The Smithsonian American Art Museum just announced a major exhibition of Nam June Paik, set to open December 13, 2012. “Nam June Paik: Global Visionary” will offer an
"unprecedented view into the artist’s creative method" through key artworks and material drawn from the Nam
June Paik Archive, acquired by the Smithsonian from the artist’s
estate in 2009. Well worth a trip to DC, and required viewing for any of you who count yourself among the present generation of YouTube uploaders, Vimeo auteurs, and TwitVid self-surveillance sharers. This man's legacy is part of why video is a common medium for fine art and personal expression today. Snip:
Korean-born Paik (1932-2006), known as the “father of video art,” almost single-handedly
transformed video into an artist’s medium through his sculptures, installations, videotapes and
television projects. Paik is recognized worldwide for his innovative, media-based artwork that is
grounded in the practices of avant-garde music and performance art. His art and ideas embodied a
radical new vision for an art form that he knew would be embraced around the world and that would
change visual culture.
PDF of the press release is here.
Image via Wikipedia (shot by Lim Young-kyun in 1983). Read the rest
This is a very cool, behind-the-scenes peek at how researchers at the Smithsonian deal with the problem of studying meteorites without contaminating said meteorites.
This is a big issue. We study meteorites to learn things about what has happened and is happening outside our own planetary system. If, in the process of that, we end up covering the samples with the detritus of Earth, then the message gets muddled. If you're studying a meteorite, you want to be reasonably sure that you're not accidentally studying dust or bacteria from this planet. Clean rooms like the one in this video make it easier to examine these samples in a way that is less destructive.
Learn more about the Smithsonian's collection of Antarctic meteorites.
Video Link Read the rest
From the Smithsonian's snapshot series, a special image for Valentine's Day:
Caged crinoline, also known as a hoop skirt, was the most distinctive silhouette of the late 19th century. This photo shows a hoop skirt, named because of its series of concentric hoops of whalebone or cane. It replaced the popular petticoat of the late 1500s to mid 1800s.
Multiple petticoats were sometimes worn to create the full, dome-shape, small-waist silhouette popular in women’s fashion through the mid 1800s. During the late 1800s, hoop skirts like this one lightened the weight of multiple petticoats by creating the same fashionable silhouette but with fewer layers. It only required one or two petticoats worn over the hoop skirt.
Unlike shaping undergarments before the 19th century, hoop skirts were worn by women of every social class.
In 1846, David Hough Jr. introduced the first hoop skirt in the U.S.
The hoop-skirt form, like the bustle and corset, gives insight into the complexities of dress in the 19th century.
This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not on display.
Looks so comfy!
(thanks, Jessica Porter Sadeq) Read the rest
The world's largest library uses the latest technology to study and scan ancient books, maps and other historical artifacts. Rob Beschizza takes a look into an incredible archive made possible by technology.