Posts Tagged ‘place’

Open Hackday 08 begins

September 12, 2008



hackday stage

Originally uploaded by xian.

I’m going to name the robots Foo and Bar. We still haven’t announced the musical act that will be performing on this stage tonight.

So far I’ve heard Cody Simms and Neal Sample (Cody and Neal, hmmm….) give a great overview of YOS (with great visuals by Micah Laaker), and am now listening to Allen Rabinovich explain how to hack with Flash and Flex.

At 2pm I’ll be talking about patterns and stencils and how they can help coders build better interfaces.

Community site responds to homicide epidemic in Oakland

December 13, 2007


I just heard today about Not Just A Number, a community journalism project coproduced by the Oakland Tribune and InsideBayArea.com.
It endeavors to tell the real human stories of Oakland homicide victims, rather than letting them become merely statistics.
The site speaks for itself, and I feel like I might be cheapening it by talking about how it works technically (there are maps that show murder sites that lead to multimedia testimonials about the victims, and so on, but how it works isn’t really the point).
It just seems like the right sort of response (among many) to one of the worst crises in my adopted home town. It’s not like it solves the problem, of course, but it feels like a way to keep the humanity in the picture. I wonder if a similar approach could be applied to other, possibly more positive, community needs?

Nevelson revisited

December 10, 2007

[crumlish siblings in front of nevelson sculpture (link to larger image)]
After I posted about that Louise Nevelson exhibit at the de Young museum and seeing the model for the sculpture near my parents’ apartment at 92nd and Park Ave in New York, my sister scanned and emailed me a photo of the four of us siblings posing in front of the sculpture, circa 1974.
(The image above links to a much larger version, not quite as cropped.)
From left to right, handlewise, that’s xifer, moo, xourmas, and xian. I’m making a muscle and entertaining xourmas. moo is, I believe, pretending to smoke a cigarette and not making a vulgar British gesture. xifer is looking stylish in her coat.
Yes, we really dressed that mod back then.

Discovering Louise Nevelson

December 3, 2007

Model For Night Presence IVSo yesterday B and I went into SF in the afternoon to visit our friends D and P and get some cultcha. We went to the deYoung museum in Golden Gate Park and took in the Louise Nevelson exhibit.
For some reason I did not know who Nevelson was. I read her bio on the large placard and started looking at her mostly wood sculptures, but she was unfamiliar to me. A gap in my art education. I liked her work a lot, her way of using found scrap wood and then painting it all matte black (later white and still later gold) and then assembling it into towering cubes of surfaces, patterns, shadow and depth. I liked her obvious cubism influences and her prints and drawings.
When looking at a wooden piece (shown above) called Model for Night Presence IV, I suddenly did a double take. I knew this work, or at least the work it was a study for. Night Presence IV is in fact a huge metal sculpture situated on Park Avenue (in the middle of the boulevard) at 92nd street, the intersection nearest to my parents’ apartment.
I never really liked that sculpture much. It’s a muddy brown color and the scale is kind of oppressive. Also, we were young when we moved up there (it had only been dedicated, it turns out, a year earlier), and it’s not quite the right size for climbing on, especially when compared to Hans Christian Andersen or the Mad Hatter in Central Park.
The shapes were incomprehensible to me as well, but looking at the small wooden sculpture I liked it very much. I could see that the cut round pieces of wood were from balustrades or carpentry. The wavy columns looked sensuous and inviting. The shape harmonious overall. Was it simply a matter of scale? Looking at a photo of the large sculpture (and consulting the memory imprinted in my mind) the proportions seem different, but is that simply a matter of foreshortening and perspective or did she truly alter the design when going from the wooden model to the metal final version?
Also, will I now appreciate and even like the sculpture next time I’m visiting at home, now that I know who made it and how it was made? Only time will tell.

