A Beautiful Mind: Stephen Wiltshire Draws New York City from Memory

A Beautiful Mind: Stephen Wiltshire Draws New York City from Memory

Steven Wiltshire (born 1974) is an accomplished architectural artist who has been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder.  Wiltshire’s work has been the subject of many television documentaries; neurologist Oliver Sacks praised his artistic work in the chapter Prodigies in his book An Anthropologist on Mars.  Stephen Wiltshire’s many published art books have included Cities (1989), Floating Cities (1991) and Stephen Wiltshire’s American Dream (1993).

Wiltshire is presently working to complete his last drawing in a series of city panoramas, this time of his spiritual home, New York City.  Wiltshire’s collection of  already completed works depicting some of the world’s most iconic cities already includes London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt, Dubai, and Jerusalem.  A 20-minute fly-over Manhattan this past weekend provided the memory for a 20-foot panorama of the city that he’s drawing throughout this week at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute.  Viewers can watch his progress on a live web cam or visit the Institute while he works from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.

A Beautiful Mind: Stephen Wiltshire Draws New York City from Memory

Slide Show: A Beautiful Mind/Stephen Wiltshire Draws New York City from Memory

(Please Click on Image to View Slide Show)

Viewers can watch his progress on a live web cam while he works from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 30, here.

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Drift Away: A Slow Glide Through Misery’s Homeless Mind

Drift Away: A Slow Glide Through Misery’s Homeless Mind

In each individual the spirit is made flesh,
in each one the whole of creation suffers,
in each one a Savior is crucified.

Hermann Hesse, Demian

Drift Away is a beautiful, but sadly melancholy 4-minute short film directed by Jean-Julien Pous and produced by Sophia Shek.  During the course of the film, a gracious and ethereal young woman slowly glides silently and all alone through the busily teeming streets of Hong Kong.  During the earliest part of the film, it’s somewhat difficult to discern exactly what’s going on in this little film, or even what the movie’s theme might be, except possibly a visual rendering of the emotional deadness of anomie and anhedonia in contemporary urban life.  The attractive young woman’s eyes acutely capture everything around her, but only the movie’s camera can catch her own eyes.  Sadly, it’s probably true that only when you’re really able to lose yourself in something or someone else, only then will you finally become capable of an emotional investment in yourself, another person and/or the world around you.  Lacking that, the despairing message for people left with a desolately barren life in the midst of the intensely seething modern world is something like: “Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me.”

Drift Away: A Slow Glide Through Misery’s Homeless Mind

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Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

Tancho is a 3-min. animated short film by the young filmmaker, Oscar Sheikh from Hong Kong. The film received the Animation award at the Hong Kong School of Creative Media’s 2009 Media Arts Showcase. Tancho attempts to illustrate with surreal visuals the world of the unconscious and its random behaviors. The film takes place on an imaginary island, a small world which shows the struggles between desire and decency. The symbolic rivalry between basic drives of the appetite and conscience is portrayed through the interactions of a Tancho Crane, a Tancho Koi and the Tree Island with its desirable insects. Both the Tancho Crane and the Tancho Koi are considered to be sacred in Japan, with their blood red spots (Tancho). The Tancho Crane, which is caught in a struggle between its “true self” and its desires, chooses to follow the path of its conscience (the Tancho Koi) at the end of the film.

Tancho: A Surreal Portrayal of Rivalry Between Conscience and Desire

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