The Skin Art Manifesto

The omologation, the transormation of living beings in things and destruction on a global scale of nature are prevailing.

Even if efforts are made to conceptualize and speculate about this, we have already started to feel it on our bodies.

Many consciences are awakening and are realizing that if the body is (and will be) the greatest victim of what is happening, it is from the body that we have to re-start to change the state of things. In our body, the SKIN is the part that connects us in the deepest relationship with others and with nature: the touching of two bodies, the contact with the air, water and grass, cold and heat.

The SKIN, the perfect symbol of the relational function of the body.

The body is the living temple of harmony, of beauty, vitality, and certainly also the site of the clash with everything that wants to deny its importance and its very existence. The body, as a place where the contemporary creative drive can regain that primal relationship with the beauty of the art that was known to the ancients, where the harmony of nature was seen as higher model and inspiration of beauty (or horror, as other side of the coin, referring to the concept of “Sublime” by E. Burke, but denying here his thesis of absolute incompatibility with the “Beautiful”)

It would be wonderful if we could combine so firmly the essence of the world with that of our hearts!
Y. Mishima, Spring snow

Body as a place of coincidence of the Beautiful and the Sublime (“Orrido”), as part of nature and our vehicle to existence and perception, which becomes inspiration, model and canvas for artists who better feel this current collective thrust.

“La politique, comme technique de la paix et de l’ordre intérieurs at Cherche à mettre en œuvre the dispositif de l’armée parfaite, de la masses disciplinée, de crew docile and useful, du regiment au camp et aux champs, à la manœuvre et à l’exercice. ”
M. Foucault, Surveiller et punir

Body (as a union of body, psyche, atavistic memories and relationships with other living beings) as the only mean at our disposal to resist the bio-power, ie to the ongoing process that tends to make the whole living sphere something similar to raw material / product: uniform, serial, quantifiable and bearer of a merely economic value.

 Do not be an asshole, Deckard. I’ve got four skin-jobs walking the streets.
Blade Runner

Body as a fundamental place and focus of our discussion on the changes that science and technology are leading and the consequences that are today only imaginable with imagination and creativity.

 The Manifesto of Skin Art explicits this push of the contemporary world and invites creative thinkers and all those who share this consciousness, to participate and to make it explicit in their works.

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Cave Paintings in Indonesia May Be Among the Oldest Known

By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, source NY Times, original here

There is nothing like a blank stone surface to inspire a widely shared urge to make art.

A team of researchers reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday that paintings of hands and animals in seven limestone caves on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi may be as old as the earliest European cave art.

Hand outlines found on a cave wall in Indonesia are at least 39,900 years old, researchers said. Credit Kinez Riza

The oldest cave painting known until now is a 40,800-year-old red disk from El Castillo, in northern Spain.

Other archaeologists of human origins said the new findings were spectacular and, in at least one sense, unexpected. Sulawesi’s cave art, first described in the 1950s, had previously been dismissed as no more than 10,000 years old.

“Assuming that the dates are good,” Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, said in an email, “this is good news, and the only surprising thing is not that analogous finds would exist elsewhere, but rather that it has been so hard to find them” until now.

Eric Delson, a paleoanthropologist at Lehman College of the City University of New York, agreed that the discovery “certainly makes sense.” Recent genetic findings, he said, “support an early deployment of modern humans eastward to Southeast Asia and Australasia, and so having art of a similar age is reasonable as well.”

The authors of the new study, a team from Australia and Indonesia, used a uranium decay technique to date the substance that encrusts the wall paintings — a mineral called calcite, created by water flowing through the limestone in the cave. The art beneath is presumably somewhat older than the crust.

Maxime Aubert and Adam Brumm, research fellows at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and the leaders of the study, examined 12 images of human hands and two figurative animal depictions at the cave sites.

The researchers said the earliest images, with a minimum age of 39,900 years, are the oldest known stenciled outlines of human hands in the world. Blowing or spraying pigment around a hand pressed against rock surfaces would become a common practice among cave artists down through the ages — and even some of the youngest schoolchildren to this day.

A painting of an animal known as a pig deer, of the species babirusa, was determined to be at least 35,400 years old. The team concluded that it was “among the earliest dated figurative depiction worldwide, if not the earliest one.”

The closest in age from Western Europe is a painting of a rhinoceros from Chauvet Cave in France, dated at 35,000 years old, although some archaeologists have questioned that estimate. The most familiar rock art in the region of Sulawesi was created by the Aborigines of Australia, modern humans who arrived there 50,000 years ago. But none of the surviving rock art is older than 30,000 years.

