Quattro Amici + stella gassaway at Philadelphia Java Company

quattro amici + me

I’m very pleased to announce that Quattro Amici, has invited me to join in their September exhibition at Philadelphia Java Company. The show begins September first and runs through the end of the month. I hope that you’ll go over have a good cup of java and enjoy the work.



Diane Podolsky
Catherine (Kit) Mitchell
T. Clyde McCobb
Anders Hansen

Stella Gassaway
George Fuller

Philadelphia Java Company
518 South Fourth Street
Philadelphia, PA

September 1 – 27, 2008

The artist reception:
September 26th from 6-8pm.
Please join us.

All artwork will be available for purchase.

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compact-fluorescent menace : one big bad idea


Do you use these lightbulbs? Do you like the light they cast? What do you when one breaks? Got any small childeren?

I’ll answer first. No I don’t use them. No I don’t like the light. Don’t have to worry about it. No kids.

Did you know these bulbs contain mercury? You may remember that thermometers with mercury were banned. Ok so it’s only a little bit of mercury, but a little bit is more than enough. Mercury does not go away. Don’t want to eat fish with Mercury do ya? When the bulb breaks the mercury is released into the air… yep.

With congressional mandates we’ll be seeing lots more of them.

I hate these things. Not because of what they look like I think the physical shape is sort of cool. I hate them because people can’t even recycle or dispose of glass bottles or paint cans – just imagine millions of these poison light bulbs.

I’m stocking up on incandescent bulbs.

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iconography and obama

I want a transformative movement!

What all transformative movements have in common is the quality of speaking up to an aspirational public, to our best possible selves. Transformative movements act like the world is better than it is, and—when they work—they inspire the world to live up to this partial projection. The Obama campaign, has, in moments, embodied precisely that quality: Obama conjures a better America and that better America shows up for him. But political moments do more than speak to our best selves; they harness that quasi-mystical power to make radical demands to transform the real world. The Obama campaign has not done this, not on any issue at the core of our current crisis. Not on global warming, the war in Iraq, the housing crisis, health care, underemployment, or the assaults on civil liberties. Not a single Obama policy is unequivocal in its clarity and morality, which is the essential quality of a transformative movement.

The campaign’s most radical demand, even if unstated, is the idea of electing Obama himself. It is Obama—and not his plans for the presidency—that is the ultimate expression of the “movement.” If the process ends there, the Obama campaign becomes less like the civil rights movement and more like the lifestyle brands in the late ’90s—the Nikes, Microsofts, and Starbucks that expertly captured the transcendent quality of past liberation movements, and our desire for meaning in our lives, to build their brands.

Of course the real fault is not Obama’s, but ours. We have forgotten the kind of risk and work it takes to build transformative mass movements, and so settle for iconography instead. That said, he’d better win.

by Naomi Klein

I read this at The Nation. I think it gets to the crux of what bothers me about Obama and his campaign. I haven’t been able to find the words by Naomi Klein has. This isn’t a transformative movement. All this is is an orchestrated political campaign as lifestyle brand. And I especially don’t like the campaign. His “logo” and “yes we can” make my skin crawl.

His buffed up graphics, his gathering of phone numbers and emails for his VP announcement by instant message, his plan to make his acceptance speech in a football stadium… it is a commercialization that upsets me to the core.

Today I found an email in my spam filter that reinforced my discomfort.

Designing Obama’s brand
Sol Sender, Principal, Sender LLC

Sol Sender and his team at Sender LLC have turned the letter “O” in Barack Obama’s name into an iconic logo like the swoosh from the Nike. The innovative approach toward branding the Obama campaign has helped set it apart from what has come before. Obama’s brand has sparked many conversations about the importance of design in political campaigns. When Michael Bierut from Pentagram was asked where Obama’s brand stands against the best commercial brand design, he answered “I think it’s just as good or better.” Sol Sender will share his insight and his experience of working on one of the most recognized political brands. Register for this event ahead of time since it’ll fill up fast.

I’ve lived through a time where there were so many inspirational figures. In hindsight they each had their flaws but they inspired a nation and the world. They had authenticity that inspired you to the bone, they didn’t need a design firm to manufacture one by creating a “lifestyle brand”.

Are we as a nation so bereft of ideas and inspiration that Obama is enough?

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iomega gets it right again

The first time that the people that made the Bernoulli Box became iomega with removable drives that were all about YOUR STUFF I thought their was some very savvy thinking about the desires or consumers. Then the CD burner came into being and smashed their success in the portable storage marketspace. Well, It looks like Iomega is returning to its old smart self creating a very desirable, very sexy new ego 320 GB hard drive. The reviews I’ve read are very good and the drive is exceptionally good looking.

It reminds me of a flask with something warm inside for when the cold winds blow. Or maybe a cigarette/cigar case — something very personal. The kind of gift you give to someone you are very fond of, something to inscribe.

This is a product with a very interesting emotional connection.

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Myst for the iPhone

Image:Myst-library and ship.jpg

A screenshot from Myst.

Myst is the first game I actually purchased. I had played many games as early as the line command games and Adventure. But Myst was something different an immersion, in a quiet space, an adventure with dangers that didn’t run towards you and ask you to kill something.

I look forward to visiting an old friend.

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explaining twitter

Twitter _ Biz Stone_ A recruiter just called me

The Boston Globe and 140 Seconds on Twitter

In case you haven’t seen it yet, Twitter is a micro-sharing website
where you describe in 140 characters or less what you’re up to. You can
send and receive messages via SMS (text messages) on your phone,
through Twitter’s website and third-party applications such as Twitterific.
If you want to talk “with” someone on Twitter, you add @theirusername
to the front of the message and it shows up in the person’s replies
tab. This was a feature that was added several months after Twitter
first launched in 2006 based upon how people ended up actually using
the service. That’s been the consistent story for Twitter — it’s
definitely evolved beyond “I’m making an omelet for breakfast” to now
include sharing info about late breaking news, making plans with a group of cohorts, etc.

