May 12th, 2011

Portrait as a Renaissance artist-enginee


I am not at Kalamazoo this week, although many other throngs of medievalists are. At least I don't have to choose between c. 60 competing sessions per time block for the next four days? The downside is that I'm missing the K'zoo reunion.

If you are at Kalamazoo, however, you might be interested in this 10 am Saturday session:

Session 400
Bernhard Brown & Gold Room

Technology in Medieval Literature
Sponsor: AVISTA: The Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Medieval Technology, Science, and Art
Organizer: Shana Worthen, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Presider: Katie Peebles, Marymount University

"Disciplinary Mechanisms: Automata and Knights in Twelfth-Century French Romance"
- Alexander Stuart, University of Cambridge
"The Uses and Significance of Techology in the Hagiography of Jocelin of Furness"
- Lindsay M. Irvin, University of Tennessee - Chattanooga

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Fishy Circumstances

Kseniya Simonova/Eurovision

The Ukraine Eurovision entry was middle-of-the-road. I did not care one way or another how it did in the semi-finals.

Only... the performance included a sand artist. An absolutely, astonishing magical sand artist dressed in a purple leather dress. I begrudged the close-ups of the singer because it took precious seconds away from the transformations of the sand art. So I was pleased for the artist that the entry made it through to the finals.

Kseniya Simonova is the name of the sand artist. She won Ukraine’s Got Talent in 2009 with it, and has received all sorts of invitations and accolades as a result of it. She is amazing! Here is a video of her contest-winning performance.


So. That was the second semi-final, a weaker batch, all-around, than the first one. I liked Belgium, but am not at all surprised it didnt make it through. A bigger surprise was Dana International not making it to the final; her song had moments, but didn’t hold together as a whole and name-recognition didn’t compensate. They have memorably awful hats, but I did not need Moldova to make it through with this entry.

Düsseldorf resolved its seriously problematic sound-balance issues from Tuesday, although the BBC gained some with its watery live mike.