Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a new look at Art and Play



For the last few weeks spam has attacked my half-hearted attempt at self-publishing Art and Play. So tonight, I buckled down and published Art and Play, once again.

When I graduated with my Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies in December 2003, widgets were not part of the popular lexicon. I had dreams of creating maps of all of my artists' art work from all over the world. But in reality, I just wanted to finish my oral presentation. I was so convinced that I had failed, Rodney Waschka, my thesis adviser, had to congratulate me a second time. I just couldn't believe it. This was my baby and I even had dreams of going into labor the night before my exam. I was squatting and pushing away.

The most wonderful part of a Liberal Studies program is that you are given the opportunity to take a question and figure out an answer - most likely not the answer you were expecting.

But after trying to share my graduate work with others, I realized that people don't want to read a long pdf document of black and white text, especially when you are talking about art and play. You need pictures of the art, the artists and everything in between. But how could I possibly capture all of the art created by these six amazing artists: Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, Jean Tinguely (my personal favorite), Claes Oldenburg, Elizabeth Murray and Joseph Cornell. I have a strange desire to be completely thorough and detail oriented, or not at all. Well, thanks to the magic of the internet and widgets, I can create content which gives you a glimpse into the breadth of these artists' creative genius. Plus I am hoping that it won't become hopelessly outdated within a week.



Thanks to Dipity, I am able to embed links to YouTube videos, Flickr photos, new stories and countless items that people have Dugg. I even decided it was time to sign up to Digg my artists as a way to add to the content.


I even have my own time line, although I am not sure that it is that interesting. Plus it is somewhat repetitive.

However, these widgets and my site is not without serious flaws already. These timelines, maps, and lists are created from search terms. Everyone seems to be influenced by Marcel Duchamp. So the Flickr pictures are filled with not just photos of Duchamp's work, but take-offs, which I would clearly not pick if I had a choice. Also, I have discovered that there must be another Joseph Cornell who has something to do with the Bush Administration. And finally, Elizabeth Murray's name is normal enough that her search captures some Murray family photos for someone completely unrelated to the New York artist. Hmmmmm...

But I could no longer take the spam. It was like a little bird saying, it is time to make this priority and finally get it off your plate. Other than the About Art and Play section, which is the academic theory behind the book, I don't have a lot of my original content about my artists. That will have to come soon. Very soon.

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