I had heard about Google’s Ngram viewer a while ago, but it was only recently I saw some research that had used it—about the expression of emotions in twentieth-century books. If you go to the Ngram site, it opens up with a sample already in place to help exploration.
There are some limitations (including that the data only relates to published books), but for writers, historians, anyone interested in culture, the Ngram viewer can help to create new insights. It is really worth taking a while to get to know it.
Artnatomia is a tremendously clever use of Flash and a great educational tool. It is the inspirational work of art teacher and artist, Victoria Contreras Flores, who, with a contrary view of the demands of the art market, has decided to concentrate on using new tools and media to express herself and teach her students.
Her web site is at http://www.victoriacontreras.com.
From Victoria Contreras Flores (in very expressive English) to Stephen J. Williams:
In fact I begun to project this ARTnatomy tool just by necessity, as a ‘war tool’ for my pupils, by the time I taught at a little University which had not any subject in Anatomy (during a five years career!). In order to provide them the minimum information, and also make my job easier, I begun this work, which finally I have presented as an academic investigation.
I don’t have any agent or gallery. I broke my relation with last one two years ago.
By the time I was a fine arts student, abstract expressionism worked as the real academicism at the Universities and the Art Market. In this lineal and scientifist (and mistaken) conception of progress applied to art, figurative art was despised as old. Nevertheless, I have always be interested in the representation of the world and the human being, and my readings, in the tradition of heterodox thought. I have always been an outsider (I don’t like vernissages… [A ‘vernissage’ is a private viewing of paintings before a public exhibition—SJW.]) very critic with the art market: as you see, this is not the best way to become a successful artist.
By the time I discovered digital tools, I begun to find another way to pay my bills and a powerful medium to experiment and mix all of my other interests (music, narration, movies). Nevertheless, as guarantee of ‘seriousness’, the ‘modern critic’ tends to demand to the author a specialisation, for me narrow and suspicious: it is supposed that if you make oil paintings, you cannot be a good escultor, or work with computers, or vice versa; nevertheless, the incursions of Leonardo or Picasso in any scope are well understood as virtues and richness… Far from trying to compare myself to them, nevertheless, I do not put any limits to me, because I work by passion and curiosity (the rest, concerns nothing to me and I am sent to results). Rather than this, I brush often the most unconscious audacity, putting me in lands where still I am only an apprentice (3d or writing, for example. The section ‘Toxtexts’ in my web is where I put my ‘essais’ and my ‘poems’, sorry just in Spanish).
As you see, in this way, I have preferred to have my name forgotten by art critics (as I forgot theirs), to work in freedom. I think the Internet is much more alive than the market of the traditional arts and less won by the ‘intermediaries’. Find more interesting artists in the network than in Arco or Basel, and I do not have any doubt that if Leonardo da V. were raised again, he would be hooked to his computer, ‘playing God’ gladly, with tools that include supports, brushes, pencils, music and movement. If to similar playful possibility we add the reproductivity and accessibility advantage to him to be—not only economically—for any bourgeois, the computer opens for the creation a new door of revolutionary consequences: the real possibility of insurgency of ‘I do all by myself because I don’t need anybody else’. As always, another thing is the use that everyone does of the instrument: the new tools raise the challenge to combine with sense creation and technology, to produce an art of quality that assume applications, utility; the objective would have to take care of recover for the creative activity the place and the function in the society (more natural, less sacred) than narrow dichotomies and bad interpretation of history, snatches to him.
—Victoria Contreras Flores
Artnatomia.net is a great site: the best use of Flash on the web I’ve ever seen.
Have a play! If you’re interested in drawing the human face, you may have found an invaluable resource. Artnatomia is a finalist in an award for the use of Flash on the web.