• Art Making
  • Field Work

    The Sower, by Vincent Van Gogh My longtime readers are familiar with my view of an art making world that is so striated that the layers often never even touch each other. For the alien who arrives on earth wanting to crack the code on what is going on with these humans and contemporary art, […]

  • Aesthetics
  • The Tenacious Eye

    Golagai 2, from a recent painting series exploring orbs and fluidity I arrived in Maine 10 days ago thinking a lot about two particular ideas culled from the book This Will Make You Smarter, a compilation of short but provocative answers to the Edge Question 2011: “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The […]

  • Personal
  • Taking a Break

    Sunrise over Small Point Beach, Maine I’m off the grid until August 29th. Enjoy the week everyone. I’ll be back after after 10 days, washed clean and deep by this glorious coastline.

  • Aesthetics
  • On My Own Terms

    Mark Rothko, at the Philips Gallery Jonathan Jones, that no nonsense, speak your truth art critic for the Guardian, reported on his visit to the new Tanks interactive art space at the Tate Modern: Six psychics sit at plain wooden booths as part of Fawcett’s contribution to the new Undercurrent series of live events at […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Useless Beauty

    Who needs a peacock’s tail when you can build this for your lady love? The bower created by a male bowerbird. David Rothenberg is a jazz musician and a professor of philosophy. He has written a number of books, several of them focused on the interface between natural sounds (like the songs of birds and […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Entrance

    Wasp’s nest: Entrances abound, but are hidden Not Writing A wasp rises to its papery nest under the eaves where it daubs at the gray shape, but seems unable to enter its own house. –Jane Kenyon This poem is so succinct and so artfully constructed. Haven’t we all had that daubing frustration of madly circling […]

  • Art World
  • Hughes in the Afterlife

    Robert Hughes (Image Courtesy of Robert Pierce) Since Robert Hughes‘ death on Monday, the flinging has been steady. Quotes from his writing are all over Facebook and Twitter, and fortunately many of his pithy put downs are well within the 140 character limit. Yes he was controversial. Yes he pissed a lot of people off. […]

  • Science
  • Exceptionalism, Exposed

    Photo credit: Joe Bonomo from No Such Thing as Was For years I have been a fan of The Edge, John Brockman‘s website/movement/salon writ large/community. Feel like you need a lift, something to perk up your day? You can stop in and wander that site and invariably leave with ideas that are new, provocative and […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Truth, Beauty and Complexity

    Contemplating the Spencer Finch installation at the RISD museum There is a long history in the modernist tradition of assuming the beautiful must be a lie and that ugliness must be evidence of truth. One can understand the origin of this idea in a reaction against ossified academic standards, and simultaneously a revulsion against the […]