Tate Modern celebrates work of black artists from civil rights movement

A woman looks at the sculpture Black Unity 1968, by Elizabeth Catlett, in the Soul of a Nation exhibition.

You hear the exhibition before you see it – the booming voice of Dr Martin Luther King resonating through the Tate Modern galleries.

King’s rousing words in Washington in 1963 inspired the black communities of America to protest, march and sing for their rights Now for the first time, the show at the Tate Modern shows how they also drove an entire generation of artists – long ignored by history – to paint, sculpt, print and take photographs.

Curator Mark Godfrey said the show – Soul of a Nation – had been born from the Tate’s drive to collect more African-American art from the period. Godfrey added that they realised during the research that the artists took a very multifaceted approach to what it meant to be a black artist, who they should make their work for and how the omnipresence of the political struggle of the black community should be represented.

“The question ‘is there a black art’ runs through every room in this show and the answer is different every time, from one group of artists to another,” said Godfrey. “Even if you’re talking about overtly political work, you’ll get one type of work that was made in Chicago and another type of work that was made by Emory Douglas, who designed the Black Panther newspaper.

“They both may have been making images of the Black Panther leaders but Wadsworth Jarrell in Chicago wanted to make those extremely colourful and Douglas would use just two colours and a very different graphic style.”

Soul of a Nation examines what it meant to be black and an artist during the civil rights movement, from 1963 – when the idea of black power was emerging in America – through to 1983. With each room of the exhibition orientated around the different artistic movements and cities where they originated, from LA to Chicago to New York, the core principle tying the show together is that there was, and still is, no single vision of what constituted “black art” or a “black aesthetic”.

The majority of the work has not been displayed in the UK before and it is also the first time a painting dedicated to civil rights leader Malcom X, by Jack Whitten, has ever been exhibited after it was uncovered in the basement of his studio in Queens, New York, when the curators were researching the show.

A fragment of the Wall of Respect, a revolutionary civil rights mural in South Side, Chicago painted in 1967 and mostly destroyed by a fire in 1971, is also on display – its first time being shown in the UK.

Jae Jarrell with her Revolutionary Suit, remade in 2010.
 Jae Jarrell with her Revolutionary Suit, remade in 2010. Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

Godfrey said that even though many of the works had since entered major American museum collections, there was a notable disparity between how black and white artists were treated.

“At the time, the museums were more likely to collect the abstract art than they were to collect the political and figurative art,” he said. “Or major American museums would buy one work by an artist and that would be it, they wouldn’t follow their career in the same way they would follow the career of a number of white artists. Or they would buy a work but not display it, and it would go into their storage.”

Two of the founding members of the AfriCOBRA collective formed in Chicago in the late 1960s, married couple Wadsworth Jurrell, 87, and Jae Jurrell, 81, said it was extremely moving to walk through the Tate show.

“It’s still so powerful,” said Jae. “Wadsworth and I always believed that the artists were the visionaries that gave beauty and guidance to communities at that time. All I can advise the world is ‘don’t sleep’ because we are still around and we have left a visual imprint. We outsmarted those who ignored us because we may be old but we are here.”

Her husband said that the show also highlighted how many of the battles that had driven the art during the civil rights movement were still being fought in today’s racially divided America.

“We’ve only had cosmetic changes, significant change hasn’t happened even with a black president,” Wadsworth said. “Those ethical racial issues we were talking forty, fifty years ago are still issues today, and they are still at the forefront. Institutional racism has not changed.”


Nest Thermostat now comes in black, white and copper

Nest Thermostat now comes in black, white and copper

Nest Thermostat looks good. It’s hard not to spot it on the wall and appreciate the simplicity of the design, compared to the off-white plastic thermostat of yesteryear.

Nest has announced that the Thermostat is now available in three more colours, in addition to the stainless steel version that’s already available.

The three new colours are black, white and copper. But beauty is more than just skin deep. This isn’t just a case of painting, or providing a coloured cover for the existing devices.

Instead, Nest has taken care to ensure that the application and finish of these colours will fit in with the high-quality interior of your home.

The white, for example, is pure and simple, but takes 48 hours of baking in the oven to get the finish perfect.

