16 September 2019
Hello the MLE,
I left the exhibition and stopped to watch all the people everywhere, each with their own particular identities, their own particular façades, each looking like a Cindy Sherman character… One of those special moments when you can really feel that art has slightly changed your outlook on the world (as cheesy as that sounds).
I was lucky to catch this major retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery here in London, that covered the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to present day. Sherman is famous for her use of make-up, costumes, props and prosthetics to create complex and ambiguous photographic images. She invents fictitious characters, photographing herself in imaginary situations, inhabiting a world of pure appearance.
My sister commented about how she always likes to imagine what the artist behind the work is really like as a person. Would she like to be friends with them? But she had no idea what Cindy Sherman would be like, judging by her art. And that is the point. Her art is “a lesson in throwing followers off a trail, keeping up a legend and putting on a disguise, hiding in plain sight and going undercover.”
My favourites were the series called, “Socialites,” a series of well, ageing socialites (a few featured here). I found the description particularly funny that it was a bit of a sensitive issue, as these characters could easily resemble some of her art collectors!
20 August 2019
Hello the MLE,
Reporting back from the AI: More Than Human exhibition at the Barbican.
Overall, it’s okay. It can be summed up as a barrage of examples of various AI-related objects and experiences. The only context provided is a crash course history of AI - which only added to the feeling of superficiality. With so many examples, there is little room for depth.
The exhibition would have benefited by focusing on the only the past 20 years, which is already more than enough. This would allow for a deeper look, a linking between pieces, an insight into what is proving to become a reality and why this is significant, and so on. This would have made the exhibitions much more interesting and meaningful.
Of course, I was personally interested in examples of how AI may help save us from environmental destruction, as well as the ethical considerations.
On the positive end: Neri Oxman and Mediated Matter Group’s Synthetic Apiary creates the conditions for an eternal spring for bees; and the Personal Food Computer developed at MIT is a “slow robot” that proposes an alternative to environmentally ruinous agriculture.
On the negative end:
An open letter to pre-emptively ban lethal autonomous weapons. An Amnesty International website showing how the US-led coalition’s air strikes on Raqqa in Syria in the war against Islamic State — many of them carried out by AI drones — led to hundreds of civilian deaths.
On the creepy end:
A video exploring the use of AI in China’s social credit system, set to roll out in 2020. This is depicted in a cute, colourful and fun animation focusing on all the positives, which is not at all appropriate for such a controversial topic.
And finally, I found it quite funny that there were a number of displays that were suffering technological malfunctions…. But at least the robot bartender was working! The future is bright!
12 July 2019
Hi the MLE,
You know I'm known for liking identities that involve repetition, and here is yet another new example. You are correct, this logo is not for everyone. In particular, the circular logo does not work well very small (it would not be legible), or in certain areas with restricted real estate, such as the top of their brewery (fourth image above, where the circular signage would not be legible, hence the less interesting and more plain repeating pattern). But in application as a poster or on drink glasses, it works quite well indeed (second and third image above).
More info here.
7 June 2019
Finally saw this exhibition! It was one of the best I've seen in ages. I have never seen so little change over time in an artist's work or life - and the fact that it works is incredible.They met at Saint Martin's School of Art in the 60s, and have been a couple ever since.Since meeting, they have also worked together as "Gilbert and George" ever since.They have been living in the same house on Fournier Street in London since the 60s as well.They've been wearing nothing but tweed suits for the past 50 years.They have been going to the same cafe for breakfast at the end of my street for about the past 20 years. (I've seen them there! The owners told me that once Madonna surprised them for breakfast, as she really wanted to meet them and this caf was one of the least likely places anyone would expect to find her).
They have also been going to the same Turkish restaurant in Dalston for dinner everyday for about the past 20 years.Finally, the medium of their art has been pretty much the same for the past 50 years as well: huge pieces make up of many squares, almost always very bright colours featuring red, and almost always featuring the pair, looking directly at the viewer. You can be in a room with a different artwork from a different decade on each wall, but they all blend seamlessly together. And often you cannot tell when the piece was even made. So little change.I often say that, living in London, I never have to change, because change is happening so quickly all around me, all the time. Sometimes it is a struggle to hang on, so Gilbert and George feel reassuring...
Top image: 1977
Middle image: 1984
Bottom image: 2013Suzan
25 May 2019
As you may know, Sears announced a new logo on May 1st. Are they still in business? Well yes, their Canadian stores closed a few years ago, but about 400 of their American ones will remain open following a narrow escape from bankruptcy. Of course it's a bit of a "no-brainer" that the new logo looks like the AirBNB logo (middle icon above). However, having just read the rationale behind the Sears logo, and it seems that this rationale has been copied from the Habitat logo (bottom icon above), yet not executed as well:
The new icon was created to represent both home and heart, this shape also conveys motion through an infinity loop, reminiscent of one getting their arms around both home and life.
Well, at least not many Americans are familiar with Habitat. I wonder if this new logo is a sign things to come for Sears...