“For 15 years now, attended to sporadically between other art projects, Elgaland-Vargaland (formed from variants of the two men’s names) has existed as a quirky but intellectually involved commentary on nationalism, citizenship, statehood and political power, mocking many of the functions of government. The artists print stamps and issue passports to anyone who wants one; they say they now have about 850 citizens, many of them fellow artists. They have ‘established’ embassies in about 20 places around the world and give their ambassadors wide latitude to do basically anything they want in the name of the kingdom. (One in France recently annexed the ‘distance between high tide and low tide,’ Mr. Elggren said.) They have also claimed possession of some mental states, like the one just between sleeping and waking.” NYT’s Randy Kennedy did some great reporting on the Venice Biennale, but this article about Swedish artists Carl Michael von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren’s imaginary Kingdoms of Elgaland-Vargaland was one of the best.
The Skeptisum is an online museum that applies rigorous science to paranormal claims. From their mission statement: “A skeptical approach is not dismissive but analytical, demanding that there be sufficient evidence in order for a claim to be accepted.” They have a number of fascinating virtual exhibits and artifacts, some visually stunning (like this Kirlian photograph) and others intellectually illuminating (like the origins of the tooth fairy).
The Hausdorff dimension described in plain English by British astronomer David Darling: “A way to accurately measure the dimension of complicated sets such as fractals. The Hausdorff dimension, named after Felix Hausdorff, coincides with the more familiar notion of dimension in the case of well-behaved sets. For example a straight line or an ordinary curve, such as a circle, has a Hausdorff dimension of 1; any countable set has a Hausdorff dimension of 0; and an n-dimensional Euclidean space has a Hausdorff dimension of n. But a Hausdorff dimension is not always a natural number. Think about a line that twists in such a complicated way that it starts to fill up the plane. Its Hausdorff dimension increases beyond 1 and takes on values that get closer and closer to 2. The same idea of ascribing a fractional dimension applies to a plane that contorts more and more in the third dimension: its Hausdorff dimension gets closer and closer to 3. As a specific example, the fractal known as the Sierpinski carpet has a Hausdorff dimension of just over 1.89.” Wikipedia has a useful list of fractals by Hausdorff dimension.
Wondering where some of those Daft Punk samples came from? Here’s where.
An online museum of every kind of audio tape casette you could ever hope to see. Consider my visual nostalgia itch scratched.
“Recently, Wikipedia had been the object of much controversy over the reliability of the its articles, and the frequent anonymity of its contributors. But during some recent critical events, like the Virginia Tech killings, the Southeast Asian tsunami in 2004, and the London bombings in 2005, the site has been transformed from an ever-growing reference book into a ever-updating news source.” NYT on Wikipedia’s coverage of the Virginia Tech killings.
Rob Giampietro has joined the Board of AIGA’s New York Chapter for a two-year term. If you’ve got ideas for events, any concerns, or feedback to share, please get in touch!