October 24th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Vietnamese-born artist Binh Danh prints photographs onto living leaves

Binh Danh's chlorophyll prints

Binh Danh's chlorophyll prints

Vietnamese-born artist Binh Danh prints photographs onto living leaves. Seen here, The Leaf Effect: Study for Metamorphosis #2, 2006, 11.5 x 9.5 x 2 inches, chlorophyll print, butterfly specimen and resin. From Danh's artist page at the Haines Gallery:
 Images Bdan.8649.Lg Danh has invented a technique for printing found photographs (digitally rendered into negatives) onto the surface of leaves by exploiting the natural process of photosynthesis. The leaves, still living, are pressed between glass plates with the negative and exposed to sunlight from a week to several months. Coined "chlorophyll prints" by the artist, the fragile works are encapsulated and made permanent through casting them in solid blocks of resin. By conjoining his process into his conceptual ideas so completely, Danh is also able to reference the history and technical developments of photography.

He says of his work, "Throughout my education, I have always been very attracted to Art, History, and Science. The histories I search for are the hidden stories embedded in the landscape around me. The processes used in my work represent my interest in the sciences and photographic techniques."
Link to Haines Gallery, Link to an Examiner.com article about Danh's last exhibition, Link to NPR "Talking Plants" program about Danh from 2003 (Thanks, Jennifer Lum!)

UPDATE: Thanks to all the readers who pointed out that Grand Illusions has a page showing how to make your own chlorophyll prints using a similar technique. Link 


Chris Keeley

Dawkins: Why There Almost Certainly Is No God

Does Bush check the Rapture Index daily, as Reagan did his stars? 

Dawkins: Why There Almost Certainly Is No God

An essay by Richard Dawkins, released on the same day as his new book, The God Delusion. Snip:
America, founded in secularism as a beacon of eighteenth century enlightenment, is becoming the victim of religious politics, a circumstance that would have horrified the Founding Fathers. The political ascendancy today values embryonic cells over adult people. It obsesses about gay marriage, ahead of genuinely important issues that actually make a difference to the world. It gains crucial electoral support from a religious constituency whose grip on reality is so tenuous that they expect to be 'raptured' up to heaven, leaving their clothes as empty as their minds. More extreme specimens actually long for a world war, which they identify as the 'Armageddon' that is to presage the Second Coming. Sam Harris, in his new short book, Letter to a Christian Nation, hits the bull's-eye as usual:
"It is, therefore, not an exaggeration to say that if the city of New York were suddenly replaced by a ball of fire, some significant percentage of the American population would see a silver-lining in the subsequent mushroom cloud, as it would suggest to them that the best thing that is ever going to happen was about to happen: the return of Christ... Imagine the consequences if any significant component of the U.S. government actually believed that the world was about to end and that its ending would be glorious. The fact that nearly half of the American population apparently believes this, purely on the basis of religious dogma, should be considered a moral and intellectual emergency."
Does Bush check the Rapture Index daily, as Reagan did his stars? We don't know, but would anyone be surprised? My scientific colleagues have additional reasons to declare emergency. Ignorant and absolutist attacks on stem cell research are just the tip of an iceberg. What we have here is nothing less than a global assault on rationality, and the Enlightenment values that inspired the founding of this first and greatest of secular republics. Science education - and hence the whole future of science in this country - is under threat. Temporarily beaten back in a Pennsylvania court, the 'breathtaking inanity' (Judge John Jones's immortal phrase) of 'intelligent design' continually flares up in local bush-fires. Dowsing them is a time-consuming but important responsibility, and scientists are finally being jolted out of their complacency. For years they quietly got on with their science, lamentably underestimating the creationists who, being neither competent nor interested in science, attended to the serious political business of subverting local school boards. Scientists, and intellectuals generally, are now waking up to the threat from the American Taliban.


Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and the author of nine books, including The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker and The Ancestor's Tale. His new book, The God Delusion, published last week by Houghton Mifflin, is already a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller, and his Foundation for Reason and Science launched at the same time (see RichardDawkins.net).
(Thanks, John Brockman)

Reader comment: Andrew Tonkin says,

Richard Dawkins was on Stephen Colbert last night, and namedropped the FSM: Link. Long Salon interview: Link.

posted by Xeni Jardin

Chris Keeley

doesn't have a cast to rival Nicolas Cage and Maria Bello, it has brought the power of Hollywood dow

people would have confused Moukarbel's no-budget film with Oliver Stone's $40 million version

Reading the story about Chris Moukarbel, who YouTube narked out to Paramount, I was curious what "uploaded dialogue" from another film meant.

