Danforth Winter Exhibit
Danforth Winter Exhibit
- Simplicity: Make consumers extremely happy & trade their smiles with ice-cream.
- Inventiveness: Utilizes latest face-recognition technology (by SapientNitro) to deliver a never-heard-before product consumption experience.
- Emotiveness: Engages instant happiness and euphoria.
- Buzz: Idea that Smile-O-Meter rating people's smiles to friends is so viral!
- Powerful Visuals: Warm red color on a washed-out striped white background, words "HaPpY" on an ice-cream bar invoke instant curiosity.
As I decided to spend rest of the weekend reading about various mudras & their significance, I came across AT&T's inventive ad campaign which depicts stunning hand-painting artworks by Guido Daniele. Some other works of this remarkable Italian artist can be viewed here, here or here.
- Like a smart sensor-based electronic device (air conditioner thermostat, light controlled switch etc), these artworks basically seek input from viewer's movement, body temperature, voice pitch or touch etc & provide viewer with a pre-programmed response.
- The viewer & artwork work together to create an experience & effect unique to each observer.
- Due to dynamic nature of artwork, they foster personalized human-machine interactions in a highly creative setting.
- The viewer experiences a state of total immersion and gets emotionally involved in no time. (One knows it isn't real but it feels so!)
- Some famous examples are Embankment, Irrational Geometrics or Test Site.
- Ahaa--I've been there when I was a kid!
- Look at that-these small people - they are so colorful & beautiful.
- Maravilhosa! Patterns in cathedral's glass windows make me so happy.
- Puxa - I'll get my cousin here for sure.
Snaps-Ashland Temple Visit
In the next hour-we learned about:
- Gear Shift: When you read something, you are essentially absorbing writer's thoughts. Once you get into a habit of reading, every time you pickup a book-you disassociate yourself from your thoughts and focus on those of the writer's. This gives you a fresh perspective.
- Relaxation: For people who stay at higher energy levels for a considerable amount of time (any examples?;)), reading helps them to take a pause, slow down, allow their otherwise hyperactive brains to relax.
- Pattern Matching: Voracious readers consume so many works of fiction, bestsellers and articles. So at any point in time-they are better equipped at detecting patterns (situations, issues, complex problems etc.) and thus act blazing fast. Good Reading develops one's analytical & critcial thinking skills and pattern matching ability on a continual basis.
- Vocabulary: When we give tours to ESL students at Danforth, we see that they have to apply lot of effort to absorb new words into their spoken vocab. One suggestion which we usually offer to them is "READ READ READ!". Reading pushes you out of your comfort zone, you are bombarded with new words again and again until you internalize them. The key however is to take a conscious note of new words.
- Creative Thinking: Similar to anything else we consume (advertisements, movies, TV Shows etc), the books give you a new perspective about the things and lets you explore the world in fantastic ways. Writings by great thinkers are always interesting reads - you get to understand their "thought process", their "visions" and their "idea generation process".
- Unconditional: Unlike nature's other creations, flowers spread fragnance unconditionally & all the time.
- Simplicity: Human beings in general shy away from using basic primary colors in their lives (clothes, homes & environment) & create artifical colors by complex manufacturng processes that suit their tastes. Whereas most of the flowers are composed of basic primary colors & their simplicity makes them so elegant.
- Spontaneous: A flower won't postpone blooming 'coz a certain day is too hot, too cold or too rainy. They do what they are meant to do!
- United We Stand: Like two distinct people, no two flowers are alike, yet all flowers come together to form a beautiful arrangement, which is not achievable by any individual flower alone!
- Energy: Flowers capture nature's beauty & present it in a form that amplifies positive energy and gives viewers warmth and comfort. Try sketching a colorful flower sometime, pay close attention to the drawing process and you'll understand this yourself.
- Why do some people spend so much of time in Volunteering?
- Does one person's contribution matter really?
- How are differences of opinion resolved in a non-profit setup?
- What are the incentives for people to put in their energies & time week after week?
There's something mystical yet instantly inviting about creations from Japanese designers & artists. Based on my exposure to Japanese artwork so far, objects seem to be embossed/engraved/located in an uncluttered, balanced and harmonic space that appears to give calm & positive vibes to the viewer.
- Structure: The HOLI celebration spans across two days. First day is known as Holika Dahan and the second day is known as Dhuli Vandana.
- Timing: Holi is celebrated at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (~Feb/Mar). Usually at this time of the year, farms and fields are in full bloom and people thus get into festive spirit and expect a good harvest ahead! Also, singing, dancing & merrymaking serves to rejuvenate the otherwise impassive moods and spirits that prevail during winters.
- Cultural Aspect: Like many other Indian festivals, it marks the victory of good over evil. Here's a short version of ancient story:
- Colors: On second day (Dhuli Vandana), people head out from their homes in morning and splash water colors & dried colors (gulal) on each other. Kids chasing each other with water color filled ballons is a common sight. in communities get together and form tolis (small groups) and playfully apply colours and exchange greetings as they hope along from one house to another. The idea is to drench everyone around you and have pure uninhibited fun!
