Thursday, June 4, 2009

482 summary slideshow

This sideshow includes a small sampling of the various artistic exhibits we visited during our time in London. Unfortunately many more galleries and museums do not allow photography inside and therefore I do not have pictures to show you. During the class I progressed from having little experience in critical evaluation to being able to fully articulate my aesthetic judgments whatever the artistic medium. We explored art through a series of visits and evaluations both during class and on our own time.

362 summary slideshow

This sideshow details our class caching. I hope you get a sense of how much fun we as a class had while visiting many amazing locations around London. If you interested to learn what geocaching is please follow this link and take a look around. Its a great way to see any place. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring London and learning about many unique and wonderful places it has to offer and cant think of a better way to do it than geocaching.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bloomsburry group tour

This tour highlights some notable members of the bloomsbury group. All people highlighted in my tour have blue squares but Lady Ottoline Morrell is not a member of the bloomsbury group but was a significant patron of the group and deserves a mention. Unfortunatly there was an error with google earth which only allowed me to record the first 1:58 of naration. The problem has been forwarded to the google tecnical team but I'm waiting for a respoonse. Overall the tour was a complete pain to create and I hope google polishes the interface and makes it far more intuitive.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Photographers' Gallery

The Photographers’ Gallery was a welcome change from the mega museums we had been wandering through so far on the trip. In contrast to the giants like the Tate Modern and National Gallery this museum was small and comprised mostly of only one exhibit room. The art featured in the Photographers’ Gallery had a stunning amount of variability. The pieces all seemed to have little in common, from chewing gum to naked men, the variability was astounding. The three objects I liked the best in the Photographers Gallery were:

Anzeri’s portraits: Anzeri’s strung portraits were great surprise. At first I was off put by the thread that had been sewn through the portraits of various people but upon spending time viewing the pieces I began to develop a sense for what Anzeri was expressing. The patterns sewn through the portraits seemed to express something about the person now part covered in thread. Each of the portraits seemed to match the patterns effaced to them. An older looking woman with lacey dress and a proper look might have a pattern that evokes a sense of her perhaps stiff personality and rigid beliefs. Above all I was amazed at how much of a message could be conveyed by the patterns and colors of the thread.

Warhol’s portraits: Warhol’s photographs were probably the most striking of all the work in the gallery. Not because of some great artistic merit but simply because of the subject which he has photographed. I was not expecting to see large prints of naked me sitting down in chairs during my visit to the gallery. Nevertheless, there they were. I thought that the photos were a little blunt but at the same time they conveyed a sense of how Warhol wanted the viewer to perhaps be shocked by the average or casual look of the naked men. The interesting part to me is how strange I felt looking at the prints, really it is simply a person, nothing that I hadn’t seen before, yet the pose and composition of the print made me feel quite awkward while looking at it. For obvious reasons I have not included a picture.

Alina Szapocznikow’s gum sculptures: Alina Szapocznikow has displayed an interesting set of images. At first the subject of her photographs is not entirely clear. The scope is hard to determine and the depth of the photo leads the view to imagine the subject as much larger than it actually is. Her subject: chewing gum. Szapocznikow has affixed the self-molded pieces of gum to various precipices and photographed them in macro. Interestingly the effect is quite unique and they really do seem quite a bit larger than life. It always surprises me what some people call art but nonetheless it is a fun idea and the results are genuinely interesting.

Friday, April 24, 2009

London's canal system


What industries relied most heavily on the London canal system in the past and what do these industries rely on now for transport?


I think the London canal system was used by many industries, particularly those that needed to transport large loads such as steel mills.


While London has developed canal system, canals were far less integral to early industry within the city than they were in more remote locations. This is because London’s primary industries relied heavily on the massive ports of London instead of the canal system. Industry in London took place almost solely on the banks of the Themes and closely surrounding area, therefore transport to more remote regions of the city was often irrelevant.

Many industries did use the canals to deliver goods out of the city though. Particularly between the time that roads were too difficult to traverse and the rail network had not been developed. Early roads were often undeveloped and difficult to navigate, loads pulled by teams of horses often took a long time to deliver limited goods. Any industry that had to transport large or heavy loads out of the city would have used the canal system at its peak. Some early industries that relied heavily on the canal system in Brittan were the coal, iron ore, and pottery industries. Goods needed to be delivered throughout the country and the canal system was the often most efficient means because of the ability to carry up to 30 tons per boat.

