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12 Interpretations of Modern Art According to an Emoji Assigner

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Emojipedia

Not sure which emoji to attach to your Instagram post? The Emojini 3000 can help. The program, created by Curalate, is the product of a deep learning algorithm experiment where a computer neural network was trained on over 1 million Instagram posts to learn which emojis fit with which images. You can give it any picture, and it will return the best emojis for that image. For example: 

Not only can the algorithm take a collection of pixels and figure out what the objects in the picture are (Emojini uses Caffe from the Berkeley Vision and Learning Center for this part), it can translate the picture into the most appropriate emojis.

In some sense, what Emojini does is capture a highly simplified meaning of an image. So I wondered, how would it handle some famous modern art? What would it tell us these images “mean” in emoji? The results were often interesting! Here is how the Emojini 3000 interprets 12 works of art (and how we interpreted those emojis).

1. PIET MONDRIAN // COMPOSITION WITH BLUE

Our interpretation: "The bland facelessness imposed on us by modern, urban life can only be ameliorated with the music of color."

2. CHUCK CLOSE // BIG SELF PORTRAIT

Our interpretation: "When you look, standing right here close, you see that it's a painting, and you're like, 'cool!'"

3. RENÉ MAGRITTE // THE TREACHERY OF IMAGES

Our interpretation: "Note this: words will trick you."

4. SALVADOR DALI // THE ENIGMA OF DESIRE OR MY MOTHER, MY MOTHER, MY MOTHER

Our interpretation: "This bananas chick seems to follow me everywhere, like the moon."

5. MARCEL DUCHAMP // FOUNTAIN

Our interpretation: "Men make water and it goes in here. Weird."

6. ALBERTO GIACOMETTI // WALKING MAN

Our interpretation: "Life is struggle. Our bodies are small for the burdens we carry."

7. WASSILY KANDINSKY // CIRCLES IN A CIRCLE

Our interpretation: "Life, achievements, sustenance—all are limited by time."

8. PABLO PICASSO // LES DEMOISELLES D'AVIGNON

Our interpretation: "Look here, it's not adorable, it’s fierce."

9. JACKSON POLLOCK // AUTUMN RHYTHM

Our interpretation: "We are rooted in the dirt, like everything under it."

10. MARK ROTHKO // ORANGE AND YELLOW

Our interpretation: "Whether peaceful or destructive, it’s all the same light and it lives where we live."

11. ROBERT MOTHERWELL // RECONCILIATION ELEGY

Our interpretation: "Heartbreaking is the melody of only one hand reaching out for touch."

12. ANDY WARHOL // CAMPBELL'S SOUP CANS

Our interpretation: "At center we are our embrace of modern entertainments turned up to 100."

BONUS: LEONARDO DA VINCI // MONA LISA

OK, not modern art, but look! Emojini can't figure out her mysterious expression either!

Try your own images on the Emojini here.

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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