Showing all posts tagged: art

1500 Vincent van Gogh artworks digitised and online

29 June 2023

Fifteen hundred paintings and drawings by Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh, who died in 1890, have been digitised and made available online by the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. Why didn’t this happen when I was studying high school art history? Van Gogh was of course one artist who’s work we looked at. A resource like this would have been awesome to work with.

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Julia Gutman wins 2023 Archibald Prize with Montaigne painting

5 May 2023

Gadigal/Sydney residing artist Julia Gutman has been named winner of the 2023 Archibald Prize, for her painting of Australian musician Montaigne. Awarded annually, the Archibald celebrates the finest works of Australian portraiture.

In other presentations, Zaachariaha Fielding took out the Wynne Prize for Australian landscape painting, while Doris Bush Nungarrayi won the Sulman Prize for genre or mural painting.

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Andrea Huelin named winner of 2023 Archibald Packing Room Prize

27 April 2023

Cairns, Queensland, based Australian artist Andrea Huelin, has been named winner of the 2023 Archibald Packing Room Prize, with her portrait of New Zealand comedian Cal Wilson, titled Clown Jewels.

In addition, fifty-seven works were selected as finalists for the 2023 Archibald Prize, the winner of which will be announced on Friday 5 May 2023. This year over nine hundred entries were received for the annual art award honouring Australian portrait painting.

Finalists were also announced for the Wynne Prize for Australian landscape painting, the Sulman Prize for genre or mural painting, and the Young Archies, for artists aged five to eighteen.

The winners of these prizes will also be named next Friday, ahead of the opening of the exhibition of the works of the winners and finalists, on Saturday 6 May 2023, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in Sydney.

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More than a Spotify genre, Glitchcore explored and defined

24 April 2023

Glitcgcore, Glitch artwork by Enrique Meseguer

Image courtesy of Enrique Meseguer.

Too Long; Didn’t Read: Glitchcore is a type of electronic music that features noisy digital artefacts including distortion, static, crackle, interference, and other warning sounds that means something’s not right. But there’s nothing wrong with the music itself. Read on for more of the story…

Twenty five years ago — give or take — a web design trend called “TV lines” was all the rage. Like all fads, it was short lived, but if you were a web designer who was anyone, the graphics on your website had to feature TV lines. The effect would have looked a little like the image above, created by Enrique Meseguer, and conveyed the impression your image was a screen-grab from a TV show.

Although images with TV lines have largely disappeared from the web, it can be argued their influence lingers, albeit non-visually, in the form of Glitchcore music. As the name suggests, Glitchcore is a genre that blends what are considered to be inharmonious noises, caused by errors of some sort, into the mix. These anomalies include distortion, static, crackle, interference, and other noisy artefacts. But Glitchcore is more than an amalgamation of discordant sounds, it’s also a blend of other genres, according to volt.fm:

Glitchcore is a genre of electronic music that combines elements of glitch, IDM, and breakcore. It is characterized by its chaotic and unpredictable sound, often featuring heavily distorted and chopped up samples, rapid-fire drum patterns, and complex, syncopated rhythms.

Yecch, syncopated rhythms. I sucked at syncopated strumming during my guitar playing days. But back to Glitchcore, which actually owes little to mellow, mostly unobtrusive, TV lines, than it does to boldly coloured, garish online memes, and Glitch art. Like Glitchcore music, Glitch artists make use of visual digital defects, in their artworks. And while Glitch art sounds like a contemporary movement, it isn’t. Instances of the form can be traced back to 1935, when experimental New Zealand filmmaker Len Lye incorporated analogue flaws into his short film, A Colour Box.

But Glitch art became more prominent in the early twenty-first century, when digital artists began to embrace errors and unwanted visual artefacts, spewed out by digital technologies, and crafted artworks from them. A Glitchcore musician then might look at a work of glitch art — refer again to Meseguer’s image above — and wonder how it could be rendered as a musical piece.