As time went on and London grew, quicker transportation was needed and the rail network became the widespread form of transportation within the city. Many of the canals were eventually bought out by rail companies but were still relied on for transport through the 1800’s. Sadly, by the end of the 1940’s few industries relied on the canals for transport, the end of the Second World War saw Brittan’s vast road and rail networks almost completely replaced the canals for commercial transport. The last commercial transportation contract (for a jam factory) expired in the 1970’s.

Today the canals are used almost entirely for recreational purposes. The vast network of canals throughout Brittan provides scenic traveling through the countryside and a large group of dedicated individuals work to maintain the canals for these purposes. Today the canals throughout Brittan are thriving and there are more boats on the waterways than there were at the peak of the commercialized canal system.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Diner asthetics review

The class was treated to an exciting opportunity to enjoy a meal free of charge, needless to say, we were excited about free food. This is my review of the restaurant and our meal.

Tas offers an exciting cuisine of Turkish origin. On their website they describe their restaurants as offering a fine dining experience and the highest quality food. This is a tall order to live up to and to be honest I would not expect "the highest quality food" from a restaurant that makes such a claim, but I figured I would be fair and go in with an unbiased opinion and give Tas the opportunity to prove itself.

My first impressions of the restaurant as I entered were positive. The restaurant was open and airy, providing a pleasant view of the London streets just outside. The mood was inviting and pleasant without seaming cheap or informal and the music and lighting complemented the atmosphere.

Because we had booked for the large group we ordered off a prepared menu and already had a portion of the meal predetermined. The starters came out in a relatively timely manner and I must say that the array of food was impressive. The starters included Borek, Humus, Manca, Tabule, Sebzeli Kofte, Zeytin Yagli Bakla, and Zeytin Yagli Patlican and were all excellent. In particular the Manca (a sort of tart yogurt and spinach mix) offered a refreshing yet zingy flavor and was exceptional with the traditional bread served with the starters. As a whole the starters offered an exciting mix of traditional flavors and I would recommend any of them.

For my main course I ordered calamari. I was hoping for an exciting dish filled with interesting flavors that would compliment the squid. Unfortunately my meal was not all that I had hoped it to be. The flavors were bland and it was served only with an equally bland walnut paste. This is not to say that the calamari wasn't good, it just wasn't as exciting as I had hoped and I wish that I had chosen a more exotic dish. My friends Karides Guvech was exceptional and offered a full gamut of flavors, I would recommend this dish to anybody looking for a good meal.

To complement the meal our teacher graciously agreed to pay for a couple bottles of wine and we enjoyed both of the house wines, a Turkish white and red wine. The house red would best be described as blunt and had an almost shockingly strong bitterness to it. However, this lessened as the wine breathed and by the end of our meal was quite fruity and flavorful. The white had a mild flavor and was quite smooth. Neither would be my first choice if I went again.

On the whole I would describe the restaurant as good and I would most certainly eat here again. However, I would highly suggest to indulge in the more exotic sounding dishes as these will provide a more exciting meal. The service was a bit over zealous although our large group size could well have been a factor. I will return to this restaurant on different terms in the future and I suggest that you do the same if you are looking for a meal that will be sure to excite.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My 3 artworks...

So, for my 3 pieces of modern art from both the Saatchi and Tate Modern I have chosen:

Yves Tanguy, The Invisibles

As I walked through the Tate this piece simply struck me and I had to walk back to it not once but several times. It was hung high and it seemed to beckon me to look at the intriguing shapes and arrangements from throughout the room. Something about the sharp lines combined with the nearly animistic shapes really made me wonder what it all meant. To this question I have no answer...

Unfortunately, I cannot find my second most interesting piece of art online so I am going to venture back to the Tate in the near future to take down the name of the sculpture. It was a relatively small piece, perhaps 2-3 feet tall and it featured a self standing metal piece that stuck out of a wooden base. This metal surface peaked then flowed into a U-shaped piece with connecting strands of chord that formed a complicated by yet uniform pattern. At first I wrote the piece of as a simple and basic sculpture with no real complexity to it. However, ever since I left the museum I could not stop thinking about the piece.

Unfortunately I don't know the name of the piece or the author but I'm sure Professor Manley can help me on this one...

This picture was all at once comical and serious, complex and simple. The pose and the ridiculousness of the vacuum cleaner made the picture comical, but this was offset by the woman's expression and the opulent background and garb. The picture appears to be very complex and detailed at first with the elaborate background and rug, but upon examination you can see that the backdrop is simply a drop cloth and this makes the picture seem far less formal. In all I think the piece is a great example of women's desire to leave the roles they have been caste into.

This blog is for class...

So this is my blog for 362 and 482, I cant wait to fill this space with all sorts of interesting analysis of artworks and caching around London!