Tag: Art

Looking Forward?

November 7, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More
Looking Forward?

As usual, Florida is still undecided, a mess. According to NPR, though, it is leaning heavily toward Obama, despite the shenanigans of the state GOP in suppressing the vote.

I didn’t watch last night. Couldn’t. We went to bed early.

But then Donna got up around midnight and woke me by a whoop of joy that I briefly mistook for anguish.

To my small surprise and relief, Obama won.

I will not miss the constant electioneering, the radio ads, the tv spots, the slick mailers. I will not miss keeping still in mixed groups about my politics (something I am not good at, but this election cycle it feels more like holy war than an election). I will not miss wincing every time some politician opens his or her mouth and nonsense spills out. (This is, of course, normal, but during presidential years it feels much, much worse.) I will not miss…

Anyway, the election came out partially the way I expected, in those moments when I felt calm enough to think rationally. Rationality seemed in short supply this year and mine was sorely tasked. So now, I sit here sorting through my reactions, trying to come up with something cogent to say.

I am disappointed the House is still Republican, but it seems a number of the Tea Party robots from 2010 lost their seats, so maybe the temperature in chambers will drop a degree or two and some business may get done.

Gary Johnson, running as a Libertarian, pulled 350,000 votes as of nine last night. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, got around 100,000. (Randall Terry received 8700 votes, a fact that both reassures me and gives me shivers—there are people who will actually vote for him?)

Combined, the independent candidates made virtually no difference nationally. Which is a shame, really. I’ve read both Stein’s and Johnson’s platforms and both of them are willing to address the problems in the system. Johnson is the least realistic of the two and I like a lot of the Green Party platform.

More . . .

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My limited time on the planet

March 11, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More
My limited time on the planet

It wasn’t that long ago that I learned that I have a terminal condition and that I will only be around for a limited time. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to savor every moment, and to work hard to keep my chin up and avoid being maudlin. In that context, today was a good day.

Given my quickly dwindling time here on planet Earth, I have been keeping a look-out for time saving devices. I finally took the plunge and bought an iPad2 (I wasn’t convinced that the brand new version offered anything I needed). The iPad 2 has an excellent screen and lots of potential uses for me at work and at home (I’m already using an app called Note Taker, which allows me to use a stylus to scribble on pdfs on the fly. I uploaded the Kindle app, and I’m delight to say that I have a new tool for reading and reviewing books. The Kindle offers a function for capturing passages of books as “notes,” and then accessing those notes as a batch. I loaded up quite a few other apps that will help me at work, including Drop Box and Jump. Twenty years ago, I wanted to be on the cusp of technology. These days, I’m thrilled to be one step behind, because time seems to be one of my most precious commodities. I’ll let others screw with the newest and greatest, while I sneak in behind the commotion and enjoy things that have been out long enough that most of the bugs are worked out.

I’m still exploring the iPad and the Kindle, but I think this will be a great way to absorb and review books. Last night I foolishly bought a stylus at Target for $20, when I could have bought a 3-pack on line for $10. You’ve got to watch out for those accessories. Then again, I can’t take it with me . . .

[Notes . . . ]

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A Different Way to Look at Art

December 28, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More
A Different Way to Look at Art

My wife (an artist) posted Ursus Wehrli’s TEDTalk on her Facebook page yesterday.
She said, “This is great! My engineer hubby should appreciate this!”

Well, he certainly does. I particularly liked Wehrli’s takes on Jasper Johns and Jackson Pollack.

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What makes a poem a poem?

September 13, 2011 | By | 15 Replies More
What makes a poem a poem?

A few weeks ago, I found a treasure at a used bookstore: a copy of Tom Peters’s 1997 book “The Circle of Innovation” – with an extra treasure – the signature of the author). The book is filled with quotes to punctuate Peters’s themes. One in particular resonated with me:

Expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then try to bring those things into what you are doing.

– Steve Jobs [pre-iPod, pre-iPhone, pre-iPad]

Brilliant.

