Tom Breihan wonders if The Weeknd’s After Hours will be the end of a particular niche.

As an entire world stares down a long and confusing struggle, I have a hard time summoning any empathy for the shit that Abel Tesfaye is talking about.

With our world and imagination changing, it makes me wonder if the art space will enter a time of nostalgia to cope with the growing uncertainty or a new form of literature that grapples with the minute aspects of the current crisis. As Dave Winer posits,

Future porn will be people talking without masks in public places.

Liked Nick Cave – The Red Hand Files – Issue #94 – I recently read that the band Rising Signs believed ‘Palaces of Montezuma’ plagiarized their 2005 song, ‘Grey Man.’ Sure, I can hear similarities in melody, but, oddly, I think one of many reasons I love ‘Palaces’ is that it reminds me, if anything, of the intro to ‘Theme From Mad Flies, Mad Flies’ by The Laughing Clowns from 1982. I’m not sure what that says about Rising Signs, but it made me wonder – [ ] Is originality in music sometimes hard to obtain? (The Red Hand Files)

Theft is the engine of progress, and should be encouraged, even celebrated, provided the stolen idea has been advanced in some way. To advance an idea is to steal something from someone and make it so cool and covetable that someone then steals it from you. In this way, modern music progresses, collecting ideas, and mutating and transforming as it goes.

But a word of caution, if you steal an idea and demean or diminish it, you are committing a dire crime for which you will pay a terrible price — whatever talents you may have will, in time, abandon you. If you steal, you must honour the action, further the idea, or be damned.

via Austin Kleon
Liked “My Wife Hates it When I Work From Home” — Banksy Shares Rats Run Amok in his Bathroom from Quarantine (Colossal)

Presumably quarantined like the rest of humanity, Banksy just posted a few images of an artwork executed in his supposed home bathroom. The installation depicts a mischievous pack of his signature rats destroying everything in sight: swinging from towel racks, running on toilet paper, marking the da

Bookmarked The National are meant to be in Australia — here’s what they’re doing instead (Double J)

“Making a song, or even making a drawing or anything out of some of this anxiety is the only thing that’s ever helped me really. Watching the news, talking about it, speculating and debating with friends, it never really makes me feel any better. It just gets me more riled up.

If you don’t write, Berninger reckons engaging with prose, music and art is a nourishing way to spend these anxious times.

“I have found art, listening to music, or just flipping through a book of paintings or photographs or reading an old book really changes your chemistry and is enlightening in a mental and a spiritual way,” he says.

Matt Berninger talks about art as an antidote for anxious times.📑
Replied to Gareth Hart on Instagram: “Beautiful work by Shilpa Gupta at @tarrawarrama – ‘The markings we have made on this land have increased the distance so much’ 2019 – An…” (Instagram)

46 Likes, 1 Comments – Gareth Hart (@artgareth) on Instagram: “Beautiful work by Shilpa Gupta at @tarrawarrama – ‘The markings we have made on this land have…”

This has me wondering about the many unconscious choices we make associated with art.
Replied to |k| clippings: 2018-11-26 — it helps to press send (Katexic Clippings)

A conversation last night reminded me that I am unrepentant about (most of) my 80s rock listening…then and now. Michelle Kwan’s cover of “Sweet Child o’Mine” on a guzheng nails not just the iconic song, but one of the era’s best solos. Also: a worthy cover by bluegrass musicians Thunder and Rain & Postmodern Jukebox doin’ it New Orleans style & Scary Pockets makin’ it funky & a wistful version by Taken by Trees.

Thank you for sharing the different covers. It is an intriguing collection.

Where jazz has its standards, it feels that the (post)modern standards are songs we have ingrained in our memory to a point where we apprehend every bend and squeal, even if it is not performed.

It is interesting to think of these songs in association with algorithms and the choice of what is played and performed. Has nostalgia replaced originality or is all music copied as people like Chilly Gonzales demonstrate.

Here I am again reminded of a comment from William Gibson:

Watched Nolan – The Man and the Myth (2018) – The Screen Guide – Screen Australia from screenaustralia.gov.au

Sidney Nolan is unquestionably one of the best- known names in the history of modern Australian art. His images are iconic, treasures of the Australian visual language. Everyone feels they know ‘Sid Nolan’ but there’s more to the man than the public image. This film will explore and celebrate the artist and the man, going well beyond his early years to his stellar international career and all the success and turmoil that came with it.

