Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

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Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:51 am

Oh boy, what Leonardo couldn't have done with the captive subjects on the subway... Here's the poet Giovanni Battista Giraldi, whose father knew Leonardo:

"When Leonardo wished to paint a figure, he first considered what social standing and emotion it was to represent; whether noble or plebeian, joyful or severe, troubled or serene, old or young, irate or quiet, good or evil; and when he had made up his mind, he went to places where he knew that people of that kind assembled and observed their faces, their manners, dresses, and gestures; and when he found what fitted his purpose, he noted it in a little book which he was always carrying in his belt."

And Walter Isaacson says in his biography of Leonardo, with reference to Leonardo's sketchbooks:

“The more than 7,200 pages now extant probably represent about one-quarter of what Leonardo actually wrote, but that is a higher percentage after five hundred years than the percentage of Steve Jobs’s emails and digital documents from the 1990s that he and I were able to retrieve.”

It's an argument for sketchbooks on paper, and against digital art...
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Re: Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

Postby brianvds » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:01 am

Yup, whenever I bring up this issue of the evanescence of digital things, the computer nerds assure me that nothing digital will ever disappear. Not a one of them has yet demonstrated this by digging up, say, the website I ran around the year 2001.

Another 500 years, and our current history may well be virtually unknown. I mean, if you want to write a biography of, say, Charles Dickens, what do you do? You consult his letters, that's what. And newspaper reports. And so on. Nowadays, all of this stuff is done digitally, and will disappear unless heroic efforts are made to save it all.

Or so it seems to me. The computer nerds assure me I'm quite mistaken.
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Re: Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:34 pm

They must be pretty young computer nerds if they really believe that. Ask them to recover graphic data from a micro tape written to by an Epson Paris only one generation ago, and they can't. The micro tape is a still extant medium, so I'm making this easy. As for graphics written to 8"/5.25"/3.5" disc 25 years ago or even CD or DVD much closer than that, they're magnetically or chemically degraded already. Ask them to find you a working Bernoulli reader for "optical discs". Your art stands in the "cloud" only while you pay and the cloud master remains in business, and on wannabe archives of record like Waybackmachine only while someone pays for the electricity to keep it alive. That's all distributed storage means.
Last edited by Andre Jute on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

Postby brianvds » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:05 am

Apparently even NASA has trouble now to access some of the Viking data from the 1970s. In all the excitement about computer technology, no one thought of this issue for a long time.
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Re: Leonardo makes an argument for subway subjects

Postby Alitogata » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:55 am

The funny thing is that we rely more and more on digital technology for our archives while the main problem of the modern world is all about Energy.
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