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Can “AI” Predict the Upcoming Auction Price for a Rothko Painting?

“Untitled 1960” by Mark Rothko

The Auction Price

On May 16, 2019 Sotheby’s will conduct an auction of three works by Mark Rothko. The work above is one of them, “Untitled 1960.” The painting is to be auctioned at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale on May 16, 2019.

Sotheby’s is forecasting the painting will sell for between $40.1-$57.2 million.

The AI model used by Artsy predicts the work will sell for $42.3 million.

AI or Not AI?

It seems that the term “AI” has come to be used in a general, but confusing way. The purpose here is not a game of which estimate is correct. The purpose here is to raise the question of whether the model developed by Artsy is “AI” or not?

AI

The term, “AI” has come to be used in a broad sense to include a formula, a computer program, and an algorithm. The term “algorithm” is perceived as ” a “thing” that solves problems on its own. In general, AI is perceived as being superior to the human mind.

However it is important to know that the term ‘algorithm”, in its most general sense, “is any set of detailed instructions which results in a predictable end-state from a known beginning. Algorithms are only as good as the instructions given, however, and the result will be incorrect if the algorithm is not properly defined.” wisegeek.com.

AI by Artsy

Artsy developed its AI by using factors that it considered necessary to determine the final auction price of the work. Thus Artsy determined that its AI was “based simply on the digital image plus five variables: painting height and width, whether it’s a work on paper or canvas, the number of billionaires in the world, and the wealth they control,” Artsy, (factors we may agree with or not).

Artsy coupled this data with a “pattern-recognition algorithm called a Convolutional Neural Network (Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). A CNN looks at pixels in digital images and finds patterns in them, without the machine first being told what to look for. ). A CNN looks at pixels in digital images and finds patterns in them, without the machine first being told what to look for.” Artsy.

Is This Really AI?

Artsy also compiled a “data base,” of “works by Rothko sold at auction since 2000, a total of 118 objects. The database includes not only all-in sale prices (hammer price plus buyer’s premium) and object descriptors (size, date painting was made, date it was sold, painting on canvas or paper, etc.) gathered from the artnet price database, but also digital images of each work that [Artsy] pulled from the web.”

To properly evaluate whether the model us by artsy is actually “AI,” or simply a calculation based on past sales, requires an expert in AI.

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A Museum Existing Solely in VR

A VR Concept of the “Museum Without Walls”

In 1947 André Malraux began his book, and project the “musée imaginaire (Museum Without Walls). Malraux used the new media of his time to create a ‘museum without walls,’ as he described it, a montage of photographs of art from all around the globe and throughout history, stretching from Roman sculptures to Impressionist painting.” ArtInfo,

The Kremer Museum

At the “Kremer Museum, the lighting is perfectly optimized to accentuate the colors, brushstrokes, and details in each painting. The frames reflect light differently than the art, and soon, all of the lighting will be adjusted according to each visitor’s height to entirely eliminate glare. Visitors can not only view the front of each painting, but also the back, and potentially the X-ray as well—and they can do so from anywhere in the world, (with the proper gear. The museum exists solely in virtual reality.”

Fine Art in the New Media

“To build the museum, the Kremer Family commissioned renowned architect Johan van Lierop to design an elaborate virtual environment and employed digital content producers to use photogrammetry—a process that involved taking thousands of photos of each object—to render 3-D, high-resolution virtual replicas of every painting in the collection. Next, they created holograms of experts including George Kremer himself to help explain the history and importance of certain paintings.” Artsy

By use of the New Media, The Kremer Museum makes its collection available to anyone, anywhere.

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Notre Dame is Burning, Spire Collapses, All is Not Lost – It Never Was – Notre Dame Has Always Survived.

Notre Dame is Burning

April 16, 2019

April 15, 2019. Hundreds of videos, and pictures document the horror of the fire at Notre Dame, Paris.


April 15, 2019. “French officials say it appears the facades and bell towers and flying buttresses and much of the rest of the building’s general structure have been saved.” Numerous media outlets report on “What’s Been Saved and What’s Been Lost in the Notre Dame Fire.”

The Cathedral Through Time

The cathedral as constructed between the 12th and 14th centuries, and has undergone many changes and major restorations. “In 1548, rioting Huguenots damaged some of the statues of Notre-Dame, considering them idolatrous. During the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XV, the cathedral underwent numerous alterations to comply with the more classical style of the period. The sanctuary was re-arranged; the choir was largely rebuilt in marble, and many of the stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century were removed and replaced with white glass windows, to bring more light into the church. A colossal statue of St Christopher, standing against a pillar near the western entrance and dating from 1413, was destroyed. ”

“In 1793, during the French Revolution, the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason, and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. During this time, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. The twenty-eight statues of biblical kings located at the west façade, mistaken for statues of French kings, were beheaded. Many of the heads were found during a 1977 excavation nearby, and are on display at the Musée de Cluny. For a time the Goddess of Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars.[ The cathedral’s great bells escaped being melted down.”

