Friday, July 20, 2007

Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth, Basquiat

Meg and I are vacationing in Maine, visiting her parents, my brother Mark, and my OMET cadre-mate Brad and his wife Hillary. Today Meg and I went to Rockport, Maine, where the Farnsworth Museum is located. We try to make it to this museum each time we come to Camden to visit Meg's parents. The museum features work my N.C., Andrew, and Jamie Wyeth and is quite amazing. This time they had a great exhibit, "Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth, Basquiat." Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat are two of my favorite 20th century artists, so this exhibit was a real treat. I managed, in the 1990s, to catch an exhibit of Basquiat's work at the Whitney Museum, in NYC. Unfortunately, his life was cut short, at the age of 27, so there is only a small body of his work out there.

The exhibit took up both exhibition spaces at the Wyeth Center, a detached former church. The lower floor contained two cases that had contents of Warhol's "Time Capsules." Evidently, periodically, Warhol and his assistants would sweep everything off his desk and into a box that they would seal. While a few of these boxes have been opened, many remain sealed. The contents of these capsules, one from the 1970s, the other from the 1980s, included magazines, clipping, photographs, and other ephemera. There was also a case with a step-by-step explanation of how Warhol and his assistants would create his "piss paintings." A canvas would be covered in a copper-based paint. Warhol and/or his assistants would then urinate on the canvas and the urine would react with the copper paint to create oxidization. Upstairs there was a fantastic silk-screened "piss painting" portrait of Basquiat. The canvas had been covered in the copper paint, urine was applied, then Basquiat was silk-screened onto the canvas.

The other works that really stood out to me were a series of pencil drawings Warhol had done, based on Polaroids he took, of Wyeth. The spareness of the line was amazing, and Warhol's work captured the type of effect I had attempted in a piece of my own.

As Meg noted, the juxtoposition of these three artists was a fresh and interesting way to consider these artists, and the influence Wyeth and Warhol had on one another's style and art was amazingly presented.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mac 68K Experimental Apple Album Released

Originally uploaded by Camera Wences

Peter and I have been hard at work with a lab of old Macs creating an album in HyperCard:

Experimental Apple Album

You can download the album and album art, as well as see some photos and video at the site. The stacks have been made available for the true nerds to experiment with further.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

Palmer Eldritch02.jpg
Originally uploaded by Camera Wences

I heard about this blog post this morning that intrigued me, as I have read this novel before and was perplexed and mystified by its meanings. After I read it, back in 1998 or so, I created this collage to try to capture some of the images the book created in my head. After reading the blog I managed to find it among old posters and took some photos of the collage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Paul Hunter's "Shopworn" Language

Matt Kidd called me to tell me that our former high school English teacher, Paul Hunter, was appearing in The NewsHour with Jim Lerher:

It was awesome to see Paul on national TV and to hear him read a selection of his poetry, play his guitar, and show off his workshop. Paul lives down the street from me and I often run into him when he is out walking his dog, Annie. I was happy other people could now see what a fascinating character he is. Meg and I composed a short little poem about seeing him on TV and Meg's love of some of the phrases he uses in his poems. He wrote back from the farm in Indiana. It was great to hear from him again!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Interesting Newton Alt.Rec Bug


Last Christmas I took my MessagePad 2100 on the road with me to Maine as a means of checking my email and scraping RSS feeds. Normally I use my MessagePad as an NPDS server. I thought the Newton would be an ideal traveling partner. I was hampered by Hiroshi's unwillingness to register his 802.11b driver.


Around the same time I started using the Newton heavily for taking Notes. I installed Paul Guyot's alt.rec and changed my Newton's handwriting recognition from cursive to printing, which is required by alt.rec.

Note on Newton Handwriting Technology in Newton Notes

Subsequently, I noticed a strange "stutter" in Notes when I used the on-screen keyboard: when I typed letters, more often then not the Newton would keep the keyboard's key depressed and replay the "keydown" sound, but not type extra characters. However, it made Notes pretty much unusable on my NPDS server if I were trying to modify index.html, for example.

