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What’s So Good About a Video of an Art Exhibition? “Dreams of Frozen Music.”

May 16, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

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Videos of an Exhibition

There are many videos of art exhibitions available on the internet. They range from the talking heads to a full walk-through of an exhibition. While we may take these videos for granted, here we want to focus on the video itself as an art form in the New Media.

The Exhibition, “Dreams of Frozen Music”

We’ve chosen the video of the exhibition of “Dreams of Frozen Music” at the Tokyo Art Museum . ” The exhibition presents about 30 drawings by Sergei Tchoban. These works are not meant to be “the typical drafts” for architectural projects. No building is ever being built according to them, they rather can be seen as “free architectural fantasies.”

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“Tchoban’s aesthetic approach, his visual language and his artistic means seem not to be contemporary but rather timeless. Classical orders of columns, domes of baroque churches and e pre-modernist architecture are being blended into surreal vedutas. A technically brilliant draughtsman, Tchoban employs all kind of materials including ink, water color, red chalk, charcoal and pastel chalk. “ tokyoartmuseum.com.

The Video, “Dreams of Frozen Music,” Part 1.

There is a plethora of videos of art exhibitions, from talking heads to a full walk through of the entire exhibition. However, here, under the theme of Fine Art in the New Media, we want to discuss a video of an art exhibition as an art form itself.  Below is the video of the exhibition, “Dreams of Frozen Music.”


The Video of “Dreams of Frozen Music,” Part 2

A video of an art exhibition is a complex task. The first task is the look and feel of the video – how well it establishes the exhibition. In the video above, the opening scene presents the hustle and bustle of Tokyo itself, and shows people  in the subway looking at images from the exhibition. It establishes a  juxtaposition of the frantic movement of the people with the stillness of the art which sets up a dichotomy which immediately captures our attention, but leaves unanswered the question of what this has to do with an art exhibition. However, the quiet contemplation of the art stands as the main theme out and prepares the way for the main scene.

The main sequence continues the theme of the quiet contemplation of the art, with an unexpected solo figure dressed in a striking kimono walking through parts of the exhibition. The music adds to the subtlety of the scene of quiet contemplation of the art in the museum itself, again presenting a dichotomy, forcing us to focus not only on the architectural drawings themselves, but also on the architecture of the museum itself. As an art form it is very creative and very subtile.

The other elements of the video as an art form are the framing of the theme, the  direction given to the solitary figure, the juxtaposition of color against the momochrome of the drawings and the seemingly plain-looking background of the museum.

Moreover, this video superbly presents itself as an art form, which rivets our attention and carries forth the theme of quiet contemplation. Thus, while it does show the art, it has the setting and drama of an art form itself ,independent of the pictures of the architectural drawings, which is quite an artistic accomplishment!




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And You Thought You Could Never Like Opera.

May 9, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

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Mads Milkkelsen


Opera is one of the Arts where, many, auto-reactively would say they “could never like Opera. Indeed it seems to be in vogue to proclaim an aversion to opera, no matter how many other art form one could proudly proclaim that they did like, and understand.


“An opera is a stage work accompanied by music in which all or most of the dialogue is sung. Opera was invented around the turn of the 17th century by a group of Florentine musicians who were trying to replicate the form of Greek theatre in which drama and music were combined.” allmusic.com

Opera Pro and Con

“Opera has attracted both supporters and detractors throughout its history and has sometimes been the target of intense criticism. Supporters have seen it as more than the sum of its parts, with the music supporting and intensifying the lyrics and action to create a genre of greater emotional impact than either music or drama could achieve on its own. Its detractors have viewed it as an artificial and irrational art form that defies dramatic verisimilitude. ”  musicgenerelist.com

How Can One Approach Opera?

Opera can be approached in 3 Easy New Media Steps. After viewing the 3 videos below, ask yourself if you can now like opera?

This  3- step curriculum consists of Humor, Pageantry and Genius.

The Music – The Cold Song

The music is “The Cold Song”, (Music by Henry Purcell, Lyrics by John Dryden) from the Opera “King Arthur.”  The plot is based on the battles between King Arthur‘s Britons and the Saxons, rather than the legends of Camelot . It is a Restoration spectacular, including such supernatural characters as Cupid and Venus The tale centres on Arthur’s endeavours to recover his fiancée, the blind Cornish Princess Emmeline, who has been abducted by his arch-enemy, the Saxon King Oswald of Kent. wikipedia

The lyrics are powerful, the music is haunting.

“What Power art thou who from below
Hast made me rise unwillingly and slow
From beds of everlasting snow?
See’st thou not how stiff and wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold,
I can scarcely move or draw my breath?
Let me, let me freeze again to death.”


Step 1. Humor


Step 2. Pageantry



Step 3 Genius



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Can You Separate the Artist from the Artwork? Andy Warhol.

