New Seven Wonders of the World

The world today is filled with many wonderful from natural formations that leave you speechless to magnificent feats of human ingenuity. People have been exploring and wondering over the many awe-inspiring sites in the world for centuries. In fact, it was the ancient Greeks who began the tradition of identifying the Seven Wonders of the World. That is, those sites which are so wondrous and inspiring that one should visit them if he or she wants to have a truly profound experience. Of course, for the ancient Greeks the “world” consisted entirely of the Mediterranean region. For that reason, the list has been modified over time to include wonders from all over the world.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World

The list created by the ancient Greeks included many ancient wonders that are no longer here today. There were many amazing architectural constructions and artistic creations whose splendor we can only imagine today. The list included:

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes: a 100 foot tall statue of Helios (a Greek Titan).
  2. The Lighthouse of Alexandria: a 400 foot tall lighthouse that once guided the ships coming into the largest port in Egypt.
  3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: a magnificent and magical botanical garden
  4. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  6. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  7. The Great Pyramids of Giza

Of those original seven, only one (the Great Pyramids of Giza) still exists today. Therefore, it became necessary to create an updated list of wonders, reflecting the monuments and sites that still remain. The lists have changed frequently over the years and even become more specific. Today, we have lists spanning the wonders to be found in all of existence—from the seven wonders of the natural world to the seven wonders of the industrial world. There is even a list of the seven wonders of the solar system! Continue reading “New Seven Wonders of the World” »

Differences between Art and Craft

Differences between Art and CraftAll too often, art and craft are seen as the same thing. Today, you will even find the phrases combined into the generalized hobby of “arts & crafts.” Despite this common perception, however, art and craft are two very distinct forms of human creativity. Each have their own, unique strengths and specialties.

In a nutshell, one could describe the differences between art and craft as follows:

  • Art is the use of various tools and materials in order to express an idea, emotion, or set of ideas and emotions.
  • Craft is the use of various tools and materials with the sole purpose of creating a real, tangible product.

However, this distinction is too brief and nonspecific so let’s dive deeper into the unique characteristics of each one.

Art

Artists, art historians, and art critics will all give you different answers to the troublesome question of “what is art?” These widely different definitions are part of what makes art so wonderful. It is a boundless medium of expression that can take on many different forms and meanings the imagination and conjure up. It is precisely this boundlessness which makes it so difficult to define. Continue reading “Differences between Art and Craft” »

Influences of Technology on Modern Art

Influences of Technology on Modern ArtArt has been around for as long as humanity has been making tools. The two skills grew together out of the same exceedingly creative human mind. In this way, art and technology are inextricably linked together, evolving together even if they are not evolving on exactly the same path.

As technology evolves, our lives and the world around us changes. As our lives and world change, so to do our expressions (both what we express and how we express it). In modern art, we can see this link more powerfully than ever as new technologies offer an even wider range of mediums which artists can use.

The turn of the 20th century, for example, saw major shifts in artistic mediums. It was at this time that photography was invented and with that came a whole new way of representing the world around us. Around that same time, film also emerged providing artists for the first time in history the ability to create moving pictures. This changed the scope of what could be expressed. No longer was the artist limited to expressing a single emotion or a single moment in time. With film, the artist can tell a story or show a more complex and detailed perspective of a single moment and emotion. The possibilities were endless.

Later on, the computer came into being and brought a slew of new technologies and abilities including digital media and the ability to digitally manipulate photographs and other images. This meant that there was no longer a clear distinction between representing the real through creative production (painting, drawing, etc) and depicting the real through objective mediums (photography, film, etc). Now, one could take a photograph of a real scene and manipulate to look however he or she chose. Continue reading “Influences of Technology on Modern Art” »

European Capital of Culture of 2014

2014 European Capital of CultureRiga is a capital city in Latvia, and a major center of culture in the North-Eastern Europe. I wouldn’t necessarily compare it to epicenters of the past like Alexandria, but it’s one of the most vibrant spots in the eastern world, let alone the whole country of Latvia. There are fairs, festivals and other gatherings that have people coming and going all year round. There are operas, orchestral performances and plenty of live exhibitions to see too, which is why I think Latvia’s capital city is one of the hottest spots in Europe today.

Summer is just getting started in Riga, which hosted a major event for book lovers back at the beginning of the year, right in the middle of January. Men, women and children, all joined hand in hand, passed books from the National Library of Latvia all the way to the Gaismas Pils, or Castle of Light, many kilometers away. That’s really old news though.

Still to come in July of 2014 are the World Choir Games, where tens of thousands of singers from nearly a hundred different countries will all gather together and let their voices be heard. That’s in stark contrast to the Born in Riga event, wherein a series of performers playing alone tried their hardest to outshine one another.

There are other events planned for later in the year, once the weather cools down and more people are willing to take to the streets, rather than stay inside in their air conditioning. For instance, the Staro Riga, the biggest and most expansive light show in north Europe, is coming up in the middle of November. Likewise, the European Film Academy Awards will be taking place in Riga at the close of the year, near December 13th.

These are just a few of the numerous events which have either already happened in Riga in 2014, or will be happening later on in the year. There are really too many scenes, shows, sights and sounds for me to list them all here. Instead, I want to close by sharing a short story about a time I went to Riga myself.

I already mentioned the event I attended – it was that book passing thing. I can’t remember the name of it, but I surely recall the long chain of people, stretching all the way to the horizon and rolling right over it, as far as my eyes could see and then farther still. It was at this event that I managed to visit with some local business partners who work for Citrus Solutions.

Naturally, I was somewhat surprised to see those two guys at the book passing event I attended, but it wasn’t so shocking in retrospect. They’re always going places with big crowds to be seen, be heard, spread the word about their business, that sort of thing. Anyhow, they told me about some changes they were thinking of making to www.citrus.lv, their company website.

Now, me, I’m a big fan of most human constructs. We aren’t just a part of history – we make history, each of us. They came to me for any advice on how they could make their website something that would withstand the test of time and they got what they came for, let me tell you. I should be seeing them again later this year when I revisit Riga for those film awards I spoke about.