The Evolution of Primitive and Sophisticated Neural Networks

neural-network

The human brain has 100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) connections and 86,000,000,000 (86 billion) neurons, which is more connections and neurons than there are stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Ironically, the majority of the most successful creatures on Earth do not have a brain; organisms like plants, coral, and jellyfish. The sea squirt is a primary example as it has just 200 neurons, allowing it only to perceive and display simple interaction with the environment by sensing light and moving its flagellum. The sea squirt moves around until it finds a rock, then it dumps its tail and uses those once dedicated neurons for different applications, staying anchored to this spot for the rest of its life. Neurons were originally designed to allow for simple motion and movement, but as evolution progressed steadily, neural networks began to build and design intelligent life which is capable of consciousness and a sense of self but also more abstract concepts like art, mathematics, and science

Prince Albert’s Philanthropic Project of the South Kensington Museum

South-Kensington-Museum

Prince Albert owned the worlds largest collection of Raphael reproductions with over 50 unique portraits. Albert commissioned a photographer to go into the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy and take photographs of all Raphael works. These photographs of course lacked color being a product of their time and technology, so hand painted versions were made using chromolithography technology. The intention of the collection was not simply to collect but rather to draw people into Windsor Castle to teach them about art history, which is actually the format in which modern day art historians teach artwork to students; in a photo library. Unlike most monarchs, Albert and Victoria wanted to feed the public with knowledge, art, and science. Albert believed that industry could place great works of art into the hands of the masses using manufacturing techniques which would cut costs dramatically. Albert was especially interested in batteries and their connection to various metals in different solutions. This borderline obsession was sparked when Albert seen a real rose turned to gold by dipping it into a chemical solution of chemicals which coated the rose, permanently changing its outer layer. This process is referred to as “electroforming” and involves dropping a dried rose into an electrically conductive material and attached to a battery. A solution of precious metal is prepared, typically gold, after which the rose is left to sit within the solution for a few moments. The rose attracts metal particulate within the solution because of its coating. Albert put on a great exhibition entitled the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851 which cost £335,742 which equates to £46,482,000 as of 2019 when accounting for inflation. The revenue from this project was £522,000 which equates to £72,269,000 as of 2019. Over 6,000,000 (6 million) people attended and exhibits from 25 countries were featured. Albert took the profits from this endeavor and purchased South Kensington Museum, a building which would be used solely for art, science, and industry to be displayed for the public. Because of Alberts involvement and enormous success, South Kensington Museum started to become referred to as “Albertopolis” meaning “City of Albert” in Greek. South Kensington Museum is the embodiment of Alberts enlightened belief that culture and learning should be at the very heart of any successful nation. South Kensington Museum opened on 1857 and is referred to during the modern day as the “Victoria and Albert Museum” or the abbreviation “V&A”. South Kensington Museum is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design and sculpture and houses a permanent collection of over 2,270,000 (2.27 million) pieces. Alberts favorite place to get away in Buckingham Palace is the Print Room where his collection of Raphael’s are stored. Victoria could not bear to even enter the room for months after Alberts untimely death at age 42 in 1861

The Defiant American Natural Landscape Art Form and Luminism

Albert-Bierstadt-Among-the-Sierra-Nevada-California-American-landscape

Artists in the America’s who continually pushed further west, pioneered the technique of “luminism” which used light effects and concealed brush strokes to create paintings which were considered so overwhelming detailed that opera glasses were needed to fully appreciate their true beauty. The American landscape was psychologically bore out of feelings of inferiority and competition with the European continent, as the Americas at this time were not the industrialized indomitable power they are today, but rather a fairly poor country still developing itself and not yet having reached the same milestones which Europe had already accomplished. During the 18th and 19th century, those living in the Americas rejected the notion that Rome, Italy was the center of art and that the best landscapes with the highest and most spectacular mountains were only found in places like France and Switzerland, as the west had its own mountains and its own unique monoliths and animals which could be depicted and celebrated to create American pride within the American landscape

Chinese Landscape Painting

chinese-landscape-painting

Landscape painting came into itself during the 10th century in China and by the 11th century, the art form had inlaid deep roots into the Song Dynasty and Chinese culture as a whole. Painting academies were established and books were written about the philosophy and practice of landscape art. It was believed by the Chinese that to be Chinese was to be civilized and to be civilized was to paint. While Europe was in the depths of the Dark Ages, and the Mayan civilization in Central America was collapsing, the Chinese were trading in paper money and developing and using advanced technologies like gun powder. Perspective Chinese bureaucrats were expected to demonstrate artistic talent by taking and passing examinations in calligraphy before being able to serve in government roles

Giorgio Vasari; The Person Accredited with Creating the Term “Renaissance”

giorgio-vasari-renaissance

The person who is accredited with creating the term “renaissance” is Giorgio Vasari. Vasari published a book entitled “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori” which means “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” in Italian. The book is often shortened in its title and called “The Lives of Artists”. This book has over the centuries become the most influential art book of all time. Within the preface of the book, Vasari uses the term “rinascita” which means “rebirth” in Italian, to describe what was going on around him. Vasari stated that under the ancient Greeks and ancient Roman’s, art and civilization reached it’s highest levels of perfection, and that when the barbarians which are modern day Germans, arrived in Italy, the arts as a whole fell to ruins. The Renaissance is considered to have occurred between 1400 – 1600, with the beginning and end dates being slightly vague on each end

Islamic Carpet Design

Islamic-carpet

Carpet weaving is thought to have originated in Central Asia more than 2000 years ago, but it was the Islamic culture which shifted it into an art form. Many Islamic traditions have long frowned upon the depiction of sentient beings depicted in western art and because of this, carpet makers created landscapes of bright colors and complex patterns, with the mark of different tribes and ethnic groups recognized by the various dyes and pattern styles utilized. Patterns are so prevalent in Islamic culture because it is a form of expression which is permitted, unlike many others which go against the direct teachings of the Quran. It’s common for patterns to contain an eye somewhere along the line as a protective measure, or a small script to give thanks and praise to Allah, and sometimes even small depictions of hidden meanings like the head of a bird without the rest of its body. Typically, duplicates of the same Islamic carpet are not created, as the artist who created the original design did so because they felt a particular emotion during the creative process and because the same mood is or was not felt during the next carpet, the design is different to reflect the new mood experienced. The golden age of the Islamic carpet occurred during the 17th century when landscape art worked its way into these carpets causing them to become portable gardens of paradise. The images portrayed were not intended to hold a mirror up to nature, but to reflect what human beings value most of nature

Ansel Adams’ Genius and Process

Ansel-Adams

The American photographer Ansel Adams pushed the mechanical process of photography into an art form during the 1920’s. Adams’ method was to work backward from the image he had visualized within his mind and then anticipate the moment when the light and subject could be seen at their most illuminating. During Adams’ day, color photography was considered crass, as color photography was thought not to contain nuance and the subtlety which matched the real world. Black and white photography allowed for a beautiful range of tonalities which was abstract but still considered to be realism artwork during the period. Today, with much more sophisticated technology and color materials, the world can be photographed accurately with many different nuances. Ironically, black and white now appears as an abstract artistic medium in comparison to full color photographs