May 2, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

Can You Separate the Artist from the Artwork?
Can You Separate the Artist from the Artwork is an intriguing question. Some try to see whether events in an artist’s life are reflected in his or her artwork: Michelangelo,
Raphael, Rodin, Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gordon Parks, for example.
Many will first search for biographies, art books, and articles about the artist, monographs, letters, recollections of family and friends – all of which are written materials, considered to be secondary sources in the hierarchy of academic research.
Any actual videos of the artist may be searched for as an afterthought, but are considered less “scholarly” than the written word and, in the tradition of the 19th century, tradition, are rarely  cited or linked or linked.
Fine Art in the New Media in the 21st Century
The [Old] New Media, makes videos and film of the artist him or herself available to anyone with an internet connection. These are a source of “original material,” which is considered to hold the first place in academic research.  However, for many, research about an artist and the artwork  is confined to the 19th century where the written word is still sanctified. Thus, video and film of the actual artist are rarely cited in even now, the academic literature of the 21st century.
Artwork and the Artist – Video of “A Day in the Life of Andy Warhol”
So, instead of expecting more of the written word here in considering the question of “whether the life of the artist is reflected in the artwork?” view the video above (and more videos) of Andy Warhol, and form your own conclusion.


Where, in the life of space and time of the internet the video above may be considered  too long to hold the viewers interest, think of this video as original material – the first step in your research on the life of the artist and the connection to the artwork.
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Is the “Artist’s Talk” Only for the Elite? Video of the Exhibition “Dark Matters” by Jean-Michel Othoniel

April 25, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

The Video of the Artist Talk of Jean-Michel Othoniel on “Dark Matters”

Not all videos are created equal. In the art world many consist of numerous talking heads giving their version of the artist’s work, which can be boring, and often pedantic. However, the “Video of the exhibition ‘Dark Matters’ by Jean-Michel Othoniel, above, is outstanding: The video is of the artist, himself, and his work, and the camera work and editing are superb. Watch it again with these points in mind.

Artist’s Talks

Traditionally, Artist’s Talks, where the artist talks about his or her work, were confined to museums, and galleries, where the audience was limited to the few who could be physically present. As a limiting factor, this format was severely limited, usually to members of the elite. Those without the means or ability to be present were excluded. The museum or gallery was  an exclusive venue, limited to the elite, and excluding everyone else.

Fine Art in the New Media

Now, through the tools of the New Media, or the “old” New Media – video and the internet, many artist’s talks are available to everyone regardless of status, wealth, or geography.  This is a transformative experience, for the pubic of course, but also for the art itself.

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Jean-Michel Othoniel

Jean-Michel Othoniel was born1964 in Saint-Étienne, France. He lives and works in Paris. He “creates resplendent, large-scale glass sculptures that explore themes of fragility, and transformation.” Artsy.  In 2014, “he undertook a monumental project: the redevelopment of the Water Theatre grove in the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles. For this commission, awarded in an international competition and in collaboration with the landscape designer Louis Benech, Jean-Michel Othoniel created three fountain sculptures in gilded glass. Inspired by the work of choreographer Raoul-Auger Feuillet, dancing master for the court of King Louis XIV, Les Belles Danses (The Beautiful Dances) is the first permanent installation ever commissioned for the palace by a contemporary artist.” Othoniel.  In the video above, he talks about his work “Dark Matters.

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The Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project – Fine Art in the New Media

April 18, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.

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“The Sam Francis Foundation released the first installment of the Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project––The Compilation of Unique Works on Paper and Expanded Version of Canvas and Panel Paintings of the internationally recognized artist on April 18, 2018. “

“This first installment contains 201 entries documenting the currently known unique works on paper and canvas and panel paintings attributed to Sam Francis from 1945 through 1949. The online catalogue raisonné project (SFCR) will ultimately document the entire oeuvre of this extremely prolific artist and will be available to a global audience.” samfrancis.org.

Sam Francis

“Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) occupies a prominent position in post-war American painting. Although associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and Clement Greenberg’s Post-Painterly Abstraction, unlike many American painters of he time he had direct and prolonged exposure to French painting and to Japanese art which had an individual impact on his work.” samfrancis.com.

Fine Art in the New Media – The Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project

As we wrote in out Purpose Page, the best use of New Media tools  for Fine Art is to create a clean, easy to use interface, with high-quality images , under the viewer’s control, in line with the following objectives:

“1. Fine Art in the new media should be accessible, from the Google Art Project, and the new and dynamic Museum websites for the Louvre, the Metropolitan, the Musée d’Orsay, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Van Gogh Museum, and others so that, “There is [virtually] nothing between me and my Leonardo.”

2. Fine Art in the new media should be interactive.

3. Fine Art in the new media should be viewer directed. “I want to see what I want to see.”

4. Fine Art in the new media should be able to be manipulated, which enables the viewer to use their creativity. to examine, adapt, and experiment with the art.

5. Fine Art in the new media should be comparative , enabling the viewer to array pictures  to study technique, execution, and genre.”

How well does the Sam Francis Online Catalogue Raisonné Project Meet These Objectives?

