Diatrope Blog

IOBA: Virtual Book Fair, May 15-17, 2020

The Independent Online Booksellers Association LogoIOBA Virtual Rare Book Fair
May 15–17, 2020
Virtual doors open 1:00pm EST
www.iobabookfair.com

The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) is proud to announce its first virtual international rare and antiquarian book fair, to be held Friday, May 15 to Sunday, May 17, 2020 at www.iobabookfair.com.

The virtual book fair will enable attendees to browse hundreds, if not thousands, of books and items of ephemera from the safety of their homes. Over four dozen exhibiting booksellers will be available for questions at their “booths” so customers may shop at their leisure during the 3-day fair.

When asked what attendees can expect from the book fair, Doug Nelson, President of IOBA, responded, “We took the best elements from physical book fairs – fresh material, exhibitors from around the globe, and the ability for attendees to easily interact with the exhibitors – and put it online. We anticipate this fair will be a success for our members and the book-buying public, and it will hopefully be the first of many.”

The Independent Online Booksellers Association is a trade organization representing more than 300 online rare and antiquarian booksellers worldwide. IOBA has promoted professionalism, ethics, and trust in online bookselling since 1999. To learn more about IOBA, its members, or to join, visit www.ioba.org.

Book Review of The Seductions of Darwin: Art, Evolution, Neuroscience by Mathew Rampley

Reviewed by Amy Ione, May 2020

It is not surprising that Mathew Rampley’s book, The Seductions of Darwin: Art, Evolution, Neuroscience, caught my eye since the volume touches on a number of topics covered in my own Art and the Brain: Plasticity, Embodiment, and the Unclosed Circle. [1] What did surprise me is that, despite analyzing many of the same subjects (cave painting, evolutionary psychology, art history, neuroaesthetics, neuroarthistory, etc.), the two books are worlds apart, even as we share similar goals. Both of us state that we seek to encourage humanistic thinking and voice reservations about the scientific and philosophical research surrounding art, neuroscience, and evolution. Yet, while I agree with Rampley’s premise that efforts to construct a “unity of knowledge” theory are misconceived, I found that his book read like a polemic, with arguments more along the lines of “not this, not that” than a humanistic probing of the contours of art, evolution, and neuroscience. This reaction is one the author himself acknowledges as possible, writing: “[m]uch of the discussion will come across as polemical in tone” (p. viii) and “[i]t would be reasonable to conclude, given the polemical tone adopted in this book, that I see neo-Darwinian approaches as having little value” (p. 140). Thus, my principal take-away was a humanistic-type question: Why is it that two people who review much of the same range of information can come away worlds apart? He is clear that, “It might be objected that I am relying on a reductive and overly empirical notion of inquiry, one based on the testing of hypotheses, and that this approach is particularly problematic when applied to the humanities” (p. 139); consistent with this statement, I take a more dialogical humanistic type of approach to the issues.

The Seductions of Darwin itself consists of an informative introduction, four chapters, and a conclusion. The bulk of the book outlines what Rampley sees as persistent weaknesses in theories of art that assume (presume) a Darwinian or neuroscientific perspective. What was most prominent within this is that he is looking for a unifying explanatory methodology (despite his claim that efforts to construct “unity of knowledge” theories are flawed). This paradoxical strategy lands him in a space that largely mirrors the theoretical problems inherent in the arguments he rejects.

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What does Berkeley on lockdown look like from the sky?

Berkeley in Place,’ a short film created for Berkeleyside by Pedal Born Pictures shows the city of Berkeley seen from the sky as its residents shelter in place in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (More on Pedal Born Pictures: https://www.pedalbornpictures.com/)

Berkeleyside is the award-winning, independent news site in Berkeley, California, reporting on the extraordinary diversity of people, issues, events, food and environment in Berkeley and the East Bay.

There is also a similar video of Florence: DRONE | Firenze deserta Coronavirus: i monumenti del centro storico / Quarantine in Florence, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=zTJvE7BIZTo&feature=emb_logo

Was Kandinsky a Synaesthete?

