COSMO WENMANThere are moments in history when the glare of science fiction lights the horizon.
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When I have something I think is interesting or fun enough to share, I'll find a way, and a forum, to publish it.

Here are a few writing examples dealing with art and pop culture:

Alison Goldfrapp's Glamour, Grit, and Gaze: (blog post for
Whatever else she has going for her, Alison Goldfrapp seems to have the glamorous art of being photographed with an indirect gaze and obscured eyes down to a science. [expand]

Art and Neurobiology in "The Age of Insight": (book blurb for DeepGlamour)
Writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Alexander C. Kafka reviews an interesting-looking new book on aesthetics by neuroscientist Eric Kandel: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present. Kafka quotes Kandel's analysis of Gustav Klimt's Judith and the Head of Holofernes:

"At a base level, the aesthetics of the image's luminous gold surface, the soft rendering of the body, and the overall harmonious combination of colors could activate the pleasure circuits, triggering the release of dopamine. If Judith's smooth skin and exposed breast trigger the release of endorphins, oxytocin, and vasopressin, one might feel sexual excitement. The latent violence of Holofernes's decapitated head, as well as Judith's own sadistic gaze and upturned lip, could cause the release of norepinephrine, resulting in increased heart rate and blood pressure and triggering the fight-or-flight response. In contrast, the soft brushwork and repetitive, almost meditative, patterning may stimulate the release of serotonin. As the beholder takes in the image and its multifaceted emotional content, the release of acetylcholine to the hippocampus contributes to the storing of the image in the viewer's memory. What ultimately makes an image like Klimt's 'Judith' so irresistible and dynamic is its complexity, the way it activates a number of distinct and often conflicting emotional signals in the brain and combines them to produce a staggeringly complex and fascinating swirl of emotions."

While I'm generally partial to mechanistic and evolutionary-psych analysis, and imagine that our circuits are indeed lighting up per Kandel's description, when it comes to slicing and dicing how and why art moves us, I prefer Camille Paglia's style of Freud-infused pop-culture riffing and iconography... [expand]

Iconic Glamour Images from Blade Runner and Basic Instinct:
[commentary and video analysis for DeepGlamour]
Virginia [Virginia Postrel, DeepGlamour Editor-in-chief - CW] recently tweeted and posted on Facebook asking, "What photos should absolutely be in a book on glamour?" While putting together this collection of recommendations from pop-culture, I sought out the two photos above, of Sean Young in Blade Runner and Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct.

But it wasn't until I saw them side by side that I realized how similar they are. Not only do both women know how to hold the hell out of a cigarette, but the images' contexts are nearly identical... [expand]

Commentary and video analysis:
[submission for Andrew Sullivan's "View From Your Window" Contest]

The view is of buildings overlooking Puerto Vallarta's Malecon. It's of a special spot too; a pivotal location in a great movie that helped put Vallarta on the map and gave it a place in Hollywood romance lore. [expand]

"The Walking Dead", experimental TV commentary & twitter trolling: