sff_corgi_lj: (Science - Deep space)
I was told that the Caledon chat-channel in Second Life went all frothy over collectively discovering that 'Gears' was an available surname (when you create an account, you have to choose from a list of surnames the company generates, then add your own given name). One of the names suggested to go with gears was 'Antikythera', which didn't ring a bell.

Chalk it up to bad mental file management - 'Antikythera' was saved as 'ancient Greek computer so there'. You might remember there was quite a bit of excitement when people noticed, after nearly a century of it sitting around, that this was actually a sophisticated astronomical calculator of a sort the Romans couldn't be bothered with because they were, y'know, Romans (at least they built good roads). The Device uses several cleverly-calculated gear interactions to reproduce specific astronomical phenomena - positions and eclipses and such - to come up with calendar and position figures. Here's some of the sorts of numbers involved - and mind you, the Greeks built the machine, but the Babylonians did the observations! Cut for lots of extreme lay geekishness )
sff_corgi_lj: (Mind the blog)
Geekish reading, at least. MEGAFAUNA — First Victims of the Human-Caused Extinction by Baz Edmeades, complete book on-line (HTML/PDF)

...and that kinda goes with this animated presentation, 'Journey of Mankind: The Peopling of the World'. There are links off that page, my AngloCeltic siblings, so you can find out what male-line genetic part of Britain you're descended from (read this summation in the New York Times article, 'A United Kingdom? Maybe'). The female-line tests from the same company aren't British-Isles-specific.

Lastly, a photo-tour of a New Egg shipping warehouse (ooo, nifty tech); and an 8-page story by Bruce Sterling, We See Things Differently. (Take a look at the RevolutionSF FAQ, too.)

In memoriam

Dec. 8th, 2006 03:23 pm
sff_corgi_lj: (Nienna)
Yesterday's observance (in some areas, at least) of Pearl Harbor Day, and the subsequent discussion at SFF Net, made me notice this is a very busy week for commemoration.

Dec 5: Repeal Day (American, boozehoundist/civil rights)
Dec 6: Massacre at L'Ecole Polytechnique, Montreal (Canadian, feminist)
Dec 7: Pearl Harbor Day (American/international, military)
Dec 8: John Lennon's death anniversary (British/American, musical)
Dec 9: ?

Next month we have a whole string of US space programme stabs-in-the-heart — something about January at Cape Canaveral hates spacecraft. It's a good time to remember the cosmonauts, too, even if Russia's tragedies spread out through the calendar.

Harry Turtledove and Michael A. Burstein commented in the above ref'd SFF Net thread,
Quoth Susan Shwartz (SusanShwartz@sff.net)
> Today is a day that will live in memory.

For a while longer, sure. But the high-school kids taking AP US History in 2119 will go, "Wait a minute. Which one was December 7 and which one was 9/11?"

Life is like that, and a good thing, too, or we'd still be doing memorials to March 15, 44 BC and May 29, 1453



.
and
As Harry says, there are a lot of dates to remember. I like to think that each of us can remember the dates that most resonate with us. That way there's always someone commemorating each event on its anniverasry, even if its only one of us.
I'm not sure I had as much of a point as an observation, but do you have any particular dates of solemn commemoration that perhaps the public does not share?
sff_corgi_lj: (Clan MacMillan)
Rant P.S.:
Regarding secular Christmas, we could always follow (for the value of 'we' that means 'conscious witty intelligent beings') the example of Futurama in which the holida, Santa and tree and all, is knows as 'Xmas'. It wouldn't be a strain on the subconscious (not, of course, SubGenius) masses to adapt to, and would let the religious-origin name (Christ's Mass) be a depending-on-the-individual-church day of solemn and joyous reverence.

...nah. Makes too much sense. ;)
A Laugh:
Nicked from [livejournal.com profile] firedrake_mor, Marna Nightingale's The Ballad of Agincourt Carol, Sweetheart of the Regiment in her [livejournal.com profile] commodorified LJ.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating it today. :)
sff_corgi_lj: (Breast cancer Amazon)
Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago (Dinner Party) icon

Born: Chicago, IL, 1939

A childhood love of art led Judy Cohen to UCLA's art program. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1962 and her master of arts in 1964. Rechristened "Judy Chicago" by a gallery owner because of her Windy City accent, she quickly established a name for herself as a contemporary artist, showing her work at numerous local venues. 2

  In the early seventies after a decade of professional art practice, Chicago pioneered Feminist Art and art education through a unique program for women at California State University, Fresno, a pedagogical approach that she has continued to develop over the years. In 1974, Chicago turned her attention to the subject of women's history to create her most well-known work, The Dinner Party, which was executed between 1974 and 1979 with the participation of hundreds of volunteers. 1 The ambitious artwork, which Chicago humorously called a "reinterpretation of The Last Supper from the point of view of those who've done the cooking throughout history," consists of a triangular table, 48 feet long on each side, with complete place settings for 39 women who have been "forgotten by history." In the course of 15 major exhibitions in six countries, The Dinner Party was seen by a million people. 2

The Dinner Party has been the subject of countless articles and art history texts and is included in innumerable publications in diverse fields. The impact of The Dinner Party was examined in the 1996 exhibition, Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago's Dinner Party in Feminist Art History. Curated by Dr. Amelia Jones at the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, this show was accompanied by an extensive catalog published by the University of California Press. In 2004, The Dinner Party will be permanently housed at the Brooklyn Museum as part of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, thereby achieving Chicago's long-held goal of helping to counter the erasure of women's achievements.

