Published on 11 Oct 2017
Published on 11 Oct 2017
The image, meant to prompt discussion about immigration, is the latest installation by French artist JR.
Sep 9, 2017
View of JR’s artwork on the US-Mexico border in Tecate, California [Guillermo Arias/AFP]
A photo of a giant toddler stands in Mexico and peers over a steel wall dividing the country from the United States.
The boy appears to grip the barrier with his fingers, leaving the impression the entire thing could be toppled with a giggle.
A French artist who goes by the moniker “JR” erected the cut-out of the boy that stands nearly 20 metres tall and is meant to prompt discussion about immigration.
On Friday, a steady stream of people drove to the remote section of wall near the Tecate border crossing, about 64km southeast of San Diego.
Border officers warned visitors to keep the dirt road clear for their patrols and not pass anything through the fence.
On the Mexico side, families scrambled down a scrubby hillside to take selfies with the artwork. Children in school uniforms played tag under the scaffolding supporting the photo.
People on each side of the wall waved to each other.
JR has done other large-scale portraits around the world, with much of his recent work focused on immigrants.
He told reporters at Wednesday’s unveiling of the portrait that he was spurred by a dream in which he imagined a kid looking over the border wall.
“And when I woke up, I wondered: ‘What was he thinking?'” he said. “Like for us we know all the implications, what it represents, how it divides, but for a kid, I didn’t have the answer.”
A year later, when JR was scouting for the perfect spot for his project, he noticed a house in Tecate near the border wall. He and a Mexican friend knocked on the door to see about the possibility of locating it around there.
After they drove away, it occurred to him that the 1one-year-old at the home who had been staring at them reminded him of the boy he had dreamed about.
JR and his friend immediately went back. The artist asked the woman if he could photograph her son. She knew his work and agreed.
JR told the New York Times that the idea that borders should be closed is for him, “not a discussion”.
“As an artist, I try to bring back perspective,” he said. “For this little kid, there are no walls and borders.”
The artwork was unveiled the week US President Donald Trump said he would end a programme that has allowed young immigrants who were brought to the US without documents as children to remain in the country.
The administration also accepted more proposals for its plans to build a continuous wall along the nearly 2,000-mile border.
JR said he did not intend for the project in Tecate to coincide with the news about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, known as DACA.
Sections of wall on the Mexican side have been covered with paintings of everything from butterflies to an upside-down American flag.
JR has erected other large-scale portraits in the slums of Paris, from the top of buildings in Rio de Janeiro, and set up giant photo booths from Israel and Palestine to the US.
The latest piece will remain in Tecate for a month. JR hopes people will view it from each side.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies
With permission from
Sept 3, 2017
An established but little known psychological theory is likely to improve performances across a range of activities, including sport, according to new research published that can be applied to amateurs or skilled performers alike says psychologist Dr Warren Mansell, from The University of Manchester.
Many philosophers believed that all behaviors are predetermined and have a causal lineage. Some of the factors believed to influence determinism include genetics, environment, and past and present experiences.
Adam Bear, Ph.D performed a couple of simple experiments to test how we experience choices.
What role does memory play in directing our attention to specific details in our surroundings?
Results of Perceptual Control Theory experiments have demonstrated that an organism controls neither its own behavior, nor external environmental variables, but rather its own perceptions of those variables. Actions are not controlled, they are varied so as to cancel the effects that unpredictable environmental disturbances would otherwise have on controlled perceptions. According to the standard catch-phrase of the field, “behavior is the control of perception.”
The theory argues that when trying to improve performance, teaching people what to do is less effective than teaching them how to picture the outcome.
Higher level control systems often are able to use known strategies (which are themselves acquired through prior reorganizations) to seek perceptions that don’t produce the conflict. Normally, this takes place without notice. If the conflict persists and systematic “problem solving” by higher systems fails, the reorganization system may modify existing systems until they bypass the conflict or until they produce new reference signals (goals) that are not in conflict at lower levels.
