Kentridge artwork re-animates Joburg

first_img7 August 2009 Created by world-renowned artist William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx, the latest addition to Johannesburg’s public art is a commanding presence – and an important part of the regeneration of Joburg’s inner city. The Fire Walker stands tall in the inner city of South Africa’s commercial capital, greeting pedestrians and motorists as they travel over the Queen Elizabeth Bridge connecting Braamfontein and the central business district. Artist William Kentridge, in his trademark white shirt, charcoal jacket and panama hat, was present to witness the unveiling of the sculpture he created together with Gerhard Marx. A small crowd of about 50 people buzzed around the 11-metre sculpture. Kentridge and Marx looked relaxed. The sculpture consists of large black and white metal plates, positioned in layers. The plates are evocative of torn bits of paper. Walking around the sculpture provides a multitude of broken images, until at one point all the images come together, and The Fire Walker comes alive as a woman walking, bundled up, with a burning brazier on her head. Local women cook mealies or “smileys” – roasted sheeps’ heads – in such braziers, walking around the city and selling them to passers-by. Extremely relieved Kentridge said he was extremely relieved that the statue was up and looked good. It had gone from four 1m high paper drawings, to a 3-metre high marquette, and over some two months, to the striking sculpture at the entrance to the CBD. “This is a familiar place,” said Kentridge. “It is very nice to be back in it.” He recounted how his grandfather, a lawyer, used to have rooms just 100 metres from the small triangular square in which the sculpture is mounted. He would visit his grandfather here, and remembers the women with braziers on their heads. “I am happy to be part of the re-animating of the city,” the artist added. Whereas a sculpture is usually constructed in the artist’s studio or yard, Kentridge said this one had to be constructed on site, with an engineer and project manager directing the operation, overseen by Marx. “I would stand across the road, and phone them and tell them to move a piece five centimetres to the left,” Marx said, smiling. “This is really exciting to add something to the city I grew up in. It slowly fell together over a two-month period.” He explained that he had been working with Kentridge on a series of sculptures since last year. The images were for the camera – Kentridge is famous for his artistic films, as well as fine art. Kentridge said he was looking forward to seeing the different shadows reflected on different pieces of the work, particularly when the sky was overcast, dark and purple. The City of Joburg had approached Kentridge several times, asking whether he could do something to add to its growing body of public art, said Lael Bethlehem, the chief executive of the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the body overseeing the commissioning and erection of the art. “I want to thank William Kentridge for his incredibly deep engagement with the city, for this extraordinary act of creation. Thank you for this incredible act of generosity and commitment that the artists have shown,” she said. “We at the JDA see artwork as an important part of the regeneration of the city.” Many works Bethlehem spoke about the many artworks that had been erected around the city – in Jewel City, in Braamfontein, at the Baralink Taxi Rank, at the Governor’s House in Hillbrow, in Pieter Roos Park, and a road sign soccer field in Joe Slovo Drive. “Working with artists is one of the many pleasures of working at the JDA.” She spoke of how artists were creating art out of insignificant items – forgotten tree trunks, for instance. The works were a “celebration of the street life of Joburg”, with many parties contributing – residents, corporates, taxi drivers. “It is all of these elements that make up this tapestry.” Bethlehem also thanked the political leadership of the city, particularly Executive Mayor Amos Masondo, for supporting the public art programme. That programme consists of devoting up to 1 percent of all projects undertaken, to the creation of public art. As a result, the city has blossomed with mosaic, wooden and metal sculptures, beaded sculptures, concrete creations and benches. Rebuilding takes time “The rebuilding of the inner city takes time,” she added. “It needs the commitment and energies of a wide of range of people.” Bethlehem also spoke of the need to build an alliance, particularly with corporates in the inner city, turn old buildings around. “I invite all companies that have a commitment to the city, to come with us. The most powerful tool is the public artwork.” The triangle on which The Fire Walker has been erected has been transformed – from a car wash area for about 80 taxis to a grassy park with flower beds complementing several mature trees. A BRT station will in time be built at the southern end. Kentridge and Marx said they were considering a similar artwork in Naples, Italy. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

