Grabbing The Bull By The Handlebars

Note from the Editor: “The Artifact” is not your conventional news source—mainly because it is not a news source at all. What this weekly Sunday article provides is a platform where world events are juxtaposed with works of art, finding echoes and similarities in the often-frictional relationship between the “real world” and the “art world.” It is the case that most works of art, abstract or representative, tend to imitate life or an aspect of it. The Artifact, complementarily, seeks to find life situations that imitate works of art already made. 

The Gist Of It

TECHNOLOGY– British teen develops new mobile app. Yahoo likes it. $30 million is exchanged. Everyone is happy. And that’s the gist of the story behind Nick D’Aloisio, the 17 year old responsible for “Summly.” His invention stems from the idea of making an app that condenses news stories into a summary of 400 characters or less; you get the relevant information without having to actually read an entire lengthy article.

I know what you must be thinking: “Really? $30 million for that simple idea? Even I could’ve come up with that!” But ask yourself if your 17-year-old self could have done the same. In the business world––just like in the art world––one pays not only for the work but also for the hand that created it. As such, Yahoo appears not only to be trying to market this savvy new product but also to cash in on the adorkable appeal of this teenager, all with the hopes of attracting new young start-ups to revitalize its brand.

The art world also has a famous summarizer, Jackson Pollock. At the peak of his fame in the 1950s, this painter was able to summarize the art of painting into the simplest of terms: not interested in the history of illustrating thoughts, ideas and theories, he only sought expression through the raw application of paint on a canvas. After all, that’s what painting really is at its most banal, right? Although at one point he was regarded as the greatest living painter in the United States, his paintings are often confronted with, “Really? Millions of dollars for that? Even I could’ve done that!” Let’s see how “Jack the dripper” summed it up:

Jackson Pollock 51, 1951 (excerpt). Hans Namuth and Paul Falkenberg (directors)

What most people don’t know is that, while Pollock may not have been as adorkable as D’Aloisio, his image was also heavily marketed under a secret agenda: as a weapon by the CIA during the Cold War. But that’s another story for another day!

Impressions Of Passion

POLITICS – This past Tuesday, in view of the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral hearings on the issue of same sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) urged supporters to “paint the town red.” Supporters were encouraged to change their Facebook profile picture to a pink and red logo provided by the HRC. What started out as a message of solidarity was soon devoured by social media and regurgitated into countless versions of the logo. In other words, it was a viral hit. Among the many versions, one stood out to us:

rothko-gay“Mauve and Orange” by Mark Rothko. Oil on canvas, 1961.