The joy of the Internet is also its drawback: there is simply too much information, much of it excellent, for the mind to absorb. I hope that in making these suggestions for your web surfing I have singled out some of the best.

A grant of $75,000.00 USD from the NEA is designed to help artists in Los Angeles find reasonably-priced housing downtown. The City has established the "Affordable Artists' Housing Partnership" to connect artists with subsidized-rent units in the arts district, which runs about five blocks from Alameda to the Los Angeles river and from Seventh Street to the Hollywood Freeway. The Cultural Affairs Department in L. A. says their goal is to house about 90 artists in new apartments at half the market rate. Under the 2008 Housing and Recovery Act, artists and writers comprise one of the groups that the law was meant to assist.

An art Renaissance seems to be happening in the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Part of the impetus comes from the stunning redesign of the Cleveland Museum of Art with its new atrium. The Cleveland Institue of Art has also broken ground on an 80,000 square foot building which will house a film theater, galleries and classrooms. And a revived Uptown district includes MOCA Cleveland, with an upscale restaurant and lounge, a monthly "Caliente" Latin music and dance event, and a generally youth-oriented schedule.

Two artists have compiled "averages" of faces from films, using facial recognition technology. A Seoul-based pair, Shin Seung Back and Kim Yonghun, picked up faces shown in every 24 frames of a movie and then layered them over each other to create average portraits for the film.

It's not your usual TED talk, but Tom Thum performs something that he calls "The Orchestra in My Mouth". You won't believe the sounds he comes up with.

An Israeli company is planning to use the new 3D printing technology to build cars. Calling its prototype the URBEE2, Stratasys claims it can build a digital car with only 40 interlocking 3D printed parts, instead of the multiplicities of parts required for a standard automobile. The car is designed to be made of a light plastic and go up to 70 mph. Safety? No word on that yet.

The Chinese city of Chengdu has built the world's largest building, some 1.76 square metres of space for entertainment, shopping and offices. It is claimed that this space could hold four Vatican Cities. The building holds an indoor beach with palm trees, a rafting river and a fourteen-screen IMAX film center.

The field of 3D printing continues to explode, with new ideas seeming to pop up daily. One inspiring project is called "Guide4Blind",which enables blind and visually impaired people to touch models of local architecture while simultaneously suggesting safe and navigable walking routes through the city of Soest, Germany. More information about this and other innovative 3D applications can be found at the German Center for Research and Innovation.

Grayson Perry is a ceramist who won the 2003 Turner Prize. His vessels are dynamic and intricate, covered generally with graffiti, stencilling, texts and rich glazes. At closer glance we realize that we have been seduced into the darker side of his psyche: he includes social commentary on subjects like child abuse and environmental pollution. Grayson's tapestries are even more provocative, yet there is a quality to them that reminds me of the paintings of David Hockney. Definitely worth your time.

Every so often a gentle lovely site pops up on my radar and reassures me that kindness has not died. Such is the feeling I got went I went to "Letters of Note". This particular letter, dated 2009, was penned by Stephen Fry, the inimitable actor and gentleman, who responded to a letter of desperation sent by a stranger. It's called "It will be sunny one day", a message that is good to keep in mind.

The Road to Oz

Because asymmetry is so intrinsic to post-modern thinking - indeed to be politically correct symmetry must be shunned at all costs - I spent some months recently asking why, as a visual investigator, and in fact experimenting with determinedly symmetric creations. Now the BBC reports on Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and his work on symmetry in nature. To quote du Sautoy, "If you can make yourself symmetrical, you're sending out a sign that you've got good genes, you've got a good upbringing and therefore you'll make a good mate." On the other hand, you would never be a good subject for Picasso, who showed us otherwise.

Isaiah Zagar's work has been described as "Magical Mosaics". They are scattered on more than 100 walls throughout the city of Philadelphia and around the world, bringing great joy to those who live nearby. I understand that they are scattered throughout his home also, from my granddaughter who lives nearby. His biography reveals that he has traveled extensively, including three years in the Peace Corps in Peru and an artist's residency in India.

Thanks to the work of a Cornell University electrical engineering Professor, we are learning which works of Vincent Van Gogh came from the same rolls of canvas. C. Richard Johnson Jr. is currently working as an adjunct research fellow at the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands. Using computer algorithms, Johnson counts the number of individual threads per centimeter. The digital mathematics allow him to do work that would probably take several lifetimes to complete by hand.

The British Museum has shown an exhibit called "Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind". Featured particularly are sculptures of females, comparing the ancient forms to contemporary art.

Finally, Marc Quinn's disturbing sculptures are not for the faint of heart but they are certainly challenging. In one body of work, the Complete Marbles he examines amputees and other forms of body disfigurement. At the Mary Boone Gallery in New York City his head titled "Self" is striking. While you are at the Gallery, take a look at the stunning mural designs of Peter Halley/Alessandro Mendini as well.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2013