“All of the other large statues on the facade, with the exception of the statue of the Virgin Mary on the portal of the cloister, were destroyed.[8] The cathedral came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food and other non-religious purposes.”

“In July 1801, the new ruler, Napoleon Bonaparte, signed an agreement to restore the cathedral to the Church. It was formally transferred on 18 April 1802. “

19th-century reconstruction

“The cathedral was functioning in the early 19th century, but was half-ruined inside and battered throughout. In 1831, the novel Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo, published in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame had an enormous success, and brought the cathedral new attention. In 1844 King Louis Philippe ordered that the church be restored. The commission for the restoration was won by two architects, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine Lassus and Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who was then just 31 years old.”

They supervised a large team of sculptors, glass makers and other craftsmen who remade, working from drawings or engravings, the original decoration, or, if they did not have a model, adding new elements they felt were in the spirit of the original style.”

The Spire

“The architects made a taller and more ornate reconstruction of the original spire (including a statue of Saint Thomas that resembles Viollet-le-Duc), as well as adding the sculpture of mythical creatures on the Galerie des Chimères. The restoration took twenty five years.”

Modern Restorations

The set of four 19th-century bells atop the northern towers at Notre-Dame were melted down and recast into new bronze bells in 2013, to celebrate the building’s 850th anniversary. They were designed to recreate the sound of the cathedral’s original bells from the 17th century. Despite the 1990s renovation, the cathedral had continued to show signs of deterioration that prompted the national government to propose a new renovation program in the late 2010s.[ The entire renovation was estimated to cost 100 million euros, which the Archbishop of Paris planned to raise through funds from the national government and private donations. “

All is Not Lost – It Never Was

“Notre Dame” was never lost.”During the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the cathedral suffered some minor damage from stray bullets. Some of the medieval glass was damaged, and was replaced by glass with modern abstract designs. On 26 August, a special mass was held in the cathedral to celebrate the liberation of Paris from the Germans; it was attended by General Charles De Gaulle and General Philippe Leclerc. “

“In 1963, on the initiative of culture minister André Malraux and to mark the 800th anniversary of the Cathedral, the facade was cleaned of the centuries of soot and grime, restoring it to its original off-white color.” (W

“A €6 million renovation of the cathedral’s spire began in late 2018 and continued into the following year, requiring the temporary removal of copper statues on the roof and other decorative elements days before the April 2019 fire.” (wikipedia).Notre Dame Will Always Live

Notre Dame Will Always Live

Now, “France has launched an international competition to re-design the spire.” (WAPO).

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Videos – Notre Dame Through The Centuries

“A daguerreotype, (below) from before this overhaul shows a building more stark than the one we know today, with no beasts perched on its towers, its medieval gargoyles having long been removed.” (MF).

H/T ArtDaily


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Pre-Raphaelites in the New Media

The Pre-Raphaelites in the New Media?

Since this a site dedicated to the Book and Fine Art In the New Media, we’ve decided to concentrate on that, as we did in the beginning, rather than become a site that reports and comments on Books and Art in general. Also, we don’t want to the site to focus on the written word, we want it to be visual, and explore all the ways the New Media are/can be used to make Literature and Art available to everyone, everywhere.

This post is about the Pre-Raphaelite Movement, which the brief notes below describe. Pre-Raphael Art is everyone’s ideal of romantic beauty.

Below is a video about Elizabeth Siddal, the muse and model for much of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s work. It is a tale of a tragic love.

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Notes on the Pre-Raphaelite Movement

“The name Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood referred to the groups’ opposition to the Royal Academy’s promotion of the Renaissance master Raphael. They were also in revolt also against the triviality of the immensely popular genre painting of time.”

“Inspired by the theories of John Ruskin, who urged artists to ‘go to nature’, they believed in an art of serious subjects treated with maximum realism. Their principal themes were initially religious, but they also used subjects from literature and poetry, particularly those dealing with love and death. They also explored modern social problems.”

“Its principal members were William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. After initial heavy opposition the Pre-Raphaelites became highly influential, with a second phase of the movement from about 1860, inspired particularly by the work of Rossetti, making major contribution to symbolism. ” Tate

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The Women of the Bauhaus Movement

Bauhaus at 100

2019 marks the 100 anniversary of the Bauhaus movement. Celebrations throughout the workd will focus the School, and it’s leading artists such as Paul Klee, Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky, László Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer , all men. But what about the women of the Bauhaus Movement?