The Sulawesi dates challenge the long-held view about the origins of cave art in an explosion of human creativity centered on Western Europe about 40,000 years ago, Dr. Aubert said, in an announcement issued by Griffith University.

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Instead, he said, the creative brilliance required to produce the lifelike portrayals of horses and other animals much later at famous sites like Chauvet and Lascaux in France could have particularly deep roots within the human lineage.

But it is too soon to assess the discovery’s deeper implications, Wil Roebroeks, a specialist in human origins studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, wrote in a commentary accompanying the report. “Whether rock art was an integral part of the cultural repertoire of colonizing modern humans, from Western Europe to southeast and beyond, or whether such practices developed independently in various regions, is unknown,” he wrote.

“But what is clear,” Dr. Roebroeks continued, “is that no figurative art is known from before the time of the initial expansion of Homo sapiens into Asia and across Europe — neither from earlier H. sapiens in Africa nor from their contemporaries in western Eurasia, the Neanderthals.”

Dr. Conard, of Tübingen University, said he had long argued for what he calls polycentric mosaic modernity, in which similar kinds of cultural innovations happened in different contexts as modern Homo sapiens spread across the world and displaced archaic hominins.

“I have never thought that complex symbolic behavior has a single point source and that cultural evolutions is like switching a light on,’” he said. “One would expect different regions to have distinctive signatures and to contribute to the story in their own way.”

Dr. Delson, of CUNY, said he tended “to prefer the idea that art came as part of the ‘baggage’ of Homo sapiens as they spread into Eurasia, mainly as we know that so many of the cultural features once thought to have developed in western Eurasia in fact occurred far earlier in Africa.”

He cited the examples of early use of pigments and engravings in Africa, as well as bodily adornment with shells and advanced stoneworking technology.

In their report, Dr. Aubert and Dr. Brumm took no sides in the debate. “It is possible that rock art emerged independently around the same time and at roughly both ends of the spatial distribution of early modern humans,” they concluded. “An alternate scenario, however, is that cave painting was widely practiced by the first H. sapiens to leave Africa tens of thousands of years earlier.”

If that is the case, the Australian-Indonesian research team predicted, “We can expect future discoveries of depictions of human hands, figurative art and other forms of image-making dating to the earliest period of the global dispersal of our species.”

Virtual Reality: Turning Our Minds Inside Out

“Our destiny is to become what we think, to have our thoughts become our bodies and our bodies become our thoughts.” – Terence McKenna

Special thanks to DrawLight and Rabarama for the projection mapping footage!
http://www.drawlight.net http://www.rabarama.com

Learn More:

The State of Virtual Reality
“Born of technology, virtual reality at its core is an organic experience. Yes, it’s man meets machine, but what happens is strictly within the mind.”
http://www.theverge.com/a/virtual-rea…

Terence McKenna on Our Destiny
“Octopi wears its mind on its surface.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhpMf…

Terence McKenna
“He spoke and wrote about a variety of subjects, including psychedelic drugs, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, metaphysics, alchemy, language, culture, technology, and the theoretical origins of human consciousness.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_…

Human Animal Machine

We are preparing for (the) future. Self-training our sensitivity to bear the unbearable. By altering our perception and rationality to make acceptable what should be seen as horrendous. The Matrix, H.R. Giger, Cyberpunk, Blame! names and titles of fragments of the future that we are preparing, horrific visions today share a common appearance, the dominance of violent and painful staffing of the machine: flesh devastated by metal, flesh mixed with plastic and silicon, flesh exploited as a pure matter for the mechanical Hydra and the obtuse industrial metastasis . Many-headed monster, but with one only voracious stomach, the real engine of its body, well beyond the brain of each head.

indivdual-mente

This monster is shown to us by the cinema, painting, literature, in visions of imprisoned human bodies, bodies engaged in mechanical walls, bodies in which the boundaries between life and death, organic and inorganic fade in a horrible mixture: visible to our eyes in its full-blown sci-scientific falsehood … to divert our attention? This monster is already in the world today, but hidden and not so monstrous (from the Latin “monstrum” for “shown”), indeed concealed, camouflaged, even accepted. And it is the veiled face of the monster called the abattoir, animal enclosures, vivisection, animal husbandry. What we imagine in our fantasies of art, it is not fancy (it’s catharsis) and that is what happens and has already happened, changed and transformed by the need to protect our psyche, our consciousness … but something emerges.. The animals, not humans, are the victims of slaughterhouse, therefore, “is not the same thing in movies and literature here cited” many will object, but it is precisely the same thing and we know it and this will cause horror: we are flesh, they are flesh.