The black finish has a carbon coating and contains silicon, carbon and titanium. It’s hard wearing, scratch-resistant and is oleophobic, so greasy fingers don’t leave marks on it. It’s a similar coating to the black Apple Watch.

Finally you have copper, which we have to say is turning into the technology color du jour. In this case, to ensure the rich copper colouring, the copper is electroplated on steel.

The new coloured Nests will be available through Nest.com, and at John Lewis. The Nest Thermostat costs £199 standalone, or £249 with installation.


[Source:- pocket-lint]

BT Smart Hub wants to kill your home’s black spots

British Telecom has revealed its new BT Smart Hub, which will re-energise its Wi-Fi signal and make it the most powerful signal available in Britain compared to routers from other broadband providers.

BT is aiming to offer a faster and broader service, with more locations and a reduction in dropped receptions and an increase in reliable speeds. It’s planning to do this with a larger array of antennae – seven in total, which is more than any other broadband provider operating in the UK today. It will use the latest AC Wi-Fi tech so you can use multiple devices on the same signal without that drop in speed’s we’ve become accustomed to.


“Customers want a quality connection throughout their homes and the new BT Smart Hub delivers the UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal so customers can enjoy Wi-Fi in more places,” says Pete Oliver, MD consumer, commercial, marketing and digital at BT. “It’s packed with the latest wi-fi technology and is the only router from a major UK broadband provider to offer 7 antennas to offer unbeatable Wi-Fi range.”

Launching in the summer, the new BT Smart Hub will be small enough to be posted through your door – so need to worry about booking a day off to receive a package – and will be made available to existing BT customers first. Current BT Infinity customers get get access to one by reorganising their contract or via a fee of £50.



[Source: T3]

Nest Cam’s Black Friday Deal is Live!

We knew it was coming. When Nest bought the camera maker DropCam for a cool half billion last year, it seemed inevitable that a surveillance camera would be Nest’s third big hardware release. Today, Nest announced Nest Cam—along with a subscription service called Nest Aware.

The Camera

Let’s start with the Cam, which popped up on BestBuy’s website a few minutes before the announcement. It’s a kissing cousin to DropCam’s models—not a huge surprise that Nest has done a fairly straightforward rebranding of the product it acquired last year, though there have also been some upgrades: A redesigned body for example, with a magnet that will make it far easier to hang around the house. The camera itself still streams 1080p video with a 130 degree field of view, and many of the other features will feel familiar to any DropCam user.

The Service

So what about Aware? This is Nest’s cloud-powered subscription service for its new camera, first uncovered on Home Depot’s site by Wired; it lets you do things like visit your camera’s month-long history, share clips, and define “activity zones,” where the cam will alert you if it notices any kind of movement (in a baby’s crib, say, or a foyer). Another cool feature will make you a time lapse using footage—whether of your whole day or a project you’re working on.

How much will it cost? Nest has yet to confirm with us, but it sounds as though it will be a two-tiered subscription service based on history length. A 30-day history will cost you $30 per month, while 10 days of retrieval powers will run $10 per month, according to Alice Truong on Twitter.

Meanwhile, privacy, as always, will be an important issue with the cloud-based service, which went unmentioned at today’s announcement.

The App

We’ve always known that Nest wanted its products to talk to each other, but it hasn’t been explicit about what that means yet.

Not only does Cam use the same UI language as Protect and Thermostat—and the same system of hue-based notifications—it’s also wired to work with its sister products now through a new app announced today.

This is what gives us a real glimpse at Nest’s grand plan: For example, if your Nest Protect senses smoke, Cam will automatically turn on and ping you so you can see what’s going on. This has been a hugely annoying part of owning a Protect—when I get a notification on my phone, it’s impossible to check what’s going on remotely.

In other words, Nest just added eyes to its smelling, feeling home sensing system. Google is getting serious about building an all-seeing, all-knowing intelligent architecture—and we’ll just have to wait and see what that architecture will ultimately mean for users, especially when it comes to privacy.

Go check out Nest Cam’s specs on Best Buy—you can pre-order one for $200 right now. No word on how much the Aware subscription will cost, but I’ll update this post when we know more.


