Thursday, December 09, 2010

Pretty Crates Above Train Tracks

In the long history of art materials, acrylics are fairly new. Oil colors date back to the fifteenth century. Tempera and encaustic have pedigrees that are counted in the thousands of years. And watercolor was the result when prehistoric visionaries developed the basic model for paint that still serves today: a combination of pigment (earth colorant), vehicle (for the earliest artists, saliva), and binder (prehistoric animal fat).

Acrylics were first developed as a solvent based artists’ color in the early part of the twentieth century. The first water-borne acrylic (the kind we use today) was developed and launched in 1955. In that year, a company in Cincinnati, Ohio called Permanent Pigments that had been milling oil colors since 1933 (and run by a man named Henry Levison, who lived, drank, slept, and breathed artist’s colors) launched a new product. This new artists’ color was formulated with an acrylic polymer resin that was emulsified with water. The new color could go from thick to thin and everywhere in between; it would adhere to just about anything—from canvas to paper to metal to wood to plastic–and it dried quickly for easy re-working, layering, and masking. Most important, it could be thinned and cleaned up with water.

Levison tried to come up with a name that would capture the essence of the medium and the fact that it could go from fluid liquidity to heavy texture. He called his new product “liquid texture,” or Liquitex®.

“The Acrylic Book”
Liquitex Literature

Quantum entanglement is a property of the quantum mechanical state of a system containing two or more objects, where the objects that make up the system are linked in such a way that one cannot adequately describe the quantum state of any member of the system without full mention of the other members of the system, even if the individual objects are spatially separated. Quantum entanglement is at the heart of the EPR paradox that was developed by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935, and it was experimentally verified for the first time in 1972 by Stuart Freedman and John Clauser.

At a thirty frames-per-second frame rate
a ninety minute movie will project
a hundred and sixty thousand select
pictures one after the other like freight

on a train of flatcars each with one crate,
pretty crates for the viewer to inspect,
pretty crates above train tracks that connect
the railroad to the viewer’s brain substrate.

Borgy’s boyfriend wants to film a movie
about a painter who creates a scene
a single image on a rectangle

of canvas then is tortured by spooky
ways the scene changes and what it might mean
when an image and viewer entangle.

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