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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