Latest somethingdark news

Developing a website such as SDk and the magazine it hosts takes time. That's why we think contributors and others interested in what we are doing deserve to be kept informed on our progress. This page has been designed to do exactly that: to keep you up-to-date as to where we are. We're pleased to have you with us.

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Japan's island of art: a sublime museum experience worthy of pilgrimageLatest News ->

Wed 12 Jan, 2011.

Japan's island of art: a sublime museum experience worthy of pilgrimage

by Paul Cochrane

Viewing art is more often than not an urban activity. Galleries and museums don’t tend to be tucked away in forests or on small islands only accessible by ferry. Indeed, a remote island in Japan’s Inland Sea is not where you would expect to find a gallery devoted to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series. Nor to be the location of what can only be described as a sublime museum experience.

But a remote location showcasing artistic masterpieces has the air of a pilgrimage about it as well as providing a more relaxed setting to ponder and appreciate the art you have traveled so far to see.

There was certainly a feeling of anticipation in the air as visitors boarded the ferry for the fifteen-minute ride from the mainland, around five hours by train from Tokyo, to the island of Naoshima. This is not a place that is on most visitors’ to-do list when visiting Japan, like including an afternoon to tour the Louvre when in Paris. Naoshima attracts the artistically inclined, whether architecture students staying at youth hostels near the port or well-heeled art aficionados checked in at one of the four hotels run by the Benesse Corporation....Read more

Past development paying off, more plannedSDk Updates ->

Tues 14 Dec, 2010.

Even on our little server, with SomethingDark crammed in with a few other websites, we’ve strived to make SDk as fast and as efficient as we possibly can, and, as you’ll see from the latest graph supplied by Google (click to view), with our most recent push we’ve finally managed to make the top 1% of websites with regards to loading times and performance.

Sure, there have been a few days of interruption or “oops, that didn’t work” along the way, but we’re finally there and aim to keep it that way. Then, if we manage to get the finance to upgrade to a new server (it’s on our “to do” list), we should be laughing – and so should the increasing number of visitors to SDk, who will see our pages load on their screen at a gratifyingly super-speedy rate....Read more

SDk goes mobile!SDk Updates ->

Thurs 02 Dec, 2010.

We said we’d do it, and now we’ve just done it: today marks the release of SDk:Mob, the version of SomethingDark webmagazine developed specifically for mobile devices with internet capability.

Chris has worked overtime for the last two weeks to get SDk:Mob up and running, and some late-night proof-reading saw the last bugs ironed out in the text and formatting.

For some of the technical background, see our HTML vs. flash page, but, briefly, a streamlined version of SDk magazine can now be viewed at your convenience, on your mobile device, including on those larger devices such as the Apple iPad that do not come with the capability to view Flash-based sites (at least not without the purchase of extra plug-ins).

The full SDk website now has a link to SDk:Mob in the footer, and SDk:Mob has a link to the full site, so why not take a look at our new baby at; alterntivley, if you're an iPad user, check out our iPad magazine information page, or just go right ahead and view the website as normal – no special app needed.

In detail: why we opted for HTML over flashSDk Updates ->

Wed 17 Nov, 2010.

For some time we've been pondering on whether to explain in some detail why we chose to produce SomethingDark – the magazine as well as the website – as an HTML-based entity. We touched on the subject in our "more What is SDk?" document, which we made available after SDk01 was launched, but the itch to go the whole hog persisted.

Well, we've just scratched that itch, and the result is a much more detailed explanation of why we bucked the trend of doing an online magazine in flash, and why we think we're on a winner with HTML. We do go into the technology a bit, so those into the tech aspect will be like pigs in mud, but it does also make for interesting and straightforward reading for anyone wanting a glimpse of what we researched and considered before proceeding with SDk's development.

So, please help yourself to our HTML vs. flash page. And, perhaps, do a little pondering yourself.

Securing the right mix for SDk02, and looking to the futureSDk Updates ->

Wed 10 Nov, 2010.

We have an extensive lineup of international contributors for SDk02 after a long and frustrating period of securing not just the kind of artists and writers suited to SDk, but the right mix of people and work for issue 02. Securing the right contributors hasn’t been the end of it, but we’re beginning to really move now with contributions. No-one said SDk would be easy…

However, every time we look at the way issue 02 is shaping up, we are more convinced than ever that the SDk way of doing things is right, and in fact is somewhat unique – and we have gone into detail on this with our entry into certain UK national awards. We’re playing with the big boys here, but we think we’re in with a chance.