 The Project – A Dynamic Online Platform Readily Accessible and Searchable
“It is the Foundation’s intention not only to provide a historical record of Francis’s artworks, but also to embrace his creative and innovative spirit by offering a catalogue that can evolve and change as research continues to develop.”
“Although similar to the 2011 guide, the new material (including addenda as relevant) has been reformatted in a dynamic online platform to make it readily accessible and searchable.” samfrancisfoundation.org
While the site itself offers the most comprehensive explanation of its features, a brief review from selected categories ( below,) shows that the Project meets all of the Fine Art in the New Media objectives:  The site is dynamic, viewer directed, able to be grouped according to the viewer’s wishes with numerous filter options, and the user interface is further simplified [enhanced] by a Quick Search function.  Here are the some examples:
The Catalogue Guide Jump quickly to sections below:
Navigation Tools

Catalogue Entries


Francis working in Bern studio, Switzerland, ca.1973. Photo © Kurt Blum.
  • Catalouge Entries

The catalogue entries default view displays artwork thumbnails in order by their catalogue raisonné number, with the canvas and panel paintings preceding the unique works on paper.

To view the full artwork entry click on either the thumbnail image or the title. The artworks can also be sorted by Francis Archive number, date, title, height or width. Select the Filter option to view works by medium, year or the whereabouts unknown category. Whereabouts unknown works are currently in an ongoing research category to determine their present location.

  • Groupings

In addition to allowing browsing by catalogue entry, the online SFCR offers several alternative groupings of the listings. Artworks can be sorted by Public Collections, Exhibitions, or Literature. Explanations of each of those possibilities can be found on the initial page of that option.

Always use the website navigation and printing tools for the best formatting and ease of viewing.

  • Quick Search

The Quick Search box in the upper right is for searching a single section only. The box can be toggled to search through other sections on the site. For more complex searches, however, use the Advanced Search link.

Quick search Catalogue Entries by catalogue number, title, year, or Francis Archive number.

Quick search Public Collections by institution name, city, or state. For countries, use the Filters in this section.

Quick search Exhibitions by year, institution/venue, exhibition title, or city. For countries, use the Filters in this section.

Quick search Literature by author, title, publisher, journal/newspaper name, or year published.

  • Viewing Options

“There are two viewing options to this publication: the Thumbnail SFCR Version (Public Educational Access) and the Expanded SFCR Version (Subscription-based Educational Access). For the initial launch, users will have full access to the Expanded Version until July 1, 2018, after which it will be by subscription only. ”

“For each entry, throughout the thumbnail tombstone information or the expanded version, if a question mark is listed within brackets [?] this designates indeterminate, unknown, or unverified data at the time of publication. It can accompany any text, including date, title, medium, dimensions, inscriptions, or provenance history.”

  • Images

“The source images were resized, color-corrected, and formatted for reproduction in Photoshop. All attempts have been made to reproduce the colors as accurately as possible, using photographic color bars (set at native white point), if available, for the specific illustrations to balance the reproduction quality.”


The Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project is an outstanding example of the use of New Media tools to make art accessible to everyone, everywhere.

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H/T Joshua Cohen

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“Terminal” – A Near – Death Experience by Artist Karolina Halatek


(April 11, 2018) Karolina Halatek – Light on the Threshold of Death

karolina haletckKarolina Halatek (b. 1985 Lodz/Poland) studied Design for Performance at the University of the Arts London, Great Britain, Fine Arts at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany and Media Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw/Poland.

[She] uses light as the key medium and material for her installations … She is fascinated by the power of light to convert the objective fixation of visual experience into a pure experience of light.” (Akademie schloss solitude.)

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“For this site-specific sculpture, Karolina Halatek was inspired by the near-death experiences of people, who, returned from unconsciousness, reported their experiences at the threshold of death.” culture.pl


“BREMEN.- With her large outdoor sculpture Terminal, the artist Karolina Halatek invites us to make a special experience in the dark: When entering the large tube, viewers are completely immersed in the bright LED, which encloses them on all sides. Due to the total illumination, bodies do not cast shadows – a surreal situation, unfamiliar in everyday life.” (artdaily)

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Islamic Art in Spain – The Alhambra

April 4, 2018 by Jack Dziamba. New Post Goes Up Every Wednesday.


Islamic Art in Spain

This post is the second in a series through 2018 on Islamic Art in Spain. The topic and the output is so vast that even if all the posts in 2018 were devoted to it, it still would not be sufficient.  The first post in this series was an overview. In this post, on the Alhambra, we will concentrate on the single principle of its design – the rectangle. As this blog is devoted to Fine Art in the New Media, we will do this primarily through a visual experience.

Islamic Architecture in Spain – The Alhambra

“Spain’s Islamic centuries (AD 711-1492) left a particularly rich heritage of exotic and beautiful palaces, mosques, minarets and fortresses in Andalusia, which was always the heartland of Al-Andalus (as the Muslim- ruled areas of the Iberian Peninsula were known). These buildings make Andalusia visually unique in Europe and have to be classed as its greatest architectural glory.”


The Alhambra

“Considered as one of the most famous examples of Islamic art, the Alhambra is the culmination and grand finale of medieval Islamic culture on the Iberian Peninsula.” (All quotes: islamic-arts.org.)


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