6/1: You Are Completely Surrounded

Whether below, beside or above, art is all around you today.

By Andy Young
|  Wednesday, Jun 2, 2010  |  Updated 8:52 AM CDT
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6/1: You Are Completely Surrounded

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Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., the lunar module pilot of the first lunar landing mission, stands next to a United States flag July 20, 1969 during an Apollo 11 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) on the surface of the Moon. The 30th anniversary of Apollo's moon landing is celebrated July 20, 1999. (Photo by NASA/Newsmakers)

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IT'S GOING TO WRINKLE YOUR BRAIN: There are many times when art leaves a person scratching their head, wondering what the intent behind a piece is/was. While "Boolean Valley" at the Nasher may be one of those pieces, it's doesn't exactly fit into the head scratching art category in the same way you would normally think of it. Just take a minute to wrap your brain around this. Boolean Logic consists of a set of Boolean variables whose state is determined by other variables in the network. They are a particular case of discrete dynamical networks, where time and states are discrete, i.e. they have a bijection onto an integer series. Boolean and elementary cellular automata are particular cases of Boolean networks, where the state of a variable is determined by its spatial neighbors. What the heck does that that have to do with art you say? Well it has a heck of a lot to do with the above definition we lifted from Wikipedia, but all you really need to know is that it looks really cool. That it leaves you thinking...about how pepperoni is arranged on pizza. About how may licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. You know, the big questions in life that can be answered by checking out some insanely arranged pottery on the floor of one Dallas' most respected museums. Now, go forth and think big.

BE HERE NOW: Over in Ft. Worth, the Amon Carter is showing the work of a man who was aim was “to rekindle an appreciation of the marvelous.” While it might not be as heady as what is going on over that the Nasher, there is no doubt that the work is Ansel Adams is meant to inspire awe in us that comes from the things we can see as plain as day...if we go outside, climb a mountain, bring a camera, and then capture the perfect silver gelatin portrait of it. Or we suppose we could just go check out the exhibition of forty works from the Carter’s holdings and a private collection. Or to take it straight from the Carter's mouth - "Ansel Adams was the last major artist to subscribe to the romantic tradition of American landscape, an artistic lineage that included Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Cole. He excelled at capturing a glorious American West before tourism and development marked the land." Yeah, what they said.

UP UP AND AWAY!: Are you one of those people that sits and looks at the sky -- whether it be blue or black, cloudy or star-filled -- and simply wonders, "What the heck is going on up there?" Well today the good folks over at the UT Arlington Planetarium are going to answer some of your questions with Violent Universe.  "The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to release its material into space, to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid that is too close for comfort, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to rip it apart," says the event's summary. At $5 adults, $4 children, it's half the price of a movie with twice the excitement.

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