Recent Notepad:

Category 'Art'

The Value of Dystopia

Image by Jonny Hughes/Flickr

In response to Michael Solana’s “Stop Writing Dystopian Sci-Fi—It’s Making Us All Fear Technology,” which had inspired “We Need Dystopias Now More Than Ever.”

Solana’s essential message is, “Technology is our salvation, so why do those pesky Luddites keep trying to challenge progress and scare us?” Science fiction, like life, has always contained both utopian and dystopian themes, optimism and pessimism. If dystopias are suddenly overrepresented — which I think is untrue — it’s probably worth asking why they’re so popular, and maybe even trying to learn from them.

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Patterns in a Field

Late in June, within a space of several acres. Ubiquitous, ephemeral, as magnificent as any Pollock. Continue reading

From an Antique Land

Photographs from aimless wandering of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with two conscious avoidances: the 18th and 19th century European sculpture, as they belonged in the living room of an old lady who serves hard candy to visitors; and the Egyptian collection, victim of its own popularity, like skinny jeans. Continue reading

A Minor Dilemma

The first story in Tao Lin’s Bed — entitled “Love is a Thing on Sale for More Money Than There Exists”,  in which a young-twentysomething relationship dissolves as the man slips into self-centered torpor, delivered by Lin in a smartly faux-slacker voice that nearly veils, and thus magnifies, an underlying desperation — is excellent. Continue reading

Hand-Colored Postcards From the Future

One of the nicest things about old second-hand books is what falls unexpectedly from them: notes, shopping lists, receipts, dried flowers. Continue reading

Rest on the Flight to Egypt

In this tender scene, the Holy Family is shown resting in their flight to escape Herod, the ruler of Galilee. Joseph had been warned in a dream that Herod was searching for the Christ child to kill him.
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The New Museum’s exterior is far more appealing than its office cubicle-turned-warehouse interior; likewise, the time-lapse video of its construction is more interesting than anything now inside it. Continue reading