Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fabio Viale: Sculpture

This wonderful video of sculptor Fabio Viale demonstrates one of my fundamental axioms about the art: sculpture is the study of materials and their properties. I think that to sculpt well is to use a material in such a way that it expresses its properties without cliché. You can appreciate the possibilities of a vessel shape or form differently when its made of distinct materials, whether its wood, clay, metal, or stone. By the way, I found it at What We Do Is Secret

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Music Instinct: Trailer

The Music Instinct
Its interesting to see the evolution of musicology and neurology coming together. I haven't read any of the books on the subject; there are several out, and I'm feeling inspired now. Besides Bobby McFerrin, always a wonderful interpreter of the musician's side, I thought I saw Evie Glennie, the famous percussionist in this trailer. She was the focus of a documentary a few years back called Touch the Sound

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blink: An Installation by HC Gilje

Interesting project here from HC Gilje. The room is defined via the projections; flat projections, actually cleverly fitted to create three dimensional spaces and effects. What I really enjoyed about the projections was the attention to detail in the quality of the light. While in many respects quite minimalist, some the projected images have a very natural quality; sunshine on water or glass, light moving behind a tree or through grasses or reeds.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AudioGeekery: Vintage HiFi

THEVINTAGEKNOB : vintage audio museum
I came across a link to this site at A Time To Get, a tasty style blog coming out of L.A. I'm a digital engineer, but I'll admit, I enjoy all these knobs and sliders. It reminds me of the good old days, and the sweet sound of big hot analog boards. Still, I celebrate the liberation of sound from a studio to a laptop. It's democracy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Where does all that junk go? Now you know.

Trash | Track
An interesting project out of MIT: refuse is tagged with a transmitter and mapped until its destroyed or reaches the end of its journey. While not as enlightening as my own experience living on a farm with no refuse disposal (everything had to be buried or burned) it's still probably close enough to your own backyard to make you realize garbage doesn't just magically disappear.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Twitter Synchronicity: BBC Protesters and This!

Reading my twitter feed I was struck by the alignment of a couple of author feeds: Impre88 is the British author Hari Kunzru, whose feed pulled a Lazarus tonight (its been dormant since what? summer?) linked me to the protests at the BBC, then I got a link to this YouTube Video from Great Dismal, author William Gibson. It's like the cyberstars aligned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bruce Lee Plays Ping Pong

Funny how these things go. A fabulous video of Bruce Lee playing ping-pong using a martial arts device is being used to launch a Nokia phone. There's arguments all over YouTube about whether or not its real. I don't care actually; it's real cool.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New York Times Debate: E-books

Does the Brain Like E-Books? - Room for Debate Blog -
There's an online debate at the New York Times about E-books which goes into detail about the various design issues, and how the interface affects readers. It's an interesting article with great experts; I'm glad to see the E-Book discussed in technical detail because I suspect the dominance of the format is near upon us, and the existing tools are still far inferior to paper books.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Papa: a photoessay

Papa. « A Continuous Lean.
Blog to blog, I occasionally stumble on something that really makes me think. Recently, I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and couldn't help but consider him a brilliant writer, quintessentially American. So much of the language in his books is mired in rural America, and the fifties; he is like Papa was, to the twenties. I read A Movable Feast while I was in high school. My mother was wary, but I think they ought to require it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hand from Above

Hand from Above | Interactive Architecture dot Org
Does God exist because we crave dialog with something above us? This piece is really great, I think. I love the reactions of the audience; how they immediately begin to play with the image. It's evocative, godlike, and yet playful.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Unfolded Book: A Video of Reading a Book

We Make Money, Not Art has a wonderful review of a an art book called Unfolded including a video that demonstrates the book jacket being turned into a poster featuring groovy paper art. The video goes on to record a pair of hands turning the pages of the glossy coffee table style volume, giving you a chance to glimpse the photos of exotic paper constructions inside. It's another teaser for lit on the digital front.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lechuguilla, the most beautiful cave in the world.

Glassy pools, extremophile bacteria, mineral chandeliers: welcome to Lechuguilla. There's a slideshow at Nova if you want more pics of gorgeous caves. For the triple feature, check out the blog A Time To Get for a field trip to The Rock Yard, and some astonishing photos of granite.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photomicrography: It's an aquatic larvae!

Nikon Small World - Photomicrography Competition
The winners have been announced for the 2009 competition. This whole site is eyecandy, but my favorite is this image of some sort of aquatic larvae by Fabrice Parais.

Phantom City: Now Available on the iPhone

Here's an interesting article on an app for the iPhone. It demonstrates a conceptual movement called locative art, meaning art which is location dependent, enabled by technologies like GPS. Locative art is a kind of augmented reality, and relates to ubiquitous computing (computers everywhere). There's an app out where you can see the twin towers as well. The iPhone kind of makes the helmets in William Gibson's Spook Country (which I reviewed on my other blog) seem clunky before their invention.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rome wasn't built in a day, but you can work on it all night.

I admit, I hadn't even thought of CAD for urban design. Here's the software in action; CityEngine can be yours for a mere $4950. Of course, you need a pretty mean machine to run it well. Combined with an omnidirectional treadmill, and some groovy goggles, you can take a stroll through Pompeii (as seen on the BBC)

Free Human Skull Paper Model!

free Human Skull paper model
Spooky! Download and print the PDF for this life size human skull! Put it together with tape. You could make a whole bunch to decorate for Halloween. I love it! By the way, I found it on Boing Boing

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

All that is solid melts into the air.
I've seen this piece slipping between the cracks of the web for some time already. It combines sculpture, animation, and sound design into a formalist expression. What kind of art is it? Multimedia, I guess. The soundtrack by echolab is a critical part of the tension in the work.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Serial Novels: Back to the Future / Science fiction and fantasy / Blog posts / Cory Doctorow’s Makers, Part 1 (of 81)
Cory Doctorow's most recent book (described by the author on twitter as an econopocalypse hacker novel) is being serialized on I can't help but notice that RSS Feeds, Email, Bookmarks and QuickDial browsers make revisiting a site so simple, serializing has made a giant comeback. Charles Dickens published his novels this way. Part of the pleasure of lit in installments is that is becomes a social activity: you discuss it with your friends while you wait. Online comics have had this going on, but recently, I've noticed bigger and better publishers leaking on the web as a kind of promotion. It's exciting! A wonderful addition to this series is the illustration by Idiot's Books

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maurice Sendak: Laughing at a Funeral

NOW with Bill Moyers. Transcript. March 12, 2004 | PBS
When the trailer came out for Where the Wild Things Are I was amused to realize the Wild Things were Jews. Of course, as a huge Sendak fan, I knew he was Jewish, and the darkness of his work was distinctively Eastern European, and Jewish to me. But Judith and Ira? A little research turned up this hysterical story about drawing the monsters after cutting up with his siblings while sitting shiva (a Jewish ceremony when someone has died). Love him more than ever.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Carl Jung's Red Book

The Red Book goes on exhibit today, and the New York Times has a gorgeous layout online. Who knew Jung could draw like that? I particularly enjoyed the Deco influences: this is no scribbley notebook à la Cobain, but an uncelebrated document of the Craftman, or Arts and Crafts sensibility.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Electric Literature: New Approachs to Fiction

The online magazine Electric Literature has just launched a new blog called The Outlet. I'm looking forward to their posts: the EL series of single sentence animations on YouTube are tempting teasers for the stories they publish, not to mention an innovative promotion of digital media.