My photos from Oaxaca

November 12, 2007

Art-School-Near-San-Augustin-2.JPG
Well it took nearly forever, but I’ve finally got all my photos from my trip to Oaxaca posted to Flickr. I organized them into umpteen sets by event and then collected those all together into one master collection, linked from earlier in this sentence. The badge in this entry points to the same photos except because the badges don’t work with collections yet it does so by pointing to a unique tag applied to all the photos.
I have stories to tell from the trip as well, but one thing at a time.
UPDATE: for some reason the Flash badge I tried inserting is breaking here in my blog even though the code for it seems to work in a number of other test situations. I’m looking into that now. Meanwhile, I’ve tried making a non-Flash badge and inserting that above in the hopes that that will resolve the problem. In the meantime I’m pasting in the code for the non-working Flash badge below until I get things sorted.
UPDATED UPDATE: Well the other badge broke too. Some conflict between the CSS for the blog and for the badge, I bet. Oh well. I added a sample picture above and am parking the code for both badges below, which will render as a long hash string until or unless I figure out a way to make them work.
UPDATED UPDATED UPDATE: Even the broken badge code seemed to be breaking the rest of my blog, so I’ve removed it for now.

Back from Oaxaca

October 29, 2007

devotional image from the Hostal de la Noria
Posting over low bandwidth. Consider this photo a down payment toward a great deal more imagery and tales to come.
This is one of the many artworks, most with religious themes, decorating the hotel I stayed in my first night in Oaxaca, the Hostal de la Noria.
UPDATE: (or del, I have to doublecheck that) thanks Alex!

A corridor of flickering light

September 21, 2007

float_masthead.jpgThe Illuminated Corridor meets the Internet Archive. What does that even mean? To find out, I went to the source, Oakland artist, musician, and impresario Suki O’Kane:
wake up!: What is the Illuminated Corridor?
Suki O’Kane: The Illuminated Corridor is a next step in outdoor cinema: a nomadic public art installation that creates site-specific illumination of public space, drawing on local traditions of film and live music. Using the model of temporary public art intervention, we mask street lighting and relight facades with projected video and film, accompanied by live musical performance.
Launched in the Summer of 2005 and involving a collaboration of over 75 Bay Area filmmakers, media artists, sound artists and musicians, the Illuminated Corridor catalyzes new work, showcases diverse collaborations between performative projectionists and performing artists, and covers a vast territory of film and music genres.
That sounds really interesting. How do people respond to it?
They perambulate, mostly, caught in the various gravitational pulls of the simultanous work the way folks are drawn to, or driven from, works in a gallery setting. Two unique things happen: the viewers walk among the performers who are set up in the middle of the street, unmediated by stage or velvet rope; and the view is not traditional. No projection screen or makeshift shower rod proscenium is used. The image goes directly onto facades, which absorb and reflect in very different ways, bitten by age, use and grime.
We’ve been asked, and by as many artists as audience members, why we would permit light to get swallowed up by the facades when we could cloak, Christo-stylee and light a place up like, well, Christmas. We might someday, but for now we’re confusing matters by experimenting with the perception of where illumination is coming from in a Corridor. Is it what the artists are applying? or is it what the facades are releasing?
How many times have you done this before?
We are Number Six. From the original Bayennale version at Jack London Square to the encyclopedic circus of Oakland Ironworks we moved to an exquisite corpse model: a righteous cut-up of Vertigo outside the LAB built from a deft edit of the film by Sarah Lockhart and assignment of notes from Bernard Hermann’s score. We reconvened at the spiritual home of the IllCorr, 21 Grand Art Gallery, in the Fall of 2006 with Mobility, a themed performance that asked artists to consider the range of meaning in the word: from the darkened lot of Saturns to the creeping gentrification of Northgate to the iconic story of 21 Grand itself, displaced three times yet continuing to grow as a central force in Oakland arts.
Then, with enormous irony, we were the inaugural performance on The Great Wall of Oakland, an 8-story windowless facade addressable only from the rooftop of the Broadway Grand, a condo project that evicted and razed 21 Grand as a first step in realization. Good Times, which they were, was the name of the piece we commissioned local composer Dan Plonsey to create for an eight-piece string ensemble.
What’s the theme this time?
Prelinger on Prelinger. This Corridor seeks to illuminate the Prelinger Library, a private research library open to the public with collections encompassing some 50,000 books, periodical volumes and printed ephemera. The Library is linked to the Prelinger Archive, a collection of ephemeral films that are a key creative resource to artists of the Illuminated Corridor, and serve as a touchstone for the broader community of film, sound and bricolage artists. For many of the artists participating in this Corridor, it’s a love letter to the Prelingers for their contributions to the creative commons, their stewardship of the artifact, and their encouragement of appropriation and associative discovery.
The Corridor will take place during the Library’s traditional Wednesday Open House evening hours, where we are inviting people to lose themselves in the stacks of an extraordinary library turned inside out for an evening.
Why? No really. Why why why?
Corridors have a lot of subjects in them: public art, expanded cinema, intermedia, cultural intervention and reclamation, and this particular Corridor is meant to press questions straight from archive.org: how do we protect our right to know and our right to remember. But we try to never forget that it is simply fun to watch movies outside with the neighbors. Innocent, ad Hoc, unfiltered, community-based, with a transgressive overtone (we were meant to use the building to hold the contents, but we’re using it to show some cinema), it’s hard to walk away from a Corridor without feeling like you just got away with something. We want to transform these spaces, so that when we all return there in the course of our normal day, we can never see it in the same way again. Ephemerally imbued. Like that.
~~
So there you have it. The Illuminated Corridor, a collision of public art, live music and film, next happening on Octoer 3, at the Prelinger Library, bounded by Eighth, Folsom and Rodgers Streets in San Francisco, CA.