Musically, Glitchcore is seen as subgenre of Glitch music. Or Hyperpop, depending on who you ask. Glitch music became popular in the 1990s, but its origins can be traced back to the second decade of the twentieth century. In 1913, Luigi Russolo, an Italian artist and composer, produced The Art of Noises (L’arte dei rumori), a Futurist manifesto, which was considered by some to be the basis of noise music. Here, anything, particularly machinery, that made noise, could, somehow, be used in a musical composition.

Hyperpop (think of the music of Charli XCX), meanwhile, emerged about ten years ago, even though the term was first used in 1988 by a music writer named Don Shewey, when describing the Cocteau Twins, an erstwhile Scottish act. Wikipedia defines Hyperpop thusly:

Hyperpop reflects an exaggerated, eclectic, and self-referential approach to pop music and typically employs elements such as brash synth melodies, Auto-Tuned “earworm” vocals, and excessive compression and distortion, as well as surrealist or nostalgic references to 2000s Internet culture and the Web 2.0 era.

Glitchcore become more widely heard in 2020. And like Hyperpop, the name also seems to have preceded the music, if this excerpt from the March 2001 edition of SPIN magazine (and might they be referring to Matthew Herbert here?) is anything to go by:

Herbert is a former piano prodigy and Exeter drama student who went from touring with UK big bands to freaking clubbers with samplers and kitchen utensils, and his cozy records merge glitchcore buzz and tech-house heat.

So, there, at last we have it, an explanation of Glitchcore. Assuming the genre, subgenre, in fact exists, something Cat Zhang, writing for Pitchfork, says is debatable. And given its smorgasbord of genre ingredients, I can see where the doubters are coming from. Spotify, however, has no such misgivings. It’s a verified genre to them, as people perusing their annual Spotify Wrapped music listening reports would have noticed.

In case Glitchcore is new to you, as it was to me, here’s a small selection of the music to check out: Money Machine by 100 gecs, Ethanol by Madge, and This World is Sick by IC3PEAK. I should say a language warning may apply to some of these tracks.

And on the off chance the existence of Glitchcore is blowing your mind, and you think there’s too many music genres, and subgenres already, bear in mind some one hundred and twenty three thousand new songs are released daily across the world. That’s daily with a D. If that’s the case, there’s going be a whole lot more music genres coming to Spotify Wrapped in the future.

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100,000 plus new songs released daily, so what to listen to?

4 April 2023

By some estimates, one hundred and twenty three thousand new songs are released across the globe every day. That’s surely more music than any person could listen to in a lifetime. In a seemingly arts saturated world though, American jazz critic and music historian, Ted Gioia, contends the problem isn’t necessarily with supply, but rather demand. This means creating more demand driven initiatives, in other words, finding new ways of putting this new music in front of audiences.

Yet almost every arts-related institution in the world is focused on the supply side, almost to an obsessive degree. This feels good — we love giving money to artists. But even from a purely financial standpoint, these programs don’t do half as much good as genuine audience expansion. If you offered a musician the choice between a hundred dollars and a hundred new fans, they absolutely benefit more from the latter. It’s a no-brainer. In fact, musicians probably make more from just one loyal fan.

This is something we see with fiction publishing in Australia, and likely worldwide. As I’ve written before, a first-time writer of a literary fiction novel in Australia might expect to see a maximum of two thousand sales of that book. Australia doesn’t have the biggest of populations, but surely there’d be more interest in a book than that. In a somewhat supply saturated market, granted. As Gioia says, it is demand driven initiatives that are needed.

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Trove receives funding to continue ongoing operation

4 April 2023

Trove, Australia’s online library database of historical and cultural documents, which is operated by the National Library of Australia, has received a new round of funding from the Australian federal government. The move ends months of uncertainty that had been shrouding Trove’s future:

The National Library of Australia welcomes the commitment made by the Albanese Government to provide $33m over the next 4 years to maintain Trove, with $9.2m ongoing and indexed funding from July 2027. We are delighted that Trove’s future has been secured.

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Changes to make Archibald Packing Room Prize vote democratic

24 March 2023

Changes are coming to the voting process used to select the winner of the Packing Room Prize, traditionally the first award made in the annual Archibald Prize for Australian portraiture.

