Category Archives: Media analysis

Leonardo da Vinci: Philosopher and scientist? #1

Benvenuto Cellini was a virtuoso Renaissance goldsmith, sculptor and wildly indiscreet autobiographer. Yet he soberly recorded King François I of France as saying ‘there had never been born another man in the world who knew as much as Leonardo, not so … Continue reading

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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist (exhibition review) #2

This excellent exhibition (in the Queen’s Gallery, London) has some fascinatingly different stories to tell of Leonardo’s extraordinary anatomical sketches. We can have our interpretations on the surface or we can dig for them, depending on whether we like our versions … Continue reading

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Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist (exhibition review) #1

This is an unusual start to any review, but the gallery’s beautifully panelled and French-polished rosewood doors and postmodern urinal dividers in the spotless toilets were so unusual in their generosity to the possibility of civilized public behaviour that I … Continue reading

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The pleasures of fine lettercutting in stone

Here’s a lovely thing I was very lucky to be given a few weeks ago. I hope anyone with an interest in words, writing and lettering will enjoy it here too. What is it? It’s a Clipsham limestone square pillar with … Continue reading

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Tales from synaesthetic oceans: shampoo, Rimbaud and the cult of the LP sleeve

What do you think about this? [Product name] has fresh notes of bergamot and lime, a spicy sensual heart of poivre, beechwood and oakmoss, enhanced with base notes of sandalwood, amber and vetiver. It’s on a bottle of shampoo. For … Continue reading

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After the (Olympics) gold rush – some thoughts on media and emotionality

If Usain Bolt had improved his 100 metres time from 2008 in step with the upgrades in 2012 Olympics media coverage, he would have run it in [fill in your own very small number here] seconds. My serious point is that … Continue reading

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What is synaesthesia? Why is it important?

Crikey – the online Random House dictionary says synaesthesia (synesthesia in more search-friendly US English) ‘is a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces the visualization … Continue reading

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Bicycles, beds, chairs, doors – the use of modern art

‘Mr. Beckett’s patient concern with bicycles, amputees, battered hats, and the letter M’ starts Hugh Kenner’s still impressive Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study (New York: Grove Press, 1961, p. 1). My previous post tried to talk about the same things, respectively a … Continue reading

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Spoons, bricks, modern art – towards a design for design

The user experience (UX) of a spoon: the mouth end has to be the shape it is. It can’t be too deep because we couldn’t take all the food off it with our lips or tongue. It can’t be too … Continue reading

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What is the value of words? The euro crisis, Shakespeare and the 2012 Olympics

The current Greece-led euro crisis – #Grexit – may get a lot worse after the second national Greek election on 17 June. A lot (billions of euros) depends on a little (very small percentage differences in voter responses). (I leave … Continue reading

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