Monday, November 20, 2006

Art: Art Blogs

Here are links to ten art-related blogs I follow:

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Web: Firefox Extensions I Use

Updated December 18, 2006

Firefox extensions allow us to add great functionality to an already great browser. I'm currently using Firefox 2.0 and the following extensions (listed with each author's description). Click the links to read more or install.
  • 1-ClickWeather 1.1.4 - Instant local weather, alerts, radar in motion, satellite maps, and forecasts.
  • Adblock Filterset.G Updater 0.3.0.4 - Synchronizes Adblock with Filterset.G
  • Adblock Plus 0.7.2.3 - Ads were yesterday!
  • All-in-One Sidebar 0.7.1 - Sidebar control with award-winning user experience!
  • Answers 2.2.21 - Alt+Click on any word or term for quick info (definitions, up-to-the-minute reference, and more). No selection is necessary!
  • Autofill 0.3 - Automatically fill out HTML forms
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer SE 1.2.0 - Bookmarks Synchronizer SE is a Mozilla Firefox extension that let you connect to an FTP/WebDAV server and synchronize your bookmarks that are stored in an XML file. Setup is easy: just write in your FTP/WebDAV server address, username, password and a name for the XML file (by default called xbel.xml). To start, press Upload to create the file on the server and set if you want to automatically download the file on startup or upload it when you close your browser.
  • BugMeNot 1.3 - Bypass compulsory web registration with the context menu via www.bugmenot.com.
  • ColorZilla 0.8.3.1 - Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Page Zoomer and other colorful goodies.
  • CSSViewer 1.0.2 - A simple CSS property viewer
  • del.icio.us Complete 1.3 - del.icio.us is a social bookmarks manager. It allows you to easily add sites you like to your personal collection of links, to categorize those sites with keywords, and to share your collection not only between your own browsers and machines, but also with others.
  • DOM Inspector 1.8.1 - Inspects the structure and properties of a window and its contents.
  • Drag de Go 0.2.5 - This extention allows you to execute several commands using Drag and Drop Gesture.
  • Firebug 1.0b4 - Web Development Evolved
  • FireFTP 0.94.6 - FTP Client for Mozilla Firefox.
  • Flat Bookmark Editing 0.8.1 - Edit bookmarks in the bookmark organizer, without opening the properties window.
  • Greasemonkey 0.6.6.20061017.0 - A User Script Manager for Firefox
  • Hide Tab Bar 0.2.2 - Toggles the Tab Bar via chosen key.
  • Html Validator 0.7.9.5 - Adds HTML validation to the View Page Source of the browser. The validation is done by Tidy from W3c.
  • IE Tab 1.2.0.20061120 - Enables you to use the embedded IE engine within Mozilla/Firefox.
  • Link Alert 0.6.1 - Changes the cursor to indicate the target of a link.
  • MeasureIt 0.3.6 - Draw out a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any elements on a webpage.
  • Mouse Gestures 1.5.2 - Allows you to execute common commands using mouse gestures.
  • MR Tech Local Install 5.3.2.1 - Local Install power tools for all users. (en-US)
  • OpenBook 1.3.4 - Allows for customization of the Add Bookmark dialog
  • Pearl Crescent Page Saver Basic 1.3 - Save an image of a web page to a file.
  • Print/Print Preview 0.4 - Replace the default "Print" button with the Mozilla Suite style "Print/Print Preview" toolbar button/menu. Adds new options to context menu as well.
  • QuickNote 0.6.0.2 - A note taking extension with advanced features
  • Sage 1.3.8 - A lightweight RSS and Atom feed aggregator.
  • Searchbar Autosizer 1.3.1 - Expand the searchbox as you type
  • ServerReplace 1.1 - Replaces the server in an open URL with a bookmark if you hold ALT+CTRL.
  • Tab Mix Plus 0.3.5.2 - Tab browsing with an added boost.
  • Tiny Menu 1.4 - Replace the standard menu bar with a tiny menu popup.
  • TinyUrl Creator 1.0.1 - Convenient tool to create small url redirects from longer ones.
  • Update Notifier 0.1.5.2 - Notifies you when updates are available for your extensions and themes.
  • Uppity 1.4.11 - Navigate up one level (directory).
  • Web Developer 1.0.2 - Adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
Additional customizations and software I use with Firefox:

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Art: Malarky on Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns Flag (detail)Malarkey discusses Jasper Johns' Flag and design trends:
Seeing Flag up close, pushing my nose as near as the gallery attendant would allow, gave me a totally different appreciation of the work. It is a complex mix of paint and collage, with cuttings from newspapers showing through the layers of paint. Rather than being flat, Flag has real texture and a wonderful three-dimensional quality that has inspired me to bring a little of its richness into my designs.
See the rest of Malarkey's post at stuffandnonsense.co.uk.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Art: Jackson Pollock & Flat Form

Jackson Pollock's Number 5, 1948 (detail)The New York Times reported that Jackson Pollock's "Number 5, 1948" sold at possibly the highest price ever paid for a painting. When looking up commentary on the piece, I ran across an essay by Christopher Dylan Bailey on what he calls flat form that articulated many thoughts I've had about my own artwork. He uses "Number 5, 1948" as an example:
There is no depth here, not much "stands out" or is "more important" than anything else, there is no "climactic point," or "center pole" or such on the surface. Nothing is important, because everything is important. On the one hand, one can see this as a complete lack of richness---just overall greyness. On the other hand, one could see this as remarkably rich: the picture is filled with tiny "sub-pictures", micro-pictures, anywhere you look. Zoom in on a 2" square anywhere on the painting, and you are rewarded with an interesting little structure, a powerful color combination, or a set of expressive gestures colliding in some interesting way.
A large goal I've always had with my artwork has always been to draw viewers in to look at the detail within each piece. I once took this to the literal extreme by creating a grid on a painting. I can spend hours looking at my own artwork examining and appreciating "sub-pictures" I've never noticed.

Mr. Bailey continues discussing paintings like Pollock's:
They are, in a sense, irreducible. If one is unable to zoom in on the detail, there's no point in looking at them. In a way, the artist has forced us to look at the detail, or not to look at all.
Well said.

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