- Social Aspect: By late afternoon, people head back to their homes to clean themselves up and get some rest. Later in the evening, people put on new traditional dresses (sherwanis/sarees as the case may be ;)) and visit respective friends to exchange sweets, greetings and well wishes. The idea is to reconnect with those who matter most to you and strengthen your emotional bonds with everyone else.
A while ago, while browsing my ART journal, I came across the word DUALITY (I had scribbled it many times on the same page!) and I was instantly reminded of talk by Mori Insinger, a Boston-based fine art photographer, at the Danforth Museum on 31-OCT-2009. I logged onto the artist's website, downloaded the photograph and once again found Mori's work mystical and very engaging. I decided to connect with Mori via the web to understand this series of photographs (Mori refers to them as DIPTYCHS) and relate it with what I've learned about ART so far.
- "The Diptych Format is a way of consciously showing the context of a setting as much as the central 'subject' itself".
- "The implicit boundaries and inherent grooming within a setting are part of an aesthetic which speaks to how inhabitants within an environment present themselves unto others."
Based upon my conversation with Mori, here's a brief summary this specific Diptych, which I found simply fascinating:
- Setting: The images for the diptych "Ginza District, Tokyo, Japan" featuring an upper-class fashion boutique, were made on a late summer evening in 2006 and the print was made in 2007.
- Balance: On one hand bright lights, subtle feeling emanated by glass, concrete, stone, and asphalt gives this Diptych a tangible & tough look. On the other hand transparency of the building and amalgamation of bright & dark colors gives it a warm inviting tone.
- Perspective: Eyes are drawn towards the diagonal lines emerging from center on either side and a sense of depth is developed right away.
- Contrast: Image on the left of the boutique shows the street buzzing with people and activity as against the serene lifeless image on the right hand side.
- Relationship: The image as a whole makes the viewer ascertain and evaluate the nature of relationship between organic (people) and inorganic (building, lights) elements.
- Aesthetics: Fashion Boutique, the central element in the Diptych, together with distinctive boxed glass windows, concealed lighting and surrounding void space gives a sense of style and aspirations of upper-class fashion enthusiasts.
- Energy: This Diptych certainly has a profound visual energy, which results in instant analysis process by the viewer (What's going on here?)
In our tightly packed suburbs and cities, it can be difficult to spot the 'beautiful subjects' that live in our midst and perhaps that's why most of us escape to far flung places when we take vacations hoping to break away from our otherwise fast-paced complex lives. But the moment we realize that we share cities with several other elements - animals, museums, playgrounds, shopping malls, schools and churches etc. and that we have an important role to play in this grand ecosystem of life, we start developing a deeper connection with nature, with fellow human beings and with our environment. In that respect, Diptychs are just the right messengers and reinforce the fact that our environment is much more than a simple combination of the tangible things we've acquired (vehicle, house, music player) and we can learn to become a part of this beautiful, complex, and exciting world once we start observing aesthetic subjects in our immediate environment!
While you are on Mori's website (spc. aspiring photographers)-do check out Mori's other impressive projects (Landscapes and Panoramas) too. His ability to capture vibrant colors, unseen objects and put them all together to create visually inspiring photos is extraordinarily inspiring indeed!
"What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling."Steve McCurry
[Image Courtesy-© Lovelines]
Anyways at sharp 1 PM, as the tour commenced, I took the viewers into (my fav) Morgan Bulkeley gallery and after brief introductions started probing visitors with questions. The VTS style worked yet again and within 5-7 mins I could feel a personal connection with the viewers, which simplified conducting rest of the tour. We discussed what artworks can tell us about people, lifestyles and beliefs from various times and cultures. We shared a common concern with our modern day consumeristic culture, which seems to be a visible impediment in our collective progress towards living a happier, healthier and adventurous life.
The tour lasted for about an hour and we covered works by Morgan Bulkeley, Gerry Bergstein and David Arinson in the hour long tour. In retrospect, I'd say I had a great time, learned so much more about the artworks I've seen almost 20 times by now, exchanged some great ideas and carried with myself a bagful of pleasant memories for the days to come.
For the benefit of those of you who haven't visited us yet, in short here's a quick snapshot on our Public Tours:
- Danforth Museum offers docent led public tours on first-weekend of every month.
- Museum admission is FREE with Museums On Us™
- Our tours are full of surprises and we try hard to meet expectations of our visitors.
- Public tours stress critical thinking, observation skills, and creative evaluation through close examination and discussion of artworks from our permanent and rotating exhibits.
- Our museum is handicapped accessibleand we give extra attention to special needs of our visitors.
Hope to meet some of you in person at the museum soon :)
The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing.~Sigmund Freud
[Image Courtesy-© FraminghamNavigator]