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22.9.10

BH.net: new writing from our "artistes," chiefly Laos, Peru, London & Hawaii

We like to consider our contributors at BH as true artistes. Now this word is thrown around quite a bit, and perhaps its meaning is misunderstood these days. To clarify:
artiste 1823, from Fr. artiste, a reborrowing of artist after the sense of artist had become limited toward the visual arts and especially painting.
Artistes harken back to the original definition of the term, artist, which is exactly the definition we use at BH in consideration of our "Artists" section. It is traced to the 16th century.
artist 1580s, "one who cultivates one of the fine arts," from M.Fr. artiste (14c.), from It. artista, from M.L. artista, from L. ars (see art (n.)). Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for "one skilled in any art or craft" (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of "one who practices the arts of design or visual arts" (a sense first attested 1747).
We won't include the entire definition for the term, "art," but we will summarize its essential origins: from the Latin for "skill" or "craft," an "art" was also related with "scholarship and learning" in the Middle English. It was especially associated with the seven sciences (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy - also known as the liberal arts). Today some of these sciences may read as boring subjects forced upon children and adolescents in school. But for the Ancients, the seven sciences essentially represented the sum total of human knowledge and understanding of the universe.

And so, we notice, our contributors practice their craft of Grammar and Rhetoric, writing from their experiences, and from their souls. No doubt the same Muses visit them, feeding their craft, and helping them to take their wandering observations and shape them into a form they can share with the rest of us. Though unlike the Ancients, our contributors have a few extra tools in their bags: cameras, computers, and of course, this strange and wonderful Internet.


Aguas Calientes, Peru
1. Aguas Calientes: In a Postcard by new artist, Megan Eileen McDonough:
Staring out the left side of the train, I slipped into a dreamlike state imaging what adventures Aguas Calientes would bring. The train trudged along the rails, winding up and down the vast mountain range. We passed locals working the fields and I found myself craving a glimpse into their lives. In our speed they disappeared into the distance and out of my mind.
Read "Aguas Calientes: In a Postcard" >>


Ancon, Peru
2. Ancon: Giving in to the Freedom of Feeling Powerless, part two McDonough's Peruvian trio:
They invited me to their Beach & Yacht Club, and upon entering the doors, I simultaneously stepped into a world of extravagance I rarely visit. There was a large pool, a stocked bar and restaurant, and white lawn chairs for tanning. Looking around, beauty covered every inch of space.
Read "Ancon: Giving in to the Freedom of Feeling Powerless" >>


Cuzco, Peru
3. Cuzco: Finding Hope in Unlikely Places, McDonough's final installment:
The taxi whipped through streets, up hills, and through markets with no traffic lights or stop signs. I barely blinked for fear I would miss some important detail of my new surroundings. I couldn't help but recall how casually I had decided to travel through South America. Frustrated with my parents for wanting me to stay in the States, I now better understood their concern as I looked out the taxi window into a world of poverty I would never know.
Read "Cuzco: Finding Hope in Unlikely Places" >>


Pakse & What Phu, Champasak, Laos
4. Laughter and the Mekong by new artist, Brent Katte:
Linguists estimate the number of bona fide world languages somewhere around 6,000, give or take a couple hundred, with the number of dialects well into hundreds of thousands. But laughter, everyone agrees, is universal, sounding more or less the same despite continent or ethnicity. Before babies learn to speak, they can laugh, usually starting around four months, even those born deaf or blind. Laughter, more than anything, appears to be a universal mechanism, a language that everyone shares.
Read "Laughter and the Mekong" >>


London, England
5. London Spots by new artist, James C. Kao:
As I consider moving back to New York, I find myself feeling slightly nervous to be leaving a place that so embraces creative freedom and boasts an abundance of diversity. But as I see it, London is more creative "ideality" and New York more creative "reality." Nonetheless, London is a place with spots of special spaces, and I shall list mine...
Read "London Spots" >>



Oahu, Hawaii, United States
6. Oahu: Sharing an Aloha by Kristen Kosnac:
The clouds hang low as we ascend into the mountains of Honolulu, which seems to be touching the heavens. The surrounding terrain is a lush shade of green like nothing I have ever seen in any part of the mainland; the celestial beauty begins to lull me into a trancelike state as we drive.
Read "Oahu: Sharing an Aloha" >>


London, England
7. Review: SHOWstudio's Fashion Revolution by T.S.J.:
I wondered: do we experience fashion, or specifically high fashion, in the same sense as we do graphic design, advertising, industrial design, music, dance, theatre, or even sometimes contemporary art? High fashion is restricted to the select few of the industry—the important and successful designers, photographers, stylists, editors, etc. The website of SHOWstudio and the exhibition allow those who are not in the inner circles of the industry to look into the process of fashion, especially photoshoots, and interact with models.
Read "Review: SHOWstudio's Fashion Revolution" >>

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