Saturday, May 13, 2006

Varnishing Day

"[Turner’s work was] a grey picture, beautiful but true, but with no positive colour in any part of it. Constable’s ‘Waterloo’ seemed as if painted with liquid gold and silver, and Turner came several times into the room while [Constable] was heightening with vermilion and lake the decorations and flags of the city barges. Turner stood behind him looking from the ‘Waterloo’ to his own picture, and at last brought his palette from the great room where he was touching another picture, and putting a round daub of red lead, somewhat bigger than a shilling, on his grey sea, went away without saying a word. The intensity of the red lead, made more vivid by the coolness of his picture, caused even the vermilion and lake of Constable to look weak. [C.R. Leslie] came into the room just as Turner left. ‘He has been here,’ Constable said, ‘and fired a gun.’ . . . The great man did not come again into the room for a day and a half; and then, in the last moments that were allowed for painting, he glazed the scarlet seal he had put on his picture, and shaped it into a buoy."

John Gage via Earth and other unlikely worlds

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

* This place is a message... and part of a system of messages... pay attention to it!

* Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

* This place is not a place of highly esteemed deed is commemorated here... nothing valued is here.

* What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

* The danger is in a particular location... it increases toward a center... the center of danger is here... of a particular size and shape, and below us.

* The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.

* The danger is to the body, and it can kill.

* The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.

* The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

How US-Style EU Jingoism Might Sound

Hey, this is Europe. We took it from nobody; we won it from the bare soil that the ice left. The bones of our ancestors, and the stones of their works, are everywhere. Our liberties were won in wars and revolutions so terrible that we do not fear our governors: they fear us. Our children giggle and eat ice-cream in the palaces of past rulers. We snap our fingers at kings. We laugh at popes. When we have built up tyrants, we have brought them down.

And we have nuclear - fucking - weapons.

by Ken MacCleod