[Source: Gizmodo]

Turn to the dark side with black interiors

mirror from the French Bedroom Company

As residents of the northern hemisphere, we’ve been conditioned to welcome as much sunlight as possible into our homes, and that includes the use of pale colours to illuminate a room.

So it’s hard to put that to one side and consider a dark colour scheme, let alone the darkest one of all: bold, moody, opulent black. There’s a definite predilection for black emerging in design – in architecture, charred or stained timber cladding is the preferred choice for many contemporary new builds, and more architects are specifying black window frames.

Interiors are echoing this, with glazed Crittall dividing walls, rooms crisply outlined in black paint used on the skirtings and architraves, and even whole rooms. “People are not intimidated to wear black in daily life, but seem to be scared to use it in interiors,” says Niloufar Bakhtiar-Bakhtiari of NBB Design. “Dark colours are soothing, cosy and simultaneously elegant, and these are wonderful qualities in a room.”

Bakhtiar-Bakhtiari owns a glamorous all-black bathroom, which features metallic scrolls looping along the walls, a mirrored wall and lots of open shelving, with backlighting to silhouette books and other objects dramatically. It demonstrates how, in rooms with little or no natural light, you’re often better off embracing it and going for the high drama that black can bring.

A black bath by BC Designs
A black bath by BC Designs

Many objects positively sing when they are set against a dark background, a trick that interiors stylists have been pulling for years to make furniture and accessories look amazing in photoshoots.

“We often suggest that clients should set their artwork against a black backdrop, as it enhances pieces dramatically,” says Bakhtiar-Bakhtiari.  The recent trend for metallic finishes in furniture and lighting is a fantastic match for dark shades: a brass table light or steel console against a black wall provide maximum contrast.

“We use dark finishes in rooms with little natural light,” says Christopher Peacock, founder of the cabinetmakers of the same name. “As long as it’s juxtaposed against light walls, or reflective materials like metallic wall coverings, it can work really well. I use dark colours in master bathrooms, kitchens and dressing rooms without hesitation.

One of many shades of black by Mylands paints
One of many shades of black by Mylands paints

If you surround the cabinetry with texture, it takes on a very sophisticated feel.” If you’re thinking about painting a wall or whole room black, balance it with some lighter surfaces, too, says Helen Shaw, director at Benjamin Moore paints. “People get fixated about the colour on the wall, and don’t think about the light reflectiveness of everything else,” she says. “If you have a big sofa in a light colour or a dining table with a gloss finish, those rooms can take darker colours better.”

Adriel Lack, creative head of residential interiors for architecture and interiors studio SHH, pins the current trend on the influence of industrial design. “We’re definitely steering towards something edgier,” she says. “That’s partly down to the confidence of the client to go for a darker palette, but it also picks up on the New York loft look.”

But not every room in a house should get the dark treatment. It should be reserved for those used mostly at night, or that need a cosy ambience. The trick to successful black interiors is to create visual interest through texture. “Although there’s something very sumptuous and luxurious about a matt finish that absorbs the light, if you’re playing with strong colours you need a combination of matt and glossy, as well as other contrasting textures such as woven leather or timber veneer.”

A wire gazelle by Bend
A wire gazelle by Bend

Lack’s perfect pairings for black are other neutrals, such as “concrete greys, steely blues or taupes – those softer colours that appeal to everyone, which are sharpened up by having a dark contrasting colour. I would keep it monochromatic rather than mixing bright colour with it”.

Plenty would disagree, though. Emerald green and dusky pink are two colours that are frequently paired with black at the moment, and one of Benjamin Moore’s suggested colour trends for 2016 is a Mondrian-esque palette of black, white and primary colours, with the colour used sparingly to highlight architectural features such as doors and window recesses.

Benjamin Moore has 30 different shades of black and supplies every colour in a variety of finishes, meaning huge flexibility when it comes to creating understated effects. “There are blacks with tones of green, red, blue, purple… those subtleties give a scheme a level of refinement that you don’t get with an off-the-shelf product,” says Shaw.

So, armed with good advice from the experts, it needn’t be a leap in the dark to make the best of black.

[Source:- Telegraph]