Jobs was talking about art, poetry, history. Peters tied the quote to the Mac (I have all three of the above gadgets, but I’ve sampled the Mac Kool-Aid and the lingering cyanide taste was too much for me) and the mixing of artists with engineers to create the Mac and its operating system. Despite that, it’s still brilliant.

It struck a chord because I’ve recently gotten a baptism by immersion in the art world. Now that we’ve stopped moving and have established a presence here in North Texas, my wife last year took her art from “interests” to “profession”. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of new and different – for her and me. In that short time, she’s explored a variety of media (requiring reconfiguration of the garage – uh, studio – several times) and done things she never dreamed of being able to do. Shameless plug here: check out her website and you’ll understand the multiple reconfigs I’ve had to facilitate (drill deep – there is a lot there and all produced in just the last year and a half.) Collateral to this evolution, this spring she was elected president of one of the art associations she joined and just two weeks ago became the publisher of a fine art engagement book. Now she’s attending exhibition openings and receptions to support the artists of the association, network with sponsors of the book, scout out art for the book, and simply enjoy the art. And unless I have something more pressing, I am also going to these openings. We went to two last Friday night and have another tomorrow night.

…more…

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History through real-time sand painting

April 26, 2010 | By | Reply More
History through real-time sand painting

Kseniya Simonova is a 24 years old Ukrainian artist who won Ukraine’s “Got Talent” in 2009. I’d never before seen anything like this sand-painting performance art, backed by music. Check out her many beautiful images come to life, all of them in less than 9 minutes. Watch this one in full screen mode!

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City Garden in downtown St. Louis: transformative art

June 30, 2009 | By | 9 Replies More
City Garden in downtown St. Louis: transformative art

There is a brand new sculpture park in downtown Saint Louis. It will officially open tomorrow. My family and I walked through tonight and we were wowwed.

Image by Erich Vieth

What used to be a bunch of office buildings (many of them less than inspiring) were transformed into a deeply beautiful and light-hearted extension of “City Garden,” a modern sculpture park occupying two city blocks. I probably took about 150 photos tonight, but I’ll give you my favorite 16 [If you don’t see the gallery, click here ].

I’m shaking my head, thinking that the creators really nailed it. In my mind, the function of art is to challenge but to also draw an audience. This new park has succeeded in transforming dozens of sterile buildings into the all-too-willing background for a place that beckons people of all ages to come play, to walk, to talk, to ponder, to touch the sculptures and to stand back and admire.

[Epilogue 7/9/09: City Garden has turned out to be a powerful people magnet. Works of art draw in people, who draw in more people. It is truly one of the most remarkable transformations to hit downtown St. Louis. What used to be two big starkly empty lots is now a comfortable and beautiful place, open every hour of every day, for people to view the sculptures, to find themselves and to find each other. A big congratulations to the Gateway Foundation!]

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Glorious colors wash over Sydney –

June 1, 2009 | By | Reply More
Glorious colors wash over Sydney –

Wow. I am so wishing I could hop a plane to Australia right now – and not just to visit Hank. Check out these photos of the light show currently on display in Sydney. What a beautiful artistic expression!

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More exquisite sidewalk art

April 24, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More
More exquisite sidewalk art

Sidewalk art posts surface from time to time. This collection by Kurt Wenner is especially applause-worthy.

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DI is still under construction, but now there’s artwork in our header

February 2, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More
DI is still under construction, but now there’s artwork in our header

Although more work remains to be done, DI is making progress on its site reconstruction, as you can see. Many of our navigation features are now functional and the site mostly “works.”

Tonight, “Alistair” of Solostream (the company that created WP-Vybe, the WordPress template I’m using) helped me figure out what I had been doing wrong, thereby enabling the artwork to pop into the header. That artwork really helped to class the joint up, I’d say.

I do want to mention that Solostream is a terrific company that provides first rate support. They offer several “magazine” style templates for WordPress websites, and their prices are incredibly reasonable. Check out Solostream’s website for details and tutorials.

I’ll end with a bit of trivia: the “dangerous intersection” you can see in the header is a real-life intersection located at 8th and Cerre, downtown St. Louis, just south of the baseball stadium.

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