Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tim Minchin- Storm

This is an all-time personal favorite.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Chicago Underground Duo- Boca Negra

I've been a fan of the Chicago Underground Duo at least since their seminal album Synesthesia from 2000...This newest album, Boca Negra took me by surprise because this is their first release since 2002 or so... What I loved about it is how comfortable the band was in spanning the genres of jazz, experimental electronic, indie rock and 70's progressive rock without missing a beat.

Here is a great review by Chris May from

If you're not familiar with the group, this is a stripped down You Tube clip of the duo with just trumpet and drums... No electronics or vibraphones.

Janine Benyus shares nature's designs

Nature's designs that current technology can learn from.

Ten Foot C*ck and a Few Hundred Virgins

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New work in Houston

A recent exhibition of the work of Simeen Farhat and myself at the Anya Tish gallery in Houston. Here are some of my images from the show.

Balloon Form: Spiral #2 (Side View) 2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Balloon Form: Spiral #2 (Detail) 2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Black Arrows: Circular Column  2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Red Arrows: Two Clusters (Detail)   2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Amber Bars: Sloping Structure   2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Blue Rectangles: Waveform #4    2009
Ink, Lexan, Steel Pins

Hand Carved Fluid Dynamics

Reuben Margolin, a Bay Area visionary and longtime maker, creates totally singular techno-kinetic wave sculptures. Using everything from wood to cardboard to found and salvaged objects, Reubens artwork is diverse, with sculptures ranging from tiny to looming, motorized to hand-cranked. Focusing on natural elements like a discrete water droplet or a powerful ocean eddy, his work is elegant and hypnotic.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Art of Ernst Haeckel

The layout of insect collections has always interested me, or really the layout of any kind of collection in which the objects are slightly different, but still bear resemblances. The zoological drawings of Ernst Haeckel have always fascinated me in that respect... They were scientific in their intent, yet they still showed a style of drawing that ended up looking like a stylized caricature of the organism itself.

One obvious reason for the caricatured look of his specimens is simply that it was the illustrational style of the day. I talked in my post on the Grammar of Ornament about the fact that a 19th century scientific illustration looks very different from a 20th century illustration even if they are portraying the very same subject. But for 19th century zoological illustrators, one very practical reason for this is that these drawings were made before the age of easy photographic reproduction, not to mention underwater photography, so many of the organisms were probably drawn either directly from a microscope or from a dead specimen and imagined in their natural state...

Wikipedia has kindly provided beautiful large color photos from his book Kunstformen der Natur (Artforms of nature) (1904)


Natural Hallucinogen

This You Tube post titles itself "Natural Hallucinogen", and I assume that is correct in a technical sort of way... But the thing that interests me about it is pretty far from how 'trippy' it is... I am very interested in the way the brain can train or even 'trick" itself into adapting to the visual phenomenon of seeing things in motion, and then when the phenomena is immediately taken away we see the residual effects of the adaptation while our brain is still adapting back to the visual phenomenon of stillness.

Note: It should be watched full-screen for the effect to work... and turn off the sound if you are like me and you hate crappy techno music.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Grammar of Ornament

It looks like the legendary The Grammar of Ornament has been scanned and made available on the web. The version on Dover Books has been available for years, but it is great that these images are available digitally.

I love to see books that were once contemporary encyclopedias on the history of visual images, but have since become a part of history themselves... The illustrations are amazing, but artist's illustrations of historical artifacts are always going to be skewed by the artist's hand, showing just a little bit of the visual culture and upbringing of the illustrator him/herself. For instance, a 19th century illustrator is going to depict a scene from history differently than would a 21st century illustrator... These differences are what is interesting to me when I look at these images.

The book begins with pre-history and ends around the time of the late 1800's Arts and Crafts movement.

The Grammar of Ornament  (1910)
Jones, Owen, 1809-1874

The Grammar of Ornament

Mr. Deity and the Really Hard Time

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Robert Hooke’s Micrographia

These engravings are from Robert Hooke's 17th century book, "Micrographia".  The National Library of Medicine has an incredible website, in which you can flip through historic books such as this.

Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was an artist, biologist, physicist, engineer, architect, inventor and much else; a man who rubbed shoulders with many of the great minds of his time, and quarreled with most of them. Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses was Hooke's masterpiece, an exquisitely illustrated introduction to the microscopic world that lay all around

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Starlings Flocking

I am always baffled by this phenomenon. It is amazing that such a visual spectacle is achieved simply by each bird paying close attention and reacting to what its immediate neighbors are doing. And then, using this local behavior, a slight change in one bird's flight pattern radiates outward to the entire mass.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ancient Iranian Cliff Architecture Still Utilized as Homes

I don't know much about these images, but the architecture pictured here is apparently 700 year old dwellings in Iran that have been carved into the side of a mountain. I love the fact that they are still utilized as homes to this day... With doors, windows and electrical cables fitted into the openings in the rock. If anyone knows more than I do about this architecture, please comment. I would be happy to update the post with more information.