Pixels and Paintbrushes

[You can also find this on the BBC News website, of course]

The 53rd Venice Art Biennale has just opened, a massive exhibition of contemporary art from around the world that takes over large parts of the city every two years from June to November and turns it into a showcase for the new, the experimental, the exciting and the just plain weird.

And I do mean weird.

Hidden depths There’s a semi-submerged Russian submarine in the Grand Canal, an Icelandic artist is going to spend the next six months painting a series of bad portraits of a cigarette-smoking model, and a group of Nordic artists are exhibiting a very life-like corpse floating face-down in a swimming pool while a group of naked men sit on deckchairs nearby.

Seventy-seven countries are taking part, many of them exhibiting their work in purpose built pavilions in the public gardens of the Giardini while others can be found in the former shipyard of the Arsenale or scattered across palaces and warehouses throughout the city.

As well as the national pavilions there are forty-four associated exhibitions and events, and nearly one hundred individual artists have been invited to show work in the central ‘Making Worlds’ exhibition.

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From Art to Activism

[As ever, you can read this on the BBC News website, where Mark has titled it ‘Net Politics is all Rock and Role’!]

This afternoon my son and I drove from Cambridge to Lode, a small village just north of the city. When we got there we made our way to the old watermill and I lobbed half a brick across a river while Max filmed me.

Earlier in the weekend my friend Matt Jones, co-founder of the social network site Dopplr, had made a significantly more strenuous expedition to Knowle Park in Hildenborough to leave a rock shaped rather like a flint axe-head in a field.

Matt and I weren’t just randomly littering the countryside, but making our individual contributions to the ‘Britglyph’, a project that will eventually be the most extensive work of public art ever seen in Britain, one that follows in the tradition of the White Horse of Uffington and the Cerne Abbas giant.

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My del.icio.us bookmarks for July 13th through July 17th

Here’s what I tagged on del.icio.us between July 13th and July 17th: