Seeing the light in Blackburn..

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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brian livesey
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Seeing the light in Blackburn..

Post by brian livesey »

The night sky was pierced by light when Blackburn's newest piece of artwork was lit up for the first time. The 32ft light sculpture,dubbed the light sabre,was illuminated after the ribbon was cut by Steven Broomhead,chief executive of the North West Development Agency... Shoppers have so far been divided over the £75,900 sculpture. Some claim it is a waste of money and others praised the design." (THE CITIZEN, April 19,2007). :roll:
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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Now Burnley's gone for the light-fantastic! On a visit to the town this morning,I noticed that a newly-paved outdoors walkway has had white spotlights embedded in it for pedestrians to walk over and that shine directly into the sky.
The lights are left on twenty-four hours a day - a useless expenditure of electricity of no artistic or practical use whatsoever,just more urban light pollution.
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
Well, so much for all this government publicity and concern about global warming. I am afraid the government's only real interest in these issues is what new taxes they can raise. I do not think they could really care less about environmental issues.
All this nonsense they come up with about so-called renewable energy. I suspect they like to erect big windmills on the Pennines as a way to show the public and the World that they are doing something about supposedly meeting there artificial quotas for producing renewable energy.
But what do they do they then? They waste any good work by providing more floodlights.
When I visit the Pennine Moors, one of the things I look out for is how many new windmills there are. The second thing I look for is how many windmills there are that are not actually rotating!
Best of luck from Cliff
PS as for large public works of Art. There is one near here, which few people actually wanted. Within weeks the thing was vandalised and fenced off (FOR MORE THAN 12 MONTHS). Then the local council decided to modify the sculpture to make it safe. The so-called artist has threatened to sue the council if they try to change the sculpture without her agreement. To avoid expensive legal wrangles the council has backed down and the perishing load of nonsense remains fenced off with terrible tempororary builders fencing (now for about 18 months). The so-called artist should be shot. As for the council well they should not have allowed this nonsensical artwork in the first place.

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Works of art,Cliff,or pure kitsch?
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
I was in our village (as it is still sometimes referred to today). The village square is domminated by an eleven storey block of flats (sorry appartments) and ground floor shops (most still empty although available for nearly two years now). The only vague astronomical connection is the flats, which are so expensive that the only reason they are all occupied is because some are rented by cosmological women (ie ladies of the night).
The abortion of supposed artwork in the village square is still fenced off, but despite the "security" I thought I detected yet more vandalism. However, having said that, it is arguable that the Green Bottle Glass Sculpure has been improved by the vandals. It certainly does not look any worse.
If I had the power, the so-called artist who designed the persishing thing would suffer execution by a thousand cuts (using bits of the very monstrosity she designed).
It makes the dreaded London Millennium "Swinging" Bridge look nice.
Have you DOME any astronomical observing recently?
Best wishes from Cliff

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Post by brian livesey »

Correct me if I'm mistaken,Cliff, but in times past artists and craftsmen were given free rein to produce things of beauty.
Nowadays,as to what constitutes "beauty" is decided on by chief executives (men in black suits and grey socks) and council chamber philistines with no training in the arts and crafts.
The problem is that the rest of us have to live with these "artistic" follies. :roll:
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Post by joe »

brian livesey wrote:Correct me if I'm mistaken,Cliff, but in times past artists and craftsmen were given free rein to produce things of beauty.
You are mistaken, I believe, Brian. Today it is quite the opposite to what you suspect. In times past commissioned artists had less freedom.
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Paul S
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Post by Paul S »

brian livesey wrote:in times past artists and craftsmen were given free rein to produce things of beauty.
Brian, the arts and crafts revival was only ever available to rich patrons. Industrialised production (which was what it was reacting against) lessened the cost of 'things of beauty' and made them accessible to all. Ruskin's idealised world could never have benefited the masses, only the "fat cats" :wink: William Morris and pals lived their twee arts & crafts lives but were supported to a very great degree by those that had made big profits from the Industrial Revolution.

In astronomy, most of use telescopes that are made on an industrial production line. Few can afford hand made pieces. Without industrialisation, astronomy beyond unaided eye observation would be in the hands of the rich or those lucky enough to study it at university.
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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

I know what you mean,Paul,but I wasn't referring to the pre-Raphaelites; they tended to look backwards,rather than coming up with new art forms. I had in mind civic objects de art,particularly architectural: Egypt,Greece,Rome,etc.
Compare,for example,Renaissance public fountains with to-day's generally bleakly austere efforts.
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Post by joe »

There is lots to say on the subject of art but perhaps not here.
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john.wheeldon
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Post by john.wheeldon »

Cliff wrote:If I had the power, the so-called artist who designed the persishing thing would suffer execution by a thousand cuts (using bits of the very monstrosity she designed).
Hello Cliff,
I'm sure that if you approached the appropriate authorities, you could get a grant to do this.
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Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear John
An interesting point, it might be worth trying to get a grant.
Best wishes from Cliff

brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

There's been a further deterioration in Blackburn since the switching on of the ludicrous "light Sabre".
Not to be outdone by Burnley's walkway spotlights, Blackburn Borough Council has just completed another subtopian scheme incorporating walkway spotlights, pointing straight into the sky.
Alas, we live in times when fools and philistines are setting the agenda.
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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Blackburn Council has had another bleak, light-polluting, subtopian, scheme completed outside of the Town Hall (appropriately).
The whole area has been repaved and a phalanx of badly-designed public benches have been put in place. Each bench has two powerful, ground-level spotlights, one at each end, pointed straight into the sky. :( :roll:
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Post by Zeke »

Oh, please send a withering beam of laser light from a galaxay far, far away and zap us all, then we will be able to see the stars in all their glory!
Never worry!
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