It has been already been used to accurately model the skills necessary for fielders to get to the right location on the pitch to catch a ball, such as in baseball or cricket.
But according to Dr Mansell, it could be used across sport and the performing arts.
To test the theory, the 48 participants in Dr Mansell’s study were asked to draw images using different instructions.
The images ranged from complex to simple symbols and participants were asked to either copy them directly, copy from memory, or copy by giving instructions on how to move the pen. They were also told draw the image after being told what it looked like.
Describing the image led to significantly more accurate drawings than giving the instructions for what movements to make.
He said: “We commonly instruct people in terms of the physical actions they must carry out in order to perform any task.
“Our study – which we think is the first of its kind – tests the effect of describing how to perform a skill in terms of the perception of the outcome compared to the observable actions.
“And the results were fascinating: the accuracy of the drawings where participants were told what to perceive was almost as good as copying the image directly.”
The theory could also be applied to dance, says Dr Mansell: learning a complex routine is all about an internal sense of where it feels right, rather than obsessing on movements, he argues.
He added: “There is a physiological explanation to this: muscle groups interfere with each other by contracting against another when performing a variety of tasks – whether that’s drawing, dancing or catching a ball.
“So you may not be able to accurately instruct your limbs what to do, but creating a mental picture of the desired outcome gets around that in efficient manner.
Carla Brown-Ojeda, the student who conducted the study, explained: “Different coaches in sport use a wide array of methods, some of which involve the coach directly instructing the learner how to move. Yet if our research generalises, then a simpler, purely ‘perceptual’, method might be developed.”
Aug 22, 2017
Because exotic animals, such as the African serval, the South American capuchin monkeys, and the Australian kangaroo, are considered to be cute, there’s a black market trade from which humans can collect them as pets.
All of these animals were cruelly plucked from their natural habitats and sold on the black market. Fortunately, they were later rescued by an organization in California.
Because exotic animals, such as the African serval, the South American capuchin monkeys, and the Australian kangaroo, are considered to be cute, there’s a black market trade from which humans can collect them as pets. Unfortunately, when this happens, they lose more than their freedom. Sometimes, the animals also lose their lives due to negligence as well as living in conditions which are less than ideal.
Fortunately, the sanctuary Animal Tracks, which is located in Agua Dulce, California, specializes in procuring and caring for the black market pets. And recently, they teamed up with a Los Angeles-based photographer Natasha Wilson of De Anastacia Photography to showcase the creatures’ diverse beauty and strengths.
Entitled Where the Wild Things Are, the collection is both stunning and educational. It features models wearing color-coordinated outfits and incorporates vivacious nature-inspired backdrops that remind one of the habitats from which the animals were cruelly plucked.
Though many of the animals endured various forms of cruelty, they appear completely dignified and at peace in the series. Scroll through the captivating images below and explore each of their stories.
In this edition on SPOTM: Ashley Graham, Buzz Aldrin, Bella Hadid, and Jim Carrey’s highly symbolic paintings.
As usual, the one-eye sign was everywhere in pop culture this month. One truly needs to be blind to NOT see it and how it represents the industry being owned by a small elite.
Special thanks to everyone who sent it pics!
on June 6, 2017
Japanese artist Nobuhiro Nakanishi creates sculptural works that attempt to preserve a singular moment in the natural world, capturing deeply pigmented sunsets and brightly-lit forests in a series he’s titled Layer Drawings. To produce the three-dimensional installations, Nakanishi first photographs an environment over a period of time. He then mounts selected images from his documentation on panels of acrylic in chronological order, allowing slight variation from frame to frame.
“We are all subject to the passing of time, yet each of us feels and perceives it in our own way,” says Nakaniski, “Time itself has no shape or boundary and cannot be fixed or grasped. When we look at the photographs in these sculptures, we attempt to fill in the gaps between the individual images. We draw from our physical experiences to fill in missing time and space, both ephemeral and vague. In this series, I attempt to depict time and space as sensations shared by both viewer and artist.”