library ladders and a good writer

I just read a delight­ful piece in the times. I had­n’t real­ly been cap­tured by one of the CITY arti­cles quite like this one. The writ­ing con­jured up sounds and smells that made me feel quite warm inside, like a silky bit­ter hot cocoa. The piece was writ­ten by Car­o­line H. Dworin whose oth­er work can be found at her web­site. You should read her work, because as she so sim­ply says, ” She is a good writer, and she means well.”

This sto­ry remind­ed me of the moments in Har­ry Pot­ter where he goes to Mr. Olli­van­der wand shop. Mr Olli­van­der climbs a lad­der and reach­es around many card­board box­es look­ing for Har­ry’s wand. I also thought of the numer­ous fab­u­lous art stores with wood­en floors and lad­ders to reach stores of lith­o­g­ra­phy inks and papers.

This is just one of the glo­ri­ous insights into a place where time stands still and qual­i­ty of mate­ri­als and prod­uct are part of what defines the Put­nam culture.

This floor is an orphan­age of bro­ken lad­ders, the bleak­er ver­sion of those below. Gregg still res­cues lad­ders from clos­ing busi­ness­es, and some­times even buys them back for $25 or $50. Once, while hav­ing din­ner in a down­town restau­rant, he spied one through the win­dow of a clos­ing book­shop, and wrote a let­ter to the own­er ask­ing to reclaim it. His friends and fam­i­ly are mys­ti­fied by this abil­i­ty to pick out his lad­ders from a dis­tance, as if respond­ing to some low-fre­quen­cy cry.

Most­ly I thought of this mag­i­cal way that the lad­ders still speak to their makers.

You might want to order a lad­der while you still can. Who knows how much longer they can hold off progress.

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photobooth saves the day

We were head­ing to Pitts­burgh to meet with heavy­bub­ble agent #1 Matthew Naftzger. Mar­garet got the Red­cap at 30th Street Sta­tion and I drove off to park the car. By the time I walked from the garage at 17th and Chan­cel­lor back to 30th Street our bags were on a dol­ly and our Red­cap was wait­ing for me to arrive.

We took the ele­va­tor down to the plat­form and board­ed our wait­ing train. It was dark and most of the pas­sen­gers were nap­ping recov­er­ing from their ear­li­er start I guessed. We tossed our lug­gage over­head and then set­tled into our seats with a cou­ple bot­tles of water and I put on my bright pink trav­el Crocs.

I put some of my small tech­nol­o­gy — cam­era, ipod, and ear­buds, in the elas­tic fish­net pock­et on the back of the seat in front of me. Set­tling in to watch the train depar­ture from Philadel­phia to points west.

As we pulled out from under the sta­tion to the sur­face of west philadel­phia I began to look up at the pass­ing neigh­bor­hoods. I was engrossed in the view of pass­ing rooftops. Time passed and we mean­dered through the sub­urbs and then burst through to the farm land of Lan­cast­er. I reached for my cam­era to catch an image of a four horse team work­ing an Amish farm. Turned the cam­era on and noth­ing hap­pened! All kinds of things went through my head, “Crap, did I drop it?” … Then it came to me like a water bal­loon on my head — I had left the bat­tery in the charg­er, plugged into the wall recep­ta­cle in the stu­dio. I could see it in my minds eye.

No pho­tos on the out­bound trip. Maybe I could get a bat­tery and charg­er in Pitts­burgh. I have my lap­top, I’ll google for a store. Wait, I HAVE MY LAPTOP. Lucky me. My Mac­book Pro could act as my cam­era. I opened ‘er up and launched Apple’s Pho­to­Booth app. My lit­tle built in cam­era turned on. Yippie!

The image cap­ture expe­ri­ence became more fun. I even took a cou­ple short test movies to play with and here’s one for you to take a look at. This clip is all about rhythm. The pat­ter of light, the famil­iar sound of the rails, the change in sound and light when one car ends and anoth­er begins.

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The New York City Waterfalls : BIG Public Art

New York in the sum­mer is a slug­gish time with the heat and humid­i­ty dri­ving any­one who lives in the city to shore, moun­tain retreats, or europe. How­ev­er, for those that can­not escape there is a won­der­ful new pub­lic art project to cool your mind if not your body.

While mean­der­ing through one of the many copies of the Times piled on our cof­fee table at Stel­larvi­sions I came across an arti­cle about the new real­ly BIG pub­lic art project by Ola­fur Elias­son. This project involves lots of water and that is a cool thing. This is a project so com­pelling it will draw many to see it dur­ing their sul­try vacations.