Primordial Goddess plate
  From 1980 to 1985, Chicago worked on the Birth Project. Having observed an absence of iconography about the subject of birth in Western art, Chicago designed a monumental series of birth and creation images for needlework which were executed under her supervision by skilled needleworkers around the country. The Birth Project, exhibited in more than 100 venues, employed the collaborative methods and a similar merging of concept and media that characterized The Dinner Party. Exhibition units from the Birth Project can be seen in numerous public collections around the country including the Albuquerque Museum where the core collection of the Birth Project has been placed to be conserved and made available for exhibition and study.

While completing the Birth Project, Chicago also focused on individual studio work to create Powerplay. In this unusual series of drawings, paintings, weavings, cast paper, and bronze reliefs, Chicago brought a critical feminist gaze to the gender construct of masculinity, exploring how prevailing definitions of power have affected the world in general - and men in particular. The thought processes involved in Powerplay, the artist's long concern with issues of power and powerlessness, and a growing interest in her Jewish heritage led Chicago to her next body of art.

 
Hypatia plate The Holocaust Project: From Darkness Into Light, which premiered in October, 1993 at the Spertus Museum in Chicago, continued to travel to museums around the United States until 2002. Holocaust Project evolved from eight years of inquiry, travel, study, and artistic creation; it includes a series of images merging Chicago's painting with the photography of Donald Woodman, as well as works in stained glass and tapestry designed by Chicago and executed by skilled artisans.

Resolutions: A Stitch in Time was Judy Chicago's most recent collaborative project. Begun in 1994 with skilled needle workers with whom she had worked for many years, Resolutions combines painting and needlework in a series of exquisitely crafted and inspiring images which - with an eye to the future - playfully reinterpret traditional adages and proverbs. The exhibition opened in June, 2000 at the American Craft Museum, New York, NY, and was toured by them to seven venues around the United States and Canada.

 
  For many decades, Chicago has produced works on paper, both monumental and intimate. These were the subject of an extensive retrospective which opened in early 1999 at the Florida State University Art Museum in Tallahassee, Florida. Organized by Dr. Viki Thompson Wylder, who is a scholar on the subject of Chicago's oeuvre, this was the first comprehensive examination of the body of Chicago's art. The exhibit, Trials and Tributes traveled through 2002 to eight venues and was accompanied by a catalog by Dr. Wylder with an introduction by renowned critic, Lucy Lippard.

In October 2002, a major exhibition surveying Chicago's career was presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The show was accompanied by a catalog edited by Dr. Elizabeth A. Sackler with essays by Lucy Lippard and Dr. Viki Thompson Wylder and an Introduction by Edward Lucie-Smith.

 
  In addition to a life of prodigious art making, Chicago is the author of numerous books:
  • Through the Flower: My Struggle as a Woman Artist, 1975 (subsequently published in England, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan);

  • The Dinner Party: A Symbol of Our Heritage, 1979;

  • Embroidering Our Heritage:The Dinner Party Needlework, 1980 (subsequently published in a combined edition in Germany);

  • The Birth Project, 1985 (Anchor/Doubleday);

  • Holocaust Project: From Darkness into Light, 1993;

  • The Dinner Party/Judy Chicago, 1996;

  • Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist, 1996 (Viking Penguin).

In 1999, Chicago published a book coauthored with Edward Lucie-Smith, the well-known British art writer. Published in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany, Women and Art: Contested Territory examines images of women by both male and female artists throughout history. In the spring of 2000, Judy Chicago: An American Vision, a richly illustrated monograph about Chicago's career by Edward Lucie-Smith, was published. This book provided the first comprehensive assessment of Chicago's body of art.

Sappho plate
In 2004, Chicago published Fragments From The Delta Of Venus (powerHouse Books), a collection of images based upon the erotic writing of Anais Nin. Also, included in the book was an essay about Chicago's relationship with Nin who was her mentor in the early seventies. In conjunction with the book's publication, a number of exhibits were held around the country surveying Chicago's erotic work created over three decades. For many years, Judy Chicago has been interested in redressing the iconographic void around women's perspective on sexuality and desire.

