Saturday, November 21, 2015

Internet Wading: Art and history

Time for some more Internet Wading, and this time one thing led to another. And it's all Roger Green's fault.

Roger’s recent post, “October rambling #2: absquatulate” included links to two stories about copyright trolls. Since then, another story was published about the battle over the copyright for Anne Frank’s Diary: “Copyfraud: Anne Frank Foundation claims father was ‘co-author,’ extends copyright by decades". It’s a bizarre story in itself, but also one with very serious implications for all authors.

But following the link in Roger’s post led me to follow other links to interesting places. For example, “How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health” by Michael Grothaus on Fast Company shows the health benefits of reading. Nice to know.

Even farther afield, “Beautiful, free/open 3D printed book of lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornaments”. The files for printing them have been released in the public domain so anyone can have them and print them on their own 3D printer. The “lost” part is that the architectural ornaments were in buildings that have been torn down. Preserving art, and making it easily accessible, is one of the many promises of 3D printing technology—until lawyers and copyright trolls try to ruin it for everyone.

Back in the more traditional art world, I recently ran across “Russia Before the Revolution, in Color” on Mashable’s “Retronaut” It features the photos of Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky (1863–1944), who was famous in Imperial Russia for a colour portrait of Leo Tolstoy. It’s a fascinating look at a long-vanished Russia—and yet the photos look eerily modern, too.

Also interesting, and from pretty much the same era, is “After the Quake: Earliest Known Color Photographs of San Francisco” taken about six months after the deadly 1906 earthquake by an inventor named Frederick Eugene Ives. As with the photos from Russia, these colour photos provide a totally different way of looking at life a century ago.

And finally from the same site, “The Evolution of Women's Workwear” over the 20th Century is interesting in itself, but I was also fascinated by the changing environment of office work.. Seeing the evolution of work fashion in the context of changes in office environments makes both more interesting, I think.

Finally this time, a straight-up look at history and how complicated it can be: “The Eichmann of the Confederate South” by Gil Troy on The Daily Beast. It’s the story of Henry Wirz, who had been the commander of the Confederate prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia. The camp was built for 10,000 but had some 45,000 prisoners, leading to a mortality rate of 29%. How and why it happened is a story in itself, but was Wirz truly the demon he was portrayed as, or was he a victim of sorts, too? History may be complicated, but it shouldn’t be forgotten.

That’s enough wading for now.

1 comment:

rogerogreen said...

guilty, guilty, guilty!