Klee’s “The Twittering Machine” – an old metaphor for a very modern phenomenon

I had not thought of it since Art 101 eons ago, but I was reminded of “The Twittering Machine” by a NYT article on the the Bauhaus exhibit. Crank the machine up, and those ethereal, mechanical birds start to sing their hearts out against a vast, infinite backdrop beyond measure. Klee reveals our vulnerability in small-scale images poised at the brink. Somewhere between nature and the mechanical, between the comic and the tragic, his birds “twitter” with a music that expresses how frail and vulnerable existence is. Or in today’s world, how ephemeral communication is. Perhaps that is the key to why Twittering has become so popular. A way to assert our selfhood in the face of infinity.



An articulate Tom Ford on branding, fashion and film: Excellent interview

An excellent interview with fashion designer/film maker Tom Ford on Fresh Air the other night. What began as a discussion of his new film “A Single Man” evolved into musings on the nature of branding in this modern, jaded world and the role of feminine fashion as a reflection of the zeitgeist. Kudos to a very articulate Ford who gets points for causing the usually unflappable Terri Gross to stutter as she tries to quantify the sexual energy inherent is Ford’s advertisements for Gucci and Yves St. Laurent. Of particular interest are Ford’s points about the reflexive, objectifying nature of an unthinking brand.