In short, Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) packers unbox and install the works for the Archibald Prize exhibition, then decide on the portrait they liked the most. However the past head packers, Steve Peters and Brett Cuthbertson, both of whom have recently retired, held the deciding vote.

A new voting process will see a panel of three people, each with an equal vote, determine a winner:

The new Packing Room Pickers are Timothy Dale, Monica Rudhar and Alexis Wildman, three professional art handlers with 19 years of hands-on Archibald Prize experience between them. “In line with the discussions around how the prize was actually judged we felt that a more collaborative decision would be more appropriate,” Dale says.

I’ve always seen the Packing Room Prize as a light aside to the main competition, suspecting the winning choice was always subjective, which was fine by me. If I were selecting a winner, I’d choose the painting that personally appealed to me the most.

The changes could well suit participating artists though, who have long considered the Packing Room Prize to be the “kiss of death”, as, to date, no winner has gone on to win the main Archibald Prize.

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ChatGPT must connect with people to succeed as an artist

24 February 2023

To make good art argues Billy Oppenheimer, writing for Every, the art creator must have a connection of some sort to people.

As an example, he cites the writers of the old Seinfeld TV sitcom, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, who, in the early days of the show, would go out and discreetly mix where people gathered, to figure out what they liked.

Their process played a part in the creation of the show’s many memorable screenplays. This is an advantage ChatGPT lacks. For the AI chatbot to succeed as an “artist”, it needs a more direct attachment to its audience.

Artists who get so famous that they can’t go out in public talk about how not being able to do so makes it hard to create art that connects. To come up with material for Seinfeld, for instance, Seinfeld and co-creator Larry David liked to hang out in public settings where they could observe and eavesdrop on strangers. As the show became a cultural phenomenon, Seinfeld and David couldn’t go out in public like they used to. Strangers didn’t act like strangers around them. This slow detachment from humanity made it harder to make a show that connected with humanity. When you don’t experience reality like most people do, it’s hard to make things that connect with most people.

Of course there’s no telling what people will go for, so a ChatGPT created work of art may still end up being riotously popular.

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Revive, Australia’s new National Cultural Policy unveiled

31 January 2023

Revive is the name the Australian federal government has given to a new five principle, five year, National Cultural Policy, that was made public yesterday.

Revive is a five-year plan to renew and revive Australia’s arts, entertainment and cultural sector. It delivers new momentum so that Australia’s creative workers, organisations and audiences continue to thrive and grow, and so that our arts, culture and heritage are re-positioned as central to Australia’s future.

Core objectives of the policy include the recognition of the work of Indigenous artists and creators, recognition of artists as workers, and increased support for cultural institutions. A revamp of the Australia Council for the Arts, and the creation of Writers Australia, which will “provide direct support to the literature sector from 2025”, are among other initiatives on the cards.

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Richard Bell, You Can Go Now, a film by Larissa Behrendt

16 January 2023

You may not have heard of Indigenous Australian artist and activist Richard Bell, but he has been at the forefront of political activism for over fifty years. Describing himself as an activist masquerading as an artist, Bell has spent fifty years fighting for Aboriginal rights and self determination, through his art and protest.

One of his best known works, an installation titled Embassy, was inspired by the Aboriginal Tent Embassy protest, which was first established on the lawns outside Australia’s parliament building in 1972. Bell’s installation has been presented in Australia, and cities across the world, including Jakarta, New York, Moscow, and Jerusalem.

Bell’s life and work is now the subject of a documentary, You Can Go Now, trailer, directed by Australian academic, Indigenous advocate, and author, Larissa Behrendt. Behrendt’s most recent novel, After Story, published in 2021, was longlisted in the 2022 Miles Franklin literary award.

You Can Go Now opens in Australian cinemas on Thursday 26 January 2023. Bell and Behrendt will also be participating in Q&A preview screenings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Dendy Cinema, Newtown, on Tuesday 24 January, and the National Film and Sound Archive, in Canberra, on Wednesday 25 January.

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