September: start your Fall adventures with some fine sites:

Fresh from its triumphant 15-second splash at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Whitaker's "Toe Nails" is now available in a fine printed edition put out by Exposure. The book of award-winning photographs is beautifully printed and worthy of a place on your bookshelf. You can skim through it at this site.

Computer Graphics Information Visualization has shown Whitaker's 3D printed sculptures in Barcelona this summer. You can see Wynken, Blynken and Oz with their statement at this site.

Peter Schjeldahl in the New Yorker writes about "Whistler's Mother" and why this image has become an icon. Whistler's own view was that "subject matter should be regarded merely as a pretext for adventures in aestheticism" but the impact of this portrait has gone far beyond artistic philosophy. There is something of a primal nature in this painting of motherhood that seems to resonate deeply with many of us.

Continuing with the subject of portraits, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is presenting an exhibit titled "Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends." This site gives you an interview with the two curators responsible for the show and discusses why these images deserve an equal place with Sargent's commissioned works.

You might want to don your thick skin as you look at the sculptures of cao hui. Described as "indigestible" and "fleshy", these works of resin and fibre hyper-realistically depict human body parts against ordinary objects, forcing us to realize just what we carry around in our living suitcases called bodies.

Again, perhaps dealing with more reality than we care to face, the Guardian presents us with an eyewitness video of the blasts at Tianjin, China. The intensity of the explosions reflects the toxic chemicals that were stored at the site, and reminds us of the heavy responsibility we all carry for the materials we are manufacturing and storing.

It's called "Ruth Waters, Portrait of A Sculptor" and it is an intimate and elegant view of a distinguished sculptor explaining how she approaches her work. Waters is the Founder and Director of the Peninsula Museum of Art in Burlingame, California. In this well thought-out vimeo, she takes us through her process, shows us her tools, and lets us see how she cuts and hews logs to bring out their beauty.

Gabriela Torres Ruiz has created a group of photographs that she calls "Silences", attesting to the decay and disintegration that are an inevitable process. She tries to enter a realm somewhere between reality and fantasy, and does so with mastery.

Where are we in the cosmos? What's beyond the Milky Way? These are questions that absorb not only physicists but ordinary Janes as well. Here are a couple of excellent videos that attempt to answer that and similar questions. The first one is called "Is There a Multiverse?", and it segues evenly into a Nova program that examines the possibility of alternate universes. We next take a look at "Stephen Hawkings' "The Meaning of Life", which examines mathematician John Conway's Game of Life. And finally we view two more Hawkings videos, beginning with the story of his early life, and concluding with episode Two. Hawkings wanted "to know the mind of God", and in particular to figure out how the universe began.

The Walker Art Center has mounted an exhibition of the work of American artist Jim Hodges called "Give More Than You Take". The Walker calls these pieces, which include photography, drawing, works on paper, glass, silk flowers, and even room-sized installations, "poetic reconsiderations of the material world". Additionally, the Walker has acquired Hodges' monumental sculpture composed of four 400-million-year-old boulders covered with highly polished colored steel.

In order to emphasize the tragedy of endangered species, two artists have projected digital images of animals onto the Empire State Building in New York City. The effect, in this brief showing, is dramatic and intense but makes its point.

Professor William Latham, in this TED talk, takes us through his digital creatures that look like evolutionary art. His work resembles some of my own, although our processes are different: he builds rules to follow in creating these creatures; I let the creatures themselves speak through me without rules or preconceptions. He speaks of changing old rules into new rules, to determine how these forms will evolve. I speak of no rules, as the imagination and the unconscious lead the way. (Be sure to tune in next month for our new venture with these creatures!)

The Guerilla Girls began 30 years ago to highlight gender inequalities in the world of art. They continue today, with methods of protest that are as relevant now as they were then. The message is the same; the inequalities too remain.

Paula Kovarik uses stichery and immense patience to create quilted representations of the world around us. Her work is finely detailed, complex, and elegant, while at the same time taking a hard look at how the presence of humans has desecrated the planet.

The Whitney Museum presents this sculpture called "Baby" by Thomas Houseago. We see a figure that is part human and part animal, half crawling and half walking, made of both drawing and sculpting. The combination of the two processes is unsettling. Another site, titled "As I Went Out One Morning" gives us a broader view of his aesthetic, continuing his challenging view of humans and quasi-humans.

If you watch Andy Lomas' "Hybrid Forms on vimeo, will begin to see where our 3D models, which I call blobs, fit into the world of visual imaginings. Again, Lomas uses simulation rules, whereas as you know I create in a world of no rules, but the investigations are similar.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2015