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weblog archives
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Wednesday, May 14, 2003
On photography

QTVR, a panorama site from Denmark, has some more Quicktime views. You can now visit virtual Denmark, a virtual version of Aarhus or the latest imagery at Panoramas.dk, such as these Heinkel bubble cars. The architecture page is also worth a visit. Amazingly, QTVR is the work of one man, the very busy Hans Nyberg.

Staying with imagery. Artnotes links to an article on the enduing mystery of Poussin's The Arcadia Shepherds, or how a symbol-laden painting came to be implicated in one of the longest-running conspiracies of them all, the search for the Holy Grail. The cult book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail sets out several speculative theories about the painting, what it means, and its connection to a parish priest in the south of France, whose sudden acquisition of inexplicable wealth and subsequent profligate spending aroused local suspicions. This is a treasure hunt, pure and simple, set against the evocative yet bloody history of the Cathars, the equally dramatic landscape, and our yearning for there to be something more to any story. Like any subject one visits online for the first time, the surfeit of material is overwhelming. Start at Templar History for ongoing discussion and links, but don't forget to take a sturdy political compass and a strong pinch of salt.

Also via Artnotes, all about Asterix, Goscinny and Uderzo's classic cartoon series. The linked essay gives some background to the books, but is primarily about the problems posed by translations (the author is Anthea Bell, who with Derek Hockridge, created the English versions of the books). In the original French, the Asterix books are rich with puns and wordplay - all names, for example, are usually derived from well-known phrases or sayings: Obelix's dog is named Idéfix - ideé fixe, or fixed idea. In English, this becomes Dogmatix - a masterly way of preserving the character's canine single-mindedness. Bell notes that the books contain some 400 proper names, all of which were changed, not to mention the problem of preserving a semblance of the orginals' cross-cultural references, accents, and national jokes.

Elsewhere (shamelessly plundered). Retrofuture, futures from the past, from fascist to socialist utopia // Richard Wilson's installation 20:50, in its old setting // urban myths in the making - the Washington windscreen mystery (via Coudal) // how to use a classic ribbon microphone (.pdf) // Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields.

An extraordinary gallery of cartoon-like, almost nightmarish 3D imagery // a beautiful light installation // images of an abandoned institution: the Hospital (flash, via tmn) // Stewart Butterfield's elegant exposition on digital media, virtual space, and the value of design // Sonic mash-ups - old news, but we especially like Freakride (.mp3), Adina Howard's classic melding with old school shoe-gazing // the Library of Congress map collections, via the cartographic obsession of the Map Room.

The Thomas Ruff montage maker, courtesy of the German photographer's (or should that be artist? Peter Conrad thinks not) current Tate Liverpool show (via the ever-excellent Conscientious) // FAFI, grafitti-like fine art // We also have three new galleries: an industrial estate, an underground car park and a flight.