I haven’t seen any of this project in per­son yet but I have been vis­it­ing the many places on the web that will help you find out more about Ola­fu Elias­son and the Pub­lic Art Fund who made this instal­la­tion hap­pen. You can see this work by train, boat, bicy­cle, or foot and the web­site will give you the scoop.

This is a huge project in all ways. There are four water­falls they are between 90 and 120 feet tall, water will fall between 7 and 10 pm. The water will be light­ed in the evening. The engi­neer­ing is an incred­i­ble feat; pulling water up from the riv­er to let it rain down to its source again. It cost 15 mil­lion bucks and the Pub­lic Art Fund tapped every­one includ­ing the Major to make it happen.

I’m think­ing the Cir­cle Line tour is a good idea. No lug­ging around my cam­era, pic­nic bas­ket and all. Seems like you would have to expe­ri­ence it so many ways and times of day. This could keep us all busy until Octo­ber when the instal­la­tion closes.

With­out even vis­it­ing the work it has made me think of the water that sur­rounds Man­hat­tan in a dif­fer­ent way. It brings the water to life again. No longer just a sur­face upon which boats pass and com­merce takes place. It is a sur­face that can be bro­ken. It reminds us of the nature of water and water in nature. Its not a leap to move into the thoughts of our expe­ri­ences with gen­tle sprays and pow­er­ful cascades.

Thanks to Ola­fur Elias­son for cre­at­ing this inter­nal and exter­nal conversation.

Here’s a look at some of the info avail­able on the web. Even if you can’t make the trip to NYC. You can expe­ri­ence the work in anoth­er way.

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Obama’s support for FISA

Don't spy on me.

from Barack Oba­ma back in in September:
[ I willl ] sup­port a fil­i­buster of any bill that includes retroac­tive immu­ni­ty for telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions companies.

Is this not a defin­ing issue of this cam­paign? What hap­pened to sup­port­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion? This bill legal­izes the con­tin­ued use of unrea­son­able tac­tics that sub­vert Con­sti­tu­tion­al rights. Here are the open­ing lines from Oba­ma’s state­ment sup­port­ing the Bill.


Fri­day, June 20, 2008
State­ment of Barack Oba­ma sup­port­ing Hoy­er FISA bill

State­ment of Sen­a­tor Barack Oba­ma on FISA Compromise

Giv­en the grave threats that we face, our nation­al secu­ri­ty agen­cies must have the capa­bil­i­ty to gath­er intel­li­gence and track down ter­ror­ists before they strike, while respect­ing the rule of law and the pri­va­cy and civ­il lib­er­ties of the Amer­i­can people.”

Giv­en the threats we face? Sounds a lot like George Bush and his ratio­nal­iza­tions. This is a seri­ous moment for Mr Oba­ma. Are we sup­posed to say this is ok? Trust him? I think not. I’m with Russ Feingold.

from Salon:
The ACLU specif­i­cal­ly iden­ti­fies the ways in which this bill destroys mean­ing­ful lim­its on the Pres­i­den­t’s pow­er to spy on our inter­na­tion­al calls and emails. Sen. Russ Fein­gold con­demned the bill on the ground that it “fails to pro­tect the pri­va­cy of law-abid­ing Amer­i­cans at home” because “the gov­ern­ment can still sweep up and keep the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tions of inno­cent Amer­i­cans in the U.S. with no con­nec­tion to sus­pect­ed ter­ror­ists, with very few safe­guards to pro­tect against abuse of this pow­er.” Rep. Rush Holt — who was actu­al­ly denied time to speak by bill-sup­port­er Sil­vestre Reyes only to be giv­en time by bill-oppo­nent John Cony­ers — con­demned the bill because it vests the pow­er to decide who are the “bad guys” in the very peo­ple who do the spying.


The ACLU rec­om­mends a no vote on H.R. 6304, which grants sweep­ing wire­tap­ping author­i­ty to the gov­ern­ment with lit­tle court over­sight and ensures the dis­missal of all pend­ing cas­es against the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies. Most importantly:

• H.R. 6304 per­mits the gov­ern­ment to con­duct mass, untar­get­ed sur­veil­lance of all com­mu­ni­ca­tions com­ing into and out of the Unit­ed States, with­out any indi­vid­u­al­ized review, and with­out any find­ing of wrongdoing.