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TomTom announces three fitness wearables at IFA 2016

first_imgTags:#fitness tracker#GPS#IFA 2016#smartwatch#TomTom#wearable David Curry TomTom announced three new fitness wearables at IFA 2016 in Berlin, as the once famous GPS brand tries to pivot to the wearables market.TomTom TouchAt $130, the TomTom Touch is the cheapest of the three wearables. It is similar to the Fitbit Alta, and comes in a variety of light colors.It can count steps, sleep, activity, heart-rate, and body composition. The last measurement is unavailable on wearables across the board, from the Fitbit Charge to Apple Watch.Apparently, the Touch “checks the electrical impedance of your body’s tissues layers,” according to TechRadar, to measure body composition. A button on the Touch does the reading, though TomTom warns results may vary and should be tested a few times per day for an accurate result.Nike+, MapMyFitness, and other third-party apps are supported on TomTom’s connected app for the Touch.Spark 3The Spark 3 is a larger wearable that can display much more information on the screen. It has most of the Touch features, but lacks heart-rate monitoring on the baseline model. To make up for it, TomTom has added GPS tracking.The baseline model costs $130.TomTom is also selling a 3GB model that lets users store around 500 songs on the device, which can be imported from almost all music platforms. TomTom has also bundled a free pair of Bluetooth headphones with this option, which will be available for $150.There is also a heart-rate option available for $180. If you want all of the features—the heart-rate and 3GB of storage—it will cost $250.AdventurerTomTom’s most expensive fitness tracker costs $350 and comes with all of the features in the Spark 3’s most expensive model. It also features a barometer, a sensor that tracks altitude.Adventurer is for users that do a lot of hiking, snowboarding, or other sports that move from various altitudes. It has an extended battery life mode specifically for hiking.All three devices will be available in the next few months from TomTom and third-party retailers.See Also: Wearables to cast a large shadow at IFA 2016There was a time, before the iPhone, where TomTom looked unstoppable. It was selling GPS units like hotcakes, but now, a decade later, it looks to the wearables market as its possible salvation.Garmin, another GPS giant, is also trending towards the wearable market as it sees declining interest in trackers and navigation. Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

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You Need to Execute What You Already Know

first_imgIt is rare that I use my Sunday newsletter as a blog post, but this idea is so important, I don’t want you to miss it if you aren’t subscribed.Every week I receive emails, direct messages, and LinkedIn messages from salespeople who ask me questions. They want to know what book they should read to next, the book that is going to finally give them the one thing they need to produce breakthrough results. They ask me to tell them what the most important stage of the sales process is, and how they can get better at that one thing. Sometimes they ask even more specific questions about what the three most important discovery questions might be.They’re searching for the single answer that will generate better results as if there is a single book, a most important stage of the sales process, or a set of three perfect questions that cover discovery in all situations, all industries, and universally applicable to all prospective clients anywhere. These things are situational, and there isn’t a single answer.Because there is so much noise on the social channels and so very little signal, there is a growing tendency to believe that the next piece of information is going to be better and more important than the last, that what is missing is another idea, another concept, or another approach.For most people, better results in sales (and almost anything else, as I have yet to find an exception) is execution. But execution isn’t sexy. It doesn’t allow you to believe that there is an easier way to produce the result that you want. Nor does execution suggest that there is some piece of missing information that would solve your problem, allowing you to produce the result you want with less effort, in less time, and with greater ease.Execution doesn’t set up a straw man as a way to seduce you into believing that the reason you struggle to produce the results you want is because the most effective way to do what is necessary is old, outdated, and has been replaced by new methods (most likely, technology). That type of noise reminds me of the time management programs that promise to help you find 8 more hours in your week, somehow providing you with 176 while the rest of us make do with 168.What if you don’t need new information? What if there isn’t one part of the sales process that is more important than the others and requires more of your attention? What if you know everything you need to know and the real gap between your goals and your current performance is that you are simply not executing what you know you need to do and are instead allowing yourself to be seduced by promises that it could be easier for you?Your 2018 results are going to be made up of how well you execute against what you believe to be most important. If you need more information, go get it. But if you aren’t executing what you already know you need to do, don’t do anything before you execute.Happy New Year! One week in the books already. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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