On this, it’s a pity we haven’t got the wherewithal to produce SDk more frequently, because if we did, issue 02 would have been out by now, and issue 03 would probably also be out by the time judging for said awards was finalised – and SDk03, paradoxically (compared with the adventures of SDk02), is all but a done deal, and what a “deal” it will be when it’s published in the first half of next year....Read more

Fritz Lang’s restored Metropolis screening worldwideLatest News ->

Tues 21 Sept, 2010.

The discovery in Buenos Aires in 2008 of an uncut version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece, Metropolis, was as important an event for world cinema as the discovery of a lost Picasso would be to the more traditional art world, according to the artistic director of the British Film Institute, Eddie Berg. Berg, along with other film industry figures, was speaking in interview for the BBC television current affairs programme Newsnight, which last month also broadcast excerpts of the lost footage from the newly restored full-feature film.

Those interviews and film excerpts can be seen on the BBC website in the report “What makes sci-fi epic Metropolis so influential?”, but why stop at that when Metropolis is likely to be showing at an art-house cinema near you? Following our own advice, we here at SDk patronised Bristol’s Watershed media complex yet again on Sunday 19 September to pay appropriate homage to what is widely regarded as among the most important and influential films in cinema history....Read more

Barbican Art Gallery, London: The Surreal HouseLatest News ->

Fri 10 Sept, 2010.

Those of you who have read SomethingDark magazine will know that Eugène Satyrisci is our comment writer. He also writes reviews, and Eugène visited The Surreal House exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery on 15 July, and we’ve been chasing him ever since for an article for our then still-new Latest News section. Now he’s convinced we’re serious about this, he finally relented and provided us with a review, and, at the risk of posting another last-minute alarm of “don’t miss this one”, we’ve rushed it onto the site just before the exhibition’s closing day.

We could also say “better late than never”, but then what this review has to say is not only relevant to what is happening today, but looking back critically at what happened yesterday, so we can better understand what is happening today, and what may be on the horizon. This is especially applicable in the case of this review since it’s a double-header: our intrepid columnist also attended the “Surrealism, philosophy & literature” talk on 15 July, part of the Barbican’s exhibition-support programme....Read more

UK Lowbrow–Pop Surrealism exhibition revels in successLatest News ->

Mon 23 Aug, 2010.

Art From the New World wound up at the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery yesterday with the expectation that final visitor figures would reach the 60,000 mark – a thrilling success in the eyes of the director of the Los Angeles gallery that curated the exhibition.

Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) director Richard Scarry made no secret of his delight with both the attendance figures and with viewers’ overwhelmingly positive response during a public guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday 21 August. SDk attended this tour and can vouch for the large number of fellow, suitably impressed and appreciative, attendees.

Scarry, who is Bristol-based and flies to Los Angeles for a week or so at a time once a month to attend to his duties in person at CHG, said he was determined to mount Art From the New World in Bristol as a result of the Banksy exhibition held last summer at the same venue. Banksy – Bristol’s most famous ambassador for the city’s thriving independent arts and cultural scene along with the internationally influential “trip-hop” music artists Portishead, Massive Attack and Tricky (also known as “the Bristol sound”) – drew some 300,000 people, many from overseas, to the Banksy versus Bristol Museum exhibition....Read more

Art From the New WorldLatest News ->

Tues 17 Aug, 2010.

Art From the New World

Art From the New World may be nearing the end of its showing at the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery (UK), but that’s all the more reason to make an extra-special effort to see what is billed as an exhibition presenting, for the first time to British and European audiences, nearly 50 emerging and established artists working in the contemporary American Lowbrow–Pop Surrealism movement.

Many of the artists created new work especially for the exhibition, which was curated by the Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, in collaboration with the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery. Jan Cory Helford, founder, owner and curator of the LA gallery, has outlined the significance of Art From the New World:

...America is gushing forth a new wave of taste and style born of Pop Iconic culture, expanding American diversity, resistance to the mainstream art world and a need to communicate to an art audience looking for relevance in America’s Age of Uncertainty....Read more

Contributor galleries updated and refinedSDk Updates ->

Thurs 12 Aug, 2010.

We value our contributors and one of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to them is by maintaining substantial, up-to-date profiles for them in our Contributor Directory on the SDk website.

Obviously, we can only make a profile substantial if a contributor wants a substantial profile, but we’ve put in the effort and the site development to allow a contributor to make their SDk pages (yes, that’s plural) a de facto home site – and mini-portfolio – should they wish to take it this far. We are happy to oblige.

To this end, we have just finished updating galleries for SDk01’s contributing photographers and artists, and we have paid great attention to detail in arrangement and presentation, including a new Lightbox display system complete with essential artwork and model information, and comments.

We invite visitors to take a look: