Bits & Bobs
1. John Giuliani's art. I recently stumbled on Giuliani's art, which uses both Native American Indian and Mayan peoples as stand-ins for Gospel characters. I find it wonderfully haunting.
2. On Architecture: "The High Cost of Ignoring Beauty" -- A fine article sent to me by my amiga Kate Van Dyke.
"Architecture clearly illustrates the social, environmental, economic, and aesthetic costs of ignoring beauty. We are being torn out of ourselves by the loud gestures of people who want to seize our attention but give nothing in return."
3. Article: Nicholas Wolterstorff on "Why Philosophy of Art Cannot Handle Kissing, Touching, and Crying" (via my friend Kelly Foster)
Great essay for those philosophically minded, but also great for those who feel unease with the way proprietors of fine art all too easily snub the more popular arts. Click down the till you get to the "Philosophy" section.
"Wolterstorff argues that a proper philosophy of art must account for all the various ways in which art has meaningfully appeared in people's lives throughout cultures and times. Along the way, he offers some characterizations of analytic-style philosophy."
4. Journal on Material Religion.
"Material Religion" is an international, peer-reviewed journal which seeks to explore how religion happens in material culture - images, devotional and liturgical objects, architecture and sacred space, works of arts and mass-produced artifacts. No less important than these material forms are the many different practices that put them to work. Ritual, communication, ceremony, instruction, meditation, propaganda, pilgrimage, display, magic, liturgy and interpretation constitute many of the practices whereby religious material culture constructs the worlds of belief."
5. A church website that might need a little trimming of bells and whistles and light saber sounds.
6. "Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing." True or not, it's pretty darn funny.
7. If you missed it, here is the full text of the Pope's recent address to artists.
8. R. R. Reno's un-official "A 2009 Ranking of Graduate Programs in Theology" published in the First Things blog. Duke Divinity fared well in his estimation and it made me grateful for the privilege of studying there.
9. More of the World's Best Microscope Photography (courtesy of KVD).
10. It's all about the fundamentals. Here's a great article about an Asian-American kid playing pretty good basketball at Harvard. It's a poignant story, as are all stories about first or second-generation ethnic families seeking to integrate into American society. But I love what the father says about his boys and their relationship to basketball. I can't think of one domain of life, let alone the artistic, where this doesn't apply.
"I realized if I brought them from a young age it would be like second nature for them," Gie-Ming said. "If they had the fundamentals, the rest would be easy."
11. Gor-geous installations by the artist Gabriela Nasfeter. But do click onto her website, then click "Installationen," and look at images from her first gallery. Her church "lichtpyramiden" are stunning.