E-genetic

And the flesh screams of pain and joy in the same way. We are horrified to see human bodies undergo in artistic fiction what the bodies of animals are undergoing today in reality. So we “know” how much suffering and how horrible it is their existence (“Do not do to others what you would not want done to you”), we have experience (abstrusely mediated) and we are due and accomplices. And we know in our hearts that we are equal because we have already seen our fellow humans treated like them, “treated like animals”: the cold machinery of extermination, the flesh burned from the experiment of Hiroshima, the helpless harvested of their organs. What we do to the animals we can do to ourselves, because we are the same body.

Contaminazione Elettronica

Our fantasies and anxieties remind this to us more and more often and we try to implement a catharsis (now with the power of illusion, once with the sacrificial rite) that allows us not to look directly and not to cure us of the hell above which we live: the stirrings of fear of calves torn from their mothers, chicks blown to pieces in the meat grinder, the pigs screaming with their throats cut … millions, in a continuous mechanized cycle.

E.A. Kopernik

Read more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-species_psychology

http://onthehuman.org/2010/11/trans-species-perspective/

Walking fish raised on land mimic ancient evolutionary transition

Interesting article from here

Four hundred million years ago, some fish hoisted themselves out of the water and started a long evolutionary trek to personhood. But how did they learn to walk? A study published in this week’s Nature uses modern-day walking fish to mimic that transition.

Trans-rettile

In the experiment, researchers raised bichirs, which are fish with functional lungs and strong fins. In a pinch, these qualities allow them to walk on land. But this is something new: For eight months, a group of the primitive fish were raised entirely on land so that researchers could compare their development to specimens that grew up in normal, mostly aquatic conditions.

“I was most surprised early in the study when the Polypros [bichir] actually survived in the terrestrial habitat. That was amazing,” said Emily Standen, the lead author and an evolutionary biomechanist at the University of Ottawa. “Then when we tested their behavioral and anatomical differences, we were really excited.”

Standen and her colleagues thought that the bichir would develop differently if it grew up on land, giving them hints as to how a fish could go from water to earth as it evolved. Sure enough, the fish raised on land walked with a more effective gait. They placed their fins closer to their bodies and raised their heads up higher, which made them slip less than the aquatic walkers. Their skeletons also developed differently, with the bones that support the fins changing shape to support them in higher gravity.

The researchers also saw the fish acquiring more head and neck mobility, which would be important in a transition to life on land. “Fish generally don’t have necks, as they can approach their food from any angle in a 3-D environment,” Standen said. “Once on a 2-D terrestrial plane, head mobility becomes essential for feeding and other sensory perceptions.”

While the changes are subtle, Standen said, they mirror what scientists have seen in the fossil record of fish-to-land-dweller evolution. So it was probably a similar kind of developmental flexibility that allowed the first fish to emerge from the water.

Public Art in Public Space

I don’t think there is any bigger satisfaction for an artist than witnessing a “real” debate on his works. Not those idle arguments among critics on specialized magazines, which are barely read even by those who are directly interested, but rather those rare occasions when the audience has an opinion on the subject and lively talks about it, splitting in opposing factions, supporters and detractors, according to principles related not only to each person’s tastes, which can be refined, but are also always arguable.

public art

If it remains closed in a gallery or a museum, contemporary art needs the so-called shock-effect to involve a wider audience. The trilogy money-sex-death is still the most effective: an artwork becomes scandalous if it has an excessive cost, if it shows what should not be seen (for example bodies which are making love, or with no life) because this goes beyond what is considered acceptable. It was considered forbidden in classical theatre, from the Greek to Shakespeare, who represented obscene acts, as the word explains, “out of the scene”.

When art leaves the buildings and invades the public space, which we go through daily, we are playing a different game. In the latest decades the definition of “Public Art” has overlapped with the aesthetics of a monument almost completely replacing it. In Italy above all, monuments were intended as statues built in squares or parks to celebrate an event or glorify the value of heroes in perennial memory. Italy is, for example, full of equestrian statues. Later we have the monument of the Risorgimento, which reminds us of the great actions and men of the Resistance, which are two crucial episodes of the Italian history taken as models by various researchers to celebrate, in 2011, the 150th anniversary of a unified Country (a good example is the recent essay by Aldo Cazzullo, “Viva l’Italia”).