Take a look at  Dyedra K. C. Just‘s paper “Was Kandinsky a Synaesthete? Examining His Writings and Other Evidence,” which examines a subject also examined by Amy Ione and Christopher Tyler  in their paper “Was Kandinsky a Synesthete?
Below is the abstract for the D. K. C. Just paper:

Wassily Kandinsky is widely regarded as one of the most prominent examples of a synaesthetic artist. However, in the scientific literature there is disagreement on the genuineness of his synaesthesia. This paper investigates whether Kandinsky had inborn synaesthesia, while acknowledging that there are also types of induced synaesthesia which he may have cultivated. As these two types of synaesthesia are seen to work additively in some synaesthetes and not to be mutually exclusive, this is not seen as an argument against the view that he was a true inborn synaesthete. Whether Kandinsky was a synaesthete is examined through a detailed study of his primary writings (e.g., On the Spiritual in Art, Point and Line to Plane, and Reminiscences), in light of the modern diagnostic criteria. The experiences described in those writings indicate that his synaesthetic perceptions were genuine and inborn and not just a theoretical endeavour. Given the genetic dimension of synaesthesia, this view is further supported by the fact that Kandinsky’s uncle Victor Kandinsky also described having synaesthetic experiences.

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Amy Ione Exhibiting at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Painting: The Relativity Room #2WINDOWS AND DOORS

February 22 – March 29, 2020
Opening reception February 22, 1-4 PM

This exhibition presents a wide array of interpretations of “windows” and/or “doors”, symbolically or figuratively.

A virtual tour of Windows and Doors Art Exhibition in the Main Gallery at Sebastopol Center for The Arts, Sebastopol, California. Feb-March 2020. (no audio).

Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Amy Ione Exhibiting at Gallery North, Edmonds, WA

On Display: 2020 Small Works Exhibition

Homage to Paul Klee (Blue Night) by Amy Ione
Artwork. Homage to Paul Klee (Blue Night) by Amy Ione

Percept: Space Study, #3 by Amy Ione, painting

Percept: Space Study, #3 [Original Oil Painting by Amy Ione, image

Dates: March 1 through March 30, 2020
Opening: March 7, 1-4pm, 401 Main Street, Edmonds, WA 98020

Edmonds Art Walk, March 19, 5-8pm

Call for Artists: Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS) Residencies

Open AIR 2020 Artist-in-Residence Opportunity Spotlight: Summer and Fall sessions available at the Flathead Lake Biological Station (FLBS).

Stay in a quaint cabin.  Learn about the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi with access to researchers, undergrad and grad students, interns, taxonomic collections, analytical Lab, sensor lab, tool shop and more!

Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana is one of the oldest active biological field research stations in the United States. It was established near Bigfork in 1899 by its first director, Dr. Morton J. Elrod, UM Distinguished Professor of Biology. It was moved to Yellow Bay in 1908.

Applications Due: March 1st.

Call for artists! Rising: Climate in Crisis Residencies at A Studio in the Woods

Apply for Rising: Crisis in Climate Residencies by April 13

A Studio in the Woods is now accepting applications for Rising: Climate in Crisis Residencies. The call is open to artists of all disciplines who have demonstrated an established dialogue with environmental and culturally related issues and a commitment to seeking and plumbing new depths. Residencies are 6 weeks, will take place between September 2020 and May 2021, and include a $2500 stipend and $2000 materials budget.

Proposals are due by April 13th and residencies will be awarded by June 12th, 2020. Direct questions to Cammie Hill-Prewitt at info@astudiointhewoods.org.

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Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power Reviewed by Amy Ione

Book cover. Soul of a NationReview:
Mark Godfrey, Zoé Whitley, Curators

de Young Museum, San Francisco, 9 Nov. 2019-8 Mar. 2020
Exhibition organized by Tate Modern
Catalog by D.A.P./Tate; 2017, 256 pp., ISBN: 978-1942884170.

In balancing a range of art practices with socio-political realities, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983 effectively demonstrates that there isn’t a Black art per se but rather a Black experience that informs what, how, and where Black artists present and re-present. The project also superbly presents the rich contributions of African American artists are an important and integral part of American Art, despite their often being underrepresented in art histories. While the catalog expands one’s understanding of the exhibition immeasurably, I was glad to have the opportunity to engage with the actual size works so as to optimally experience the interweaving of artistic insights and materials with concepts like Black Power, Black Pride and the array of social realities that informed the work (e.g., the Watts riots) [1]. Still, the catalog is invaluable. Reading curator Mark Godfrey’s essay on Black abstraction in the publication before visiting the exhibition primed me to see the socio-political elements through the eyes of individual artists musing about material objects and black identify in tandem. In essence, his essay, co-curator Zoé Whitley’s essay, and the recollections from a number of people associated with this art in the documentation, all of whom were black participants, further underscored that there is a black American culture to celebrate, one that has thrived despite its peripheral place within institutions. Furthermore, the written material demonstrate the value of critically engaging with objects on a number of levels.

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