Bauhaus School “Open to All”

The Bauhaus School prided itself on the idea that it was open to all. “When it opened, the Bauhaus school declared itself progressive and modern and advocated equality for the sexes, which was rare at the time,” says Evelyn Adams in her short video on the Women of the Bauhaus above. “Value was placed on skill rather than gender. Classes weren’t segregated, and women were free to select whichever subjects they wanted.” (Open Culture}.

This had an understandable appeal, and in the school’s first year more women applied than men. But, “in reality, despite having radical aspirations, the men in charge of the school represented the societal attitudes of the time. If everyone was welcomed as equals, then why did none of the women reach the same level of recognition as Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky?” (Evelyn Adams video).

But “Not for You”

For instance consider Gertrud Arndt. As written by TheNew York Times‘ Alice Rawsthorn, ” when she arrived at the Bauhaus school of art and design in 1923 as “a gifted, spirited 20-year-old who had won a scholarship to pay for her studies. Having spent several years working as an apprentice to a firm of architects, she had set her heart on studying architecture was told that there was no architecture course for her to join and was dispatched to the weaving workshop.

Maryanne Brandt “Tea Infuser and Strainer.”

“The situation improved after Gropius succeeded in ousting Johannes Itten Itten in 1923,” writes Rawsthorn, hiring Moholy-Nagy in Itten’s place. “Having ensured that female students were given greater freedom, Moholy encouraged one of them, Marianne Brandt, to join the metal workshop. She was to become one of Germany’s foremost industrial designers during the 1930s,” and her 1924 tea infuser and strainer appears above.

In Recent Years

In recent years, the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin has put on shows to honor female Bauhause artists like Ardnt, textile designer Benita Koch-Otte :

and theater designer, illustrator, and color theorist Lou Scheper-Berkenkamp:

In recent years, Artsy’s Alexxa Gotthardt has the stories of more women of the Bauhaus.

H/T OpenCulture


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Nureyev,”White Crow,” Transform the Dance, Transform the Man

Nureyev

As reported by the BBC,

“In 1961, the dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the west from the then-Soviet Union’s famed Kirov Ballet. An apparently last-minute decision to seek asylum in France made him, at 23, the best known male dancer in the world. A glittering career followed. The new film The White Crow (click for trailer) dramatises the defection and the early years which led to it. “

Ivenko

“At 22, the dancer Oleg Ivenko hasn’t acted before but he was chosen by director Ralph Fiennes to play Nureyev in the new biopic The White Crow. Born in Ukraine, he grew up speaking both Ukrainian and Russian. His career as a solo dancer began at the Tatar State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Kazan, 500 miles east of Moscow. ” (BBC News).

The Man

While the main focus will be on the Dance in the film, “White Crow,” the dramatic portrayal of Nureyev the man is as important to define Nureyev as it was his dance, and his personality outside the theater that made him an international star. Take a look. H/T Mark Dziamba

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When William Faulkner Set the World Record for Writing the Longest Sentence in Literature: Read the 1,288-Word Sentence from Absalom, Absalom!

“Nobody Reads Anymore.”

William Faulkner’s Writing

ONE of the most insightful comments about William Faulkner’s writing was written recently by Josh Jones in Openculture,

“Not only does Faulkner’s deep affiliation with his characters’ inner lives elevate his portraits far above the level of local color or regionalist curiosity, but it animates his sentences, makes them constantly move and breathe. No matter how long and twisted they get, they do not wilt, wither, or drag; they run river-like, turning around in asides, outraging themselves and doubling and tripling back. Faulkner’s intimacy is not earnestness, it is the uncanny feeling of a raw encounter with a nerve center lighting up with information, all of it seemingly critically important.”

When reading Faulkner’s sentence below, it is important to note that all of Faulkner’s modernist contemporaries, Wolff, Beckett, and especially Joyce, mastered the use of run-on sentences.