The typical shape of a celebrative monument is vertical. The ideal raises high towards the sky, reaching out of daily life. The colossal size of the statue makes us feel, inevitably, small, fallible and temporary. The monuments which have a horizontal extension are really rare, because memory must be seen from far away. Among the uncommon, remarkable exceptions is the “Monument to Auschwitz” by Pietro Cascella, finished in 1967, which expresses more its absence than its presence, silence rather than voice. It is amazing that, after almost 40 years, the architect Peter Eisenman opted for a similar solution in the “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe”, inaugurated in Berlin in 2005.

Monumental sculpture is different from public art in that it doesn’t need to communicate links to the territory. Other than having a celebrative function, it is conceived and set up to satisfy a call for beauty. It enquires about the taste of inhabitants and tourists, and at the same time embellishes the urban landscape. The number of pictures people take in front of those statues and sculptures when they judge them to be pleasant shows how much they are appreciated. The subjectivity of each person’s opinion must be taken into account, but it cannot be denied that those works which harmonize with the context, resembling human shapes, receive the highest praise, especially those which are not too problematic, questioning, hostile or repellent. In this category, quite wide, there are figurative works by Fernando Botero, Igor Mitoraj, Jean-Michel Folon, now deceased, as well as Arnaldo Pomodoro’s columns and spheres, “Thread and Knot” by Claes Oldenburg and Cosije Van Bruggen in Cadorna Square in Milan, the “Igloo Fountain” by Mario Merz on the Spina 1 in Turin and several installations by Rabarama, the protagonist of this exhibition.

On the contrary, Public Art claims a necessary link to what surrounds it, from architecture to urban design, from society to the inhabitants’ needs, and it has the purpose of fitting into the human environment, with the utopian ideal of improving the conditions of man and environment. Because of this, such interventions ask questions rather than answer them, they often have vague and ephemeral shapes which the involvement of the user will complete (this is also defined, in fact, as “relational art”). They stimulate the intelligence of the audience and abandon the ideal of pure beauty. They are welcome on the pages of art magazines, but they are unlikely to end up in the albums of memories of those visitors who are fond of photography. In a definition of art which is maybe predictable and conformist, in a vision which does not include a peaceful coexistence of different languages and purposes, Public Art has citizenship in the contemporary ideology whereas monumental expressions are viewed upon with absurd suspicions, resulting from prejudice. According to this way of thinking, artwork which is appreciated by people is out of fashion, unsuitable, nineteenth century, and kitsch. There is no need to say that I totally disagree with this theory, as I share a more democratic, pluralistic and free vision of visual arts.

public art2

This long preamble, stimulated by the spurious arguments of the media which have preceded the installation of Ramarama’s sculptures in some squares in Firenze, has actually the function of introducing a change in the poetic style of the artist. The principal town of Tuscany, in fact, has stimulated a confrontation with ancient memories, unavoidable when a third millennium contemporary wants to deal with an investigation in the roots of history. Rabarama’s titanic sculptures, which are titanic also in the operational effort, give art back the sense of great undertaking, which seemed forgotten. They are set in the city of Florence, in its Renaissance squares and in the 19th Century Pagliere Building behind the Boboli Gardens. In this beautiful place, which holds a surprisingly contemporary taste, almost of industrial archeology style, we can find painting. Rabarama carries out this technique with perseverance, at the same time as completing her works in 3D plastic. At the centre of her research there is, as always, the man, according to the absolute anthropocentric conviction of the artist; this resounds as a strong desire for redemption of our disputed and rickety species. Rabarama’s sculptural shapes (together with two live body painting performances on the opening day) are a sign of aesthetic research addressed to the body, an instrument of dynamic and plastic evolution. They are also a further convergence between sculpture and painting resulting in site-specific temporary interventions, (her idea of a monument is also temporary).

