Sunday, April 20, 2003

Of action and reaction

Via Chris Waltrip's ever-brilliant dublog comes:

A story to shatter the archaeologist's heart,

The Legacy of Genghis Khan
"At the time of his death in 1227, Genghis Khan had unified the Mongol people, organized a nearly invincible army of fearless nomadic warriors, and set into motion the first stage in the conquest of an enormous territory that would be completed by his sons and grandsons. With extraordinary speed and devastating ruthlessness the Mongols created the world’s largest empire, stretching at its greatest extent from Korea to Hungary. But the legacy of Genghis Khan extends well beyond the battlefield. The Mongols’ promotion of pan-Asian trade, their avid taste for luxury goods, and their practice of relocating artists combined to produce an unprecedented cross-fertilization of artistic ideas throughout Eurasia. This exhibition examines the important artistic and cultural achievements that occurred in the Iranian world in the aftermath of the Mongol invasions."

(I have a peculiar obsession with Mongol cultural history ... something about its sense of perpetual movement ... )

... and Octofungi, which, as if the name isn't cool enough, is "an intelligent sculpture which interacts with people and its environment and utilizes unusual materials and technologies ... Octofungi is a reactive piece. It is sensitive to changes in light and reacts upon these changes. To interact with the sculpture, a person only needs to move his hands above the eight light sensors placed around the brain frame. Depending on the 'aggressiveness' or 'gentleness' of the participant, Octofungi will manifest different behaviors."

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