Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Fury of Lego Moses

Leviticus 8:22-23--"He then had the other ram brought forward and slaughtered it."

Go here to check out the Bible (Old and New Testament) in Lego form:

My friend Shea and I did a couple Lego-assisted presentations for a Civics-type class in Junior on the Revolutionary War, one on the laws of government. Lego makes cannons and other crazy stuff nowadays, but back then we had to improvise a lot of things with clay...I think Shea even put little clay bayonets on each gun. We spent a lot of time arranging each scene, then took photos and pasted them onto posterboard.

I don't think we were at our best with the laws one, though (at least, I wasn't), since there were no good opportunities for decapitations in that one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008


A copy from a page of Franz Masereel's wonderfully stream-of-consciousness book "The City: A Vision in Woodcuts"

You can look through the entire book at this address:

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Nature of Talent?

I was reading through the latest issue of Discover and during an interview with neurologist Oliver Sacks he mentioned a period of his life when he was taking a huge amount of amphetamines:

"I got into a very strange state for two weeks, a state in which I, who cannot draw, found myself able to do the most accurate anatomical drawings. I have a notebook from that time full of anatomical drawings of a sort I had never done before and have never done since. This also affected things like musical reproduction and sense of smell. I could recognize most people and most places by smell. And so I did have an experience myself of having various perceptual powers released. When it all disappeared, I had mixed feelings. It was a great relief, and also some regret. However, I think the amphetamines are terribly dangerous, and I'm glad I survived that time."

I had generally assumed that artistic talent was a combination of heredity and learned skill, in various degrees. While that's probably still the case, the idea of artificially unlocking previously unknown and undisplayed technical skill, and what that then means about the nature of talent, is fascinating to me. How much of pure artistic talent is born out of perception?