Here is a WaPo story from June. What Moukarbel did was take a leaked early script of "Twin Towers" and make a version of a segment of it:

"But as a 28-year-old filmmaker, Moukarbel wanted to do more than simply watch Stone's "World Trade Center." He decided to create his own version -- using a bootleg copy of the screenplay and Yale University student actors -- and offer it free on the Internet.

Although his film is only 12 minutes long and doesn't have a cast to rival Nicolas Cage and Maria Bello, it has brought the power of Hollywood down on him."

So someone makes a fan film before the movie is released, and Paramount has a fit? They actually claim in the WaPo story that people would have confused Moukarbel's no-budget film with Oliver Stone's $40 million version. *Gag*

Gareth says,
This post is timely: Chris Moukarbel has some other work in a show, opening this Thursday (the 26th) at Marianne Boesky Gallery. 509 west 24th, NYC.

Chris Keeley

The Next War

The next war


The Next War

By Daniel Ellsberg.

10/22/06 "
Harpers" -- -- A hidden crisis is under way. Many government insiders are aware of serious plans for war with Iran, but Congress and the public remain largely in the dark. The current situation is very like that of 1964, the year preceding our overt, open-ended escalation of the Vietnam War, and 2002, the year leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Collapse )
Chris Keeley

Eriksson, shown in his earlier court case, pleaded no contest to drunk driving charges stemming from

A black Ferrari Enzo

Hot wheels?
On trial

Ferrari Enzo trial isn't as flashy as the car

The cast of characters may be colorful, but the Bo Stefan Eriksson case focuses mainly on paperwork details.

By Jill Leovy
Times Staff Writer

October 24, 2006

Eight months later, the cars still have their mystique. A black Ferrari Enzo. A McLaren Mercedes-Benz. And of course the by-now iconic red Ferrari Enzo, the more alluring for having been smashed.

The names of all three cars flew around the courtroom like sparks Monday morning, enlivening an otherwise lusterless discussion of lease terms and payment plans as the trial of Swedish businessman and ex-convict Bo Stefan Eriksson got underway. Jurors heard repeatedly about how rare are the cars, how expensive, how celebrated.

Collapse )

Chris Keeley

US Diplomatic Honesty Gets Hit & ME Reaction

Some might say invading on a fabricated tissue of mendacity, moving
viceroys into presidential palaces, dismantling an entire army,
dismissing civil servants, distributing crony reconstruction contracts,
inserting puppet governments, shooting civilians at checkpoints,
sexually abusing prisoners, torturing, murdering and raping could be
construed as a teeny-weeny bit "arrogant".

from the October 24, 2006 edition -

   Senior US diplomat's candor gets play in the Middle East, ire at home

*Alberto Fernandez has recanted comments that US moves in Iraq show
'arrogance' and 'stupidity.'*

*By Dan Murphy* | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor


When senior State Department official Alberto Fernandez said in an
interview on Al Jazeera Saturday that US policies in Iraq have been
marked by "arrogance" and "stupidity," he was expressing a sentiment
widely held in the Arab world.

Collapse )

Chris Keeley

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 film, "The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed

Duchamp (1887-1968), of course, you know well: the aristocratic lapsed painter, dedicated chess player, intermittent cross-dresser, sometime art adviser and sardonic, unsentimental pioneer who, as Donald Judd put it, invented fire — that is, he found the first found object

In 1919, with Duchamp as her muse, Dreier more or less invented the concept of the modern-art museum, which she envisioned as an institution of international scope dedicated to making the art of the moment comprehensible to the public, through exhibitions, publications, lectures, concerts and a library. She would later, somewhat painfully, watch Alfred Barr bring the idea to fruition in the 1930’s with the Museum of Modern Art, helped by a more diplomatic personality and substantially more financial support. (Dreier was no Rockefeller.) 

Dreier and Duchamp both exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show but did not meet until 1916. Their friendship deepened the next year, after Duchamp’s urinal was rejected by the Society of Independent Artists, which Dreier had helped found. No one knows the extent of their intimacy.

Before 1920 Dreier divided her time between America and Europe, studying, making and collecting art; exhibiting; and establishing a network of artists and dealers. Determined to make the United States more receptive to the new, she joined with Duchamp and the American artist Man Ray to form an organization she initially called the Modern Ark, until Man Ray suggested the Société Anonyme.

On April 30, 1920, Société Anonyme opened an exhibition and a library in two small rented rooms on East 47th Street. Dreier appended to the name of this fledgling organization “The Museum of Modern Art: 1920.”