They expand the ambivalent relationships of the opposed forces we find in nature – Yin and Yang, male and female, white and black, full and empty, positive and negative – existing together. Her sculptures mix Western rationalism and primitive esotericism, humanism and alchemy, almost in the will to investigate the ancestral matrix of our culture. As visible presences, already familiar to the places which host them, Rabarama’s works blend into the city itinerary and are confronted by the renaissance iconography of the buildings of Florence. In the homeland of Michelangelo, the sculptures planned and produced by Rabarama are mirroring the antiquity, and start a reciprocal/dependent relationship, exclusively for Florence, in a call for reflections between ancient and contemporary, modern and traditional. The material chosen for this monumental cycle momentarily sets apart the use of metal, no wonder, for marble from the neighboring city of Carrara, whose surface is “texturized” in a bas-relief style engraved pattern. A totally white skin where letters, numbers and symbols are engraved identifies these “urban furnishings”, which are transitioning as they belong to the historical memory of Florence, now in a new and contemporary iconography. Echoing the titles chosen for these works (Im-plosione, Ri-nascita, Tran-sito, Ri-volto, Re-cinta, Co-stell-azione, and Trans-porto), Rabarama chooses, once again, to interrupt words and concepts with a hyphen which introduces the possibility of a second meaning in Italian. The word pun “Anti-con-forme”, which gives the name to the entire project, is special. It implicates the suggestion of the Antiform, the American movement from the Sixties which opposed every accessory meaning given to artwork, which had to remain a simple object and nothing else, with no allusions or hidden meanings (Rober Morris defined his work “shape for shape”). Rabarama adds the need for the presence of an ancient element, timelessness, even the metaphysical, and above all, for the dogma of art which is sure of the need for precise formalization. Even though this is against a number of contemporary theories and fashions, Rabarama stands for a kind of art which is present, which can be seen and touched and which doesn’t stop with a hidden intention.
Originally published on Anticonforme catalogue, 2011

Luca Beatrice

luca-beatrice-foto1

 

Do We Live In A 2-D hologram?

New Fermilab experiment will test the nature of the universe (original here)

A unique experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory called the Holometer has started collecting data that will answer some mind-bending questions about our universe – including whether we live in a hologram.

Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions.

Get close enough to your TV screen and you’ll see pixels, small points of data that make a seamless image if you stand back. Scientists think that the universe’s information may be contained in the same way and that the natural “pixel size” of space is roughly 10 trillion times smaller than an atom, a distance that physicists refer to as the Planck scale.

“We want to find out whether space-time is a quantum system just like matter is,” said Craig Hogan, director of Fermilab’s Center for Particle Astrophysics and the developer of the holographic noise theory. “If we see something, it will completely change ideas about space we’ve used for thousands of years.”

Quantum theory suggests that it is impossible to know both the exact location and the exact speed of subatomic particles. If space comes in 2-D bits with limited information about the precise location of objects, then space itself would fall under the same theory of uncertainty. The same way that matter continues to jiggle (as quantum waves) even when cooled to absolute zero, this digitized space should have built-in vibrations even in its lowest energy state.

Essentially, the experiment probes the limits of the universe’s ability to store information. If there is a set number of bits that tell you where something is, it eventually becomes impossible to find more specific information about the location – even in principle. The instrument testing these limits is Fermilab’s Holometer, or holographic interferometer, the most sensitive device ever created to measure the quantum jitter of space itself.

Now operating at full power, the Holometer uses a pair of interferometers placed close to one another. Each one sends a one-kilowatt laser beam (the equivalent of 200,000 laser pointers) at a beam splitter and down two perpendicular 40-meter arms. The light is then reflected back to the beam splitter where the two beams recombine, creating fluctuations in brightness if there is motion. Researchers analyze these fluctuations in the returning light to see if the beam splitter is moving in a certain way – being carried along on a jitter of space itself.

“Holographic noise” is expected to be present at all frequencies, but the scientists’ challenge is not to be fooled by other sources of vibrations. The Holometer is testing a frequency so high – millions of cycles per second – that motion of normal matter are not likely to cause problems. Rather, the dominant background noise is more often due to radio waves emitted by nearby electronics. The Holometer experiment is designed to identify and eliminate noise from such conventional sources.

“If we find a noise we can’t get rid of, we might be detecting something fundamental about nature – a noise that is intrinsic to space-time,” said Fermilab physicist Aaron Chou, lead scientist and project manager for the Holometer. “It’s an exciting moment for physics. A positive result will open a whole new avenue of questioning about how space works.”

The Holometer experiment, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and other sources, is expected to gather data over the coming year.

The Holometer team comprises 21 scientists and students from Fermilab, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan. For more information, visit http://holometer.fnal.gov/.

About Fermilab
Fermilab is America’s premier national laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research. A U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory, Fermilab is located near Chicago, Illinois, and operated under contract by the Fermi Research Alliance, LLC. For more information, visit http://www.fnal.gov.

About The DOE Office Of Science
The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.

SOURCE: Fermilab