Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Psychic Fair Cancelled

I saw this on Onegoodmove today and had to share it... Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ant Colony's Subterranean Structure

I am always interested in architecture that is created not from a particular blueprint, but from necessity itself... It is self-organizing, so there is never one single designer instructing how the structure should be built. Ant colonies are the perfect example of that. In these videos, scientists pour aluminum or cement into the tunnels and chambers of ant colonies, and upon excavation, it shows the vastness of a gigantic network of tunnels.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You can't have my kitten

I found this kitten last Thursday in the middle of my alley a few doors down from my house. It was completely wet and shivering and obviously starving. It looked like it had been wandering outside for quite a while. I took it back to my house and cleaned it up, gave it some water and it seemed to have scarfed down twice it's weight in food.

I took its picture and made a "Found Kitten" flyer and posted it all over the neighborhood... As of today (Sunday), I haven't heard anything from anyone... But since Thursday I have grown quite attached to this tiny little kitten. I've taken it to the Vet, I've set up its own little home space in the guest bathroom, but it seems to have set up its home space permanently on my shoulder. It loves my shoulder; whether it is while I am reading, doing artwork, at the computer or out in the yard. It wants to be on my shoulder.... So the asshole who was irresponsible enough to let this kitten wander into the alley and then not respond to my flyers can shove it up their ass... This is now MY cat.

My wife, Erin, revised my "Found Kitten" flyer today and I thought it was worth posting.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Experimental Music from Hacked Children's Toys

 Marshall Thompson was a friend of mine when I was in graduate school. His artwork could never be tied down to one particular medium. Whether it was labeled sculpture, installation art, new media or just music was of no consequence to him. He was always comfortable working with electronics on the level of hacking circuit boards in order to get them to do strange things, but in the last ten years he has taken that to a new level.
Here is his website:

Is Satan a Catholic?

Pat Condell has a "no holds barred" style of rhetoric when it comes to his criticism of religious extremism... Which I have to say that I do enjoy... I thought this one was particularly good.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mr. Deity And The Equations

Mr. Deity frantically throws together his own version of science in an attempt to save his job.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nature by Numbers

A gorgeous animation about the patterns and mathematics found in nature.

Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions

I was impressed by this talk. Sam Harris makes a very good case.

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can -- and should -- be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.

Line Drawing in Three Dimesnsions

This is so cool...I have never seen anything quite like it. I've seen the 3D CAD programs, but this is capable of a much more "hand drawn" feel, whereas those programs are geared toward a more exacting engineering or architectural approach. This is almost like creating a wire sculpture in virtual space. I would love to get my hands on this software and see how it works. It doesn't seem that difficult once you get the hang of moving the object around and understanding the dimensionality of the lines you are creating.

Great choice of music as well.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon

This song has been in my head all day... Perhaps because we got six inches of snow on the first day of spring...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sesame Street Pinball Cartoon - Pinball Number Count

So tonight, I am going to be posting on the utter hipness of Sesame Street in in the 1970's.

In this animation, we are subject to the most awesome surreal pinball machine ever... The song is unforgettable; they actually got the Pointer Sisters to sing the vocal tracks.

 Next is the creepiness of the Yip-Yip Aliens.... They scared me when I was small...

 And finally is the contemporary music composer, Phillip Glass... The animation here is much like the minimal artist, Sol Lewitt, whose complex compositions are based on the repetition of simple structures such as the circle and the triangle.
Thanks Erin for this link.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vinyl Records - How they are made?

I am a self admitted music snob. Not necessarily a vinyl snob, but I do have somewhere in the area of 500 or so vinyl records. I, myself, don't really hear much difference between a 320 kbps digital recording and a vinyl recording of the same music... But the visual artist in me sees a definite difference between the 12" inch album cover and the 5" inch CD cover and even the 1" inch MP3 image on your chosen media player.

So to me, the object itself is important... Yes, of course the music is the most important thing... But, the album cover, the liner notes, the weight of the album as it comes out of it's sleeve, the act of putting it on the turntable, even the act of listening to it through the pops and crackles seems to make you pay more attention to the music than you would if it came up on shuffle in your ipod.

'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009

One of the best talks I have seen in recent memory. Lawrence Krauss does an amazing job of making complex physics and cosmology both interesting and entertaining.
Lawrence Krauss gives a talk on our current picture of the universe, how it will end, and how it could have come from nothing. Krauss is the author of many bestselling books on Physics and Cosmology, including "The Physics of Star Trek."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Ambiguous Animation Painted on Public Walls

While we are on the subject of graffiti art, I thought I would post my favorite example.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Police hunt 'The Midnight Knitter' wool graffiti bandit
 An unknown person or persons - dubbed 'The Midnight Knitter' by West Cape May residents - is covering tree branches and lamp poles with little sweaters under cover of darkness.
Mayor Pam Kaithern says police are looking into the knitted graffiti, which is technically against the law, as it is being done on public property without permission.
However, the mayor and many residents admit they're delighted by the woolly rainbow of colours that has popped up.