Seaside Jazz Fest 2007

May 29, 2007



Seaside Jazz Fest 2007

Originally uploaded by andytnisbet.

B’s brother Andy took this really nice picture of my sweetie and me. We spent Sunday down in Seaside (right next door to Monterey). Good food, great people, fantastic music (with a rotating cast of players), not too many speeches, birthday wishes to B’s sister Peg, anniversary memories of B’s mom, cold weather, no sunburn, fine beverages, did I mention the good food?
UPDATE: Andy’s photo above links to all of his photos from the party at Flickr. You can also see B’s photos from the same event there.

Local blogging gets a site

January 2, 2007

The talented Lisa Williams has launched Placeblogger: PressThink: Check out Placeblogger.com. It’s About All Those Hyperlocal News Sites Springing Up…
…via George, who pointed out the article in Poynter wherein it is written

[…] Today, Lisa Williams debuted Placeblogger, an online resource that lists and showcases placeblogs — so far 713 from around the U.S., with a few scattered elsewhere around the globe. What’s a placeblog? Williams defines it as “an act of sustained attention to a particular place over time. It can be done by one person, a defined group of people, or in a way that’s open to community contribution. It’s not a newspaper, though it may contain random acts of journalism. It’s about the lived experience of a place.” Her own community site for Watertown, Mass, H20town, is an example of a placeblog. […]

(emphasis added), noting that I (or really Adrian Chan) had once speculated on this site that identity might in some sense, at least online, be equated with “attention over time.”
(George will be on my “Every Breath You Take” panel at South by Southwest this year and we’ll be talking about identity online, as well as attention, privacy, trust, and presence. Got to remember to add the “see me speak at SXSW” badge sometime soon.)

Is ANWR as ugly as they say?

July 31, 2006

Jim Goldstein was up in Alaska in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge recently and brought back these photographs.
He says, “A conservative friend asked me, ‘Is ANWR as really as ugly as they say it is? This alarmed me a great deal after having one of the best photo trips I’ve taken to date. The beauty of ANWR is almost unparalleled.”