In 1999, Chicago returned to teaching for the first time in twenty-five years, having accepted a succession of one-semester appointments at various institutions around the country-beginning with Indiana University, Bloomington, where she received a Presidential Appointment in Art and Gender Studies. In 2000, she was an Inter-Institutional Artist in Residence at Duke University and the University of North Caroline, Chapel Hill. In 2001, with her husband, photographer Donald Woodman, she undertook a project with students at Western Kentucky University, which commemorated the thirty-year anniversary of Womanhouse. Working with students, faculty and local artists, Chicago and Woodman developed a project titled, At Home, re-examining the subject of "the house," this time from the perspective of residents of Kentucky who have a keen sense of place and home. In the fall of 2003, Chicago and Woodman team-taught again facilitating an ambitious inter-institutional, multi-site project in Pomona and Claremont, California.

 
  Chicago is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY; an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, honoris causa from Smith College, Northampton, MA; an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA; an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Duke University, Durham, NC; and the 1999 UCLA Alumni Professional Achievement Award.

Many films have been produced about her work including Right Out of History; The Making of Judy Chicago's Dinner Party by Johanna Demetrakas; documentaries on Womanhouse, the Birth Project, The Holocaust Project and Resolutions; and two films produced by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Under Wraps and The Other Side of the Picture. E Entertainment Television included Judy Chicago in its three part program, World's Most Intriguing Women.

In 1996, the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA, became the repository for Chicago's papers. Chicago is the first living artist to be included in this major archive, one already being used by scholars researching Judy Chicago's work, for example, the art historian, Gail Levin, who consulted the Schlesinger archives from her upcoming biography of Judy Chicago.

  For nearly four decades, Chicago has remained steadfast in her commitment to the power of art as a vehicle for intellectual transformation and social change and to women's right to engage in the highest level of art production. As a result, she has become a symbol for people everywhere, known and respected as an artist, writer, teacher, and humanist whose work and life are models for an enlarged definition of art, an expanded role for the artist, and women's right to freedom of expression.

 
In retrospect it now seems that "The Dinner Party" came out of a social, feminist context as well as an art world one. That for the time was daring, to say the least. Whether you like "The Dinner Party" or not, it changed art. It was an event as much as an artwork. Chicago may not have done it all alone, but she certainly did not have a big New York gallery behind her. Furthermore, her art since "The Dinner Party" confirms that beginning with that work Chicago was after the really big subjects, something even now most artists shy away from for fear of embarrassment, making a mistake, or merely because the commercial art world can't handle other than formal topics or adolescent self-indulgence.

So on the elevator up to the 4th floor I was still wondering about how the actual "Dinner Party" would look and work. There were the now-familiar banners: "And She Gathered All before Her", etc. I turned the corner and there it was. A huge triangular banquet table with 39 place-settings, each one honoring a particular woman in myth and then history. It was still breathtaking. And I, like the others in the crowd, moved counterclockwise from setting to setting from the Primordial Goddess, to Ishtar, to Hatshepsut, to Saint Bridget, through Emily Dickinson, through Virginia Woolf and ending with Georgia O'Keeffe. Every setting tells a story, through the "decorated" ceramic plate and the related needlework runner. What I hadn"t remembered was that the plates got wilder, more three-dimensional, and more vaginal as you move through time around the table.

What is there left for me to say? This time the press response is favorable indeed, certainly in The Times and in The Voice. But what I can say is that what really pleases me is that this is a really nervy, shocking artwork. It is still over-the-top. It pretends to be rational and didactic, which in many ways it is. But the vision of vagina dinner plates at a women’s banquet is exactly what makes "The Dinner Party" far out…and effective. It sometimes takes a bit of wildness to get a point across. So now we probably need a retrospective to put "The Dinner Party" in the context of Chicago's work before and after. Wouldn't it be great if a retrospective accompanied the opening of the permanent installation of "The Dinner Party" at Brooklyn?3


1 http://www.judychicago.com/scripts/shopplus.cgi?DN=judychicago.com&CARTID=%cartid%&ACTION=add&FILE=biography/frameset_bio.html
2 http://www.ucla.edu/spotlight/archive/html_2000_2001/alum_0301_chicago.html
3 http://www.johnperreault.com/_wsn/page5.html
 
     
sff_corgi_lj: (Corgi mask)
Candlemas icon


Some of you might be less inclined to... be moved by this than others, but there's enough space groupies in my Friends list that I'm really surprised this happened. Expecially that I forgot.

I didn't see anything of this in my Flist, not even in [livejournal.com profile] apod. What happened January 28th, over a decade ago? What happened this morning, Feb. 1, last year?

Here's some hints:

STS 51L mission patch

STS 107 mission patch

We can't afford to forget. Whether you support the space program wholeheartedly, or think it should be set aside for now, there's a lot of hope, courage, hard work, altruism and knowledge which went into each of these flights -- and the astronauts' contributions can not afford to be trivialised or neglected.

Both these shuttles went down near the pagan holiday of the saint/goddess who is the Keeper of the Flame of Knowledge and Inspiration. Easter and Lammas are supposed to be the commemorations of sacrifice -- but now we have another.

I need to remember better.

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