Translate The Page
About the Flaneur
I walk through my blindness the way I wander down streets in Paris: unfettered and alive, alert to the raw material of the senses. I am a flaneur. Come along with me. Just don’t try to take my arm, unless I ask. What’s a flaneur? Read the first post, Return of the Flaneur to Galerie Vivienne. After that, try Foot Rage and the Blind Flaneur. Then stay tuned.
Kiki: Man Ray’s Dada Muse
Lee Miller: Surrealist Muse
Miss Tic: Paris Street Art
Poet and street artist Miss Tic isn't exactly a kid in a hoodie with a can of spray paint. Maybe she can still run like hell when the police show up, but can she sprint in high heels? Well-known in international avant-garde circles, her work is exhibited now at the Venice Biennale as well as the alleys of Paris. Read more. See Ethics of Love for a video montage of Miss Tic's provacative poetry. More Paris Street Art.
The Lake and the River
I’ve canoed on Lake Superior for almost as many years as I’ve been losing eyesight. I return year after year like a migrating loon to learn the other side of a slow, uncertain process that we could call “going blind.” After 35 years with the lake as my teacher, I know what lies on the other side. I call it letting go of sight. Read Big Water. See more about the Great Lakes.
What is a village? A small place, yes, as wide as the world, layered with histories and stories, where you can walk wherever you want to go. My vision of that place is Yellow Springs 2.0.
Not This PigIf there is an emerging genetic underclass, I could run for class president or class clown. Read more in Not This Pig (2003).
Re-imagining accessibility through the transformations of culture -- particularly the transformative promise of accessible technology for people with disabilities -- is the work of the Fair Use Lab. What does Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster have to do with accessibility? Read more: Shape-Shifters in the Fair Use Lab [MiT6 2009]
In the moment when Paul Strand photographed her surreptitiously on the street in New York, the social engineers who created a system for licensing beggars never imagined that a blind woman had culture or could make culture. She herself may not have imagined it. Paul Strand probably didn’t give her much credit for making culture, either. Read more: Curiosity & The Blind Photographer [MiT5 2007] See more on blind photographers.
Monthly Archives: February 2010
The venerable Greenwich Village jazz club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this week, so Café Mouffe joins the fête with this 1986 performance by the David Murray Quartet, which includes Ed Blackwell (drums), John Hicks (piano), and Fred Hopkins (bass). Continue reading
I paid attention to a Fresh Air interview this morning when I heard William Hurt talk about an ethical approach to the craft of acting. He described the process he followed to prepare for a single scene in the film A History of Violence, which he resists calling a cameo, for which he received an Oscar nomination in 2005. In the interview he quoted Russian director Constantin Stanislavski on the core ethos of method acting. Continue reading
Before you start dreaming about buying a new boat with all the cash you’ll earn while working at home for Mechanical Turk, listen to this talk by Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. The messenger is brilliant, even as the message is scary and depressing: “a new range of projects is making the application of human brainpower as purchasable and fungible as additional server rackspace.” Continue reading
Comparing the extravagance of Carla Bruni and Marie-Antoinette reminded me of another sordid tale of conspicuous consumption from The Daily Mail, which got its facts from that august nexus of science and celebrity gossip, the British Medical Journal. A study published last December in the BMJ found toxic concentrations of gold and mercury in the remains of Diane de Poitiers, mistress of the 16th-century French king, Henry II . Diane likely succumbed to the French nobility’s predilection for drinking elixir of gold (think of it as a bling smoothie) in hopes of preserving eternal youth. Continue reading
Even high-minded blogs need a little celebrity gossip from time to time just to grease the search engines. Our resident celebrity is Carla Bruni – Italian supermodel, rock- star arm candy, First Lady of France. Her trajectory in male consorts, arcing from Mick Jagger to Nicholas Sarkozy, is further evidence that entropy rules the universe. Now a new book compares her to Marie Antoinette when it comes to ambition, frivolity, and bling. The Daily Mail dishes the dirt. Continue reading
Gabrielle Renard was more than the Renoir family’s nanny. She was the painter’s model and muse late in life as he turned away from the Impressionist style he had helped to create. Renoir painted Gabrielle many times. Some of the portraits, including Gabrielle With A Rose, are gathered in Renoir in the 20th Century, now on exhibit at the Los Angles County Museum of Art. Continue reading