• H.R. 6304 per­mits only min­i­mal court over­sight. The For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court (FISA Court) only reviews gen­er­al pro­ce­dures for tar­get­ing and min­i­miz­ing the use of infor­ma­tion that is col­lect­ed. The court may not know who, what or where will actu­al­ly be tapped.

• H.R. 6304 con­tains a gen­er­al ban on reverse tar­get­ing. How­ev­er, it lacks stronger lan­guage that was con­tained in pri­or House bills that includ­ed clear statu­to­ry direc­tives about when the gov­ern­ment should return to the FISA court and obtain an indi­vid­u­al­ized order if it wants to con­tin­ue lis­ten­ing to a US person’s communications.

• H.R.6304 con­tains an “exi­gent” cir­cum­stance loop­hole that thwarts the pri­or judi­cial review require­ment. The bill per­mits the gov­ern­ment to start a spy­ing pro­gram and wait to go to court for up to 7 days every time “intel­li­gence impor­tant to the nation­al secu­ri­ty of the US may be lost or not time­ly acquired.” By def­i­n­i­tion, court appli­ca­tions take time and will delay the col­lec­tion of infor­ma­tion. It is high­ly unlike­ly there is a sit­u­a­tion where this excep­tion doesn’t swal­low the rule.

• H.R. 6304 fur­ther triv­i­al­izes court review by explic­it­ly per­mit­ting the gov­ern­ment to con­tin­ue sur­veil­lance pro­grams even if the appli­ca­tion is denied by the court. The gov­ern­ment has the author­i­ty to wire­tap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use what­ev­er it gath­ered in the meantime.

• H.R. 6304 ensures the dis­missal of all cas­es pend­ing against the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies that facil­i­tat­ed the war­rant­less wire­tap­ping pro­grams over the last 7 years. The test in the bill is not whether the gov­ern­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tions were actu­al­ly legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is pub­lic knowl­edge that they were, all the cas­es seek­ing to find out what these com­pa­nies and the gov­ern­ment did with our com­mu­ni­ca­tions will be killed.

• Mem­bers of Con­gress not on Judi­cia­ry or Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tees are NOT guar­an­teed access to reports from the Attor­ney Gen­er­al, Direc­tor of Nation­al Intel­li­gence, and Inspec­tor General.

There is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for sup­port of this Bill.

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The Warhol.

to the warhol.png

This was the google sug­gest­ed route. We took the Rober­to Clemente bridge over the riv­er. There was a ball game and the bridge was closed to vehic­u­lar traf­fic. Every­one was head­ed to the game. It was a glo­ri­ous evening and we almost went to the game. The sta­di­um vor­tex almost pulled us in — did­n’t hap­pen. We went to the Warhol. Could­n’t take any pho­tos inside. There was a ter­rif­ic room on the first floor where you could be famil­iar with events of Andy’s life. Enjoyed it very much. They had an inter­ac­tive kiosk that sucked.

Here’s a shot of Andy’s bridge. Sweet eh?

Check out the web­site and make a vis­it if you are in town. Sev­en floors of fun stuff and fri­days are half price.


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our reserved coach seats, off to pittsburgh

Photo 90

Here we are on the train to pitts­burgh. I for­got the bat­tery to my cam­era — it’s plugged in charg­ing at the stu­dio down­town. I refused to be thwart­ed and took shots along the way using the lap­top. It was a very qui­et trip. We met a cou­ple that was on the return trip to california.
It made me think about a fun trip west, sleep­ing car and all. Maybe our next art fair busi­ness trip. More about the trip to come.

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Sydney Apple Store, COOL!

I just want to reit­er­ate how much I want this job. Anoth­er amaz­ing store­front.  Thanks to every­one at for post­ing these images and doc­u­ment­ing the cre­ation of buzz and ener­gy by a ter­rif­ic design team. The store is pret­ty amaz­ing when they took the cov­er off.

Hmm, what city is next?

Sydney store banner

Sydney store banner

Sydney store banner

Thanks to Simon Tsang, Bradley and Cameron for these photos.
orig­i­nal sto­ry and images :

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carano gallery, artist reception

Late­ly I’ve been involved in get­ting the mar­ket­ing up and run­ning for our coop­er­a­tive gallery at Sher­man Mills. The Cara­no Gallery is a won­der­ful space right inside a work­ing artist build­ing. These are some pho­tos my art bud Car­ol Wisker took at the artists recep­tion this past fri­day. Enjoy and next time join us. Oh, and don’t miss the show its up until August 18th. You can find out more at my art­log or at the smARTS website.

Okay, pic­to­brows­er is refus­ing to work. So go to you can see the pho­to­gallery there.