BTW, Biz Stone is a co-founder of twitter.

This is a great place to experiment in the social network space. It’s sorta like it use to be in the old days. Sorta free wheeling, unexpected, and fun.

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MobileMe hearts me

MobileMe Update

We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make. To recognize our users’ patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around. Read this article for more details.

The MobileMe Team

No this hasn’t been Apple’s finest hour.
I still haven’t purchased my iphone.

I will when its right.

I don’t get my voice mail from ATT now I just can imagine what life will be at the premium price they want for their swiss cheese service they call 3G.

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Hybrid Taxi’s : Why aren’t all cabs hybrids?

2008_0816Fringe2a by bgq1.

I’m trying to understand this. Cabs drive around in circles all day. Round about here, round about there. Why are they running on gasoline? Why haven’t all cities mandated hybrid or electric cars for this purpose? Or better yet; reconstitute an old way that was pretty darn smart?

It’s all about dollars and cents and making money in a business.

Taxi Drivers Seek Fuel Surcharge
By Sewell Chan
Complaining that soaring gasoline prices have made it barely possible for them to scrape by, about 17 drivers held a rally on Monday afternoon outside the Lower Manhattan headquarters of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, demanding that the panel impose a fuel surcharge.

Taxi Drivers Seek Fuel Surcharge – City Room – Metro – New York Times Blog

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orphan works ; crazy copyright law ©

What are we thinking? Don’t you think you should own the copyright to your work? This is especially crazy if you are an artist. Imagine being Jackson Pollock or me. We need to bring our laws into a place where we can have fair use.

I want people to see my work, share it, publish it. I just don’t want them to alter it.

This is an op ed by Larry Lessing from the New York Times, you can read the original here:


Little Orphan Artworks

CONGRESS is considering a major reform of copyright law intended to solve the problem of “orphan works” — those works whose owner cannot be found. This “reform” would be an amazingly onerous and inefficient change, which would unfairly and unnecessarily burden copyright holders with little return to the public.

The problem of orphan works is real. It was caused by a fundamental shift in the architecture of copyright law. Before 1978, copyright was an opt-in system, granting protection only to those who registered and renewed their copyright, and only if they marked their creative work with the famous ©. But three decades ago, Congress created an opt-out system. Copyright protection is now automatic, and it extends for almost a century, whether the author wants or needs it or even knows that his work is regulated by federal law.

The old system filtered copyright protection to those works that needed it; the new system regulates indiscriminately. The Congressional Research Service has estimated that just 2 percent of copyrighted works that are 55 to 75 years old retain any commercial value. Yet the system maintains no registry of copyright owners nor of entities from which permission to use a copyrighted work can be sought. The consequence has been that an extraordinary chunk of culture gets mired in unnecessary copyright regulation.

The solution before Congress, however, is both unfair and unwise. The bill would excuse copyright infringers from significant damages if they can prove that they made a “diligent effort” to find the copyright owner. A “diligent effort” is defined as one that is “reasonable and appropriate,” as determined by a set of “best practices” maintained by the government.

But precisely what must be done by either the “infringer” or the copyright owner seeking to avoid infringement is not specified upfront. The bill instead would have us rely on a class of copyright experts who would advise or be employed by libraries. These experts would encourage copyright infringement by assuring that the costs of infringement are not too great. The bill makes no distinction between old and new works, or between foreign and domestic works. All work, whether old or new, whether created in America or Ukraine, is governed by the same slippery standard.

The proposed change is unfair because since 1978, the law has told creators that there was nothing they needed to do to protect their copyright. Many have relied on that promise. Likewise, the change is unfair to foreign copyright holders, who have little notice of arcane changes in Copyright Office procedures, and who will now find their copyrights vulnerable to willful infringement by Americans.

The change is also unwise, because for all this unfairness, it simply wouldn’t do much good. The uncertain standard of the bill doesn’t offer any efficient opportunity for libraries or archives to make older works available, because the cost of a “diligent effort” is not going to be cheap. The only beneficiaries would be the new class of “diligent effort” searchers who would be a drain on library budgets.

Congress could easily address the problem of orphan works in a manner that is efficient and not unfair to current or foreign copyright owners. Following the model of patent law, Congress should require a copyright owner to register a work after an initial and generous term of automatic and full protection.

For 14 years, a copyright owner would need to do nothing to receive the full protection of copyright law. But after 14 years, to receive full protection, the owner would have to take the minimal step of registering the work with an approved, privately managed and competitive registry, and of paying the copyright office $1.

This rule would not apply to foreign works, because it is unfair and illegal to burden foreign rights-holders with these formalities. It would not apply, immediately at least, to work created between 1978 and today. And it would apply to photographs or other difficult-to-register works only when the technology exists to develop reliable and simple registration databases that would make searching for the copyright owners of visual works an easy task.

A hired expert shouldn’t be required for an orchestra to know if it can perform a work composed during World War II or for a small museum to know whether it can put a photograph from the New Deal on its Web site. In a digital age, knowing the law should be simple and cheap. Congress should be pushing for rules that encourage clarity, not more work for copyright experts.

Lawrence Lessig is a law professor at Stanford.

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conversations : denise scott brown and robert venturi

I was meandering around the net and I found a little gem. An interview with Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi. It’s always good to see an interview when Charlie actually shuts up and lets his guests answer his questions.

We should hear more from these two architects before all we have left is their work. Let’s hear their voices. Thank you to both of them for all the fine thinking and work they have done so far. BTW this is an old interview.

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