I love impossibly vertical mountains.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Video explains the world's most important 6-sec drum loop

While we are on the subject of copyright law, this video is a perfect illustration as to the futility of policing copyright infringement in the digital age. But it is also an illustration of just how intertwined the act of appropriation is in the act of creativity itself. Creativity is literally the act of putting together things that you have experienced before in ways that you have not experienced before.
This fascinating, brilliant 20-minute video narrates the history of the "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample from the b-side of a chart-topping single from 1969. This sample was used extensively in early hiphop and sample-based music, and became the basis for drum-and-bass and jungle music -- a six-second clip that spawned several entire subcultures. Nate Harrison's 2004 video is a meditation on the ownership of culture, the nature of art and creativity, and the history of a remarkable music clip.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sita Sings the Blues

I was totally engrossed in this animated movie by the first five minutes. It is one of my favorite independent animated films. Not to mention that parts of the soundtrack are done by one of my favorite contemporary jazz artists, Rudresh Mahanthappa...
Unfortunately, other tracks for the film are older blues and jazz songs which are under such strict copyright control that paying for those songs would have made it financially impossible for the artist to produce the film as a commercial release... Her final conclusion to the problem was to just make the movie available on the web copyright-free, which may have been the best thing to ever happen to it. It seems to have gone viral. This entire endeavor is almost a case-in-point experiment into the areas where copyright law breaks down when it meets useful creativity. Duchamp's "Readymades" and  Jasper John's "Flag" come to mind as violators when it comes to "creative appropriation"...  She has a link where you can donate, please do.
Donate to the filmmaker here:
Buy DVDs, etc, here:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cities at Night, an Orbital Tour Around the World

Back on the subject of architecture, except this time on the larger scale of city planning, this is an amazing video from a few years back of images of cities around the world taken from space. It is very interesting to see the differences in the shapes of the cities. Much of this, of course, has to do with local geography such as moutains, lakes and coastal regions. But look at the differences between the newer cities and the older ones, and then even the differences between eastern and western cities.

The more grid-structured cities as opposed to the more organically-structured is my main interest. The obvious connection between the structure of cities and the structure of the brain is unavoidable when you look at these images.

This is another video well worth watching full screen.

Daniel Dennett- Consciousness Explained

I've been reading Daniel Dennett's groundbreaking book from 1992 called Consciousness Explained. It has been a fairly dense read for someone like myself with an art background, but Dennett does go to great pains to make it very accessible for non-scientists. I was happy so see this short You Tube clip on a few of the subjects addressed in the book.

Dennett describes the fragmentary nature or consciousness -- the modularity of our brains manifests as attention to aspects of input and process. Other videos of Dennett discussing consciousness: ...  

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fluid Dynamics- Reynolds Number - Sixty Symbols

My artwork is hugely influenced by the images taken from fluid dynamics experiments. I am no mathematician and the science behind these experiments is something that I can only gather in an intuitive sense. But it is very interesting to me that the very same physics are at work in something as small as cream being poured into a cup of coffee and something as astronomically large as the Great Red Spot on the planet Jupiter.
Wind blowing over volcanoes, planes flying through air and Jupiter's Great Red Spot. A Reynolds Number plays a role in all of them. More at  

Amazing jellyfish- the Siphonophorae

CreatureCast - Footage From The Deep from Casey Dunn on Vimeo.

This is from the latest Creature Cast video. I've never seen a jellyfish quite this beautiful. It's worth viewing full-screen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Christopher Hitchens in Conversation: The Only Subject is Love

Writer Christopher Hitchens and Dr. Laurie Patton, Emory Professor of early Indian religions, discuss freedom of expression and Hitchen's friendship with Salman Rushdie. Themes of love and hate weave through stories of Rushdie's time under the fatwa, self-censorship, blasphemy, and writing by committee.

Christopher Hitchens participated in 'The Only Subject is Love' Symposium in honor of the opening of his friend Salman Rushdie's archive at Emory University on February 26, 2010.

Snuff Box- Guitar Lesson

What I have seen of this show so far has been completely surreal.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

OK Go- This Too Shall Pass

OK Go, the band with the infamous synchronized treadmill video bring you a new one. The little kid in me is fascinated with Rube Goldberg style machines and this is the best I have ever seen. It actually reminds me of a giant Jessica Stockholder piece in the process of disintegrating.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bobby McFerrin hacks your brain with the pentatonic scale

Theo Jansen creates new creatures

Theo Jansen creates purely mechanical walking robots that require no electronics and are "fed" by wind sails. They are built to actually respond to the changing environment.

The individual ant is a very simple creature that has about twelve individual thought processes in its decision making. But it is the way that individual ants interact with one another that helps the colony solve complex problems and makes them one of the most successful species on the planet. It is interesting to me that an inventor can come up with a purely mechanical machine that is capable feeding itself, storing energy and making decisions based on changing conditions. I know I am only making a vague and scientifically uninformed comparison here, but the increasing blurring of the lines between what is "machine" and what is "biology" is interesting to me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Counterculture as seen by1960's and 70's Mainstream Television

Television shows aimed at older audiences have a love affair with caricaturing youth culture and the avant garde. They love doing a "kids these days" grumpy old grandfather kind of thing. But history usually shines a not-too-favorable spotlight on those shows. It only serves to show how completely out of touch the producers are with actual counterculture and ends up getting laughed at like campy old wallpaper.

One of my favorites is the Quincy punk rock episode.

Even better is the old Dragnet Blue Boy episode.

Completely bizarre is the Ironsides Tiny Tim episode.