Today I received Bathsheba‘s Tetrabox: a 3d-printed steel sculpture which is also a puzzle held together with magnets.
At a minimum, it has what I think of as ‘tips forward‘ and ‘tips around‘ solutions. For the first, all three of the asymmetrical pieces have their extended tips pointing toward the one symmetrical piece, allowing the sculpture to rest on them. For the second, the tips circle around the symmetrical piece.
Previously, I got Bathsheba’s hemoglobin laser crystal for Amanda, and later Myshka got me the DNA polymerase crystal as a very generous birthday gift.
Good company but no impressive installations in this year’s Nuit Blanche — old sacks hung around city hall (“a masterfully-sewn patchwork of jute sacks“, apparently), a minimal effort at a 1960s-style dance at St. Joseph’s School, the hot air balloon gin advertisement from last year… It may be that we didn’t know where to go, but there didn’t seem to be much to see specifically because it was Nuit Blanche. Going inside the AGO and ROM at night was worthwhile because their collections are always worth seeing, and it was great to see the friends who didn’t opt instead for an early night.
Overwhelmingly the best artistic part of the evening was the church concert we went to between Bay Street and the U of T campus, but I don’t think it was Nuit Blanche specific. With no words spoken before or after, and a bright white arched structure encompassing the choir and musicians, it provided a peaceful space for contemplation and enjoyment.
Yesterday in Dufferin Grove Park, Toronto’s Clay & Paper Theatre Company put on their 15th annual Day of Delight. I got some photos of the performances and cute dogs in the audience.
One of the limitations of photography — especially that which eschews unrealistic post-processing — is that it provides limited means for expressing emotions. There is no link between the feelings in your mind and the data your sensor collects, unlike the stroke of a pen in forming a word of brush in making a drawing.
Nonetheless, photography is art-by-doing. An unaltered photo is a credible statement: I was at this place, these things were around me (Exif data can make it especially intimate). In that spirit, I tried to take a walk to express grief and pain photographically. When you’re sick with these feelings — when your brain feels like it’s being pulled apart — one answer is to travel somewhere strange and remote. To listen to the night wind blowing across something enormous and cold.
I’m working on practicing non-self-destructive ways of handling overpowering emotions.
During my Christmas visit to Ottawa, I visited the National Gallery with Myshka’s mother and sister.
It was a rapid tour where I focused on statuary. The concrete aggregate work by Ugo Rondione (“We run through a desert on burning feet. All of us are glowing. Our faces look twisted.”) near the group entrance reminds me a bit of one of Bathsheba’s commissions. The dépanneur installation was odd, though it’s easy to read it as about surveillance as the convex mirrors and digital cameras reflect back the visitors exploring it. It also seemed notable to me that so much of the purpose of the shop was dedicated to alcohol (the European painting area has a most unflattering portrayal of drunken excess).
It’s neat to see statues made with such a variety of materials, from marble to plastic patio chairs to some kind of simulated camel hide.
The gallery has an unusually permissive photography policy, with everything in the permanent collection available to be freely photographed. The one time I got shut down was trying to photograph a Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux marble from a private collection, where the guard tried to stop me from even photographing the ‘no photography’ sign.
Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 DNA polymerase IV (Dpo4) is a DinB homolog that belongs to the recently described Y-family of DNA polymerases, which are best characterized by their low-fidelity synthesis on undamaged DNA templates and propensity to traverse normally replication-blocking lesions.