Today I tried to modify my NPDS server's home page and the stutter became unbearable. I worried about my PCMCIA flash memory card going bad. I tried to remember what I had monkeyed with last on the MessagePad. I froze alt.rec and rebooted, then changed the handwriting recognition back to cursive. I opened Notes and the on-screen keyboard and banged out my normal type-testing phrase: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." No stutter. Problem solved.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Mac 68K HyperCard Music

My friend Peter and I have been working on an electronic music project during June and July. We have used HyperCard 2.4.1 on a Macintosh Classic II and a Mac Color Classic to "program" our music. Peter is a real musician, and I'm a nerd, so it was a cool project. We will be finishing the album on Friday and releasing it and the HyperCard stacks we used to make the music.
Mac 68K: Experimental Apple

Friday, July 6, 2007

Feeling lucky?

VW bug with custom rims and stem covers, spotted during a neighborhood walk.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

William Kamkwamba Windmill photos

William Kamkwamba Windmill photos
Originally uploaded by williamkamkwamba

William Kamkwamba is my new hero. Forced out of economic hardships to drop out of school, he refused to stop learning. He went on to built a windmill to provide electricity to his parents' and his homes in their village in Malawi. Now he has a blog, a Flickr account, and was interviewed at a TED talk in Tanzania. Awesome stuff!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Labyrinth Walking

Originally uploaded by Camera Wences

My fellow cadre member at Pepperdine's OMET program created a labyrinth with her students at the high school in Los Angeles where she works.

Kristen's Action Research Project

While Cadre 9 was in LA for exhibitions and graduation people got the chance to walk the labyrinth. My parents, Meg, and I had not eaten dinner, it was late, I did not make it to the labyrinth and felt bad. Discussing my situation with KZ, she suggested I find a local labyrinth and walk it. The next day, on the way to work, I noticed a church on Mercer Island had a labyrinth walk on Friday night and Saturday morning. Huzzah!

The labyrinth was printed on heavy canvas. It belongs to Plymouth Congregational Church in Seattle but was on loan to the church on MI. The labyrinth was set up where the congregation would normally sit. There were a surprising number of people there to walk the labyrinth, including a boy who managed to "beat" everyone at the time it took to complete the circuit but who, interestingly, sat at the center for a bit.

I found myself too mentally distracted by my recent thoughts and plans to really focus. I spent time thinking about how once one starts walking the labyrinth one understands the whole from the part. It was interesting how long it takes to make it through the labyrinth. I expected to be overwhelmed by emotion through the experience but was not. However, it was good to spent time focused on a task and concentrating on maneuvering and orienting. People who walked the labyrinth were caught up on their own space, and we avoided one another.

The process of walking the labyrinth was interesting. Meg and I noted the difference walking an outdoor labyrinth might make. I look forward to more opportunities to walk labyrinths.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I am a graduate of Pepperdine's Online Master's in Educational Technology:

My gradute work site.

My Master's work was an Action Research project devoted to transforming an elementary school Tech Club into a more inclusive group. I involved more girls and students on the Autism Spectrum in my club. I am excited about the successes I had this school year and the work I will continue next year.

I built an extensive blog that I used for my Action Research. I am working to transition my blogging to this site. I chose Blogger for a few reasons:

•There exists a Newton client. Yes, that Newton, from Apple. I own a couple of Newtons, and the eMate 300 with a Wifi card is an ideal blogging client: it's lightweight, it keeps me focused on blogging, and it is retro nerd cool.

• Blogger worked well with my Flickr account. I can post to my blog from Flickr. I love how these web 2.0 tools tie together.

• I never received any comments (well, maybe one or two) on anything I blogged about in OMET. The personal version I maintained was a static html page. The program-provided blog space did not allow for any formatting or posting of photographs, something vital to my research and actions. Additionally, the blog failed to create a community of practice around the ideas I proposed. I hope this blog gives my ideas more exposure and people provide feedback and examples of implementation and practice.

I come out of OMET tired but envigorated. I want to get a good web 2.0 toolset in place as I hope to be making exhibition presentations, contributions to others' online projects, and making a difference in the near future. Hopefully Blogger, with its capabilities and the ease of access and compatibility with my existing web tools, will make the transition not only painless but more powerful for me and the community.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

First Test Post

I'm trying to post this note from an eMate 300, wirelessly. We'll see how that goes....