I went and saw the Ned Kelly series when I was in Canberra earlier this year. It is intriguing to appreciate something now that was barely recognised at the time. I guess this is a part of the myth?

I almost do everything to avoid painting, but once I get to them

Liked Banksy’s Girl with Balloon artwork selfdestructs after selling for almost $1.9 million at auction – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (mobile.abc.net.au)

A painting by mysterious British artist Banksy has shred itself into pieces at the moment it sold for more than 1 million pounds ($1.86 million) at a London auction.

Liked Modern Art, and the Art of Educational Assessment by Marten Koomen (Tulip Education Research Blog)

Art tells us that educational assessment simply produces symbols that are at best a pale reflection of a preconceived reality. These symbols can be distorted and exploited, until one day their utility will diminish, and a new dawn will emerge.

Bookmarked Make it (austinkleon.com)

Austin Kleon reflects on creativity and being an artist This is a good introduction to his work.

There are a number of interesting quotes, such as:

It is by doing the work that you uncover who you are, what you are about and what’s inside of you.

And:

When you really don’t want something, that’s when you get it.

And:

Invest in your tools, make then available and work in a way where you are not judging what you do.

Bookmarked The ones who disappear (austinkleon.com)

“I chose not to take the standard options in my business – going to Vegas and singing your great hits, if you’re lucky, or going to hell, which is where Elvis went,” Lennon said. “Walking away is much harder than carrying on.”

Austin Kleon collects together a number of perspectives on the challenges of walking away and finding balance. Kleon discusses the choices of Rick Moranis and John Lennon’s choices to stay at home with children.

This seems in contrast to those like Robyn Williams whose lives are deeply connected to their art. As Cherri Minns describes:

If he wasn’t working, he was a shell of himself. And when he worked, it was like a light bulb was turned on.

Checked into Arthur Streeton: The art of war
During my time in Canberra, I visited the National Gallery of Australia. Away without the children, I decided to use the opportunity to explore. I part I was interested in seeing Blue Poles:

NGA – Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock

I was pleasantly surprised to find an Arthur Streeton exhibition focusing on the First World War:

Bringing together key works from collections around Australia and overseas, an important survey exhibition of Arthur Streeton’s war art will open at the NGA in December. Streeton’s contribution to the Australian war effort was significant. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps at the Third London General Hospital in Wandsworth from 1915 to 1917 before leaving for the Western Front as an official war artist in May 1918.

His wartime output includes images of war machinery stranded in the landscape and scenes of operations headquarters, dressing stations and field hospitals. Streeton visited regions in France where the Australian army had been successful against the enemy, including Poulainville, Péronne and Mont St Quentin, overlooking the Somme. The NGA has recently acquired a deftly painted watercolour of this strategically significant area, presented as a gift to Sir John Monash, one of the war’s outstanding commanders.

I have read poems and diaries, as well as listened to Dan Carlin’s five part series, Blueprint for Armageddon, the thing that stood out with Streeton’s paintings was the stories that they told. We are given such a visual impact of conflicts like Syria. However, back then this was left to artists.

French siege gun by Arthur Streeton

Interestingly, the Australia War Memorial has also improved on its depiction of war, creating models.

📓 Problematic Art

Discussing Molly Ringwald’s essay on the Breakfast Club, Cory Doctorow reflects on the importance of problematic art:

Without “problematic,” then imperfect art is “bad” and you have to choose between cherishing the ways in which it improved your life and jettisoning the art and its effects on you. That all-or-nothing framework makes acknowledging imperfections needlessly expensive and thus unpopular.

But with “problematic,” we can have it both ways: “This art, whose flaws I acknowledge and wish to see improved upon, made me happy and improved my life and my understanding of the world.” That statement doesn’t give a pass to the flaws in art, it doesn’t make a virtue out of the work’s hurtful or ugly imperfections — rather, it opens a space to talk about (and thus address) the flaws without having to deny your pleasures, influences and loves.