Just exactly like Father if Father had known as much about it the night before I went out there as he did the day after I came back thinking Mad impotent old man who realized at last that there must be some limit even to the capabilities of a demon for doing harm, who must have seen his situation as that of the show girl, the pony, who realizes that the principal tune she prances to comes not from horn and fiddle and drum but from a clock and calendar, must have seen himself as the old wornout cannon which realizes that it can deliver just one more fierce shot and crumble to dust in its own furious blast and recoil, who looked about upon the scene which was still within his scope and compass and saw son gone, vanished, more insuperable to him now than if the son were dead since now (if the son still lived) his name would be different and those to call him by it strangers and whatever dragon’s outcropping of Sutpen blood the son might sow on the body of whatever strange woman would therefore carry on the tradition, accomplish the hereditary evil and harm under another name and upon and among people who will never have heard the right one; daughter doomed to spinsterhood who had chosen spinsterhood already before there was anyone named Charles Bon since the aunt who came to succor her in bereavement and sorrow found neither but instead that calm absolutely impenetrable face between a homespun dress and sunbonnet seen before a closed door and again in a cloudy swirl of chickens while Jones was building the coffin and which she wore during the next year while the aunt lived there and the three women wove their own garments and raised their own food and cut the wood they cooked it with (excusing what help they had from Jones who lived with his granddaughter in the abandoned fishing camp with its collapsing roof and rotting porch against which the rusty scythe which Sutpen was to lend him, make him borrow to cut away the weeds from the door-and at last forced him to use though not to cut weeds, at least not vegetable weeds -would lean for two years) and wore still after the aunt’s indignation had swept her back to town to live on stolen garden truck and out o f anonymous baskets left on her front steps at night, the three of them, the two daughters negro and white and the aunt twelve miles away watching from her distance as the two daughters watched from theirs the old demon, the ancient varicose and despairing Faustus fling his final main now with the Creditor’s hand already on his shoulder, running his little country store now for his bread and meat, haggling tediously over nickels and dimes with rapacious and poverty-stricken whites and negroes, who at one time could have galloped for ten miles in any direction without crossing his own boundary, using out of his meagre stock the cheap ribbons and beads and the stale violently-colored candy with which even an old man can seduce a fifteen-year-old country girl, to ruin the granddaughter o f his partner, this Jones-this gangling malaria-ridden white man whom he had given permission fourteen years ago to squat in the abandoned fishing camp with the year-old grandchild-Jones, partner porter and clerk who at the demon’s command removed with his own hand (and maybe delivered too) from the showcase the candy beads and ribbons, measured the very cloth from which Judith (who had not been bereaved and did not mourn) helped the granddaughter to fashion a dress to walk past the lounging men in, the side-looking and the tongues, until her increasing belly taught her embarrassment-or perhaps fear;-Jones who before ’61 had not even been allowed to approach the front of the house and who during the next four years got no nearer than the kitchen door and that only when he brought the game and fish and vegetables on which the seducer-to-be’s wife and daughter (and Clytie too, the one remaining servant, negro, the one who would forbid him to pass the kitchen door with what he brought) depended on to keep life in them, but who now entered the house itself on the (quite frequent now) afternoons when the demon would suddenly curse the store empty of customers and lock the door and repair to the rear and in the same tone in which he used to address his orderly or even his house servants when he had them (and in which he doubtless ordered Jones to fetch from the showcase the ribbons and beads and candy) direct Jones to fetch the jug, the two of them (and Jones even sitting now who in the old days, the old dead Sunday afternoons of monotonous peace which they spent beneath the scuppernong arbor in the back yard, the demon lying in the hammock while Jones squatted against a post, rising from time to time to pour for the demon from the demijohn and the bucket of spring water which he had fetched from the spring more than a mile away then squatting again, chortling and chuckling and saying `Sho, Mister Tawm’ each time the demon paused)-the two of them drinking turn and turn about from the jug and the demon not lying down now nor even sitting but reaching after the third or second drink that old man’s state of impotent and furious undefeat in which he would rise, swaying and plunging and shouting for his horse and pistols to ride single-handed into Washington and shoot Lincoln (a year or so too late here) and Sherman both, shouting, ‘Kill them! Shoot them down like the dogs they are!’ and Jones: ‘Sho, Kernel; sho now’ and catching him as he fell and commandeering the first passing wagon to take him to the house and carry him up the front steps and through the paintless formal door beneath its fanlight imported pane by pane from Europe which Judith held open for him to enter with no change, no alteration in that calm frozen face which she had worn for four years now, and on up the stairs and into the bedroom and put him to bed like a baby and then lie down himself on the floor beside the bed though not to sleep since before dawn the man on the bed would stir and groan and Jones would say, ‘flyer I am, Kernel. Hit’s all right. They aint whupped us yit, air they?’ this Jones who after the demon rode away with the regiment when the granddaughter was only eight years old would tell people that he ‘was lookin after Major’s place and niggers’ even before they had time to ask him why he was not with the troops and perhaps in time came to believe the lie himself, who was among the first to greet the demon when he returned, to meet him at the gate and say, ‘Well, Kernel, they kilt us but they aint whupped us yit, air they?’ who even worked, labored, sweat at the demon’s behest during that first furious period while the demon believed he could restore by sheer indomitable willing the Sutpen’s Hundred which he remembered and had lost, labored with no hope of pay or reward who must have seen long before the demon did (or would admit it) that the task was hopeless-blind Jones who apparently saw still in that furious lecherous wreck the old fine figure of the man who once galloped on the black thoroughbred about that domain two boundaries of which the eye could not see from any point.

First Edition Cover
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