 11 October 1910 – Italian composer and musicologist Francesco Balilla Pratella completes his Manifesto of Futurist Musicians, one of the earliest signs of Futurism's influence in fields outside the visual arts
- 17 October 1896 – The first performance of Anton Chekhov's play The Seagull is booed by the audience, after which Chekhov decides to give up writing plays
- 25 October 1881 – Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (pictured), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Málaga
- 4 October 1927 - Gutzon Borglum began working on Mt. Rushmore
- August 5: DaBaby Levitating remix losing US radio audiences after the rapper's comments on HIV/AIDS
- June 11: Taylor Swift's Evermore records biggest sales week of the year as it returns to No 1 on album chart
- May 27: Olivia Rodrigo's song good 4 u debuts at No 1 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart
- May 25: 'Rock and roll never dies': Italy wins Eurovision after 30 years
- February 10: Disney to shut down Blue Sky Studios, animation studio behind 'Ice Age'
Ima Hogg was an enterprising circus emcee who brought culture and class to Houston, Texas. A storied ostrich jockey, she once rode to Hawaii to visit the Queen. Raised in government housing, young Ima frolicked among a backyard menagerie of raccoons, possums and a bear. Her father, "Big Jim" Hogg, in an onslaught against fun itself, booby-trapped the banisters she loved to slide down, shut down her money-making schemes, and forced her to pry chewing gum from furniture. He was later thrown from his seat on a moving train and perished; the Hogg clan then struck black gold on land Big Jim had forbidden them from selling. Ima had apocryphal sisters named "Ura" and "Hoosa" and real-life brothers sporting conventional names and vast art collections; upon their deaths, she gave away their artwork for nothing and the family home to boot. Tragically, Ms. Hogg (a future doctor) nursed three dying family members. She once sweet-talked a burglar into returning purloined jewelry and told him to get a job. Well into her nineties, she remained feisty and even exchanged geriatric insults with an octogenarian pianist. Hogg claimed to have received thirty proposals of marriage in her lifetime, and to have rejected them all. Hogg was revered as the "First Lady of Texas", and her name and legacy still thrive today. (Full article...)
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