Polar Inertia

October 23, 2008

I just about never recommend other sites directly.  I usually just post links and if you like what you see, you look around.  However, Polar Inertia: Journal of Nomadic and Popular Culture may pass you by and I wanted to make a special call out to it.

It is a journal of images, often of distressed urban sites.  This season’s offerings include a series on tangled utility wires in Bangkok, fascinating shelters built by homeless in Tokyo, and Soviet-era bus stops in the Soviet Union.

This is a magazine that covers material I don’t find elsewhere.  Well worth a look.

Will The Real Money Show Up

October 23, 2008

I’ve been tracking the contemporary art auctions for clues as to the effect, if any, the financial crisis is having on the luxury art market.  The figures from several of the sales this month seem to suggest some slowdown.  However, these sales tend to have just a few stellar items along with many lots of more retail-level art.  And one’s view of the market can easily become skewed by too little data.

On 3rd November, Sothebys in New York is holding an “Impressionist and Modern Art” sale.   There are 71 lots and 63 of the lots have estimates of $1 million and above.  24 lots are estimated to fetch more than $5 million.  And there is a Modigliani at $25 million (see image) and a Monet at $22m.   In addition, there are four other lots — including a Picasso, a Degas and a Munch — that have unpublished estimates.

This is an auction for serious collectors and high rollers only.   This could be a real test.

Happy Birthday Earth!

October 23, 2008

Back in the 17th century, Biblical scholar James Ussher calculated that God created the earth on October 23, 4004 BC.  That makes today the earth’s 6,012th birthday!

There are of course still some who actually believe the factuality of Ussher’s work.  I think some of them ran for US President this year.