March 09, 2006
Cubism Revisited

As a tireless modernist, I've always been fascinated by some of the avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, like Cubism, surrealism, and Dada. Though I learned about them all well before the heyday of the Internet, I am curious to see how they are represented in the virtual world. So I have started with Cubism.

Generally speaking, on the Web Cubism is most often a favored word for puns about office life or ruminations about the Rubik's cube. There are some good histories and, of course, lots of places to buy posters. What I like best, though, are the sites that are revisiting Cubism or doing anything interesting with its ideas:

First, an overview.

In the spirit of Dali: this blog, which features musings on modernists and surrealists. Fun to read, but I could do without the animated flying tadpoles, or whatever they are, that run across the screen.

See also Cubistro, The institute of Applied Cubism, which includes a visual Cubist timeline in progress.

Further afield, Cubism in Asia is currently at the Singapore Museum of Art.

This blog details the author's "life in Prague and my dissertation research on early Czech surrealism."

Oddest find of all these examples of "Landscape found art and origins of cubism." That is to say, Edward Tufte highlights found rocks that look like cubist art (or, as one commenter to the site has wittily put it, "brick-a-Braque").

Check out the nifty Soviet propaganda-style design and typography in this blog about art and culture, with a special interest in Cubism.

Nice. Educational, even. But was being nice and educational ever the point of Cubism? Not really. So it is appropriate that the word seems to be a favorite in comment spam and weird nonsensical fake blogs (sample: "Mp3 ringing tones l'observe travelled from the slieveen to Leith and back, again to the cubism as if he was trying to irresolute a criminal poussant between the two.") (I have heard these kinds of sites called both "splogs" or "zombie blogs." Either way, this article says they are evil.)

Strangely, this usage seems fairly organic, although the Cubists themselves might not have liked the thought of serving as product placement on bot-generated advertising blogs no one reads. Oddly, I found trying to read this one a lysergic joy, so I will close with an appreciation (but not a link). I enjoyed this sentence particularly: "I toss'd tusked to Lympne because I had rosated it the most uneventful place in the accusavit." I mean, haven't we all been there? Best of all is this image: "Then a inseparability crawled clear of the undergrowth, rose up, and tyrannised over the lariat with a sleepest in his scolopendria." I, too, want to tyrannize over the lariat. But please stay out of my scolopendria.

Posted at March 09, 2006 08:54 PM

Thanks for linking to my blog. I'll try to add some more Czech cubist material soon!

Posted by: karla on March 10, 2006 01:01 AM
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